Sunday, December 30, 2007
I first discovered her beautiful felting/fibre art when she and I were featured on the
fairywebmother's arts blog
Fairywebmother aka Bettina also makes beautiful fibre pieces as seen here and sells them in her etsy
.... and she also makes music, this one is favourite of my wee guy.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
I first met Tanis at the first Vancouver Etsy chicks meet up organised by Poppy held one hot summer evening on Commercial Drive.
We had a gift swap and I got Tanis's crafty offering. It was this awesome length of felt, wool, silk and tencel.
What great timing! I had already been looking for ways to combine fibre with my wire work and Tanis's felt really inspired me. It's from this chance gifting that the flotsam cuffs developed and my love of all things fibre/metal.
Since then Tanis and I have collaborated at a couple of craft fairs, continuing the metal and fibre theme.
Tanis - happy selling in 2008! Please visit her shop - it's stuffed with all sorts of arty goodness which you will love!
Sunday, December 02, 2007
I'm feeling a lot better after the last desperate post. Thanks to DH I've got the admin out of the way for now, have packed off the christmas cards and parcels, finished a couple of neccessary craft projects and even had time to get started on some artclay work!
One of the neccessary craft projects was this inverno wire crochet brooch, full of glass and crystal icicles.
Friday, November 30, 2007
the wee guy has been ill off and on all week so sleep has been not that great. i'm busy with ebb and flo, christmas gift-getting, last shipping dates for the UK and general household maintenance. my hair is a mess, my skin is a mess, my clothes are a mess ..... all i really want to do is yell "stop" and let myself catch up.
i'm finding this very stop/start life as the mum of a busy pre-schooler very draining right now. there seems to be no time to settle down at anything as things can change at a moment's notice. i never know if i will have 2 minutes, 20 minutes or 2 hours for getting something done and frequently i have no time to myself during the day, without being interrupted by "mummy, come now, come and play with me!".
maybe he knows that school is just around the corner and that life will change, no more 'mummy and me' for days on end.
i love being a mum and this time i have at home with the wee guy is so precious but it's driving me nuts and exhausting me at the same time. i feel so selfish about the way i feel yet i know i need to carve out some quiet time/solo time/ me time too.
no one said it would be easy and easy it ain't!
i think the T shirt says it all
from the amazing http://www.ninaandtom.com (go check them out pronto!)
... and then someone compliments me on my earrings (which i made myself!!) and nature throws me a most awesome sunset to cheer me up!
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Etsy is many things to many people all over the globe and right now there's a huge wave of confused discontent scooting around following the sun.
But enough of the latest kick in the teeth - some of my ebb jewelry has been included in this wonderful wintry treasury from willowcatstudios, home of the stubby tote series and purveyor of the I Know You Do Not Want To Go Home For The Holidays greetings card!
When I next have a day/lifetime to spare I'll try hanging out in the treasury conjuring up some Etsy community spirit and make a list with all the great Etsians who have included some of my carp in their lists.
... but since I don't have much time at all I think poster sketch tool will have to suffice!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Flickr has a search function which works well. This evening the result was nada due to my inappropriate non-use of tags, but the flickr sense of humour and the suggestions to search for (haven't seen 'nads' in such a long time!!) were ample reward for having to manually scroll thru my pics in search of this
Thank you flickr for making my evening!
... oh and jolly well done Etsy admin for managing to swamp a lot more sellers with general depression - sleep well and sweet dreams!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
A big thank you to all my hearts and customers, and a big flying internet hug to nonnie60 who became number 500. Please check out her shop for some beautiful stained glass creations and jewelry. Remember to check her avatar and then her profile for the story behind it.
500 hearts - swoon
(now come shop ebbandflo for christmas - i'm starting the gift listings this week)
Monday, November 12, 2007
Wahooo! Woke up to this message from Mintd this morning - I've sold my first items from the site! Now dancing the happy dance! (and off to make some earwires).
Sunday, November 11, 2007
citrine briolettes and freshwater pearls on handforged and hammered goldfill hoops
Originally uploaded by msbellee
These adorable "citrine briolettes and freshwater pearls on handforged and hammered goldfill hoops, AAA briolettes; 7/8 inch diameter hoops" are from one of my favourite Etsy jewelry artisist ms belle , who recently made her first (??? only her first) appearance on the Etsy front page (at last!).
I just adore the combination of the hammered gold with the citrine here, and of course the wire wrapping is incredible.
Of course, I'm feeling slightly smug because I know that a certain pair of sterling and citrine earrings will be in my stocking for Christmas (thanks husband mine!)
Friday, November 09, 2007
Here I'm piercing and sawing another batch of copper discs for pendants. They are stamped and then have a shape cut out, similar to some I've already finished for my goddaughter and her sister.
If I get the sawing and sharp stuff done tonight it means that I have a fresh batch of portable crafting projects ready for tomorrow. Filing, smoothing and polishing up these discs is all quite possible on the move and doesn't require a lot of heavy equipment.
But sometimes the only time I have to prepare these projects-to-go is the evening. It's a hrad life being a full time mum and crafter ..
PS: portable crafting projects on the go right now include;
- 4 pierced copper discs to file, sand and polish
- another pair of crochet wrist colour-change warmers
- an upcycled jeans bag with owl embroidery
- a copper wire crochet collar
- wire crochet christmas stars
- some secret knitting!
Thursday, November 08, 2007
It is a beautifully constructed treasury, using a simple snow white theme and the effect is stunning. Check it out here for the next two days.
... and don't forget to click thru to willowcatstudio's shop for some equally amazing work. The stubby totes are a favourite of mine!
Shop early, shop Canadian and buy handmade for Christmas!
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
... and last night was even better! "Your dinner is in the oven" took on a whole new resonance. We ate out!
"Spore" is now listed for sale - I've kicked off my Dawanda shop once more with the mouldy one and a few friends.So if you like weird pieces of felty art for your lapel you now know where to indulge.
spore : - almost good enough to eat, spore bodies wave from a landscape of decay, just like on that piece of bread you lost then found again behind the sofa
wool, wire, copper, picasso jasper, freshwater pearls, glass and amethyst
flotsam brooches are mixed media pieces using recycled/upcycled materials from my handcrafting exploits, outside sources and found objects.
they are based around recycled wire mesh discs (waste from manufacturing) and those annoying end pieces of wire on a spool which somehow aren't quite enough to use in a bigger project.
for each brooch a "project soup" of fibre, beads, objects and wire is assembled - then from the first stitch to the last wrap the assemblage is a completely random pattern of embroidery, darning, wiring, crochet and crimping.
add a pin on the back and it's ready to wear!
Monday, November 05, 2007
Whoa! and hold on there a moment! What exactly is crafting365?
Crafting365 is a flickr group, started by the amazing bugsandfishes aka Lupin, which documents crafting projects 365 days a year. So far it's got over 340 members who post a picture a day showing what they're currently working on . While a lot of the photos do show completed projects, a refreshing number also show works on the go .... and not just traditional crafts. So far I've spotted cupcakes, piles of materials in prep, studio shots (plus beverages), toffee apples, pumpkins and knitting in mid-knit. I have contributed mainly pics of earwires on the go (cos I make a lot and they fill my craftable minutes) plus crochet, more crochet and some art clay silver.
So my day 48 work-on-the-go picture is this one. But why is a pile of leaves and sycamore keys my contribution? Well, the leaves are part of a leaf picture, which is my wee guy's contribution to our daily crafting activities (spot the glue smudge).
... and the sycamore keys? Well I have plans for them which involve art clay silver ..... need I say anymore?
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
OK I know - if I'm not hammering on about my cufflinks I'm promo'ing my handcrafted earwires to all and sundry! But have you seen what people are using them for?
Check this out (and click here to see the original screenshot on flickr).
Using the Etsy treasury poster tool I chose from all the awesome earrings jewelry artists have made using my handcrafted earwires.
Stunning collection or what?
With grateful thanks to groovyglassgirl, PrettyInPeace, sadieandleo, TheresaJ, michymoo, and abeleeshandcrafted
.... and a huge thank you to Anna for sending me this great photo of an earring she made with one of my earwires. I can't link to her as she's making these as gifts and not selling.
Anna - these are gorgeous!
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Week of skirts reminded me that mum does not live by trousers alone, skirts are indeed a viable option for the SAHM-on-the-go, and I do have the wardrobe capability to cope. We managed visits to drop-in play emporia, shopping, a trip to the park, an attempted trip round a pumpkin patch (it was flooded but I was game) and other assorted weekly mummy activities. Check out my flickr gallery, with accompanying wardrobe notes and comments from my fans!
Things I learned
1. I have a lot of almost ankle length skirts
2. maternity tights can be worn back to front (so the saggy pregnancy belly bit is at the back!).
OK - the bad news. Week of skirts was due to be followed up by another exciting wardrobe challenge, but sadly due to ill health it has morphed into "week without wheat" as I suspect I have a wheat intolerance . I'm almost a week into it (relax - I have not been posting any photos, apart from the one on the right) and would kill for a cinnamon bun. Posting all my symptoms and gripes would be TMI here but at last I'm spending less time on the loo .......
My attempts at wheat-free cookery have been er, interesting. On the right I present a wholegrain barley loaf, a solid and dense little number which may in fact still be uncooked at its core, due to the remarkable insulating properties of the dough mix.
I may be less bloated but my stomach hangs heavy with unleavened bread.
Friday, October 26, 2007
After bending the wire I file the end that sticks in your ear lobe. The tumbling process, as well as adding a polish and work hardening the metal, completes the filing rounding the ends.
I'm very proud of my handcrafted supplies, the earwires are selling very well and are available in copper, brass, sterling and goldfill. The copper ones are the only ones I hammer routinely to work harden and stabilise the design but it is possible on all the others as a decorative finish.
I'm hoping in the near future to compile a showcase of images from some of the very talented artists who have used my earwires in some stunning creations - I was looking thru them last night and was amazed at how creative people can be.
My Etsy shop is now almost totally supplies now. It's a little sad to me but that seems to be what sells well on Etsy these days. I guess since the marketing of the site has been geared so heavily at the crafting community that this should be no surprise. The majority of people who know how to use the site are crafters and usually fellow sellers. Previously most of my jewelry sales went to new buyers, often those who had signed up on the day they made their purchase, but this hasn't been happening in a long time (except my 100th sale was my stamped ceramic pendant!).
Now I read in forums that sellers are being discouraged from revealing TMI in threads and advised not to send any more than a business card and invoice in with packages. At risk of sounding like an old fogey, the little extras were what made buying on Etsy an exciting thing "back in the old days".
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Oh phooey! I can't maintain the phoney excitement. This was my prize for winning the Winter bead challenge which Etsy agreed to sponsor. The competition ended at the beginning of April this year ...... when embarrassingly (not for me) I had just come out of a muting for anti-Etsy forum behaviour.
Quelle horreur! Etsy was going to have to honour its agreement and send moi a prize package.
A month went by with no prize arriving. Another month and no prize, another month then another ..... and you get the picture!
In August I contacted the organiser (another Etsy seller) to find out if Etsy had pulled out of the sponsorship. She contacted Matt at Etsy who swore he had sent out the prizes to me and the other winner.
Neither of us received a package. The prizes were resent.
By the beginning of September neither prize winner had received a prize. Convos were sent. Matt said he would resend.
Meanwhile a Showcase date (part of the original prize package) magically appeared on my Etsy bill for Sept 17th ..... I guess even electronic prize delivery takes it time?
By the end of September a prize package had still not arrived with either prize winner so I contacted Matt directly to spare the challenge organiser anymore embarrassment with having to tell an online selling site that their packages had failed to materialise a second time.
My Etsy prize eventually arrived October 16th, postmarked the day after I sent Matt my convo (what a coincidence!!). I'm astounded it arrived safely as the packaging was quite flimsy and my surname had been omitted from the address line ... or indeed anywhere on the package at all (so it's a good thing I didn't have to collect from the PO).
So Matt, many thanks for 'keeping the faith' and sending out my prize. I'm soooooo glad it arrived just over 6 months from the end of the competition - with dedication like that I know that Etsy is certainly has our livelihoods (and a new, improved Search engine) to heart.
ra ra Etsy - am being nice and am golden!
Monday, October 22, 2007
There then followed some discussion of why this friend could no longer dance with me. I tried to explain that he was now in heaven (Yes, like Dog Heaven), and after some thought the wee guy pronounced, "Mummy, you can dance with me now."
Andrew, forever in my heart, this one's for you wherever you are dancing now.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
self portrait 18th October 07 - a week of skirts day 3
Originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama
Last week my wee guy requested I 'dress like a princess' which is code for "please wear a skirt or a dress or anything other than trousers". So I threw on a skirt ........
.... then realised I didn't wear a skirt very often and had no idea what to put with it, what shoes, accessories (jewelry was OK though!!), etc, etc.
So this week I challenged myself to wear a different skirt/outfit every day for 7 days. It is a challenge! I am so used to throwing on jeans, etc that my idea of which of my tops, etc. go well with skirts is nill.
Check out the other 'week of skirts' pics here as I post them
(and PS: this is a work day ie. the wee guy is in daycare, so the look is more thrown together cos I don't have to 'be anywhere'. FYI I'm wearing a really old pre-pregnancy denim skirt, coupled with a Gap vest top and a ratty old Bay cotton knit cardi)
(and that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it)
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Many thanks to ndnchick on Etsy (who has some gorgeous season's greetings cards for the upcoming festive season in her shop) for including my sterling earwires in her treasury of handmade supplies.
It is an amazing treasury, both for its content and also its timing. There has been a lot of debate about supplies on Etsy recently, with numerous threads involving whether or not they should stay, debating how much they interfere with exposure for the handmade items, pointing out how much revenue they must bring in for Etsy, etc etc etc. Some threads have become quite heated and been locked for "bickering" while others managed to gain comment and final say from the big guns.
IMO commercial supplies, in the enormous volumes of some shops, do not belong on Etsy, the "all things handmade" site. Apart from making the tagline look a little fluffy, they dilute the exposure of the handmade items in Time Machine, front page, search and categories (the latter two thru imaginative tagging), etc. I really welcome the idea that supplies will be separated eventually, and search will require an opt-in by the user.
However, where does this leave handmade supplies?
Not apparently on the handmade side of the website. I'm not particularly worried about my earwires being 'sent to Coventry' as crafters on the site will know to look/opt in for their supplies, but items such as handspun and hand-dyed yarn and fibre might become invisible to their buyers. Evidently 'true' buyers, ie. those with no seller account, only want finished articles and so would not be shopping in supplies anyway.
Where does this leave the dedicated handknitter looking for a unique hank of spun and dyed fibre for aunty's shawl then? Hmmmm ..........
... and PS: for any of you reading this and thinking, "How did I miss all of this action?" - it's your forum, use it to stay in touch/enfranchised with the website you sell on.
It really is a "use it or lose it" scenario.
or try UEN to stay current (though the Storque is starting to pull its weight too - put the news section on RSS feed to your Google Reader to stay up to date)
Friday, October 12, 2007
Almost there for an art clay silver piece to hold the delicious shoozles fused glass cabachon.
This is my first attempt at building a bezel cup in this way. I'll be firing it tonight so hopefully will have some good results to post later!
The raised bezel cup is fine silver but the rest of the piece (and the holes) is art clay silver.
Update: the piece got fired last night. Since the clay shrinks 10% and the bezel ring doesn't, some infilling work on the reverse of the piece was required. Again that was fired last night leaving an interesting hmmmm 'organic' look to the reverse. I now have to polish the bezel area and set the glass (fun I hope) then complete the polishing. It will probably have a couple of hours in the tumbler later today.
I'm hoping to update this thru flickr or edit my blog post thru the day and tomorrow. Stay tuned!
... and don't forget the etsy glass street team sale on this week. 20% discount on purchases from members - click on to their website for details!
and PS: i'm appalled at how old my hands look in close ups!
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
... and PS: rufusandroxy belongs to the Etsy Glass Arts team who are celebrating their 1st anniversary this week. Participating shops in this amazing street team are giving 20% discount on purchases until Oct 14th. Head on over to their website for further details (hint: take your wallet with you, you won't regret it!)
Monday, October 08, 2007
Once they come out of the tumbler I'm a bit more convinced that they do indeed look like a professionally put together article of adornment for a gentleman, and that someone might want to wear them.
This pair is my favourite (or one of my favourites - I'll try remember to blog about the other fave tomorrow but it's late tonight!). The amazing blood red stone is carnelian, wrapped in sterling silver. This was a request from the buyer and they've worked out very well.
If you hold the stone up to the light it glows! I would certainly notice a pari of wrists sporting these dramatic pieces.
I'll put a link of where to buy them once they are out on sale!
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
the wee guy and i spotted them as we ate our breakfast. i dashed (quietly) upstairs for the camera serenaded with squeals of delight from my little nature watcher.
even when i opened the door to the deck to get a better view the deer still grazed on nonchalantly. they slowly plodded their way round the corner (to the really steep bit of landscaping beyond the house) and disappeared from view.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Then I reached 33 years old. Then I started to wonder. The question wasn't "Do I want to have a baby?" as I had expected it would, but rather, "Would I regret not trying?"
Another birthday arrived, in the middle of packing for a job secondment in Canada. We arrived at the beginning of September 2001. Ten days later my husband left for the airport to fly to Dallas. He missed his flight due to US immigration hassles and tried again the next day. He didn't fly. That day made history.
I realised that the most important thing in the world to me was family, my family - not a research career, not academic recognition, not a big salary but my family.
Just over a year and a half later, the wee guy was born (unnaturally as you can see above). He's now an eager, opinionated, energetic pre schooler who runs me ragged each and every day. I still feel no closer to being a natural mother at all.
Yesterday he really p*ssed me off big time while we were having 'coffe and cookie' in a cafe, and I lashed out with, "You stupid child!" Then I remembered a post from a friend (I hope she considers me a friend - she's been thru a whole pile of carp recently on the big orange E and is bravely sharing her experiences) in her blog about her childhood and instantly regretted my choice of words. It's hard to stay rational when you are faced with completely illogical behaviour and reasoning day after day. Sometimes I sleep well and can cope, other days I announce to my little travel companion that, "Mummy is feeling grumpy today, please have your listening ears on." How is it that every other mum out there seems to be mellow, sweet, quiet and wholesome? How come they never raise their voices or have grumpy days? What are they taking? (I want some too!!) Are they even human?
So what is being a mother? Is it a natural skill or instinct or is it learned? I'm still clueless apart from knowing it involves sleep deprivation, altered bodyshape, boobs, encyclopaedic knowledge of nonsense songs, spill-proof fashion sense, etc etc etc.
PS: a big thanks to the very kind lady in Starbucks that afternoon who actually came over to me to tell me I was a great mother, that she had been enjoying watching me sing silly songs with the wee guy after the "stupid" incident. I could have hugged you there and then!
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
(I love my work though!)
Spot the new carnelian squares at the front. Mmmmmm!
Sunday, September 23, 2007
My Is It Spring Yet? necklace made an appearance in this gorgeous treasury from Etsy seller Susan Sheehan last week.
As titled, this was a very pretty list.
As are these beautiful lampwork beads made by Susan and found here
It's nice to have something pretty to look at on Etsy these days ..........
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
It's been a loooooong summer although the weather didn't reciprocate much at all. There was no preschool or daycare so the wee guy was shuttled between sports and adventure camps for August.
That was hard work. In summary, a maximum of 90 minutes child-free time per day to survive on ............ we came to verbal blows and mummy had to do time out.
But now preschool is back and daycare started last week , and amazingly I've found a fresh burst of time management and efficiency (we'll see how long this one lasts!! ho ho). For example, during his first preschool class I made a loaf of bread, did one load of laundry (how I love labour-saving devices that allow you to say you are performing the task when actually all you have done is load up the machine and pressed the button), took some product shots (see above) and did the editing, printed notes and did some meeting prep for a continuing ed seminar, edited my Etsy showcase (waste of bl**dy time as usual), responded to and set up a flickr challenge (see
Whew! All in 90 minutes.
... and spent the rest of the day either entertaining the wee man at
I am superwoman!
rainforest : - temperate, not tropical. mossy, not glossy. damp
hand dyed English top wool, fibre, wire, glass, freshwater pearl, charms
flotsam brooches are mixed media pieces using recycled/upcycled materials from my handcrafting exploits, outside sources and found objects.
Monday, September 17, 2007
I've got a slot on Etsy's showcase running today.
Hmmm ... as you may know I'm not a great fan of Showcase. For the same price you can relist/list an item every day for a month and gain that much more exposure.
So why the Showcase slot?
Well, at long bl**dy last it's my prize for having a winning entry in a beading challenge Etsy agreed to sponsor back in April. Since then no prizes have arrived for me or the other winner, despite them having been 'sent' twice. And this Showcase slot only arrived after some ear-bending by the organiser.
Odd that a venue for online retailing can't ship something out themselves???
PS: sold nothing, nada, zilch all day - thus my opinion of Showcase is unchanged (and now you can buy one on The Stropue too! Huzza!
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Friday, September 07, 2007
I am also a hopeless bookaholic, shutting out the outside world the moment the pages fall open.
So I cannot read while the wee guy is playing, unless it is in a strictly controlled and safe environment.
..... but I can craft! While my fingers fly thru some project or other, my attention can be more or less focussed on keeping him out of trouble. And that's where portable crafting comes in.
Above are my current and future portable crafting projects. The blue project will be packed into the felted pouch with the tools ready for a day out and about. The pink project is all set to go in its own ziplock.
OK it's a bit contrived and incredibly orderly but with a busy pre-schooler, it's best to be well prepared.
So I spent my day off yesterday (the first one since July!!!), after finishingoff the household and misc. admin (bleh), setting up some new projects and bagging them to go.
I now have enough fibre and metal projects to last into next week - yay!!
... but I still haven't got down to sorting out my new drill and flexshaft in the garage! Grrr!
Hmmm ... portable drilling ....?????
Monday, September 03, 2007
... still loving Scout in the flickr toys!
The red felted cuff is my newest in Explore.
... and you can easily check if you have anything in Explore by installing this widget which summarises your flickr account as shown below;
and it updates just like magic!
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
My wee guy, totally amazed that his mum could buy such pretty things, was enthralled by the whole shoe bonanza and still refers to these as "your pretty, pretty shoes" in hushed tones of reverence.
Hmmm? Time to step out of the mummy sack of fashion I guess or I'll warp his developement and future relationships with the opposite sex ("motherhood is soooo hard," she remarked on her way off to the mall)
Monday, August 20, 2007
I spent the weekend up to my armpits in solder and silver filings at Mountain Gems in Burnaby, under the watchful eye of Cori, our amazing and inspiring teacher for the 10 hours of the class (plus the extra panic time for extended pickling on Saturday evening and finishing the projects on Sunday evening - most appreciated and thankyou).
.... and the above is the result, a funky and chunky ring (for my funky and chunky fingers) and a funky pendant, both showcasing some of my favourite pieces of glass. The cab in the ring is from the amazing Dee and the cab in the pendant from Michelle. Unfortunately I ran out of time to em-bezel a truly amazing cab from Lis but I have plans ........
In summary, definitely a birthday well spent!