Organizing: Getting Crafty with Household Items

Over the last few months I've learned just how organized I need to be in order to realize success with my online shops. Meaning, I don't miss things when shipping, I include thank you cards with each order, I ship the right item, etc. Doing all of this from my home requires some advice usually sought from the pages of magazines. I'm particularly enjoying the one entitled "Where Women Create", published by Stampington, with oodles of eye-candilicious pages showing wonderfully talented artists and their equally inspiring workspaces.
My latest issue of Real Simple also had some nifty ideas which I'd like to share with you along with some of my own personal tips.

-Rocks as Bookends.   I love this idea of using found items in nature to both decorate and organize. Rocks don't scream "bookends" but they perform the function wonderfully. I also use found rocks, pebbles and shells to display my jewelry listings and to drape items across.  TIP: some beaches or parks don't allow for the removal of rocks, so double check this before doing so.

-Wire Hanger to store ribbon rolls. Great because you can hide hangers away at the end of your crafting time. I sometimes tie my packages with ribbon or twine so this would work for me. You do have to untwist the whole hanger to get the rolls on there, but they'll be on for a long time once they are.

-Sponge as pet hair lifter. This is a good idea, but I like using rubber or nitrile gloves even better. Slip them on and de-lint away. I don't want to work in a cat-hair filled environment. Also, when I display items for sale I often use fabrics as backgrounds, and those fabrics are often covered in- you guessed it. No one wants to zoom in on a thumbnail of my latest necklace creation and see white Phoebe hairs stuck to my black blanket behind the scenes.

-Six Pack container as condiment holder.  I would like to amend this by saying I use this idea for toting craft items from one place to the next. Once you're through your next six-pack (of soda or something ahem, harder)- fold the remaining container and save it. Yes! Luckily enough they fold away flat! So handy for the tiny kitchen drawer that's good for nothing. Use for storing and/or toting brushes, messy glue bottles, splattered paint tubes, rolls of paper- whatever. The best part? it's just cardboard, so all that mess doesn't matter- just recycle when you'e done with the current project! And? The more you drink, the more you have! (just kidding.)

-Button Bag as Storage. Yes! Use these little bags for anything from seed beads to jump rings to bits of paper. I also use them for my glass tile jewelry projects- I lay the glass tiles glue side up, but inevitably some of the glue drips down. To remove the tile without damaging the pendant, put a plastic bag underneath and voila- it comes right off! You can also recycle sandwich bags, jewelry baggies, plastic wrap and more for this sort of thing. Button bags can also come in handy when sorting and separating pendants and pins or when shipping them to protect the item. I also recycle the small baggies that come with jewelry components when I buy them.

-Cupcake carrier as Knickknack Organizer. If I was the sort of person who baked, this would be cool. But even if you're like me, you can easily find incredibly affordable cupcake tote options at places like HomeGoods and Bed, Bath and Beyond. The ones specifically made for toting are the ones you want, because they have LIDS. Again use for everything from beads, craft pieces, pendants, baggies (see above), buttons, tags, etc.

- Silicone Cutting Board as placement. I'd like to amend this too: you can use one of these for anything with regard to crafting! Catching glue drips, wiping gluey, glazey fingers, letting items cure or dry, sprinkling glitter, pouring resin, etc. Get some that are sturdy enough to be able to lift from both edges in case you want to transport your messy project to another location. They come in all colors and again can be easily found in dollar stores or discount home stores.
all photos by Mary.

BOGO SALE! Buy One Get One FREE! All sizes!

To celebrate the yummie days of summer ahead, I am having a humongous sale in my Etsy shop until further notice! Buy one photo print and get another of equal or lesser value FREE!  I have all sizes available from 4x6 to 20x30 upon request.
Click here to get started shopping! Yippee!

:)  Mary  :)

What I'm Loving on Etsy Now!

Here are, simply, some items I've been loving on Etsy as of late that I'd love to share...In no particular order!

1. Labyrinthine Nature's luminous and haunting photographs. Long exposure and soft black and white processing add to the surreal feeling, and the subjects bring some light and levity to her work. Above: "Two of Us." 

2. PinkParchmentSoaps' mouth-watering and unique "flavors" of creamy soap. Above:: the "Six Pack of Beer soap set" , including Best Bud, Sammy Boy, Blue Moon, Simply Corona, Sierra Nevada and Killians. Yum!!

3. BlueRoomPottery's detailed, soft blue pottery and candle oil holder sea urchins. Above: Sea Urchin mini oil lamps. Blue Room makes all her own pottery wares inspired by her travels to Greece, a place close to my heart!

4. Ayelet17's luscious and yummie organic skin shop!  Above: the awesome and worshipful spa night classic "Dead Sea Mud Mask." I just purchased this myself and am loving it. Affordable enough to treat yourself to anything in her shop, but feels like you're being treated to a luxe spa getaway facial. I highly recommend!

Hope you enjoyed! Mary  ;)

Take Time to Sit by the Sea

Nobska Light, Woods Hole section of Falmouth

Side of a cafe fence, Woods Hole.

Waters off Falmouth, Massachusetts. Clear and greenish blue and full of rocks.

Cormorants. A nice fisherman told me what they were. He was shocked that living in Rhode Island, I had never seen them. He said they were "like pigeons," and laughed when I took pictures, but I had never seen them. Beautiful, geese-like birds, they soared looking for fish like giant bats.

Kenny's Taffy ad Fudge shop. Onset, Massachusetts.

A worthy message. Onset, Massachusetts.

Treasury Hunting, Making, and Shopping on Etsy!

Especially when browsing through the many treasuries of goodies curated by other fellow Etsians! Now, making them is the fun part (well, ok shopping is the fun part) but here are three lovely treasuries full of goodies for you to check out...
Click the URL links for the live treasuries and see the images below for inspiration...

Here's an all-FPOE Treasury that I created called "Road Trip USA"! Can you tell I'm dying to hit the road??

And, (shamelessly,) here are two that I'm featured in....
The Beauty of Greece:
 and this lovely Birthday Wish list! :

Front Page of Etsy!

YAY!! Finally, after all my lusting after that seemingly unreachable goal of the front page....thanks to the ladies in my flickr group for letting me know about it!

Here was the lovely treasury created by Apothicaire, featuring my sepia-toned Beach Path print:

I just love the items in this one! Particularly photography of Irene Suchoki, the engraved beach stones, and awesome little journey necklace. :)

Vintage Leica Camera Bags

My last issue of "Lucky Magazine" had a page about the current trends in handbag and listed Leica camera bags as being a "hot trend"." I just went online to find the pics there, but I couldn't find them. Instead I found some really cool (and kind of expensive) SLR bags made by Opening Ceremony that I had to bookmark.
Anyway, I continued my quest to find people on the street (that's the online street, I don't live in a cool city). And I came across some pics of people workin' the trend.

Kate Bosworth pulls it off below....although I'm not sure she's got an actual camera in there.

Here is the original copy from Lucky which I finally located...I actually like the look of the black case..a bit more mod and less indie. 

And I searched on Etsy, my fave shopping site, for some selling these bags and found this bag, with a 44" strap and rich espresso leather from seller Mountainshadowsmod:

 I don't know much about this beloved camera brand, to be honest. But I like any trend that incorporates photography...even if it's just "for show."  And for those of us who cannot afford an actual Leica camera, the bag is an actual useful way to honor the brand while keeping gum and money close at hand.
Happy Friday Eve!

Owls and more Owls!

I love owls, and I collect them (but that's for another day), but the most exciting thing is always seeing them live! Unfortunately I am not very successful at doing this myself, so I've sought out shows, zoos and bird rescues to be able to see different types of owls. I just returned from Sarasota, Florida where I was able to visit the local Jungle Gardens as well as the Bird Rescue/ Sanctuary across from the Mote Aquarium on Longboat Key.

So, here are some of my favorites. I hope you enjoy!

These barred owls were so cute...there was a little family. The one above was staring at me. I love their two-toed little stance.

The great  horned owl. Note the damaged wing. He is a rescue at the sanctuary.

I love this "smiling" barn owl! He looks so cute! I'm amazed by their perfect heart-shaped faces.