Four Fabulous Friday Finds 4-1

Trying to get back on the Friday Finds!  Here are my latest and greatest…

This cute little bird soap from Orangethyme has actually been a favorite of mine for a long time.  It has to be the cutest little soap I have ever seen!  It makes me want to find a little ceramic soap dish in the shape of a nest so that I can give him a home 🙂

Always a sucker for finding new ways to recycle, I found this light to be beautiful and GENIUS!   Titye is an amazing shop with items like book lamps, tea cup lights and door knob coat hangers.  I love it!!

ConduitPress is another great example of taking recycling to a whole new level.  I absolutely love her leather journals, but my favorite are her book safes.  Charge your iphone, hide your money or conceal a flask… there is one (or two.. or ten…) for everyone!

Danielle Spector  at ReshapeStudio has the cutest and quirkiest handmade ceramics I’ve ever seen.  Her talent and sense of humor really show in her work.  I just love this creamer and sugar set! 

Don’t forget to enter my Avatar Contest.  You have until the end of the day Sunday, April 10th to enter.  Don’t delay!

Four Fabulous Friday Finds 2-18

This weeks Friday finds are quirky and original – my favorite kind!

I think every man should be interchangeable like this (just kidding, honey… calm down!).  These “Make Your Own Man” Interchangeable Cubes are the creation of Sandra Etrovic (http://www.etsy.com/shop/SandraEterovic).  They are made from prints of her own original illustrations and are simply adorable!

  

These Mug Shot greeting cards crack me up!  I just love the look on the cats face.  Kate Funk (http://www.etsy.com/shop/katefunk) is behind these hilarious cards – along with many others featuring her cute kitty, AC.  I know of a few dogs that may need to be processed into central booking!! 

Okay, these are simply adorable.  Check out Mibo (http://www.etsy.com/shop/mibostudio)  downloadable, do-it-yourself art.  The Wild Bunch (pictured here) is a collection of 4 make-them-yourself paper animals.  Fun for kids and adults!!

Okay, so I have a soft-spot for recycled / repurposed art.  This gorgeous scarf by Malam (http://www.etsy.com/shop/malam) is made from recycled vintage mail bags.  Just one word… AWESOME!!

I’m so impressed with myself….

I just love it when I get an idea, and the darn thing actually works out!

A few months ago, I acquired 4 rusty, vintage skeleton keys.  Typically, I would just seal them and then use them in jewelry.  However, I wanted to give these particular keys had quite a bit of rust to them so I thought it would be cool if I added a “patina” look to each of the keys before I sealed them.  Not having any idea how I was going to do this, I headed to Michael’s and began brainstorming (or as my husband calls it, walking up and down every damn aisle 4 or 5 times).

After all was said and done, I decided to try the simplest method I could think of to add the patina look.  I simply grabbed a small bottle of turquoise craft paint and a sponge brush and headed home to experiment.

I added a little bit of paint to each of the keys, and then wiped them with a damp cloth to make it look more natural.  Once I got the look I wanted, I sealed them with a clear spray sealant and let them dry.

My favorite finished key

Now I just have to find a good “aged” chain and a few dangles to accent it.  You should see the finished product very soon in my shop!

**UPDATE**

Just listed!  Rust and Patina Vintage Skeleton Key Necklace.  Check it out here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/67324034/rust-and-patina-vintage-skeleton-key

Preparing for Valentine’s Day

I have been really busy preparing for Valentine’s Day!  Besides adding some new, valentine-themed items to my Etsy shop, I have also been decorating my home for the holiday.  Yes, I decorate for Valentine’s Day!

My favorite “decorations” that I adorn my living room with in preparation for February 14th are some vintage “Valentines” that once belong to my grandfather and great-grandmother.  I only have 4, but I have them in protective frames and display them on my mantel every year.  My favorite is this sweet, but small, heart-shaped valentine that was addressed to “Frankie”… otherwise known as my grandfather Frank.



It is just too sweet!!

I also have a Valentine that was from my Great-Grandmother addressed to my Great-Great-Grandmother.  What treasures!

Here are a few photos items that I have recently created and listed in my Etsy Shop.

 

And there will be more to come!

Eco-Friendly in Eastern Washington

Welcome to my first “feature” blog!  I am really excited to talk about other creative people besides myself for a change!  And I couldn’t have picked a better group to select from for my first attempt at this. 

I am part of a team of sellers on Etsy from the Eastern Washington Area.  We have an amazing group of talented artisans, many of whom are very eco-conscious.  So as part of my Earth Day resolution, I have selected a small sample of some of the wonderful Eco-Friendly products made from members in my group. 

This bag made by Leanna is made from eco-friendly handmade fabric.  She uses almost all of her scrap fabric from other projects and incorporates them into her purses.  “I throw away less than 1 pound of fabric in a years time”.  

You can find this purse (and others) in Leanna’s shop http://www.bitsandpurses.etsy.com

Sapphire Night Handbag by BitsandPurses

 
 
Besides making the most gorgeous paper flowers, Randi from Ragnazldnar makes these very cool upcycled writing journals/sketchbooks and cashier journals.  This journal is one of a kind and made from a vintage hardback book. 
 

Upcycled Notebook by Ragnazldar

 

Can you believe the earrings below are partially upcycled?  These gorgeous earrings made my Malerie from Postscriped are made from czech glass beads and upcycled antique brass chain.  Such a beautiful mix of old and new! 
 
You can see more of Malerie’s designs at http://www.etsy.com/shop/postscripted.

Green Tea n' Honey Earrings by Postscripted

 

This is just a handful of earth-friendly sellers on Etsy (and just a handful in my group).  I will be featuring more eco-conscious sellers in the weeks to come!  Stay tuned!
 

Happy 40th Birthday Earth Day!

I have never claimed to live a completely eco-friendly life.  I, like many others, often do or use what is “convenient” instead of what is “earth friendly”.  However, I try to make up for the “not-so-great” behaviors with twice as many “great” behaviors. 

I recycle A LOT.  Which is not always easy living here in Spokane.  Our city recycling is pretty limited.  I long for the day that Spokane (like other cities) has the huge bins for recycling and the small little containers for garbage.  I even recycle at work, even though my work does not participate in my eco-enthusiasm.

I make a lot of things from what people would consider “trash” as well… old t-shirts, bottle caps, magazines, lost buttons, forgotten jewelry… pretty much anything that inspires creativity in me.  Just another way I recycle…

I pick up litter – sometimes in an organized group, other times on my own when it crosses my path.

I use re-usable grocery and shopping bags.

I have efficient appliances in my home.

I drive a fuel-efficient car. 

I use a lot of natural products and eat a lot of organic and natural food.  I even grow some of my own veggies in the summer.  I love going to farmers markets and local grocers (but I could do it more).

I pretty much do the things that come easy to me.  Now, I just have to work on some of the things that don’t come so easy…

In honor of the 40th year of celebrating Earth Day, I have decided to try to slowly cut out some of the bad behaviors that I partake in my day-to-day life.  Here is my Earth Day resolutions…

1) Unless I am having a party, I will no longer use paper plates or plastic utensils. (I’m ashamed of this, but I use them almost daily because I hate doing dishes…)

2) I will consider riding my bike to places when a car is not necessary.  Good for the environment… good for me.

3) I will install a clothes line for drying in the summer.

4) (Boy, I hope my husband is not reading this….) I will TRY and minimize the amount of new clothing that I purchase for myself and my family.  When I can, I will re-vamp existing items in my closet.  I will consider buying used.  And when I “have” to buy something new, I will try to buy brands that participate in good environmental practices.

5) I will open a window or put on a sweater, instead of turning on the AC or up the heat.

6) I will cut down on (maybe cut out) red meat.  Not just for health reasons, but the impact that the meat industry has on greenhouse gas emissions. 

7) I will invest in re-usable lunch baggies for me and my family.

8) Lastly, overall, I will consume less, share more and live more simply.

Also, I will start featuring a “eco-friendly” artisan/crafter/company on my blog each week.  Please check back next week when I will put together a selection of recycled and repurposed items from members of my Eastern Washington Etsy Team.

My Computer has the swine-flu…

So, I haven’t posted anything for a couple weeks now.  My computer had the swine-flu or something and decided to eat its own hard drive.  So I said goodbye to the laptop and got a new “more powerful” desktop.  At least that is what they tell me.  Technology… where did our stress come from prior to computers?

Anyways… I have been preparing majorly for my jewelry show in 3 weeks, so most of my creative energy has been centered around that.  I’m very excited about the show.  It is the 3rd “Christmas Open House” and hopefully the biggest yet.  My Christmas shows always seem to do the best and I am hoping this one really does well.  I need it… both financially and emotionally. 

I have been working on some “vintage-inspired” and “altered-art” pieces that I think are going to be a big hit!  I am going to post some jewelry pictures really soon…  Promise!