Giveaway- Fill in the Bubble Magnets

I won the lock on the left in a trivia/riddle contest at work. Now you have a chance to win a little something from the shop by guessing the answer to the same question.

[prize] You will win a set of Fill in the Bubble Magnets. So please include the words you would like on the magnets. If you need ideas, check the word list on my Flickr.

[rules, etc.]
Email me elpydesigns[at]yahoo[dot]com with your name, the answer to the question below and the words you would like on the magnets. You can enter twice. I will choose a name at random from among the correct answers.

What do these three things have in common:
Old TVs
Killer Whales

Ends January 31, 2009
Good luck!


Zephyr- [poker]

New-ish magnets in the shop. I also have matching coasters. They've gotten a lot of love and have been featured on Indie Fixx. Happy day!


ThisNext- sarapaloma :: 9 Matte White Stoneware Bottles

sarapaloma :: 9 Matte White Stoneware Bottles

I admire potters. I love bottles. These have a such a dramatic, elegant shape, such a grace...I heart them, too.

From the artist:
Dramatic cityscape of 9 Wheelthrown Stoneware
Bottles in Matte White. Largest piece is 16" tall
and smallest is 3" tall. Clear water tight glaze inside.
Pieces can hold thin stemmed flower or leaf, but work best as
a sculptural centerpiece.


By Its Cover- Scoop - Pt. 1

By Its Cover is my completely independent 2-part book review column. Selections are made based entirely on the book's cover. I'm testing the old saying in my quest to find new authors.

Title: Scoop
Author: Rene Gutteridge

Made my center-of-town circuit, hitting the bank and library this time, and picked up a new book to review. Again, it's not one of those super-deep books, but I just saw Tess of the D'urbervilles and Wuthering Heights. (Wuthering Heights has been the cause of some recent guilt.) So light book it is. At least it's appearing that way so far.

Besides its cover, I chose it because one of the characters was homeschooled (as was I). She's also coulrophobic. haha. I'm busy with photo-ing new items and rephoto-ing old items as well as knitting and job hunting and writing again, and trying to spend less time on the computer while promoting my shop more and starting a new jigsaw puzzle and...reading will get squeezed in. :)

Full review to come.



I'd been toying with the idea of starting a new collection. So far I've had two in the shop. I enjoy doing them, working within a set style or with a color scheme.

The new one I'm calling Tux, first piece. It will be black and white, or black...or white. With occasional dashes of color, probably red. I think red and black and white are so tragically pretty. I may actually rework the double Convex idea I tinkered with a while back.

I still have some designs to hash out for Minta. It will be interesting working on two at once.

Post Picture: Venna Earrings, the first for the Tux Collection.


Gift and Gifted

in february '05
i volunteered in a spanish/english 1st grade class
at an inner city school
for un-official extra credit
for a spanish class i was taking.

they were the cutest and
most amazing children.
so inquisitive and smart.
it was interesting to go
back to school
teetering the line
between teacher and student
i loved it.

the teacher, a family friend,
gave me this...a gift from her travels.


By Its Cover- Love and Other Near Death Experiences- Pt. 2

By Its Cover is my completely independent 2-part book review column. Selections are made based entirely on the book's cover. I'm testing the old saying in my quest to find new authors.

Title: Love and Other Near Death Experiences
Author: Mil Millington

Part One

He could have died, Rob, the main character. But he didn't. He had to return towels and got tied up in traffic. So he was late to the pub, that ended up getting smashed to bits...hence the traffic. That he 'missed' death, by a set a fluke-ish missteps, sets him to wondering just how much weight he should put on the mundane everyday decisions. It hampers his relationships, his work, his life. So he sets off on a journey unto himself with an ex-Marine (yeah, it's a British book, but the guy comes over from Nebraska...long story).

That's the plot.

My opinion is that it kinda was pithy. Maybe I expect too much from books. Maybe I'm too geared into literature to give modern fiction any props. Maybe I don't get British humor. Maybe I'm out of touch with how people act and think in the world. Maybe it just wasn't good. Maybe one of the secondary characters was enormously grating. Yeah, a pointless cruel character, one that is supposed to multi-dimensional and yet just refuses to submit to change, can ruin a book. The kind where, when someone asks what you think of the book you say, "It would have been better if so-and-so hadn't been in it." This had one of those...and a whole lot of cussing. (again, call me a prude but I'd feel wrong if I didn't let you know.

Mr. Millington redeemed his book some by mentioning Jane Eyre, one the books I love more than any, near the end. And there was a Mansfield Park shoutout. Still...I'll pass on his other books.


400- Knittage

Today Dad had to go update a friend's computer. He took me with him because...well, I'm not really sure. He likes to pick a child, me or one of the brothers, at random to accompany on his little trips. I was griping about it a little, because sometimes I wish he would give a reason for choosing me. Bro2 would have been a better choice. He's into that stuff.

I'd brought my camera and the lady of the house was asking about it and photography. She pulled out two large knitted...shapes. I asked what she was making. "A sweater," she said. Before I knew it I was plopped on the sofa next to her with a skein of red wool yarn and a pair of needles.

A lot of rapid-fire thots pinged around in my mind. How crafting is so communal. How it took her all of five minutes to show me what to do, but the impact it will have will last longer. Knitting is something I've wanted to try for a while, but just kept shelving for later. How if I'd really made a stink and stayed home...I'd be clueless still.

And this is my 400th post. Today was good.

Post Picture: The first few rows and the skein and needles. I'm enjoying it so far.



I got an invite for a show that I missed last year. There are only a few days that I know now are already scheduled. Family birthdays are one of them. This show is going to be on Bro1's bday. What are the odds?

I'm having a little bit of an identity crisis. I can't really afford to get anymore mentally stuck than I have been. But I'm wondering if perhaps I've Jonah'd it all, tried to make a go of something instead of doing the thing I started a long time ago and abandoned because of fear. It's tough, having to face things about myself like this.

Post Picture: Chamomile Mint tea...quite scrumptious, in my I'm Not A Paper Cup that was part of my ThisNext Maven pack.


Weekend Blurble- Shiver

Why is the weather such an...er, ice-breaker? Just curious. I guess 'cause we all have deal with it, it's a universal thing and everyone has an opinion about it.

The temp job is over again. I think I'm gonna try to find something else and not wait for them to call me back. It was good, a nice change from my retail job, which didn't suit me well. Something more permanent would probably be better. Shall see.

Post Picture: New earrings in the shop. I may be jumping the gun a little for Valentine's Day. Had meant to make these last year. I'm particularly proud of the photo.


Seller Tips- Handmadeology

I'm an indie-preneur, a micro-business owner constantly looking for ways to promote my work. I started this column, Seller Tips, to help me keep track of my findings and to pass them on to you.

[what's it called] Handmadeology
[where'd you find it] Twitter
['splain it please] The formula for selling online.

Handmadeology is a project of Timothy Adam, a very helpful Etsy seller. There are certain things that are imperative to successful online selling: good photographs of your wares, accurate but easy to understand listings/descriptions, promoting your shop, and much more.

The site has yet to launch. Look for it on 1.26.09. Timothy has had some great advice on his shop blog. I can't wait to see how he puts it together on his new site.



ThisNext -Concept Ring by Metamorphosis

Concept Ring by Metamorphosis

I've wanted to feature items more often on my blog instead of purely focusing on my work, my shop, my life. I've met/found/encountered so many well-made, pretty things and awesomely talented, super-nice people who make them. My ThisNext page makes featuring easier.

This ring I found while link-hopping, a dangerous but often fruitful sport of the internet. It's by Metamorphosis. It's tough and industrial, but that little glinting rivet, fastening the blackened steel ring together, adds a softening touch. (via metamorphosis)


Blurble 1.9.09

My brain is scattered and my eyes are tired. They sorta promoted me at work. I didn't really want it and it may just be temporary. So much of the workings of this job are flightly...for as structured as it may appear. Anyway.

Helped a friend move this week. Realized that getting stuff packed isn't the real hard part, it's getting the now-packed stuff out of the aparment/house. She lived on the third floor or a grand old Victorian accessible only by a two-level staircase and dumb waiter. Yeah. It's really cool the first time. You quickly want to just hurl boxes...and possibly even yourself, out of the window. Not to die, just 'cause
it would be faster.

I want to play with my camera. I've lost a lens cap already.
It's supposed to snow this weekend, so I'll be reading a lot. Crafting some I hope.

Post Picture: I took the Rebel outside for a short bit and snapped some shots before my fingers started to feel numb. This is of a branch on my neighbor's shrub.


By Its Cover- Love and Other Near Death Experiences Pt. 1

By Its Cover is my completely independent 2-part book review column. Selections are made based entirely on the book's cover. I'm testing the old saying in my quest to find new authors.

Title: Love and Other Near Death Experiences
Author: Mil Millington

I worked with a guy named Mil once. He was Turkish, looked good in red, talked about laundering money, and was 6'5". I felt incredibly short next to him. Anyway, though it's probably a pen name, in this case, or I feel extraordinarily sad for the poor guy, I got it because of the author's name.

It's British pop-trendy near chick-lit. I can't imagine what guy would read it despite the fact that the main character is a guy. It's similar to the last book I reviewed, which I why I hesitated to use it, I do read more than fluff...or intended to. However the genre's flashy covers stand out in shelves of worn-spine classics.

So far, and this is no Yank-bias, Stupid and Contagious was better. These books are heavy on conversation, and it needs to be short and quirky. This lingers, the way a real convo would, but you don't want to read real convos. It fumbles a little in the prose areas, too. And it's not helped by the fact that I'm simul-reading Persuasion by Jane Austen.

Full review to come.



Click me!

New magnets in the shop. They're the first items photographed with my new camera. I'm still adjusting, I have a feeling I'll grow into over time. Hope to do some more tinkering tomorrow. :)



Happy New Year! You know I had to bust out with roman numerals, right? It was either that or binary code. hehe

I stayed up just till midnight, then conked out and slept until about 10am. Christmas prep and stuff tired me out. And tomorrow I go back to work, then tax temp job...so I need sleep, now.

I've been playing with my camera, tweeting and reading blogs. I don't yet have a clear plan for the year. Some things I want to do include:

Getting my driver's license...finally!
Finishing this book I started writing when I was 15.
Marketing the shop better
Getting an independent site up
Remember to enjoy the ride...only get to do this once.

I wish you a wonderful year!

Post Picture: The interior of a snowglobe that Bro1 gave me as a Christmas gift. It reminds me, loosely, of the Petite House Dwellings of JessicaJane.