A Favorite Quote

I wished upon a star – TTV Fine Art Photographic Print
by Etsy Artist, barbaragordon

I have many favorite poems and quotes.  Reading them often inspires me and renews my spirit.  Here’s one that I like…

As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that
wasn’t supposed to ever let you down probably will. You
will have your heart broken probably more than once and
it’s harder every time. You’ll break hearts too, so remember

how it felt when yours was broken. You’ll fight with your
best friend. You’ll blame a new love for things an old one
did. You’ll cry because time is passing too fast, and you’ll
eventually lose someone you love. So take too many
pictures, laugh too much, and love like you’ve never been
hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is a
minute of happiness you’ll never get back. Don’t be afraid
that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin.

Now, for our Creative Journey Task (Day 4):  If you are joining us on the creative journey, I hope you are keeping up with your mental dumps and that you’re seeing benefit in it!  Have you shared that practice with someone else?  Remember, when we teach, we learn better!  Also, how about that eulogy?  Can anyone share if they’ve been participating or trying any of these tasks?  Even if you are not following and doing every task, it’s nice to see the thoughts and experiences others have with them.  Please share!  Today, it’s all about quotes and how WORDS impact us. 

DAY 4 TASK:  Get a post-it note or a piece of paper and find a quote that inspires you.  Write the new quote down on that piece of paper and post it in a place that you will frequently see throughout your day.  Let it influence you. 

I love surrounding myself with quotes!  I enjoy the daily practice of finding good quotes and posting them to set the tone for, “my daily thought.”  My quotes often reflect circumstances or challenges that I’m facing and help me to maintain optimism and fortitude throughout my day.  It’s so refreshing!  When I used to work in an office, I made a binder of all of my quotes and displayed a quote each day, for all to see.  It was a great way to create a nice environment and a wonderful way to set a positive tone.  Please share quotes that YOU love!  I’d love to read them!  Thanks!  In the meantime…don’t forget to savor every moment of your day, and appreciate the small things.  They areoften quite impressive, beautiful and mesmerizing!

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My EARTH DAY item…

So, today, I’m simply going to share with you, my newest shop item.  I named it, “Earth Day Necklace” because I was feeling super creative!  HAHAH.  it’s cute though and I love the way it turned out…very fun and bohemian. 

If you want to view the listing in my store, CLICK HERE.
Earth Day Necklace

paintings . chicks . birds . duchesses . general merriment

paintings . chicks . birds . duchesses . general merriment 

I\'ll fly away and live with the Ewoks!
i’ll fly away and live with the Ewoks – small mixed media painting on board
(I LOVE THE EWOKS, SO HAD TO START WITH THIS!)

Not so long ago, on March 30th, my “Color Me Happy Necklace” was very kindly featured on pollywogpouch’s blog.  Not only as a thank you, but to also showcase her beautiful whimsical work, (WHICH I LOVE!) I have decided to also feature her on The Chatterbox.  I don’t always like to do long introductions, but sometimes I feel it’s fitting.  In this case, I’d definitely say a longer feature is great because I think the artist is interesting and her art and life will capture you!  pollywogpouch put it perfectly when she said that she “loves how anxious Etsians are to help each other out.  We’re not just sellers, we’re also buyers, helpful critics, promoters, and mentors.”  I have encountered the same and share her feelings.  

The words you first read on this post, “paintings . chicks . birds . duchesses . general merriment,” are pollywogpouch’s tag line, and appropriately so!  pollywogpouch’s art and Etsy shop are full of beautiful colors and images, excite the imagination and abound in cheer and humor!  

does this cat make me look fat- portrait of a pregnant odalisque

So, who is she?  What is she about?  Where is she from?  Why do you care to know?
Well, after I have gotten to know about her, trust me when I say,
“I have found a new kindred Etsy spirit, and when I’m finished, you will LOVE her and her artwork too!”

  

Her name is Delilah Dawson.  She is a working artist living in Woodstock, Georgia, which is one town over from her home town, near lots of family.  She has a BA in Studio Art from UGA and has enjoyed working at local art centers with one foot in administration and one in education.  She is currently living the “high life” at home with her almost 20 month-old daughter and on any given night of the week, Delilah is hanging out with 4 generations of women on her mom’s porch, laughing.  If that doesn’t paint a picture of pleasure and strong family bonds, I don’t know what does!  🙂

Her friends would tell you that she makes eerily accurate animal noises to amuse children (and herself), all of her clothes have paint spots on them, and she’ll tell anybody anything, but only if they ask.  She’s irreverent and curious, likes to laugh and has an affinity for shiny things and apples.  She also hates tuna.   

  I’ll fly away and marry Freddy Prinze Jr. – small mixed media on board

I asked her about her balancing act of operating Etsyshop with everything else she does and Delilah responded, “Currently, not well! My husband tells me I stay up way too late playing on Etsy…”  Don’t we all, girl!  Don’t we all!  Ha ha!  And of course, as all you moms out there can relate to, while she was answering me, her daughter was hollering for her in the background, so it attests that mother crafters on Etsy must be excellent at multi-tasking, which it seems Delilah does!

I always wonder, and I know other people also do, about an artist’s story or background on how they and their art came to be.  For Delilah, she has always been an artist, but for the longest time she felt like art had to be very serious and… well… mature.  According to her, she is “not a serious and mature person.”  Can I get an AMEN to that?!  Who wants to be serious and mature all the time anyway?  I know I don’t!  There’s no fun and no room for blazing creativity when you’re serious and mature all the time!  On Etsy, Delilah learned that lots of people were doing the odd and whimsical things she always loved doing, so she knew she would fit in.  I respect when anyone is free enough to let loose and be true to themselves, because I think when you do that, BEAUTIFUL THINGS HAPPEN!  I believe Delilah’s art is a testament to that!!!

As you’ll see when browsing her shop, Delilah works on canvas and paper, but when asked about her favorite materials, she said, “I love the feel of a wood board– under newspaper, pencil, or paint. I like to see a little bit of grain peeking through and know that the item under all my work is *real*, not (entirely) manufactured.”  Delilah gets her inspiration from Etsy, from birds, from daydreams, and from things she has liked drawing since she was a child.  THAT, my dear readers, IS PART OF EXACTLY WHY I LOVE HAND MADE!  Delilah said that she likes when things have a story.  She said, “I love to know that things were really thought about, that someone really cared. I love to see brush strokes or stray pencil markings. I get sick of everything feeling so “same”.  I couldn’t agree more and I believe there is a true and meaningful story behind every creation!  Generally, there’s a reason for why pieces of art turn out the way they do!  Knowing those details are “goose-bump” moments for me and I don’t know about you, but those things are the things that incline me to become attached enough to BUY!!!

 

We all love to talk about our favorite things.  They bring us joy and inner happiness.  When you CREATE something and it’s your favorite, they take on a whole new level of meaning…they contribute to the artist’s self-esteem, self-worth, self-fulfillment, pride, inspiration, and create a mark on the measuring stick of quality and personal achievement.  When I asked Delilah about her personal favorite from her shop, she said, “I just love chicks with birds.  I love simple portraits with unusual details and silly descriptions.”  I must say, her silly descriptions are a big part of why I look forward to returning to her shop regularly – it is not only candy for the eye, but it’s candy and humor for the mind, and I love it!  After all…laughter is the best medicine!

ACEO – ATC – they said she had nice hooters – original watercolor portrait of Athena

If you want to know more about Delilah, or would like to take a deeper peek into her life, she blogs about etsy at http://www.pollywogpouch.blogspot.com, and blogs about herself and her life as a mom at http://www.delilahpaints.blogspot.com.  Both are enjoyable reads and I think you’ll enjoy visiting!  In her Etsy Store, you will find that she has some realistic paintings for sale, but she doesn’t think they’re as good.  How about you be the judge and share your opinions on her work by leaving a comment on my blog!  Oh!  Did I also mention that her husband is an MMA fighter?  Of course, I immediately connected, being that my husband, Anthony, is obsessed with MMA and has his own company (Bully Ink) where he sells Mixed Martial Arts apparel and equipment!  I wish they lived closer!  I would totally arrange a get-together!  🙂

=)  BONUS FOR MY READERS  =)
DELILAH’S OFFERING FREE SHIPPING IN HER ETSY STORE, pollywogpouch!!!
IF YOU MENTION, “NICOLE LEE ARTISTRY’S BLOG” IN THE MESSAGE TO SELLER.
I hope the wind changes and they stick like that, Lydia thought - acrylic painting on 6x6 board
I hope the wind changes and they stick like that, Lydia thought – acrylic painting on 6×6 board

My Newest Creations…

Well, I haven’t been sharing much of my own creations lately, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to share my newest Etsy shop additions with those of you who do not visit the store.  I visit a lot of blogs regularly, but don’t often venture onto my fellow etsy friends’ storefronts!  Awful me – I should probably try to make a habit of visiting their stores at least once a month.  So, here’s my newest additions from Nicole Lee Artistry’s Etsy Store and to make up for my shortcomings, tomorrow I’m going to post some new additions from my fave sellers.  I’ve also got a new artist to debut in the works. Enjoy! (you can click on any image below to learn more about that item)

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HAVE YOU SEEN THE WAFFLES???

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If you are an Etsy seller or your frequent the Etsy site, maybe you have or maybe you haven’t seen the waffles.  If you haven’t seen it, see here: http://www.etsy.com/waffles.php

 And another Etsy find today…WatchManNYC – he was the featured seller  in the storque and recently opened a blingin’ shop you should totally check out!  Make sure you read his feedback.

Introducing Greenbelts…

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I enjoy introducing artists now and again, who really spark my interest, and I’ve found someone who not only makes astonishingly original pieces, but she does it using recycled materials that we all wear out and throw away – belts.

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Her name is Shannon Ritscher.  She is from Seattle, WA.  Shannon is a part-time graphic designer and part-time crafter (Greenbelts), but she is also a full-time, stay at home mom to her 4 year old son – Henry.  (Round of applause for balancing all three and rockin’ it out on Etsy at the same time!)  She’s awesome, is an inspiration, has a ton to choose from on Etsy and I seriously have so many favorites, it makes my head spin!

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I don’t know about you, but I think the growth process of artists, when they work from the ground up, is a beautiful thing.  Shannon started listing on Etsy in June of 2007.  When I asked her about her early beginnings, she recalled, making collars and cuffs for friends and family for Christmas presents just 6 months before she opened shop.  She said they liked them so well that she thought she’d try her hand at selling them.  As Shannon thought back, she said, “I worked out of my neighbors basement for one full year before my husband finally built me a little work space (shed) on our back porch just a few months ago. Yea!”  If you’re a crafter, you can likely relate.  I know I started working at the kitchen table, which was followed by a relocation to our home office, with yet another bulge into our guest bedroom.  I don’t think the growth and development ever ends. 

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I asked Shannon what her favorite material or materials are to use.  I’ve already said belts were one, but you’ll see from her work, she also enjoys working with buttons, found objects, and bottle caps and humorously, a favorite of most but not often thought of, Shannon’s other favorite thing to work with is “time.”  🙂 

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Shannon’s personal favorite of the items in her shop is a toss-up, but here was her response…  “The first one is a cuff made from a very cool weathered leather belt, a giant metal washer, and an amazing vintage dark abalone carved button. The contrast between the materials makes my heart flutter. I also have a soft spot for the red, white and black large cut flower cuff and collar setthat I have listed right now. I just about go cross-eyed every night, sitting and cutting out flowers (TONS of flowers!). I think they look adorable though – especially on. I love things that are girly but without all the frill.”  I’m sure there are lots of people out there that share Shannon’s taste!

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When I asked her what she loves about handmade items, Shannon said she loves the unexpected aspect of handmade items.  Wonderfully said, Shannon’s additional comments were, “when you see something fantastic that is made from something else (recycled) and/or something that is uniquely beautiful – Well, there’s nothing better.”  She also added, “I do tend to gravitate toward recycled pieces because I love things that have a story behind them.”  I too love stories and because I’m a talker, love things that generate fun conversation!  Shannon’s items are and do, exactly that, which may be why I love them so much!  Plus, I’m an animal lover with three dogs – what fashionable, dog owner girl wouldn’t love having a matching dog collar and owner cuff set?  They’re sweet!

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For all of our Etsy readers out there, I always think it’s good to know how other Etsians are promoting.  I’m a firm believer in working smarter, and not harder, so I’m regularly looking to borrow ideas from other successful people.  Shannon’s success has come primarily from promoting her items through her website, a blog, her Etsy shop, Myspace, and similar web based opportunities.  

Even though we are pretty much saturated by technology these days, I know some people still don’t realize the power and marketing potential of the Internet.  With 386 Etsy items sold and having 100% positive feedback, Shannon is one to prove that it works! 

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Shannon says that most of her promotional efforts have been put on hold until her son starts school next year and she has a little more time to give it a good effort.  Currently, she has products in 8 stores, from Seattle to the UK.  She has a portfolio on TrunkT, her Greenbelts are featured on www.seekingdesigners.com and various blogs like www.pupstyle.com, itsthedogslife.com, www.treehugger.com, www.ourgreatgreenglobe.com, etc.  She is also gearing up to attend some local art/craft shows this summer.  Jeesh!  For having her promotions on “hold,” I’d say she’s pretty active and thriving!

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Shannon had some kind words for me for featuring her in my blog, but after learning about her, her talents, and drive, I have this to say to her: Shannon –>YOU rock! 

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High Five!

And lastly – one more thing about Shannon — she’s great because her birthday is the same day as Anthony and I’s wedding Anniversary…December 17th.  🙂

Wow! What a Day Yesterday! :)

Have you ever done the happy dance?  You know…

~**~._.wigGGle._~**~_.giGGgle._~**~_.jUMp!._~*$*~_:)!yAy!:)
_.wigGGle._~**~_.wigGGle._~**~_.wWEEEeeeeee!!!!._~**~_.
tWIst._~**~_.tURn._~**~_.shOUt!._~**~_.jUMp!._~**~_.yAY 4 Me!!!._.~**~

Well, I am DOIN’ the HAPPY DANCE!!  Yesterday, I sold a bracelet, then ten minutes later, had a request to make and re-list one of my sold items, THEN I sold another bracelet within twenty minutes!!!  THEN… this morning I got a treasury on Treasury West – you might be in it! 
View it here: http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list_west.php?room_id=5463).   

I just I have no idea what happened.  I am going to say that it’s karma.  What goes around, comes around.  Help others and it always comes back to help you!  I’m so excited!  So, now I’ve got to get crackin’!  After some morning exercise, I’ll be packing up jewelry, making some more, and painting some glassware for the boutique that I have to visit next week…can’t wait to show you what I’ve come up with!!  Whoo Hooo!!! Yay! 

Oh… Here’s a little fun for you.  A GUESSING GAME:  Can you guess which item I was requested to re-list?  Go to my Etsy Store to see what sold and make some guesses in the comments, as to what was requested for a re-list. 

I’m going to post again later, but until then, I’ll share a pic of the little chicken that is going to be making it’s way to my mom in the mail…My mom collects chickens and she quilts.  My mother in law had these little chickens in her kitchen and it totally reminded me of my mom.  I asked about them and she told me a friend of hers made them, so I asked about paying her friend to make me one, but she just gave this one to me instead!  My mother in law is so nice!  So, my mom doesn’t know it yet, but she’s going to be getting a gift!  Not sure how much she reads my blog, but if she does, SURPRISE!  You’re getting a cute, little, quilted chicken!  🙂  ISN’T IT ADORABLE?!!!

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New Etsy Shops and Finds

Not too long ago, I was featured on the Cache Valley Boutique blog.  In helping to drive traffic to the blog, I offered to feature some artists in my blog.  After enjoyably browsing their shops and wares, I have created a list to share with you.  Many of the shops have offered discounts and incentives for my blog readers so, when you buy, mention NICOLE LEE ARTISTRY’S BLOG in the “message to seller.”  I’ve noted all incentives in RED.  It is an excellent opportunity to take advantage of awesome handmade items.  Let’s begin.

MY BOYS – Custom Cards, Prints and Designs for ANY Occasion…even Web Banners!    Announcements, Thank You Cards, Save the Date Cards, Business or Pleasure –  you’re sure to find something!  Lots to choose from and custom designs are welcome.  Here’s a personal message from Holly, the mind and crafter behind the MyBoys store…”I will soon be adding a personalized stationary line! This line will feature monogrammed stationary with both simple and funky designs. As with all my products, I love to do custom orders, so if you have something specific in mind, just let me know!  Thanks, Holly”  BONUS FOR NLA BLOG READERS: Free shipping on orders over $50  Here’s a selection of what you’ll find at MyBoys Shop,

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DaisyWares  – Hand Made Vegan Jewelry & Vegan Beauty Products.  DaisyWares uses NO animal by-products and donates 10% of all sales to the Animal Place in Vacaville, CA. They are a wonderful organization that rescues abused farm animals. How nice!  DaisyWares is also a proud member of Vegan Etsy.  BONUS FOR NLA BLOG READERS: 10% off anything in the DaisyWares store and Buy one get one free on the children’s jewelry section! (Children’s section only)  Check out these great items in DaisyWare’s Etsy shop:

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Montagyoo:  Colorful and original photos and collages.  The beautiful colors and images she has will catch your eye, tug at your heart strings and definitely elicit some emotions.  Many of the images in Sara’s store make me reminisce of places I’ve been before and bring back some good memories.  Perhaps it will do the same for you! BONUS FOR NLA BLOG READERS:  Sara will send you a FREE 4×6 photo print (randomly of her choosing) with all orders that are accompanied with mention of NICOLE LEE ARTISTRY’S BLOG in the “message to seller.” 🙂

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kishcrafts – Totally unique and amazing polymer clay creations in the shapes of many, many items, but mostly foods and sweets!  Whether you’re looking for unique gifts for others or something special for yourself, trust me when I say, this is a fun shop to look at!  You’ll be amazed at the teeny, tiny creations and the incredible details in the art!  The food creations look mouth-wateringly real and will make your taste buds definitely perk!  Almost anything listed can be made into earrings, pins/brooches, cell phone charms, rings and necklaces and custom designs are welcome, so let your imagination run free!  Here’s a personal note from kishcrafts…”I am so proud to be one of your spotlight artists. Thanks again for taking the time to feature me and my little sweet treat creations!! I would like to welcome all of nicoleeartistry’s blog readers to pop on over to my etsy shop and take a look around. If you see something that catches your eye, I would be more than happy to offer you a 10% discount on any 1 item in my shop.”

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julscrafts: A very sweet, stay-at-home MOM who enjoys making a variety of crafts.  You never know what you might find in her store, but she has a lot of beautiful dried floral arrangements that would warm any home.  She also has a collection of unique destash.
BONUS FOR NLA BLOG READERS:   20% off your total order when you mention NICOLE LEE ARTISTRY in the “message to seller.”  The more you buy, the more you will save on shipping costs also!

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Wings of Healing:  Offers some awesome images in the form of post cards, greeting cards, or amazing framed art for your wall.  Most images have a lovely description or story to accompany it, so you get to learn about the images as you shop.  BONUS FOR NLA BLOG READERS: Greeting cards – Buy One Get One Free AND FREE SHIPPING on Matted photography in the United States!  Here’s a personal note from Nicole at Wings of Healing:  “I hope that you enjoy the scenes you are about to partake of.  Scenes that I hope will bless your spirit and soul.  Take the time to rest and don’t overdo it. Surround yourself with a plethora of peace, whether it be your own backyard or even scenes and music in your office or car. Thank you.  Sincerely, Nicole (Nikki)”  Wings of Healing – an enjoyable read and quite enjoyable to the eye:

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You can also visit her website at: http://www.wings-of-healing.com

And lastly, BUT DEFINITELY NOT LEAST…

The White Lye Soap Co. – offers handmade soap, bath and lip luxuries using the cold process method of soap-making.  All White Lye Soap Co. bath and body delights contain fresh botanicals, luscious fruits and veggies, and many other delightful additives.  They have a wonderful selection of goods for many occasions and I think you’ll see…
you’ll also find some truly delightful gift ideas as well!

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It’s All About Setting Goals

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What are your dreams?  What do you want more than anything?  What do you think about that you hope for and desire?  Think about it for a moment and ask yourself if you are doing anything about your dreams.  Do you make an effort to make your dreams a reality or do you chalk it up as having your “head in the clouds?”

R U … mountain.jpg  OR  head-in-the-clouds.jpg ?

I believe that we have dreams for a reason and I believe that reason is destiny.  I think that the universe and God urge us in directions that propel us towards our dreams, and if we let it happen, are willing to trust, and we keep an open mind, I truly believe that we can make our dreams happen. 

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Part of making our dreams a concrete reality is setting goals.  When we set goals, we are making a commitment to invest in making our aspirations REAL.  Goals should be tangible, reasonable and measurable, should offer emotional satisfaction and benefit our overall dream, and should be something we can visualize happening.  When you set goals, you are creating an outline for your future.  It’s exciting to know that, when we set and achieve a new goal, WE are making OUR OWN wishes come true!  Knowing that we have the ability to play part in creating our own destiny is so empowering!     

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Every day, week, month and year, I set goals for myself and I write them down.  I look at them regularly and I let other people know what my goals are.  I revise them if they need to change and I work hard to make them happen. 

My goals for March were to:
1.  Get to my 10th sale on Etsy
2.  Obtain 200 hearts on Etsy
3.  Get at least one local shop/boutique to carry some craft that I make.
4.  Make more money on Etsy than I made last month.

I am happy to report that I have 11 Etsy sales, I am at 180 hearts on Etsy, I have gotten one local shop to carry my items (possibly more before March is over) and as of last night, I have now made more this month than last month, so I am super close to meeting ALL goals set for the month of March.  Yay! (Thank you to Deborah in Pennsylvania for buying two necklaces last night!)

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It is such a good feeling to achieve your goals.  I’d like to hear what your goals are and what you do to achieve them.  Please comment and share!  🙂  Maybe we can help one another!

Butterfly Chic Boutique…

….very kindly featured my blue watermelon earrings in her blog today.  🙂  Butterfly Chic Boutique specializes in Custom Graphics, including Banners, Ads, paper and fabric creations.  Here is a selection of their Etsy inventory, but visit their store to see more!  They also have a Cafe Press Shop and a beautiful Websiteoutside of Etsy.  
10 Hand Painted Tags with string Pre-made Fanc Foilage Banner and 3 Avatars for Your Shop