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 : )

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

BESTeam Review for Alexander's Designs

The sub-text to Alexander's Designs declares that "ugly glass pendants are sold here" But that couldn't be farther away from the truth. Though the designs are bit unique and not the typical designs you see in department stores, they are still filled with beautiful color and one of a kind simplicity.

You know that you are getting quality not only from the designs that tempt your eyes with every glance but by the years training that has gone into each and every piece.  This shop is a powerful combination of a very creative husband and wife duo, Jenny and Skip Alexander who let their love of beauty and grace shine through their work.

A fine tuned one of a kind piece of jewelry is what you will receive when you purchase their pieces but the unseen bonus will be the envy of all your friends and family as you shine with these "ugly pendants" around your neck

If you want stay up to date on their latest creations you can follow them on their Blog.

Also don't forget to check out their other shop Simply Classic Jewelry if you just can't get enough of their work

If you like to review other Etsy artists feel free to check out a great team called Boosting Etsy Shops Team or BEST. The purpose of the group is to provide promotion for each team member through our existing social networking accounts. Keep checking back each week for your chance to see new artists!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Treasury Thursday

'A Treasury inspired by Vintage Fun' by RaeoLight

Vanilla Diva Body Cream


Vintage Enamel Solid Brass B...


Vintage Hand Carved Wood Pla...


Vintage Guilloche Enamel Wat...


Steampunk Supplies - Odd Bit...


Sergeant Slap - Vintage Serg...


1950s AUTUMN CHEVRON Halter ...


Disco de vinilo troquelado -...


Vintag Japan Metal Tin Noise...


BROWN DOG CIGAR company choc...


Huge Vintage Amber AB Rhines...


Copper Brown Accent Lamp


1941 Pennant-Edward J. Flana...


BOGO SALE - Two Bottles - 8x...


Amazingly detailed but sligh...


Tower of 1892 - 8x8 Fine Art...


Generated using Treasury HTML code generator by Whale Shark Websites.

Musing on Muesums

Hello and happy Thursday to you all.  Before posting my treasury of the day I thought I would show off some more photos : ) 

Being an artists, it would go without saying that one of my favorite things is to go to art museums.  I have had the pleasure of visiting two wonderful places in lifetime.  The Cincinnati Art Museum and the Nelson-Atkins in Kansas City.  These wonderful galleries are completly free to the public, depending on the day, which also makes them twice as great to me.  When I visited the Cincinnati museum I had not yet embraced my passion for photography, therefore I was not able to take any photos of that great collection yet, but I plan on remeding that as soon as I get the chance to head back for a visit.  But for your view pleasure I did capture so fun photos at the Nelson-Atkins.

 One of my favorite shots.  I loved the clouds and way the building just built this guy up to the larger then life character that we know he is.  This is one of about twenty casts that were made during Rodin's life.  The main cast that is considered the original is located in  Paris,France at the Rodin musuem.  It is such a sight to behold a well known piece for the first time and among such a beautiful setting as the back lawn of the Nelson-Atkins. It just made me want to pause and maybe do a little thinking and soul searching of my own.

A little closer look at a master piece.  I just love the detail of it all.  I originally took this shot in color but both of these have so much more detail when switched to a black and white setting.  I'll do a compare and contrast with a couple of other great sculptures next so maybe you can see what changing up the tones to a photo can do for your work.

There's not a huge difference until you put them side by side.  Each one brings out something a little different. This is a sculpture by Renoir called The Large Bather also known and The Washer Woman. It's a stunning piece done by him later in life when he was crippled with Arthritius

Well thats's all I have to say today I hope you enjoyed a short jont through the lawn of a wonderful museum.

Thanks again and don't forget to vote for your favorite photo for your chance to decide your freebie!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

You decide the Giveaway!!

So I have decided to attempt my first give away but I need your help

if you look to your right ================= >  There is a little poll.  All you have to do is click which one your like.  If you're not sure what they look like or would love a different one not listed just leave me a comment below.  The size will be a 5x7 and will be perfect for framing for your office or home.  I'm all about helping you add that personal touch to your life. And this will help in that.  I'll let you know which one you choose at the end of the poll and will have it ready to for the give away just in time for Christmas.  Thanks and have a blast looking around ; )

Monday, October 4, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010


“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”
~ Humbert Wolfe

I can't quite explain when October first became my favorite month. I can say it always had a bit of an advantage, being that it included the day of my birth. But to pinpoint that elusive day might never come to pass. Instead all I know is I love it. The smells and the crisp breeze. I even love the fact I can finally put to use the cozy clothes I purchased at an end of season clearance sale.

It also means fall craft festivals and get together. People seem to gather together like no other season of the year. Finally back from summer vacations or playing the hermit in order to take advantage of the artificial winters in their homes. People materialize and suddenly community is available for all to participate in. It's as if we sense this could be the last chance to get in some much needed socialization before the harsh breath of old man winter sweeps past our skin.
The foods are full of comfort and warmth; Pumpkin pies, bread and who could forget spiced lattes.
My question would be why anyone wouldn't make October their favorite month? What negativity could be found in such a time full of love, joy and hayrides. (other then those with hay fever)

There's not really anything of etsy interest in this post but I really just wanted to share my love of the season. I  hope to see some of you at the area craft shows.

I do want to feature a few photos I took that won't be for sale on Etsy but instead just fills me with pride and goosebumps all the same. We had a great opportunity in Joplin to view a piece of the World Trade Center that was being shipped to Washington State for a memorial there. To see the snarled metal and think about what it represented overwhelmed me. It was hard to get a shot that really encompassed the emotion associated with an object that would normally be nothing more than scrap metal otherwise. It was beautiful all the same. The first photo is the best shot I could get to show off it's simple beauty.

With those photos I'll close my Friday post.  I think I'm going to take the weekend off and see what fun things I can come up with to talk about.

For your freebie, if you have an area movie theater in your area and have wanted to save just a bit of cash in your entertainment budget then I would check to see if they have a website and sign up for their newsletter.  Many a times you are sent a coupon for a free popcorn or drink.  The theaters I know do this off hand are Hollywood Theaters and Rave Motion Pictures.  Check them out and see what goodies you might be in store for in the future.
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