Tuesday, March 31, 2009

End of March -- SALE!



Time to do some Spring cleaning in my Etsy shop! Thru midnight tonight, take 15% off your entire order--no code needed! This is a great opportunity to pick up some gifts for your child's teacher for Easter or to get a jump on Mother's Day. My Etsy Guide, How to Make it Small When You're Trying to Make it Big is on sale for $7 today as well! Lots of Risky Kids pieces and glass pendants have already been marked down, so you'll get double the savings on those!

Monday, March 30, 2009

ArtFire Interview...NotMoira

**YOU NEED TO READ THIS INTERVIEW. TODAY IS MONDAY AND MONDAYS ARE CRAPPY AFTER YOU READ THIS, IT WON'T FEEL LIKE MONDAY ANYMORE. TRUST ME.**

This is the 9th interview of a featured seller participating in our April ArtFire giveaway running Wed. 4/1/09-Tues. 4/7/09. The theme is Eco-Friendly, and all of our sellers offer a 10% discount during the giveaway week and a purchase from any ArtFire shop during that week gets you an extra entry into the giveaway. Buy from a featured seller that week, and we up it to 2! Today's interview is with Amy of NotMoira! She's donating the perfect bag for our Earthly giveaway! The 'Love Yo Mama' Mother Earth Lightweight Canvas Tote Bag!



Here's Amy:

1. Biographical info:

I'm Amy. I live in west central Alabama with my husband and our cat Cosmo. I spend my evenings surrounded by piles of papers and envelopes, and I entertain myself thoroughly with my cardmaking. My cards are sort of out there and in yo face, which is exactly opposite of the way I am in real life. If I think it and don't have the balls to say it, chances are it's going on a card. Recently I've decided to branch out and add these thoughts to gift tags and canvas bags.

2. Who and or what inspired you to become an artist? Was there a specific event or period in your life when you decided to go this route and why? Was it the right decision?

I don't consider myself an artist, just a crafter. An artist in my mind is someone that has true skill, ha. My aunt is a true artist and she does unbelieveable drawings. I have none of her skill. At all. Even my stick figures are sad. That being said, I have always liked to be crafty and make things, even if they do turn out ugly. We still have some of my "pottery" that I made in art class in school... bless my mother... basically they let me form a big blob, fired it, then called it a bowl. And the clay figure I made? Ugliest crap ever. Seriously. As far as inspiration for my current crafting goes, I just take from situations that I'm put in. People are ridiculous and they are my inspiration, lol.

3. Define your craft as you see it and explain the mental and physical process you go through to create what you sell. For example, do you spend 90% of the time creating and 10% listing or 70% ruminating on an idea and 30% of the time bringing it to life?

I am sort of a nutcase when it comes to making my stuff. I don't have any rhyme or reason to my crafting, really. I will go a few days without making anything, then all of a sudden I have 4 ideas that need to be brought to life, so I'll spend several hours cranking those out. As I said before, the random situations I find my in are most of my inspiration, so a lot of times I'll jot down an idea and throw it in my bag if I'm on the go. At night I'll gather my scribbles of snarky lines or witty remarks.

4. What purpose does your art serve in your life? Is it just paying the bills?

My crafting is a big part of my stress relief. I am currently in a profession that I wish I never went into, so I pretty much hate going to work every day. Coming home and being my true self and putting what I really think on paper makes me feel good after having to attempt to act like a professional all day! I wish it was paying lots of bills!

5. Are you a full-time artist or a double agent?

I only wish I was full timing! Or even part time crafting/part time day job, I'll take whatever I can get to get out of the fresh hell that is my day job, lol.


6. What other creative outlets do you employ?

I am good friends with my hot glue gun. I like to make all sorts of things, especially holiday related items. I made an easter egg wreath last year, and it's on my front door right now. It's pretty darn cute.

7. Why do you like selling on ArtFire, and why is being apart of the upcoming giveaway important to you?

ArtFire cuts the crap, and I like that! No sellers fees = happy woman! They seem to really listen to what sellers want. I am glad to be part of the giveaway because hey, who doesn't like to win stuff? I'm glad to contribute something that somebody else's prize. Maybe I'll win something good one day.

8. Tell us something about you that we wouldn’t assume just from browsing in your shop.

Well, like I said before, I am so not very outspoken in life. My close family and friends see that side of me, but most people that I am around don't get it at all. I'm a people pleaser. I'm smiling at you and thinking you're the biggest douchebag all at the same time. I am also pretty sensitive and get my feelings hurt way easier than you'd think. I can down a margarita like they're going out of style, but you may or may not have assumed that by looking at my stuff.

9. If you weren’t the artist you are today, what else would you be?

I'd still be me, but even more boring, if that is even possible.

10. What advice would give to someone who wanted to start their own shop on ArtFire or another handmade venue?

Go for it, but be original with what you're trying to sell or you'll just blend in with all the other stuff like yours. Really look at your stuff with a critical eye. I have to ask myself "Does anyone really want this crap? I mean really." If the answer is yes or even maybe, then I go for it.

11. What flavor of ice cream are you and why?

Ben and Jerry's Turtle Soup. A little nuts, a little chunky, a whole lot of deliciousness.


Thank you, Amy. That was absolutely hilarious. I was laughing my head off at number 3 and by number 9, I peed on myself. So, yeah, thanks a lot for that, Amy.

Read interviews of other sellers in this giveaway: Chelsea Lynn Designs, Jennuine Candles, Campgirldesigns, CobWebPalace, MeaCulpaBodyandBath, Green Hill Soap Co, Ninja Jenn, BAKidagain

Want to peek at past giveaways? January February March

See you tomorrow with another awesome interview!!! ~Lori

Sunday, March 29, 2009

ArtFire Interview...BAKidagain

This is the 8th interview of a featured seller participating in our April ArtFire giveaway running Wed. 4/1/09-Tues. 4/7/09. The theme is Eco-Friendly, and all of our sellers offer a 10% discount during the giveaway week and a purchase from any ArtFire shop during that week gets you an extra entry into the giveaway. Buy from a featured seller that week, and we up it to 2! Today's interview is with Carla of BAKidagain. Carla is donating the coolest Earth Day Glow In the Dark Ornament for our giveaway!

Here's Carla...

1. Biographical info:
Hi my name is Carla, I'm a single mom of 2 teens that I home school. We live in north east Ohio 1/2 way between Akron and Youngstown in the little town of Ravenna . I have been making glow in the dark ornaments since 2001, a few years before that we started making glitter ornaments to give family and friends as gifts.

2. Who and or what inspired you to become an artist? Was there a specific event or period in your life when you decided to go this route and why? Was it the right decision?
I have been a crafter for as long as I can remember. About 8 years ago I quit my "day job" to stay home and do this full time. Thanks to ALL of my wholesale and retail customers I've been able to continue. God has a way of always providing and makes sure the money is there when we need it.

3. Define your craft as you see it and explain the mental and physical process you go through to create what you sell. For example, do you spend 90% of the time creating and 10% listing or 70% ruminating on an idea and 30% of the time bringing it to life? I'm not sure I can do this, lol. On average I make 120-150 ornaments every week in order to keep up with the demand. There are days when I will make stock items and there are days when I want to do "something different" and come up with a new idea and make a new design .. I would love to have more items listed but because they're glass it makes getting GOOD pictures difficult. There are days when I've had to take 100 pictures to get 5 good ones to use. I find new ideas when I go fabric shopping or when someone gives me left over pieces that they can't use.

4. What purpose does your art serve in your life? Is it just paying the bills?
It's a blessing to be being able to pay the bills and support my family with my cre8ivity! I love making my ornaments and seeing ALL the joy it brings to others. I also like to spread the word of God when I talk to people because this is my gift from God, He put the idea in my head and provided me with the knowledge to figure out how to make them because there wasn't anything like it in the craft world at that time.

5. Are you a full-time artist or a double agent?

I'm a full time artist now.

6. What other creative outlets do you employ?
I also make bath & body products a few times a year (it used to be my full time job and ornaments were part time) and have a whole room filled with odds & ends of stuff that I have tried over the years.

7. Why do you like selling on ArtFire, and why is being apart of the upcoming giveaway important to you I love the ArtFire community! It's different than the "other places" on the web. I love making my ornaments and am trying to get them into as many homes as I can. This giveaway is a way for me to give a little of myself in hopes that it will brighten someone's day.
8. Tell us something about you that we wouldn’t assume just from browsing in your shop.
I have no idea what this would be, sorry, lol.

9. What have you learned about yourself by being an artist? What have you learned about others andor society?
Oh I could almost write a book about being a struggling artist and what I have learned from others. I guess the most important thing is to be yourself! Don't copy what someone else is doing just because they are successful at it, use YOUR cre8ivity to come up with your own idea and put your heart into it. I have seen so many people copy what someone else is doing so they can get "in on the cash cow" and get let down because they aren't making the amount of money to make them happy. Then when that item is no longer "hot" they're out of business or have to go copy someone else because they don't have an original idea in their head. Too much stress and wasted money, they would be better off getting a 9-5 job. My ex-mother-in- law once told me that if she could have 12 the money back from ALL of her crafting ventures over the years that she would be a millionaire.

10. What have you learned about yourself by being a business person? What have you learned about others andor society?
When you hire help make them sign a no-compete agreement and make sure you don't tell them ALL of your tricks and secrets.

11. If you weren’t the artist you are today, what else would you be?
Only God can answer that one, lol.

12. What advice would give to someone who wanted to start their own shop on ArtFire or another handmade venue? Give it at least a year to decide if it's working for you. Just because you make something and put it "out there" to sell doesn't mean it's going to sell. My items sell more in person than online because you can pick them up and look at them. Selling online has to be one of the hardest things to do. It's not a "get rich quick" way to go, you really have to work at it.

13. What flavor of ice cream are you and why? I'm not sure how to answer this. My favorite flavor is Buckeye Blitz, it's chocolate ice cream with peanut butter swirls and mini buckeye candies mixed in. Although some days I feel like Rocky Road because I have so many things to do and only so much time in a day, lol. Besides that, ya gotta deal with the and nuts that come along trying to slow you down.


Carla, thanks for an awesome interview!! Interviews of other sellers in this giveaway: Chelsea Lynn Designs, Jennuine Candles, Campgirldesigns, CobWebPalace, MeaCulpaBodyandBath, Green Hill Soap Co, Ninja Jenn.

Want to peek at past giveaways? January February March

See you tomorrow with another awesome interview!!! ~Lori

Saturday, March 28, 2009

ArtFire Interview...Ninja Jenn

This is the 7th interview of a featured seller participating in our April ArtFire giveaway running Wed. 4/1/09-Tues. 4/7/09. The theme is Eco-Friendly, and all of our sellers offer a 10% discount during the giveaway week and a purchase from any ArtFire shop during that week gets you an extra entry into the giveaway. Buy from a featured seller that week, and we up it to 2! Today's interview is with Jenn Joyner of NinjaJenn. Jenn is donating this precious Earth Day Upcycled Scrabble Tile Pendant.
Here's Jenn...

1. Biographical info:
name: Jenn Joyner
Location: Kannapolis, NC (about 20 miles north of Charlotte)
Family size: just me!
I make pendants and other jewelry using wood, resin, paint and paper. I also like to use upcycled/recycled materials as often as i can

2. Who and or what inspired you to become an artist? Was there a specific event or period in your life when you decided to go this route and why? Was it the right decision?
I've always been into creating things. I think it just runs in my family. All the men in my family are diamond cutters and/or goldsmiths, and all the women sew, cook, dance, paint, etc... so it's in my blood. I decided to devote myself to my art full time last year. I just got tired of now doing what I love on a daily basis, and I thought I should give it a shot! It has been rough, and making ends meet is sometimes hard, but I couldn't be happier... so yes, it is TOTALLY the right decision!

3. Define your craft as you see it and explain the mental and physical process you go through to create what you sell. For example, do you spend 90% of the time creating and 10% listing or 70% ruminating on an idea and 30% of the time bringing it to life?
That's a tough one! I'd have to say I spend 100% of my waking time thinking about what I want to create... it's always in the back of my mind! And I spend about 75% of my time actually making things. I LIVE my art... I take it with me wherever I go, and I love to talk about it, think about it, involve myself in it... whatever!

4. What purpose does your art serve in your life? Is it just paying the bills?
It's my therapy, my release, my sustenance, and my sometimes headache. It makes me who I am.

5. Are you a full-time artist or a double agent?
Full time! :0)

6. What other creative outlets do you employ?
I paint, sculpt, and cook along with my "normal" jewelry making.

7. Why do you like selling on ArtFire, and why is being apart of the upcoming giveaway important to you?
I LOVE artfire because of the people. It's not the only site I sell on, but it IS the only site I think of as family. Being in the giveaway is important to me because I LOVE the idea of being "eco friendly"... and I want to let people know that I try my best to be just that at every turn.

8. Tell us something about you that we wouldn’t assume just from browsing in your shop.
I used to think I would be a corporate drone for the rest of my life. I have a degree in business administration, one in accounting, and one in communications. I am totally "ready" for the corporate world, and I was once a "suit all day" broker. (PS. I was MISERABLE! LOL)

9. What have you learned about yourself by being an artist? What have you learned about others and/or society?
I've learned that I am happiest among other creative types, and that I can NOT be happy UNLESS I am creating something. I've learned that others in this community are truly AWESOME, and they will be supportive of me even at my worst... and when I need it most. <3

10. What have you learned about yourself by being a business person? What have you learned about others and/or society?
I've found that, even though I know how to do all the "right steps" to run a business, I still think 90% of it is malarkey. I've learned that we are taught to be cutthroat and hard edged in the business world to survive, but the reality is that the more "human" you are the better off you will be.

11. If you weren’t the artist you are today, what else would you be?
I can't imagine anything else to be honest. I used to be a bartender, and that was about the most fun job I've had besides this one, so I guess I would have to choose that... but please don't make me! LOL

12. What advice would give to someone who wanted to start their own shop on ArtFire or another handmade venue?
Make what you love. Be honest and sincere in all you do. Ask for advice and be willing to listen.... really listen. Be aware of your competition but don't dwell on it. Let your work show who YOU are and the rest will come...

13. What flavor of ice cream are you and why?
I'm more like baskin robbins... I'd have to say i'm ALL the flavors... I have pretty severe ADHD, so I tend to be a lot of things at a lot of different times. I'm totally quirky, so, while I can say what flavor I WOULD be, I CAN say I sure wouldn't be vanilla!

Now see, all ninja's aren't scary! Some of them are downright hilarious! Thanks, Jenn!

Interviews of other sellers in this giveaway: Chelsea Lynn Designs, Jennuine Candles, Campgirldesigns, CobWebPalace, MeaCulpaBodyandBath, Green Hill Soap Co.

Want to peek at past giveaways? January February March


See you tomorrow with another awesome interview!!! ~Lori

Friday, March 27, 2009

ArtFire Interview...Green Hill Soap Co.


This is the 6th interview of a featured seller participating in our April ArtFire giveaway running Wed. 4/1/09-Tues. 4/7/09. The theme is Eco-Friendly, and all of our sellers offer a 10% discount during the giveaway week and a purchase from any ArtFire shop during that week gets you an extra entry into the giveaway. Buy from a featured seller that week, and we up it to 2! Today's interview is with Brandi and Dan of the Green Hill Soap Co. They are donating their Vegan Guest Size Trio of Unscented Lavender and Oatmeal soaps. I've used Green Hill's soaps and they are fabulous! They leave your skin feeling clean and pure and their packaging is very eco-perfect!

Here's Brandi & Dan...

1. Biographical Info:
We're a small, family owned company run by a husband (Dan) and wife (Brandi) who love and raise 3 small children, a dog the size of a pony and two cats who think they own the house. We live, work, worship and play in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA.


2. Who and or what inspired you to become an artist? Was there a specific event or period in your life when you decided to go this route and why? Was it the right decision?
Green Hill Soap Company was born from our desire to use good, natural things on our skin. It all started when Dan's older brother passed away at the age of 43 from a cancer that has run rampant through his family. We can't change heredity, but we can change the things we put on and in our bodies (and our childrens'!). Natural, organic, homegrown...that's now us in a nutshell.


3. Define your craft as you see it and explain the mental and physical process you go through to create what you sell. For example, do you spend 90% of the time creating and 10% listing or 70% ruminating on an idea and 30% of the time bringing it to life?
Soaping is just fun! Each batch, each bar is a lesson in patience, nurturing and hope. It sounds corny, but it's true.

4. What purpose does your art serve in your life? Is it just paying the bills?
Our purpose, first and foremost, is helping promote our family's health. When we started sharing with people at work and church, well, our purpose grew.

5. Are you a full-time artist or a double agent?
We definitely wear so many hats that "double agent" doesn't even begin to describe us!

6. What other creative outlets do you employ?
Playing with the kids, gardening, sewing, painting, cooking...

7. Why do you like selling on ArtFire, and why is being apart of the upcoming giveaway important to you?
We love the ArtFire community & the amazing tools available to us as sellers. The upcoming giveaway is important to us, because it's what we're all about...eco-friendly, natural, green. And it starts on Brandi's birthday, so that's fun too.

8. Tell us something about you that we wouldn't assume just from browsing in your shop.
We laugh a lot. A LOT. Giggles definitely are in our soaps.

9. What have you learned about yourself by being an artist? What have you learned about others and/or society?
We've learned, as a couple creating together, that we love working together.

10. What have you learned about yourself by being a business person? What have you learned about others and/or society?
We've come to realize that Dan likes to contemplate & Brandi likes to do. We balance one another out. Usually.

11. If you weren't the artist you are today, what else would you be?
Well, we'd probably be less tired, because we'd sleep more. ;)

12. What advice would give to someone who wanted to start their own shop on ArtFire or another handmade venue?
Go for it! Do it for the fun of doing it and if it becomes not fun, stop. Also, have realistic expectations. Just because you know you're open for business doesn't mean everyone else does, so you have to promote!

13. What flavor of ice cream are you and why?
Chocolate peanut butter from our favorite dairy farm, because it's delightful. And so are we. ;)

Thanks Brandi and Dan for that great interview! I want to come live your life; I'll be there 2morrow!
Interviews of other sellers in this giveaway: Chelsea Lynn Designs, Jennuine Candles, Campgirldesigns, CobWebPalace, MeaCulpaBodyandBath.

Want to peek at past giveaways? January February March


See you tomorrow with another awesome interview!!! ~Lori

Thursday, March 26, 2009

ArtFire Interview...MeaCulpaBodyandBath


This is the 5th interview of a featured seller participating in our April ArtFire giveaway running Wed. 4/1/09-Tues. 4/7/09. The theme is Eco-Friendly, and all of our sellers offer a 10% discount during the giveaway week and a purchase from any ArtFire shop during that week gets you an extra entry into the giveaway. Buy from a featured seller that week, and we up it to 2! Today's interview is with Jasmina of MeaCulpaBodyandBath. This will be the 2nd giveaway Jasmina has participated in, and for this giveaway, she's donating her wonderful Unscented Body Yogurt with Goat's Milk!


Here's Jasmina...
1. Biographical Info:

Hi :-) My name is Jasmina (but pronounced as if the J was an Y), married with 2 kids and 2 dogs....I came to the States from Macedonia 10 years ago and at times its still difficult adjusting in Michigan. I am making bath and body products, hair care, skin care, facial care etc and I am trying to make them as natural as possible! I believe that we need to get in touch with Mother Nature again - we became way too separated!


2. Who and or what inspired you to become an artist? Was there a specific event or period in your life when you decided to go this route and why? Was it the right decision?

Money crisis to be honest. That was my inspiration - I had to start doing something to bring extra income - however small or big! I am a stay at home mom and one of my kids is still not at the school age, so I cant really go and work. Had to think of something. Soo, aromatherapy was a thing that I was already using - to soothe my children when they were sick - so I though, why not start making more variety and start selling!

3. Define your craft as you see it and explain the mental and physical process you go through to create what you sell. For example, do you spend 90% of the time creating and 10% listing or 70% ruminating on an idea and 30% of the time bringing it to life?

Its always different. Some days I am mostly on the computer, some days I don't do anything because I need to rest my brain from all the craziness etc...but I can say that I spend more time on the computer investigating, researching, promoting, listing, working on photos etc than I do creating.

4. What purpose does your art serve in your life? Is it just paying the bills?

At the begining thats what it was - just trying to pay bills....now its more than that - I want to bring joy in peoples lives too, I want a win-win situation where both sides get something out of the sale. I want to be able to help people with day to day little skin dilemmas and its very satisfying when I hear the feedback - I feel like finally there is purpose to something :-)

7. Why do you like selling on ArtFire, and why is being apart of the upcoming giveaway important to you?

One of the reasons that I like selling on ArtFire is that people have a choice of NOT opening an account to buy something. The other reason is that the whole community is just so nice, that even when I tried to leave - I just couldn't :-) This giveaway is special - its Earth friendly, its green, the message it tries to convey is something that everyone should pay attention to.

8. What have you learned about yourself by being a business person? What have you learned about others and/or society?

It can be dog eat dog world! And I am so naive and gentle, that I have a hard time fighting for my life..lol....I would like to give my stuff away for free rather than take money :-)

9. If you weren’t the artist you are today, what else would you be?

I really dont know....maybe a healer? For free of course...lol....I am a Reiki II practicioner, so most likelly I would have gone off to share the healing energy and to learn more about expanding it.

1o. What advice would give to someone who wanted to start their own shop on ArtFire or another handmade venue?

Arghhhh......patience, socialize, promote, be classy, dont be pushy and again - patience! Dont give up, Rome was not built in one day!

11. What flavor of ice cream are you and why?

Ahhhh......and I was JUST thinking of ice cream, damn it! Chocolate, strawberry, vanilla! I dont know why, dont ask - I just love it :-) I still havent found a good creamy walnut and/or almond ice cream here in USA....gotta go look :-)

Thank you, Jasmina, for a great interview. Those of you who are also artists & crafters, I know you empathize with Jasmina on question #3. I do. BIG TIME. And I can totally relate to #8. I have the same problem sometimes. It's weird, isn't it?

Interviews of other sellers in this giveaway: Chelsea Lynn Designs, Jennuine Candles, Campgirldesigns, CobWebPalace

Want to peek at past giveaways? January February March


See you tomorrow with another awesome interview!!! ~Lori

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

ArtFire Interview...Cobwebpalace


This is the 4th interview of a featured seller participating in our April ArtFire giveaway running Wed. 4/1/09-Tues. 4/7/09. The theme is Eco-Friendly, and all of our sellers offer a 10% discount during the giveaway week and a purchase from any ArtFire shop during that week gets you an extra entry into the giveaway. Buy from a featured seller that week, and we up it to 2! Today's interview is with Liss from CobWebPalace. She's donating this darling Antique Doll part that is also a strong refrigerator magnet. According to Lis, he has magical powers...


Now before we go any further, I just want to say that there is NO better name for a shop than CobWebPalace! I'm so in love with that name. It sounds like the deed to the Addam's Family place, doesn't it? And who didn't want to live in that house?

And now, here's my interview with Lis..

1. Biographical info:
My name is Lis, and I live in a Victorian house in Genoa at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains. I have three amazingly talented children, ages 13, 14 and 17, and two delightful step-daughters, one is an art-teacher, and the other is an interior designer. My husband denies his many artistic talents, preferring to play the part of the roving critic....I work with old textiles, found objects, reproducing clothing, jewelry, accessories and home decor with a definite connection to the past.

2. Who and or what inspired you to become an artist? Was there a specific event or period in your life when you decided to go this route and why? Was it the right decision?
I remember using green dye to cover up a giant blob of silly putty that I had gotten stuck in the cream colored rug in the middle of the front parlor when I was about 4 or 5. I thought my efforts at camouflage were sensible and beautiful. My mother sighed and clucked, and said,"Lis, I think you need an artboard...." She was beyond doubt, the most influential person, and my biggest fan. She still is. From her I learned to sew, old French techniques taught to her by my grandmother, consequently I designed and made most of my own clothes from junior high to this day. There were times when I was young, I would feel this incredible frustration inside, such undeniable pressure, I simply had to make something or I would truly implode. My mother, my aunt, my grandmother, they were all there then, and would give me instruction in needlework, paint, stained glass, provide lessons for what they could not teach, Pops taught me to whittle and carve....he had amazing "tramp art" intuition. I was surrounded, thank goodness, by creative people who understood the need.

3. Define your craft as you see it and explain the mental and physical process you go through to create what you sell. For example, do you spend 90% of the time creating and 10% listing or 70% ruminating on an idea and 30% of the time bringing it to life?
My husband and I have always been serious collectors, it's what brought us together (second marriage), and truly defines our lifestyle. The mental and physical process of collecting is second nature, and consequently, so is dealing with the "accumulated stuff." For example, I have a barrel of broken china around back, like people have recycling bins. Same thing with antique paper, metals, wood bits, typeset, trinkets, the list is endless. My craft is working with the inspiration when a piece presents itself. Usually an idea pops, and I'll make notes and sketches if I can't act on it right then. There are always several ideas in different media going on, so I just go with it. My sewing can get very intense, so I will work with jewelry for awhile, build hats, dresses, work with paper or rust. I don't agonize over a project anymore, it gets put away until things gel. The computer part is my least favorite, and I spend as little time as here possible, though I am focusing more on photography, and finally setting up a blog. The more I learn, the better it gets.

4. What purpose does your art serve in your life? Is it just paying the bills?

Well, sure it's about paying the bills, but fortunately we don't have many. It is simply who I am, who we are, it is the purpose. There are always furniture and paintings to restore, dolls to dress, and so on, some go into the antique store, some don't. I am surrounded daily by beautiful things that I love. It's almost magical, isn't that art? Artful garden, artful house, artful business, artful life! It can all be achieved by pursuing simplicity.

5. Are you a full-time artist or a double agent?

I feel full time because the nature of antiques allows me great latitude to incorporate my one type of work into the other. The inter-relation has struck a balance for me now, but it wasn't always the case.

6. What other creative outlets do you employ?
I am active in theatre, onstage mostly, and have worked as a professional costumer, I love working in my yard and garden. For several years we have been restoring a very large Victorian house in another town in Nevada, and though most would think we're crazy, it is very much a creative endeavor. We love to go there and work and hide away for days! I have helped my husband publish books in specialty collecting fields, and I have a serious notion to do one of my own...soon.

7. Why do you like selling on ArtFire, and why is being apart of the upcoming giveaway important to you?

I've dabbled with other sites and though right now my studio shows little in the way of sales, it is no reflection on the sales I do actually make. Vendors are referred to my studio, and then order directly from me, how can that be anything but great! I feel that ArtFire promotes a sense of community and an undeniable etiquette that I found seriously lacking elsewhere. I don't cringe when I think of a vendor or customer examining the forums, in fact, most of the time they are loaded with fresh ideas, vivid and positive personalities, genuine encouragement, a big batch of pretty terrific people. The ArtFire staff is very accessible, astonishingly helpful, and you can feel and witness their desire for artisan success. This has been my experience anyway, and I want to give something back. You can't help feel that way, if you spend any time on the site. My intuition tells me this is the right place for me, the right time, and I am not questioning my intuition. I will promote ArtFire and the other artisans whenever I can, and look forward to using my own blog for that purpose.

8. Tell us something about you that we wouldn’t assume just from browsing in your shop.

I was an officer in the Air Force.

9. What have you learned about yourself by being an artist? What have you learned about others and/or society?

I've learned that there are no limits to what I will explore, and I don't have to explain myself to anyone. In other words, no boundaries, and I don't think about the opinions of others as they might relate to me. I have fought long hard battles within and without, and I finally have a wonderful life. I am very fortunate to be where I am, doing what I do. Whether I am setting up a display for an antique show, or a booth at a craft faire, I love what I do, and am generally surrounded by like-minded people.

10. What have you learned about yourself by being a business person? What have you learned about others and/or society?

My husband is an old-fashioned businessman, and I defer to him. He has always told me, "Lis, know your value, know your worth, and never settle for less." I told him that when it came to business matters, paperwork, my time was best used on home maintenance and artistic endeavors, he deferred to me! I'd marry him all over again, you know.

11. If you weren’t the artist you are today, what else would you be?
I would be better, still, if I had taken myself more seriously years ago. I wouldn't mind having been Linda Ronstadt, though.

12. What flavor of ice cream are you and why?
Coffee....smooth, creamy, rich, with a tendency to stay awake all night when pursuing a goal.

I am so with Lis on #9! Stay tuned for another interview tomorrow!
Interviews of other sellers in this giveaway: Chelsea Lynn Designs, Jennuine Candles, Campgirldesigns

Want to peek at past giveaways? January February March


~Lori

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

ArtFire Interview...Campgirldesigns


This is the 3nd interview of a featured seller participating in our April ArtFire giveaway running Wed. 4/1/09-Tues. 4/7/09. The theme is Eco-Friendly, and all of our sellers offer a 10% discount during the giveaway week and a purchase from any ArtFire shop during that week gets you an extra entry into the giveaway. Buy from a featured seller that week, and we up it to 2! Today's interview is with Alexis from Campgirldesigns. She's donating this cool upcycled pendant called Peaceful Times.

Here's Alexis:

1. Biographical info:
My name is Alexis, my husband & our 2 adorable dogs live in Kansas City, MO. I am a fairly ecelectic artist, from photography to tiaras to upcycled jewelry.

2. Who and or what inspired you to become an artist? Having a dad & granddad as architects...there really wasn't any option if I would do creative things. Creativity is in my blood!

Was there a specific event or period in your life when you decided to go this route and why? The craft director at camp showed us how to find beauty & art in everything. It obviously sunk in for me.

3. Define your craft as you see it and explain the mental and physical process you go through to create what you sell. For example, do you spend 90% of the time creating and 10% listing or 70% ruminating on an idea and 30% of the time bringing it to life? I spend my artistic time in this ratio: 70% dreaming (otherwise known as procrastination because of my need of perfection) 20% producing 10% listing

4. What purpose does your art serve in your life? Is it just paying the bills? It is a creative outlet that I hope, one day, will help change the world...in any little way that it can.

5. Are you a full-time artist or a double agent? Definitely a double agent...maybe even a triple or quadruple agent

6. What other creative outlets do you employ? Firebuilding, rockclimbing, letterboxing (it's art & treasure hunting rolled into one!), and many other outdoorsy-camp-girl-ish things!

7. Why do you like selling on ArtFire, and why is being apart of the upcoming giveaway important to you? The fact that Artfire is trying to make a difference in the environment is important to me. This helps me to achieve that goal of making a difference in the world. I'm pretty bad about promoting my own work, so this is a great way to do this with a good group of people from Artfire!

8. Tell us something about you that we wouldn’t assume just from browsing in your shop. I considered naming my shop Xcessories by aleXis. I had the logo figured out & everything...then, I realized that my favorite letter (& a favorite of most pirates) means "mature content" to most people...I didn't want to lead anyone on, because my stuff doesn't come close to "mature".

9. What have you learned about yourself by being an artist? I am fairly passionate about lots of things in my life. Sometimes I need to sit & focus on just one thing at a time, get it done, make sure that it gets to the right person to bless them! When I remember this, the dreaming part of my process gets cut & the productivity goes up - what a novel concept!

10. What have you learned about yourself by being a business person? I'm strangely uncomfortable promoting my own work. The internet has been helping me come out of my marketing-shell.

11. If you weren’t the artist you are today, what else would you be?
Well, considering that I have 2 other jobs & going to school for another...I guess I should pick from that list. Or could I just be a year-round camp counselor please?

12. What advice would give to someone who wanted to start their own shop on ArtFire or another handmade venue?
Go for it! Becoming involved in that community makes a lot of difference. Find one that fits you & your creations.

13. What flavor of ice cream are you and why?
Black Raspberry Brownie - its a combo of sweet, fruity, chocolatey goodness! You just can't resist its fun - just like me!

Doesn't that sound the BEST ice cream ever??? YUM! I wish we had that ice cream in our giveaway! (Although admittedly, I'd probably eat it and it wouldn't make it to giveaway kickoff... I'm just sayin'....) Stay tuned for another interview tomorrow!

Interviews of other sellers in this giveaway: Chelsea Lynn Designs, Jennuine Candles

Want to peek at past giveaways? January February March

~Lori

Monday, March 23, 2009

Dear Hollywood,

It just now dawned on me, the win-win-win idea to pull this entire country out of its economic slump. You can have this idea for $249,999.00 because I don't want to pay rich people taxes. Here it is:

Wall Street/Main Street Life Swap

That's right. America's new reality show is here. A CEO from some sector of the Financial Services Industry swaps lives with a hard-working, land-loving soul from middle America for 1 week. Both participants live the other person's life and at the end of the week, the CEO flies back home with the other guy's family and tells his employees all about his experience and what it was like to live this guy's life and do his job and provide for his family without the use of an assistant or Power Point presentation. Then, the CEO and his family fly back to the heartland where the regular guy tells his community the same thing about living the CEO's life and providing for his family, and he has to wear a suit and tie while giving the presentation and can't stand anywhere near a pick up truck. And there's no gender bias in this show; there's plenty of room for women to swap, too.

Win-CEOs
Win-Everybody who's not a CEO
Win-Hollywood

Win-Win-Win

ETA: If Joe-the-Plumber is involved in this is any way whatsoever, I will sue your private jet out of the sky.

ArtFire Interview...Jennuine Candles


This is the 2nd interview of a featured seller participating in our April ArtFire giveaway running Wed. 4/1/09-Tues. 4/7/09. The theme is Eco-Friendly, and all of our sellers offer a 10% discount during the giveaway week and a purchase from any ArtFire shop during that week gets you an extra entry into the giveaway. Buy from a featured seller that week, and we up it to 2! Jenn from Jennuine Candles is contributing a delicious Pome-great-nate 9oz Palm Wax candle!
here's Jenn!

1. Biographical info:

My name is Jennifer Holliday. I was born and raised in Western New York; about 30 minutes outside of Buffalo. After graduating from college with a bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy, I re-located to the Hampton/Newport News area of Virginia and lived/worked there for 6 years. During that time, I earned my master’s degree in Healthcare Management and met my now husband. We moved to the Phoenix metro area of Arizona in 2003 and have been married for six and a half years. (Wow, it’s amazing how time flies!) We always get asked, why did you move to Arizona and we reply “why not?”

2. Who and or what inspired you to become an artist? Was there a specific event or period in your life when you decided to go this route and why? Was it the right decision?

I don’t have a specific person or event that was a defining moment for me. I guess I’ve always had an interest in the arts, dating back to my elementary and high school days, when I belonged to the “Art Club”. But I really didn’t pursue anything in the arts, per se, until I had a realization just recently that my job requires me to be creative every day. As an Occupational Therapist over the past 13 years I have worked with older adults and pediatrics, but my “mission” has always remained the same…improve the quality of life for each person/patient/resident that I have the opportunity of serving. In order to achieve that mission, creativity is my number one “friend”. Although I may have not always been a true artisan, I can say I have been a “creator” for quite a long time now.

3. What purpose does your art serve in your life? Is it just paying the bills?

Quite simply, it allows me an escape from the rigors of my normal life. I love looking through my fragrance oils or researching my preferred suppliers for newly added fragrance oils and imagining the scent and the beauty that each candle will produce. I am also a people pleaser of sorts and I love the reactions that people have to my candles and it brings me joy to know that I can bring enjoyment to somebody else. At the current time, it doesn’t pay the bills, but it gives me a little bit of “fun money” and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!

4. What other creative outlets do you employ?

In addition to being a chandler, I also have a love for nature/landscape photography as well. My husband and I take every opportunity that we have to get out into nature and find some new and unique things to photograph. I actually have a website for my photography (www.shutterchaos.com) and I have been pondering the thought of also selling my prints or developing them into postcards/notecards/greeting cards.

5. Why do you like selling on ArtFire, and why is being apart of the upcoming giveaway important to you?

In all honesty, it’s a new site that is building around what the artisans want and need. And, the people/artisans that I have “met” thus far have made me feel welcome and have been very supportive as I learn my way around. As far as why I wanted to be a part of the giveway, it’s two fold….promoting ArtFire and promoting myself.

6. What advice would give to someone who wanted to start their own shop on ArtFire or another handmade venue?

I would tell them that marketing, item photos, shop organization and forum participation are the keys to not only surviving, but thriving in these type of venues. There are hundreds of artisans that do the exact same or very similar thing that they do and making themselves unique and stand out to buyers is the biggest barrier between standing between them and success. I am still learning that rule!


7. What flavor of ice cream are you and why?

I am Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey…I can be cool and collected like the smoothness of the banana ice cream but the little bits of chocolate and walnuts represent the hills and valleys that can affect my cool. But, at the end of the day, they blend well together!


Thank you, Jenn! Don't forget to visit Jenn's shop and stay tuned for another Featured Seller Interview tomorrow!

Interviews of other sellers in this giveaway: Chelsea Lynn Designs

Want to peek at past giveaways? January February March
~Lori

Saturday, March 21, 2009

ArtFire Interview...Chelsea Lynn Designs


Since the beginning of 2009, I've been hosting a monthly giveaway on my blog to promote sellers on a relatively new but quickly growing handmade venue called ArtFire. Our April giveaway runs Wed. 4/1/09-Tues. 4/7/09 and the theme is Eco-Friendly, and I decided to do interviews with the participating sellers so you could get to know them a little better and see what fabulous items they're contributing to the giveaway. All of our sellers offer a 10% discount during the giveaway week and a purchase from any ArtFire shop during that week gets you an extra entry into the giveaway. Buy from a featured seller that week, and we up it to 2!

So, without further ado, here's on first featured Giver: Larry Hamm from ChelseaLynnDesigns. Larry is donating the sweetest Handpainted Key Hanger for the giveaway. I can vouch for how precious it is because it's already at my house!

and here's Larry....

  1. Biographical info:

Hi, my name is Larry Hamm. I live in the North Carolina mountains, my family consists of my beautiful wife Janet and 8 year old son Jacob. I've been married for 14 years and look forward to many more. I'm a disabled diabetic but that hasn't dampened my inspiration to create. I love to paint just about anything I can get my hands on and do some woodworking when my health allows.

  1. Who and or what inspired you to become an artist? Was there a specific event or period in your life when you decided to go this route and why? Was it the right decision?

I've doodled, drawn and painted since childhood. My grandmother always encouraged me to pursue my gift from God. And that's my true inspiration. Without Him I would have no talent. Yes I think it was the right decision for me.

  1. Define your craft as you see it and explain the mental and physical process you go through to create what you sell.

I really just take it as I get it. I don't sit and plan out my paintings or designs; I just start them and let them happen. If I get a creative block I just walk away from the project and come back to it later. I spend a lot of time promoting myself and other Artfire Artisans online in my blog at Chelsea Lynn Designs and in the Artfire forums.

  1. What purpose does your art serve in your life? Is it just paying the bills?

I don't sell a lot so no its not paying the bills. LOL. It just makes me feel good to create something beautiful.

  1. Are you a full-time artist or a double agent?

I was a computer technician for 20 years. Since becoming disabled, I've went full time as my health allows.

  1. What other creative outlets do you employ?

I sing in church

  1. Why do you like selling on ArtFire, and why is being apart of the upcoming giveaway important to you?

I like the way the site is laid out, but most of all I like the community. The people, I've made so many new friends. I wanted to be a part of the giveaway mainly to help promote the Artfire community, but a little personal promotion can't hurt.

  1. Tell us something about you that we wouldn’t assume just from browsing in your shop.

I believe it would have to be the fact I'm disabled. I try not to let it reflect in my work. Most people are really surprised to find out I can't walk and am on oxygen full time. But I don't want people to see me that way. I want them to get to know me for who I am on the inside.

  1. What have you learned about yourself by being an artist? What have you learned about others and/or society?

I've learned that I have a gift that I can use to make others feel better. There's nothing more rewarding than seeing the look on a Child's face or the glisten of a tear stained eye of a elderly person in a rest home when you hand them something you have put your heart into and made with your own hands.

  1. What have you learned about yourself by being a business person? What have you learned about others and/or society?

I've mainly learned that a business person I ain't. But this is more of a hobby for me to keep me busy and active.

  1. If you weren’t the artist you are today, what else would you be?

Without my talent I would still be me a father a husband and a servant of God.

  1. What advice would give to someone who wanted to start their own shop on ArtFire or another handmade venue?

I myself would say don't bury yourself thinking about it, just do it if you're doing what you love; then follow your heart.

  1. What flavor of ice cream are you and why?

I guess I would be moose tracks. Overall I'm a sweet guy, but folks have called me chunky all my life, and it's been said I might be a little nutty :-)

Thank you, Larry!! I've only been corresponding with Larry for a couple of weeks, but somehow I just knew he was going to say Moose Tracks! Don't forget to check out Larry's shop: ChelseaLynnDesigns and stay tuned for more "Getting to Know the Givers!"

~Lori

Want to peek at past giveaways? January February March

Why 'Moderate Democrats' Are Good for Obama

Earlier this week on Morning Joe on MSNBC, Senator Evan Bayh, a Democrat from Indiana, announced that he and about 14 senators were forming a working group of about 15 'Moderate Democrats' to work with Obama to make sure that America gets the change it needs but in a practical way. Many pundits and others have looked at this move by Bayh and his colleagues as a sign that some Democrats are starting to cash their reality checks as they peruse the president's bugdet in the coming weeks. Some postulate that this is the tiny crack in the Democratic coalition's windshield that will soon spider and cause Obama's agenda to land in a 59 vote pile up.

I see it differently, but only with one caveat: it's highly possible that I'm giving the Democrats way too much credit. Either way, time will tell.

I think this may be Obama's perfect win-win scenario. No one likes a race where the winner is a shoe in. In fact, most of us generate conflict in our lives to help us feel useful and needed. There's a reason this country fights all the time. We're addicted to the entire concept. Nothing you have is worth having until you know someone else wants it. We use conflict to define who we are. It's sad, but it's true.

And that's what's wrong with our current political situation in Washington, D.C. right now. There's no real conflict. We have a president that we adore and not just because he believes what we believe, but because we finally have a normal person running this country. We have a president who loves his wife so much that we can feel it, treasures his children and although he doesn't always get everything exactly right, makes it clear what his priorities are every single day. He carries our burdens instead of dismissing or exploiting them.

Obama has no legitimate enemy in Washington. He has to reach all the way to Rush Limbaugh to find someone consistent enough to use as an example for the GOP. There's no chance for real bi-partisanship between the GOP and the White House right now because there's no GOP to speak of. The Republicans would dispute that point, but trust me, on behalf of the USA, I promise you, no one knows what the hell is going on with your party. At all. You've managed to become an isolated, southern regional party that is simultaneously 'all over the map.' That takes serious talent and by 'serious talent' I mean 'the obvious lack of Karl Rove.'

And that's where Evan Bayh and his 14 fellow Senators come in. Someone has to play 'bad cop' to Obama's 'good cop' and who better to do that than a group of Moderate Democrats? They gain legitimacy for trying to keep 'rabid liberalism' in check and Obama gets as close to bi-partisanship as he can get while the GOP is in exile. Bayn has more credibility than Pelosi or Reid. Pelosi comes across as a bit 'snippy' and Reid often seems like less of a leader and more like an appointed trustee who wishes his tenure would end. We need politicaly vibrant and relevant figures to make this work.

So maybe I'm giving Bayh and buddies too much credit, but he was the one who said that Rahm Emanuel was eager to come to their meetings, so I'm hoping that they've realized that a public debate between Moderate Democrats and Bleeding Heart Liberal Democrats is far more constructive for this country than a debate between sane people and a political party who's mascot is no longer an elephant but rather a headless horseman.

I'm sure Emanuel does. He's no fool.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Matchmaker!

I've had my Etsy shop for about 18 months and have ~200 items for sale at any given time. I obviously didn't make all those pieces at once, and lately I've noticed that some of those pieces look really nicely together...totally by accident, lol. Here are a few:

A little teal...

Rebel
Aqua Acorns

Pale pink...

Secret

Wish
Turquoise!

Turquoise Tangle

Tributaries 2

Cool blue...
Misty Morning
Ice House

Winter...before you leave...

Clean Coal

Many more in my shop! Want 15% off your favorite item? Use code RBMATCH15P. Code expires a midnight on Friday, 3/20/09! Offer good at any of my shops. (Want to purchase without an account and/or get FREE SHIPPING? Shop at ArtFire.)

~Lori


Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Leftovers Series--A Risky-Mercial

I've upgraded the slide show... The Leftovers Series is moving on up!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday (hee)

Wednesday by barbosaart on Zibbet

Sunday, March 8, 2009

March 2009 ArtFire Giveaway!

**CONGRATULATIONS! OUR WINNER IS CDZUIBA!**
It's time for the March ArtFire Giveaway!! Your chance to win a bunch of girly goodness from a bunch of awesome ArtFire sellers! This giveaway will run until next Saturday, March 14 at noon. There are 11 sellers ( and a little freebie) participating in this giveaway, so please read the entry rules them carefully! But first...here's the loot!!! I like to call in: In Like a Lime...

This month's prize consists of these fabulous gifts: Shamrock shaped Green Clover & Aloe Candles by Soy Scentual, a jar of Pamper Your Hiney Lime Cooler Lotion from Shine Your Hiney Soap, a bar of Lime Margarita Salt Bar Soap from soapdeli, The Birds, set of 6 cards by Barbara Neely Designs, Run of Luck Shamrock vinyl wall decal by studiojk, an Irish Flag Shamrock Luggage ID Handle Wrap from Binhog Designs, a 5x7 print of Dandelion by Joanna's Photography, a Swarovski Emerald and Clear Bicone Inline Bracelet by Alisun's Custom Crafted Jewelry, a Tiny Green Aventurine Pendant by RockyCreek Gems & Gifts, and Emerald Acorns earrings from my shop, Risky Beads. Finally, the products are being photographed on an Olive Green Baby Ruched Tote Bag from jennyndesigns. Please see this listing to see the style of the bag. It's just a smaller version! There's also a tube of Creme de Menthe lip balm from Nella Scents thrown in as a freebie! These products retail for $160.00!!!

But, wait, it gets better!!

Each owner of these shops has volunteered one of their products because they want to promote their shops but also ArtFire as a venue so we are all offering 10% off in our shops during this giveaway! Use this code when purchasing: RBFEBAF10P** ArtFire is a relatively new site in the grand scheme of the online handmade market scene, but we like it because it's very open and has a fee structure that allows us to put our money into our product. If you've been considering giving ArtFire a try, I encourage you to do so as the shops offered at the discounted rate are going fast!

The winner of the contest will be chosen by the random number generator at random.org, so each comment is one entry unless it's incomplete, in which case it will be skipped. To enter the contest, you must visit at least 6 of our 11 shops listed above, come back, and leave 1 comment that mentions your favorite item from all 6 shops, not 6 separate comments. After completing your main entry, you can earn extra entries by doing any or all of the following, putting each one in a separate comment:

--visit the other 5 shops you didn't visit in your first comment and mention your favorite item in one comment for all 5 shops
--blog about the giveaway and link back in your comment
--tweet about the giveaway and link back in your comment
--purchase from any Artfire shop from March 8-Sat, March 14 (deadline is noon) and link back with your order #. Your seller will give it to you or ask for it.
--purchase from any of our 11 shops and receive 2 extra entries per shop and link back with your order #. Your seller will give it to you or ask for it.

Please remember to leave your contact information in your comment. We can't contact you if we can't find you!!! Anonymous entries with no email address will be skipped.

Have fun and Happy St. Patrick's Day!! May you find some your pot of gold on ArtFire!

-Lori

P.S. If you see deleted comments in the thread, it's because an entry wasn't filled out correctly, and I deleted it to keep the count correct for the drawing.

3/14/09--Our winner is cdziuba! I'll contact them and let me know they've won. If I don't get a response within 48 hours, I'll draw again. Thanks to everyone for entering. Stay tuned for our April giveaway; it's only a few weeks away!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The 2nd issue of VivaLaModa is here!

VivaLaModa magazine


Check it out! Great article on aprons as a new fashion trend on page 52 and check out the photo of the month I picked to write about on page 43. It's a little bit sexy!

--Lori