Friday, November 26, 2010

BESTeam Feature: Elle's Beads

Here is some great holiday shopping without all the chaos and potential battle scars of Black Friday shopping.  Plus you can stay in your jammies.  

Take a look at Elle's Beads.  

This shop offers one of a kind (OOAK) funky handmade jewelry. You can also find brooches, book marks, cell phone charms and barrettes. Her shop is a lot of fun to look at too.  She has make her pages into a beautiful palate of color.  Looking for red jewelry?  They are all together.  Need blue jewelry?  All the blues are together.  Not only is that very helpful when you are shopping but it is beautiful to look at. Yellows fade into orange which then turn to red then on to pinks etc. I am amazed by it.  Don't really know how she keeps it this way.

Here are some of my favorites.

Mosso is for Music Lovers - Antique Silver Charm, $10.00


I thought this was beautiful.  The silver with the aged piece of sheet music.  A great find for that music lover in your life!

Vintage Pearl and Diamond Charm Necklace with Sterling Silver Chain, $20

 I know a few lovers of vintage, pearls and diamonds.  I am guessing you do too. 

Swirling Silver and Black Crystazzi Beaded Earrings, $20

I love the design of these earrings.  This is a great pair that would go with just about anything.  You could use these for New Year's Eve dress up or go casual with a pair of jeans.

Stop on by Elle's Beads to find some fabulous Christmas (or any time) buys.  You can also find Elle at her blog. You can sign up for her newsletter and follow her blog to stay abreast of the new items that are put up.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

BESTeam Feature: Midnight Chalk

Today I want to share a fun little shop from UK.  Midnight Chalk.

Sandra from Midnight Chalk is a mom of two who likes to explore the countryside, find beautiful things and record them, either as photographs or as fine art sketches and drawings.

Upon first inspection of her Etsy shop you find three photos offered there.  But like looking for hidden treasure, if you search a little deeper you will find much more.  Here are two of my favorites:

If you see a picture that you like, you can convo Sandra about ordering different sizes.  You can also find additional photos on Sandra's blog.

Here is a photo from her blog that I think is absolutely adorable:

Midnight Chalk is a fairly new shop, opening this year in April.  Take a minute to visit her and give her some Etsy love.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Driving With Familiarity; What Does it Really Breed?

Article first published as Driving With Familiarity; What Does it Really Breed?, by Linda Voss, on Technorati.

The saying goes “Familiarity breeds contempt”. Lately I have been wondering if it breeds something else.

There has been a lot of road construction happening on our freeways of late. It has become apparent that we are busting at the seams and need more lanes. While this construction is going on there are a lot of road detours, orange barrels, and wonky lane changes. There are sections of the freeway where you will have narrowed lanes, others where you will make a curve to the far right then a curve back to the left, and times when you will actually be driving on the other side of the freeway.

When the construction first started it was scary driving on these new sections of the freeway. You weren’t exactly sure where you were supposed to be going. The cement barriers that were put up along the sides of the lanes made you feel boxed in and like you were going to crash into them. (Ok, they make me feel that way).

The posted speed limit in these construction zones is 55 mph (miles per hour). In the beginning that speed was all too fast. Now that construction has been going on for several months people are more accustomed to the changes and know to expect the unexpected. Mostly we keep an eye on the traffic ahead of us, watch for speed traps, and slow down when we see a friendly policeman reminding us of the speed limit.

One day I was driving home on a straight section of freeway that wasn’t actively being worked on. I was driving a little faster than the posted limit, 80 mph, when in my rear view mirror I saw a big truck coming closer and gaining on me. I was just about to turn on my blinker to move into the middle lane, because I am a considerate driver like that, when he zoomed into the middle lane, passed me, zoomed back into the left lane and sped off into the horizon.

Remember I mentioned I was going just a little teeny bit over the speed limit? It makes me wonder how fast he was going. This is when I started thinking about the familiarity thing. It bred something in him but I am not quite sure what it was. Apathy, confidence, stupidity, or was it just plain familiarity. At times we get so familiar with things that we become comfortable with them. In that comfort we stop being so careful.

Maybe this is why teenagers text while driving. They are so familiar with one thing that it doesn’t seem like adding it to another will do any harm. That and teenagers tend to feel invincible.

An accident injury law firm cites the following statistics of accidents in highway construction zones: “Crashes in highway work zones have killed at least 4,700 Americans – more than two a day – and injured 200,000 in the last five years alone.About 85% of people killed in work zones are motorists, not workers.”

You would think that this thought process and my knowledge that I am NOT invincible would make me more wary of driving fast. I was on the freeway again yesterday and thought I would stay in the right lane and go slower. That lasted about 15 minutes. I can relate to Sammy Hagar when he sings “I can’t drive 55”. Going 55 mph stinks.

I speak with that bravado now but wait until it snows. Maybe then I will be back in the right lane.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

BESTeam Feature: CyndesPlace

Welcome to CyndesPlace.  Where handmade and whimsy meet.

CyndesPlace feels the most perfect of days "starts with a steaming cup of cinnamon coffee and the whole day to sew." This type of day is when she will make the handbags and accessories that you will find in her shop.

Here is a sample of what you will find:
Peaceful (get it!) Night on the Town, $26.50

Weekend in Wonderland, Extral Large Duffle, $160

Felted Fall Handbag, $60

Madalin Carries it all Handbag, $75

Money Envelope Clutch, $8.00

Like a style but want a different fabric or color combo?  Convo her and she will make something to your specific needs, or wants.  

You can also find CyndesPlace at her blog Hip Chic Designs.  Stop on by.  She has giveaways, tutorials, and will introduce you to wonderful Etsy finds that she makes.

Monday, November 08, 2010

I never thought I'd say "I knitted a cozy"

I never thought I'd say I had knitted a cozy.  That is something that we tend to make fun of in our house.  "Oh, why don't you make a cozy for it". 

You know.  People, I guess those who haven't discovered amigurumi and don't know what else to knit or crochet, make covers for everything.  Toasters, tea sets, coffee pots, tissue boxes, calculators.

Tea cozy, click here for the pattern
Tissue box cozy, click here for pattern

But now I can join the ranks. Hopefully mine will be in the "hey, that's really cute" category and not the "why on earth would you make that" category.

Here is my cozy.

I made a few to try and sell on my Etsy shop FromShirlee.  They are MP3/cell phone/iPod cozies.

My girls think they are cute.  Now we just have to see if anyone will be willing to pay me for one!

Friday, November 05, 2010

Is what you write free for the taking?

Article first published as Cooks Source Magazine Bagged for Printing Writer Article Without Permission, by Linda Voss, on Technorati.

Writing seems to be a hard knock business. Most people who are writers write for the love of words and writing. To actually get to a place of note and maybe earning a little money takes a lot of time, experience, and possibly luck.

That being said you would think that someone who has been in the business for 30 some odd years would know that taking an article written by someone else and publishing it in your for-profit print magazine, without their permission or even their knowledge, is wrong.

You would think. Enter Judith Griggs, editor of Cooks Source Magazine. This is exactly what she did. The article she printed without permission is a Tale of Two Tarts, Redactions of two English apple pie recipes and a discussion of how they changed over time, by Monica Gaudio.

Monica recounts her experience of learning about this, through a friend who wanted to know how she got published, on her blog

Aside from the whole intellectual property infringement, going against good taste, and doing something that even a high school student would know was wrong, the truly amazing part of this tale is the response Judith gave to Monica’s request of an apology, acknowledgement and a donation to her alma mater.

Judith’s response, which was quite snarky, said in part: “But honestly Monica, the web is considered "public domain" and you should be happy we just didn't "lift" your whole article and put someone else's name on it!” . . . .
“I have a bit of a difficult time with your requests for monetary gain, albeit for such a fine (and very wealthy!) institution. We put some time into rewrites, you should compensate me!”

The internet, Facebook, and Twitter is all a buzz about this event. Bloggers are in an uproar. The Cooks Source Facebook page has increased a fan base by over 2000 people since this happened. It isn’t that they are truly fans of this magazine it is so they can post comments and flames on the page.

Judith is responding with the likes of “you children should go to bed” and “you would think people would understand”. Her personal Facebook page says “Why are all these people so mad at me? I was just helping that silly girl, and I get treated like this?!?”

There is also some talk on these same bandwidths that this all may be a big hoax. If it is a hoax it is a doozie. Monica is getting a lot of publicity about her apple pie article and a lot of traffic to her blog. Will the traffic be sustained? I don’t think so.

One thing you can take from this, true or not, is that what is on the internet stays on the internet and travels like wild fire. Take care what you put out there because you can ruin a reputation in the blink of an eye, the turn of a phrase, or the theft of an article.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

BESTeam Feature: Arm Candy For You

Today we are going to go to India for some fun candy for your arm.  Yes my dears, we are talking about purses.  I am going to introduce you to Priti.  She is the force behind Arm Candy For You.

The purses you will find in this Etsy shop are made from materials like Indian Silk, Indian Brocade, Velvet, Vegan Rubber, Vinyl and Faux Leather.  You can even buy patterns if you feel like tackling the job of sewing your own bag.

If, however, you are like me and like buying purses more than sewing them, you are in luck.  There are bags ranging in price from a $15 Wristlet to bags for $170.  Here are some of my favorites:

Plaid Vinyl Tote, $85

I love this bag.  The plaid is so cute and there are pockets galore inside.  I love me some pockets!

Chocolate Brown Leather, $80

You have to love a purse made out of Chocolate, even if it is chocolate leather.  Isn't the flower cute!

Dalmation print Wristlet, $15

Maybe I am getting a bit of my Cruella DeVille on but I love this little number.  The print is adorable.

Vegan Rubber Tote, $65

I've never had a rubber purse before but this one could make it on my list.

When Priti isn't busy sewing some Arm Candy, she can be found at her blog.  You may want to visit.  She shares some mighty tasty looking recipes.  You can also find her on twitter and her Facebook page.

Stop on by and get your self some candy that is calorie free and will look fantastic on your arm.

My New Badge

I have written a few articles for Technorati and I now get to proudly display this on my blog.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

My craft table. Stuff needing to be put on etsy. I need to get busy!!!!