How far can ONE DOLLAR BILL go?

Turn your crinkly dollar into shiny new jewelry and help a great cause at the same time!

As some of you already know, my husband is a member of the Run For Research marathon team and had just completed the Boston Marathon this past Monday! With that major feat behind us, we still have yet another feat of closing the gap toward our fundraising goal for the American Liver Foundation. This year has been tougher on fundraising efforts due to the current state of the economy, so we're incredibly grateful for all the generous support we've received already. And if you currently have one dollar hanging out in your couch cushions, you can still help out! :)

Your one dollar can go a very long way! You can't even buy a decent cup of coffee with one dollar these days, but today, your dollar can make a huge difference! By donating it to our Run-Alex-Run fundraiser for the American Liver Foundation, your dollar will go toward funding vital research that can ultimately save the lives of those afflicted by liver disease.

AND... that same dollar will also go toward your entry into my giveaway! I'll be raffling off THREE eNVe Designs gift certificates in the amount of $30 each. All it takes is your one dollar donation.

Here's how to enter the drawing (A and B are required to enter):

A) Make your donation at www.run-alex-run.com (in any desired amount)
>>> $1 = 1 entry
B) Come back here and post a comment. You must include:
your name (as it appears on the donation)
your donation amount (to verify # of entries)
your email (so I can contact you if you win)
and mention any bonus entries (see below)

Bonus entries (optional):

C) Make any purchase from my Etsy shop (# additional entries = dollar amount of purchase); for the duration of this final fundraiser, I'm donating 100% of my shop proceeds to run-alex-run, so you can help a great cause and add to your spring/summer wardrobe!
D) (5 additional entries) Blog about this charity raffle with a link to this blog post and a link to www.run-alex-run.com; be sure to include your blog link in your comment here so I can verify.
E) (1 additional entry per tweet) Tweet about this charity raffle as many times as you'd like until the day of the drawing; be sure to include your twitter username so I can verify.

Winners will be announced here on
Friday May 15


Boston Marathon Weekend Recap

(at home after completing the Boston Marathon)

Marathon Monday came and went. I can't believe how quickly it creeped up and just as quickly passed by. Alex kicked major asphalt and finished the race under his goal of 4 hours (3:48:45). I'm so incredibly proud of him and hope that someday, I'll be able to run a fraction of a marathon without dying.

We held a couple of fundraising events over the weekend leading up to the marathon and they were a lot of fun. The first was a karaoke contest held at a local bar. Jax and I were able to be there early on in the night, but had to leave as soon as things got started. You know how 1-yr-olds can't really hold their alcohol very well. (totally kidding... Jax can hold his alcohol just fine). :P While he was there, he even worked the crowd for us taking donations.

is it wrong to pimp your child so early?

he even got the singer to make a donation!

And Alex even took the stage to perform his rendition of I Believe In A Thing Called Love, by The Darkness. A definite crowd pleaser!

watch as he transforms from normal guy to karaoke monster

like father like son

Well, the little guy just woke up from his nap so that's all the time I have. We're still looking to close the gap in our fundraising goal (we have until May). Anyone have any ideas??? I'd love to hear them. I'm also thinking of having another jewelry raffle... not sure yet, but I guess it wouldn't hurt. Every little bit helps. To track our fundraising progress, you can visit www.run-alex-run.com.



(2008 Boston Marathon)

As I type this, my husband Alex is already pounding some pavement in the 2009 Boston Marathon. I wish I could be there on the course to cheer him on in person, but it would be utter chaos trying to maneuver the crowds with an 18-month-old, all by my-(36-week-pregnant)-self. Been trying to get live video streaming of the marathon, but no luck. :( But according to my tracking notices, he's keeping an awesome pace and hopefully will finish under 4 hrs like he hoped!

Be back later with more updates!


VERSATILE FIND :: for your home and beyond

This spa pillow from Mireio is just what you need for that relaxing retreat, whether you're jet-setting or just taking a breather at home, at the office, or on the train in between. This pillow is versatile in that it's a spa pillow (has a custom insert made of muslin and filled with Organic buckwheat hulls and luxurious Lavender from Provence!), a travel pillow (is the perfect size), and a lovely visual accent to any decor! Beauty and functionality.. all in one! I also love that each side is a different fabric/texture. This particular one features a soft knit in creamy white (like snuggling up with your crush on a chilly autumn day), backed by a refreshing floral cotton. The more I think about this pillow, the more I feel like I need it! :) I bet this pillow would also be great to take with me to the hospital when I go into labor! *hint hint* husband. I'll need all the comforting I can get!

There are also other patterns and fabrics available, like this gorgeous lavender pillow in a Danish cotton (front) / silk and cashmere knit (back). Silk AND cashmere together in one knit? Can it get any more comforting than that? I don't think so... Unless it also makes you chicken soup and gives you nice shoulder rubs. I want this one too. ;)

And this one....

And this one....

Do you have a versatile find? Let me know!

Pssst... Kreativlink giveaway!

You don't want to miss out on this one, folks. These Kreativlink journals are incredible! Go to somewhat voluble to enter!


a couple of quickies!

Not what you're thinking people.. ;)

Just wanted to mention that though I am behind on the times, I've now officially joined twitter and have started a fan page on facebook. It's still a little overwhelming as I'm fumbling around so it would be so lovely to see some familiar faces or make some new friends over there. Hope to see your shining faces around! :)

Also, I'm going to be adding some new items (mostly some juicy earrings) to my etsy shop today so keep your eyes peeled.

Hope you all had a superb holiday weekend!

FYI: I know my weekend specials have disappeared for a while, but they will be back as soon as I get my shop and website up to date. Thanks for your patience, everyone.



This week's featured artist is the dynamite Dennice of fringe. Her shop was actually the very first shop I hearted when I first discovered etsy almost a year ago. And to this day, I still have my eye on this twist of fate cowl (which also happens to be the very first item I ever hearted on etsy.. one that I kept hearting, but it kept getting sold). One day, that darling piece will be mine! I'm so delighted to have gotten to know Dennice a little better through this etsy/blogger world. I equate this with knowing a celebrity.. I mean, one of her amazing pieces was featured on the Martha Stewart Show!!! She is an inspiration and equiped with a fabulous sense of humor. I hope to be like her when I grow up. ;)

Dennice, thank you for taking the time to share some wise words with us!

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

A random fun fact about yourself:
I can draw Snoopy, no matter what his emotional state or activity is. Elated, perplexed, lovesick, thoughtful, inspired, sleuthing, in with the wrong crowd …you get the idea.

The first 3 random words that pop into your mind:
I like pie. (If you know me, you’ll understand)

What's your favorite read of all time?
There are too many to choose just one. Can’t do it. I have a long list of favorite reads of all time.

Any guilty pleasures?

When it comes to pleasures, I make it a point to not feel guilty about them.

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

There’s nowhere else I’d rather be right now than right here. I’m here because I truly want to be, and I won’t spend time wishing I were elsewhere. In the words of Edna from The Incredibles, “I live in the now, darling.” Never mind that I’m quoting an animated character, those are words to live by!

(Ok, now onto business)
How would you describe your work?
I’m a fiber artist. I create my own designs. I design scarves, cowls, shrugs, capelets, shawls, wraps, lariats and other items. I have a wide range of fashion styles from high drama couture to urban prairie to appeal to everyone, I hope. I feel that accessories make the outfit, and are a perfect form of personal expression. I make my creations with the desire that whoever wears one of my items will feel self-confident and divine.

How long have you been at it?
I learned to knit and crochet at the ripe old age of four. I’ve been on Etsy for a little over two years.

So for you, is it an innate talent or practice makes perfect?
In my opinion, any skill, talent or gift needs practice and will evolve according to each artist’s life experiences and maturing.

From where/how do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere I look. Nature and music are two major inspirations.

What was your most memorable creative experience?
In fourth grade, I made a life-size 3-dimensional Big Bird. You know, the Sesame Street character. I believe a song was written about it. You may have heard it...Yellow by Coldplay.

What do you do when your inspiration and creativity is tapped?
I don’t try to force it. It never stays away for too long so I try to make the best of the break. I just wait for it to come back again.

Any memorable low points that you've learned from?
I’m telling ya, Edna again, “I never look back, darling. I live in the now.”

What is your formula for success?
Nobody who wants an easy formula for success likes this answer, but the answer is hard work. Very hard work, confidence and persistence. Have a vision of what you want and go for it. Keep your talent true and unique to you.

Was there a moment when you realized that you'd achieved success?
How lovely to be asked this question. I view success as happiness and being true to myself. So in that respect, I feel I’ve been successful. I love what I do and that equals success, in my opinion. Happiness and satisfaction comes from doing what you love to do. You only have one chance in this life so make sure you spend some time doing what you truly love to do.

Any advice for those having a bad case of artist woes?
Artist woes? My advice is to snap out of it. Take action. Figure out what the problem is and fix it, improve it, change what you’re doing in order to make it work. Be your own biggest fan. Have confidence in yourself and your work. No whiners! And perhaps, examine your diet and go for walks.

When not hard at work on your designs, what would we most likely find you doing?
I spend most of my free time with my family. I just love them to bits!

In a parallel universe where you are not an amazing artist, what would you be?

The next James Bond.

Anything else you'd like to add that I didn't ask about?
I’d like to add that I’m very honored to be chosen for your featured artist. Thank you so much. You are a complete delight and a very gifted artist. A winning combination indeed! I wish you continued success and every happiness.
(I was totally caught off guard by this! Thank you for the lovely and kind words, Dennice. You are stellar!)

What's at the top of your etsy wish list?
Do you mean what features do I wish Etsy would add? I would love to be able to move the items around in my shop. Also, I would like to be able to have the same item in more than one section in my shop.

Any suggestions for my next featured artist?
My suggestions for your next featured artist would be to have a sense of humor, be yourself, and check for typos.

And, as a fun tribute to my inner psychologist... "what might this be?"
Well, Doc, isn’t that the black hole that Bugs Bunny always has handy for a quick escape?

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

And have a happy (Good) Friday and a pleasant Easter weekend!!!

Pssst... another great giveaway!

Head on over to LoraHartJewels for your chance to win a lovely necklace! She also has a great etsy shop that's definitely worth checking out! Go on.. click! :)


Sneak Peek :: new necklaces

Some new necklaces will be sprouting up in my shop. I've been playing around with wire wrapping (which takes so much time and patience on my part). I hope you like the results! I've kept things light and airy so that the stones can just shine as they are.

And I've also gotten my hands on some gorgeous vintage Italian brass keys that I just had to make some pieces with. Here are a couple of new wrap and thread necklaces featuring a key as the focal. I'll list these as soon as I can get some better pictures taken (it was really cloudy the day I snapped these).

Any thoughts?? :)

And be sure to check back tomorrow for my next FEATURED ARTIST!


under the weather randomness...

I think that the flu shot I had gotten a few months ago gave me a permanent runny/stuffy nose that is especially annoying when I wake up and just as I'm going to bed. Aren't flu shots supposed to prevent you from feeling like a soggy pile of tissues? On top of that, I've been wondering if this cold that I've had for the past several weeks will ever go away. It's nothing severe, but a definite nuisance. Jax had gotten sick from being around other sick kids and of course, I now have it. Now we're both drippy and congested, and my husband Alex is trying not to contract whatever it is we have because he has to run in the Boston Marathon in 2 weeks. Needless to say, I am super behind on getting my new items into my etsy shop and onto my main website, but I'm progressing slowly.. one piece at a time.

: we're still trying to raise money for the American Liver Foundation (the charity that Alex is running the marathon for) and haven't quite hit the half-way mark. The economy's been tough on all of us and that has definitely affected fundraising efforts. My earrings for charity collection is still available so if you're in the market for some new earrings, why not benefit a great cause simultaneously! 100% of your purchase will be donated to Alex's fundraising effort. You can track his progress and also donate directly at www.run-alex-run.com. And thank you again to those who have already been so generous and helpful with the fundraiser. Your contributions are a tremendous help! (end sidenote)

It's crazy that I've somehow morphed into a morning person since Jax was born. Before him, I was a champ at staying up late and that was when I was most focused and did my best work. Now, I'm setting my alarm for 6 AM just so that I can squeeze in some time to work. Granted, the type of work has changed dramatically from finishing up my dissertation to making jewelry (I still don't think I could do academic work at 6 in the morning), but point is I'm up at 6 and it's not because I stayed up and hadn't slept until 6! That was virtually unheard of before this year! I think once the new baby arrives next month, I won't be sleeping at all.

Speaking of the new baby. Things fly by so fast that I just realized that I only have 5 more pregnant weeks to go! No wonder I feel like I've expanded exponentially. The only comfy things I can get into are my husband's pjs and his sweatshirts. But that means I have about 5 weeks to pull it together and get my jewelry sites updated! *yikes*

I better end it here and get crack-a-lackin! I'll be back this week with another sneak peek. There's also another fabulous artist feature lined up so come back soon! Hope everyone is well. :)


FEATURED ARTIST :: brownbunnybyiris

This week's featured artist is the lovely Iris of brownbunnybyiris. She's so much fun, free spirited, and such a warm presence that it's probably unlikely that you haven't at least heard of her already. And this spirit is definitely reflected in her wonderful creations (not to mention the creative titles for those creations!). And something that I just discovered is that Iris is also an amazing painter! I'm so thrilled that she took some time to answer my questions. Thank you, Iris! :)

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

A random fun fact about yourself:
I'm the one who laughs the loudest when watching a movie at the theatres.

The first 3 random words that pop into your mind:
Sunshine, boudoir, movies.

What's your favorite read of all time?
My favorite read of all time is The Teachings of Don Juan by Carlos Castaneda. It taught me a lot about life.

Any guilty pleasures?

I love to be lazy although I always feel a bit guilty.

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

I lived for 2 years in Santa Fe, NM. It's the most enchanting place on earth for me. That's where I would like to be right now!

(Ok, now onto business)
How would you describe your work?
There is chaos around me. I have to cut through it! A hat is born!
As a designer, artist and creator I'm always experimenting with form and material, hoping to inspire. My biggest passion is designing hats. I love to make a dressed up person complete like putting the dot on the I.

How long have you been at it?
I honestly can say for ever! My first doll was African American and I loved to make dresses for her. Later I graduated from a fashion design school in Vienna, which gave me the necessary technical know how and back ground.

So for you, is it an innate talent or practice makes perfect?
It's definitely both :-)

From where/how do you find inspiration?
The moment I open my eyes in the morning I get inspired. I start the day with Sufi Whirlings. They put me in the mood of a child. Everything will inspire me. It can be the change of the weather, the vegetables I buy at the Turkish market, the colors of the flowers or the song I'm listening to.

What was your most memorable creative experience?
My most memorable creative experience was when I went for 3 weeks in solitude in a little hut, working on a series of shields I painted for an exhibition.

What do you do when your inspiration and creativity is tapped?
If my creativity is tapped, I treat myself to something beautiful. I definitely dress myself up, use fragrances and make up, cook something very beautiful and share it with a close person. Normally this helps to get me back into creative mood!

Any memorable low points that you've learned from?
I remember once when I couldn't create for a whole year. I just had to accept it. It felt like a necessary rest.

What is your formula for success?
My formula for success is creating only for yourself without being influenced by the norms of the society. Just designing dreams!

Was there a moment when you realized that you'd achieved success?
There are many moments in my life where I realize that I have achieved success. It depends of course on the definition of success. Success for example for me can be when I get people interested in my work. Success can also be when I sell my creations. Both happened very often in my life.

Any advice for those having a bad case of artist woes?
I wouldn't take it too serious!

When not hard at work on your designs, what would we most likely find you doing?
Meeting people, go out into the world and listen to what other people have to say, see what other people create! Watch a movie!

In a parallel universe where you are not an amazing artist, what would you be?
I would be a singer or dancer!

Anything else you'd like to add that I didn't ask about?
I'm also a painter.

What are some of your favorite etsy shops?


What's at the top of your etsy wish list?
Not to expand that fast:-) which is probably not realistic.

Any suggestions for my next featured artist?
What about ArtMind.etsy.com

And, as a fun tribute to my inner psychologist... "what might this be?"

For me that's the universe!

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