Thursday Three! (friday edition)

This weeks top picks for the Thursday Three! I thought I would pick the ones that went well with the fall theme & holiday feel that I'm gearing up for lately. Enjoy!

Ruby Red Glitter Slippers by lilcubby

These little slippers are adorable. Thats it, adorable. Imagine these at thanksgiving, and every dinner party after that!

Fall in Love by Retrofied

This bag is perfect! I've actually seen these bags first hand, as I had ordered a few for my friends last year as bridesmaids gifts. I got the ones that were reversible (yes she has reversible bags!) and it was really well made and the perfect size for everything. The best part about gift-giving and being reversible, is that you double your chances of them loving the pattern. Right? I just wish I had my own! Go get yours now.

Wedding Tree Genealogy Chart by melangerienyc

Look closely at this gorgeous soon-to-be heirloom piece. It shows whos related to the bride and groom with a color key. This would work for any season, but these orange and pink leaves really tickle me.


Quick look: Leaves Leaves Leaves!

photo above taken at the 'dinosaur footprints' in holyoke/ wave o'saurus (a kayaking playspot on the CT river)

Its the peak of autumn around here and I cant help but post a few more amazing leafy photos. I sold out of my newest leaf necklaces already, after being featured on the Etsy front page.
(Thank You!) I think I'm on a roll now!

photo above, Japanese maple in full color in front of my house,
below, collected fallen leaves, ready to be dried

I'm happy I've been out hiking and collecting and preserving leaves for the past four weeks. I realize that as the leaves change, I can get entirely new colors on one kind of tree to make more necklaces. I think these are going to go like hot cakes at my next show in two weeks. My newest necklaces will have pinks, reds, yellows, orange, brown and green.

Three new swans have taken to my front yard, a little pond. How long will they hang around? They are so massive, I thought they were swimming next to baby ducks but it turns out they were adult ducks, dwarfed by these massive birds. Silly me.
That's my quick look today, back into the studio to prepare for my big show.
Get ready its a good one... TWIST!

If you want to have fun, head here:

"Twist is a fresh kind of fair, showcasing original handmade goods and art from 60 talented vendors. Save the dates for an exciting feast of shopping and fun!"

Northampton Center for the Arts
17 New South Street
Northampton, MA USA

November 13 - 14, 2009

Fri 6 - 9 pm, Sat 10 am - 6 pm


this makes me sing!

this makes me sing!
Originally uploaded by PoPkO!
my inspiration lately, the trees are at their peak! this is a japanese maple outside my front door. today they were in full color, amazing.

(click on the photo to see my flickr photo page)


New in the SHOP! Real Leaf Necklaces & Holiday Glass

Quick little update with some autumn flavored goodies!

Also... getting ready for the holidays with colorful glass pendants full of cheer!

Aaaaand...one more little note- a fall sale is on its way! Follow my blog to be the first to get in on the details. Join my mailing list (above left) to get subscriber ONLY additional discounts. YAY!

Details coming soon....

Before & After - Painting "the shed"

I am a HUGE fan of before & after's. I can't get enough of them, whether its a home remodel, hair makeover, upcycling, wardrobes, painting...anything- I want to see it! So when I took on a painting project with my sister this summer, I made sure to snap a pic to see how it improved.

Theres a communal storage and laundry shed at the little place that my family stays at in the summer. Its been an eyesore for..ever. It sort of started blending in and no one really noticed how bad it was. You know, when you don't see things that are right in front of you for too long?

Well, my sister wanted to go nautical, since its on the beach. Good idea, but the navy we had planned was too dark. The red door would have been amazing and the white would've gotten a little bit dirty after a while. So we ditched the nautical.
Pastels are easy on the eyes, but are too "Golden Girls". This isn't Miami, its Cape Cod.

We decided on this:
Above: My golden girl, with a gorgeous sunshine yellow and blue
Below: The halfway point... little helper and dad drawing the dividing line with a level. The buoys were all faded and my sister re-painted them ALL with bright fun colors.

Above: what you don't see is the fish pond that we extracted and replaced with a lobster trap. The pond served as a place for fish to die, and wiffle balls to live.
We thought the trap was a good solution.


We still havent put the buoys and decorations up properly, thats another day. I think this came out great, and its definately CHEERY now.

What do you think?
Comment with your B&A project links too!


Monarch butterfly rings, photo styling

monarch butterfly rings
Originally uploaded by PoPkO!
New Props! I'm trying out a new look for the shop, I just need props that will work all year round. These autumn leaves are pretty now, but wont last very long. What do you think?

How to View Your Favorite Blogs in Google Reader!

WOW! I figured something out today. Maybe you already know this, but I just learned how to view my favorite blogs, or "Blogs I'm following" in a fancy schmancy (easy peasy) way called Google Reader.
It just eased my world of reading!!

Viewing the blogs your following in Google Reader allows you to open all blogs at once, on one page. You can choose to read one particular blog or all updated blogs at once.
NOTE: This is for blogspot/blogger users, I dont know how this works for others.

First, go to your blogspot dashboard.
Scroll down to your usual Reading List.
At the bottom, choose "View in Google Reader" as in the photo below.

This will bring you to a page tat looks like this:

As you can see, above, the left column has ways to divide your view. You can choose many different ways to read.

Click on the arrow (where I marked with an orange arrow) to close the left column and you get this full page:

You can read in full screen individual blogs or the most recent post of all of the ones youre following. Genius!

Since it took me about two years to notice this option (yeah, I know), I thought I'd share it with others. Its a very simple thing that will make my life easier, and hopefully yours as well!

Do YOU have any more tips or tricks that I dont know? Does this work for you in other programs? Ive never explored it before. Share your ideas here!


Going once..going twice...three times..SOLD to the HIGHEST BIDDER!!

The Easthampton Bearfest charity auction was a total SUCCESS!
Thursday was an amazing day for my bear (and me of course), with my bear being auctioned off for the HIGHEST BID of the evening.
Holy Toledo! Exclamation point!!

Its true, though I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. Its such an honor to know that someone valued both the Easthampton City Arts and my artwork together to make such a great contribution to the program. Thank you!

Here's a video of the actual auctioning of MY bear. It was thrilling, the auctioneer was the real deal, and really knew how to read people and make it a fun event.

video footage by Patrick Brough

You can see me at the very end in red (maybe the 2:20 mark) jumping up and cheering. I feel like I was actually doing high kicks and cartwheels at the time, but when I look at the footage, I don't see the marching band that I thought had paraded through at the time. Funny, eh? All of the artists get a portion of the final bidding price, which is definately cause to jump up and down.

Heres a fantastic article that was published by Patrick for masslive news on Friday. You can even see a huge ol' photo of me posing with my bear for the last time. Bittersweet. It was a great challenge for me with an incredible outcome.

This weekend I celebrated with a gorgeous autumn hike on Skinner Mountain in Amherst, MA.

Im a big fan of the self-timer.


Easthampton Bearfest Auction is heating up!

I'm definitely excited about tomorrow night, when the bears all head to the auction house!

If you are just hearing about this, I wrote a little bit in June, when the unveiling of the bears made the news. I am one if the artists commissioned by Easthampton City Arts to design a bear for the city of Easthampton Bearfest 2009. About 30 artists were chosen to decorate a bear any way they imagined. I chose to mosaic my bear cub with hand fused and shaped glass, and sheet glass.
photo above of him hiding in my yard before hitting the streets for the summer

My idea/bear was named "hiding bear" and I made the glass into leafy shapes like he was in a natural environment. I say it was my idea, but John helped me alot with designing the bear, he even helped me execute it. He frantically scribbled my proposal with me, and drove me to drop off the proposal, because I was still writing it on my way to the Arts building just minutes before the deadline. He helped me scrape grout too. I have to give him credit.
Plus I hes my best support crew, and possibly my biggest fan.

The idea of the auction is to raise money for Easthampton City Arts, who did a fantastic and professional job promoting the Bearfest and getting the community excited about the Arts, and excited to walk around. It may sound silly, but sometimes it takes a lot of work to get people out of the house and into the community. I think there were so many interesting and diverse bears out on the streets that everyone could relate to one of them. It really made the city come alive.

my cubs debut in June

Heres a few photos from the original unveiling.

The bears were being auctioned live online before tomorrows Live event in Easthampton. It was a thrill to watch because people bid on my bear! I was excited when I saw the first person bid when the opening bids started at $250. I was honored!
Then as time went on, people kept bidding... $300, $400, $550..It blew my mind!
I made something beautiful to other people!
Yesterday, the elementary school that John works at decided they needed to own it. In the course of one school day, they got enough people to pledge money towards the bear,
they raised over $700!
That really warmed our hearts.
Unfortunately, (and fortunately for the City Arts) they were outbid. Tonight was very exciting as the online bidding came to an end, and will open up tomorrow at the Live Gala Auction event. Do you want to know what the final bid was left at tonight? $1,225.00!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my goodness! Oh MY bear!
I cant wait to see WHO wins my bear, its starting to hit me that I might never see him again.

Next up...hiding bears new home...


Environmental Art - plastic soda bottles for Christmas

Genius! I love when I come across an artist who makes it big with a simple idea.
The new Neiman Marcus Christmas Book is out now, featuring a host of fancy pants things. One that struck me is Michelle Brand's gorgeous Cascade Lancashire Chandelier which retails for only $12,000. It's made with recycled plastic bottle bottoms, precisely cut-out into flower shapes , filed, and strung together (with little plastic tags that look like the ones in which clothing price tags are affixed, you know, with the gun). Genius again!
I've long been fascinated with mobiles and chandeliers made out of quirky things, and tried to make my own before. I thought I would make a business out of it once, buying an antique form to embellish, then realizing that the shipping/tangle issue would be too much for me and gave up. I could've been Michelle Brand.

Her message is to convey that we can be part of the solution to our big mess. Recycling can be beautiful (and lucrative).
Read an article here from naturalhome magazine for more info.

ps- thanks studio marcy for pointing out the neiman marcus catalog!!


New jewelry TAGS I'm so excited!

Oh I'm thrilled today! I just finished a long looong process of making individual jewelry tags for my butterfly line.

It only took so long because I don't think I have the super deluxe program to create these sorts of things. I'm not going to blame my savvy, I'm blaming the computer program, like that?

Anyways, I've always included a description tag with each necklace order I send. It says what it is, origin of the wing (since that's one of the most frequent q's), and how to care for it (this covers me when someone says hey I left it in my swimming pool and now it looks different).
They were little slips I would put into the baggie, and I was never satisfied with the look, because I know there is always a way to make it more professional looking. I always hoped people were reading them and not losing them in the box. But now they are attached!

These new tags have a hole punched into them so I can attach it to each chains clasp. AND now there's a space for me to be able to write what kind of wing you are receiving! I can just hand write that on at the time of clipping it onto the clasp (say that 10x fast).

In the photo above, I had to re-do the wing on the back of the tag, because when I printed it out, It was kind of flying in the middle. I have since made the wing sideways so its coming off the bottom of the tag.

This is great because a lot of people get these as gifts, and I send a lot to boutiques and stores. This will make it reallly easy to slap a price sticker onto the back, and keep all the info attached to the necklace. OH I'M SO HAPPY!
I think the future ones that I make will have a nice color, but Im just printing these on white cardstock on my home printer, nothing fancy. Well, fancy pour moi.

The photo above is how they started out, I had to make a mock up, print it under the template made for vhs video spines (yeah old program), fold, cut and cut and punch a hole. I know, a lot of work, but I like to do this stuff. Its really satisfying and makes everything look great.

If YOU have some fabulous tags, or tricks to share about how to make your jewelry or goods look fabulous with all its accoutrements, please DO TELL! Leave a note in the comment section with a link to your items, or blog post about your tags and I will post it here.


Photographers Assistant!

I had the pleasure to assist and work with one of my best-est girlfriends in September on a wedding shoot! A REAL wedding! The gorgeous wedding was in Bethel NY, at the site of the original Woodstock in 1969. Jamie of Jamie Kaminski Photography takes professional photographs of weddings, showers, family portraits and all kinds of fun photo shoots around New York. Shes also a mother and a teacher. Aaand she just finished a portrait project to raise money for a scholarship fund in her friends honor. She's a busy busy gal! Buzz buzz buzz! I dont know how you do it with such grace. Truely.

I got to see a lot of this** all day (above).
**Thats the grace I must have been talking about.

She invited me to assist her on the shoot, as I had worked with her during our University years together and we also traveled through Europe as a two-woman circus act. (okay so that part is only half true, there was no acting in that circus). I think we're a great team!

I held her cameras, bags, boxes, moved her ladder, beckoned her when there was break dancing, styled the wedding party, I even found myself affixing boutonnieres! I was like a mule that day. It was fabulous! heehaw heehaw
photo above by me, the assistant, overlooking what I thought was the music site, but turns out it was behind me.

It really made me appreciate her skills. She scoped out the place ahead of time and planned out some good places to take photos of the bride and groom and wedding party. Once the couple arrived on-site we got straight to work, taking photos of the dress sans bride (I would hang it where she directed and she would take the photos) . I took some photos for myself and realized that shes in the right profession. The whole time I was there I just wanted to write a Martha Stewart article about the handmade details (of which there were a million). I also realized that it's really hard to take a great photo with a point and shoot snappy camera of my own. Her camera is really the bees knees. It makes everything bigger and brighter. She even taught me a few things about composing a picture. I liked watching her work.

Here's the sneek peek that she posted in her blog for the newlyweds to glimpse:

above photo by jamie kaminski photography

above photo by jamie kaminski photography

Yes, they actually had a rainbow! They were rushing and running for the perfect shot before the faint rainbow vanished, and turned out that a great one was of them actually running.

I asked the groom if I could take a picture of his bout for my own use (and so that he wouldn't think his pro photos were being taken by my little ol digital snapper. The brides family made them and also made the bouquest and all the flowers for the tables. I HAD to share them with you, in case you loved wedding details as much as I do. The bride said they picked all the flowers themselves! WOW!

photos here by moi, the wedding lover and assistant. I couldnt help but share this cake with you its insane and fabulous! Below are the beautiful hand picked flowers that were sprinkled all over the glass room.

Thanks Jamie!