Sunday, January 31, 2010

List of online venues.

 Bursting at the seams with stuff to sell? Well, thanks to scarlettcat, we have quite the list of online venues to branch out to if needed. See scarlettcat's original Etsy forum thread here for various details, opinions & descriptions. I've included suggested sites found throughout the forum thread ('cause I love you all ;] )--at least up 'til page 40.  

Before you get too frantic, some of these are not additional selling venues like Etsy & Artfire rather just show images & link back to your shop. I have included other sites that I didn't see listed. Please leave a comment with any others you want to add!

And as beadedwire points out on page 25 of the forum thread:
You may want to look up traffic on some of these sites before spending much time on them. You can see trafftic on
It is hard to sell on sites that don't get visitors. 

I intend to go through & check out some of these, then help categorize. But you know what they say about good intentions... 

 Happy Listing!

PS- The pic at the top shows the guts of the mini-shop where my grandmother sold her crafts. This was after she passed & a lot of things got piled into that particular building. I'm hiding in the background trying to clear a path, I think! Anyways, that's the non-stop burst of color that I grew up with...kitsch (to me), but oh-so-colorful!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Whatever your flavor of politics...stay informed.

Picture from

While this may seem out of left field for me, but I wanted to share a couple of links to our government since the State of the Union address was just a couple of days ago. Now, I am not going in any deep political topics...nor am I going to discuss sides with anyone here. I just think it's good to check-in & see what all is going on. Also, when a heated topic is plastered all over the papers, web, & 6 o'clock news...I simply like to research a bit more before forming an opinion. But, hey, I'm not everybody...

- links to all current issues with WH's actions, links to other government branches 
While there you can't contact our President after all, you can "directly" contact the VP. Actually, for kids learning about our government, the site explains all of the different branches + history of the WH.

--let me know if you want another flavor added


Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Treats: Something sweet and homemade for Valentine's Day.

I love baking my own cookies. My friend & I are something like pastry-Nazi's...we like our baked goods our own particular ways & tend to be VERY critical when sampling others' goods. And I'm the less critical of the pair. I will use frozen ready-made crusts at times, whereas she gives me hell. Alas.

Oh yeah...I was getting to how hard it is to find unique cookie cutters. I actually discovered this site when I was searching for fluer-de-lis cookie cutters for this particular picky friend nicknamed Paris--& been going by that before the Hilton sisters were even conceived...I just hope she never reads this or I'm french toast! Off the Beaten Path sells all kinds of cookie cutter shapes (V-day set above here) & a ton of miniature cutters too.

Now, my favorite place to find super-specialty baking  goods is at King Arthur Flour, based out of Vermont. Every time I receive an update in my in-box, my mouth instantly salivates. Check out the recipe for their Lemon Love buns here. Yes, there are all other sorts of yummy recipes on their site. 
Okay, I officially need to go raid the kitchen now!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

In case you hadn't heard of... Lotta Jansdotter

Lotta Jansdotter is fairly well known among the indie community. She's definately inspiration for fellow indieprenuers as she has made quite the brand & international following for herself. Also, she released multiple how-to books.  Très impressive.

Her line includes everything ranging from home decor to stationary to totes. In addition to the instructional books, she sells kits for certain items including her own fabric & offers classes in the Brooklyn, NY area.  Check her site out here.

Note: Although she sells her own fabric, etc...there are clear instructions that it is not to be used for resell/commercial  purposes. She has a section devoted to wholesale, so I'd contact her after researching for further information.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Design Fix: Eucalyptus & cotton blend bedding from Valley Forge Fabrics.

Valley Forge is a contract fabric company that I work with at my design office. One of those lovely benefits of being a designer are promotional freebies. Valley Forge has recently expanded their product line to include bedding using a eucalyptus/cotton blend. Our rep brought a few of us in the office "sample" pillowcases.

Now, Valley Forge's fabrics are sold to the trade only...but I recently discovered that there is a "Shopping" section on their website. It may be that the general public is able to purchase a more limited selection there.

This was my package for trade promotional purposes.

It included samples to show the process from eucalyptus wood chips, into pulp, then spun into fiber, and blended with cotton into fabric.

The samples had a simple, yet elegant neutral tan embroidered design to them.  Pardon me, I didn't iron the pair yet!

So, the hand of the fabric is very, very soft and satiny feeling. They are cool to the touch, so I plan trying them out once after they're laundered & will get back to you. It's too cold to switch from my micro-fiber fleece sets just yet...can't help it! Now, I think I might just want to smell a faint eucalyptus aroma...again, I'll let you know. We'll also break these puppies out if one of us gets the sniffles, just in case!

If you're interested, read more about the sustainable bedding here and browse items to purchase here (bedding and misc.).

>>>>Update 3.04.10: When I laundered them, I could see some issues with this being marketed for hospitality design. Through just one laundering looked like they had visited the washer multiple times. The outcome wasn't terrible, but doesn't look promising for hotels when they are constantly used & laundered. They will definitely need to be ironed too. Just passing along my observations...


Friday, January 15, 2010

Book Nook: A few more reads...

Skippyjon Jones. Too hilarious! Okay...if you're very cautious & try to be PC, then I warn you this is Siamese cat meets up with the Taco Bell chihauhua's a kid's book, though, so chill out & have fun!Our favorite parts were when Skippito (aka Skippyjon Jones) broke into a little song & dance (clap clap) & I insist that you must sing with an accent & clap (clapp clap)!  We plan on reading the rest of the series & put this one our wish list.

Where's Waldo. My boy loves the "I Spy" books & I managed to get him hooked on the Waldo books! In addition to Waldo, we've made certain to find our "Waldina" & "EVIL WALDO!" in each picture as well. Just so you know...when you spot "EVIL WALDO!", it is quite necessary to shout out "EVIL WALDO!"  Note: Waldina looks like Waldo, except the hair is feminine &, well, Evil Waldo looks like regular Waldo (but) in yellow/black stripes instead.

The Shadow Year. Quick & easy read. I enjoyed it, but the first half of the book was my favorite. It was more humorous to me than suspenseful & there are certain passages that I almost busted a gut. It's a little dark don't expect to get all bubbles & fizz descriptions of days gone by. I could almost hear "Mother's Little Helper" by the Stones playing in the background! It was especially comical having experience with an italian-american family life & remember watching those delightful, "informative" movie reels with little Johnny, Dick and Jane this and that. I don't remember one with little Johnny being mauled by a train, but oh well!

I'm Bad. T-Rex with an attitude (quite Mr. T). It's cute & the boy kept engaged & had fun. Most of it's written with contractions/slang, so this is a book to goof off with & make funny voices (throw in an "I pity the fool..."!). Check out another book if you're looking trying to help your child to practice (proper) reading/pronunciation.
Of course I check in on my vices...preview LKH's next book Flirt here, which comes out next month. Also, there is a preview of the next Sookie Stackhouse book (May release), Dead in the Family, here (link at top of page). LKH's is a typical 1st chapter for the AB series - Flirt will be about AB's necromancy/zombies vs police work based on the preview. Not sure what to think about the SS preview sounds like a downer. Based on the preview, the story could go a number of ways & I guess I will just have to wait until it's released to find out.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Worth a Thousand Words

Tax man actually plays the hero to homeowners? No, really, I'm serious! National Trust for Historic Preservation is currently featuring an article about how homeowner's benefit from photographs required for tax purposes back in the late 1930s. This is actually a wonderful idea. I've worked with historical societies across the southeast while doing projects & to have so many photos in one collection is amazing!

I know quite a number of cities now require a copy of blueprints for new construction so that, for example, the fire department will know the building's layout in case of an emergency. It would be so useful to have a picture of the building too--hmm, a building census. Oh sounds like a fantastic idea to me, at least! For any of you that have had to drive around from universities to various historical societies & libraries, etc all day long (x's 5...) to do research would understand! Read the article here: Worth a Thousand Words


Monday, January 11, 2010

Book Nook: Good reads from over the holiday... are some reads from during the holiday. No major book reports, but I'll give you a quick one, two.

Necessary As Blood. I'm just now realizing that this is book #13 of a series. I will be investigating the library catalog to read more. Detective/suspense/mystery type books are a favorite of mine. There was a lot of environmental details, which is always a plus. And I was absorbed into the book--so I would recommend most def. There was a Scooby Doo moment because you realize that you met the villain towards the beginning of the book. That's all the hint you'll get from me, though.

Grave Secret. Since I love the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris, I thought I'd give another of her series a try. Another detective-type book (with a twist). Okay, I liked the book and was absorbed into the story. I guessed who-dunnit early on, but still enjoyable. What I do have to admit is that the characters just don't seem as endearing as are those in the Sookie Stackhouse series. This is book #4 (most recent) in the Harper Connelly series. Before I commit one way or another about the characters, I will try out the earlier books.

The First Death. Okay. I studied art & some close friends of mine worked on comics as part of their art. Here's my geek side shining through...what can I say? Comic art, zombies, and two of my favorite written characters (Anita & bad-ass Edward).

Pirate Latitudes. This was found as a "completed manuscript" after Michael Crichton passed in 2008. Not sure who verified that info (or where the $$ went to)...but it is an easy and enjoyable read. It perhaps seems a bit different than what you'd expect from Crichton & is "short" (apprx. 300 pages). I just wonder if this was a final, final copy is all, I guess...there is all sorts of typical pirate lore (sea monsters, hurricanes, buried treasure...). I did enjoy it because of the historical/political undertows in addition to the adventure. Port Royal is the main geographical point of reference (before the notorious city was destroyed by earthquake in the late 1600's). There was also quite a bit of the everyday life references (i.e. ground earthworms into a paste for topical hair treatments...ick). Again, my geekier side coming out having studied/done field work in archaeology in St. Augustine.

A Touch of Dead. Sookie Stackhouse short stories by Charlaine Harris. From the forward, it doesn't seem like Charlaine played with the Sookie character in short stories before the books (vs. LKH's Anita Blake, which both the character & Anita's "world" appeared in some short stories beforehand). The author used these short stories to fill in the details about references from the books. While it's nice to get the background stories, I'm glad I borrowed the book from the library vs. bought it. If you're a fan of the books (or TV show..True Blood), go ahead & read. But there's only a handful of stories &, well...don't bother if you're not a fan. I like short stories on their own when there's a meaning (A&P by Updike) or are more gripping (think Bradbury). My favorite story from A Touch of Dead was "One Word Answer" filling in the details about when Sookie found out about her cousin's final death.

Cat in a Topaz Tango. This is a fairly "tame" series compared to what I read. The book doesn't get too dark & the good guys save the day before much damage is done. I have yet to read any of the other books in the series, so I can't say about them yet. What I love about the book is that it's partially written from the perspective of a cat. Tee hee. Detective/ mystery enjoyable read.

Coming soon to a blog near you...
Immoveable Feast. Actually, I'm just starting on this book. Believe it or not, I like travel memoir-type books too. My friend gave this one to me over the holidays, so I put it off to last so I could get the others back to the library. I'll let you know what I think soon.

Also working on. Dining chair redo & eco-friendly eucalyptus linens. Pictures & info this week.

Whew, glad to get all of that over with! Happy reading.

Deflating the holiday bubble....

I have stalled and stalled this, but I must accept that the holidays are over. Wham, bam, thank you, m'am.

I actually did a lot of work around the house while off work (as in the office), but made a point to relax & enjoy time away from it all (as in no pro-active Etsy). Unfortunately, I did such a good job at relaxing that it's been so hard adjusting back to reality!

Officially back on the clock,
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