Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Official website for the Dutch stores
Monday, June 29, 2009
A Tribute to KODACHROME: A Photography Icon
Saturday, June 27, 2009
"In a world of secrecy, corruption and injustice, a single courageous voice can tell a true story that changes everything". The Stoning of Soraya M
Last week, the world closely watched as Iranians fought for a fair Democratic Election. Many Americans supported the idea that change is needed for this country and it's people. The film, The Stoning of Soraya M opened yesterday, June 26th. This is an important film depicting the harrowing account of an innocent Iranian woman as she is falsely accused of a crime under Shari’a law. This region of the world is long known for it's barbaric stoning and human rights violations of women. The stoning of women is still practiced in Iran, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan and Pakistan. See this film and get involved in giving it a voice. Visit the links below.
Theater listing and trailer: www.thestoning.com (click on the Flash link on this website for links)
Friday, June 26, 2009
"The true harvest of my life is intangible - a little star dust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched" Henry David Thoreau
This weeks theme is from Deborah of The Pink BirdHouse ~ "Colors of the Rainbow" (the above photo was shot across the street from my home after a passing summer rain).
Red, Red....Strawberries! Strawberry season is upon us! It has been raining all week but despite the weather, I am hoping to get out to the fields soon and pick a couple of quarts of luscious berries for a pie. I took this photo at a favorite local place called Patten's Farm Stand.
Orange ~ a lovely display of Apricots at Patten's Farm Stand in Kennebunkport.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
“At school, even in kindergarten, you teach us how to behave in the world,” she said with a poise and force that belied her youth. “You teach us not to fight with others; to work things out; to respect others; to clean up our mess; not to hurt other creatures; to share, not be greedy.Then why do you go out and do the things you tell us not to do?”Perhaps many of you have seen this short video of Canadian girl, Severn Cullis-Suzuki, who spoke to the United Nations when she was twelve years old. She and three friends raised all funds necessary to travel to the delegation, five thousand miles from her home to the Rio Earth Summit in Brazil - quite impressive. If only more of us had such passion and conviction! She is now 28 and continues making a difference for environmental justice. Click on the photo below to see what she is up to! Kudos to you Severn Cullis-Suzuki. You were and still are 16 years later- an inspiration for all of us!Severn Cullis-Suzuki
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
- Visit the shop, meet the shop owner and view their merchandise. Is the shop a fit for your art/craft. Will your items compliment the inventory and grab the eye of their customer or are there many competitors with the same product? Seek out retail shops that cater to your specific niche.
- Ask the shop owner where your items will be displayed in the store? Will your work be given exposure at the entrance, in a space dedicated to other handcrafted items, or on a high shelf? It is really important to negotiate the placement of your artwork in the shop before you have committed to selling.
- Marketing your product by dressing it up with packaging or a creative display is an important consideration. Does the shop owner allow you to label your product and if so, will they also allow business cards or artist profiles, to accompany the display? This is a important opportunity for more exposure as an artist/craftsperson. If you have a website, it can lead to direct future sales from your website.
The fourth thing to consider is the payment structure. There are many payment arrangements and each arrangement has advantages and disadvantages. What financial terms should you arrange with the shop? Should you sell wholesale, commission or is consignment the way to go?
- Commission is a common payment arrangement with galleries. This is when the artist is paid a percentage of the overall sale - normally a 50/50 split.
- Wholesale is a payment arrangement where the shop owner will buy your art/craft work at agreed upon wholesale price and pay within a certain time frame (usually 30 days). If you find the store owner is hesitant in buying your pieces up front wholesale, you may suggest a consignment agreement. This is a benefit for the shops as they will not loose any money should your pieces not sell.
- Consignment is an agreed upon commission as well (usually 60% artist, 40% shop owner). It is important to have a contract with a time frame on this type of agreement, this way if your pieces do not sell within that time frame you have the right to pull your pieces from the store and place them somewhere else. You also want to make sure the contract outlines protection for theft or fire,etc. Generally in my experience the shop owner's insurance should cover such expenses.
Monday, June 22, 2009
What are the advantages of a "Staycation"? Everyone gets to sleep in their own beds, so you are almost assured a good night's sleep. Since it is in your backyard, you are within familiar surroundings. You don't have to travel far with flights, etc., so the cost is minimal.
Some ideas we've done over the years as a family (not a new concept in our home):
- Consider a day hike. We purchased a book when my children were young, called "Hikes in New England for Children and Families". It was sectioned by state, town, and degree of difficulty. We used it as a checklist in exploring hikes around our state and surrounding states. Some hikes were almost literally in our backyard - places we didn't know existed. Despite the complaining, our sons now look fondly back as adults and have started hiking again with their friends.
- Seek life's simple pleasures - like Ice Cream! My husband and I love ice cream and in the summer, Maine has wonderful old fashioned, homemade ice cream stands. We often visited these places with our children (when they were younger) for a vacation treat. Now it is our mission, as a couple, to seek new places to try each week. My daring husband loves experimenting with their sometimes unusual variety of flavors (we always try two flavors in a cup).
- Explore what you love in your own backyard. I love the coast. In my opinion, Maine has some of the most beautiful and varied seacoast in America. The length of the coast line stretches 3500 miles from Kittery/Eliot all the way to Calais. Bar Harbor with Acadia National Park, Deer Isle, Portland's Old Port District, Old Orchard Beach and many gorgeous beaches in Southern Maine in the Kennebunks, Ogunquit and York (just to name a few) are all fun and interesting places in between. What's in your backyard?
- Free Cultural events and places to visit. You don't have to spend money to enjoy the arts. There are many free events in your communities that are waiting for discovery. Kennebunk the community in which I live, offers numerous art galleries, small historical museums, and free outdoor musical venues throughout the summer. There are also many festivals and fairs most weekends somewhere in Maine (and probably in your state also).
- If you have children, discover what their interests are and plan events exploring these interests. I'll never forget when our children were young and their cousins from New York came to visit. We took them down to the shore and wading in the water at low tide we discovered all types of sea life - baby lobsters, crabs, starfish,etc. My son (a budding young marine biologist who at the time read everything he could about sea life) recited various facts about the life we encountered. They were absolutely amazed and thrilled with an experience that didn't cost their parents a cent and they didn't have to stand in line for hours . Afterwards, we brought lobsters home and they had an adventure cooking them. Needless to say, they still talk about their summer vacation in Maine.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
- do not have lungs, breathe through their skin, and can live under water for a while;
- do not come to the surface during rain to escape drowning, but rather to find a mate since their mobility is much better on wet ground;
- lack eyes but are light sensitive;
- can detect the motion of a robin (that can hear the earthworm in its burrow);
- may survive being frozen if the freeze is not too rapid
Maintaining a healthy population of worms is easy.They need a moist, well-mulched habitat with plenty of decaying matter. Take care when turning the compost pile. A pile interior might contain dozens of worms, so try to relocate them to an area where they will have a good chance in which to burrow deeply. Worms are resilient, have a high reproduction rate, and can survive without us. But with just a little help they can be made to flourish. And you can forget about ever needing a rototiller.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
"A calm, healthy, beautiful home is a necessary foundation for happiness and success in the world."I look forward to their daily emails for new ideas and inspiration. The June post - "Etsy Finds:Curios Cabinet Collectibles" was based on a Nicole Hollis designed foyer that was in this years "Decorator Showcase". The large curio cabinet featured items that included plant and animal themes. The "Etsy Finds Link" keeps with Apartment Therapy ideal of "Creating a home doesn’t require large amounts of money or space. It requires inspiration, connection to resources and motivation to do something about it."
The post featured items from my Natural Elements Section from my shop on Etsy Seasonal Vignettes. They featured and linked to the
Black Sea Fan and my Trio of Star fish. Thank you Apartment Therapy!
Click on the curio cabinet to be taken to the original post in Apartment Therapy - San Francisco. Click on the sea fan or starfish to be taken to my shop.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
One of my customers Rhonda, is a woman of many talents. She has a shop on Etsy called SpankinArt where she creates wonderfully whimsical prints. She also is a talented Lampwork artist and creates gorgous beads which she sells on her website - Spanky's Bella Art. She has purchased my sea urchins and used them as props in photographing her Lampwork Jewelry. Click on the photo to the right and check out her blog to see her creative use of sea urchins as props in photography - Spanky's Lampwork Beads and Handmade Sterling Silver Elements
Monday, June 15, 2009
I began the planning process in March. The first thing I did was purchase the seeds. Apparently gardening has become quite popular this year with local shops in Southern Maine reporting a 50% increase in "seed demand". I'm glad I purchased early.
The second step I took was in April with the purchase of white cedar raised beds. I figured this would reduce the amount of weeds and keep our dogs from running through the veggies. I highly recommend these easy to assemble raised beds I purchased at The Farmstead . No tools are required as you simply slip the tenon through the mortise opening, secure with the provided wooden pegs and viola - a lovely raised bed! These garden beds are similar to ones used in Colonial America so I feel like I am keeping with New England tradition!
I used mostly seeds with the exception of a few plants, mainly tomatoes and peppers. We have such a short growing season I thought it better to purchase the plants. I planted at the end of May and with the help of Mother Nature's Spring rains, the seeds have now sprouted.
I am really looking forward to harvesting the produce that I know is truly organic and fresh. I also planted many varieties of sunflowers and am hopeful to see their smiling faces sometime in August.
The Farmstead for Natural Cedar Raised beds
All illustrations by Melissa Sweet from my favorite gardening book that provided me with the inspiration for my garden, "In the French Kitchen Garden, the joys of Cultivating a Potager"
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
I have six Etsy shops - three handmade and three supply. I have included the banners for each shop below and what specials I will be offering during the 5 day sale. Click on the banner to be taken to each shop and please do join us on Etsy for the Yart Sale.
For a Variety of Paper, Vintage Ephemera and 7 Gypsies products visit my shop The Paper Source. During the Yart Sale on Etsy, you can find a special designated Yart Sale Section with reduced pricing on digital postcards! For an eclectic assortment of French inspired creations, visit my shop Simply French Designs. During the Yart Sale on Etsy, I will be offering free shipping on all jewelry and accessories orders over $25.00 (prior to shipping costs. Excluding Home Decorative Art). I will credit your paypal account upon shipping.
For all your Mixed Media, Book Arts, and Altered Art supply needs visit The Artist's Closet. During the Yart Sale on Etsy, you can find a special designated Yart Sale Section with great pricing on unique are supplies which cannot be found at big box shops!For a unique selection of Eclectic and Original Jewelry Collection. Featuring Seaglass, Sea Inspirations, French Themes and Youthful Trends, visit my shop Dion Designs. During the Yart Sale on Etsy I will be offering free shipping on all orders over $25.00. I will credit your paypal account upon shipping.
For a unique selection of Imported Die Cuts and Dresden's visit my shop The Seasonal Cottage. During the Yart Sale on Etsy, you can find a special designated Yart Sale Section with great pricing!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
"Welcome to our store and thank you for shopping with us. We offer an eclectic collection of organic, renewable, eco-conscious products made in America, helping provide jobs, products created under the Fair Trade Act, and individual works by artisans using earth-friendly materials."Click on this hyperlink and on the Juicy Orange clock above to visit Unusual Home Decor for a view of intriguing, unique American created items, as well as a selection of Fair Trade World Decor!
Monday, June 8, 2009
instead of a second rate version of someone else." Judy Garland
All the best in your new adventures in life and know we will always love you and be here for you!
For more pics click below and visit my photo album on facebook:
Evan's High School Graduation 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
"Let no one think that real gardening is a bucolic and meditative occupation. It is an insatiable passion, like everything else to which a man gives his heart. " ~Karel Čapek, The Gardener's Year, translated by M. and R. Weatherall, 1931
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
There are so many benefits to buying food locally. It is fresher than what you would find in the grocery store and it is great for your local economy. Participate in your local and state agri-business. Support your farmers and help them stay in business. Visit the Local Harvest / Farmers Market website and find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainable food in your area, where you can buy organic produce, grass-fed meats, and many other tasty foods. Click on the banner above to be taken to their website.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Think outside the box and pick something extraordinary for your home as an alternative to the usual artwork. The work of Etsy Artist Jalex Studios is a great interpretation of modern home decor with an Eco-friendly touch.
How about a side table created from recycled parquet flooring. Jaxel Studios has fashioned its dashing L-Modern side table from recycled Brazilian Walnut parquet flooring and window curtain brackets. An inventive use of materials otherwise landfill-bound. Click on the photo to view the pieces in his shop and on his name here to be taken to his shop on Etsy - Jaxel Studios.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
What is a "Yart Sale" you ask? Come visit The Storque - Etsy's blog, for details and read my latest published post on how you can get involved in this Etsy site wide promotion. Whether you are a shopper or an Etsy shop owner, you will not want to miss this year's Yart Sale on Etsy. The 2nd annual Yart Sale will be sponsored by the Etsy Street Supply Team (ESST) and run for five days - Wednesday, June 10th- Sunday,14th. Check out the Team Blog during the Sale for updates.
I will be participating in this event in all six of my Etsy shops (shown in this blog sidebar) during all 5 days, so be sure to check back here and in my shops on Etsy for specials. See you at the Yart Sale!
Click on the "Gotta Yart" banner above to be taken to the Storque article for further information about the Sale.