Monday, March 31, 2008

Paper Cutting

I cannot believe what people can do with a pair of scissors and paper! All of these images are cut by HAND !!

Once again, the bottom 3 names are cut off, so here they are: I Do (I Dont) handmade board game, Origami Tulips, Reaching for a Star Card

Sunday, March 30, 2008


This week I have been trying to take care of things. Get orders and other gifts shipped, give away boxes to Goodwill, organize... and even though I accomplished about half of what I wanted, it was still nice today to be able to come home from church and take a nice long nap, knowing that a lot of things had been taken care of.

The windows are open, there is a nice breeze and I can hear our subtle windchimes a-chiming. I saw Etsy's front page treasury and it totally explains my mood. I am including a treasury from the other day, because it too, is peacful. The screen shot cut off the bottom 3 artists, so let me credit them right quick.

(Spearmint Soap, Japanese Landscape Necklace
, Tan and Blue Bead Bracelet)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Farewell Black Ships

Every now and then I get kind of sad when something of mine sales. I get soooo happy that someone wanted to pay for one of my creations when they could have gotten one of sooo many others, but I miss my little creations!

This morning, I shipped off 3 of my favorite necklaces, and well, I just sold I think my absolute favorite. I think I have the materials to make one more... do I sale it, or keep it? Oh what to do...

Here are some other related items to take my mind off the pain :)

Lapomme Plushie

Tiddlywinks Pirate Bear

Liz Amend OOAK Fantasy Fairy (I can't wait to own one of her darlings).

In other news, I bid on a Blythe doll on Ebay last night. I probably won't get it, but I want it sooo bad! You'll see why.... very soon! Sooo, if anyone has a Blythe they would like to sell, OR chandeler prisms, or, really anything funky like skeleton keys and such... give me a hollar! And o, I didn't bid on this one... are you kidding me, it's awesome, but hello, I'm broke! It's revamped by Rogue Dolls, she's a beauty and just sold for a pretty penny.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Something Different

So, I started a thread about going broke for supplies several weeks ago, and I was amazed about how many people felt the same! I met another seller who just loves beads and ACEO's and we agreed to do a little trade. She "commishioned" some Die de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) ACEO's. I made 3, what do you think of them?

I have never done anything like that, but secretly always wanted to, but felt like I would be a "poser" (high school term, anyone?) for doing something out of my culture. I went to Tiajuana several years ago, almost got hit by a crazy taxi, didn't master the art of haggling, gave away lots of nickles for "chicle" children, and came back with a cute Day of the Dead figurine, but alas, that broke a long time ago! I did have a lot of fun there though!

So, I want to challenge everyone out there, to go and research a different cultural/ethnic topic, and to make a creation out of it. It may help you expand your mind, try a new color pallet or technique, and teach you a new appreciation for other art forms. It's good to get out of your element every now and then. When you want to feel safe again, go back into your box.

Yours eyes have been feasting on the amazing jewelry of the lady who will be recieving these ACEO's?! Her shop name is Susan Clare, and she specializes in trade beads and her handmade jewelry and they are truly beautiful! So, for your next supply or jewelry fix, you know where to look.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter and Cake

I found this amazing new Etsy seller while searching the tags for Marie Antionette, Elizabeth Knapp and I knew I had to do my first little artist feautre. Here is some neat-o info about her and a glimpse into her artistic world.

"I just graduated with my B.F.A in Painting and Drawing and I create art that makes me happy. I created this Etsy site just with my desert paintings and drawings. My inspiration is Wayne Thiebaud. I like to use a variety of mediums such as watercolors, pencils, acrylics, and collage. I love to bake cakes and decorate them and I use them as inspirations for my work."

She just sounds like the most amazing person!!

Now, a word on Easter. Last night, we watched Charelton Heston in The Ten Commandments. What a great movie! Despite many overdrawn narratives, over or under acting, and obvious deresions for the sake of theatrics, it is a good watch. However, because of it's extreme length and many many times of boredom, we accidentaly slept in and missed church! On Easter Sunday, no less. So, today, we are doing our own little service at home.

We are going to watch the "Restoration" video (you can watch it at the bottom of the page)and the "Finding Faith in Christ" DVD (this makes me tear up almost every time I watch it). We may also watch "The Testaments: Of One Fold and One Shepherd" , you can find it here to see a copy yourself. As many of you may or may not know, yes I am a Mormon, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and while religion won't be a huge topic on my blog, I had to say something since it is Easter Sunday.

(Del Parson Gethsemane painting)

No matter each person's faith, we all have a right and a duty to respect our own and each others. I love my Savior and the sacrifice He made so that I can be forgiven of my sooo many sins and that I can be reunited and live with my family again someday. I know that He loves us, He has given us many great works in the Bible and The Book of Mormon to help us gain greater understanding and improve our lives and happiness with His help. I am eternally greatful for the many men and women that have fought for religious freedom through persecution, and for Joseph Smith, who I know was a true prophet. I love my family very dearly and am so greatful that we have the Lord in our lives.

(Simon Dewy Resurrection painting)

Today, I feel so pretty and light and comfortable, because I am wearing this super soft and pretty bamboo shirt from Look For Fiddleheads.

Oh, and if you really love all things ballerina, then you must visit this blog post from Decor Amor (she even mentions my Prima Ballerina necklace in it, I will post a better picture of it for you though :)

Peace to you all and have a wonderful Easter!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

10 Most Historically Innacurate Movies

I just had to include this Yahoo article, since I am a huge war/historical drama buff... so in part it's here to edumacate my readers, and in part it's here as a bookmark for myself :)

10,000 B.C.
Director Roland Emmerich is usually a stickler for realism (see: sending a computer virus via Macintosh to aliens in Independence Day). So we hate to inform him that woolly mammoths were not, in fact, used to build pyramids. Heck, woolly mammoths weren't even found in the desert. They wouldn't need to be woolly if that were the case. And there weren't any pyramids in Egypt until 2,500 B.C or so.

Emperor Commodus was not the sniveling sister-obsessed creep portrayed in the movie. A violent alcoholic, sure, but not so whiny. He ruled ably for over a decade rather than ineptly for a couple months. He also didn't kill his father, Marcus Aurelius, who actually died of chickenpox. And instead of being killed in the gladiatorial arena, he was murdered in his bathtub.

Though this paean to ancient moral codes and modern physical training is based on the real Battle of Thermopylae, the film takes many stylistic liberties. The most obvious one being Persian king Xerxes was not an 8-foot-tall Cirque du Soleil reject. The Spartan council was made up of men over the age of 60, with no one as young as Theron (played by 37-year-old Dominic West). And the warriors of Sparta went into battle wearing bronze armor, not just leather Speedos.

The Last Samurai
The Japanese in the late 19th century did hire foreign advisers to modernize their army, but they were mostly French, not American. Ken Watanabe's character was based on the real Saigo Takamori who committed ritual suicide, or "seppuku," in defeat rather than in a volley of Gatling gun fire. Also, it's doubtful that a 40-something alcoholic Civil War vet, even one with great hair, would master the chopsticks much less the samurai sword.

This one movie has given entire Anthropology departments migraines. Sure the Maya did have the odd human sacrifice but not to Kulkulkan, the Sun God, and only high-ranking captives taken in battle were killed. The conquistadors arriving at the end of the film made for unlikely saviors: an estimated 90% of indigenous American population was killed by smallpox from the infected Spanish pigs.

Memoirs of a Geisha
The geisha coming-of-age, called "mizuage," was really more of a makeover, where she changed her hairstyle and clothes. It didn't involve her getting... intimate with a client. In the climactic scene where Sayuri wows Gion patrons with her dancing prowess, her routine - which involves some platform shoes, fake snow, and a strobe light - seems more like a Studio 54 drag show than anything in pre-war Kyoto.

Let's forget the fact that kilts weren't worn in Scotland until about 300 years after William Wallace's day and just do some simple math. According to the movie, Wallace's blue-eyed charm at the Battle of Falkirk was so overpowering, he seduced King Edward II's wife, Isabella of France, and the result of their affair was Edward III. But according to the history books, Isabella was three years old at the time of Falkirk, and Edward III was born seven years after Wallace died.

Elizabeth: The Golden Age
In 1585, when the movie takes place, Queen Elizabeth was 52 years old - Cate Blanchett was 36 when she shot the film - and was not being courted by suitors like Ivan the Terrible (who was dead by then). And though the movie has her rallying the troops at Tilbury astride a white steed in full armor with a sword, in fact she rode side saddle, carrying a baton. She was more of a regal majorette than Joan of Arc.

The Patriot
Revolutionary War figure Francis "The Swamp Fox" Marion was the basis for Mel Gibson's character, but he wasn't the forward-thinking family man they show in the flick. He was a slave owner who didn't get married (to his cousin) until after the war was over. Historians also say that he actively persecuted and murdered native Cherokees. Plus, the thrilling Battle of Guilford Court House where he vanquishes his British nemesis? In reality, the Americans lost that one.

2001: A Space Odyssey
According to this film, in year 2001 we would have had manned voyages to Jupiter, a battle of wits with a sentient computer, and a quantum leap in human evolution. Instead we got the Mir Space Station falling from the sky, Windows XP, and Freddy Got Fingered. Apparently the lesson here is that sometimes it's better when the movies get the facts all wrong.


Yesterday, a friend and I got together and made jewelry togther for several hours. It was fun and relaxing and I came home with so many new designs! I finally was able to update Jeweled Ambrosia a little... but there are still so many more things to photograph!

I would like to highlight a new Etsy seller, vusova that has some of the cutest artwork I have seen in a long time. She uses watercolor and collage in her work, and that is a combination that I think is quite original. Her Foxy Fox is one of my favorites.

It would have easily fit in with today's wonderful front page treasury!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Monster Finger Puppets Craft How To

These little guys are so cute, and for the size, they have a lot of character. Here is your chance to learn about making my monster finger puppets, so pay attention :)

Here is what you will need:

1. Body material (felt, fleece or fur) If you use fur, the selvage edge is perfect for the bottom as it's hard to hem up fur so it doesn't pull out.

2. Felt circles and half moons for eyes, and felt or fleece cutouts for horns.

3. A bit of stuffing for horns. About 5-6 peasized balls per horn is perfect.

4. Embroidery floss and thread.

First, make the horns. Fold them in half and use a blanket stitch to close it. I took the embroidery floss in half, because the whole floss is too thick for these little horns. Start sewing at the bottom of the horn, and when you get to the top, tighten the last stitch and thread it through back to the bottom, to tie it with the bottom thread. Lightly stuff each horn with about 6 peasized balls of fiberfill, using the ball tip of a pin to stuff it down. Lightly bend the horn to make it more of a curved horn shape.

Next, sew on your eyes and a goofy smile with your black embroidery floss. Sew the horns to the top of the face like the picture. For the hair, sew a couple of loops and tie in the back. When you sew the puppet shut, it will make the loops not able to be pulled out.

Now that your little guy is mostly done, pin his backside to the front (inside out of course), and sew shut, making sure to sew the horns and hair into the top seam. Leave the bottom open and trim excess fur so you will have a clean interior for a comfortable finger fit.

Turn your little finger puppet inside out and give him or her a name. They remind me a bit of the 70's show Sigmund the Seamonster.

*Post is linked to seven thirty three's What are Boys Made Of linky party.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Alchemy and A Future Surprise!

So, Etsy has a new feature, Alchemy, where buyers can post requests for custom made items, and sellers bid on the chance to make them. Well, it's been there before, but is has been brought back. Although it is being abused (sellers asking for buyers and for custom items that are already available through searches)... it has opened a doorway for other awesome creations! I have been accepted to make two alchemy custom requests so far, and I'm super excited.

One is a set of paper dolls using actual photographs, and the other is a pair of monster finger puppets... (hmmm, perhaps these will make a good tutorial segment later this week, maybe even a permanent fixture in my shop!)

But, what REALLY excited me today when I checked my Etsy was KarmaRox's treasury. It made the front page. There is an item on the treasury that has to do with a new line (I know, another one!) that I am coming out with. If you can guess what that new thing is by looking at the treasury, I just may have to give away a little prize.

Also, I have to give a special thanks to a wonderful Etsy seller, Simply Metal. She has been a true help and inspiration to me and I beg everyone to go and check out her wonderful shop! I can't wait to start working with the wonderful jewelry pieces I recieved from her.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Winterberry Creek

Our little community had a little egg hunt for the youth this weekend. Last year, my son was a bit too young to have much fun, but this year, he had a blast! There was even a little petting zoo.

I have such mixed feelings about these things. I think it's important to let kids (and grown-ups) experiance the little animals, but no one can be sure how humane these little critters are treated, and how much stress these animals go through. I can't even tell you how many times I saw kids (even older ones) mistreat the animals. One boy, about 10 years old, even ripped a nursing kid from the momma goat and proceeded to "milk" her with his hand, while the baby goat cried. The baby goat was waaay too young to be there, it cried the whole time. :(

For example, aren't these little chicks so adorable!? But, at the same time, knowing they have been dyed puts an icky feeling in my stomach.

I think places like this put people (grown-ups) on edge. I was next in line to go in the petting zoo, and of course about 10 kids rushed in front of me (the parents allowed it) when another mom asked, "Are you in line?" I told her I was, but people had cut in front... and then she smartly replied "Well, I'm not an idiot."

blank stare... umm okay, I had no clue why she said that to me. And a minute later, when I was going into the place (very tight squeeze), my stroller wheel got caught on a haybale edge. I was backing it up a bit to straighten it out, when another woman, pushed me away GRABBED my stroller from me, and started to push it. I said "Woah!"... and took back the handles again. At my reaction, the woman, her friend and the previous "idiot" woman, started yelling at me saying "Hey lady, no need to be rude!"

Oh my gosh, that woman who grabbed my stroller is lucky my black belt instincts didn't react, otherwise I just might have punched her in the face. I mean, who takes another woman's children away, and expect the mom to be fine with it? I, obviously, said nothing to these insane people (of course I heavily rolled my eyes and huffed).

What would you have done? I think I reacted rather mildly. Anyways, there will be more Easter talk later. For now, I shall leave you with more Easter crafty goodness!

Studio Pink

Sophie Rose Designs

Friday, March 14, 2008

So Cute !!! ... & My Blog Banner Revealed

Look at what the lovely Madelaine made for me!! Once I muster up some funds, I should really purchase these from her. She is a wonderful artist and photographer that is trying her hand at something new, see her blog for more info. You absolutely must check out her lovely shop.

Here is a little teaser of her work! She has been featured in my blog before, here.


Also, I get soooo many compliments on my blog banner. I wish I had the skills and creativy to do such a lovely thing. I purchased it from SweetFaerieDesigns and I am very happy with it. Go check out her blog for even more inspiration.

The apple green and rose cameo necklace from my Jeweled Ambrosia shop was featured in this sweet treasury, thanks to the wonderful The Peach Tree !

Crazy and Tiring Week

For some odd reason, we have been staying up waaay too late, and paying for it in the morning all week.

We watch Conan O'Brian... my husband and I attempt his monologue "jump" (it's a lot harder than it looks) and his crazy faces.

I wake up every morning to a massive blowout in my 2 year old's room. I mean... poo, vomit, it's all over the place ... but he acts perfectly fine, it's just in the morning. Maybe it's because he keeps sneaking yogurt, grapes and bannanas? I don't know, but it's becoming very exhausting. Not to mention the constant messes he makes all day... you know, smearing hair pomade and gel, make-up (see here) and food into the couches, dumping water everywhere, knocking heavy furniture over all day long (yes, we have heavily babyproofed, he just is figuring everything out). And of course the joy of spit-up and poo explosions from my 4 month old just tops it all off. My crazy dog running and barking all day long at the neighbors sure adds a delightful touch as well. To spare the grossness in the form of pics, here is a super cute necklace from Guileless.

I came across a neat opportunity to *maybe* be a school portait photographer and I would sooo love to do it! But the dear husband can't understand why I would want to leave my children with someone else during the day, and has instead left me with feelings of guilt. Hmmmm....

I also got my first consignment order. I really would rather do wholesale, but I'll give it a shot for once to see how it all works out. It is exciting though knowing my little lovables will be on a shelf somewhere! I'm so new at this and trying to figure out exaclty what I need to have by way of wholesale/consignment terms and yada yada yada. But I am doing a lot of reading, so I think I will get it right! We shall see what will become of all this. I am hoping this to be the first of many. :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lightbox WITHOUT a box!!!

I was planning on making a light box last night to retake my jewelry pictures and so we went to the store (also to buy groceries for our completely bare refridgerator).

I got 2 GE Halogen 100 floodlights in the lightbulb section at Walmart for $8.00

A couple rows down in the auto section, I got 2 Bayco Super Grip Clamp lights for $11 a piece. So, that's around $30....

I got home, and was planning on making a lightbox using THIS tutorial. But, I forgot the white board and really wanted to try out my lights right away.

So I went ahead and set up a little "studio". I had the background papers under the lights and to the left, my jewelry laid out and props for the photos.

I clamped one light to a lamp stand facing my paper display (I took off the shade to make it easier to work around), and clamped the other light to a chair rail so that it would be directly overhead the jewelry piece. For the background, I stacked up some bead boxes and layed my cardstock on it for a seamless look.

I layered several colors and designs of paper on top of each other so that I could easily pull one out from under the jewelry to experiment with a new background.

For this particular picture, I held the necklace with my hand under the light (caution VERY hot) so it would dangle... next time, I will wrap the chain around a stick or pencil or something, because I really would rather not burn my hand. But for the other necklaces, I just draped the clasp of the necklace behind the paper so that it would lay right in a semi upward position, like in the below picture. If the necklace slides, either tape the chain to the back of the paper, or cut 2 slits in the top of the paper to insert the chain in.

Some of the pictures still have circular shadows, since I didn't use a light box, but I just moved the paper around so that the pendant part would be directly under the light. I only used 2 lights, but I think adding a third toward the back would make even less shadows, it may also blind you! It's very neat how just tilting the lights just an inch or so can affect the lighting so drastically. I don't have photoshop or anything, just a simple editing tool that I really only used to crop. But there are plenty out there you can either purchase or download for free. See this blog post to learn more about those programs and other great photography tips.

Don't forget to have fun with props!!

I was using open books as surface props, but I ran into problems such as cropping a corner may reveal a table top, the pages didn't always lay flat for me and I think under these lights, it may be harder to set the display up.

I plan on just using plain colored and lightly decorated cardstock and scrapbook paper in the future. Or maybe a smaller book for a pendant or earring closeup, but not for one with a chain shot.

Oh, I also turned off the camera's flash, used the macro setting (looks like a flower),and I fiddled with the camera settings so it would be around F 6 and 0 (not sure what that means... but those are the settings that worked best). I also used a simple tripod... I could not have done this without it, even though I do have a pretty steady hand.

Word of caution, the jewelry gets extremely hot, so use pliers or a stick or something to pick them up afterwards.

So, the lesson, is for about $30... you can achieve better pictures than what you ever imagined in a single night!

For an excellent and simple video tutorial, watch this:

Here is a link to making the milk gallon lightbox as someone asked in my comments. Thanks Lars Photography!
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