Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ice Storm #2

Thursday afternoon, the ice began to build up on the trees, and limbs started dropping. We were lucky that the house wasn't damaged, but my poor trees. Couldn't do anything about it...


I went to take some photos and put some seeds out of the birds.


Next morning (Friday) I didn't go to work. Luckily, our power didn't go out, like it did in December. MJ and I went out back to survey the damage. Notice DH's black sneaker - it was a bit smelly, and she didn't want it in the house. Looks dead now...


Here's the doggie side yard... one of her favorite hangouts. Down limbs everywhere! We'll have to pull all the branches through here, for city pick-up. What a job!


And our back yard. We lost a lot of large limbs off the big trees.


A close-up of a branch, to get an idea of the weather. Today it's still freezing, but tomorrow we should reach the mid-40s. Maybe all the ice will melt.


In the kitchen this afternoon, DH pointed out the neighbor's power pole that USED to be against their house. A tree limb bent the metal pole over, at a horizontal! Can you believe that!

Be sure to visit other images at My World

Friday, January 29, 2010

Internet Artisan Interview - jawbone radio

I first met Len through a friend after he drew a great looking avatar for him. When I saw he had an Etsy shop, I got the courage to approach a strange man and ask for an interview. You can see where that took us! Len’s involved in a variety of creative outlets, and I hope you enjoy his drawings and videos as much as I have. He’s got some great gift ideas for the monster lover out there, or if you need a wacky caricature!. So read on, and have fun with this monster of a guy!

  • What's the name of your business/shop?
I have a few. Monster By Mail and FlipFace are the ones I'm touting right now. I also maintain my own site, (Lenperalta.com) that is the compendium of all my art.


  • Do you have a registered domain name and/or a blog?
Yes, monsterbymail.com, flipface.me and lenperalta.com. My blog is jawboneradio.com.



  • What type of handmade products do you sell?
I sell original monster art with videos at Monster By Mail. At FlipFace, I do custom avatars for social networking.




  • Show us a piece you recently finished
Here's a fun piece I did for a friend's possible book:

  • What are you working on right now? Any sketches?
I'm just working on the monsters and flipfaces. I draw something new almost everyday. Along with that, I'm working on a graphic novel called "TentTown" and tons of other small projects


  • If you have a website or blog, what do you use for advertising? What do your avatars look like?


See above. I also use Twitter and Facebook to get my name out there.
[well, he certainly did that! Facebook is where I first saw his drawing of Jim... so polite!]





  • If you have a website or blog, tell us about your favorite widget.
I don't have a lot of time to spend on blogs, but I do use Twitter a lot on my iPhone. I'm also trying to use Gowalla, unsuccessfully.

  • Which online selling vendors do you use? What do you like best about each one?
I use Etsy for special projects. Zazzle and Cafepress sell my merch as well. But mostly, my orders come through my main site.

  • Are you involved in social networking? What's your favorite and why? If you're not involved, you must have a good reason!
I twitter when I can. I find it's a great way to let people know what you're working on and also a great opportunity for creative writing. Trying to make 140 characters interesting to read is definitely a challenge!

  • Do you have a "modus operandi" for computing the price of a handmade object? Tell us your formula?

No real formula. Just trying to make it affordable to everyone interested in owning a piece of my art.:) [Also, Len tells us how he creates] I always do a rough pencil first and then ink using FaberCastell pitt pens. I haven't made the total switch to digital yet, and I don't know if I ever will. Even though I finish a lot of my art in the computer, I like having a tangible piece of paper that it started on. I'm old school like that.




  • All of us can use a helpful business hint once a week. What's yours?
Never underestimate yourself. Stay focused and do the best job you possibly can every single time. (That's three for the price of one!)

  • We'd love to see your little corner of the world, where you create.


  • Where do you see your artwork in one year? Any plans in the works?
I always have plans. Nothing definite, but I'd love to do more books. Those have been very rewarding.



  • It’s the storybeader’s turn!

I had a lot of fun looking at Len’s different sites, especially watching him draw at youtube. Here’s one, Apple DogCow!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ideas of Inspiration - A is for Apple

I just ran across an interesting group of artists, with a blog called Ideas of Inspiration. Their site reminded me of our Etsybloggers carnival; instead of using themes to write a blog, Ideas of Inspiration uses prompts to make a piece of new art. This month, the prompt was the letter A. For me, my first thought was an alphabet flashcard, "A is for apple."

So I thought, if they didn’t mind my newbie drawing skills, I would try my hand at sketching. I took a pencil, then completed the work with this marker. The apple really came to life, with the color, like most things!

Come visit us and look around.

Monday, January 25, 2010

January Featured Etsyblogger - Nico Designs

Erika, etsy artisan at Nico Designs, has been an etsyblogger for about 2 years. In fact, she was the first person I interviewed for my Etsy Artisan Interviews, back on November 21, 2008. At the time, her shop was named totentots, but I used to call her TNT!

I'm thinking we have a lot in common on the Etsy scene. We both "sew" and have recently expanded our use of materials. And both of us made new banners for our stores. Her latest creations include art dolls and needlecraft pincushions you can use to decorate your house. BTW, her bags and baby shoes are on sale in her etsy shop! Here is a sampling of items you will find:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

taking down the decorations

Have you taken down your Christmas decorations yet?


The weather has been so cold in Oklahoma, no one dared attempt to get the lights out of the trees, where I work. Friday was a nice day, and guess what? The ladder tells it all!

Be sure to visit other images on My World!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Etsybloggers Carnival - Jan 29, 2010

Thanks to Aliciamae for this week's Etsybloggers team carnival.
Choose one of the following topics:
1) Snowflakes - your favorite way to make them or your favorite item on Etsy featuring them
2) Favorite winter time activity/how to keep kids occupied during snow days (indoors or outdoors)


I think my favorite wintertime activity is sitting before the fire in the evening. But since we don't have a fireplace anymore, that's wishful thinking. Do I dare look for beautiful photographs, with people sitting in front of a fire, and feel reminiscent? No, I’d rather go to Etsy and see what kinds of fireplaces people are creating!

Here's some lucky doll that has a fireplace.
This listing is for the match box holder on the wall,
by Miniature Cabin Decor

Kinda reminds me... of me! Minus the blond hair...
From bestemencreations,
a handpainted glass block, that lights up

Now she's found a book and a kitty! The perfect scenario!
This listing includes six bookplates, by thelittlechickadee
For those of you with fireplaces,
a fire screen is a nice decoration to own.
woodenwhimsie is a cat lover, but he also likes cows -
check them out!

♫And this little piggy laid in front of the fire♫
lulunjoy has lots of fun art tiles for animal lovers,
including scenes from around the house.

Can't forget the birds!
This owl looks very dignified with his pipe, warming himself by the fire.
The print is from an original acrylic painting by Cool Ranch Studio
Hope you enjoyed my search for fireplaces.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Internet Artisan Interview - InStitches

I love finding new artisans when surfing the net. Angel is an Etsyblogger I just ran into, who creates one of a kind pieces for her shop, all centered around paper. They're so creative, I know you'll get a kick out of them. I'm thinking her shop will interest people with all kinds of tastes. Angel has introduced me to some different online sites that I've never seen before - hope this interview will be an eye opener to you, too.
  • What's the name of your business/shop?

In Stitches

  • Do you have a registered domain name and/or a blog?
http://cardsinstitches.etsy.com/
I am in the process of acquiring institches.com since it is currently owned by someone else.

  • What type of handmade products do you sell?
Paper products. I incorporating collage and hand-stitching techniques (embroidery, beading, etc) to create art cards that function as postcards, bookmarks, gift cards, announcements, invites, even puzzles. They are small pieces of fine art that, even though each is one of a kind, as a collective they are bound by common elements which work great individually or collected as a set.

  • Show us a piece you recently finished
An oversized origami card with lots of functions. Gift-tag, Baby announcement, baby shower invitation, bridal shower invitation (girl), Wedding/Save the date announcement. This comes in boy/girl, boy/boy, girl/girl, at a very competitive price with quantity discounts and customization available.

  • What are you working on right now? Any sketches?
My latest venture is leather-bound journals. I have completed one and now I am waiting for more materials to arrive in order to start production. Here is my prototype, using kidskin. The stitching n all my products is done by hand.

  • If you have a website or blog, what do you use for advertising? What do your avatars look like?

I am a bit of a newbie at this. So far I have purchased showcase spots on etsy, joined a local crafters group, posted announcements on twitter , participated at a local Artists and Fleas Market , created, printed and distributed fliers myself.


  • Which online selling vendors do you use? What do you like best about each one?
So far I am only active on etsy, but I am in the process of setting up shop at Deviant art and Society 6


  • Are you involved in social networking? What's your favorite and why? If you're not involved, you must have a good reason!
I am very active on facebook and twitter . I prefer promoting my business on twitter because it reaches a lot more people than just the ones who know me, it has introduced me to like-minded individuals and made new connections and leads.

  • All of us can use a helpful business hint once a week. What's yours?
As a graphic designer by trade, I have learned that appearance of a shop whether virtual or physical is very important in order to communicate a product efficiently. Make sure what you are trying to sell is expressed amicably with your product and what sets you apart from the rest.

  • Do you have a "modus operandi" for computing the price of a handmade object? Tell us your formula?
Since each item I create goes through a lot of steps, I determine my price-point by the amount of work and detail I complete within a certain amount of time. Then I decide how much my time is worth and price accordingly. Obviously, the more man-hours the more a piece is worth.

  • We'd love to see your little corner of the world, where you create.









In case you were wondering how I make my collages in a one-bedroom NYC apartment, well...here's a glimpse of my work desk. It's literally the size of the cutting mat [it's hard to see Angel's desk, so I went back to twitpic and found a photo in her home, getting ready for a fair]

  • Where do you see your artwork in one year? Any plans in the works?
Ultimately, I would like my creations to be carried in novelty shops, or even better, do editorial pieces for online or printed publications. I currently have an indie bookstore in New York's Lower East Side interested in carrying digital reproductions of my work. I am in negotiations with the specifics. It's a good start and great exposure.

  • It's the storybeader's turn!
My favorite items are her origami tags. The collars are so cute, and when you get up close, you can appreciate the time and effort that she puts into all her work.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Birthday Girl

This year I'm looking forward to playing in the garden, working out at the gym, reading and creating more books. When will I have time for all this? I've been told the days are getting longer, but there's still 1440 minutes in every day, any way you look at it! Been thinking of taking a Friday or Monday off from work, here and there, to help elongate my weekend. So that's the plan... for the time being....

But the major reason for today's post is to announce my birthday. Yes, the years in my life are elongating too! If it's my birthday, it means it's also the day to announce Swap Mates, for the Etsybloggers Journal Swap! Even though the Swap doesn't start until March 1st, I thought it would be handy for the participants, for those who wanted to personalized their journals.

In case you're not familiar with our Journal Swap, each member will keep a daily journal for the month of March, which will be sent to their Swap Mate in April. Missed the enrollment? Sorry, you'll have to wait for the next one.

Did I lose anyone yet?

Looking for a list of names?

{{drum roll}}


mamastreasures sends to bijouxrouge

gardengirlcreation sends to storybeader

bijouxrouge
sends to MemoriesforLife

TulipsTreasureBox
sends to spledidlittlestar

indulgeyourshelf sends to ladyartisanltd.

sassalynne sends to HandmadeBySandi

PatchFirstShop sends to gardengirlcreation

NicoDesigns sends to RoseWorksJewelry

JNOriginals
sends to PatchFirstShop

pruitthandcrafts sends to indulgeyourshelf

HandmadeBySandi
sends to mamastreasures

RoseWorksJewelry sends to TulipsTreasureBox

CoffeePotPeople sends to sassalynne

MemoriesforLifeScrapbooks sends to NICODesigns

SplendidLittleStars sends to CoffeePotPeople

ladyartisanltd.
sends to JNOriginals

storybeader sends to pruitthandcrafts

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Remembering Lawton High School

(sorry about the glare from the flash...)
(above) These are a few images taken from the 1912 Lawton High School yearbook, drawn by Don Blanding, high school senior turned artist/writer. The panel is currently hanging in a classroom, our current archives and exhibit gallery, given to the Historic Lawton High School Committee from the City of Lawton.

Old Lawton High is an exceptional building, and many of us are so glad it wasn't torn down, like other old structures in Lawton. Instead, it was placed on the National Register for Historic Places, and will become the new city hall. It sits in the older business section of Lawton, west of the downtown mall. Building view photographed by Charles Duggar, found on flickr.

Be sure to visit other images from MyWorld at

Friday, January 15, 2010

Internet Artisan Interview - Zoya Gutina

I think Zoya Gutina is one of the few internet artisan that I've interviewed who doesn't use a commercial online venue to sell her art. In addition to her website, Zoya has two blogs, one in English, the other in Russian. That must take a lot of work! I've been following her online for about a year. Many of you know I love beadweaving, and Zoya's designs are spectacular - they are truly one of a kind. Everyone should check out her "jewelry process pictures" on her blog (scroll down, left column) especially if you're a beadweaver.
  • What's the name of your business/shop?
I work at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, VA, under the business name "Zoya Gutina" and I'm running the business named "My Lovely Beads."


  • Do you have a registered domain name and/or a blog?
Website: http://mylovelybeads.com
Blog (in English): http://gem-beaded-jewelry.blogspot.com/
Blog (in Russian): http://russian-beads.blogspot.com/

  • What type of handmade products do you sell?
I design, create and sell gemstone and beaded jewelry.

  • Show us a piece you recently finished
That is the necklace that incorporates Russian pendant, hand painted on a piece of black onyx and featuring a small part of the whole painting Winter, by Alfons Mucha. Working on that item, I combined free-form and Russian leaves, as media I used seed and bugle beads, and a lot of Swarovski crystal pearls.

  • What are you working on right now? Any sketches?
Now I'm working on a necklace featuring winter. I'm using for that necklace a lot of white seed beads of many shades, pearls, Swarowski crystals, and clear quartz chips. Unfortunately, I don't draw any sketches.

  • If you have a website or blog, what do you use for advertising? What do your avatars look like?
I use exchanging links and social networking. I believe my monthly online illustrated newsletter, that I send out to more than 6,000 subscribers from all over the world, also works as an advertisement, though my goal is to showcase not me, but beadwork, bead art, and bead artists.


  • If you have a website or blog, tell us about your favorite widget.
As to my website, my favorite section is Jewelry Guide, that's not a widget, I've designed the site by myself. As to my blog, I like the widget Followers. I'm happy to share my knowledge and glad to see that I've got lots of followers.

  • Which online selling vendors do you use? What do you like best about each one?
I sell my jewelry by my own from my website, that is it!


  • Are you involved in social networking? What's your favorite and why? If you're not involved, you must have a good reason!
I'm a participant of many social networks, but my favorite is Facebook. It has a lot of features and allows easily to contact my friends.

  • All of us can use a helpful business hint once a week. What's yours?
My lovely and helpful hint is: work hard, keep patience, and you'll get success!

  • Do you have a "modus operandi" for computing the price of a handmade object? Tell us your formula?
You will wonder, but I don't have an exact formula! It mostly depends on a season, on design, on fashion trends.

  • We'd love to see your little corner of the world, where you create.


This picture was made when I worked at Studio 5 at the Torpedo Factory Art Center; now I work in another studio, but my existing work place is almost the same.





  • Where do you see your artwork in one year? Any plans in the works?
This year I'm going to enter a few jewelry contests and exhibitions. I'd like to try new materials like lampwork and dichroic glass beads; and continue working with wood beads and cabochons. And of course, I'll be happy if my dream to get a personal studio at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, VA comes true!

  • It's the storybeader's turn to choice one.
I'm just in love with the commissioned necklaces that Zoya has created. Her combination of seed beads and gemstones are absolutely amazing! My favorite? I think it has to be "Mermaid's Garden," made with seed beads, pearls and aquamarine. It won First Prize in "Your Designs Rock~ 2006 Jewelry Design Contest." Zoya has a blog post about the making of this dazzling necklace, here

Thursday, January 14, 2010

First Friday on Etsy Art Walk


Have you heard about the newest etsy team,
AWE (Art Walk on Etsy)


It's mission:

to actively promote firstfridayartwalk on etsy.com, to support indie artists and crafters around the world.

I just joined and this will be my First Friday - tell ya all about it! In the meantime, check out our ning page at http://aweteam.ning.com/

and here's the team Etsy page: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ with all sorts of fun decals.

For more information about the AWEteam and firstfridayartwalk on etsy see:
http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6298059
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