Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Meet and Greet the Members of the Pacific Postcards Team - VintageParisMarket

Today's Pacific Postcards Team (PPT Team) Meet and Greet features the VintageParisMarket (ETSY ID.) In this lovely shope you will find many items with that vintage Paris flair including a selection of handmade postcards and items made with vintage images from postcards. 

The Vintage Paris Market has member of the team since April of 2011.  Here a couple of their Non-postcard related items that I just love.
Not only do they have a wonderful selection of collectibles but as you can see they have some very nice supplies also.  Above is an example of their hand dyed binding; Beautiful!

They utalize the beautiful images of vintage postcards to create sachets, gift tags and journals:
Their postcards are of photographs taken in Paris:
From VintageParisMarket's Profile:
"I am a mom of three beautiful little girls (Rita, Claudia and Natalie) and have a very loving and supportive husband. I have a Masters in Business degree and have spent many years working in banking and Wall Street. I decided to take the more creative route after my beautiful daughter Rita was born. So I quit corporate America and decided to start creating, which has always been my passion. I also have a paper crafting and scrapbooking website for 8 years now (

Please like our Facebook page and come for updates:

I love creating vintage art that reminds me of the old Vintage Paris Market.

I spend a lot of time in my craft studio which I call my happy place..."

If you are interested on becoming a member of the Pacific Postcards Team please go to this link and click "Apply."

We have just started offering 2 different memberships: one will be for general
                        membership, for those who love postcards and collecting postcards and the other will
                        be for shops with at least 25% of their items listed are postcards. 
                       The only difference in the memberships is that the latter will be included in shop
                       interviews, BNRs and postcard related activities. We also plan on having activities for
                       the general memberships. Hope to see you there soon.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Spirtual and Inspirational Sunday - April 29 2012

I have always had a passion for birds.  I have had bird gardens and spent endless hours watching the Midwest landscape transform from a grey and frozen Iceland to a colorful rainbow full of life with some simple but strategically placed feeders.  Often it was more entertaining to watch out my picture window than to see what was on television.  I kept my feeder up year round changing them out for the seasons with anticipation of what seasonal visitors I would have.
This beautiful Graphite Pencil Drawing can be purchased from ETSY shop CarolineArt at
One summer, when my children were small, our nectar feeder was frequented by a special little hummingbird.  This little friend wouldn't just flit in and out as would her fellow hummingbirds, but she would sit for a minute lightly perched on the little plastic piece and spend a minute with me while I did dishes.  I noticed this for a week and as she darted away I also noticed that she had taken the same path coming and going.  Out of curiosity I followed in the direction that she had gone and noticed her busily moving around my grandmothers crab apple tree.  Then just as quick as I was able to spot her, she flew out of my view.  I did this routine for a couple days until on one warm sunny day I noticed on one of the lower branches a tiny little nest.
This wonderful image of a hummingbird nest is printed on beautiful notecards that can be purchased from ETSY shop DollsEyes at
Her nest was a beautiful little home, about the size of a tiny tea cup, lined with soft thistle and covered in sturdy lichen.  And inside this cozy little home was two miniature eggs.  I brought the kids to visit her every day.  We would stand on an embankment that was just at the right height to see into the little nest with out disturbing her duties, anxiously awaiting the new arrivals.  A few days past and the eggs were no more.  We barely could see the little darlings because they were so tiny at the bottom of that tea cup but we could see movement and knew the special day had arrived.

We spent the next couple weeks amazed at the little mother's dutiful care and how rapidly her young ones grew.  Within 3 weeks they looked just like Momma and they barley could fit in their tiny home.  Shortly, her feathered children left their nest and were on their own adventures. 

It was such a wonderful learning experience for my children and for myself.  My little friend and her brood will never be forgotten; she brought us a little miracle that summer that many people do not get to see.

My husband captured another little friend for me while I was at work this week.  She has been visiting our water fountain often and I am terribly curious to whether she has a nest near by.  Nature is often my inspiration and with the not-so-fun week at work my husband was thoughtful enough to bring to me just what I needed.  Some lovely pictures of our new friend and the most heavenly scented rose from our garden.

My inspirational thought for this week is that no matter how hard people try Don't let them take away your joy.  Your joy is a gift from God and no one has the right to steal that away from you.  Be happy my friends and many blessings to you.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saturday's Gem - Obsidian

Good morning friends.  Today's gem stone or mineral is Obsidian.  Basically Obsidian is just natures glass, made by rapid cooling of lava that has a high silica content and low water content. When lava would have more water content or is heated higher and cooled slower other minerals are formed such as pumice.  Pumice formed by the escaping water gasses giving that porous look. 

Obsidian on the other hand is just like glass it is smooth, translucent, has a conchoidal fracture and can form very sharp edges.  Because of these features it was very sought after by Native Americans and other ancient cultures to fashion tools and weapons for.  Often Obsidian was used to make arrow heads, the other popular mineral the was used was flint.
These arrow heads are a great example.  These were handmade and could be used even to make great pieces of jewelry.  You can buy these from WhiteDoveTreasures at
There are several types Obsidian that you will be able to find.  Here are some of the large variety that can be found: 
Mahogany Obsidian is brown with black or darker brown stripes and flecks

Snowflake Obsidians have beome devitrified with distinct centers often made by feldspar that will give it a look of white snow flakes on the black of the Obsidian host.

Rainbow Obsidian will refract light in such a way that it gives it an iridescence of multiple colors

Obsidian (regular) is usually dark brown to black with maybe some light banding of gray and dark browns.  It is translucent and light can be readily seen through the stone.

Apache Tears are small nodules of beach washed or worn Obsidian that are usually pretty close to round.  They are also translucent and are one of the first gems and minerals that I was shown as a kid.  I was hooked when I found out that A) it came from Arizona B)It was made by a volcano and C) it was a rock that I could see through when I held it up in the sun.  I was told about the legend of the name Apache Tears:  it was said that when a great Apache warrior was killed in battle that the earth cried and the tears formed the "Apache Tears."  What kid would not become a rockhound after getting a piece of this amazing stone?

You can purchase Apachen Tears at ButterflyInTheAttic to at

Obsidian is thought to be a a very good metaphysical stone.  Apache Tears are said to  provide protection when worn by those that are more sensitive.   Obsidian protects the wearer from emotionally draining people, it helps them avoid being mistreated and used.  Often those that believe in the metaphysical power will wear Obsidian when they are going into situations that they may not have the upper hand or be the stronger of the group; such as big board meetings or divorce court.  The black color filters all the bad energy keeping it away from the wearer.  But since it is such a protective stone the wearer should never gift or borrow their piece to anyone

Obsidian is one stone that I have actually had an opportunity to work with and make a necklace from.  At the time no one told me that the volcanic glass is one of the most challenging to make a cabochon from and by the time I found out it  out it was too late.  My first experience with making a cabochon and I pick the hardest material to use, oh well.  I was just making it for the experience not to sell.  But since then I have much more respect for those that do make jewelry from scratch and would like to share with you the process.  But first one HUGE disclaimer I am not a professional in any shape or form so the information I am giving you is not so much as how-to but so you understand why some pieces are so expensive.  It is a lot of work.

First I selected a pattern that I wanted to make it was just a simple tear drop shape.  Next I selected a large piece of Obsidian that I would have to cut into slabs.
This one has more Mahogany in it than the one I used but it is roughly the size.
I cut the stone using a special saw that is in a drum that has oil in it so that it keeps the saw cool and lubricated otherwise it would melt the metal blade before cutting the stone or start a fire.  Once I secured my rock in their I cut off one end then I opened the unit up and placed the stone in to cut the other end off giving me a slab.  Each cut took around 20 -30 minutes.
This is just an example not the actual one I used, just so you know what it looks like.  You can buy it on ebay at
 I cleaned the slab and traced on my pattern.  Once it was ready I used another rock saw to cut the pattern out.  This saw uses water to keep the blade cool and functioning.
The one I used was much older and not as nice again I am just using this one as an example.  You can purchase this from ebay too at
Next you will need to start forming the cabochon using several different grains of grinders.  All use water to keep it cool so needless to say I was soaked by the end of every day.
Same consept and again I didn't use this exact piece just wanted you to see what it looked like and where you can get it if you want it
 By the time I had it down to an appropriate shape I realized I was never going to make it into a perfect cabochon because I have no patience and I already spent 4 nights polishing this rock that was getting smaller and smaller.  Since I didn't intend on selling just wearing I cried "Uncle" and gave up.  I still like it so that is all that matters.

The last step was wiring the cabochon.  This was my first try and I wear it a lot so the back is now a little misshapened but I have had nice compliments on it so it overall turned out just fine.  But the entire process took at least an entire week out of my life to make so I therefore have decided to by my jewelry from ETSY.  I am sure over time the process will get faster but it is kind of like cross stitching with me; as long as I can buy the finished product I don't care enough to spend that kind of time making it.  I seriously think I would have been diagnosed with ADHD as a kid and there is no way I am ever going to spend that much of my life making one piece of jewelry again.  But it was an awesome experience and I am glad I did because now I know why I have to pay what I pay for a good piece.
Here are some wonderful treasures that you can buy Mom for Mother's Day made from obsidian:

Friday, April 27, 2012

Freaky Funny Friday - TGIF Let's Just Have Fun! - I Miss Laverne & Shirley

I stumble across a Laverne & Shirley Reunion this morning on Yahoo and realized wow!!! Do I miss real entertaining TV.   I know it makes me sound ancient but I grew up with shows like Laverne & Shirley.  Since it was filmed in Milwaukee (right around the corner) it gave me hope and inspiration that there was more to life than milking cows and country lanes. 

My up bringing was in a very conservative home where women didn't work outside the house and their future plans were to get married (and obey.)  The only acceptable career aspiration for someone without the holy Y chromosome was to be a mother.  We were not rich enough to dream about going to college and finding a husband; no, your choices were your neighbor's son (the farmer) or the guy at church, who maybe (if you were lucky) had a profession, something like a plumber.  If those two didn't cut it, our you didn't cut it for them, then you may become the dreaded "spinster."  But fortunately for me I was little in the 70's and shows like Laverne & Shirley gave me the hope that I needed.

I wasn't allowed to watch the show because of it's raciness but often I would sneak down and sit on the stairs to watch or possibly whine enough so that I could at least catch part of the week's episode.  It showed me that these two women were able to make it on their own, be happy, date (without falling straight to the pits of hell) and have all kind of amazing adventures right in my home state making me realize that I didn't have to end up a farmer's wife.  No disrespect to farm wives anywhere; it is just that it is sooooooo much work and I didn't want to do it.  I wanted to be where the action was, the excitement was and I wanted to be OK if I decided not to get married.  Unfortunately as fate would have I did get married (and divorced) young anyway but I have to give some credit to the influence of 70's pop culture for the path I took to get where I am now.  I am independent and I do have a career and I do live in a city where things are always happening (not quite the crazy antics that you would see on the show but sometimes it could be close.) 

The thing is, when I was growing up I was constantly told that I could be only one thing in life but with shows like Laverne & Shirley, Mary Tyler Moore & Happy Days, it showed me that I could be basically be anything I wanted and still have a bright future.  Unfortunately I do not see that in today's television, often this generation is being shown images of people halfway killing themselves to do stupid pranks or sitting on a fake island somewhere pretending to be a "Survivor" or swearing and cussing in Jersey while doing beer bongs.  I hope that some day soon they will go back to producing things that are entertaining while still teaching young people that life can be fun and exciting with out the negative drama.  Show them something we would want them to aspire to be; don't teach them that it is alright and normal for a young lady to get in bar fights.  Laverne & Shirley may not have been exactly who you would want to have your kids growing up to be but they at least they were not a 14 year old mother-to-be in the middle of literal soap opera life; now that is what I hope my grand kids look up to, Not!

Oh Well at least we have reruns and YouTube, enjoy....

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Aromatherapy Thursday - Jasmine

I know I did one on Jasmine already last year but right now everywhere I go I smell that light lovely fragrance wafting on the warm (sometimes hot) spring breeze of Central Cal.  I am not absolutely positive what the heavenly scent is but it smell much like the tea I drink every night.  So I figured why not give Jasmine another day in the spot light.
You can purchase this wonderful essential oil at GigiGigson
I have now become addicted to Jasmine tea so much so that when I was traveling for business I was requesting it at every restaurant I stopped at.  Only one had it and I think I must have consumed 3 small pots within the long hours of that visit.  And to all of those that were riding with me; I didn't have to stop one time on the 45 minute trip back to the hotel so, humph!  (everyone was concerned I would need to stop at every restroom on the way back)
You can order a 1/2 pound of Jasmine flowers from NaturalEarthOils at
Jasmine is known to have a relaxing and tranquil property to its scent and tea.  I find this personally to be true and that is why I have at least one cup a night.  A cup of Jasmine tea to me is what a glass of wine at dinner is to others.  While tea is not exactly aromatherapy it definitely ties into it because part of my addiction to this nightly routine is the scent.  I love how relaxing the mere scent of the tea is as it is steeping and that first sip gives me the overwhelming feeling of warmth and peace as the fragrant steam wafts towards my nose.
This wonderful collection of teas can be purchased from ETSY Shop FlyingBirdBotanicals at
If you are not a tea drinker and would love to try Jasmine in aromatherapy it comes in essential oils easily found in several different shops;  I will include some examples in this posting.  Not only is Jasmine relaxing it boasts of properties that ease the symptoms of depression and it a mood enhancer.   It has a very uplifting effect and is also reported to relieve some tension, listlessness and calm nervousness. 

Overall Jasmine brings to mind exotic places and wealthy lands.  For me it definitely is a mood enhancer and lets me escape the cares of the day for a minute or two.  Here are some products I found that may help you create your own little escape:

Of course, never use aromatherapy or any kind of alternative treatments in the place of medical treatment from your physician.  Always consult your physician prior to starting any kind of homeopathic regimen.  Also check for any allergies prior to using new products and scents.

Have a blessed day.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Did You Know? This Week In History - The First Inaugral Address
 Did you know?  Between January and April of 1789 congress officially put in effect the constitution of the United States and unanimously elected Washington to become the our first president. Since I am in management I can, on a very small scale, relate to the undertaking, fear and excitement of these forefathers of our country.  Could you imagine the strategy and the organizational skills it would take to first establish this as a country, write a policy and procedure manual from scratch for a nation and then find that one person that would be able to unite this large team of line staff (the citizens of the United States?)  It is a challenge to motivate and unite 85 people towards a common goal and new project, none the less a nation of about 3 million.
General Washington
When I put it into a perspective like that I have to always give our presidents many kudos and much respect.  I know the day to day challenges that face me and how frustrating it is to have a vision of how well something will work to only face a mass of people that have less enthusiasm or even if they want to achieve the same goal, they may all have different ideas on how to achieve that goal.  April 1789 then newly elected President George Washington packed up his Virginia home, borrowed some money (imagine today's president saying "I will be there as soon as I get the loan to move"?), and moved to New York.  On April 30 1789, George Washington gave his official Inaugural Address just to congress, again a vastly different process than what our modern nation is accustom to seeing.  They sealed the deal with 13 skyrockets and blasts from 13 canyons and our nation was off and running.

As trying and dysfunctional as our country can be; when you take a step back and look at it from a 30,000 foot view over the last few hundred years it is awesome.  It brings a definite sense of patriotism and respect that often gets shoved aside as I am dealing with the daily trials of the day.  This country was started with just an idea of what would bring happiness and a better quality of life to its citizens.  Because we had men of action such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Alexander Hamilton, I, an average everyday citizen, can sit here today and blog on the Internet freely and without fear.  I am able to reach thousands and the potentially millions (technologically speaking) with this simple message of awe for the foundation of our country. 

So as I start my day in the United States, my country, I want to give thanks to all of the presidents, political staff, and people who have the daunting job of leading over 300 million people towards common goals and visions.  I also want to thank our military men and women who took the 30,000 foot view and said "Yes, this is worth fighting for."  I may not always understand or even agree with the political stance of our nation but I to must say that "Yes, this is worth fighting for" " nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.."
American Soldier 1917

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Meet and Greet the Members of the Pacific Postcards Team - SmoothSeas

I am running slightly behind this week on posting so instead of skipping Monday's Meet and Greet I decided to post it today.  The featured member of the Pacific Postcards Team is a sweet little shop called SmoothSeas'
 They offer a variety of ecclectic vintage items which includes a wonderful collection of vintage linen postcards.

Smooth Seas' has been offering there vintage items for sale since March 2010 when they opened shop and have been members of the team since April 2011.

A couple of non postcard items have caught my eye while browsing this fun shop:
I love both vintage jewelry and kitchenware.  Here is a sampling of the linen postcards that I spotted in their shop:

If you are interested on becoming a member of the Pacific Postcards Team please go to this link and click "Apply."  We have just started offering 2 different memberships: one will be for general membership, for those who love postcards and collecting postcards and the other will be for shops with at least 25% of their items listed are postcards.  The only difference in the memberships is that the latter will be included in shop interviews, BNRs and postcard related activities.  We also plan on having activities for the general memberships.  Hope to see you there soon.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Spirtual and Inspirational Sunday - April 22 2012

Even though I try to create a beautiful virtual world for myself, a sort of escape, the real world still encroaches in and there are times when I feel less then inspired.  This week has been an extremely trying one filled with the stress and woes that most of our population experience and I have been feeling a bit down.  But on the upside, due to some extra time for thought and reflection, I have come to peace in that fact that yes, God truly provides.  I have a good family that will have my back when times get challenging, I have all of my basic needs filled and more, and I know that whatever I have lost or had to give up will be restored.

I am focusing on bringing my mind, body and soul back to center and balance and not focusing on the past that cannot be changed.  I hope you find your balance today and have a blessed Sunday.

Happy Earth Day!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saturday's Gem - Root Beer Agate

Root Beef Agate like Carnelian is also a microcrystalline from the quartz group.  You will find that many of the semi precious stones used in making jewelry will come from a few main groups but the variations in coloring and inclusions are what will make them strikingly different.  Just like any agate Root Beer Agate is usually translucent - opaque and has variation in colors from a lighter brown to darker brown.  Agate is slowly formed from silica-rich precipitate (liquid) filling a cavity in different host rocks, a common host is lava.  The silica liquid eventually starts to settle and form the microcrystals creating layers until it is either filled (a Nodule) or filled partway leaving a hollow center often with larger crystals like quartz inside (a Geode.) This process is very different than the violent and often fast process that makes volcanic glass like obsidian. The reason it is called Root Beer Agate is because of this color, it looks like Root Beer. 

Often the name of the Agate will simply describe the piece;  Banded Agate has bands, and Lace Agate has a lacy pattern, but sometimes Agates are named after the areas on which they are found such as Mule Canyon etc.  Root Beer Agate can be found throughout the US it just depends on what elements were available while the agate was forming causing its Root Beer brown coloring.  I found mine on Central California beach.
Of course I truly love the the pretty formations themselves but the beads, jewelry and art that are made from Root Beer Agate is truly spectacular.  Here are a few examples that can be found on ETSY.

'Saturday's Gem - Root Beer Agate' by ButterflyInTheAttic2

Often Agates are named for a characteristic or location. Root Beer Agate is that simple; it is the color of root beer. I will take mine as a float.

Chunky Pendant Beaded Choker...
White Line Brown Agate and S...
RootBeer Agate Rectangle Bea...
SALE VINTAGE Brazilian Agate...
10% OFF SALE. Rootbeer color...
Rootbeer Float - Black and C...
Brazilian agate earrings
Rootbeer Float Mens Gradient...
Fire Agate and Sterling Silv...
Baby Rootbeer Drusy Agate Fr...
ON SALE Root Beer Float Geod...
SHOP25 at checkout Root Beer...
Multi Chain & Agate Slice Pe...
Vintage Sarah Coventry Rootb...
Bi color Agate Drusy Oval D...
Rootbeer Float - A Reversabl...