Sunday, November 15, 2009

Etsy Front Page Sunday

It's a rare occurrence, but my shop was on the Front Page of Etsy for an hour very early this morning (or late last night). The "Dark Romance" theme pops up from time to time, and I was in this Admin-curated group once before, with this necklace that has over 2000 views. It's a favorite of mine, the Steampunk Romance Necklace, because of the sweet cherry red Victorian sequin sew-on beads that have so much candy-like appeal. They're like little translucent red hots. Do they make that candy anymore?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembering Family Veterans

Thank you to all veterans, past and present, for your service and sacrifice. It's always a sobering day, remembering how many have served and died defending our country.

In my family, I thank my father, Maurice Finnell, who is happily, still with us at almost 94, who served at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, during WWII. I like this picture of him on leave at home in New Jersey one winter, where icicles behind him threaten to fall any second. He's wearing his army issue coat, which he still has and can probably fit into again!

The second picture is of my late uncle, Benjamin Kaufman, who served in WWI. Uncle Ben won the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Croix de Guerre, among other medals, for bravery in the Argonne Forest in France; you can read a little about him here and even more, here. He was an Executive Director and National Commander of the Jewish War Veterans, and was honored throughout his life for this achievement. Uncle Ben was a modest man and elderly by the time I came on the scene, and I so wish that I could have talked to him with an adult's sensibility about this seminal event in his long life. He traveled all over the world with his beloved Dorothy - they were a fabulous couple, devoted to each other, who worked hard to improve the lives of veterans and the disabled, and were the heart and soul of our family. I miss you both so much, Aunt Dot and Uncle Ben.

I have been updated by a cousin and want to remember my late uncle Albert Finkle, who also was a WWII veteran. My cousin Joel Popkin is a veteran of the Korean War at Fort Benning, Georgia, and his brother, David Popkin, served in the Army Dental Corps.

New in the Shop

I've had these clock hands for a couple of months and finally had some time last night to make the earrings I'd planned to with them. They're wonderfully long and dangly, nearly 4 inches long including the ear wire. I'm drawn to the Medieval era, and the spiky points called to me and were most inspiring. As the hands are asymmetrical, I compensate for the shortness of one by adding a length of copper-plates steel chain, from which dangles a black iridescent glass cathedral-style bead. The red beads are vintage beauties: blood red glass with silvery veins of hematite, for a very dramatic accent. The rest of the hardware is brass, for contrast.

Not everyone can wear such long earrings, or wants to, but for the right occasion, they will serve nicely for those who do.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday Featured Seller - Nancy Wilder on Etsy

I just spied a wrap on the front page of Etsy that led me to this shop, Nancy Wilder, maker of gorgeous felted wool accessories and clothing in polar fleece and jersey. There's lots of lovely texture especially and beautiful colors, and I'm quite partial to the felted scarves and cocoon wraps with colorful dots. I urge you to check out this shop from the San Francisco Bay Area that's new to me, and a happy find!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Calendar Girls

It's time to buy a desk calendar for 2010, and while I'm happy with the one I bought last year from Digtal Paperie, I am hankering for something completely different. I decided to go back to Etsy to find some great graphic choices, and I wasn't disappointed. I'm featuring ones that I loved so you can discover some of these talented artists and possibly brighten up your desk or (heavens!) cube with something fresh to delight your eye. These cards come inside a clear jewel case that serves as its own stand and takes up very little space on all but the tiniest of desks.

First up is J Hill Designs, whose bright, modern-yet-retro cards are just stunning. These patterns are so colorful, rich and complicated, and are sure to inspire.

For tree-lovers, here is a sophisticated set of 12 cards from InkDropDesign.

Another pretty choice are these botanical gocco printed calendar cards by Anna Cote. The colors are so well chosen, and the illustrations were created from ger own photographs.

These sensational Victorian-themed cards by InkaDinkaDoodle are so elegant - I love the quiet palette of gray, ochre, white and black and the artfully composed period illustrations and patterns. Great for a lover of Steampunk!

Alicia Bock has the perfect calendar for lovers of Paris photography. I have admired her work on Etsy for some time, and love that her photos are not sterile travelogues but have a point of view and a feeling of lightness.

For Drama Lovers, how about a Shakespeare Calendar from Immortal Longings?
This shop specializes in Shakespeare-themed illustrations and gifts and the drawings are colorful, accessible and modern.

Finally, from Sure As Blue, here is a colorful calendar with apt seasonal illustrations that cheer me up no end. It was a tough choice, but I went with this one. I have 2 desks, though, so I MIGHT have to buy another....which will you choose? Let me know!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Wrap-Up

The sneakers are an interesting shoe choice for Ancient Rome.

Definitely Phillies Fans at this house!

Book giveaway!

One family had the idea to give out garlic shrimp on a stick, which is my kind of treat! I loved seeing families on the porch enjoying a meal with wine as kids trooped up for their goodies.

Some lovely orange skulls and a festively decorated house.

Greeting callers at the door

The boys carry on under hot and sweaty maskes. The gangster's shoulders were inflated and also hot to wear.

I hope that everyone enjoyed a safe and Happy Halloween last night. The warm weather and rain were an odd mix, but fun was had. We enjoyed a sensational meal in the burbs, enjoyed the kids who came to the house and then ventured out in the rain to do a little T & T-ing with the boys. I have not had time to make them costumes since they were small, and now they prefer store-bought costumes as they can change their minds at the last minute. This year they chose some kind of skull ghost and Scarface, a "Wiseguy" which I thought was insulting, though most people thought it was Richard Nixon! With scars.

My pics are only so-so this year (The weather had a lot to do with this) but it was a ghoulishly good evening. The most inventive house was one we visited owned by the publisher of Scholastic Books - he gave out small bunches of books to the children, which is an insanely generous thing to do. My neffs were very excited, as were the teenage girls hoping to get their hands on a "Twilight" book.