Saturday, December 26, 2009

After Christmas Blow-out Sale!

Hee,Hee, aren't you tired of hearing that? Anyway, I wanted to thank my customers and blog friends and thought this was the best present I could offer you. I have many plans for the new year and need some room in my shops to put them. Of course etsy lets you have as many items as you want but after so many pages some things get 'lost in the corners' and need to find their place.

So I am offering from 25-50% off many items in my three established shops, AlmostARTifacts, OrganicOdysseys and PolkaDotSandals. And for my new shop StudioARTBEAD a buy two get one of equal or lesser value FREE!

Yes, Up to

I want to thank all those who have already shopped the new store and encouraged me to get busy with new ideas of beads, components and buttons for the coming year!

This Sale is only good until Jan 2 2010 so get over there while there is a lot to choose from! Don't miss out like on the Black Friday Sale. All items are already marked down and labeled in the title. Also you can search the shop with the tag Sale to find all the items being discounted!

Have fun and a Happy New Year!


Friday, December 25, 2009

Peace on Earth

Silly Holiday movies, the tv schedule is full of them. I finally found something else on late last night, with Sandra Bullock one of my favorite actresses, Miss Congeniality 2:Armed and Fabulous.

Among all the glitz and glam and slam, hope did shine through in the very last scene, that reckoned back to the first movie. Gracie Hart though it silly and fru fru stupid girlie the whole contest thing, which yes, I agree, but one thing those girls had right, and she realized it in the end was the one thing one would wish for, and that was for World Peace.

As she says in the last scene of #2, to the little girl who wanted to be like her, "Until you admit that fighting is never the answer. Ever. Because what do we really want? Anyone? Nobody? Nobody knows? [Priscilla raises her hand] Priscilla, what do we want?

Priscilla : All we really want is World Peace.

Wishing this for you and yours and the family of Earth at this Season.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Petless In my Hometown (not Seattle)

Well, Cosmo went off to the Zoo on Tuesday, he was supposed to go on Sunday but we had a bit of a snowstorm, so it was postponed until Tuesday. We took him from the aquarium Monday morning to transfer downstairs so he could 'chill'. Since he will be introduced to a Koi pond outside we needed to lower his temp gradually. On Monday night we placed him over by the door to cool down even further.

He was greeted by the Director of Animal Services of the Zoo when he arrived and was enthusiastically welcomed. They don't have such a beauty as he, mostly the orange and black variety. Cosmo is so beautiful, not quite white, more of an iridescent very pale peach which can only be seen in the aquarium. ( click on the picture to see more details, then hit the back button to return here).

I played the Norah Jones CD for him one last time and even took a video of him swimming around to her song, 'Come away with me' one of his favorites and mine as well. He didn't take kindly to the camera though as I was taking some stills the camera was shooting a red beam to locate the 'living thing' and he didn't like that one bit. I tried to write about this on Tuesday and couldn't and yesterday it still hurt too much, an empty aquarium can be a very lonely thing, it is now just a piece of furniture, not a home to my beautiful Koi Boy, Cosmo.

Sometimes you don't realize how a lot of what you do and how you do something is directly guided by others around you. Then again there are some who are completely oblivious to how they affect those around them and can easily fall into the category of 'rudeness personified"!

Being an INJF I am one who is aware, most of the time of how my actions effect reactions of others, but sometimes it's always a mystery! With Cosmo since he spent his life in a black pond the openness of the aquarium was hard for him to acclimate to. Whenever we would walk by, if not slow enough, the shadow we would make or the reflection of the daylight off our clothing could cause him immediate terror and he would swim madly around the tank and most times crash into the filter or hit the top cover. I hated that my movements did this to him and tried my best to walk slower as I approached his corner of the house. I found myself doing this even after he was taken out on Monday and I had cleaned the tank and arranged the backdrop, something I couldn't do with him in there without a commotion.

I still do that when walking out into the living room and then I remember, he's not there. I look at the empty tank and am sad, despite his craziness, he was still a living thing in my house, one I couldn't pet but I could feed him, talk to him and play favorite music for him. Now he's gone and with Techelet ( my Blue Betta) dying a few weeks ago (which was expected as we had him over 3 years) and it being 4 months now since I lost Jazmine my beautiful Dalmatian Princess, for the first time in over 39 years, I am pet-less and I am lost. It is not a title for myself I cherish, and never will.

I feel as if I'm on another planet or in a strange dream that I want to wake up from. I don't know who I am without some creature depending on me. I've had so many animals in my life, from chosen ones to ones who chose me, mostly the latter. Strays seemed to find their way to me, injured or too young, wildlife as well. It's a long list but if you are interested here is what comes to mind for now. I've had 17 dogs, 18 cats, 4 squirrels (2 I raised from babies, one fallen from nest, another hit by a car and paralyzed), numerous birds of all varieties, two skunks, an opossum, various fish and gerbils, hamsters, a chinchilla, parakeets, gerbils, guinea pigs, turtles, (box, painted, snapping! and woods). I'm sure there is more but I can't think of them right now. This doesn't even include the wildlife animals I feed on a yearly basis, like the mother and triplets, deer we helped raise last year, feeding them each day, corn and such and supplying water , (always supply water), and a dozen or so squirrels, dozens of doves, and other birds and even having two red tailed hawks being raised in our yard to which one still lives here, dining off my fat squirrels when he can catch one. :)

The wildlife is still here and very prolific, for that I am grateful, but I can't touch them, cuddle them, comfort them or make a connection with them, that is gone.

I don't know if I shall remain pet-less in the future, for now I am too sad from all the lose and really can't imagine going through it again, especially after losing Jazmine who is still in my heart and I think will always be. They were my family, and now my family is totally gone.
If you are spending time with your family this week, don't look at their faults, don't look at their annoyances, don't look at it being a bother to get together, instead take joy in the fact that no matter who they are, how they are and what they are, they are, bottom line, your family and that really is all that matters. Take time this season to show them that, you won't be sorry, and as Monk used to say, You'll thank me later................... ( maybe much later, but I promise, you will :) )

Happy Holidays~

Could anything be sweeter than this? Jazmine at age 10 weeks buried in a chair cushion waiting for her mama to come wrap her in a blankie so she didn't get cold.

Stay warm, and make good memories this season and always to warm you later when you need them.


Friday, December 18, 2009

More Places to find Pardo!

I told you all a few weeks back that my state is now the proud residence of some new Hobby Lobby Art and Craft Stores. I made my maiden voyage there and found my first Kato and Pardo in a B&M SHOP! thrilled yes, but now I have more news to share.

I signed up for the Hobby Lobby newsletter right away of course so I could be notified of upcoming sales and the newest news I received from them is starting January 2010 they will be going online for shopping! Now even if you don't have one nearby you can still shop there and hopefully Pardo and Kato will be one of the items offered online. But they gave me a link to another online shop that actually does carry Pardo and it's on sale right now!

I think back in February when I ordered it online even with the discount I was given for paying for a subscription to a 'club' I think I still paid around $6 for the 2.7 oz size. When I went to Hobby Lobby I purchased it for regular price of $4.99 but this place has the same size for $3.74! only a sqeek more than the Sculpy Studio clay price in my local shops. They also are offering 17 different colors, a bit more selection than what I found at Hobby Lobby when I was there. I also purchased the smaller size at $2.99 and at Crafts Etc! this size of 1.2oz is $2.24.

Yes, That's CRAFTS ETC and they are now offering Free Shipping on orders over $25! Cool huh? I'm sure if you go and take advantage of the 25% off in the craft department which is where you will find all the clay and get at least $25 worth the shipping free you will save even more per bar, almost like getting Premo!

They have a huge selection of all kinds of clays and related items so check out the sale on these also:

Kato Polyclay ( $1.49 right now!)

Here's the link directly to the Craft department CLAY section. go NOW! :)

It says 25% off in the crafts dept until today so get over there quick! That is where the clay is located.

I think I am going to go off my clay diet just this once to take advantage of this great sale, hope you do too!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Inspiration is Everywhere

I truly believe that, if you are willing to take the time to see it. I know I have in the beauty that lies in the mundane or at least what most would label mundane. My artwork is usually based on seeing something others don't and wanting to share that. Erin Prais-Hintz is a kindred spirit in that vein.

She has started a Challenge a week this month. Now I wish she would have held off until January ;) , after the holidays when we all have more time, but it is still exciting. I found out about it after the first week was well underway and had an idea all planed out, see her first challenge was to go to a Hardware store and create something from the parts you would find there. I would not have even had to make the trip, I have been shopping these kinds of stores for years to come up with all kinds of things with parts not made for these specifically. It all hasn't been jewelry but various things. I have bought a downspout elbow to mount to a board with a porcelain socket to make a cool up light to light up my Palm plant. I have shopped the plumbing isle for copper components and make Candle sticks and a few Menorahs out of them, soldering together various sizes of the pipes. Came out pretty cool too, even sold some! My husband is always amazed at why I want to look in those isles. Recently he was in an automotive store. Now I can't stand the smell of the rubber tires in those places and was shopping next door at the Staples but got done sooner than he did and went in there anyway. I looked around, seeing what I could use. I've gotten my seriously fine wet/dry sanding paper in there for my polymer clay (up to 2000) as well as some fine copper tubing for something on a car but perfect for making cool beads!

This time I found some great SS washers. I grabbed a bunch of sizes and promptly took them home and tried my stamp kit on them to see if they would stamp and sure enough, they did! Can't wait to get to them to make something, which actually was some components I was going to use in Erin's first challenge, but couldn't find the time with the shops so busy. Then the second week was Grandma's Jewelry Box which would have been great too seeing how I have both my Grandmothers and my MIL (who were only a few years apart in age) and have been wanting to be able to make something out of the pieces in them. But again time was against me.

This weeks challenge is Sewing Kit. I also have my MIL's and Grandmothers sewing baskets and my MIL's vintage pedal sewing machine too! I really am short on time this week as well but decided to take at least a bit of time and see if I couldn't come up with something. I found all kinds of neat things to work with, some great glass pressed buttons, brass closures ( for lacing up something) bobbins, threads, glass head pins and more. I played around with these and I guess I was under too much pressure and too many ideas were forming but nothing concrete. So I turned to a box of old zippers, not sure why I even hung onto these, and also found some big black snaps. I liked the look of these and the fact that I was going to just make something with all the buttons I have from them both and more like I've done in the past with button jewelry I've made but then I decided to makes my piece of jewelry with a different kind of closure. The Snaps and zippers were perfect. Now I did have to cut the zippers up but they were so long I don't think I'll ever need them, and maybe I can create something else with the locking part?

Anyway I did get an entry in for this week, you can view it here at Flickr where I give a description of my piece as well as a few more shots of it. I hope Erin may try and re-visit these themes later in the winter when we all can have some time to more freely create because it is such fun!

Go visit Erin's blog and maybe you can find time to make something for this weeks? You have until Sunday. And then I think she has one more ............................Have fun! She offers wonderful prizes as well as a way to stretch your creative muscles, outside the box of holiday crafting!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Front Page News!

I apologize for not being very chatty of late, I have been working steadily on my shops, adding new things, redoing photos, filling orders, making new banners and updating the tech side of things. I've even been working on some quilt and stamp art I used to do so look for that soon in my PolkaDotSandals Shop. I know many are very busy nowadays and so don't have the time to spend like they did before on hopping around the net reading blogs so I don't feel that guilty, but missed sharing with you just the same.

So I think I should take some time to share a bit about what's been happening over the past few weeks. Last week we had a couple of snow and ice storms but the snow is all gone now thanks to rain and warmer temp (today it's supposed to reach 50) but we went out last week and bought lots of seeds and some new feeders. It didn't take long for the chickadees, woodpeckers and nuthatches to find our new safflower and sunflower seed feeder and they have been fighting over turns to it. But the thistle sock we hung nearby didn't attract any goldfinches until today. Now it looks like a studded sock, studded with about a half dozen goldfinches at a time, with others waiting to jump on. I'm glad we got the large size. It is a bit distracting to sit at my table by the window and have all this activity in my peripheral vision but I try to get my work done. There's a quick pic I just took with a few on there but it's been much busier, some have to wait on the dogwood tree for their turn and some are bossy and shoo the rest away! The one on the left is a male in his winter plumage, the others are females and they are brown in winter, pale gold in summer and of course the males are that bright yellow in summer.

I just got done packaging up my 9th order for StudioARTBEAD my newest shop on Etsy. Not bad for the holiday season when most are spending their money on ready made gifts. I've only been opened for about 6 weeks so I count this as a blessing! My other shops are doing well and most recently I have to thank SmallEarthVintage (one of my dear TeamT members) for featuring my Black and White 'To Everything there is a Season' Switch plate and Paperinstyle for Featuring my Blue Willow Dill Candle holders in their lovely treasuries. Both made it to the Front Page of Etsy and as you can see by The Vault at Majaba (where you can find out if you've ever been featured on the Front Page of Etsy by putting in your shop name) my blue candlesticks were also featured by the Etsy Admins the very next day! I did not find out about all this until after Shabbat, so Saturday night and was amazed, also more amazed to find that they were sold! My Switch plate also sold after hitting the Front page too! Thank you both! and Etsy too!

Then just yesterday afternoon I was checking my email for something and got this notice from Statsy Featurator:

Hi there,
I have some good news for you: StudioARTBEAD was featured on Etsy's front page, with the "Trio of Greens Leaf Buttons Coordinating set"! :-)
Never heard of Statsy? This is another way to be alerted right away when you are on the front page, that way you can see it for yourself instead of at the Vault or waiting for it to be posted to the Etsy Front Pagers at Flickr. Sign up here if you'd like this service, I've gotten notified twice by it as well as cheers from my wonderful TeamT members! (Check out their shops on my sidebar, we have a wonderful variety of Art and Craft, something for everyone!)

This time since it was at 1pm I got to watch the views and hearts go up and up in my shop. I also got to watch as the Admin constantly tweaked the Front Page to look just right, changing out some things but thankfully they kept my buttons there the whole hour! I have four screen shots of the front page in transition. This is the first for StudioARTBEAD and I am very honored to be featured on the FP so soon after opening. I think it took over 8 months before OrganicOdysseys was on FP, but I've been there now 11 times since June, very shortly after joining my favorite TeamT! I've even curated a Front Page there as well and hope to do more. And a Special thanks to Cathy from Glassetc for making this lovely treasury!

I didn't sell the buttons but made two other sales and got 24 new shop hearts and 23 item hearts so this is a great boost for my new shop!

Now I have to get into the Studio today and try to find my table top again! With all I've been making and wrapping etc it is a mess, AND I've not gotten to my clay for so long I can't remember. My arm is feeling better (did I tell you I tore a ligament in my bicep? very painful!) but it's healing well. So hopefully I may even be finally able to get into that new Kato and Pardo I bought how many weeks ago?
I did find some time to make a treasury this weekend too. I wanted to thank some of those who have included me in their beautiful Treasuries throughout the year and made this Treasury
Thank You My Etsy Friends! Included in this treasury (more to come from others who featured one of my shops) danikeith, thepairabirds, paperinstyle, singingsurfer, YannPendaries, Chicki, kimbuktu, peylu, HappenstanceByChance, Eugena777 , KikisCrochet & Treasurefield. Thank you all!

Hope you all are taking it as easy as you can, remember sleep is your friend and will help you cope and be more creative and be able to enjoy the fruits of your labors so get as much as you can and eat well, lay off the Christmas cookies or Sufganiot until after all is done!

To those who are celebrating, Happy 5th night!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Accidental Art

Woke up to another snowy, icy, day, defiantly not like the beautiful snow over the weekend that snowed just enough and iced just enough that when the sun came up turned my yard into a winter wonderland. This picture is from that time. Today we are getting rain, ice, snow and constant warnings of flooding on the news.

Glad I don't have to go anywhere today. Yesterday went to the feed store to stock up on corn,mixed seed sunflower seeds and safflower seeds as well as some peanuts to keep all my outside critters fed well in this very cold weather.

I've got an old bamboo table set up on my front porch just outside my bay window where this winter I have placed a work table. I do my photo work here, taking pictures and editing, as well as some finishing of my artwork. It has three shelves and each one is filled with seed. The woven rattan top helps to pull moisture away so the seed doesn't get flooded or frozen to the top, and the birds and squirrels love it, it gives them a change of venue from the back yard which I can see to my left out the patio doors to the picnic table which they claimed as their own years ago.

My table by the window also makes a great place to have breakfast. This morning called for something hot and 'stick to your ribs' so I made some hot and tasty cereal from Bob's Red Mill. Now this is formulated for people who can't have gluten but is tasty for those who can. I add some cinnamon, allspice, a pinch of cardamon, pure maple syrup a pinch of sea salt, raisins and some chopped nuts and cook for 10 minutes. Then I Top off my bowl with a dab of organic butter and edge the rim with cream! Smells great and helps to warm you up and get you going! (Especially in other areas too because it is full of fiber!)

Sometimes you just never know where a beautiful piece of art may come from, for me, it came in my humble bowl of cereal. ( Click on photo to enlarge, it reminds me of the Spin Art I used to do at Summer Camp and down the Shore at the Boardwalk!).

What do you think, ever had an accidental artwork just happen before your eyes? Tell me about it and have a good, warm, comforting day!


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Now you Know..........

Well... you may already know this, my favorite female singer is Norah Jones. I love so many of her songs and her exquisite way of singing even old favorites. Believe it or not, my silver Koi Cosmo, whose tank is right next to my Stereo, loves her too. He is quite spastic, not used to being in a tank, we brought him in from the pond and he is very flighty, but when I put Norah's CD on, he swims over closest to the Stereo and just hangs out there, or very gracefully swims around in that corner. His favorite is 'Come Away with me', but he also loves 'One Flight Down'.

I happen to been able to catch the treasury going off last night and this song was stuck in my head so that is what I went with. I made a Treasury Titled, 'Now you Know' and tailored all my picks from the lyrics in this song. If you aren't familiar with them here's a link to the lyrics, I've had trouble finding the correct ones as those who post these things have their own interpretation apparently but this is the most accurate , the only incorrect part I saw was the line 'Here at least you see your ancient face', is supposed to be 'Here at last you see your ancient face'.

Stay tuned as I shall be using this technique soon at StudioARTBEAD! And check out the shop this week, I've some new buttons and beads in the shop, the first set I listed yesterday already sold! :)


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Featured in the Elite Eight Again!

S and O Productions Blog which has a weekly feature called the Elite Eight has featured one of the treasury's I am currently in. It is called 'Eye Candy' and features lots of yummy little jewels for gift making and giving. Included in this treasury is this faux amber bead 'repaired' with faux turquoise from my new shop StudioARTBEAD.

The Elite Eight for this week can be found here on this very elegant blog.

I was also favored back in September to have been in another treasury that was included in their Elite Eight. One called 'Lime Garden' where my Live Oak Leaf recycled vase was featured.

The S and O stand for Sarah and Olivia who are sisters and have a beautiful blog where they promote Art and handmade.

A quote from their blog:
Sarah and Olivia are a pair of adorable sisters and together they make up S and O productions; where they share (with the world) their stylish inspirations, lengthy and unabridged tales of the ups and downs they’ve come across in their cooking, writing, photographing, and crafting, journeys. They enjoy scouring the internet for bushels of talented artisans (whom they heartily admirer) and showcasing their work here on this little patch of blog they call their own:)
Give them a visit and check out those beautiful treasuries! Also stop by the Eye Candy Treasury, and here's a few more I am in currently.

A Colorful Christmas - One of my Art Beads from StudioARTBEAD
White Monday - another of my art beads
A Delightful Evening Indeed! - Dill Candle holders from my OrganicOdysseys shop
Holiday Treats - My Vintage Lesney Locomotive from my PolkaDotSandals shop

I am adding lots of new beads in StudioARTBEAD this week, as well as some new items in PDS and new Organic gifts like Herbal Wine Charms in OrganicOdysseys so stop by and take a look!


S and O Productions: Treasury Tuesday The Elite Eight

S and O Productions: Treasury Tuesday The Elite Eight

One of my New shop's ( StudioARTBEAD) beads has been featured in an etsy Treasury this week,Called Eye Candy.

This treasury was chosen by the lovely sisters, Sarah and Olivia of S&O Productions to be one of
their choices in their Tuesday feature, "The Elite Eight".

Each week they look through all the Treasuries on etsy and pick only 8 that showcase the ones they feel are the best for that week. Back in September I was blessed to have had my Live Oak Vase featured in a treasury called Lime Garden that also made their Elite Eight.

This weeks theme was the holidays and they sure picked some beautiful ones.Be sure to stop by and check out this beautiful blog.

Thank you Sarah and Olivia!

Blessings and Joy to you this Holiday Season!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Spent all your Money this Weekend?

I read on the news that there were more shoppers out in the malls and stores this week end than last year, BUT they spent a lot less.

The only shopping I did this weekend was to buy some security lights from Home Depot and Monday to use up my coupons that expired Nov 30th. Which brought me to thinking that we all are in the same boat more or less. I felt pretty good returning from the store only paying a couple dollars more than half of what the bill would have been if I hadn't had the coupons. It made it even better that I picked this week to get certain things, things that usually aren't on sale were so it was even more savings.

I made a great savings on things that we use all the time, was able to use up my coupons before they expired and not have to worry about buying these things at top price!

I thought I would share how I do this with my readers as I'm sure we all could use to save a bit and if you save even more, then you can buy more art supplies with less guilt! :)

A few years ago we were not doing so well and I had to buckle down in many areas to get things straightened out. I subscribed to the local newspaper for the Sunday edition (the coupon edition), but found that I could use few of the coupons offered. I don't eat a lot of prepackaged foods because of their poor health quality, or that they aren't gluten free. So I am limited and can't take advantage of all these. I found I was barely able to cover the cost of the newspaper with the coupons I could use and looked for a better way, I turned to the internet.

That was when I discovered that you can actually buy coupons specific to what you need! Instead of buying the coupons that come in the local paper, and maybe not even being able to use them, I found a place you buy only what you can use, exactly what you can use for only pennies! And it is a charitable organization so everyone wins!

This great saving place is called The Coupon Clippers - Saving together! From their site:

We are the nation’s largest online Grocery Coupon clipping service, offering more than a million national-brand coupons at any given time in our warehouse and shipping center. Browse our huge selection and start saving $$$ today!
You can look through all their coupons, shop by alphabetical order, or for special needs like Baby, specific store coupons like Publix and also there is a section (at the top) to look for Gluten free items which I love! There is some limits on certain coupons but only if they are limited in the amount they have, fair enough. You do have to buy a certain amount but at .05c - .25c per coupon with the ability to save dollars it is worth it.

I'll give you an example of a couple of great deals I just made with my coupons. I usually always buy Egglands eggs and they always seem to have coupons for them, I save between, .70c and $1.00 off each dozen, not bad, better eggs for about the same price as the lesser quality eggs. This week I used coupons for organic sugar that I bought from the Coupon Clippers for 5c a piece for a .40c coupon. Took this to the store which sells it for $2.09 and it was on sale for $1.89. My store doubles coupons up to $1 so I got .80c off each bag (I had 5 coupons the required amount to buy), so I saved $4.00 with my coupons I only paid .25c for, not to mention the $1.00 from the sale on the sugar. Pretty cool, huh?

It's easy to sign up, order and they are fast on delivery and very accurate, I've ordered from them many times and never had a problem. You can even put money in your account to order from whenever you want. You can even check on previous orders, or check our order status. They even have a counter that tells you from when you order when your order will go out. Usually the same day. Give It a try, you've got nothing to loose, unless you buy them and don't use them, but much to gain.

Here's a couple of other sites I've found you might want to look into, this one gives you lots of coupons you can print out yourself, just check off what you want and print! ( You may have to download their software) Printable Brand Name Coupons.

They are associated with this site Budget 101, Digging yourself out of debt. And don't forget to check out their forums where you will see daily the free offers available. They also have a forum there for chain store specials, which includes Michael's, Hobby Lobby, Staples, etc.

So if you spent too much on Black Friday/Cyber Monday or just need to cut back somewhere check out these cool savings sites! And then take a bit of your savings and treat yourself for being so thrifty!

Oh, still keeping your Sunday paper subscription for the circulars? Cancel your subscription and go here to look at all the major circulars online for free! Save money and less paper to be recycled!



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