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Archive for March, 2009

Simple Pleasures

March 27th, 2009 at 07:08 pm

A back to basics reminder in this high tech rushed time.



Introducing Photo Cards
from Pretty Cheap Jewelry

http://www.prettycheapjewelry.com


Original prints, by private order.

Above: Fruits of Labor, 5" x 7" glossy, Blank Note Card

One - $3.50
Two - $6.00
Three - $7.50
Five or More - $2.00 ea

To Place an Order contact me at prettycheapjewelry@gmail.com or inside the website above.

SPECIAL NOTE: Free download of the image above to Saving Advicers. Please simply credit to the 'Frugal Artisan' at http://www.prettycheapjewelry.com

Worry...Act...Relief...Repeat

March 26th, 2009 at 03:29 pm

Being an 'A' type has it's advantages.

1. You can eat most anything with a hyperdrive metabolism without gaining weight. (But still have high cholesterol).

2. Lots of money gets saved on gym memberships (you don't need one).

3. Multi-tasking is for weenies, google-tasking is the norm. The house is clean, the yard is pretty tidy, the meals are planned for a week, laundry is going, etc.

But there are disadvantages too.

1. The brain is hard to calm, there's always a few things trying to get attention.

2. Sometimes, ok, most of the time, you overthink, over-analyze and worry about things too much.

Take the camera situation (see yesterday's post). For several years I have used a hand-me-down digital for all things photo'ed. Such as the items I sell on-line (left sidebar), family events, and more.

Being not only resistant to new technology, (who wants to relearn how to use a camera?), and armed with a 'If it ain't broke don't fix it!' mentality, I plodded along.

More and more I was faced with the limits of this camera. Especially: not able to photo closely with enough clarity; and a desire to get back to an old love of creative photography (I have a special friend in the closet, my Nikon SLR from 25 years ago).

Sooooo I got it. A beautiful little new love, Canon A590 IS.

It was only $124! And I splurged on a new high tech rechargeable battery pack for $25. (At least I don't have to relearn how to recharge batteries).

My hubby already had a spare 1 Gig chip. I am going to sew a sweet little case with space for extra batteries, and whatnot.

What spurred me to write this entry though-
What a relief to take this step. Like getting married, or buying a house, it feels like What Was the Big Deal?

So on my happy way I go today. Here are the first demo takes (watch for some spectacular wildflower scenes coming to this blog soon):





Anguishing - Stimulate Me Locally!

March 25th, 2009 at 05:56 pm

It's a minor necessity. I have the cash in hand. And have researched the competition into the ground.

So the time has come. Today is the day I am going to at least *see* *feel* *discuss* the Canon A590 IS digital camera at the local Ritz camera store.

Yes, I said local. Yes I said digital camera.

My existing camera is a hand-me-down from shopper DH. So it's been in the family some 6+ years. (He has the next generation one).

I use it extensively for product photos (see left sidebar) and have s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d it to its limits. With glee.

Guess what?! My 11DS gets it as an incentive to go to overnight camp with 5th grade as soon as I get a new one. He is waiting ... tap tap tap ... waiting.

(He was reluctant to take this trip due to his normally introverted nature.)

Looked at Cnet, Consumer Reports, PriceGrabber, ad nauseum. Ugh. There are Sonys, Kodaks, Nikons, and enough to make your head spin. Not my idea of fun sorting this out. But holding the line on cost and particular features I wish, the Canon A590 keeps surfacing.

One call and the store said they have it. I didn't even know there WAS a Ritz camera store nearby. Was HOPING to do this locally, not over the net to BOOT!

WOOT!

Opportunity's Knockin'

March 22nd, 2009 at 01:11 am

24 Cards ... That's how many I took to a new sales venue today. I hope they all get displayed.

It was a stroke of luck or maybe when one door closes, another opens?

The closing: is a business at the end of the month that generously gave me space 2ce a year for the past few years during a big city-sponsored art event. In fact, they finally had carried a few of my products (and sold almost half over a few month period).

The opening: of a card rack in the city Visitor Center which already gives my art association space. A call to members was made yesterday to bring in cards for sale. So I wasted nada time, zip, zot, zwin I went.

My work is completely different than the typical art card. That's my only concern. They are not the usual print of an original painting.

I took with confidence: dried flower cards (small beauties themselves), and a new line of photo cards (WOOT! satisfying a personal goal how to get more involved with photography).

These are the ones I wasn't sure about: embroidered cards -




But as I tell my kids, "You'll never know if you don't try."

OK, if they don't think these kind belong in an art card rack, let 'em call me to pick up.



You seen the 'new' penny?????

March 20th, 2009 at 06:33 pm

Taken by surprise yesterday! After 50 years of pennies in my hand, it is different!!



Did you know this was in the works? I didn't. Where have I been? OK, don't answer that.

Lots of interesting info in this article such as; there will be 4 designs this year depicting Lincoln's life.
http://coins.about.com/b/2009/02/12/the-new-us-penny-is-here...

*&$%* Thrown for a Loop and Glad

March 18th, 2009 at 04:53 pm

It's one of the things I hate when someone says "Kids grow up so fast". I reply as quickly as possible, "You forget!"

...the daily aggravations? pick up, hurry up, wash up

...the worries? where are they with their friends, what are they doing up there out of sight, when will they encounter drugs, sex, bad internet sites

...the sacrifices? forgeddabout trips abroad, dates with your spouse, chasing your own dream for awhile

WHOA.

Then I read this little essay in a book from the library fundraiser. Intriguing first few paragraphs, put me right in my place. Thank goodness.

The Gift
by Renee R. Vroman

It was a warm summer day when the gods placed it in her hands. She trembled with emotion as she saw how fragile it appeared. This was a very special gift the gods were entrusting to her. A gift that would one day belong to the world. until then, they instructed her, she was to be its guardian and protector. The woman said she understood and reverently took it home, determined to live up to the faith the gods had placed in her.

At first she barely let it out of her sight, protecting it from anything she perceived to be harmful to its well-being; watching with fear in her heart when it was exposed to the environment outside of the sheltered coccon she had fromed around it. But the woman began to realize that she could not shelter it forever. It needed to learn to survive the harsh elements in order to grow strong. So with gentle care she gave it more space to grow, enough to allow it to grow wild and untamed.

Sometimes she would lie in bed at night, feelings of inadequacy overwhelming her. She wondered if she was capable of handling the awesome responsibility placed on her. Then she would hear the quiet whispers of the gods reassuring her that they knew she was doing her best. And she would fall asleep feeling comforted.

The woman grew more at ease with her responsibility as the years passed. The gift had enriched her life in so many ways by its very presence that she could no longer remember what her life had been like before receiving it, nor imagine what life would be like without it. She had all but forgotten her agreement with the gods.

One day she became aware of how much the gift had changed. It no longer had a look of vulnerability about it. Now it seemed to glow with sternght and steadiness, almost as if it were developing a power within. Month after month she watched as it became stronger and more powerful, and the woman remembered her promise. She knew deep within her heart that her time with the gift was nearing an end.

The inevitable day arrived when the gods came to take the gift and present it to the world. The woman felt a deep sadness, for she would miss its constant presence in her life. With heartfelt gratitude, she thanked the gods for allowing her the privilege of watching over the precious gift for so many years. Straightening her sholders, she stood proud, knowing that it was, indeed, a very special gift. One that would add to the beauty and essence of the world around it. And the mother let her child go.


(reprinted without permission, but certainly allowed within the spirit of the editors, from A 3rd Serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul)

Yes, I skipped a little along with my kids the next day ~ and will do so today and the next day and the next day ...

Crafty Prize Pack Give Away

March 15th, 2009 at 01:27 am

Top o’ the morning to you! We’re having a little St. Patrick’s Day fun over at the Etsy Twitter Team blog! It’s time to “Find the Leprechaun”!

Ten leprechauns pictures are hidden in the item listings in the shops below. Click through the shops to find the
leprechauns. When you find one, send the URL of the item displaying a leprechaun in the pictures via email to:

etsytwitterteam@gmail.com

You may enter more than once as long as you have a different URL for each entry.

No purchase necessary to enter or win. Must be at least 18 years old to enter.

Entries must be received by
midnight EST on March 16th.


Five winners will be chosen by random on
March 17th!


List of participating shops:

Threepeats
Art by Betty Refour
In My Head Studios
Sandi's Ts
Liv'nGood Jewelry
Firebird House
Rhodes Annals Designs
Jenco13
Emily Claire Creations
Fat Daddy Sweets
Joslin Jewels
Herban Lifestyle
Peanut and Tommy
Nikky Lee Designs
Linda B's
Creations

Sox and Patches
Angel Kisses Jewelry
Imogen's Garden
Ambient Lights
Soap Rehab
Huayruro Peru
Bugs 'n Bees
Pretty Cheap
Aquarian Bath
Scrap With Style
Bella Tu Jewelry
Tamdoll

And what might you win? Our team
donated some very lovely prizes! See the team blog link in the first paragraph for pics!

Soap Rehap-Wasabi Ginger Soap
Bar is bright, green, and fresh--all the good stuff but without the
bite! Notes of eucalyptus, ginger, and top notes of lemon and a hint
of mint make for a refreshing clean feeling.

Fat Daddy Sweets-Caramels
Wonderfully buttery, creamy sweet goodness. Soft vanilla caramels are handmade, cut and rolled and will cure any sweet tooth!

Tamdoll-Fabric Button Brooch
Frayed edged fabrics, button sewn on, pin on the back.

Emily Claire Creations- Jewelry
Shimmery silver chimes with amethyst and moss green cat's eye beads. A silver leaf toggle clasp completes this enchanted ensemble. This bracelet measures at 7 1/4" (excluding the clasp). It is made to
wear a little loose, so it may shimmer with any wrist movement.

Joslin Jewels-Jewelry
Faceted and translucent beads of natural green chrysoprase, each adorned with a
sterling silver bead cap resembling a three-leaf clover, suspended from handmade sterling silver ear wires.


Thank you to Sheridan, from Joslin Jewels, who made the great leprechaun graphic for our contest!!

GOOD LUCK!

one of the Oldest Crafts in the world

March 11th, 2009 at 02:23 am

And no, it's NOT what you're thinking.

And besides beading. What is it? Arranging and Pressing flowers.

Inexpensive
Flowers, leaves, plants can be gathered from most anywhere. Your yard is a beginning point. Street landscaping? Park bushes?

Three Pot Series - Geranium


All you need is card stock and a bottle of white glue. Pre-packaged blank cards in a pack of 20 or more can be found at the hobby store for under $5.

Or fold your own and make envelopes, it isn't that hard.

Historical
Without any research, common sense tells me this has been done by at least my great grandmother's generation in the early 1900s. (Off to look up some interesting facts on arranging dried flowers...)

Big Clay Pot Series - Spring Bouquet


I like the connection to the past and the satisfaction of continuing the tradition. My kids know how to press flowers now.

Practical
These cards are impressive to give on occasions ie, birthday, Mother's Day, friendship, condolences, etc. Very personal and unmass-made. Sign your name on the back!

Black Vase Series - Formal Bouquet


Notice in the above examples the little added touches of fancy edged borders (doesn't everyone have one of these scissors now?) and hand cut pots and vases. Scared of the scissors? Skip the vase and glue on a ribbon tied like a bow. Easy!

Got Video Editing Software?

March 9th, 2009 at 04:44 pm

My husband has asked for this item a couple of holidays (ie birthday, Father's Day, etc.) but he has not had time to research the topic.

Anyone out there with progams?

What pros and cons? What to look for? Price Range? Vendors?

He is not a total beginner, ie has added sound and edited taped home movies in the past (not digital).

I don't have the video camera brand off the top of my head (it's probably a Sony).

He has a pretty good DELL computer and disc burner software already.

Thanks for your help.

Featured on Saturday!

March 7th, 2009 at 02:28 pm

I've been featured by a fun site of artisan crafters for the day!

Those are my 'Recycled Guitar String Bangles - Teal and Plum' top right.



(see them also in the product mosaic here on the blog left column)

So pleased and flattered! Anxiously awaiting my stats on the shop page for the day!

Got an offer to do biz together lately, hmmmm. A very popular lady frugalist on Twitter suggested she model some of my items (a la Oscar style) at conferences/meetings as a partnership. After we hammer out some details, ie time frame, commission, etc. I think I will go for it. Am willing to part with some of my older pieces such as:

Dragonfly Necklace


She is a completely trustworthy person, as much as possible I suppose via internet. And of course, I have to take the risk of never seeing these things again in case she isn't. That's why I will do this with items I can live without. However, this is a method that small biz advisors advocate, ie form creative partnerships.