Thursday, September 24, 2009

Breathing New Life into Old Treasures

While taking a stroll through cyberspace this week, something caught my eye and held my attention as it tickled my trash to treasure fetish.

Elena, of EP Designs based in Australia, wrote about what she did to breath new life into some old discarded gravy boats and a friend's well-used silver trinket box. Elena's store Timeless Treasures is hosted by

I'm a decorative painter as well, but have never thought about painting some of my old, well-worn, silver plated pieces. So thanks Elena for getting that light bulb to go off in my head. The article that inspired me is entitled: "Created With Love" and can be found on Elena's Blog.

Not only did her article fan my passion for transforming trash into treasure, it also introduced me to something called "Pink Saturday". Now being a tomboy at heart, and not much of a girly girl, the color pink isn't usually something that captures my interest. However, what Beverly, author of the blog How Sweet the Sound, started on June 6, 2008 has caught on and spread like a wild fire among fellow bloggers. "So Just What is Pink Saturday" describes how Pink Saturday got started, and "Let's Talk About Pink Saturday" is an update on the goals and rules of engagement.

If you're a blogger, you may want to look into this. This past Saturday, 157 bloggers participated. There were six new participants this week, so it's not too late to jump on the bandwagon. Even if you decide not to participate by posting something pink on Saturday, visiting the blogs of those who do and seeing some of their "Pinks" is a hoot. So, have fun poking around. It's so much more entertaining than most of what's on TV these days. I even saw a photo of a live pink poodle. (I suspect the photo was altered digitally, but maybe not.)


Photo Courtesy:

Top and Middle Left: Elena of EP Designs

Botton Right: Beverly of How Sweet the Sound

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pennsylvania Brick and Mortar Shops Dedicated to Handmade

Seems like the handmade movement may be really catching on through out America, or at least in Pennsylvania. Michelle, the jewelry artist behind Michabella Creations, recently wrote two blog posts about brick and mortar shops dedicated to promoting the work of local artists and artisans.

In Michelle's article entitled "Hello Bluebird Grand Opening" she introduces an online friend's brand new boutique and gallery located in the historic business district of West Reading, PA. By going to Hello Bluebird's website, you can learn all about why the owners dreamed of establishing such a shop and how they turned their dream into a reality.

In another article entitled "My First Jewelry Class", Michelle mentions The Hodge Podgery, an establishment located in Midtown Harrisburg that is dedicated to promoting the independent arts and crafts movement in Pennsylvania. Besides offering artists and crafters the opportunity to consign their functional handmade creations this shop also runs classes and workshops to the DIYers interested in learning how to do a specific craft themselves.

Where there are two, there are probably three, four, or even more. So, if you know of other brick and mortar shops throughout the country, or the world for that matter, please leave their name and link in the comments section below. If enough of you reply, I'll try to include the local shops and their links in another article about making your Christmas this year a Handmade Christmas.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Etsy Artists Help Fellow Etsy Artists

Visiting blogs is often like going on a treasure hunt. This past weekend, while checking out others’ blogs I found a wonderful, inspiring and uplifting nugget on a blog called “Bags by Melanie.” In the right hand sidebar, Melanie, who has an Etsy store also called Bags by Melanie, has a short write-up that Introduces H.O.S.T.

H.O.S.T. is the Etsy “Helping Others Street Team”, which is comprised of over 100 Esty artists who share the virtuous quality of compassion. HOST has its origins in a discussion thread started by Heather, of Heather R. Lange Art, at 3:15pm on December 20, 2007 entitled “Is Anyone in Need This Season?”

The response was overwhelming—almost 3000 posts in only 7 days. There were a lot of sad stories relating the need of Etsians and their families, but each sad story was answered by an outpouring of posts with words of encouragement, freewill gifts and donations, and leads on resources that might help meet a specific need.

Approximately five hours after the thread began, an Etsy buyer of handmade who goes by GeauxOrganic, commented “I think there needs to be an Etsy gives back street team.” Many participating in the discussion, agreed and 3 days later HOST became an official street team on Etsy.

I think Melanie’s mention of the HOST team caught my eye, because I recently wrote an article for which was published in their Guild and Team Department. “Virtual Strangers Offer Surprise Support to Team Member with Cancer” tells the story of Etsy Artist Joyce Richards of Wild Orchid’s Beads of Glass who was recently diagnosed with Cancer and how members of her Etsy Twitter Team (ETT) reached out with the same kind of compassion that members of HOST show their fellow Etsians.

“Hosties”, as they call themselves, offer friendship, emotional support, help with shop promotion, and basic financial assistance. If you’d like to help the Hosties help others, you can become a member, go to their team blog and make a monetary donation, purchase an item from their team store or donate an item to their store. Below is a glimpse into the HOST Etsy Store.

I do believe that when we have compassion and act on our compassion, we make the world a better place. I also believe, that in a time when so many in our country are struggling, it’s wonderful, inspiring and uplifting to hear and share good news. I hope this brief article, warms your heart and stirs up even more compassion in all of us.