Featured Artist: Tammy Sprinkle + New Contest!

>> 30 November 2009

Today's featured artist is Tammy Sprinkle, a wonderfully talented mixed media artist and photographer that creates wedding guest books, custom journals, keepsake boxes, jewelry and pendants. Tammy especially loves to do custom work, hence her Etsy shop is entitled "Design4U".

I get the feeling that if I ever met Tammy in person we would really hit it off. She's got a warm and bubbly personality that comes through in her blog. Not only that, we have so many things in common not the least of which is being fans of the color "red", loving a good cup of coffee, meeting new bloggers and of course: art, art, art and more art!

Tammy also appears to have an affinity for birds as evidenced in her work and well, as matter of fact so do I! Hummingbirds to be exact. Anyway, I really enjoyed working on her video and got so inspired by all the sweet birds flitting throughout her work that I found a free birdie giveaway from MyGrafico.com that I want to share.  Just click on the image to be taken directly to the site and go get those birdies!

So now, as always, with every featured artist is a new contest.  All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below. I'd love it if you shared with me what is you are thankful for.

To be entered thrice, you'll need to step it up and do two more things: 1) follow me on Twitter and 2) Tweet a link to this site and share this contest with your followers.  I'll be checking for new followers and confirming tweets every night before the end of the contest which will be a week from today on Monday, 7 December @ 11:59 pm. This may very well be my last contest of the year, but don't worry, I'll be back in 2010! 

To follow me on Twitter simply click below!

How Cool Is This?

>> 28 November 2009

I just recently received in the mail a Christmas ornament as part of my participation in the 2009 Bloggers Ornament Exchange.  My swap partner is the amazing designer Genevieve Gail from Athens, Georgia. Genevieve creates her own line of designs including jewelry, crafts,  and illustrations. And if that's not enough, last month she debuted a collection of fat quarter designs for Windham Fabrics!

What a treat to receive her ornament.  That button in the middle -- it's awesome.  It's something I'll cherish for years to come. Wanna check out more crafty ornaments? Go see the 2009 Blogger Exchange Flickr pool.

"Mele Kalikimaka" - A Free Blogger Theme From GlamourBomb

As many of you who have been with me since these past few months, I've been learning how to customize and design my blog. On Halloween I passed forward a Hawaiiana blogger theme I worked on that was based on a template designed by OurBlogTemplates.

I got so much aloha it was wonderful!  So now, just in time for the holidays, I've reconfigured the same template with a Christmas/Hawaiiana theme. It's called (what else?) "Mele Kalikimaka"! You can see a live demo by clicking on the image above.

All the information on how to download it and install it are available on the live demo. While it's completely free, there are some strings attached. The Terms of Use are clearly stipulated within the code.

As I've mentioned, for the past few months I've been teaching myself how to customize my own Blogspot blog and I started playing around with this template by OurBlogTemplates.  I came up with the theme after a girlfriend of mine in Hawaii said she hadn't seen to many blogs in this style. So I made it with her in mind.

This may sound funny, but designing a theme is a lot like figuring out what to wear. I liken it to dressing up a doll! :)

If you don't like my color scheme or background tile feel free to change it. The developer made the template amazingly flexible so you can change the fonts and colors right within the dashboard without having to go into the code.

You'll have to fiddle with the widgets as I've set placeholders within the template using links to my site and others. It's really easy to do and you don't need to know any HTML.

Since I'm not skilled in web design or coding I am unable to offer support if you have any issues from using this template. I advise you to do-it-yourself with OurBlogDesign's tutorial links I've provided within the live demo.

If you've implemented this template and theme in your blog, I invite you to join the "Followers" box at the right side of the sublower bar so that we can network and share the aloha spirit!

Now, if only I could design a nice banner to go with this blog. Hmmmm...does anybody out there have mad banner skillz they wanna contribute? :)

Happy Holy Daze!

Free Holiday Music Download For You!

>> 27 November 2009

Snow - New Songs of the SeasonThe von Trapp Children
"Snow" (mp3)
from "Snow - New Songs of the Season"

Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

I can think of no better way to bring in the holiday spirit than with music. Except maybe cookies.  Recently over breakfast a friend told me that he believed music was a gift from the universe. I think he might be right.  As my gift to you is this free download of "Snow" performed  by the von Trapp children -- the great grand children of Captain von Trapp, father of the famous singing family whose story captivated the world in the musical The Sound of Music.  

To get this freebie simply click on the orange arrow button above to download. Let me know what you think of this pretty little ditty.

Happy Holy Daze!

Give Thanks

>> 25 November 2009

“Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.”
-- Kahlil Gibran

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! I'll be taking some time off from blogging tomorrow but wanted to wish you all a safe and happy holiday. Blessings to every one!

365 Bedtime Stories - Illustrated by Janet Robson

>> 23 November 2009

365 Bedtime Stories5

I thought I'd share with you some photos from one of my favorite books when I was a kid. Called "365 Bedtime Stories" it featured a daily story for an entire year.  I still remember fondly when my dad would read some of these stories to me at night and how he helped me learn to read.

I've placed this and more images from this book in the Vintage Children's Books Flickr pool where thousands of others are sharing some fabulous images of books from long ago. I'll be uploading the Thanksgiving story later in the week for the holiday so join the pool if you want to check it out.

I know a lot of you crafty ladies out there love to share public domain imagery so I must warn you that this is still within copyright. If you're thinking of grabbing it then by all means enjoy!  I'm sharing it with you here. However,  I would highly recommend you use it in your art for personal use. Juuuuust sayin'. :)

Bootleg Interview with Sharlto Copley

>> 22 November 2009

My favorite movie genre is science fiction so when I heard that Sharlto Copley, the sexy hot South African star of this summer's hit "District-9" was going to answer some Q&A this weekend at a special screening here in Los Angeles I was all over it. The opportunity for Copley to play the lead role of Wikus van de Merwe in D-9 literally fell into his lap but after hearing this recording you'll know that he wasn't exactly an overnight success. Copley is a true entertainment industry professional with over a 14 years of experience working mostly behind the camera producing and/or directing commercials, music videos and short films. Oh, and he also once owned a talent agency! I love this interview because he's not on a junket promoting his latest film (cough! A-Team!) but instead talking about the art of acting, the craft of filmmaking, and the business of entertaining.

As for the film itself, I absolutely loved it. LOVED it! Big puffy hearts! Big puffy hearts! I mean, it was so awesome. Really. It's a mashup of creature film and satirical mockumentary with a message not too unlike Borat with aliens. While it unfolds like any good summer action film should with ripped muscled men and lots of explosions and carnage (some of which I really couldn't watch) there's actually a really excellent bit of storytelling as the film touches on such themes as racism and xenophobia. So, I loved it. I say go see it!

GB Sig 3

Announcing the Burner Etsy Team!

>> 19 November 2009

We are so pleased to announce that things are in the works for a burner Etsy Team spearheaded by the creative energies of Linda Loca, proprietress of the Etsy shop "Fire Grog Studios".

Loca recently put in the application for the team with the folks at Etsy and says it should good to go in about week.

Some of you maybe wondering "WTH is an Etsy Team and why should I care?"

Well, Etsy Teams are groups of organized Etsy members who network, share skills, and promote their shops together. A team forms around a shared location, crafting medium, or another interest.

In this case Loca is building the team around a shared "community" (drink!).

"Actually, the team name is "Etsy Black Rock City Crew," says Loca. "I didn't want to use "team" in the title because, as you know, there is no team in eff you."

Aaah, this is how I knew Loca is a true burner!

Now you know me, I can't talk to a creative person without wanting to know more about what they do and why they do it.  Loca told me that she only just started selling on Etsy in October and couldn't believe that there wasn't an Etsy burners team already in place.

"So hell," said Loca. "I'll start one myself, dammit. Cuz that's how we roll. ;) Radical self-reliance and all that rot."

"I'm excited at the prospects," Loca continues. She envisions this crew as a tool for fellow burner artisans to utilize to great effect by globally promoting each others' shops and items.

Etsy's take? "Teams make us not just a marketplace of individuals, but an interconnected and diverse artistic community."

Quick! Press play!


So now that I've got you psyched you're probably wanting to know how to get in on this.

Well, here's the dealio: since it will take about a week for the crew to be processed Loca has put in place a Google group (http://groups.google.com/group/etsy-brc) you can join right now with a blog and Flickr group soon to follow.  Loca is inviting any burners who have Etsy shops to convo her on Etsy and she'll add you to the crew.

And that's it! More information as things start to take off. Until then, it's time for pie!


GB-TV: Contest Winner Selection

>> 16 November 2009

A few weeks ago I held another contest. The prize was a free video portfolio of an artist's work. All they had to do was leave a comment on a blog post featuring the work of Lulu Kellogg from Coastal Sisters.

I honestly don't know why I set the end date for the contest to be two weeks from when I posted Lulu's video because personally I think it's too long to wait. But I set it so I kept it and now I'm so glad I did! I got the flu during these past few weeks and it really kicked by my butt! I don't think I haven't been up for doing much else but get on the mend.

So now, as scheduled, here is the winner of my latest giveaway for a video portfolio. Congratulations to the winner! Please contact me so that we can begin pre-production on your video. And for all those who particpated, thank you so very much. As bloggers and artists you know how meaningful it is when a comment is left on your blog and I appreciate your time. I'll be doing the contest again much sooner so stay tubed!

How To Remove the Navigation Bar From Blogger

>> 12 November 2009

It's pretty simple to remove the navbar from your Blogger blog. Just follow the directions in the video above cut and paste the following code below into your template.

#navbar-iframe {
display: none !important;

Important: Cut and paste the snippet AFTER the credits as indicated in the video but BEFORE the variable definitions code. Let me know how it goes!

Removing the navbar from blogger disables the "follow" feature for your blog. Be sure to include the "follow" widget in your layout if you want to make it easier for others to follow your blog. Likewise, keeping the navbar brands your blog as a Blogger blog which really is a good thing. It means you're part of the the bigger community of bloggers who use this platform as opposed to WordPress or TypePad. According to Wikipedia, Blogger is ranked 16 on the list of top 50 domains in terms of number of unique visitors in 2007 so you're in good company. Leave the navbar on if you like it, remove it if it interferes with your design. Whatever you decide, I hope you found this tutorial useful.

Oh, and BTW... there's still time to enter my current contest giveaway. More information here.

Everybody's Doing It: The Bloggers 2009 Ornament Exchange

>> 09 November 2009

I've been knocked down flat with a case of the flu (thankfully not H1N1) so I've been out of commission for several days now.  Imagine my delight when I took a look at my reader today and saw all my favorite bloggers participating in Pampering Beki's Bloggers 2009 Ornament Exchange. The event is just what it sounds like: you get paired with another blogger and exchange holiday ornaments of about $10.00 value. It can be handmade or commercial. Now, I've never made an ornament, but I'm going to now! I can't wait to become inspired and share my creation with you. If you want to participate,  just click on the image above to register.

New Contest Plus Featured Artist Lulu Kellogg

>> 05 November 2009

Today's featured artist is LuLu Kellogg of Coastal Sisters. She's an all around renaissance artist that works in vast array of different mediums. Featured in this video are some of her favorite art works including jewelry, faux confections, digital art, mixed media, dark art, florals and anything whimsical.

Lulu has a very unique style that you can quickly fall in love with. I myself was enchanted as I was working on this piece. My sister, who was working on her ACEOs for Christmas, was just blown away. She loved the textures, colors and the whimsy and all around feminine appeal of Lulu's portfolio. I think you will, too.

Oh, and before I forget: you can watch this video as it is embedded in this blog from your iPhone. It's not necessary to go through YouTube although you will find it there as well.

As with all my featured artists videos, it's time for the new contest!

If YOU would like to WIN a video of your own art all you have to do is leave a comment below and share with me a few of your favorite things. Well at least just one. One thing that you call a favorite. Like raindrops on roses and whiskers and kittens! >^,,^<

The drawing ends at Sunday 11/15/2009 at 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time. Good luck!

I Love Colors!

>> 04 November 2009

Color by COLOURlovers

Oops, I did it again! I changed my blog! I told you I would. Only this time I think I'm gonna keep this template from OurBlogTemplates for awhile because I really, really, really like it. It's the same template I used for the freebie in my previous post in which I customized with a Hawaiiana theme only this time I took it down to a notch with a variety of neutral grays and two bright "popping" colors. I'm moving away from bright cutesy backgrounds only because now that I'm going with a non-standard template some of the fun backgrounds like the one's Itkupilli makes won't really fit the dimensions of my new template. So I guess I'm just gonna have to make my own! :)

But for now I'm just going with this color palette that I got from ColourLovers called "It Stands Out". The story how I got it is this: I really like the color red. The shade that Blogger's got on their palette is HEX #cc0000 which is an okay red. It's a tad too bright and little on the orangey side. I really prefer blue-reds but - - meh -- it works for me. I didn't want to reinvent the wheel and hand code a different shade of red every time I wanted to change something in Blogger so I went with it. I found the palette by running a search at ColourLovers for a selection of palettes that had this particular red and Voila!

I used the Forelle font, a free font I got at FontSquirrel in my banner. In combination with the palette it totally ties together nicely and works for the retro-vintage items I love to wear and sell.

Another reason I like "It Stands Out" is because it seems pretty balanced -- something I strive to be. It's got red and it's got blue. And a whole lot of grays in between! In my design approach I wanted to have neutral and understated colors for most of the blog except for the elements I want to direct your eyes to. And while I love the first background I got from Itkupilli it seemed that such a riot of colors would keep your focus off of the videos I post which is something I plan to do more often.

Which reminds me! I gotta go nudge the winner of the last contest so I can get crackin' on her video-oh!

"Hawaiian Style" A Free Blogger Theme from Glamour Bomb

>> 01 November 2009

Now I did it! I done designed my own blogger theme with a free template I got at OurBlogTemplate and a color palette from ColourLovers. I call it "Hawaiian Style" and you can get the XML code and see a live demo by clicking here or on the image above.

The whole story about the theme is in the latest non-latin blog post on the live demo. I just wanted to add in this blog post that I've been feverishly working behind the scenes on my own blog re-design.

It's been challenging because I'm not a natural born geek (I don't have training in coding or web design) and I'm not a graphic artist either. If I were gainfully employed I would hire my old boyfriend at Kapow and pay him tens of thousands of dollars to make me a custom website. But the recession is hitting me hard and that's why I'm learning all I can to come up with my own.

It's a lot of work as many of you know but the experience has been priceless. Along with all the skills I'm learning I've met some incredibly talented artists and designers like Itkupilli, Yummy Lolly, Nymphont, Gisele Jaquenod (and Birdie!), Kevin and Amanda, Coastal Sisters, Susie Jefferson, Two Dresses Studio and many, many more.

So I came up with Hawaiian Style because it's a theme I haven't seen yet. Now granted, I've been spending a lot of time reading and following scrapper bloggers, mommy bloggers, mixed media bloggers and other web designers. I'm sure there are some lovely Hawaiian and tiki themed blog templates are out there. I just haven't seen them in my little neighborhood of the blogosphere so I thought I'd give it a try.

The only part I'm a little worried about is offering support if the user has trouble with it. I'm not really skilled to enough to be giving tech support but I'll certainly do my best.

So mahalo for checking out my latest offering. As always, I'd love feedback.

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