Saturday, May 29, 2010

Operation Write Home Memorial Day Bloghop

Welcome "Hoppers" to my blog studio for Salon D'Arte - one of my shops on Etsy. My name is Susan and I am so proud to participate for the second year now.

Operation Write Home began in 2007 with just a few cards made by friends on a message board; what began as an outlet for a hobby has become a much larger mission to help heroes keep in touch with home - and the effort has been joined by thousands of cardmakers!

OWH receives handmade cards donated by crafters across America (and beyond!). Cardmakers range in age, location, and level of skill; cards are provided by individuals and groups, schools and scouts, companies and churches. All have one primary thing in common: a desire to serve those who defend our nation!

Cards are mailed to one of our volunteer shippers in quanities both small and large. The shippers process, sort, repair, and document each donation, and then pack and ship boxes of over 300 cards each to our contacts. Our heroes request cards (families may also request on their behalf; we serve all branches in all deployed locations. Click Here for info on how you can participate.

My youngest sister is in the National Guard [for 2 years now] and was officially deployed on Jan. 5, 2010 from Ft. Lauderdale to report to Fort Hood for preparations to Iraq.

I am so proud and grateful to all the men and women serving our country, and to their families, too - my thoughts and prayers are with you. Happy Memorial Day everyone! Thanks so much for taking the time to visit, please take the following link to the next blog on the hop:

Paper Castles by Lori... a pretty little beachy oasis.

To Celebrate I am sharing a Tutorial: Click this link to my previous post with the tutorial on how-to create your own embossing template for cuttlebug. Super quick and easy...and best of all - FREE! To take you back to the "Top of the Hop" click here.

Thanks again : ) Sb

More...Operation Write Home
Memorial Day Bloghop

Still hanging around "Hoppers"??? Thanks - you are truely Wonderful!!!

Here's is a link to my post in last year's OWH Memorial Day bloghop.

How-to Make your own Embossing Template for Cuttlebug Tutorial:

I did this with one of my jumbo T!m Holtz stamps and made a card for a swap I participated in for the "all things T!m" yahoo group. This is my finished piece. I painted a sheet of gloss paper with alcohol inks, topped with pounced metallic alcohol inks for that hammered metal look. But flat, it was lacking... since I am usually doing this stuff in the middle of the night, I had a "lightbulb MOMENT" to make an embossing template to give this stamp some "ooommmph"!

It's really easy and you only need a couple things you probably already have lying around your craft area - and the best part it's FREE!!!

You need: A stamp you want to emboss; some lightweight chipboard that you can cut with scissors comfortably [I use my T!m Holtz Tonic Scissors] - or - thick cardstock; ink, adhesive; and that thin rubber mat used for nestabilities.

STEP #1: Stamp your image on one piece of chipboard cut to exact same size of finished piece. Set this one aside.

Then stamp image on another piece of chipboard a couple of times [this will vary on thickness of cardstock or chipboard]. Cut out the areas you want to raise up and glue these one on top of another directly onto the final finished size piece [from step #1]. You can make chosen areas as thick as you want. I added two additional layers to the base layer. If you make it too thick, your embossed edges may crack/tear.

Final embossed areas number 3, 4, 5 0, & 7. The rest of the image is left flat.

OK - now you are going to take this and place it UNDERNEATH your finished pretty stamped piece, line it up and temporarily adhere it with removable tape or adhesive so it doesn't shift as you run it through the cuttlebug. Then place the Nestabilities rubber mat on top and run through the cuttlebug...and voila! The rubber mat forms around the raised areas while protecting the surface. Gently remove the layers and the embossed template to reuse again. I used this template 7 times and it still looks like it's got a few impressions left.

PLEASE NOTE: Please do a test run or two before doing your final piece to make any adjustments.

Here are the results - I had a couple cracks at the corner of the 3 near the 4 and 5. I easily masked these by coloring on the backside of the paper with a matching marker where the cracks were. They blended right in.

This added that extra "Pop" that it needed for this metal look. This technique is quick and easy and didn't cost me $10 for the Cricut Cuttlebug template kit. I checked it out at the craftstore and shimmied the contents out of the package to examine what it is [it's two pieces of sticky back thin chipboard that you cut out a positive and negative shapes and mount to a blank plastic cuttlebug shell]. I could have got it on sale 50% off, but opted to pass, and spent my $$$ on stamps. The kit may come in handy if I make a custom cricut shape, but haven't needed it so far.

Thanks for reading! I'd love to hear how this worked for you. Please post a comment on my Facebook Page with a photo.

If you have any questions regarding any of the steps, please leave a comment & I'll respond ASAP.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Operation Write Home


I am participating this weekend in the Memorial Day Operation Write Home Bloghop. Check back Saturday AM for my Patriotic Card and also a crafty tutorial, too. See you then : ) Sb

Beautiful things have washed ashore...

with NovaScotiaBeachGlass -
EtsyTwitter Team Shop of the Week

Summer Blue - A Seaglass necklace from Nova Scotia
This week, the Etsy Twitter Team is featuring NovaScotiaBeachGlass for our Shop of the Week. NovaScotiaBeachGlass is the creation of Lori Stewart who collects seaglass from the beaches of Nova Scotia. She hunts the beach with her black lab, Willow, looking for beach glass, seaglass, driftwood and any other treasures the sea might reveal to her. She turns these treasures into lovely works of wearable art: pendants and necklaces.

Lori told me that beach glass is also called seaglass or mermaid’s tears. "This collectible is formed after years of tumbling in ocean waves, softening the sharp edges of shards of broken glass. Sea glass originates from man-made trash - bottles or jars tossed overboard ships or dumped with other garbage into the ocean, where they would break into pieces and tumble around. Most sea glass found today dates before the mid 1960's (when plastics became the norm). A perfectly smooth piece may have been in the ocean for decades, even a century. Collectors value the glass for its beauty and the mystery of its history - whose hand might have held the original item? What story might the sea glass tell?"

Lori appreciates the history and romance of her chosen material. She says there is nothing so soothing as to handle seaglass. In addition to her interest in recycling the vintage seaglass, Lori also expresses her artistic nature using resin. While she is always experimenting with new designs, this year she would like to improve her jewelry photography.

Lori ships worldwide and the interest in her work is ever growing. "I've been asked to do a home several stores have expressed interest in displaying my necklaces." On the Twitter front, Lori likes to keep people interested by tweeting a little about everything...not just about Etsy and her shop.

Electric blue - A Seaglass necklace from Nova Scotia

NovaScotiaBeachGlass is offering
Free shipping for the month of May to
Canada and the US
Also, a sale: 25% off orders over $100.00

Etsy Shop:

Special thanks to Judy of Wellspring Creations for this article : )

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Get your Geek On with...

Geek Details: EtsyTwitter Team's
Shop of the Week!

Mushroom Charm
Meet Amanda Roberts, the talent behind the Etsy shop, geekdetails, and EtsyTwitter Team's Shop of the Week.

Amanda makes and sells a variety of what she describes as "geeky things". Her product line ranges from artistically embellished luggage, pinback buttons and art prints, sculpted singing flowers; even some jewelry items! Her product line is varied and reflects the sources of her inspiration. When asked what she loves most about creating, Amanda states: "That I get to make stuff every day...I love the process of making new items, seeing something lovely and knowing that I made that pretty thing."

As she puts it, her inspiration comes from, "Everything! It can be a music lyric, something a friend says, a glass of wine, the way the colors of my flowers blend. I try to find inspiration everywhere and then I mix it up to create something new." This is further reflected in her business resolution: to step "out of my box" and attend gamer conventions! "I went to my first in January (it was called VisionCon) and had a blast! I’m hooked and glad I did it! I met some amazing people that have been excited about what I do. They’ve become some of my biggest fans and really encouraged me in my retail endeavor." The result is an eclectic blend of fun products which Amanda ships worldwide (on most items*)!

How about a "poisoned apple"?

Amanda has several exciting activities planned in the next few months. She's attending many shows this summer, including Origins in June. She's helping to develop a new website called Con-Vixens. AND she's "appearing" on an online radio program called Dragon Talk Radio this Thursday, May 20!

Amanda is @geekdetails on Twitter. Her Twitter philosophy? "Follow who you like and converse with them. Don’t just mindlessly follow everyone...and don’t follow people simply because they’re following you. This may lose you some followers, but the quality of your twitter connections will be higher! For me, twitter is about making connections with people. One connection with a rabid follower of your work is (imo) far superior than 50 followers that don’t really care about what you’re doing and are just upping their numbers. It’s quality over quantity for me!"

Alice in Wonderland Print

This week geekdetails is offering
Free domestic shipping on orders over $80 when the buyer mentions “etsytwitter” in the notes to seller section

* Some large items can vary greatly in shipping price from one country to the next. Convo geekdetails for the international shipping rate specific to your location.



Special thanks to Judy of WellspringCreations for writing this post.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Unique Handcrafted Jewels by

EtsyTwitter Team's Shop of the Week:

Our EtsyTwitter Team Shop of the Week is South Paw Studios, which offers handcrafted jewelry by Toledo, Ohio artist Katy Mims. She not only makes necklaces, bracelets and earrings, but she has a unique bridal line. Her styles incorporate faceted gems, Venetian glass, pearls and precious metal. As she puts it, it "brings the jewelry to life."

Thanks to EtsyTwitter Team Member Judy for this interview with Katy!

Judy: What do you want your customers to know most about your products?

Katy: I feel that I offer functional jewelry that you can wear everyday with jeans and a simple white t-shirt, yet you can wear it to a formal function if preferred. I don’t want my customer to seem pressed on the thought of “I love this necklace, but where am I going to wear it?” I want them to be more, “I love this necklace, and I can wear it with anything”. I want there to be “No Fuss”. Jewelry shouldn’t be complicated, it should be enjoyable. That is why I feel I create jewelry that is much more appealing and affordable to a wider range of woman, from the younger jewelry lover to the seasoned shopper.

Judy: What inspires you to create?

Katy: I get inspiration from everything from a shower curtain, to sunsets. I know that sounds cliché, but really there are great color combinations in sunsets. I also get my muse from new supplies. I really have an addiction to beads and gems. I buy way to much stuff, but I just cant help myself. Having new supplies really keeps me excited to sit at my work bench for hours on end.

Judy: What is your favorite thing about your craft?

Katy: This question is tricky, but when I sit down and think about it, one of my favorite things about my craft is it is very competitive, but that keeps me on my toes. I like a little friendly competition. With jewelry, I love that everyone can take part in this particular medium. It is a little piece of wearable art that you can take with you and wear with pride every day, to work or even the grocery store. It makes art become functional. I love that it is an appealing part of the art world that seems to be able to survive even in the hardest of times.

Judy: What are your Twitter tricks of the trade?

Katy: I really don’t have time to log in and out of all the accounts I use online on a daily basis, so I use Facebook, primarily to twitter from. I used to use Tweetdeck, but it started to have some glitches a little while back, and I just couldn’t seem to find the right patch. I am sure it is fixed by now, but again, TIME! So anyways, I linked my Facebook fan page to my Twitter account and “whola” I get two birds with one stone (no birds were actual harmed in this sentence) and only have to type something once. I may not seem like much, but it is a time saver for me and works just great.

Judy: What is one of your business resolutions for the New Year?

Katy: I really want to beat each month’s sales, compared to last years, and have my profit margin higher as well. To achieve this I feel a combo of getting more money per piece, and as well as tighten down on my expenses / cost of goods sold (COGS) will help me reach my 2010 business new year’s resolution.

This week, Katy is offering a special Etsy Twitter Team Shop of the Week Discount! 15% off all regularly priced items, now thru May 2nd. Enter code “Etsytwitter15” in message to seller during checkout. Discount will be refunded via Paypal.

ALSO: special promo item, these earrings will be on sale for only $7, regularly $16, no code necessary.

Art by Betty Refour

EtsyTwitter Team Shop of the Week:
brefour on Etsy

A couple of month's back I was preparing a treasury for Etsy and I selected one of Betty's cards - a reproduction of a painting with a gold heart in the center [above]. I loved it so much I bought it! I sent her a note in the comment to seller and I told her I was so excited to frame it and hang it in my studio with my other inspirational ART. She not only sent me the card I purchased, but sent me a larger size to frame. I intend to send the card to my sister for her birthday next month. Not only unique artwork, but an outstanding and thoughtful fellow Etsian. Thanks Betty for setting such a great example for your teammates : ) Sb

Let me introduce you to Betty Refour, the proprietor behind our Etsy Twitter Team Shop of the Week, BRefour. Betty's Etsy Shop, offers original art and note cards created by Betty and Betty's sister, Rose, who has autism. Both artists use bright colors in small spaces, offering art that is both visually appealing and affordable. Betty says much of her inspiration comes from fabric and architecture. She loves art because, "with art there are no boundaries... limitless imagination." Betty is very inspired these days--she has joined a local 'daily painting group'!

The art of BRefour is internationally known. Her stellar customer feedback reflects the quality of product and service. Not only does Betty offer products that are made with care, but a portion of the shop's proceeds is donated to charity. Betty applies a similar selfless attitude to Twitter: to “establish relationships, tweet about things other than myself and retweet other tweets.”

Betty is practical about her 2010 resolution: to destash* She says "I think creative people can see something in everything and because of that, we end up with so much more than we need." All of us can relate to that!

This week, Betty is offering a special Etsy Twitter Team Shop of the Week Discount! 50% off all items in the SALE section. Use code SOTW in notes to seller and she will send you a revised invoice.

Special Thanks to EtsyTwitter Member Judy for this interview.

*DESTASH means to get rid of excess art/crafting supplies…to get rid of your stash!
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