Saturday, December 18

Year of the Rabbit and Chinese New Year

This morning, I was reading my friend Hanna's blog, and saw her wonderful white rabbit.Hanna's White Rabbit Her rabbit is meant for an Alice scene, but he's truly fabulous and worth sharing. I then headed over to Etsy and saw the front page was a treasury about The Year of the Rabbit, for Chinese New Year:

So by this time, I'm thinking of Chinese New Year, and how it takes me down a road of sentimental journey. During the late 1960s and all through the 1970s, my parents celebrated Chinese New Year with a group of friends and a couple of their siblings. Now that I have finally seen the show "Mad Men" (just this week I watched season 2 on DVD from the library), it makes it all the more fun to remember these events.

The house was decorated so beautifully for the party, all the food and dishes were in the theme... Us children had a special night during the Chinese New Year party too, because we either got to take the TV into one of the bedrooms, or got to go out for dinner and a movie. This picture is from the 1970s, I can tell by my Dad's hair, guys were wearing long curly hair for a while in the 70s. My Mom made these clothes by hand, silk and silk brocade. Her dress was ankle length, isn't she gorgeous?

Here's a little information on Chinese New Year from wikipedia:

Chinese New Year


02/03/2011 - 01/22/2012 (Metal)

According to the Chinese Zodiac, the Year of 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit, which begins on February 3, 2011 and ends on January 22, 2012. The Rabbit is the fourth sign of the Chinese Zodiac, which consists of 12 animals signs. The Rabbit is a lucky sign. Rabbits are private individuals and a bit introverted. People born in the Year of the Rabbit are reasonably friendly individuals who enjoy the company of a group of good friends. They are good teachers, counselors and communicators, but also need their own space.

According to Chinese tradition, the Rabbit brings a year in which you can catch your breath and calm your nerves. It is a time for negotiation. Don't try to force issues, because if you do you will ultimately fail. To gain the greatest benefits from this time, focus on home, family, security, diplomacy, and your relationships with women and children. Make it a goal to create a safe, peaceful lifestyle, so you will be able to calmly deal with any problem that may arise.

Beads! Beads! Beads!

I was browsing the art of the Beadweavers on ArtFire a couple of days ago, and made this collection. This particular art is not only very beautiful, it is a skill that takes a good amount of time to learn, and produce this amazing work.

Thursday, December 9

Miniatures in Red on ArtFire

This collection made it to the front page of ArtFire on December 9!

Monday, November 29

Saturday was the "Shop Local" Day

It had been advertised on the radio that we should shop local on Saturday, to support our own community here in Denver. A few years ago, I took the handmade pledge as far as gift buying goes, but still do need the occassional art or craft supply for projects I make myself, so that's where I planned to give my local support this year. At the neighborhood "hobby" store.

I have mixed feelings about shopping these big chain stores because they don't really support "our" economy very much. They do have local employees, but nothing they sell is actually produced in the US. The big chains also put small businesses "out" of business over the past 20 years or so. There are no local small, individually run arts/crafts/hobby stores left in Denver. That's still very sad to me, and today, even more so after my attempt to shop the big chain for supplies on Saturday.

The big chain stores came to town, offered everything any artist/crafter would want for their hobby or art, at prices much lower than small shop owners could do. Not only that, but they had "all" the supplies you'd ever think of wanting under one roof. The small business had no chance against this. Now, years after everyone is used to using the big mega markets, they are phasing out, or have already gotten rid of most of the hobby/supplies people wanted. I realize that online shopping probably took a big chunk of this business away from them (eBay), but there were still those of us who would go out to get that one thing we needed right now for a project. There are still millions of people who don't shop online at all, they still needed these stores to offer art/craft supplies and fabric.

So I was, and still am disappointed to find out that the hobby/art/craft supplies are no longer available in my city. This particular store is selling mostly home decor items and fake floral. The other big craft store already went to home decor instead of art supplies a few years ago. I've never shopped there, but have heard Walmart used to carry all of these things but got rid of them over the last few years...

Living a handmade life has gotten a little bit more difficult when you have to rely on the internet for the most basic supply items :(

If anyone out there is brave enough to try having a brick and mortar store, today would be an excellent time to open a hobby and/or art supplies shop! ♥

Thursday, November 4

What About ArtFire?

ArtFire is like a grown up version of Etsy. It's been around for a couple of years, but I only started taking a real interest in the site lately. While Etsy has a huge membership, and I am still very emotionally tied to the site with my main shop, and the discussion boards, I am feeling the pull toward change.

ArtFire is not so much geared toward current trends as Etsy. The owner started the site for his mother to have a good place to sell her artwork, so it isn't about what's the latest style in Brooklyn. That part is very good for those of us who are in a totally different place with our art/craft, and those of us who are mostly in a niche market with a small collector market.

I've opened up two shops on ArtFire. One for my miniatures and other handmade things, the other for vintage and supply. I'm keeping the names of both the same as the two Etsy shops, and I'm not leaving Etsy right now either.

Hope you'll drop by and see me there!

Mostly Art on ArtFire

PrincessOzma on ArtFire

Thank you! ♥

Thursday, October 21

Nukkekoti the Magazine

I am very, very late posting about this!

Many months ago, my friend Hanna wrote an article about Etsy for Nukkekoti, a Finnish Miniature Magazine. She interviewed me, and Susanna of the Etsy shop suskita, Susanna features mostly miniature food and kitchen items.

This article brought me many buyers from Finland, and I am forever grateful. I just wish I had posted about it while the flurry of attention was happening, because it was truly the best time I've ever had playing the role of a miniature artisan.

Thank you Hanna!

Friday, October 1

New Issue of AIM is out!

Great online magazine written by miniature Artisans, for miniature Artisans and enthusiasts.

Click on the picture, or you can get there here:

Sunday, August 8

Memory Box for a Sock Hop

It all started with this Pink Poodle made by Hanna, of hannajaleijona on Etsy. Every time I saw this fanciful poodle it sparked a memory of a 1950s style Sock Hop party I'd been to with my niece, Samantha. I have made a couple of treasure boxes before, but never a memory box with a theme. This was so much fun to collect items for, and finally put it all together. Her birthday is today, I hope she enjoys this memory box as much as I did building it.

The cover of the box has an old 45 RPM record of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper. It looks like you could take the record out and put it on your stereo, but in the end, I had to glue the edges of the plastic cover down.

First look inside. There are little boxes and envelope type things with magnetic closures on the inside of the "book" shaped box. Inside, there is a picture of the dancing going on, tiny little Sock Hop HO Scale dancers, another box on one wall, an elegant lady gazing in the mirror on the other wall. (she doesn't really look Sock Hop-ish, but I wanted something on that wall and found that pin in my vintage jewelry drawer).

You can click on any of these pictures to get a better look inside. This first one is the main "room" of the box.

The inside cover wall before we open up the compartments.

The first item is a scroll that tells the story of how this all came about. The way the Pink Poodle gave me the memory of this particular dance party every time I looked at her, and how much I had enjoyed the party. The tiny little one inch size book is a BIO from Hanna's Etsy Shop, about the artist. The bottom left cabinet doesn't have removable items. It has a pair of red shoes, and the quote "Put on your red shoes and dance." from a song by David Bowie, and the last envelope has a pair of teeny-tiny socks, and a doll sized string of pearls.

This box is on the inside main room wall. You open it up and see a tiny trophy and a star saying "dance contest winner", which she was! Samantha won the dance contest that night!

This last picture just has words to show that I really was dancing too, that is me in the background, Samantha in the foreground. I do not know who she is dancing with at the time this picture was taken, she danced every dance, with anyone who would :)

Sunday, August 1

The new A.I.M. Issue!

The August issue is out today! Can't wait to read it ♥

AIM for August

Tuesday, July 20

First Pumpkin has made an appearance!

We're having a proper Summer this year, and the pumpkin vine is really starting to take off! I'm going to go put a marker at the ends of each branch when I get finished posting this, because it seems this beautiful, strong, and magnificent vine is growing about a foot a day now :)

First pumpkin about the size of an orange.

Growing high too... this picture is from the southeast end looking north-ish

A busy bee doing his job :)

July 17 it got up to 100 degrees... pumpkin vine did not like this very much :(

Leo doesn't look to be enjoying 100 degrees much either...

Stay tuned! I'm going to start taking pictures as the vine grows "real" pumpkin looking pumpkins, and the vine takes over the back half of our cat habitat. (don't worry, they have all kinds of fun places if the maze jungle gets taken over by a humongous vine)

Monday, July 12

Look What I found!

In my own backyard! I have never seen one this big in person, well, I know he's dead, but still! He must have died of natural causes because I see no evidence of cat play here... funny that he also appears to be hollow? Maybe that's normal too, will have to google it later, right now I'm headed for bed :)

Tuesday, May 25

Peru Bead Project

In one of the past chapters of my life I was really, really into beads. I have so many wonderful beads from those days, not enough of anything to sell as a destash, but still a huge collection. One day, I was going through the cabinet that houses these beads and saw a box of handpainted beads from Peru. I was thinking what fantastic artwork is on these beads, little stories on the Lentil beads, (one picture on the front, another on the back), that I should think of a way to use some of them in miniature scenes.

This first picture is not what I ended up using, but just a collection of the beads I was going to try and work with.

My intention was to make tiny vases from some of these beads, so I began working with the clay to plug up holes and make some kind of base.

After this first group had been fired once, (a few twice with the new glaze added), I decided the whole idea was "cheesy" and didn't look that great, so I shelved the idea for a couple of months.

I've probably mentioned in blog posts before about how slow I work, and how frustrated I get without being able to "keep up" having at least 10 new listings a week... Well, after another project that was supposed to be fast compared to my usual sculpting fell through, I decided to revisit the Peru Project. This time, I only used the Lentil beads and some little Llama shaped beads. I am now loving this project again!

This is after the first fire with the holes plugged and some simple bases made:

Now for the finished first set of miniature vases and Llama sculptures:

I think they are so cute now, and plan to make other "sculpture" to go with the Lentil Bead vases later on. Everyone who bought something from me this week will get a set of one Llama sculpture and one Llama Lentil vase. They can imagine their dollhouse family took a trip to Peru and these were souvenirs of the trip :)

Saturday, April 24

What's new? Actually, old news...

I have neglected this blog so bad! The only news I can think of is actually old now. There was an interview with me for American Miniaturist magazine that was published in February. My friend, and miniature team blogger, GoldenUnicornMiniatures, put a notice on the team blog. The pages aren't legible, but that's okay, I sort of talked too much and they printed more than I thought they would 0.0

Other than that, I have been pretty busy treating my miniature making like a real job since the beginning of the year, and not being online nearly as much as I was in the past. I have had a few requests to show "work in progress" pictures and descriptions/tutorials, so maybe I will be doing some of that here real soon.