Handmade Market


This article was sent to me by a wonderful artist and a Mom that raised two children on her own. She was always an inspiration to me and was like my second “cooler” Mom.Carols Banner 



Wow. When I start to get upset at my husband for being too controlling and demanding , I have to look back at how mom’s and wives were treated in the 1950’s and 60’s. They really believed this nonsense. I mean, it was even printed in a well respected magazine. I guess you can just look at the title and make your assumption, “Good Housekeeping.” Today it means something entirely different. Good housekeeping means loving your home and family enough to take care of it the way you want to. It’s about respect for each other and letting your husband be a responsible human being. You do things for him out of love, not out of duty. Good Housekeeping article

please clic on the pic

to read the entire article!


DSC_0033 I really had a desire for my husband to pick me wildflowers on his way to the grocery store Monday. I did not ask him though, because I knew that he just wouldn’t stop on the side of the road for such a silly thing -too dangerous! (He’s a total Libra)

He surprised me and made me so very happy when he brought home the most gorgeous sun-colored Gerber Daisies from the store that day! This is something that he usually does not do, so it made me think we are connected in more ways than just by marriage.


Call Agent Scully and Fox Mulder- We might just have an X-Files case on our hands!

x files


DSC_0002Like most kids, my budding artists love to partake in crafty projects. I like the fact that it keeps them occupied for more than just a couple of minutes. So, I was really excited when I clicked on Beth H.’s Blog, Crafty Mishmash, and found a fun project to do with my kids! I love the fact that she designed the cute little monkey hangers herself and provided uses for them after they are done. (I use mine to remind me when I need more bananas!) LOVE IT!



I also love the fact that she linked the project to a PDF file on her own website www.snuggleherd.com, so it can be printed out very easily. I need to ask her how she does this- it is quite ingenious!


click on the picture to go to her web site-

Fun Freebie of the Month is on the right side to find the Monkey Hanger project


My girls being good and not fighting~



etsyaustincard_webbutton_200px Be sure to visit and Follow our Blog! http://etsyaustin.blogspot.com/


 Mermaid in Pencil Although I make jewelry right now, my first love is drawing and painting.  I find it incredibly relaxing and enjoyable. I think I might do it all day if I could. The most wonderful part is adding the color to my creations and have them come to life. I use acrylic paints because of its diversity, easy clean up and vivid colors. Drawing and painting is the closest thing to real magic that I have experienced in my lifetime.

Cheschire Cat Magnet 

We are all Mad Here Magnet

March Hare

The March Hare 3-D Ornament



…and it is found in a box of English biscuits.

The artwork caught my eye as I was getting my weekly Mocha Frappuccino fix at one of the many local Starbuck’s coffee joints.  I was going to snap a picture of it with my cell phone’s itsy bitsy camera when I read the box: “Natural Vanilla Biscuits”.  Well, I’m not a granola girl, and I’m unfortunately not drawn to many thing marked “organic” or “natural”. (I grew up on SpaghettiOs® and Lucky Charms for Pete’s Sake!) But, I decided that the box was so cute, I had to buy it.


I’m glad I did! Buttery, vanilla goodness in the shape of an adorable kitty and owl inside and the biscuits were surprisingly big! Who needs red dye 32 and high gloopy fructose anyway? Not me. The Owl and the Pussycat biscuits for me from now on. The only problem is they cost like a dollar each. Oh well, some women buy expensive shoes, I buy expensive butter cookies.


                       Peek a boo!

Click on the link for their web-site


but you gotta go to Starbuck’s to buy them! Those kooky English people don’t have on on-line store!

P5150183I finished my lovely little necklace with the help of so many of my Etsy friends who commented on which “look” they liked best.  You can see the thread at http://queenofthearts.blogspot.com/2009/05/need-your-help-on-necklace-design.html.

I am happy the way it turned out, although I am still having trouble taking pictures of my jewelry. I am using a new SunPak mini studio light box my Mother so generously gave me for ChristmasSunpak Light Studio.  It is frustrating! I am using a small, but powerful little digital  camera I have owned for several years. The charge lasts for an aggravating 60 minutes and their are so many buttons and controls to learn, my artistic right-sided brain is spinning! It is a trial and error type of situation, and it is making me very tired. I need to go take my vitamins and espresso shots!

Click on the Alice picture above to purchase this beautiful necklace and mention that you saw it on this blog and receive FREE SHIPPING and a FREE GIFT!


Summer Issue Artful Blogging I’m so excited to announce that the 2009 Summer issue of Somerset Studio’s Artful Blogging is here! It is such an inspiring magazine and only comes at 4 times a year. It is full of luscious eye candy and helpful tips on blogging by the artist’s that actually do it every day! As you can tell, I really enjoy it. I get mine at Barnes & Noble. It costs $14.99, but I use my discount card to get 10% off. It’s worth it!  click on the pic to get more info


P5100174 I was thrilled when my brother asked me to make a gift for his wife Shaun for Mother’s Day. She does not wear much jewelry, but her favorite piece was a choker she used to wear quite frequently. My brother Karl sent me some photos of her wearing the necklace, but it was hard to see the details. I tried to make her something simple using semi-precious stones. Amazonite and Amethyst look really stunning together and is said to negate negative energy (Amazonite) and promotes spiritual wisdom (Amethyst)-something you could use living with my brother! Hee-hee!


Everybody has something they think they are really good at. When they find out they are not so great at it, it comes a as a little shock to the ego. That happened to me today. It started with an innocent question about my shop on Etsy. I posted a sad little tale about how anemic my sales have been. I asked, no pleaded, for advice from my fellow Etsians on the Community Forum and got loads of advice; some were really nice, but most were things that I could improve upon or change. (Whoa, that was a major run-on sentence!) Boy, do I have a lot of changing’ to do! 

This was my post:Forum plea


  I got 46 posts, the most I’ve ever gotten with a post on Etsy. Most people had to say:

  1. My banner kind of sucks.

  2.  My photos are too dark, too busy and pretty much suck.

  3. My announcement is too long and again sucks.

  4. Stop whining and be patient! Example-“hi..if you thought you'd open a shop here and folks would be flocking to you to buy then it's a sad realization to face....any business is tough and takes time to get yourself out there and seen, let alone sell. to have sold as many as you have in the short time you've been here is a good thing...whether that's good enough for you or not is another thing” – JuJutoo  Wow. She tells it like it is!


I guess because I graduated with an Associates degree in Photography and Graphic Arts, this criticism hurts a little more  than usual. I thought I was really good at it. But come to think of it, that was like over 10 years ago and I did not have much commercial photography training. So, I’m going to give myself a break on this one and just take their suggestions to heart and work really hard to improve my shop! Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither is a small web-based jewelry business!

I do want to thank all of my “virtual” friends for the encouraging words and constructive criticism. There are so many creative, wonderful people out there that are truly inspiring!

Who is Ready for Spring Necklace2 Words are too distracting in background. Picture is “shrunk to fit”, making it too small.


Bird Song

I actually like this one, but again, background is distracting.


Among the Wildflowers

Too dark perhaps, uninteresting angle? Again shrunk to fit, making it too small


Under the Sun Banner2 copy

“Your banner isn't the best. Maybe find an etsian to help you out on that”

How Insulting!


I am working on a new necklace that I need a little help with. All you artistic people (and not so artistic people) please give me your opinion!

Which side of the necklace do you like better?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         the right side with the black beads and red crystals or

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         the left side with the gold chain and black and red crystals as hanging accents?

Please post your comment so I can finish this necklace and list it on Etsy for all you Alice fans!


This is quite embarrassing of me, but for a good cause! Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mom’s out there! And remember: your never too old to get your butt wet!



How much do I love this necklace? Let me just count the ways.

1. Vintage black beads from the 1960’s.

2. Yellow and black color combo (a hot trend right now)

3. New fresh, design

4. It sparkles and shines

5. It has a lovely Swarovski crystal in the middle of the rose.

6.It makes any outfit look SPECTACULAR!











It’s on sale at my Etsy store right now with Free Shipping!!! It’s perfect for Mother’s Day so don’t delay!


Today we went to the Austin Art Alliance Fine Art Fair in beautiful downtown Austin. It was such a lovely day, not too hot, a little windy and no rain! Mia and Josie and my husband came, making it a fun family outing. Thom even got involved in the crafting fun!





I went exploring while the “kids” played!

This place was colorful!





I met many wonderful artists at the show, including jewelry artists, fine artists, and pottery makers. My absolute favorite fine artist was Mary Alayne Thomas. She does these wonderful mixed media pieces in which she uses a technique called encaustic. (It is certainly a great deal of work- click on the word to see a slideshow of how to do it!) I also saw a great deal of art nouveau influence in her work which I am drawn to also.


Mary Alayne Thomas

click on pic to go to her web site

My favorite jewelry artist was a man who worked with polymer clay in his designs. I do not usually like clay jewelry but his pieces were incredibly unique and beautiful! His prices were very reasonable for the amount of work that looked like went into each piece. I especially liked his “lantern” drop necklaces. It is on my Mother’s Day gift wish list!   His name is pretty crazy, but he really is an amazing artist-Wiwat Kamolpornwijit Oh, No! It’s looks like he does not have an on-line shop. If I want that necklace, I better go back tomorrow!     YIKES!                                       


Some other artists I enjoyed:

www.fineartoncanvas.com   Tanya Doskova

www.rachaeladamiak.com    jewelry design, Austin, Tx

www.fourfootedart.com      Yvonne Miller: fine art with an animal twist

www.SilvieGoldmark.com     beautiful & unique salt and pepper shakers

www.avanzare.com              Kristian Rangel:  amazing dream-like etchings



Here are more pictures of our outing to explore!


The Boobie Tree!

One of the most important books in my life right now is the "Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. It has showed me how to unblock myself to creative inspiration and nurture my inner artist. It is such an inspirational and life-changing book. I am so glad I discovered it.
(finally, it's been out forever!)

One of the exercises that is very important to participate in, if you wish to "unblock", is The Artist Date. I have not been going on my artist's dates recently and it was putting me in a funk.

After going on a walk a couple evenings ago, I noticed how beautiful the wildflowers were around my neighborhood and along the walking trail behind my house. The next morning I took my big-ass camera with me and took some really nice shots. Here they are, I hope you enjoy them!

Red Poppy
(my favorite!)

False Dayflower



Antelope Horn

(blooms look like little stars when closed)

Just a few rules for you Facebook fans! See the whole article here. Enjoy!

O.K. so I am having an issue with selling my jewelry on Etsy- I'm not getting any sales! So, I thought I should diversify, think of other products I can make and sale on Etsy and at craft shows. (craft shows are being inundated with jewelry designers also, and it's hard to get into a show right now!)

My darn psychologist- it's all her fault. She thought it would be such a great idea for me to sale my own jewelry so I would get out of my deep, dark funk I was in for say... 10 years. It has helped but now I'm just dealing with rejection and that is as depressing as ever. Thanks bone-head pychologist- she will remain nameless at this point. I love her though, really.

Anyway, to get to the point, I thought I should start making new and "fresh" products to sale on-line and at shows. Would they let me in if I were to sale..... tampon holders? I thought that would be a great idea. How many women in the world use tampons? How many tampons have been wasted because of the tampons falling out of their wrapper into a purse and getting gum stuck to the string? I found this on Etsy and thought this was the Roll's Royce of tampon holders:

click on the pic to go to listing

Wow! How can I top that? I don't even sew. So screw it. I think I'll make some "Tampon Rockets" with my kids instead.

This is real people-I'm not making this up.
Click on the pic to see complete "How To"!

I just saw this crazy necklace on Etsy. It is featured on the front page because it definitely desires to be noticed! How much do you think it weighs? OUCH!

I finished a necklace and a pair of earrings that I happen to love. I used some romantic- style bead caps on the drop earrings that I had never used before. I pay a little extra for the quality of the chain (it is gold-filled) but it really makes the earrings shine! I hate gold-plated chain-it just looks cheap to me!

My husband was helping me take pictures of my jewelry yesterday and when he was taking a picture of this one which I call' "Among the Wildflowers" , he said "I don't like this one".

At first, I was a little upset and offended, but then I thought; with my husbands taste, that's actually a good sign!

They will be up for sale at my Etsy shop tomorrow-perfect for Mother's Day!