Fabulous finds for the discerning customer.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Great 'limited time only' discount deals on handmade items!


O.k., I just found an awesome site that offers incredible deals on Etsy handmade items.
It's called Heartsy, their website is http://www.heartsy.me/

Some of you may already be aware of this site, it is new to me so I thought I would pass the info. along to others who may be unaware of it.
Here's the rundown.
Heartsy lists shops that Etsy owners submit for you to vote on.  These shops are offering discounts on their items of 50% and more.  There are only a limited number of deals offered for a limited amount of time for each shop.

This is a great way for both buyers and sellers to win.
Obviously the buyers are getting quality handmade items at a steep discount but in return the sellers are getting added exposure to their Etsy shops that will hopefully result in future sales at full price :)
There are a variety of shops and items being offered at any given time.  I voted for a few shops that I would definitely be interested in purchasing from!
Here is a sampling of the types of items that are being offered right now.







All you have to do to take advantage of this as a buyer is add your name to their email list or just check out their site whenever you want.
As a seller you can submit your shop to be featured on their site.  They provide all the information you will need.
Happy buying and selling!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Out of the ordinary creations!



If you are looking for a really fun and unique shopping experience then I highly recommend heading on over to ArturoRios on Etsy.com

Arturo is a hat designer in Los Angeles, CA who has been designing for about 6 years now.  His signature style is high fashion, avant garde.  He really just considers himself an ordinary guy who happens to make out of the ordinary hats.  You will love feasting your eyes on his magnificent creations and I think you will agree that his hats are anything but ordinary!  Take a look at some of these works of art below....











All of Arturo’s hats are hand-made, one at a time.  He uses only the finest quality fabrics such as silks, taffetas, satins, etc. along with exotic and flexible feathers.  He tries to incorporate fantastic fashion into his hats, combining modern looks with vintage veils for example.  He is a master at using antique materials and combining them with modern ideas to create one of a kind fashion headpieces.
Several of his hats have been featured in high fashion magazines around the world and he has quite a number of famous clients under his belt including Daisy Fuentes, Paris Hilton, Cheril Burke, Lindsay Lohan, Julliets Lewis and Kelly Rowland, to name a few.

Arturo's inspiration comes from ordinary things he sees on a daily basis which he then transforms into totally out of the ordinary headpieces.
He is a nature fan, loves bright colors and also loves birds.  His love of birds is translated in his work by using decorative birds and feathers in his designs.

All of these hats are incredible and so much fun to look at, my absolute favorites are his Derby hats, makes me wish there was a horse race coming up!






If you love high fashion and enjoy standing out in a crowd then ArturoRios is the place for you!
Enjoy!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/ArturoRios



Sunday, March 20, 2011

A "must see" Etsy shop!

Take a vintage item, add a talented designer who upcycles it in a way that was never originally intended and you have a work of art!

One such artist who does this beautifully is Sandy of Silver Spoon Art.   The banner on Sandy’s Etsy shop reads: See how beautiful the Non-Business-End of a spoon can really be!
A perfect entry statement before venturing into one of Etsy’s most unique vintage jewelry shops.
Sandy is the owner and creator of Silver Spoon Art.  All of her pieces are handcrafted using beautiful vintage silverware.
I asked Sandy where she finds such gorgeous pieces to work with.  She informed me that she finds her silverware in old barns, Estate sales, auctions and antique shops.  Sandy chooses the silverware based on her personal esthetics of what would look best fashioned into jewelry.
Her favorite patterns are: Portland, American Beauty, Precious Mirror and the next pattern she finds! -  the list goes on and on!
Who would have thought silverware could look so gorgeous as jewelry?  Obviously Sandy did and the results are fantastic.
Here is a sampling of some of her gorgeous bracelets, look at the clasps on these pieces!  So original and stunning.







Sandy also fashions silverware into necklace pendants.  Take at look at these precious creations.




Upon talking further with Sandy I learned a very interesting bit of information  about silver spoons and the saying “Born with a Silver Spoon in their mouth”.
This saying dates back to medieval times, when silver was a highly regarded material because of its long list of desirable properties. “While any silver spoon or silverware for that matter, wasn't easily found at the time, there were indeed many useful characteristics that silver was known for such as the ability to fend off bacteria. This was important in the dark ages because of the bacterial plagues in prior centuries. Why? Because babies born to wealthy families had the luxury of teething on sterling silver spoons, which well-to-do parents could afford to buy. The act of sucking upon a silver spoon was thought to be instrumental in preventing plague bacteria and the babies that lived on the right side of the tracks didn't contract the Plague as easily -- And the saying developed: "Born with a Silver Spoon in their mouth".
Pretty interesting huh?

Imagine what these spoons have "seen". Some were around before cars, electricity and indoor plumbing! It makes you wonder who may have held these spoons? Could it have been someone that played an important part in our history? All the family and Holiday dinners these pieces attended, during a time when there were no gadgets ringing, buzzing and beeping during mealtime. They carry within them part of the past, a quieter and more restful period and perhaps by wearing one, it will remind you to take a breath and slow down– if even for only a moment.
I invite you to browse through Sandy’s shop on Etsy.  Her pieces are truly unique and beautiful – Enjoy!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/SilverSpoonArt

Thursday, March 17, 2011

How I happily quit the gym!





O.k., I finally did it, I quit the gym! 

I’ve been threatening myself to do this but never got around to it.  Finally my gym membership ran out, thank god!  No more guilty feelings about not going, no more remorse over the wasted money!  YIPEEE!!!
Now to find something to replace the gym so that I don’t feel like a total slug!  What to do, what to do....

Well, since I have not been feeling super energetic lately I decided to try something a little different, Yoga.
Now, I know what some of you might be thinking but if you are willing to think outside the stereotype for a minute then read on.

I was worried the first day that I would be met by some guru who was wearing layers of yoga type clothing, many beads, rings and charms and reeking of incense.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a normal looking woman with normal looking men and women in the classroom.  Since this was a beginner yoga class I was praying that I would not feel like a total moron trying to do the various poses.  I don’t know if this is the 'norm' or if I lucked out but this was the most accepting, non-judgmental form of exercise I have ever engaged in, and yes, I did say exercise.  I went into Yoga thinking it would be similar to a group nap session!  Boy, was I wrong.  It is challenging and I worked muscles I never knew I had!  Not to worry though, I was able to enjoy a small group nap session at the end J

If you are interested in trying something different and have never done yoga I would recommend giving it a shot.  If you don’t feel relaxed and unintimidated then move onto a different studio until you find the right fit.  I am so glad I overcame my inhibitions and tried this.  I now am enjoying the days I have set aside to exercise instead of dreading them and best  of all, that little nap at the end!  Enjoy whatever you do J

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wedding Trends for 2011



The overall trend for 2011 seems to be 'subtle luxury,' with a heavy emphasis on creativity and personality.


After the weddings with huge and opulent flower arrangements come the small and simple ones, with less quantity. Tables are tending to be long and elegant instead of round, because long tables not only emphasize the decoration but are also reminiscent of other times, when they were part of homemade family celebrations.   2011 trends for table centerpieces tend to include country flowers in recycled small glass vases, such as yogurt or mason jars and tin tea cans.  The goal is to create an eco-chic and rustic ambience for the wedding, which is both original and elegant.
The past is back and all vintage ideas as well. Incorporating modern elements that have a historical past is a growing trend.  Presenting your guests with party favors from historical brands, building the wedding theme around this concept, recycling and wearing your mother or grandmother’s wedding dress, incorporating your parents’ or grandparents’ wedding pictures into the d├ęcor, creating an atmosphere of nostalgic romance is always nice and very, very trendy these days.


Just as weddings in general are going to be simple and pretty in 2011, so is the menu. Traditional food is being presented in a very tasteful way and with a touch of originality. Serving lemonade, sparkling waters, colorful teas – all in a special way – is definitely a very pretty trend.


The DIY concept – Do It Yourself – is definitely here to stay and it’s one of the biggest 2011 wedding trends, not only from an economical view but also because there isn’t anything more special than incorporating handmade elements – made by the bride and the groom – into the wedding.
Photography is going vintage this season with wedding albums that are reminiscent of the seventies. Draped textiles as backgrounds for photographing the bride and the groom, as well as guests, in a relaxed setting is a big trend, it’s very simple and, best of all, loads of fun for everyone.


Wedding cakes will continue to be tall and elegant, but with a touch of rustic-chic, where fondant is replaced by a delicious butter cream and large sugar flowers are substituted by natural flowers, sugar glazed fruit or just fun details. The wedding cake table is still a huge trend and a highlight at the reception venue.
And last, but not least, THE most important trend in weddings for 2011 - YOU!
Make this day uniquely your own, don't get caught up in anyone elses rules, just incorporate elements that you and your guy find beautiful and fun.  The most important and meaningful element to come out of this day is a long and happy marriage.  So sit back, decide what you want your day to look like and most importantly, enjoy being Uniquely You!



Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How to pamper yourself without going broke!

O.k. I am going to share with you one of the best kept secrets, up until now that is, on how to  pamper yourself without going broke!
Manicure,, pedicures, massages, waxing, haircuts, hair coloring, facials,  oh my!
You may have to search further if you do not have one of these in your town but you might have something similar that goes by another name.
Are you ready……here it is - Miller Motte Technical College.
Yes, that’s right.  This is where your future cosmetologists, manicurists, and masseuses go to train and practice their craft.
If you don’t have a Miller Motte in your area look under Technical Colleges and see if there are any in your town that offer a Cosmetology program.
The prices are incredible.  I have gotten one hour massages for as little as $25.00.  You rate the students who work on you are at the end of your treatment.  This is done privately on a form that you hand to  the receptionist.  These students WANT to do well, they WANT you to enjoy your experience and they WANT their teachers to see what a great job they are doing.
So check out this little gem and go ahead and splurge, or at least feel like you are splurging!  
Enjoy J

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A great way to shop for unique treasures!

Buy and Replace (BNR)
What a great concept!


Available at http://www.etsy.com/

All of these items are for sale on http://www.etsy.com/
Belt Buckle is available at www.etsy.com/shop/tonyaboezi


This is a fun way to shop, and for the artisians out there, a great way to get your handcrafted items some more exposure!

It seems like every day I learn some new application, search tool, team, circle, etc. that Etsy has to offer its buyers and sellers.
My newest find is on their Treasury lists, it called BNR, short for Buy and Replace.
Here's the concept. 
You go to a bnr treasury list, purchase something on the list and then get one of your items featured in that person's next bnr.
These are also great treasuries for buyers who do not have an Etsy shop, just another way to find great products.
The nice thing about Treasuries is there are lots of lovely items selected for you to look at that you might not have known existed in the first place.  Let’s face it, Etsy  can be a bit overwhelming with the number of shops and items they offer, a good and a bad thing at times!  This is just a fun way to see a sampling of what is out there.  I just made my first bnr purchase today, looking forward to being in this curators next one!
If you’re interested, here is the link.  This one will probably close soon but there are others to look at and more to come – Enjoy!

http://www.etsy.com/treasury/4d72938692e38eefca7cbe84/open-bnr-no-min-open-until-15-sales?index=1&page=1#comments

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The hottest color for 2011

The hottest color for 2011



Custom crafted belt buckles for the discerning customer


O.k., it’s official ,Pantone,  the global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries, announced PANTONE® 18-2120 Honeysuckle, a vibrant, energetic hue, as the color of the year for 2011.

"While the 2010 color of the year, PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise, served as an escape for many, Honeysuckle emboldens us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor. A dynamic reddish pink, Honeysuckle is encouraging and uplifting. It elevates our psyche beyond escape, instilling the confidence, courage and spirit to meet the exhaustive challenges that have become part of everyday life.
This is not a shade for the color shy crowd but think how beautifully it could accent brown, grey or creme.  If your not a huge color fan just try to bring it into your life in small doses

“In times of stress, we need something to lift our spirits. Honeysuckle is a captivating, stimulating color that gets the adrenaline going – perfect to ward off the blues,” explains Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “Honeysuckle derives its positive qualities from a powerful bond to its mother color red, the most physical, viscerally alive hue in the spectrum.”

So sit back, relax, and start looking at all the gorgeous honeysuckle colored images that are out there on the web.  I think a good place to start with this color will be my toes J
Then onto, clothing and accessories!  Seems like my blog page is up speed on the color!


Why should you buy handmade?

This is a great article about the importance of buying handmade vs. commerically made items.

But lets face it, pictures speak louder than words.  Take a look below and decide for yourself.

http://poppytalks101reasonstobuyhandmade.blogspot.com/


                                            Handmade Belt Buckle with image of butterfly




Commercially made belt buckle with butterfly image



Hand crafted vase


Mass produced vase

O.k.. you get the picture, lets support all our wonderful artists out there, don't we already have enough Walmarts?!!

To view some of my hand crafted belt buckles and rings please visit my shop at



Thursday, March 3, 2011

Calling all artisans and crafters



Looking to enter a really fun, imaginative contest?  This could be a great way to get your name and works of art out in front of a large number of people!
Get in your creative zone and get to work. 
Follow this link for all details and instructions.
http://www.heartmadeblog.com/blog/it-s-a-creative-approach-to-biz-planning-contest