Thursday, June 24, 2010

TV Tidbits

I didn't have a relevant photo for this post, so I snapped a shot of this adorable Ugly Doll my mom got me. Speaking of Mom, she recently told me she read my blog and "laughed out loud." I'm going to take that as a compliment. On to the tidbits.

Last week the bf was watching the History Channel, as he often does, while I was making jewelry. I am not a fan of the History Channel. Or of the Science Channel. Or the Learning Channel. Or the Discovery Channel. I'm a woman who needs a nice piece of fiction to sink her teeth into, whether it be in the form of a sitcom rerun or a movie. Anyway, on this particular night, the History Channel was running a bio on Albert Einstein. Not being the scientific type, I found the bulk of it boring. However, I did find out that he got his start working in the patent office, an albeit boring occupation, but one that provided him with ample time to daydream about his soon-to-be famous theories. I also learned that he left wife and sons -- she was also a scientist -- to shack up with his first cousin, who was described as "not an intellectual," and "a woman who enjoyed preparing large meals." Humph. I enjoy a good meal as much as the next person, but come on. I lost a little respect for old Albert there.

To completely switch gears, you probably haven't heard about the new sitcom Hot in Cleveland. It's on TVland at 10:00 EST Wednesday nights. But I got hooked because the cast included Betty White. She plays the crotchety, says-whatever-she's-thinking caretaker of a house being rented by three LA transplants, played by Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves (Daphne from Frasier), and Wendie Malick (Nina from Just Shoot Me). The show itself is mildly entertaining; it's your typical story of middle-aged single women trying to find love (although I do enjoy the always kitschy Hot Chocolate's "You Sexy Thing" featured in the commercials). But what's really interesting to me is the character dynamics. With every show I watch, I break the characters down into basic types. In Hot in Cleveland, Bertinelli's character is the optimist, Leeves' character is the cynic, Malick's character is the glamour girl, and White is the viper-tongued old lady. Of course, I couldn't help but compare them to The Golden Girls gang. In that case, White (Rose) was the optimist, Dorothy (Bea Arthur) was the cynic, Blanche (Rue McClanahan) was the glamour girl, and Sophia (Estelle Getty) was the viper-tongued old lady. So, thirty-odd years later, Rose has morphed into Sophia. But then again, if we live long enough, then I suppose we all do. Anyway, if you're a Betty White fan, then Hot in Cleveland is worth your thirty minutes.

A Bonus Quote From a More Serious Jack

I've long had this Quotable Magnet on my fridge and finally remembered to share:

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to love, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars . . ." --- Jack Kerouac

I think that about says it all.

Photo Shoot Friday

Pattern Play

Cardigan: Marshalls
Skirt: Macy's
Shoes: Anne Michelle, Barefeet Shoes
Clutch: Chinese Laundry, JCPenney
Belt: B Fabulous
Scarf: A.C. Moore
Yellow necklace: Wet Seal
Purple necklace: Sears
Flower brooch on purple necklace: Sweet Wolf, Etsy
Purple bracelet: Wet Seal
Orange bracelet: Kohl's
Ring: Claire's

Top: City Streets, JCPenney
Skirt: Mixit, JCPenney
Shoes: Nine West, Macy's
Bag: Zou Zou, JCPenney
Necklace: Candie's, Kohl's
Belt: Marshalls
Yellow ring: Wet Seal
Magenta ring: Express
Bangle: Art All Night, Etsy

Strawberries & Cherries

Dress: So, Kohl's
Sweater: Macy's
Shoes: BCBG, Macy's
Bag: XOXO, Marshalls
Belt: Apt. 9, Kohl's
Necklace: Snowdrop Jewelry
Flower brooch: JCPenney
Bracelet: Mixit, JCPenney
Ring: Some accessories cart in Miami
Ribbon: Craft supply box

Oh, and some cheerful matching cookies on a cheerful matching plate.

Dress: Niceface, Etsy
Shoes: Style & Co., Macy's
Lunch box: Marshalls
Ice cream necklace: Delia's
Black disc necklace: Nine West, Macy's
Shiny flower necklace: Some shore shop
Matte flower necklace: Fashion Bug
Ring: Some Shore shop
Blue bangle: Kohl's
Red bangle: XOXO, ROSS
Yellow bangle: Silver Lining, Ocean City boardwalk

Island Inspired

Tunic: Kenar, Marshalls
Leggings: Target
Shoes: Madden Girl, DSW
Necklace: Macy's
Bangle: Burlington Coat Factory
Ring: B Fabulous
Barrette: Kohl's

Top: Macy's
Skirt: Macy's
Shoes: Madden Girl, DSW
Clutch: Apt. 9, Kohl's
Belt: New York & Co.
Necklace: Macy's
Turquoise bangle: Mixit, JCPenney
Copper bangle: Kohl's
Rhinestone bangles: Mixit, JCPenney
Ring: Design by Cassandra, Etsy

I didn't post Photo Shoot Friday last week. I was too lazy. Well, I was prepping for Harborfest. But still. Anyhow, I have lots of pictures this week. :)

Jack Handey Quote of the Week

A little late this week, but better late than never, right?

"It's not good to let any kid near a container that has a skull and crossbones on it, because there might be a skeleton inside and the kid could put it on and really scare you."

Here's a special bonus for Handey and SNL fans: a link to the blog of a new follower:

Go Big or Go Home: New Corsage Necklaces

Orange You Glad Corsage Necklace

Blue Lagoon Corsage Necklace

Bright Lights Corsage Necklace

Yellow Rose of Texas Corsage Necklace

Purple Haze Corsage Necklace

Last week I got the bug to make some statement jewelry. Although I love all my jewelry creations, I wanted to reach beyond my usual styles, using exciting new materials like silk and paper flowers, rhinestones, feathers, butterflies, and puffballs to come up with challenging, theatrical pieces. The five necklaces here were the result, and I dubbed them my Corsage line. Soon I plan to shop for just the right embellishments to make one for me.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Check Out My Loot From the Bed of Roses Boutique Giveaway!

I must have a lucky streak, because I won another giveaway this week. It was hosted by Lisa of the Bed of Roses Boutique, a fellow member of the EtsyNJ team. I got to pick out one of her lovely hand-painted wine glasses and settled on this funky black chandelier number because it matches my kitchen. Thanks so much, Lisa!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Cape May Harborfest Craft Show

My tent by the sea. Er, harbor.

Me sporting a cluster of Tote Trove barrettes from my own personal stash.

Me before I got sunburned rocking my new Fred Flare sunglasses.

The bf. He doesn't like me posting pictures of him on the blog, but as editor-in-chief of this little operation, I exercised my veto power.

My exciting new Corsage Necklaces. I made them in a fit of inspiration this week, finishing the last one at the mind-numbing hour of eleven o'clock last night. I kind of knew no one would buy them but nevertheless felt driven to display them as a complete set. I'll list them on Etsy as soon as I can (my inventory's still out in the car) but foresee eventually delisting one or two (or, what the heck, all of them) to wear myself.

Picturesque Cape May harbor.

I didn't even know that the Cape May Harborfest existed until one of the coordinators emailed me an invitation because they were short on vendors. This lack of interest from vendors coupled with the fact that it wasn't an entirely handmade show were two warning signs that I chose to ignore. I was too hooked by the lure of more sales (and more respect from my accountant, who told me I needed to show improvement this year for my business to be classified as, well, a business) and found myself plunking down the $100.00 entry fee.

As you've probably already guessed, this wasn't the wisest of decisions. Harborfest was -- strange. The site was set off the beaten path of Cape May's signature Victorian mansions and pedestrian-heavy shopping district, tucked in the harbor near the nature center and Coast Guard. Although not favored by tourists, it was an undeniably picturesque spot (you can see from the pictures that my tent was set at the edge of a little cliff overlooking the water). Even so, the festival itself wasn't particularly festive and lacked that unmistakable artistic vibe inherent within more desirable venues. Again, I should have known this going in because it wasn't really an art show. But beneath my crusty pessimistic layer lurks a closet optimism tireless enough to keep me signing up for these things.

Sales were . . . slow. So slow, in fact, that neighboring crafters drifted into my tent to report how much the show had gone downhill. But they advised me not to cross it off my list because it was sure to pick up again next year. I'd met some of them at previous shows (it's amazing how small the local arts and crafts community is, and how quickly you become familiar with the other people on the show circuit). Their input was interesting to me, especially because I'm still in that experimental phase of trying out different shows and finding out what I think and, more importantly, what I like.

I sold a few pieces of jewelry here and there. Several shoppers complimented my work, as usual suggesting that I try my luck in a city setting where people were more likely to wear the kinds of things I made. I always have mixed feelings about this reaction, especially because I've tried to get into these types of shows without success to date. It's as if I'm in some kind of craft fair limbo - a little too out there for many South Jersey shows, but not quite out there enough for anywhere else.

But the worst part of the day was that I got sunburned. I'd slathered on the sunscreen before leaving the house in the morning but had never reapplied because I hate to risk touching my merchandise with greasy hands. Now, even as I write this, I'm nursing my considerable wounds with aloe. The bf said I was being silly to worry so much about it, but I can't help being angry at myself. Next time I'll wear a jacket, even if it's blisteringly hot.

So that's Harborfest. I've decided to chalk the whole thing up to experience. After all, even on the days when I don't make a profit, I learn something. Sometimes I think the most important lesson is learning how to work smarter, not harder. When I figure this out I'll let you know.

The next show on the roster is the Haddonfield Fine Arts and Crafts Festival on July 10 and July 11. It's one of the more prestigious shows I'm doing this year, and I've heard good things about it. As always, I'll be sure to let you know how it all shakes out.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Calling All Junk Food Junkies

French Fry Fanatic Necklace

Hamburger Heaven Necklace

Nuts About Chocolate Necklace

Hot Dog Heaven Necklace

New kitschy necklaces, fresh from the fryer, grill, and confectionery! I think these will appeal mostly to kids -- although I'm already plotting to make one for my very own!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Jack Handey Quote of the Week

"We tend to scoff at the beliefs of the ancients. But we can't scoff at them personally, to their faces, and this is what annoys me."

New Necklaces: From Goth to Boho, Something for Everyone

Gothic Romance

Gothic Romance Necklace

Hard Hearted Hannah Necklace

Quietly Kooky

I'm a Little Teapot Necklace

Roses are Red Necklace

Sweet Sparrow Necklace

Retro TV Necklace

Bohemian Rhapsody

Arabian Nights Necklace

Junk Drawer Necklace

Some Old Favorites

Strawberry Fruit Gel Necklace

Lime Fruit Gel Necklace

I like to keep my Tote Trove stock fresh and eclectic. Although I have a reputation for making stuff that's brightly colored and out there, I also enjoy fashioning more traditional styles. In stocking up for this Saturday's Cape May Harborfest, I've come up with a nice little necklace mix.