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Archive for July, 2008

Kids Summer Boredom Busters, Just in time!

July 18th, 2008 at 06:02 pm

Just some fun tips and news in between interviews of colleagues in the California Crafters Club of Etsy (CCCOE) that I have been writing:

FUN summertime boredom busters for little girls
aka Thrift Store Finds

1. Does your little kid always want to cut her dolls hair, her own hair, the dog's hair????

Get thee to the thrift store for a $1 long haired stuffed creature. We had a very happy, relaxed hour long 'groomer-to-be' session last week doing this!

2. Dress Up!

I cannot believe the gorgeous, passed over formal gowns in the thrift stores. (Actually I should remember I bought my wedding dress at a thrift, so I shouldn't forget...)

What a treat for kids dress up!!! We got a really nice slinky purple lame number with rhinestone sleeves for $6 and a white satin ruffled number for $2. Yes, I am handy with the needle and thread and took them in to fit a kid. If you are not as handy, get out the safety pins and alter away!!

FUN summertime boredom busters for little boys
aka More Thrift Store Finds

1. I scored a BMX type dirt bicycle for my kid for $10 on another thrift store trip. We saw a girl's bike, which was $30 (!) and too pink! So I said something to the clerk who told us about this black and neon orange one which was in the back (for less $$). We are taking it to our weekend property where there are no sidewalks but plenty of trails!

2. Take it apart! My son is also of the age where he wants to take apart -anything - clocks, remote controlled cars, cameras, small electronics, you name it. Find it for a buck or less and let 'er rip (it apart).

Hope your stayin' cool wherever you are.

I won a nice prize!

July 17th, 2008 at 05:05 pm

An internet colleague of mine started a blog in the last few weeks and is running a little weekly contest to attract readers. I won one of the prizes!

Sweet!



It costs nothing to try, here's how:

Just leave a comment in this blog

http://redbessbonney-akasusan.blogspot.com/

about something in either
http://RedBessBonney.etsy.com
- or -
http://RedBessBonneyToo.etsy.com

Her 4 yo son will pick the winning name on Sunday each week, and she will post next week's item then!

Calling all Knitters!

July 15th, 2008 at 04:38 am

The age old craft of knitting is still hugely popular for good reason; the repetition of motions is therapeutic, it’s portable and compact, and superbly available on a skinny budget. Thank goodness I have no desire to knit!

But have you seen what knitters are doing lately? You might not recognize it anymore! Come in and meet a member of the California Crafters Club of Etsy (CCCOE), who’s ‘Passion is Knitting’.

OhMay

LILY OF THE VALLEY WRIST CORSAGE


http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=11883244


BOLD AND SASSY BASKETWEAVE


http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=9497306


PRETTYCHEAPJEWELRY: Your shop announcement amazed me! This is the first I've heard of 'free form knitting'! Can you explain more about it, such as where and how did you learn of it?

OHMAY: Free form knitting is something I made up because that is how it feels to me. I start with an idea and begin the basics of casting on, as well as with the stitch I think will work.

Working along, I usually can tell if the design is going to be as I envision. If not, I will start making design changes in progress until I get a finished product. Sometimes it turns out how I imagined and other times it turns out a complete surprise.


HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME NOT FIBER ART LARIAT


http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=13366360


I have the experience and knowledge of many different knitting techniques and do not have a problem in changing the instructions in patterns. In fact, I do not find it extremely important or worrisome when a project is not coming out “right” according to the pattern. There is no right or wrong to me in knitting, only that you are happy with what you create. The process is more an attitude than something to ”learn”.

PRETTYCHEAPJEWELRY: Your slogan is 'Passion for Knitting', why?

OHMAY: I have been knitting for over four decades and it has become second nature to me. I love knitting and anything that has to do with it! I am like a kid in a candy store when I am in a yarn shop (online or real).

I hoard yarn and have many “projects” to work eventually. I love learning new techniques/stitches and at times create my own. I have tried other hobbies, crocheting, sewing, jewelry making, card making, but always come back to knitting. My next adventure will be Needle Felting.

CREAM DREAM MOBIUS LACE SCARF


http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=7760683


PRETTYCHEAPJEWELRY: What is your advice for home business with regards to expenses, inventories, and sales?

OHMAY: Start with what you already have available. Look for sales and if you can afford it, buy as much supplies on sale, as you can. Since I am a yarn addict, I have a huge supply and range of yarns to choose from; therefore I am free to create whenever an idea hits me.

Sell what you love to make and would use yourself. I am not a sock or hat person, so I do not have them in my shop. Maybe eventually, I’ll have baby items in my shop, but not yet!

FOR THE BLUES IPOD OR MP3 ARMPOCKET


http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=10849742


PRETTYCHEAPJEWELRY: How do you compete in the big world of knitters?

OHMAY: This is hard. Knitting was thought of as a “granny” hobby, a few years back, but is now exploding as the younger set and celebrities are picking it up. I try to create styles that are new and fresh, but not over the top weird. Functional and versatile is an important objective to my products. Most of the items in my shop can be worn/used in multiple ways and I like to think that the customer is getting their money worth when they buy my creations.


PRETTYCHEAPJEWELRY: Leave us with a quip, tip, quote, or puzzle to remember you by.

OHMAY: Create what you like and love what you do. Perfection is not necessary and can be boring. Do not feel disheartened if your “baby” does not sell right away, there is someone out there just looking to find and appreciate your hard work.

COCO BASKETWEAVE COLLECTION


http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=12399174


One last note from Ohmay: Free shipping for those purchases made by readers that make a note at checkout of this blog. Contact her prior to payment or she will refund the shipping charges via Paypal.

Working in Silver and Gold

July 11th, 2008 at 09:36 pm

Wire wrapping requires supremely precise, yet hugely creative handwork. What a great combination! It appeals to my technical background and artistic endeavors. I aspire toward wire wrapping and admire those who do it well.

Designs by Marie Julie
Marie Julie is one of these crafters, and someone who has the confidence and experience to work exclusively with 14K gold and sterling silver wire. (NO mistakes here!) Come have a peek at her meticulous, beautiful designs.

CARMEL CANDY PENDANT 14K ROLLED GOLD WIRE


http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=9858045


PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY: Many of the large stone nuggets (and cabachons) in your work have an 'organic' feeling. What quality do you look for in stone for your jewelry making?

MARIE JULIE: I am fascinated with what mother nature does and look for different rare stones and odd shapes that will make the final result interesting.

MALACHITE PEAR PENDANT


http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=8030505


BLACK ONYX BEAUTY


http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=vl_other_2&listing...


PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY: How did you get started wire wrapping and is it a craft better self taught or learned with assistance?

MARIE JULIE: I have tried all types of crafts! Starting with beads and wire, I taught myself basic jewelry crafting. But realized that if I was going to create jewelry then I wanted to get away from costume work and concentrate on 14K gold and sterling silver wire to create pieces that could be used for years and handed down for generations.

In order to elevate to a fine craft level, I had to take courses. The more involved and difficult techniques are best not self taught and I am in the process of taking two classes to learn different methods.

PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY: You're a grandma! Give my older readers your best tips about having a home business during retirement.

MARIE JULIE: After working for many years and being very busy, retirement was not what I thought it would be. There is only so much housework you can do and I needed to be creative for my own self esteem. Having a home business allows me to be creative and interact with others.

BLUE JEAN DAYS WITH DENIM LAPIS LAZULI


http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=12575672


NATIVE AMERICAN COUPLE WITH STALLION PORCELAIN CABACHON


http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=8016334


PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY: Sales are tough and jewelry is competitive, especially on the internet (I know too!). Who is your target customer, what is your market, speaking as a non-professional salesperson.

MARIE JULIE: There are many crafters making similar types of jewelry. I have confidence in my work and try to be original. Also what sets me apart is the use of best quality materials and each resulting piece is a very fine item. People notice the difference!

I also wear my jewelry all the time. When someone remarks, I offer it for sale or give them a business card for future contact.

I know that not everyone can afford the price of high end jewelry so I have targeted upscale stores. And by making a variety I am able to offer pieces that are affordable to everyone.

PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY: Leave us with something to remember you by, a quip/quote/tip/puzzle.

MARIE JULIE: So many times I hear someone say that they don’t know what to do. My motto is: ”Do Something! Even if it is wrong, don’t procrastinate.”

WINDS ON THE DESERT SAND PENDANT 14K ROLLED GOLD WIRE


http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=9844979

Living the (almost) Impossible Dream

July 7th, 2008 at 04:23 pm

I think it was Vincent Van Gogh who sold but one painting while he was alive. With respect to making a living, choosing to be an artist must be one of the most difficult, yet rewarding, decisions to make in a lifetime. How does one take that leap into the big wide, unknown future? Read on to find out how another of my California Crafter’s Club of Etsy (CCCOE) colleagues did it.

LAURALI
Laura M. Iverson’s work first attracted me because of her frequent cat depictions! A full time artist in Northern California, she is prolific in producing painted oils, acrylics, and clay items.

GOLDEN FLOWERS IN MOONLIGHT - 5x5 INCH SQUARE FINE ART PRINT


http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=13091111


HOUSE WITH A BLUE DOOR – 8x10 FINE ART PRINT (GICLEE)


http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=6326326


SAN FRANCISCO BAY IN GOLDEN GLOW – 5x5 INCH SQUARE FINE ART PRINT


http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=6455781


PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY: The two dominant features in your work are the vibrant and subtle coloring, as well as the light sources. How do you form these images in your imagination.

LAURALI: It's an organic process. I seldom sketch anything first. Some of the pieces come entirely from my mind. For others, I use reference photos of tree branches from my walks, or of the animals (a number of my animal models come from photos my etsy friends have sent of their pets). I start with the sun/moon, then build the glow, deepening to the base. I often have an idea of what I want to do with the canvas but I sometimes just start with the color and see what occurs to me.

STARGAZER LILY PENDANT ON CORD


http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=8823875


SEA DANCER IN PURPLE MOONLIGHT PENDANT ON CORD


http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=11247499


YELLOW SUNFLOWERS ON GREEN PENDANT ON CORD


http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=9274846


PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY: Give us a little background of your education and artistic experience.

LAURALI: I did my first oil painting at 12. Although mostly self taught, I have an A.A. Degree in Fine Arts from West Valley College in Saratoga, CA. I am a second-generation artist. My father, Walter Sears Milnor (1936-2001), concentrated on painting large canvases of the California missions:

http://zenbreeze.com/wsm/wsm_list.htm

I started the zen series in 2004 with this piece: http://zenbreeze.com/store/falleaf.htm
Originally, they were just going to be autumn leaves then evolved into all sorts of colors and themes.

In 2007, I started making pendants from my paintings, using polymer clay. I start off with an image transfer of the painting, then hand-sculpt a unique piece around it.

PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY: Making a full time living as a fine artist is almost an impossible dream. Do you agree or disagree?

LAURALI: Since 2000, it became increasingly harder due to the economy and general overall state of worry and depression in the US. Another problem plaguing us is copyright theft. Sweatshop theft decimated my eBay business and I know it has damaged other artists too.

Still, I feel that, if the election goes well this year, we may see a return to not only prosperity but more value of Art. Hopefully, the market will improve.

NEVERMORE – ORIGINAL SQUARE PAINTING


http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=10248693


SIAMESE CATS IN SPRING BLOSSOMS


http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=8059887


PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY: What will you be doing in 5 years, 10 years.

LAURALI: This is the first time in my life I can devote myself to my art business (I've been a stay-at-home mom and my son just graduated high school). I hope to make a go of it, now that I can concentrate on it, and still be doing that in 10 years. It's very time consuming running an online business and, of necessity, I had to let opportunities slide.

PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY: Leave us with a quip/quote/puzzle/tip to remember you by.

LAURALI:
I have lived on the lip of insanity
Wanting to know reasons
Knocking on a door, it opens
I have been knocking from the inside!

~Rumi

MOONLIGHT SONATA OVER CARMEL – ORIGINAL OIL PAINTING ON CANVAS


http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=6223249

Who's that Entreprenuer? One in an Ocassional Series.

July 2nd, 2008 at 02:26 pm

What could be better than a satisfying hobby that creates income? Here is an interview highlighting one member of the California Crafters Club on Etsy (CCCOE). We are a diverse and inspiring group of artists and entrepreneurs - please meet one of them!

Each of us has a webstore, small business experience and delightful creativity.

Lave Me! Soap Company
Not only is soap is something everyone can use, it makes a perfect gift for the person who has everything, men and women alike. Handmade soap is special! The scent fills a whole room, it lasts longer than commercial soap and is a little luxury to use in the shower.


FINALLY RELIEF EUCALYPTUS BARS

click for more detail
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=12793360


PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY: Tell me about your product.
LAVE ME SOAP CO: Lave-me! Soap Co, makes soaps that are delicious and nutritious for your skin. No detergents are used! I formulate my batches using the most luxurious recipes and ingredients containing good for you ingredients like olive oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter and shea butter. Add a dash of color, a splash of fragrance and you have a recipe for one incredible shower experience. And I personally make each batch.

PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY: How did you learn your craft.
LAVE ME SOAP CO: I started out making soap like a typical soaper, ie buying a kit from the local craft store to make gift soaps for friends and family. I loved creating my own bars and the rest is ancient history. “Melt and pour” soaps were just the beginning, like my hand dipped cocoa and strawberry bars.

After reading and researching like a mad scientist, I dove head first into the old fashioned hot process and then into some cold processes. Basically I am self taught, but am fabulously grateful to those who gave advice and helped me a long with encouragement.

DOUBLE SHOT VANILLA, COCOA, AND COFFEE

click for more detail
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=vl_other_1&listing_...


PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY: What would you tell others about running a home based business.
LAVE ME SOAP CO: Making soaps and selling soaps are two different things all together. I am new to selling so am still in the home based business learning curve.

It takes passion, patience and promoting and more then anything, confidence in who you are and what you do to have a home based business.

Staying within your financial means is also a key to success. Keep good inventory records and track of every incoming and outgoing penny. Know that you will spend a lot of money before you figure out all tricks of the trade. I am really bad with keeping track of my sales and supplies expenses, so beware the messenger!

PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY: Will Lave Me! Soap Co. be the same in 5 years, 10 years.
LAVE ME SOAP CO: The core being of Lave-me! Soap Co. will be the same every year. Where do I see it as a business? Well, I see myself helping customers at my very own B&M shop here in Los Angeles. Would you believe a magenta pink store with bubble chandeliers and soaps filling every square inch?!

My product line will grow to include signature yoga sprays, scrubs, body creams and everything else I can manage.

In ten years I will be franchised across the world spreading the word of Lave-me! Soap Co. where ever I roam. Think big!

I am a dreamer but within my dreams I see my happy reality.

SANDALWOOD BACHELOR BAR

click for more detail
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=12959363

PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY: Leave us with something to remember you by.
LAVE ME SOAP CO: "There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination. Living there, you'll be free if you truly wish to be." ~ my hero Willie Wonka

OATS AND BUTTER

click for more detail
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=vl_other_2&listing_...

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Lave Me! Soap Company extends this offer "15% off to readers of your blog. Percent back is refunded after payment is made or contact me at LaveMeSoapCo before payment for a revised invoice."