Thursday, October 23, 2008

I think this is the most fun of all of the Etsy Gift Guide pages. Who wouldn't smile looking at this? Look at the leather mask by Tom Banwell in the lower left-hand corner, and sushipot's Doll House rib cage. So many funny and macabre items. Oh, and my Batman earrings are there, too. ;^P

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Finally, A Second Shop on Etsy

Kenneth Jay Lane, Miriam Haskell, Taxco Silver, Whiting & Davis, and other vintage pieces.

I've been cluttering up my shop for two years with beads, fabric and vintage, and finally, finally decided to open a second shop. Sadly, I just listed some vintage and destash items and because I'm thrifty, won't be moving them over until they expire, so folks will be able to check out both shops. It's a relief to know that in future, things will look a little neater. So far there's only jewelry there, but they're nice pieces, and will be joined by more. I'm doing some online research about my signed pieces and their values, which is really interesting. I inherited some great pieces from my mother and aunt, and I'm so impressed with their taste - the pieces that I played with as a child are designer pieces - not outrageously collectible, but a good representation of American costume jewelry. It's so entertaining going to, trocadero,and bitzofglitz, to name a few. I was amazed to know that there are sites that show maker's marks of all kinds...incredible valuable. What did we do before the internet? Of course, the values are not consistent between sites, and many dealers set their prices very high vs. others and eBay, but it's been interesting, if very time-consuming, to research. Hopefully, people will think to come to Etsy for decent vintage, but my guess is that Google searches will lead more buyers to Etsy sellers for specific designers.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Purple Cauliflower Update

A couple of weeks ago I posted some photos from my trip to my Greenmarket, where I bought some purple cauliflower. Well, I put it off for as long as I could, but I finally tried it. I sauteed it with some garlic and herbs, and added some grated parmesan. It tasted a little like the white variety, so I probably won't buy it again. It looked pretty and would be a novelty at a dinner party, if it didn't have to cook too long. I think that if I'd steamed it the color would have been much brighter, but as cauliflower is so bland, I find it's tastier when cooked any other way than steaming.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Food Porn

Craft shows and art fairs usually have a pretty good food area, and this one in NJ was no exception. My youngest neff claimed to be starving, so we stopped for a bit after looking at animals for adoption and crafts for a bite of...crepes. The young'un chose banana chocolate, and we enjoyed watching the crepe master make our concoction. Check out the buildup around the burner. It was scarfed up in record time, sitting atop bales of hay that were scattered rustically around the setting instead of benches. I'd love to show you the mouths smeared with chocolate (including mine) but I don't post pictures of our children on the big bad internet.

Red Trees

I was in New Jersey on Saturday, visiting family on a glorious autumn day. The fall foliage is much further along than in NYC, and my hunger for red trees was somewhat satiated.

A Walk In The Park

Continuing with the Fall Theme, I walked through Central Park this past week on another impossibly gorgeous day, eager to see how the leaf colors were progressing. It was only just starting, and I was thrilled by the sight of a few trees that looked as if God had dipped a dry brush in red and just touched up the edges of a few trees. That red makes me CRAZY, so I have to go back next week to chart its progress. I was in NJ over the weekend, and the fall colors are ahead of New York City's...some pix coming soon.

I photographed the Park in the East 80s, walking by the Great Lawn and the duck pond near the Delacorte Theater.

Fall Moments

I took a few pictures as I was waiting for the Fifth Avenue bus on a brilliant fall day last week. The leaves seem to be changing a bit early this year and there was a fresh carpet of gold that looked so much better than what I captured here. While I was on the bus, I spotted a woman having her lunch while her gorgeous canine companion watched - the expression on the dog's face is so human and tickled me so much. :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Special Custom Order

My cousin Sara is a wonderful supporter of my efforts on Etsy. Her taste is quite different from my OTT excess, but that hasn't stopped her from shopping for friends and colleagues. My brother Ian bought pieces from me for his wife, our cool cousins Nancy and NR are also fantastically generous, as is Sara's mom, Betsy...I'm happy that my family have been customers, but Sara's dedication is particularly consistent and for that I am most appreciative.

Sara needed a gift for a colleague who was moving on to another job, and I was happy to be able to put together something to fit her specifications. There was a lot of discussion, pictures taken and emailed, pow-wowwing with another colleague, and within a week or so, a necklace and earring set was designed, sourced and made. Hopefully, Sara's friend will enjoy this set, which has a fantastic made to order hammered sterling silver circle by the wonderful Prolifique, who rushed my order, and my new moss green dyed freshwater pearls, which I swear are alive. All of the components are sterling silver, left in their original bright state despite the trend to oxidize, oxidize, oxidize.

Front Page Follies/Etsy

It's nice to have it happen, and although there's no guarantee of sales, it's fun to watch the views skyrocket. I have to say that these are beautiful Treasuries, and I am honored to be a part of these groups. :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I haven't been blogging much lately and as penance post some pics I took late last month in my local park (Inwood Hill Park - Salt Marsh) at dusk.

It looks so peaceful, but in reality those ducks were quacking louder than anything I've ever heard. It was really nasal QUAAAAAACKKKKK, which is only right, for a Noo Yawk duck.

I will blog tomorrow, as I took some pictures in midtown today and the leaves are changing (yay!), which shows New York City at its best.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Gift of the Gift Guides

The week began with The Storque Amethyst feature, and ended with the Gift Guides...and I have another opportunity to be seen on Etsy without having to buy a Showcase slot (which I'm never doing again). I don't know when my Drop of Cognac chandelier crystal necklace made it into the Guides, as I can't remember when I last checked, but it's there and may lead to that blasted necklace finally being sold. I have six of those crystals in stock; one is currently used in another necklace, and I was so sure that they would fly out of the shop, as I often do with new supplies. I wish that I had $100 for every time I listed something that I was SURE would sell right away because the bead/finding/whatever was just so unique and beautiful...yawn.

I truly believe that you just have to wait until the right person comes along for a many times have I given up on a piece and decided to strip it for its parts when it expired, only to have someone come along and buy it?

So here's to the end of another tumultuous week. I may hit the Greenmarket again tomorrow (is it that time already?)and look forward to the colorful displays that await. Watch this space. :)

Random Yet Connected?

I was on the Upper East Side this evening and was drawn to the amazing Pre-Raphaelite red hair of this little girl walking along 86th street. I tried to get closer and get a better shot but it was impossible we were both moving (tried; results unacceptable).

On the next block, I found myself behind this woman, whose hair was dyed and a little sparse in the back, which you can't see in this photo as we were of course, both walking.

The images seemed strangely coincidental, but I may be over-thinking this.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Transportation Rant

Dear MTA (Metropolitan Transit "Authority"),

Thank you so much for making it so difficult for "Upstate Manhattan" residents to get anywhere on the weekends and evenings after 11 PM. The catch-all phrase "track work" is a handy one, a useful reason for shutting down the A Train above 168th Street on weekends, from 207th to 168, requiring a bus trip and then transfer to the A at 168th.

Last night, after arriving at the 86th street C train station, carrying three huge bags at 11:00 PM, I had to take the train downtown to 59th, catch the A to 168th, transfer to a local (took 25 minutes to appear) uptown to 207th. A trip that normally takes 40 minutes took 90 minutes. I now realize that after three years of this, "track work" is an ongoing thing and it will NEVER BE FINISHED, so that for every three weeks of full service, we will pay by having four weekends of disruption following.

I could take the express bus BXM1, I suppose, when I have to go to the East Side. In theory I could, but as it rarely arrives on time, and often never does, it's a crapshoot. The city took over this bus line from a private company a few years go, raised the fare, and never looked back. A bus is 20 minutes late, and upon arrival when the driver is questioned about this, shrugs as if this has nothing to do with him. "Take the train", one retorted, when I told him that I was now late for a doctor's appointment because the 1:00 bus never arrived and I was on the 1:37 for a 2:00 appointment. I feel a kinship with riders on the F or G trains in Queens and Brooklyn, who have to put up with horrible service on weekends; there are folks traveling from Howard Beach and places way out in the boroughs who take a bus and two trains to get to work every day, which means two hours of commuting, twice a day...but one knows that if one chooses to live out there and has to travel into Manhattan to work, that one has to put up with that kind of a commute. I'm in Manhattan (barely) yet often feel trapped in my nabe when my choices include a bus that may or may not arrive and a circuitous bus & train combo. I often am carrying a lot of crap of a day, so it's a strain to deal with extra stairs and crowds, so taking the 1 train, a healthy walk down 207 and up a huuuuge flight of stairs, as it's elevated up here, and a local train in every sense, isn't practical.

So MTA, who I know don't care, because your employees are even more miserable than the people you provide service to, you get an F from me for the inconvenience of having to leave an hour earlier than necessary to get anywhere, and I need my sleep. Thanks for making things a little harder around here, and for undoubtedly driving good people out of the city who just can't put up with the trauma of getting to and from work and play. 11:00 in the evening cut-off time? In the City That Never Sleeps? Sheesh.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Storque Delivery & Front Page Monday!

I was checking Majaba to see if I'd had any new hearts over the weekend, with so few views lately, despite my listing like mad, when I saw that one of my new earrings, "Plum Pudding", had jumped from 0 to 37 hearts in an hour, and from 7 views to almost 500. It wasn't in a Treasury, but after some investigation, lo and behold, it was in a Storque feature, called "Amethyst" by TeenAngster, an Etsy admin. It's a lovely group of items in deep royal purple. I haven't felt much love from Etsy over my 2 years there; I'm almost never in the Gift Guides (unlike some others who are regulars, sometimes appearing more than once in a category) and to my knowledge have never been featured anywhere else, so I was quite tickled by this. I made a bunch of sales from the visibility, which are much needed.

I will attempt to post the Storque article, which will doubtless be hard to read, and the Front Page, which it also made, while I was busy vacuuming my apartment and studio.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Greenmarket Saturday

I was out bright and very early (early for ME), as the market was opening, around seven AM (!) so I could a) grab the best produce, and b) take some pictures. It was well worth the effort, as the goods were just photographs so brilliantly. I have so many pictures that I don't think I can post them all here, but they're at my Flickr space for a complete viewing. The link will take you to the slideshow of the Greenmarket Pix that I've taken since September. I missed the market last weekend, but tomatoes continue to be prime, the apples look great (wish I liked them) and the cauliflower varieties I think are the stars of the week. The strange looking green vegetable is a Romanesca cauliflower, a cross between broccoli and cauliflower, that I'll try next week. I did buy some purple cauliflower, which I am told tastes just like the white variety.

The lady in the orange sweatshirt is my fabulous neighbor Ruby, who is a Renaissance woman - knitter, chef, fishing enthusiast and market-vendor. She is selling divine milk from Thistle Farms - you have to get there very early to snag the chocolate milk, which is extraordinary.

Duane is our very cheerful honey-and-candle-vendor. It was so early that he hadn't yet unpacked the candles, which was a shame as far as my pictures fared. There are traditional beeswax tapers but also angels and other molded shapes that would make great gifts.

The pumpkins and gourds are also pretty spectacular, and I'm loving the harvest display that was created for maximum seasonal decoration. Enjoy the pictures...and visit your local Greenmarket, if there's one near you. This one is on Isham Street between Cooper and Seaman Avenues in Inwood, in upper Manhattan, just north of the A train's last stop on 207th street.