Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Scrumptious Soap

Get a fresh towel and start warming up the shower now- because you'll want one after hearing about this lovely soap!

This has a wonderful goats' milk base, for great moisturization. And it's pretty as can be. But that's not my most favorite part. This soap contains tea tree oil, which new studies are showing not only helps with sensitive skin, but may also help with breathing issues such as bronchitis and even asthma.

I agreed to test that theory, being that I have severe asthma, and I have to tell you that in my personal and quite unprofessional opinion, the tea tree oil soap really does help. You know that menthol-y scent that the medicinal rub on creams have? This has the same relief to it. I have used it when I felt like an asthma attack was coming on, and have felt better enough to not have to use my inhaler. Now don't mistake this for medical advice, but I just wanted to share my overwhelmingly positive experience with this wonderful new soap from sandro95.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Summer Bead Party

One of my most favorite Etsyans (yes, I have a few!) was so very generous to host a Summer Bead Party. The lucky participants were sent one pound of clay to create beads or pendants with.

After we create the items with our clay, we will ship them back to happylake and she will fire them and send them back to us. I think it was such a creative idea and such a wonderful thing for her to do for us.

Here are a few things that have been created with the clay so far:

The pendants directly above and below are from beadbug. I love her rectangle with the heart on it. I can't wait to see that one through to completion of a necklace. I just know she will do something fantastic with it.

I also love the leaf with the ladybug. She has been doing very charming glass pendants with ladybugs on them. Which suits beadbug oh so perfectly. :)

The next ones are from SouthhamptonCreations. She is another lovely Etsyan whom I've come to know and love. She made some very cute pendants as well as some beads with her clay:

Don't those seashells just make you want to head to the beach?! She has such a variety of designs there, and they are all so unique.

Lastly (for now- as more participants email their pics I will post them), the wonderful hostess, Elizabeth/happylake. She has some remarkable things made, as one would expect from such a talented potterer. The bottom picture, with the pendant with the three flowers, is my personal favorite.

To see her tutorial about safely packing and shipping clay pieces like these, please visit her flickr page.

And I'll leave you with one more of my own pieces, which will likely be in my shop after the bead party is completed. :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

ACEO in a Bag

After participating in two challenges/parties now, I've decided it was time for me to host one. Plus, it's a good reason to use up some of the extra scrapbook paper I had around, because Lord knows I haven't scrapbooked with it. I have done many other things with it. But that's beside the point.

My friend from CAKE said that wanted to host an ACEO trade. She is known as Foohy and Mootsie on Etsy (both of her personalities are spectacular!). And so we decided to double the pleasure.

I will host a challenge, and she will host a trade, simultaneously, and we will have a huge ACEO extravaganza!

In case you don't know what an ACEO is- ACEO stands for Arts Cards Editions and Originals. They must be 2.5" x 3.5" in size. That is the only limit. Well, that and your imagination. They can be drawn, painted, collaged, photography, quilted, whatever your heart desires.

For my challenge I have put together these starter kits. All or none of the materials can be used. And I have included a fun array of materials. In each kit there is a heavy cardstock blank ACEO with a protective poly sleeve, 3 assorted pieces of scrapbooking paper cut to ACEO size, 3 assorted pieces of scrap paper, 3 assorted fun shaped die cuts, 2 assorted die cut tags, 2 assorted die cut letters, 1 small silver round brad and 1 small flower brad.

The first ten spots will be reserved for the top ten members on the CAKE BNR. There are ten additional spots that will be available on a first-come first-served basis at a buy-in price of $4. That covers shipping materials and costs.

The basic materials are free. This is going to be a fun challenge to see what can abound from 20 different artists when creating these magnificent little art cards. There are enough materials in the kit to create more than one. When finished, they can be kept, traded or listed for sale.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall

I used to paint. A lot. I did so many custom picture frames that I burned myself right out. Which was a good thing. Everything for a reason, remember?

So I took my time away to work with paper crafting for awhile. I made a zillion greeting cards and then needed something to do with them all. That's when I found Etsy. And what a blessing that was.

Then, because of a thread I found one day in the forum, I learned what ACEO's were. I had never heard of them before, and the little pieces of art intrigued me to no end and I tried my hand at those. Then somebody said that they loved my artwork, but just didn't collect ACEO's and did I do prints. So I started doing prints. And then I turned my prints into greeting cards and postcards.

Then, I decided to turn my prints into pendants. At first, I bought the pendants already handmade and put my artwork into them. But the idea of soldering my own pendants kept with me. And I wondered if I could learn how to do that. And then it became a challenge. So I ordered my first soldering kit. I have soldered several pendants so far. And I have, quite by accident, developed my own style in which the pendants have a distressed look that complements my simple style of artwork perfectly. More on that later.
So where is this going? Right back to the beginning. I decided that I wouldn't do prints in my soldered pendants, like I do my Artful Pendants that are currently in my shop. Instead, I wanted to do all OOAK (one of a kind) artwork. I start with watercoloring the background, and then I draw the artwork on.

And that led to the itch to pick up the paintbrush and put it to larger pieces again. Here is the first painted piece that I have introduced to my etsy shop:

Monday, July 7, 2008

Scrappiest Scrapper Challenge

Alright, I know my blog has been neglected lately. I've had a million and one things going on (who doesn't, right?). But I have some exciting new projects planned and will be dedicated to getting them up over the next couple of weeks.

First, I was lucky enough to get a spot in the "Scrappiest Scrapper Challenge Contest" hosted by a talented etsyan, sewphisticate. The premise was to see what 20 different artists would do with the same basic raw materials.

So she provided us all with mini, and I do mean mini (they measure approximately 2.1" x 2.4"), scrapbooks that she created herself using one piece of 12x12 scrapbooking paper. That's right, she is an origami guru! Here's my book before I started:

Because sewphisticate was generous enough to allow us to offer our books for sale in our shops after we decorated them, I decided to leave every other page blank for personalization by my buyer.

So I went with a simple, clean-lined flower theme in my book (my typical style), starting with the front inside cover, and ending with a sweet little quote on the back inside cover. Here are the results:

If I decide that I can part with this mini book of art, you can find it for sale in my etsy shop. If you want to make your own, you can get yours at

To see what the other artists have done with their mini's (I have seen a few and they are awesomely creative!) you can check sewphisticate's blog here: She will be featuring a new mini every two days, and will eventually be choosing her top three.

After completing this challenge, I am now ready to start working with my clay that I received from happylake. This is part of a "Summer Bead Party" that she is graciously hosting. She sent each participant one pound of clay, to be made into beads or pendants, and sent back to her to fire for us.

My clay has been sitting here teasing me for several days and I absolutely must start working with it tomorrow!

I will be blogging about not only my own creations with the clay, but every participants' creations. Again, I cannot wait to see what everyone comes up with!

In addition to that, I have determined to take on soldering. For those of you who personally know me, you know that this could very well be a dangerous endeavor, as I am known as quite the klutz. But it is something that has been intriguing to me, and I have ordered all of the supplies and am waiting for them to arrive in my mailbox.

Oh yes! Blogs to come about that, assuming I don't burn all of my fingers off, lol.

Tonight I found out that I was the recipient of a very special award, called the Arte y Pico Award & Appreciation. Rhonda, a gifted etsyan , a fellow CAKE member and friend chose me along with four others for the award. You can read about it here:

This week, I will be choosing five very special people to give the award to and blogging about it here as well. Thank you dearly, Rhonda.

And lastly, I would love to host my own challenge in August. As you very well know, I am a bit of a paper fanatic, so something papery would suit me well. But I am taking ideas and suggestions. So please comment and let me know what it is that you would love to do if you could participate in a challenge.