Thursday, 27 January 2011

Friday Fancies - My Bliss

Inspired by Naomi's 'Treasury Challenge' for this month, I decided to make a Friday Fancies treasury with everything that makes me blissfully happy :) 

My blissfully favorite things:

Flowers and Gardens
Fresh Floral Scents
Reading and Cooking

Ivory Silk Pearl and Crystal Fascinator by JMGJewlDesign

Vintage White Trims by MariaMarrese

Jane Austen Locket by CosmicGirl

Handmade soap in Calla Lily by BellissimaMinerals

To see the entire treasury go here!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Treasury Challenge Time!!

                                                  'Follow Your Bliss...'

I feel so very lucky to be able to 'follow my bliss' through the realisation of my Etsy shop, and spend each and every day doing what I love.  Yet for me I also find my 'bliss' in reading, making my own clothing, and watching 40s and 50s movies. We each have our own individual character, and our uniqueness needs to be treasured and celebrated!!!

So the treasury challenge this month is to create a treasury that expresses your own self- a few of your favourite things. I promise you that it will put a smile on your face- searching for mine did!!!

                              Lace Deco Tape by I Love Lace
                              Audrey Hepburn Pocket Watch Necklace by  LunaShineShine
                              'Books' 12X8 Print by Lola's Room
                              Vintage Timber Cotton Reels by Stock Market

~Have a FABULOUS Wednesday, Team!!

Monday, 24 January 2011

Invincible summer

In the depth of winter I finally learned that there 
was in me an invincible summer. 

Albert Camus

Poppies limited edition print by linneaheide

It's January, right in the very depths of winter. We long to see leaves
on the trees again. The first hint of a bulb's leaves poking through the
frozen soil is a cause for celebration. It means winter will end.

Consider the quotation above. Summer inside me?

What is he talking about? 

The facts don't change. Winter is here, and it's cold and it's dark and it's wet. 
But that's just external. We don't have to let the dark months darken
our minds and our hearts.

We have a choice. 

We can sit shivering and miserable and grumble our way through winter.
Or we can greet winter with summer in our hearts. 

We can appreciate it as a time for renewal, for the soil to rest, for plants to regain their strength. We can spend time appreciating the warmth and shelter given by our homes.
Who says winter has to be an attitude?

Friday, 21 January 2011

Friday Fancies! AUSTRALIA DAY!!

                                                    ~ Clockwise from top left~

                                                                     Print by Kathy Panton
                                               Peacock Earrings by Baubles for Bellas
                                                Its a Boy Banner by Ben and Jess
                        Rose & Sterling Silver Earrings by Blue Giraffe Shop

In honour of 'Australia Day' on the 26th of January (the anniversary of the arrival of the first fleet of convict ships from Great Britain, and the raising of the Union Jack flag in 1788), the day to celebrate all things Australian, I have found a lovely selection of goodies from our talented Australian Etsy friends!!

A VERY HAPPY Australian Day on Wednesday to all those Aussies out there !! :)

And a super weekend ahead to everyone!!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Positivity Team Treasury

Here's another amazing collection of goodies from fellow positivity team members!

Hospitality House Earrings by coppersonja

Romantic decorated wooden spools and old cloths pins by tinybeardk

Familiar Road - 5x7 Print by linzyarnott

Textured tree soap dish by Emburr

Thursday, 13 January 2011

January Team Contest

Congratulations once again to Susan from SusanWilliamsDesigns

for winning November's Team Contest with her lovely icicle earrings! :)

Susan has chosen a really fun theme for January's Team Contest!

Think candles, relaxation, and a long soak in the bathtub!

{Bubble Bath Salts by kootenaybathproducts}

This month's Theme is:


Susan chose this theme in honor of "Bubble Bath Day" on January 8th. 

~~~Don't we all need some time to unwind, relax, and pamper ourselves?~~~

So gather up all your bubbly, de-stressing supplies and get crafting!

Here are the rules:

1. Create an item that relates to the monthly theme.
2. List the item in your etsy shop.
3. Come back here and leave a link to the item.
{item photos will then be posted in this thread}

Once all the items have been submitted, Susan will choose a winner.

This month, we're starting something new. The winner of this month's contest will choose the next month's theme. PLUS . . . we'll now be awarding small prizes to the winners also.

The winner of this month's contest will win these:

{6 reusable chalkboard tags with stamped "hand" on back and one piece of sharpened chalk}

{No worries, to those of you who have won the Monthly Contest before, you'll each be receiving a lovely little prize sometime soon too!!! :) }

Submissions will be accepted until Tuesday, March 1st, 2011.

A winner will be announced Thursday, March 3rd.

Can't wait to see what you'll all come up with! :)

Here are the many WONDERFUL entries:

Bubbles at the Beach by gildinglilies


Rainbow Fluffy by sexyhandmade


Bubbles Bag by BluebellDesign

What an AMAZING  showing! Can't wait to see what Susan decides! 

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Meet The Member - Naomi of Historika

Seeing as Naomi is our new team leader, we think we all ought to know more about what makes this gal tick!!

Please introduce yourself. 
Hi there! I am Naomi, and I live very close to the sea in East Sussex, southern England.   

Please describe your work / style.
 I sew late eighteenth and early nineteenth century clothing for women.  My customers are re-enactors,  Jane Austen fans, or those who simply enjoy 'being' in another time!  I try to make my clothing as historically accurate as possible, which means A LOT of hand sewing, and authentic fabrics and techniques of the period.  Many of my items are underpinnings, accessories such as bum pads, and hand stitched buttons.  I find all the little 'details' of an outfit fascinating!!

Who, or what, inspires you when you are creating your work?
As I am sewing away in my little room, I find that my mind often wanders back to those millions of seamstresses throughout history, who toiled day after day in often horrendous working conditions, and for very little pay.  Whenever I feel myself starting to grumble about the poor light on a grey day, or my aching fingers, then I picture myself back in the 19th century, with no heat, extremely poor light, and having to work halfway into the night to make sure that I reach my quota of work! I then realise how lucky I am.  The thought of those amazing women who produced such beautiful work, truly inspires me. And the more pieces of antique clothing I see, the more I know it to be true!! Such tiny stitches- and the love and care that has gone into them astounds me.

What made you decide to start selling your work?
Well, I have my little sister to thank for that! I was having a career crisis after leaving the healthcare sector where I had worked for over 10 years, when she said to me- 'I think you should sell on Etsy'.'  It is amazing what one person who believes in you can do. She gave me the shove that I needed; and I am SO glad that she did!!

Do you have a website or blog address?
I have to be honest here- I struggle with the internet and computer world! Being a woman with 19th century hankerings, in a 21st century world, can be a battle!  I would love to have my own website in the future, and am hoping to get my blog started this year sometime (once I work out how to get one together)! Having an online shop has been such a learning curve! 

How did you learn your craft? What took you in that direction? Were you inspired by another artist, or perhaps a favourite teacher at school?
I am mostly self taught when it comes to sewing. I probably started sewing when I was about 7. I struggled with it at first, but it wasn't long before I grew to love it. The gentle rhythm of a needle pulling and pushing through the fabric relaxed me, and I found myself centred and calm.  Not being able to find clothes that I liked or that fit me properly (I have a good old fashioned 'Pear shaped' figure- narrow top half, and a lot of' junk in my trunk' to make up for it!) in shops led me to making my own.  I do think though that watching the beautiful clothes on 'The House of Eliott' threw me into historical dress with a passion.  

How long have you been creating? Is it an outlet for you after a stressful day job, or were you born with a paintbrush in your hand?
My 2 sisters and I were always encouraged to use what we had to make things to play with as children.  I remember always making things to do with history, or sewing. If we were playing lego, then I was the one making the sewing machine. When my mum put all manner of things in front of us- toilet rolls, silver foil, old containers and cotton wool, I was the one who made the 'pretend' candle out of a toilet roll, with a flame drawn on a piece of paper sticking out of the top, and a cardboard base and handle. I used to carry it up to bed with me and 'blow' it out! I can't remember a time when I didn't make things.

Is there any other craft skill you would like to learn?
Oooh, there is SUCH a list! Firstly, I can't wait to get back into lace making. I had a kit given to me as a present when I was about 12.  I produced a tiny piece of a bookmark, and it took me forever! I haven't done any since then, and was thinking how cool it would be to make dresses with MY lace on!! Exciting!  Also, drawn thread-work, white-work and gold-work,  all the old embroidery techniques, smocking, and corsetry. 

Anything exciting planned that you’d like to share?
Everything is exciting at the moment!! I am loving every minute of my life right now, and still can't quite believe that I get up each day and get to do what I love most in the world!! It's amazing!! 

Have you had any work featured in magazines/books/galleries?
No, I haven't yet... but I hope to!!  In my heart of hearts, I would love to write a comprehensive book about Regency Fashion one day, and of course, as a positive thinker, I do think this might happen!! We shall see!

Has your work won any prizes/competitions?
I wish! I keep looking at the Your Wardobe Unlock'd (historical dress online magazine) Yearly Competition with longing...perhaps this year I will bite the bullet and enter! :)

If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be………
Doing something that mattered.  If I couldn't do what I loved, then I would want to be doing something that made a difference.  Perhaps working to rid the world of sweat shops, and getting either those young children back to school, or decent working conditions for all.

Describe your perfect day.
Mmmmm, easy. A whole day spent on the 'Victorian Farm' with Ruth Goodman, Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn. Dressed up in Victorian clothing, feeding the ducks and chickens with Peter, making some cheese, having a simple but tasty meal with them all, bringing in the harvest with Peter.  So no, forget the other 2- just Peter and I all day long....

Describe your proudest moment.
My proudest moment? I don't think that I have had it yet!! And I can't wait!!

What do you do to relax?
Relaxing, er I'm not sure if I know how to do that! I have always been a bit of a workaholic, no matter what I have done. And now that I can do what I love, I want to always be doing it! But to wind down at the end of a day, I read. I have always loved losing myself in a book, especially historical fiction!!  Jean Plaidy and I were firm friends in my youth. Then I found CJ Sansom's mysteries set in Tudor England (one of my favourite periods). He writes brilliantly; and I find that I cannot put them down. You can almost smell the filth of the streets!! 

What animal would you like to be, and why?
'I wish I was a glow worm,
A glow worm's never glum
'Cos how can you be grumpy
When the sun shines out your bum?!

(and no, I didn't write that- but it made me laugh)! 

What’s your weakness?
Oooh, I would have to say chocolate. And for some reason, I seem to be attracted to the chocolate that is other people's.  I have been know on many occasions to buy easter eggs as gifts, then eat them, then go buy more and wrap them to deter myself...then eat them... See what I mean!!! :)  My family have learnt now never to say 'help yourself' when handing around chocolate, as I most certainly will, and they'll be none left for anyone else!!  Perhaps I should have chosen the hippo as my favourite animal.....

Monday, 10 January 2011

Living just that little bit more...

"The  sun  won't  shine  until  you  put  the  umbrella  away.   Be  free."                               Anon.

                                                                Dancing in the Rain by YepltsPaper

Being free reminds me of a child's way of living each day as THE most important day EVER!!!  Do you remember that feeling? Getting to the top of a hill on your bike, ready to fly down the other side; lifting your arms up and out, and weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!! 

LIVING, ENJOYING, and LOVING each fresh day!

As adults we forget that feeling, and I think that it is a real shame. 

So today, try it. Turn the music up high, dance .... slide down the bannister .... or, if it's raining, put down your umbrella, put your face to the sky, and get wet!!!!  Forget you're an adult, and ... splash in the BIG puddles!!!!

Perhaps that sun might just appear, shine down on you, and... who knows what might happen??!!

A joyful Monday to all! :)

Monday, 3 January 2011

Welcome to our newest Team Leader!!

As of today, the lovely Naomi of Historika has joined the
leadership team. We're all looking forward to working with 
her over the next months, and will be asking her to tell us 
more about herself soon.