Friday, 4 December 2009

On the 4th Day of Christmas ...

Maura reluctantly conceded that she had to take a few days break from the features.  Craft fair weekend starts in the morning and still far too much to be done here!  So choice is - take a break = sensible OR push on and wreck myself in the process = eedjit.  And while I happily admit to being a fool - I ain't an eedjit ;)

Sorry for the hiatus and blame my dis-organisation skills!

I'll be back on Monday and the features will continue - just will run on for a few days after the 12th ... oh and for those of you that have been paying attention - the onions are shaping up nicely.  Not as originally planned but still very nice imho!  

Hope everyone has a great weekend - stay safe and well!

Thursday, 3 December 2009

On the 3rd Day of Christmas ...

Another late in the day post.  Was out and about with mom all day in town.  Was a lovely crisp but clear and bright winter day.  Perfect weather to hap up and do some window shopping.  It was very quiet though.  Usually at this time of year the town is packed with Christmas shoppers manically rushing around and laden down with bags. The lack of activity spoke volumes about the changed financial situation for most people this year.  

Have mixed feelings over the whole economic situation.  In one way if it gets people to be less extravagant - and ultimately less wasteful in a lot of cases - that is a good thing.  As a seller though I admit to feeling "Oh no! This doesn't augur well for xmas sales and this weekends craft fair".  I think that can probably be called a moral dilemma? 

But you didn't tune in for a contemplating my navel session - you popped by to see some more great hand made creations!  So I'll shuush now on the introspection and shift gears into work mode.

In line with not wasting things is the whole recycling/upcycling/repurposing/reusing process.  So who better to kick off today than this Patchwork Perfect Shoulder Bag from Linda at LindaEve and member of the Eco Etsy Team.

I love what she does with ties! These bags are functional, fun and funky!  Who would have thought triple F = a 1st Class mark - but in this case it does.  There are lots of reasons I love this bag.  Aside from it's the eco credentials the adjustable shoulder strap is great as it means I can wear this cross body - a must for shopping trips and avoiding the curse putting down my bag to look at something and then walking off without it!  (Ummm I think there is a subconscious dilemma theme emerging). Plus it has a nifty pocket at the front for those things you want to keep handy and not have to rummage through the main bag for.  In my case that is house keys ... quick access to indoors is a must when you live in a rainy climate like here and are caught in a downpour and can't find your keys.  Being so close to shelter in those situations is one of lifes relentless and cruel lil jokes!

I need some sunshine now just thinking about that!  This next item makes me smile so it's time to introduce Organic Baby Elephant from Dhanya aka flowerchildcreations and member of the Etsy Organic Team.

Isn't she just adorable?!  Now defy me and tell me you're not going awwwh and smiling :). The airbrush technique Dhanya uses, with non toxic fabric paints, creates the most beautiful prints.  All this on an unbleached, organic top = a perfect gift for a wee one. She also does the most amazing mandala's!  

Next up is this decoupaged Musical Jewelry Box from the amazing Rubes aka rubyclover and the Irish Rogue Artisans Team  

Rubes creates the most amazing and varied array of magical items and loves working on custom pieces.  So you can get your very own personalised item in whatever style you want - how cool is that!  DISCLAIMER:  Be warned!  When you visit her shop you'll be in there for ages and are likely to fall prey to ROA - the dreaded Repetitive Oooh Ahh syndromeThe only known cure is to buy something.

More lushness now and this First Snow - Beaded Holiday Wreath Ornament was made by Rachel aka balanced and from the Crafty Ireland Team.

This has got to be most elegant and chic ornament around!  The combo of freshwater pearls, Czech glass beads and copper works wonderfully together.  My Christmas tree is adorned with lots of special ornaments - some I bought for myself because they were beautiful but most I received as a present (it's a kind of tradition among me and my friends to exchange a tree ornament in lieu of a big present).  That's what makes them special ... and this ornament fits the bill perfectly for special status. 

Well that's all for today.  I will try to post earlier tomorrow. Have a good day everyone and remember stay safe and well :)


Wednesday, 2 December 2009

On the 2nd Day of Christmas ...

Ready for more goodies from independent artisans?  Got yourself a cuppa and sitting comfy?  Ok then without further adieu ...(drumroll) Let the Show Commence!

First item today comes from Mary at herbanlifestyle and member of the Etsy Organic Team and her Herban Lifestyle Man Grooming Gift Set.

Organic ingredients and unique fabulous natural scents.  For the aftershave Mary uses organic orange essential oil, bay and cloves (among other secret scents) - and a host of essential oils including pine, sandalwood, tea tree and orange in the other products.  Think earthy, warm, manly.

Aside from all that - which is enough in my opinion to buy it - what I also love about this product if you're buying it for that special guy in your life is that it's a two way win win deal.  How do I figure that?  Well think about it ... he smells great, feels great after using the products, and his face will be smooth as a babys derriere - so he's gonna be in a great mood. You get to be with a sweet smelling, affable and non razor burning kissable guy :) So ok- you prefer your guy rugged and unshaved?  (I can tell some of you are contrary!).  Well then you get to bag some neat shaving oil all to yourself. Win win!

Now you've got your guy in a good mood how about adding this beauty from Susan aka RedBessBonney and member of the Irish Rogue Artisans to your xmas wish list.  Susan does a fabulous range of chainmaille jewelry and this gorgeous Evergreen Chainmaille Bracelet with it's stunning colors and millefiore clasp is just one example.

I'm lucky to have a couple of her chainmaille pieces and first thing I want to say these are incredibly lightweight- almost featherlight in fact!  And the movement in chainmaille makes for a very pleasant tactile experience - if that doesn't make me sound too weird?  But if you like to play with your jewelry- you'll love the feel of this. And did I mention the millefiore clasp already?  I love that clasp and the thing is that many would see the clasp as a practical component and not give it much thought.  But Susan gives you this marvelous clasp that compliments the chainmaille beautifully!  That shows perfection and love of, and in, your work.

Ok, dragging myself away lets move on to our 3rd equally delightful offering this morning and I think it's time to feature some clothing.  This elegant and versatile Regency styled Eco Fleece Duster Jacket comes from Christine aka windyhillfibers and member of the Eco Etsy Team .  

I love that it's made out of eco fleece from recycled pop bottles! Plus fleece is so cosy and easy to care for - very important when it comes to laundry matters!  Great for everyday casual wear I can also picture this worn over that lil black dress for a night out and showing off it's stunning sleek lines.  Once again the details are perfect ... the way the cuffs curve down over the hands is a lovely touch stylistically.  The bodice hook and eye closures and crochet neckline are lovely finishing touches and the whole line of the jacket with it's slighty puffed sleeves makes for a great silhouette.  Another one for the wishlist I think!

But to keep on track lets move on to the next product.  Seeing as how we mentioned the importance of laundry care these Upcycled Dryer Pillow Sheets from Jane at zjayne and member of the Trashion Team are a fragrant laundry accessory must-have! Whew try saying that after a hard days work!

These tick so many boxes! Sewn from upcycled tshirt sleevs and filled with home grown lavender buds you can reuse these time after time for wonderful scented laundry with a calming effect.  You did know that lavender is renowned for it's calming properties - right? I also like to use these in wardrobes and drawers instead of synthetic counterfeits.  Why chose chemical fragances when you can get the real deal!  Treat yourself and your clothes to some lavender love and watch the smiles as the relaxing vapors waft through the air.

On to the last item today and Tanya from Tanyamac and the Crafty Ireland Team. Yes - you heard me right - Tanya as per Tanyamac and her delightful Cranberry pop Paper Bauble Set that was featured in the Irish Times last week!  

These whimiscal and colorful baubles are another item that is flying off the shelves though I am reliably informed that Tanya is working like a Trojan stocking the shelves as soon as they empty.  So if the link gives you a dreaded SOLD sign fear not!  She will be working away and will have more lsted quick as a flash!  Or check out the other color options she has.  Guaranteed to bust winter blues these look fab anywhere.  Love them!

So we come to end of another post and more goodies.  Hope you enjoyed ... and remember everything you've seen has been lovingly and painstakingly hand crafted :)  See you tomorrow!  Stay safe and well.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

On the First Day of Christmas ....

It's here!  For the next 12 days I'm going to be featuring some wonderful creations from talented fellow team members.  Why am I doing this and why now?

I'm not a royalist, by any stretch of the imagination, but in the words of the Queen of England - this year has been an annus horribilis for a lot of people.  It has been a year when we have seen greed rewarded with bailouts while us normal folk are left reeling and floundering financially as jobs and services are cut.

Big retail corporations can minimise damage with staff and pay freezes, reductions on their profit margins and aggressive marketing.  Small independent artisans whose income depends on selling their products only have marketing, quality and the uniqueness of their product to fall back on. 

So all the items you'll see here over the next 12 days are handcrafted, unique, quality goods from independent artisans and my way of trying to help them market themselves and their goods.

First up is some relaxing music from Nancenet a member of the Crafty Ireland Team.

A ten-song collection of lush, sweet melodies to help get little ones to Slumberland, Sunflow: Under the Stars has handy links so you can listen to some of the songs ... like I Wish You Love -  which is my favorite.  Aside from the music what I love about this album is that it's choc full of wonderful affirmations.  Everyone should drift off to sleep with sweet words and positive thoughts in their head.  A real sweet dreams winner!

Or how about some delicious and organic Cajun Christmas Soap from Herbfriend a fellow Etsy Organic Team member.

Check out the list of ingredients in this beauty ... and imagine a shower surrendered with orange, clove, nutmeg and tangerine scents!  A perfect seasonal soap, with no nasty chemicals or artifical scents.  Your body and senses will thank you for using this product!

The next item is a stunning Upcycled wine bottle cheese plate from bprdesigns a member of the Trashion Team

At first glance it's hard to discern that this was once a regular wine bottle that has been transformed into a beautiful platter.  As well as the recycling element this is sure to be a talking point at any dinner party.  Pass the hors d'oeuvres anyone?  These appear to be flying off the shelves - so I'd be quick if you want one of these!

Or maybe you're into geekery? Then you need to check out DebbyAremDesigns who is a member of the
Eco Etsy Team.  She has a shop full of wonderful creations all made from vintage circuit boards from the 1980's.  These Recycled Circuit Board Geekery Coasters are just amazing!

They speak for themselves and I'm sure when you look around her shop you'll be in awe!

Final offering for today comes from a dear friend and member of the Irish Rogue Artisans Team - which has evolved into a social and support network more than an organised team per se.  Always lots of craic in their forum threads and we're a welcoming bunch - so pop by and join the chat sometime.  But I digress!  Back to the item at hand and this beautiful La Vie en Rose Flower Scarf from lilycobweb.

Note that these are custom made - Lily informs me that she lots of beautiful yarns in all kinds of colors from Yarntopia Treasures - and will gladly crochet you a scarf like this one in your favorite colors.  I have one of these scarves and it always draws attention! Functional yet elegant ... a great twist on the plain old scarf.

BREAKING NEWS!  Lily has just told me she will give 10% discount on a scarf like this if you mention that you saw it featured here. Nice!

So there you have it!  Sorry this post was late in the day - internet decided to go awol earlier.  I hope you enjoyed perusing through the shops and finding out a little bit more about the sellers, what they do etc?  I'll be back tomorrow with another installment.

Stay safe and well everyone!

Monday, 30 November 2009

Etsy Ireland in the Irish Times

Well, well, well - lots happening these days on the auld promotion scene! One of the teams I'm in got featured in the Irish Times magazine - how about that for some kudos?!

Big thanks to Alex who was the mover and shaker in making that historic event happen.

Now I know Christmas is about more than just sales and crazy over indulgence ... but for the whole hand crafted movement in Ireland this was a BIG deal!  Move over big guy ( < insert your favorite mass produced, unfair trading, exploitative store name).

But back to work here now ... I have a pile of very realistic looking onion ornaments on the floor that need to be somehow transformed into very pretty Christmas tree ornaments!  I'll spare you the details on how I managed to paint them into onion impersonators (unless someone, somewhere, needs a tutorial on how to make the perfect onion lookalike?) - nah, didn't think so.  The idea of trying to create a new craze of onion ornaments was contemplated ... but somehow I don't think that would fly. And even if it would I'm not a very good marketeeress.

I'll be back tomorrow with day one of the 12 Days of Christmas - when I'll be featuring some beautiful creations from fab course-members of the Etsy Organic, Crafty Ireland, Trashion and Eco Etsy teams I'm proud to be a member in, as well the Auld Irish folks who like to chat! Big thanks by the way to Ecoleeko for the great idea of the 12 days feature  and who will also be running a 12 days event on her blog :)