Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wreck This Journal: Intro & Coffee Stains

I found this great book on Amazon called Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith. I’m having a bit of a creative crisis and needed something new to spark and spice things up a bit. The prompts in this book are great – really outside the box. Some of the things I have already finished include numbering all the pages and (gasp!) cracking the spine. Now it won’t lay flat, which is what my perfectionist mind really likes. I am stepping out of my comfort zone. I love books and tend to treat books well. Now I am forced to think differently about what is in front of me and of my art materials.

Wreck This Journal: Coffee Stains

This is my coffee page. The directions: “Pour, spill, drip, spit, fling your coffee here.” I followed each instruction. The spitting part was fun! The coffee soaked through at least 10 other pages. I have officially wrecked this journal!

The byline of the book is “To create is to destroy.” My mind has latched onto this idea. You have to destroy a perfectly blank piece of paper to make a drawing. You have to ruin a perfectly good tube of paint to make a painting. You have to shake things up now and again to stay fresh.

I decline to spoil the future fun by spilling the rest of the book’s activity secrets now. You’ll just have to keep reading to find out!!

So go out there today and create/destroy something!! Let me know what you did in the comments!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Shipping Deadlines for Christmas 2008

There is still time to buy for yourself or loved ones in my Etsy shop. The Christmas shipping order deadline is 2 PM EST on Saturday, December 20th. Order by then and I will scurry to the Post Office. They tell me you will have your packages on time for Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, I think our plans include going to my mother’s for Christmas Eve to open gifts, then to my sister’s house for Christmas Day. My sister is making the traditional homemade pasta sauce with all the yummy meats cooked in it for a long time. So delicious! She is such a good cook because she learned from the best – my mom!

I hope your holiday plans include loved ones and friends. Have a great holiday!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Etsy Artist Feature: The Midnight Orange

If you have been reading at all then you know how I just love paper. And I love paper crafters. So when I saw The Midnight Orange’s work at the Buffalo Indie Market on Sunday I knew I had to share her work with you!

Also known as Dana Truesdale, The Midnight Orange has a nice selection of objects de art in her shop. But what captured my attention most were her altered assemblages. She makes little match box dressers out of chipboard and paper. They are cute and useful at the same time! The legs are made of things you would not normally think of as legs. This one has seedpods for legs!

I asked Dana how she got started making the matchbox assemblages.

“We had a primitive childhood and lived out in the woods. Often we made our own things to play with because the store was just so far away! I had an entire dollhouse full of handmade miniatures, and I used matchboxes for anything in the home that had a drawer. The tables were the front-runners in terms of aesthetics, and I still continued to make them for fun as I grew up. Later on someone recommended I use chipboard to reinforce the top and bottom, and it really perfected the design.”

Her favorite source for inspiration:

“My kids. They are just like me when I was young, and it helps me stay true to my roots. I often will give them a few basic things to play with and just watch them use their imaginations to make it fun and functional.”

What she wants you to know:

“My work is very eclectic and the variety is diverse. My hope is that my browsers and buyers will see that the message transcends the medium and within my shop they will find whimsy, high emotion, and ordinary things turned extraordinary. My shop sections will allow people to experience my work with more consistency and help them target what they may be looking for. Lastly, I want to say that I am humbled. Just humbled beyond compare to be here and be doing this. It is a privilege to be able to feed people's art souls.”

Dana also makes something I believe is really great for healing or get well gifts... a spoonful of sugar!

Go check out her shop! She has more lovelies than I covered here!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Buffalo Indie Market Review

We did it! We did our first craft show in Buffalo! And the drive was not so bad as I had the good company of my hunny and my dad!

The Buffalo Indie Market was held at the Pearl Street Grill & Brewery, which is in a very old brick building in downtown Buffalo near the baseball stadium. I adore really old buildings. Over 40 craft show vendors were on hand. This show consisted of 100% handmade vendors, no resellers and no home party vendors. Live music was played throughout the day. Attendance was exceptional! I didn’t know what to expect this being our first time at this show. It was a much younger demographic than the craft shows in Rochester get. That made me happy as that is my target market.

The big sellers were the Scrabble tile pendants and altered domino ornaments. Maybe I should drop some other product lines and focus on making things that sell for $10 or less. The economy is affecting how people spend and I want to adapt to that to stay afloat until things get better.

All in all, I’m happy with how the show turned out and look forward to doing another one soon. This particular show is held on the second Sunday of each month so we will be going back again in 2009. I’ll keep you posted as to when!

Friday, December 12, 2008

I’m an Expert?

I love how Twitter is connecting me to really neat people and projects. Through Twitter I found out about


“Wishpot is a free social shopping service that makes it easy to save and share interesting things you find in stores and online. Items are easily collected online or from stores and organized using simple online lists. Lists and items can be kept private or shared with others. You can collect and discover products you like, recommend your favorite stuff, share and explore gift suggestions or ask for opinions and advice.”

They recently opened up part of Wishpot to be exclusively for Indie (independent) artists and designers. This section features all handmade items, not that mass-produced junk you see all over. Real people make these things and make a real living doing so.

I was asked to become an Indie Expert at the Indie channel on! I’m not entirely sure I am an expert at anything, being such a jill-of-all-trades, but then I thought, “Why not me as an Indie Expert?” I know about the importance of buying handmade, the hard work of artists, how much work it takes to do it Indie style, and the power of social shopping sites and creating community between artists and buyers. So maybe I am an expert at something!

My goal is to share with you my recommendations of Indie artists and designers through my lists at and through the Wishpot Indie blog. I’ve met great people over the past year being on Etsy and Twitter. I’ve discovered lots of really neat art and crafts. And I love love love the go-get-‘em attitude of Indie artists!

Please check out my lists. I have something for everyone, even your hard-to-shop-for man!! Check back often as I am adding new recommendations all the time! And feel free to let me know of your favorite Indie artists and designers in the comments. I'll add them to my lists!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Featured at Bloomacious!

Silent Night Ornament - Altered Domino - Stocking Stuffer - Gift Decoration

My altered domino ornaments are featured on today!

Carrie Leber, Editorial Director of bloomacious, contacted me last week after seeing my dominos on flickr. She wanted to know what my inspiration was! Go check out the post to read more about it!

I’m so excited! Can you tell? So many wonderful things and connections with my online community have been happening this week. I feel so blessed to have my work validated in this way. After a couple lousy craft shows this year I have been asking myself “what am I doing wrong?” That’s when I decided to let go of my expectations for this business and just do what I love doing. What happened? Sales online increased, several great opportunities have come my way, and I’ve made many new friends online. Who knows what will happen next?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sock Monkey Slippers

These were too funny to leave at the store. Plus I needed new slippers as my old slippers caused me to slip and fall halfway down my stairs.

FYI: I sprained my right wrist, but not too badly. Custom orders are going to take me a bit longer to make. But rest assured that if you place your custom order by December 10th, they will be ready to ship for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

New Custom Domino Ornaments: Moose & Puppy

Moose Ornament - Custom Order

Black Lab Puppy Ornament - Custom Order

BellaTuJewelry from Etsy asked me to create two custom domino ornaments for her. She requested a moose and a black lab puppy. I love doing custom orders!

The moose was a bit tricky. Lots of antlers and little space to show them.

So you know… the deadline for all Christmas custom orders is December 10th. It’s approaching fast! Get your orders in now. The sooner the better!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Moonflower Handcrafted Gallery: New Shop Opening in East Rochester, NY

Recently I received a consignment offer from Moonflower Handcrafted Gallery. They are a local gallery featuring local handmade items. The Grand Opening is this Thursday, December 4th from 5 - 9 pm. The Gallery is located at 330 West Commercial Street in East Rochester, NY. I hope you can come help Brandi and her family celebrate all their hard work.

Among my soldered collage pendants, she will be carrying my felted items, Christmas cards, altered domino ornaments, Scrabble tile pendants, and glass tile magnets.

The shop, although not completely set up yet as of yesterday, looks great. It’s cozy and comfortable. The displays are creative. The few items I saw there were wonderful. I know this shop is going to be a success!

Other local artist they have work from: b.meg designs, Duck Harbor Design, The Lolly Shop, The Naughty Dog Boutique, Albina Rose, Carla Morris, and Ten Little Toes.

I'm looking forward to being part of such a creative group!

UPDATE: Shop hours are:
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday: closed
Wednesday 12 - 6 pm
Thursday 12 - 8 pm
Friday 12 - 6 pm
Saturday 12 - 5 pm