Thursday, January 29, 2009

All things Valentine!

Valentine's Day or Saint Valentine's Day is a holiday celebrated on February 14 by many people throughout the world. In the West, it is the traditional day on which lovers express their love for each other by sending Valentine's cards, presenting flowers, or offering confectionery. The holiday is named after two among the numerous Early Christian martyrs named Valentine. The day became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.

An alternative theory from Belarus states that the holiday originates from the story of Saint Valentine, who upon rejection by his mistress was so heartbroken that he took a knife to his chest and sent her his still-beating heart as a token of his undying love for her. Hence, heart-shaped cards are now sent as a tribute to his overwhelming passion and suffering. 

In modern times we aren't quite so literal - I hope no one is thinking about cutting out their own heart to send!  But we do certainly go all out in proclaiming our undying affections to those that we love.  People are shopping for everything from cards, to engagement rings for their dear ones, hoping to make the day a special one.  If you are scrambling for ideas to make February 14th a memorable one this year, why not browse Etsy for something handmade or vintage?  There are literally thousands of of things to choose from - jewelry, art, bath & beauty products, clothing ... you name it!  They have a great search feature that will help you to locate what you are looking for.  

I've included a few pictures in this post from my own Etsy shoppe (Zaftig Delights) that might just inspire you during your Valentine shopping.  However if you are still having trouble finding that something special for your sweetie, be sure to drop me a note through the Etsy conversation system, or my new Chat feature (right here on my blog - scroll down and look on the left).  Even if it is not something I make, I'm happy to take a look in some other shops for you and see if I can find something.  I love playing Cupid!  

I not only love making something special for my husband on Valentine's day, but I always do something fun for our daughter and our grandson as well. Cards, candy and something I've sewn, knitted or made in someway lets them know just how much I love them not only on Valentine's day, but every day!  

And to my sweethearts, Guy, Rachael & Charlie (my family) - you are my inspiration and my world.  I love you all so much!!  (Happy birthday, daughter!!!)

Wishing everyone out there, a lovely and happy Valentine's day!


Thursday, January 22, 2009

The beauty and mystery of the Etsy Treasury.

For those who are not Etsy "addicts" - the "Treasury" is that lovely collection of items that is on the front page of Etsy when you pop in to do some shopping of the fabulous handmade and vintage items sold there.  They are curated by us sellers, and then go into a long list with other treasuries, from which the front page (FP) treasuries are then picked by the Etsy Admins.  They are picked for the FP based on many mysterious and unknown reasons, but we do know for sure that the more popular your treasury (the hotter it is), the more likely you will end up on the front page.  And the Front Page is something we all strive for!!  

Here is a capture of some recent Etsy treasuries I would like to share with you.  The first is one (left) I just curated this morning, "The Flowers in my Etsy Garden".  It is made up of items from the fabulous shops of the Etsy Treasury Team (ETTEAM). The second one is curated by another fabulous ETTEAM member, Mermaid Treasures, and it features my Tudors Charmed Necklace.  This treasury is titled "Once upon a time".

If you are as Etsy "addicted"  as the rest of us, ;o) , I hope you will take the time to stop by our fabulous treasuries, leave us a comment and click on all the wonderful items that are featured.  It is a great way to window shop and discover some fabulous new treasures on Etsy!

If you are interested in learning how to curate an Etsy treasury, this is the best tutorial I have seen on the subject. Etsy Treasury Demo by Jen (SweetestPea).  It's how I learned to curate treasuries, and I highly recommend it!!

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What a nice surprise!

I was pleasantly surprised today when I opened my email to find that I am the featured artist of the day on the Fabulous Handmade Finds Blog.  Thanks to Jan for the feature!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

For the love of long hair.

Those of you that know me, know I'm obsessed about my long hair!  I quit cutting it when I turned 48 (except for very minor trims), and decided I was going to be the "excentric" old woman with hair down to her knees.    And while some may call me obsessed, I call growing my my hair,  "my hobby".  :c)  

I'm very careful with and wear it up a lot to keep it in good condition.  A good lesson to remember if you plan on growing your hair long, is "treat it like fine lace".  Seriously.  Comb gently with a seamless comb.  If you brush, brush carefully after detangling with your comb.  And, wear it up as much as possible to protect it from damage.  Do as little heat processing (meaning ironing, hot curlers and blow dryers) as possible.  I quite using those tools completely when I decided to grow long.  And, you may need to give chemicals.  Yup, bleaching and coloring is very damaging to hair and if you are trying to grow super long - chemicals can be a problem.  So as you can see, growing long hair may not be for those who are hooked on their curling irons and hair color.

Someone asked me once what prompted me to start making my HairStyx.  Well I got into a bad habit of using a pen/pencil or knitting needle to hold my hair up when I was sewing or cutting on fabric.  My husband asked me one day if I couldn't find something a little more attractive than a pencil to put my hair up with.  I realized that all the lovely lampwork beads and other yummy gems, etc., that I make into jewelry would also be wonderful on hair sticks.  

I make my HairStyx on bases of Hawaiian Koa Wood.   Curly Koa is a lovely hard wood, (ok to use in damp hair).  It is smooth and rich in color.  Then I top them many different kinds of lampwork beads, gemstones or other fabulous goodies, and viola!  HairStyx.  

There are so many fabulous styles for putting up your hair with HairStyx.  You can often just use one, or at most two, and you have a beautiful elegant hairdo that is being held up with wonderfully non-damaging tools. 
There are some fabulous online resources that you can look up with directions on how to put up your hair using hair sticks.  It's actually quite easy, once you get the hang of it!  

I am happy to do custom orders on HairStyx, if there is something special that you would like done.  A special type of lampwork bead, or gemstone or color.  There are lots we can do.  And I can also customize the lengths from 4" to 8" so we have HairStyx for all lengths and textures of hair.  I can also make up HairStyx that match any earrings, necklaces or bracelets that I make, so that you have a beautifully matching set.

I hope you will stop by Zaftig Delights and look at our fabulous HairStyx!  Drop me a note the Etsy conversation system if you have any questions or want to request a custom order.  

Happy growing!!  

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Artists Exposed

I've just been featured in one of VickiDiane's "Artists Exposed" treasuries!  I hope you will stop by and check it out.  

Have a wonderful weekend!!


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year! Welcome 2009!!

Yes, indeed, welcome to 2009!  Sure glad 2008 is over.  (Aren't we all?!)  I curated a treasury on Etsy recently that was titled "What is your New Year's Wish?", love, luck, laughter, travel, peace, joy, serenity? In this treasury, I featured items from the Etsy Treasury Team that I am a proud member of. Here are a few lovely sentiments that we can give our thoughts to in this new year and some gorgeous handmade items from the ETTEAM.  

Peace  -  This sweet little Handmade Stained Glass White Dove of Peace is by GlassnWood's on Etsy.  Be sure you stop by their store, as they have some of the most beautiful stained glass works of art!

Love (in my treasury)  is represented by this adorable little necklace from Chosen Vintage's Etsy store.  Two little sweethearts kissing and a vintage red heart.  Yes, we all need more kisses and more love!!  Their Etsy store features some wonderful vintage styles jewelry.  Be sure you pay them a visit!

Another major favorite Etsy artist of mine is Jacqueline Newbold, whose lovely watercolor print, Vineyard View of Gigondas, France,  (left), I chose to represent Serenity.  I'm sure you can see why.  Jacqueline's shop on Etsy is Mozo.  I hope you'll take a look at her other lovely prints and paintings.  

Peace, love and serenity.  These are a few things that I am striving to embody in my life in 2009.  Hopefully these are ideas that will inspire you in your lives too.  May 2009 bring you everything that you hope and dream for. 

Remember that Etsy is your place to find unique, handmade goods that let you feel good about where you're spending your money.  Whether you are looking for a great gift or you're just in the mood to spoil yourself, you can be sure that you are supporting an independent artist or crafter.    And - for some fabulous artists, jewelry makers, knit and fiber artists on Etsy - be sure to do a search for "ETTEAM" when you visit the site.  That is the Etsy Treasury Team.  A wonderful team of very talented  and crafty people!!   

Happy New Year!!!