Monday, December 17, 2007

Handmade Pay It Forward!

I will be the lucky recipient of a handmade present from Peg of IvyArts. She was a recipient of (and now offering) a Pay It Forward handmade exchange. I also received a PIF from sandraeileenjewelry (for my mom's birthday - thank you SO much), so this is how I'm giving back:

It’s the Pay It Forward Exchange. It’s based of the concept of the movie “Pay it Forward” where acts or deeds of kindness are done without expecting something in return, just passing it on, with hope that the recipients of the acts of kindness are passed on. So here’s how it works. I will make and send a handmade gift to the first three people who leave a comment to this post on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I’m not sure what that gift will be yet, and it won’t be sent this month, probably not next month, but it will be sent (within 4 months) I promise! What YOU have to do in return, then, is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

So leave a comment and help me to Pay It Forward!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

World Vision

Give the gift of hope this year. While out shopping for your loved ones, and dreaming of what you might be getting this year, take a moment to think of the children who have nothing this year.
I'd like to mention a little something my mom is doing for children in need this Christmas. Instead of a secret Santa this year, my mom convinced her co-workers to donate pyjamas to a pyjama fund that is put on my a small company in my home town. They have over 20 pjs to give to the charity... to kids that will be happy to get one pair of pyjamas, never mind toys from Santa, and grandma and Great Aunt Rose and....

There are millions of children world-wide who need your help. World Vision makes it easy for you to make a difference. Please click on this link, and read a short story from keeper of the chocolates and find out how you can enter to win something from her shop while contributing to a good cause!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Featuring: Entyqua

Entyqua, the featured shop of the day, is mostly a handmade jewelry store, although you will find a few miscellaneous items from time to time. Like these fun and fresh button barrettes! This Merry Christmas barrette has juicy green apple buttons and candy cane striped buttons flanking the very merry center button. The Santa set has the same vibrant green buttons and some spotty green and white buttons around a sweet Santa face. These would make great stocking stuffers, although it's getting a little late if you want them in time for the 25th! If you hurry and ask for express shipping, you might be lucky though ~ although getting a gift after Christmas is just as fun as the day of!

I mentioned that Entyqua was mainly a jewelry store, and this is because, Becki, the creative mind behind these shops, just opened a new shop! Check out delightful deceits for cards, jewelry boxes... and coming soon, a clothing line and hair accessories. As for the jewelry making, Becki started making earrings around 5 years ago. She eventually expanded into other pieces, and just take a look through Entyqua to see her talent! Becki is a stay at home mom to one little girl, and has many hobbies, as you can tell by the wide range of products in her two stores!

Here are a few of my favourites, starting with symmetrical geometrics. Wow, I might like math and be a science geek, but that was hard to say even for me! But this necklace certainly isn't hard to look at ~ in fact, people will be unable to take their eyes off its sparkle. If you want a bit of attention, this is a piece for you!

Speaking of grabbing attention, look at this electric wire wrapped ring! I love how the grass green seed beads are wrapped ~ they look like tiny sprouts germinating. Which really makes this a great ring to wear into spring and summer!! What a great gift!!

Oh!! Did I mention there was a clearance section? Well this little number is 40% off!! Get crystal drops while you can!! The simple, classic design makes for a very versatile necklace. This piece would be perfect for a New Year's Party, and dinner on New Years Day.

Ok, ok, one last piece, I promise... then you can go choose your own favourites! This speckled fan necklace reminds me of falling snow, in the evening when the sky gets this stunning royal blue. And the pearl necklace just adds to the snow illusion, making for truly breathtaking piece of jewelry.

As you can see, I was sticking to a bit of a Christmas-y theme again ~ there's way more in store! All the designs you find in Entyqua are completely handmade, unique and will never be recreated. Becki loves doing custom work, so don't be shy to send her a convo to tell her what's on your mind (or to let her know you need a size adjustment). You can also find Becki on MySpace and her blog, where you'll find more features of the great artists in this challenge!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Featuring: That's Headley!

Today I'm featuring ThatsHeadley, a shop full of gorgeous jewelry made with semiprecious gemstones, beads, wire and glass. Each piece is one of a kind (though especially nice pieces may have a few replicates), completely handmade and extremely stunning. I have a few favourites to show you, but I must admit it was hard to narrow down to just these seven items. You'll also notice a distinct red and green, Christmas theme. The holidays are fast approaching (I really only have one weekend of shopping left!) and I'm getting in the mood for some holiday cheer!

This simple and sleek, swirly sterling silver cuff is the perfect balance of simple elegance for any occasion. Paired up with this cherry red really makes it pop, so you are sure to get tons of compliments during the Christmas season.

Another stunning piece for the holidays is this holly cha cha bracelet. Bring a little music to your Christmas dinner and gift unwrapping with these clusters of holly berry-red bicone beads. The bright green leaves look both like the holly leaves they represent and Christmas trees. Hopefully this wonderful bracelet will find itself under a tree this season ~ it still isn't too late, but you have to hurry! The deadline to get FREE SHIPPING in the US is December 14. You can purchase up until December 19th and still expect to receive your package before the 25th, but you'll have to pay extra for priority mail. Check out the shop announcements for more details!

And while you're at it, check out these lovely O Tannenbaum Christmas tree earrings. Lovely green adventurine triangles are decorated with Czech glass tree trunks, red bicone Christmas balls and topped with a hematite star. Beautifully wrapped in wire for earrings you will take out year after year with a smile and a gasp "Oh yeah! My gorgeous Christmas earrings!!"

For me, the dark blood-red jewel-tone of garnet is one of the most Christmas-y stones available. It's only too perfect that it's January's birthstone, since these stones are a perfect deep colour to wear throughout the deepest, darkest days of winter. This wondrous cross necklace, wire wrapped with sterling silver and garnet rondelles, is a perfect gift for any Christian. I can only imagine how pleased my grandma would be with such a piece of fine jewelry. This would be even better as a birthday gift for any January births in your family.

Not so religious, but still looking for garnets for someone born in January? Looking for the perfect Valentine's Day gift? This amazing Corazon Espinado necklace features a sterling silver, wire-wrapped heart with garnet and a striking slab of freshwater pearl. Give the gift of your heart to the one you love... you are certainly going to be rewarded!! I love the purple glow coming from these garnets, which reflects off the lovely shiny pearl. *sigh* I think I'm in love.

Ok, one last wintery piece. This classy lady bracelet with coin pearls, sprinkled through with light blue and lavender crystals, is definitely a piece you'll want this winter. When going for class, you can't go wrong with pearls, and this snowy collection is perfectly complimented by that unique silver clasp.
One last important note about this shop: the hope for whirled peas collection. A portion of each sale of the limited edition items in this collection will be donated to the Fisher House™ Foundation. These pieces are also shipped FREE worldwide, so you really can't get a better gift for the holidays. And these timeless pieces are so lovely, you're going to want to scoop up the whole collections! Here's a little bit of information on The Fisher House™ Foundation, and please check out the listings to learn more!

The Fisher House™ Foundation program recognizes the special sacrifices of American men and women in uniform and the hardships of military service by meeting a humanitarian need beyond that normally provided by the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

Please check out this shop for all your last minute shopping needs. You are definitely going to find that exceptional gift you were looking for! Don't forget to take a peek at her blog too, where you'll find features and more great gift ideas from the amazing shops taking part in this 90 day blog challenge!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Dots Dots Dots

OOOH! Look :) I'm so lucky!! I took a 2 second break from writing, and looked at the treasury count. It was at 222 and one was expired! YAY!!! All mine!! Check it out ~ a selection of DOTS DOTS DOTS!

Featuring: arosebyname

I'm a little behind in my features, but now that the rough draft for my thesis is submitted, I can take the time to catch up on Etsy. Today I'm featuring arosebyname, a really beautiful shop filled with lovely beaded items. The artist behind this shop, Anna, and her two daughters tried beading many years ago, and she's enjoyed it ever since! As the girls grew older, and she more skilled, the beads became smaller, as evidenced by the wonderful beadweaving you can see in store. Although her girls no longer bead, he youngest does create original cards that can sometimes be found in arosebyname.

Here are a few of my favourites from this shop. First up is a gorgeous river of green beaded tealight holder. I love the subtle change in colour in the shiny green wave pattern, and the silver leaves around the top and rounds at the bottom finish off this candle holder, giving it a very professional look. This is definitely on my Christmas list!

Another great item for Christmas is this stunning red frankly, miss scarlet bracelet. Oh look! There's an X in the title of this piece.. that must mean it's on SALE!!! Get it while you can! Striking red seed beads and bicones are woven together to make a gorgeous bracelet that is all held together with a beautifully unique toggle clasp.
I really love this crystals and pearls bracelet and matching earrings. I absolutely love the combination of pearl with sparkly clear crystals. This classic set would be perfect for a wedding, Christmas or New Year party, or any special occasion. Everyone could use a little sparkle in their lives!! And these pieces are real show stoppers! You'll feel as glamorous as a movie star!

This next bracelet is another stunner. Rolling waves is quite a suitable name, as the way this bracelet was woven created blue waves that slowly transition from dark to light and back to dark. The lovely blue gradient bracelet is held closed with a remarkable shell-like etched button. This is really a piece you would wear again and again.

I just couldn't resist showing you one more bracelet. This watermelon plaid cuff is so sweet, it's sure to bring a smile and add a bit of brightness and cheer to your accessories. Held closed with an etched metal button, this bracelet is a must-have for spring ~ get it now so that you can wear it on those long, cold winter days where you can even remember what a hot, humid summer day feels like anymore.

Make sure to hop on over to arosebyname ~ there is so much more than just the jewelry I showed!! As always, check out her blog too (you might find a feature on me!)!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Featuring: vanessakimball

I'm excited about my feature today! This is one of my favourite stationary / paper goods store. I just love vanessakimball! Check out her holiday special: mix and match cards. Mix and match four cards for $6. It isn't too late ~ you have until December 15... after that, she can't guarantee that you'll get your order before the holidays.

This beautiful reindeer card is my favourite. The bright red of the envelope is sure to brighten anyone's day ~ who doesn't love getting something in the mail? This sprightly little guy is red checkers on a lovely white printed paper. Simply stunning.

Speaking of stunning, this card is sure to be part of the four in your mix and match order! All is calm ~ a classic line from a classic Christmas carol... and I think this card embodies the phrase quite nicely. A quiet snowfall, the lone chickadee sleeping on the bare branches of the oak tree... I can almost smell the hot chocolate and fresh baked cookies...

While shopping for cards, check out this pretty green grass one. While note technically a holiday card, this simple, versatile design could serve many purposes. I think the best would be just to say hi. Who wouldn't love that?

Vanessakimball is a graphic designer for a design company called Ekcetera Productions. Other than her Etsy shop, you can find her stationary at their new store called Ekcetera, in Inver Grove Heights, MN. You know, if you ever happen to be around there. Feel free to send her a convo, and ask about custom work if you have anything in mind.

You can get a nice sample of vanessakimball designs in her 2008 calendar. If you hurry, you'll be able to get it before the first of the month. The green grass design in the card above can be seen for the month of July... and the best month, August (my birthday month), has a darling graphic ~ a cute little blue bird in a swirling green tree. November's brown pinecone and January's bright snowflake designs are also my favourites, although really, they're all gorgeous!! I want one... but... I really wish I hadn't already purchased a 2008 calendar online from the Pioneer Woman (well, I'm glad I did, it's going to be lovely) ... and already had a new one hanging behind my old 2007 calendar. Oops. I guess 2 is enough. But, by all means, feel free to go ahead and buy me one!!! :)

You should definitely check out this shop and mark vanessakimball as a favourite so you can go back whenever you might need some paper goods. And do check out her blog in support of us 90 day challenge bloggers!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Featuring: Indigoluna

With just a quick glance through Indigoluna, my featured shop today, you'll see that there is a wide selection of many different things: knitted items, jewelry, quilts, mixed-media and altered art, and much, much more!

There are still a few ornaments in store, one of which is this adorable fabric snowman ornament. His cheerful smile and warm heart are sure to bring joy to your home this holiday season.

The artist behind Indigoluna, Rachel, has always been crafty, and her passion is fabric. And I think it's pretty obvious when you take a look at the stunning quilts she has in store. This hot off the grill art quilt is my favourite ~ the vibrant colours would bring a bright splash to any dark corner or bare wall. The fabric used is hand-dyed ~ this fabric has its own section in store, so check it out if you'd like to get your hands on some.

Rachel is quite multi-talented, and not only in her crafts. She is also a sign language interpreter, an energy worker, a minister, a blogger, a wife, and a mother to two little girls. I wonder where she ever finds the time to dabble in so many different crafts??

Here are a few more of my favourites from her shop. This bloom mixed-media art postcard is just beautiful! I love the aqua colour, and the unique flower bud. Would you just be thrilled to receive this in the mail??

If you look in Indigoluna, you will see a section of mandalas. Here's one of my favourites ~ East. I'm not sure how to describe these, so I'm going to let Rachel do so. I just think they're lovely ~ like coloured snowflakes!

This is an original pen and ink drawing colored with watercolor pencils. My mandalas are organically drawn entirely by hand with no computers or stencils used.

When I draw mandalas, I enter a meditative state. The lines and colors just seem to flow out of me.
The word mandala comes from the sanskrit and means sacred circle. The circle symbolizes the womb of creation. It is an artistic representation of the cosmos, a focus for meditation.

Infused with healing Reiki energy.
Embellished with sparkly holographic stickers.
Finished with Diamond Glaze for shine and depth.
Matted on museum quality black matboard. 8 inches X 8 inches square.
Ready to be framed.

There's a TON more to see ~ you just have to stop by Indigoluna!! And don't forget to stop by her blog, where she's featuring other great artists taking the 90 day challenge.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Featuring: earthcharms

Earthcharms has a very cozy feeling to the shop, where there's a welcoming atmosphere encouraging you to sit back and browse slowly through each item. You will find a wide selection of jewelry and other accessories made with knotted waxed linen and natural stones. You will soon see the influence of the metaphysical properties in each stone in the design of each piece. This shop is packed with wonderful gift ideas, intended to bring luck, health and prosperity into your life.

Plus, if you send in a picture of you wearing your earthcharm purchase, you'll receive 10% off your next order! What a great deal ~ and a great idea! I know most sellers would love to know where their product ends up... which is why I try to post in my blog about all my Etsy purchases. As usual, custom orders are welcome, so don't be shy and send her a convo!

Aren't those two chokers gorgeous? The top one in purple is called "night blooms" ~ I just love how the quartz beads stand out against the deep purple linen, and almost look like frozen rain drops on a tree branch. This green choker is called "dreaming and remembering" and is composed of prehnite and quartz beads knotted between olive and white linen cords. These stones enhance dreaming, remembering and positive energy.

Another great example of earthcharms knotted linen jewelry is this "wind in yer sails" pirate choker. The stunning focal donut is clear quartz and quartz and moss agate beads were knotted into the necklace. A real show-stopper! Oh, and if you'd prefer a clasp, just ask!

I really like how earthcharms describes herself in her profile, so here's the excerpt:

My name is: a title used to facilitate communication.
My home is: a little slice of paradise despite the paper-thin walls and windows.
My goal is: to make macrame fashionable.
My soul is: owned by a thieving kitty.
My dreams are: not all that unrealistic, and involve comfort instead of riches.
My life is: meant to be enjoyed to the fullest.

Here are a few more of my favourites: these "chance" earrings. I love the beautiful contrast between the two different sizes and colours of adventurine ~ such a beautiful grassy green! They simply dangle from simple silver chains. Something you could easily wear everyday!

If you haven't noticed, I went with a bit of a wintery - snowy - green theme with the items I chose. This lovely "courageous" star charm fits right in. The star is wrapped with wire and green adventurine, which symbolizes taking chances. A beautiful gift and ornament for the holidays, especially for anyone undergoing any major life changes - starting school, having a baby, moving into a new place, in the hospital, retiring. Which would pretty much cover at least one person, if not everyone, on your holiday shopping list!

Do be sure to check out this shop! There's a clearance section and a section with great gift ideas that you must check out! Oh yeah, I almost forgot ... I have another favourite. But it's for mature eyes only!!! Check it out, how cute are these??

Earthcharms can be found in many different places throughout the world wide web. Here they are: her website, myspace, flickr, weloveetsy, picasaweb (google) and, of course, definitely check out her blog for more features!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Featuring: SummerSea

Today's featured shop, SummerSea, is run by Nancy, who's love of Nature really comes through in her shop. She carries a wide range of herbal products, including teas and incense, and is a certified Herbalist with over 10 years of experience healing with herbs. She makes her products with the finest organically growth and ethically wild-crafted ingredients available for a truly earth-friendly product.

Here are a few of the items that are available for purchase in SummerSea. Above is organic white sage, used for smudging in various Native, Wiccan or pagan ceremonies. These, as well as the dried lavender, can be used as potpourri. The lavender would also be divine in a bath, or sewn into a small pillow, or even in tea.

There is a large assortment of incense blends, or potpourris, in store, like this love blend. The herbs in the mix are chosen for their energies, so that the overall effect is one of love and attraction. This really doesn't have to be used in any sort of magical way though, it would smell lovely in a simple ceramic dish sitting in your bathroom.

Lastly, you will find a number of herbal remedies. The blend shown here is for cold and flus, but there are others available. To use, you simply make a tea and drink it! Simple, delicious and effective!

Be sure to take a look at this shop, many herbal blends and remedies await! Do check out her blog to for other 90 day challenge features!

Busy, busy...

I just wanted to let everyone know that I am CRAZY BUSY right now. My thesis rough draft is due on Monday and I've procrastinated way too much, as usual. I have 11 bracelets to solder, but when we tried 2 nights ago, we were having a lot of trouble. Last night, Pat got home too late for us to get a chance to solder.. and it's late again tonight, but I have to get these bracelets out!! So we'll have to do a couple, at least.

I also have a custom notebook to make for a trade. Well, a custom notebook and 2 custom accordion-style notebooks. So those need some time and attention to get finished.

I've made some really great trades!! And won some contests. And held a contest. I so want to update... maybe next Tuesday I'll finally get a chance. Until then, I'm taking lots of pictures and saving them so that I can show you everything I've gotten recently. And there's a lot! I've mentioned before that a lot will have to wait until after the holidays, since there's many gifts.

Feature coming up. These will also be particularly short and reliant on pictures. So sorry!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Featuring: AdrienneN

Today I'm featuring AdrienneN. If you are looking to have something custom embroidered, be it towels, t-shirts, bags or aprons, or custom orders for groups or teams, be sure to take a look at this shop! Don't be shy to send her a convo, you'll definitely be able to work out exactly what you want. You'll also be able to find unique, handmade lampwork beaded jewelry, something AdrienneN has started carrying more recently.

Here are some of my favourites, but you really have to browse through this shop to get a feel for what she has to offer. There are many colours, styles and designs available, so look around. You'll definitely find exactly what you're looking for!

First off, are AdrienneN photos gorgeous? I love the frame she adds to them. And this bracelet... simply stunning! Turquoise and brown make sure a lovely pair, and these flowered lampwork beads are beautiful. Snatch it up while you can!

Now for some embroidery, all customizable. Like this lovely tote bag. Remember I said about choosing colours, designs and such? Well, for this tote, you can choose the colour of the bag (shown in lime green here), the embroidered design and letter (shown with an A and flowers)... and, well, there's more to choose from, and other bags to see in store. But I like this one ~ it seems to have already been customized for me!

I also really like these towels... they really are just plane cute! They would be a perfect gift for any little boy since those cool planes are flying across the sky.

Speaking of gift for the little ones, look at these super cute designs you can choose from to have embroidered on a onesie. What did I tell you about choice and wide selection? These aren't even the only designs to choose from... I just really think the gingerbread men are cute, frolicking in the snow.

Hmm... it looks like I had the men in mind when I was shopping in AdrienneN (although this apron would be perfect for women too - in fact, it would really be perfect for a lady I work with). Know any avid fishermen? This would make a perfect and unique gift! This bright apron also comes in other colours if your particular man is a little more shy.

Do stop by this shop and take a look! Remember to send her a convo when you place your embroidery order, letting her know what you want and in what colours. For more information, check out her website and blog.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Featuring: CoconutPalmDesigns

I'm featuring a fellow Canadian today! Joanne, the graphic designer behind CoconutPalmDesigns, is a Canadian living in Belize, Central America ~ I guess she didn't get 6" of snow like we did!! Like most Etsy artists, she has been creating from as far back as she can remember, but more recently her passion has been woodworking and sign making. Her signs are made with hard or soft wood from Belize, and can be personalized for you. She's also more than happy to do a custom sign for you.

This pretty "Live Love Laugh" sign is the only sign in store that isn't a welcome sign. Of course, if you had something specific in mind, feel free to ask. A peaceful sign, perfect for that shady, quiet spot in your garden.

This zig zag sign is my favourite welcome sign in CoconutPalmDesigns. The fun lettering and bright colours make this sign most cheerful and welcoming. It is sure to leave a smile on your visitors' faces.

This beach chair welcome sign is perfect for the cottage, or anyone who has a sea side home. This sign also has really fun lettering, and can easily be personalized on the dark stripe at the bottom.

CoconutPalmDesigns doesn't only carry signs ~ there are a number of beautiful ACEO (art cards, like trading cards, that must be 2.5x3.5").

This pretty landscape ACEO is my favourite. An original water colour of a peninsula with a small shack near the tip, the gentle colour scheme is sure to fit in with your collection. This would also make a great first card to start out your collection (like I've been meaning to do).

I couldn't help but adding this vivid primary abstract art card. This zany pattern and use of the three primary colours makes this a fun card to start off a child's ACEO collection. I can't help but smile when I see this photo... it's just so bright and cheerful.

Which are really the two words that describes CoconutPalmDesigns perfectly: bright and cheerful. And what more could you want in a welcome sign, or any sign for that matter? So if you're looking for a unique gift, a custom sign or original art work, do stop by CoconutPalmDesigns and browse around. You won't be disappointed!

Don't forget to peek at her blog, where she's featuring other great artists taking part in this 90 day blog challenge!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Featuring: Yaslani

Am I ever glad that I didn't leave yesterday's feature for today! I have very little time as it is for this one ~ I'm heading off to a friend's place for the night and part of tomorrow. Fun fun! But, it means this post will be a little shorter than I'd like it. Lucky for me, Yaslani is really a shop you have to browse through yourself, there's just so much there! Stocked full of gorgeous bamboo pendants and mixed media art, you'll be sure to find that unique gift you were looking for! Plus, if you live in the US, you'll benefit from FREE shipping!

The creator behind Yaslani was born and raised in New Jersey, before heading to LA to study fine art painting at Otis Art Institute. She soon found herself back in Jersey (home is home) and in a corporate career. Naturally, this didn't work for her artistic tendencies, so she turned back to her art. I think she talks about what influences quite nicely in her profile, here's an excerpt:

"My work consists of bamboo pendants and mixed media paintings. I use found objects, bamboo, ephemera, old paper, acrylic, goauche, pencils, pens, ink, glitter… and anything else within my grasp. I’m influenced by pop culture, color, music, animals, fashion, movies, magazines and too many artists to mention. There are no heavy messages in my work. I consider my art to be an aesthetic conversation. A lovely chat between friends sometimes relaying a story or an inside joke. The only judgement I make with my art is “am I feeling this or not.” The “not” pile gets recycled for another day."

Here are a few of my favourites, in pictures instead of words. First off, some of her bamboo art pendants, which you can get as singles, doubles, trios or more.

First, a trio of red butterflies ~ how pretty! As you can see, each pendant is made from a bamboo tile. Definitely something original and unique, if you're looking to buy for someone who has everything!

Want something eye-catching? How about this LOOK pendant? Someone is bound to do so! I like this one because it's unisex ~ it would make a great gift for a secret santa!!

Next, a trio of lovely geishas. These would look stunning alone or in combination!

Finally, you can get more than just a couple of pendants. Here are eight flower and bird ones, sold as a set. This would be perfect you if you were having a party and giving out favours (the flowery theme is perfect for young girls, but look through Yaslani, you'll find many more styles to choose from!)

And then a better look at the Conversation piece you see above. A mixed media canvas featuring 2 wooden giraffes over paint and paper. I love the fact that it's 3D. Be sure to check in store for more pieces with these lovely giraffes!

Like I mentioned, there are over 300 items in store, so please go check it out! You're definitely going to find something you like! And don't forget to check out her blog too!