September 30, 2009

Daily Snapshot : illustrationbygosia

September 29, 2009

Interview & Giveaway with Musette Made

Shannon's jewelry is perfect for the autumn season so be sure to make a trip to her online shop Musette Made! Keep reading to learn more about Shannon and what she does!


1. Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Shannon Conlin and I live in Charlotte NC with my boyfriend Joe and our cat Bosco. I work part time in a local art gallery and spend the rest of my time working on my jewelry business and hanging out with friends and family.

2. What projects are you currently working on?
Currently I am stocking my shop with new things for the upcoming holidays - which is a huge project considering I usually make one or two of a kind items! But I love fall and winter so making things to fit the season is fun!

3. What's the best advice you've ever been given?
My dad always taught me to keep my eye on the ball. At the time he was teaching me to play tennins - but I see it as a message to have clear goals for my business and keep them in mind as I work. It makes it easier to stay on track and (hopefully) propel myself forward! He also taught me to keep things in perspective, which I think is really important -especially if you are having a bad day!

4. Tell us about some of your favorite handmade pieces (not created by you)
My great grandmother was a quilter and made wonderful functional pieces out of whatever old worn out clothes she had. Also, my boyfriend makes the funniest handmade cards using pictures from magazines and his own witty sense of humor. All our friends expect a "Joe card" for birthdays or other celebrations. We have some old friends who have stacks of them!

5. Where else can we find your work?
You can see my work at Beet Functional Art Gallery and Swooz Salon in Charlotte, NC.

Shannon will be giving one of our lucky readers a Moroccan Red Necklace valued at $24. It features copper filigree with a red vintage cabochon and tiny coral beads for movement and fun! The necklace comes on a copper chain that measures 18 inches.

To enter:
Either become a fan of Musette Made on Facebook or go to musettemade.etsy.com and post a comment below about your favorite item. If you do both you will get 2 entries.

The giveaway is open to everyone. It ends Oct 4th 11:59PST.

Daily Snapshot: Mary Ink

September 28, 2009

I heart you: couragemylove

I haven't done an "I heart you" post in a while so I thought I'd share one with you today! These photographs are from couragemylove a sweet little print shop run by local Vancouverite Madelyn Mulvaney. What I really like about her photography is that it's filled with an unusual quirkiness that makes you very curious! I've had her shop hearted for a while now, I first found it months ago when I was searching for rainy day items and came across those lovely teacups below. Visit persistingstars.com for more about Madelyn and her work.
Tempest in a Teacup
Lightness of Being
The Muse Returns

Zibbet Giveaway Winner

Thank you so much to Jonathan for sponsoring the Zibbet Premium Account Giveaway! The lucky winner is #3 Pottberg aka Zahour. Congratulations!

Daily Snapshot.

September 25, 2009

Giveaway Ends Sept 27th

Flickr Friday

Some Halloween cuties from the Flickr Group. What are you going to dress up as this Halloween?

1. Vintage Style Chenille Halloween Witch Ornaments, 2. Love Devil necklace, 3. DSC00703, 4. Monster Coin Purse

Daily Snapshot.

MiME Vintage

Currently being inspired by the stunning photos and amazing garb available from MiME Vintage. For purchasing purposes, take a look at the ebay shop, or visit the flickr stream (my favorite thing!) for pages upon pages of hard core vintage eye candy.

xo, Caroline

September 24, 2009

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September 23, 2009

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September 22, 2009

PIRATICALNESS! AAARRRRGH!

from top left to bottom right:
idolatre, glowstoes, faeryspellcreations, lionsbones (alt)
zerkahloostrah, greenegoth, lewfoster, FriendlyFairies (alt)
medievaltomodern, mysouthernlace, contrivedtocharm, damselinthisdress (alt)
bardsboutique, sandyland1955, SAAMssurprises, anagramforink (alt)

AAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH~!
--yobo

**this post brought to you by the fact that september 19th is International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Review & Giveaway

This past week Jonathan Peacock Co-founder of Zibbet.com gave me a free pass to check out Zibbet for myself. He was also generous enough to offer a 7 day trial of their Premium Account services for you to try out too!

For those of you who have not heard of Zibbet yet, it's a handmade, vintage and supply venue based in Australia that was opened up earlier this year by Jonathan Peacock and Andrew Gray. The Zibbet name was fashioned from the word exhibit and the sellers refer to themselves as zibbiters.

As a seller of handmade I have checked out my fair share of venues such as Handmade Fusion, ArtFire, 1000markets, DaWanda etc... and have found Zibbet to be one of the ones I really like and one with a lot of potential for growth. They have a bright, clean, fresh and uncluttered interface that is so easy to navigate. There are great features such as the ability to save drafts and list your items later, copy and paste existing listings, re-arrange your shop, add widgets to your side bar, multiple image uploading, ability to customize the color of your shop and options for banner sizes. Plus there are more features coming such as the ability to upload your Etsy shop listings and multiple currency options. (Note: Some of these features are only available to Premium Account Holders).

So, Who can sell on Zibbet? Anyone who is selling handmade, vintage or supplies. Zibbet is available to international sellers! To get started you can sign up for a Basic Account (free) and list up to 25 items at a time or a Premium Account ($7/ month) and have an unlimited number of listings. The best part about Zibbet's Premium Account is that you pay one flat fee of $7 a month and there are NO extra listing fees or transaction fees. Try out a Premium Account on Zibbet free for 7 days with the code: FREETRIAL.


Jonathan is giving one of our lucky readers a chance at winning a Premium Account on Zibbet for life! That's right! You won't ever have to pay Zibbet anything if you win this giveaway.

How to enter:
Go to zibbet.com, shop around and come back here to post a link to your favorite item.

It's that simple! Anyone can enter and the giveaway ends Sept 27th, 2009 at 11:59 PST.

Daily Snapshot.

September 21, 2009

Helensburgh Toffee

I received an email on the weekend from Louise of louloudo about this amazing toffee that originated from a Scottish sweets shop in Helensburgh. The sweets shop was run by her Grandmother's side of the family and from what I understand the family had a special secret recipe for this dangerously sweet stuff! It is a cross between toffee and fudge. Unfortunately the recipe was lost when her Grandmother passed but lucky for us the normal recipe for Helensburgh toffee is no secret and Louise wanted to share it with all of you as it was one of her favorites as a child! Her warning to all of you: it's terribly moreish (so good you'll want more)!

Ingredients:
50g unsalted butter
450g casters sugar
2 tsps golden syrup (or light corn syrup)
200 ml condensed milk
60ml milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Melt butter in a heavy-based saucepan
2. Add sugar, syrup, milk and condensed milk. Heat it gently until it is all dissolved.
3. Bring to a boil stirring constantly.
4. Continue to heat until it reaches 115C on a sugar thermometer (or until a teaspoonful forms a soft ball when dropped into cold water)
5. Remove from heat. Add vanilla extract and beat until thick and creamy.
6. Pour into a shallow tin lined with parchment paper.
7. Mark into squares with a knife, leave to cool and set. Store in an air tight container.


If you've got a great recipe you want to share with the readers of Sweet Figments feel free to email it to Connie at sweetfigments@hotmail.com

Giveaway Winner

Thank you to The Beaded Lily who sponsored last week's interview and giveaway! There were 100 valid entries and #95 Gianna was the lucky winner. Thanks to everyone who participated and made the giveaway a success.

Daily Snapshot.

September 18, 2009

Giveaway Ends Sept 20th

Flickr Friday

Kind of grey like the sky today.
1. 4 Shinny Leaf Bottle Cap Magnets, 2. Super Concentrated Room Spray, 3. yammi TUNIC DRESS, 4. Thistle Cowl/Scarflette/Neckwarmer in Taupe

Daily Snapshot.

September 17, 2009

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Capital City

I'll be spending the next couple months vacationing/living in a smallish town just outside of Washington D.C. It has really got me itching for some vintage americana style goods. Here's a few etsy finds I'm particularly attracted to...

xo, Caroline

September 16, 2009

*shrug*

it's just how i'm feeling today.
MEH.
from top left to bottom right:
LoveandDream, idolatre, flutter, TalulahCoco (alt)
JoannaGoanna, OblivionClothing, prizysebastian, sewsemsem46 (alt)
DoodleBugKnits, DuhBe, VoodooLounge, JoannaGoanna (alt)
trywesley, SelenaEon, HMSlatex, UptownUrbanCraft (alt)

*meh*
--yobo

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September 15, 2009

Daily Snapshot.

Interview & Giveaway

This week's interview and giveaway is brought to you by The Beaded Lily! A gorgeous shop filled with bright bold colors and beautifully unique pieces handmade by Sarah Kelley. It's Sarah's ultimate goal to connect you to the thread of artistic personal adornment that is almost as old as humanity itself.


. Tell us about why you started your shop.

I've always been crafty and I've been making jewelry for half my life now. When I started selling pieces it was to family, friends, and friends of friends. It wasn’t till I found out that I could sell online that things really took off for me. I found Etsy in January of ‘07 and shopped there. Then I opened a shop here six months later. Early in 2008 I quit my day job and discovered that I could do what I loved for a living.

2. There are a lot of jewelry sellers on Etsy. What sets you apart from everyone else?
Heart. Not all of the jewelry sellers on Etsy are artists, nor would they claim to be. When you look at the jewelry of artists each line is unique. It's a reflection of the artist-- our aethetics, preferences, education, experiences, passions-- the sum total of who we are as people. We're all individuals so all of our art is unique.

3. What is the best tool you have invested in for your business?
Can I pick 2? When I decided to open shop I bought my first digital camera-- a Canon A710is. Then I bought my laptop which allows me to have my computer near my beads. Both are absolute necessities.

4. What do you do during your time off?
I get time off? I take my computer with me when I leave home-- whether its for a night or two weeks. But I do take mornings or afternoons sometimes and go to tea or something equally peaceful.

5. Are there any people in your life who influence your work?
Since my work reflects me, of course it will be influenced by the people in my life. I create pieces with certain friends or family members in mind. I do quite a few custom pieces that are directly influenced by my customers. Also the artists in all of the groups I'm involved in assuredly affect my work-- for which I'm grateful!


Sarah is giving one of our lucky readers one of her Innocence Necklaces valued at $20.
It measures 18 inches long and is made with lavender druks, purple seed beads and lilac lined drops accented with 3 amethyst beads.

To enter take a look at http://thebeadedlily.etsy.com, pick a favorite item and then come back and post it here with your name and email address.

For bonus entries you can post a message that promotes the giveaway on Twitter directed @SweetFigsBlog and/or Facebook, then come back to post a link to your message.

The giveaway is open to anyone. Each person can enter a max of 3 times. You must comment about your favorite item from Sarah's shop in order for your bonus entries to count. Will run until 11:59pm PST Sept 20th.

September 14, 2009

Plump and Juicy!

My aunt and uncle dropped by yesterday and gave us a HUGE bag of purple plums from their backyard. There's literally more than 50 of them. I'm not quite sure what to do with them all because I can't eat plums uncooked (they're too acidic for me). So, I'm browsing the web in search of a good recipe or two to try out. I remember seeing all these great Kuchen recipies earlier in the summer. Maybe I'll give that a go and turn the rest of these plump goodies into jam or jelly. I've always wanted to make a plum tart too.


Anyways, here are a few of the recipes I found and might give a try. If you've got a good plum recipe feel free to share!

Plum Kuchen from Smitten Kitchen
Plum Jam from Chef In You
Plum Tart from Epicurious

Giveaway Winner

Thank you to all those who participated in the California Blue Giveaway and special thanks to Melissa who sponsored! The giveaway had 122 entries and the lucky winner is #48 Tina12321

Daily Snapshot.

September 11, 2009

Giveaway Ends Sept 13th

Flickr Friday

It's time to harvest those fruits and veggies from the garden!

1. craft 365 - year 2 - day 80, 2. Carrot Love, 3. Corn on the Cob - Necklace, 4. CIMG6028

September 10, 2009

Daily Snapshot.

Polka Dots Are Fun

...and that is why I'm posting about them. Just get a glimpse of these beauties!


xo, Caroline

September 9, 2009

GREEEEEEEEEEEEENNNNNNN!

i love green.
green jello, green fabric, greensleeves..... ;p
i love it all!
from top left to bottom right:
kj beads, sparkle power, CRUSH jewelry supply, Jessica Doyle (alt)
moonlight bindery, Dreamboat Annie's, i ♥ fink, piril (alt)
moon of glass, laura trevey, luxe-deluxe, the cool puppy (alt)
Manta Wave, PORCENOVA, cut-paste-print, nenavon (alt)

--yobo

Fall

for these gorgeous warm toned jewels. Perfect choices for any autumn outfit.
1. Ginger by polishedtwo
2. Gold-filled Stacking Ring Set of 5 by tinahdee
3. Autumn Goldenrod Flower Pendant Necklace by ShySiren
4. Smokey Quartz Necklace by madebysam

Daily Snapshot.

September 8, 2009

Twitter!

Come find me on twitter @sweetfigsblog.

Twitter Original Painting on 5x12 Canvas by somnambulant

Giveaway Winner

Thank you so much to everyone who entered the AmberLynnMartin Giveaway and thank you to Amber who sponsored it! There were 70 entries in total and the winner was #5 Lilly. Congratulations! Amber should be contacting you shortly.

Daily Snapshot.

September 7, 2009

Interview & Giveaway

This week's interview and giveaway is sponsored by Melissa of CaliforniaBlue. Her jewelry collection represents the fresh and casual style of beautiful Northern California. Keep reading to find out more about Melissa, her work as well as how too enter the giveaway.


1. Tell us 3 random things about yourself.
I love rhubarb. I am passionate about animal welfare. I am grateful to be married to my soul mate.

2. Do you read? If so what are you currently reading?
I love to read, and usually have a few books going at the same time. I've been reading Omnivore's Dilemma for a while.

3. How and why did you get into jewelry making?
I literally had a huge urge to make something and found a book on making jewelry at a local bookstore. I believe that I was so motivated to do something creative because I had put any creative aspirations on hold in exchange for a rather stressful all consuming corporate career. Like many others in this economy, I was laid off and was able to reevaluate what I like doing, and what I'm passionate about.

4. What do you love most about handmade and how much has your life changed since you discovered it?
What I love most is the sense that another person had to make many decisions to get to the finished product. As a result, I feel handmade items have a richness in their history which is devoid in mass produced items. I'm not sure my life has changed since I joined the handmade community, but rather I have gained such an appreciation for all of the talented artisans out there who are creating. I think that the handmade movement enriches all of our lives in many ways.

5. Is there any advice you would like to pass on to other artists?
I have been fortunate to receive good advice thru Etsy forums so I would encourage everyone to participate in these forums, support one another, and really think about your audience. I believe that refining your "style" and finding your market niche are the most challenging aspects of selling handmade items. That said, I personally enjoy the challenge!


Pretty pink earrings, value $22.00, Pretty pink glass beads are crowed with a special dark silver bead topper with flower images. These petite earrings are about .5 inches in length, and the sterling silver earring wires are handcrafted. Perfect for everyday!

Enter to win these gorgeous earrings by going to http://californiablue.etsy.com and select your favorite item. Then come back here and post a comment that includes the link of the item. Be sure to leave your email address so we can contact you if you win.

Rules: Only one entry per person. Everyone can enter! Giveaway ends Sept 13th, 2009 11:59 PST.

Daily Snapshot.