Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Sunflower for She Who Waits

I used to think that roses were my favorite flower. My mini lawn paradise might bring you to that conclusion - I have planted nearly 2 dozen rose bushes in my front yard, with about 14 different cultivars. I do so adore the color and the smell of these princesses of the garden.

 (Torin 2009)

But this year, I've noticed an odd habit in my seed purchases. As a serious lover of the green, I have a large order of veggie and herb seeds coming my way in the next few days. Among the various usual and unusual suspects, I have four different cultivars of sunflowers. Add to them the half dozen packets I've picked up here and there during the winter blahs, and I'd say I have a serious sunflower addiction.

While roses are usually perennials, they require an obscene amount of care and attention. Sunflowers, though annuals, are ridiculously easy to take care of. Stick the seed in the ground, watch it grow. Stake it if necessary. Toss in a few climbers like morning glories or nasturtium, and prepare to be stunned by nature's petaled magnificence. Simple garden magic.

At any rate, I was thinking about where to plant what will end up being hundreds of sunflower seeds, and about the Sunflower River Blues Festival in Mississippi I'm thinking of attending in August, I strung myself a simple but powerful necklace, with lots of black glass and yellow crystal. The pendant is by noneoftheabove on Etsy. I also pulled some marigold Swarovski rhondelles out of my stash for matching earrings.

I call the set "A Sunflower for She Who Waits".

Yep, that's me.

Sunflower dreaming while seed packets with marvelous tiny magic within wing their merry way to me... :D

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hello, beautiful weekened!

Wow has it been a long, long week. I’m so glad it’s Saturday. I’m at the kitchen table watching Torin’s dragons duke it out, wondering if I’m the only one who thinks that Caillou’s laugh is the most annoying thing on earth. (Well, besides Diego’s tendency to end every.frickin.sentence with an exclamation. Look at Baby JAGUAR!!! Let’s open the RESCUE PACK!!! Watch Mama pull her HAIR OUT!!!)

Yeesh. The things we put up with for kids.

But I have lots of things to share today! First, the unexpected lovely gift of a netted scarf from artisan Rita Bartholomew of Knots Indeed (blog) (website).  I signed up for her Craft it Forward project about a year ago. 

Lookee what I got!!!

It’s deliciously soft and fluid.

In case you were wondering, Torin is more interested in showing off his newly lost tooth than the scarf, but you get the idea!  (If you want to see some of my Craft-it-Forward projects for others, check my Flickr page.)

Next, a new listing! I wove this bracelet on my loom yesterday after spending some time plotting spring adventures on Kent Trails. I was in the middle of another project, but you know what it’s like when inspiration hits.

Finally, wanna see what I’m up to, and hope to finish today? It’s a pattern by Carol Dean Sharpe called “Scrolls”, available on Etsy. CD’s version looks lovely and classy, but I was in a bad mood and wanted stark and cheery and bubblegum happy. So, I went with bright green and bright pink.

It makes me happy just looking at it!

I’m just under 2/3 of the way done, so I might get it done by the end of the day. I’m just gonna put Modest Mouse on repeat and ignore the occasional furious screams of Quinn and Torin. *evil laugh*

In other news, I got my tax return money yesterday! w00t! I’m going to make an excursion to my local bead store, BeadQuest, today to blow some on metalsmithing tools . I’m thinking a torch, some stamps, a saw, and some sheet metal. Sooo exciting!

Happy weekend! :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Some of My Favorite Jewlery Makers

I love Etsy.

I know a lot of people have issues with Etsy, but I fundamentally see it as a place to set up shop - and that's about it. I think that all your relationship cultivation (which is what really leads to sales) happens elsewhere, such as through Facebook, Twitter, blogs, stalls at local markets, and wearing your jewelry where people ask about it.

Through social media, I have come to know some wonderful, amazingly talented people, and have since become patrons of their Etsy shops. These women have inspired me, their friendships get me through cold days, and their jewelry brings me much needed beauty in the midst of long, colorless winters.

Carol Dean Sharpe of Sand Fibers is a continual source of inspiration for me. She is the first Etsian I really got to know, and I love following her tales of her 3 dogs and warm New Mexico life next to a Pecan Orchard. She is always kind and has a wonderful, thankful spirit. My favorite Sand Fibers pieces I'm lucky enough to own:

Kristie Roeder of ArtisanClay is another of my favorites. Her unique and absolutely magical beads, cabochons, and other art pieces are stunning, and really match her lighthearted, beautiful personality. Hers are probably my favorite beads to use. (If you want to see pieces I've made using ArtisanClay pieces, you can check out my Flickr page or my shop.) I also own a necklace by her that I love:

Finally, Jennifer Ledford of Tocadora Leather is another amazing artist whose work I consider my personal crack. It was hard to choose just a handful of the ten (yes, 10!) cuffs of hers I own. She is a musical wonderwoman.

Check out their shops. You won't be disappointed:)

Monday, February 1, 2010

We have a winner!!!!

I shut down comments at 12:35 (cause I'm forgetful, lol!). Then I headed over the the name my social media peeps seem to prefer for getting winners by having the magic thingy pick a number between 1 and 28. The result?

That's right, the lucky lady happens to be the clay artist who I bought the pendant from!!! Congratulations Kristie!!! You can see some of her work over at http://artisanclay.etsy.com .

In the meantime, while I was running the give-away, I got my first sale! *squeeeee* More on the details later, because I think a first sale is blog worthy:D

To all of those who didn't get lucky this time, no worries:) I love giving stuff away, so I'll have another give-away soon. Thank you so much for participating; 28 comments for my first try is pretty respectable!