Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy New Year - 2008

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy 2008!

(cute graphic found on flickr)
This year went by so quickly. My son even said so (who knew he even paid attention!) Feeling like I should do a retrospective. But not now. Company from the Northeast just left. Loved spending time with fabulous friends, and fortunately for them Florida had the best weather I ever remember on a Christmas vacation! We joined them at a pool or beach everyday! Floridians don't do that, especially in December. And the crowds of tourists in swimming pools bring out the inner princess in me. All I could think is: Eeeewwww! We all had a nice time. And I prepare for a mellow New Year's Eve. Best wishes all!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I need these.
But enough about me.

My dining room looks like a paper and ribbon blizzard. I have successfully shopped for and wrapped all of the gifts for the teachers, coaches, instructors, etc.. My kids will tote them off to school tomorrow (how, I don't know). That should clear off a large portion of the table. I finished the handmade gifts to my friends (the pendants came out nice - check out the last post.) The last minute cookies and secret santa gifts were handled calmly. No more homework for a few weeks. That signals vacation - hurray!

Good thing, since there was a double murder in the parking lot of our local giant mall. (cue the SNL Debbie Downer wah, wah). Freakin' creepy. Nice way to spoil the holidays. My husband told me I can't go to the mall by myself or with the kiddies alone for a while. Thank heavens for online shopping and my craft room!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Elf in Art Class

This crafty mommy has been one busy little elf in my jewelry fabrication class. As anyone who makes jewelry (or other things) knows the problem one has shopping at mass merchandisers. You see things and say "I can make that." The key is whether or not you actually find the time to do so. While not everyone on my holiday gift list will appreciate a handcrafted item or not be worthy of the time spent to create one, there are recipients who will hopefully cherish and enjoy one.

My friend and I created three sterling cuffs with a cool impressed texture. We gave them to the gals this morning over coffee and they were well received and looked great on. We're so proud (corny, too.)

While my girlfriend has decided she has had enough of art school for now, I am continuing so I can learn how to make the designs in my head come into reality, not to mention how to do the techniques on the fabulous pieces I see at stores and in cataogs. Today, however, was spent on more gifts.

While the lighting in the photos is awful, you can see I created the initial M cut out of silver and strung with silver and pearls. The finish on the pendant is a brushed satin. It looks great on - I hope she likes it!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Virtual Hide and Seek - Games at Dinner

We played virtual hide and seek at dinner tonight. My twelve year old son came up to me later and said we had some good family game time. Yes, cool-guy, pre-teen approval! If you are a busy family who struggles to get together a few times a week for an uninterrupted dinner then you want to add this to your holiday list.

Dinner Games is a tin of cards - you pick one and do the activity/game on that card. Tonight we took turns thinking of a hiding place in the house and others had to guess (we wrote our thoughts down so we couldn't cheat). We had a lot of laughs and best of all we stayed at the table past being finished for some great family time. A good gift idea!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Yuck - I went to the mall

I braved the crowds and found time to put off the inevitable at this time of year. Yes, I wish I could have pledged to buy handmade but I need to be realistic. I am in South Florida, mecca of "shiny and new". Some friends are getting handmade (by myself and others), but others are getting store bought/mail ordered.

I left myself less time to shop, arriving later than I expected, so I have to go again.

Every time my son needs new sneakers are asks for the exact same ones that he wore out/out grew, they are discontinued and I now have to take him shopping to try on sneakers. eek.

Anthropologie opened up at our local mall last month. I do like the store but I get the feeling that it is so mass produced masquerading as indie/handmade. Example: Flower necklaces made out of the cute vintage plastic flowers (are theirs vintage?) like the ones I use for my bracelets. Only they had a rack with 15 identical necklaces. hmmm. In their case of more unique jewelry they had a few bracelets like the ones I have using vintage findings and pieces of jewelry mixed with new. Lots of people create similar things. But for sale at $298.00?!?! I did pick up a hostess gift for a neighbor.

I still need a birthday gift for my step-father-in-law who is turning 80.

I also need to add some photos to my posts. How about this:

via cute overload. I love this site. I have it sent to my phone so I can amuse myself with cutie photos in carpool line.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Reader Pixx on IndieFixx

Check out my top ten Reader Pixx list on Indie Fixx!!! As you know (or do now) I had the best time at the Felt Club XL show in LA last month. I submitted my favorite vendors in no particular order to Jen at Indie Fixx and she posted them as her weekly Reader Pixx column.

Indie Fixx is a daily, must-read blog with great indie finds, interviews with artists, and more.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Sunshine and Holiday Boutiques

I hate the pressure of holiday shopping. There are some that I can make great gifts for (my friend and I are hard at work on three textured, silver cuff bracelets for our gal pals). Teachers, neighbors and other small gifts are on the list. Toys need to be sent to the niece and cousins. Thank heavens for online shopping. I just need to sit down and do it.

I was forced to attend a bunch of holiday boutiques in the last few weeks. For heavens sake, they all had over lapping vendors. They each had at least half a dozen trying to get me to order personalized notepads from the same catalog the rep! And the most pathetic jewelry ever. (copies of designer jewelry and handbags make me want to vomit).

It is over 80 degrees and sunny here. Two and a half hours on the soccer field and watching my kids swim today reinforced my tan arms. I heard it snowed a few inched in New Jersey. Happy shopping!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Great Gallery and Store in South Florida

If you live in South Florida or are one of the many inhabitants of cold weather locales and migrate south to defrost and get sun during the winter, you must visit Tates Comics in Lauderhill
. I finally ventured down to the store, which is just west of Fort Lauderdale, hoping to pick up a few little holiday gifts for my cool little guy. I didn't expect the sheer awesomeness of the store! As the name implies, there is a vast amount of comics (which I know nothing about) and everything related to comics. It had every action figure related to any comic. Manga. Amazing books (I love cool books!) Collectible vinyl and blind box figures. Funky plush. And a large selection of Japanese snacks (the have snack tasting events - how cool is that?!) And videos. The owners are so friendly and knowledgeable - I asked to see if they had an obscure action figure that my son wanted and they did. And when I talked to him a little bit about my guy and his interests he steered me to a new Godzilla DVD that will be a big hit at the holidays!

Upstairs is the Bear and Bird gallery. They have art show and carry unique gift items and artist-made jewelry. There happened to be a show going on called Small Stuff - small scale artwork from both local and national artists that were available for purchase and affordable.

I finished my holiday shopping for my son at Tates and was able to find some terrific gifts for others, too. Did I mention the Tara McPherson Dunny that I bought for myself for my living room mantle?

Shameless Self Promotion

I am obsessed with these vintage plastic flower beads. I have a little box of them and I like to play with them and make color and design combinations.

I created these bracelets - one in shades of blue and the other in oranges and ambers (with a touch of hunter). I have a red one, too, but I can't part with it. These two are in my Etsy shop.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving Dinner

First, let me say that I love my mother dearly. She is wonderful, a terrific grandmother. I had a good, normal childhood. No major issues that carried into adulthood. My parents are married for 42 years. I am grateful that she is healthy and was able to host my family for the annual dinner this year. My father is happy and loves their traditional dinner.

That being said....

Plus a turkey, of course. And we picked up some pies at the bakery. I was going to bake on of my oatmeal crust low fat apple pies but I thought the effort would be lost. My husband gets nuts over this over usage of processed foods.

More Craft Show Finds!

I was only able to mention some of the finds from Felt Club's Holiday XL craft show in L.A. on the 18th. I shared my plush finds and some goodies I brought home for my kids. I had a blast shopping for myself, naturally, and snapped up some terrific pieces of jewelry to adorn myself this holiday season!

I just adored the jewelry and artist at J-is for Jewelry! There are two designers who create very different styles but equally fabulous! One artist creates silver and colorful enamel pieces, of which I bought these two necklaces (one for me and one for a gift, so if my friends are reading this and you receive one, act surprised).

I had my eye on a ring but my big size 8 fingers couldn't fit into any of them. The artist prefers to do rings to order so they fit properly so I plan to have one made special!

The other artist creates pendants with little, tiny dioramas inside. I saw her on HGTV's Crafter's Coast to Coast (I tivo all the craft shows, zip through them, and keep the ones I like.) I remember being fascinated by the process of getting little people and animals to stay in the resin. When I saw them in person I just had to have one for my self. (Since taking the jewelry class I have an even greater appreciation for the work that goes into creating pieces of unique art jewelry.) I chose this zebra pendant.

My photos don't do this justice. You have to check them out yourself!

The Paparazzi in Me!

While in L.A. I got my fair dose of celebrity sightings. Living in South Florida we get our fair share of celebrity visits,condo stays and club sightings (and don't forget the charity circuit 'cause the Donald lives nearby sometimes). L.A. is the primary home of movie and t.v. stars so they are everywhere. We got to see Robert Redford and John Travolta driving around the fancy neighborhoods (yes, I took one of those tours.) Paris and Nikki Hilton at the famous Mr. Chows for dinner and Larry King and his favorite breakfast place (which was really yummy). In my face after lunch one day was Melanie Griffith. I saw the paparazzi swarming the door of a dress shop and walked over to see who they were bothering. Out walks Melanie Griffith, who had obviously been hunting for a gown. I almost got knocked over by the photographers but snapped this photo myself.

She was actually very nice to the swarm of rude photographers surrounding her from the shop to her car - which by the way has the license plate MG-AB (heart where the dash is) showcasing the love of her gorgeous husband, Antonio Banderas. How cute is that!?

How is it the holidays already?

I went out of town with the family this weekend again, only to realize that it is basically Christmas - well the season in full swing, anyway. On Thanksgiving Day the lights were being hung everywhere and trees were for sale. I know the ornaments and gifts have been in stores fora while already but I ignore that, seeing that Halloween starts in August. I am just not mentally prepared for the season to begin. I feel like school just started. Naturally I have given no thought to cards and parties. I have started making and buying little gifts but that is a constant thing. Christmas music was playing in the restaurant at dinner tonight. Gotta start shopping! Gotta get in the spirit! But I want to talk about my trip to L.A. and Thanksgiving first!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Crafty Mommy Shops L.A.

For the first few days in Los Angeles, while exploring all of the different fabulous areas like Melrose, Santa Monica, Malibu, and Beverly Hills, my husband kept asking me why I wasn't buying anything. I let him know that I like to buy things that I can't find at home and that nobody else will have. And certainly not emblazoned with the store name across the chest or sneaker. I told him to wait until Sunday and he'll stop asking. He went to the Automobile show, I went to the Felt Club Holiday XL craft show. I want to share some of my favorite finds and terrific people I met along the way.

I was first on a quest for things to bring home to my kids. For one son, that meant something stuffed. I was excited to meet Narumi Ogawa, author of the Mr. Funky Super Crochet Wonderful book. The very first amigurumi I crocheted was Sebastian from her book.

I promised her I would post his photo for her! I purchased an owl for myself along with this stuffed donut from My Paper Crane.

A bear came home from Hotdog N' Bun - each bear seemed to have a unique personality so I had to choose carefully. I always seem to go with the chubby ones. Must have something to do with all of the cupcakes I ate!

My son's favorite item from the entire trip was the slug monkey from Planet Tokki.

(This photo is from their adorable gallery - I haven't been able to take ours away from my kid long enough to photograph him. It snuck to school with him each day in his backpack!)
Each creature has a story told on a little booklet that came with him. If it is a little odd, my son loves it. This one was a big hit!

Monday, November 19, 2007

L.A. Goodness!

I am back from L.A. and had the best time!!! We certainly packed a lot into 5 days. I had not been to Southern Cal. in many years so it was basically all new to me. We had fabulous food, did some shopping, poked around the beach communities like true tourists, took in some art, and did some star gazing (of the famous kind - Paris and her sister, Robert Redford, Melanie Griffith and more!).

We dined everywhere from Wolfgang Pucks restaurants and the famous Ivy to great little sushi restaurants and artisan cupcake shoppes. I need a good diet now.

My husband was surprised that I wasn't getting much shopping done - after all, it is L.A. I tried to explain that I would never buy what I can get at home or what everyone else would wear. He dropped me off at the Felt Club Holiday XL craft show (and he went to the L.A. Auto show, where I wouldn't have the patience to go.) When he came to pick me up a couple of hours later I was laden with bags! Stuff to bring back for the kids, my friends, holiday gifts. Oh, and me!! I'll share my finds at a later post. I have too jet lag and am too tired to sleep, if that makes sense. I am not focused enough to upload photos and give proper credit to the many crafters and artisans that I met.

Let me say that I do think that the people I met in Los Angeles are the friendliest! The guys and gals in the shops and restaurants (and next sitting next to us in restaurants)_ we so nice! We got the best tips on things to do and places to go from them. So thanks to everyone I encountered in L.A. - you are fabulous!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Art School Happenings

Nothing like instant gratification when it comes to jewelry making. Some of the gals in my art school jewelry fabrication class spend an entire 6 week session working on the same piece of jewelry (of course they are fabulous!). What separates me from the true jewelry artists is my desire to wear the stuff home from class! Today while my friend and I played with various texturing mediums for holiday gifts for our friends I worked on my own prototype. I used a sterling silver sheet (I feel brave enough to work with the good stuff and graduate from the copper and brass)and created a thin, hammered bracelet. By the end of class we had found the right texture for our bracelets (wire mesh) and I have a pretty addition to my ever-growing accessory drawers.

Not a great photo, but you can get an idea of the fun I have each Thursday. And don't you just love my Cathy of California pincushion in the background?)

Smart Cars

How cute are these?

We snapped photos of these smart cars all over Italy last year. They are now in the USA and were set up in a display outside our local mall for curious folks to check 'em out and drive them around the parking lot. I would save a bundle on gas but don't think I'd fit the cello inside.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

While I am in L.A.

Dare I tell my husband what my plans are while I am in L.A.? I don't know if he shares my passion for peacefully perusing the aisles of the handmade, indie, slightly offbeat craft shows making chit chat with very friendly vendors (of course I havent' been to many like this!!) Felt Club's Holiday XL show just happens to be when I will be in California.

Maybe I'll just have him drop me off and come back a few hours later. I already have one of those fold up extra bags to add to my luggage on the return flight.

Sooo Tired from being the Crafty Mommy

Soo tired. Lost my voice. Fell asleep with my kid at 9 (I am NEVER asleep before midnight!) It was the Halloween parties. The progressive dinner. The birthday parties. I mentioned the Halloween parties. We had a group from the school's progressive dinner over. It was terrific. The overall theme was 'Back to School' and each entree house had a different school subject. Ours was 'Oceanography'. I decorated the table with inexpensive curtain panels in sheer aqua blue (one with sparkly circles that looked like bubbles.) These were found in the teenage girl room decorating section of my local Kmart! I had some glass bowls that I re-use from flower arrangements past and filled them with water and goldfish from my local pet store (my son has happily welcomed Freddy, Jason, and Jaws into our home as newest pet additions!). I filled tall glass votive holders with shells from my large collection of Sanibel island treasures and had a lovely table. Where are the photos you ask. This crafty mommy didn't think to take any.

The very next day my son had nearly a dozen of his pre-teen sports buddies over to play football, watch the Patriots, eat pizza and Carvel cake and generally wreck the house. Oh yes, I am a good mom. A tired mom - but a good one.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Art School Creations

I am loving my jewelry fabrication class at the local museum art school. It is such a fun and relaxing way to spend a half a day. I am learning so much and the people in the class are terrific! One of the ladies makes butter soft leather bags with large set stones. The embellishments are set in hand crafted silver and hand riveted in. They are gorgeous. Today I finished my copper owl pendant. I decided to learn how to etch and had left it in an acid bath at the end of last weeks class. I polished it today and think it is very cute. I have some copper chain that I will add some small glass beads to. Here is the finished piece:

The image isn't that clear because I took it on my iphone (I am not a big lover of the iphone but when your camera isn't handy or working the phone fills in just fine.)
Now that I am comfortable with soldering, drilling, torches, and acid I will move on to silver. I have a blank sheet just waiting for the saw to create something unique and hand made by me!

[Finally] November

It is November, which means that Halloween is over. I can (sort of) have my house back. Or at least not have it make eerie sounds from the many electronic decorations scattered throughout. Halloween starts very early (my younger son would have decorations out in August, when the first catalogs came, if he had his way. By Halloween I have had it with web and rubber rats. This does mean that all of the other holidays are coming upon us rapidly. More decorations!

We have to get Halloween outta here tomorrow. Saturday night we had our arms twisted into hosting 12 people for one of the entree legs of our school's progressive dinner. I love theme parties very much, but I am overwhelmed with the number of parties, holidays, birthdays, etc.. that we are having over here. The checkout ladies at the grocery store thank me by saying "see you tomorrow" (this is true.) The progressive dinner theme is a "Back to School" or college theme and each entree house has a different school subject. We are 'oceanography' (seafood dinner). I have my round glass bowls out and instead of flowers will put goldfish in them for the table decor (my children are thrilled to have even more pets) and candle holders filled with shells. Simple. And no web.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Halloween Party

OK, it was for 8 year olds, but we had a great time. My son has been asking me for a Halloween party for the last few years (he has always had and obsession with this holiday). This year I succumbed and let him make invitations. Almost twenty kids attended his 'First Annual Spookfest'> My house looks pretty cool - and my son did most of the planning and decorating. Old masks, costumes and decor created creepy guests in the living room and around the dining room table.

We served Halloween shaped sugar cookies with frosting, icing, and other decorating toppings for a DIY snack; 'finger' sandwiches (turkey on whole wheat bread shaped into fingers with an almond finger nail); jello mold brain; fruit kabobs stuck into a pumpkin with gummy worms;

and a cake that my son decorated on his own. We sliced the cake in half and tucked some gummy worms inside before frosting. He used Milano cookies as tombstones. This crafty mommy has one crafty son!

This was a kind of old fashioned party. The kids ran around like lunatics, we had some Halloween and skull beads on a table to make necklaces and bracelets, and we had a mummy wrapping contest. We'd better start thinking ahead to the Second Annual Spookfest!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Rockin' T-shirts

I love funky t-shirts. It's another way that I manifest my immature adult side. (Not that wearing t-shirts are immature, it's the japanese cute or grotesque monster ones that make the other moms look at me strange - but you know I don't care. And they wish they had them.) Owl Movement creates limited, artist designed t-shirts that are so fabulous! They have create series of high quality tees whose designs run from the strange (my monsters) to the cute (diving playpus) to the simple (pair of owls). I discovered them at the Stitch Rock craft show and have visited their website to start planned my holiday shopping.

How Cool is This Bird?

This hawk is just chillin' on the rocks around my hot tub. It seems the local wildlife adapts to the suburban sprawl in style.

Lament of the Swapper

You may know I have participated in swaps in the past, often through Craftster. I love crafter and am often too lazy or unorganized to photograph and list a craft to sell. Or perhaps it is too 'handmade' (I admit to being a bit self depreciating and feeling that my handmade items should always look very professionally crafted. Yes, I know slight imperfections add to personality and the aura of handmade authenticity. It is my problem.) Swapping with other crafters let me make stuff to give away and I get something from a like minded individual, or so one hopes. I have received some incredible things in the past. One of my favorite weekender bags (that are day bags for big-bag me) came from a sewing swap. I have received cute pin cushions, hand bound journals, and collage supplies. My most recent swap, however, seems it may be a disappointment. I signed up to do a swap, received the gal's info., received a very nice email from her, and never heard back or got a reply from my emails. And I put together such a nice package for her. Oh well, you swap some you lose some. Anyone out their collect opera things?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Searching for Halloween Treats

I am insane and allowing my son to host a Halloween party for his friends next Sunday. My house is full of dust/residue from the decorate netting and web that we purchased at the Spirit Halloween store. Is that stuff healthy to breath in I wonder? Hopefully the kids will be retro enough to play some games like pin the nose on the pumpkin and bobbing for apples (or biting them from a hanging string so I don't have to worry about the wet costumes and mess. Some parents are just not that cool about letting their kids get messy these days.) Need snacks. Need snacks other than popcorn in rubber gloves and peanut butter crackers with pretzel stick legs to make spiders. Finger sandwiches (something to be shaped like a finger?) I have been looking for something creative - the Make/Craft Halloween edition had amazing group of cakes with white chocolate 'ribs' that are way too sophisticated for 7 and 8 year olds and where I live the parents don't generally eat cake in public. Direct me, please, or I will be forced to shape rice krispy treats into pumpkins. Need ice cream now.....

Too Cute

During my typical blog-surfing procrastination time, I am often lured to Cute Overload. Being a pet lover I love seeing the cutesy little bunnies and puppies. This weekend they had the funniest cartoon animation video listed under "Caturday" of a cat trying to wake up it's owner. Check it out if you like the animal stuff. Here's my cute:

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Procrastination (Sing it with me!)

I have too many things coming up here in the coming weeks - a bunch of families coming over for a dinner party/get together, a Halloween party that my 8 year old decided to throw, and a leg of a progressive dinner for my children's' school. I have made no plans for any of this. I need to come up with creative snacks and entertainment for a bunch of energetic, sugar laden, Halloween-hyped kids and a lovely seafood dinner for a dozen adults. I sat down on the computer for divine online inspiration and found these cute measuring spoons by Beehive Kitchenware on Poppytalk.

How is this going to help me with my entertaining plans? It's not. They are just cute. And I am procrastinating and surfing the creative websites linking each other for my own enjoyment. No Halloween or seafood recipes here. The spoons do help the cooks. I will be baking my low fat oatmeal cookie crust apple pie for my friends - I just have to find the time to shop and bake in between my art class, substitue teaching Spanish to first graders and shuttling my kids everywhere in the afternoons. I am procrasinating again. Time to find that recipe for dipped pretzel sticks that look like fingers.....

Sunday, October 14, 2007

That Seventies Thing - Halloween Style!

My father emailed me this photo today. He has put all of his old photos on CDs so he can pull out random and entertaining pictures easily. He thinks I was around 7 years old when it was taken. Are you digging my costume? And the bag I used to trick or treat with?! Flower power!

My kids think this scene is hilarious. The low tech costume baffles them. Yes, boys, our costumes were cheap plastic masks, easily cracked, and secured around your head with nothing but a piece of elastic threaded through the sides. We peaked out of little eye holes and breathed through little nose and mouth holes. The body costume was a mere printed sack. They all came in colorful little boxes. I wish I still had that weird looking bunny costume in it's cardboard box - it would be worth something today.
(side note...wasn't my mother's car sweet? I wish I had that, too!)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Fine, Fabulous Serving Pieces

For those of you who regularly read blogs, isn't it amazing how you cruise from one site to another and find the most interesting things by clicking the links you see? I have found some of the coolest things by doing this!

I landed at the Reform School site by clicking around, and knowing they are in Los Angeles, decided to explore. I found these most incredible serving pieces by Lorena Barrezueta. Made of porcelain and painting in colors that look like they'd coordinate with anything, they are created to look like take out containers and pie tins! I can re-serve the various side dishes that I purchase at Whole Foods in the little compartmented take out container in a fancy one that looks like it!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Timmie has arrived!

Or I should say "Timmies" because there are two. I have been admiring the cute work of MPatrizio, especially her little green crocheted tadpoles called Timmie. They are numbered and it seems adopted by people who treat them very well and take them on trips. The artist has a Timmie flickr pool where photos of trips and adventures can be posted. My son, who I often mention is a creative kid who loves stuffed animals, had a little stuffed alien from NYC that he wanted to photograph in various locations on our trip there. I showed him the Timmie flickr photos and he HAD to have a Timmie and take pictures. We had to wait a bit but the Timmies finally arrived this past week (yes, I got one for myself). Timmie is taken everywhere! He is well fed (we love the little Japanese Rement mini foods!) and even has his own set of wheels! He is snuck in my sons backpack and we made him his own felt backpack for his maps and things.

I think I buy my kids all of these cute and cool things because I really want them for myself.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Stitch Rock Rocked!

The first indie craft show was held in my area yesterday and it was so much fun! Held in a real vintage former school gymnasium, the event was sold out at 40 vendors. It received some good press and when I arrived about an hour and a half after the doors opened it was pretty crowded. Attendees seemed to be a mix of the cool, hip young adults that are familiar with the indie scene (that included the friend that I invited along) along with folks that wanted to check out new and different craft show. It was overwhelming to see all of the creative offerings from the artists and crafters at their booths. Lots of fun jewelry, vintage and created-from-vintage clothing, t-shirts, soaps and cosmetics, vegan doggie treats, collaged tables, artwork, handbags and more! And very popular cupcakes. I got to meet a fellow Etsyfest member (many of the vendors had etsy stores)and I discovered there was not one but two awesome stores in the Fort Lauderdale area that sell the funky things I like to collect. I will be visiting the Pink Ghost and Tates very soon. Tates has a boutique and gallery upstairs called Bear and Bird. They have art shows regularly. I picked up some of the new little Munny's that were at their booth. I realized when I left that I was so overwhelmed with the interesting assortment (and my ever popular thoughts that "I can make that") that I didn't buy that much.

My friend and I each bought a tshirt from Owl Movement. They print artist tees and they are awesome. We had a hard time choosing. Given the month we are in, I chose a kinda cute monster tee. I also visited the Pink Ghost booth and picked up a cute pink plushie (I think it came from Australia. I can't remember. The plushie just wanted to come home with me.) I picked my son up a little ugly doll on a clip for his backpack. My friend picked up this little hat reminiscent of a ladies hat from the 1940's. I'll have to sift through the cards I picked up to see where she got it. When the weather cools a bit she will look totally hip when she pairs it with a black blazer out on the town. She can pull this off (I don't think I can.) I might have to step up my jewelry and stuffie production a bit and get a booth next year. My friend really wants me too as well. She wants to be part of the scene. Who can blame her. Creativity was in the air (as was the smell of cupcakes) and everyone was so nice!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

California, here I come!

My husband has (kinda) surprised me with a getaway to Los Angeles, CA! I haven't been there since I was 20, working at a conference for two weeks with very little free time and even less money. Needless to say I am very excited. I have been online researching cool places to go. I was a little disappointed to find out the the Rose Bowl flea market won't fall on the weekend I will be there. Searching for craft shows did result in my discovery that Felt Club's Holiday show will be there! I'm going to have to get the details and go - so many indie crafters that I see in the cyber crafty world will be there. My search will continue for the next month. Any suggestions?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Indie cool seeps into the bubble

South Florida seems far removed from the big cities and urban areas where indie crafts and design is prevalent and 'going green' is tops. Things are often shiny and new, what is 'in' and what everyone is wearing. I shop mostly when I travel as to not see myself coming and going. Perhaps things are about to change.

This coming weekend there is an independent craft show called Stitch Rock. It is on Saturday, October 6th in Delray Beach and is going to feature various indie crafters. There are 40 vendors signed up - a sellout for the organizers. I found them on Indiepublic and hadn't seen any PR until this Friday when there was a writeup in Sun Sentinel newspaper. I am glad to see South Florida going beyond the basics of dried flower arrangements and beachy painted pottery too often found at the weekend craft shows in season.

Saturday there was a long article also in the Sun Sentinel about Ikea Hackers - artists, crafters and DIYers that use Ikea furniture and accessories to create other things - a table into a guitar, a shower curtain into a dress, etc.. The article featured the founder of Etsy who used a few Ikea chairs as a table base. The article was run because Ikea is opening here next month (hurray). I was happy to see the indie, DIY culture - and Etsy - highlighted here.

I have yet to put myself together enough to have a strong business identity and enough product to sell at a show (although I would eventually like to.) I am looking forward to going up to Delray next Saturday afternoon to shop. And I'll share my local indie craftiness that I find with you!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Things I learned in art class (and other thoughts)

I had art class today - jewelry fabrication. Love it! The teacher is a most accomplished jewelry artist and has created fabulous pieces. The class is beginner through intermediate so there are some wonderful women with a bit of experience who share their tips. I created a brass bail for my copper and brass pendant and soldered on after a lot of sanding and filing to get in flat. We had a snafu trying to soak the copper off of the brass (or was it vice versa). My top piece had started to lift. I had to re-solder (with the instructors help.) I have a new found appreciation for why hand made jewelry cost so much. The time put into each piece! While I was waiting for my turn for assistance I practiced sawing and made all sorts of cute copper and brass shapes and hammered and textured them. They'll end up in a random charm bracelet I am sure. We learned how to use the polishing and buffing tools. Next class I will finish my piece and start a ring.

I found this great jewelry artist on Etsy. Rachel Sudlow creates pieces that are along the lines of what I am learning, so I really appreciate her work! Check out these necklaces!

I have been finding the greatest blogs and tutorials lately. I find myself up way past midnight sitting on my tush going from one great read to another. I love to see what others read and find, don't you?!

I have a large assortment of pets and get a kick our of the daily pictures sent from Cute Overload. Hamsters, dogs, hedgehogs and more - all so stinkin'cute!

Halloween is about to overtake my house beginning Sunday. My son is obsessed by Halloween and we decorate to the max. The stuff is in storage during the year (he had actually wanted to decorate his room in Halloween permanently. I said no.) My rule is no decorations before October 1st. So he looked at the calendar and announced we must go on Sunday afternoon. I'll be tripping over spider webs and bones.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Art by Creative Thursday

I love the paintings by Marisa of Creative Thursday. She creates the sweetest paintings with such personality. In person they have great color and depth. I had been admiring them for some time and when she posted a bunch of her original daily paintings up for sale I snapped up two of my favorites. It was hard to choose.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Gift Shopping Assistance Needed!

If you are reading this then perhaps you have better ideas for gifts than I do. I can always shop for myself and am good about picking up things all year long for the Christmas gifts for friends who collect things. When on a deadline, however, I get stuck. I was relegated to shopping for a group gift for a girlfriend. I don't have enough time to shop online for her so the cool indie things were out. She collects so I went to the local antique mall and had no luck (but got some stuff for me - see below). I have to go back out later today. Wish me luck.

I do, however, have until December 1st to find his and her 40th birthday gifts for friends. They are having an 80th birthday costume party (forty together - how cute is that). Both artists. Any suggestions?

When I was at the antique mall I found a good mix of buttons, some vintage necklaces that I can deconstruct for my jewelry, a vintage table cloth, and another tin for storage (can't have too many).

A Week of Fuzz

I caught my a head cold from my husband this past week and felt like my head was in a fog. Of course when he had it he stayed in bed, came home from work and played sick. Me, as a mom, could only take a drixoral and go about my business. I didn't get much done that didn't have to be done. I made it to my art class on Thursday because to me that is the most relaxing 3 hours! I learned how to wet solder and put my two cut pieces together. While I was waiting for the lesson on soldering I played around with metal hammering and patterns. What fun I had! At home however, I started and stopped projects.

I have a floral monster I need to hand sew, as well as an argyle sock monkey.

Playing with a journal that I always mean to stay on top of.

Monday, September 17, 2007

LOOK! I have a new look!

My Etsy shop has a new look. I wanted to expand my Etsy shop to include items other than jewelry so I decided to change the look. I enlisted the help of the very talented Jelene, who creates adorable pop art paintings, stuffed cuties, and more. The result is a funky little quail on my banner and avatar. Check it out here.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

It came in my mail...

Have you subscribed to the Sampler? If you read the craft magazines and blogs then surely you have seen it. Crafters promote their businesses by sending samples of their goods to the Sampler, who then packages them in boxes and send them to subscribers. I have recieved a few and they are filled with such great items. Magazines, cards, tags, earrings, bookmarks, magnets, buttons, and more. My favorite item this month was a fabric headband in great fall colors. Last month had soap and bath bombe samples that smelled so amazing I am thinking of ordering more.

The vinyl wall art that I ordered is partially up on the wall in my craft room. A vinyl quail and some flowers decorate the space above one of my magnetic inspiration boards.