Monday, November 30, 2009

Make-it Mondays: Beer Coaster Ornaments!

From Buenahelena!

As the holidays come around I sometimes find myself driven to drink. Why? To celebrate. To gripe. To commune. To escape. Capture all those merry bar visits by making your very own beer coaster ornament!

Here's How:

1. Swipe some amazing coasters next time you're at the bar OR search them out on Etsy from great shops like SalvageSuppliesPlus. I got my collection from a combination of both.

2. Punch a hole into the upper center portion of the coaster.

3. Gather glitter, rhinestones, ribbons, trims, metallic pens jazz up those coasters.

4. Add a ribbon through the hole and you've got an ornament!

I had the most fun researching the breweries and brands as I began posting these in my Etsy shop. For example, did you know Stella Artois was born on Christmas? Awesome! Don't drink too much though, because you don't want to forget to enter Giveaway #6 from Lauren's Lovelies below and the grand, Mother of All Giveaways next week. Enjoy!

The Mother of All Giveaways Giveaway #6:Lauren's Lovelies

Hi, its me, Lauren from Lauren's Lovelies. And of course, I'm late. :)

I am very proud to be an RNEST member and a part of this super giveaway! The lucky winner of this weeks prize from Lauren's Lovelies will receive any Domino Necklace of their choice for free! In my etsy shop you will find numerous domino necklaces and if you want a certain theme, look, color, etc, it is yours. You tell me your lucky number, favorite color and theme and you will get a one-of-a-kind piece of art that you can wear around your neck from me.

How did I get excited and interested in Dominoes you ask? Well, I had seen a blog with magnets that were cute, but I knew that I could improve on them so I asked my boyfriend if he thought he could drill one, he said he drilled it and brought it home and then I inked it and stamped it and the rest is just history. From the necklaces keychains were born and then the baby dominoes. I will post one of those on my site before the give away is over.

If you would prefer a different item in my shop, you can apply a $10 gift certificate toward a different piece...including shipping.


Stop by and say hi! Enter the giveaway and good luck at winning! Check out this post to learn how to enter UP TO SEVEN TIMES!! This giveaway ends at midnight on Saturday December 5th.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


I just took a class at this great Buffalo stamp store and I am totally reinspired to make cards...not just any cards, but cuttlebug cards and spellbinders cards and I'm going to have to take pictures of the cards we made and post them on here because I just can't even believe how pretty they are. :)
Just had to share!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wednesday Wellspring: Black Friday/Cyber Monday Promotions

Bubbling up from the well today is a whole bucket full of RNEST holiday promotions! Oh goody, goody! We’re trying to have a handmade holiday this year, so I’m really excited about these awesome deals!

Starting us off, is Lauren from Lauren’s Lovelies who is offering free shipping to ANYWHERE in the world for the weekend!

Lauren’s Lovelies

Karen of Duncan Creative, home of the oh so cute crocheted fruits and veggies, is offering 20% off your entire order.
Duncan Creative

Linda, of Just Ice Jewelry, is offering 10% off your entire purchase AND a free pair of snowball earrings with your purchase of $20 or more.
Just Ice Jewelry

Carol of Buena Helena is offering FREE, FREE, FREE shipping to all New Yorkers or blog followers. Oh, and hey, don’t forget to enter Buena Helena’s giveaway!
Buena Helena

Sarah of Happy Olive Designs is offering 15% off any item.
Happy Olive Designs

Kaitlin of the Inky Star Shop is discounting prices AND giving complimentary wine charms & a few free handmade bookmarks with every order.
Inky Star Shop

Vickie of In My Head Studios will ship free WORLDWIDE through Monday.
In My Head Studios

Marianne from Violet Underground is having an awesome HOLIDAY BLOWOUT & INVENTORY REDUCTION SALE!!
Violet Underground

And, last but not least, yours truly of The Quilted House is having a BOGO sale: buy one item and get a second lesser priced item for HALF OFF!!
The Quilted House

Really awesome bargains to be had from this wonderful group! Most start on Black Friday and end on Cyber Monday, so don't dawdle! I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving & happy shopping!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Mother of All Giveaways, Giveaway #5: Buenahelena

Good morning! It's me, Buenahelena, up bright (well actually gray) and early this Sunday morning to present our fifth giveaway from the ROC Etsy street team. This week's lucky winner will receive a pair of Peacock Lace earrings made especially for this giveaway. If the feedback is enormous for these I may make more for my Etsy site this holiday season.

So a little history on me...I am a Fiber graduate from the Cleveland Institute of Art, where I focused on soft sculpture and altered objects. I am also an Art teacher here in the Rochester area and Etsy entrepreneur on the side. In my shop I do my best to take existing vintage items and alter or repurpose them into something new from jewelry to housewares. Bold and tactile materials like cloth and glitter are my fetish as seen in this weeks prize. The Peacock Lace earrings for this giveaway are cut from vintage collar lace, hand-dyed a deep turquoise blue, and lightly gilded with golden bronze powder. They are sealed for posterity with acrylic medium to hold their color and shape. Make an entrance at all of your holiday parties, or wow a friend with this pair as a gift this year!


Drop in to say hello and enter the giveaway. Good luck at winning! Check out this post to learn how to enter UP TO SEVEN TIMES!! This giveaway ends at midnight on Saturday November 28th. PS. I do have a blog, however I do not have a Twitter account. You can twitter about me for a vote, just leave a comment here about it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Jack's Pick: Saundur monster plushie from KiraArts

Each Friday I select an item created by a member of the Rochester NY Etsy Street Team (RNEST). What criteria do I use? I look for great looking items that I think are well made offered for a great price!

This week I have selected a funny little guy named Saundur from the plushie collection of KiraArts!

To be totally honest, this was a hard pick this week....because all the plushies in KiraArts shop are TOTALLY AWESOME! All her little nubbins and monsters are just adorable, and it was really hard to pick just one to highlight.

I picked Saundur for two main reasons, he was green, and he had a beard. My favorite color is green, and I have a beard, so this one jumped out of the pack for me. But there is also Zigfreid Zippermouth who I adore, and don't forget the lovable elder Galliwumpf.

I think another great part about this little critters are they are great for boys and girls. Check out more of Kira's creations on her blog at:

Great job Kira....can't wait to see what other cuddly monsters you come up with next!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday Wellspring: RNEST Winter Fest

Hey, hey all RNEST fans! The well will soon be bubbling over with an amazing event: The RNEST Winter Fest and I'm here to tell you all about it! Mark your calendars for December 13th and join us at the RIT Inn and Conference Center from 9am to 4pm. There will be baby quilts, house wares, vintage and retro items, jewelry galore - and all different and unique, hand-carved stamps, upcycled dominos, coasters, cards, bags, and so much more! You're sure to find something absolutely amazing there!

PLUS, there will be THE MOTHER OF ALL DOOR PRIZES! This door prize is so great I can't even tell you about it for fear there will be a mad rush at the Inn and Conference Center - oh, wait, that would be good, right! Just trust me when I tell you this prize basket will be full of goodies that you wouldn't want to miss!

We hope that if you live in Rochester, we'll see you on the 13th - if you live elsewhere, I'm sure there are still cheap airline tickets available! Maybe we'll see you, too!

While you're waiting for the RNEST Fest, take a minute to enter this week's giveaway, featuring Just Ice Jewelry! It's your chance to grab a little bit of Asian history!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Make You Laugh Mondays: No Regrets Here

From Buenahelena!

For several years Etsy, has formed a tight knit community of creative thinkers, makers and doers. Etsians pride themselves on artistic integrity and support for all that is handmade. Let's be honest don't really like everything on there right? Sometimes you probably even sit back and scratch your head in wonder at certain items. Maybe an expletive slips out once in a while. Maybe.

There is a place for you, with like minded people, on Regretsy. This blog offers up daily doses of Etsy's worst, weirdest and sometimes flat out wrong items. From sellers hawking Olive Garden gift cards (not handmade or vintage by the way) to misspelled Christmas ornaments (did you know Sarah Palin is going rouge, not rogue this year?) you'll find something that is sure to make you laugh.


The site is broken down into topics on the left hand side similar to Etsy. Fun categories include: Copyright Infringements, Pet Humiliation, Annoying Descriptions and Decorative Pillows. On the first day I probably searched them all. Partially, because I was highly entertained and partially to make sure I wasn't on there. My favorite feature on Regretsy is the "View This Image In A Room" button. It allows you to view a featured item on the blog in a very inappropriate situation.Very realistic I might add!

As a disclaimer though, this site is insulting to sellers who may have truly put their heart and soul into an item they made. Many of the work on the site is in fact labor intensive and well constructed, if only in poor taste. For others...well, a boot to the butt is truly called for. If I had to sit through hours of excruciating critique in Art school all artists should be able to take a jab and reflect once in a while. It develops character.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Mother of All Giveaways Giveaway #4: Just Ice Jewelry

Hi, Linda from Just Ice Jewelry here. Proud to be an RNEST member and a part of this super giveaway! The lucky winner of this weeks prize from Just Ice Jewelry will receive any mini pottery shard item of their choice for free! In my etsy shop you will find numerous pottery shard jewelry including mini pottery shard necklaces & earrings on sterling silver fish hook earrings.

What are baby pottery shards and why am I fascinated with them anyway? real job is teaching high school Social Studies here the suburbs of Rochester, NY. Jewelry is my creative outlet and stress relief from the day to day grind of teaching. The pottery shards in my creations are said to be from the Ming to Qing Dynasties, this means they could be 300 years old! These pottery shards are eco friendly, upcycled from broken pieces of Chinese pottery and reset in silver plate. A few years ago I was fortunate to travel with 20 teachers to Japan, I loved China before this trip and now seem to be obsessed with anything Asian... Asian friends, Aisan candy, Japanese Maples, Ginko Trees, Asian papers, Asian coins, Asian foods. I hope you will enjoy your little piece of Asian history as much as I enjoy my own pottery shard jewelry.

If you would prefer a different item in my shop, you can apply a $15 gift certificate toward a different piece.

Now through November 30th I will be running an Open House Special in my shop as well:
Ten percent off your entire purchase & a free pair of my super fun snowball earrings with your purchase of $20 or more.

Stop by and say hi! Enter the giveaway and good luck at winning! Check out this post to learn how to enter UP TO SEVEN TIMES!! This giveaway ends at midnight on Saturday November 21st.

Thanks to all who entered this giveaway & CONGRATS to lucky #21!! I will be emailing you about prize.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Jack's Pick: Crochet Chocolate Truffles from Duncan Creative

Each Friday I select an item created by a member of the Rochester NY Etsy Street Team (RNEST). What criteria do I use? I look for great looking items that I think are well made offered for a great price!

This week I have selected Crochet Chocolate Truffles from RNEST member karenswimmer of Duncan Creative!

OK, first off, who doesn't like chocolate? Well, I do know a few people who don't, but they are in the minority. Secondly, who doesn't think these are soooo cute. I mean crocheted food just brings out the kid in you!

Karen Swimmer of Duncan Creative does an amazing job taking yarn and making it look appetizing. She has a wide variety of food items in her etsy shop, and I always love looking at it, like walking through a grocery store. Of coure, I love watching the Food Network, so maybe I'm a bit obsessed.

Now, I was never into "truffles" until my sisters opened up a chocolate shop in Potsdam, NY, called St. Lawrence Chocolates. They make lots of varieties of truffles, my favorite being the Dark Island Dark truffle, a dark chocolate ganache covered in dark chocolate. Karen's truffles here remind me of these wonderfully tasty creations.

I want to point out one other thing here. Can you believe the prices Karen has on her crocheted food! I mean, I can't buy the real food at these prices! What an incredible value!

Thank you Karen, can't wait to see what comes out of your "kitchen" next!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday Wellspring: Inky Star Shop

Thirsty for another talented Rochester artist? The well bubbled forth with Kaitlin from Inky Star Shop – one of our newest RNEST members. After teaching herself the basics of jewelry making, she’s used her renegade-do-it-yourself approach to fill her shop with wonderful jewelry. She also feeds her love of photography by sharing her unique outlook on the world through her Etsy shop.

When making jewelry, Kaitlin loves working with recycled or repurposed beads, baubles, and trinkets – many contributed from family and friends. She enjoys taking something old and broken and making it into something new by blending classic looks with a modern twist. Her current favorite in the Inky Star Shop is the Pearl and Aqua Blossom Necklace, Too – it is indeed lovely and unique. My favorite shop item is her Autumn Pears photograph. I think it'd be stunning in my dining room!

As a fairly new seller, Kaitlin advises others to be patient, but determined. Success is not going to happen overnight. Most likely, you won't wake up tomorrow and have sold everything in your shop. And that's OK, if you love what you do and are proud of what you make just keep sharing your work and creativity with as many people as possible.

You can learn more about Kaitlin and the Inky Star Shop by visiting her blog. Make sure you return often to learn all about the happenings of this wonderful group of artists – and don’t forget to enter the latest giveaway!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Make-it Mondays: Artist Trading Cards

From Buenahelena!

Looking for a way to make and collect artwork with a tight schedule and wallet? Consider ATC's or artist trading cards. These miniature works of art are the hot trend right now in the Art-world and Etsy-ville. They are also referred to as ACEO's or artist cards, originals and editions.

ATC's and ACEO's can be made from any material in any style as long as they fit the size restriction of 2.5" x 3.5". In the case of trading cards, they are meant specifically for that and are considered non-sale items. I have seen shops on Etsy selling editions and original artist cards though. Personally, I plan on accepting a small dollar amount for them in my shop with the option of paying with a card trade instead.

Some RNESTers are making these great little objects including JackBear Stamps, featured in this week's giveaway. Below is my first stab at it. I chose to reflect my fiber background by printing on silk and piecing my card together and my feminist sensibilities by choosing an anti-shaving theme. So fun, so fast, so lucrative! Check out the ACEO Etsy Street Team for some collaboration and ideas!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Mother of All Giveaways: Giveaway #3: Jackbear Stamps

Hello! This is John of Jackbear Stamps (you can call me Jack if you like). I am very stoked to be the third giveaway donor in the RNEST's Mother of All Giveaways!

So lets get right down to it! I will be giving away (that means FREE item and FREE shipping) a custom hand carved monogram stamp! You can pick your own initials, you can pick a friend's, family member...whoever you want. You can pick one initial, two, three, four if you have that many! I will also work with you on font choices. I will contact the winner and we will work together to get the size and style you want. You can use your monogram on envelopes, stationary, in books, whatever you can stamp! How's that for a give away... personalization

I hand carve stamps from a material called PZ Kut. It is a type of rubber that is soft enough to carve with knife and gouge, but hard enough to give sharp detail on a printed image. You can use good old dye or pigment based ink with these stamps.

Check out this post to learn how to enter UP TO SEVEN TIMES!!

I don't just carve monograms. I carve portraits, logos, bookplates, and anything else I can dream up. See more in:
My Etsy Shop:
My Blog:
My Flickr Page:
Facebook Fan Page:

Best of luck to everyone and don't forget: giveaways end each Friday at midnight, so I'll announce the winner on Saturday, November 14th!

Hey, you know what? To sweeten things up a little, I'll offer free shipping (First Class US Domestic) this week to any items in my etsy shop. Can't beat that.

So let the comments begin below.....

Winner of Giveaway #2 from The Quilted House

Well, the clock struck midnight about two minutes ago. Since I was still up, I pulled the lever on the random number generator and the balls dropped on number - drum roll, please - 21!! Congratulations, Teresa!

Now, everyone, all is not lost! There are 4 more giveaways from other awesome artisans and then there is the GRAND PRIZE giveaway where you can enter to win a little something from each of us! So, come on back on Sunday for the amazing goody John from Jackbear Stamps has in store for you!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Jack's Pick: Bellabeadjewelry's Sugar Skull and Funny Bone Pendants

Each Friday I select an item created by a member of the Rochester NY Etsy Street Team (RNEST). What criteria do I use? I look for great looking items that I think are well made offered for a great price!

OK, so my post is a little late for Day of the Dead festivities, but this week my pick has to be these sugar skull pendants created by master glass artist Linda Lawrence of Bella Bead Jewelry.

If you aren't familiar with sugar skulls, they are highly decorated skulls traditionally made from sugar that are used to adorn alters during Day of the Dead celebrations in Latin cultures to honor ancestors past.
Linda's pendants, and all her glass bead work, are brightly colored and when you see them, you can't help but smile. She has several versions on her etsy shop, as well as the rest of her highly decorated and intricate work.

Linda is an art teacher in Greece, and teaches flameworking in her home in Irondequoit. She is a wonderful addition to the RNEST team.

Bella work Linda...I love it!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday Wellspring: The Quilted House

Bubbling up from the well this week comes a bucket full of shameless self-promotion! Just kidding! I thought that, as the hostess of the giveaway this week, I would introduce myself.

Hello! My name is Michelle and I am the proud creator inside The Quilted House. These last few weeks I have truly enjoyed bringing you little insights into the lives of my fellow RNESTers in this column, Wednesday Wellspring. Through writing this weekly post, I've gotten to learn so much about a group of really amazing artisans and cannot wait to meet other RNEST members and introduce them to you!
So, just a little bit about myself and The Quilted House: As the name suggests, I quilt. I especially like making small quilted items that are quirky and unusual, like my quilted veggie thank you cards. My current favorite items are my quilted picture frame cards - which you could win just by entering this week's giveaway!

When I'm not quilting, I love to read and take long walks on the beach. Ha Ha! Actually, I do love to read, but I've never really liked walking on the beach. I love BEING at/on the beach, don't get me wrong, but I've always found it kinda hard to walk in sand (possibly due to my clutsy nature.)

Well, that's enough about me. I hope you enjoy the learning more about RNEST over the next few weeks and enjoy the giveaways we have planned. Don't forget to enter the current giveaway and come back on Sunday for the start of giveaway #3 from JackBear Stamps - you don't want to miss it!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Make- it Mondays: Oxidation Printing

From Buenahelena!

I can't believe it is already November! All around leaves are falling off trees and the landscape turns to reds, rusts and browns. Perfect timing for oxidation or "rust" printing. This surface design technique can be done on any protein fiber, but silk yields the best results. Rust or iron oxide has long been known for its beautiful range of rich colors, chemical stability and light fastness. Colors achieved from rust printing range from pale oranges to deep purples. These prints create a chemical change in the structure of the fiber like a dye, meaning they are permanent!

1. Start with your ingredients: 1 gallon of white distilled vinegar, silk (or wool or soy), a collection of rusty object and plastic bags.

2. Dip your pieces of silk in the vinegar so they are saturated. (Some use straight vinegar, while others recommend a 50/50 water to vinegar ratio.I did a 25/75 myself and had great results.) Wrap the wet silk around a rusty object and wrap it up tightly in a plastic bag.

3. Let the rusty object oxidize and soak into the silk for approximately 72 hours. Experiment with shorter and longer times for different color ranges.

4. Unwrap your object and rinse. To really set the colors in, rinse with some baking soda as well.

I love doing small samples for piecework, but you could also try this on a silk scarf or blouse or even to stretch over canvas. This type of printing is full of surprises and happy accidents. Most importantly it conveys the subtle beauty of decay, which is what many of us love about fall. Try it out for a fun Thanksgiving project!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Mother of All Giveaways: Giveaway #2: The Quilted House

Hello! It's Michelle here from The Quilted House and I am so excited to host the second of the giveaways we have planned. I offer up to you one of my favorite things right now: a quilted picture frame card (click the pictures to see other views of this prize on Flickr.) This picture frame card is 5" x 7" and holds a 4" x 6" picture. It boasts a completely quilted picture frame front and a vinyl opening for your picture. The quilted picture frame is securely attached to a sturdy card so it stands on its own and comes with an envelope so its mailable! Gift and card all in one! Don't you just love things that do double duty? (By the way, the very old pics of me and my mom and me and my dad are NOT included!)

Check out this post to learn how to enter UP TO SEVEN TIMES!! The Quilted House specifics include:
Twitter: @thequiltedhouse
Shop: The Quilted House (of course)

Best of luck to everyone and don't forget: giveaways end each Friday at midnight, so I'll announce the winner on Saturday, November 7th!
Hey, you know what? To sweeten things up a little, I'm offering 20% off any purchase this week just for all of you. Just write "Saw it on the blog" in the message to seller. Good times!