Friday, December 17, 2010

BESTeam Feature CKSilver

I have had the pleasure of viewing this lovely shop before but have discovered some wonderful additions to the shop that makes it much easier to find great gifts this Christmas. The first thing is a Jewelry of the month program

How cool of an idea is that!!

And you can even purchase gift certifcates in various denominations!! So be sure to check out
CKSilver for all your holiday needs.  She makes it nice and easy to make christmas dreams come true!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

BESTeam Feature: Leo And Junie

LeoAndJunie is filled with bright and colorful  jewelry with a vintage feel made by Christine, in her studio to fit any occasion.  And just for you this holiday, your order comes in a cute gift box made ready for that last minute purchase.

Be sure to follow her on Twitter, Facebook and their Blog for more info. And don't forget to browse around at the detail that goes into these budget friendly finds!!

Just tell her that Rae o sent you. : )

Monday, December 6, 2010

So This is Christmas

There is no doubt that Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. It follows a wonderful time spent with friends and family at Thanksgiving and interrupts what would normally be a depressingly cold atmosphere.
I also appreciate the way people's hearts seem to change. For a brief moment in time, people who would never part their lips to say hello suddenly ramble off Merry Christmases like you are an old friend or maybe even donate of their time and money to ensure others have a holiday season worth remembering. I am very aware (after having worked retail for many years) that you also can see the opposite occur but for the most part people's goodness tends to shine now more then any other time. In the spirit of this time I just wanted to share some of my winter wonders of photos past as a small gift from you to me.  I hope to also find some more deals to help with that hard to find gift or that not so loose budget that many seem to find ourselves in this year.  So keep at eye out and your Christmas cheer up until then : )

Oh... I am having a sale in my shop til the 17th of December just time XMASTIMEISHERE and receive 25% off of any regularly priced item.  Thanks : )

Thursday, December 2, 2010

BESTeam Feature: Wayfaring Mongolia

Christmas is in the air.  You can almost taste the peppermint wafting about or have felt the sting of the Jack Frost pricking your skin.  What does that mean for you?  It means time for some fun holiday shopping.  If you are looking to find a shop ever changing to fit your needs then  Wayfaring Mongolia might have just what you need.  From stationary to one of a kind paintings she has what it takes to make great gifts for that someone special.  And don't leave the kids behind. She also offers great little handmade flowers perfect for the little princess in your life.

And for the last minute decorator looking for a unique ornament to add to your tree that may remind you a bit of childhood, she has wonderful vintage additions sure to make even a Scrooge smile. Faring from Nashville but a recent graduate from Michigan State,  Amanda is ready to make a deal, add smiles and making friends apart of your experience.  Feel free to check her out at these other locations such as her blog, Twitter, and who could forget Facebook 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

BESTeam Review

There's is nothing like adding a little bit of steampunk to your life to make it complete. And the best place to find those treasures one Etsy is Inkstrand.  Steampunk is the combination of Victorian dantieness with early sci-fi machinary.  The results are simply stunning.  Specializing in the jewelry realm, with a little bit of fabric thrown in for good hoarding measure. You are sure to find a unique blend of old school in a new design. Just check out some of the great examples below...

And if you're wanting know a little more about this traveling artisn from Portland, Or, you can follow on her blog or better yet become a fan at facebook.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

BESTeam Review

Being a week away from Thanksgiving the sudden thought of how little time we have to shop before Christmas suddenly hits.  Looking for a unique gift can get harder and harder as shops are filled with the constant crowds.  What better way to make your holiday experience great, then to hop on over to Etsy and look at Blue Forest Jewellery.  She is your one stop shop of jewerly that is pack full of color and glam and all this for very affordable prices.  Don't think you have enough time?  She is working on some Holiday Gift vouchers so keep checking back to see what over surprises are in store for you at her lovely shop.

If you're looking for more info on this great artist you can also follow her on Twitter or on her blog. Keep checking back for more.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Getting a Little Personal

I'm sure you have noticed a long pause on my blog entries lately. This was due to the fact that I recently lost a great man in my life, my grandpa.  I have been blessed in my 29 years to have known both sets of my great-grandparents on my mom's side and grandparents on both sides of my family.  But as with life when we get older we do have to say good-bye.  I lost all of my great grandparents at a fairly young age, save my granny whom I lost in 2004. Other than that my life has been relatively free from funerals and the like.  When I got the call last Monday morning that my grandpa had finally found peace from his illness it was a bit of a shock.  We did your standard things to get ready for a funeral.  I booked my plane ticket and made my way back to Ohio.  It was good to be with my family to grieve and at the same time rejoice at this man's amazing a much lived life. 

One of the most treasured parts of the funeral and visitation was a PowerPoint of pictures of my grandpa. Being a photographer I am keenly aware of a lost moment when there is not something there for snapshots, therefore to see that his life was well documented made me smile.  There were photos there I had never seen. It was so great to see the robust, impish grin of a man full of many talents who overcame a hard life to lead a family towards Christ and ministry.  In less then a week I'll be traveling back up to Ohio on my first initial trip for Thanksgiving.  Though it will feel a little different not having my grandpa there,  I will find comfort in seeing his face among the many captured moments encircled by pieces of wood and plastic.  You never know how important that meaningless snapshot is until that person is no longer there to photograph. 

So my challenge to you is take photos like there's no tomorrow this holiday season.  Catch your Uncle Joe making faces, or your Aunt Ruby in that ugly Christmas sweater she loves.  Take the everyday and make memories last.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

BESTeam Wednesday Wonders!!

Welcome to the first segment of Wednesday Wonders!! This week's Etsy seller is dicarlos. With this seller you get to peruse two wonderful shops consisting of jewelry, cards and one of a kind pieces of art. Here are a few selections below.

A teacher from Boston her shops offer so many cool styles  I loved the fact that you can own an original artwork for a very affordable price. I'm also a lover of literature and what it can inspire.  The unique cards included her second shop Unexpected Knock is a great reflection of this, because it shows dicarlos great love of Emily Dickinson.  So if you are looking for something special to send a friend then Visit Dicarlos.  You can also follow her many talents on her blog and for fun a treasury that has featured her work.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Keep a look out for a Giveaway Starting tommorrow

Starting tomorrow I'll have a my first give-away ready to go.  Check back for me details : )

Friday, October 29, 2010

BESTeam Friday Feature

If you want something a little zany and fun to finish off your Halloween creation, look no further than LoveElycia. Her store provides a great repertoire of hand-made headbands, vintage dress, artwork and even mustaches, yup you heard right mustaches.  Here is a sample of her work.

I can't think of anything this creative artist can't do.  Not only does she sell some of the most unique and wonderful items I've seen but she is also a former engineer and currently plays in a band. If her store has peaked your interest well feel free to also check out her blog, facebook and for the most up to date on this engineering, cat-loving, rocker, craftinista you can follow her on twitter.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Meet-up for the Fun of it

, As most of my wonderful followers are from Etsy you are probably very aware that almost all my photos have nothing to do with portraits.  I have dabbled in them in the past but b/c of the 35 mm element behind my shots I preferred inanimate objects b/c they well are inanimate. 
However I have discovered so many great photographic groups in my area which allow for much out of comfort zone experiences. 
Yesterday afternoon I meet up with the about 15 area photographers to do just that.  They had a couple of wonderful volunteer models on hand and the fun of portrait taking commenced. It was a ton of fun and I am still waiting to get my film back from the processors.  Until that time I did get a couple of shots with my point and shot Nikon L11.  Here are the two results.

Since I don't have photo shop I decided to try out picnik. It was so much fun.  And it made my pictures look much better then expected.  Since this is only the third time I have attempted to take portraits I think it went quite well.  I might suggest if you're new to try out Picnik.  They allow free editing and it lets you get used to playing around with different effects.  Here is another shot I did last night with just slightly different style

I went with more of a 1960's feel for this.  I have to say it is one of my favorite shots.  It was semi-posed but only after on of the girls did this exact same look naturally and I just loved it so I had her do it again.  I've discovered that sometimes the best shots come from watching your subjects mannerisms and just having them repeat it again.
The hardest part of portrait taking is being able to communicate with your subject exactly what you see in your head.  With objects you don't really have to worry about that. Speaking of which I did manage to sneak in a photo that didn't have the wonderful models in it.

If you live in the Southwest Missouri area and would love to be apart of these fun meet ups feel free to join them on their Facebook page for more info or feel free to comment below.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Today is my birthday. I am 29 and hope to make it the best last years of my twenties I can. Thanks : )

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

BESTeam Feature

I have the pleasure this week to take you to the world of beads, of  Ellesbeads in fact. Her shop is full of fantastic, funky and eco-friendly fun. I had the opportunity to ask this modern Fashionista how she got her start and inspiration.

1.How long have you been on Etsy? I've been on Etsy since September 2009.
2. Where do you get your inspiration for your shop items?
My inspiration comes from a number of sources. Like many people, I'm often inspired by color and nature. I also believe that beauty can be found in unexpected places. That's why I enjoy using recycled fabric scraps, vintage trinkets, and other up-cycled items in my work.
3. What is your favorite item in your shop?
My favorite is the Vintage Sapphire and Silver Glass Pearl Necklace

4. What is it you do to promote your shop other then Etsy?
I participate in 4 Etsy teams that promote each other. I have a Facebook page, Twitter following, 2 blogs, and a Flickr. I also sometimes Kaboodle, Stumble(upon), and participate in other social media. I have participated in the Virtual Craft Show and Yaami's Handmade Market online as well as participated in promotional opportunities on IndieSpotting. I also pay for advertising and have an e-newsletter.

5.About how long does it take to create one of your great items?
It really depends on what I'm making. A pair of earrings might only take a few minutes, while a beaded necklace might take me an hour. I put projects down, come back to them later, take them apart and rework them - so it's really hard to say.
6.How did you happen to learn to make your craft and how long have you been at it?
 I taught myself jewelry making by experimenting and looking up information online. I started making jewelry in June 2009. My grandmother taught me how to sew. I'm guessing it was about a year ago now.
7. What made you choose jewelry and how did you come up with having it be color coordinated?
My decision to get into crafting was very deliberate, but the actual type of craft wasn't that important to me. I chose jewelry at random. I walked into the craft store and decided to pick something that looked fun and easy to pick up - jewelry it was. My shop is color coordinated because someone suggested arranging it that way when I asked for a critique. I liked the way it looked, so I kept doing it. I don't actually make the pieces with that goal in mind.
Not only is she super talented but she does all we discussed while hitting the books hard. Good luck on your future test and thanks so much for sharing with us how your marvalous shop comes to life

Feel free to check her out on her blog, Twitter, and Facebook as well as her Zibbet shop

Birthday Fun for All!!

As the bittersweet day grows near I am doing my best to make the most of turning yet another year older.  This year I will be celebrating my 29th birthday, the last year I can officially be called a 20-something.  Thing is I don't feel like I'm almost 30, not that I know what that is supposed to feel like anyway : ). 
Each year I try different ways of celebrating my birthday, last year it was a nice meal with friends, the year before, my mom and I took a road trip to a restaurant that's known for throwing rolls.  This year is no exception, my plan? Try and see how much free stuff I can get.  Let me tell you it has been an enlightening journey.  I only have til Saturday to capture all the free goodies I can get my hands on.  I don't live in a big city or suburb but I've still managed to eek out a few deals.
In honor of these great companies I decided to share my luck with all who follow me.

1.) Red, Hot, & Blue- This is such a great eatery.  My aunt actually signed me up for their e-club three years ago so I had the chance to take advantage of this last year too.  As of now they send you a postcard that allows for a free Pulled Pork Entree or $10 off any other entree.  This is for eat in or carry-out. They serve home grown Memphis cookin' so if you like good bar-b-q this deal is for you.

2.) Moe's Southwest Grill - A great little place that serves huge burritos and mouth watering nachos paired with a bit of humor. The  laid back hippies of the Mexican food world, they always greet you with a "Welcome to Moe's" unison call and it's all fun after that.  Their website says you get a free burrito but when I got my birthday email and took it in I was allowed to get whatever I wanted as long as it wasn't in a meal format or contained fajitas.  Needless to say I got a wonderful dinner out of it.

3.) Ruby Tuesday - Rumor was they used to give free deserts but that has since been changed to a free hamburger, (a much better change if you ask me).  You do have to sign up to their e-club but will receive an email about a week before your birthday good til a couple of days after your birthday.  On top of your birthday goodie they send a myriad of coupons and specials your way throughout the year.  Oh and for those who don't want to set a lunch or dinner date you can get your hamburger to go as well.

4.) Schlotsky's - I have to admit I have never really tried this place out.  In fact when I go this evening to try this freebie, it will be the first time I've step my foot through their doors. I have, however, heard very good things about them.  They are another knot in a string of sandwich bistros and offer their own chips along with other delights on their normal menu.  My offer is for a free sandwich and they look like good size goodness.  Like the others above it involves signing up for their newsletter but again it's well worth for some free food.

5.) Helzeberg's Jewelers - I know I know this last one doesn't have anything to do with food but I always like throwing something in just to make sure you're awake and paying attention.  I actually signed up for their emails when they first opened in the area mall. At the time they were giving away free pearl earrings. For a freebie they are of great quality. I still wear mine without much change in sheen.  They repeated the gift for my birthday last year.  This year they surprised me with a free pearl bracelet.  I thought for sure it was be the kind that is on elastic but it wasn't. It was a bit small but nothing a few extra chain links couldn't change.  The bracelet is very elegant and there is a charm built in to remind any one who wears it that they are loved.  A nice touch to any free birthday gift if I do say so myself.

Though I do have a few more freebies to find and figure out I will call those my best and hope that it makes your birthday week shine that much more.  Besides too much of a good thing is.. oh who am I kidding, too much of a good thing is GREAT!  That is why I will leave you with a wonderful shot of my favorite car. Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone! Oh and let me know if you know of something I haven't found yet : )

Legal stuff: I have not in anyway been paid or asked to endorse the business mentioned above.  The names are all copyrighted along with any photos or sayings.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The 35 mm Conversion

The choice to become a photographer today has its good and its bad that comes with it. The good is that, more than ever before, technology is on your side. Images can be created, cropped and manipulated to embody the feel you were going for and cover the mistakes made when it was originally taken. At the same time that technology has caused a flood of people to enter into a once specialized market. The biggest seen change is the switch from the 35 mm format to the digital format. Don't get me wrong, if I could afford a $1000 camera I would purchase one in a heartbeat. But in order to get the same feel for less, I have chosen the now archaic 35mm SLR camera. This was fine for the first few years of my photographic odyssey, but I'm discovering that it's getting harder and harder to both find good film without paying an arm and a leg and followed by getting someone to develop it. One of my biggest contentions is in making prints larger than 11x14 along with having them digital format.  If you're like me, that struggle has lead to long searches on the Internet for solutions. The following sites have not been tested but are the results of those searches. I thought it might be good to put them all in one place.

The first site I offer up is the wonderful standard, Mpix. The process requires that you send them your film which you send in previously requested pouches, you then have to pay an "unlock fee" which is basically .19 cents an image. You will then be sent back your negatives as well as gain access to your photos. They are only available to order at that point and they don't go much larger then 11x14. However you can purchase a DVD for $10 that contain all those files in larger formats for you to edit and then load anywhere you'd like to print off. 
The drawback from this service is two fold, if you have already developed your film you can not send in your negatives to then be scanned and two I have heard rumors that this services will not be around much longer.

The next site I found is West Coast Imaging. It's a bit pricey and a little harder to understand the process but they do scan a myriad of items in to digital form.  If you looking to get different sized photos scanned they can do that for you as well.  But again they are pricey, you can look at 49.95 an image if you want it scanned into a digital format that exceeds 8x10 in size. The quality, I hear however, is superb. If you looking at just a few shots that you've always wanted to have in a poster size then it's well worth the venture

The final site I discovered is Go Photo. This is a very similar service to the others above.  They are the medium pricing choice but they do all sorts of scans ie. negatives, slides and old family photos. They also offer a touch up service that allows your photos to come out even better then before.  I have not used this service just yet but did email then on their products.  They returned my question very quickly and were very diligent in helping me discover the answer and or solution to my inquiry. 

All in all if you have some old photos or negatives you would love to get copies of three guys above would be the place to go.  It is my advice to jump on them fast because I have noticed that the opportunity might soon be gone. Not only will you have copies of old memories to share with your family but you could find a new, one of a kind photo to treasure and be framed forever on your walls.

So as not to leave you without some weekend eye candy here is one of my many 35mm works of art : )

Have a great weekend : )
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