Thursday, December 31, 2009
I do really and truly want to Thank everyone that I have met this year for making it an extraordinary year. Whether I created a website for you, crafted something pretty just for you, answered your questions or just chatted away with you. Every experience one has makes them who they are and what they will become. It doesn't matter if it's a bad experience or a good one, your experiences still mold you. Hopefully you learn from the bad ones though and that makes you stronger. I know I have seen many challenges and had many experiences in my life that weren't good ones, but I think that is why I am so strong today. But they have also made me more caring, sharing, loving, honest and true. I learned from my grandparents when I was young to treat others how you want to be treated, and I truly take that to heart. And trust me, I have a big one. LOL What has always brought me joy over the years is making others happy and it always will be. I will do the silliest of things just to make someone laugh and I don't care if they are laughing with me or at me. As long as they are laughing and I put that smile on their face. And when things were rough throughout my life, which I have had my share for sure, laughter has always gotten me through. So, I hope to those that may read this, will realize that those rough times don't have to always be so sad and glum. And I know from experience that everything does happen for a reason and you should use that negative energy and turn it around and create new positive energy from it. Your life will be so much happier and full of joy, whether you realize it or not.
I don't know why I even went on about that, I guess reflection and maybe a voice of reason for those that may need it. Once again, everything happens for a reason. Maybe those words will help inspire someone out there. All I know is that I am looking forward to the New Year and what it will bring. So, to all of my friends, family and clients.....A Huge, from the bottom of my heart, Thank You & Happy New Year!
Friday, December 25, 2009
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Many Blessings to You All! Thank You for making 2009 a Wonderful Year for me! I look forward to the Journey of 2010 and Hope to see you all again soon!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Well, I had my big Christmas Show and it was very successful! I don't have much left, so get the Christmas Lovelies while you still can! :)
My Vintage Style Wallpaper Ornies/Door Hangers are back again this year! Never fails these are always a huge hit. They are so much prettier in person and I keep several hanging around on knobs and drawer pulls all over the house all year round.
I have carried the Faux Truffle/Bon Bon Ornies/Door Hangers for several years now. And I finally got around to actually posting the magnets that I also sell at shows. They look so real you can almost taste them. YUM!
The LOVE Letters that I created a while back and never got posted. LOL I had put them up and just recently found them again when I was looking for something else. I figured it was time they deserved a Loving Home! :)
Another OOAK Vintage Style Waterless Snowglobe. This is the last one I have left for this year. I Love making these, they are just very time consuming so I don't make many of them for each season. So, if you would like some you can contact me and I will custom order you some.
This is a New Item for Christmas 2009. I do have a couple more that I will be listing as well in the next few days. I have two pink ones and an aqua one that I am currently working on! I just love these with all of the Vintage & Antique Buttons, Vintage Mica Flakes and the way they remind me of the spun cotton ornaments and decorations of the past. I will be making these throughout the year for various seasons and themes, but if you have something in mind, don't hesitate to contact me about a custom order. These are so much prettier than what I could capture.
These Jingle Bell and Stocking Lavender Sachets are perfect for hanging on your tree or on a door/cabinet knob or drawer pull during the Christmas Season. But during the off season you can put them in your drawer or closet to add a relaxing scent to your clothes or lingerie. I only use imported French Lavender that is the longest lasting and most fragrant you can buy. The lavender scent will last for years to come. When the smell dissipates, just give it a little squeeze to release more oils from the buds and it comes right back. I have a few sachets that I made 10 years ago, when I found this wonderful Lavender, and they still smell just as fresh as the day I made them. Very worth the money for sure. :)
My Sugared/Vintage German Glass Glittered Ornies were a huge hit as well this year. Once again, I don't have many left so get them while you can.
Another French Inspired paperweight. I just love using vintage Rhinestone Jewelry bits in my work and I thought this Vintage Fleur de Lis Jewelry part fit in perfect with the theme of the paperweight. So much more romantic than a plain paperweight. :)
I only have one set of these adorable Snowman Gift Tags left. They were created using some of my original artwork. It is some of my colored pencil work. I love doing colored pencil art, the way you can blend the colors gives such a soft and romantic feel.
Yes, I did more Vintage Style Tulle Wreaths and Trees this year. All sold out except for two wreaths. I love making the trees and the wreaths, but once again, they are extremely time consuming. It takes a couple of hours just to cut all of the tulle to create them, let alone tying them all on. So, I usually only get a few done a season.
This Altered Art project turned out so adorable. I absolutely love it. I Adore Pink & Aqua and then to add in a little aged or sepia tones makes it even more special. This has lots of details and little surprises. That is one thing I like to do with my work. I always add lots of details that you won't see right away. That way every time you look at it you see something new that you didn't notice or see before. It makes it new all over again. :)
I am the originator of these Faux Gingerbread Birdhouse Cottages and have been making them for over 10 years now. They are always a big hit and I find that they are too pretty to put away. So, I keep mine out all year long. :) Unfortunately they all sold out at the show. If you would like some made I can custom order them for you, but I won't have time to make any for this Christmas season. But I make them for Valentine Day, Easter and other Holidays as well, or just a basic one without a seasonal theme and in other colorways. And once again they are a true labor of love. I spend days creating each one. I add every bead, bauble and detail by hand. But they turn out to Scrumptious that I just can't resist making them. :)
I only have two Christmas Tree Skirts left this year and no stockings at all. So make sure you ge the skirts before they are gone.
My Sand Dollare Ornie/Door Hangers are back again this year. I have been selling these for over 6 years now and they still do well at the shows as well as on my site. You really do have to see them in person to see how Pretty they really are. They look like they are made from porcelain with the Pink Bavarian Roses on them.
Although I sold out of all of my Vintage Style Tulle Trees this year, I do have one Rose Petal & Feather Tree left. I made 10 of them and the rest all sold out. Now once again, just as with my pillows, totes, gingerbread houses, tulle wreaths & trees, etc,. each one is OOAK. Each one of them are at least slightly different, so no two are alike.
Much more in store for you in my shoppe. I still have not been able to get my website redone, so my shopping cart is still broke. But, you can still purchase my items in my Etsy Shoppe and My eBay Store. I am hoping that I will be able to get my website back up again after the Holidays.
Warm Wishes & Blessings This Holiday Season!
Hugs to All!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I'm wore out so I'm off to go relax for a while before bed! Thank You to all who donated and to my Amazing hubby for not only creating the two videos of the books with the pages turning, but he also created the custom music for them as well. I think he did an awesome job. I know they are a bit dark, it was rainy and cloudy all day, as it has been for the last two months. LOL But I still think they came out Gorgeous!
Hugs to All!
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Some creations are inspired by the colors of a sunset or the shape of an egg nestled in the palm of a hand, others by a piece of music or the sound of the wind high in the trees. And while these are pretty and look nice on a side table or around a wrist, it’s art that comes from a deeper place and tells a story that is the most widely appreciated. Although the Etsy Cottage Style group is home to many with their own home-based or brick & mortar businesses, more than that it is a place where amazing artists and crafters can meet up, share ideas, and support one another. And what better way to come together as a group that looks beyond the “bottom line” than to band together to create something that will give back to the greater community?
Just a couple of months ago, the call went out: “How about we do a pass-around altered book?” Jewel from Shabby Boutique asked. And since then, the idea has grown from a basic craft to an international project that will be auctioned to raise money for a cause close to this woman’s heart: children with cancer.
The “swap” is still gearing up and getting organized, but we asked Jewel some questions to find out more about how it will work and the inspiration behind it.
What inspired the idea of a pass-around altered book?
J: I was looking at the vintage books at the thrift store; I always try to find books that I had as a kid so that I can get them for my children. I picked one up and thought, “What if I could get some others to do a pass-around altered book with me?” I’ve wanted to do one ever since I saw it on the Carol Duvall Show. But then I wondered who gets to keep it? It would be selfish of me to say that I would keep it since I started it. So, then it hit me—why not do it and then auction it off for the NCCS (National Children’s Cancer Society)? I thought that auctioning on eBay would be an issue since we are mainly an Etsy group, but when I posted the thought in our group, no one seemed to mind. I figured we just might be on to something here! LOL!
Tell us about your personal story and your connection to the NCCS.
J: Well, my story is a long one. But what it boils down to is this: I was in an awful marriage with a man who turned to drugs. Things went from bad to worse financially, and then got very ugly when he started becoming increasingly violent and verbally abusive. One day he just snapped and hit me. That is when I said, enough is enough. That was the Saturday before Mothers Day, and on Monday I got a restraining order to get him out.
Two weeks later on June 1st, 1999, I took my three-year-old son Cody to the doctor. He’d been vomiting on and off for a few days in between playing—you know how little kids can be. But that morning he was just very lethargic and could barely speak. It looked like he was gasping for air, he had no color to his lips, and his eyes were sunken. After calling the doctor’s office and trying to get in immediately, I was given an appointment for 30 minutes later. Even though the office was 20 minutes away, I said, “Whatever it takes, I’ll have him there.”
At first the doctor said that he could see nothing wrong with Cody. But he took a blood sample and soon returned to say that I needed to sit down. He told me it was acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), and I remember sort of laughing but with an edge of panic, saying “Is that serious?” I just dropped to my knees and thought to myself, Now what? I thought that things were going to get better with my ex-husband gone. I was, for once, enjoying life, truly happy and had an inner peace that I have never had before in my tumultuous life.
The doctor immediately sent us to St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Cody was put in PICU right away to have his blood filtered. I found out that he very likely would’ve suffocated in his sleep that night if I hadn’t taken him to the doctor. He had virtually no red blood cells left. I found out several months later that the doctor had already scheduled Cody for a bone-marrow transplant but did not think that he would make it past his first night. Miraculously he pulled through, and we spent almost a year in the hospital.
During that hospitalization I couldn’t work because there was no way that I was leaving him at the hospital alone. I saw way too many kids just dropped off for days, weeks, and months at a time with no visitors or phone calls. So I had the children come to our room, and we watched movies, played games, and did whatever fun stuff we could to pass the time. I missed my other son miserably, but the hospital was nice enough to let Dillon come and stay with us sometimes. I still feel guilty that he lost his father, his mother, and his brother all within a few short weeks and was sent to stay with great grandma and grandpa. But I had to do what I had to do. I just hope that he forgives me for the choice I made.
Everyone kept saying to me that I was amazing and asked how I did it. I’m not amazing. I just did what I had to do and didn’t think twice about it. You just go with the flow, but the real key is laughter. It has always gotten me through the rough times in my life. Even the psychologist said in the hospital, “I don’t understand how you do it. I keep expecting you to crack, but you don’t. You just keep on smiling and laughing and going on.” I just learned a long time ago that if you can’t change it then don’t worry about it. Just laugh and go on.
It was a long battle. I couldn’t work and had no child support, so the NCCS (National Children’s Cancer Society) helped me with my house payments, utilities, gas money, food, you name it. But they also helped emotionally and spiritually, too. I owe the NCCS—and other organizations like it—more than I could ever repay. So I take every opportunity to help them or give back. I don’t think people ever realize how much these charities need our support to help others in time of need until you have been in that situation. I know that I used to sort of frown on the people standing outside of the stores wanting you to donate. I was more worried about how we were going to get food on our table or clothes on our back. But since this happened, I will now be the first one in line to donate. I do as much as I can to help others in my community as well as other communities.
What is the theme for the pass-around altered book?
J: The theme is “Love & Hope for Our Little Angels.”
How will the swap work? That is, who will start it, how will it travel, how many people will be involved, where will it end up, and how will it be auctioned? Also, what about page size and photographs of the work in progress?
J: Everyone who was interested has sent me pages based on dimensions that I gave them earlier. I then made the covers and put them together. There are two books; one with 15 pages and one with 16 pages. Each person made one or two pages and decorated them however he/she liked, using whatever medium he/she liked. I wanted everyone to put his/her heart and soul into it so that love just oozes from the pages.
I would love to have as many people as possible involved with this, and I would like to be able to auction the book off around Christmas time. I think it would be a great time to make the donation as every kid and family needs a little extra then, and it would make a great gift for someone. Since the books are already finished, we are looking for others to donate items to be auctioned off alongside the books to help bring in more money, awareness and to help advertise the books. All who would like to donate items to be auctioned off will keep the items they donate and just send me pictures, your business name/user ID (let me know if it’s Etsy or eBay, etc.), if you will donate shipping or how much you want for shipping, items details, your zip code or area so that I know what to put in the shipping calculator, etc,. The rest will be announced in the group and on the blog. You do not have to be part of ECS to donate items for this event. Anyone willing to help out for this cause is not only encouraged, but appreciated. Anyone that would like to donate anything for this Charity Auction Event may contact me via email with "Love & Hope" written in the message line.
I have been involved with many charity auctions via a group on eBay called P.E.P. (Painting eBay Pretty). I was a group moderator until a few years ago, when opening my own shop meant that I had little extra time. But I have helped with and been in charge of several charity auctions. As a matter of fact, we do one for the Susan G. Komen Foundation every year.
Tell us more about the theme. How do you envision the swap members using that idea? Do you want them to make multi-media art pages? Write stories? Both?
J: I told my story to a couple of ladies, which, without my knowing so, helped them make some tough decisions. Later when they told me how I gave them a spark of hope and courage, it made me feel good that they were inspired by my story. But, really, they found the courage within themselves to do what was right. I love helping others though, that is where I have always gotten my true joy from life. So, if by sharing my stories I can help others, then I will talk, chat, or email away. LOL!
I envision pages just oozing with Love & Hope for our little ones. Everyone has her own idea of what Love & Hope is, and that is what I envision for this book.—everyone’s ideas and hearts coming together. They can write poems, paint on the pages, write stories, or share their own family photos—just whatever comes to mind when they think of Love & Hope. I want the members to use their hearts and creativity.
As written by Tiffani aka Ric Rac Sally
Cody when we first got to the hospital before they started treatment on June 2nd 1999
His favorite thing to do was put lotion on his feet. It relaxed him, so he would do it several times a day. We should take a lesson from him and take time to pamper ourselves. :)
Cody after they started his chemo. He couldn't even feed himself because of all the tubes and wires in the way. I had to feed him.
After they started his chemo. We thought that he wasn't going to lose his hair because he kept it for about 2 weeks after chemo started. But then one day he woke up and hair everywhere. Through it all he stayed positive though.
The doctors and nurses dubbed this purple car "Cody's Car". One of the Doctors even put a license plate on it that said "Cody's Car". That car got a lot of mileage put on it by Cody. We would spend hours wheeling around his pole so he could just go in circles in that car. Then he figured out how to do it himself. That was a sight, pole in one hand and the steeing wheel in the other. LOL I wish I could find a pic of that.
This is cody today. He is 13, healthy and happy. I Thank God every day that he is still with us.
If you would like to know more about NCCS, please visit their website. Please spread the word and help this organization help those children and families in need. And please mark your calender and come back during the charity auction event to make sure that you help support NCCS. Thank You so much for your help, as it truly means a lot to us!
When will this event be held?
The "Love & Hope for Our Little Angels" Charity Auction Event will be held from November 15-22, 2009 on eBay, user ID etsy_cottage_style (etsy_cottage_style). At that time we will be auctioning off the two books, support banners and other creations from our Etsy Cottage Style members and others.
If You Would Like to Donate to This Amazing Charity Event
Here is how it will work and what information we will need if you would like to donate items for this amazing charity event:
If you would like to donate an item or items to this charity auction event you will send us the information that we need to post your item on eBay and then we will list said item. Once the auction is over and the item is paid for, we will notify you and give you the information you will need to ship the item to the person that won the auction. The cut off date for accepting donations will be November 8th, 2009 at 11:59pm CST. This will give us time to get the listings ready so that we can prelist them to all start on November 15th. We will not be able to accept items after the cut off time and date. If you would also like to run auctions on your own eBay user ID during this time for the charity auction you may do so. It would help also if you could point out that there are other items for auction under the Etsy_Cottage_Style user ID so that we get more traffic to help promote the books, which is the main items being auctioned off, and the other items being auctioned off..
The information we need for the items that you would like to add to this charity auction event will be:
1. Your eBay user name/ID, (if you have one) or your business name or name on Etsy Cottage Style, Etsy, website, etc,. We also need to know your real name, but if you would like us not to post that in the listing, or would just like your first name listed or any other special requests concerning the use of your real name, then please just tell us in your email. We will post the name of your eBay user name/ID (if you have one) and one other business name/user ID/name on the listing of your item/items.
2. Pictures of the item/s you are donating. Please make sure that you pictures are clear and lighted properly so that buyers are sure of what they are getting. Please make sure that if there are any flaws that you have clear pictures of them as well. Pictures should be around 400 pixels wide but no larger than 550 so that they are not too slow to load on dial-up computers. Also if you can compress your images without lessening the quality of the photo, then please do so. That will also help our dial-up users.
3. We will also need clear and concise details and descriptions of the item/s that you are donating so that the buyers know exactly what they are purchasing. Please know that the more information that you give, the better it is for the buyers. We will not be editing your descriptions though, we will only be cutting and pasting them into the listings, so please make sure that they are in proper format, spelling and paragraphs as well.
4. We will also need an email address to add to the listing so that if buyers have a question/s about the item that they may contact you. And so that we can contact you about your item/s and send you the information you will need to ship the items to the buyer once the sale ends.
5. Will need to know what zip code, country, etc,. you will be sending the item from so that we can put that in the listing as well. We will also need to know if you will be donating shipping as well or how much you will need for shipping for both International and US shipments. Please know that you will be insuring and tracking the packages as well for both International and US shipments because of this being for charity. So, please remember to include those extra costs in the shipping amount. You may also wish to put in shipping as a flat rate or a based on buyers address so please let us know that as well. If you are adding in an extra amount for insurance, tracking, etc,.on a "based on buyers address" it will be added in as a handling charge so we will need to know what that handling charge is so that we can add that as well. Also, if you could put all of this information in your description it will also help the buyers know what the shipping charges are. EBay will not allow for insurance to be optional on items sold on eBay anymore, so that is why the insurance now has to be added in to the shipping charge either as a handling charge or in the flat rate amount.
6. All auctions will start off at $9.99 and donations will be 90% of the sale price. The other 10% will go towards Paypal and eBay fees. Any amount left over after the fees are paid will go to NCCS through Mission Fish.
7. Please send all of your donation information here with "NCCS Donation" in the subject line so that we know that it is donation information. If you have other questions, concerns or comments please email us separately from your donation email so that we make sure and get back to you right away. Also, if you get an email from us concerning your donation, please respond to it as quickly as possible so that we can get your listings up as soon as possible. And be sure to check your spam/junk mail folders as well once you send us your donation information as well, just in case we contact you and it goes to your junk/spam mail folder.
Purchase a Support Banner for NCCS
We will also be selling Support Banners that you can purchase with the proceeds to also go to NCCS. Purchase as many as you wish for yourself or to give to friends, neighbors, relatives and even your favorite sellers. They are already for sale and will be on sale until November 23rd, 2009. You may place these banners on your blog, in your emails, in your eBay auctions/stores, on your website's or anywhere else that you would like to show your support for such a wonderful cause. You will be receiving these graphic banners in your email so once you purchase it/them remember to watch your email (the email address that is attached to your Paypal account) for them. Please not that we will only be sending one per purchase/email account. You may then send them on to the loved ones that you purchased them for if you purchased more than one. Below is what the banner looks like and if you click on it it will take you to the eBay listing for purchasing them.
Help Spread The Word
If you could please post the banner below and link on your blog or site to help us spread the word about this wonderful charity event, we would most appreciate it.
To be held November 15-22, 2009 on eBay under user ID etsy_cottage_style
Here is a Slide Show of some of the Pages that are in the Book! This is just a Sneak Peek!
If you need any more information about this event or to send your information to us for your donations or for any questions you may have, please contact us. If you are sending us your information regarding your donation to this event, then please put "NCCS Donation" in the subject line so that we know to add those emails to our list of donaters. Thank You All so much for your help and support with this Charity Event. If you would also like to help with this event you may also contact us.
Thank You from the bottom of our Hearts!