Friday, February 29, 2008

Curioussundries is here!


Hooray! 

We are happy to announce the grand opening of our companion shop, 

There you'll find unique and "curious" items and supplies. We're having so much fun putting our new shop together and filling it with sundries!

Please visit soon; we'd love to have you! 

Sarah and Carol :-)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Featured Artist: ContasBrasil and ContasCoeln


Bebê de Soares and Suzy Wortberg are the talented artists of ContasBrasil and ContasCoeln.
Their work is very unique, charming, and beautiful. Both artists are from Brazil--artists after my own heart. ;-)

The design and spiritof this piece remind me of where I lived in Salvador, Brazil.





Here is more of her fabulous handbag collection:

In addition to purses, ContasBrasil's jewelry designs truly stand out for their originality.
I love this necklace, from her current Etsy collection :
It combines pearls with Swarovski crystals and is just gorgeous.
See more of their portfolio at http://www.contasbrasil.de/productPage_2008.html.
They welcome you to visit their Etsy shops, ContasBrasil and ContasCoeln. Stop by and say "Oi"--hello!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Be sure to visit the pandas...

.... at the San Diego Zoo! 

We love the Panda Cam--it shows the pandas throughout the day, doing what they do best (eating bamboo all day to survive, and napping, of course):


We love you, Bai Yun, Gao Gao, Su Lin, and baby Zhen Zhen! 

Soon (I promise) we will post our photos from our recent trip to San Diego.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Featured Artist: Aoisart Foodcraft!




Aoisart is one of my favorite, favorite Etsy shops of all time.
Kia's miniatures are so sweet and scrumptious, they look good enough to eat! I love how she shows the side of the cake slices. In miniatures, it is absolutely the details that make the art--and the creator of Aoisart doesn't cut any corners!
And all of her original foodcraft designs are made from scratch. Isn't that awesome? Not surprisingly, she's even made it to the front page of Etsy! (Congrats, Kia!)
Meet Orangina (pictured below), a sweet and unique orange charm that I purchased from Aoisart. She came on a cute matching orange ball-chain and is even cuter in person than in this photograph! Don't you love the realistic dimpled peel texture?


Kia generously took time out from creating to answer some of my questions about her work.

CreativeSundries: Yours are the original cake earrings! You've said that the idea came to you when you were making a miniature cake for a dollhouse. Can you tell us more about that?

Aoisart: What you see in my Etsy shop is the result of my passion for craft and food so this is the reason why I love to create food miniatures and anything food related :) I started creating dollhouse miniatures and the food I loved to create most were cakes, with chocolate, whipped cream, fruits, you name it! I wanted to use them for something more than just dollhouse display so I initially started putting a magnet on their back.
The idea of the charms and earrings came after cutting a slice from a whole mini cake, I realized that I would have loved to show that cute mini slice wearing it! Since it seemed that nobody was seling cake slice earrings I started my own line and started selling them from internet. I feel honored that so many people are wearing my creations now and that other artists started creating their own versions :)

CreativeSundries: Your work is so intricate and detailed! I really admire your patience. Do you find your work challenging?

Aoisart: Thank you very much. There is indeed a lot of patience involved in my miniatures but creating them it's something that really relaxes me, something that I look forward to work on when I am stressed out or I need to have a break. It became almost a zen practice for me! Nothing is challenging at least not from a negative point of view...I have got challenging custom orders in the past and I always loved to sit and try to create what the customers were expecting from me...till now it seems I met their expectations :)



CreativeSundries: What, if any, are your favorite item(s) to make?

Aoisart: Well, I always make what I love but if I might pick something I love to make above all my creations...the cake slice earrings! I can start for a bare and simple undecorated cake and let my fantasy work and create many different versions of it, using different colors or decorative elements.

CreativeSundries: How have your work and shop evolved since you've started on Etsy?
AoisArt: I initially was selling my polymer creations only but as I perfectioned my clay skills I felt the need to use also different materials like...felt! Sewing by hand is another "zen practice" for me :) I try to keep my shop focused on the food subject but sometimes I create non-food related items as well and use other materials than polymer.
CreativeSundries: How have you liked being on Etsy?

AoisArt: Etsy gave me a great opportunity to share my food and craft passion with other people, customers and fellow artists. I like to say that in Etsy are showcased the results of all my "crafty zen practices"! and I am honored that something which makes me feel good makes feel other people happy as well!

Be sure to stop by AoisArt on Etsy and http://aoisart.com/sweetportfolio.html to see more of AoisArt Foodcraft!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Featured Artist: Railyuh

Photo: Rocky Coast by Railyuh

Railyuh.etsy.com features gorgeous photography with excellent black-and-white contrast--with an equally sumptuous range of tones in her color work-- highlighting ingtriguing choices of subject matter.

Annie says, "I find that black and white photography helps me see the world from a different point of view and brings out the beauty in every day objects. I like to see things from a different angle and bring out the lines or details of something that is otherwise ordinary."


She lives in North Bend, Oregon, a place I really want to visit. This photograph, Redwood Forest, makes me miss the redwood forests of California!


Curious about where the name Railyuh came from? So was I! In her profile, Annie explains, "My first name is Aurelia (pronounced uh-rail-yuh), but I grew up going by my middle name because Aurelia was hard to spell and pronounce. By the time I was in high school a shortened version, "railyuh," became my nickname with a few close friends. It soon became my online screen name, hence my shop with items "made by Railyuh!"
Above: Crater Lake National Park by Railyuh
Railyuh.etsy.com offers photographic prints, postcards, photo cards, and note cards.
Annie is involved with several Etsy street teams, including Etsymom, EtsyBloggers, Etsywearers, MDCetsy, and POE.



Custom? Yes!
International: Yes--Annie is in the process of adding international shipping to her shop!

Cute Butterfly Clips by Robin Lynne

I love these butterfly hair clips--aren't they cute?

You can find them at ByRobinLynne.Etsy.com--and while you're there, check out her other cute items, including strawberry earrings and gorgeous button necklaces!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Featured Artist: CigarBoxBeads


Cigar Box Beads is a lovely Etsy shop featuring beautiful beaded goods.

The shop owner, Marilyn, says, "I became a non-stop beadweaver when I purchased 3 vintage cigarboxes full of beads at a flea market---about 20 years ago. I'm still using those beads, plus a 'few' more I can not help but purchase!"

Her work is intricate and detailed. This bracelet is called Somewhere Over the Rainbow, a netted bracelet made with seed beads.


It must take a lot of patience to do such intricate work! I'm impressed. :-)

She also has fun supplies (like these cute pink buttons!) and other cool items in her supply shop, http://suchandsort.etsy.com/

Great work, Marilyn!

Be sure to visit her shops at http://cigarboxbeads.esty.com/ and http://suchandsort.etsy.com/.

Blog: http://cigarboxbeads.blogspot.com

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Please don't interrupt the Beatles

Today, I was listening to the 60s station on XM, and the Beatles' "The End" was on. At the end of the song, the Beatles sing the same verse twice, and it's really beautiful: "And in the end, the love you take... is equal to the love you make." I love that. 

Well, today after they sang the verse once, the radio guy gets on and says, over the Beatles' singing, "Yes, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." Don't do that. That's not okay. That's not what we do. Don't ruin the end of the song. Thanks.

Handmaidens' Make Out Goods Show a Success!


The Handmaidens of Minneapolis' Make Out Goods show on Sunday was a success! 
We had so much fun! 
The Handmaidens sure know how to put on a show!
Thank you to everyone who stopped by, and a special hello to our new friends!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Featured Artist: Cheryl of On A Thousand Hills




OnAThousandHills is a delightful Etsy shop featuring delightful beaded wonders. The necklace pictured above is called Break Forth. Cheryl, the artist behind OnAThousandHills, explains that for this piece, she started out with a porcelain cabochon featuring a beautiful butterfly, and stitched a bezel around it in peyote stitch. She made the necklace using a "tubular Ndbele herringbone stitch." Wow! 

Cheryl is a member of Etsy Beadweavers, and invites you to vote for the Etsy Bead Weavers challenge. See her shop for more info! 
This suncatcher (above) is an item she made as a gift--how lucky that recipient is! 

Cheryl's work is so intricate. She stitched the gorgeous Sleeping Gypsy wall hanging (below) one bead at a time! She explains, "This wall hanging took me over 100 hours for the tapestry portion alone." The piece incorporates 28,968 Delica seed beads in 50 colors, plus about 3,000 more beads in the fringe! 

Sleeping Gypsy Bead Tapestry Wall Hanging

A few more facts about this talented bead artist: 

1. Cheryl loves backpacking and would love to hike the Appalachian Trail!
2. She is mom to two teenagers and wife to a trucker.
3. She took 4 years of Clothing Shop at a vocational high school.
4. She discovered beading "in a serious way" about five years ago.
 
I hope you make it to the Appalachian Trail soon, Cheryl--and don't forget your beads! 

Shop: http://OnAThousandHills.etsy.com
Blog: http://OnAThousandHills.blogspot.com

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Amazon's One-Click Ordering Has Got to Go!

Amazon.com's One-Click Ordering is a feature that, like its name indicates, allows a customer to order an item with a single touch. 

Smart shoppers will know, of course, to avoid the temptation to click that button on a whim. 

But what if a smart shopper clicks "Add Item to Cart" in order to think about it... and clicks "One Click" order by mistake? 

There is no way to reverse it. There is no confirmation click (hence the name, of course.) That item is on its way to you. 

Here is the scary part: what if this smart shopper was not logged in to his Amazon account at the time? What if our smart shopper did this from his public (workplace) computer--clicked on an expensive camera lens, and selected One Click instead of "Add to Shopping Cart?" 

Would the item be ordered? Yes. 

Would the person's credit card be charged? Yes. 

Was the person logged in to their Amazon account? No! 

This is a true story. The item is on its way. The person I know who did this contacted Amazon and was told that the only way to "reverse" this situation is to refuse the shipment. And Amazon will only credit the account [which was never logged into in the first place] when the item arrives back at their warehouse! 

How does this happen? (Again, the most frightening part about this incident is that the customer was not logged in to their Amazon account at the time!)

Amazon uses cookies to offer 1-Click ordering. Somehow this is enabled the first time you sign in to Amazon (and yes, you can turn 1-Click ordering off--but that's not the point here!), which must be how this can happen without being logged in to your account. Amazon gets your info off your computer through the cookie, perhaps. 

It also goes without saying that this purchase (and the thousands like it that undoubtably occur accidentally every day) is added to Amazon's profits until the refund is issued. 

Book- and music-lovers, beware. Amazon One-Click purchases can be made--and are only very inconveniently reversed--at your computer without your being signed in. 

(I think I'll write to Lou Dobbs.)


Monday, February 4, 2008

Featured Artist: Witty Workshop

"Witty" is a very fitting word for this cute and unique Etsy shop! Witty Workshop features the creations of Canadian artist and illustrator Valérie Parizeault. And she's an art teacher--a woman after my own heart! And I love her work!




One of my favorite pieces in her current offerings is "Book Adventures (Cupcake Recipe)" (above). Valérie explains, "I'm very fond of my childhood books. I think that one of the best gift you can give to a child is the gift of reading. It spawns adventures, excitements and brilliantly lights up their imaginations." I couldn't agree more!



Valérie's work is imaginative, whimsical, and very original. Her art has a wonderful spirit to it!

I also love how she features different gems of "wittiness" in her shop announcement. Today's is: Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.-Buddha



Valérie describes herself as "A Treehugger, a chocolate passionate, a coffee conoisseur (I've work several years as a Prima barista), a French Canadian, a daydreamer, a wannabe yoga wiz (not there yet!), a good cook..."


Blog: pot-aux-roses.blogspot.com

Shop: WittyWorkshop.etsy.com.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Crafting up a storm...




... getting ready for the Handmaidens of Mpls.' MakeOut Goods Show Feb. 10! 

I've been making a ton of Valentines, including these Fortune Teller Fish valentines, on cream-colored stationery--the Fortune Fish package comes off easily, and you can take the little plastic film fish out. 
Place the fish in the palm of your hand, and it will tell you your fortune.

For best results, follow package directions precisely. 

Saturday, February 2, 2008

JKATS play the Surf Ballroom Fifites in February


Congratulations to our friends, the rockin' Jack Knife and the Sharps
performing at the Surf Ballroom's Fifties in February show! Wow! 

They will be rubbing shoulders with none other than The Crickets [Buddy Holly's band], Big Bopper Jr., The Chiffons, Dave Somverville of the Diamonds, Sonny Burgess and the Pacers, the Belmonts. 

This annual event, held in Clear Lake, Iowa, honors Buddy Holly, "Big Bopper" J.P. Richardson, and Ritchie Valens, who died in the plane crash this weekend in 1959.

Rave on! 




Friday, February 1, 2008

In Mpls? Come visit us! :-)







We're so excited for the upcoming Handmaidens of Minneapolis craft fair



We'll be sharing a booth with the lovely Unblinking Eye
Hope to see you there!