Monday, October 19, 2009

Just a Quikkie!!!!

Hello to all my followers!!!
This is just a quik note....with the holiday season sneaking up so quickly, I am busy...trying get some new items finished for the shop. My MICA jewelry seems to be gaining popularity, so be sure to check it all out. I am also now offering Squirrel Proofing on my birdhouses, which customers seem to like!
So, give me a few days, then please check out my shop to see what might be there that is on your Christmas shopping list!!!!

Happy Hunting!!!!
Keep creating,


Friday, September 25, 2009

My Time has Come

Well, they told me it would happen..eventually. They told me if I was patient, it would come. THEY would come. AND...THEY WERE RIGHT!!! My shop has FINALLY started to take off!!! Sales are coming in at a nice, even pace. I am pleased. Better...I am validated! EAT MY DIRT, HUBBY....
And now that the summer is over and the Holidays are creeping up, I am hopeful that I will continue to make some sales. I am expanding my selection, and there will be Autumn and Christmas items in the shop over the next month or so. I will be trying to get some new and different birdhouses made, new gourds, and, of course, my increasingly popular MICA jewelry, some of which has been selling even before I can get it in the shop!! any of you new ETSY sellers out there who are discouraged, and wonder where the sales has been almost a year for me, and the sales are just starting to get steady. SO, hang in there, continue to create (because you know you love to anyway). It will happen. If you are patient, it will come. THEY will come.
Till next time,

Thursday, August 27, 2009

WOW...guess I better update!!!!

Hi all!!!
I did not realize I had so many followers now! That means I best get on the ball and blog more frequently!
Let me just update you all to let you know what I have been, and will be, up to. The kids will be going back to school next week, so I will be able to get more work done. I have been working on a gourd vase almost all summer....we seem to have a love/hate relationship. Actually, I am so picky, that once I carved/sanded/painted it, I then found some areas I thought needed more sanding. That led to needing to repaint areas that unintentionally met with the sandpaper. So I needed to repaint. Then found another area I wanted to sand a bit more.....well, you get the picture. I finally decided yesterday that I am calling it good....all of it.....and am going to add the varnish and just hope it looks awesome when all is said and done.
Once that is out of my hair, I want to get more birdhouses made. Even tho they are not selling as much as I had hoped, I think they will at some point, b/c I know my houses are unique. I am going to try something different with my next one. Some clay items, and most likely some cards will be snuck into my shop too. And, of course, jewelry, b/c I have become obsessed with buying beads, and need to do something will all of the thousands of them that I have bought!!!!
Last, but not least, my dear ETSY friend ( her very awesome shop is Not So Shabby Chic- check it will not be disappointed) told me that felted items are currently a big seller. I have been doing felting just for fun, but have some new surprises that I am going to add to my stay tuned and make sure to keep checking out the shop!
So..I guess that is it for now. Thanks to all of you who are following me. It really does mean a lot to me.
Keep creating!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

What happened to the summer, and other life questions is already July, um, 18th, and here in Maine I don't even think we have hit the 80 degree mark yet! Plenty of rain, but not much heat or sun! I am usually in my studio working anyway, but I feel bad for my kids......

Anyway, on the days we HAVE seen the big yellow ball, I have moved my studio outdoors, so to speak. I spent several days carving away at a HUGE gourd vase I am making. What a job! The particular gourds I get are very very hard shelled, so the carving process is very slow and difficult. Once done, I have to then sand the entire carved area.....not a process that is easy for my sore, arthritic hands.

I also am still working on my new Mica jewelry line. Don't pass up those shiny little jewels you see as you walk down a dirt road!!! As crafters, we can surely find so many uses for this FREE BLING that Nature has given us. I have used it in several ways, besides the jewelry.

I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR IDEAS FROM ALL OF YOU!!!! So....what are some creative ways you can think of to use the mica??? Leave a comment here with your responses, and the person with the coolest response just might get a neat little gift!!!!!

Okay..this was just a quick blog post....I actually must admit that I tend to space out on even having a blog until someone mentions theirs!!! Sorry...old age!!!!

Take care, and happy crafting. And let me hear those ideas!!!!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Mica Jewelry....

Hi, everyone. Well, it is now June. I had pretty much given up on this whole blog thing, but decided to at least write another post and see what happens.
I have been working like crazy on my shop. Have posted a lot of new items, and have expanded the types of items I have. One of my newer creations, which will be posted this week, are my Mica Earrings.  My kids and I collected TONS of mica over the last couple of years. I have been fascinated with this natural "bling" material since I was a kid.  So I decided to make some different things with it.
The earrings are really pretty cool. The mica takes alcohol ink very well, and can be easily cut with scissors. Of course, since we picked the mica up from the ground wherever we found it, I had to wash it well....which really brought out the sparkle! 
I will be posting my 2 first sets of earrings as soon as the sun comes out so I can take a good picture of them. After that, I will be experimenting with other types of jewelry, in addition to the mica powders I am already making with  it.
Stay tuned!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

This is really quite difficult!

I have decided that this whole blogging thing is really too hard for me, especially when I am not sure exactly what it is "doing"??!!??
Now don't get me wrong. I enjoy the concept. I follow several blogs, and visit some on a regular basis. But those blogs are by people who know what they are doing, or receive help in doing it. I am just a 52 yr old retired mom/artist, who started this blog to help promote my shop.
Now if I actually could get someone to help me, like, design it...add all the cool colors and bells and whistles like the really awesome professional blogs have...well...I would love that. SO would any of you who I still have left following me! And I have "looked" online for someone who does that sort of thing, but not sure if I was looking in the right place, or if I could afford to pay them. Most of my extra cash goes into my art supplies, and the advertising here with AdWords.
So, I understand if more of you drop from following me. I will keep this going, and would like to really have this be a neat blog, but al my efforts right now have to go into my shop, which really needs all the help it can get. Sales for me are non existent, yet everyone loves my goods....
If that changes, and I begin making sales, than I definitely want to snatch that special person away from one of those gorgeous art blogs with 3000 followers, and have them work the special magic on mine. Unless any of who know????
Take care, and keep creating!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Humbling Realization....A Tribute, Really.

This is not a new realization, but it is something I do stop and take a good look at quite often. Today, I was just inspired to write about it.

What is it, you ask, that I am referring to? Talent. Ability. Creativity. I am so often amazed by the HUGE amount of creative and artistic talent that is out there in the world. People creating amazing things to beautify our world and our lives. I have only touched on such a tiny, minute amount of the talent out there. Just today, as I was on Twitter, I looked at one of the postings by It was a stunning, colorful bracelet made with a whimsical assortment of floral pieces. Even tho I rarely get the opportunity to wear much jewelry anymore, I decided I just HAD to have that bracelet. SO, I bought it! But looking thru her shop, there were SO many other beautiful things!

About a month ago, I ran across an item, also on Twitter, made by This shop sells handsewn items, and I asked about a holder for my new cell phone, and one for my business cards. Charlotte, aka BizzieLizzie, found the most awesome material! I am now the proud owner of a BEAUTIFUL matching set, plus she made me a matching keychain, too. But the items are made of such wonderful quality, and such care put into them! (When I get a picture taken, I will post them for all to see).

I also have bought from a new friend, Mary, whom I met on FLickr. I bought from her while back on Flickr, and we both opened our Etsy shops at the same time. Mary's shop is She makes amazing wire sculptures....I don't know how...but she does. She also makes the most amazing "paintings" out of 100% polymer clay. She does not sell those in her shop, but she has pictures of them on her Flickr site; they are unbelievable. I have never seen anything like them

I am only mentioning 3 people here, but when I think of all the other people, just even on ETSY , who make some of the most gorgeous and amazing things I have seen, I just get dizzy trying to envision the size of a space it would take to put all the artisans and crafters together at one time. And I feel humbled, if not even a little embarrased, to be in the presence of such talent. I really very often question whether I am good enough at my craft to be in the presence of such awesome, true talent.
I do not make that statement looking for affirmations or anything like is said to try to convey how very amazed I am by so many of the creations I consistently see just in my little corner of the world. And I actually get a good, warm feeling inside when I know there are so very many people out there who are devoted to what they are doing, and take such pleasure in doing it. I love looking at beautiful things.
So, when I saw that bracelet this morning, and started looking around some of the items in some of the shops once again, I got that warm feeling. I think I even got a sense of pride....maybe? Maybe b/c I am a small part of it all?
Anyway, I felt moved this morning as I once again was exposed to so many stunning and amazing handcrafted treasures, and felt moved enough to write this as a tribute to all of you.
Thank you, and please, please keep doing what you do.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I don't know what to name this!!!

This is just a quick hello to my followers, and to anyone else who stumbles upon my blog! I have just been having some problems being able to access my blog if I happen to make the mistake of clicking that "sign out" up there in the right hand corner! I then seem to have the hardest time getting signed back in !
So, here I am, after finally getting signed in a few minutes ago....but now I want to let you know that I have a slew of work to do for my shop, www. , which is why I started this blog in the first place!!! I have found out that it is a huge amount of work to promote a shop online, and I am trying my best! Oh yes, and when I get a few spare moments here and there, i actually have to make some items for my shop! Ans since I do not make much jewelry, which seems to be the biggest seller on Etsy, I feel like I have to ptomote all that much harder!
So, if any or all of you could do me a favor??? Even if you have your own Etsy shop, or Artfire, or wherever, could you please put a plug in for me here and there, just to help me out a wee bit? Then, I will have more time to work on my blog!!!!!
Have a good weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What to write..what to write..So, what do I write??

I decided I should update my blog with a new posting, but to be perfectly honest, I have no idea what to write about. I have been so busy trying to get some stock in my shop, and this is just not at the top of my priority list!
I actually started this blog because it was one of the recommended steps for someone just opening up their shop on Etsy. This, along with doing the Twitter/Facebook/MySpace/Forums/ABC and XYZ stuff. I have done all of it. And, although the Google Analytics say I have had an increased number of views to my shop, I have been in a Treasury (I think they felt sorry for me), someone was nice enough to feature one of my birdhouses on their blog, and I have received numerous positive comments, I have yet to really make any sales! I mean, someone was nice enough to buy one of my son's bookmarks, and someone else bought some cute little pins for $1.50, which I had screwed up because it was supposed to be $1.50 for each pin, not for all 3 pins. But I had it listed wrong, so I lost money on that sale. Hey, I had just opened the shop!
My point is that those items are not ones I even consider really as "sales" was my son's, and the other was items I had, that I put in the shop to have some lesser pricesd items, but are not my "specialty" or what my shop IS. I read over and over again in the forums to find your "niche", and, I kinda sorta might have found that. I make the birdhouses, which I have been making for years. And I make the gourds, because I like to! But on those 2 main items, the BIG TICKET items, I have sold 0. Zero.Zilch. Nada. Nunca. Nothing.
And that is why I am continuing to work my butt off trying to get more items posted in the give more variety, to hopefully increase my chances of making a sale. Which is why I have not had much time to write updates for my blog. Which is why I am going to end this now, because I have to get my butt in gear making more things to sell......
So, I have just come full circle.

Monday, January 26, 2009


For any of you other parents out there who have school age sons in Boy Scouts, you are likely familiarwith what has been going on the last month or so, culminating in what is, in this house, a very big day. THE PINEWOOD DERBY. Now, for those who are not aware of what this is, every year, the scouts are given a block of wood, some strict guidelines, and a race date. They are to turn that block of wood into a sleek racing machine capable of winning not only a race, but any of a number of additional "token" Most Humorous, Best Paint, etc etc etc.
Well, in this house, it is my husband who gets carried away with the race...I the EXTREME. This year, we had 3 cars entered. THREE. You see, besides the race that the Boy Scout himself enters, there is often a family race. So, we had to have a car for my daughter AND my husband to each race. The problem is, my husband becomes so ultra absorbed in this whole process, and so focused on winning, that I actually think he has lost track of what the whole process is ideally about, and has removed a good deal of the fun of it all for my son. Sure, he will profess his allegiance to doing all this hard work for my son, and complain about all the time he has to (has to??) spend on the car(s) (3 plus weeks....others we know spent 3 days max) but when he starts talking about HIS cars and HIS race (I am sure it was just a slip of the tongue), and he has pretty much put down any of my sons ideas for the cars construction, well, I have my own opinion who he was doing all the hard work for. And when it gets to the point of yelling and screaming and swearing.....well that is just getting out of hand.

Anyway...I am not really sure where I was going with this. My son ended up taking first place, and has to go on to the next level. He got a big shiny trophy, and was the envy of all the other scouts and their dads. My daughter took first place, and my husband second, in the family race. So my family pretty much monopolized the day. My son was thrilled he won the big trophy, and my husband was beside himself with pride in his work. In HIS work. And me? I told them I did not feel we should do any more Pine Wood derby races, because I think the whole point of it was missed, at least by my husband. And to me, that makes it not worth it. Not worth it because I think that if father and son had worked together on the car(s), side by side, with my son taking the lead, as it should be...well....he would still have a smile on his face, even if they had lost. And the smile would last a lot longer. And he also would have gained a lot more than just a big shiny trophy.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Well, here we are. January 20th of 2009. The day many people have been waiting for. And, for some of you who may have been hiding in a cave and do not know what the day is, I will tell you. It is.... (drum roll plays in the background)

NATIONAL CHEESE DAY is finally here. And it is a bonafide, actual day of celebration on the calendar. (Bet you all thought I was going to say something else, now, didn't you??? ha ha)
I happen to LOVE my cheese. Most types, anyway. Especially mozzarella cheese. Must be the Italian in me. And I decided today that I am finally going to try out the recipe I have for home made mozzarella. It certainly seems simple enough. And if it works out, I might even post it here.
So, in honor of National Cheese Day, I am going to go to the grocery store (I need to buy some milk and half nhalf anyway), and buy some cheese. Maybe, just maybe, I might buy 2 different types of cheese. I mean, after IS a special day, isn't it?

Sunday, January 11, 2009


So, here I am...on my second career, or in the next chapter of my life (oh, that sounds So cliche!) My first career was as a Social Worker. I worked all my life, up until 2004, with people with mental and physical limitations. I worked with them in their homes, in their jobs, in their day programs, and as the state worker who helped them get the funding needed, and sometimes provided guardianship services. I helped cut thru the red tape (bull----, actually, but I will use the word "tape"). Creatively, I have painted for as long as I can remember, first in oils, then in acrylics. I always had worked with clays, and always, ALWAYS had lots of drawing utensils around. Markers were my favorite.

That was then. This is now. Now, I am no longer a social worker, though my firm beliefs about advocating for the best quality of life for the folks I used to work for remains as strong as ever. Some of the smartest, most amazing people I ever met were "clients", people just like you and me, whose shortcomings (just like we all have) were just a bit more challenging for them, and sometimes a bit more obvious to everyone else. Big deal. The people I worked with taught me more about life and strength and courage than any classroom ever did.

But...I am getting off track. This is about me (how self centered am I!) Now, I am home everyday. Doing my "new work".... I still paint...with acrylics.I do paintings, and paint birdhouses, welcome signs, rocks, or just about anything else you can paint on. I paint somewhat, or am trying to paint, with watercolors. I ALWAYS wanted to learn to paint with watercolors; I am amazed by the effects the colors make. I also do some work with encaustics. Very cool.

I still work with clay, but now it is polymer clay instead of ceramic. And instead of a kiln, I now use my oven. Polymer clay is SO amazingly versatile...

I still do a lot of drawing, but now my markers are many and varied, and EXPENSIVE. I also use expensive colored pencils, chalks, sprays, etc etc etc on my paper. My drawing are also now usually turned into greeting cards, or some type of wall art.

Years ago, when I was around 12, everyone was making necklaces and ankle bracelets with "Love Beads". Today, I still have some of those same beads, but I also have thousands of others...millifiore, glass, clay, aztec, and any other bead that catches my eye. And I use them on wire, string, nylon. I use them for jewelry, or in my clay, mosaics, or paper work. I especially love making wire and bead concoctions.

I love mosaics, and making stepping stones. I want to learn how to do stained glass. I am fascinated by fused glass, especially dichroics. I work with resin, melt art, and wood.

I even make soap.

Well, there it is. Where I am today. I have my fingers in so many things, I am not even sure if I listed them all. And I am nowhere near finished exploring new things! There are just too many things that catch my interest. And you know what...I am actually pretty good at most of them.

But, I had to limit what I work on to sell in my shop, at least for now.

I have learned so many tips and techniques about all the different areas, and am hoping to share some with you all in future blogs. I hope some of you who read this and see some similarities to yourselves will leave a comment and let me know. Maybe we can share some secrets of the trade..

That's it for now. Thanks for stopping by and reading. Please come back. Who knows what I might be able to learn to do on the computer!!!!!!



Thursday, January 8, 2009


So many of us, especially women, seem to work our full time jobs, constantly wishing we could be home. Maybe not all of us, but I don't know how many times I heard almost all of my female coworkers, over the course of my working life, stating their wish to stay home, or work just part time like so many of our moms did. I was guilty of the same wish. And I have just one thing to say to that now....

!!!!!!!!!BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR!!!!!!!!!

It just might come true.

As I think I mentioned somewhere on my blog page, I had to leave my job in 2004 because I become chronically ill. I had not planned on retiring, did not want to retire, and had NO IDEA what retiring was going to mean for me. Sure...the first couple of weeks was great! Like a vacation! Had the house to myself, could do what I wanted.... All the friends I had made through my job had made great plans with me about how we were going to stay in touch....all the lunches, shopping trips, movie excursions. It was going to be fun! And you know what?? None of it happened. Suddenly, I had the time, but no one else did...EVER. They were always too busy. My calls were always sent to voicemail, seldom returned . Some people seemed to just shy away from me because I was now "ill" with something they were not familiar with....maybe they thought they would "catch" it?? Most of these people were work associates who needed to stay on my good side (in their minds), because of my job position. They had to return calls immediately, and many even spent considerable time "kissing up" and whatever, because being on the good side of the state agency was considered very important and conducive to their employers keeping in good standing. And I knew and accepted all this....but still knew that I had some long standing friendships, I thought. But once you retire, that all changes.

So, I had pretty much lost all my friendships and personal connections. But I was also realizing I lost a lot more than that. I no longer knew who I was. I never realized how much my position had become who I was. My job was what I did . It was what I was good at. It was something I had spent years building an excellent reputation on. Now it was gone. And like I mentioned in an earlier post, even my family started treating me a bit differently, especially my husband. I was no longer bringing in the paycheck, so I no longer had a say in things. I felt like I was being treated as though I had no education at other I was just some blubbering idiot. And that was just not going to cut it for me. I needed to do something, if nothing else, than to just fill up all the time I had on my hands.

I dug through all the stuff in the attic, and found my old easel and paints. I decided to make some birdhouses for the yard. They turned out really well! When I had enough for our yard, (and since no job meant no money to Christmas shop) I made one each for my mother and sister. BOY were they a hit. Next thing I knew, my mothers friends and sisters friends both wanted some. My sister suggested I consider selling my birdhouses as a small business.. Altho I considered it for a bit, I also was not sure I would be satisfied painting birdhouses day after day. So.....back to the attic. I dug out all the rest of my old art supplies, and started playing. Then on a trip to the craft store (for the first time in a decade or more), I discovered some new interests. Pretty soon, I was making some other things, mostly out of clay and paper. My sister asked if I would try making some wine glass charms........she has since bought several sets, and so have different people she knows. The gourds were something I just discovered 2 years ago, but found that, for the most part, I am quite good at carving and painting those, if I do say so myself!.

What was that I said....?"good at"?????????

Suddenly, I was GOOD at something again. People were complimenting me, and I was getting a whole different "reputation" ART was becoming my new identity. Something that distinquishes me from others, something I can be proud of myself for. Once I decided I was comfortable enough with what and how I was doing, I made a goal for open up that shop and make a business, just like my sister had suggested 4 years earlier. So, in November, 2008, I opened up my Etsy shop. I had been selling by word of mouth for a couple of years, but a "Shop" seems like more of an accomplishment, more......well, just MORE. I had a LOT of obstacles to get here (my husband being the largest, and ongoing), and it is definitely slow going, but I did it. And now, I might even be starting to feel a little bit good about myself. There are things I am good at, things I might even do better than other people I know!

As for the issue of "friends", well, I am still working on that. I may not have a lot of people around where I live that I can get together with anymore, but here, on my computer, in my "artist" groups, I have made friends. Good friends. Friends who now call ME on the phone sometimes to chat, who email back and forth with me, and accept me just as me, not because of the position I held or whatever. People who also realize the value of friendships, and know the importance of taking the time to spend time together, even if it is just on the phone.

So...I know this was a long post. But it was important for me to get it all down in writing. This was a major life change for me. It might happen to you someday. The change when you retire is MASSIVE. When it happens under the circumstances it did for me, it is even more difficult. But my art saved me. I think it saved me from going into a deep depression, maybe even from getting more ill more quickly.


It soothes the soul, and gives you wings to fly....sometimes when you are most in need of something to help ground you!

Keep creating-