Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Artist Being Sued to Overturn Copyright

"Imitator Sues Me to Overturn Copyrights: Please Help Defend My Art"

John T. Unger is currently being sued by an individual whom is selling knockoffs of his original art. This individual wants to continue selling the pirated art and is now suing John in order to have the copyrights overturned. If this happens, I believe it could affect all artists, please help spread the word and donate to his case if you can.

"I need your help. My original art has been copied by a manufacturer who is now suing me in federal court to overturn my existing copyrights and continue making knockoffs. I have a strong case, a great lawyer and believe that if I can continue to defend myself, the case will be resolved in my favor. If I run out of funds before we reach trial, a default judgment would be issued against me and could put me out of business. I don't believe my opponent can win this case in court and I don't believe he really intends to try. I believe his goal is to use strong-arm litigation tactics to force me to keep spending money or risk losing my copyrights — not by true adjudication, but by default if he is able to outspend me."

Go to http://www.johntunger.com/legal-defense-fund.html#2 for all of the details of this case.

3PD Christmas Ribbon Beaded Cuff

This is the latest project I completed and was inspired by the holiday ribbon we used on our Christmas tree last year. It is a beaded cuff using 2-drop Peyote stitch. This is only the second time I have used the 2-drop technique and at first I wasn't sure I was going to like it. It was a bit tough to bead up as the pattern kept changing and I really had to pay attention... not watch t.v. and bead at the same time like I usually do. Now I am working on another original 3 Peeps Design with shades of pink and slate grey and it is going a lot faster.... This 2-drop Peyote has really grown on me. I haven't decided if I am going to list this pattern online for sale, what do you think? I am going to list the cuff for sale once we get to Arkansas.

Well, the movers are here and packing up our stuff. So far it is only a two person crew sent in to pack up the things that I haven't packed up in the past 6 months... mainly clothes and frames and Jay's bar collection of glasses and liquor. We are living out of my master bedroom closet and bathroom for the time being. Hopefully we will be on our way to Arkansas by Thursday, it all depends on how long they take to pack and then load. Our belongings will be in storage while we get to know the new area and find our next house. Thankfully my parents are taking care of the kids and dogs, although my son will be here for the loading of the truck. I just wanted to thank everyone for their support and positive thoughts over the last several months. It was a long ordeal and I think we really did a good job with staying positive and proactive, not wallowing in the self-pity. We have had two offers on the house, finally, and hope to have things hammered out and accepted within the next week! My fingers and toes are still crossed for a good ending to this chapter of our lives!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Its been a busy time with projects and homeschooling. The kids are putting together their portfolios for their evaluations. I have been busy with misc. beading and jewelry making. Here are some photos of everything that is going on.

Three sets of earrings based on a pair in my shop called Spring Has Sprung. These were put together for a friend to represent a group she started, called 3 Strong.

These are earrings that I put together after doing the earrings for my friend. Its been a while since I've had all of my supplies out because of the house being on the market. I can make a mess when I'm in the "zone" and if I don't finish, I hate having to put everything away. It felt good making an exception.

This is another dog in my dog series. Its peyote stitched with Delica 11/0 beads and it is a Boxer. This one I gave to my realtor. Soon I will upload my pattern for sale at my ArtFire shop.

Here are my sugar skulls. I came up with the pattern and have a couple of different sizes and color variations available. I won't be listing the pattern for sale, I will only be selling the completed earrings in my ArtFire shops.

I have also been making my beaded paw prints. I had one order for over 50 paw prints! I've been making them as earrings, magnets, pins, and just paw prints to be used for all kind of things. I actually have more to make.

I had one customer sew my paw prints onto an outfit for a doll. The outfit was for a school fundraiser and the winning bid was for $165!!

I also listed one of my framed pit bulls for a fund raiser. I was a bit late and ended up not selling it so I will be listing it in my shop with the money still going towards a bully rescue. (See the picture in the last post.)

I have a heartline bear pattern in the works, a paw print cuff in 2-drop peyote, finishing up a beaded cat amulet bag, and a bulldog amulet bag. And then maybe I will work on the portraits of my kids! Whew! And of course I need to actually list some of these items in my shop, not my favorite thing to do... I need an assistant.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Smokey's Auction

I am participating in another auction. This time its for Smokey. Smokey is a pit bull puppy recovering from what appears to be chemical burns down his back. Now before I get too emotional again, here is the link for the auction; http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=173303432455&id=125117232853&ref=mf you do not need to be a friend to participate in the auction. There are a lot of great items available including art, jewelry, dog toys, and other doggie items.

And here is the website that tells more about him; http://www.smokey-the-pitbull.webs.com

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Dog Beds

I finished the new dog beds a couple of weeks ago. They came out great, the fabric is super durable and the dogs seem to like them - even Mojo the kitty likes them! In fact, it seems I will be making some cat beds too because Mojo and the dogs like them so much! There just isn't enough room for 2 large dogs (Charlie is 70lbs and Apple is 80lbs) and the kitty. Buffy still prefers the top of one recliner or the seat of the other recliner.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Note

Sorry I haven't updated my blog lately, I just haven't felt inspired lately and have been too busy. Then yesterday afternoon I received the best note ever! About a month and a half ago I participated in the 48 Hours For Larry silent auction and donated 5 things to be auctioned off. Well, slowly but surely I have received the names and addresses of where to send the items, actually, a little slower than I would like, but I didn't have any control over that. Anyway, I sent out my beaded Cat Dream Catcher to Bob this past Friday and he had it by Monday. I was surprised at how quickly the post office delivered it, especially since it went all of the way to California! I love creating stuff, but am still not entirely comfortable selling my creations. I love giving my things away as gifts, but selling them just opens a whole can of worms that I don't necessarily want to deal with. What if someone gets it and hates it? Or what if they think it looks like a kid made it? Or it isn't as described? Or what if the post office loses it (currently facing that problem)? Anyway, I opened his email and was totally floored by his wonderful and kind words! I've never met him and yet, he made me feel as if we were friends or at the very least, someone I want to meet! He made me feel warm and fuzzy and happy that I had put my piece of art out there into the world.

I will always treasure his kind words; "I will be showing it of to everyone and raving about your fantastic craftsmanship – probably even a blog post coming, it’s that yummy! It was going to be a gift, but now that I’ve seen it, it’s ALL MINE and will be gracing our wall here at home :)"

Thanks Bob!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Photos, memory lane, and beaded portraits

I was up til the wee hours of the night last night working on a couple of beaded patterns that I did of my kids. I ended up giving the completed beaded portraits to my in-law for their birthdays. When they visited last December, they really liked them. Or I should say, my father-in-law really liked them. And since their birthdays were rolling around and Jay could not decide what to get them for their b-days, I volunteered to give them those and redo them for myself. And then Jay's dad said he didn't want anything for his birthday, for us to just send a card. So, last week we just sent the cards and then Sunday we put the beaded portraits in the mail. I am hoping it really surprises them. I didn't include the frames, I figured since they renovated their home last year, that they would know what kind of frame, color, etc that they wanted. And I didn't want to worry about the glass getting broken in the mail.

Now I have a huge naked spot on my living room wall. I will have to figure out something to put up in that spot. Since getting the house ready for selling, I put away all personal photos and portraits except for those two. I was thinking of getting a clock to put up on the wall. I don't know, I haven't been in the shopping mood.

So now I am revamping the patterns. Changing out colors and bead finishes, playing with the sizes. I have them almost to how I want them, but next I am going to change the photos to black and white and see how I like them. Then I will get started on them so that I can have them done for whenever we move.

I also went through photos this morning... I can't believe how many we have. I also can't believe how many blurry shots there are, what a waste of money! I wish I could go back in time with my digital camera and retake the photos, less waste and more good shots. It was a fun trip down memory lane. I was looking for photos from my sister's wedding, which I thought I already gave to her but of course she says I didn't. Well, I don't have them and I can take that task off of my to-do list. She is the queen of all pack rats and one day she will go through her stuff and find them. One of these days I will find the time and space to finish the baby scrapbooks and put the rest of the photos in the photo albums. Some day!

In going through the photos, I was surprised at how many places we have lived, the different furniture, the ugly rugs, the number of blue bathtubs LOL, the different cats and dogs, oh my! I was also surprised at how much my son hated his photo taken when he was younger and how much my daughter loved it. She would pose and pose and pose. He would be scowling and crying and frowning in photo after photo. He has also changed so much! There were hundreds of photos of Danni getting undressed, she would strip all of the time at home, I am glad she didn't do that in public! The many faces of Danni are in that Rubber Made bin, the drama queen from birth! My son, the moody one, the shy one, but also the cuddler. And the photos of my husband, filling out, looking less like a boy and more like a man. Always smiling, such an easy, welcoming smile. There weren't many photos of me, thank goodness. I guess I am more like my son, I don't like posing for photos and I don't really like seeing how much I have changed. I wouldn't mind burning all of my photos LOL, I could really do without seeing them, but I figured one day my kids will enjoy going through all of these photos.

Ok I need to get back to work. I am also supposed to be listing some items to help out with the 48 for Larry silent auction. I have a few items in mind and just need to change the info in my shop listing, but I also have a couple of new items in mind and need to take photos and list them. Then send all of the items' descriptions to the admin for the 48 for Larry auction. I want to finish those this week.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

48 for Larry

This is from another blog, I wanted to help spread the word:

48 for Larry

Posted by Skyline Candle Company | Friday, July 03, 2009 | , , , , , | 0 comments »

Larry Hamm over at Chelsea Lynn Designs on Artfire is a friend of many in the world of handmade, he is also the voice of The Crazy Train on Blockhead Radio. Larry has a fantastic wife Janet, and an 8 year old son Jacob who live with him in Lansing, NC deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Larry is a friend to everyone and just an all around swell guy. He is most definitely the “shirt off your back” kind of friend. Right now, all of Larry’s friends and Blockhead radio are teaming up to help him out in a tough time.
Larry is a disabled diabetic who currently has lost his health insurance. His medication alone monthly is over $2,000. Larry is not receiving disability, he has not been approved yet. His wife is the only source of income and she doesn’t make enough to cover his medications. Larry’s doctors have given him an outlook of only 18 months to live if he doesn’t receive a $17,000 gastric bypass surgery as soon as possible. Larry and his family need all the help from their family and friends they can get! Jacob and Janet need Larry to hang around here with them as long as he possibly can! All of his friends surely want Larry to stick around too!All of us at Blockhead Radio are gearing up for the biggest Radiothon you’ll ever be a part of! July 24th at 6pm until July 26th at 6pm, Blockhead Rod will be live on the radio for 48 hours straight raising money for our friend Larry. A silent auction of donated handmade goods will also be going up on the home page of Blockhead Radio with 100% of the proceeds going to Larry.If you would like to be a part of this wonderful event, please email DeDe Sorensen at: 48forlarry@blockheadradio.com Please donate any handmade items you can for the silent auction have your emails in with your donations by July 22nd. If you would like to donate cash for Larry’s prescriptions and surgery please visit Blockhead Radio July 24th through July 26th. There will be plenty of ways to get your donations in.Keep listening to Blockhead Radio for fantastic indie music, and how you can help Larry Hamm of Chelsea Lynn Designs.Help spread the work.....link this post or feel free to copy and paste it on your blog...thanks.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


I have a long list of blogs that I follow and through them, I have met quite a few fellow artisans. It has been a lot of fun, and even though things have been incredibly busy for me lately, I enjoy reading the blogs and learning new things and learning more about them.

I wanted to thank a couple of wonderful women for reading my blog and liking it enough to award me with two blog awards:
The first one is Tami Abiuso from Holistic Diva. She gave me an award called the Vespa Blogger Friendship Award. She also has a shop at ArtFire called Essensu. It is a fantastic shop and I have purchased from her in the past and will do again in the future. She always puts some samples in with your purchase... something to actually make your mouth water... the Organic Pumpkin Body Polish is lip smacking, drool inducing heaven! It was just a sample but I have to say it is incredible! It smells just like the pumpkin bread I make... I don't know that it is fair to make me hungry when I am taking a shower or bath :) Anyway, her lotion is fabulous and my mother-in-law loves her bath salts. Her products will make you smile while indulging the inner diva in all of us.

And the second is the "The Lovely Blog Award" from Jenn and she runs the shop JennuineCandles at ArtFire and she also has a blog called Jennuine Candles. I have a few of her candles "hot listed" for when I have enough earnings from my shop, to spend at other shops (does that make sense? LOL)... I want to support other artisans with small shops, keep the circle going so to speak. She using 100% palm oil for her candles which gives them this incredible look... almost like crystals formed on the surface of the candles. She has a lot of different scents and colors and her prices are very reasonable. When you have the chance, take a look at her store.

I'm trying to get back into the swing of things

Hi! Sorry I have been so quiet, I haven't been quite inspired lately. Staging a house and keeping it straightened up and clean all of the time, really sucks it out of me. I hate feeling like we are under a microscope, but in a sense we are. Having to be ready for a showing at a moment's notice, I don't really feel I can get messy with my crafts. So far, we have been on the market just over a month. We have gotten a lot of positive feedback, but the market is definitely a different animal than it was the last time we sold a house.... just over 2 years ago. Happily, our realtor here really makes a good effort and channels a lot of positive energy into selling this house. She has had 2 open houses so far and has another one planned for the coming weekend. And she is bringing the "caravan" by on Tuesday with all of the realtors in her office. Hopefully word of mouth will get her sold. We have only had one negative, and that was because someone didn't like the paint color we put on the walls in the kitchen. Well, you can't please everyone and so I am not too worried about it. Otherwise, it has all been positive. I am a little nervouse about the "caravan" of realtors coming thru, I am sure one of them is going to complain about something. But, I don't plan on changing anything, the house has been staged enough and I don't want to upset the balance we have achieved. Afterall, we are still living here.

My husband left for his new job about 2 weeks ago. He is really enjoying it and can't believe how nice everyone is and the atmosphere is so different from the last job. Its actually a positive environment, it will take some getting used to. He seems to like the area, but I think he is trying too hard to make sure we are excited about going there. I really don't want to hear that he's been swimming, golfing, boating, etc while we are here not really doing much of anything fun. We are trying to stay close to home in case we have to run home and get the dogs for a showing. The kids have gone to the beach with Grandpa and Grandma has spent the night a few times in order to change things up a bit. But that really is the extent of our fun. I am even cutting the lawn. I don't like it, its been too hot, and its really a dirty job. But, I have to keep it looking neat and maintained.

After a month of being on the market, I have decided to check out superstitions on help or good luck for selling a house. I am wearing gemstones for money luck, I have some strategically placed Runes around the house, and to supplement my prayers, I have purchased a statue of St. Joseph. Most of the info I have found posted about this ritual, says to bury him in the yard.... I don't quite feel right about burying him in the yard, so I have placed him at a spot of honor and have been praying to him. I don't know if it will work, but it actually makes me feel a little better.

So, since I can only do so much cleaning and straightening up, I am going to start getting back to my art, my crafts, the stuff that make me feel better. So, hopefully I can get back into the groove of doing my blog like I started doing a few months ago.

Friday, May 01, 2009

We've got a job!!!!!!!!

Ok, not we, but my husband, has found a new job. He received the offer yesterday and he accepted early afternoon today. We are going to moving again, but alas, the end is near.... all the work we've been doing on our house; accelerating projects, painting every room a boring shade of neutral (except for the kitchen) and doing things that just make the house look nice and updated, even if it wasn't exactly how we wanted it. I am going to be so sad to say goodbye to this house. It was supposed to be my forever home, so much room, so much potential for long term growth of our family and life. Solid bones!!! I hope to find something like this Brady Bunch house in Arkansas. There's just something I like about houses built in the 70's, I am drawn to them! Rambling ranches with room for everything!

Anyway, my husband goes for some computer training next week with his new group and then when he gets back, we will list the house. So about a week to get the last things done.... just two days to get him to finish his little projects around the house. I don't want to have too many things to do while he is gone. I've packed some things and I will pack some more. Neutralizing every room of the house as much as possible before the realtor comes in and tells me to do it. So, most all of the family pictures are down it seems less and less like my house.

So, I should be back to my ArtFire life along with Twittering and my blog in about a week. I have certainly missed my community online and it will certainly be nice to be back. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a quick sale in this questionable economy. The house has a lot going for it and I hope the right family comes along and sees what we see in this house. I don't want to be stuck here with the kids holding down the fort while my husband moves without us and only comes home for visits. That would suck! I need to move forward, so do my kids... it feels like we have been in limbo for the past 2 long months! On the karma front, looks like things at the old company are still going downhill. True colors are showing and I think they may end up with some surprises in the way of some key people quitting. It is not a happy place to be right now.

Here's to new directions and quick sales!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Happy Birthday Dean!

There is a special sale going on today to mark the 21st birthday of a wonderful young man named Dean. 100% of the proceeds for the day will go to a special cause, NADS - the National Association for Down Syndrome. Please read below for the details and if you can, make a purchase at AmyDesigns at ArtFire.

I Dreamed
by Amy Cavaness

I dreamed he'd be born beautiful and healthy.
He was.

I dreamed he'd tell me that he loves me.
He tells me every day.

I dreamed he'd be bright and funny.
He is - his humor is wonderful.

I dreamed he'd ride a bike, catch a ball and wrestle with his big brother.
He does and his brother loves it.

I dreamed he'd have big birthday parties with lots of friends and cake and presents.
He's had six.

I dreamed he'd one day get on a bus and go to kindergarten.
He did it yesterday - my heart full of love and my eyes full of tears.

I dreamed he'd make us proud.
He has, and he's inspired us.

Dean has Down Syndrome.
I never dreamed that.


"It's been 15 years since I wrote this poem. Dean turns 21 on April 7, 2009 and I couldn't have dreamed what kind of man he'd become. He's still funny, he's very bright, and he still loves cake. He continues to make us proud. I continue to be grateful for his presence in our lives. And I love him dearly.

In honor of Dean's 21st birthday on Tuesday, April 7, I will donate 100% of my sales to the National Association for Down Syndrome. This organization offers wonderful support to parents and their kids, and we were so glad we found them when Dean was born."
And to boost the contribution, Birdy's Knits will be adding to every sale made:

"In support of Amy and her endevor, for every sale she makes on the 7th of April, we will send her an additional $5 to help with her support. So if you can find it in yourself to purchase one of her lovely items Birdy's Knits will kick in an additional $5 per item sold on April 7th from AmyDesigns, no limit! That's our Birthday gift to Dean.

We wish you the best Birthday Yet Dean!"

-- James of Birdy's Knits
I hope you take the time to check her shop and perhaps purchase something that will help a wonderful shop!

Monday, April 06, 2009

ArtFire Urbaneden

It's been a little while since I last posted and so I thought I would review another product I've purchased on ArtFire. I bought two soaps and one soap holder from Urbaneden and I must say I LOVE THEM!!! I don't think I will ever go back to buying soap from the grocery store again!! I bought the Tea Tree Lavender Olive Oil soap and the Cardamom Rose Olive Oil And Shea Butter Soap and a soap holder.

I have tried the Tea Tree Lavender bar and let me just say that it foams up well, smells awesome and feels even better... there is a little bit of clay and powdered oatmeal in the soap for extra cleansing. I feel very special using this soap and it just makes showering something to look forward to. Call me crazy, but new soaps, shampoos, and conditioners are always fun to try! Its been a week, though, and the fun hasn't died, it is a great bar of soap. My husband really likes it as well. I have not tried the Cardamom Rose soap, but it smells heavenly and I am sure that if it is anything like the Tea Tree Lavender soap, that I am going to love it just as much!

I also purchased a soap holder made by her husband. I just had to have it because it is so beautiful and I am not sure if I will use it for the soap or if I will use it for something else...

She also included a sample of a new soap listing, its called Smooth Legs Shaving Bar and she recommended that I wait a week or so before I try it. It also smells wonderful and I am sure it will do a great job for shaving my legs.
Overall, this is a wonderful shop on ArtFire! The prices are reasonable, the packaging is very nice and she ships right away. I cannot wait to see what new soaps she puts in her shop as I will definitely be checking back often!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Shop Windows at ArtFire blogspot

I just found a new ArtFire blog via Twitter that is dedicated to showcasing ArtFire shop windows, in fact it is called Shop Windows at ArtFire and isn't run by ArtFire admins but by users of ArtFire.

You need to be a verified member of ArtFire in order to be featured because they utilize the Rapid Cart, so that visitors can just purchase the item they want without having to join ArtFire. This is a great place for sellers to describe their shops, list their sales, give aways, newest listings, etc. I think this has the potential to be a great source for promoting your shop.

I also wanted to mention that I opened a second shop.... after reading the ArtFire forums, I've decided it would be best to have a separate shop for my de-stash so that it doesn't get in the way of my patterns and jewelry and home decor,etc.-- my actual handmade stuff versus my supplies for sale. So, if you have the time, check it out in a few days. It is called 3PeepsDestash


I just added myself to WeFollow: A User Powered Twitter Directory under #blogger, #artfire, #artisan If you Twitter, you should do the same, that way people searching for specific kinds of Twitter users will find you and follow you.

Monday, March 23, 2009

I've been Tumblr-d

I've been Tumblr-d ... come check it out and all of the other great ArtFire artisans!

Bath Favorites Spotlight

It's funny, but whenever I'm checking out the new additions to ArtFire, the soap draws my eye. I don't make soap, but one day I will try it. I don't buy fancy soaps, but one day I will purchase some of the ones on my Hot List. I love the scents, I love the idea of taking a bubble bath and actually having the privacy to do it and not have the water get cold either! The combination of scents and some of the descriptions are just heavenly!

I've done a bit of reading on making bath and beauty products and am just fascinated by it all. I don't know if I am a disciplined enough cook for making this sort of stuff, though. I tend to be the type of cook that uses a recipe as a guide, I don't measure much, and do guestimate a lot! My cooking usually comes out pretty good, but I think you have to be more of a scientist to make soaps, lotions, and bath fizzies. As my husband likes to say, "cooking is a science" and I always say in return, "no it isn't, its an art"...

This leads to this blog I found, I think it's relatively new as there aren't many posts, but it is called The Holistic Diva and has a great post on bath salts and salt in general. It is definitely a blog that I will keep my eye on!

Hopefully this spotlight will make you want to click on some of the items and do a little bit of shopping!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

byhand.me Spotlight of Things I Love

These are all things I have found around the ArtFire community that I just love! Each are unique and call to me in their own way. Perhaps when things get straightened out in my life, I will be able to purchase a couple.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pink Flower Earrings from DandelionByMistydawn

I purchased these beautiful earrings from DandelionByMistydawn on Art Fire. I used money I made from my first sale on Art Fire hoping to spread the good fortune. I picked these earrings because they reminded me instantly of spring. They are handmade with sterling silver ear wires, findings, beadcaps, resin flowers, and Czech glass beads. The shipping price was reasonable and was mailed promptly. She told me when she shipped them and I wasn't left wondering when they would show up at my door. I hate when a seller on any site doesn't tell you when they actually mail whatever it is you order. Anyway, when I opened the package, the earrings were wrapped nicely in a box with pretty ribbon and a business card and a tag on the earrings. I like that she went the extra mile to make a pretty presentation. I plan on sending these to a friend as an unexpected gift to brighten up her day. She lives up north and I know it is only just beginning to show signs of spring up there.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Blog Makeover

I've wanted to update my blog for a while.... tried a small template change a few weeks ago, it was alright... especially the layout, but color-wise, it was just so-so. Last night, I spent quite a few hours up by myself (even the dogs were asleep and leaving me alone) and I did a little research, found some info, bookmarked it and this morning I started looking at the websites.

The website I got the new template from is called The Cutest Blog on the Block and it offers free backgrounds, how-to and advice for revamping your blog. It's truly worth a look as it has so much wonderful information. I will certainly go back, but like a work of art, less is more, I have to remind myself not to go overboard! Anyway, how do you like the pink cheetah print?

The second website I used was Moms Who Blog and it's all about hacks and hints for the busy mom's blog... I will be on this site often! And that site led me to this site called My Live Signature. This website walks you through creating a signature to add to the end of your blog posts (check out mine below in nifty yellow), to your email or to your website. It's certainly worth the time to do because it adds that personal touch to your blog that is often missing in electronic journals.

I hope you get the chance to check these websites out as they are very informative and they teach you how to go about adding a touch of class or whimsy to your blogs!

Mini Wallet purchased from Fabric and Stuff

Well its about time I get back to blogging.... we are still job hunting... but I need to also stay focused on my blog and Art Fire shop. I used the money I made from my first sale to purchase a few items form other Art Fire shops as a way of seeing things through the buyer's eyes as well as keeping the good fortune going.My first purchase was this Mini Wallet from Fabric and Stuff. It is a great little wallet and beautifully made. It is 100% handmade and the fabric is vibrant, oh so vibrant! I love this color combination... similar colors can be found in my kitchen! The shipping price was fair, the ship time was fantastic, and it was packaged nicely! The communication before the sale was great too. I liked her items in her shop, but had asked if another color combination was available and she promptly sent pictures of the colors available. Once I chose one, she listed it and reserved it in my name and I was able to buy it. And with Art Fire's new Rapid Cart, you don't need to be a member or sign up for an account. You can just click on the picture of the item you want and pay for it. Fabric and Stuff's Donna Stanley also has a blog and it is worth checking out! She has great pictures of her products and the differnt colors available, from checkbook covers to pin cushions, she has it all. And the colors! Oh I could just go on and on! I have a thing for fabric, especially the bright, cheerful ones and I bet she does too! Other tidbits and gems can be found on her blog as well. Please take a look!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Two new listings on ArtFire - Mini Greyhound and Whippet

I just wanted to quickly point out two new listings on ArtFire from me..... one is for a Mini Greyhound pattern that I created for peyote or brick stitch.The other is for a Whippet pattern that I created for peyote and/or brick stitch. Eventually I hope to list the actual dogs that I stitched up, in some sort of decorative frame or display. I love these dogs and surprisingly, the greyhound seems to be the hot dog on ArtFire right now. I thought for sure it would be a Pomeranian or Chihuahua. Anyway, these two dogs were inspired by my dog, Apple. She is a greyhound mix, black with some white socks, chest, and a white blaze on her face. She is a very striking dog, very tall, and has a very loud bark which intimidates a lot of people. Anyway, I am stitching up the next dog, which happens to be the regular-sized greyhound and am about 2/3 of the way done... will hope to have it on ArtFire within a day or so... And then I move on to a cat that I created and then a Malamute... I am still stewing an Akita in my head as well as a Scotty.... and then of course more cats.... I need to show equal love, as I have two wonderful kitties as well as my 2 dogs.Anyway, I always stitch up my patterns before listing them to make sure they don't look funny when done. I have a few patterns waiting in the line-up for stitching before I can list them. I wish my mom or sister would give bead weaving a shot, so that they could be my stitchers for when I have a backlog. LOL I will be teaching my kids how to use a bead loom. We are starting out small, with one of my paw print designs that is done and just waiting for stitching. Fun days! I wonder who will love it more, my daughter or my son?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Busy, tough time

I have a bad cold and am falling behind on the blog and Art Fire, not much promoting or creating going on.

Third, the artisans on Art Fire are promoting a version of a stimulus package.... savings abound! It is definitely worth checking out and hopefully you will spend a few dollars!

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Sampler

Has anyone heard of this site -- The Sampler ? I was browsing through the Etsy Storque pages, looking for info and advice on start up shops and came across this. It doesn't seem to be just related to Etsy which is nice, because although a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..... A long time ago I signed up but never opened a shop with them.
What they do is collect a bunch of samples from Indie artisans, record labels and zines. They gather all of the samples up and put one each in a box and then mail them out to whomever is on their mailing list to receive one. Sounds like a great way to promote your shop... the hard part is figuring out what you can make enough of (you need at least 25 items to send to them to promote your shop) that best represents your shop. They also have a ton of links to shops and stores, feature a gallery of items that have been contributed to The Sampler and you can even sign up to pay and receive a Sampler delivered to your door... $30 for the regular size and $10 for the mini sampler. They also have International Sampler boxes and are doing a City Sampler, but those are currently sold out. And one other thing to note "The Sampler was invited by to be a sponsor at the 2008 Gift Lounge for the MTV Movie Awards!"

Sounds like this may very well be worth following up on.

The Sampler

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mosaic Turtle Table

This is the top of my turtle table. I grouted it last week and finally took some photos. Its hard to take good photos of this... its big and on my front porch, no fancy light box for this.
I created this with stained glass, glue, and grout. It features 3 turles in differnt sizes swimming in the water. I love sea turtles, there is just something so majestic about them. Someday I will do some more sea turtles.... when I have more time.

Another blog you should check out; Indie CEO

Ok here is another blog you should check out, or at the very least read this post SEO - Can You Control It. This is Indie CEO's blog and it is very good, very professional, and most importantly, the posts don't seem to talk above my head. I don't feel like an idiot reading her blogs, she is easy to understand and easy to follow.

Also, she sells online and has an ArtFire shop called GalleriaLinda, don't forget to check it out, she has some great pieces for sale!

Alright, now I am going to go and check out the titles and TRY to make them less vague!

Lindsey Joy Designs - A great site for newbie bloggers

I stumbled upon this site late last night. I was following Tweets and looking at profiles and reading blogs, yada, yada, yada, and found this site Lindsey Joy Design. She designs blogs for people and takes them from the plain jane, template following norm to beautiful, scrapbook layout styling.... very pretty indeed... sophisticated looking and just plain neat. On this page she offers plenty of advice from what to do to increase traffic to your site, the ins and outs of widgets and gadgets, the layout, etc. It is worth a look if you either want someone to revamp the look of your blog or if you just want to look over the tutorials and learn a thing or two about what you can do yourself. And she has a separate blog that is about her and her family living down in Panama.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Check out this blog Mystic Mandalas

I found this while surfing blogs and reading online.... Its a great website and the work is top notch! Mystic Mandalas and she has a Picasa Web Album with a few of her completed mandalas. And this is what I learned from her profile, she is mainly self-taught colored pencil artist, with a passion for animals, mandalas, curry, and pencils. She is based out of the United Kingdom and she just does top notch work! I wish I could draw half as good as she can!

Mystic Mandalas A blog to feed my desire and knowledge about the sacred art of creating Mandalas, and to show some of my own humble efforts.

You can buy a copy of one of her other mandalas online at Imagekind.

3 Peeps Designs Business Card

It is official.... or will be once I get the call to pick up my business cards, I have a card to hand out, pass around, give to others to pass out, etc. I spent the weekend trying to learn a few things about Photoshop.... usually all I ever do is use it for resizing photos, but that is all changing. I uninstalled my ancient version of The Print Shop for managing photos and making signs, banners, etc.... this version was for back when people did everything on paper and making a banner didn't mean a shop banner. Whew! I am showing my age... remember the dot matrix printer annoying things that they were?

Anyway, Photoshop is a frustrating software full of magical stuff to make all of your photo manipulating and graphic dreams come true. Most important thing I learned was that Layers is the one thing you need for making anything go smoothly... I managed to use my little mouse pad on the laptop to draw my little bird... one of my 3 Peeps.... I did it with one finger on one hand holding down the left button and my middle finger on the other hand drawing the bird on the mouse pad. It came out looking a little squiggley but once I did some erasing and filling in the color it looked better. Plus I reminded myself that it wouldn't be this large, thus it wouldn't look as shakey. Then I drew little bird foot prints the same way as their own transparent image so I could layer and all of that... Sometime I need to take a class in using Photoshop and save up the money to get a current version of it.

I opted to leave my phone number off of my card as well as my address. I don't have a physical shop so I didn't feel a need for an address. I left my phone number off because I am not a phone person unless its for catching up with friends or family. I email, blog, Twitter a little, and Facebook now. I don't text. Oh, and I try to hang out in the forums and chat there. So I put my email address, blog site, and Art Fire shop on the card with my nifty name and logo. What do you think?

I chose Office Depot to make them for several reasons; 1) they are friendly, 2) they aren't too busy to be helpful 3) their website shows prices, which the other contenders (office stores) aren't always keen to do and 4) I have never ordered business cards and wanted someone to physically walk me thru it. I got smooth paper, raised printing, and can't wait to have them in my hot little hands! So in about 5 business days I will have them. Then I will send some to NinjaJenn in a bc exchange and hopefully to some other shops as well. BTW NinjaJenn has a great shop that you should check out... She upcycles and features some great pendants made out of Scrabble tiles:If you would like to exchange business cards, let me know, drop me a line and I will send you my address!

Stainless Steel Sharpie!!!!!!!!!!!

Need I say anything else??? STAINLESS STEEL SHARPIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love Sharpie markers, what can I say? Available March 2009 at Walmart, Staples, Office Depot, Office Max....
Need I say anything else??? STAINLESS STEEL SHARPIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love Sharpie markers, what can I say?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Five Dog Pack

Here is my Five Dog Pack I finally finished it. I am working on another one too. I am hoping to start raising money to donate to some of my favorite charities... right now, $25 from the sale of this one will go to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. It took a couple of weeks.... the longest part was decoupaging the paper onto the frame and then gluing all of the embellishments... hard because I had to wait for them to dry and I would get side tracked. So check it out!
Click on the link above to go to my shop and look at more photos!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Day after the 26.2 with Donna National Breast Cancer Marathon

This past weekend was the marathon to fight breast cancer. My husband's sister and her friend flew down from Juneau, Alaska to run this marathon. Megan (sister-in-law) and Linda (her friend whose mother and sister are both breast cancer survivors) did fantastic! We are so proud of both of them. In addition to us four, my husband's grandparents from Ottawa Lake, Michigan flew down, Linda's mother and nephew flew down from Long Island, New York and their friend Heidi, flew in from Boston, MA. Our job was to cheer the runners and walkers on until we dropped and boy did we. It was amazing, and the funny thing was, the runners kept thanking us for being there, and we kept thanking them for running it!

Megan and Linda designed t-shirts especially for the race... had them printed up and presented us cheerleaders with shirts to wear as well. And I guess great minds think alike because we made t-shirts to wear while cheering.... Team Megan and Team Linda... So we wore both to the marathon. "Wild Salmon Run and So Do We" I think they should upload their designs onto CafePress and sell shirts.
Anyway, they did great, Megan finished the race at 4:14:14 and Linda did it in 4:59:19. There were over 7000 runners either running the whole marathon or runnning/walking the half marathon. The course included a beach portion (one way) and a bridge (both directions at the beginning and ending of the race).
It is the day after the marathon and all is quiet. We haven't heard from the runners or our fellow cheerleaders yet (its 11am). I am hoping that means the beds at the hotel are extra comfortable and everyone slept great! We are supposed to meet at the beach later this afternoon for a dinner courtesy of Megan and Linda with goodies they brought down with them from Alaska.

First Freebie Pattern Friday!!

As I posted two days ago , I am going to start posting on my blog again... on a regular basis. *Gasp* I know, I know, but my schedule is ope...