Thursday, July 7, 2011

Featured Seller Follow-up - Fizzyclaret

Hi All,

Ages ago, I posted about a talented clay artist that I made a purchase from.  You can read that post here:


I had promised a follow-up post to report on what I made with her killer roses.   It's a simple design where I used a chunky, jet chain to contrast the softness of the roses.  I added some Swarovski Crystals and some vintage acrylic beads.  The result is interesting and still needs a name.  She will probably be for sale on Etsy and/or Artfire soon. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Crafting With Ivy [Give, Save, Spend Jars]

Awhile back, I saw this cute idea for teaching a child to manage their money.  You just decorate jars to hold money for giving, money for saving, and money to spend.  I finally got around to making them with Ivy.  As far as understanding them, I think she was a little bored with the concept.  But she's never one to turn away a crafting opportunity.  Here's what we did.   I apologize that most of the pictures are just showing off my adorable kid:

I had some jars that used to hold beads and we simply painted the lids.  I let her choose the colors and I think she did a great job. 

Once they were totally dried, we added some letter stickers from my sinful stash of scrapbooking supplies.  I don't even scrapbook.   After we stuck them on, I had her cover them with Mod Podge to seal them up so they'll last a long time.  Dear Mod Podge, I love you. 

We got some glue on our fingers and showed it to the camera.   I swear she's not just throwing gang signs.

After the glue dried, we filled each jar with quarters from her piggy bank.  She officially has more money than I do.  It's all good, though, because this project was free.  :-p

If all she takes away from this lesson was that the "Give" jar is the most important, I'll be happy.  Now I will be curious to see what causes she chooses to adopt as she gets older. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I Made It! Market (4-16-12)

WOW!  I'm wiped out and brain mushed lately.  I recently took a new job and I'm crazy tired.  I also have no spare time to blog.  It's a bummer but I know the craziness will pass once I get used to my new store.  It broke my heart into a billion pieces to leave the Masquerade.  Me running a year-round costume store just made sense.  And I loved all of the people.  But I am happy to report that I made the best decision for my family and my future.  Anyways, back to the love of crafting...

I spent last Saturday at I Made It! in the South Side Works.  This time I had a whole table.  It was way nice to be out on the floor rather than squished back in the fitting room area.  The venue is a vacant retail space which used to house an Ann Taylor Loft.  This time I sold nothing but hair accessories.  I did well and look forward to returning next month where the show will run in conjunction with "Chili With the Works," a great Pittsburgh chili cookoff.

My husband was kind enough to be my company and my helper/sales associate.  I also had some visitors (thanks, girls!).  Ivy joined us later in the day when her grandparents brought her down.  Here are a few photos I took:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cancer Sucks!

My Dad, Tony, is a silly guy.  He likes to play blues and write goofy songs. He's a 65-year-old retired airline mechanic and he's literally a mechanical and construction genius.  I get my creativity from both parents.  The vision and aesthetic talent comes from my mom, but I get my keen sense of how things work and my  "making" skills from my Dad.   Whenever I grab a beer and cloister myself in my studio, it always reminds me of my Dad and his garage. 

A couple of months ago, he started having these weird episodes where he would lose his voice.  And he had a cough with no medical explanation like bronchitis or pneumonia.  Finally, he was diagnosed with Metastatic Thymic Carcinoma, a very aggressive tumor of the Thymus gland.   This cancer is so rare that they have no research or true frame of reference.  They do know that it is incurable.  It will really be a matter of keeping a watch on it.  And he will never get his voice back.  The tumor has pressed on his vocal chords and permanently paralyzed part of them.  He joked, "There goes my singing career."  That's my Dad.  Always goofing.

He had his first chemo treatment this past Wednesday.  My heart is breaking for him.  No one that is so hard-working and energetic should have to go through this.  I pray that it will be very successful and that he will have a long and healthy time before he has to revisit this nightmare.  

My reason for writing this post is that I want to help my parents out with the cost.  My Mom, Patty, owns and operates a beautiful tearoom.  She is just starting to bring in real money, so banks will not refinance her building yet.  That's a bummer because she knows that consolidating will greatly help their finances.  We all know that bank regulations are stringent and that the struggling economy has tightened everyone's purse strings.  We've been throwing around some ideas.  The customers at AntiquiTea know my Dad well.  He was a big part of the rennovations to the West View location.

Anyways, I'm looking for ideas on how to do a fundraiser that incorporates mine and my Mom's businesses.  Any suggestions and ideas would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks, as always, for reading.  Here is a photo taken last summer. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Well, It's Spring!

The calendar says, "Spring", but the weather says, "Not yet!"

Here are a few of my items that may help you to think warm, Springy thoughts.  Click on the caption to view each item in my shops. 

A fun tea infuser to brew your favorite Spring tea!
Fabric Flower Clip
Hand-Embellished Gift Box
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Stinkbug Madness

Who isn't sick of stinkbugs?  They're part of my life now, and I'm used to them, but it would be nice if there weren't 37576238500 of them in my house.  Maybe I'm exaggerating.  Maybe I'm not.  Lol.  I don't want to know what lies behind these walls.  When this epidemic started, I was afraid of them.  I'm a big wuss when it comes to bugs.  I think I owe them something for helping to cure my phobia.  I supposed exposure really is good  therapy. 

There's one above my head on the ceiling right now.  It's so funny because I smelled him (or her) right as I was doing an Etsy search for stinkbug things.  I have no idea what made me decide to do that.  It just popped into my head earlier today.

Weird, huh?

Here are some interesting things I found:
View it on Etsy!
View this item on Etsy


Friday, March 18, 2011

I Want This #2 - Exquisitry

Here are some of the most amazing and high-end pieces of art I have added to my favorites on Etsy.  The amount of work involved in these pieces is jaw-dropping. 

The first one has got to be my favorite thing in the whole wide world of Etsy.  The description, which I like to read over and over, blows my mind!  Worth every penny...if I had that many pennies.  :-)

Next I have an incredible coat made from recycled sweaters.  As you will see, every one in her shop is reserved.  Special orders, only...because they're that amazing!

Add caption

Finally, here is a scarf unlike any I have ever seen!

Click here to view it on Etsy!

Thanks for reading.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I Made It! Market

I'm so pleased to report that I will be a vendor at the next big I Made It! Market at the South Side Works here in Pittsburgh.  This will be my second time appearing at one of their markets.   The show is on April 16th from 12-5.  I can't wait.  I did very well with my hair accessories and flower clips last time, so I am very glad that I have been recently focusing on that type of thing.  I have several projects in the works and this gives me an excuse to finish them all up.  Sometimes, I need that fire lit.  I also just sent an application for their two-day event in July.  I will be so proud if I get in because I used to look at the application and think there was no WAY I was good enough to show there. 

I made another trip to the new Michael's.  I'm such a flower fiend.  I loaded up on enough supplies to make at least 50 more clips for the show.  I've already sold bunches (pun very intended) to my girls at work, so I feel great about the Spring 2011 Fresh Flower collection. 

Ok, time to clean.  *blech*

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Greatest Creation

I had the day off today.  Too many of my days off are spent on cruddy housework and such.  I promised Ivy that today we would get out and do something together.  I picked her up from school and we went to the Aviary.  My husband talked me into getting a membership a while back.  I am so glad he did!  It's such a lovely place to visit.  I love birds and wildlife so it is so extraordinary to get up close and personal with the Avian kind.  Each species is an inspiration in color!  It's a great place for kids and it's not so big that we have to use up a whole day there.   Ivy knows the place inside and out by now thanks to all of our visits.  Today she spent 15 minutes examining a bird that was almost as tall as her.  It let her get very close.  She was fascinated and so was I.  Haha.  

After that, we went to visit "Mum Mum Patty" at the Tearoom.  I can't think of anything I enjoy more than having lunch with Ivy there.  She's so well-behaved for a 4-year-old.  I am not just saying that because I'm her mom, I swear!!!

Here are a couple of photos and a video of our adventures:

Thanks for reading! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

In The Mouth of Madness...

It has begun...

The Spring 2011 "Fresh Flower" collection is currently under construction.  I had been holding off due to a severe lack of spare time.   But you know I will always make time for a custom order.  So when my co-worker, Brittany, a Fresh Flower addict, said she wanted one to wear for St. Patty's Day, the proverbial ball started to roll.

As a side note, I used her wishes as an excuse to visit the new Michael's in Settler's Ridge.  I could get into some serious trouble there, I tell ya...but I digress.  I did find some fun green goodies and managed to whip up several for her to choose from.

As I was making those, my hands just started reaching for other things and, before I knew it, I was knee-deep in flower parts.  As I have mentioned before, this girl loses all track of time once this process begins.  My husband was at the gym and my daughter was with her Grandparents...I was all alone with my flowers. 

Have a look into my madness...and my bliss...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Fresh Flowers for Sale

I can spend hours tearing apart and reconstructing flowers and just lose all track of time.  It's very therapeutic.   I made and sold a countless number of them in 2010 and it's time to clean out the ones I have left in my collection.  This way, I can get to work on some new ones for 2011.  I went on a flower buying spree last week and I'm itching to start building.

Please have a visit to my Artfire Studio to take advantage of these ridiculously low prices. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I Want This! #2 - Mardi Gras 2011

As Mardi Gras approaches, I have been scoping out goodies from some of my favorite Etsy sellers.  Here are a few of my favorites...

The first one is a pendant by Bee Tree by M.E.  I love her work.  Be sure to look around her store for more amazing clay work.

Click here to view it on Etsy!

The second item is from a lovely lady whom I met at the Oddmall.  I own one of her adorable "Knuckle Biters."  These "Wibbly Woos" are so cute!  Be sure to read her amazing descriptions.   They're very creative and entertaining.

Click here to view them on Etsy!

And the final item is simply exquisite!  I love all of the masks from Merimask, but this is probably my favorite:

Click here to view this mask on Etsy!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fresh From Freshwater Designs

Hey all!  I'm just checking in to share two new listings I posted today.

I have had these incredible, handmade polymer pillows for years.  YEARS!  I don't know what took so long to use them.  I have looked at them virtually every time I've been in my workroom.  I just love how they go with the gunmetal chain and components.  They've finally found their home.  And the best part is that I have more!

The earrings below were a must for this beautiful day.  I enjoyed a walk with my little girl today and I was thinking about these great bee beads that I had received in a Christmas bead exchange. 



Thursday, February 10, 2011

Soft-Spoken, not Sugar-Coated

Life has been a little harsh and ugly for me lately.  And I have been anything but soft-spoken.  I think that's why I've been making such delicate, beautiful things.  It's no secret that making jewelry has always been my therapy.  I've really needed some beauty to balance the crud that's been recently filling my reality.  Sometimes I will look at the things I make and take great solace in the fact that my spirit has enough beauty in it to create something like this bracelet.

I have a boring little reason for wanting to make something in this color scheme.  A folder.  Yes, a folder.  I used to carry paperwork around in a folder that had these exact colors in a  fancy little pattern all over it.  I always thought, " I really need to make a bracelet in these tones."  It finally happened because I never forget things.  


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I Want This! #1

 This is the first of my "I Want This" posts.  I thought it would be appropriate to begin with a seller whom I already know to be top-notch!

Meow Kiki Clothing is the name of a handmade clothing company run by a very young and very talented entrepreneur named Heather Cummings.  I have 5 of her incredible items already.  And if money wasn't so tight these days, I would be buying this in a heartbeat!  My sister-in-law made a skirt from the same fabric once and I have always loved it.  When I saw this dress, my eyes popped out of my head for a second.  The harness is a separate piece that I am also coveting.


And here is a photo of one of my already purchased items.  I wear these pants often.  

Friday, February 4, 2011

AntiquiTea is My Home

I have officially taken over the display case at AntiquiTea Tearoom and Gift Shop ( I swear it wasn't a hostile takeover!

I spent a couple of hours setting up my display after having lunch with Ivy, my sweet baby girl. She's only 4 but she is such an "old soul." The two of us often go there and visit my Mom, the proprietor of AntiquiTea. Or, as Ivy calls her, "Mum Mum Patty."

I am happy knowing that my things are on display in such a beautiful place. I took some pictures there today...but forgot to take any of my display. Haha. Next time. Meanwhile, here are a couple of shots of Mom's gorgeous Valentine's decor.
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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Featured Seller #1 - Fizzyclaret

Welcome to my first featured seller post!  I come across amazing talent and many kind folks in my internet travels.  I feel it's high time I started focusing on them.  I am gaga for polymer clay creations, so my first of these will focus on a new friend with a flair for working with this tricky medium.

My very first featured artist is the lovely Caroline of Nuneaton, UK.  Her Etsy shop is:
Fizzyclaret: One of a Kind Miniature and Unusual Art Items

The story begins with my endless search for polymer clay roses.  When I came across Caroline's work, I was blown away.  In a hurry, with no time to explore her Etsy shop, I sent her a message to ask if she did custom orders.  Her reply was fast and extremely friendly.  It was that warm reply that made me even more eager to check out her other items.  I bought these beauties about 10 minutes ago:

Aren't they precious?  I also purchased one other item from her.  I am not going to post it here because it's a gift and I know the recipient will be reading.  That's no problem since there are plenty of other incredible items for me to show you.  Here are some of my favorites:

Miniature Bird on a Teapot

Heart Full of Roses Pendant
Tribal Warrior Golden Horse Pendant

I will be doing a follow up post about Caroline when I receive my items!  In the meantime, I hope you will visit her shop and check out all the beautiful things available there. 

Thanks for reading.  :-]

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Spider's Lullaby

Ok so Valentine's Day is coming up.  Naturally, I made a creepy, Halloween-style bracelet.  Naturally.  It's what I do. 

It's not all that creepy.  It's actually kind of pretty. 


Tuesday, January 25, 2011


As is the latest from me:

I was very pleased at how true the colors turned out.  I usually have a heck of a time with purples and blues.  I am by no means a photographer.  

Monday, January 24, 2011

Shot in the Arm

I'm starting to feel really confident about my fabric flowers.  Over the last couple of days, I sold the two beauties you will see below.  The best part about it is that now I can feel extra-great about making more!  I do truly think I'm addicted to making them.  I never realized how much fabric and beads have in common.  I already have an insatiable love for beads...the colors, the shapes, the textures, the AWESOME!  And now that I've learned to sew (minimally speaking), I can see that fabric is going to be another obsession.  Going to be?  Make that already is.

Oh, and I still owe you some pictures of that purple, as-yet-unnamed bracelet.  I think I might have the house to myself tonight, so I will be working on that!  Yay!

Circuit Fabric Flower Headband
Charming Fabric Rose Clip with Vintage Button

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I had a bittersweet sale last night.  Sweet because it was a SALE and bitter because, after modeling it at I Made It!, I had debated keeping it for myself.  But I always say that.  :-p

The purchaser said,   "I don't even know what to say about this bacelet.  It's just so me. I can't wait to wear it!"   I really appreciate when customers take the time to write a little note.  When I create something, it is an extension of me.  To know that one of my pieces can bring joy to another is what makes it all worthwhile. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Down with work!

I'm just trying out this Blogger app on my phone. Let's see...I'm sitting at the costume store that I manage, wondering if I will have any more customers. It snowed about 6 inches last night. I'm sure there is no great demand for costumes on a day like this. I did, however, sell some lingerie (we sell that, too) to one brave customer.

I was home yesterday and I managed to work up a killer bracelet. I keep thinking about it. It's purple. Mmmm... I love purple. I daydream about taking pictures to share with you. I think I will do that tomorrow. Maybe it will happen sooner. Maybe.

For now, I watch the door. With a little luck, someone will show up with the need for hundreds of dollars worth of wigs. It could happen.
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