Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Handmade Wednesday 9/19/12

Handmade Wednesday

by Melissa Creamer, Crafter of Chrysalis Jewelry

Welcome to the first ever Handmade Wednesday. Each Wednesday, I will feature five crafters you should know about! I will pick an item I think is interesting and feature it along with the artist/ crafter. Are you ready to see what I have picked for this week? Let's get started.

First up is an awesome shop called Forgotten Cotton. They feature handmade infinity scarfs, headbands, arm warmers, and vintage jewelry.  The husband and wife team at Forgotten Cotton come up with the most exciting colors of jersey for their scarves.  The selection makes it hard to pick just one! They have recently started to feature "The Basics", a set of three scarves pre-selected and combined for one low price (you save $10 versus buying them separately). 
Scarfs, $50.00

Next we have Miss Ivy Originals. She has a wide assortment of handmade items, like the beautiful crocheted shawl below, craft supplies (ribbon, beads), and handmade cards.  Miss Ivy has a little bit of everything and is definitely worth a visit!  I own the wrap below in a rose color and I can vouch for how comfy it is to wear on a cool evening. Miss Ivy always welcomes custom orders and even has created a coupon code for my readers. Just use coupon code MIO62012 to get 20% off when you check out. This code will expire on 9/30, so hurry over!
Wrap, $45.00
Who doesn't love jewelry? I know I am personally addicted (which is why I started making jewelry in the first place). The best thing about handmade jewelry is it can be personalized and Beadsoul does that in spades!  You have to check out Beadsoul for the variety of items that can be personalized.  You can even order customized guitar picks! How cool is that?
Hand Stamped Rings, $20.00/ea

I have been blown away by the creations of Emergent Glass Works. The detail in the octopi they are known for is amazing. I have even seen glow-in-the-dark octopi Emergent Glass.  Never fear, they also have beautiful glass flowers, bugs, and jars if cephalopods aren't your thing.  I personally wish I had an extra $250.00 laying around so I could get my tenticles on the beauty below.
Octopus, $250.00

My last pick for the week is a shop called Rainy Roots Studio. This talented lady makes art out of soda cans. Talk about upcycling! You have to visit her shop to believe it! Who would have thought the beautiful "L" below started life as a can?
Upcycled Letter, $18.50

Sadly, all good things must come to an end, so this concludes this week's Handmade Wednesday. Never fear, I will be back next week with five more handmade picks.  Would you like to be featured in Handmade Wednesday?  Just leave me a comment on this blog or give me a tweet. I always love to meet new tweeps!

Until tomorrow - Melissa

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Last December, a friend approached me about opening a store in a downtown area. She would need me to help run it. In exchange, I would be given an area where I could display my jewelry.  I was really excited about the opportunity.  I knew it would be hard work and at time things would be lean, but I was excited to start on a new adventure.

Unfortunately my friend could never come to an agreement with the building owner on lease terms.  While this was disappointing, I felt that another opportunity would come down the road.  So far, another opportunity to open a store has not presented itself.  This lack of opportunity does not preclude me from dreaming about it.

Lately I have been thinking about how exciting it would be to open a store to feature local crafters. There is such a store in a small town from not far from here. I have put myself on the waiting list to get in. That was a couple of months ago.  There are so many small business crafters and artisans that need a place to display their items.  Websites like Etsy and Ebay are great, but not everyone is willing to take the on-line leap. Sometimes people want to be able to touch the item, examine it before buying.

The other issue crafters have is getting the word out about their items. Sure, there is a lot of social media out there, but how does one cut above the noise? I know I face this issue myself.  Well, I may not currently be able to open a brick and morter store, but I do have this blog.

I wonder what would happen if I would feature a few artisan/crafters each week.  Would my blog help them get some exposure?  I'm willing to give it a try.

So, I would like to start a series called Handmade Wednesdays. I know it's not terribly catchy, but it gets the point across.  Every Wednesday I will feature 5 people who make items by hand,  I would love not to have to go looking for each one every week.  Therefore, if you are a crafter and would love to be featured, just leave a comment to this blog and where I can find your items.

Be sure to tune in tomorrow for the first Handmade Wednesday!
Until Tomorrow - Melissa

Saturday, September 8, 2012

It's All Fun and Games Until...

I typically find humor in what I see as irony.  So the other night when I viewed a clip from "The Daily Show" with people "reporting" from the Democratic Nation Convention about that party being the party of inclusion, I found it humorous (view clip here).  In this clip there is some mockery of gun owners, which is fine. This is America and people have the First Amendment right to say what they wish.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know I LOVE period dramas. Tonight's pick was "The Patriot". If you are unfamiliar with this film, it is set during the Revolutionary War and prominently features the militia. As I thought about the militia that fought against the British, I marveled that farmers with hunting rifles could help take down the world's strongest army of the time.

I then thought back to a conversation I had a few years ago with a friend from India. I remarked how both the United States and India had both been British colonies at one time. I asked why she thought there was almost a 200 year difference in the independence of our countries. She remarked, "You had guns, we did not." My friend's remark chills me to the bone to this day.

As I thought about my friend's remark as I watched "The Patriot", I thought once again of the comments made on "The Daily Show". While I understand that "The Daily Show" is about humor, I began to get angry. Not because of what was said per se, but because there are people who truly believe the premise of their mock report.

I believe that our Constitution is an awesome document that gives us freedoms and opportunities that no one else has.  Over 200 years later, people still flock to our shores because of the freedoms and liberties it grants. The First Amendment gives you the right to say what ever you wish. No matter how disgusting or vile your comment is, I will defend it, as it is your right. I do not have to agree with you to defend your right to free speech.

Please understand however, that your First Amendment rights are backed up by the Second Amendment (the right to bear arms).  When America declared her independence, she did not have a standing army to go up against the British. She only had militia. Our founding fathers knew this lesson well, which is why we have the Second Amendment. Let's look at what a few founding fathers said in their own words.

Thomas Jefferson who is credited as being one of the authors of The Declaration of Independence said:
"No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."

James Madison, along with Jefferson, is credited in the writing of our Constitution. He said: 
"A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained in arms, is the best, most natural defense of a free country."

James Madison also said:
"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." 

You don't have to like guns. I'm not trying to convert anyone. However, if you are one of my fellow Americans who does not like them, please respect the right of others to bear them. It's not funny, it's not something to be made fun of. The right to bear arms is what keeps tyranny at bay. I'm all for making jokes and being silly, but freedom is no laughing matter. It's all fun and games until someone takes your rights away.

Until Tomorrow - Melissa


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

An Open Letter To Both Political Parties

Dear Democrats and Republicans,

First, I would like to remind you of something our first President and the only President that did not belong to ANY political party, George Washington, said.

"However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion".
GEORGE WASHINGTON, Farewell Address, September 17, 1796

In this election year, I hear both of you leveling charges against one another.  It reminds me of small children fighting. Normally I would not care, but you are spending a lot of money to do this bickering in public. Exorbitant amounts of money, millions if not billions of dollars between the two of you.  Since there isn't a citizen in the country that needs a single thing, this is fine. Oh wait, this country is hurting, badly.

You both claim to "care" about a number of issues (your platforms).  I'm sorry y'all, but I just don't buy it.  If you truly cared, you could take all this money you are spending to educate us on who the "better man" is, and help those you claim to care about.

To the Democrats - I wonder how many medical bills you could pay for what you are spending on your convention and political ads (on all levels for all offices). How many tuition bills could you pay this fall for college students? I wonder what the millions you are spending would do to help the middle class or poor people of America.

To the Republicans - I pose the same questions to you. What could the millions you are spending to get elected or re-elected do toward decreasing the national debt? What could the millions do to bolster national defense?  Better yet, since you care about the economy and business, what could all the money do for small businesses if it was invested there? How many jobs could it create?

Instead of helping your fellow Americans you care so much about (and make campaign promises to), you spend an obscene amount of money to fight each other. As best I can tell, all it does is make the decision this upcoming November a choice between evil and marginally less evil (you, Dear Reader, get to decide who is who on that charge).

As far as I'm concerned, you both need to be sent to time out while responsible, common-sense Americans sort this mess out. A mess you BOTH created. Go ahead, keep pointing fingers at each other, because in the end pointing fingers solves all of our problems.

I realize this blog will probably not shame either party into changing.  It is my hope that the "adults", my fellow Americans, will read this and see the truth in what you are doing. You are dividing us and not uniting us.  My fellow Americans, let's unite against the real enemy here, the politicians.  Let whoever you vote for this November know you are on to them. Let them know that you are tired of the childish shenanigans and you expect some adult problem solving and some adult compromises. My name is Melissa Creamer and I approve this message.

Until tomorrow - Melissa