Saturday, November 29, 2008

Art League of Houston Gala, Jewelry, greeting cards, holiday orders, Thanksgiving, selling Lone Star Vintage Clothing: Goodness!

I'm usually really good about posting to my blog every day or every few days however, I've been super busy this week. This post is going to seem like an eternity!

Last Saturday, my friend Will's parents, Ann and James "Jim" Harathas, were honored by the Art League of Houston.

Click on this photo for additional information about the gala: Photobucket

Here are some pics of us at the gala:

The gala was nice. Mayor Bill White of Houston was present and spoke to everyone about how important it is to support the arts in Houston. Yada, yada, yada! Of course art is important! It's everywhere! What would the world be without a bunch of crazy artists? I'm one of them!

My friend Sophia has ordered quite a few holiday gifts from me as well as some holiday cards. Here are a few of the items I made for her:

The photo's above are only a few of the things I made for her. I actually made her a total of 20 handmade holiday cards and 4 additional hand embroidered children's garments. She's also in a family grab bag for Christmas (she's Jewish however, has gotten sucked into a family grab bag for Christmas) and the spending limit is $50. She told the person who drew her name that she wanted more cards. They contacted me last week and are going to place an order for her. Yay! I love making the cards. I'm going to make the next batch of cards cutsy, all purpose cards.

I also made this cute little felted cuff bracelet. I purchased the felt body at an estate sale. I'm not quite sure what it used to be, but I immediately saw beauty in the item and just knew I could make something with it. The body is made of black felt and there are copper grommets on the outer edge. I added a piece of black velvet for a strap as well as a clasp.

I'm keeping this one for myself and I have one additional piece that I will make to sell. If anyone is interested, I will sell the additional felted cuff for $20. I'll add it to my site within the next few days.

Thanksgiving was good. I invited people over for dinner because everyone already had lunch plans. I made a ton of food and by the time everyone came over, they were so stuffed from lunch. I didn't take any photo's of the food, but everything turned out so yummy! I made a turkey with a basil/rosemary butter paste, ginger and nutmeg smashed sweet potatoes, bleu cheese mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, homemade cranberry/apple/walnut sauce, stuffing with roasted chestnuts/celery/apples, deviled eggs, stuffed celery and two pumpkin pies. I took the pies up to Justin's work today because I'll eat them if they're here and that would be no bueno!

Lastly, several weeks ago I posted that I was selling my vintage clothing business. I was going to try to sell off my entire inventory to one person however, I don't see that happening. I'm open to selling the pieces off individually or in lots. If anyone is interested in getting some great vintage for a steal, let me know.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Featured artist: Krazy Fashion

Today's featured artist makes absolutely adorable totes, wallets and jewelry. Brittany Torres is the designer behind Krazy Fashion. I highly recommend visiting her store because her stuff is really cute! Here's her blog.

Q: Tell me a little about yourself.

A: Well I am a designer and creator. I love to sew and create patterns. This is my passion and I enjoy it very much. I currently live in Florida but I am looking for a change. I have lived here pretty much all of my life. I am dying to leave or move away from the busiest part of Florida which is Central Florida, where all the crime and bad drivers are. Lol, I know it will happen soon at some point.

Q: When did you first start crafting?

A: I first started crafting when I was very young. I learned a lot from my grand mother. She was the creative one in the family and it rubbed off big time.
I was always drawing and writing before I started sewing and designing. I started sewing my sophomore year of high school and I have learned a lot as well as taught myself a lot. You develop your own technique either way.
Q: Please describe your art in detail. What's your favorite type of crafting/art?

A: I get inspired I get inspired by fabrics, colors, shapes, etc. If I see something someone has made, I try to figure out a way to make it my own and manipulate it into something I can call my own. My favorite part of my crafting would probably be selecting the fabric to work with then drawing the pattern up. However, I LOVE seeing the final product.

Q: How has your work evolved from your earlier work?

A: My work has evolved quite drastically actually. I came from learning how to make a simple square pillow to knowing how to make more intricate items like wallets, purses, etc. I've taught myself a lot and learned some really cool tricks.
Q: Where do you get your inspiration?

A: I get inspiration from a lot of different things. I love straight clean lines.
I get a lot of inspiration from Etsy. I love colors, patterns and items that stand out.

Q: Where are your products sold?

A: My items are sold (solely) on Etsy at the moment. I am looking to create my own website at some point. That way, I'll feel more professional and established as a business.
Q: What advice can you give other crafters when selling their items?

A: I would say use all 14 of your tags. Take clean clear pictures. Use natural light and never use a flash from a camera. List often, take yourself seriously and never doubt yourself.

Q:Describe yourself in three words.

A: smart, easy-going, thoughtful

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

A: Shop hand made at Krazy Fashion! Take care everyone! =)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Winner of the vintage fabric blog giveaway

I just selected a number for my vintage fabric giveway at The following is the winning number:

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:

14 Timestamp: 2008-11-23 05:52:54 UTC

Congratulations to Yoga with Gaileee! Thank you for entering my blog giveaway! Please contact me with your address info (I've already sent you a message).

Thank you to everyone else who participated!

Handmade greeting cards and bobo's!

I've been really busy lately making my handmade greeting cards. In my post last week, I wrote about how my friend Mary Ann wanted to trade some
junk jewelry for my handmade cards. Once I delivered the cards, she fell in love with them and asked me to make a few additional cards for the holidays, which I gladly said yes!

Here are some of the cards I made for Mary Ann yesterday:

These are just an example of what my cards look like. If anyone is interested, I can make additional cards for $4/card or $2.50 if you order bulk.

Last night Dominic, my son, was running in the back den and tripped over his own feet. His head hit the base of the couch and cut the corner of his eye. We have this really soft modern faux suede couch and you would not think by looking at the couch that it would be possible to cut your face. Justin looked at the couch around the area where he thought Dominic hit the couch and Dominic apparently hit the wooden base of the couch just at the right spot. It was really scary because Justin brought him back to me and there was blood all over his face. Oh and earlier this morning, Dominic did something (not sure what) and he is acting like his arm is hurting. I've just called Dr. Hayes (his Doctor) and he has an appointment at 11am (he's sleeping now). Poor little guy!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Featured artist: Rose Works Jewelry

Ruthie, also referred to as Rose, is the artist behind Rose Works Jewelry. Not only does today's featured artist make really pretty beaded jewelry, but she also features other artists on her treasury blog. Her blog for her own work can be found here.
Q. Tell me a little about yourself:

My real name is Ruthie - but I answer to Rose or Rosey-Posey a lot because of my shop name. Which is fine! I love Roses :) I'm married to a wonderful man named Moses and we're coming up on our first anniversary in about a month.

I love to write! And I love to feature other artists. So I actually have several blogs... LOL My blog for my jewelry business is Rose Works Jewelry blog. I feature other artists almost daily on Rose Works Treasury blog. Lastly, I just started a new blog that will be a mixed bag. It'll be a place for me to share stories I've written, fun things that happen in my life, book reviews, opinion pieces, and much more!

Q. When did you first start crafting?
Well, I think it's kind of in my blood. My Mom's into crafting so she started me off at a really early age. Some of her attempts didn't take, and oddly enough I'm picking them up now with no problem, go figure.

Q. Please describe your art in detail. What's your favorite type of crafting/art?

Well, other than writing, I love to make jewelry! I've been making it for about 10 years now, but I didn't really get passionate about it until a couple of years ago. Now, I'm completely addicted. I'm always looking for new ways to expand my styles of jewelry and it's the first thing I notice when I'm watching tv or see a friend. Because of this, really the only way to describe my work is to call it eclectic! I carry everything from simple strand necklaces, to wire-work, to handwoven pieces, and coming soon...hemp!
Q. How has your work evolved from your earlier work

I think the biggest way I've evolved is that I now work in a lot more styles. I originally learned the wire-wrapping and I've slowly added different types of jewelry from there!

Q. Where do you get your inspiration?

Literally everything! For my woven work I tend to be inspired by seeing different patterns and going " can I express that with beads?" I also love seeing what other artists do and finding ways to make it mine. Other than that...a lot of my ideas come to me as I'm falling asleep!
Q. Where are your products sold (online/stores)?

Right now I'm only on Etsy.

Q. What advice can you give other crafters when selling their items?

Make a variety of items! Don't simply create what appeals to you, look to see what others might like, you never know! When I've done fairs and such some of the pieces that have sold the fastest are things I never would have worn myself.

Q. Describe yourself in three words:

Quirky, Perky, and Weird
Q. Is there is anything else you'd like to share with us?

If your looking for something to do on Monday nights come check out the Block Head Rod show. If you can't make it on Monday's, you can listen to the archives. It's not only a TON of fun, but you'll learn a lot about promoting your store :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

To my Entrecard friends: I have not forgotten you!

I have been really busy the past few days with custom Christmas orders. I have not had time to drop my EC on my favorite blogs and I'm sorry. I have not forgotten you. From now through Christmas, I will probably not be dropping as much, but I promise to get back to normal after the holidays. I hope you all understand. I will still be writing and posting on my blog-I just can't spend my normal hours at night reading my favorite blogs :-(. I just wanted to give everyone a heads up. I will post my EC stats on my blog to show support to those who have stopped by. :) I'll see you guys soon!

PS. I will try to drop when I get extra time, but it might be very random. :(

Featured artist: Michabella Creations

Today's featured artist makes beatufiul handcrafted artisan jewelry. Michelle Harvey is the genius behind Michabella Creations. She handcrafts each piece and uses a variety of materials including precious metals, genuine Austrian Swarovski crystals, freshwater pearls, gemstones, and beautiful glass beads. Michelle's blog is here.
Q. Tell me a little about yourself: I am a stay-at-home mom to a 3 year old little girl, Chloe. In addition to spending time with her, I love to cook, read, watch reality TV, and when I can, sleep! I am an animal lover and I enjoy all types of music.

Q. When did you first start crafting? I've always been creative, but didn't start crafting until my daughter was about a year old. I felt like I needed to do something for myself, so I learned how to make jewelry. I've always wanted to have my own business, so now I do!
Q. Please describe your art in detail. What's your favorite type of
crafting/art? I create jewelry that is fun, elegant, and unique. I use only high quality materials, such as genuine Swarovski crystals, semi-precious gemstones, silver, gold-fill, and brass. I started using Vintaj brass pieces last year and I absolutely love them! They have a vintage feel, but are still totally modern. They are nickel-free and won't tarnish. I also love the look of wire-wrapping. It is time consuming, but quite eye-catching!

Q. How has your work evolved from your earlier work? When I started out, I used inexpensive materials to teach myself. When pieces starting selling, I had money to invest in better materials. I have learned many new techniques along the way. I always want to learn and love experimenting. I am very meticulous in my designs, and if I don't like the way something looks, I will take it apart until I'm satisfied!
Q. Where do you get your inspiration? I get my inspiration from the fashion world, what people are wearing, the colors of the season. I also get inspiration from nature and the changing seasons. Also, the beads themselves kind of tell me what to do with them sometimes. If I see a bead I love, I buy it, then decide what to do with it.

Q. Where are your products sold (online/stores)? I have my own website, Michabella Creations. I also sell on Smashing Darling and have some pieces on Kitty Gallery. I am always looking for new venues to sell my designs, and I'm hoping to be carried by a few boutiques soon!

Q. What advice can you give other crafters when selling their items? Make sure you can stand behind your products! Quality is extremely important! Also, do what you love. If you don't love something and aren't passionate about it, you can't expect customers will be!

Q. Describe yourself in three words: Hard-working, reliable, and driven.

Q. Is there is anything else you'd like to share with us? Check out Michabella Creations starting Black Friday for a huge discount in time for holiday gifts!
I would like to personally thank Michelle for letting us get to know her and her work a little better. Now, get on over to Michabella Creations and find something you can't live without!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Vintage baubles and buttons: how exciting!

Last week I posted about several boxes of
junk jewelry my friend Mary Ann was going to trade me for some handmade greeting cards I made for her.

I ended up making 27 handmade greeting cards. I met with her at lunch this past Monday and we made our exchange. She told me to look through the boxes and pick out pieces I like (I guess I don't get to keep all the items, but that's okay).

Here are some pics of what I picked up from her:

Believe it or not, I ended up picking out a very small selection of items from all of these boxes. I'm trying to find pieces that I can reuse to make other pieces of jewlery from. There were also a couple vintage bakelite rings that I am keeping for myself because they are big and chunky and very cool!

Tomorrow, I'll be posting another featured artist. Stay tuned!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Featured artist: Ismoyo Green

Today's featured artist is Ismoyo Green, someone I absolutely adore. Ismoyo makes really cute felted friends, plush soft sculptures and other types of mixed media art. She's even created and published her very own applique craft book, which can be found here for only $15. Her blog can be found here.

Q. Tell me a little about yourself:
My name is Ismoyo Green, born and raised in Amsterdam, currently happily living in New York. I have just finished my first craft book, 100 applique motifs. It has already been released in some parts of the world, like the UK, but will be available in the US and Canada on December 9th. (plugging: you can pre-order your signed copy through my website!)

Q. When did you first start crafting?
I have been making things as long as I can remember. As a little girl I was always drawing and cutting up magazines to make collages (something I still do). My mom is a great designer and the best with the sewingmachine, so growing up I was always surrounded by her creativity. I loved playing with her box of buttons. I guess that's where my love to embellish everything comes from.

Q. Please describe your art in detail. What's your favorite type of crafting/art?
I always say I'm a true Gemini. I can not pick one favorite type of crafting and stick with that. There are so many ideas in my head, so much to create! I call myself a crafty person slash illustrator. I love making cute, vintage inspired items and design pretty patterns and illustrations. My current crafts of choice are needlefelting, sewing and crochet.

Q. How has your work evolved from your earlier work?
I think I am finding my own style more and more and that shows through in my work. I think it is a beautiful thing if you can recognize an artist in their work.

Q. Where do you get your inspiration?
I can get inspired by the little things in life, like birds or a butterfly, autumn leafs, kids laughter, all things cute. NYC inspires me enourmously, this city is filled with creativity. My family and my Indonesian roots are a big influence too. Pretty color combinations often fill me with new ideas. Hard working people who love what they do with a passion. Vintage fabrics and curiosa, my favorite era is the late sixties, early seventies. Love the art from that time, paintings, but also things like record covers; gorgeous! But my biggest inspiration is Love.

Q. Where are Ismoyo products sold (online/stores)?
Currently only through my own website and my etsy shop.
I am looking into getting my items sold in other places, but that's something for next year.

Q. What advice can you give other crafters when selling their items?
Do it because you love it. Be true to yourself, be sincere and nice to people. Be prepared to work hard and multi-task. Be creative as well as business savy.

Q. Describe yourself in three words:
Creative, Passionate, Happy

Q. Is there is anything else you'd like to share with us?
I loved answering the questions, I think it's a good thing for everyone to sit down from time to time and think about what you're actually doing.

I hope you enjoyed learning more about Ismoyo. She's a fabulous artist. I'm planning on purchasing her applique craft book becuase I love appliques! Thanks Ismoyo!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Featured artist: Elizabeth Jayne

Today's featured artist is Elizabeth Kimble of Elizabeth Jayne. Elizabeth makes really fabulous beaded necklaces, bracelets and earrings. She's offering a 10% discount on selected items in her store right now. Click here to read Elizabeth's blog.

Q. Tell me a little about yourself:
I'm a passionate person. Little things make me happy. I squeal at old junk.

I love semicolons; languages; cheese, wine, and peanut butter; cars, old and new; video games; the outdoors; geeky jokes; music; and traveling.

An atom says to her friend, "Darn, I think I've lost an electron." The friend says "Are you sure?" She answers: "Yes, I'm positive!"

Q. When did you first start crafting?

I got a beading kit for my 9th birthday. After making a few bracelets and keychains, I soon became bored with it and asked my mother if she'd like the beads. Fast forward a few years, whereupon my mom has turned cheapo pony beads into multiple tool boxes full of gemstones, findings, metals, you name it and its there. Naturally I can't resist playing with all the pretty now it has come back full circle and I have the beading bug! I can hear my mom cackling right this moment.

Q. Please describe your art in detail. What's your favorite type of crafting/art?

I've been dabbling in knitting, sewing and paper art, but my specialty is jewelry making. I'm constantly trying new things from utilizing buttons differently, to repurposing vintage goods to make altered art, to wire wrapping and so on! If it involves a pretty bauble I'm there. I also commission the lampwork art of my good friend Mary Foster.

Q. How has your work evolved from your earlier work?

The beads I use might change a bit, but my core philosophy is still the same: Make eclectic, fun jewelry that's glamorous enough for everyday.

Q. Where do you get your inspiration?

This might sound silly – but I get most of my inspiration from the beads themselves! I buy (or find) whatever calls to me, and luckily there's always been more beads that coordinate at home. Another source is necessity: sometimes I really want a necklace etc. to go with a certain outfit, so I make one.

Q. Where are your products sold?
At my Etsy store, Elizabeth Jayne or around Fort Smith Arkansas at one of our many craft shows.

Q. What advice can you give other crafters when selling their items?

The adage "Pictures are worth a thousand words" is true, but don't neglect your descriptions either! Both ought to sell the item.

Q. Describe yourself in three words:

Passionate. Fun. Quirky.

Q. Is there is anything else you'd like to share with us?

Enjoy the day, and tell someone you love them!

I hoped you enjoyed this interview. Now pop on over to Elizabeth Jayne!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Handmade greeting cards: How cute!

I'm really into making cutesy little geeting cards right now. I've made some for my grandparents mostly and I've made some to sell, although I have not sold any yet.

A few days ago, I wrote about an estate sale my friend Mary Ann had (this was the sale where I purchased all of that great vintage fabric). I just so happened to bring a few of my handmade cards to the sale to show Mary Ann. She said she and Nancy always need cards to give to people and wanted to know if I would make some for them. I told her, "yes, of course I'll make you some cards". I even said I would trade her for a box of her junk jewelry instead of her paying me. I love to barter!

I made approximately 25 cards yesterday. Here are a few of them:

I called Mary Ann this morning and I am going to plan on stopping by her house on Monday. I'm very excited about my trade because I've already gone through the box of junk jewelry and it's not really junk at all. Most of the pieces are vintage and there's a lot of bakelite stuff in the box-oh and the box is not just one box-it's approx. 3 boxes. I can't wait!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

My vintage clothing site is for sale:

I love vintage just as much as the rest of you do, but with sadness I have decided to sell my beloved website (and inventory), Lone Star Vintage Clothing.

I have my BFA in Fashion Design and actually own and operate another site where I design infant and children's apparel. With 2009 coming so quickly, I really want to put more focus into my design work and hopefully get my items into boutiques across the country. I will be working with a factory overseas and hopefully free up some of my time, rather than creating everthing by hand as I do now.

With that being said, I have listed my website Lone Star Vintage Clothing, all of my inventory and tons more that's not listed on my site, all graphics/logos that I've paid for, as well as all of my time and effort that I spent building my business. I love vintage and I know I will still go to estate sales and buy things, but I can't place all of my focus on selling anymore.

If anyone knows of anyone who just might be interseted, please contact me at texasbargaindepot (!@) hotmail (dot) com.

My listing is here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Featured artist: Eye Candy Jewelry Designs

In keeping with the spirit of the upcoming holidays, today's featured artist is Laurie Spivak of Eye Candy Jewelry Designs. You can also visit Laurie at her blog, Eye Candy Jewelry Blog.

Laurie makes amazing beaded/wire wrapped jewelery. Please be sure to visit Laurie at Eye Candy Jewelry Designs.

Enjoy the interview!

Q. When did you first start crafting?

A: I have always been involved in crafting. Two years ago, I started creating jewelry as personalized gifts for friends and family. Suddenly, orders started pouring in and Eye Candy Jewelry Designs was born. After I was laid off from the HR industry when the economy took a turn for the worse, I had a chance to start my own business. It’s certainly taken off since then!

Q. Please describe your art in detail. What's your favorite type of crafting/art?

A: I will always be a photographer at heart. That will always be my first love. Fashion is a close second. I try to always present myself as a happy woman with an artistic and elegant style. I use this to build my confidence which in turn helps the artistic juices flow. The happier and more confident I am, the more it shows in my work. I never leave the house without an item from one of my lines. I am often stopped and questioned about my jewelry. Always carry your business cards!

Q. How has your work evolved from your earlier work?

A: I try to sketch as many pieces as I can before I create them. I find that being more organized going into a design helps. Before, I would just sit down in front of a pile of beads and components. Now I have an idea and a theme I try to stick with and the result is a definite flow. I have separate lines that are released at different times of the year. I feel as though I’ve progressed as an artist.

Q. Where do you get your inspiration?

A: My inspiration stems from nature and the beauty that surrounds me every day. I grew up in Miami watching the sea and exploring the Everglades. That led me to my start as a nature photographer. I gave that up to raise a family and never looked back. I’m happier than I’ve ever been.

Q. Where are your products sold (online/stores)?

A: My work can be found online in my etsy shop at Eye Candy Jewelry Designs. In January of this year, I started distributing my work to boutiques and galleries across the country. My lines can be purchased at the following: The Visual Arts Center and Galleries of Punta Gorda, the North Port Art Center, Uptown Girls Boutique in Venice, FL, everything but the girl in Sarasota, FL, Pink Blush Boutique in Miami, FL, Hip Mama Couture in Miami, FL, Neverender Boutique and Gallery in Reno, NV, Mirror Image Salon in Gales Ferry, CT, and Papillon in Punta Gorda, FL, So Sausalito in Punta Gorda, FL, and Funky Utopia in Bradenton, FL. I am currently working with several more shops. Check my blog, Eye Candy Jewelry Blog for updates, specials, and to sign up for my e-newsletter featuring new items to the shop as well as other interesting sites to check out!!

Q. What advice can you give other crafters when selling their items?

A: Go to the library and read all the books you can on Marketing. I learned so much and it helped my business tremendously. Also, always carry a sample case with you. You’ll be surprised how many leads you can pick up in the line at the grocery store!

Q. Describe yourself in three words.

A: Artistic, Driven, Happy

Q. Is there is anything else you'd like to share with us?

A: On top of creating new lines of jewelry, running a hectic household and a business, I am now training for a half marathon I will be running in Miami in January. The only time I sit still is to work on my jewelry! Thank goodness for that! I’m exhausted!

I want to thank Laurie of Eye Candy Jewelry Designs for this interview! I hope you enjoyed it!