Be free-floating, allowing the situation to surround you, and be in it. Take in the full surroundings, including the temperature of the water.
This may bring incredible clarity, presence and focus. This is what is means to be a jellyfish.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Weekend Sale starts today! FREE Shipping on ANYTHING in Store.

I want to give everyone a chance to get that special Mother's Day gift in time for Mother's Day.

So this week, as part of the Saturday Blog Shoppers team, I am offering FREE SHIPPING to anywhere on a purchase of $10.00 or more at either of my stores.  

You can find me at:

OR



Whether it be Clutches, Schrunchies, Page Savers, Cozies, or Bags, get a handmade treasure and make the Mom in your life smile, or even get it for yourself and show off your big smile. :)
 
  










Sale starts today, April 30th and runs through Sunday, May 2nd. (mention SBSFreeShip in message to seller and I will refund the shipping cost)

And don't forget to check the Saturday Blog Shoppers Hub for other great handmade deals.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Music Monday stretched Till Tuesday

By the way, what's with the HAIR, is that part of the new image? 
I try so hard not to get upset...

This little hobby of mine HAS gone too far....



See there was good music in 1985, and gotta love the rat tail. 
And for those who were still in diapers in 1985, you heard something "new" today! :P

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday Blog Shoppers - WEEKEND SALE - Gadget Cozies Galore!

Gadget Cozies? What are they?
They are wool, they are felted, and they cozy up your most prized gadget. It will fit a cell phone, an ipod, your glasses, and many other gadgets that you need to carry.  You can hook it to yourself easily, and travel lightly. 



These are new to my shop, both Etsy and Zibbet, and I am offering a deep discount to my followers and fans for the entire weekend.  Just contact me and mention Gadget Cozies Galore, and you will get 50% off the listed prices.  I will give you the choice of a Paypal refund, or adjusting the price before you purchase.  Just contact me to work out the details. That means you will get each cozy for $5, or $6 with the clasp!



Sale Starts Saturday April 24th and ends Sunday April 25th at midnight.



And please check the Saturday Blog Shoppers hub for other GREAT deals by other great sellers!


I am happy to share this great deal with all my followers and fans and will even extend a discount on shipping for multiple item orders.  I will entertain wholesale requests as well. Please contact me to discuss.




Thursday, April 22, 2010

Project Runway? NO - Project Quilting!

Kim's Crafty Apple

Do you like Project Runway? If you love it like me, then you will love this creative and challenging contest started at Kim's Crafty Apple - Project Quilting !  I think part of the reason I like quilting is that it is a huge challenge for me.  As I am fairly new to it, the challenge is in all parts of quilting - from conception, to technical skill, to determination to finish the daunting task.

Kim has taken her love of the challenge and created a Project Quilting, opened it up to any willing participant, and is letting us vote for the winner.  Every other Sunday, a challenge will be posted, and participants will have one week to finish the project and submit pictures, tell thier story of how they decided to solve the challenge.  Once the challenge entries are up voting will be open for a few days and hand-dyed fabric will be the prize!

I stumbled across this after the first challenge was completed and voting had started.  The first challenge was the Shoofly Challenge, where participants had to use the shoofly block  as inspiration, use mainly stock from their stashes of fabrics and materials because the budget was only $10.00, and had to use striped fabric in the finished piece, maximum size being 36 inches by 48 inches.

The results are just beautiful - I can't believe these were made in one week.  Check them out here and vote for your favorite. (There is even a prize being offered to us viewers and voters!!)

My favorites are:
I am really looking forward to following this creative group of quilters. I think it is motivating me to really get back to the 3 quilting projects I have now started. (!)  I may even join in one if I get really motivated!  I have talked about my quilting process here and here, and come to the conclusion that it is a somehwhat theraputic process - and I can always use some good therapy. :)
I am sure those of you with husbands, children, pets, slow computers, trouble with taking pictures, online stores that are not getting many sales, jobs that stink, deadlines, etc., know what I mean.....If you don't have your own therapy, try following this and get your mind off the stresses!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Do you want to try Zibbet?


I had a few people show some interest in Zibbet after yesterday's Music Monday post. If you want to try it out, just click here to sign up, and enter the following coupon code when signing up: FREETRIAL. This will give you a free 7 day trial of a Premium Account.  After that it is only a minimal monthly fee - no listing charges and no sales transactions fees.  You don't have to give up your current venue either!  It is simply more exposure. 

This community is a great, close knit community, and the CEO is present daily on the community hub.  It is still in beta stage, but an active marketplace.  Give it try!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Music Monday! Listing in the Land Down Under...Zibbet

Raige Creations has decided to expand! I heard about Zibbet.com and decided to check it out and discovered it is from the 'Land Down Under' -Australia!   Who isn't intrigued with the idea of Australia and Vegamite sandwiches after hearing Men at Work's song, Land Down Under? (Love the song, but the sandwich must be an acquired taste)

After a bit of research, I learned from their website, "the idea for Zibbet was initially born out of a desire to create an eBay alternative for Artisans. Johnathan Peacock (Zibbet's founder), saw first-hand how hard it was to sell your creative products. From seeing his Grandma stop selling her crocheted handicrafts at the local market, because it was "too cold" and "not worth it", to seeing his wife's cousin stop selling her paintings on eBay, because it was too expensive to list and weren't selling at a worthwhile price. He knew that there had to be a better way.....  The name Zibbet was fashioned in the first 2 weeks of the concept starting and stems from the word exhibit. It was chosen as a catchy and easy name for people to remember and pass on."  Brilliant, I say!

The Zibbet logo is even reminiscent of Australia.  Then the Land Down Under tune pops in my head, so join me and enjoy this blast from the past!  I even managed to find the Pop-Up Video!


So, Raige Creations is now open on Zibbet too!  It is a great community of artisans who are very friendly and helpful. And best of all you can sign up for free, list for free, and sell for free! There are options to upgrade your store, and pay a minimal $9.00 monthly fee for Premium Account and get additional features to further customize your shop. This rate is good for life right now, and when 500 are sold, then will raise the price again.  (Click here to find out more - when I checked there were only 498 left!) 
Happy Music Monday!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Saturday Sale - A Mother's Day Sale as a Tribute to My Mother

- God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers. -  
Rudyard Kipling

Mother's Day is fast approaching, so I have been busy creating things that I think my late mother would have loved.  My passion for a good read and memories of my mother's collection of books have inspired me to create beautifully decorative Page Savers (bookmarks). I also fondly remember my mother's compulsion to obtain any cute bag she came across.  She loved both books and bags of all kinds so much so that she couldn't stop collecting them.  And she was quite the collector! Her collection of both would rival any library or fashion designers inventories! She had rooms full of books, and closets stuffed with bags for any and all occasions. 
 
This Mother's Day special is in honor of my late mother as I know that she would love to choose at least one of these bags to add to her collection, and would have needed several bookmarks to save her page in a few of the books she would be currently falling asleep to. :)

I have recently upgraded some of the bags in my shop so that they now all feature a little something special.  Now each bag has either beads, buttons, crocheted lace flowers, or liners to make each one unique. 

Based on traditional leatherbound, handstiched bindings of old which included ribbon to mark the page, the Page Savers are ideal bookmarks, magazine markers, etc. and look gorgeous hanging out of your favorite reading materials.

This Saturday's Sale is: "Bag and Bookmark Combo Special"

Simply buy any Purse or Pouch along with a Page Saver and get 30% off these items.  
Just contact me on etsy or zibbet and mention this blog and the Saturday Blog Shoppers Sale, and I will adjust the price in my store for you before you purchase.  If the Page Savers happen to be sold out, and you do wish to purchase, I do have others I will be posting early next week that you will be able to choose from, and I will honor this sale for you when you purchase the bag of your choice. Please contact me on Saturday if you are interested, and anytime if you have any questions!
This sale is good for Saturday, April 17th only, so be sure to contact me between midnight tonight and midnight Saturday!
I am excited to share this love of bags and books and offer this great special to my favorite online friends.  Happy shopping! And please check the SBS hub for other GREAT deals!

--And if anyone can recommend a great book for me to read next, when I can find the time, please feel free to suggest one in the comments. Thanks!--

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Biologie in Art - Featured Creator - Biologie

We are often so busy in our lives, either working, blogging, surfing the net, watching TV, taking kids from point A to B to C, etc., that we forget the old piece of advice that we should stop and smell the flowers sometimes.

One of my first, and highly respected, customers on Etsy, Kelly from Biologie, reminded me of the beautiful things in nature through her blog, Biologie. There I found gorgeous pictures of bluebonnets (as a proud Texan, she loves this flower - the State Flower of Texas), advice for gardeners, including organic pesticide, and how to quench the thirst for those avid gardeners, and lots and lots on bugs (Buggin' out on Thursdays on her blog), even bug butts - see picture here.

Her profile says she comes from a long line of nature-lovers, art-lovers, and practical folk, and she has a Bachelor of Science degree in Clinical Laboratory Science.  Though not currently working in that field, she finds it stimulaing and challenging.  And she must love challenges because she mentioned that she is thinking of going to graduate school obtain a master's degrees in botany, ecology, or environmental sciences.


Not surprisingly, much of her inspiration stems from little things in the world that touch her in some way; a spiderweb in her rosemary, a raindrop on a leaf, a red blood cell under the microscope, the wag of a puppy tail, or a little blue flower in her backyard.
And you can see from her work that nature plays a large role in creating her one of a kind jewelry collections. With nature inspired items like Cherry Blossoms necklaces, and Iridescent Waters earrings, and even an item titled 'Prince the Toad' (see picture on right), it is evident that her interest in nature and science play a large role in her creations. Her shop is full of her creative interpretations of the wonders of nature.


Here is a little more about Kelly from Biologie:


What made you get into creating jewelry?
My mom started making beaded jewelry and other bead creations when I was in college. She taught me the basics of jewelry making and we both began to experiment with a lot of different techniques. The creative juices started flowing! The more jewelry I made, the more I wanted to share it with others so I opened a shop on Etsy: Biologie.

You have talked about bugs regularly on your blog - will you be incorporating bugs into your next line of jewelry?
Yes! My first line of jewelry incorporated my love of cherry blossoms in the form of pendants sculpted from polymer clay. Colors and shapes from nature are very significant to me and bugs are high on my list so I certainly see myself incorporating a “bug inspired” jewelry collection in the future. I recently started blogging about the creepy crawlies I find and photograph in my backyard. My hope is that by sharing my backyard bug adventures I might inspire someone to learn more about the little universe under our feet.

Can we expect to see polymer encased insects then?
I would love to make a polymer clay miniature sculpture of a Green Lynx spider and showcase him in a polymer clay pendant. Polymer clay is such a versatile medium to work with and the possibilities are endless! I get excited thinking up different ways to manipulate polymer clay into jewelry designs.

Do you plan on bringing things from your Clinical Laboratory Science Degree into your line of jewelry?
My husband bought me a soldering kit so I can make microscope slide pendants and bracelets. I've been working on a design idea for a whole year because, for me, it's one thing to visualize the project and a whole other ball of wax to create the finished product from scratch! I have to learn (and have discarded) several techniques in the process so it's taken me awhile to finalize the idea. It's going to be so exciting to see the design emerge into the light of day.

And What does Clinical Laboratory Science Degree mean?
A CLS degree is similar to a Pre-Med degree. A clinical lab scientist is trained to conduct and supervise complex medical tests and to manage labs in a clinic or hospital setting. When you visit the doctors office and they collect blood, tissue, or fluids from you to run lab tests, the CLS is the one responsible for testing, analyzing, and reporting your results. They are trained to recognize disease and infections much like a medical doctor. In a nutshell, CLS professionals juggle a lot of body fluids, bacteria, DNA, microscopes, paperwork, phone calls, data-entry, machines, hospital staff, and more!

What do you look at under a microscope everyday?
My favorite area in the lab is Microbiology. In the Micro lab you often test patient samples from someone with an infection caused by bacteria and it's your job to identify which type of bacteria, out of millions of possibilities, is causing the problem. You grow the bacteria on blood agar and other types of growth material in petri dishes so you can analyze it and tell the doctor which medications will effectively cure the problem. To help confirm the type of bacteria you also stain the colonies grown on the agar and look at the individual “bugs” under the microscope. It's a mystery to be solved and a challenge, plus there is a wonderful sense of accomplishment from helping a patient recover.

How does nature inspire your everyday life outside of your jewelry collections?
Living in South Texas provides year round outdoor activities. My husband and I love to go hiking, biking, canoeing, tubing down the river, and discovering new trails and green-ways with our two big dogs, Darcy and Banzai. I'm also addicted to wildflowers, flowering trees, photographing bugs, and learning to garden.

One of my goals is to create a native wildlife habitat in my own backyard. The Certified Wildlife Habitat™ from the National Wildlife Federation is a program to bring the “wild” back to urbanized areas that have been cleared of native plants and trees. Whether you live in an apartment or on a huge farm, you can create a garden that attracts beautiful wildlife and helps restore habitat in your area. Once you get the garden layout complete and establish the plants, grass, flowers, and shrubs it should be easy to maintain because they are native and will flourish. Just add water!

What is your all time favorite materials/mediums to work with?
Pencil drawing was my first love, then I moved on to jewelry and delving into polymer clay. I love glass beads, semi-precious gemstones, freshwater pearls, stones, carved bone and anything “earthy”. Mixed media is definitely the most fun because you can get really creative using a myriad of techniques.

Do you create other artworks besides jewelry?
I used to draw. Just today I bought a Manga artist drawing guide to inspire me to get back into drawing Sci-Fi and Fantasy art. I'd like to develop my own style and see where it leads.

If not, what is one medium you have always wanted to work with but have not as of yet had the opportunity to do so?
Textiles, fabrics, felting and crochet are calling my name! I'm already integrating satin cord and knotting into my jewelry designs but I'd like to add needle felting and fiber art into the mix. Also, I've seen some amazing work by other artists using metal smith techniques, as well as viking knit with wire which sounds exciting to learn.

Check out all of Biologie's fine works at her Etsy Store  and follow her blog, Biologie.

Thanks for inspiring me, Biologie! And keep up the gorgeous creating!



Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sunshine Award! Thank You!!

I received a Sunshine Award! It has taken me a few days to announce this honor, but finally I am able to spread the word and smiles!
Thanks to Zig Zags Handmade This and That.  That is where I received this ray of sunshine.
And ever since, I have seen the beautiful sunshine here, in normally cloudy Western New York.  And the flowers have been blooming beautifully too!



As part of this award, this is what I (and you, my honored nominees) should do:
  1. Put the logo on your blog or within your post
  2. Pass the award to 12 well-deserving bloggers
  3. Link the nominees within your post
  4. Let them know they received it by commenting on their blog
  5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received the award.
My well deserving nominees are:

A special mention for one without a blogspot blog, but well-deserving of some sunshine:


Have a bright and beautiful day!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Music Monday! "Little Black Backpack..." I mean Basket!

Since I have been singing this all weekend while creating my little Black and White Basket, I thought I would share it for today's Music Monday - Stroke 9's "Little Black Backpack".  Remember when this was on the radio all the time in the 90's?
 

It sure gets stuck in your head, and try to say this 5 times fast: 
Just don't expect to get your bloody black backpack back




link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0yYCqkt0VE&feature=PlayList&p=F328EBAA3DA0EC1B&playnext_from=PL&playnext=1&index=31

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Saturday Sale! My first one thanks to Saturday Blog Shoppers

Thanks to the inspirations from my wonderful followers here (Zig Zag's This and That and KayzKreations) - I decided to offer my first Saturday Sale as seen on Saturday Blog Shoppers!

Since hemp is on my mind after listing a new hemp item yesterday,
 I thought I would offer 20% off my Hemp Clutch Bag.

Handmade, Hemp, and Clutch may not oftern be heard together, but actually this material makes a strong, durable, naturally gorgeous clutch.

This clutch is lined with a soft linen, and the metal buttons give it a little bling.  I think it is the perfect fiber for dress OR casual, the size is perfect for phones, ipods, monies, lipgloss, etc. Everything you need for a fun night out!


Send me a convo through Etsy, or leave a comment here mentioning Saturday Blog Shoppers (the full list of participating stores is here).
I will adjust the price of the Clutch after receiving your message and then you can purchase at the special price. 

This offer is good for 20% off and good for 20 hours, so that makes it over at around 9:15am Sunday April 11, 2010.
I am excited to offer this to my favorite online friends, so happy shopping!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My handmade Teddy Bear needs a home!

It's true, my poor Polka Dot Teddy does not want to share the shop with his cousin - Teddy Dog. As soon as Teddy Dog gets his tail, he will be moving in the shop.  

I caught the two having a stare-down today. So it is time for Teddy Bear to expand his horizons.  Therefore, I am presenting a creative offering to all of my Facebook / Blog Fans. 

Become a fan, give me your best story, poem, creative writing, along with your best offer, and he could be yours.  If you are not on Facebook, but a loyal Blog Follower, naturally the offer is open to you as well.

On Facebook, you can leave your writings on my discussions tab, or here you can leave it in a comment.  If you need more space, let me know. 

I will leave the offer open for a while, since everyone is busy and might need time to get the creative juices going. 
Winner will be featured here and on Facebook, along with their winning creativity. :)














To get to my Facebook Page:

To see Polka Dot Teddy at home in the shop:
                                         
I can't wait to see your creative minds at work!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Music Monday - Easter Monday should be a holiday!!!!

Easter Monday is an official holiday in 117 countries. Including the US Virgin Islands. (would love to be there right now - 3rd Monday in a row that it is damp, rainy, yucky!)  It is celebrated as a day of rest, a day for many to enjoy the time outdoors in countries such as Australia and Canada. Easter parades occur in some parts of the world on Easter Monday. It is known as Dyngus, or Splash Monday, among many Polish communities where children often play water games.  In fact there is the largest Dyngus Day celebration up in Buffalo, NY!

Easter Monday was formerly regarded as unlucky and was therefore known as Black Monday (White Monday in Greece). Many sources attribute this expression to great losses of life during military expeditions but Monday itself was generally considered unlucky. It meant returning to school after the Easter break for many school children and was also known as Bloody Monday.  In medieval England women were allowed to haul out of bed any man they found there. Even Kings Edward I and Edward II went through this tradition. It was traditional for men to lift women three times by the arms and legs in northern England, where women would return the act on the following day. Easter Monday was known as the Day of the Easter Egg Bundle or the Day of Feasts in Ireland.  “Easter sprinkling”, a tradition that lives on to this day in Hungary, is based on the belief in the cleansing power of water, and it is connected to a fertility rite. Easter Monday is also called “Dousing Monday”, because the young men used to go around the village and drench the girls with buckets of water freshly drawn from the well. 

There is a big egg rolling race held on the lawn of the White House in Washington DC on Easter Monday. Sometimes even the President takes part in the "White House Easter Egg Roll”.   You guessed it, eggs are rolled down a hill or slope.

So why is this not an official holiday here in the US?  I have tried to find a good answer, and have found nothing but others wondering the same. It is celebrated in certain areas of the US, and Easter Monday was even a public holiday in North Carolina from 1935 to 1987.

I for one would vote to have it re-instated as a public holiday nation wide.  Or maybe I will fly away to the US Virgin Islands next year!  Happy Music Monday! (video will open in new tab when clicked twice)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Thoughts of Easter & A Reflection of Histories - Worlds Apart

The Easter Bunny of Western European legend brings baskets filled with colored eggs, candy and sometimes also toys to the homes of children on the night before Easter. It will either put the baskets in a designated place or hide them somewhere in the house or garden for the children to find when they wake up in the morning.  According to the tradition, children would build brightly colored nests, often out of caps and bonnets, in secluded areas of their homes. The Easter Bunny would, if the children had been good, lay brightly colored eggs in the nest. As the tradition spread, the nest has become the manufactured, modern Easter basket, and the placing of the nest in a secluded area has become the tradition of hiding baskets.  The precise origin of the ancient custom of coloring eggs is not known, although evidently the blooming of many flowers in spring coincides with the use of the fertility symbol of eggs - and eggs boiled with some flowers change their color, bringing the spring into the homes. Many Christians of the Eastern Orthodox Church to this day typically dye their Easter eggs red, the color of blood, in recognition of the blood of the sacrificed Christ (and, of the renewal of life in springtime). Some also use the color green, in honor of the new foliage emerging after the long dead time of winter.  German Protestants wanted to retain the Catholic custom of eating colored eggs for Easter, but did not want to introduce their children to the Catholic rite of fasting. Eggs were forbidden to Catholics during the fast of Lent, which was the reason for the abundance of eggs at Easter time.

In sharp contrast, on the other side of the world, the Tangata manu (bird-man), was the winner of a traditional competition on Easter Island (Rapa Nui ).  The ritual was an annual competition to collect the first Sooty Tern (manu tara) egg of the season from the islet of Motu Nui, swim back to Rapa Nui and climb the sea cliff of Rano Kau to the clifftop village of Orongo. Contestants were revealed in dreams by ivi-attuas (individuals with the gift of prophecy). The contestants would each appoint a Hopu who would swim to Motu Nui and fetch them the Egg, whilst the contestants waited at Orongo. The race was very dangerous and many Hopu were killed by sharks, drowning or by falling. Once the first egg was collected, the final task would be for the unsuccessful contestants to return to Orongo, the winner allowed to remain in Motu Nui until he felt spiritually prepared to return. On his return he would present the egg to his patron, who had already shaved his head and painted it either white or red. The successful man would be declared Tangata-Manu, would take the egg in his hand and lead a procession down the slope of Rano Kau and on either to Anakena if he was from the western clans or Rano Raraku if he was from the eastern clans. Once in residence there he was tapu (taboo) for the next five months of his year-long status, and allowed his nails to grow and wore a headdress of human hair. The new Tangata-Manu was given a new name, entitled to gifts of food and other tributes (including his clan having sole rights to collect that season's harvest of wild bird eggs and fledglings from Motu Nui), and went into seclusion for a year in a special ceremonial house. Unlike the incorporation of the ancient fertility symbolism of eggs and bunnies of the European cultures into the Easter holiday as we know it today, the Birdman cult was suppressed by Christian missionaries in the 1860s.

Easter Island is one of the most isolated islands on Earth. The English name of the island commemorates its European discovery by a Dutch exploration vessel on Easter Sunday in 1722.  In brief, the prehistory of Easter Island is one of supreme accomplishment, flourishing and civilization, followed by environmental devastation and decline.
 
The first islanders found a land of undoubted paradise -- archaeological evidence shows that the island was covered in trees of various sorts, including the largest palm tree species in the world, whose bark and wood furnished the natives with cloth, rope, and canoes. Birds were abundant as well, and provided food for them. A mild climate favored an easy life, and abundant waters yielded fish and oysters. The islanders prospered due to these advantages, and a reflection of this is the religion which sprouted in their leisure, which had at its centerpiece the giant moai, or heads, that are the island's most distinctive feature today. These moai, which the island is littered with, are supposed to have been depictions of ancestors, whose presence likely was considered a blessing or watchful safekeeping eye over each small village. The birdman culture, the Tangata manu (seen in petroglyphs), is an obvious testament to the islanders' fascination with the ability to leave their island for distant lands. 

However, as the population grew, so did pressures on the island's environment. Deforestation of the island's trees gradually increased, and as this main resource was depleted, the islanders would find it hard to continue making rope, canoes, and all the necessities to hunt and fish, and ultimately, support the culture that produced the giant stone figureheads. Apparently, disagreements began to break out (with some violence) as confidence in the old religion was lost, and is reflected partly in the ruins of moai which were deliberately toppled by human hands. By the end of the glory of the Easter Island culture, the population had crashed in numbers, and the residents -- with little food or other ways to obtain sustenance -- resorted sometimes to cannibalism and a bare subsistence. Subsequent raids by foreigners and the introduction of diseases carried by European colonizers and the slave raiding devastated the population even more, until only a few hundred native Rapa Nui were left by the last century. Introduced animals—first rats and then sheep—were largely responsible for the island's loss of native flora. And so, as a result, the sun set on a culture and a religious belief. 


Text, Research, and Images from Wikipedia and Wikitravel