Friday, January 31, 2014

The Hive

A few great things going on over at The Hive currently that we want to share with you all:

A Valentine's Sale - Receive 10% off your total order now through February 14th using coupon code "SWEETART" upon checkout. Now's the time to take advantage of the sale to stock up on some organic, soapy goodness!

We also have a goal of reaching 500 "likes" on facebook. We are currently at 365, so we need your help! Like on facebook and you will be entered to win an awesome girft package from The Hive (believe me you will not be disappointed!). 

Want to earn extra entries into the giveaway!? Spread the word and tell your friends to "like" us as well. Be sure to tell your friends to make sure when they "like" the page they leave a message to tell me who sent them our way. Spread the word via your blog, twitter and facebook and help us reach our goal. The winner will be picked at random when we reach the lucky number of 500. 

We don't bombard your facebook feed with useless babble either, we only spread the word with announcements of new products, sales and awesome giveaways.

We appreciate everyone's help! Help us spread the word of amazing organic goodness!

fff vol 101

Favorite finds from the past week:

Etsy find of the week:

I am so smitten with all these little mounted creatures, go check them out.

Please can I move in?

This house is amazing..

Get in my belly!

Yes please! Look how yummy this looks!

Tee shirt  Outfit of the week:

Simple and perfect for my new "you have to wear business casual" work week.

Looking forward to this weekend. We have been working hard on new business ideas, sales and promotions. Lots of good things coming soon.

What does everyone have planned?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

wiw vol 47 The Fruit Hunters

2012 - 95 minutes - Documentary
Streaming Netflix


Adventurers, exotic fruits fanatics and even movie star Bill Pullman, are the subjects of The Fruit Hunters, the new film from acclaimed director Yung Chang. A thrilling journey through nature, commerce and adventure, The Fruit Hunters is a cinematic odyssey that takes viewers from the dawn of humanity to the cutting of edge of modern agriculture - a film that will change not just the way we look at we eat, but what it means to be human.

Such a great documentary that follows Bill Pullman as he tries to put together a communal orchard near his home in Hollywood. I love seeing communities come together to try and create something to share. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

buy handmade vol 92

This week we head to Washington..

Name: Scott Dobner
Age: 40
Occupation: Geologist/Geotechnical Specialist
Etsy Shop: BottlesReBorn

Tell us a little about yourself.
I am and will always be an avid outdoor enthusiast.  Any time I can get in the mountains I feel at home.  That includes hiking, backpacking, camping, rockhounding etc.  I am a sucker for anything aesthetically pleasing which is why I enjoy making these products.  I also love photography which gets me right back in the mountains!  I have a beautiful wife and two kids and I can’t wait to share my love for the outdoors as well.

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy?
 I started this small venture about two and a half years ago and I’ve been on Etsy for almost 1 year.

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it?
I really wanted to make sure that the name reflected the fact that the products are re-used and environmentally friendly.  I think the meaning is pretty obvious.

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?
It is not my full time job, but I’m not sure I want it to be.  I’ve been thinking of business ideas that would incorporate my products.

How would you describe your creative process?
Well, I had seen these made by other people before at craft shows and markets and admired them.  It took me a while to perfect my methods though.  Lots of trial and error.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Friends of mine were saving their empty bottles to have made into glasses by an acquaintance.  That person stopped making them so I went to Youtube to get ideas and off I went!



What is your most cherished handmade item?
The glasses are my favorite but in particular some of the local beers hold personal significance.

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?
Spending time with my kids/family of course.  As I mentioned before, I love the outdoors (hiking, backpacking, rockhounding, photography, camping, running, kayaking)!  I am a big sports fan and as you can guess I’m excited about my Seahawks on Feb. 2nd

Was there ever any other job you dreamed of having growing up?
The only ones I can remember was a physical therapist and archeologist.  Don’t know if I dreamed of them though.

Five years from now you will be…
…possibly running my own business with my twin brother…stay tuned!

Describe yourself in five words:
Thoughtful, creative, athletic, empathetic and caring.

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?

Justin Timberlake, Godsmack, Crosby Stills & Nash, James Taylor and the soundtrack to Madagascar 3.

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?
Do a lot of research to get started off on the right foot.  I wanted to make sure I didn’t over price an item or oversell the quality too much.  As a result, all my reviews have been 5/5.  There were a couple hiccups but I made concessions to the customer in those cases to make sure they were satisfied.

I can say from personal experience how awesome his glasses are. (I got one for my brother for Christmas) Go check out his shop and buy a set!

Friday, January 24, 2014

fff vol 100!

Favorite finds from the past week:

Etsy find of the week:

So awesome, she has such cute little packages. The "instant comfort box" I would love to have one of these, pull it out during moments to have a pick me up. Very cute idea.

Please can I move in?

Yes please, the perfect house in the woods!

Get in my belly!

You all know that I crave sweets and things like potatoes and pasta! Thats what we see every week. I figured if I started posting pictures of good for me foods I might start eating a little better. It can't hurt right?!

My house has been stocked full of apples, oranges and bananas and they have been my go-to snacks lately. I'm not liking the numbers I see on the scale and need to make a change. Which means laying off the sweets that I love so much and not having snacks later at night. With having thyroid disease, it is like instant adding on the pounds. Something I never had to worry about before. I was always the same weight within 5 pounds or so and was content and happy with my weight. I mean how can you complain being 5'4 and 115-120 pounds without having to work out or do anything..but then this happened..and the pounds keep adding on and not coming off. I havent changed the way I eat and I just keep gaining the weight and am feeling uncomfortable about it now. Very self conscience. 

So back to working out 5 days a week, trying to eat better and no more sweets (well I wont say NO more but I'll say - a lot less and definitely not later at night.

Does anyone else have thyroid disease? If you do, do you have a prolem now with your weight an what have you done to keep it in check?

Tee shirt Shoes of the week:

Super cute shoes at Modcloth right now.

So I don't know about where you all are living but New York has been bitter cold. negative degrees nearly every day for a week. I think next week the highest will be 9. This is definitely the coldest weather we have had here since we moved back to these parts. I am not someone that likes the heat. In fact I hate the heat and would take 60 degree weather any day over 80+ degree temps. But -19? This is too much even for someone that enjoys being cold! 

We were actually told at work that they are looking for case managers in Tampa and the starting pay is 10g more than we make here in NY. When it's -19 and my heat bill is more than my mortgage I start to think it might not be a bad idea!

Hope everyone is keeping warm. Happy weekend all!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

wiw vol 46 The Short Game

99 minutes - Documentary 
Streaming Netflix


The best 7 year old golfers from around the world descend on the world famous Pinehurst Golf course in North Carolina to determine the next world champion and who might become golf's next phenomenon. Most of these young prodigies have been holding clubs since before they could walk and are better by the time they are six than most people will be in their lifetime. This is the breeding ground for the PGA and the stakes are huge. The short game follows 9 young golfers vying for the title of 'world champion'.

There is something so awesome when you see kids who speak and act like miniature adults. I am all for giving miniature adults responsibilities and teaching them how to handle situations. These kids all love what they are doing and I think it is amazing that they all have the drive and ambition to want to be the best at something and really practice until they obtain that goal.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Buy Handmade vol 91 with DISCOUNT CODE!

This week we are close to my neck of the woods..Orchard Park, NY

Name: Janelle 
Age: 30 
Occupation: fulltime maker, wife, sister, friend, and momma of two doggies. 

Tell us a little about yourself. 
My name is Janelle, I am the maker, designer and owner of Nelle Design, a small pottery studio in a small town just a bit down the highway from the one and only city- of- good- neighbors, Buffalo, New York.  Nelle Design represents and exists by one simple statement, handmade goods for a good life.  

When did you start creating and how long have you been on Etsy? 
There wasn’t one defining moment when I was a ‘maker’; I have been creating since I was little. I did however get the ‘artist’ label in my family when I was a young teenager. A label I wear proudly!

I started selling on etsy in the beginning of 2011, I definitely feel I entered the etsy game a bit late {due to some internal self-conscious battles that many makers struggle with when deciding to take the plunge into online visibility}, and since my little launch I feel I’ve been playing a bit of catch up in making my shop known.

How did you come up with your business name, is there any special meaning behind it? 
Deciding on a business name was such a huge task.. well it was for me; it’s my identity, my first impression, my face as maker in the world. I struggled with what I wanted to name my little operation for a while; I went back and forth with so many designs, so many tag lines, and at the end of the day …. I was trying WAY too hard, and I needed to get back to who I am, what I do. Nelle Design is simple, when I was growing up my family called me Nelle, Nellie, Nells Bells…it’s that familiar and comforting place for me. The DESIGN component is a large umbrella, I have so many plans for my work, I don’t want to just stick to pots, I want to expand my line, collorbaote with my husband {who is incredibly talented}, work with other artists, etc.
Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be? 
It’s not quite my full time gig yet…but I’m working on it. Time, patience, and of course hard work will hopefully get me to that point in 2014.

How would you describe your creative process? 
Layered, and tedious.  {the short answer}
Handmade is so much about process, and with clay I am continually humbled. I hand-throw or build every piece using locally-sourced clay. After the initial forming of the piece, there are various stages of waiting and pausing, which I enjoy. This time allows me to focus and be truthful in what I want to achieve in the piece, batch, or set. Then there is trimming, attaching, manipulating, making marks, drying, and inspecting. I fire each piece at least three times, and sometimes as many as four to five. This adds layers and depth, which makes each piece far more beautiful, and helps me achieve greater, more interesting results. Working with clay is time consuming, but it also gives you really awesome arm muscles!

Where do you get your inspiration from? 
Every environment I encounter, people along the way, places I have lived, books I read…. Im always inspired always keeping my eyes and heart open to new experiences that further and deepen my craft. I believe so much in positivity, the good in people, beautiful places and things along our life journeys and I very much try to evoke that in the simplicity and directness of my work.  

Do you also sell your work at craft shows?
In 2013 I sold at 10 shows total. {hopefully doubling  that amount for 2014}
9 of which were in my local area of Western New York.
I attended the Brooklyn Renegade Show in late June. ‘13
Favorite would have to be the elmwood arts festival in downtown buffalo {}
They care so much about the city, the vendors, and the patrons and you can tell, there is a lot of love put into this event.

How long does it take you to prepare for a show?
One month {at least}. It depends on the show.

Do you have any special methods of getting ready? 
I draw a giant calendar on my studio wall and plan out each and everyday of the month. 1. Making days, 2. Trimming days, 3. Firing, 4. Organizing stock, 5. Packing, etc.
For me I am a very visual person and I need to SEE my days so I can plan accordingly. LOTS of lists!  

• Describe an experience from a show (good or bad) and why that pushes you to continue with your work  
Honestly every show has its good, bad, and ugly. The weather is always a huge factor, how well its organized, who your neighbors are, etc. But it always circles back for me, no matter how much work they are {AND THEY ARE!}, when folks step into my space and pick up pieces, recognize my work, critique it, and engage with me I couldn’t be happier…and of course when people buys pieces too!

Also, always assemble a good crew for the event, you will need them more than you know!! My family is amazing and they are THE only reason I make it through each and every show…no doubt.

What is your most cherished handmade item? 
All my handmade cards, notes, and letters from people throughout my life, I love each and every one of them. I have a clothesline in my office with all my favorites strung along and I switch them out from time to time.

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do? 
Eat good food and be with people that mean so much to me.

Was there ever any other job you dreamed of having growing up? 
Anything to do with working with animals. They don’t have voice and I always wanted to be that for them in this harsh and often inhumane world.  One of my favorite quotes of all time…“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”.

Five years from now you will be… 
Married, with more doggies, maybe a kido, making pots maybe in a different city, but continuing to live life intentionally and making really great memories along the way.

Describe yourself in five words:
loyal, hardworking, sarcastic, self-conscious, and dedicated.

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? 
-Sarah McLachlan {Sarah has been such a constant steady, strong, artist in my ear through the years, LOTS of late night singing-on the top of my lungs work sessions in the studio, I admire her in so many ways}
-Avett Brothers
-Ray LaMontagne
-Brandi Carlilie  

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows? 
If you work really hard, and are kind, amazing things will happen. {its really true!}

Please use SundaySpecial25 to receive 25% off your total order from Nelle Design!

Friday, January 17, 2014

fff vol 99

Favorite finds from the past week:

Etsy find of the week:

I absolutely love this print..and while it's a ways away Eva is going to be one of my Etsy features late spring / early summer. She is making some renovations and wanted to share everything once they are complete. I'm really looking forward to that. 

Please can I move in?

One word. Smitten.

Get in my belly!

This looks so amazingly delicious.

Tee shirt  Shoes of the week:

I need to have these shoes! And how awesome is the little L and R on her socks?! But yes..those shoes...I will hunt you down!

Don't forget there is still time to win the recycled crate from Form Maker HERE


My 14% off for the month of January sale is still going on over at THE HIVE 

I have a long, three day weekend. Looking forward to having that extra day of relaxing, working on the new goodies for the shop and compiling and drawing up my tattoo ideas.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

tattoos on the brain..

Lately all I think about are tattoos. I go in "phases" where I pine over tattoos, come up with great ideas, then have no money to get anything done and the "phase" passes. As I mentioned before I have not regretted not getting the tattoos I have come up with in the past. Some tattoos (stars on my elbows) I am actually glad that the tattoo artist told me I had the pointest elbows on earth and refused to attempt the tattoos (hahah this is a true story)

But I constantly come back to the same aesthetic. I think its about time I just said screw this and go for it. What am I waiting for? I have compiled lots of ideas and am going to mesh things all together to come up with some truly beautiful tattoos.

My goal is for this year to get a 3/4 sleeve on my right arm and then move to the left and begin a half sleeve.  I would absolutely love to have a chest piece like the one above, but to be honest..I don't know if I'm tough enough. I know all tattoos hurt, but obviously certain areas are more painful than others - the chest plate being one of them. 

The look will actually be similar to the chest piece up top - its going to be combinations of floral and birds in black/grey - pointilism. I am so insanely excited about it. I know when the dates come closer Im sure I will be in full on panic anxiety mode, I hope I don't do something retarded and pass out. I have a history of passing out. haha funny side "passing out story"

When I was 19 my boyfriend and our good friend drove to NYC to see Lifetime (if you haven't heard of this amazing band - look them up they were one of my favorite bands in the 90's) at CBGBs before the show we thought it would be a good idea to get my tongue pierced. So we headed to one of their favorite tattoos shops and proceeded to pierce my tongue, they thought it would be a good idea to go with a 8g needle instead of the normal 14g (for those of you into piercing - you know that this is pretty darn big to be getting pierced with) So forward we went - it didn't really hurt (not anymore than any other piercing really) and I was so shocked at the "lack of pain" that I jumped up really fast and ran over to show my friends..only to immediately fall over. All I remember is coming to - it was dreamy - I remember seeing clouds and having visions of my mom yelling and me and gasping at what I had just done. Then I was fully alert, with my head in the lap of the piercer and all these guys going "holy eff! are you okay!!??" Apparently I was out of it for a good little while. ah yes. Leave it to me to pass out and feel retarded. I will give this advice for anyone that is thinking of getting their tongue pierced (if this is still something people even still do!) Never do it prior to going to a hardcore show and never jump up immediately following. You will be miserable, in pain with a swollen tongue and possibly even on the ground passed out. 

Writing this it has me thinking of piercings and trends. When I had all my piercings it actually wasn't "the thing to do" I got crazy looks like I was devil spawn or something. I'm not saying this to be "oh you were 'cool' before your time" thing. But I never understood how piercings became so "trendy". It really confused me. When it became popular I actually started taking things out because I was so annoyed. 

I actually had kept my tongue piercing until I was in my early thirties - just got rid of it a couple years ago actually. I had it stretched to a 2g and never thought I would take it out. It never impaired my speech and actually because of how I speak not many people even knew I had it unless I specifically showed them or they asked to see it. If you don't believe me, listen to this - I had it for three years before my parents even knew about it and that was ONLY because my little brother ratted me out one day by catching a glimpse and then very loudly kept saying " Trisha why is there something SILVER in your mouth" I never saw my mothers head turn so fast in her life. haha 

Ah.. reminiscing about the past. So funny how we grow up and change but something still stay constant. The only piercings I have left are my 1" holes, both tragus and my septum. Another piercing that I have actually not worn any visible jewelry in for over 10 years, yet I keep the retainer in. I sometimes wonder why I'm keeping it..I guess for the random time I might want to wear my jewelry?! Who knows. It's not hurting anyone so eh, I keep it. Everything else has been taken its time for the tattoos....

So tell me, what "phases" have you gone through? Have you gotten any tattoos that you regret? Or do you regret not getting a certain tattoo? I'd love to hear stories, spill the beans!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

wiw vol 45 More Than Honey

2012 - 95 minutes - NR
Streaming Netflix


An in-depth look at honeybee colonies in California, Switzerland, China and Australia.

We are obsessed with bees here in the Pelletier household. The mister has been wanting to kep bees for years, maybe he will finally get around to building his hives this year. They would be awesome to keep for our gardens. We have watched just about every bee documentary out there and the majority all say the same thing .. we don't know why the bees are dying. Some will admit its a combination of the chemicals, pesticides and inbreeding of the bees but most act as if there is some big mystery. Like..gee..they are pollenating all these trees while we spray them with chemicals..they take the chmicals back to their hives which is then fed to all the bees and the queen...hmmm..nah..that couldn't by why they are dying.. 

This documentary does talk about just that exact fact, but why is no one doing anything about it? Why does everything have to be so "big"? There is one bee keeper that states his dad and grand dad would be up in arms if they knew how he was running his operation, he goes on to say but mine is 10x times bigger, 10 times this and that. But why? Why do you need things to be 10x bigger?

This is what I cannot stand with how the majority of the population think. Why do things have to be bigger? WHY do you need a HUGE house? Why do you need a jumbo gas-monster of a car? Why do you need to make a gazillion dollars a year? Why do you need more more more? To me these things make no sense. To me, greed and "more" do not bring happiness. That's the reason people give when they answer these questions right? Well, they won't admit they are greedy bastards, but in essence thats what they are. Why can't you just have enough? 

Just live with what you really do need and spend your time being happy and enjoying life? When life becomes this race to gain more, have the biggest this and that and make the most money..I can only ask why? Because this "more more more" "bigger bigger bigger" attitiude is what is hurting the environment, hurting the work place and hurting people in general...

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Buy Handmade vol 90 and GIVEAWAY!

This week we travel to China..

 Kira Pan
Interior Designer
Etsy Shop: 

FORM MAKER – Sustainable cardboard design 

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am an interior designer from Sydney, Australia. After a few years of working at Architectural practices, I took a leap of faith to move to Shanghai China a year ago, where I felt the increasing need to promote sustainable living. The experience had given me a different perspective and encouraged me to start my Etsy store.

My shop on Etsy is FORMMAKER, where you can find functional artworks and objects with renewable cardboard materials, ecologically friendly packaging.

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

As you may know design students spend a lot of time making models and experimenting. University had set good foundation for me in what I do today. Everything really took off when I came across a particular type of recycled cardboard. I am very much addicted to the texture and couldn’t stop thinking what they could become.
In the beginning I had made furniture for friends and families, everyone responded very positively. So I thought why not give it a shot by opening up my own Esty store after years of shopping on it! Form Maker opened in Autumn 2013, shop owner wise I am a new comer.

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

The name Form Maker reflects my simplest desire to make and build. The logo design incorporated basic geometry shapes of circle and triangle for a touch of playfulness.

Has your Etsy shop become your full time job? If not, would you like it to be?

Right now Etsy shop alone cannot support me, but of course turning it into full time job would be a dream.

How would you describe your creative process?

If I had an idea in mind I would sketch it done straight away, and go directly to the cutting mat. I wouldn’t stop until the prototype is done. People around me are pretty good with putting up with my restlessness now…

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I suppose life itself is inspiring. The people we meet, the streets and buildings we see, and the colors of nature, or maybe the composition of food that is in font of us. Anything and everything gives me inspiration.

Do you also sell your work at craft shows? Yes.

What shows have you taken part of, and do you have a favorite? 
Charity markets and eco design markets are both held for great courses, so I love being part of them.

How long does it take you to prepare for a show and do you have any special methods of getting ready?

About a week or two in advance. The advice I would give is to design your stall as a whole, don’t just focus on your products, think about how they are presented.

Describe an experience from a show (good or bad) and why that pushes you to continue with your work 

The different mix of people that would come to a show makes the experience very valuable. I would meet people who didn’t understand the value of cardboard design, people who are very interested but sensitive about the pricing, and like-minded people who just can’t get enough. Shows bring lots of job opportunities too. Last time we meet the chairman of Biennale in China at the charity market and were invited to create a design for the project he was taking on!

To promote awareness for sustainable design and meeting people is more important than making a profit at a show, so I would keep going to shows with good initiatives. 

What is your most cherished handmade item?

I have a handful of handmade rings. All of them are loved dearly.

Apart from creating things, what do you like to do?

Travelling is always on my mind. I enjoy looking at and studying the design and aesthetic of different cultures, and bringing back loads of local handicrafts.

Was there ever any other job you dreamed of having growing up?

An artist is what I always wanted to be. Now I paint and draw in my off time. The colors gets translated into design.

Five years from now you will be…

I wish to run our own studio/workshop, open up a concept boutique store/showroom, and travel to India.

Describe yourself in five words:

I think I am…
Curious, Unassuming, Affectionate, Happy, Tall.

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?

Je ne veux pas traviller-Pink Martini / Blue Velvet - Lana Del Rey
/Lucky- Jason Mraz /La Vie En Rose – Edith Piaf/ Let’s do it – Cole Porter

Lastly, do you have any advice for anyone thinking about opening their own shop or participating in craft shows?

Know what you are doing, think of what you want you and your product to become, understand your target market, and then just run for it.

And up for grabs this week is an awesome Snowflake Crate

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 10, 2014

fff vol 98

Favorite finds from the past week:

Etsy find of the week:

The most beautiful eye glass case I have ever seen. I would love this.

Please can I move in?

Stunning Danish home. I know I have been saying it for a long time, but I cannot wait until we are able to decorate and have walls and furniture!

Get in my belly!

I made this last week from one of our old Cooks Country magazines. It's one of my all time favorite magazines. I adapted the recipe a small bit because the amount of spinach they were calling for just was an insane amount - I probably only used a little over half what they used and it came out perfect. I also didnt put in the garlic and the red pepper flakes. (not a fan of garlic) You can also find the recipe here and adapt it as you see fit.

Tee shirt  Outfit of the week:

Fun and adorable outfit.

I have nothing exciting planned for the weekend. The weather is supposed to warm up a little bit and thaw from the freezing cold we had at the start of the week. 

What are your plans? During the winter I find myself having a hard time trying to get motivated most days. I just want to veg out and relax. I think its because we are so on the go come spring that its nice to have a season to just do nothing and relax. But there are lots of things I need to get a jump on so that everything is ready for my markets this spring. Can't wait to share all the new goodies that will be coming up!