Monday, June 28, 2010

Handmade Shop of the Week: Stuart Levy Photography

Seeking out special shops to feature on my blog can sometimes be difficult. However, talented artists like Stuart Allen Levy make it very easy to choose. He has been taking photographs for many years and has recently expanded his work from panoramic street scenes to flowers. The web will never do his work complete justice because he likes to print these tiny images in an oversized scale.

Stuart currently works exclusively with digital photography, his trusty high resolution scanner, and prints his own work on a large scale archival photograph printer. He also mounts and frames most of his own work.

Stuart sells his work online as well as in galleries and art shows all around Portland, Oregon where he lives. He has a show coming to the area shortly at a local coffee shop, featuring his latest work with flowers.

I am currently seeking out new shops to feature here. If you are interested, please email me for information.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Handmade Shop of the Week: Cut Your Heart Out

I found Jessica of Cut Your Heart Out recently while searching for fun shops on etsy. She would describe her work as quirky, offbeat and slightly creepy but I just think of it as cool.

Every piece of jewelry in her shop is unique. As she states on her website,"All of the pieces created and sold are pieces that I would wear myself. I don't make anything that I wouldn't be proud to wear. I also don't believe in putting a high price tag on the items I create so everything you find in my store is affordable and reasonably priced."

Jessica's love of tattoos, Alice in Wonderland, and loud music shine through in each one of her designs. Her favorite materials are stones, glass and paper which she uses often and with great flair.

Besides her etsy shop , you should check out her blog and her facebook fanpage Jessica is a proud member of the etsynj team.

Interested in being featured? Email me for more information.

Monday, June 14, 2010

non-handmade SOTW: Driver Safety Training Center

Last week brought the unofficial beginning of summer. Living on the Jersey Shore this means a substantial increase in traffic in our area. Gas prices rise, police are out in full force, and you are lucky to drive around the area one day without seeing an illegal left turn.

TA DA! May I present the Driving Safety Training Center to those summer drivers who have forgotten the rules of the road. This class will take 10% off your car insurance and 4 points off your license in NY and about half that in NJ. The 6 hour class used to mean losing your weekend or spending a few nights in a classroom (which you can still choose to do) but they have since entered the modern age. Now many states, including New York and New Jersey, offer their classes online.

You may think, "how is it better to sit in my house in front of a computer for 6 hours?" Well that is not the case. The 6 hours can be broken up into small sections taken over the course of 30 days. You can choose to stay in on your lunch hour and sit in front of your computer or use your Wifi and take that laptop to the beach. 

Elliott Linczer, who runs this program, has been giving classes all over the tri-state area since 1989 and is very excited about this new online program. It means people who were unable to attend one of his classes in the past can now learn these skills in the comfort of their home. And since the class should be taken every three years for insurance reduction, this makes life very convenient.

be sure to keep up to date by following DSTC online:
and of course their main site

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Weird Treasury

I am now a treasury making diva thanks to the ease of treasury east. i have made treasuries for father's day, moods I was in and great team items. Last night I thought it would be fun to search etsy for some of the weirdest items available. As you can see, there was a great variety of things to choose from.

What are some of the strange things you have found while browsing through etsy?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Handmade Shop of the Week: Serendipity

Emily of Serendipity Hand-dyed & Hand-painted Yarn & Roving sells yarn & roving hand-dyed or hand-painted  from non-toxic or natural dyes & mordants. She has been selling her gorgeous fiber on etsy since March 2009, all the while raising children!

Why did you decide to open your handmade shop? 
I dyed some yarn in my kitchen with my kids and it was fun. I thought it was nice but I have a ton of yarn so I put some of it in an Etsy shop and it sold. Since I got such great feedback, I figured I would keep dyeing yarn and then added roving as well. Last Fall we did out first fiber show and it went great. I am a stay-at-home mom right now, I'm hoping this will allow me to continue to do that. I have kept the kids a part of it as well, most of the colors are named by them.

Has your inventory changed much since you first opened? 
As I dye new yarn I try to get it listed in the shop. I only carried some worsted weight superwash merino wool & some sport weight alpaca in the beginning. I have since added other weights in the superwash merino & alpaca, and a really nice alpaca / wool blend.

Who are the majority of your customers? How did they find you? 
My customers online have mostly been from Ravelry, I believe. I try to be active on their forums and in the blogosphere but being Mommy comes first and there only so many hours in the day!!!

What inspires you to create? 
Fun! I look for fun colors or whatever I'm in the mood for that day. I don't have a background in art or anything but having kids gives me a bright and colorful perspective on the things around me. The other day my daughter told me to "look at the pretty sky" as the sun was setting (it was pink and blue streaked across an almost white background sky) since I was dyeing roving at the time, the next one I did was pink and blue with some spots left white, she named it "Sunset".

What is your favorite item in your shop currently? Your most popular item? 
My favorite is the alpaca/wool blends, they take the color in such a pretty, heathered way and they are so, so soft with such a nice luster. I especially like the Seaside, Lime and Outer Banks colorways, since they can be used together for different projects.
I think my most popular item online and at the fiber shows is the fingering weight yarns that are 3 or more colors (mostly used for socks, I'm sure).

What has been your greatest resource to make your shop successful? 
Ravelry has been really amazing. The experienced people on the threads and all their great advice & support have been indispensable. Meeting people at the fiber shows and handing out cards has been helpful as well. I do have a blog but most people seem to reach the shop from Ravelry.

Any changes coming to your shop in the future? 
After a local show this past week I spent a few days photographing a ton of yarn and roving and will be doing 10 (or more) listings a day on the Etsy Shop until they are all up! Plus, I frequently run sales and promotions (10% off, free shipping, etc.).

How else can we find you online? Any team affiliations?
You can reach Serendipity's shop online at
On Ravelry, I'm Lilm4105
Serendipity has recently joined PhatFiber and was in the March box.


For a chance to win a full skein of alpaca/wool in colorway "Seaside", visit Serendipity and comment here on your favorite item in her shop.
For additional entries, add a comment when you've done any of the following:
-Favorite the shop on etsy
-Become a fan on the Facebook page
-Follow the blog at
-Post to your blog about the giveaway
-Make a purchase from the Etsy shop

Interested in being featured? I am currently looking for shops. Email me for information.