Sunday, December 11, 2011

Handmade Holiday Gifts and Coupon Code!

In every blog post, I promise not to let such a long time pass before blogging again... and it has been almost a month since my last blog. I won't make any promises I can't keep this time. You may have to wait a month for my next blog, but I promise it will be worth your wait! :)

The holiday season has kept me very busy. That's my excuse for the long break between blogs. I have been busy knitting presents for everyone I know, which keeps my hands a bit too busy for typing. In the last blog, I said my last craft fairs were coming up. That was a lie, apparently. A week after those craft fairs, I got invited to one more - the Bizarre Bazaar at the goth/industrial music club in Milwaukee, Club Anything. I was thrilled to pieces to be invited to this event, and I spent two weeks working on projects aimed specifically at this crowd. Once there, I was pretty surprised at the pieces people did buy - they were colorful, simple, not what I expected. I appreciated every sale though, of course! There were other very interesting local vendors there as well, such as Elsie717, specializing in Victorian style spats, collars, and capelets; Milwaukee Alt, a very fun alternative photographer, and Frankenstein Valentines, handmade cards with unique style - pin up girls, Halloween, steampunk, and more. (She has no website but her email is frankensteinvalentines@gmailcom)

So now that I'm for sure done with craft fairs for the year, I can again concentrate on those Christmas presents! There are a few people I don't have time to craft something for, in which case I'm turning to other (mostly) local crafters for some help. On my shopping list:
The Chic Boutique - opening soon in Watertown, she specializes in fun purses, scarves, and more.
Lily Kay Designs - gorgeous handmade jewelry.
Talk 2 the Trees - her shop is on vacation mode until the 20th due to her home flooding. She is a fantastic painter and knitter, so please support her to get her back on her feet when her shop re-opens.
Burnie's Rock Shop - a fantastic store in Madison; everything to do with rocks, stones, precious and semiprecious, fine jewelry, jewelry making supplies, and much more!
Sea Marie Creations - great handmade soaps. She is almost sold out!
KnotAGeek - knit and crocheted hats, cowls, scarves, and more.
Stoney River Soaps - delicious handmade natural soaps, lotions, lip balms, shampoos, and much more.

Rain's Obsessive Stitchery - unique embroidered towels, pillows, suncatchers, even shirts!
The Soap Garden - even more fantastic soaps. Some of her bars are like tiny soapy landscapes! Beautiful!
Dips 'N' More - yummy dips. I especially love her "Merry Christmas Dip Shit" holiday package! Lol :)
Luxury Lane Soap - yes, more soap! Kylee adds a unique geeky touch to her handmade soaps. Know someone into Dr. Who, Star Wars, gaming, and/or other geeky ventures? Tell them to clean up with her fantastic soaps! (Unfortunately, she is on back order and may not get your order in time for Christmas, but her soaps make great gifts at all times of the year!)
For Strange Women - handmade all natural perfumery, lip balms, bath salts, and more. I love her forest and Victorian - inspired scents. My favorite lip balm is the Absinthe Lips, and my favorite perfume is Winter Kitty. (Now through the end of December, $20 of each Winter Kitty sale is going to the Heartland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Heartland SPCA is Kansas City’s most comprehensive animal welfare organization.)

I'm sure there are many more artisans out there I missed this time around, but please check these out when doing your Christmas Shopping! Also, now through the end of the year, enter the coupon code HANDMADE HOLIDAY to get 10% off everything in my shop! (Excludes gift certificates)

Listening to: Regina Spektor

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Impossible Green Woman

I've been failing miserably at keeping up on blogging lately, but I really wanted to stop in and show you this picture:
Yes, that is the lovely Kim Boekbinder wearing one of my leaf masks. I've blogged about her before, about her tour and amazing ideas and personality. I sent her a care package with a few lovely items and she graciously modeled one for me and tweeted a picture. She also sent me a thankful email which warmed my heart. I love artists that have such a great connection with their fans.

Halloween was a busy time for me. In my last blog, I told you about some custom orders I did. My favorite one was an order of eight autumn leaf masks for a LARP. They were a joy to make, and I've been promised pictures, which I will share with you as soon as I receive them. I wore a leaf mask as I handed out candy to the trick or treaters. Hopefully I didn't scare them too much. Lol.
For Halloween events, I decided to go as a sugar skull girl. I had helped make accessories for so many other people's costumes, I didn't have much time for my own. So I found a thrift store skirt, paired it with a matching top, had a friend do my hair in victory rolls, and painted my face all pretty. (The second picture was taken on a different day, thus no victory rolls. Sadness.)

I have my last craft fairs of the year coming up this weekend. I'll be spending this week preparing. They are just some small local ones, but still pretty fun. Because of the upcoming holidays, I'll be taking a little break from crafting so that I can concentrate on the handmade gifts I love to give. I will still be taking custom orders, just not making very many new items. In the meantime, my Etsy shop is all decked out for Christmas/Solstice. The front page is loaded with holiday items and warm knitted goods, and as always, the rest of my shop is loaded with goodies for all year round. Check it out!

I promise to blog sooner rather than later this time, and I'll be including some treasury love. I was in a LOT of Halloween treasuries so it will take me some time to compile the list. I'll be including the LARP photos and more fun news and info. Happy November!

Listening to: Amanda Palmer's Ukulele Anthem

Monday, October 3, 2011

Camping Trip, Giveaway Winner, and More News

Wow, the last couple weeks have been crazy. The two craft fairs I was in went very well, so thank you to everyone who stopped by! I loved doing the feather hair extensions. They're not exactly a very "creative" endeavor, but I enjoyed the look on girls' faces when they looked in the mirror after the extensions were in. That's why I enjoyed working in a salon; sometimes just the simple act of helping someone feel pretty can really light up your day. I'd love to work in a salon again. I'm not a cosmetologist, I just did the receptionist work, but it was a great experience.

I also took some time to go camping the week after I wrote the last blog. We went to Kettle Moraine State Park, only half an hour from us. It was so gorgeous out there. Our campsite was nice, with plenty of trees between us and the other campers, which is the way I like it. The only downside was because it was at the edge of the campground, it was close to the highway, so we were stuck with highway sounds all night. Oh well. During the day we did some hiking. Our favorite trails were the Nordic Trail loops. There were several different loops of varying difficulties and lengths. We chose a moderate one; it took us about an hour to do the 3 mile loop. It had some very gorgeous scenery and we stopped for a few photos. Our dog enjoyed it too!

I took these pics with my Retrocam app:

Last week, I did a very fun giveaway contest with Rachael of Talk 2 the Trees. She makes wonderful art herself, and hosts giveaways every Monday. The contests last for a week. You can enter right up until the following Monday morning. I decided to do a giveaway of this cute little item here:
It was a great experience, and brought many new friends and fans my way. Hello to all my new followers and thank you! And congratulations to Lillian Link, who was the winner of this giveaway! Check out Rachael's latest blog to enter in her next giveaway, and if you're an artist, I would definitely recommend contacting her about hosting a giveaway in the future! :)

I have a few more Halloween projects I'm sharing with you (pics below). I've kept very busy in between working on a few custom mask orders. If you want any custom orders for Halloween, please contact me soon; it looks like I'll be so busy I may not get my own costume done. Lol. For those of you who missed out on the giveaway, I have a few more skull clips available, as well as a couple new masks, new jewelry, and some knit items. I am still working on listing them all, so if they're not available at my Etsy shop yet, they will be shortly!

Listening to: Regina Spektor

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Busiest Time of the Year!

So many things to blog about today! Let's start off with some treasury love:
The Perfect Pause Between Summer and Winter
Also, Peacocks
Last of the Summer Blooms
Don't Flame Me For This, But....
Fallin Victorian
Hey Heat! Make Like a Tree and Leave
Birds of a Feather Flock Together
A Burnt Autumn
No Match for Kate Winslet
Crimson and Brown
Mmmmm... Pumpkin!
Fun for Girls, Fun for Boys
Fall into Love
The Colors of Fall
Falling Leaves 2011
Faeries of Etsy
Orange and Black
In the Light of the Halloween Moon
Autumn Colors

Thank you to everyone who featured me! Autumn and Halloween are definitely favorites for treasury-makers, and many of my items do fit right in.

Next on the list of things to blog about, a very fun announcement! I will now be doing FEATHER EXTENSIONS at my craft fairs! Feather extensions seemed a perfect fit with my love of feathers and hair accessories. I also have some hair "bling" (basically tinsel) for some extra fun. My feather extensions are just like the ones you see in salons. They can be washed, curled, or flat-ironed. They last a very long time in your hair. You will probably get bored of them before they start to look faded. The hair bling only lasts a few days; it comes out with a couple of washes and cannot be curled or flat-ironed. They're fun for festivals and one-day events.

Speaking of events, just a reminder of my upcoming events. Autumn is a very popular time, especially for my masks and costume pieces, so if you plan on coming to the events, try to get there early! If you are shopping online and are putting off that purchase, make sure you get it before the event, because things will be going fast! To see my events, please check my Facebook page or my Webs page.

Speaking of costuming, custom orders, and Halloween, if you plan on getting any custom costume pieces for Halloween, contact me soon! My time slots are already filling up! Yikes! Message me on my Etsy shop, the above links for my web page or Facebook page, or just comment right here! I'll see what I can do! :)

I have tons more things to talk about, but I also have tons more things on my to-do list today, so I better get to work! I promise more updates soon! I have several new projects to show off!

Listening to: Orion Rigel Domisse
Pics: more new autumn items!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Autumn Products and Craft Fairs

I have two imminent craft fairs:

Autumn Art on the Marsh on September 25th in Horicon,


Watertown Fall Festival on October 1st in Watertown.

Those are the Facebook event links. If you aren't a fan of Facebook, you can look at my Webs page for more information on the events. (My Webs page doesn't have much else going for it right now; I am frustrated with its lack of photo storage. Anyone have suggestions for free web page hosting sites, or should I suck it up and pay for a website?)

I am really excited for autumn. It took me a little while to let go of summer; sometimes I feel like we rush to the next holiday way too soon around here. Halloween stuff was up at the beginning of August, and Christmas stuff is already being put out. We see holiday items for so long, that by the time we get to the actual holiday, we're already sick of it!

But Halloween is something I don't ever think I could be sick of, even if it lasted all year. I love the creepy decorations and horror movies and haunted houses and most of all, the costumes. I wish we had excuses to wear costumes all the time. If I could throw a theme party to get people dressed up in costumes at least once a month, I'd be a happy happy girl.

So as you can guess, I'm really focusing on costume pieces right now. Of course there are the faerie wings; I'm even working on a pair with a matching mask and headband all made specifically for each other. I have many other ideas for matching costume pieces as well, which I'll hopefully be able to finish before Halloween. In addition to those, I'm working on several more masks. Leaf masks seem to be more popular at this time of year, but I'm also working on a super-secret project relating to masks that I'm not ready to talk about until I successfully finish a few.

In addition to all these projects, I'm also working on a few personal projects (as always). I am experimenting with terrariums, and when I complete my first one, I'll post a picture. I'm knitting like crazy as well. I decided that to be smart, I should start planning my Christmas gifts NOW since I like to make my gifts and I often don't finish all the gifts in time. If I start four months early, maybe I'll have a chance this year! As you can guess, with all the projects I'm working on, my sketch-of-the-day series has taken what seems to be a permanent vacation. I really do hope to get back into it, but with the projects plus work plus networking online plus an actual personal/social life, time is lacking. I will probably do some on-and-off sketching, and maybe I'll pick the habit up again during the slow winter months. (Ugh, I can't believe I just said the w-word... I'm so not ready for that one yet!)

As another personal side note, Kim Boekbinder of my earlier blog sent me a thank-you package! True to her unique style, I opened an envelope made from folded paper to find a handmade fabric envelope with a bright yellow flower, and I opened the fabric envelope to find a thank-you card with a cut-out picture of Kim that appears to be drawn by the talented Molly Crabapple. Inside is my name on sparkly paper and Kim's signature. Also inside the fabric envelope: a handdrawn notecard with a tree bearing golden leaves, small blue and white silk flowers, random buttons, and fabric scraps with extra-sparkly sequins. Let me just say that Kim is amazing. She is so personable with her fans, and her style, once again, is so unique and fun. In fact, here's a pic:
Ok, I'm done geeking out, I swear!

Here, to make up for my geeklove, have some photos of some of my new products! :)