Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New on Tuesday: New Earrings!

Black Lanterns Copper Hammered Drop Earrings
As promised, here are a few of the newest earrings in my shop on Etsy! Click on the photos to go to the site and get all the details!
Above are the Black Lanterns Copper Hammered Drop Earrings, just added to my shop today! Sexy, shiny and full of swing, it's no wonder that these earrings are one of my best sellers! Also available in Gold (below) and I have another, similar pair in sterling silver that are awaiting photographs.
Black Lanterns Gold Hammered Drop Earrings
I also make them with different dangling beads: crystals, crystal pearls, and gemstone beads. If you would like something custom made, just contact me!

Long, dangling earrings are very in style right now, as is evidenced by just about every star wearing some form of long, graceful earring.
Jessica Gold Treble Clef Celtic Swirl Earrings
 Back in stock are the Celtic Swirl Treble Clef Earrings. I make them in 14 karat gold filled wire (above), sterling silver (below) and copper with sterling silver ear wires, though they are waiting for photographs.

 These are very light and graceful, and wear well with jeans, as well as a nice dress (great for date-night!).
Jessica Sterling Silver Treble Clef Celtic Swirl Earrings
Please visit my shop on Etsy to see these, and more fabulous pieces of jewelry: http://www.etsy.com/shop/LittleStudioJewels

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fashionable Browns and What's New This Week

Brown and Animal Prints are Very In Style Right Now, Why Not Try it Yourself? Here's How!
This week I've got some great things for you on the blog, but first I'm going to start something that I've wanted to do for a while - style posts. I love fashion (I do make jewelry after all, so I suppose it's to be expected!). Sure, I may wear yoga pants and t-shirts at home when I'm running around like an idiot, but when I have any excuse, I like to dress nicely. I pour over fashion magazines, stalk the stylish online stores, and think of how the latest trends match with my (pretty conservative-classic) style.

Now I really want to share with you some ideas for how to wear the current trends, how to style jewelry with them, how to match trends with safe-for-work-wear, and how to go from day-to-night in a jiffy. And please give me your feedback on what you want to see and any questions you have!

See that pin board up there? These are a few trends that are very apparent now, but are still classic enough to wear for years. Recently, the Duchess of Cambridge was seen wearing a beautiful brown and tan shirt-dress style that has everyone talking up a storm (in a very good way!). Of course, hers was printed with birds, and was well tailored and probably cost a fortune, but there is no reason that "the rest of us" can't look just as good at a quarter of the price! Now, first-off, one of the biggest keys to looking good is tailoring. No one has the same measurements for every off-the-rack garment. Take an item of clothing, from jeans to an expensive dress, have it tailored or hemmed (anywhere from $10-$200, depending on what you need done) and see how magically your wardrobe is transformed from nice to WOW! Keep that in mind when trying on items. If it is a little loose in one area, take it to a tailor and get it fixed. You'll look and feel like a million bucks :)

Back to fashion! Browns and animal prints are very in style right now. Though I am not normally an animal print person, this dress "Tucker Slim Fit Shirt Dress" from Bloomingdale's (http://www.bloomingdales.com/) is very nice. The animal print isn't too wild and bold, so you could easily wear this to work with a few modifications and still look professional. The key is to not tie the waist tie too tightly, and not have the buttons all undone. Maybe one at most, should be undone, to show a very nice necklace underneath, or have it on top of your dress (see below for necklace ideas). For day time office-wear, perhaps add a dark, single color cardigan, and put your hair in a simple bun. To finish, do a simple berry lip, and understated eyes. Accent either eyes or lips, not both (you'll look like a clown, not the best thing when wanting a raise!). For night, let your hair down, maybe unbutton just 2 buttons, and put just a bit more lipstick on. You want to darken your makeup a bit more, but not too much (we ARE ladies after all, and want to look feminine and still respectable!)

Katherine was also seen wearing booties similar to the ones on the pin board as well, though these probably aren't the same. These "Brown Lumiati Maddy Booties" are considerably more affordable, and yet very stylish, from 6PM.com (http://www.6pm.com/). She also paired the outfit with dark brown opaque tights, which is perfect for those of us still knee-deep in snow (don't worry, I'm hoping the snow will disappear soon too!). If you're looking for something a little lighter, go for nude hose. BUT ALWAYS WEAR SOME SORT OF HOSIERY! Nothing screams "Unprofessional!" like nekkid legs. Seriously. Don't do it! For the office, I'd probably go with brown flats (save your feet for the killer heels when you go out later that night!)

To add your own personal style, add some pretty, yet not too flashy jewelry. The Cleopatra's Blue Goddess Necklace (http://www.etsy.com/listing/91033798/cleopatras-blue-goddess-necklace) is displaying some of the most popular trends right now - turquoise, gold, blue, green, amber, and multiple strands, to name a few. It is demur enough for the office, yet will easily transition to night. Pair it with the matching Cleopatra's Blue Goddess Bracelet (http://www.etsy.com/listing/93540180/cleopatras-blue-goddess-bracelet) and you have a surefire win in your hands. You'll look put-together, polished and professional, while not looking like another cookie-cutter office zombie.

What do you think? What is your style?

Coming up this week: Tuesday has new earrings you won't want to miss, on Wednesday Arwen gets serious about doggy health, Thursday shows a beautiful Treasury of Etsy items to usher in spring, there will be a fantastic feature on Friday of a very talented photographer, and another seriously cute Saturday Squee animal to start your weekend off right.

See you tomorrow!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Saturday Squee: Baby Bunny!

Baby Bunny from Here:  http://www.imgur.com/QO80X
'Cause really, a baby bunny with ears as big as its body just can't get any cuter...or can it? Tune in next week to see the new squee!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Features: Element Arts and Crafts

Hand Turned Bubinga Sapwood Candlesticks by  ElementArtsandCrafts
This week's Friday Feature is a woodworking couple from Ottawa, Ontario. Say hello to ElementArtsandCrafts of Etsy. Read on to learn more about this outstanding duo and their remarkable craft...
We are Juanita and Kevin Hopkins and the name of our business is Element Arts and Crafts. Our URL is www.elementartsandcrafts.etsy.com
Right now we're concentrating on wood-turning, creating things like Christmas ornaments, shaving sets, candlesticks and soon some wooden-handled hors d'oeuvres sets, as well. We are also trying our hand at turning wooden bowls, so hopefully we will have some for sale soon.
I (Kevin) had always wanted to try wood-turning. A couple of years ago we moved to our first house, out in the country and we had a nice large garage and empty, unfinished basement. Last year we went to the Ottawa Wood Show, where I suggested we should try wood turning, and shortly after we ended up buying a lathe. Little did I know Juanita would like it so much! 
Kevin and I both still work in the city, so it was a big decision to move so far out to the country, knowing that we'd be commuting 3 hours each day. The trade-off has definitely been worth it--we bought an older farm house on a couple of waterfront acres, which means we can fish from our backyard, or put the canoe in right after dinner without having to drive anywhere.
Hand Turned Wenge Wood Shaving Set by ElementArtsandCrafts
We both do some painting in acrylics and watercolours, and we have done some stained glass projects as well (our unfinished basement is also great for cutting and grinding glass). Kevin has done both soapstone and wood carving. Juanita has worked in lino-cutting, fabric-painting and completed a few sewing projects. Juanita also makes great baked goods, and Kevin is great at eating them.
The name of our business came from working in wood, glass, stone and other natural elements. We also appreciate and relate to the Arts and Crafts movement.
We're still relatively new to selling on etsy, and we missed the Christmas sales season (D'oh!), so we would say our favourite item in our shop right now is the pair of bubinga sapwood candlesticks. This is such a beautiful wood; it has fantastic colour and grain. Unfortunately,it's hard to find "sapwood"--most shops only carry the "heartwood." Unless we find some more, these candlesticks could be one of a kind! Here is a link to them:www.etsy.com/listing/92010625/hand-turned-bubinga-sapwood-candlesticks
Currently we are only selling on etsy, but we plan on going to the Cumberland Farmers Market late next summer, and hopefully some of the other local craft shows. 
Hand Turned Cocobolo Wood Wine Bottle Stopper by ElementArtsandCrafts
In terms of blogs, we're not really the blogging types. We don't own cell phones or anything, and technology isn't something we really prioritize in our lives. When we aren't working or making sawdust in the basement, we are usually out canoeing or fishing in the summer, or snowshoeing in the winter. That being said, we appreciate the people who are willing to blog on our behalf!
We're not currently on any social networks, I really wouldn't know how to set one up. Still not sure what tweeting is or why one would want to do it...or read it.
We don't have too many items up right now, but are planning on getting more up in the near future.
Thanks again for this feature, it is nice to find people who are willing to help others out with their life ventures.
Our hobbies, especially the wood-working, are our creative release. When you spend a third of your day at the computer, it's nice to be able to go home and create something with your hands. We take turns making dinner so that one of us can go make some dust in the basement. It's a true partnership.

I think our tastes and styles complement each other well. Kevin is definitely more dramatic and willing to take risks...his items tend to be more elaborate and vibrant. I prefer simpler designs with subtler lines and natural tones. I think together we come up with a little something to please everyone.

We definitely place a lot of value in handmade crafts. I'd much rather produce (and purchase!) something that's one-of-a-kind...that shows the care and attention put into it and that becomes an heirloom item.
Aren't they just the nicest people? Please stop on by their shop and see more of their incredible work at http://www.etsy.com/shop/ElementArtsandCrafts (and maybe help them to get a blog or Facebook page!).

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Treasury Thursdays

I thought that today, instead of showing you all a treasury that I had made, I would show you some treasuries that my Etsy friends have made in the last week or so, that just so happen to feature yours truly ;-) Please note that you can click on any of the images above and it will take you to the item directly, for your shopping pleasure! Or, you can click on the title of the treasury (above is "It Was a Wondrous Day...") and it will take you to the treasury page, where everything is larger and easier to view.

The first treasury is one that shows the volunteers for my Etsy for Animals team on Etsy. I love the colors and how soft everything is. I'm the Yahoo administrator for this group, so I was lucky to be featured too :)

  This treasury is from a woman in my Plurk team. If you don't know what Plurk is, see the left column of the blog...just a bit lower, and check it out. It is like Twitter, but better! Joy created this treasury with items from a few of her Plurk buddies :)

This treasury was created by another fellow Etsy for Animals member, in the vein of hoping for spring (aren't we all hoping for spring at this point!). It has some really stunning paintings and prints in it...I've added a few things from this list to my wishlist for sure!

This is another treasury from an Etsy for Animals member (boy are we active, or what??). With a variety of items, ranging from dog harnesses to catnip toys to ceramic mosaic, there is something for everyone on your gift-giving lists (Mother's Day is coming up soon, you know) :) Have a great day, be sure to come back tomorrow for a fantastic featured artist you won't want to miss!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Arwednesdays with Arwen: My Napping Spots

Hello and welcome to your favorite part of the week, Wednesdays, with me! Arwen the Wonder Dog :)
Today is all about how to nap. I am an expert in these matters, so I will show you how I do it and where.
First, the most important thing is to make your humans spoil you - it is nothing more than you deserve! If you make sad eyes at them while curling up on the hard floor, eventually they will give in and give you more cushy surroundings.
The first photo shows my new bed, from my grand-monna and grand daddoo. They got me a comforter for Christmas so that I can lie down anywhere I want and be comfortable. Mommy folds it up and keeps it in her office so that I can spend time with her. Here it is under one of her worktables. It is right by the heating vent, so on cold nights, it is sooo luxurious to stretch out, groan and sigh. And of course, it is great to nap here too!

 Here I am curled up on my couch. Even my humans call it my couch now. I lie here every chance I get, it is so long, I can stretch out my legs (and often do!) while I sleep and still have enough room for pillows. Sometimes I use the pillows - that is a great way to get the humans to see how cute you are, and give you your way more often when it comes to sleeping on furniture.
 Here I am at the other end of my couch, napping on the top part of the couch. This is a necessity as I am also a fierce guard dog and have to be able to look out the windows at all time to watch my territory. Though the curtains are closed, I know where the openings are and will often sneak my head through them as I nap to make sure nothing is going on out there that I don't want to happen.

Finally, here I am on the bed. I like sleeping on daddy's side, as mommy sometimes takes a nap on her side. I like to rest my head on daddy's pillow and snore. It makes them laugh. At night I snuggle with mommy on her side, and she often complains that I take up more room than she does...well, it is only my right after all! But she does happily acknowledge that I keep her feet toasty warm, so she thinks it is a good trade-off :)
That's all for now, I'll see you next week for some more fun with me!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tuesday's Treasures: New Bracelets!

Summer Seduction Bracelet 5-Pack
As promised, I've got some beautiful new bracelets to show you today. Sorry for the late post...I seem to have lost track of time!
The first photo shows a beautiful multi-pack of bracelets, the first time I've bundled bracelets together like this, to give you a great value and lots of wardrobe choices.
I made 5 different bracelets on the same theme - summery, shiny, feminine - and made them so that they co-ordinate well together, but can also be worn apart if you just want a little glam. See my Etsy store here for details: http://www.etsy.com/listing/93557147/summer-seduction-5-pack-multicolored
Cleopatra's Blue Goddess Bracelet
This second bracelet I made to match my Cleopatra's Blue Goddess Necklace (found here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/91033798/cleopatras-blue-goddess-necklace). I made this bracelet with the same black beads as in the necklace, but I wound them on memory wire so that it will fit a variety of wrists. For more info, see the listing here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/93540180/cleopatras-blue-goddess-bracelet?ref=v1_other_2
These are some really great bracelets, made more awesome by the fact that, as they are on memory wire, they adjust to fit almost any wrist size...which makes them perfect for gift giving!
See you tomorrow,

Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy Family Day and President's Day!

My second attempt at polymer clay: a cat and wooly sheep :)
Well, happy Family Day to those of us in Canada who celebrate it, and Happy President's Day to all of my American friends :)
This week I've got some new bracelets to show you on Tuesday, Arwen is finally going to show you her napping spots (technical difficulties last week, sorry) on Wednesday, I've got a few treasuries that I've been featured in to share with you on Thursday, and this Friday's Feature post is fantastic woodworking duo Element Arts and Crafts. Trust me, you won't want to miss that one! Saturday is the world of Squee again as I scour the internet for the cutest, funniest things to make you smile during your weekend.
The kitty from the side. One front paw slightly raised, as if to say hello,  and the tail curling up :)
Yesterday I played with polymer clay again. It wasn't quite so scary, and I managed to make 2 more cute (at least I think they're cute!) sculptures. I made a kitty, seen above, with a quizzical air to its head, and one paw just starting to raise off the ground, as if it sees something interesting and might possibly want to bless it with its attentions. I think I'll give this one to my mom, and then make another one for me :)
A curly black sheep. I seriously need to make another one!
 I also made a sheep. I love sheep! Seriously, I think they are the cutest darned things. A friend of mine up the road has a farm, and they raise sheep and poultry and honestly, the sheep are so funny, it's hard not to laugh at them (I try not to, as people tend to think I'm nuts when laughing at sheep placidly eating grass). This black sheep took a while, as I made the body first, and then made lots of little polymer clay swirls to represent his wool, which I then stuck on. It turned out pretty well (if I do say so myself), and I think I'll give it to my aforementioned friend. Then I'll make another one for myself :-D
I've also started painting some of the wooden jewelry boxes I purchased for displaying jewelry at shows and the farmers' market this year...oh, I didn't mention that earlier?? Well, you'll just have to keep stopping by to see them when they're done... ;-)
Until next time,

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Feature: Badgereels!

Green and White Elephant Fabric Covered Buttons by Badgereels
This Friday's Feature post is all about a great lady named Amy Dutsch (you may remember her from MamasLittleMonkeys). Amy owns and runs Badgereels on Etsy. Check out her interview below for more info on this wonderful shop...
My name is Amy Dutsch and I run Badge Reels,  www.badgereels.etsy.com - I create fabric covered badge reel ID Holders, keychains, and fabric buttons.
I got started on Etsy and in the handmade life around June 2008. I started out with my shop, www.mamaslittlemonkeys.etsy.com which I've recently closed because there just aren't enough hours in the day! I have run several other shops but this is my main focus now. I actually got started this shop and the badge reels because I LOVE making the fabric buttons...it's rather a therapy for me. I find it soothing to press them! :) Then I noticed the ID holders nurses and teachers often wore and thought, surely they could be "funner"? I realized the size 60 button was the perfect size and an obsession was born. I may very well drown in buttons one day...
Crochet is Freaking Awesome Badge Reel by Badgereels
I'm well known as craft/shop addict. If it can be tried, I'll try it. I have at one time or another: made soap, sewn, did light jewelry making, floral work, and am currently learning crochet and knit! 
Is there a story behind the shop name? Well, they are badge reels!! But honestly I never realized when I started that at first glance, it looks like Badger Eels! So I had some fun with that and my friend, Kay of www.popnicute.artfire.com drew up and adorable banner of a badger and an eel hanging out on my banner! It's awesome, I use it on April Fool's Day :)
My best selling item has to be several floral fabrics I have and some of the college prints. Alabama fans are SERIOUS, which is funny because I'm in LSU and Saints country. 
I sell my work on Etsy, Artfire and so far, in one gift shop in Maurepas, LA, The Dragonfly Cafe.  www.dragonflycafeandgifts.com/
Sock Monkey Fabric Covered Badge Reel by Badgereels
I blog on my personal blog at  blog.mamaslittlemonkeys.com and on Fridays at www.realhousewivesofnola.com
I have a facebook page,  www.facebook.com/shopmamaslittlemonkeys  and I tweet (when I remember) from  www.twitter.com/mamaslilmonkeys . I'm also on  Ravelry.com  as mamaslilmonkeys and on Flickr as mamaslittlemonkeys :)
I am founder of Handmade Louisiana, a great group of artisans that I founded with two fabulous local ladies. We can be found at www.handmadelouisiana.com 
I dabble in a lot of things in life, I am a mother of two boys, one of who has Autism and we are a Gluten Free family. I also run the local chapter of the Celiac Sprue Association, louisianaceliac.blogspot.com So I'm a busy girl! :)
What a fantastic shop, and an even more amazing woman! Please visit her shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/badgereels and see more awesome items.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tuesdays Treasures: Cleopatra's Fire and Sand Necklace

Cleopatra's Fire and Sand Necklace
So I completely forgot that yesterday was Valentine's Day (belated happy Valentine's Day, btw), and forgot that I had my whole day scheduled around making Valentine's day great for the husband. He takes great care of me, so I like to make at least one day all about him :)

As such, I didn't post this necklace yesterday, when I should have, and I'm sorry. Without further adieu, therefore, here is the necklace you've been waiting for!
This incredible pendant necklace comes from Cleopatra's story. Inspired by history (the Egyptians were known for their multi-pendant beaded necklaces), this will be the perfect addition to your wardrobe. Wear this with your jeans or a sexy dress, and see how this powerful statement necklace changes your outfit from nice to fantastic in a heartbeat!
I imagine Cleopatra as a strong woman, after ruling Egypt for years, meeting and falling in love with Marc Antony. After having his twins, I can see her having something like this necklace made to treat herself. With its large focal beads, and smooth, deep red carnelian beads, this would have appealed to her as a powerful statement piece. 
The necklace as it drapes when worn
Using three large Autumn Stone beads, carnelian stone beads, silver-lined gold Czech glass beads, black glass seed beads and 14karat gold filled findings, I finished the piece with a handcrafted "S" hook clasp. 14 karat gold filled Wire Guardians are used on all strand connections for extra durability and a stylish look.
This incredible One-Of-A-Kind necklace is now available in my Etsy store. Get it while you can, this one is so beautiful, you really should treat yourself! http://www.etsy.com/listing/93027010/cleopatras-fire-and-sand-carnelian

Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday Mix: Random Acts of Kindness Week

My First Polymer Clay Sculptures - Not Perfect, but I'm Happy :)
 Good Monday morning on this, the first day of Random Acts of Kindness Week! I've got a great week in store for you all, so I hope you've buckled your seat belts. With this week being Random Acts of Kindness Week, I will aim to do one random nice thing each day. Today: Maybe we can send our special someone a couple of nice, short emails along the lines of:
You are awesome! 
I love waking up next to you :) 
You look great today!
Keeping them short and sweet makes sure they aren't bogged down reading lengthy emails when they should be working, but allows them to take 2 minutes to stop and smile :)

Before I get to this week's events, I'd like to share a milestone: yesterday, the Facebook page for Little Studio Jewellery by Meghann Lynch, reached 100 followers! The followers on that page have been given a little treat, so, if you want in on a pretty sweet deal, visit & LIKE the Facebook page and start saving. It's a limited time offer, so hurry on over and get yours today. The link is down and to the right on this blog --->

Tuesdays I like to unveil new pieces of jewelry, or show you pieces that I've rephotographed or redesigned. Tomorrow will be a grand unveiling of a totally new necklace inspired by Cleopatra's later life. Make sure you check back tomorrow for that! It is rich and luxurious, perfect for work or a night out.
Because, Really, Everyone Loves Seeing a Wiener Dog From the Side
This Wednesday, Arwen the Wonder Dog wants to show you her napping spots. She's been getting me to take her photo in her most favorite places, so get ready for some cuteness there :)

Thursdays are Treasury days, and though I haven't made that one yet, be prepared for a collection of beautiful handmade items from my fellow Etsy sellers. Any ideas on a theme? Let me know in the comments below and I'll do what I can...

This Friday will feature another great artist, Badgereels. You must stop by on Friday to see her work, it is really pretty (or manly, depending on the item) and functional, guaranteed to add a little whimsy to your workday :)

Finally, regarding the photos on the blog today: I've finally started playing with the polymer clay I bought almost 5 years ago. Amazingly, it's still very soft, so that was a relief (at $5 a small brick, I would have been seriously miffed to find it all dried)! While I'm sure I need another hobby like I need a hole in the head, I really loved making little sculptures throughout my childhood (though, thankfully, none have survived), and thought that this would be a bit of fun on my Sunday afternoons, when I try very hard not to do any business or work of any sort. The last few weeks I've white knuckled it. While normally reading or video games would help, it has been really hard to get away from the laptop, and so I knew I needed a stronger, totally absorbing distraction. Enter polymer clay, or "smooshing" as the experts call it (I am NOT an expert, but I like the sound of that word, so I might have to purloin it).
Inspired by My Own Playful Puppy, This Was My Second Ever Polymer Clay Sculpture
I have to say, I had an absolute blast! No pressure to make things to sell, no pressure to be perfect the first time (well, okay, I did have a bit of self imposed pressure, to be honest), and no pressure to be on a deadline. I spent a marvelous 2 hours conditioning, playing, pinching, sculpting and baking my first 3 little sculptures. I learned quite a bit; 1. blue clay under your nails is very hard to get out if it dries even the tiniest bit, and looks like you have cyanide poisoning; 2. I need armature to make the dogs' legs sturdier; 3. my cheapo, $20 toaster oven bought especially for baking clay is bang-on temperature wise (thank you, Black-&-Decker!), 4. I don't need to worry that polymer clay will spontaneously self-combust (I watched the oven like a hawk, biting my nails and occasionally throwing looks at the fire extinguisher "just in case"); 5. I LOVE POLYMER CLAY! I've already started adding polymer clay how-to books to my Amazon wish list (now 661 items strong - gotta love Amazon!), and woke up at 3AM this morning thinking of other things to make next week. I strongly recommend trying polymer clay "smooshing" if you haven't already. It is tons of fun!

Keep checking the blog this week to discover everything that's going on, and check back next Monday to see what else I was able to make with my new polymer clay hobby :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Saturday Squee: I Love Pugs

Black Pug Puppy from here: http://www.dipity.com/tickr/Flickr_pug/
I love pugs!! They're so cute and snorty and fuzzy and tiny! I love their bulgy eyes and scrunchy noses and curly tails.
"Pugkin" pug Pumpkin Hat from JessicaLynneArt
So cute they're SQUEE! Have a happy Saturday :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Feature: Zachaliz!

Teddy Bear Leg Warmers by Zachaliz
As promised, here is a fabulous feature of artist Zacha, of Zachaliz on Etsy. Read on to learn more about her beautiful art...

My name is Zacha and although I had a difficult time choosing a name for my shop, intially selling vintage items only, when I decided to offer my own designs I changed it to my name.www.etsy.com/shop/zachaliz It was easier than trying to figure out something cute and quirky, I'm not very good at it :)
Right now I'm working on accessories. That includes hair accessories, bags and a line of leg warmers I did for kids this winter. But I enjoy offering pretty things for the home as well. 

Aged Muslin Scroll for Art and Craft Projects by Zachaliz
I've always been a creative soul, I think we all know this at a young age but how that translates into the rest of your life could be very different. For me I neglected it and tried to fight it. Eventhough I was encouraged in high school to go to art school I went to state college instead and graduated with a degree in Anthropology. It wasn't until I lost my job last year that I was able to reconnect with this part of myself. Since then I've studied costume design and taught myself how to sew. I couldn't be happier with where this new route has taken me. I'm enrolled in some fine art courses now, drawing and painting and working as a freelance costume designer. I'm always looking to expand what I know and continue to draw inspiration from other mediums. 
My favorite item in my shop right now... hmm... I love my chevron tote bag because I have one myself and use it everyday but I would have to say the muslin scrolls. Its something so simple but I was able to play with fabric in a way that wasn't constructing a wearable product. But I have found that my teddy bear leg warmers are a favorite of customers. These were sold at a local boutique and is the only other place I have sold my items other than my Etsy shop. 

Large Canvas Tote with Chevron by Zachaliz

I like to communicate with others mainly through my facebook page at :www.facebook.com/pages/Zachaliz/147745055328613February 3, 2012 I held my first game/contest. I think its a great way to interact with others. 
Supporting handmade and local businesses is very important to me. I hope that as my duaghter grows up and I continue to work on my craft that she is able to walk away knowing that was a big aspect of what I what I offer. I would love to some day be able to offer what I have learned and what I make in a boutique/studio in my little upstate NY town. 
Thanks so much for this opportunity!

There you have it, a great artist, with amazing items and great ideals. Please visit Zachaliz on Etsy today for beautiful handcrafted items.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Queen Elizabeth II: 60 Years Strong

Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II
Today marks the accession of Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. 60 years ago today, her father, King George VI died, leaving Elizabeth to rule in his stead.

Wars, political and personal strife, economic downturn, family deaths, she has persevered through it all. No one is perfect, and many will take the opportunity to say nasty things about the monarchy, but for all the negatives that may be, no one (or government, for that matter) is perfect, and I am still very happy to have a Royal Family for Canada. The tradition, history and safety of our monarchy is vital to our country's well being. It means that there is always another step to our political processes, and our laws and amendments always have to go for final approval through her, even though she may be more figurehead now than active, hands-on ruler in Canada.

I am proud and happy to see the Royal Family as it continues to the next generation. His Royal Highness Prince William and his wife, the lovely Katherine, Duchess of Cambridge, have their work cut out for them in the future, but if they can work as hard as Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, and for even half as long, we'll be standing in good stead.

Many may pooh-pooh the Queen, but consider: She pays taxes, amounting to millions of English Pounds (or Euro) per year, which is great for the English economy, and she works - hard. Our Queen works hard, every day. She has a schedule that most 30-year-old's would balk at, never mind a woman in her 80's. She tirelessly helps so many, even if they don't even know it. When many would be slowing down, retiring, spending time in leisure, Queen Elizabeth does not. She is a remarkable inspiration to anyone, Monarch-lover or not.

While the official celebrations aren't scheduled to start until June, I say we celebrate our Queen, thank her for her services and be grateful for her hard work and dedication to our country.

Thank you Your Majesty, we love you. God Bless the Queen!

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