Saturday, September 27, 2008

Uncommon Generosity!

I found that a curator, SweetGems, who has a lovely shop of her own, chose TWO (2) items from my shop in her new Treasury. That is so rare, especially as the same focal bead is in both pieces. Peacock Treasuries are popular for Treasury themes, and they're always beautiful, but she managed for this one to choose very vivid and color-rich photos to make it really POP!

Saturday Night Special!

I'm dipping my big toe into the pool known as SNS on Etsy - Saturday Night Special. Never done this, and I don't run sales too often. Now's the time to grab some sparklies for your holiday shopping list for your special peeps. 10% off for single items and 20% off for purchases over $50. Free shipping if you hit $200.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Front Page Friday

I've been lucky this week - I'm in five concurrent Treasuries, and this one just hit the front page on Etsy, though only for half an hour. I was in Showcase yesterday and have an enormous amount of new hearts and views, and offers for consignment and blog features :) but no sales, oddly enough. I usually do well from Showcases, so it's the economy. I also get many sales later, as my wares are not always inexpensive and people need to think about these purchases a bit longer than they did a few months ago.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Little Culcha

Last week I had reason to be on the Upper East Side and had a few hours to spend, so I headed over to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I haven't been in far too long and felt like revisiting some of my favorite spots. I missed the Superheroes Costume exhibit and deserve to be tarred and feathered (heh) for this delinquency.

My photo list is huge, so I suggest that you head over to my Flickr account if you're at all curious about my favorites. The museum is undergoing a good deal of refurbishment at any given time, so it's always good to check to see what wings are closed before you visit. I worked there in 1978-79 in the various shops and grew accustomed to the wails of disappointment when Renaissance Jewelry or some other area was those days it was because they didn't have enough guards for the day. Imagine the frustration of someone coming 3,000 miles to see a particular piece or gallery, and they couldn't because a few security guards called in sick that day?

I'm sure it still happens, though I'm positive that the reason for closure is given as something else.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Saturday = Greenmarket

In my neighborhood, there is a wonderful Greenmarket every Saturday. When I first moved up to Inwood, there wasn't anything like this available - just the two local supermarkets and a few bodegas. In the seven years since, the market closest to me has a good organic section, but the best thing is the Greenmarket on Isham Place, now open all year round. We have great sellers and it's possible to buy freshly caught fish, meat, fruits and veggies, milk & eggs, cheese, baked goods, and candles & honey.

This week's featured fruits/veggies are tomatoes and peppers, with the odd radish and pumpkin thrown in, because they're in the same color family.

I bought some great-looking tomatoes, but somehow they never made it home. The vendor was very sweet and let me take more of them so I could at least have some tomato goodness this week. I'm not that much of a tomato fan, but these looked too good and full of healthy properties to pass up.

The brand-new shiny leather jacket in two of the pictures goes wonderfully with the tomatoes, don't you think?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Commercial on an Epic Scale

I was tipped off by a member of an internet group to which I belong
that the Hovis bakery company in the UK was about to premiere an epic commercial celebrating their 122nd year in business. It starts out with a boy buying a loaf of bread for his mother in 1886 at the local shop in what looks like a working-class neighborhood, and running home to his mum in 2008 through over 100 years of English history. It's 122 seconds long, or a second for every year (clever), and as commercials go, is more like a feature film in planning, organization and reportedly cost 15 million pounds (that's $27 MILLION dollars!) Having worked almost exclusively in commercials since 2005, I have never done anything on this scale in that genre, and don't imagine that many others have either, with so many background actors - the uniforms alone are a huge challenge. Happily, costume rental options in the UK are plentiful and the quality is you will see.

The boy is especially winning, and certainly earned every pound of his fee by all of the running he did. I liked his costume changes - subtle but nicely done.

Here's some more links and info: news...about this project.

Hovis website...superb quality copy

You Tube video about the making of this project.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

In Which I Snag And Lose A Treasury, Unexpectedly

There was a huge hiccup in the Treasury this afternoon and I grabbed one. Naturally I blanked on a title as I had nothing planned.

I chose the Victorian Gentleman as my subject - it won't get a lot of views or clicks, but I like it! Some of my items are alternates.

But guess what? It was deleted sometime in the afternoon when I was out. Oh well, I'll just have to re-create it someday.

I have to say that I have not seen a purple grouping like this, ever. It's a feast for the eyes, stimulating and soothing for the senses. It's curated by Belleamitie, who I'm glad to know about. Beautiful!

I'll Have Some Cream and Sugar With This Treasury

I'm not in this Treasury, but I had to post it as it the most mouth-watering thing. I am a coffee lover, and my 92-year old Dad loves it even more than I do, so Dad, this one's for you. I'm getting him some soap from this list so he can have a whiff of coffee whenever he needs it. Curated by greenporchlights.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Soap Stars

I never was one for fancy soaps. I'd keep a bar of soap or bombe that I received as a gift forever and not use it, but late last year started trying out different soapmakers at Etsy. I quickly became addicted and now really have to control myself. Most of those vendors have superb photography skills, and their soap pix are truly mouth-watering. Soaps look like jewels in the right light, so the possibilities for lovely pictures are endless.

I've already blogged about Dennis Anderson, so I won't again here. But do check out his Etsy outpost. I love his shea butter jasmine soap, pictured. SO lathery and fragrant. He's having a sale right now.

I love Savor! This shop was a featured seller on Etsy and I am hooked on her soaps.

My favorite, which I've ordered a few times, is the Pink Grapefruit Granita. She seems to be out of it at the moment, but perhaps she'll restock it soon. It has tiny glittery grains in it, so it sparkles in the soap dish. It smells heavenly and lathers up so well.

I also tried the Hawaiian Orange Alaea, which has a lovely scent and transports me somewhere else while I'm lathering it. She has some in stock here.

Sparta Soap is a new shop for me - I was looking for Tea Tree soap and stumbled upon them. I tried their Tea Tree and French Clay Olive Oil soap - very rich, great for dry skin and a beautiful color. I love the gentle scent of the tea tree oil as well as the fact that it's a soap with extra-special properties for cleansing. I have yet to use the Terracotta Foot Scrub Spearmint Eucalyptus Pumice - sure sounds hardworking!

They have a 4-bar Citrus set that looks so yummy, must try:

Adoration Soap...I just used up this Peppermint Massage bar. I got hooked on The Body Shop's Peppermint Foot Lotion years ago, so I had to try this out. Works fabulously with a pumice stone on the feet!

This lovely shade of green cake is called Bentonite Tea Tree Unisex Shaving Soap. Lathered up so nicely and is perfect for drier parts of the body in addition to making shaving easier.

I'm currently using this Pink Grapefruit round, and it's a great size - it fits nicely in your hand and stays put on the soap dish - doesn't slide around like those larger bars. The colors are just so pretty too.

One of the first soap shops I tried was Naiad, because of this soap: The Chocolate Coffee Scrubby Bar. There are coffee grains on the bottom, so it's also an exfoliant. The second time I ordered it, there were a lot less grains, so I was a bit disappointed, but I may try it again. My youngest nephew, 4 or 5 at the time and the owner of a fierce sweet tooth, was visiting me and after using the bathroom ran out holding this dry cake of soap and asked if it was "real" (edible). Yes, it really looks like it could be on a petit four tray.

I visited Dirty Bird Soaps (great name!) and couldn't resist the Pumpkin Pie Vegan soap - great for using after cooking, to leave your hands with a delicious scent. Sadly, she is closing her shop - not permanently, I hope.

Daisy Cakes Soaps have wonderful products. I tried the German Chocolate Cake Lip Balm - won't help your diet, but will make applying lip balm a pure pleasure. I don't see it in stock right now, (they do have Strawberry Cheesecake) but there are about the Key Lime Pie?

These Halloween Bats look like fun!

I don't have any money for serious pampering these days, but this kind of pampering at least makes my cleaning regimen more enjoyable. :)

Front Page on Etsy!

The handsome and charming Dennis Anderson, soapmaster extraordinaire, has the touch - and Treasury West mojo strikes again. Front page this afternoon, though I missed it.

How kind of him - he's a very successful seller yet finds the time to curate Treasuries and often has two going at once, in TW and the other one.

Check out his shop for delicious, almost-edible soaps. The pink grapefruit shower gel is fabulous - keep it in the fridge and you'll have a nice cool shower gel in the morning! The exfoliating lime soap is great, too! Citrus soaps in summer rule!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Shameless Food Porn

Fall is in the air, and my mind turns to pumpkins. I lit a pumpkin pie votive the other night, so the thought was implanted in my brain and wouldn't leave. Visions of orangey baked goodness teased, and the promise of that aroma was too great to resist.

The first batch, to which I added chopped walnuts, turned out dry and chewy, but the second, baked this morning, without them, is perfection...not the fault of the walnuts, just needed less cooking time. My oven heats up quickly, so everything needs 5-10 minutes less cooking time than recipes state. I couldn't resist taking a few pictures, and as the rain from Hannah poured down outside, it was doubly comforting being inside, doing some humble baking and anticipating some pumpkin bread nirvana.

I had a trip to the post office to make to send out a bunch of packages and mail, and the library, and was drenched in a way that I have never been drenched before. Apparently, all of the gutters are clogged in my Inwood neighborhood, as I had to perform Olympic-like movements in order to cross the streets, praying that my soaked black leather slides wouldn't break, which necessitated very slow walking in very squishy shoes. So when I finally returned home, I was happy to have a treat waiting for me, still warm after sitting patiently on the stove for an hour. :)

I got the recipe from, and here it is, 'cause I want you to be able to enjoy this as much as I am!


Ingredients - what I changed is in parentheses)

2 cups flour, sifted
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon (I increased this, and added allspice and cloves in a generous shaking)
1/2 tsp. nutmeg (grated from the nutmeg itself)
1 cup canned pumpkin (I added more - maybe 3/4 of the smaller size can. Can you ever add too much?)
1 cup sugar ( I used 3/4 sugar, 1/4 Splenda)
1/2 cup milk (I used 2 percent)
2 eggs
1/4 cup soft butter (I melted it, and used I Can't Believe....)
1 cup nuts, chopped (Omitted this time. If you can afford it, use pecans!)

Sift dry ingredients together. Combine pumpkin, sugar, milk and eggs in mixing bowl and beat. (I used a hand mixer) Add dry ingredients and soft butter (I melted it - less work and kept things smooth).

Beat until well mixed (I did this by hand) then add nuts. Bake in well greased loagf pan for 45-55 minutes in 350 degree oven.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Heavy Metal

While watching/listening to the RNC the other night I made a bunch of new metal earrings. My "studio" is in the living room, so I usually have the TV on when I work...not that I'm actually ever watching's more like listening to the TV, only turning to watch when there's some long stretch of silence happening. Anyway, I had all of my metal supplies out, so I thought I'd make some new ones as I sold the first two pair I made in August. :)

I like the pen nibs and ordered more - the seller on Etsy that I bought them from, however, is the slowest shipper that I have come across, and I am still waiting for them to arrive after 10 days. I think these are great for a writer to wear.