Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pixe's Picks!!

Welcome to today's Pixe's Picks!! This week, I'm doing something a little different and featuring only one shop! Today's Pixe Pick is Spoonful of Chocolate! Please take a peek a peek at her shop, she has some really wonderful, and nostalgic items!!

White Oleander Handbag

Spoonful of chocolate has been crafting since she was about 3 years old... But started getting serious about making different things when she was about 15.

This is how she tells me she got started in her current crafting endeavor: Ever since I was a little girl I have had a creative streak in me. I think I may have gotten it from my parents. My mother was accepted to Art school when she was younger, but couldn't take up the offer because she had to help support her family that had just fled Czechoslovakia. Growing up, my father would always be doing something- from building our house, to making a mosaic porch table to building an authentic rock wine cellar/bar! I remember how I couldn't wait to get up every morning and go to Art class! I would spend hours drawing and coloring and cutting things out of construction paper. I got 2nd place in my High School art show for a Sculpture I had made. A few years ago I studied abroad in Switzerland- I had such an amazing experience that when I got back I spent my entire summer perfecting my Scrapbook. The past couple of years I have become very interested in different crafts. I bought a sewing machine and started making everyone retro style Apron sets that came with matching dish gloves, I bought a wood burner and made my father a sign for his wine cellar. My boyfriend has gotten many things from frames to a personalized pillow. I think I have an eye for color and matching. I manage to get attached to almost everything I make!

This is why Etsy was chosen as her selling platform: My father is about to loose his house. It's heartbreaking to me, because growing up as a first generation American I was able to see the difference between my families lifestyles and everyone else's. My dad was constantly doing something outside, you should see our house! I swear it's like a little Slovakia. (If you have seen "My big fat greek wedding" that is my family- except Slovak). He never asks for money- he built the house in 4 years with his own hands- built a pond, shed, cottage, out-house, wine cellar.. the list goes on. He is a very modest man, but happy that he had given his family a good life in Colorado. My mother's brother- Uncle Frank, a couple of years ago, asked for my father to co-sign a loan. My parents house was paid off so they had better credit. My Uncle would cry to my father every day- he wanted to start a Water and health business and needed the money. He was buying it from a good company that had been running well for over 25 years. So, long story short my father finally agreed, my Uncle ran the business down to the ground and stopped paying the loan. My parents are risking loosing everything they have ever worked for because they are now stuck with a $350,000 loan with a combined income of $27,000 a year. My uncle stopped paying in February of last year- and we haven't heard from him since October. So anyways- I was looking for a way to help my parents out- and thought- why don't I start selling my crafts?? So I started with my Chocolate Spoon business- but managed to get distracted, until now. I started to make my book handbags and am now really focused on making my shop bloom. Any profit I make is going straight to my parents. So I just "googled" craft stores- and found out that Etsy is actually the best site!

This is Spoonfulofchocolate's favorite item in her shop...The White Oleander Handbag. That's the pic shown above!!

Nancy Drew Clutch Wristlet Handbag

Pixe's Pick: I think this shop is just great, especially for those of us that are book lovers!! Not only does she create handbags from book covers, a very unique idea, I must say, she also creates those scrumptious chocolate covered spoons we all love to stir our coffee with! I have to say my favorite item is the Nancy Drew Wristlet ! Browsing through the shop had taken me on a trip down memory lane...remembering all the times as a child I spent in my local library searching for books to read, especially Nancy Drew and Cherry Ames! It was the highlight of the day when one of the older kids wanted to walk down to the library because Mom wasn't that comfortable letting me cross the busy street alone! Oh, those were the days!!!

I hope you've enjoyed reading about today's Pixe's Picks! Please give the featured shop some love! And, feel free to leave a comment! Artists love to hear what you have to say!!!
Wishing you all a wonderful, peaceful, and creative week!!


Saturday, March 21, 2009

First flowers of spring!

Saturday morning I went for a walk at my favorite local State Park, Nolde Environmental Center. I've recently lost some friends, and their deaths have really affected me. I have been very much out of sorts and not myself at all for the past month. And, on top of that, I've been in a creative funk. I felt this strong need to get out and get myself centered, and feel reconnected to myself, and the world around me again.

So my mission...Search for the first spring flowers of the forest!

So, What are these alien looking pods sprouting out of the ground? Are we under invasion? No!

These are one of the first flowering plants in the Pennsylvania woods. They actually grow near streams and water for their stems grow in the mud, and we see these wonderful, unusual flowers of the skunk cabbage. After the flowers die off, all we see are leaves at streamside.

This plant got its name because when you break off a leaf, it has a strong pungent odor, sort of like skunk. And no, I didn't break a leaf to see if this is so...I'll take the experts' word on this!! Besides, I was in a State Park, and it's unlawful to pick or defile any plant. And this particular State park is my equivelent to church.

Anway, this is a very interesting fact from Wikipedia that I was not aware of... Skunk cabbage is is able to generate temperatures of up to 15-35°C above air temperature by a special means of cellular respiration in order to melt its way through frozen ground. It is among a small group of plants with the ability to do this, which is called, for those compelled to know, thermogenesis. Pollination occurs by insects, which are attracted to the odor and to the heat from the plant. Since I found out this fun fact after I got home, I wasn't able to test if the immediate air around the flower was warmer.

And this is how it becomes one of the first flowers of spring! I bet you thought I was going to talk about crocuses!

Just in case your interested...I am much better, and much less disconnected. I am ready to spend time in my studio and create again!

Wishing you all a wonderful and peaceful day!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pixe's Picks March 18, 2009

Good Morning! Welcome to this week's Pixe's Picks!! This is the place where I showcase only the coolest artists on Etsy! Grab a cup of coffee, or your fave beverage, put up your feet, and enjoy this little tour of Etsy!!

This week I'm featuring mshalston and CalysJewelryCreations! Please give both of them a very warm Pixe Welcome!!!Add Image

First up is Carissa, of mshalston! Carissa is a describes herself as a wordsmith...she expresses her art through words and text. She tells me that she has been writing for 8 years and drawing for about 1 year.

This is how she says she got started in her craft: I started writing when I was in high school, but I start writing "seriously" when I got my first apartment. I lived alone and writing was what I did to fill my time.

Carissa chose Etsy as her selling platform because: Etsy has a great platform and a built-in audience. The visual aspect of the site is very inviting. That and posting items to my shop is easier than writing HTML for my website.

What is her fave item from her shop? That's hard to choose, but if pressed, I'd say it's this: Compromise, original ink illustration from Cleavage by Carissa Halston. I love it because it combines one of my favorite written pieces with a visual that effectively captures the tone of the play.

Pixe's Pick:
I love to read...while Carissa was writing to bide her time when alone, I was reading, and I still do!! My fave is " A Girl named Charlie Lester " I think from what I've read in the synopsis, I could have identified with her when I was a younger...and sometimes, now! This looks to be a great read!


Next up is Dawn, of CalysJewelryCreations! Dawn says she has been crafting for as long as she can remember. This is how Dawn tells me she got her start: I have been crafting for as long as I can remember. My Grandmother always made sure I got cool presents, like latchhooking kits, embroidery and cross stitch. I also had an Aunt that introduced me to ceramics. I've also done some photography, mosaics, scrapbooking and polymer clay. I took a wire wrapping class at a local jewelry shop about 7 years ago to try something new and I was hooked...! I made some jewelry for myself and started making badge holders (lanyards) for girls at work who would ask me...that's when I decided to take the plunge and start my own biz. It was shortly after Katrina which was a life changing event for us. It seemed a natural progression and the something fulfilling I had been searching for. I work at a casino as a dealer and have for 15 years after getting a degree in Biology. I realized a couple of years ago that I've kind of come full circle....My Great-grandmother and my Grandmother owned a fine jewelry store for about 50 I kind of have jewelry in my I wish I could have gleaned a bit of the knowledge they possessed about fine jewelry. I plan on doing some blog spots about my families history in the jewelry world.

Pray tell...why Etsy? I choose Etsy about a year and a half ago when I needed a place to sell my overstock of supplies. It seemed like the most well-known and economical way to destash so I could buy new I have integrated some of my jewelry into my shop, but the bulk of my sales come from supplies. I am transitioning the bulk of my jewelry to Artfire, I think they have a lot of potential, but will stay here at Etsy as well.( I hope I don't get bumped for

Dawn tells me this is her fave piece from her shop: My favorite item from my stop has got to be my Dragonfly Obsession necklace. My biggest inspiration is the ocean and the life it carries and always will be, but recently I have had an obsession with dragonflies. I love the colors and feel of this necklace. It is not for the quiet and shy...freshwater stick pearls and kyanite gemstones.

Pixe's Pick:
LOL No, Dawn, I won't give you the boot for mentioning Artfire! Dawn has some really awesome jewelry in her shop. I'm going to break tradition here and show something from her Artfire shop! This is part of her new line, and I really wish I could wear this, I think it's that cool! I love her naked sandals! Definitely a must have beach wear!
Dawn has some really great destash in her shop, I know that to be fact, cuz I purchased some from her!!

Please, leave a comment, visit their shops and give them some love! They would love to know what you think!!

Wishing you all a wonderful, peaceful, and creative week!


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Countdown to Spring!!!

8 Days and Counting until the Spring Equinox!

Ok, I'm really, really tired of winter, as sure many of you are! We just had a few warm days as a teaser of what's to come, now here in PA, it's cold again. But, it's sunny! I was in South Carolina just after it snowed, and saw my first daffodil. In fact, my mother had to point it out to me! They were all bent over from the weight of the snow a few days ago. Well, here is one to remind us there is a light at the end of this tunnel we call winter!
I hope this brings a little bit of sunshine to your day!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pixe's Picks 3/11/09

Good Morning and welcome to this week's Pixe's Picks....the place to find some of the coolest artists on Etsy! Grab a drink, put up your feet, and relax for a few minutes with us! This week I'm featuring AudreysCountryCrafts and NValentineStudio!

Please give a warm welcome to Audrey, from AudreysCountryCrafts! Audrey has been crafting for 15 years now, and still loving it. She says,
"My tastes have evolved and I've tried a few other crafts inbetween, but I
always come back to painting."

Audrey tells me this is how she got her start: When our youngest was about 2 years old, someone in town was offering a folkart beginner class. I showed a little interest and my husband pushed a bit to get me to go. I was a stay-at-home mom and he thought it would be a good way to get out of the house one evening a week. And so my addiction started (he's sorry now)!
Why Etsy?: I actually only found out about Etsy in Sept. from a friend of mine who sells on Etsy. I was getting tired of craft shows. They are fun, but it is alot of work to haul the backdrops, tables, and crafts to shows - set them up then take them down. So I was searching for an
outlet on the internet that wasn't to hard on the wallet, but gave me lots of exposure. Etsy is that outlet!!

What is Audrey's fave item from her shop? That is a really hard question to answer, I like alot of the items in my shop. But I would have to say that the Heart Jean Blanket was the most fun to sew and to paint.
Pixe's Pick: I too, had a difficult time picking my fave! Audrey has some very beautiful country decor items in her shop! However, since I just love tote bags, i picked the Brown raggedy tote bag! I just think the colors are great, and it's quite unique!

Now let's give a warm welcome to Nicole, from NValentineStudio! Nicole tells me she has been crafting since she was 13, and started lampworking in 2003!

And why Etsy? I like the uniformity of the site, the ease of loading items and the support here.

What is Nicole's fave item from her shop? Galadriel is my favorite item right now. I had been holding on to this disk bead for quite a while trying to figure out what to do with it. The caps, coring and ribbon just make it such a special piece. I love the way it all came together!

Pixe's Pick: Nicole creates very pretty beads, buttons, and focal pieces! I really had a difficult time choosing! Her goddesses are fabulous, as well as her flowers! I have to say, I've always loved this little Hoot owl, with his big, expressive eyes! He is just so adorable!!!

That's all for this week's Pixe's Picks! I hope you have enjoyed your little Etsy tour as much as I enjoy bringing it to you! Please feel free to visit Audrey's and Nicoles shops! And leave them some luv here! They would love to read your comments!!!

Wishing everyone a wonderful, and creative week!!


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Pixe's Picks March 5, 2009

Good morning everyone! Welcome to this week's Pixe's Picks! This is the place to find some of the coolest Etsy artists! This week I'm featuring Jenny0063 and AJDesignjewelry! Take a peek at their shops and see what great finds they have to offer!

First up in Jenny0063, who specializes in making rustic decor using standing dead trees and driftwood found in her area.

This is how Jenny tells me she got started in her craft: I grew up in northern minnesota, so I have always had a passion for the outdoors. My uncle was quite the craftsman, he built log homes and log furniture as his livelyhood. I would spend summer breaks at his lake home and admire his work, as I got older 15ish, I would actually help him out with peeling logs, sanding, etc... I absolutely loved the idea of transforming a tree into something so beautiful. I am now 28 so 13 years I have been at it.

This is how Jenny happened upon Etsy, and chose it for her shop: I first heard of etsy on a daytime talk show, so I looked into it. When I saw how many etsians are eco friendly, I knew that etsy would be a great place for me and my work. I am a full time school teacher 2nd grade as well, so I am unable to keep as many items in my shop as others do.

Jenny's favorite item is the brazilian agate log coffee table, it combines nature and man made products into a wonderful work of art.

Pixe's Picks: Jenny has a great, rustic shop! My favorite piece is the Log Candle Holder. It looks like a wall from a log home, and I think it would look great in a fireplace, or on my bookcase!! :) Her work is so nice, I just wish she had more in her store!


Now let me introduce you to Amy Jo, of AJDesignsJewelry!

Amy Jo tells me she has been crafting for quite a long time: About 15 years off and on, I was always just doing it to enjoy life. (Making jewelry and painting are like my therapy.. stressfull day at work, more jewelry I make when I get home) I got my license about 8 years ago and haven't looked back.

This is how she got her start in jewelry making:

I'm a small girl, but I like big jewelry. I never saw anything that appealed to me that was large, but not gaudy. I decided to start making things for myself and then friends wanted pieces, and one day a lady bought my necklace off me in line for coffee at Starbucks. I decided I should give it a shot and I love it.

This is why AmyJo chose Etsy as her selling platform: I LOVE the fact that you can find handmade items all in one place. I have done shows were they put your booth right next to an importer who is selling things at like 80% lower than yours, simply because they have people making their jewelry in another country. I support the smaller artisans who do it for the love of the craft, not simply to make money. I'm very happy to be part of that.

Amy Jo's favorite piece from her shop? My favorite item is "Its Raining Opals" I just can't stop staring at it. It took me hours to get the loops and wiring just right. I cried when someone bought the first one I made. That's the pic above!

Pixe's Pick: Amy Jo has so many great pieces of jewelry to choose from, finding a fave is very difficult! I really like this Waterfalls pendant for the soft blues, and I can actually picture a waterfall...the stones at the top of the pendant the little ripples in the stream, the large briolettes, the waves crashing at the bottom! Calming and exhilerating at the same time!!
These are Pixe's Picks for this week! Please be sure to leave a comment for these wonderfully, talented artists! They would love to hear what you have to say!
Wishing you all a wonderful, peaceful, and creative week!

Pixe has moved to a new home!

Hello everyone!

I've decided to move my blog to blogger in order for you wonderful folks to follow my blog, and for the increased artistic freedom, such as it is, that is offered here! In the upcoming weeks, I will move the content from wordpress to here so you don't miss anything! This is my new address: Here's to my new home...Cheers!