30 April 2008

The wedding tribe has spoken

I know I'm late with posting this, but I'm gonna do it anyway. ;D

The Esty Wedding Team has voted on a brand to promote ourselves. We had five different brands to chose from, which were all amazing. With a landslide win of 9 out of 14 votes, the flowers design is now our official brand. I'm really excited because this is the brand I voted for. YEA!

29 April 2008

Picture Preparations

I love taking pictures, especially of unsuspecting family and friends during their embarassing moments like when they are in the middle of stuffing their faces with food. LOL. One of the challenges I've encountered in having an online business is taking good pictures. I've received feedback and advise from other artists. When I first started most of my pictures were dark. That was before I found out I could lighten them up. So I've been working on making my pictures lighter. I prefer to take pictures in natural light, especially since computer settings are different. This will show the best composition of my flowers. When I took these pictures, it was a bit cloudy outside, however, it think they turned out pretty good.

My next goal in picture taking is "setting the stage" for my products. Other artists have mentioned using models, props, etc. in order to enhance your products. That is something I will definitely work this year. Even though I did not use props to display the following moss roses, I did attempt to "set the stage". I especially like this picture because you are able to see the roses from different angles all in the same photo.

28 April 2008

Two-Toned Sweetheart Roses

I was commissioned to make a two-toned sweetheart rose for Cinco de Mayo. This rose was made with hot pink beads with yellow beads for the edging. I also used medium green, specifically emerald green, for the leaves and I found embroidery thread to match. So for your viewing pleasure, I present my first of many two-toned sweetheart roses!

25 April 2008

Gloriosa Lilies

While I was "busy" last night making flowers and watching ER, my husband asked me what my favorite flowers were. While smiling too myself, since I know he is up to something, I reminded him that I love lilies, especially gloriosa lilies. I don't know what he has planned, but I'll let you know. So in the mean time, here are some pictures of lilies for your viewing pleasure.

Gloriosa Lilies

Calla Lily

Spider Lilies

Ayana Features: Princess Tiffany Creations

Here's another Ayana feature just for you. This week it's all about Princess Tiffany Creations. In this shop you will find hair clippies, snap clips, bows, ribbon pens, headbands and crochet creatures. My favorites are the hair clippies, snap clips and bows. They are just sooo cute. So for today's Flower Power Friday I am featuring Sarah with Princess Tiffany Creations!

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your shop.
My name is Sarah (Tiffany is actually my chihuahua!) I have been making bows for about 2 years and crocheting for about 5 years. I offically listed my first item in my etsy shop on Januray 8th of this year and am having so much fun with it!

How did you decide on your shop name?
Tiffany is my 9 year old chihuahua! I was having one of the girls in my bow group whip me up a banner, but I did not have a name. She suggested the shop name, since she knows me and knows that I love Tiffany so much and the rest is history!

What inspires you? My bow making friends really inspire me, as well as the new clothing lines. As far as crocheting goes, I just love to make little animals that are cute and cuddley!

What is your favorite item in your shop and why? My favorite right now is either Annabelle or Mary, my mini monkeys. I love them! They are so cute and something I would have wanted when I was a little girl.... heck I want them now!

What advise do you have for other Etsy sellers?
Get your name out there as much as possible. Also take good pictures, that is what I am working on improving currently.

Here’s a fun question:
If you could be any super hero (or villain), who would you be and why?
Not sure if this is considered a superhero, but I love the girls from the show Charmed! They have all these cool powers and save people. I think I like them because they have girl power also!

Shop for hair accessoires and crocheted creatures for your little girl at http://tiff705.etsy.com/

23 April 2008

Mother's Day Special

Unexpected Plans

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.


This year has been an extremely challenging one for me. I have a family, I'm in graduate school, I work part time and I have my own business. Last month I found out that I was pregnant, which is great news. I had been having some difficulties with the pregnancy and found out last week that I had a miscarriage. I have been feeling guilty lately and am wondering if there was something I could have done differently. I know that God has a plan for my life, even though this one was unexpected. Even as I am typing this, I am having second thoughts about posting it, but hopefully I will inspire and encourage someone else. Even though things don't happen the way we want them to, there's a reason for everything. Don't try to analyze or figure out why, just know and believe that things will reveal themselves when you are ready to understand them.

Here is a poem that I wrote about this experience.


Life Unborn

You were my unexpected miracle
The next bloom on my apple tree
Already done picked out your names
Envisioned your facial features
Staring back at me

My instincts warned me
That something was wrong
When the doctor told me the news
I sat in disbelief
I feel numb inside
Just want to go and hide
In that secret place inside of me

I am in sync with Mother Nature
As my life unborn flowed from my womb
My heart began to break
The tears poured from the windows of my soul
Thunderstorms reflect my inner being

Guilt is setting in
What if crowds my thoughts
Through this pain
I am reminded that
God has a plan
A divine purpose for my life
Even though my path is hidden from me
All things will reveal themselves
In time

-CHarding 2008 Copyright

18 April 2008

Ayana Features: Canvas Colors

While searching for all things floral, I found this wonderful shop called Canvas Colors AKA Colors1. In this shop you will find hand painted canvas flower flippers, animals and more. My favorites are the flower slippers, which look absolutely amazing. So for today's Flower Power Friday I am featuring Mary with Canvas Colors!

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your shop.
I have been a needlepoint designer for about 30 years, I have my B.F.A. in ceramic sculpture and I'm from Lex. Ky now reside in Cumming Ga. north of Atlanta. I work as a graphic designer for a International Gift Co., paint needlepoints and teach ceramics.

How did you decide on your shop name?
The name of my internet shop is actually "Canvas Colors" I just shortened it.

What inspires you?
Beautiful art and nature insire me.

What is your favorite item in your shop and why?
I have many things in my shop that I love, don't know if I have a favorite!

What advise do you have for other Etsy sellers?
Put as much on your site as you can, the more you have the more you sell!

Here’s a fun question:
If you could be any super hero (or villain), who would you be and why?
I would like to be one of the Incredibles!!!

Shop for hand painted canvas decor for your home at http://colors1.etsy.com/

17 April 2008

Poems for Mother's Day

Mother's Day is just around the corner. . . May 11 . . . and will be here sooner than you think. Why not purchase an original poem, written by yours truly, for this special day.

This poem entitled "To My Mother" can be customized just for you and comes in a ribbed frame. The frame measures 6 x 8 inches and can be hung on a wall or displayed standing up. The poem reads:

To My Mother

I just want to say thank you
For your warm smiles
Your encouragement
Your words of wisdom
That still guide me today
Thanks for everything
Happy Mother’s Day!

Frame Colors - white, natural wood, mahogany (shown) and black.
Saluation - To my mother (shown), To my grandmother, To my Aunt, etc

This original poem, also written by yours truly, however is not a gift for mother. I wrote this poem to acknowledge the women who are our grandmothers, aunties, tias, role models, mentors, advisors and sisters who are like mothers to us.

This poem entitled "To My Mothers" in a peacan colored frame. The frame measures 8 x 10 inches and can be hung on a wall or displayed standing up. The poem reads:

To My Mothers

To my mothers
Who are not my mother
I just want to say thank you
For your warm smiles
Your encouragement
Your words of wisdom
That still guide me today

To my mothers
Who are not my mother
I just want to take the time
To acknowledge
To thank God
For putting you in my path
So that I would not stray

To my mothers
Who are not my mother
I just have to say
I love you
Thanks for everything
Happy Mother’s Day!

Copyright 2008 Crystal Harding

16 April 2008

Trading African Violets

Here are some African violet hair pins that I made for my fellow Etsian Mai-Ling of Alpha Omega Art. I will be trading these lovely hair pins for her CD entitled "Chronology". The colors are red, gold and magenta. I love trades. :D

11 April 2008

Ayana Features: Dainty Diva's Boutique

While searching for all things floral, I found this wonderful shop called Dainty Diva's Boutique. In this shop you will find custom clothing and accessories for your diva. Even though I do not have a little diva, the items in this shop are just too cute to keep to myself. So for today's Flower Power Friday I am featuring Dainty Diva's Boutique!

Tell me a little bit about yourself and your shop.
My name is Trisha and I am a SAHM mom to 2 wonderful kids that always keep me on my toes. I started making hair accessories for my daughter shortly after she was born. I had so much fun dressing her up with her custom made clothes and matching hair pretties that I decided to expand my designs and offer custom clothing as well.

How did you decide on your shop name?
I decided on the name of my shop because of my daughter. If you met her, you would know why. She is a tiny little thing but has a big attitude. Dainty Diva's Boutique just seemed too funny and fitting not to use it.

What inspires you?
My inspiration is my daughter. I enjoy dressing her up and seeing her reaction when she puts on things I made for her. As soon as she sees me on the sewing machine or working or hair accessories she immediately says " Is that for me mommy? " I just laugh and explain to her it is for another princess. She loves to help me pick out flowers for the headbands and taking her to the fabric shop is always an adventure.

What is your favorite item in your shop and why?
My favorite item(s) in my shop are my "Think Pink" items. I lost my sister to breast cancer last year. I had the idea to make things pink/breast cancer related and donate the proceeds to research in her memory. I belong to a wonderful design group called the PixieChix and they have joined me to do launch on April 13th donating proceeds to my breast cancer walk on May 3rd. I won't stop spreading the word and help finding a cure of this awful disease until it is gone for good. I hope nobody has to go through what our family had to March '07. It forever changed our lives.

What advise do you have for other Etsy sellers?
My advise for other Etsy sellers would be just to have fun. We are all on here to offer our talents to others to enjoy. Nothing feels better than to please a customer. I have met many wonderful people on here and even made some friendships from this fabulous site. I love it! I hope other Etsy sellers enjoy the experience of meeting new people and just have fun with it. That is what it is all about.

Here’s a fun question:
If you could be any super hero (or villain), who would you be and why?
If I could be a super hero or have any super power I would be John Coffey (played by Michael Clarke Duncan) from the movie The Green Mile. Anyone that has watched that movie will understand why I would want his power. I would heal all the sick people in the world and my sister would be here with us today.

Shop for custom clothing and accessories for your diva at http://www.daintydivasboutique.etsy.com/

09 April 2008

A Poem for Parents

My son is just as handsome and cute as he wants to be. He recently turned three and it seems like his temper tantrums have been turned up another notch. Last night he whinned and cried over every little thing. He wanted me to hold him and as soon as I tried to put him down he started crying. I'm just thankful that I realized he was just tired. Little ones at that age are not able to verbally explain when they are frustrated and tired, but that sure didn't help my mood because after work and class, I was tired as well. So today after some sleep, quiet time and reflection, I wrote the following poem about my frustraton:



That’s what I started calling you
Even though that’s not your name
You just keep on pushing my buttons
Testing me in every way

Now I know you can hear me
I see you peeking out the side of your eye
Don’t you walk away from me
Think I’m playing?

Don’t you understand Mama is tired
I need some quiet time
You better go somewhere and sit down
Cuz you’re working my last nerves

Copyright 2008 Crystal Harding

07 April 2008

Catch me at the Spring Bada-Bing!

I'm so excited that I'll be participating in this year's Spring Bada-Bing. Myself and fellow Etsians will be promoting the Richmond Etsy Street Team and Etsy along with our selling our products. Make sure to stop by our table. For more information about this event, click on the following image.

05 April 2008

Using Delica Beads

I went to B&B a few days ago to buy some purple seed beads for a rose. There were not any royal purple regular seeds beads, so I looked to the Delica beads. I've not used them before and had no idea why the cost more. So here is what I found out:

Delica beads are a specific brand of bead made by the Miyuki Company in Japan. They are cylindrical in shape and have very thin walls, as opposed to the rounder, thick-walled seed bead. They line up perfectly in loom and in off-loom stitches such as Brick or Peyote, with the thin walls and large holes allowing for multiple thread passes through each bead. Delica beads are so precise and they make any pattern line up perfectly and give a clean, crisp finish to any project. The beads are usually of excellent quality, creating fewer culls when you are working and therefore are cost effective (Taken from About.com).

So for this rose, I used Delica beads for the petals and regular seeds beads for the leaves. You can really see the difference between the beads. I love the way this rose turned out. The only thing I didn't know was that I had to use more Delica beads to make the same size flower when using regular seed beads. Even though Delica beads cost twice as much as regular seeds beads, I will definitely use them again.

04 April 2008

The Bizarre Market is Coming

I'm just spreading the word about
Saturday, April 26th, Noon-4 pm

It is again time for us to take over Randolph Street with Richmond's best art, crafts, and unique items sale. As you know, this market is open to anyone with something (legal) to sell. It is free to set up, but we do ask that you donate 10% of your day's earnings to our selected non-profit. For the Spring Bizarre Market, we have selected Books On Wheels as the recipient of these funds. We encourage all artists and artisans to come out and sell their handmade art. Plus, for this Bizarre Market we are really pushing for people to do some serious Spring Cleaning and bring out yard sale items to sell. Even if you only have a few records, a stool, and a toaster oven, this is the place to find someone to buy it. Of course, Books On Wheels will be here giving away books and fixing bikes, so bring things for them to fix. Set up begins at 11 am.

Chop Suey Books
1317 W. Cary St.
Richmond, VA 23220

03 April 2008

The Etsy Wedding Team is Official!

I know this happened last week, but I'm gonna blog about anyway. :D Etsy administration has approved the Etsy Wedding Team. YEAH!!! What does this mean? You can easily shop from our Etsy Wedding Team members by typing "EWT" in your search on Etsy. Our members will be tagging all of their wedding related items with these letters for ease of searching.

02 April 2008

May Lily BOGO

March winds, April showers brings forth May flowers and this wonderful sale! Lilies, which are the May birth flowers, will go on sale starting Tuesday, April 1. You can purchase full size lilies, tiger lilies, peace lilies, and calla lilies. You can also request the mini-me sizes, just let me know. Since my birthday is in May, when you purchase one lily you can a second lily for FREE.

Full Size Lilies are $16

Mini-me Lilies are $8


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