Friday, December 12, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
The I Made It! Market returns to the Union Project for a holiday show on December 6 from 12 - 5 pm.
This handmade holiday event features over 50 local artists and craftspeople selling their handmade wares, including my favorite local artisan Barker's Herbs and Heirlooms (yes, it's me).
The Union Project will have beautiful ceramics made in their downstairs studio available for purchase on the stage. Their Cafe will be open with delicious lunch offerings and other treats to keep your energy flowing.
Grab a coffee, hot chocolate or espresso drink at the Union Project’s coffee bar while you’re at it. The coffee bar helps support their Youth Barista Program which provides onsite skills training for young men and women aging out of foster care.
What exactly is I Made It!?
I Made It! is a regularly occurring, nomadic Market that provides the opportunity for young entrepreneurs to establish their businesses and to enjoy low barriers for bringing their wares to market in order to create successful businesses built on arts and crafts.
This Market is an inclusive happening that welcomes artists or other "makers" in the Pittsburgh region to meet like-minded individuals, to create new opportunities, or to find a receptive environment in which to making a positive impact in the community we share.
See you at the Market!
Vendor list here: http://imadeitpgh.wordpress.com/
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Song lyrics often pop into my head in response to things I see or hear, and this morning, as I tried to awaken from a night's rest that was not nearly long enough, The Pointer Sisters' "I'm so excited" kept playing in my head. I'm excited about the possibilities for our country and our people as a whole. Things in my life haven't changed simply because Obama was elected. I'm still most likely losing my job at the end of this year, my brother is still undergoing dialysis and awaiting a kidney transplant, my father's tumor turned out to be cancer and I'm still waiting for further news on that front, but my country saw beyond racial barriers and made history. My children live in a better world today and unfortunate events in my life are now easier to bear because of it.
As I drove into work this morning, so many things just seemed perfect for this occasion: fog near my house gave way to sunny skies and Creed's song "With Arms Wide Open" came on the radio. I'm not a Creed fan, but the opening lines of the song are amazingly fitting:
"Well I just heard the news today
It seems my life is going to change
I close my eyes, begin to pray
Then tears of joy stream down my face"
Last night, as I eagerly watched the election returns, I was unbelievably proud of my country. As it became clear that Obama had a victory, tears of joy continuously streamed down my face. Perhaps not quite as forcefully as those streaming down the Reverend Jesse Jackson's face, but they streamed just the same. As McCain stood before his supporters and made his concession speech, I was impressed by his graciousness, his attitude, and his call for unity. I stayed awake far later than I should have and am unbelievably tired this morning, but I got to watch Obama's speech live, and I wouldn't trade it for anything! I feel like America has taken a huge, positive step forward and although I know change won't happen overnight I am optimistic about our future. The world has changed overnight, and for the better!
As President (elect) Barack Obama said, "The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America - I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you - we as a people will get there."
As Obama spoke, I was all the more impressed as he said, "I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. And I will be your president, too." Even if you didn't vote for Obama, I hope that you realize what a momentous occasion this is on so many levels. Not only did an African American become president for the first time in America's history but record numbers of people actually exercised their right to vote. After years of cynicism, the American public as a whole believed. They believed in change. They believed in a better America - a better future for our children. They believed that their voice would be heard and that they could make a difference. And they were right! I just hope, as this country moves forward, we are all able to come together to work toward the common goal of improving our country. I, and I hope many others like me, will try to follow Obama's example as he graciously accepted his victory and claimed it, not for himself, but for all of us.
As Obama remarked last night at the end of his speech, "God Bless America" I thought it was incredibly fitting. This time, the words mean so much more and I believe God truly has blessed America with the results of this election tonight.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Visit Zombiefest Saturday from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm for makeup demonstrations, bands such as Venus in Furs and the Legendary Hucklebucks, movies such as The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed Up Zombies, and much more! Admission is FREE!!
Sunday, World Zombie Day, begins with the Zombie walk, which earned Pittsburgh a second world record in 2007 with 1,098 zombies. Participants are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
All events are hosted by The It's Alive Show and are open to all, zombie or otherwise.
I'll be vending in costume, along with a few fellow team members of the Etsy Pittsburgh Street Team. As an undead girl, I just want to have fun too, but no, I won't be a zombified Cyndi Lauper -- I'll be a zombified Marilyn Monroe. Yes, I died several years ago, but what few people realize is that I was bitten by a zombie and have been roaming around cemeteries ever since. I usually only roam under cover of darkness but will be making an exception to attend the Zombiefest to search for a fresh source of brains. See you there............bring your brain.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Team EcoEtsy's Auction for a Cause
The EcoEtsy team has come together to donate a basket of Eco-minded goodies to be auctioned off for the benefit of the Nature Conservancy. This auction is entirely a non-profit event, created by the members of EcoEtsy (www.ecoetsy.com) in order to promote handmade, eco-friendly goods and to support a worthy organization.
About the Auction
The benefit auction started preparations in the spring of 2008, and each participant that donated to the auction basket were required to follow a set of rules for their items:
- Every item is Eco-related in some way. These include repurposed, recycled, up-cycled, and eco-friendly products.
- Every item is handmade.
- Every item includes a small card that describes the item and how it relates to eco-practices.
More than 60 individual items are contained in this beautiful, eco-friendly auction basket, handcrafted by people who care about nature and our environment. The total of all donations is valued at more than $300 retail.Additional details about the event can be found here:
Friday, October 17, 2008
Kim, at Sunstone Soap makes some of the loveliest soaps! She also makes fantabulous massage bars that are solid but melt from the warmth of your hand. Her soaps are all natural and smell wonderful, plus she donates a portion of all of her proceeds to animal welfare organizations or FSMA.
The best part? This month, you have a chance to win some of her soap for free at the Pittsburgh Craft Collective blog. Go visit the PCC blog, visit Sunstone Soap, and tell Kim BarkerBell sent you (or Basil-Tam as I've come to be known).
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
She sat at her desk and surveyed the office. It used to be such a fun, lively place to come to work each day. As jobs went, it was a great fit and didn’t really seem like work at all. It seemed more like going to visit with your friends or family each day. They were a tight knit group and had worked on many campaigns together, often into the wee hours of the morning until they’d completed that one, perfect final touch on a print ad or the final edit of a broadcast spot met their high standards. They worked hard, but played hard too. Any one of them could tell a number of stories about office antics. Most of them, however, would probably involve the prankster. Every agency has at least one.
She used to pull a prank each day. They were usually something small, like rearranging a few items on a coworkers desk, or moving the extra paper for the copier. Sometimes she would simply use a repetitive word over the course of a day or follow a coworker around until they noticed and asked her about it. Occasionally, they were a bit more grandiose. One day, while a coworker was away on vacation, a brilliant flash of inspiration struck and she recruited the entire creative team. They all moved the entire work station out into the middle of the common area in the office and set it up exactly as it had been inside the cubicle and then proceeded to cover every surface with bubble wrap. Everyone in the office enjoyed the joke immensely, with the exception of the office manager who expressed great concern over the waste of office supplies and the cost of replacing the bubble wrap. Apparently, the lost billable hours never factored into her equation. The creative team assured her that the bubble wrap would be returned once their victim witnessed their glorious handiwork. This all continued, to the amusement of most of the office, until the dreaded day when she, in a lapse of judgement, messed with kitchen. She thought it would be funny to hide the coffee pots. Creative types don’t always do well without their caffeine, nor do they find much humor in being deprived of it. The receptionist, as part of her morning routine, went in to unload the kitchen, and start a pot of coffee when she suddenly realized that the coffee pots were missing and her mind started racing. Surely, there must have been a thief in the office overnight, but why would they have stolen the coffee pots? What else was stolen? After great turmoil ensued and every employee in the office spent their morning trying to find the missing coffee pots, the prankster produced them from a drawer in her desk. The fallout was so great that she never dared to prank again, at least not in the office.
Now, they would all love to return to the days of the prankster, as the era had come to be known amongst the office lore. Instead, the bottom dropped out of the stock market and hit most of their clients. The clients all reacted as one would expect – they cut their advertising budgets and any other costs deemed to be luxuries. Now, with an operating budget that relied entirely upon client revenues, they were all faced with Christmas bringing the closing of their doors. Some agencies might start the new year with a reduced staff, but for the smaller, more specialized agencies, they will never write another catchy headline, nor copy designed to convince you that your life is incomplete without their client’s product. Some may cheer at the thought, but the ads many find so annoying help drive the economy. If you listen closely, on Christmas Eve, you may hear a collective thud in most major cities in the United States as each of these agencies close their doors sending many new faces to the unemployment line. Most of them have families, some are even the primary wage earners, and now, they’ll no longer have any income. The Christmas bells ringing sounds like peals of laughter, their tone seems a bit lower this year as they all go their separate ways and each mourn the loss in their own way. The Christmas bells toll, “an agency has died.”
Friday, October 10, 2008
Life can be funny sometimes. Just when you think you have it all figured out, something hits you out of the blue. In my case, it's been several things.
Late last week, I found out that my current full time day job at a local advertising agency will likely be cut at the end of the year due to our clients severely cutting back on their budgets. I've been in this position before, though never with as much warning, so I'm sure somehow things will work out for the best and I'm already looking at my employment options and updating my resume.
Then, Sunday night I received one of those dreaded phone calls from my mother. Please don't misunderstand, normally I enjoy hearing from my mother, but this was one of those calls. You know the kind.......the bad news phone calls. My husband answered the phone and I could tell right away by his tone that something was wrong. I could feel myself starting to panic as my mind raced through which of the elderly relatives had passed away this time and caught myself wondering if something was wrong with my father. I couldn't possibly imagine any news my mom would be sharing that would be worse than that. Oh, how wrong I was! My 31 year old "baby" brother, pictured above with his wife of just over a year, was in the hospital in critical condition due to kidney failure. He and his wife had visited our parents for Sunday dinner. When he mentioned to mom that he'd been having trouble breathing and that his vision was blurry she knew enough to get him to the emergency room right away. I thank God that he visited our parents that day and that mom got him to the hospital in time! When they arrived at the hospital his blood pressure was so high they couldn't measure it using the cuff in the triage room (hence the blurry vision) and given the difficulty he was having breathing they immediately admitted him to the ICU. He was suffering from end stage kidney failure, blood pressure so high it would have killed most people, heart damage akin to having a mild heart attack, and had fluid in his lungs. He would not still be with us had he not gone to the hospital when he did. The doctors were able to stabilize him and discharged him from the hospital Wednesday. Unfortunately, the kidney damage was so severe he'll have to undergo 6 - 12 months of dialysis before his body will accept a kidney transplant.
5 years ago he was diagnosed with a kidney disease known as Berger's Disease, or, officially, IGA Nephropathy. My understanding of this disease is that it usually progresses slowly and can be managed by watching the diet, particularly limiting protein intake, by monitoring cholesterol to ensure the levels are low, and by keeping blood pressure in check. We knew we may one day, hopefully many years from now, be faced with my brother's kidney failure, but none of us were prepared for the disease to progress so rapidly and for him to end up in ICU without warning. He should have been getting regular checkups recently but due to only being on his current health insurance for 9 months he hadn't been for a checkup since going on it. Due to health plans denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions anywhere from 6 months to a year after covering someone he was afraid to get a checkup. It angers me that health care in our country is such that he was placed in such a position. He underwent his first dialysis session Wednesday evening, but only was able to endure 1/2 the time recommended by his doctor. Hopefully his session this evening will be easier on him and he'll respond favorably to the treatment. At least it will buy the time needed before he can undergo a transplant. As soon as he is well enough to visit a transplant center and initiate the process my sister and I will undergo testing as potential donors.
My sister, brother, and I posing for a cell phone photo at his wedding last fall.
To top off an already great week, Wednesday, after she shared the news that my brother was stable enough to be discharged, mom let me know that my father has a unilateral nasal polyp and has a doctor appointment today to most likely schedule surgery to remove it. Normally a polyp is not a cause for great concern, but dad's nose has been sore and bleeds when he blows his nose so it's likely a sign of an intranasal tumor. I'm waiting to hear more after his doctor visit today before I allow myself to get overly concerned.
My family all live in Washington state, whereas I'm in Pennsylvania, and the distance is causing me to feel even more helpless than I otherwise would if I lived closer. I haven't made it home to visit since last fall when I was home for my brother's wedding. I would like to be able to visit more often, but with two boys in grade school, a full time job, the craft business, my husband's very demanding schedule for his full time job, and just life in general, it's difficult to find the time.
In the course of one of the phone conversations with my mother about all of this, she said that she'd put my brother in God's hands. This has given her peace of mind and she said that she hopes we all learn whatever we're supposed to learn from all of this.
I'm fairly certain I'm still learning, but for right now, what I've learned is this.........
Life is precious. Don't ever take it for granted and take advantage of each opportunity to let your friends and family know how much you love and appreciate them. You never know when the opportunity to tell them may be suddenly taken away from you. As much as I recycle, there's one thing I'll never be able to: wasted time.
So, please, go hug your loved ones, tell them how much they mean to you, and remember:
You can't recycle wasted time.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
A favorite childhood memory for me involves being in the car with my father, listening to music. Dad always had music playing in the car whenever we drove anywhere. Sometimes he'd play the radio, but usually would put on a cassette tape from his collection. Jim Croce is one artist that was frequently played during these times and hearing "Time in A Bottle" or any of his other songs magically transports me back to the time when I was a little girl, riding in a green Chevy van, with my father at the wheel.
What songs magically transport you to your past? I'd love to read your comments about a favorite time or place and how music relates to it.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Last night when I came home, a package from Jenny's Bake Shop (aka Holiday Jenny) had arrived. When I unpacked it, the contents were so lovely I just had to photograph them.
I can't wait to add her to a shelf full of inspiration as soon as my studio is complete.
Holiday Jenny has absolutely adorable items in her Etsy shop! Take a look: Jenny's Bakeshop on Etsy
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
The answer: Offer to donate the supplies to anyone in their Pittsburgh Etsy Street Team that has a use for them.
The result: The brilliant and community-minded hairycarrot suggests that the next monthly craft night the team sponsors could be used to create decorations from the unused craft supplies which could then be donated to a local charity.
So, something that was sitting neglected gave birth to Crafting for a Cause.
I love it when a plan comes together (even when the plan isn't mine).
Friday, September 12, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
This event is Pittsburgh's largest rockabilly and blues car show and is sponsored by the Drifters Car Club.
The event begins at 1:00 pm and runs into the evening. Vendors from the I Made It! Markets will be present from 1:00 pm until dusk. Throughout the day there will be several different surf and rockabilly bands playing, a pinup contest, and plenty of hotrods and older cars to admire.
At dark, the Creature of the Black Lagoon will be shown on the big screen at the Drive-In.
Stop by, say hello, purchase some of my items which range from rockabilly-inspired, Bettie Page, classic horror (including the Creature from the Black Lagoon) to a combination of recycled materials and vintage images, or just come and have fun.
I hope to see you there!
There is a great write up on the event in today's Popfilter from Pop City Media.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
This past Thursday I logged into Etsy and had a convo from Lori from Fisheye letting me know she'd written about one of my upcycled pop can flowers, along with a couple of other members recycled flowers, for the Team Eco Etsy blog. I'm incredibly honored that one of my items were chosen from among so many talented members.
The Team Eco Etsy blog can be found at http://ecoetsy.blogspot.com/2008/07/you-name-it.html
Lori's shop Fisheye can be found at http://fisheye.etsy.com
Friday, April 25, 2008
Saturday, April 26th from noon - 5:00 pm
@The Creative Treehouse
517 Lincoln Avenue 2nd Floor
Bellevue, PA 15202
The event will also feature demonstrations, music, and refreshments. The schedule is as follows:
12:30 pm Upcycled bead demonstration by Tamara Barker of BarkerBell Herbs and Heirlooms
1:00 pm Music by Hand Drawn Mountains
1:30 pm Wire wrap demonstration
2:30 pm Polymer clay demonstration
3:00 pm Music by Hand Drawn Mountains
3:30 pm Upcycled shrinky dink demonstration by Tamara Barker of BarkerBell Herbs and Heirlooms
4:30 pm Needle felting demonstration
The following Etsy sellers are participating:
Friday, April 11, 2008
The event features slam poets, music, and art and I'll be featuring my PopCulture PopCan Jewels -- Pop Love earrings, Pop Star earrings, and Pop Art Flowers along with my upcycled Barbie shoe and boot earrings.
If you're in the Pittsburgh, PA area, please stop by and say hello between 5:00 pm and 9:00 pm.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Details can be found here:
All participating shops are listed on the team blog at the above link as well.
Happy hunting and good luck!
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
I just received the nicest package in the mail today from Victoria at Estate Sale Treasures. Her shop can be found at http://estatesaletreasures.etsy.com As I was unpacking it and laying it out on my couch, I couldn't resist taking a picture of it. My couch, sadly, has seen better days but with two boys, ages 9 and (soon to be) 7, it won't be replaced until they're much older.
Victoria is a member of the Cottage Style Street Team on Etsy which is just one of the street teams I'm a member of. Search CSST for other cottage style treasures. I'm also a member of the Pittsburgh Etsy Street Team, Etsy for Animals, EcoEtsy, and Trashion teams.
Earlier this week, I received a lovely package from Cindy at JunqueArt. It was like getting a present in the mail as everything was wrapped so nicely. I was so excited about seeing the lovelies I'd ordered from her shop that I neglected to take pictures of it, but if you're looking for vintage velvet ribbon or vintage seam binding please visit her shop at http://JunqueArt.etsy.com Another of my favorite shop for supplies is Popalicioustoo. Please visit her shop at http://popalicioustoo.etsy.com There are so many fantabulous (sometimes I have to make up words) sellers on Etsy it's hard to list them all.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Please check back often as I will slowly be adding pictures of new projects, edible flower recipes, tutorials, and news about upcoming craft shows and fairs I will be attending.