Happy 2011

It’s a brand new year! I’m hoping for…

More beach time!

Fort Myers Beach
Curious local resident at the pier at Fort Myers Beach
Sunset from our rental house at Fort Myers Beach

It’s a Book, it’s a Secret Hidey-Hole… It’s a Book Safe!

I just found the most fun, cool, unique, eco-friendly, fun, and hey, even useful giftie over on Etsy!

It’s a book, it’s recycled, it’s (ta da) a Book Safe – how cool is this!

Book Safe from Conduit Press on Etsy

It’s handmade and available at Conduit Press at Etsy. Here’s how it looks, closed:

Book Safe, Closed

She has lots more choices – different books, different shapes inside – but in the text for this one, she even mentions Ayn Rand, whose work I totally loved when I was, er, a lot younger…. and this one has a FLASK included! I mean come on, you can see why I had to pick this one :-)

She also has some yummy handmade journals, notebooks and cards – you’ve got to go peek.

But the book safe? I mean, you can hide all kinds of goodies in there. Anonymously. Even, dare I say, safely :-)

And it’s a recycled book. And it’s paper. And it’s just fun :-)

Pretty Trinkets from a Super Destash Shop

Now you know I love finding little hidden goodies online – especially when they are unusual, and vintage (yay for reusing and repurposing vintage!) – and when they’re also a great deal, well you know I am impressed.

I stumbled across this lovely Destash Shop – Stoss on Etsy the other day – and look at the pretty Monet vintage trinket box I found!

Monet Trinket Box with Butterfly and Jewels

Wouldn’t that be perfect to hold your own little treasured pair of earrings or ring?

And, completely different – these pink earrings are cute and maybe a little kitschy and fun:

Pink Beaded Bubble Earrings
for those days you feel like playing June Cleaver. Or Natasha in disguise :-)

Little goodies like this are just fun – go, check out the pretty (and even useful!) goodies over at Stoss!

Sparkling Vintage Glass DIY Earrings – and Shameless Self Promotion

Absolutely I’ll admit it – this is self promotion, because these lovely jewels are available in my Artfire Shop. But they’re also lovely – and it’s easy to turn them into glamorous earrings!

Light Topaz Honey Gold Vintage Glass Teardrop or Pear Jewels in Patina Brass Settings
and here’s another view, that shows the tiny variations in these pretty vintage stones:
Honey Gold - Light Topaz - Vintage Glass Jewels in Patina Brass Settings

Simply slip these pretty teardrops onto your earwires of choice – and if you order from my shop, I’ll add a free pair of earwires to your order – in golden or patina brass to match the settings – in your choice of leverbacks, elongated kidney wires, or classic simple earwires.

It’s just that simple to make yourself (or your mom?) a great pair of holiday earrings. :-)

Rare Pink Diamond – or, What Planet Do You Live On?

Saw this in the news today: Sotheby’s is going to be offering a 24.78 karat, uber rare pink diamond for sale next month:

Rare Pink Diamond offered at Sotheby's

Just for giggles, let’s compare it to these:

Pink Octagon Vintage Glass Jewels

Pink 12mm x 10mm vintage glass diamond jewels I have available in my Etsy shop.

Of course the two are worlds apart, and the cut of the diamond is incomparable.

However – the diamond is expected to fetch up to $38 million dollars at auction. Yes. That was “thirty eight MILLION”.

The vintage glass jewels sell for $3.19 a pair.

So my point is, both are pretty. Yes, absolutely, the diamond is rare and incalculable and like that, but — who buys stuff like that? This isn’t even sour grapes on my part. Why would a person want something like that? Just to show it off? Well, yeah, but — I mean, who cares? It’s simply a cultural / ethnic / socioeconomic gap so wide it’s funny.

I mean – what planet do THEY live on?

Halloween Costume – Love the Men In Black idea!

I was just looking around for some new (to me) Halloween costume ideas. Something that hasn’t been done to death, something that’s not hard to do, and something FUN.

How about your own Men in Black costume? Like these:

Men in Black - Halloween costume
Men in Black Halloween Costume

This link takes you to The Instructables where you’ll find lots of other great costume ideas (makeup too).

And here’s more MiB costumes:

Men in Black Halloween Costumes
More Men in Black Halloween Costumes

I found this at Coolest Homemade Costumes which has got to be the greatest site ever for costume ideas.

But hey – Men in Black? For one thing, I love the Men in Black movies. And they’re making a new MIB movie right now (or about to start it) so these are going to be “new” again. (and besides, yay, they’re making a new MIB movie!)

This idea works for anybody – men, women, kids. Take a black suit, a white shirt, a tie, the all-important sunglasses and presto: you’re “V”, or “B”, or whatever name you want to use.

Have some fun this Halloween!

Pet Photo Jewelry – with a twist

I’ve started doing “pet photo jewelry” lately and people are so enthusiastic about their pets, furbabies, fuzzy kids, whatever you call them – I have a feeling these are going to be fun!

There’s a twist though. I don’t just use straight pixel-for-pixel photos (well I can, but that hasn’t been the focus so far) – instead, I make a sort of portrait of your furbaby, and use that as the basis for the earrings (or pendant). For example, look at these sweet beagle earrings:

Custom Pet Photo Earrings or Pendant
Custom Pet Photo Earrings or Pendant

These would be fun anyway, because this is a much-loved pet and her human really cares about these earrings – and the extra fun part is that, these aren’t copied from an “exact” photo. At my customer’s urging, I played with the photo a little, I changed it, stylized it, turned it into a mini-portrait. (Yes, I photoshopped it!)

I think it’s going to be interesting to go down that road a little more :-)

The earrings are a great conversation starter, if you’re into that. And they’re a great keepsake gift for someone you love (hmm, can we can “paper anniversary present”?) For someone who loves their pet!

PS I’m going to be putting up some new and different examples soon – stay tuned for further developments!

Paper Roses + Vintage Skirt = Winner

I’m always looking for paper inspiration and goodies, right? And in my recent quest I found this yummy vintage skirt. The vendor is calling the print, “Paper Roses”, which is how I found it. Serendipity! It’s so fun to find surprises that are as cute as this one – and as affordable :-)

Paper Roses Vintage Skirt
“Paper Roses” Vintage Skirt from kellyemeraldhart at Etsy

Of course once I found her shop I had to look around. She’s got really good prices, vintage skirts and dresses I’m definitely going to check out, and some goodies that I thought were both attractive and really interesting. Take a look at this artwork:

Paper Art - Polaroid into Prints from kellyemeraldhart at Etsy

Polaroid into Prints – from kellyemeraldhart at Etsy

She’s taken her own polaroids – and turned them into larger prints. You can buy a pack (as in this listing) or get each one separately for only $2.00! I love the water-color-ish look of them – and the uniqueness – and of course the price!

Original artwork – and vintage pretties – this is a great shop you definitely want to visit :-)

P.S. AND she’s having a sale!

Costuming a la Project Runway (sort of!) Shosuro Jim-en by Kankywompous

Now you know how I love seeing artistic creativity, especially when it’s original work, and especially when it’s budget-friendly. This is fabric creativity, not paper, but it’s right up my alley all the same.

The artist is Kankywompous – see her work here. Her project – that reminds me of Project Runway – was to create a Japanese kimono outfit (kimono, obi and haori) for a small contest on the following Saturday. To find the fabrics, do the cutting and sewing of all the pieces from Wednesday to Friday (night) – and oh yeah, there was a “real” job during that time too – I’m applauding!

And check out the result!

Shoshuro Jim costume and Shoshuro Jim with Mask

See the detail:
Costume - Lining Detail et extravagant!

And they won first place! The artist mentioned, “I started cutting and sewing about 11am Wed and stopped at about 10pm that night with both the Kimono and Obi finished at that point.

The Haori I had less time to work with, as I had work in the morning, so after I got back on Thurs, I started the cutting and sewing of the jacket. The Haori is lined with the same print as the outer layer, but in a brighter color to add a nice pop.

At the event, which is part of a two day CCG Event for Legend of the Five rings, it placed 1st in the costume contest (out of four placings).”

You have to admire that kind of creative rush (and can I add, I absolutely love that lining!)

Free Earrings Giveaway and there’s a catch :-)

It’s not really a catch though – it’s a question. I’m having my first Free Earrings Giveaway at Paper Jewels. All you have to do to enter the Giveaway is send me an email telling me what pair of earrings you’d like to win AND (this is the “catch”) tell me one thing you’d change :-)

You want those earrings – but in another color? Or, you’d make them in silver, not gold? Or you wish they were smaller (or bigger)? Or – well, you tell me. :-)

You could win these pretty paper earrings:

Japanese Kanji Onna, or Woman, Lacquered Paper Earrings or these: Lacquered Paper Pansy Earrings with Amethyst and Swarovski Crystals

Or, well, you pick your pair! Just tell me the one thing you’d change :-) Hint: these CAN be made to match your bridal gown / wedding party. Or you can choose your honey’s favorite color – and use these for the perfect First Anniversary Gift or Mother’s Day earrings :-)

The Giveaway runs until April 15, 2010 – so we have something nice to look forward to on Tax Day.

Good luck!