Hi! I'm glad you found this blog! I no longer blog here, but feel free to look around. If you're interested in following my new blogging journey, please visit me at Into The Glimmer.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Housekeeping :: new domain name + rss feed

Just a quick note- I updated my blog url so it is now www.bloomingwildflowers.com (no more of this .blogspot.com stuff). As a result, I had to update my RSS feed, so you will need to resubscribe to that feed. You can click the links to the right or you can subscribe right here. Happy weekend!

ETA: I'm super upset because it appears I've lost all of my comments from my readers. I use Disqus and I know they're still in my Disqus profile, but they disappeared from my blog. If anyone knows how (if) I can get them back here, please let me know!

UPDATE: Contacted Disqus. They should be able to migrate all of the comments. Whew! I was worried for a second there!

TGIF! :: link roundup and other news

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you all had a good week. Yet another snow storm hit my area today. I attempted to go to work, got about halfway there, nearly landed in a ditch, then promptly turned around and went home. I am so ready for some warmer weather! And speaking of warmer weather, D and I booked our California vacation for the end of March. I'm so excited! We're heading to San Diego and LA. Not that I need any help getting in the mood for California, but I thought I'd post a pic I took during our last trip to San Diego:

boats at shelter island in san diego

I so cannot wait to go back!

And while we're talking about pictures of San Diego, check out my redesigned logo and banner. The images used for the banner were pictures I took in La Jolla Cove of blooming wildflowers by the ocean. I think I like this banner update. What do you think?

Lastly, I thought I'd leave you with some links I'm loving from around the blogosphere and other news sources this week:

SFgirlbybay posted a fabulous post on snow days with lots of pretty white items inspired by winter (very appropriate for my day today).

Tip Junkie has been doing a series called "Connecting with your Community of Readers." This week's article covered tons of tools that are available to bloggers to make it easier to share content and for our readers to find more information.

Scoutie Girl started a new series called "With Love, From Europe"- this week she "visited" Hungary.

The Storque (Etsy's blog) posted "Don't Quit Your Day Job: The Artisan in the Office" , a post about Summer Pierre's book about living a creative life in and out of the office. This one hit home for me since I'm one of those artisans in the office.

Crafting an MBA asked readers "Do your marketing efforts lead to sales?" and recommended the book Inbound Marketing by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shaw.

Brandi Girl posted about Spoonflower.com, a website that lets you print your own fabric. How cool is that?!

For those of you in the Harrisburg or Lancaster, Pa. area, Handmade in PA posted a roster of upcoming classes about The Business of Craft. Some familiar blogger faces are part of the teaching lineup- these classes look promising!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

{ what to wear } saturday morning coffee

I'm bringing back my "What to Wear" feature with a few tweaks based on my freshly tweaked mission. The point of the new "What to Wear" column is to show you that it's possible to incorporate items from indie and handmade designers, as well as independently owned e-tailers or brick and mortars, into your daily wardrobe. Yes, even clothing! There are tons of fabulous indie designers out there- you just have to look for them.

The majority of the pieces in this feature will come from the aforementioned sources, but you may see a few pieces here and there from well-known retailers as an example of how things you may already own will work with items from indie designers or shops.

So, here we go- what to wear for Saturday morning coffee. Maybe you're meeting your best friend to catch up after a crazy week or you're heading out for a relaxing morning with your significant other, or maybe you're just planning on spending some quality time with your laptop at the local wi-fi hotspot, but no matter who you're meeting for coffee, do it with style in an indie-made knit dress, leggings and cozy accessories. Add your stand-by boots and a white henley and you're good to go!

PS- Don't forget to support your local coffee shops! Those indie-owned brick and mortars are what make our communities thrive!

what to wear for saturday morning coffee
7 Ways to Wear Wrap Dress :: Lirola*
White henley :: J. Crew
Creme beret :: Creative Hook*
Ruched scrunched leggings :: lamixx*
Arm warmers :: Pia Barile Accessories*
Frye Boots :: Zappos
Patchwork in safari bag :: morelle*
Peruvian Opal Ring :: alley maranto studios*
Rhino extra long necklace :: it's a stitch*

Coffee image by sachman75

Thursday, February 18, 2010

{ good stuff } :: beagles

good stuff beagles header

To know a beagle is to really, really love a beagle. Really, really. Beagles are goofy, adorable, stubborn, hilarious, loyal, ornery little bundles of love (and they also have bottomless pits in lieu of a stomach- don't leave your sandwich unattended, that innocent-looking beagle with the big, sad eyes will steal it).

Trust me, I know. That's Lucy, my own little bundle of beagle love, in the picture above.

And here are some handmade finds commemorating my favorite breed:

handmade beagle finds from etsy
Top row (left to right): Beagle glass tile pendant by Gena Semanov Art, Bad Beagle letterpressed card set by Rigel Stuhmiller

Second row (left to right): Beagle print (8x10) by John W. Golden, Beagle Puppy needle felted necklace by Kay's K9s

Third row (left to right): Beagle print by Jenn Ski Art, Beagle on Glass necklace by Frums Glass Menagerie

Bottom row (left to right): Beagle necklace by Mooshy Gooshies, Regal Beagle Coffee Company Graphic Artwork by Gemini Studio Art

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

{ getting passionate about my blog }

blooming wildflowers by the ocean in san diego, california

I recently snatched up a copy of "52 Weeks of Blogging Your Passion" by the super-talented Tara over at Scoutie Girl (after reading Brandi Girl's blog post about her experience with the e-book, which reminded me that I meant to buy the book, but hadn't gotten around to it yet.) The book is great, and while I'm not sure it's the right approach for my blog, I still think the first task is worth mentioning. That is, to make sure you have a mission statement.

I already had that from when I re-focused, but I'll give it to you again right here:
"The Blooming Wildflowers Project is a socially conscious blog that entertains and inspires with design and lifestyle posts. My goal is to spread the word about emerging and independently owned brands, business, designers and artists, and to inspire my readers to support them."

But, after reading that, I thought it needed a little more, so here's the revised mission statement.
"The Blooming Wildflowers Project is a blog about promoting, supporting and spreading the word about indie design, handmade artists and independently owned brick and mortar shops. It inspires readers to support these independent creative businesses and encourages artists and owners to keep producing and growing. With it, I hope to educate shoppers about the power of buying indie and shopping local, and to help artists and owners by both featuring their items and by offering my own business and marketing tips."
So there. That's it. That's The Blooming Wildflowers Project in a mission statement nutshell. With that said, I still plan to do my regular columns like freshly picked and good stuff. I also plan to bring back a few others from before I re-focused (but spin them with an indie focus), like what to wear. And lastly, I plan (and have been planning) to add some new columns, some featuring local brick and mortars, some with a business and marketing focus for small businesses (after all, that's actually what I do all day long at my day job- why not spread some of that knowledge around?) as well as artist features/interviews, tutorials and giveaways.

So, as you can see, I've got lots of good stuff planned and I really hope you'll stick around, join the conversation and help me in growing our community and spreading the word about your business!

Image source: Me!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day Weekend!

Wishing you a safe, happy and love-filled weekend.

1 - Double Hearts Earrings by Pineapple Sugar (that's my Etsy shop!)
2 - Pink Lampwork Heart and Sterling Bracelet by Wild Woman Jewelry
3 - I Love heart headband by House of Telsa
4 - True Love original encaustic painting by Susan Najarian
5 - "Pink is..." Vinyl lettering wall hanging by It's Written on the Wall
6 - Gentle fine art print by Twisted Summer

{ freshly picked } :: Jewels by L Designs

Speaking of artisan lampwork, the husband and wife team from Jewels by L Designs really showcases these stunning beads. Not only do they create their own lampwork beads, but they surround them with sparkling gemstones and intricate wirewrapping, creating pieces that truly take your breath away.

Find these and other gorgeous pieces at Jewels by L Designs on Etsy.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

{ freshly picked } amanda archer

What's not to love about Amanda Archer's girly dresses? Not only does she design beautiful wedding gowns, but she creates beautiful dresses for every day life. I'm swooning over the details like ruffles, rosettes and bows. This independent designer is definitely one to watch.

Visit her Etsy shop to buy.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

{ pretty little things } :: artisan lampwork

Have you ever looked really closely at an artisan lampwork bead? They're stunning. So detailed with brilliant flashes of color- some even change colors depending on the light. They really are little works of art you can wear. And they're one of my favorite pieces to use in my own jewelry designs. Here are a few of my favorite designs from some other jewelry artists:

1 - Circle Ring in Gray by Kristin Perkins Glass Jewelry
2 - Caramel Swirl Earrings by Andy Justy
3- Orbit Earrings by Pole Star
4 - Bird on Branch Earrings by Alisha White Designs
5 - Linear Circles Earrings by Sterling Crystal
6 - Alanna Necklace by Catie's Blue

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

{ good stuff } :: retro typewriters

I have a slight addiction to the sleekly designed iMac (and all things Apple, really). The clean, curvy lines, the shiny (super-thin) screens- it's computer design perfection (inside and out). But I'm also a sucker for the retro style of vintage typewriters- whether it's the real thing, photography, a cheeky illustration or, even a necklace, these pieces from a bygone era still have a decorative place in the modern world.

1 - Green Original Mixed Media Painting by Michele Maule
2 - Vintage Royal Quiet Deluxe Typewriter in Teal from One Tree Vintage
3- Dainty Vintage Typewriter Necklace by Jeweled Ambrosia
4- Vintage Style Typewriter Necklace by Lara Lewis
5 - Retro Royal Heritage Typewriter from Sarah Anntiques
6 - Love Letters original signed art photograph by Alicia Bock Photography

Friday, February 5, 2010

{ inspired } :: let it snow!

There's a snow storm coming in the Mid-Atlantic and it looks like it might break some records! Have you stocked up on your bread, milk and eggs? Me neither. Pizza, wine and LOST on DVD is more like it for me. But come ice or high snow drifts, winter wonderlands sure do inspire some pretty arts and crafts. A few of my Etsy picks, inspired by the coming storm:

1 - Vintage Snowbells Charm Bracelet by Mia Beads
2 - Snow Cat Cocoa Butter Soap by savor
3 - Morning Dove in Snow Print by Rocky Top Studio
4 - Snow White Double Stranded Posy Necklace by Cimbaline's Designs
5 - Winter White Ruffly Rose Scarf by Cherished Vintage
6 - Winter Flower Earrings by Amaia
7 - Old Man Winter Was Here by I brake for bokeh photography
8 - Kanzashi Hair Clip- Ice Crystal Flower by Petal Mix

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

{ Good stuff } Sun, surf and sand

Any LOST fans out there? This one's for you. In honor of the fantabulously awesome premiere of season 6 last night (seriously, people, how good was that?), here's some good stuff inspired by tropical islands (time-traveling and questionable inhabitants not required).

1 - Turquoise Blue Ocean Crashing photo print
by Eternal Images
2 - Sweet Destiny Necklace by Rachelle D
3 - Tropical Coasters by Thea P. Katon Photography
4 - Aloha Bracelet by Mary Grace Jewellery
5 - Ebb and Flow Earrings by Meghan T. Artistic Jewelry
6 - Jamaican Me Crazy Handcrafted Soap by Smokey Mountain Scents

Monday, February 1, 2010

{ freshly picked } teka & zoe

I think I have a new obsession. Etsy shop, Teka & Zoe, is filled with organically elegant copper enameled jewelry. Perfect for work or with jeans and T, this is the kind of jewelry you can wear every day and everyone will wonder where you got it.

1 - Sky Blue and Clouds Copper Enamel Earrings
2 - Where the Grass Meets the Sky Necklace
3 - Grape Copper Enamel and Amethyst Cluster Cup Earrings
4 - Aqua, Red and Yellow Flower Cup Earrings
5 - Flower with Leaves Copper Enamel Bangle Bracelet
6 - Old Ivory Hoop Copper Enamel Earrings

Hearts for Haiti - buy handmade and help Haiti

Happy Monday!

Help two causes at once- buy handmade and support an independent artisan and help the Haiti relief effort. Hearts for Haiti is a collective of Etsy crafters who have donated items to the shop and 100 percent of the proceeds go to Doctors without Borders. Happy helping (and shopping)!

1 - Spleen and Glamour Sequin Dress
2 - Rose print
3 - Abby Organza Flower Necklace
4 - Fine Silver Bouquet Pendant
5 - Oh Paris Notecard


All layouts and designs by J. Christine Kissinger, author of Blooming Wildflowers.