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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Photo Hunt Challenge--October 2010

I'm participating in a photo hunt challenge, and I've just completed the twenty words!  This one was, well, more challenging than the other photo scavenger hunts I've done, if only because it was twice as many words as the others.  This hunt also challenged me because I learned a couple of new skills and techniques along the way. 
In Disguise-- Wookiee Alert! Downtown Witch Crawl

Crisp--the path was filled with crisp Autumn leaves

Fall Colors-- Looking through the treetops

Jack O'Lantern-- I'd lose my head if it wasn't attached.  Found at a local Trunk-or-Treat

Shot from the Ground-- soft and furry moss in the woods

Fall Tradition-- these geese would pass overhead every morning as we waited at the school bus stop.  The day I took this photo was actually the last day they passed over us.  Perhaps they were following Fall Tradition and taking their journey further south that day.

Books--Seen on my last trip downtown.  Really, everybody should have a Book Mistress inside the Tattoo Parlor

Dining-- This milkweed bug was having a fine time munching on the plantlife

Children-- I was cooking dinner while my older daughter, 6, was playing a game on the computer.  I peeked out to see that her younger sister, 2, had joined her.  I love the bond they share.

Faces Formed in Nature-- Since I was probably the only one that would see a face in this tree fungus, and photoshop is allowed, I decided to go all the way.

A Landscape--Salem Lake, Winston-Salem NC, at sunset

B/W With Selective Coloring-- A beautiful, perfectly white flower in Black and White

Tilt/Shift--Autumn Fishing, Salem Lake, Winston-Salem NC

Bokeh-- taken at the Greensboro Arboretum

Best Photo of October 23-- we spent the morning at the bounce house for a birthday party.  here my daughter is coming at me with the boxing gloves!

Something from the Kitchen-- a happy kitchen is the one in which all the dishes have been washed.

Vintage-- My Grandmother probably wouldn't appreciate me using her in a photo describing "vintage", but I love this photo of her and her brother.  Both of them are in their 80's, and it had been two years since they'd seen each other.  I love that they're holding hands.   

Creepy-- perhaps not scary creepy, but this truck on the side of a country road, abandoned long enough to have pretty flowers growing through the steel and metal, was pretty creepy.  How long had it been there, why was it left, who did it belong to?  Creepy.

Golden-- Golden Carolina Sunrise.  Straight out of the camera, as soon as I saw this sunrise I knew it was Golden.

Self-Portrait--  (This is the only photo used from my archives)  A little over two months ago, my life changed completely.  Upside down, don't know which way is up.  Together, but apart, and oh, so far away. Dealing with illness, and separation, and questions I can't ask and questions I can't answer.  A little over a month ago, I went to a local gardens and fell in love with the water lily pond.  I took photo after photo, and they all just spoke to me.  This was one of the first photos I took, and it was as if the water lily was made to be photographed.  It's beauty beheld me, and I started using this photo as my avatar, my gravitar, the banner in my shops, everywhere.  I just felt the water lily was me.  About three weeks ago, I was telling a friend about this, and she told me that the water lily symbolizes "new beginning".  Is that what has pulled me toward it?  Ten minutes ago, I googled the water lily, to see if what my friend told me was true.  The Water Lily is a symbol of new life, or new beginnings in your life.  They foretell there will be a close commingling of prosperity and sorrow.  Damn.  While I'll take the prosperity any day,  I'm having enough sorrow.  I found another meaning for the Water Lily, and I'd rather go with this: "Purity of Heart"

Please take a moment to see the other participants here!


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pounce! Thursday, October 28

Pretty pretty!  It still seems early to be thinking about the holidays... but Monday is November 1st and I need to get my tush in gear!  It's especially important to plan early when shopping handmade, since so many items are made to order and there may be a delay in receiving your items.

That being said, I have pounced a couple of shops ready for their first sale, and both have beautiful items that will get you in the mood for the holidays!  (Addendum:  Each week I pounce two shops.  This week I pounced three.  When you see the third, you'll know why I couldn't leave it out!)

Glitter Glass Ornaments by Trio3
The first pounced shop is trio3, and she has got some really lovely, bright and sparkly holiday decorations.  I love the colors in these ornaments.  She has several different sets this one with predominant red, blue and purple ornaments.  She's also got sets of blues and coppers,  green purple and yellow, and more!  Trio3 has them available in sets of three or four, and also has individual ornaments for sale.  Her ornaments hang from really beautiful complementing ribbon.

She also has a set of Menorah Glitter Glass ornaments.  They can be purchased in colorful shades, or the more traditional blues and silvers.

Menorah Glitter Glass Ornaments by Trio3
Copper Branch Glass Globe by BlurredVisionary
If you're looking for  an understated, natural look check out BlurredVisionary's shop!  She places pretty, natural items in clear glass globes.  My favorite is this globe filled with copper  branches. 

This silvery blue fern is also very pretty, and would be nice on any holiday tree.

Fern Glass Globe by Blurred Visionary
I usually only pounce two shops a week, but you are not going to want to miss this one!

DistinctiveAccents is a mother/daughter team specializing in handmade pillows and accessories.  And they have got a holiday section that is making me drool!  Honestly, I'm shocked that they are still waiting for their first sale.  They've got a beautiful, filled up shop... stop by and browse for your favorites.

Think leopard print chenille and silk.  Those are the soft, luxurious fabrics this beautiful one of a kind stocking is constructed with.  Imagine Santa filling this for you!    
Leopard Christmas Stocking by DistinctiveAccents

This one of a kind faux fur stocking is also something I'd like to have hanging from my mantle!  Lined with an Italian taffeta stripe and a cuff of velvet and chenille, this stocking is simply gorgeous.  

Faux Fur Christmas Stocking by DistinctiveAccents

Be sure to visit these shops ready for their first sale!  If you find something you love, buy it!  If you can't buy it, share it... let's show them some Etsy love!   (I've just been told by a little birdie that DistinctiveAccents is having a sale this weekend on their super beautiful stockings!  25% off Friday-Sunday.  Go, go, go!)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My First Attempts at Wire Wrapping

Last week I told you that I wanted to learn to wire wrap, and I've finally gotten a bit of wire to try my hand at it!  Many thanks to my friend SometimesSummer, who makes really awesome wire-wrapped jewelry.  I met her through Etsy, and while we shared a tent at a local festival, she showed me the basics of wire wrapping.  I've also joined the Wire Wrapping for Beginners group on Etsypreneur,  and found some really great video through that group. 

I love the look of wire-wrapped gemstones and crystals, but I'm more of a natural, casual kind of girl and wanted to try something a little different.  My older daughter has found some really beautiful rocks and stones as we explore the woods and parks, and I thought it would be a neat idea to free form wrap some of them.  I also tried to combine a few stones and beads that I had in my supplies.  I'm using 26 gauge copper wire, and I braided 10 lb hemp cord to create a necklace with the stone.

This was my first attempt.  Not exactly a work of art, but here it is!

Here are the ones that I made using my supplies on hand

I actually really like the way the big pink stone turned out-- definitely a keeper!

I made two more after this, one I wrapped with tiny hot pink beads interspersed and Daughter has already claimed that one for her own, and she wore it to school.  It got rave reviews at the bus stop!  This is the last one I made. 

So what do you think?  If you are an experienced wire-wrapper (and even if you're not!), I'd love your feedback.  What is your favorite technique?  Feel free to link up to some of your favorite work or tutorials in the comments. 

And the last question... do you think there's a market for (completely) natural stones like this, untumbled, fresh out of nature in this type of jewelry?  Would you buy something like this, and if the answer is yes, what price range would you expect?

I'm excited to finally get started on this new type of jewelry design.  Follow me as I learn more and improve my technique! If you haven't already clicked the "subscribe" button on the left, be sure to do it now!

All the best, Jessica

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pounce! Monday October 18

Icy Pop Treat Cozy by The Playful Table

 Happy Monday!  Today's first Pounce features The Playful Table,  where fun is handmade!  As a mom with two young girls, the Icy Pop Treat Cozy gives me a, "Huh!  Why didn't I think of that?" moment. The cozy keeps your kid's hands warm while they snack on freeze pops, pediatric electrolyte pops, and squeeze yogurt.  They are made of eco-fi felt from recycled  plastic bottles, and are machine or hand washable.  You can choose your color, and order in party packs!

Pocket Pillow by Playful Table
I also like their Pocket Pillow, the perfect place for your young person to put their lost tooth for the tooth fairy.  There's plenty of room for the treat that is left behind!  I always worry that the tooth is going to get "lost", and this solves that problem easily.  This item is also customizable to your color or theme preferences.

Bear Hand Puppet by Hotdogs and Catsup
Here's another fun item for the kids, from the shop Hotdogs and Catsup!    This cutie patooty pink bear hand puppet has such a delightful pattern, with the most adorable button eyes, a pocket up front, and a heart detail on the back.  Kids love hand puppets, and I can see this one becoming a real favorite! 

Hotdogs and Catsup also hand makes stuffed bears, cats, and dogs.  These are original, one of a kind animals that will get much love!  This Green Striped Dog is my favorite! 

Green Striped Dog by Hotdogs and Catsup
I love these two new shops, ready for their first sale!  All the best to both of them!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Treasury Challenge NonTeam

So, have you heard about this NonTeam?  There's been a lot of buzz in the forums lately about the "team-y-ness" of the Front Page of Etsy, and I heard several people say they were going to start their own team.  Honestly, I don't know yet if it's the same people that started the NonTeam, but I do know I'm a part of it!  I was kindly featured in this lovely treasury tonight.  (Um, it is slightly naughty, so if your kids are hanging over your shoulder, you might want to direct them elsewhere for a minute.)

'I've got the key, I've got the secret!' by treasurejewellery

This is the key to all your secrets and dreams ;)This is a non team challenge treasury, find out more at:(

















The curator,  treasurejewellery,   included information about the NonTeam Treasury Challenge, and since I love treasuries, I checked it out!   And saw that they were hiring (well, looking for one more volunteer.)  So I sent Dotty a note, and I was hired!   Woo hoo!  Officially, I guess my title is "Just-for-Fun Treasury Poster".  My responsibilities will include posting NonChallenge treasuries made by NonMembers.  You can check out the  Treasury Challenge NonTeam here!

Etsy Treasury NonTeam