Sunday, August 30, 2009

Get to Know These Creative Bloggers

From time to time, you may notice a plug here for the Creative Bloggers blog ring. This great group of warm, supportive artisans and fellow creative types is all about paying it forward and promoting one another through blogging.

Every two weeks, two members of our group are selected for features. Although I usually like to devote a post to each of the featured bloggers, I'm running a bit behind this cycle. I do want to take a moment, though, to drop their links and tell you a little about what they do.

First is Michelle of Michabella Creations. I featured her darling sparrow earrings here in March. Michabella is the collaborative effort of two longtime friends. Together they create simple, pretty, nature-inspired jewelry incorporating Swarovski crystals, semi-precious gemstones, pearls, silver, brass, wood, and glass.

And in the "Great Mom Blogs" category, I'm pleased to introduce Brittany of The Greer 5. This sharp-witted mama will keep you laughing with her tales of motherhood and homemaking and rants on such hot topics as HOA nasty-grams and school pick-up car lines.

Please take a moment to check out these great gals and, if you wouldn't mind, leave some comment love. Good karma, you know.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, August 17, 2009

Artisan Feature - Memories for Life Scrapbooks

This week's featured artisan is Edi of Memories for Life Scrapbooks. A talented scrapbook artist, Edi creates gorgeous custom albums and adorable little notebooks to help the non-scrappers among us capture all of life's special occasions in style.

Tell me a little bit about you and what you do.
I live in a small town in Iowa with my boyfriend and our dog. I am currently laid off from my "day job" so I am thankful I have my scrapbooking to keep me busy :) I create albums of all kinds. I make mini albums as well as full-sized custom albums. Give me your photos and I'll do all the work :) Or order a premade album and add your own photos. I have something for everyone!

What 3 phrases best describe your work?
Custom, Memories, Keepsakes

What inspires you?
Magazines, other artists, the world around me! It's amazing where you can find inspiration. It's all around us...we just have to look :)

What drives you to create what you do?
Knowing that I'm helping people preserve their memories is all the drive I need :) It's a great feeling to create an album for someone knowing that it will be treasured for generations to come!

What makes your work unique?
I give people the ability to customize their albums any way they want. When it comes to paper...I can pretty much do anything they want :) This is why my Custom Name and Word Albums are so popular...people like that personal touch :)

What role does your work play in your life? What role would you like it to play?
Right now it plays a very large role. My business is still small, but being laid is my full-time job. It would be wonderful to scrapbook for a living...maybe someday :)

How do you see your work and/or your business evolving in the next five years?
I just started selling my work at a local gift shop and hope to get more wholesale orders from local businesses. I also plan to do more craft shows. I do two per year now and would like to find bigger shows and do them more often. And I would love to add a new studio onto our house that I could sell from! Wow...big plans!

Where can we find you on the web?
My Etsy Store:
My Blog:
And look for me on Facebook in the near future...Memories for Life Scrapbooks

Are you an artist or craftsperson? Would you like to be featured here? I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment here with a link to your shop, and I'll be in touch about future opportunities.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dear Kid Sunday - Happy Birthday!

Welcome to this week's installment of "Dear Kid." Want to write a "Dear Kid" letter of your very own? Learn more about how to participate here.

Dear birthday girl,

Your party was a blast!! We had it at your gymnastics school. They had some big giant inflatables and we got to use all of their equipment. I think the parents had as much fun as the kids! You guys got to swing on the parallel bars, jump on all the big trampolines and throw yourselves into the pit. It was very cool. You were thrilled to see some of your friends from preschool, and I was really glad your best little girlfriend C and her family could come. We had pizza and cupcakes (which we made together yesterday morning - fun!), and you told me later it was the best birthday party you'd ever been to. Awesome.

Our week was pretty much devoted to party preparations and getting ready for our girls-only trip to see Mommy's friends next week. You've been particularly well-behaved and grown up lately, which I greatly appreciate. Earlier this week, you caught me using a less-than-adult tone of voice (a horrible habit I really need to work on) and said, "Hey, you're a big kid now, Mom - no more whining." Good call.

You continue to rock it in our near-nightly Rock Band 2 competitions. You've decided vocals are the way to go, and you end up with scores in the 90% range. Nice! You get all the notes but are still working on getting all the words. You insist that the "Eye of the Tiger" chorus includes the phrase "grill of the night" and the word "rive-O," although you're not sure what either means.

You woke up Thursday morning with a scowl on your face and reported that you'd dreamed I was a "mean farmer." Interesting. I love hearing about your dreams, incidentally. They're getting more and more complex, and I'm fascinated by the way your mind works. I seem to be in all of your dreams, and lately they usually involve some sort of tricky situation we need to find a way out of (like escaping from a castle). You're always the hero, of course, and you always mention which "costume" you were wearing at the time. Very cool.

Yesterday morning hcracked me up when I asked you what day it was (thinking you'd say, "Birthday party day!" Instead you said, "Is this the day I get to be on TELEVISION??" Girlfriend, you have a one-track mind!

I love you so very much, baby girl.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

I Want It

While strolling through the gallery of fellow "creative blogger," mezz of mezzG Creations, I stumbled upon this pair of appealingly asymmetrical silver bangles and simply had to share. Quirkily striking and decidedly unfussy, these bracelets make my heart go pitter-patter.

Stroll through the mezzG gallery yourself to see everything this one-of-a-kind artisan has to offer. And be sure to check out mezz's blog while you're at it!

Are you a creative blogger? The Creative Bloggers Blog Ring is all about paying it forward - supporting other creative people through blogging. You can get involved here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I Want It

TiLT Creations is nothing if not original. This little handpainted foldover clutch is no exception. So simple, it's almost like I could make it myself... only mine wouldn't be this cute... at all... since I can't sew... or paint. I absolutely love it!

Get it here (and on sale, no less!). And be sure to check out Theresa's blog for more TiLT Creations happenings.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Featured Artisan -- Rosebud's Lampwork Beads

This week's featured artisan is Mallory of Rosebud's Lampwork Beads. An amazing lampwork artist, Mallory offers beautiful handcrafted glass beads, jewelry and more in her Etsy shop.

Tell me a little bit about you and what you do.
I am a retired special education teacher with a passion for melting glass. I make lampwork beads. I feel that making glass beads is challenging and exciting. I don't feel like I've begun to master the craft. Those unborn beads keep me excited about life!

What 3 phrases best describe your work?
funky, fun, affordable

What inspires you?
I think bright colors and patterns are the most inspiring things for me. When I see colors combined with an amazing pattern, I want to make that bead!

What drives you to create what you do?
I love a challenge. Making lampwork beads is a challenge because there is always something new to learn and to master.

What makes your work unique?
I like to make things that are one of a kind. I rarely repeat a bead. It's hard for me to make identical beads for a set for that reason. I love variety, and I love making that one of a kind bead.

What role does your work play in your life?
Making and marketing my beads is a predominant part of my life. I try to torch almost everyday. I do like to take, at least, one day off a week, but the marketing aspect of selling the beads, is ongoing and everyday.

What role would you like it to play?
I like what I do now. I would like to have to work less on marketing, but there's a lot of healthy, good competition out there. There are so many truly great lampwork bead artists. I really want to be more like them with less in the way of marketing.

How do you see your work and/or your business evolving in the next five years?
I feel that my work can only get better. I hope to continue to enjoy making lampwork glass beads. I also hope to bring more wire work and fiber into my pieces. One of these days, I hope to slow down a bit, too.

Where can we find you on the web?
Informational Website:

Are you an artist or craftsperson? Would you like to be featured here? I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment here with a link to your shop, and I'll be in touch about future opportunities.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Dear Kid Sunday

Welcome to this week's installment of "Dear Kid." A week late and about a hundred dollars short - that pretty much sums up how I've been feeling lately. Freelance projects abound and I've become a regular author for Yodle's consumer guide . I'm doing less designing than I'd like, but I recently listed some fun back-to-school stuff with Artiste. Here's what's going on at home since you last heard from us.

Want to write a "Dear Kid" letter of your very own? Learn more about how to participate here.

Dear almost-birthday girl,

This picture was taken about five minutes before we bought Rock Band 2. Since then, we've spent lots of time taking our family band on the road. Most of the time, you're on vocals, I'm on drums and Daddy's on guitar. Your favorite song is "Hungry Like the Wolf." Nice! I had no idea how much fun this silly game would be, but we're all pretty much obsessed. Each time we play you say something like, "Are you guys ready to ROCK?? I'm gonna KILL it this time!" I love it.

Next weekend is your birthday party and you are SUPER excited about it. We're having it at your gymnastics school and I'm hoping some of the kids from this year's preschool class will be able to come. Last year I was a little worried that you didn't make many friends (although you didn't seem particularly concerned about it). I thought that giving you a chance to get to know some of the girls outside of school might make things easier when you start for the year. Can you believe the summer's almost over??

This week you took your first real "big kid" gymnastics class and it was so fun to see how much you've improved. Camp this summer has obviously made you much more confident on the equipment and your balance is getting better and better. It's amazing how fast you're growing up!

You continue to practice spelling and writing words on your own (although you're not really interested in being corrected - I applaud your moxie, but eventually we'll have to focus on accuracy...). On Monday you were mad at me for putting you in your room and confiscating one of your stuffed kitties. You wrote a sign that said, "No Kitty Yes Kitty" (spelled K-E-T-E, but still pretty good for a preschooler) and you showed it to me without saying anything when I came to get you out of your time-out. You crossed out the "No Kitty" part when I asked you what it meant. Apparently you wanted your kitty back.

Later in the week you were concerned about the dogs hanging out in the kitchen while I was cooking. You wrote a sign that said "Go" and "No." Then you crossed out "Go" and put it in front of the entrance to the kitchen. If only those dogs could read!

We seem to have moved past the super sassy phase I talked about in my last letter. In fact, you've been particularly cuddly and generally compliant for the last couple of weeks. You're focused on learning lots of new skills and on new best friend, Annie:

It's funny that you were never all that interested in our big dog, but you sure do adore this little one. She follows you around all over the house and you love attaching her leash and taking her for a little walk. You like for her to come up when we tuck you in and you let her stick around for story time so you can give her good night kisses. We're glad she's here to stay.

I love you so much, sweet girl. You're almost FOUR!