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.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

good stuff :: sushi

There are two things I must eat (preferably more than once) when I visit California*: sushi and tacos. I don't even try tacos here in PA. That would be as ridiculous as eating Pennsylvania Dutch-style chicken pot pie while in California. Utter silliness. And the sushi here? It's really good. Until you've had it in California. And that takes it to a whole new level of yummy sushi-ness.

handmade sushi jewelry, cell phone case, artwork
Left, top to bottom: Sushi Magnets by Clayworks by Kim Detmers | California Sushi Rolls Original Watercolor
Right, top to bottom: Sushi Bento Box Cellphone Case by CB Sew | Bento 1 Print of Original Collage by Crystal Smith | I HEART SUSHI Bracelet by Insane Jellyfish Designs

*Forgive me for still being stuck in a California state of mind. Even though, that's pretty much my perpetual state, I'm in overdrive this week since I just came back from that little slice of paradise.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

california vacation :: day 1

Wow. I took way more pictures than I thought I did (over 1000!) and the editing and uploading process might take me weeks! So, instead of waiting until I have everything uploaded, I decided I'm going to post several rounds of pictures on my blog. Today, I bring you, "California Vacation- Day 1," where we went to the The Flower Fields in Carlsbad and hiked around Torrey Pines State Reserve & Beach. All pictures by me (except the ones of me; those are by Dave). I hope you enjoy my photos as much as I enjoyed taking them!

PS- I do have some indie shopping highlights that I'll post later this week, too.

The Flower Fields
daisies at the flower fields
pink and red roses at the flower fields
the flower fields
the flower fields

Torrey Pines State Reserve & Beach
lifeguard station at Torrey Pines State Beach
steps to the beach
hiking in torrey pines state reserve

Check out the rest of our day 1 pictures here.

Monday, March 29, 2010

freshly picked :: 2RavenChicks

Well, I'm back from my California vacation (sad!) and I'm planning to post some pics on the blog later this week (yay!), but for now, here's a fresh freshly picked Etsy shop. Lorraine and Nicole, the team behind 2RavenChicks,* stock their shop with delightful, flowery jewelry. So befitting of the upcoming (it's almost here, really!) spring season. Stock up now!

2RavenChicks handmade jewelry
Top, left to right: Bunny in the Garden Necklace | Fleur de Lis Necklace
Bottom, left to right: Toffee and Pearls Charm Bracelet | Garden Party Floral Bracelet

*I have the pleasure of "knowing" Lorraine and Nicole via our Etsy Street Team, The Etsy Beagles. Our team members share a love of- you guessed it- beagles. And we have a few honorary non-beagle owners who just love dogs- we beagle peeps are the friendly, inclusive type.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

color love :: sand + surf

Hello from California! Are you ready for a week of California-themed posts? I am! Is there really a better color combination than the shades of swirly sand and the beautiful colors of the ocean surf? I think not.

sand and surf color love handmade items

Top to bottom, left to right:
Top row: Sand and Sea Shells soap by Satin and Birch | Cubist Block ring by Jealousy Jewelry and Design
Middle row: Surf and Sand handbag by Wood Pond Designs | The Wave earrings by Surf and Sand Jewelry Design
Bottom row: Crystal blue rope halter dress from Shop Ruche | Aquatic - sea glass necklace by Seashaped | Sacred Beach 3 by Interrupt

Friday, March 19, 2010

TGIF :: link roundup and heading out to Cali!

beach chairs on the beach in san diego
photo by me

Today is a huge (bold! italic!) TGIF for me because it marks the beginning of my vacation! I'm heading to San Diego and LA for 9 days! To say I'm excited would be a ridiculous understatement. To say I'm actually ready to go would be an equally ridiculous overstatement. There's still so much to do! Laundry, packing, setting up blog posts for next week, grad school assignments, packing, last minute shopping, packing...yeah.

But for now, here's a roundup of some of my favorite links from the web this week:

Business and marketing links:
The Secret Ingredient to an Irresistible Blog by Josh Hanagarne at Copyblogger
The Business of Being Great by Michael Bungay Stanier at Entrepreneur®
You Get What You Give: Social Media Engagement Translates Into Sales from Hubspot

Who doesn't love a giveaway? Here are two for this week:
Shannon at Happiness Is...is giving away a gorgeous necklace by Brandi of Catie's Blue (and the Brandi Girl blog)
Miss Malaprop is giving away Natural Body Balm & Naturalift Anti-wrinkle Cream from Melvita

Lancaster Local Links:
And lastly, for all of you Lancaster, Pa. peeps, here's what's going on this weekend:
Today is Music Friday in downtown Lancaster (and what beautiful weather we have for it this evening!)
Cork & Cap Restaurant opens tonight at The Cork Factory Hotel (yet another fabulous restaurant and hotel in our vibrant little downtown)

Have a great weekend!

color love :: olive + mint

Other than nature, color is my biggest source of inspiration (and I suppose one could argue that the colors in nature are what inspires me most). And so, I couldn't continue much longer with the blog without re-introducing my color inspiration boards.

This week, I'm taking inspiration from my other blog and creating a board with olive and mint. And since St. Patty's Day was this week, I think the wearing 'o the green is perfectly appropriate.

color story olive and mint handmade and indie accessories and art

Top to bottom, left to right:
row 1: Dandelion digital art print by Crimson Peachy Art | Key Lime embroidered tank from Shop Ruche | Sea Cruise earrings by Licia Beads | Bicycle on Green pendant by Elle Cools
row 2: Pistachio Mint lampwork beads by Kat Scratch Beads | Ripple Striped Green handbag by Hot Mama Handbags
row 3: Easy Being Green sandals from ModCloth | A New Start fine art print by Honeytree Photography

freshly picked :: sparkle couture

Everything in Sparkle Couture's shop is colorful and sophisticated with just a bit of earthiness. This is the kind of jewelry you wear on a sultry summer evening with a long, bohemian dress and flat, metallic sandals. Or in the dead of winter when you need a reminder that warmer days will be here again. Is it August yet?

sparkle couture handmade colorful gemstone jewelry
all jewelry by sparkle couture

Thursday, March 18, 2010

pretty little things :: sparkly friendship bracelets

Remember your days spent in the summer camp craft room, weaving friendship bracelets out of embroidery floss? Well, here's the grown-up version- still handmade, but this version is a little more sophisticated, a lot more sparkly, and perfect for stacking (I'm wearing an armful of them right now!).

sparkly, leather, crystal and gemstone handmade friendship bracelets
Top to bottom, left to right:
Fine silver PMC bracelet by round house jewelry | "Enlightened" faceted sterling silver on Greek leather bracelet by The Water's Edge
Single wrap blue Czech bracelet by Anne Elizabeth Designs | Champagne leather wrap bracelet by i heart jenna
Rapa Nui leather wrap bracelet by sareca | Celtic by serenity dawn

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

marketing :: let's link together (yeah, yeah, yeah!)*

Triple circle silver charm necklace by friedasophie jewelry design
Triple circle silver charm necklace by Fridasophie Jewelry Design

I recently had a conversation with an indie crafter about web design. Not specifically about design itself, but whether or not it's a good idea to include a link in the footer of your website giving credit to the person or company who designed your website.

"Why should I include a link to someone else's site on the site that I paid for?" the crafter argued.

To me (and my marketing brain), the answer was obvious - SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. Why not take this situation and use it to boost your SEO with reciprocal linking?

Chances are, your web designer is linking back to your site from their site, whether in their portfolio or client sample section, or on a favorite links or friends page. They're probably proud of the work they've done for you, so they are sharing your site with other people (you never know who might be interested in your work!). And if for some reason, they don't have a link for your site, why not just ask them to add one? It's a simple thing, but it helps boost your site's search engine friendliness. The more links you have pointing back to your site from other sites, the more a search engine likes you.

Of course, link building is just one component of SEO (I'll promise I'll post more about SEO and linking building strategy in the future), but a link building strategy is an important component. And it strikes me as silly that someone would kick the SEO gift-horse in the mouth when an easy opportunity for link building, such as this, presents itself.

And in my mind, marketing aside, it's also just good, friendly neighbor, business practice. Good karma and such. And it's always nice to give credit where it's deserved and doesn't your web designer deserve credit for their work?

But I'm curious, what are your thoughts on this? Have you ever encountered this situation? How did you handle it? I'd love to know!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

inspired by :: alice in wonderland

Have you seen Alice in Wonderland yet? I haven't, but I'm hoping to this weekend. It was one of my favorite childhood stories and I even played the Red Queen back in junior high theatrical production(many, many moons ago). So, of course, I couldn't pass up the opportunity for an Alice-inspired post of Etsy finds.

alice in wonderland inspired etsy finds
1 - heart pocket watch necklace by Love Spell Jewels
2 - fairytale sweetheart ribbon and leather corset belt by Contrived to Charm
3 - vintage european teapot at menzo collection
4 - running bunny ring by Proteales
5 - rosette headband red and pink trio by Shop Byrdferth

Thursday, March 11, 2010

around town - lancaster, pa :: veleska jewelry

Since The Blooming Wildflowers Project isn't just about buying indie but also about shopping local, I thought I'd start a new column called, "Around town" where I'll take you to brick & mortar businesses in my small city of Lancaster, Pa. When I travel, I'll show you the cool shops I find in those cities and towns, too.

But today, we're in Lancaster. On West Orange Street, to be exact. It's a beautiful tree-lined street with brick sidewalks and historic buildings. Nestled in its midst is Veleska Jewelry by Kathryn Pearce, a tiny boutique stocked with one-of-a-kind and upcycled finds. If you're a jewelry lover who appreciates handcrafted pieces, don't miss this shop!
veleska jewelry by kathryn pearce in downtown lancaster, pa
image source

Visit Veleska Jewelry at:
348 West Orange Street(between Mulberry near Charlotte)
Lancaster, PA 17603

Hours of operation:
Tuesday through Friday, 10-5
Saturday, 10-3
Open till 8:00 on First Friday

Friday, March 5, 2010

TGIF link roundup

Lots of good stuff on indie business and marketing this week on the web. Here are some of my favorites:

Also a shout out to Miss Malaprop, who mentioned The Blooming Wildflowers Project (and my jewelry line, Pineapple Sugar) in her Friday links post. Thanks, Mallory!

If you're in Lancaster, Pa., it's First Friday! Be sure to stop by all the fabulous shops and galleries downtown. And check out Veleska Jewelry on West Orange Street. You might walk away with an emerald ring valued at $200- just stop in today from 5-7 p.m. for "Lucky" Discounts. (Hurry, there's not much time left!)

And a comment issue update- I'm still having issues. If you posted a comment, but it's not showing up, don't worry, I have it here somewhere and it will make it to the blog eventually. And I also can't respond to any of your comments right now (as much as it pains me not to). I'm not ignoring you! I love your comments and I promise I will respond to them as soon as I get this issue fixed (which hopefully will be sooner rather than later).

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

freshly picked :: botanical bird

freshly picked botanical bird jewelry

I'm loving the vintage style, nature inspired jewelry in Botanical Bird's Etsy shop. If you like your jewelry flowering with roses and ribbons and accented with birds and owls, don't miss this adorable shop.

botanical bird nature inspired jewelry

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

good stuff :: tech meets textiles

good stuff - tech meets textiles

So you have an iPhone, a laptop, a digital camera and other tech gadgets and you need somewhere to store them? Banish the boring black canvas bags and make a statement with colorful, patterned bags and cases.

handmade laptop bags, camera cases and iphone cases
Top (left to right): Camera bag - Janine King Designs | In Touch Pouch - downstairs Designs
Bottom (left to right): Laptop sleeve - Bertie's Closet | Camera and laptop bag - XcessRize Designs

Monday, March 1, 2010

monday fun :: part 2 - photos

Terrie over at Rainbow Days just tagged me in this photo game... go check out her blog where her picture is of her cute little dog, Bessie!

The rules of this tag are:
1. open your first photo folder
2. scroll to the tenth photo
3. post the photo and the story behind it
4. tag five or more people

So this is my picture:
bus stop in downtown lancaster during the february snow storm

And here's the story behind it:
It doesn't look like much. I just snapped that picture during the last snow storm while D and I were walking Thing 1 and Thing 2. But that snowy bus stop has a lot of meaning for me.

When I was a kid, my beloved grandmother, aka, Nanny (who passed on over a decade ago), used to take me into downtown Lancaster. We would spend the day wandering downtown. We'd visit the shops at Hager Arcade, which back then, had a fabulous art store where she would be me art supplies (I got bit by the artistic bug very early on and she was more than proud to help me develop my skills). We'd go to Central Market and eat rock candy and then we'd have lunch at the Rendezvous in Watt & Shand (because rock candy before lunch was just how we rolled.)*

Then, we'd wait at that bus stop to take the bus home.

So, you see, it doesn't look like much, but to me, the subject of that picture holds some of my fondest childhood memories.

*That old Watt & Shand building is now the Lancaster Convention Center and there's a bar there called The Rendezvous Lounge, which commemorates the building's heritage.

Here's who I'm tagging:
Carried Away
Ms. Anomaly
Ciao Hound
Frums Glass Menagerie

I'll be back tomorrow with regular indie blog posts, but as for tonight, I'm way too tired to do anything else (other than drink tea with a extra shot of cold medicine). See you Tuesday!

monday fun :: part 1 - sunshine blog award

sunshine awardHappy Monday, everyone! I'm feeling sort of meh with what seems to be a cold, but Vicky over at SoapStar brightened my day by giving my blog the Sunshine Award!

It is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspires others in the blog world.

The rules for accepting the award are:
1. Put the logo on your blog or within your post.
2. Pass the award to 5 bloggers.
3. Link the nominees within your post.
4. Let them know they received this award by commenting on their blog.
5 Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

Here's who I'm nominating:
Rainbow Days
Daisy Petal Designs
The Silver Swann
Zephi Art
Brandi Girl

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