Sunday, December 20, 2009

It's Ice

This morning, I got to curate my second ever Treasury on Etsy. I put one together that's titled 'It's Ice'. For all you crazy hippies out there, you may understand the reference (am I revealing too much of myself here?). For the rest of you, 'It's Ice' is the title of a Phish song off of the 1993 album Rift. The art on the album's cover is iconic; it was created by David Welker. This Treasury that I put together uses the icy blue colors of the album art to create a cool collection of handmade treasures.

All of the work that was selected for this Treasury was created right here in western Massachussetts. Almost exactly one year ago, this area was hit with a major ice storm. Today, the damage is still evident from the snapped and bent trees in many communities. I dedicate this treasury to all my friendly local artisans who survived the big storm with me. Oh yeah, and to creative, original music. Cheers!

PS- Be sure to go over and check the Treasury out while it's live on Etsy. It expires at noon on Tuesday... I'll post a picture of it here after it expires.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Friday Night Craft Party

On Friday night, my friend Ben hosted a party/craft show in his home. Four of us set up our handmade goods around the house. There was a fire in the fireplace and tasty food in the kitchen. Acapella filled the air as friends gathered for some last minute holiday shopping and drinks. The atmosphere was festive and a good time was had by all. It was the perfect ending to a crazy and hectic craft show season. I hope you're enjoying your friends and family throughout the holidays. Keep warm and cozy...
Cheers to you!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Chestnuts Roasting

Hello! Sorry for being so absent from this here blog... you know how life gets during the holidays though. (I promise to bring back Karen's Picks in January!)

I wanted to quickly share with you a treasury that my work was selected for. It's expired now, but have no fear, I snapped a picture of it. This one features the work of Western MA Etsians. We're currently in the process of jump-starting a new campaign to Buy Local and Buy Handmade here in this beautiful region. We just launched a new web site and there are plans in the works to go BIG in 2010! Check out our new site, www.artisansofwmass.com and follow us on Facebook, facebook.com/artisansofwmass! Without further ado, here is "Chestnuts Roasting" by KnittyVet...Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Craft Show Mania

Woah. What a crazy few weeks. I survived hosting my fourth annual craft show, The Bizarrest Little Snowflake Bazaar. It took place this past Saturday and then I followed it up with another craft show in Worcester on Sunday (stART At The Station). All in all, it was a successful weekend, but I'm glad it's over... I can sleep again! But I can't slip into full winter hibernation quite yet; I have another craft show coming up this Sunday- The Stars & Skulls Crafty Craft Fair. You don't want to miss this event. It's put on by the valley's very own roller derby team! There will be 25 alternative indie vendors, a dj, and girls with pink hair zooming around on roller skates. Be there!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Curating My First Treasury!

Woohoo! I snagged my very first Treasury on Etsy! Basically you've got to time it just right to 'win' the chance to curate one. I'm so excited about this opportunity! I decided to promote my fellow teammates from Artisans of Western MA. We're a new group that's trying to jumpstart the 'Buy Local, Buy Handmade' campaign in the area. Check out my Treasury live on Etsy right now! http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=95482

You can find more beautiful creations from Western MA by searching 'wmass team' on Etsy.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Karen's Picks :: Vol. 16 :: Snowflake Bazaar

After a brief two week hiatus, Karen's Picks is back in action! It's been a busy few weeks (as I'm sure it has been for all in crafty business land) but I'm happy to say that things are running smoothly and I'm getting really excited about my upcoming holiday show run. Which brings me to this week's theme: Snowflake Bazaar. All of the items listed below are made by local artisans who will be participating in this year's Bizarrest Little Snowflake Bazaar (the annual craft show that I host). I'm quite pleased with this year's line-up of vendors, it's shaping up to be a great day! Without further ado...

Treat the seamstress in your life to a unique and fresh smelling pin cushion. Made with balsam for a nice crisp scent. (Things you may also find at the Bazaar by this vendor: cloth dolls, place mats, cloth napkins, baby blankets, ornaments). By SewSoft, $13.This necklace would be a great gift for the songbird in your life. Sweet and simple. (Things you may also find at the Bazaar by this vendor: collage jewelry, steampunk jewelry, watch part jewelry, vintage inspired jewelry). By valleyofthedoll (aka Rusty Pomegranate), $7.
These wine glass charms would be great for your holiday hosting. None of your guests will ever need to wonder which glass is their own again! (Things you may also find at the Bazaar by this vendor: jewelry, bath products, gift tags, magnets). By SunMoonStars, $6.50.I love the look of these hammered Copper Squiggle Earrings. Sure to be a unique gift! (Things you may also find at the Bazaar by this vendor: lamp pulls, book marks, beaded jewelry). By ATBcreations, $14.I've had the pleasure of seeing this wall quilt up-close and in person. It's exquisite! (Things you may also find at the Bazaar by this vendor: Christmas stockings, ornaments, pins & brooches, cards, art quilts). By SylvanQuilts, $155.This bag is made with colorful handwoven fabric and would make a really special and unique gift for your mom, sister, bff, etc. (Things you may also find at the Bazaar by this vendor: bags, aprons, touch cases). By StargazerStudios, $48.
Butterfly wing jewelry would be quite a treat for the nature lover in your world. These are made with real butterfly wings... how special! (Things you may also find at the Bazaar by this vendor: pressed leaf jewelry, glitter pop rings, fused glass jewelry). By PoPkO, $43.At this point in Karen's Picks, you may be thinking: ok, all this stuff is great and beautiful, but what about the men on my shopping list? Have no fear; bottle openers are here! This one happens to be made from an old railroad spike... pretty nifty if you ask me. (Things you may also find at the Bazaar by this vendor: lamps, utensils, jewelry displays, and lots more unique bottle openers). By hammeronsteel (aka BMW Ironworks), $40.You could run a pretty fancy bar with all the treats to be aquired at the Bizarrest Little Snowflake Bazaar. I like the elegant simplicity of this Tree Bottle Stopper. (Things you may also find at the Bazaar by this vendor: glass ornaments, glass beads, glass jewelry, more bottle stopppers, vessels, metal sculptures). By katierayart, $32.Keep your head warm this winter with a hand-crocheted hat! It's always important to buy yourself a little something during the holidays! (Things you may also find at the Bazaar by this vendor: crocheted hats, mittens, bags and more). By bigcheesecrafts, $15.And now I'm going to toot my own horn for a moment...
Keep your cash stowed away, safely within the fence... err, wallet. Sure to be a unique gift for the urbanite it your life. (Things you may also find at the Bazaar by this vendor (me): wallets for him and her, pressed leaf jewelry, bead stitched jewelry, bags and purses, 1 inch pin-back buttons, pressed leaf notecards, ornaments). By moonandsundries, $23.

There will be one other vendor joining us, BakedEarthBoutique, who works in clay to make bowls, masks, wall hangings, etc. Her Etsy shop does not currently have anything listed in it, so I don't have anything to show you now, but trust me, her work is great!

We will also be selling raffle tickets at the Bazaar to give away some wonderful handmade gifts that were crafted by our vendors as well as some other area artisans. All proceeds will help jumpstart our new group Artisans of Western MA. We seek to spread the good word: Buy Local, Buy Handmade.

And on top of all the greatness you see above in this blog post, The Bizarrest Little Snowflake Bazaar welcomes back local folk-rock all-stars Rusty Belle for a live performance at 2pm. We also welcome newcomers to the Bazaar stage The Fine & Dandy Trio. They're sloted to play at noon. Here's the skinny on the rest of the event details:

4th Annual Bizarrest Little Snowflake Bazaar
Saturday, December 5, 2009
9am - 4pm
The Unitarian Meetinghouse
121 North Pleasant Street, Amherst MA
Free Admission!

Visit us online at: snowflakebazaar.googlepages.com
Follow us on Facebook: facebook.com/SnowflakeBazaar

Hope to see you at the show!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Formatting Sobered Up

OK! We're back in action! After some frustrating hours of tinkering around this morning, the website for The Bizarrest Little Snowflake Bazaar is starting to look normal again. It's not quite where it was before the formatting fiasco, but at least now there isn't any text or photos overlapping. Sometimes I really wish I knew more about html, Photoshop, Illustrator, web design, and computers in general. I seem to get around ok, but I am so dependent on other people to help me. It's really frustrating to have a vision of exactly what you want in your head but not be able to format it in computer land. I'm hoping to take some classes in the future... I'd like to start with some lessons in Photoshop and Illustrator. I know I would use them so much if I only knew how!

Here's hoping your day goes smooth and kink-free! Cheers!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Drunken Formatting

Aaaahhh! So much to do and so little time! The shrinking amount of daylight seems to exaggerate this. I've been quite busy. Things are moving along quite well with Snowflake Bazaar planning, although today I noticed that the formatting on the website is all out of whack suddenly. I use Google Pages for the site because I don't know the first thing about making a webpage. In the past, it's been a great tool! But it was still in beta form and Google has been talking about switching over to Google Sites (which is an updated version of Google Pages) for awhile now. Well, just after I got my page all squared away for this year's Bazaar, they decided to switch my site over. Now the formatting looks like it got drunk. I know I'll be able to fix it... but I have a feeling it's gonna take me some time.

Meanwhile, I've been trying to get some serious production going so that I'm fully prepared for the three holiday shows that I have coming up. There is a huge batch of Leaf Jewelry that's almost done and tonight I'll be cutting fabric for wallets.

I also changed my shop avatar today. This is my business logo but for some reason it's been missing from my shop banner and avatar. It's time to get serious about building the Moon & Sundries brand!
I hope to get a Karen's Picks out this week. Be patient with me, and stay tuned!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Holiday Craft Shows

I am quite pleased to announce that in addition to my own holiday bazaar, I will also be participating in 'stART At The Station' on December 6, in Worcester, MA, and 'The Stars & Skulls Crafty Craft Fair' on December 13, in Hadley, MA. I've done both of these shows before and I am really looking forward to this year's events. The show in Worcester is put on by the same people who organize the amazing 'stART On The Street' but this event takes place in the beautifully renovated train station of Worcester. The Stars & Skulls Fair is a quirky, indie-punk show that benefits the local roller derby team... I couldn't think of a better way to round out my holiday show line-up! And I'm in love with their logo... so classy in a punk-rock DIY sort of way :)Hope to see you at all these awesome shows in December!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Snowflake Bazaar Mania

Life's been a little hectic for me lately. I've been trying to juggle steady production of goods with planning and organizing for the annual craft show that I host, The Bizarrest Little Snowflake Bazaar. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to spend as much time as I would like to on photographing and listing items in my Etsy shop. I just need to stick to a solid schedule for the next few weeks and I'll get everything done that I need to. Although I missed posting Karen's Picks on time this week, I did get the Bazaar's webpage updated and also was able to start a Facebook Fan Page for the event. Now people can follow my progress as I sticth together the 4th Annual Bizarrest Little Snowflake Bazaar. It's shaping up to be a great one! We have a dozen very talented craftsfolk as well as live music from Rusty Belle... It's a gathering not to be missed!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

200 Hearts and Counting...

Hooray! My Etsy shop has reached 200 hearts! For those of you who are scratching your head and saying "what in the world does reaching 200 hearts mean?", it doesn't really mean anything. Essentially, 200 people have bookmarked my shop. Which, to me, is quite exciting. I was hoping to hit 200 by the end of October and I did it! To mark the occasion, I'm running a sale in my shop this weekend... Buy one piece of Leaf Jewelry and get the second piece (of equal or lesser value) FREE! This is the perfect opportunity to get something nice for yourself and get a little holiday shopping done at the same time! To take advantage of this great offer, simply purchase both of the pieces you'd like and type 'WEEKEND DEALS' in the 'message to seller' during checkout. I will promptly refund the difference. (This is the easiest and best way for me to offer this sale with one-of-a-kind pieces... my apologies for needing to pay for it all up front... I'll be near a computer all weekend so you won't need to wait long for your refund). The sale starts at 12:01 am EST Friday (that's tonight!) and runs through 11:59 pm EST Sunday; don't miss out!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Karen's Picks :: Vol. 15 :: Fall Back

Daylight Saving Time is upon us once again. This weekend, many people around the world will turn their clocks back one hour. Did you know that Daylight Saving Time is not federally regulated in the United States? Arizona and Hawaii don't participate in all this time travel business. The topic has been controversial throughout history. I recommend checking out Wikipedia or this article by National Geographic for more interesting tidbits about this bizarre custom.

This week's Karen's Picks showcases some wonderful ways to tell time. Don't forget to turn the clocks back... You'll get an extra hour of sleep on Sunday morning; perfect for snoozing off the candy hangover. Enjoy!

I majored in Geography in college. I'm a giant map dork. This clock would be a classy touch to an office or study. By IMOTIME, $32.This clock would be great in a big or little kid's room. By SackReligious, $40.It's Dali time. But don't forget, it's all relative. By PragmaticEffects, $50.
I love the original painting in this classic looking alarm clock. By tuesday79, $75.This one is made from an old record. Zen-like and recycled. Huzzah! By bearlyart, $19.99.Smooth lines and a modern design. Let this clock ease your transition between night and day. By pilotdesign, $45.I've always had a thing for Mission Style furniture. I've picked up this admiration from my mom. This clock is a beautiful example of the style. By PhilsWoodcrafts, $325.I love the creativity on Etsy when in comes to using recycled materials. Recycled Sunburst Clock is a shining example of this. By c2design, $25.The original painting on this piece is beautiful and serene. Gazing at it is a calming way to pass the time. By CreativeCanvasClocks, $74.
I know I've already featured this seller, but I LOVE these clocks. Before, I featured the Autumn Moon Clock. Today, I feature Silver Moon Clock. By CyberMoon, $16.

Until next time ;)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Karen's Picks :: Vol. 14 :: Rocktober

My Love is my favorite Rock n' Roller. He brings the sound to the people. As a live audio engineer, he tours the country and occasionally exciting places around the world to tweak the levels and volume that blast from various stages. This morning, he left for the weekend to do a mini run around the Northeast with Soulive. I miss him when he leaves, but the show must go on. Today, I dedicate Karen's Picks to all those rock n' rollers out there who relentlessly tour the world to deliver ethereal tunes to the people, all the while, enriching our lives. Enjoy!

Perhaps the most iconic set of lips in rock... or maybe even the world. Wear this scrabble tile necklace with rock n' roll pride. By craftyaddictions, $7.50.Keep your earbuds safely tucked away in this nifty little tin. By tinytins, $4.99.
I dedicate this next pick specifically to my older sister. She graduated from high school in the late 80's... All I can say is that the pictures are amazing. My sister and most other ladies of that era, have deep-seeded love for Jon Bon Jovi. I don't quite understand it, but hey, they probably don't understand my love for Eddie Vedder. This purse is made from a 45 album cover. By rocknrecycle, $26.95.Here's a super cute bib that makes a great gift for the daddy-baby rock duo in your life. By fun2wear2, $5.99.Take this piece straight to the stage! This guitar is gorgeous... the grain in the wood is just astounding. By joetill, $3,250.
Hendrix is a guitar god. Hang the rock legend on your wall with this vibrant digital design. By DirtyMirror, $20.Although rock n' roll doesn't call for the use of cufflinks very often, if you needed them for a special occasion, these would be the ones. By cosmofashionslave, $14.95.I know some leading ladies who need a button like this. By allisonbook, $1.
I love these earrings made from recycled guitar strings. By cheapdatejewelry, $20.And here's a sweet necklace to match. By PluckingPendants, $28.
This poster pretty much sums it all up. By oneshymouse, $28.
Happy Rocking. Now go see some live music at a venue near you!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

And The Winner Is...

This Saturday I participated in the 40th Annual Bizarre Bazaar in Pittsfield, MA. The show was a fundraiser to raise money for programs run through the Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center. This bazaar featured over 100 vendors. My neighbor was Susan of Simply Susan's, a beeswax candle business. Her and her husband were funny and quite pleasurable to spend the day with. I even bought some beautiful candles from them to burn during our occasional power outages.

Early Saturday morning a gentleman came around the bazaar offering tickets for a vendor only 50/50 raffle. I decided to buy a ticket. They were a $1 each or 3 for $2. Since I had only made $2 in sales so far, I decided to buy only one ticket and save my other dollar. I asked the man if they would be calling the winner that night or notifying him or her that day. He replied that the winner would be told that day, to which I responded, "you mean you'll be telling me that I won later today". He laughed and said "Yeah, sure. Except you're the fourth person I've said that to so far." Sure enough... some hours later... a lady stopped by my table with an envelope that had my name on it. I actually won the raffle. Unfortunately, the man who sold me the ticket was not there to see me collect my winnings. I have to say, the whole situation made my day.

Karen's Picks will come to you tomorrow (Thursday)... Stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Karen's Picks :: Vol. 13 :: Living Fossils

The other day, I listed a new wallet in my shop. It was made using a black fabric with white ginkgo leaf silhouettes; it's quite nice. My love affair with the Ginkgo Tree started a few years ago when I was living in a big cooperative house. One of my roommates had her family staying with us, in from Bulgaria. Basil, my housemate's father, was a colorful and unique fellow who had decided one of his life's missions was to plant ginkgo trees everywhere. While he stayed with us, he harvested dozens of small Ginkgo clones and potted them all in our backyard. Some were given away, some were planted around the property, and some perished. When I moved out, I managed to find 2 trees that were still in their starter pots... they had survived the winter in our yard and I decided to take them with me. I still have those little trees and I think I may try and train them to become bonsais. The thought of this alone brings me great joy!

When I listed the new wallet in my shop, I checked out the Wikipedia page on Ginkgo Trees. I already knew that they were one of the oldest tree species on earth; but what I learned I find even more fascinating. Ginkgo Trees are "living fossils" which means that their only known genetic relatives are fossils. They've been around since the Jurassic period, some 270 million years... That makes them as old as dinosaurs; yikes!

This week's Karen's Picks pays homage to this ancient species. I also wanted this week to highlight how specific you can be in your Etsy searches and still get tons of great products to come up. When I searched the word "ginkgo" over 500 items appeared! Happy Ginkgo perusing!

Fabulous Ginkgo Coasters made from organic cotton. By rohmer, $17.A simple pitcher with clean lines and contour. By soule, $26.Beautifully detailed original pen and ink drawing. By naturescharms, $40.This gourd box was grown and decorated by the artisan, I think that makes it extra special. By midnightcoiler, $45.One pound of dried cut Gingko leaf to use for your heart's desires. I'd make medicinal tea! By TheGypsyCaravan, $14.95.So simple and beautiful. I love these earrings! By ginkgo, $26.Gorgeous Ginkgo leaf hemp skirt. Perfect for woodland pixies! By JenniferJoyCreative, $99.50.
Here's a little silk Ginkgo love for that special man in your life. By amysfunkyfibers, $44.A beautiful Opulent Gold Ginkgo Ribbon Bound Journal would make a lovely gift. By KupoKiley, $35.
This necklace is beyond clever and creative, fusing the art of haiku with beautiful craftsmenship. By metalology, $88.

leaves of green and gold
fall silently before me
a cloud of color I couldn't feature all these great Ginkgo gifts without throwing in my wallet. Hope no one minds my self-promotion :) By moonandsundries, $30.I love the purple twist on these classy notecards. By CindyLindgren, $6.
Modern and unique wrapping paper that would work great for many special occasions (And perfect for wrapping up any of these Gingko themed gifts!). By nicoletter, $3.50.
Enjoy the rest of your week!