And the Winners Are...

All the amazing handmade prizes from the Spring Celebration have now been claimed. This picture of Ani taken a few weeks ago at Busch Wildlife is how I envision the winners looked after getting my e-mail. Kai said it looks like an allergy commercial so I call it my Clariton Clear shot.

Here are the list of winners in no particular order:

Micah-Noel from Kansas of Inspired Boutique won the Antique Vintage Button Pendant from Alterity Button Jewelry. I recently bought a set of her hand cut fashion cards like these. They are too adorable!

Val from Illinois of Eclecticisms won the Seminole Patchwork Pillow from So Many Colors.

Ana from the UK of Expressive World won the craft books from my library.

Beth from Virginia of Proverbs 31 Gal won the Knitted Yoda Star Wars Golf Club Cover by Tracey Knits.

Susan from Wisconsin of My Sassy Glass won the bars of handmade soap from Happy Goat's Soap.

Susan from Texas of Suzie Buttons won A Crocheted Silk with Pearls Long Necklace from WillOaks Studio

Cindi from Illinois less than an hour from my house, won my knit scarf with an appliqued XL tee-shirt.

Anne from New York of Upstate Ramblings won the Skein of Handspun/HandDyed Wool Yarn from Split Rock Ranch.

Jaclyn from Colorado won the Wine Bottle Gift Bag with 4 Coasters from Nature Acre

Thanks again to everyone who participated for making this such a successful event. I hope you all enjoy your new handmade creations!


Catching Up

I'm very happy with how the Spring Celebration went. We had a total of 232 entries into the big giveaway which surpassed even my very hopeful goal of 200. I've contacted the first place winner already so be sure to check your in-box. It's kind of weird to not have the Giveaway to be promoting. I spent a lot of my free time the past month promoting it via forums, blog posts, visiting other giveaway sites, etc. Perhaps now I can get some knitting done!

It is nice to be able to blog freely for the first time in awhile too. I really enjoyed showcasing the participants in the Celebration and because they had all been so generous with donating prizes I wanted to give them the longest exposure possible on the blog. But this meant I couldn't post any of my random thoughts or pictures I've been taking with the still new camera.

I started my digital photography class 3 weeks ago at the Creve Coeur Community Center. They are through the Photo Resource Center and are taught by K M O'Donnell. I have already learned so much and we are just getting started. I'm also taking the intermediate class which goes through June so I have a lot more to be learned which is exciting. I also plan on taking the PhotoShop class in the Fall. I just bought PS Elements for around $50 on Amazon with a $20 rebate. I'm still debating whether buying the whole package will be worth for me as an amateur photographer or not. My teacher said as a student you can go to St. Louis Community College and get the whole deal for $250 which is a huge discount from $600 retail. I will probably wait for the class to decide if there is enough of a difference that I will miss having the whole package.

My favorite part of the class is when we do critiques. Everyone brings in their best 4 shots of the week. We talk about the composition and the teacher shows us how she would make them better in Photoshop. From watching her doctor mine in class I have taught myself a few things in GIMP that I didn't know you could do. GIMP is a free download that allows you to do a lot of the same things you can do in PS but with more steps and less frills.
I've shared my favorite shot from each week here. I posted more in flickr if you care to check them out. The top one is from the Scottish Festival on Main Street in St. Charles. There were some adorable girls dressed in costume chasing chickens around the reenactment area. This is a nice portrait I caught of the girl completely unposed. I put this one in black and white in GIMP and I blurred the background which was distracting since there was a dude in a kilt sitting with his legs spread out directly behind her.

The next one is from the Busch Wildlife area about 20 minutes from my house. I got some cute shots of Ani by the water but no wildlife at the reserve. There was an old cemetery right across the highway so I pulled in there as we left and low and behold I caught a stray goose. Ani scared him when she got out of the car but I managed to get some cool shots of him flying away so I had to thank her. This one was my favorite because I liked how you could see the horizon and the goose so clearly. It got lots of "oohs" and "aahs" in class last week. There was a white house showing directly below the goose which I found distracting. So I cloned the green of the trees and colored it in. I don't think I did a perfect job but no one has commented on it yet so I guess it worked.
The last one I just took this Saturday. It was a very rainy weekend and I was worried about what I was going to do about my pictures. I had planned to go to the farm but that fell through and it was so yucky that I decided not to got to the Earth Day festival either. So after a nice dinner out with Mike I drove myself down to the riverfront and caught not only a partial rainbow over the water but also a pretty nice sunset. My favorite rainbow shot was not as interesting as this one. I like the old bridge legs sticking out and the clouds look pretty interesting. I actually flipped it in GIMP which put the focal point on the right side which is my teacher's preferred composition. I don't really know if it matters but it was cool to play with to see how different it can look from the different perspective.

Thanks again to all who participated in the Spring Celebration!


Spring Celebration Almost Over!

Tomorrow is the last day of my Spring Celebration. I will shut down entries into the giveaway at midnight tomorrow. I was happy to find that I passed the 200 entry mark this morning. I really hope that the participants have gotten some traffic from it. Thanks to all for playing along!

So the last prize that I have to feature is the craft books from my own library. As part of the Spring Celebration you could win the AntiCraft: Knitting, Beading and Stitching for the Slightly Sinister and Craftivity: 40 Projects for the DIY Lifestyle.

The Craftivity book is from the crafters at the SuperNaturale website. You can read more about the book and see some pictures of the projects in the book here.

I want to share parts of the antifesto from The Anticraft philosophy. You can find more about the group on their website The Anticraft.

We were deep in the clutches of a weeklong absinthe binge when the Divine Hand of Brilliance touched us in an inappropriate place. When this vision came, we knew we must create a haven for all the sinister crafters of the world. No more would we be cowed into silence by cheerful scrapbook stickers. Never again would we be forced to gleefully execute a sweater of intarsia puppies.... Really, we were thrilled that crafting was de-grannified; we just got tired of it having to be so dang perky all the time.

Creation from chaos is natural. We've come to a place where we've realized that we have this actual, physical need to create things. We've discovered that we hate people en masse, we're sick of homogenized culture, and these realizations have left holes in our hearts. We create to fill those holes, to be able to sleep at night knowing we've done something, even a small something, to confront the manufactured culture that is currently being churned out.

So if you haven't entered the Spring Celebration Giveaway yet you had better hurry. You could win these two very cool additions to your craft library.


Spring Celebration -- WillOaks Studio

There are only 4 days left to enter the big Spring Celebration. I was hoping that we would get to 200 entries so if you haven't entered yet please take a minute to check it out, to help me reach my goal and possibly win one of the 9 handmade prizes. The last featured shop is another of my longtime blog buddies, Will Oaks Studio.

As part of the Spring Celebration you could win your choice of wrap bracelet/long necklace from the "Made With Silk" series - clear bright colors, lovely pearls and collections, all captured with silk, limited editions. Very comfortable, & budget friendly! Long, versatile and lots of fun.

You may choose any of the Made With Silk series valued at $20. This series is now her best seller ever and I'm excited to own my very own which I bought a few weeks ago. I choose the multicolor in Spring colors at the top. It matches just about everything and is so light that I hardly know it is there. It's long enough to wrap around my neck twice for a great layered effect. She currently has all of the colors I'm showing here and then some.

I asked Karen a few questions about her process and photography tips. WillOaks blog has always been one of my favorite visual displays. I love looking at her gorgeous pictures and inspirations from nature.
1.) Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?
My approach to finding ideas and inspiration is to truly be open to everything around me. My adage is "You never know where a good idea will come from." But I frequently look to nature for forms, color and ideas. I love gardening, trees, plants, flowers and botany and often, pretty neat ideas come to me when exploring in this arena. OTOH, I also get ideas directly from the materials I use. It's partly for the engineering of a piece, or "what goes with what," so somehow, a dialogue goes on in my head between what I'd LIKE to make and what the limitations or challenges of a given material are. And finally, I do subscribe to a few periodicals devoted to jewelry making and other art media because looking at what other artists are doing, especially what the best ones come up with, can help trigger a whole new idea, plus reading about or seeing new materials and techniques can be very inspiring.
2.) Do you have any tips for new handmade business owners?
Well, I spent many years teaching art, including at the upper levels, and it seems to me, to make a "business" of your handmade work, it begins with a commitment to and a true passion for your studio work. This usually shows through in the finished product, and that energy will keep you excited and interested even when things are slow or not going too well. I can remember discouraging my students from trying to dive into major exhibitions until they had built up a fair sized portfolio because it is only with this kind of commitment that your body of work begins to look cohesive. And for me, for a shop or a show to "hang together" there has to be some kind of visual "thread" that connects the different pieces. Next, when you're ready for "prime time" you have to find ways and means--online, in person, however--to get as much exposure as possible. This takes time, but this is how you develop a following of folks that like your work, and then you must figure out ways to keep them posted. And finally, when your handmade things do begin to sell, be very conscientious about customer service. I think a lot of customers are coming to "handmade" because of the personal touch on all levels and it's your job to follow through on that with your work and your service!

3.) Do you have any tips for photographing your items to really showcase them?
I'm kind of old fashioned about photography in that I have always liked natural daylight and so I stick with that. I've experimented quite a lot and normally, I tend to go for very simple backgrounds & minimal props. I've got a little set up next to an east facing window here and I wait for bright, cloudy days as much as possible, or second best is after mid day when the sun has moved so that none is coming directly into that window. I always use a tripod and then, I experiment with different arrangements of and angles on the product. I confess, working on my photography is a constant job and I have to work pretty hard to get it right.

See the contest rules here to find out how you could win your own "Made With Silk" Necklace!


Spring Celebration -- So Many Colors!

I'm so excited to introduce you to my next participant in the Spring Celebration. I would certainly not be surprised if the Seminole Patterned Pillow in bold Spring colors is the first prize to be taken. I love the way So Many Colors uses colors and patterns in this and all of her work in her Etsy shop of the same name here. She also keeps her Facebook page very up to date about her work. You can also find handdyed knit fabric and handmade handbags in her shop.

As part of the Spring Celebration you could win the gorgeous pillow above valued at over $50. Glenda gave a step by step tutorial on her blog showing how the pillow was made using the Seminole Patchwork technique. I found it quite fascinating and I'm going to share the abridged version of it with you. You can find the entire post here. But first here is a description of Seminole Patchwork from So Many Colors:
Seminole patchwork is a piecing technique originated by the Seminole tribe in Florida after the introduction of sewing machines in the early 1900's. The technique consists of sewing strips of fabrics together, cutting the strips into smaller pieces then sewing them back together to create beautiful, repetitive patterns.
First I selected the five fabrics to be used in the pillow, all very vibrant! Then I chose one of the band or strip set patterns from Basic Seminole Patchwork by Cheryl Greider Bradkin. This particular band pattern uses four strips but I wanted to use one strip of each color so I added one. All of the strips except the very narrow one are 1 1/4" wide so adding another strip was easy. I also decided that I wanted a wider finished band so I added 1/4" to each strip.

First step is to straighten up the edge of the fabric. Then carefully cut one strip from each of the fabrics. Accurate cutting show up in the quality of the finished band.
With the adjustments I made to the strip widths I ended up with four strips at 1 1/2" wide and one, the yellow, at 1". Then I tried the strips in various arrangements until I was happy with the look. This is not the arrangement I ended up with.
Sew pairs of strips together using 1/4" seam or as close to that as possible. More important than the seam width is the consistency of the width for the length of the strip.

Don't sew more than pairs of strips together at one time. Each pair should be ironed flat then ironed open before adding another strip. This helps to minimize stretching when ironing, again helping with accuracy for the finished band.

Continue sewing strips together, ironing after each seam. Usually all of the seams are pressed in the same direction.

Even with careful cutting, accurate seams and careful pressing you can get a wavy edge.
The next step is to cut the strip set into strips. Some patterns use straight cuts with offset seams. This pattern uses a diagonal mirror image cut so the strip set can be folded in half and cut.

Now the strip sets are sewn together, matching seams a closely as possible. This is the part where I often rip seams out. Small mismatches don't bother me but more than a tiny bit will interfere with the finished pattern. Here's the finished band sewn but not ironed from the front.
Now we're ready to put banding strips on the edges and assemble the pillow.
SoManyColors on Etsy
SoManyColors on Facebook
SoManyColors on Blogger

See the contest rules here to find out how you could win the Spring Seminole Patchwork Pillow!


Spring Celebration -- Split Rock Ranch

We are well over halfway through the Spring Celebration and I'm very excited about the response so far. We have 175 entries into the big Giveaway and I'm happy to have brought some exposure to some amazing handmade shops. The next participant is another longtime blog friend of mine. Split Rock Ranch is your one stop shop for all things fiber. For a yarn/color addict like myself her shop is like your local crack dealership. She is donating this handspun/handdyed skein of yarn in lovely Spring colors. Here are the stats: 100% Merino
Handspun 2-ply
16 wpi = Sport Weight
2.5 oz 200 yards
Care Instructions: Hand wash in cool water with mild detergent. Do not twist or wring. Roll in towel to remove excess moisture. Lay flat to dry.

I love this shot of the roving before being spun into the yarn on her spinning wheel. It's always fun to see where your yarn came from.

Split Rock Ranch also sells prize winning llamas from their herd at the site Split Rock Llamas. I've always been fascinated by llamas and I enjoy reading about her animals on her blog here. Here is a description of her site:
"We are a small ranch located in the heart of the Colorado Rockies. We raise, train, breed and sell llamas and fiber, handspun yarns, handdyed fibers and handmade items made from natural fibers."

She also sells her hand knitted garments made from her own fibers on her site and other fiber goodness. I have bought her Basic Needle Felting Kit with Instructions, Fiber, Felting Needles and Foam Pad to the right. I've started playing with it and I love all the colorful fiber that was included. I've also bought a drop spindle with some roving from her last year but I must be honest that I haven't conquered the spindle to date. I'm hoping to take a class later this year to learn from someone in person.

For all the knitter's out there this is about the best prize you can imagine. You don't often see a giveaway for handspun merino wool out there.




See the contest rules here to find out how you could win the Spring Celebration Handspun Merino Skein from Split Rock Ranch!


Spring Celebration -- Nature Acre

For today's feature as part of the Spring Celebration I am featuring a relatively new Etsy shop called Nature Acre. You could win this lovely gift set with a wine bottle bag and 4 coasters, valued at $15. Here is the description:

"We are on the brink of spring and summer, when outdoor entertainment and enjoyment will again be possible. Go wine tasting, and bring a bottle home in style with this reusable gift bag. Use it for yourself, or give as a gift. Bag is made from 100% cotton material, and is machine washable. Coasters are also made from 100% cotton, and are lined with thin polyester batting; they are also machine washable. Drawstring closure. Wine not included."

Nature Acre makes other household items like the Cedar Satchet and the Martini Olive Throw Pillow below. They also sell some interesting destash and vintage items.

The interesting thing about this shop is that the proprietor is married to none other than Sinclair of Nature With Me fame. Sinclair is a very talented and generous crafter/blogger who also organizes a charity craft project each month called Sharing Our Gifts. I've gotten to know her pretty well through the past year but I had no idea that her husband was also involved in the handmade community. I asked him a few questions about their lifestyle and goal of living a handmade and sustainable life.

1. How did you get involved with crafting and what are your mediums?
Like most people, I did crafting as a child. As I progressed into adulthood, my interests were more focused on music and theatre, but I have always drawn and considered myself an artist. My wife has been instrumental in rekindling my interest in crafting, mainly in the knitting realm, but also in needle felting and sewing. I like wool as a medium, but am open to many other materials as well.
2. Where do you get your inspiration?
I find inspiration from nature, works by artists, my daughter (who is becoming an outstanding artist in her own right) and my wife. My wife is very helpful when I want to bounce ideas around.

3. Did living a handmade life bring you and your family closer together?
Absolutely! It is very fulfilling to have a common interest in arts and crafts and a profound appreciation for all things handmade. We love to find and make unique and carefully crafted items. It brings us together to search for materials and discuss ideas, and it also slows us all down and causes us to live a more thoughtful and aware lifestyle.

4. Tell me about your goal of living a sustainable lifestyle and what does it mean to you?
Making my own usable items, growing my own food, learning to use manual tools of various trades, and purchasing as little assembly line merchandise as possible are some of my sustainability goals. It is important to have quality goods that were not created with the built-in, planned obsolescence with which we are bombarded in our consumer driven society. I have made little changes toward the goal of living a sustainable lifestyle, such as purchasing an antique safety razor and buying replacement blades that can be resharpened rather than using a disposable razor.

5. What are your goals for your business in the future?
At this point, I consider it a hobby. My goals are to grow as an artist and really discover what I can do and how far I can go within the realm of handmade crafts.


See the contest rules here to find out how you could win your own Wine Bottle Gift Bag Set!


Spring Celebration -- Tracey Knits

The great thing about hosting my Spring Celebration is that I've gotten to know some of my old blog friends better. But in addition to that I've made a few new friends like Tracey Knits. I thought it was appropriate to showcase her on this glorious day when my husband and so many others are out enjoying the day with a round of golf. As part of the Spring Celebration Tracey is giving away a Yoda Star Wars Golf Club Cover valued at $25.

"It is sized to fit any club from the biggest driver to your tiny putter. Made out of acrylic fiber to prevent damage. Should you find yourself in a swamp on a distant planet, it is machine washable!" I think it is the ideal gift for your golfer/Star Wars nerd, I'm sure I'm not the only wife of one of those!

I enjoy her quirky style and fun designs, including the braided belts below. They are the perfect spring accessory when a full scarf is too heavy.

When doing some research on her I discovered that in addition to her knitting skills she also is a talented artist and photographer. She sells her artwork on Etsy as Red Linc Art. I love how she describes her work here:

"Generally, my paintings, drawings and photography are realistic and figurative with a pop art quality. I like to take the everyday and put a new spin on it. Inspiration, for me, can be found everywhere. My children’s faces, a conversation with a friend, or a view I have seen a thousand times before but only appreciated that day."

I have a feeling that Tracey and I would be fast friends if we were ever to meet in real life. I have a tattoo on my left shoulder remarkably similar to her drawing of the Eye of Horis.

I asked Tracey a few questions about her work and inspirations.

How long have you been knitting and selling your work?
I have been knitting for 4 years. I started selling my knitting about a year ago. The patterns have only been available for a few months.

Where do you sell it and what are your bestsellers?

I sell original knit designed sports merchandise on my online store, http://traceyknits.etsy.com at local retail locations in New Jersey, and craft fairs as well. In the spring, people love my golf club covers. The number one design is the NY Yankees baseball player. This past winter I introduced the Football Helmet Winter Hat and did almost entirely custom orders for college teams. I recently made the patterns for these items available for sale as well which has been a big hit with my fellow knitters.

Tell us a little about yourself and your creative process.

I am a morning person so get right to work as soon as I am out of bed. The boring technical aspects of running an online business get taken care of first, then I have the rest of the day to create and gather ideas. i have to fit taking care of my young children and husband in there as well.

What inspires you and do you have ways you keep the inspiration coming?

Inspiration is definitely the hardest part of running a creative business. I tend to think about an event or a customer and what I can make to satisfy their needs. Very often I will be driving in the car hanging with my kids when the brain-blast happens.


Spring Celebration -- Happy Goat's Soap!

The next feature as part of my Spring Celebration Giveaway is one I've been looking forward to. Happy Goat's Soap is another of my long time blog buddies. The publicist, as Patty is known on her blog, The Maaaaa of Pricilla, is one generous and talented crafter. She not only writes her blog about goats (written in the very friendly voice of Pricilla the goat) and soap making but she also has a talent for making jewelry. Her other Etsy shop, where she sells gorgeous gemstone jewelry, is called Broken Teepee Designs and she blogs under the same name here.

Patty and Pricilla are giving away 3 handmade soaps, your choice of scents including Patchouli, Monkey Farts, Grapefruit, Cherry Cordial, First Snow, Lavender, Sandlewood, Cucumber Melon, and whatever else is happens to be available in their shop at the time. The prize includes free shipping which as you know can be very costly with handmade soaps. You can also choose one of her fun shapes which includes Hearts,Urchins, & Aspirins, the perfect gift for that person always asking you if you have a Tylenol in your purse, oh wait that's me!

When Patty offered her soap up for the Spring Celebration my first thought for the feature was to include a tutorial from her blog on how her soap is made. I am such a great lover of handmade bath/beauty products and part of the reason is because it is so nice to know that everything you are putting on your face is natural.

So here is a very amusing and informative tutorial taken from The Maaaaa of Pricilla, adapted slightly by me for space. If you want to read the whole post and see all the pictures click here.
Of course it all starts with my rich milk which was discussed in this post on How to Milk a Goat. The publicist freezes the milk she is going to use for soap. When she is ready to make the soap she pulls a bag out of the freezer and puts it in her pitcher to thaw. Using frozen, slushy milk helps to keep the lye from burning the milk.
After the milk has thawed a little the publicist says she "goes all psycho on it." As a goat I am not sure what this means but she said the readers would understand. After the milk is broken up and melts a bit more and turns slushy she adds the lye. This makes the milk turn a really weird yellow/green color. Ick.
Then she measures out her super secret recipe of fats and oils and puts them in her big soap pot and melts them on the stove. Then she adds the milk/lye blob and mixes it with her stick blender until it gets nice and smooth. This is called "trace" at which point it is time to strain it and add the fragrance oil or essential oil and pour it into the molds.
The molds will rest overnight. Then the publicist will pop the soaps out of the molds and let them cure for a month. This is called the cold process of making soap. The publicist makes small batches so she can maintain quality.

See the contest rules here to find out how you could win your own Bars of Handmade Happy Goat's Soap!


Spring Celebration -- Alterity Buttons!

For my first feature as part of the Spring Celebration I would like to focus your attention on Alterity Button Jewelry and Gifts who just so happens to be a dear bloggy friend of mine. She makes the most amazing creations using vintage/antique buttons for a retro yet modern look. I was the very lucky winner of one of her blog contests last year and so I have my very own button pendant made with a mother of pearl vintage button. Getting one of her pieces is like owning a piece of history and I love to imagine what former life my button has led.

The pendant above, valued at $25, is the one you could possibly win in the Spring Celebration Giveaway. The pendant will be presented on a light blue braided cord necklace with a button closure.It was so hard picking out a few of her pieces to showcase here since she has over 8 pages of gorgeous items. Her Etsy shop literally has something for every taste. She has bracelets, earring, brooches, pendants, rings, bookmarks, pouches, and more. I think this All Stacked Up bracelet/anklet would be the perfect Spring accessory. The Primary Flower brooch showcases her tatting skills as well. Finally, the Bakelite Cherry n Butterscotch Adjustable ring below I chose because I love the colors and Bakelite has always appealed to me in that retro/ modern way.
I asked Lisa to answer a few questions about her process and inspirations that I thought you might find interesting. The great thing about Lisa is that she is so willing to share what she has learned about running a handmade business on her blog. She doesn't hold back about mistakes she's made or keep her discoveries to herself. She treats her business like a business and even holds weekly staff meetings with herself which I find amazing. Here is what she had to say:

1. Why buttons and what does no harm techniques mean?
I have loved buttons ever since Grandma Meyerhoefer introduced me to her button tin when I needed something to play with at her house. I was about 8 and the love never went away. I found the National Button Society about 10 years ago which opened the door to collecting actual antique buttons instead of the vintage plastic ones you find in button tins. Antique buttons (buttons made before 1918) are a rare find in a button tin.

Being all about the buttons, it didn't take me long before I started toying with working buttons into jewelry. However, being a society member, I had to come up with a way to work buttons into jewelry without harming the buttons. This is where No Harm Techniques comes in. I am not trying to belittle fellow artisans, but when you take an antique button that's worth $25 and damage it in any way (cut off the shank, glue it to something, drill a hole in it) you are drastically decreasing the monetary and historical value of that button. It's like taking a Hummel, breaking off the arm, gluing it back on, then selling it for an undamaged worth. It is actually a very sensitive subject in the button collecting world. Damaged buttons in jewelry are worth nothing more than the scrap brass they are made of. Now, if you take that same $25 button and incorporate it into jewelry without harming it, the button doesn't lose it's value. It took me a long time to figure out how to work buttons in without damaging them and using no harm techniques takes a little bit more creativity and time. To see for yourself, take a button with a shank and make an artistic piece so that the button doesn't flop all over without harming it. It's really difficult! I sell mostly to the button collecting crowd all over the world. I also do a lot of custom work where button collectors will send me their buttons to work into jewelry without harming them. I do try to educate fellow artisans on the value of using buttons without harming them. If you do use really old buttons in your pieces, try to educate yourself on what you have. The National Button Society is a great place to start!

2. How long have you been selling your work and what venues do you use?
I have been selling online as a legal business for over 2 years now. I sell mainly on Etsy, but also participate in local craft shows. I have a weekly gig at the town market where I live from May through October. I represent myself as a member of the Chamber of Commerce at that sale since I don't have a brick and mortar store. Before that, I sold oil paintings and watercolors at art shows since 1987. My acquired love for buttons sort of stole me away from the art world. I do still paint a little, but usually just give them away to family.
3. What advice do you wish you were told before starting your business?
Simple - don't settle for anything less than an EZ tent and that it was going to take me at least 2 years to learn how to photograph jewelry!

4. How do you promote your work?
So far, I use EntreCard, Facebook, Twitter, lots of renewing listings on Etsy (if that counts as advertising) as well as various other forms of online sites.

See the contest rules here to find out how you could win your own Alterity creation!


Spring Celebration Contribution

So every few days through the Spring Celebration I'm going to be posting additional pictures, interviews, and maybe even a tutorial or two from the contributors. Because I know many of you are out and about actually celebrating Spring, Easter, and/or Passover this weekend I thought I would just share my own contribution for now.

One lucky winner will be receiving the lime green, raw silk scarf with wooden beads hand knit by me, along with an appliqued XL tee shirt from the remaining inventory of my sister in law's shop. She has decided to retire Gray Eyed Scorpio for the time being to focus on other creative pursuits but this very Spring like tee shirt could still be yours. I think the two of them make a very Springy look, don't you? The combined total of the two handmade creations is $35.

Here is a close up of the stitches and beads on the scarf. I used my favorite open stitch pattern which makes for a loose carefree look that you can throw around your neck on a breezy morning. So have you entered the Giveaway yet? What are you planning on choosing if you get first pick? It would be a hard decision for me that is for sure. I really love that pillow by So Many Colors but I've had my eye on WillOaks Studio's pearl necklace for the past month. And then there is the yarn and handmade soap, oh I just don't know what I would choose. Too bad I'm not able to sign up for my own giveaway but you sure can. Just click here to go to the post. I hope you all have a fabulous weekend however you celebrate.

(c) Lenox Knits, 2009|Created by NSD