Breath 1-2-3... Let's shop!!

After watching & agonizing over my husband as he recooped and then spending 5 days in the hospital being cleansed from the over medication by my own doctors...I think I deserve a break!

Just relax and "breathe 1-2-3"...BUT WAIT...I HAVE TO CATCH UP WITH MY ETSY SHOP! Need to make more things, need to find out what more neato stuff Etsy has cooked up for us...AND OF COURSE MY CUSTOMERS! ...how about a Fall Sale Oct.1-22


OMG! Finally a "Follow-up"

I'm so sorry for leaving my regular followers with a "cliff hanger"...it's been about a week since I was told John, my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer after a rather "lucky" appendictomy attack that forced the operation and lead directly to the cancer location and eventually the decision to take all of the suspected diseased area in one feld swoop.

John has to recoop from the initial operation which will be approx. 6 weeks....BUT this friday, they did get preliminary results that confirmed they got all, if not most of the cancer, BUT they are still leaving open the door that chemo may still need to be done...BUT we won't know till after a few more tests.

As i look back on this...it was the unspeakable nightmare anyone could ever hear about a loved-one, soulmate, friend/ love, BUT with the happy ending everyone wants in a movie. We are only slowly going through some hard "truths" that have come up in our screwy relationaship.

i married my "boy toy" husband...i'm the one who was suspected of dying first, due to my heart condition... John was always the healthy person still working, while i was forced to retire early...we sacrificed all for good cars for him & his job not realizing that i could not reach the gas pedals or brakes. So much of my time during the runs to the hospital & emergency rooms was trying tp negociate transport for both of us...all the while looking like i was going to have a heart attack at any moment.

We are now at the stage where i'm trying to slow him down at home...he's always been a work-a-holic, but knowing that he's forced to take it easy for 6 weeks is driving him to plan home projects...OMG!!! I would sit on him, but I think I might burst his stitches :D


I Don't Know What to do Without Him...

this is just a short entry to mark a time i rather not even deal with...BUT so far it has affected to the point of confusion & numbness in my heart and soul.

on august 13th, 2011 ...my poor husband checked himself into the emergency ward with some on-going adominal pains. He was initially diagnosised with appendicitus and during the operation they found colon cancer. I was told that it was a God-send that he had suffered the appendicitus, otherwise the cancer might not have been found before it was inoperatable...so now there will be 6 wks. of rest to heal from the initial operation, then possibly chemo, definitely another colon operation & continued chemo therapy.

my regular followers know how much my husband , John means to me...he's my BEST friend, soulmate, and love of my life. For those of you new to this blog, quite of few of earlier writings have been about us (see links to them by clicking "love & crushes" header).

I'm sooo scared of what the future holds for us...i don't know what I would do without him...one of my biggest fears is physically not being able to help him through this. Though I think I could drive, I find that of the two cars we have, i'm too short & squat to touch the pedals while looking over the steering wheel...so at this point trying to find volunteer drivers to doctor & hospital appointments


Facebook...my continuing frustration with this icon

I'm trying to figure if it's been a year since i tried to put up a fan page with my Etsy shop on full display... everytime I did, it would be up and running until the following day and then it would disappear.

I finanly tried to do it again...I think it took....I pray it took. If anyone has the time, please visit my fan page and tell me if it's still up and running...(preparing myself for another Facebook failure).


Thank You Simone!

A while back I asked this amazingly talented artist, Simone; curator of the online gallery Ammiki.com , Etsy shop owner of Honeycup and others, and writer of the blog, girlstartup.com to design my blog banner.

Back then i wasn't aware of all the different "fires" she was maintaining...anyway I recently got a convo from her apologizing for not contacting me sooner about my blog banner she was working on. I found out that not only was she involved in soooo many projects BUT she actually got sick several months (probably due to exhaustion, i imagine).

I want to thank her for the beautiful blog banner above & being so dedicated...i really appreciate it. I also want to say i started to read her blog and was so happy someone i could relate too was noticing a "disconnect" at times between working hard and getting noticed and making sales. I for one plan to visit often to see how she documents her personal trials & tribulations of being an online business woman.


My Newest Obsessions...

It a

ll started with a visit to my local "Goodwill Store". I found this well-worn straw hat that had a clump of "once-upon-a-time" fabulous fragile netting and what looked to be a once colorful assortment of millinery tiny flowers and assorted baubles. Then flashback further when i was a kid watching my mom hanging out the laundry...she'd always let me take one shirt and put on my head so that i could pretend i had long hair...AND THERE became the first day of a long obsession with my hair...the magical, unattainable haircut never quite achieved... popular hair accessories from every decade i lived through.

Above you'll find my new obsession with hair accessories (also have some new brooches too)using old & new elements and adding my "Goodwill" inspired embellishments to the mix.... strangely i'm too close to this work to judge it...not sure if it's good or not.


Lost Apostle...ancient methods in bronze to chronicle a modern world

I'm thrilled to announce a brand new (to Etsy) shop that uses some of the ancient methods of manipulating metals...bronze in particular. Another reason I'm thrilled is that James shop is definitely filled with a male perspective, though Nadya's presence is felt with her nature-inspired & fashion forward interpretation of goth skulls and whimsey.
But before I get too far lost in this article I want you to know that this story is about TWO creative people, James & Nadya...I'm holding off telling more about Nadya now, because she wanted to have time to spiff up her website and give me more current pics of her work....so her video & write-up is in "process". Please visit her website to get a hint of what's to come.
I first saw James shop thru his avatar in one of the threads, in the pared down forum...my head literally did one of those cartoon "double-take" neck turns...i just couldn't believe a "newbie" to Etsy would be so professional in his work and presentation.
So I convoed him and found that for the past 10 years or so, both he & his wife, Nadya, have had market stalls in London's Spitalfields & Portobello markets & have traded at these and others. He too also has his own website, where you can see more items and also purchase as well. James & Nadya just moved to Vancouver from the round about way of London, UK. Nadya is from Ottawa, they spent some time there...all their equipment is over there, hopefully soon, all will be shipped to them, completing their move....I wish them luck & sanity :D
I made the mistake of asking James about his Etsy "profile" where he says he learned about silversmithing from a craftsman in Asia using the most ancient of handmade tools that had been passed down from generation to generation...I was immediately launched into an odyssey that I envied & wished I had experienced...and for the rest of the day was swimming in daydreams of youthful adventures.
At the wee age of 22 yrs. he and his buddy went to Thailand...it was only suppose to be a 6 month "blowout" vacation...the short story is, he got back to the UK 8 years later!
When they ran out of money on the beach...they met some girls from Tokyo who had made loads of money as hostesses, so they followed them back to Japan and became bartenders, they had luck with free places to live and fortunate casino winnings which lead to an Asian "shuffle" for years...they built airports in Hong Kong, met princes in Kathmandu, ran a body-piercing business out of Taiwan, got shot in the Philipines, hitch hiked in Australia, got adopted in Fiji, stoned in Hawaii, shipwrecked in Indonesia, "Indiana-Jones" it in Cambodia, and somewhere in between learned how to use a couple of ancient silversmithing tools & started his own silver business.
Below is a short slide video of some of James work...I asked James what type of music he liked & before I could explain about copyright laws with music, he mentioned "Tool"...so just below his slide video is a YouTube video of "Tool"...you can mute this video and turn up the other...enjoy!

Met James ...He loves "Tool"...I have no clue...so YouTube please educate me...

I'm writing an article about James & his wife Nadya...and i planned to do a slide presentation of both their work. I asked what kind of music they like & before i could explain about copyrights James mentioned his favorite band "Tool"...didn't have the heart to tell him that I couldn't get the animoto video to produce with that band...so if you like to go "old-school" on this project...you can turn this YouTube video on full blast and play the animoto video with his work WITHOUT the sound...and enjoy BOTH :D


The Man Behind the Masks...

David of ArtAkimbo at Etsy.com is a shy unassumming man of many faces...craftsmanship in not only in his work BUT in his avid submerging of character & body in his various successful acting & modeling careers...

Just like DeNiro, he sculpts his body to fit perfectly the roles he's assigned...like the heavy workout regimen he endured to get the perfect muscularture of Fabio, to stand in for him during a portrait sitting those two weeks in Tuscany, as Fabio was in rehab.

OR when he removed a rib and pared down to the petite size of the Divine Ms. M to carry on her tour of "Divine Madness" when she alledgedly "fell" off the stage in Sydney, Australia.

But lately he's had his most "real" & satisfying role as Stanley Tucci's sex scene double in "Burlesque", co-starring with Cher & Christina Aquillera. There is even talk that more Stanley Tucci parts might be offered to him because of his haunting similarity...those dark, sexy eyes & bald head.

**Disclaimer: All of the above info is made up per permission from the artist himself, who is such a shy, weird & private guy. Everything to my knowledge is fiction, though that "misstep" in Sydney sounds like a believeable possibility...haven't we all had a "misstep" in Sydney???

**Truth: Galleries & Museums David has been exhibited in:
Flagler Museum...Palm Beach, FL
Amarillo Museum of Art ...Amarillo, TX
Fuller Craft Museum ...Brocton, Mass
Clark Gallery ...Lincoln, Mass

Blogsite: (you'll be blown away) http://artakimbo.com/


Two Tightly Wound ... amazing collaboration!

Andrea & Amy make up this awesome jewelry design duo. Not only will you be getting some insight about them, BUT the video is a brand new venture, this talented duo has been working on.

Andrea & Amy met at a gem show. Both were beaders BUT wanted something more challenging...something unique, that NOT everyone was doing. "We wanted to use our creative energy to design unusual and beautiful pieces of jewelry"...it's safe to say they both wished they had been jewelers from the very beginning...as a paraphrased quote from George Elliot, "it's never too late, to become what you should have been".

Amy lives in NY & Andrea lives in CT. Everything is shared between the two...buying the gems & wire, to opening new accounts & managing their Etsy site. They take advantage of buying in bulk, by buying together. They email constantly & are in touch either by phone, fax, or ESP everyday.

A typical day for them?...They both work on their designs...Andrea works during the day and Amy in the evening. If they have to see a customer at their retail outlet to fulfill an order, they also coordinate that with other issues they have to address "face to face".

They meet weekly to exchange finished pieces of jewelry & supplies. "Our designs are each our own".They don't really collaborate on them, except to comment on how wonderful they are or share a new technique. "We are our biggest fans...we have to be!...Amy & I support each other...our husbands help to a certain extent but really it's just the two of us. We could use some extra support...Spanx might be an option ... :D "

I asked them if they ever considered their work "art jewelry" rather than just beadwork AND if they ever considered showing in a craft gallery. As they explained, some of their current retail outlets consider themselves artist's markets or galleries. They had done the craft show circuit and didn't want to continue because it wasn't the right venue for them. They did consider the high-end craft shows BUT the amount of work for the monetary reward didn't seem to be there.

My last question, in great Etsian flourish...what do you wish for you and your business in the future? ..."We hope to earn the admiration & recognition of our peers...we would LOVE to become famous jewelry designers. We would like to see a celebrity or ANYONE walking down the street wearing our designs (haven't yet). Amy wants a red Ferrari. I want a larger office."

With their combined talents & support of each other...who knows...I for one am a fan and wish them great success! Remember that they also do "custom work" & "bridal work"...contact them through their Etsy shop or here is their email: twotightlywound@aol.com


Attention...New Streetnoodle Banner courtesy of Jacy

Not only is Jacy the creator of my new Streetnoodle Banner, but she is featured in my slide/video presentation (see below).

For anyone looking for help with your own banners, shop tags, avatar, or shop identity of any kind..I would highly recommend Jacy. Her patience and artistic skills teamed with her technical knowledge simplified what I thought to be an undoable project.

Please contact her at her Etsy shop...I know you'll be as delighted as I was with the outcome.

Art by Jacy

I met Jacy through an Etsy forum thread...I was so impressed by her spirit & passion, and when I saw her work, I felt it showed through...the following is all in her own words:

"It was the third grade that I knew I wanted to be an artist. Not just paint a pretty picture, but I wanted the life. I wanted to eat, breathe and sleep art and of course make a living off of it. High school came, and a combination of teenagery-emotions mixed with acrylic paint, had me funneling an artistic game plan. It was then that I knew my medium was paint and my fav subjects were anything in creation.

Skip about 10 years into the future, and I was stuck. At some point throughout this "game plan" of mine, I gave into a regular job and settled. I was unhappy and frustrated, sitting 8 hrs a day with no creative outlet. Can you imagine? Can you relate? Up until December of last year, I was working for someone else and not for myself, like I had wanted all my life! I realized at that point that I was scared of change & scared to take a chance. I was too self-conscious about my artwork and didn't allow myself to go through a normal artistic process. Instead I settled on a typical 9-5 job that constantly drained my ideas & energy.

But on December 2nd, 2010, my prayers were answered and I got...fired! What?! Actually, I wasn't even upset or nervous. I knew there was a bigger reason for it and I secretly felt it coming. Dare I say I was even happy & excited about it! I don't know how to explain it except that I knew that God was watching. That day I went home and not even 2 hours of being let go, I was cleaning out my dusty art studio & sharpening my paintbrushes! It was time for action!

It has been almost 3 months since then and I have never felt so free. My paintings are thriving & my name is getting more exposure. I am even able to sell my work in a new Agawam Ma store called "Hidden Treasures", an entire shop of handmade creations. Only 15 minutes away from my home in Enfield, CT! My Etsy store & online blog has been opening doors to so many great relationships & opportunities, including this one. Who would have thought that I would go from doodling on old receipt papers & boxes right into scribbing a guest post on a wonderful blog? (Brownie points! But seriously Ellen is wonderful).

I always knew it was what I wanted, but now I know that if you step out with confidence & faith, it can happen!

In one of my blog posts "How to Get Over Fear", I talk a bit more about my situation & give tips on how to not let Fear consume you. I list the lies that Fear likes to tell us & a list of what we need to say back.

We all come from different walks of life, but we have one common thread: we are human & we were created to create. Whether it's a hand-knitted floral blouse or assembling organic homegrown veggie Easter baskets, we use our hands to bring something new to this world. My hope is that we all can not only embrace that responsibility, but that we learn to see that we do have something we can offer to the rest of the world. That is the true essence of who YOU are!"

"Hidden Treasures"... 143 Main Street, Agawam, MA 01001

Hours: Mon-Sat 10:00am-7:00pm ...Sun 12:00pm-5:00pm

Website: http://www.artbyjacy.com

Etsy Shop: http://thiswayup1.etsy.com

Blog: http://thiswayupshop.blogspot.com

**To be announce later in few days, the new "streetnoodles" blog banner designed by Jacy at Thiswayupshop.


Adele ....a wonderful artist

first saw her interviewed a couple years back on "60 minutes" (i think?), but just recently reintroduced to her talent on "ellen degeneres".


Marionettes with Geahk Burchill

Process: Marionettes with Geahk Burchill from Etsy on Vimeo.

"Fiction Failed This Family" by Ocelli from Ocelli on Vimeo.

Both these videos were reproduced here on this blog from Etsy's blog section, with the kind permission of Geahk Burchill.

We all know the irrational "fear of clowns"...I know I have experienced it, BUT Geahk's work is a bit refined, in that I find myself caught in a "twilight zone" of being fascinated, haunted, and a bit repulsed and uncomfortable by each intity he creates...not because they are so alien to me BUT that they touch upon a "magic mirror"...reflecting & amplifying the image I sometimes see and fear in the shadows of my soul.

The first video concentrates on the artist and his process...the second delves more into the results of his colaborative efforts. I did ask about his "pivotal moment" with the idea of marionettes. The following is a shortened paraphrase version of his response to a similar question last year.

In 1998, Geahk attended the birthday party of a friend's boyfriend. He didn't know anyone there except his friend Sue. It was held at a strange little apartment in Berkeley, CA...it was decorated everywhere with rusty trinkets, old dolls, small animal bones & sixties rock posters. There were children toys from the 1950's and a lot of candles handmade and melted down to the stubs stuck to the fireplace mantle. The carpet had been scavenged from an old theatre by the landlord and was an insane tangle of curling vine patterns with red flowers.

What made the party special was that someone had loaned the host a video camera. They were all poor artists from poor backgrounds...Geahk had never used a video camera before then. BUT like kismet, they all realized at once that they had to use this opportunity...they set up the grey crate (coffee table) as the stage...a little teddy bear with strings & bic pens acted as a controled puppet while more & more objects from all around the house were gathered to create a whole cast of characters with an organically ad lib story line emerged.

The birthday boy was Dave Huckins and the rock posters were his. He had done posters for Phil Lesh, David Crisman, Widespread Panic and Stringcheese Incident. He was also a puppeteer with his friend Adam Bolivar back in Boston. The had a troupe together with Sue Kenney (now Newman), called, the "The Scratch Bros. Presto-Digital Phantasmagoria!" Dave invited me into the troupe for a play called "The Mermaid".

More than a decade later, Geahk can't shake his addiction to puppets and marionettes in particular. In his travels, he organized several small troupes with friends and artists. "Twisted Things" & "Skin & Bones", to name a couple.

He started The CastIron Carousel Marionette Troupe with Adam Bolivar in the winter of 2003 in the basement of a shared house in SW Portland. Their troupe has set a tone for a long series of strange, beautiful, gory and unsettling puppet plays for grown-ups.

Please visit Geahk's amazing Etsy site, where he has new designs every Friday! (OMG): http://www.etsy.com/shop/GeahkBurchill

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Gb-Designs/179229085425078