Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ouch! They Really Can Break!

I have some sad news about tator dude... I really didn't mean to do it and it was a TOTAL accident! Honest! (if you don't know about tator dude, read my post here to get the whole story: Weird. That's all I can say and then again here on my MySpace blog titled "Pierced it")

No - I did not eat him.

As you may know from my previous blogs, the sticky in the sticky pad no longer worked and he was propped up on one of my soy pudding cups in the fridge. I had my last pudding cup last week so I propped him up against a container of Tofutti Sour Supreme.

The night before last while getting something out of the fridge I bumped tator dude.

(insert shocked look here)

He fell straight to the ground.

In horror Mark & I gasped at the sight! Mark said "wow, guess they really can break" (hmm, that would make a good blog)


I tried to see if I could repair him, but didn't think a torch would be the right tool to use.

So, it is with great sadness that I must tell you of his demise. I have never met a tator dude quite like this one before. They broke (oops, sorry about the pun) the mold when this dude sprouted.

I removed my old stud & cleaned it up real good - it's back in my jewelry box. Not sure if I'll ever where it again as the memory may be too painful.

Tator tot, um, I mean tator dude is still in the fridge. I know I need to let him go as he's pretty mashed up, but I have other plans for him.

Gotta go now, the water is boiling.

☼ Rocki

P.S. I'm on vacation as of now. We are going to San Diego with our good friends on a long deserved trip. We are going to have a blast and just go wild at Sea World! Yes. There will be pictures!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Gold n Desert

I'm pretty excited to say that I am now adding Gold Filled wire creations to my shop! You may notice that the handmade earrings above look like my Elfin earwires... yep, that's right! These are a bit smaller than my standard 1" size - these are 3/4" in size.

Funny thing is that I've always loved gold over silver, but ever since I picked up a torch it's been all about the silver. Okay, and MAYbe it's due to the price of gold is WAY too expensive to play with. But not Gold Filled!

I'm also terribly in love with these beads! Gold Plated (also have silver plated) beads that undergo a process of coloring and then firing to make them crack and see the plating underneath. Totally cool! I've titled these creations "Desert Romance" and you can see them in my Etsy shop for more details.

Off and running today - many errands to run before our mini vacation this Friday!! I'll let you know tomorrow where we're going.

Happy Hump Day!!

☼ Rocki

p.s. Gold Filled supplies coming soon!

Monday, May 26, 2008

ANYTHING you want to be!

In the beautiful East Tennessee valley of the Smoky Mountains, you’ll find the most amazing sculptured art – seriously - it will take your breath away.

I recently ‘met’ Renee on Indiepublic and became an instant fan. I was immediately drawn to her work, especially the tree sculptures. Each time while reading the descriptions and gazing at them, I feel the emotions and feeling of each piece – I am simply mesmerized by them.

Creating for as long as she can remember and inspired by her mom, fairy tales (her first tree sculpture was inspired by Pan’s Labyrinth), music and nature, Renee creates her one-of-a-kind whimsical art. Her mom is also a part of her Etsy shop and mainly sculpts Christmas Elves (she states her creative gene came from her mom – yeah mom!) Combined, their work is both funky and folky, so coming up with her shop name, “Funky Folky”, didn’t take a rocket scientist.

Music seems to play a big role in Renee’s work as she “ALWAYS” listens to music while creating. In fact, music that is feminine and sexy is what she likes to listen to while creating her tree sculptures – which is usually Sarah McLachlan or Goldfrapp – “if you see this kind of kooky video my work may make more sense: Goldfrapp." Let me just say that I watched this video – twice - and I completely understand. Okay, and am now a fan of Goldfrapp – that video rocks.

Renee hasn’t done any craft shows yet, but she has created a lot of custom orders, plus has her own website with her mom selling soap, candles and a mixture of their sculptures at The Ragtree Co.

How did she hear about Etsy? Through her “dear friend Nikkii” and she’s been addicted ever since! (Addicted? I have no idea what she’s talking about…wink wink). She enjoys the “wonderful community of artists and crafters. I get so inspired by doing random searches to see what everyone else has created!.... I don't want to create my art to sell, per say. I want to create what I am inspired to create... sculptures that I feel passionate about. I don't want to create items that I think buyers will like so Etsy is the perfect place to show items that are out of the mainstream."

I asked Renee one last question - I love her heartfelt answer: “I guess the one thing that I would want others to know is that I believe creativity is so important in every day life. I know many of us must trudge off to the salt mines to make a living every day and in most of our jobs, we can't be creative and do what we want to do. Through art, we can be ANYTHING we want to be and do ANYTHING we want to do without any rules. Art is a way to live life on your own terms and to be a true individual. Aside from that, I have a wonderful hot hubby who likes to streak around the house when all of our retired neighbors go to bed and a gorgeous son who always like to remind me that I'm "not quite right" and that my sculptures give him nightmares ;)"

If you are looking for that unique piece of art for a gift or for yourself, please check out Renee’s Funky Folky Etsy shop where you will find art sculptures in a variety of ways: trees, magnets, art dolls, wall hangings and more. Also visit her blog to see what she is working on next!

Happy ANYTHING Monday everyone!

☼ Rocki

P.S. Okay, so are you curious about the hot streaking hubby too?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Joyful Heart

The other day, Jen, a very sweet new buyer who is aware and doesn’t mind that I’m blogging about this and gave the okay to use her name, contacted me to see if I could make her a custom sized pinky ring from one of the rings in my shop, specifically “From My Heart To Yours."

Now I create custom orders all the time and thoroughly enjoy them for a variety of reasons, but mostly because the buyer wants something meaningful to them, needs a specific size, is a gift for someone special, holiday, birthday, etc. In any case, custom orders are very rewarding.

Jen’s request was a challenge (insert “Rocky” theme here), but a challenge that I wanted to take and create her special sized ring. I told her I would most definitely give it my best shot and if I couldn’t, then I would refund her money. She wouldn’t have that and told me that she would spend it on something else in my shop for my time and effort. This, in itself, truly touched my heart and was ever so kind of her. That made me even more determined to make her ring.

So why, you ask, am I blogging about creating this heart ring when I’ve made several custom sized ones already? Because it is the size of the ring - size 1. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not meaning for this to come across as something of an oddity and Jen knows this. Besides, I wear a size 2 pinky ring and have to wear children’s watches. Here, let me explain briefly.

When you make the ring shank (band), you have to make it smaller than the actual size you want. Why? Because you have to hammer it into shape which in turn makes the shank bigger. So in this case, I had to start at the tip of the ring mandrel at 1/8” from the top to hammer it down to a size 1 at ¼” down the mandrel.

I won’t go into all the other details of making this ring, other than the heart itself also had to be made smaller, which I always make by hand with my round nose pliers.

With love in my heart, I shipped the ring out yesterday and am very pleased with how it turned out. It is the tiniest and cutest ring I’ve ever made! I’ll admit that it was hard to part with, but she did pay for it - besides I have the pictures. The best part - it honestly brings such joy to my heart to be able to create that something special for others to enjoy and be happy with.

This is rewarding. This is why I do what I do. My heart is smiling.

Thank you Jen!

Have a happy, safe and enjoyable weekend everyone!

☼ Rocki

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bead Bugs Marathon

One thing I enjoy about being a part of Etsy is that you get to meet, talk with and make friends with so many people from around the world that you wouldn’t ordinarily get the chance to. For instance Kim, creator and owner of The Artful Salamander.

The art and craft world has been a part of Kim’s life ever since she was young. Her mother is a talented craftswoman who now does traditional bead embroidery and leatherwork for historical costumes. When Kim was younger, her mom had a small business making stuffed animals. Even her family has a strong tradition of making handmade gifts for Christmas and birthdays.

Kim’s Etsy shop is new, but she is not new to selling. Besides Etsy, she also sells her creations at one of the local Farmer’s market where she lives - one of the older sections of Calgary that has lots of trees, a couple of parks and “a friendly neighborhood where people actually talk to each other”. I guess one downfall is that “the weather can be kind of insane”. She also sells at Christmas craft fairs. This works out well for Kim as she had returned to school for a degree in Psychology and needed a flexible way of earning money, and to keep her grounded.

Kim heard about Etsy “through the Craftser forums, it’s perfect for my needs right now – and there’s the bonus of meeting yet another community of creative, vibrant people”. How very true! With the daunting research of what it would take to sell via a personal website (shopping cart, secure payment system, etc.) Kim obviously selected Etsy. Good choice Kim!

The Artful Salamander, Kim’s Etsy shop, has some very unique ”beaded art, jewelry and more”. Her “Bead Bug” pieces are colorful, creative and very realistic, if I don’t say so myself (don’t worry, they don’t bite). The shop name is very interesting to me - this is what Kim had to say about how she came up with her shop name: ”Salamander Designs” was something I started using several years ago when I had some wall quilts in a friend’s shop. I was working with a research and conservation project on amphibians at the time, and I’ve also always loved the medieval alchemist’ conception of the salamander as a Fire Elemental – such a contrast between that and the humble reality”.

Unfortunately when she went to register her domain, there was already a “Salamander Design” out there, but they sell office furniture – that’s a far cry from the creative work that she makes. So, Kim came up with “The Artful Salamander” – I think that is a fabulous name!

We are all inspired by one thing or another. When asked what inspires her, she said “what doesn’t?” Nature sparks her imagination, talking with other artists & crafters, magazines, browsing through beads shops, etc. Sometimes she even awakens with every detail in mind of what to make!

If you think this doesn’t keep her busy enough, she aspires to become a Counseling Psychologist. What are her plans? I couldn’t word this better myself: “It’s fairly likely that I will end up with a practice that looks like a cross between a craft studio and a bike/outdoor outfitter’s shop – I believe strongly that connecting to the physical and natural world is crucial to keeping ourselves in balance, as human beings. Maybe a book one day…”

Make sure to check out Kim’s Etsy shop and her main website blog at You will be amazed at the detail of her work!

Happy Monday and Peace to all,
☼ Rocki

Yes, you can forget how to ride a bike “ow” (that was 3 years ago), but that isn’t going to stop Kim from one of her goals this summer to complete at least one brevet (bike ultra marathon) with the Alberta Randonneur Association:

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday Tidbits

April Showers Bring May Flowers

I'm working on an article this weekend for Monday's big blog roll. I'm very excited about it and am sure you will enjoy it too - it is about a fellow Etsian! In the meantime, thought I would show you some of my new creations (shameless self promotion) and then leave you with a little quote.

Above is my April Showers Bring May Flowers earrings. I'm creating more new earwire designs and I'm having a blast! This pair is dangling from a smaller version of my Elfin Earwires. I will soon be offering these handmade earwire supplies in my shop!

Teeny Tiny Elf Hooks - Sterling Silver Earrings or Nose Ring

Yep, I am adding nose rings to my shop. I wonder why? This tiny pair looks so cute as a single earring, but works either way. You can read more about my Teeny Tiny Elf Hooks here.

I wish you all a rockalicious (my new favorite word, found it in the 'Rocki' dictionary), happy and enjoyable weekend. Please be kind to yourself and everyone you come in contact with.

Peace and love to all.

Have a happy day!

☼ Rocki

Monday, May 12, 2008

Portable Mini Portfolio

Mark surprised me for Mother’s Day and bought me this cool digital photo keychain! (It was a total surprise because we had celebrated it on Saturday with some friends and I already received my gift). If you know me, you know how much I love photos, especially of my kids, Mark, family and friends. In fact, my house is full of pictures: walls, tables, albums, computer, fridge, shoe boxes, etc.

I don’t collect many ‘things’, but I admit that I do have a thing for unique photo frames. I’m pretty easy to buy for. Last year for my birthday my son Jason bought me a table top digital photo frame that is perfect when doing craft shows and events. You can showcase your work, studio, work in progress, etc., all at your table. Most people are drawn towards animation and that makes this one the perfect ticket item for your table – instant crowd!

Oh, back to the keychain. Mark knows that I’m not big on expensive items and am a frugal shopper. So, after he told me how much it was, I told him that I have to share this with my friends! There is a big variety of photo keychains to select from ranging in price from around $13 - $50, with the average price around $24 or so. There are different shapes (even hearts), sizes, colors, etc. This one holds 60 pictures and is super easy to download from your computer – I mean SUPER easy.

After downloading some pictures I had an idea. Now I know this isn’t a new invention and I’m sure others are probably doing it, but I wanted to share my idea all the same...

This would make a fabulous portable mini portfolio! It’s kind of awkward to carry around a portfolio and/or your creations while hiking through the zoo, jogging through the park, grocery shopping with the kids, and so on. But with this handy little gadget you can download your work, clip it right to your purse, jogging shorts or baby’s pacifier (well, scratch that one) and have it ready to show in a flash! When you hand out a business card you can give them a little taste of what you do, right there on the spot! This could make them visit your shop sooner than later. You know what they say: ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’.

I think I’m going to treat myself to a belated Mother’s Day gift and pick up another photo keychain. This way I can have one for my family & friends, and the other one for my mini portfolio.

Make sure to have plenty of business cards on hand!

Happy Monday everyone!

☼ Rocki

p.s. I think I'm going to embellish my keychain a little and add a few rocks n beads ;)

Friday, May 9, 2008

Weird. That's all I can say.

I went to the grocery store the other day to pick up a few things. While selecting my fresh veggies something strange caught my eye. I looked at it and then quickly turned away while barely pushing my cart. I stopped. I simply had to investigate this.

My first thought was that it looked like a, well, um… never mind. My second thought was that it looked like this huge deformed finger. I nonchalantly looked around to see if anyone was watching then carefully picked it up.

I wasn’t sure if I was on candid camera and being laughed while turning this thing all around in my hands while trying to figure out. Then a thought entered my mind “I wonder how this would work as a new ring display.” Then I noticed some other details of it that REALLY made it stand out. I started to giggle then set it back down. I tend to have a warped sense of humor and the way the past few weeks have been, well, this was a welcome bit of humor – even if I was the only one laughing.
The sign said “Ruby Crescent Potato”, but this sure didn’t look like any potato I’ve ever seen. Inside I started to sing “one of these things is not like the others…” I knew what I had to do, but no way was I going to bag this little guy up all by himself - that would surlely look strange. Again, I looked around and no one was looking, so I quickly grabbed a handful of them (normal ‘fingerling’ potatoes that is), stuffed them in the bag, carefully put it in my cart (didn't want to break him) and left the veggie isle so fast that I think I left tire marks.
To end this sick and twisted story… obviously I took photos of it (weird, I know), measured it (5 ½”, yes I know, REALLY weird) and then stuck it in the fridge. It’s still in there - standing up with the help of a little sticky pad I put it on. It’s kind of creepy when you open the fridge actually. Oh, we did eat the other ones - very tasty.
I wonder what this would go for on Ebay?
Happy Friday!
☼ Rocki

Monday, May 5, 2008

All Fired Up

I came across a very cool and unique Etsy shop the other day when I was looking for glass items to put in a Treasury I was working on. I knew I had to blog about it, so I contacted Lisa Rippee, the owner/creator of Cloud Eleven. I’m glad I did as I believe I’ve made a new friend.

I’m a firm believer that challenges and events change the course of your direction in life (I speak from experience). A stressful job as a juvenile intake and assessment specialist took up most of Lisa’s time. I can only imagine her stress! Long hours and overnight shifts isolated her from friends and family. Then one day in March of 2005 Lisa picked up a torch. Hot glass became her therapy, obsession, meditation, passion, and the perfect vehicle for her creative expression. Who needs a therapist when you have a torch!

Lisa has a studio in her home, in Kansas City metropolitan area (on the Kansas side). Her home is small & colorful, and some describe it as eccentric (I would love to see it!). She enjoys listening to music while creating, but in the beginning she only listened to instrumental Jazz “while learning the rhythm of the glass dance” (how poetic!). The Beatles, Zepplin and Mary J. Blige are in her CD player right now. Right on!

When asked what inspires her, this is what Lisa had to say: “Anything that elicits a strong emotional response would probably be the short answer. Everyday moments that make me smile or laugh usually find their way into my creations. The social issues that I’m passionate about show themselves as well. My muse is very in tune with my moods."

Lisa’s creations are fun, amazing and full of life. There is a big variety as well: Wine Stoppers, Vessels, Magnets, Focal Beads, Sculptural Glass Vessels and more. I especially love the blown-out mouth vessels as they are so realistic (many have uvulas!) In fact, I bought the Make Me Smile vessel (the one at the top of this post) and can hardly wait until he arrives!

Oh! Lisa eventually left the high stress job. Her torch therapy led her to a part-time job at a local stained glass shop called Bearden’s Stained Glass and eventually a shop on Etsy. How did she come up with her Etsy buisness name? When she first started flame working, every time she turned around it was 1:11, 11:11, etc. So, she figured she was on the right track of making her dream come true and since hot glass had her “beyond cloud nine”, she simply had to name her business Cloud Eleven.

Just goes to show that when you get all fired up about life’s challenges, you can turn them around into something spectacular!

Happy day everyone!
☼ Rocki

P.S. Lisa sees dead people. I do too, but I’m not telling anyone ;)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Kiss My Gorgeous...

I don't know how I got so lucky, but I scored another Treasury -
that's 2 in one week - a record for me... woo hoo!

If you would like to see some fabulous and talented fellow Etsian's,
check out my Kiss my gorgeous... treasury!

The colorful picture above is one of Vicki Leigh's talented creations: