Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Terrifically Talented Thursday - Blossoms and Photos (Giveaway!)

If you come in search of my Mad Tea Party Post/Giveaway, you may find it here:
Miniature Poppy Hair Comb Photo courtesy of Flauxers
Greetings everyone, and welcome to another Terrifically Talented Thursday!  Today it's all about flowers and photos.    Really, the two go hand in hand.  I know that I certainly can't stop myself from taking photographs of all the flowers I can find.  And as much as I love flowers, I am highly allergic to certain blooms (especially sunflowers) and need to admire them from afar.  So how wonderful it is that a delightful shop like Flauxers exists!
Bridal Pink Tea Rose Earrings Photo courtesy of Flauxers
Meet Tanya, the creator of Flauxers!   Flauxers is the combination of faux and flowers - and is pronounced flowers.  Tanya has always loved flowers.  She has enjoyed creating floral arrangements since she was a young child.  She fondly recalls collecting wildflowers from her parents' backyard to make special arrangements for her mother.  She also made barrettes and other handmade creations incorporating flowers with her mother and grandmother.    
Miniature Sunflower Keychain Photo courtesy of Flauxers
Like so many of us, Tanya became quite discouraged when her pretty floral arrangements wilted.  So she decided to create artificial arrangements that would, like your memories, last forever.  During her first year of college, Tanya worked at a flower shop near her hometown where she honed her arrangement skills and learned to craft corsages and boutonnieres.  Tanya even created all the floral designs for her own wedding. You can find Tanya's amazing floral creations online at Flauxers' own dedicated website and also on etsy.  There's an amazing range of products at Tanya's shops - from wreaths and baskets to home decor and centerpieces to super-cute jewelry and accessories.  Need something for a special occasion?  Tanya will work with you  to customize a "bouquet" that is just right for a bridal shower, baby shower, holiday or birthday that will incorporate your favorite blossoms and fit your budget. 
Each month Tanya holds a sale called "Monthly Booms."  July is all about daisies!  Throughout the month you can receive a 10% discount on all daisy-related products at both Flauxers shops.  You can always find gorgeous faux floral creations using sunflowers, mums, roses, lilies and so much more!  In addition to her shops, You can also find Tanya on twitter, facebook and myspace
Listen Photo courtesy of Allie Art 4 Children
I'd like to introduce you now to Allie - the proprietress of Allie Art 4 Children.  After practicing pediatrics for five years, Allie is currently a stay-at-home mom to four beautiful children.   Being at home has provided Allie the opportunity of pursuing her dream of finally "doing something" with her photography.  Allie finds immense joy in taking photographs and creating them into works of art for others to enjoy. The majority of her photos feature nature and children - two of her favorite subjects.
Fleeting Photo courtesy of Allie Art 4 Children
Allie's photographs possess an ethereal, dream-like quality.  Each print is artistically rendered and comes to you signed by the artist.  Not only can you purchase prints, but you can also take home Allie's gorgeous images on magnets, cards, ACEOs and photo blocks.  But there is something else that is quite special about Allie's shop.  Allie has chosen to use her talent for photography to further her desire to advocate for children worldwide.  Currently 15% of any purchase from Alllie Art 4 Children goes directly to the Reach Out Childrens' Fund - a non-profit benefiting children living in remote communities in the Andes mountains of Peru.  Allie's shop also features a special Breast Cancer Awareness Section.  A generous 50% of the proceeds from each sale in this section goes directly to the Susan G. Koman Foundation.
Gossamer Photo courtesy of Allie Art 4 Children
Allie hopes to include more charitable organizations as relationships are developed. Her ultimate goal is to offer customers a choice of charitable organizations to choose from when they make a purchase.  You can learn more about Allie and her work on facebook, twitter and her blog.  Allie also contributes to the Ordinary Matters blog and has a flickr page.  
Enter Photo courtesy of Allie Art 4 Children
Giveaway Time!  Allie has been kind enough to gift one lucky reader with the print of her choice (the print no larger than 8 x 10)!  This offer is open to participants worldwide.  How do you enter to win one of Allie's beautiful prints?  Simply visit Allie's shop and comment here about which image appeals to you and why! The deadline for entries is Wednesday, July 7 by 10:00 pm EST.  PLEASE remember to include your EMAIL ADDRESS in your comment to be considered (especially if you do not have a blog).  If your name is selected, and we have no way to contact you, your entry will be forfeited.  Good luck to all! One name will be selected via random number generator.  

And now I'm happy to announce the winners from last week's fabulous double giveaway!  The winner of the Vampires Kisses Phantom of the Opera necklace is Olivia!  Congratulations, Olivia.  And the winner of  Zen and Coffee's armwarmers/fingerless gloves is Amanda Leigh!  Congrats, Amanda!

Stayed tuned for another wonderful Terrifically Talented Thursday next week!  But I will be back this weekend to update you on my goings-on and to let you know the winners of my Mad Tea Party giveaway!

Til next time,

Saturday, June 26, 2010

It's a Mad Tea Party!

Welcome everyone who heeded the call.  Really - you are not late at all!  It is time to have some fun.  You see, the party has just begun!  Nary a thing you have missed - from this festival arranged by A Fanciful Twist!  There are many who are playing - however, I do so hope you will be staying.  For at the end, you see, there is a treat.  The opportunity to be given something sweet.
So take fast this key...and follow me.
Into a land of make-believe?  Don't be scared - for the cupboard shall not be bare.  And please don't scurry - just hurry, hurry, hurry...
The kindly White Queen is here, so never fear!  For the scary Red Hearts will not make off with our tarts!  She will keep us from harm with all of her charm!
Just look who has come - from the forest floor!  And oh - I do see so many, many more!
The dormouse is here - as sweet as can be.  And from what I've heard, he really likes tea!
Amidst the flowers strewn - there came a pretty word.  From where did it come - why from tiny Mr. Mortimer Bird!  
He spotted my bottle labeled "Drink Me." As it was raised slowly to my lip, with barely just a little drip -he tweeted, "Stop!  Do instead stay for tea!"
The White Rabbit was there, all snug in his nook.  When I approached, he startled quite fast and shouted "look, look, look!"
For quite nearby were pretty candles and smiling flowers.  "It is clear on this night," the White Rabbit announced, "with no chance of showers." 
There was tea and there was cake!  There was also fresh berries!   Oh, how yummy - it made my belly shake!

I smacked my lips and was ready to eat.  It was then that I saw him in his glorious top hat.  Looking as content as the wry Cheshire Cat!  He grinned and said, "Hello and Merry Meet!"

"Why who is this?" I asked among the chatter.  They looked at me curiously, "Why tis the Mad Hatter!"  
The Queen urged me to sit and thus did implore..."Would you like a little tea, please allow me to pour!"
Curiouser and curiouser - well until the dawn.  When I suddenly felt myself stifling a yawn.  The Hatter was cheery and had a fun riddle.  "Why is a raven like a writing desk?"   I felt myself then so stuck in the middle!
The hour grew late, and it was then that I knew.  That my time in Wonderland was now sadly through.  The queen bade farewell to all of her guests.  Many of who had already fallen asleep on their chests.  They all arose and went their way - but all did very much enjoy their stay! 
And so I thank thee for sharing my fun.  Truly I hope it was second to none!  It's true great parties never leave rifts...which is why I shall offer to you these sweet gifts.

dormouse gift #1
Not one - but two.  In pretty purple and pale blue!  Just a gesture of appreciation - for you - from my imagination.  

Dormouse gift #2

Please do not yet pack up your coat!  Kindly first leave me a little note!   From whence there shall be two lucky names pulled from the hat.  Drawn on the 3rd of July by 10 pm flat!

Now I must bid you all adieu!  For alas, the party is through...
Theresa (aka  the White Queen)

Please be sure - before you go through the door - to visit the revelers (all 258 plus 4 more!)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Terrifically Talented Thursday! Dark and Romantic-TWO Fabulous Giveaways!

Tea Time Ring and Necklace Set Photo courtesy of Vampires Kisses
Greetings everyone,

It's time for another Terrifically Talented Thursday!  Today, I'm pleased to introduce you to Jennifer and Wren - two amazing artisans who share a similar love for all things darkly gothic and romantic.  I'm also quite pleased to announce that both Jennifer and Wren have each offered to give away a beautiful gift!  So, this week you will have two opportunities to win (so you may leave TWO separate comments - hurray)!  Details on both giveaways will follow each feature.
Free the Caged Bird Photo courtesy of Vampires Kisses
Meet Jennifer, the proprietress of both Vampires Kisses on etsy and Miss Bohemia on folksy.   Jennifer finds inspiration from love, life, faerie tales, gothic glamour, steampunkery, a touch of the supernatural, geekery and a dash of magic.   What began as strictly a hobby quickly became a passion.  Believe it or not, Jennifer has only been handcrafting her fabulous jewelry designs since February of last year.  Jennifer likes to combine a mix of both modern and vintage elements in her creations, like the wonderful bird cage necklace seen above. Jennifer not only creates necklaces, earrings and bracelets, but also rings (like this stunner featured below) and key/handbag charms!
Gothic Blood Lust Photo courtesy of Vampires Kisses
Jennifer, who resides in London, loves reading nearly as much as she enjoys creating jewelry.  Her work is greatly influenced by some of her favorite classic tales such as Alice in Wonderland (see the first photo in this post) and paranormal/urban fantasy novels like The Changeover, Interview with a Vampire, The Tooth Fairy, and the Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire series (the basis for the HBO show True Blood).  Some of her favorite films include Chocolat, Heavenly Creatures and Labyrinth.  In addition to reading and crafting jewelry, Jennifer also enjoys drawing and paper crafting - when she has the time.  All of Jennifer's creations are shipped worldwide, and she gladly welcomes custom order inquiries. 
Mermaid by the Sea Photo courtesy of Vampires Kisses
In addition to her etsy and folksy shops, you can find also Jennifer on Facebook, twitter, and her blog.  SPECIAL OFFER!  Jennifer is offering readers a special 20% discount on your entire purchase (excluding shipping fees) from her etsy or folksy shops.  Simply use "FMblogpromo1" in message to seller field.  This exclusive offer is good through Thursday, July 1st.
Photo courtesy of Vampires Kisses
GIVEAWAY #1!  Jennifer will be gifting one lucky reader with this romantic Victorian-style necklace inspired by Jennifer's favorite musical - the Phantom of the Opera!  This giveaway is open to participants worldwide!  To enter, just leave a comment sharing what you like about Jennifer's work!  The deadline for entries is Wednesday, June 30 by 10:00 pm EST.  PLEASE remember to include your email address in your comment to be considered.  If your name is selected, and we have no way to contact you, your entry will be forfeited.  Good luck to all!
Late for an Important Date Photo courtesy of Zen and Coffee
Meet Wren from Zen and Coffee on etsy.  Wren has been creating ever since she can remember. She fondly remembers her favorite Christmas presents being notepads, pencils, crayons and anything else art-related! Wren also recalls "stealing" her mom's quilting squares to hand sew clothes for her dolls, of which she would cut their hair off and replace with glued yarn.  Wren was fortunate enough to attend an international magnet school during her elementary years which enabled her to not only submerge herself in other cultures but also allowed her to try printmaking, puppeteering, stop motion animation, creative writing, photography, clay work, and also compete in art competitions and submit work to local galleries.
St. Gemma's Garden Photo courtesy of Zen and Coffee
Wren carried her great love for art with her through the years - reading, writing and painting in any way she could.  Like Jennifer, she is also an avid reading - citing Poe, Tennyson and Mercedes Lackey as favorites.  Today, most of her work involves needle and thread.  Wren has always loved sewing.  Four years ago she decided to purchase her first sewing machine and found sewing to be her true passion! So many ideas and designs were being conceptualized in Wren's mind - and she was excited to be able to bring them to life.  Although she created many different items with her new sewing machine, and still does, Wren's main focus eventually became arm warmers and fingerless gloves.
Tea and Crumpets Photo courtesy of Zen and Coffee
Wren originally intended for Zen and Coffee to be a supply shop.  But at the encouragement of her friends, she listed her first pair of arm warmers - and her business began to bloom.  Wren has been selling on etsy for just over four months now.  She never dreamed she'd find success so soon and is already preparing to open a second shop dedicated to trims.  Many people have asked Wren if she ever grows tired of "sewing for hire" or if it has become "chore-like" - but it never does.  She truly loves her work!  Wren currently owns two sergers and two sewing machines - and has a house filled to the brim with fabrics and trims. She marvels at seeing pieces of fabric with no meaning come to life in a finished creation and finds endless inspiration through specific fabric patterns or colors.  She credits her success to amazing customers and the three etsy teams she belongs to (Craftanon, EtsyDarkSide and Metaphysical Etsy).
Vision of Veronica Photo courtesy of Zen and Coffee
You can find much more of Wren's beautiful work in her etsy shop!  Interested in a custom order? Many of Wren's arm warmers and fingerless gloves can be made with or without thumb holes and sewn in a variety of fabrics or trims.  Patterns, colors, and length can also be adjusted to suit your specific needs - simply ask!  In addition to her etsy shop, you may also find Wren on twitter, facebook, and deviantart
Click on photo to enlarge for more detail!
GIVEAWAY #2!  Wren will be gifting one lucky reader with her CHOICE of either of these gorgeous  items - the Black Velvet (a bestseller!) fingerless gloves or the Jack Skellington arm warmers!  Again, this giveaway is open to readers worldwide.  To enter, just leave a comment sharing what you enjoy most about Wren's creations!  The deadline for entries is Wednesday, June 30 by 10:00 pm EST.  PLEASE remember to include your email address in your comment to be considered.  If your name is selected, and we have no way to contact you, your entry will be forfeited.  Good luck to all!

REMEMBER - to INCREASE your chances to win, you may leave TWO separate comments!  

And now it's time to announce the winner of the $10 gift certificate to Peanuts Creations. The lucky winner is Ramona (The Paper Princess).  Congratulations, Ramona - and happy shopping!

Til next time,

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Early Harvest

The poetry of the earth is never dead.-  John Keats
Greetings everyone,

As we quickly approach the summer solstice, I notice that the earth is offering an abundance of beauty. And we are already beginning to harvest the fruits of Mother Earth.
These beautiful black raspberries shall soon find themselves baked into a delicious pie.  There is nothing like freshly picked fruit to use in home baked goods.
We were thrilled to be gifted with these lovely currants from the bush right outside our back door this year.  I thought hard of what to make.
I searched for a special recipe that would truly bring out the tartness of the fruit and found a scone recipe for which I had all the ingredients.  Time to mix!  Unlike the time alloted in the recipe, 45 minutes later we had this scrumptious treat.
Although we continue to do battle with the almighty groundhogs, we are beginning to harvest our homegrown vegetables.  Lettuce has been quite plentiful:
Our gardens are still yielding the prettiest of flowers!  I love grabbing my camera and zooming in on all the visions of loveliness.  The yard is so sweetly scented right now.  And I'm enjoying flowers I don't often get to admire until September, like these mums.
I think there is still immense beauty in flowers even past their prime.  There is a poetic quality to them.  Almost a sweet type of sadness...a deep yearning to bear blossoms once again!
All the beauty and fruits from our yard have been affecting my work as of late.
I named these petite earring confections after mulberries, which grow in delicate pink clusters (at least one of the different varieties does!).
This simple and elegant stretch bracelet is named Green Fields  and has such lovely hues of green glass beads.  I see all of these colors in my yard, and it makes me so very happy.  And I hope it makes you happy, too!

I hope all of you enjoy a lovely weekend with your fathers or husbands - or both.  And happy Summer Solstice to you all!

Til next time,

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Terrifically Talented Thursday! Crochet Hooks & Paint Brushes

Photo courtesy of One A Day Art
Greetings everyone, and welcome to another Terrifically Talented Thursday!  Today, we'll meet a painter and a crocheter who both got started in their crafts at early ages. 

First, I'd like to introduce you to Art-the creator of this beautiful egret oil painting seen above.  The creative bug struck Art early in life.  When he was young, he became interested in film making.  Art started to record various family outings and events, equipped with only a small camera.  But these weren't your typical family videos - Art made sure his family films told spectacular stories splashed with visual artistic flair.
Morning Photo courtesy of One a Day Art
Never one to settle for a single art medium, Art discovered Prismacolor pencils and drew landscapes inspired by his native Venezuela.  A masters degree in architecture took him on another creative journey-designing efficient and environmentally friendly homes.  Art also studied photography and learned to develop his own work - like the stunning photograph below entitled "Old Homestead."   He has also dabbled in sculpting - creating wall art, dinnerware and masks.
Photo courtesy of One A Day Art
As you can see, Art is truly a renaissance man!  In addition to all his many talents, Art has also explored creative writing, watercolor and acrylic painting, and his current passion - oil painting.  Art created his blog two years ago to encourage himself to regularly create art work, improve his skills, and learn from others.  Here's another striking example of Art's work entitled Waif - a richly colored, haunting oil painting on canvas panel.
Photo Courtesy of One A Day Art
Art lives in North Carolina with his wife, Cyndi.  You can view the majority of Art's original paintings and fine photography (which are all for sale) on his blog, One A Day, and in the etsy shop he shared with Cyndi, a jewelry designer.  You can also find Art on twitter!

Cloche Style Hat Photo courtesy of Peanuts Creations

Karen is a self-described yarn-a-holic.  She says there is rarely a day that goes by when she doesn't spend at least a few hours crocheting.  She learned to crochet from her grandmother, who also taught her to knit and tat, when she was a young girl.  Karen began selling her creations when people asked her to make custom items for them.  Her business name, Peanuts Creations, is a tribute to her mom and grandmother - who gave nicknamed her daughter (Karen's mom) "peanut" as a child.  In addition to selling online, Karen also participates in craft shows, festivals and fairs.
Flower Purse Photo courtesy of Peanuts Creations
Karen notes that her crochet hats and booties are her best sellers.  She actually makes these items for all ages and uses a wide variety of yarns.  Many different things influence Karen - colors, the beach, people she meets, even scents!  A piece of chocolate raspberry pie inspired Karen to head home to crochet a "chocolate" brown and "raspberry" pink hat.  Karen takes pride in her work and says that seeing people wearing her designs is a major source of inspiration.  It truly makes her day when she sees a cute little girl wearing one of her hand-crocheted hats!
Baby Moccasins Photo courtesy of Peanuts Creations
Karen is one busy woman these days!  She operates two online shops - one on artfire and another on etsy.  And in addition to crochet hooks, she also wields a mean lathe - helping her husband create wood pens, bottle stoppers, key chains, miniature birdhouses and much more for his shop on etsy.  Since recently acquiring a Cricut machine, Karen has been playing with paper as well - teaching herself to create gift bags, tags and signs.  You can also find Karen on twitter and her blog.  She resides in Pennsylvania with her husband.
Cotton Dishcloths Photo courtesy of Peanuts Creations
GIVEAWAY TIME!  Karen has kindly offered to gift one lucky reader with a $10 gift certificate to use toward any purchase from either of her Peanuts Creations shops!  Simply leave a comment on this post to enter.  (This giveaway is applicable for anyone!)  As always, PLEASE remember to include your email address in your comment.  If your name is selected, and we have no means in which to contact you, an alternate winner will be selected.  The winner will be chosen via random number generator.  The deadline for entries is 10:00 pm (EST) on Wednesday, June 23rd.  Good luck, everyone!

It's now time to announce the lucky winner of a delicious box of assorted chocolate truffles from New England Candy Co...drumroll, please.   Many congratulations to Maggi of Just Add Glitter

And do remember that our other featured artisan from last week,  Addy B's Cakes,  has kindly offered readers a 15% discount on her home-baked treats (this offer is good only for residents of the United States).  Simply include BLOG FEATURE in message to seller upon checkout, and Adrienne will gladly refund your savings to you.  This delicious offer is good through June 30, 2010!  

Til next time,

Thank You for Stopping By!