Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Meet the Artisan of Goldenberry



My Guest today is TINA, the inspiration behind the Etsy Shop, Goldenberry.
Tina ships her beautiful creations from Cyprus, a place I've always wanted to visit. Let's visit with Tina and learn what influences her creativity.



Hi!

I’m Tina, a former Web Developer gone crafter. I’ve always enjoyed making things, building something and having a finished product at the end that I know I have worked to create. It gives me a big sense of achievement and satisfaction. I’m a big fan of recycling and embroidery and try to incorporate both into my handmade purses. I love fabrics, colours, yarn, crochet, sewing, nature, growing my own food, travel, books, music and sleep :)


Tina, what got you interested in art?

My grandmother. She was constantly crocheting something and I loved watching her work. She used to crochet with the tiniest hook and very fine cotton to create bed spreads and table covers. She would hardly look at what she was doing, it was so natural and automatic, she would watch TV whilst crocheting and rarely make a mistake. One day, I finally built up the courage to ask her to show me how to crochet and she did :) Every now and then, I use crochet as my breakaway medium, when I need a change and something a bit more relaxing.

Do you work alone? 

Yes, I work on my own. Another reason why I love crafting so much is that it gives me time to think, not only about my projects but also about everyday life. I enjoy the quiet, the sound of the scissors cutting the fabric, the “chuka chuka" of the sewing machine and the sound of the embroidery thread being pulled through the fabric. All these small noises help me to focus and makes me enjoy it all the more.

What are your can’t-live-without craft-room essentials?

Number 1 is definitely my unpicker! Sometimes, I think I spend more time unpicking than sewing. I also can’t do without a pair of scissors, a ruler, a fabric pencil, a needle and a collection of buttons.

What's your favourite colour and why?

Yellow. It’s so bright and sunny. It makes me feel happy, confident, inspired, energetic and ready to go.

What does the colour red inspire in your imagination and emotions?

Red has always been a negative colour for me. I’m not entirely sure why but it makes me feel sad, vulnerable and sometimes angry. In my mind it brings very negative imagery.


Do you prefer straight or curvy lines?

When I draw my embroidery patterns, my pencil always comes out with curves first. I need to make a real conscious effort to draw straight lines. I recently handmade a geometric purse with triangular embroidery and found it much harder than my usual curves or flowers.

Do you travel for inspiration?

My husband and I only recently came back from a 9 month trip around the world. We started off in Italy, travelled through various european countries, went over to Cambodia and Singapore, then down to Australia and New Zealand and then finished in Japan. It was such an amazing experience and I saw so many types of craft, colours and designs that I think it does come into my work. I would love to make travel my main source of inspiration! Wouldn’t we all?

How do you achieve texture and depth in your work?

I think my embroidery gives both depth and texture to my purses. I use the natural colours of the faded upcycled denim I use to create new embroidered patterns.

How do you know when a work is finished?

When I am happy with it :) If I look at my handmade pouch and feel like it is still missing something, then I continue until I feel like it is at a stage that I would use it for myself. If I am happy with it and I would be willing to pay for it, then it’s finished.



What’s your favorite piece of work that you've created?

My favourite is my upcycled flower purse (pictured). I really like the green embroidery along the top that brings out the seam that was there at the base of the trousers. I also love how the flowers turned out and I really enjoyed making them.






Visit Tina at the following Links:

Etsy Shop - https://www.etsy.com/shop/goldnberry
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/handmadebygoldenberry/
Pinterest - https://uk.pinterest.com/costantina/love-for-handmade/
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/_costantina/





Thursday, July 14, 2016

First Update - Sewing Room Is a Disaster: Organization Challenge

Isn't this pathetic? I'm down to working on one small corner
Of my cutting table. And lately I've found some garage sales
with fabric and trims that I just couldn't pass up. BUT, as you
can see, my space is runneth over with stuff...
~CHECK back often to follow my progress as I post the AFTER photos.~ 

I'm joining the creative buzz Marsha has started over at Markets of Sunshine. Marsha has issued a Four Weeks to a Clutter Free Room Challenge  which I'm in desperate need to tackle. My sewing room is in a state of deep depression from neglect...well, not neglect exactly, but a lack of organizing-as-you-go-skills.
I have two of these
closets to tackle. The
second once is worse,
believe me!

I seem to run on two modes: Hyper Creative and Non-Hyper Creative. In the first mode, I run on adrenaline with loads of inspiration and project ideas with no time or thought to the mess I'm building around me. In the second mode, I'm exhausted and in no mood to organize the disaster. Eventually, however, the chaos begins to take on a life of its own with one goal...to trap and 
suffocate me! 

I'm starting here first since this area
isn't as bad as some of the others. The
biggest problem is, I'm running out
of space to put things. And heaven
forbid I should have to get rid of
anything! I might need it...
Hence the need for some outside motivation. Thank You, Marsha!

Okay, as bad as I hate to expose my clutter to all my dear readers, (I fear you may suffer from shock effect), I know you wont appreciate the task I've set for myself without
some visual
BEFORE: I can't even find a pin or
needle on my desk area. This is where I
 sketch project ideas and sit down to 
finish the hand work on my 
sewing projects.
proof, so here are a few areas in my sewing room that are in dire need of organization. Although Marsha has set a limit of four weeks to accomplish her challenge, I think mine will take all summer! Anyway, I'll post updates as I transform these calamitous areas.

AFTER: I can actually see the top of
the desk and have room to work.
I love it!
Since it's a well known fact that Misery Loves Company, why don't you join us. And be sure to leave a comment about your project so we can cheer you on!





Saturday, July 9, 2016

CATCHING THE LIGHT BULB MOMENT with Author Rico Lamoureux

Writers often draw from real life experiences, those exceptional moments that bring a plot twist, setting, conflict, resolution, motivation, or characterization into clear focus in a way we never before envisioned. It's an awe inspiring occasion, to say the least. These instances happen at all points in a writer's life and at the most unexpected moments. In this new series of blogs, we'll get a replay of such moments from the writer's personal perspective. 

Let me introduce my guest today, Author Rico Lamoureux.

Rico Lamoureux is an author who believes in substance over cliche writing, diversity over genre. He's a life-long lover of story, and has been a storyteller for over thirty years. His stories of substance engage, excite, and enlighten, as reflected by the critical acclaim they have received. “Great storytelling isn't easy to find. Whether it be in film, literature, music, or so on. I always feel grateful when I come upon a tale that moves me, and have made it my life's work to create such for those seeking the same.”
 

Rico, the page is all yours:

Thank you, Lynda.

There’s an ancient Japanese saying, “Shikin Haramitsu Daikomyo,” which basically means anything that crosses our path, no matter how grand or how mundane, could be the missing piece to the puzzle we’re currently trying to complete. In other words, answers to questions we might have at any given time are often surrounding us, if we just learn how to observe with an open mind.

These light bulb moments have super-charged my creative process more times than I can recall, but one thing is certain; I’m grateful for each and every moment of illumination!
One instance I do remember is back when I was writing Destined, a dramatic story about a pair of soul mates trying to find each other after being separated by passing away from their previous lives. I had the skeleton for the tale and a solid beginning, but the one missing piece to this epic puzzle was still eluding me. It was a piece, that, once fit perfectly into place, would take care of everything else to follow. A location that would bring the two destined souls closer, yet still keep them apart for a bit more struggle.

The time of year happen to be March, and as I surfed through the channels of my cable provider I came upon news footage of New Orleans’ annual Mardi Gras party. Watching the festive group of people celebrate among the floats, beads, food and drink, it was as if I was right there in the French Quarter, my two main characters nearby, so close yet unable to reconnect due to the subplot going on within the buzzing streets of The Big Easy.

BAM! The flood gates had burst open, the light bulb moment shining so bright that it kept me up all night, my pen waving across one sheet of paper after another like a magic wand!

As storytellers, these are the extraordinary moments we live for, creating with the art of words masterpieces that will burn on like an eternal flame long after we’re gone.


Additional Link for Author Rico Lamoureux:

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Icky Chic Design's July Giveaway! $70 Prize Package

$70 Dollar Prize Package

Is July hot enough for you? Here in Northeast Texas, we've already hit the triple digits, 100+ and that's hot in anybody's book! Since it's too steamy to do much outdoors, why don't we have some July fun with another GIVEAWAY!

Place your entry in the Rafflecopter form below


Let's get right to the prize package, which one winner will receive in the mail. 
(Click on Image to Enlarge)

Marsha at Markets of Sunshine has contributed one of her bestsellers, the NANCY DREW ALTERED BOOK WEEKLY PLANNER, retail value $25.

Has box date sections, lined note section and address book.
 Measures 5x7 inches fits perfectly in a purse or tote bag.





Marsha at Markets of Sunshine has added this incentive (The Package Above):  "If, I get 20 newsletter subscriber's and orders in my Etsy shop, Markets of Sunshine,  I'll include the tote and journal a $30 value to make the prize package $100."

Icky chic Designs is including the following items 



Eyeglass Case and Key Pouch Set, Purse Accessories - Retail Value $13.50


Special Occasion Purse, Wedding bag, Small Party Bag, Gift Idea for Her, Bridal Party gift, 

Warm Creamy Ivory, Sheer front pocket - Retail Value $24.50

Bag measures: Length: 8 1/2 inches - Width: 7 1/2 inches - Gusset: 1 inches, Strap length end-to-end: 14 inches


Purses and Bags, Zipper Pull, Purse Accessory, Fiber Art Zipper Pull, Tie-on Zipper Pull, Gift For Her, Set of Two - Retail Value $7.50

Giveaway blog policy: Those entering this giveaway must be 18 or older and reside within the continental US.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, July 2, 2016

CATCHING THE LIGHT BULB MOMENT with Author DeeDee Lane

Writers often draw from real life experiences, those exceptional moments that bring a plot twist, setting, conflict, resolution, motivation, or characterization into clear focus in a way we never before envisioned. It's an awe inspiring occasion, to say the least. These instances happen at all points in a writer's life and at the most unexpected moments. In this new series of blogs, we'll get a replay of such moments from the writer's personal perspective. 

Let me introduce my guest today, Author DeeDee Lane. 

DeeDee Lane is a Seattle author and a member of Romance Writers of America. Her mystery scenarios and characters turn up on boat cruises and many corporate and private events around Puget Sound. She and her husband love to go on road trips, especially if there’s time to check out a tinfoil rooster or the largest truck stop in the world. Originally from central Wisconsin, DeeDee was raised on a farm and surrounded with great stories of the West. DeeDee is author of the Slip in Time series including My Mountain Man, My Gambling Man and My Law Man (WWR July 8, 2016).

DeeDee, the page is all yours:
Thank you, Lynda.

During the process of writing MY LAW MAN I was talking with a friend about dreams and life goals. We stirred our coffee with cream, (okay I’ll admit it, and sugar) ate omelets at the Luna Park Café in West Seattle and shared our dreams realized and dreams not so realized. As we talked, I envisioned a heroine who put her desire for a college degree aside in order to help her boyfriend finish college first. Meanwhile she worked as a waitress in a diner, saved her money to support her true love, and put her dream on hold.

My heroine, now known as Phebe, did not consider this a sacrifice in any way as she focused on her mission to create a loving relationship and family. But then what? Sometimes a light bulb moment comes in a very simple way doing a very simple task. I was making the bed one Saturday and as the sheets billowed over our queen size bed I thought… what if Phebe saw a mound of sheets and it wasn’t just her boyfriend under the sheets but him and another woman? How does Phebe react when her world turns upside down and all she’s worked for over four long years gets overturned in an instant of pulling the sheets aside?

Talk about catching…when these ideas come to me I know to act on it fast… I immediately went to the computer and outlined the first chapter of my novella. Remembering as I did to put Phebe in the action straightaway so the beginning wasn’t bogged down by Phebe’s backstory. At the time I didn’t even think of it as a light bulb moment, I was just grateful to have the all-important first scene down on paper.

Now, as I write my next “happily ever after” I think I’ll weed the garden…maybe there’ll be a light bulb moment hidden amongst the tomato plants. And by the way…as of this writing I am four weeks with NO sugar in my coffee! Small goals accomplished can lead to big ones!

Happy reading (and writing) to all,

DeeDee Lane

Learn more about Author DeeDee Lane at the following links:

DeeDee Lane Amazon Author Page
DeeDee Lane Web Site
DeeDee Lane on Goodreads


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

BOOK REVIEW - Let's Learn Spanish by Judy Martialay


Hola! Let's Learn Spanish by Judy Martialay 
Amazon Buy Now Link!
Interactive Link

ABOUT THE BOOK:
¡HOLA! gives children 6-10 an early and fun start in learning Spanish. Parents can use it with their children, whether or not they know Spanish. Please go to the audio page at polyglotkidz.com for your free download of the audio version. Follow the book along with the audio to learn the pronunciation. Kids take an imaginary trip to Mexico where they meet Panchito the Mexican Jumping Bean. They follow his adventures while being drawn into the culture and learning Spanish. Activities follow to practice Spanish. They include a treasure hunt and a skit. Culture Corner give more ideas for practicing Spanish while learning more about Mexico, including the song for breaking a piñata. Children can follow directions for making a traditional Mexican Mask. Parents should go to Parents' page on website for more advice on how to use the book.

BREEZE'S REVIEW: 
As my family and I travel to different places we are always excited to interact with others who speak a different language! The most common language around us besides English is Spanish. I have often wished that my children would be able to learn the Spanish language. I have wondered how I could do this when I myself only know a few Spanish words. I have the pleasure of sharing with you a fun, interactive, and educational way to introduce the Spanish language to your children. It's a children's book designed for children around the ages of 6-10. 

I enjoyed sharing this book with my 7 year old daughter. She is especially motivated to learn Spanish and we had fun reading together. What I loved is how many different ways this book helps you to learn the language. First you have a fun imaginary trip to Mexico with Pete the Pilot and then you get to meet Panchito the Mexican Jumping Bean who takes you on fun adventures. After the story you get a chance to practice some of the words you learned. There are many clever ways that this book introduces new Spanish words to it's readers and I loved this unique aspect of the book. You also get a cultural lesson which is very educational! Do your kids like art projects? There is a fun craft section in the book that helps you make a fun traditional Mexican mask! This book is full of wonderful ways to encourage your children (and yourself) to enjoy learning Spanish!

Don't worry if you don't know any Spanish, there is a website where you can download the audio version of the book! There are resources on the website that provides advice and articles on language learning for children! What a wonderful way for kids and parents to share in learning a new language. We highly recommend this book for you and your family! I give this book 5 STARS!





Saturday, June 25, 2016

Treasure Hunting with Icky Chic Designs (3)

No matter if your traveling the world or your own back yard, if your looking in the right place there is always TREASURE to be found. Why not join me as I leave no stone unturned, no mountain unclimbed, no ocean uncrossed, well, I think you get my drift... Just have fun exploring the caches of wonderful loot I've discovered in my hunt for the world's most FABULOUS FINDS!







Dirk Savage never fails to acquire what he wants until he encounters Stormee Waters and a backwash of trouble
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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Handbag Gift Set Giveaway by Icky Chic Designs

Handbag Gift Set Giveaway 
By Icky Chic Designs


Click on Photos To Enlarge
This small elegant Tote is perfect for any special occasion, such as a wedding, Summer party, or just date night. The Warm Ivory Cream color and sheer front pocket give it a classic and timeless allure. (The purse is not white but a warm creamy ivory)

Fully lined
Snap closure.
One inner pocket
Outer pocket across front

Bag measures:
Length: 8 inches
Width: 7 1/2 inches
Gusset: 1/1/2 inches

Strap length end-to-end: 14 inches





Eyeglass case and matching 
Mug Mat - Made with an assortment of fabrics, ribbon, and other embellishments with a quilted lining, it's both Boho-chic and durable.









Guidelines: You must be 18 years of age to enter and be a resident of the continental US. Our winner will be selected by random and notified by email.


a Rafflecopter giveaway






Thursday, June 9, 2016

Treasure Hunting With ICKY CHIC (2)

No matter if your traveling the world or your own back yard, if your looking in the right place there is always TREASURE to be found. Why not join me as I leave no stone unturned, no mountain unclimbed, no ocean uncrossed, well, I think you get my drift... Just have fun exploring the caches of wonderful loot I've discovered in my hunt for the world's most FABULOUS FINDS!