Sunday, August 29, 2010

$5 Monday

Those of you who read my blog know that although I have all sorts of links to my Etsy shop on here, I don't usually write about Etsy or CynART. Today I'm going to! I'm a member of the Etsy Texas Crafters, which I believe, at over 1000 members, is the largest team on Etsy. (I could be wrong, and if I am, I'm sure someone will let me know!) It's all made up of Texans, wannabe Texans, and used-ta-be Texans. The team is having a $5 - 5th Monday event and sale, and tomorrow (the 30th) is the fifth Monday! Many ETC shops will be spotlighting items that cost only $5.00. Now you are saying to yourself "anything that costs $5.00 is made in a factory in China" but wow, are you wrong! Just regard me as your personal shopper because I've been browsing the shops today, and let me show you a baker's dozen of the cool HANDMADE stuff I've found!

First up, a beautiful pair of green and gold dangle earrings! I'm an earring collector and these are gorgeous! You can find these at Painted Easel, owned by a talented painter who also makes jewelry! Or maybe she's a jeweler who paints? Let's just say she is a multi-talented artist and you can find all sorts of items that you'll love in her shop!

So while we're looking at jewelry, here is a very cool necklace! The artist took three pieces of broken jewelry to recombine and make this chunky blue beauty with the extra long chain, and it can be yours for -- you guessed it -- $5.00! Check out the necklace and the rest of the shop at Valkyrie of Odin.

Now how cool is this? It's a piece of the box from an old Bingo game that the talented artist at Duct Tape And Denim upcycled into a notebook. I LOVE stuff like this! For $5, it's yours! (Unless it's mine first!)

As a watercolorist, I can really appreciate these hill country turkeys! This is a great deal -- a set of four notecards, each with a print of the turkey watercolor. The shop is Texas Hill Country Art -- check it out -- there are lots of other notecards, and also original watercolors. I was in the Hill Country recently and I saw this artist's work in a shop in... Dripping Springs? Way to go for getting your work out there!

Look at this adorable baby hat -- could anything be cuter? The colors remind me of a watermelon! I know lots of younger (much!) friends having babies these days -- a handmade gift is soooo special! Click on over to the shop called 2muchstuff2day (I hear ya on that!) and see what she's got!

While we're talking babies, doesn't your little buckaroo need a pair of these? I LOVE the bandanna print! Would you make these for $5? I wouldn't! Let's face it -- I couldn't! You better snap these up quick! Check them out at Piqua's Favorites!

The artist at BooBooZoo makes these in all sorts of animal shapes. "What is it?" you're wondering. It's made of flannel, and filled with rice, and when you have a booboo, or an aching muscle, or even a headache, you put one of these in the microwave or the freezer for your choice of soothing heat or cold. This one is Paul the Puppy Booboo Bag -- looks like it'd be great for children of all ages!

This is a passport cover, and the pattern is called "Birds on a Wire." It's made and sold by Owl Say Designs, who sells "practical products with stylish flair." And she does! I personally just bought three checkbook covers from her, and they have really glammed up the inside of my purse! Check out all of her MANY items that will help you get organized in style!

How many times have I fumbled through my black hole of a purse looking for a lipstick or lip gloss?? Wow -- here's a way to have it right on your key ring when you need it, and with all that handmade quality! Check out the items over at The Lavender Lizard -- she also has some handknit face cloths I am coveting! $5! What am I waiting for?

Here's a really cute hair accessory made out of stacked buttons! Sump'n Sassy has lots of cool upcycled accessories -- where do these creative people come up with their ideas? Great colors for fall -- or anytime!

What a deal for 5 bucks! You get 72 double-sided tags made out of acid-free cardstock! What you do with them is up to you -- use them for gift tags, scrapbooking, or open your own shop -- you've already got the tags you'll need! Gorgeous colors! The shop is KatiesScrapNSupplies and she has lots of other cool stuff you'll love!

I would like to avoid saying "how cool is this?" again, but really, how cool is this? Think about how many plastic sandwich bags you've thrown away in your lifetime! It doesn't have to be that way! Aside from the environmental impact, wouldn't it just be nicer to open your lunch and find this handmade sandwich bag inside? What a good idea! For only $5 and a trip to 2sleepyheads this can be yours!

And, finally number 13 in the baker's dozen is my own item for the $5 Monday. At first I thought I wouldn't have much at $5, but I've been selling these minicards for $2.50 each, so I've paired them up for $5.00. The pairs I've listed so far are either Halloween or autumn themed, and I'll be listing a lot more in the next few weeks. You can find these and others at CynART.

If you want to browse other shops, just go to, and in the search field under "all items" put in teametsytx ETC5 for the $5.00 featured items, or check out this list of participating shops:
Happy shopping!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Vistas, Skies, Rocks, and Streams

I went out to West Texas for ten days with my best bud Ann Marie and got back this week. Have had a little trouble getting back into the groove! I've been thinking about this blogpost, and the next few, and wondering how to condense 10 days of activities and about 400 photos into something worth reading. A chronological account would be tedious for all concerned, so some of my favorite pictures are inspiring the text, at least on this first post.

I don't hate where I live, but after 10 days in West Texas, my area pales in comparison. Sure, the woodland landscape has its own beauty, and I appreciate it, but it's somewhat lacking in vistas, big skies, and mountains. Here are a few vistas that I enjoyed -- we don't ever see all the way to the horizon here! The one above is a view from the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center, just south of Fort Davis. A very worthwhile place to visit offering a desert botanical garden with clearly marked plants; a greenhouse full of thousands of cactus and succulents; miles of trails going down into a beautiful canyon and skirting the edge; a knowledgeable staff and a great gift shop. OK...I love gift shops!

The vista below is a view near Iraan, a town we passed through coming and going. By the way, it's pronounced Eye-ruh-ann, after Ira and Ann Yates, who donated 152 acres to build the town. I guess they could afford it after the big oil boom of 1926!
Highway17 north of Marfa. I love the West Texas big sky!
Also near Marfa -- cool anvil cloud!
There were threatening skies the whole time we were there, but the storms were all at night. The clouds are beautiful, but my thoughts tend to turn to flash floods!
Here's an early evening sky shot that I like.
Something else that West Texas has that East Texas doesn't is rocks. Oh, you can go down to your local rock store and pay $300 for a palette of rocks, but out west when you buy land, the rocks come with it!
I don't know much geology but I do enjoy the different colors and forms and textures of rocks. The above was taken at Point of Rocks, a roadshide park near Fort Davis, and maybe you can spot the graffiti. The rocks below are in the canyon at the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center.

They look different, but the rocks below are in the same canyon. There had been quite a bit of rain in the area before we got there, and streams that are dry almost all year were running. You can barely see the shallow water between the rocks at the bottom of the picture, but when we got back up to the Nature Center we found out that we were the last people allowed to hike down there because of anticipated rain. That water can rise quickly!
This beautiful stream was on land owned by friends, and had just started flowing two days earlier. That rock really has presence, doesn't it?
Too bad I don't have a sound track of the water splashing over the rocks...
I'm thinking this last one might look great as a watercolor...
Next blog -- ART seen out west!