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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Peace, Balance, and My Japanese Garden

As I rest back on the red pillows that decorate the bench in our small yard a cool morning breeze brushes over my face.  The tranquil sound of water trickling into the base of a Japanese themed fountain quiets my mind so I can focus.  But at one time this precious little escape was a land of untamed bushes and hot landscaping bark.

I have been spending the last 5 years painfully reinventing myself and my world.  I learned so much about life during this time and have found that I am coming closer and closer to achieving the balance that was always lacking in my prior life.  My balance, of course, would never be the same as someone else's balance, but I am truely happy and find myself enjoying more moments of peace.  While happiness is internal, who and what surround's someone does speak loudly of a person's psyche.  A balanced person will not surround themselves with chaos and a peaceful person will not live in drama.

It is much easier for me to create my little escapes now because the wonders of technology.  You, my readers, are part of this little escape and are very appreciated.  I love my beautiful virtual world, full of pretty handmade items, art, and amazing treasures.  I am surrounded virtually by creative people with a great eye for beauty and talented artists. 

Fortunately for me, since my husband is also an amazing artist, my physical world resembles my virtual.  Knowing that my day job is stressfull and sometimes not always balance, my sweet husband created this little oasis in our yard. He has spent hours landscaping in the intensly hot Fresno sun to give me an escape.  Now I sit in the middle of our Japanese garden writing to you.  In the midst of this beauty it is difficult to dwell on the short comings of the day or to feel anxiety about the future.  The stress melts away... I hear the sounds of the water, the walls hide anything outside of my garden...it is just me and I am at peace.

Everyone needs a little oasis of their own...whether it is an virtual escape, a cabin in the woods, or their own Japanese garden; people need a place to find balance.
Let's start another oasis in our virtual world...


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Announcing The Giveaway Winner of 2 Personalized Ornaments by FlutterbyConnections

Congratulations to Rabkina, the winner of 2 Personalized Ornaments by FlutterbyConnections; you will be contacted by Flutterby.

Flutterby has been busy creating while we were busy playing so stop by and see her new items.  I just L O V E the new additions to her personalized collection.
http://www.etsy.com/shop/FlutterbyConnections?ref=seller_info
http://www.etsy.com/listing/76726741/personalized-lion-ornament-made-to-order
http://www.etsy.com/listing/77765534/personalized-fishing-pole-ornament-made
http://www.etsy.com/listing/77765685/personalized-game-controller-ornament

Postcards, Postcards and More Postcards!!!

I have had the privilege of being featured in several treasuries this morning.  I would love to share these treasuries with my readers along with introducing a few of our new and seasoned members of the Pacific Postcards Team.

First the Newest Members...
Snow Bear Productions
http://www.etsy.com/shop/SnowBearProductions?ref=pr_shop_more
http://www.etsy.com/listing/29330735/the-little-engine-that-could-postcards
Suzie And Son
http://www.etsy.com/shop/SuzieandSon?ref=seller_info

http://www.etsy.com/listing/80055204/vintage-comic-postcard-lovely-lady-plum?ref=pr_shop



BirdieEMcGee
http://www.etsy.com/shop/birdieemcgee?ref=pr_shop_more

http://www.etsy.com/listing/78858659/dried-flowers-and-tiny-hummingbirds
Cemetarian Hard Copy
http://www.etsy.com/shop/CemetarianHardCopy?ref=pr_shop_more
http://www.etsy.com/listing/77967497/vintage-1907-easter-embossed-greeting





Treasuries Featuring PostcardsInTheAttic















Friday, August 19, 2011

Live Adorned ~ Wedding Hair Accessories with Hawaiian a Flare

Don't Forget ~ Today is the last day for a chance to WIN 2 personalized ornaments ($20 value +  free shipping) from FlutterbyConnections.  Go to  post http://butterflyintheattic.blogspot.com/2011/08/flutterby-connections-give-away.html and look for how you can win at the end of the interview.  Thank you

Great News! For my readers:  use AUGUST20  for 20% off 1 item at ETSY shop Live Adorned http://www.etsy.com/people/LiveAdorned?ref=ls_profile

Beautiful handcrafted hair accessories created by Chun Hui Chen, owner of ETSY shop LiveAdorned, are an absolute necessity for any bride to be.  Chun's work can also be found at her new shop
www.liveadorned.com  Chun incorporates her Hawaii style into her designs making each piece a very feminine work of art.  Browsing through her store one thought comes to mind...Gorgeous!  I am proud to able to feature Chun and her shop in the following interview.
http://www.etsy.com/people/LiveAdorned?ref=ls_profile
Tell me a bit about yourself....
My name is Chun Hui Chen and I live in Honolulu, Hawaii.  I just got married on May 5th in Sonoma to my husband Marc.  I love to sing karaoke, skiing, swimming, and looking at wedding blogs - even though its been 3 months since my wedding!  I'm a proud Chinese-American, a product of hard working immigrant parents from Taiwan.
Apart from creating, what do you do?
I work in project development for a green energy consulting company.

What first made you want to create?
Getting engaged last year unearthed a passion for making handmade hair accessories. Believe me, prior to starting Live Adorned, I was hardly the “crafty” type – I could barely wrap a present! Maybe it started with the desire to save money, but it evolved into a vision to incorporate handmade details to make our wedding as authentic as possible. Aside from my hair accessories, I also made our favors, photobooth props, signage, and accessories for my MOH and flower girl. It was a wonderful creative experience and fueled my love for all things handmade.
 Describe your creative process?
 Inspiration is the foundation of the creative process. Once I have an idea, I’ll play around with materials, layering, shapes, and textures to design the final product. For me, filtering through the ideas is the most challenging part - I’m inspired by anything feminine, organic, and whimsical. A few recent standouts -  a French inspired photoshoot, an unusual flower, Vera Wang’s latest bridal gown collection. Inspiration truly comes from anywhere. I think that’s why I’m addicted to wedding blogs, even long after my wedding – the creative brilliance you find on these blogs on a daily basis is staggering. How can one not be inspired?
What handmade possession do you cherish most?
My handmade hair flower that I wore on my wedding day. It represents the culmination of almost a year of evolution from my very first piece. It’s a practical, yet equally sentimental way to commemorate my wedding day (without having to find a place to store my enormous dress!).  
How are you promoting your work?
I did a couple craft fairs at home, but found that my target audience is wedding blog readers, etsy shoppers, and newly engaged brides. I don’t have a lot of working capital to advertise, so I’ve been trolling the blog world to try to expose my work through interviews. Etsy is my main source of traffic so I’ve been working on sharpening up my store and focus on their updates for best search results. I also plan on contacting local bridal boutiques to generate wholesale business.
Where do you want to be in ten years?
I plan on opening up a brick and mortar store in Honolulu – there’s definitely a lack of selection in the wedding accessory segment. My store will feature not only my own products, but also other handmade products in other wedding categories – bride’s attire, grooms accessories, paper, d├ęcor. I’d also love to add bridal gown consignment - many people in Hawaii live in under 1,000 sqft, so storage space is very limited.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Interview with Fresh Retro Gallery ~ Simply Beautiful

A wonderful interview with Liz Knaus, a talented artist with a great eye for antiques and vintage decor.  I fell in love with her shop and would love to decorate my home with her lovely pieces.  I am especially in love with the train pictured below, but that is not my only favorite.  These two items were childhood favorites of mine; it is so fun to find these treasured memories in her shop.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/65957569/250-miniature-playing-cards-great-for

http://www.etsy.com/listing/76909170/fisher-price-pull-toy-bob-along-bear-no


http://www.etsy.com/shop/freshretrogallery

Tell me a bit about yourself……
I'm a wife, mother, sister and professional graphic designer. I utilize and decorate with art, antiques and "found objects" in my home. I have a shop at
http://www.FreshRetroGallery.etsy.com where I sell vintage finds (with descriptive gift ideas), original family tree charts, religious postcards, paintings, illustrations and ceramic art.

Apart from creating, what do you do?
Church and Bible study class at Faith Lutheran (LCMS) in Abilene, KS are an excellent start and boost to my week. I enjoy time with family and friends. I belong to a book club and a womens group which each meet once a month. I try to read a devotion daily. I feel best when I push myself to go for walk/runs, use my Nordic stepper or swim laps. I serve on vocational department advisory committees at Solomon High School and Salina Area Technical College.

What first made you want to create?
I grew up near a lake on a farm in Minnesota where I discovered a love for nature and the desire to explore/draw/create. Being a daughter of creative and ambitious parents sparked the fascination. I watched my father build things such as a tall and complex seed cleaning business, a big snow blower and mechanical Purple Martin houses that could be raised and lowered with the flip of a switch. He could juggle things figuratively and literally, apples and oranges!

Mom, not wanting to waste anything, gave me the blank white cover stock from her pantyhose packages and the backs of empty check books to draw on. Always supplied with paper, crayons, colored pencils, watercolors and markers, I was encouraged to doodle and "make" birthday cards for my siblings and friends. I once drew a horse from memory when I was very young. My grandma lovingly taught me that the back end of the body where it connected to the hind legs is actually a smooth, curved transition rather than a big circular lump as I had sketched. It was then that I realized that to illustrate realistically, I must pay close attention to shapes and found joy in making something new on something blank.

As soon as I was old enough to read and understand them, my mother encouraged me to sew by following the illustrations and directions on guide sheets. I loved playing "fashion designer" choosing fabrics, notions and styles; altering and tailoring things to fit perfectly. 4-H was a great organization which fostered and rewarded these creative skills as well as educated me to keep track of time and expenses. I took every art class possible in high school and studied at Alexandria Technical College which lead me to a career in graphic design where I keep learning new things all the time. I've taken on the challenge of a couple architectural design projects.
Describe your creative process...
Experiences, life, environment, spirituality and music all offer inspiration. The details of nature influence thoughts about subject, color and texture. Ceramics, jewelry design and woodworking are art education classes I've enjoyed as an adult. Visits to museums, galleries, theatres and concerts are motivational forms of entertainment. My children inspire me. My husband has a great eye for vintage items which enhances my connecting antiques to art. The popular combination of art and antiques in print media has influenced my style. Creativity allows me to fulfill space that otherwise would remain void in my mind and in reality when I push myself to carry out ideas.
What handmade possession do you cherish most?
My father carved a plaque out of wood. It is an intricate 3D antique nautical ship on a graphic striped background within a scalloped circular shape over a rectangular shaped base.
What one piece of information would you like to know from experienced etsy sellers?
The secret of Google's PageRank algorithm.

How are you promoting your work?
I write detailed descriptions to aid shoppers searching. I offer my family tree charts in a local antique shop and through a dealer who supplies a gift shop and sets up at flea markets. I include a FreshRetroGallery.etsy.com gift tag when shipping orders. When a treasury I'm featured in strikes me as extra unique and wonderful, I post the link on facebook. When I first started up, I emailed friends to let them know. I bring it up in casual conversation and mention my web address when I send out Christmas cards.

Where do you want to be in ten years?
Creating more art (especially mixed media) and taking inspiration breaks by traveling.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Quest For The Great Pumpkin

The sound of crunching leaves and giggles fill the crisp cool air.  The smell of damp hay warming in the midday sun greets my senses.  Faded corn stocks and brightly colored orange and green squash line the pathway as we walk to join the other happy families for a wagon ride.  The farmer looks back to make sure everyone is seated and starts the tractor engine with a giant PUFF!  The wagon jerks and bumps through the field as the kids sit tight barley containing their excitement.

The wagon stops.  Rows and rows of pumpkins as far as the eye can see.  Out of breath and glowing with red rosy cheeks my children proclaimed "I am going to get one bigger than me!"  Fifteen minutes later my son and daughter are struggling with the largest pumpkin they could find.  Flat on one side and bigger than a 3 year old child it is picked up and dropped, tugged on and tripped over but the stem is still in tact...its a keeper.  Beaming with pride my children help me carry it to the wagon and we are on our way back through the bumpy field.

At home they proudly help me outline the face I should cut into their giant pumpkin.  They smile in amusement as they pick through the slimy innards finding the seeds to roast.  "It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" plays in the background as we finish the masterpiece.  Beautiful.

My favorite Halloween memories.

New Listings...
http://www.etsy.com/listing/79693467/halloween-greeting-card-with-fine-art
http://www.etsy.com/listing/79672955/halloween-postcards-haunted-house-2
http://www.etsy.com/listing/79672708/halloween-postcards-haunted-house-party
http://www.etsy.com/listing/79712705/antique-postcard-grave-yard-national
http://www.etsy.com/listing/79417243/creepy-antique-postcard-church-and

Friday, August 12, 2011

Beautiful Button Bouquets An Interview With Angela's Artistic Designs

Today's lovely shop is Angela's Artistic Designs or known on ETSY as Angel9.  Angela's shop is full of her whimsical creations and beautiful bouquets made of buttons.  As many of you already know I simply love buttons and I absolutely love bouquets so imagine the fun I had interviewing this very creative artist. 

She also has many delightful antiques and vintage collectibles featured in her shop.  So, please check out her shop and networks that are listed below, like, re post, tweet, etc. you will not be sorry that you did. 
Tell me a bit about yourself……
I’ve had many careers, most of them creative including hair stylist, window decorator and preschool teacher. I have 3 grown children. I enjoyed being a mother so much! When my children were grown, I thought, “What can I do to replace all the energy that I put into mothering ? What do I love to do as much? Well, create! Children are creations and works in progress, just like art!
Apart from creating, what do you do? 
I write, dance, spend time with my children, husband and my grandson.
What first made you want to create? 
I’ve been creative since I was a child. I would get so excited looking at the craft books in the library. I remember taking one home and creating a beautiful doll from paper cone cups, construction paper and glitter. I made several and gave them to friends!

Describe your creative process? 
Mmmmm. I get an idea, like an itch. I’m so excited; I run out to get the supplies I need for this particular project. And then I’m impatient to get started, impatient with the process and I don’t feel settled until the product is complete!.

What handmade possession do you cherish most? 
I love my button bouquets! Sometimes it’s difficult to part with them!

What one piece of information would you like to know from experienced etsy sellers? 
How to be patient!

How are you promoting your work? 
Twitter, FB, my blog, handing out business cards, making cold calls to businesses, linkedin.

Where do you want to be in ten years? 
Retired and rich! Maybe on some island somewhere!

http://www.facebook.com/Angelasartistic
http://angelasartistic.blogspot.com/
http://beingaconsciousparent.wordpress.com/
http://twitter.com/#!/angelasartistic/status/9192056614303334

Don't forget to also check out my post ~ Flutterby Connection's interview and a chance to WIN 2 personalized ornaments! Go to http://butterflyintheattic.blogspot.com/2011/08/flutterby-connections-give-away.html

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Today's Lovely Treasuries

Don't forget to check out my post ~ Flutterby Connection's interview and a chance to WIN  2 personalized ornaments! Go to http://butterflyintheattic.blogspot.com/2011/08/flutterby-connections-give-away.html

Now for some more wonderful treasuries that were curated today.  I never get sick of seeing all the wonderful art and vintage items.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Two Super Fun Treasuries Featuring Postcards In The Attic

Here are two wonderfully fun treasuries that have featured one of my vintage postcards.  One makes me think of summer gardens and the other of the upcoming Halloween Fun.  A heart felt thank you to the Curators.

Don't forget to check out my post ~ Flutterby Connection's interview and a chance to WIN
2 personalized ornaments! Go to http://butterflyintheattic.blogspot.com/2011/08/flutterby-connections-give-away.html



 



Saturday, August 6, 2011

Memories Of My Country Home

Don't forget to check out my post ~ Flutterby Connection's interview and a chance to WIN 
2 personalized ornaments! Go to http://butterflyintheattic.blogspot.com/2011/08/flutterby-connections-give-away.html


Growing up in the country was a very special experience for me.  I am by no means a country girl; I love the city which I chose to live in now.   But with that being said I am a bit torn and my heart longs for simpler time. A time when a dandelion was magical...
This lovely print was found on ETSY shop TML Creations at
http://www.etsy.com/shop/tmlCREATIONS?ref=seller_info
and time when a hay bail could be a jungle gym...
This wonderful photograph was found in  ETSY shop Little Bird Treasures at
http://www.etsy.com/shop/LittleBirdTreasures?ref=seller_info
I have such beautiful romantic memories of long walks in the hot summer afternoons waiting for the cherished breeze to come by and cool me.  I would play long hours in our creek that was full of high weeds and as I waded through the icy cold water and looked up I could pretend that I was in a different land.  Light filtered through the tall grass overhead, it looked hazy and hot but in my little world of frogs and tad poles it was cool.
This sweet photograph was found on ETSY shop McClark 23118 at http://www.etsy.com/shop/mclark23118?ref=seller_info
When the blackberries were ripe each day I would take an old ice cream bucket up to the woods and try to fill it full.  I never ate them as I picked because I knew that there were many treats to be made.  My Grandmother Lily was a country girl; she worked very hard to stay on the land that she loved.  While she allowed me to indulge in such whimsy, she herself worked endlessly harvesting and reaping what her acres of land provided. 
This wonderful oil painting was found on ETSY shop Word Weaver Art At
http://www.etsy.com/people/WordWeaverArt?ref=ls_profile
My grandmother would spend tireless hours in her wondrous gardens hand tilling, sewing and tending to them lovingly.  She had an amazing green thumb that was the envy of all who knew her.  There was corn so tall and straight bearing plump lush cobs of corn, bright orange carrots, and beautiful purple beets.  I think that I learned to love vegetables simply from seeing their pretty plants and spectacular colors as she pulled them from ground and plucked them from the vine.
The gardens that my grandmother started and I continued until 5 years ago...My country home.
The yard was filled with gardens each flower lovingly cared for by my grandmother.  She didn't have a lot of money but she was resourceful.  What she couldn't buy she would make; master seamstress, needleworker, crafter, gardener, chef, baker, pianist...and the list could go on endlessly.  My beautiful Grandma Lily passed when I was just 7 years old.  But in those seven years that I had with her she taught me more about life and the gifts God gave me than any teacher of any school I attended.  She taught me to never take for granted anything given to you, to always look around you and to appreciate life, to see the beauty in everything and everyone, and that all things have a purpose. 
This beautiful photograph was found on ETSY shop First Light Photo at
http://www.etsy.com/shop/firstlightphoto?ref=seller_info
So while I truly enjoy all of the conveniences and excitement that surrounds me in my city a little part of my heart sill always belong to my country home.  Today is a day where I am truly missing my grandmother.  I miss the times she would tell me stories about the plants and insects in the garden while she tended her plants.  And I miss the long walks through the acres of hills and meadows where I grew up.




Friday, August 5, 2011

Flutterby Connections ~ Give Away ~ Interview


I am very excited to introduce Flutterby Connections, a wonderful shop full of whimsical handpainted ornaments, nicknacks and more!  Flutterby Connections has gratiously offered one of my lucky readers a chance to win 2 Personalized Ornaments (a $20 Value.)  Entry is simple and can be found at the bottom of this interview.
Tell me a bit about yourself……
I’m 40 something… married to a wonderful husband for the past 20 years. We have one son who’s 16 and driving. We make our home in Southern California.  Painting is my passion. Fortunately, I have a very supportive family and plenty of room for a kiln and a painting studio. 

   Apart from creating, what do you do?
During the day, I work full time as a Human Resource Manager and Accountant for a Wealth Management Firm in Orange County, CA. Nights and weekends are either spent hanging out with my family or painting.

What first made you want to create?
When I was 7, my dad, a teacher and father of 5, took the whole family to a ceramic shop. He signed us up for a class to learn how to paint.  On a teacher’s salary this was a low budget outing for a large family.  I loved it from the beginning and I’ve been painting ever since.

Describe your creative process?
When I sit down to paint, I first have to picture the item in my head completely finished.   I picture the different colors or design I want to use. Once it’s planned out in my head I just start painting.





What handmade possession do you cherish most?
My dad used to paint with me. He’s no longer able to paint unfortunately. But together we have made many things. The most cherished item is a nativity that we painting together. It has about 24 pieces and all of the animals were painted using suede paint so they look real.  Sadly, they no longer sale suede paint. Someday I will paint another nativity and add it to my shop to sell but they are very time consuming so I’m not sure when.


What one piece of information would you like to know from experienced etsy sellers?
I have many questions for them but to keep it simple, I would love to know more about custom ordering.  I sell my ornaments like crazy when I’m in stores or craft shows, but it’s been a slow start on Etsy.  I would love to have some advice on how to get the ball rolling.
How are you promoting your work?
On Etsy, I’ve joined several teams. I try to participate regularly in the team discussions. I just started creating treasuries too. Outside of Etsy, I have listed my shop with several online craft directories and malls.  I’m also on Link Referral daily.


Where do you want to be in ten years?
Well, my husband will be retired by then so hopefully I will be too, from the day job that is.  I can’t wait for the day I can paint whenever I want.  Together we would like to travel some and live near our son, where ever he lands.

Enter To Win
Main entry: Visit and "Favorite" FlutterbyConnections on Etsy and leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite item (aside from the giveaway item) is. (Required)

1 additional entry: Follow this blog.
1 additional entry: Follow @ButterflysAttic on Twitter and leave a comment on this post with your Twitter name.


    1 additional entry: Tweet about this giveaway ~ be sure to
    include @ButterflysAttic for it to count ~ and leave a
    comment on this post with a link to the tweet. You may 
    tweet as often as you like but only one entry will count.


1 additional entry: “Like” Flutterby Connections on Facebook and leave a comment on this post with your name.


1 additional entry: “Like” Butterfly In The Attic on Facebook and leave a comment on this post with your name.
 
1 additional entry: Add ETSY Shop Butterfly In The Attic to your "Favorites"and leave a comment on this post with your name.
1 additional entry: Write about and link to this giveaway on your blog and leave a comment on this post with your name and a link to your blog post.


All entries must be posted as separate comments. Comments are moderated, so please be patient. Be sure you leave a valid e-mail address ~ it’s the only way we can contact you if you win. Thanks!


More Details ~
About Giveaways


This giveaway will end on Saturday, August 19 at midnight Pacific Time.


The winner will be picked using Random.org and announced soon thereafter.