Versatile Find :: must have mohops!

Last week, during one of my many jaunts on etsy, I stumbled upon mohop and had to mention them. They're the cutest sandals and the best part... they're incredibly versatile! You can select from low, mid, or high heeled styles in their original design or the wedge. Once you decide on that, if you can.. you get to select from an array of ribbon collections to go with your sandals!
So not only do you get to change the ribbons, you can also wear them in a variety of ways. To me, these sandals are just plain brilliant! I have to save up for a pair... or three.

......... oh, and a little reminder .........
I'm away until 2/11 so my weekend specials are on hold until then. But when I return, there will be some sneak peeks at some new spring items! Plus an update on how my first venture with metal clay went! Stay tuned...


Many thanks....

Several days ago, the lovely and talented Carita of JealousyDesign awarded me with the Proximidade Blog Award. I'm deeply touched and honored that my little corner of the blog-osphere was recognized. Thank you, Carita!

Proximidade is described as follows:'This blog invests and believes in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes for self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!'This blog award should be sent to your favorite eight bloggers and they, in turn should forward to eight of their favorites. You should include the text for Proximidade (above) in your announcement blog.

As I have to choose only eight, the Proximidade Award goes to:

Stimulated Mind
Olive Bites

It'll do you good to pay these blogs a visit yourself. :)


I also wanted to thank the following lovely people for creating beautiful treasuries that got me some more Etsy front page exposure last week! I don't know about other folks, but to me, getting on the front page is always a big deal and I can't thank you enough for your help. Positive etsy karma is on its way back to you! :D

Thank you, JealousyDesign

Thank you, Nanouke

Thank you, Botanicalbird

Thank you, KiraFerrer

Please visit these wonderful shops for some fabulous handmade goodness! I guarantee you'll find some great Valentine's gifts if you do!


In the studio :: metal clay crash course

So a few of you have expressed interest in my current projects (via the little poll on the right-hand side of my blog) so here's the first of my "in the studio" series. Okay, so I technically don't have a studio per se, but calling it "in the scattered pile on my dining room table" doesn't sound as fancy. Anyhoo...

I feel like I just emerged from the dark ages and finally discovered the amazing wonder that is precious metal clay! I don't know which rock I was living under all this time, but I've only recently discovered that metal clay isn't just clay that looks like metal.. it actually IS precious metal... as in fine silver and even gold! I can't believe I had no idea before.. but I was recently browsing through Borders and decided to read a little more about this mysterious (to me) metal clay business. I can't tell you how excited I was to experience this revelation! I've always enjoyed working with sterling silver and gold filled materials, but always felt a little bit limited in what I'm able to do with it, with the little collection of self-taught techniques I know. My dad is a jeweler and I was always intrigued by all the tools and gadgets and techniques he had up his sleeve. He created fine jewelry and mainly designed using the lost wax casting technique (I think that's what they call it). Needless to say, I still haven't had any opportunities to really learn his art and be his little apprentice so that I can expand my repertoire and not feel so limited in what I'm able to create. Then along comes metal clay! If you were like me and didn't really know about it.. metal clay is a mixture of powdered precious metal combined with an organic binder and water. This allows for malleability so you can sculpt it, mold it, shape it, do whatever you normally would do with any type of clay. The magic happens when you fire it at high temperatures.. the binder burns away and the metal particles fuse together to form a solid piece of silver or gold. How incredible is that?? I'm probably not broadcasting any news to anyone since I was most likely the last one off the boat on this one, but I just think it's amazing. And being the play-dough aficionado in my childhood, metal clay was a dream come true for me!

So I decided to break the bank and splurge on metal clay supplies so I can try my hand at it. This is not an inexpensive little hobby so I hope I'm as good with it as I remembered my play-dough skills to be. I guess we'll find out. I finally have all my supplies and will hopefully find some time this weekend to give myself a crash course in metal clay. If all goes well, this will enable me to expand on my designs in so many ways! I'm ecstatic!!! I'll keep you posted on how it goes. *fingers crossed*


~~ Raffle WINNERS ~~ and the weekend special

Congratulations to the 3 winners of the RAFFLE FOR CHARITY!!!

Kathy Thiemann-Bourque ($175)
Vanessa Karam ($100)
Nora Peterson ($75)

Thank you so much for your contributions and for giving hope to those affected by liver disease. I wish you all could could have won, but in a way, you all did win because you gave to a great cause! :D

And as my thank you to you, here's a weekend special for those who participated in the raffle, but did not win: TAKE 50% off your entire order on envedesigns.com or envejewelry.etsy.com!

For everyone else, you can still help the cause through purchasing a pair of Earrings for Charity, where 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the American Liver Foundation.

And for every earrings for charity purchase,
receive 30% off any other item!

Just mention the weekend special during checkout and the discount will be promptly refunded to your paypal account. HAPPY SHOPPING everyone! :D And have a great weekend!


Last chance!

If you've been meaning to enter the drawing for a shopping spree to my site, this is your last day to do it! 100% of the raffle proceeds is donated to the American Liver Foundation. The 3 winners will be randomly drawn just before midnight tonight so get your entries in! I'll post the winners here on my blog, along with the weekend special tomorrow morning. Good luck to those who've entered!!! :)




When I was a kid, one of my responses to "what do you want to be when you grow up?" was "an artist".. along with "concert pianist, dancer, and pediatrician". As some of you know, I am none of those things professionally, so the next best thing is to admire those who are. This week's featured artist is Roz, of RozArt. Ever since I discovered her on Etsy, I've been eyeing her "Leap" paintings and wish that I could cover an entire wall with them! They're so vibrant and full of life and looking at them just makes me smile. This is yet another item on my own Etsy wish list. :)

......................... the interview .........................

A random fun fact about yourself:

I live on coffee. I paint at night. I am clumsy (but fun)

Any guilty pleasures?

sitting in bed with my laptop for hours, cruising the internet getting ideas

If you could be any place in the world right now, where would it be?

Somewhere beautiful with lots of trees and snow! I get homesick for NH as I live in TX now.

(Ok, now onto business)
How would you describe your work?
I describe my work as whimsical fine art, and impressionism.

How long have you been at it?
I've been painting since I was 6 or 7, but professionally (gallery represented) since I was 20. (so, 20 years now)

So for you, is it an innate talent or practice makes perfect?
It is an innate talent I've had since I was a child, which of course has built and grown with practice and experimentation.

From where/how do you find inspiration?
Inspiration comes from just about everywhere really.

What do you do when your inspiration and creativity is tapped?
When I am tapped out, I read and cruise the internet looking at random photography or artists sites to get me back in the mood to create.

Any memorable low points that you've learned from?
Low point...hmmm. Perhaps when sales has slipped low along with the bank account and so I went out and started waitressing. Within weeks, sales went nuts and I was able to get back in the studio full-time, but those weeks were scary as my biggest fear is not being able to paint - it is all I have ever wanted to do.

What is your formula for success?
My formula for success is to paint almost every day, work really hard, be professional and try everything in regards to marketing and subjects for paintings.

Was there a moment when you realized that you'd achieved success?
One moment I felt I had achieved success was when I was able to go out and purchase 2 new easels I had been coveting. Oh, and every month I pay my bills and support my children is successful to me!

Any advice for those having a bad case of artist woes?
Advice to folks with artistic woes is...just paint. Anything. Just do it. You will get it back eventually if diligent.

When not hard at work on your designs, what would we most likely find you doing?
When not working I would most-likely be found hanging with my kids (17, 15, and 11)

In a parallel universe where you are not an amazing artist, what would you be?
I cant imagine being anything but an artist, but if it were an parrell universe I could see me enjoying being a couselor. Im incrediably nosey and love to give advice and try to solve others' problems. I think I am skilled at extreme common-sense, but the bottom line is that I am nosey!

What are some of your favorite etsy shops?
damselinthisdress (we just did a trade, and omg is that corset gorgeous)
officesupplyart - love his original drawings and bought one for my son
Nighteshade - I bought a lace choker from her that rocks!

these are ones I have actually purchased from - but there are thousands I favorite that I would/will when I can!

What's at the top of your etsy wish list?
a sculpture from taylorseclectic
some tops from treehouse28
neck wrap from necklush
and a sink from ArtGlassSinks (in my wildest dreams)

.......................... end interview .........................

Thank you for your time, Roz!


Weekend Special!

WIN a $175, $100, or $75 SHOPPING SPREE!

Enter the raffle between now and Sunday (midnight EST) and receive one free item of your choice (equal/lesser value) with your purchase from envedesigns.com or my etsy shop.

You must first be entered in the raffle to receive this offer. Make your purchase as usual. Please mention this special during checkout in the message to seller and be sure to mention the item you've selected as your free item. You can also email me (contact@envedesigns.com) for an invoice. Those already entered in the raffle are also eligible for this offer.

Thank you to those who have already supported this fundraiser in some way! Your generosity will make a big difference in someone's life.

FP exposure..

In the past few days, I've been so lucky to be featured on Etsy's front page 3 times! That is a first for me so it totally made my week.

Thank you pianobenchdesigns!

Thank you Etsy admin!

Thank you fricdementol!


TAG!.. I'm it...

The fabulously stylish Rebecca of thevintageblog has tagged me so here we go! 6 random things about myself...

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

the rules:
link to the person who tagged you > post the rules on your blog > write six random things about yourself > tag six people at the end of your post and link to them > let each person know they've been tagged

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1 :: I was almost switched at birth when I was born in Vietnam. When the nurses took me away to give me my first bath, they brought back another baby to my mom. She immediately said.."no, that is NOT my baby!" (except it was in Vietnamese). So thanks to my super observant mother, I am where I am today.. otherwise, I might still be in Vietnam somewhere and etsy would have been a strange word I had never heard of. :)

2 :: I met my husband at the infamous Live 8 concert in the summer of 2005 (in Philadelphia) and we hit it off so well that we spent every single day for the next month together! It was the most amazing summer of my life.

3 :: For some reason, I love wearing business attire. Not full on suits or anything, but business casual.. like sleek slacks with a cute top and to-die-for shoes. and ever since I can remember in high school, I would wear slacks, button down blouses, and heels every chance I got (like to church on Sundays).

4 :: I think Arrested Development is seriously one of the best shows ever created.

5 :: I still love watching cartoons.

6 :: I absolutely love costume parties.. especially when it's not Halloween. It's so much fun coming up with costumes and putting them together. Maybe I'll dig up some pictures and post them sometime...

And now I'm tagging:


eNVe GIVEAWAY on Boston Mamas



Hey everyone! Didn't want any of my wonderful readers to miss out on this. One of my Signature eNVe Designs necklaces is up for grabs on www.bostonmamas.com. All you have to do is post a comment and you could win either my Enchanting necklace ($231 value) or Honeymoon necklace ($95 value)! Don't miss it! See their "Necklace Envy" post.

Oh, and you only have 2 days! The giveaway closes on 1/08!!!

FEATURED ARTIST :: terrygraziano

When I joined etsy several months ago, one of my most favorite discoveries of all time was Terry Graziano's shop. She designs the most amazing hats I have ever seen and I often visit her shop just to drool and window shop, picturing which outfits would go best with her many different styles. Not only are her creations sleek and ultra stylish from every angle... I love that they are so incredibly versatile--a characteristic you normally don't attribute to hats! I've never been a hat person (basebal caps during my sporty days in college doesn't count), but one of my new ambitions in life is to become one, just so I can wear Terry's hats. So as soon as I go back to my day job where I'm not in "mom gear" 100% of the time, I will have the best dressed cranium that my clients have ever seen!

......................... the interview .........................

A random fun fact about yourself:
My childhood idol was Carol Burnett and on Saturday nights, my dad would let me stay up late to watch her show. My best friend Jill, and my sixth grade teacher Mrs. K, were big fans too. Every Monday at recess, Jill and I would perform the entire show from memory for Mrs. K. She would laugh in all the right places, and it made me want to be an actress and comedienne for real someday.

What's your favorite read of all time?
Fiction: Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Non-fiction: Mary Cantwell’s trilogy “Manhattan Memoir”

Any guilty pleasures?
The Lawrence Welk show. Seriously – those costumes! those hairstyles! those ridiculous song set-ups! Love it!!

If you could be any place in the world right now, where would it be?
Paris, always Paris

(Ok, now onto business)
How would you describe your work?
Audrey Hepburn meets Judy Jetson.

How long have you been at it?
On and off since about 1991, but obviously not yet long enough!

So for you, is it an innate talent or practice makes perfect?
Oh, definitely practice! I take an average amount of talent, add lots of hard work, and keep trying until I get lucky.

From where/how do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere, in nature, art, architecture, industrial design, etc. I’m especially inspired by silhouettes, whether it’s a tree against the sky, or the shape of someone walking toward me on the street. Often it’s a trick of the eye, where I think I’m seeing one thing when I’m far away, and it’s very intriguing. Up close it may not be anything interesting at all, but I hold on to the far away.

What was your most memorable creative experience?
My first costume design job. It was for a small theatre company in Philadelphia, and it was not only the first time someone paid me to design something, but also the first time I felt like I may actually have a thimbleful of talent. I stretched myself far beyond what I thought I was capable of, and I learned so much! Our production ended up winning Philly’s first regional theatre award for costume design and we were up against much bigger companies with much bigger budgets, so it was incredible validation for me.

What do you do when your inspiration and creativity is tapped?
Take a break, go for a walk, go to a museum, read a book, cook something. I try to allow myself the space to not create for a while, and to give myself a chance to refill the well.

Any memorable low points that you've learned from?
Oh yeah. Probably the lowest were when I’ve had to set aside my design work and toil away in dead-end office jobs to make a living. It’s happened more times than I care to remember, but it makes me really cherish the life I have now.

What is your formula for success?
I’m still tinkering with the recipe, but for me the most important ingredient is to simply show up every day and remember that talent is a gift that’s meant to be shared.

Was there a moment when you realized that you'd achieved success?
Every time a customer writes to tell me how much they love their new hat! If the hat inspires them, helps them feel beautiful, and brings them joy, then I feel like I’ve done my job.

Any advice for those having a bad case of artist woes?
1. Be nicer to yourself: talk to yourself the way you would to your best friend if she/he was struggling.
2. Stop comparing yourself to others: your path is uniquely yours.
3. Seek out and surround yourself with positive, supportive people: listen to them and let them love you.
4. Most importantly: breathe and surrender.

When not hard at work on your designs, what would we most likely find you doing?
Thinking about them.

In a parallel universe where you are not an amazing artist, what would you be?
I’d love to work in a museum doing costume conservation. It would satisfy my artsy, geeky and introverted sides all at once!

What are some of your favorite etsy shops?
So many, it’s difficult to narrow down! A few of my current obsessions, in no particular order are:
Clothing: 13threads, sohomode
Knits: tickledpinkknits, olivebrown
Jewelry: envejewelry (I didn't pay her to say this, I promise), tinctory, jennifermorrisbeads, wearnoevil
Art: roadside, kikiandpolly
Vintage: myfavoritevintage
Hats: retroreprohandmade

What's at the top of your etsy wish list?
A high-waisted pure patchwork pencil skirt from sohomode.

Any suggestions for my next featured artist?

And last but not least, as a fun tribute to my inner psychologist, I had to throw in this final question....

What might this be?
A Parisian in a snow drift.

.......................... end interview .........................

Thank you for your time, Terry!