Monday, September 30, 2013

Adventuring .. Oxbow Falls


Another new adventure spot is Oxbow Falls, which is extremely close to home and just down the road from my husband's best friend's house. 

The trails are not extremely long but some spots are pretty steep. They definitely tested my "bum" knee to its limits. I didn't get pictures of the steep parts, mainly because I was wanting to cry because my knee hurt so bad and Ella was pulling on me because she just wanted to keep up with Polly and the mister.



The girls had a great time. They love their adventuring destinations. Next time we go I'll make sure to get pictures of the waterfalls.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Buy Handmade vol 75

This week we are in Ulyanovsk, Russia!



Name: Daria
Age: 21
Occupation: student, teacher
Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaymateCreatures

Tell us a little about yourself.
I live with my boyfriend and our cat in Ulyanovsk, Russia. Right now I’m trying to combine studying  for my graduation exams, working as a teacher and making creatures.

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?
Actually, I started making toys only 1,5 years ago. Before that I tried painting, sculpting and sewing separately, but all that was indeed pathetic. I was almost disappointed in myself when it dawned upon me – if everything I make is so unsatisfactory, why not try mixing it up, it won’t hurt anyway. When I was holding in hands a tiny white sheep, my first toy, I realized that it was exactly my cup of tea. 4 months later I opened my group for Russian speakers – vk.com\claymate and then people started writing to me with orders. They gave me a great opportunity for development and I’m really thankful for it. In May of this year I opened a shop on etsy.


How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?
It’s as simple as can be – clay is  one of the materials I use for my toys and mate is what I want my toys to become for their owners. The word ‘claymate’ also sounds a bit like a cat mewing which is pleasant, I think:З

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?
By now I have very few sales here and I mostly use the site for inspiration. My shop on vk is, however, quite popular. I had a lot of orders this summer, so for those 3 months making creatures really became my full-time job. I enjoyed that time tremendously, but now I have to study and to work and have less free time for creatures. Maybe after graduation I would be able to devote all my time to my toys.

How would you describe your creative process?
Rather chaotic. I never know what a toy is going to look like until it’s ready. I just take a piece of clay and let my fingers do all the work. As for the sewing, I never keep patterns, partly because keeping more paper would turn my table into  a junk pile completely. It makes creating copies of toys impossible, but it also makes every single toy one of a kind.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I love everything  that possesses some kind of very quiet and gentle sadness hidden deep under million layers of either joy or anger.  I think  Scandinavian and Japanese culture contain  a lot of elements like this – they combine simplicity and significance. Sometimes I give my creatures names like Olav or Haru, it really seems to suit them.


Do you also sell your work at craft shows?
No. Ulyanovsk is not very big and we don’t have many craft shows here. But I’d like to take part in some show in Moscow or Saint-Petersburg one day.

What is your most cherished handmade item?
A handmade bear Misha by Olga Lisichnikova (http://grgrrgrrr.tumblr.com/post/12674954418/bear-mihalych) It is exactly the kind of treasure that you fall in love from the first sight and want to get it in hands and cherish and lull immediately. I hope that my creatures arouse similar feelings in people.

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?
I love playing videogames with my boyfriend, cooking, reading and stroking my cat Pumpkin. In fact I like staying at home so much more than going out ^^’ Feeling  safe and cozy is very important for me.


Was there ever any other job you dreamed of having growing up?
As a child I dreamt to be a vet/ a teacher/ a poet and even a sailor. I guess I had very vague and over-romantic ideas about these professions, most of which I got from books. Only a dream of becoming a teacher came true.

Five years from now you will be…
well, in fact it’s too hard to imagine now. I hope to go on making toys  and devote more time to it. I like teaching and dealing with kids, but it’s hard to spend 6 days a week at school. Of course by that time I’m going to have my own children and it’s an important change. So it’s really impossible to predict anything now.

Describe yourself in five words:
Anxious, introverted, quiet, determined, intuitive



Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your iPod what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?
Akira Yamaoka, Ramona Falls, Shannon Wright, Dead Man’s Bones, Soap&Skin

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?
My advice won’t concern Etsy but presenting your work in general. I think that the most important thing is to decide why you do what you to and how you expect people to feel when they see your creations. The atmosphere that a thing brings along is very important. I try to make my toys look and feel as if they belong to some other time and space which can open up before you if you look close enough. Sometimes people write that my toys scare them in some wirdly gentle way and then I realize that I’m doing everything right.





Friday, September 27, 2013

fff vol 84

Favorite finds from the past week:


Etsy find of the week:


Lately the mister and I have been obsessed with watching Columbo and Quincy. I get so excited and we love laughing and making fun of the silly outfits and "one more thing". I never had watched either show(they were on before my time) but I'm sure they must have been on reruns somewhere. But gotta love streaming NetFlix to allow us to watch all these tv greats. 




Please can I move in?




I'm in love with this kitchen and it basically almost exact to what the mister and I envisioned for our renovations. The kitchen is going to be the last on the list. But I'm hoping that within this upcoming year, all the rooms are able to get completed. So excited to get back on track with the renovations.


Get in my belly!



Pumpkin doughnuts..I've been craving doughnuts and cider....thats when you know its Fall.


Tee shirt of the week:



Another Threadless great.


Weekend plans.. market for Saturday and hopefully another adventure with the girls on Sunday. They absolutely love adventuring and I want to get as many in as I can while the weather is perfect. Its supposed to be a gorgeous weekend, mid 60's and sunny so we will have to go somewhere to let them explore. 

Not too much is going on. The markets have been slowing down. I'm hoping they will pick up a little as people begin to think about Christmas presents. The Thursday market only has two more weeks and the Saturday market we are currently in runs through the first Saturday of November. I'm not sure what we will do over the winter. I am already booked for a Saturday to do a market for the holidays and then a weekend in December I am doing a holiday show called "Indie Garage Sale"- so hopefully both of those will be good outcomes. I need to get a good stock as I have a 4 week curing time for my soaps, so everything will have to made over the next month for them to be ready in time.

Its so bizarre to think its already going to be October next week. This year has flown by, especially this summer. 

So what is everyone doing this weekend? Going anywhere special? Any adventures?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

wiw vol 36 - High Tech, Low Life


2012 - NR - 1 hour 25 minutes
Streaming Netflix

Storyline

A documentary that follows the journey of two of China's first citizen reporters as they travel the country chronicling under-reported news and social issues stories.


This documentary follows two different Chinese bloggers who travel the country and write about about various social issues affecting China, their journeys and how being a citizen reported has changed and affected their personal lives. It is a must watch.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Adventuring.. Green Lakes


A few weeks ago while on vacation we took the girls on an adventure to Green Lakes. I hadn't been there since I was in high school and that was only to visit a friend that was working in a food vendor hut. I never really paid attention that such great beauty is so close to my home (this is roughly 15 minutes drive away).


It was really difficult to capture the true color of the water, as seen in person. But the above photo captures it perfectly. The water is a true turquoise color. These two lares are called "meromictic  lakes" in which the layers of water do not mix. It is one of only a handful in the United States, and the world really. Its pretty crazy that I live near so many, when there are so few.


The trails were really nice and wide and the park was really well maintained. We have been to a few other places lately were the trails were sometimes extremely narrow and I felt like I could fall over cliffs at any moment (haha) but this one was just a really nice relaxing walk around the two lakes.


If you live near a meromictic lake you should definitely go check out their beauty.


Here is a list from wikipedia:

Asia[edit source | editbeta]

Australia[edit source | editbeta]

Europe[edit source | editbeta]

North America[edit source | editbeta]




Sunday, September 22, 2013

Buy Handmade vol 74



This week we are in Kansas City..


Name: Rachel Ignotofsky
Age: 24
Occupation: Designer and Illustrator


Tell us a little about yourself.
A perfect day for my is a meatball in one hand for eating and a pen in the other for drawing. Since I was a little kid I have been drawing, watching cartoons and eat spaghetti all at the same time and making a bit of a mess while I do it. I was born and raised in New Jersey and then lived in Philadelphia while attending Tyler School of art for graphic design. I was hired right out of college by Hallmark Co. an now I am doodling my way through the beautiful Kansas City.

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?
I knew seriously that I wanted to be an artist since I was 14 but I have been drawing since I was old enough to destroy my mom's walls with a crayon. I have had my etsy store since May 1, 2013

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?
My etsy shop name is my name but my logo is a little skull with it's brain exposed. One side is cyan and the other is magenta and I like the idea of using both sides of my brain to create my illustrations but really it feels more like I just open up my head and draw whatever comes out.

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?
I feel like this is a trick question, who wouldn't want to draw whatever they wanted all day and get paid for it? I realized last year that I really wanted to hone my illustration skills and having an etsy store is a wonderful place for me to stretch those muscles.



How would you describe your creative process?
I go straight for the pens always. I draw in pen and ink and then I use the computer to add color and texture to create form.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I am inspired by the TV shows I grew up on: Pee-Wee’s Play HouseRen and Stimpy and many others. I love that moment in a cartoon where you zoom up on a very cute face…realize it’s gross and covered in pimples. I strive to capture that same duality in my work. It is very sweet and charming, but it also has an edge or story to it that makes you look twice. Sceince and History were my favorite subjects in school and a huge part of my interest and I love making work that is educational and fun.

Do you also sell your work at craft shows?
I am actually participating in my very first craft show on the Sept 28th called Hallmarket. Here is a link to the event for all the Kansas City folks: http://www.crowncenter.com/Event-List/hallmarket


• How long does it take you to prepare for a show? Do you have any special methods of getting ready?
I'll let you know when i figure that one out myself....

• Describe an experience from a show (good or bad) and why that pushes you to continue with your work 
Well I hope it is all good! 

What is your most cherished handmade item?
My grandmother gave me this incredibly intricate crewl that she had done before I left for Kansas City. The detail in it is incredible but it reminds me of one of my favorite people which really makes me happy.



Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?
Have I mentioned eating, cause that is a real sport for me. Fun fact about me: I don't know how to drive so going on long reflective walks... I hate to say that I like long walks on the beach but being land locked has really got me longing for one of those.

Was there ever any other job you dreamed of having growing up?
Honestly no, since I was super little I just wanted to draw all day. Although one time I got peer pressured into saying marine biologist in first grade.

Five years from now you will be…
Who knows! All I know is that I always want to be in a place where my art is what makes my living. Some one told me a while ago that there are two types of careers, one where your job supports what you want to do in life and the other is your job is what you want to do in life. I think realistically most artist have a mixture of both in their jobs but I am working hard to make the latter come true.



Describe yourself in five words:
where.is.the.cookie.buffet?

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your <insert whatever type of music player you use here>, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?
Well right now I am listening to Ready to Die album by The Notorious B.I.G. But before that it was... a bunch of podcast so here is my list: Blame by radiolab. How I got into college- this american life, The last two savagelove podcast. Sorry there wasn't more music!

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?
Don't doubt yourself and just get the work done and put it online. No one has ever achieved anything from just having a bunch of good ideas but never putting them down on paper or executing them. A good Idea finished is worth more  then a genius idea never executed


Friday, September 20, 2013

fff vol 83

Favorite finds from the past week:


Etsy find of the week:



I am smitten with these little worlds. There are so many amazing little wreaths and balls. Super cute.



Please can I move in?



Love this room, blue is a hard color for a room. I feel like so many people get the wrong shade and it just never looks right. But this is an awesome blue for a library room.


Get in my belly!



With the cooler weather I start craving some of my favorites..especially the misters mac and cheese. He makes the best mac and cheese and uses baby gouda cheese from the cheese lady at the farmers market..oh man soooo good.

Bring on the cold weather foods!


Tee shirt of the week:


Gotta love threadless, check out extreme "rock, paper, scissors" I love "rock, paper, scissors" but am horrible at it. the mister and i once had a debate about what you are supposed to do with your hand leading up to "throwing down" it was so hilarious. as most of our conversations are. I just remember my hands flying everywhere (I'm a "hand talker") in the attempt to remember what to do before "throwing down".  I'm not a good loser of the match and will ask to go "one more round" almost every time.


So this weekend. More market and maybe another adventure with the girls. I keep meaning to post pictures of the adventures we have been taking the girls on. Little mini hikes to state parks and hiking trails. Its also gorgeous this time of year with the starting of falling leaves and the crispness in the air.

I'll try to get back to my regular posting next week with adventures, shop updates and just maybe some randomness going on in my life.

Have a great weekend everyone! Any exciting plans?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

wiw vol 35 - Serving Life


2011 - NR - 1 hour 25 minutes
Streaming Netflix

Storyline

Actor Forest Whitaker narrates the story of a group of inmate volunteers who staff their own hospice inside a maximum security prison in Louisiana where the average sentence is more than 90 years.


I have always had this weird obsession with watching prison documentaries. I will say, this has to be one of my favorites. It is amazing the compassion that these inmates show toward one another and to volunteer to be hospice caretakers. It takes a very special person to be able to be a hospice caretaker, while I am obviously not saying that what these men have done in their pasts is okay in any way.. but I think it is amazing this opportunity their warden has placed upon them to allow them to grow and care for each other. Just simply a great documentary.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Buy Handmade vol 73 - Jess Vartanian illustration

This week we have gone south to Florida..



Name: Jess Vartanian
Age: 26
Occupation: Entrepreneur/ Artist 

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?
Since November 2011

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it? 
Just my name

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be? 
Right now my etsy shop is  my part time job and work odd jobs  to pay the bills.  I would love to someday be able to just do my etsy shop full time.

How would you describe your creative process? 
I am an Illustrator and painter but I also love to reuse found items like old maps and turn them into items that everyone can enjoy.  Some of my best selling items are usually wedding related with three map hearts framed & custom map jewelry. 



Where do you get your inspiration from?  
I am inspired by nature & and animals.


What is your most cherished handmade item?  
My favorite handmade item was from my boyfriend that found an Armenian artist what makes her own jewelry.  Since I am half Armenian and I have never seen my name spelling in Armenian, it is a truly unique gift.  The necklace was made by KPEPPERJEWERLY on etsy :https://www.etsy.com/listing/109189388/armenian-name-necklace-armenian-jewelry?ref=col_view

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?  
Other then spending a lot of time in my studio I love being outside, hiking, going to the beach, and running.

Was there ever any other job you dreamed of having growing up?  
I originally went to school for Marine Science, and always thought I was going to be a marine scientist off exploring the world somewhere. About midway through college I started taking art classes and realized my true passion.


Five years from now you will be… 
Married to my college sweetheart, working my etsy business full time doing what I love.

Describe yourself in five words: 
Passionate, Creative, Motivated

Carrying on with the five theme, if I were to turn on your <insert whatever type of music player you use here>, what five artists/songs would I see on your recently played list?
Now We Are Free - The Gladiator Theme song
Daft Punk Torn Soundtrack
M83 Oblivion Soundtrack
AWOLNATION kill your heroes
One Republic


Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?
I had to idea what I was doing when I opened my shop and I still fell lost at times. I would say read as much as you can on-line about start-ups & the etsy blog has been really helpful in a wide range of topics.


Friday, September 13, 2013

fff vol 82

Favorite finds from the past week:


Etsy find of the week:




Cutest little backpack!




Please can I move in?



To retreat to the woods..


Get in my belly!



Pumpkin Chocolate doughnuts. Looks so, so yummy. I really need to make my own doughnuts. These really need to be in my belly this fall!


Tee shirt of the week:


Super comfy looking tee



Back to the market this weekend. The markets are really starting to slow down which makes me really sad. We are looking for a winter market to be part of. It won't be the same, or weekly markets - but it will be nice to keep our name out there.

Hope everyone is doing well and has a great weekend. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

been a little mia..


Maybe you noticed..maybe you didn't. But I've been a bit MIA for a while from blogging land. The old saying.. "If you have nothing good to say, don't say anything at all" is what I'm living by lately. I do not want to rant an rave about problems and make this a negative space. I just wanted to put something up that I have not abandoned you..I just may not show a real presence around these parts for a little bit. I actually feel like I havent really shared anything meaningful in quite a while. 

So I just wanted to thank you all for waiting around until I figure out how to change my current attitude toward life in general! haha I think sometimes you just get to that breaking point. Everything lines up within all facets of your life and you just can't figure out how to smile through it all anymore. Things seem to be just making me down right angry lately. And thats not me. That's not who I like to be. 

But when you wake up and just "feel" angry for no real reason, you know something has to change. I'm just trying to figure out what that something is right now. Because I want to be happy. I want to look at the positive side of life on every occasion. That is my goal, that is what I'm striving for. 

So please excuse me for a little bit while I try to find that within  myself.

(ps I will still post my Sunday interviews - that is when people actually get them back to me on time! and will still do my fridays favorites if I muster it up..just sayin - don't expect anything exciting or interesting about my going ons for a couple weeks. just need a little mental break from life, love ya all xx)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

wiw vol 34 The Other F Word

2011 - NR - 1 hour 39 minutes
Streaming Netflix

Storyline

What happens when a generation's ultimate anti-authoritarians -- punk rockers-- become society's ultimate authorities -- dad's? With a large chorus of Punk Rock's leading men - Blink-182's Mark Hoppus, Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea, Rise Against's Tim McIlrath- The Other F Word follows, Jim Lindberg, 20-year veteran of skate punk band, Pennywise, on his hysterical and moving journey from belting his band's anthem, 'Fuck Authority', to embracing his ultimately pivotal authoritarian role in mid-life, fatherhood.


Such a great movie - I grew up with a bunch of these bands and I think it is completely awesome seeing another side to them as parents. 

I don't have children, but I would like to think that while your whole world obviously changes when you are a parent..that you remain true to yourself and that your best qualities just get better...

Sunday, September 08, 2013

winner!

Sorry for the mini delay in picking a winner, I have been away in Massachusetts for the weekend.

But to make one person very happy, we have a winner from last week's iphone case giveaway. 

If your name is Denise..and you got an email from me.. you are the winner! Vicky will be in touch soon!!



a Rafflecopter giveaway


(also a small side note - Just want to apologize for another weekend without an interview this summer. I try my best to make sure people send me things when they say they will. But there is only so much I can control when people sign on to do something, then ignore my emails when I send them reminders. I understand people get busy, we ALL do. My blog, I'm sure is lowest priority for everyone. But I expect a little respect in that if you tell me you want to do something, you get me all the info I need to do things on my end. All of this is to help the small business owner, I get nothing in return out of any of these interviews I publish. Sorry for the mini vent. Just a little frustrated that I have had as many "no-shows" as I have had when I contact people over a month (sometimes two months) in advance, give them everything they will need etc. There is really no excuse. I don't know. I'll have to figure something else out.. Again, sorry for the vent. Just frustrated with people.)

Friday, September 06, 2013

fff vol 81

Favorite finds from the past week:


Etsy find of the week:



This little guy looks so soft and hugable..


Please can I move in?



Amazing.



Get in my belly!


The cooler weather is starting to make me crave fall/winter weather foods. Bring on the pasta!


Tee shirt of the week:


I have been in love with Johnny Cupcakes for many many years, and his shirts are always so awesome. I came across this one and really, really want it!

I cannot believe that it is already September. The weather is already changing and the markets (sadly) are slowing down. This past week we have been taking the girls on mini hiking adventures I'll post pictures about them soon. Vacation always goes by so fast. You have so many plans, then all of the sudden its friday and there aren't enough days left to get in everything you wanted to do! But always nice to have time away from work. One more vacation coming up in October, then no more until days here and there for the holidays.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. Any exciting plans?