Thursday, November 29, 2007

Etsy Artisan JenniB on Martha Stewart!

Doesn't this look YUMMY??? Too bad! It'd give you a major tummy-ache AND end up with a trip to the dentist!

This is a terrific example of "faux food"!

Etsy artisan JenniBOriginals will be on Martha Stewart on Friday, December 7th, teaching Martha Stewart how to make faux holiday treats. JenniB specializes in creating lovely faux food delicacies, among other things.

Faux food is very popular among restaurateurs and food vendors, since the display stays looking "good enough to eat" and is an "appetizing" display! "Faux" is French for "articial" (fake, in other words).

The faux holiday treats make great presents, holiday displays for your home or office and even tree ornaments!

Etsy is an online market specializing in handmade items, usually sold by the artisan who created them, or sometimes a small group of them. There is an incredible variety of items including clothes, original artwork, jewelry, health and beauty aids, toys, buttons with sayings, magnets, stationary, glasswork, furniture and oh-so-many more items! Since all of these are handmade by individuals, purchasers are giving the gift of someone's time and creative energy, instead of mass-produced items that benefit a faceless corporation. That's what the "Buy Handmade Pledge" is all about - more on THAT another time (but I took it).

Anyway, don't forget to check out JenniB's segment on Martha Stewart on FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7th. Holiday treats like these are truly a TREAT!

Monday, November 26, 2007

It's All About Art for Indigo Luna!

This mixed-media Mermaid Gourd is one of Indigo Luna's latest (and loveliest) creations! It, and many other lovely creations can be found in the online artisan venue, Etsy, exclusively for HANDMADE items of all types.

Rachel Kitterman, AKA “Indigo Luna”, self-defined art addict. Rachel’s primary passion is fabric; she has been making art quilts and dolls for over a decade now. Rachel’s Etsy shop is full of an incredibly eclectic collection of art in so many varied forms that it’s impossible to put a single label on it: paper, altered art, mixed-media, knitting, crocheting, jewelry, artist books, photography. As Rachel says, ”Pretty much, if it will hold still, I'll make art out of it!”

Indigo Luna creates whimsical self-ejecting Moo card holders, mini-artists' books for great ideas, mixed media ornamental post cards and so many more items, from incredible to incredibly cute.

Among the many hats she wears (and those she makes, like the autumn scarf shown here), Rachel is a sign language interpreter, an energy worker, a minister, a blogger, a wife to a wonderful and creative man, and a mother to two wild and amazing little girls. All of these roles combine to shape her art and artistic vision.

Rachel’s hand-drawn and hand-colored mandalas are truly beautiful, both as art and meditative focuses. She creates mandalas in various themes – whatever strikes the right chord at the right time. The wonderful thing is how wonderfully the shape, lines and colors combine to speak the theme.
“When I create mandalas, I enter a meditative state. The lines and colors just seem to flow out of me.”
The word “mandala” comes from Sanskrit and means “sacred circle”. The circle symbolizes the womb of creation. It is an artistic representation of the cosmos and a focus for meditation. Indigo Luna's mandalas are beautiful to look at, no matter what spiritual path you follow! Shown above is an Autumn Earth Mandala Wall Hanging that Indigo Luna created for a challenge for the EarthPath Artisan Street Team on Etsy.

Rachel is a 5th generation Oregonian who has traveled in the United States, but cannot conceive of wanting to live anywhere but in her lush and verdant home state, where she studied plants and gathered mushrooms as a child.

Rachel’s work has appeared:
2005 Quilting Arts Calender (cover)
Artella Magazine
Art/Quilt Magazine
Fiberarts Design Book 6
Many juried shows

Indigo Luna's blog is a great place to track her latest wonderful creations and exploits!

Friday, November 23, 2007

High Marks for Earmark Invitations!

Looking for "different" holiday cards? Take a look at Earmark Invitations' Rudolph card! The recipient will be GLOWING when they see Rudolph's nose!

Earmark has a wide variety of greeting cards (individual and sets), invitations, terrific magnets (individual and sets), cool and cute theme pencils, journals and banners (graphics designed for Etsy shops).

Far from being the “average” stationary shop, they even have a “contempt” series of cards, with “cutting” remarks (remember how much PAPER CUTS hurt!)

I love the very inspiring "Adventure" magnets, with quotes by Mark Twain, Belloc and more. You can get individual magnets or a set of 6. My favorite is the quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson:
"Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and make a trail."

There's even an environmentally friendly and attractive series starting, with soy ink and recycled paper!

Earmark Invitations is a proud member of Etsy’s online handmade artisan community since August 2007, but have been creating charming and varied stationary items for a good bit longer.

Earmark does custom work and has a separate listing for custom printing on your purchased cards. This can be especially terrific for special events like birthdays, retirements, anniversaries and (of course) the holidays! Former customers have praised Bridgette and Mike for their speedy and accurate service with custom work.

Bridgette and Mike ARE Earmark, located in San Diego, CA, USA. They do (and love!) custom work and will cheerfully bend over backwards to provide excellent service, as the comments from their customers show!

If you live in or are visiting San Diego, you can find Earmark Invitations at the OB Farmer's Market, every Wednesday from 4-8 PM in Ocean Beach.

You can also find their products at Cyd's Gourmet Café (Peoria, Illinois) and soon at My My, (Hatboro, Pennsylvania)

Online at:

If you are interested in carrying their lines of greetings, stationery or invitations, contact them via their shop on etsy or email

Friday, November 16, 2007

The charms of earthcharms!

earthcharms is an artisan on Etsy who works with gems and macrame to make lovely and intriguing jewelry and accessories. Other blogs have shown the infamous “Wench’s Choker” (which I like a lot) and perhaps even the “Polarity Choker”. Not many have shown the “Zombie’s (censored)” or “Give Me Back My Aaaarrmmms” earrings.

earthcharms’ profile says far more about her than I EVER could! This is a MUST-READ profile. The quick and dirty is that earthcharms is an artisan who has a shop on the Etsy online artisan marketplace.

earthcharms' humor and style are irrepressible and entertaining and her soul is “owned by a thieving cat,” among other things. Her jewelry is similarly unique, with a distinct style and charm. Virtually all of earthcharms’ pieces are assembled with a desire to be both attractive and helpful – or, in some cases, flat-out hilarious!

Among the pieces in this oh-so-entertaining artisan’s shop are jewelry and accessory sets, geared toward helping the purchaser achieve an end: the “Health” and “Studious” assortments. I love these sets!! Each contains a choker, earrings, charm, pocket stone and tealight. Jewelry whose stones’ metaphysical qualities enhance an ability or achieve a state, along with candles and pocket stones for the same purpose!

I particularly like earth's earrings - well wrapped wire, with wonderful and different stones, all intended to enhance the wearer's state of being. Great wrapping and great stones, all combining to become lovely, earthy and feminine earrings.

earthcharms’ identity is as firmly rooted in her sense of self as the element she admires most: Earth. Most people, thinking of Earth, think of it as being rigid and inflexible. Far from it! The Earth and all on it are constantly changing: islands being “born” in the sea, mountains and beaches getting smaller, grain by grain. This, too, is one of this artisan’s truths: “No story ever ends”, she says.

Other places to keep up with earthcharms' creations and exploits would be her blog and website.
She is also a member of some web communities:
etsylove (ning)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Giftbearer's Many Gifts

Pippit Carlington (AKA Giftbearer on Etsy) has been creating …everything… ever since she was 2 years old. At age 5 she was composing songs on the piano and teaching herself to play by ear. From there, the world was waiting! Now she is a skilled jewelry artist of 23 years, with a shop online on Etsy and displays her work in many other venues.

“Seeing something made from nothing into a beautiful object has always been a gratifying experience to me, so I keep doing it and trying to top the last thing I made.”

Giftbearer, as Pippit is known on Etsy, has very detailed work with an wide range of styles, no doubt rooted in her diverse heritage. There is a very unique flavor to her lovely jewelry, as you can see.

"A Hint of Something Deeper" is one of Ms. Carlington's personal favorites, due to its complexity and details. This piece seems to have a Polynesian flavor.

"Medicine Man" and "Many Muses" both display definite Native American influence.

She is an incredibly prolific and productive self-starter, as her professional and artistic resume shows. Formal training includes Callenwolde Center for the Arts, The Atlanta College of Art, and Atlanta Jeweler's School and Studios.

Ms. Carlington has exhibited in many showcases, exhibits and galleries, and has been featured in many shops. For a complete list of this incredibly energetic artist, check out Giftbearer's profile on Etsy.

Pippit works in several mediums including acrylics, watercolor, drawing, clay sculpture, and jewelry. She is in the process of teaching herself more elaborate wire wrapping, metal stamping, and additional bead weaving stitches and is also exploring further into PMC (precious metal clay). She also hopes to
learn Chainmaille and would one day love to go to an artist retreat to take some intensive classes in more advanced metal fabrication.

A multicultural influence is evident in her work, reflecting a widely diverse heritage including Iroquois Indian, Hawaiian, Russian Jewish, and French Canadian. She is strongly influenced by nature, political and social issues, and uses her art to educate the public.

“The sense of community in our country is not what it used to be … people must pull together to make good things happen.”

Pippit is also a very caring person, who “puts her money where her mouth is.”

She has mentored artists with mental illness in a psychosocial rehabilitation program she developed called Artvision, which she operated out of her home on a shoestring budget. The project was fully self-supporting, receiving no government funding. Artists in the program received help and guidance in learning all aspects of how to run an art-based business. This prepared them to earn money using a talent they already have.

Many other volunteer efforts benefited from Ms. Carlington’s generosity of spirit, as well, including online support and treatment information line for persons with autoimmune disorders and Hurricane Katrina survivors.

Most recently, Pippit has initiated an innovative new marketing plan among artists on Etsy called the “90 Features in 90 Days Challenge”. If you are an Etsy seller who would like to increase your sales, learn more about the 90 Day Blog Challenge, check out the thread and sign up HERE! Some sellers whose sales were previously stagnant have already reported sudden sales after 28 days with 54 participants! (I have noted increased activity)

Other Online Sites for Ms. Carlington (Giftbearer)'s work:

Mindt (items available in this store soon)

GiftBearer’s Blogs (including features on Etsy artists)

Giftbearer's Flickr Profile and Photostream:

The Art Jewelry Collective Street Team Blogs:

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Have Fun AND Feed Someone!

This is GRATE...err...GREAT!

Are you good with words?

Do you like games?

Click HERE to get to a site where all those qualities can help you feed hungry people!

No strings - just answer the questions. No private information, no registration or anything. Click on the answer you believe to be correct and you'll either get another question (and see the rice bowl on the side start filling) or get the correct answer. Click again to get another question.

How much easier can it be? Set a goal for yourself - I'm going to try for 300-500 grains of rice per day. That's maybe 5-10 minutes a day of entertainment AND helping the needy!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

BerryPatchDesigns Goes into the Shadow...

SILVERSHADOW, that is! I've found that another online seller (in another venue, which shall remain nameless.../coughs *Bay!) has the same name and sells - among other things, "handmade jewelry".

Rather than cause confusion for either shop's customers and prospective customers, I've decided to change my primary shop's name from BERRYPATCHDESIGNS to SILVERSHADOW DESIGNS. Silver, because I love silver's clean lines so much, and Shadow because shadows are simply places where the light is textured (not non-existent). And I LOVE textures! And the play of colors!

So there will be a period of transition while the listings are moved, but that will NOT negatively affect ANY PART of my customer service! Whether that service is answering questions or completing a custom piece or shipping an ordered item.

Just think of all the LINKS you can click!

Check out UNDERCURRENT BodyWear for a different style of "hot" accessories!

Eclectic Figments: SuperMom and Artisan!

Figments…err…Eclectic Miscellany…errr…Kathleen (!) is a working mother who loves to create unique pieces of jewelry in what little spare time she has, selling them online in a venue for handmade arts and crafts called Etsy, which has been in the news lately.

Kathleen is a “mild-mannered” (?) software support consultant who sheds her disguise in the evening to become: SuperArtisanMom! She is a mother, wife, cook, housekeeper, crafter, scrapbook creatrix and more! She also loves to travel, read and go to the movies.

Kathleen grew up in a house full of books and handcrafted objects. Both parents were very creative: her mother painted, sewed, did silversmithing, read, did needlework and was a children's librarian; her father taught theatre and acted in and directed shows. Not surprisingly, all the pixie dust flying around settled on Kathleen:

I love to create fun, wearable pieces of art and these Figments are the result.

This is Spirit of Fire, one of Kathleen's elemental based pieces.

Another is Pele, part of her wonderful Myth Cycle group. The central piece is a fiery lampwork bead and the entire piece is divine!

There are many members of the Myth Cycle group and some that are distantly related, like the Thunderbird, out of Native American spiritual beliefs.

For the Cure is a necklace for breast cancer awareness. The proceeds from the sale of this piece go towards the treatment of and search for a cure for breast cancer.

Kathleen is also an active Etsian and is a member of multiple Street Teams:

The INCrowd, a group of Etsy artisans located in Indiana. Enter "incrowd" in your Etsy search to find them.

EarthPath Artisans Street Team (EAST). A group of people who walk similar alternative spiritual paths, focusing on beliefs in the world of Nature. Enter “EAST” in your search to find EAST members!

etsyBEAD street team, Etsians who create beads or beaded jewelry.

Tranquil Beading Oasis (TBO), a group of jewelry and bead artisans. Enter “TBO” on etsy to find the creations of these many talented artists.

Since we are both member of EAST, one of Etsy's Street Teams (Yay, EAST!), I had often seen Kathleen's lovely jewelry in our forum discussions, admired her range of styles and wondered what sparks her inventive fires. Here are her answers to some of my nosy questions:

Q: If you had to pick ONE piece of art or book that continually inspires you, what would it be? And why?
A: Inspiration....hmmmmm....probably a small watercolor that my brother did MANY years ago called "Paradise Lost". Eve has pulled the apple from the tree (a sparse tree, no leaves, just a trunk and one branch) and the tree and apple are bleeding. She has her hand to her cheek as if to say "Oh no, what have I done?". Adam is slumped against the base of the trunk like a rag doll. It is very simple yet says so much....

Q: One movie that is your absolute, bottom line favorite - and why?
A: Movie...I don't think I can name just one...I love "While You Were Sleeping" but "Stranger Than Fiction" ranks right up there and I can't leave the original "Pirates of the Caribbean" out of the running either.

Q: Favorite element and why?
A: Element - Air - it is all around us, within us, cushioning an protecting us, sustaining us and giving us life.

Q: What do you hope to learn to do in the next year (2008) that you do not know how to do now?
A: In the next year I would like to learn lots of things....make lampwork beads, work with stained glass, make anything pottery related. WILL I get to any of these? I don't know. The local center for the arts has pottery classes and I may try to take one in the spring, if I can find the time! Between working full time, being a mother and wife, doing housework, spending time online, making my jewelry, doing shows and working with other local craftspeople to promote our crafts and handmade items in general I don't get much free time!!!!

You would need to check out Kathleen's Etsy shops, Figments and Eclectic Miscellany, to truly appreciate her range and depth of inspiration. Do so, at once. You WON'T be sorry!

And don't forget to BUY HANDMADE! These are gifts that show the recipient that you cared enough to give more than money; you care enough to make sure they have something different. Many handmade items are unique or very limited editions!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Celtic Rover in the DownUnder!

NerysPurchon of Etsy skillfully crafts lovely and unique bags and lives a unique (and enviable) life, living a roving lifestyle in their 29’ Caravan:
“…being a Celt, I am nomadic by nature. After my 5 children were grown, my husband and I decided that life in a house was too static. We have been living on the road with our two little dogs for many, many years now. Our way of life means that we can be on a beach, in a forest or a desert as the mood takes us. We can stay for a short while or a long time...if neighbours become troublesome, you simply start the engine and move on!”
Don’t we ALL wish we could do that, sometimes? Fortunately, their Caravan has 58 compartments, most of which are filled with supplies for Nerys’ wonderful fiber art creations. They stay connected to the Internet while on the road with a pretty hefty 3G fast broadband connection. Home base is Perth.
One of Nerys’ creations that caught my attention was her “Tribble” bag (The Tribble), made from soft, rich brown Merino wool , with lots of great add-ins: lovely dichroic glass bead, magnetic catch, Scotch-guarding for stain protection, zipped inner pockets for small items, durable but attractive inner lining, a key catch for easy access to your keys and a charming lavender scented herbal packet.
Another charming and versatile bag is the
Little Darling, which is knitted from 100% wool and then felted, creating a lovely and long-lasting accessory, whose colors will go with many outfits and seasons. The strap is long enough for hand or shoulder, there is a beautiful purple bead accent and lavender scented herbal sachet. The “Little Darling” is also Scotch-guarded for stain resistance.

Possibly one of Nerys’ most interesting creations is the Sari Bag, made of yarn from recycled sari silk.
Besides being utterly lovely, with LOTS of goodies: dichroic beads on front and back,a colorful beaded dragonfly, beautiful colors, a separate but included cell phone/iPod pouch, magnetic closure, zippered pocket, satin lining and convenient key catch. The frame will keep the bag’s shape and the material is Scotch-guarded for protection. There is , of course, the lavender herbal organza pouch from the herbalist’s grand-daughter J
The bag description points out how unique this bag is and that, like the Hill Tribes silver and African Kazuri beads, this yarn aids women trying to help themselves:
“Recycled sari silk is the most unique yarn. Silk thrums from India's weaving mills are handspun by women's cooperatives and cottage industries into gleaming, richly coloured silk skeins. Each recycled silk skein is handspun creating natural inconsistencies and a rather scrappy nature; to make any project, no matter how simple in design, instantly charming and unique. No two skeins of this yarn are the same, so every product made from this is one of its kind”
Recycled sari yarn purchases support women's development groups in Nepal and provides additional income to support their families.
Originally from North Wales, Nerys and her husband came to Australia in 1969 and bought a run down little farm of 16 acres. Through months and years of toil, they created a herb farm and a business creating cruelty-free, natural skin and hair care products.
Later, drawing on a lifetime of knowledge about herbs and their uses, literally learned at her grandmother’s knee (her grandmother was the valley herbalist and healer), Nerys began writing about herbs and essential oils, natural healing and a couple on food.
After several years, Nerys got sick of deadlines and wrote 3 e-books on herbs and natural healing (all of which are for sale in her shop.)

"Mummy Boo", intended as a fabric hug-fest for children with stress or anxiety, is scented with lavender oil, this relieves stress and aids sleep. MummyBoo also has an incredibly sweet card from Mummy to the child, and a basket of Guatemalan "worry dolls".

Besides the lovely bags that I’ve mentioned above, Nerys’ shop contains lovely, rich colored and textured scarves and cell phone/IPod pouches she’s made, with terrific textures, as well as charming stitch markers and Nerys’ e-books. And, coming soon, a small range of essential oil blends for Lovers, Stress, Headaches and a few more, some using convenient roll-on applicators!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Happy Friday, all! - Friday, November 2, 2007

Question for the Day: Do you LIVE or EXIST? AND do you know the difference?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

What Color Crayon Are YOU?

You Are a Yellow Crayon

Your world is colored with happy, warm, fun colors.

You have a thoughtful and wise way about you. Some people might even consider you a genius.

Charming and eloquent, you are able to get people to do things your way.

While you seem spontaneous and free wheeling, you are calculating to the extreme.

Your color wheel opposite is purple. You both are charismatic leaders, but purple people act like you have no depth.