Monday, December 27, 2010

Artfire Seller Saved Me

I had bought a handmade gift for my brother, but it was not as described-and to make a long story short, that whole transaction took a bad turn. But another artisan saved the day. She stepped up to the challenge of making something she had not tried before, and got it to me just in time for Christmas! Without a pattern to go by, Aundie (a.k.a. Beanie Corner) crocheted a mohawk hat from a photo example.
 Check out my handsome teenage brother, sporting his beautiful handmade mohawk hat from Beanie Corner. Thanks to Andra and her excellent customer service, Justin now has a kickin' hat all of his friends are going to envy. Beanie Corner is working on putting some more great works up in her studio, and there is another hat similar to this one with wool on top.
Justin also got a couple of earflap beanies from KraftyLady . They fit really well, and my brother complains that most of the beanies he gets are too small for his head.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Ice Candle Holiday Centerpiece

"Ice Candles" make beautiful centerpieces for your holiday dinner table, and are very simple to make. Today I'm going to show you how to create your own unique and pretty ice display for a candle.
You will need:
A large empty paper-based coffee can, with a small empty paper based coffee can (or large plastic cup) Carefully cut off the aluminum rim from the tops of the coffee cans with a box-cutter.
Or-A 42 oz plastic container with a smaller plastic container (or large plastic cup)

 I filled the center cups with heavy doodads, nails, and coins to keep them weighed down. In the space between the two containers, you put leaves, flowers (real or synthetic), foil decorations, whatever you want. There are many possibilities! I plucked some yellow/green/gold leaf branches from the trees neighboring my house, and cut them, standing larger pieces on end around the sides of the coffee can one-making sure to face the brighter sides of the leaves outward. Once you have your decorations in the space, carefully fill it with water. I was a bit short on decorative confetti stuff this year, so I cut up some scraps of metallic red and green fabric for the other one, and added glitter in blue, white, gold, and green. The cap came off as I was sprinkling the green glitter, and the entire bottle dumped in...
All set! Carefully place in the freezer, making sure your weighted center stays in the center. Once frozen solid, you can dump out the heavy stuff and dip the bottom of the container in hot water to remove the plastic mold. For the center, carefully pour in hot water and wiggle until it slides out. On the coffee can deal, I just used a box cutter to slice the side and peel the cardboard away. Place your ice-ring in a dish just deep enough to hold the water as it melts (it's slow), and put in a candle that's shorter than the ice, for the best effect.
My camera didn't catch the full 'glistening', but you get the idea! These are so pretty. As the top melts down, it starts looking really interesting:
This photo looks sort of muddy, but it was actually quite lovely. I've been making these every year, and they're different every time. It's been added to our family traditions. Can't wait to see how the glittery one turns out!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Handmade Perfection

Now here's a shop where you'll find some really pretty handmade treasures for your Christmas shopping. Lamata Designs has a great selection of different items to choose from. Paper beads are pretty popular, and you've probably seen quite a few. But the craftsmanship on these is quite impressive. If you've ever tried making paper beads, you know that it looks a lot easier than it really is to get such clean-cut and professional looking results. Lamata's paper beads are so perfect that you can't tell right away that they're paper until you read the description or someone tells you.
 She's got finished pieces or loose beads you can put under the Christmas tree for your crafty friend or loved one. The craftsmanship on each individual bead is really impeccable, and you can tell they were made with meticulous love and care.

Amazing, the way they look like glass! I love to see up-cycled/repurposed materials come out looking so finished. Be sure to check out this shop and see all the different goodies, as well as Artfire's Unique Gift Guide for more creative gift ideas!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gift Ideas

Sometimes it can be a challenge, figuring out what to give loved ones for Christmas-or any other special event. I like to think of myself as kind of good at it, lol. I tend to remember what people like, or mention that they need. But some folks just stump you. Sometimes their tastes change sporadically (esp. teenagers), or maybe they seem to already have everything. Whatever the case, Artfire makes it really easy to find great, unique gift ideas. The categorized search tools help narrow it down a lot! Unlike shopping at an over-crowded big box department store, on Artfire you can find one-of-a-kind items that are guaranteed to surprise and delight.
I'm doing all handmade shopping this year for Christmas, and I'd love to share specifics-but this is top secret stuff!! All I can say is, I've got two down, three more to go, and it's not even Thanksgiving yet.
I don't have children, and my sibs are all 13+, but I saw some adorable handmade toys on Artfire, and made a kids collection:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

parts for Ben

The long pink one that says Follow Your Bliss should be at the top, and is not backlinked

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I Won a Treasure

from DivaPixie! a.k.a.
Fools and Jewels. Beautiful wire wrapping in copper.

She has quite an eclectic mix in her studio, and I really like the steampunk. Here are some of my favorites:

What a crazy-beautiful clockwork piece!

And these are gorgeous:
Ya' know, I've had a few wire wrappers tell me that it's "actually pretty easy" or "not as hard as it looks." Nonsense. I know it must take a lot of patience and practice just to have your loops consistent, and figuring out how to get the most from each gauge/type of wire...
I tip my hat to DivaPixie, and all the other wonderful and talented wire-wrappers I've met on Artfire-the best place to shop for handmade gifts.
This Drunkenmimes Ecclectic LadyLand Jewelry, signing off. Happy Wednesday.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The BEST Forum Post Ever

'Do Lower Prices Win The Sale'
by Dads Wooden Toys

Under-priced items have you concerned?
have you lost money you should have earned?

To another seller who prices so low
for all of their time there is nothing to show.

The answer of course is unknown for sure
did one of your customers bite at their lure?

But allow me to give you some food for thought
perhaps things are best with the prices you've got.

Pricing the lowest may not win the sale
it's not all buyers want in each case without fail

unless you are selling supplies such as beads
quality craftsmanship is what each buyer needs.

Assuming your content and pictures are great
the question is: How will your product rate

next to a listing that is under-priced
will your sales be stolen by prices so sliced?

If what you are selling requires a skill
and if it's on Artfire most likely it will

then your price tells more than what they should pay.
Confidence in workmanship you also display.

The time you invested into your piece
will appear to be more than the one priced the least.

When buying a commercially produced doodad
comparing just price will make buyers glad.

But when dealing with makers of handcrafted wares
a price that's too low may only get stares.

"Surely they couldn't have worked very hard
perhaps the seller is a fat lazy lard.

I'ld rather pay money for items that last"
They'll say as they remember stuff bought in the past.

Oh sure there are buyers who buy just whats cheap
inside their closets there is most likely a heap

of broken items long since discarded.
But not in the closets of those who are guarded.

Discerning buyers are those that you need
who see that your price is not fueled by greed.

Those buyers are out there don't think that they're not
Artfire is probably their favorite spot.

So make sure your description and pictures show
the work you invested so the buyers know.

It's worth it to buy from your quality store
even when paying a few dollars more. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pop Art, Pun Intended

Check out one of my latest collections on Artfire! It includes some really cool up-cycling. I love it when people make beautiful things out of materials that might otherwise be discarded.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My Breakthrough in Red Lace

I'm always complaining about how hard it is when I do something completely new, and I need to stop that. But it was! Three days of humming and hawing, sitting and staring (do you ever do that, planning something in your head, all intense, and then someone walks by and shouts "WAKE UP!" at you, so rude. They have no idea the things they're interrupting, lol).
Anyway, the next time I do this it will be much easier. What I had sort of planned in my minds eye was much daintier, and chunkier. (The loops shorter, more large focal beads, and the whole necklace not quite as long). But I'm happy with my Flamenco-Victorian-Moulin Rouge-Ruffled Collar-Spanish Queen-Bib Necklace. Can't wait to do the next one. Gotta close my eyes, spin the color wheel, and see where my finger lands.
Artfire, Artfire, how I love Artfire! It's just come out of beta with new front and landing pages, a fantastic new Group Deal, and crazy prizes! You'll want to check that out now, to lock in a pro studio monthly rate of only $5.95. Yeah, only $5.95! But you have to sign up by October 1st, because that price will be long gone. I love browsing through all the awesome handmade gifts available on Artfire, and being apart of that artisan community is just invaluable. We have some amazing genius running the show too, who listen to what we have to say, and are very transparent about their plans with the venue. Listen to this from Tony and John podcast about the Group Deal . . . here. 
I'm so excited!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Spelled it Out

Just to make things clear:

You're missing out if you haven't
checked out the new Group Deal.
Visit Artfire, the best place to find great, unique, handmade gifts