Texas Authors

Texas Authors

Last week, Joe and I drove to the small East Texas town of Daingerfield. There's a super cute boutique there called Something Special and they were hosting a book signing. We had the privilege of meeting FOUR Texas-based authors! (Pictured Above at a book signing in Pittsburg, TX - Back row from left: Ann Everett, Lynn Hobbs & Patty Wiseman; Front: Edward Hancock II)

I am currently reading Ann Everett's debut book titled Laid Out and Candle Lit and we will be giving away a copy beginning Saturday, June 2nd! Summer is known as a time to do lots of reading, so I invite you all to check out these great books. I can't wait to complete them all!


Ann Everett - Laid Out and Candle Lit
Lynn Hobbs - Sin, Secrets, and Salvation
Patty Wiseman - An Unlikely Arrangement
Edward Hancock II - Mourning Reign

Hopscotch Couture

Hopscotch Couture features a huge selection of unique accessories. Amongst all the treasures you will find unique purses, haute couture wedding accessories, and Steampunk designs just to name a few. Marelle, the designer behind these fabulous pieces, has been a professional artist for over 25 years. According to her website, all of the accessories from Marelle's line are made with vintage jewelry, most of which is acquired from senior citizens & disabled people trying to get by at flea markets.

It's evident while browsing her products that she is a talented artist & designer. Each piece is a work of art in itself. The floral crown is a perfect example of this, as is the gorgeous white beaded necklace (pictured above) with feathers & rhinestones. I love one-of-a-kind purses, so I was instantly drawn to the glamorous black mirror purse (pictured at left) & the white and gold box purse.

In addition to being a talented designer, Marelle founded the Hopscotch Hands on Exhibit for the Blind, an art show composed of 3D portraits that allows blind attendees to view celebrity portraits. A portion of all jewelry sales go toward funding the exhibit. If you would like to learn more about Marelle's designs & art exhibits, visit her blog and Facebook page. If you happen to be in the position to treat yourself or a loved one to a bit of haute couture, why not support a hard-working independent artist at the same time? Now hop on over to Hopscotch Couture! (Pictured at left: Fuchsia Feathered Prom Purse)


Lover.ly 1

Weddings occur year-round, but summer seems to be known by many as wedding season. Regardless of the time of year, brides spend numerous hours searching for inspiration so they can create the perfect day for their soon-to-be-spouse, their friends & family, and themselves. Weddings are a reflection of a couple's taste & interests. It's also a time when brides can fulfill a fantasy of their perfect day. A fairly new site, Lover.ly, is a great tool for brides-to-be. The site is described as being a visual search engine & cloud scrapbook for all your wedding inspiration. With a database that is updating & evolving daily, the site has an archive of over 100,000 images organized by their blogging editors & community of users.

Lover.ly 2

Lover.ly allows you to easily find gorgeous wedding images & ideas, save them in bundles you create, and share them with your friends and bridesmaids. I love that you can browse by color (the site features 16 popular wedding colors), style (vintage, rustic, military, etc.), or category (flowers, rings, stationery, etc.).

Lover.ly 3

According to the most recent newsletter, several trends have surfaced over the past month. These are based on what topics have been frequently searched for on the site. Three of the top-emerging wedding trends are aqua & peach (photo 1), a combo that creates a cool, soft summer wedding palette; equestrian elegance (photo 2), perfect for rustic, barn weddings; and burlap & lace (photo 3), a textural combination that many - including me - are fawning over. To find out what's new & hot in weddings, check out Lover.ly's Popular Bundles section. Click here to start exploring.

Observing Memorial Day

Today United States residents observe the annual holiday Memorial Day. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War. By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all wars. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. (info via Wikipedia)

Many of our family members have served in the United States Military, including my husband who is an Army Veteran. Luckily, none have been killed in the line of duty. But, many have sacrificed their lives for our freedom & today we salute them all. (photo source)

DIY Planters


Well, it may not officially be Summer here in the United States just yet, but it sure feels like it! Warm weather always turns my attention to our outdoor spaces & plants, which I love. I have been inspired by so many clever DIY planters as of late & wanted to share a few of my favorites with you.

1. Mason jars are amongst my favorites & this Mason jar wall planter by Not Just a Housewife is terrific!

2. These stump planters by The Crafty Tulip are a beautifully organic way to plant some various foliage.

3. I love the brightly painted recycled tire planters featured on Studio G. Also found a link to Design Sponge's tutorial showing how to make wine bottle Tiki torches...brilliant!

4. Apartment Therapy shows how to spruce up your fence with colorful hanging pots.

5. Kelly of SucculentLOVE shared a tutorial on the Mint Design blog showing how to create a DIY Sweet Love Garden Planter.

6. And, just for something extra fun & quirky, check out The Thrillz of Hillz's tutorial showing how to make a planter out of a plastic toy animal!

Hephzi Creations + Mi Bazaar Latino

Mi Bazaar Latino

In March, we had the pleasure of meeting two gals from Los Angeles. Angela of Hephzi Creations & Claudia of Mi Bazaar Latino drove halfway across the United States to participate in the 4th Annual Funky Finds Spring Fling we hosted in Fort Worth, Texas! Both are so sweet & friendly (a perfect fit for Texas!) and they had one of the cutest booth setups I've ever seen. I was ready to forward my mail, because I planned to move right in to the lovely space they had created!

Both Angela & Claudia have an aesthetic that perfectly suits me. It's a combination of vintage & kawaii, a perfect marriage in my opinion, and their products are nothing if not girly. The Hello Kitty & flower Swarovski iPhone case is a perfect example. Angela has been posting lots of updates on Facebook as of late & I have fallen head over heels in love with the embellished vintage bowling bags & boots.

Claudia of Mi Bazaar Latino also offers a large selection of lovely jewelry & accessories. The vintage flower corsage bracelet is one of my favs & I LOVE the coin purses. My bestie, Tamara, treated me to an Oh Deer brooch similar to this one & I wear it as often as possible. So fun! And both of us purchased a Hephzi Creations tee at the event. I love the graphic & the fit is great, but what really drew me to the design is the scripture from Isaiah 62:4 stating, "HIS delight is in YOU," which inspired the name Hephzi Creations.

Both designers are participating in a quite a few shows in California this summer, so be sure to stop by & tell them hello if you happen to be in the area. I promise you will be happy you did...just be sure to bring along your spending money!

(Pictured: 1. Booth Setup at Funky Finds Spring Fling; 2. Vintage Bowling Ball Bag; 3. Oh Deer Brooch)

Upcoming Event: Woolfest

Woolfest, the UK's biggest celebration of natural fibers, will be held June 22nd and 23rd at Mitchell's Lakeland Livestock Centre near Cockermouth, Cumbria. The event will feature a variety of demonstrations & workshops, as well as rare-breed sheep showing the story of fleece to garment. In addition, a wide variety of crafters & designers will be set up selling their wares. One of the stallholders is Victoria Baker of Little Wren Pottery. She will be displaying her full collection of yarn bowls. Little Wren Pottery has been producing hand-thrown ceramics in the city of Sunderland since 2009. The studio focuses on producing everyday objects which are both elegant & functional. You will find all the details regarding Woolfest on the event website, as well as Facebook. (Photo from Woolfest Gallery)

Upcoming Event: Crafting from the Collection

The Amon Carter Museum of American Art is located in Fort Worth, Texas. Now in its sixth decade of operation, the museum offers a diverse array of exhibitions, publications, & programs that connect visitors to masterworks of American art. We have been fortunate to have the opportunity to cross-promote with the museum during our Fort Worth events. It's wonderful that such an institution works hard to support local independent artists, crafters & designers! One way they do this is through their ongoing series, Crafting from the Collection.

On Thursday, May 31, at 6p.m. the museum will feature a tour and hands-on demonstration led by Megan Klein Designs allowing participants to gain ideas & skills for jewelry projects. Sketching paper & pencils will be provided to record crafting inspirations from the featured artworks. A crafting project followed by socializing & refreshments with fellow crafters follows the tour. No reservations are required. Talk about an exciting opportunity that is free of charge!! I hope to see you there! Follow The Amon Carter Museum of American Art on Facebook.

Tiny Hands Jewelry

Tiny Hands Jewelry features unique food-themed jewelry that is scented! I don't know about you, but as a kid I LOVED scented stickers, toys, etc. so this really takes me back to those good times. Mei, the designer behind Tiny Hands, has been creating expertly crafted & customizable scented jewelry since 2006. In the last two years, she's added a ton of new products ranging from bubblegum-scented rainbow lollipops to blueberry pie slices.

Whether you're a sophisticated foodie or just appreciate quirky, fun accessories, Tiny Hands has something for just about every style. The scented birthday cupcake necklace makes a great gift for those celebrating another year wiser. And the mint chocolate chip ice cream necklace is sure to make you feel just a tad bit cooler on hot summer days. Don't have much of a sweet tooth? No problem! Check out the sushi and bubble tea charms.

Another great addition to Tiny Hands Jewelry, is their use of Polyvore, the web's largest fashion community site. Since figuring out what to wear with food jewelry can be difficult for some people, Polyvore shows assembled outfits to go with Tiny Hands jewelry. The outfits range from cute, comfortable summer clothes to a 1990s grunge-style sundress and combat boots.

Every Tiny Hands order comes in a special gift box, tied with a satin ribbon making each purchase ready for gift-giving...or self-indulgence! Receive FREE SHIPPING on any order with coupon code FUNKYSHIPPING. Offer expires August 15, 2012. Learn more about Tiny Hands Jewelry via Facebook and their blog.

GIVEAWAY - Stone: A Legacy and Inspiration for Art

What happens to us is irrelevant to the world's geology but what happens to the world's geology is not irrelevant to us. We must reconcile ourselves to the stones. Not the stones to us. - Hugh MacDiarmid, excerpt from
On a Raised Beach, 1934

Black Dog Publishing specializes in beautifully produced books that represent a fresh, eclectic take on contemporary culture. Their titles cover a wide range of interests, including art, architecture, design, fashion, music & environmental concerns. I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Stone: A Legacy and Inspiration for Art for review.

My initial reaction upon receipt is that the book itself is beautiful. With over 200 pages, this hardback book is filled with a wide variety of color photos & information on a subject I've never given much thought to, a fact I berated myself for while reading the book. I say that because in life we are surrounded by stone that has been altered by human beings & nature into works of art.

Stone is a photographic journey through the traditional processes of extracting stone, showing the beauty of the material, and the way it is used today in contemporary sculpture. The book depicts the work of the Edinburgh College of Art’s Stone Project, led by Professor Jake Harvey, Professor Noe Mendelle and Joel Fisher; and their three years of research-based travel to countries around the world — explored through essays, case studies, photographs & film stills.

The trio guides readers through the traditional processes of extracting stone & the plethora of tools & techniques used. Simultaneously, the authors delve into the history of stone work while situating it within contemporary practice. The authors follow stone’s journey from its birthplace, through the various methods of extraction, exploring the material’s evolution into something new with an array of sculptural techniques. Contemporary stone sculpture and stone carving is also featured within the book, with artists using stone within their practice being highlighted — such as Marc Quinn, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Gerard Mas, Isamu Naguchi and the late Louise Bourgeois — Stone includes previously unseen images of their work in production, and in some of the many stoneworking ‘laboratories’ and quarries featured.

A visually stimulating title, Stone is the ideal introduction to stone work & the perfect addition to the bookshelves of those with an interest in arts, crafts & architecture. I promise that once you read this book, you won't look at stone in the same mundane way again. If you would like to order this lovely book for you or another person with an appreciation for art (and hard work), you will receive a 40% discount by emailing your delivery address to Jessica Atkins at jess@blackdogonline.com. The same discount offer applies to Black Dog’s latest printmaking book release; The Mechanical Hand: Artists’ Projects at Paupers Press. Include "Funky Finds Discount Offer" in subject line.

*** GIVEAWAY - Closed - Congrats Brandi! ***

PRIZE: One lucky winner will receive a copy of Stone: A Legacy and Inspiration for Art from Black Dog Publishing.

TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this post noting why you would like to receive this title for you or for someone else.

EXTRA ENTRY: Like Black Dog Publishing on Facebook & leave a comment on this post noting you have done so.

ENDS: Sunday, May 20 at 9pm CST.

(Pictured: 1. Book Cover; 2. YA AN Long Dong Da Gou Tou Marble Quarry worker in Sichuan, China; 3. Crated Marble Lion from Quyang Carving Workshop in Heibei, China; 4. Seed by Peter Randall-Page, granite; 5. Dual 'Jeanne' portrait by Barry X Ball in Belgian Black Marble, aluminum, stainless steel, wood, acrylic lacquer, steel, nylon & plastic.)