Sunday, April 26, 2015

Treasury Thanks

Each week I devote my Sunday Post to saying THANK YOU to the curators of Etsy treasuries who featured items from my Etsy shops, Aunt Pheba's Vintage and Pasque Flower Creations, over the past week.

It was a wild and wacky week for Etsy treasuries!  WOW!!  My TEMPT Team teammate, Mike Kraus of MikeKrausArt , deserves some special recognition this week.  He was on a treasury curating marathon, and I was so grateful to be included in many of those treasuries.  Thanks, Mike!

I have LOTS of eye candy for you to enjoy today, so grab a cuppa, sit back and enjoy!!  If you see something you like, please feel free to show some Etsy love by visiting the shop, Liking the item, and Pinning or Sharing. 

Vickie Wade of VickieWadeFineArt featured my pink chevron oven mitt in her GORGEOUS pink-themed treasury, Pink Spring Things.  (My Blogging Business Artisans team leader, Edi, will like this one!!)  Mother's Day is approaching, and I'm missing my daughter Allison.  Although she's a big girl now (27), she'll always be my little freckle-faced girl.  So I couldn't resist this mother and daughter art print from Vicki's shop.

Susan McAnany of McAnany featured my blue man dorm pillow cover in her treasury, Shades of the Sea.  Although I live in landlocked Nebraska, I love the ocean.  This Atlantic Ocean pier art photo is mesmerizing. 

Vickie Wade of VickieWadeFineArt featured my red floral oven mitt in her treasury, I LOVE MOM.  My mom's favorite color was red.  She would have loved this treasury.  We had a rainy weekend, so this Seattle lovers in the rain art print caught my eye. 

Suzanne Perry of GlowBlocks featured my happy camper oven mitt in her treasury, May 10 - Remember Mom.  If your mom happens to be a Baby Boomer who loves her coffee, this Peace Love Coffee night light would be a fun gift.  

Chelsey Mertz of NovaWoods featured my gray chevron oven mitt in her treasury, TEMPT Motivation Treasury.  I love these feather earrings from Chelsey's shop -- and check out that amazing product photography! 

Nikush of NikushJewelryArt featured my orange chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Hi, Dear . . . It was so hart to pick just one item from Nikush's shop, but I finally decided on these pretty blue flower drop earrings.

Mike Kraus of MikeKrausArt featured my poppies on teal oven mitts in his treasury, Wonderful Wednesday.  Mike is a multi-talented visual artist with a distinctive style that blends bold colors and modern art,  yet has a back-to-nature quality.  I love his Twilight Woods series.  This wonderful acrylic painting in purple and gold is part of that series. 

Mike also featured my happy camper oven mitt in his treasury, Special Delivery,  which gives me an opportunity to showcase another beautiful painting from Mike's Twilight Woods series.

Mike Kraus of MikeKrausArt also featured one of my key fobs in his treasury, Fishing for Trouble.  My Finnish bachelor farmer brother-in-law loves to ice fish -- and he's been known to fish for trouble on occasion.  We'll be visiting him and dozens of my hubby's extended family members as we venture North to Ottertail County, MN over Mother's Day weekend.  On that drive, we'll see many birch trees -- the kind that inspired this amazing red birch acrylic painting

Kathy and Wayne of Rocks2Gems2Wire featured my barbecue oven mitt in their treasury, Temptations on a Hot Summer Night.  I love Kathy and Wayne's unique jewelry pieces.  This green stone necklace is one of my many faves from their shop. 

Holly Bean of HollyoftheEarth featured my bright leaves oven mitts (the ones that were in a TV commercial) in her treasury, Dinner for Two.  I love this turquoise tribal necklace from Holly's shop. 

Julia of Draiguna featured my gray and yellow uptown oven mitt in her treasury, Walking Around Town.  Julia's shop features intricate crochet, beautiful doilies, and wonderful hand-crocheted bookmarks.  This lovely crochet lace bookmark in ecru would be a wonderful Mother's Day gift for a granny who still prefers turning pages to ebooks.   

Cassie of CassieVision, one of the fearless leaders of the Etsy TEMPT Team, featured my colorful abstract pillow cover in her treasury, Believe in Love.  With over 400 items in Cassie's shop, it was SO hard to pick just one.  But I decided on this purple mermaid necklace.  I love the way it mixes the natural elements of copper, shell and wood.

Mark of MADellingerCarving featured my custom walker bag (a thoughtful gift for an elderly or disabled mom, grandma, or auntie) in his treasury, Anticipation of Motivation.   Mark makes wonderful carved wood characters, each with a distinct personality.  The Burlington Northern Railroad has a huge presence in Nebraska. (I see lots of railroad retirement documents during tax season.) So I couldn't resist sharing this carved railroad engineer with all of you. 

Mark of MADellingerCarving also featured my patriotic baby bib in his treasury, Friday Fireworks by TEMPT Team.  This delightful old hippie wood carving reminds me of my college debate partner, Mike (whose beard is now gray), and his flower child wife, Shirley.  They have now retired to Texas, where Mike builds Habitat for Humanity houses.  Former flower child Shirley is also a full-time volunteer.  Since she's a retired Spanish speaker, she is truly bilingual, able to connect on a personal level with a broad spectrum of the community. 

Sharmila of KraftynKatchy featured my crocus oven mitt in her treasury, Unique Everyday Gifts for Her.  Sharmila makes wonderful mobiles.  This rainbow hearts mobile would be fun for a baby's nursery or child's playroom, I think.

Marlena Rakoczy of Poland featured my purple chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Purple Finds.  Continuing with the purple theme, I chose to feature this beautifully-crafted felted silk scarf from Marlena's shop. 

Julie of TheChickeesNest featured my wedding registry poppies on teal oven mitts in her treasury, Pretty Poppies.  This blue lagoon beaded memory wire bracelet is one of the beautiful jewelry items you will find in Julie's shop. 

Susan McAnany of McAnany featured my orange chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Orange Crush.  My Boomer friends may remember Orange Crush in a bottle.  When my family would take a Sunday drive to a lake (we lived in Lake County -- there were several), I would reach into icy cold water in a big red metal cooler to get a Grape Nehi (Radar O'Reilly's favorite, too), and my brother would grab an Orange Crush.  

But I digress...

I love Susan's art photography, and this across the bay art photo has a beautiful, tranquil quality. 

Nancy Eckert of mysticneedle featured my blue and green elephants baby bib in her treasury, Blue Greens.   This adorable toddler hat is one of the beautifully-needlecrafted pieces you'll find in Nancy's shop. 

Julia of Draiguna featured my poppies on blue oven mitt in her beautiful blue-themed treasury, Mist's Edge .  This hand crocheted shawl in pretty pastels would be a lovely Mother's Day gift for grandma or mom.  Or treat yourself!  I could certainly envision myself wrapped in this pretty shawl, snuggled up with a good book.  

Mike Kraus of MikeKrausArt featured my bling on black key fob in one of his several weekend treasuries, Superb Saturday.  Each of Mike's treasuries is like an intriguing multi-media piece, superbly crafted with his artist's eye.   Much as I was tempted to feature another painting from Mike's Twilight Woods series, which I truly love, I decided to share with you some of Mike's wonderful nursery art.  Here is a little (literally) sample -- a purple elephant artist's trading card.

Mary Beth Willis of LittleBitCrazy featured my red floral oven mitt (the one that makes me think of Tuscany) in her treasury, Perfect Poppies.   This beautiful copper and seafoam necklace is a unique piece -- and right on trend.  Stunning!

Pauline Clarke of polsknitsnstuff featured my tangerine roses oven mitts in her treasury, Spring Temptations.  The vibrant colors in this treasury were just what I needed to cheer me up on a cold, rainy day.  This small ethnic style knitted tote bag is one of the wonderful handcrafted accessories you can find in Pauline's shop.  Love it!

Mike Kraus of MikeKrausArt featured my pencil-shaped pencil pouches (nice teacher gifts or birthday party favors) in his treasury, GREAT GIFTS.   I showed you a little hint of Mike's whimsical elephant art earlier.  Here is a blue elephant 8x10 acrylic painting.  (He has adorable elephants in a variety of colors.)

Sharla of BeadedTail featured my flowers on blue oven mitt in her treasury, Love in Color, Cats and Cookies!  Sharla's shop is a wonderful mix of beautiful beaded jewelry and handcrafted journals (many cat-themed).  I chose to featured this red and white memory wire bracelet - Husker colors! 

Karen of EerieBeth featured my gray and yellow uptown oven mitt in her wonderfully creative storyline treasury, The Waitress.  Karen's shop is a little bit creepy and crazy, but in a good way.  Here is a whimsical monster cat doll from EerieBeth.  (Aren't all cats monsters sometimes?)

Mike Kraus of MikeKrausArt was at it again with his treasury, Colorful Creations. It included my blue and green elephants baby bib.   I try not to pick favorites, but this bright and colorful treasury was such a day brightener!  Speaking of bright and colorful, check out this Lavender in Provence painting from Mike's shop.  Couldn't resist the bold purple in the foreground and the brilliant blue sky. 

Mike Kraus of MikeKrausArt featured my folk art baby bib in red and pink in his bright, cheery and whimsical treasury, Fun & Feisty,  You've seen a range of Mike's art work in today's features, but I'm heading back to Twilight Woods for this feature. 

Vallee Rose of EnchantedRoseProduct featured my turquoise and brown mosaic-look key fob in her treasury, Various Shades of Blue from the TEMPT Team .  Need a teacher gift or a little Mother's Day gift?  Check out these pretty handpainted daisy bookmarks from Vallee Rose's shop. 

I'm including two early Sunday morning treasuries with this week's features.  Mike Kraus of MikeKrausArt featured my red retro-inspired bow clutch in his treasury, SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY!   This treasury is another delightfully eclectic mix of unique Etsy finds.  Here's yet another side of Mike's artistic personality -- a Chicago street drawing.  

And last, but not least, Judy Nolan of MisterPenQuin included my prairie pioneer sunbonnet in her treasury, Play Time.  Her treasury is chock full of wonderful gift ideas for children (or moms-to-be). 
This chicken little mini book from Judy's shop would be a wonderful baby shower gift. 

Whew!!!  And there you have it!  A WONDERFUL week for treasuries!  Thank you for stopping by, and have a great week!


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Arbor Days Is Near -- Hug a Tree!

It's Shameless Commerce Tuesday -- and only 3 days until Arbor Day (a State holiday in Nebraska, where trees are rare)!

You could celebrate Arbor Day by planting or hugging a tree. 

Windows Clip Art

OR -- you could celebrate trees, forests and woodland creatures with this newly-listed unisex baby gift set -- a 100% organic cotton reversible bib, paired with a terry-cloth backed burp cloth (cuz spit happens).  The whimsical fabrics are from Windham Fabrics. 

Organic Cotton Reversible Baby Bib

Organic Cotton Bib and Burp Cloth Baby Gift Set
(We've had days of clouds, so I'll need to retake the photos when I have natural light.)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Book of the Month - April 2015 - The Creator's Code

One of my resolutions for 2015 was to read (and blog about) at least one book a month.  This month I veered back to non-fiction for my book of the month selection.

The Creator's Code:  The Six Essential Skills of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs by Amy Wilkinson, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2015 (ISBN: 978-1-4516-6605-2; Ebook:  978-1-4516-6609-0). 

As an Etsy seller, I am an entrepreneur, and in my day job at the University of Nebraska College of Law Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic,  I encounter a vast array of startup entrepreneurs.  So this little book on entrepreneurship seemed like a logical pick.  I've been curious -- what makes some startups soar, while others plod along, and still others fail?

Amy Wilkinson interviewed 200 entrepreneurs who started companies that now generate more than $100 million in annual revenue or social enterprises that serve more than 100,000 people -- a pool she dubs "extraordinary entrepreneurs."  She then set about attempting to identify skills that helped these entrepreneurs create the synergy and momentum to become hugely successful.

She identified six essential skills that each of the entrepreneurs possessed:

1.  Find the gap.

The successful entrepreneurs were able to design new ways forward, transplant ideas across divides, or merge disparate concepts. 

2.  Drive for daylight.

The extraordinary entrepreneurs were focused on the future.  They kept driving forward at a fast pace.  They didn't focus on how far they'd come, but how far they still had to go.

3.  Fly the OODA loop.

OODA is an acronym for Observe - Orient - Decide - Act (repeat)
These business leaders were able to fast-cycle iterations -- they kept adapting and changing.

4.  Fail wisely.

This one seemed like an oxymoron to me, at first.  But small failures seemed to be essential to avoid catastrophic mistakes.  Successful entrepreneurs place small bets to test ideas and develop resilience to abandon or adjust as needed.  They set tolerances for "failure ratios," and turn setbacks into successes as they discover what works, and what doesn't. 

Wilkinson quotes Samuel Beckett:  "Ever tried? Ever failed?  No matter.  Try again. Fail again. Fail better."

In Etsy terms, that may mean testing new products -- some will catch on, others will sit idle on my cyber shelves.  But we keep trying new things, and gauging the changing needs and demographics of our customers.

5.  Network minds.

Successful entrepreneurs don't go it alone.  They bring together brainpower from diverse individuals and collaborate with sometimes unlikely allies.  In Etsy, that immediately brings to mind Teams and Etsy Forums.

6.  Gift small goods.

Creatives tend to want to help others, and strengthen relationships.

For an engaging animated summary of Amy Wilkinson's findings, check out this very short Kauffman Sketchbook video. 

Wilkinson closed with this inspiring challenge (p. 194):

All of us hold within ourselves
the potential to become creators,
and the expanding universe of entrepreneurship
provides infinite pathways for us to explore ---
if we dare.

It's a thought-provoking book, a quick read,  and one I'd highly recommend for free-lancers, entrepreneurs, or Etsy sellers.


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Treasury Thanks

Each week I devote my Sunday post to saying a big THANK YOU to the curators of Etsy treasuries who featured items from my shops, Aunt Pheba's Vintage and Pasque Flower Creations, over the past week.

This week's treasuries were trending toward Mother's Day, which is only (gasp!) three weeks away!
Please enjoy this sampling from the featured Etsy shops, and Like and Share your faves.

Laura P. of Calliphorabeads featured my retro diner oven mitt in her treasury, Once Upon a Time.  These beautiful hoop earrings from Laura's shop would be the perfect way to add a little sparkle to a special someone's prom.

Cassie of CassieVision featured my pink floral oven mitt in her treasury, Another Fine Day.  Cassie's shop is a mixture of wonderful jewelry, unique beaded items, and art photography.  Today I'm featuring this Pacific Northwest stream photo.  As some of you know, I hope to retire to a tiny house near a babbling brook -- although I'm hoping it will be in the Northeast, closer to three of my adult children. 

My cousin Lise of DustyDiggerLise featured my poppies on teal oven mitts in her wonderful cookout-themed treasury, Hot Dog with Mustard.  Lise lives in Texas, where it's grilling season almost all year.  Up North, we're just beginning to look forward to firing up the grill.  Lise's Etsy shop is a vintage store specializing in vintage paper products -- advertisements, books, postcards, etc.  She has an IMPRESSIVE collection of items.  This week, in keeping with her barbecue theme, I couldn't resist featuring this Mad Men era vintage Pepsi soda ad.

Valerie of NandysNook featured my gray chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Grayed Out.  And I just sold a gray chevron oven mitt --- very possibly thanks to Valerie!  NandysNook is a great place to shop for handmade crocheted items.  This heather gray coffee mug cozy would be a great teacher gift or Father's Day gift.

Valerie also featured my polka dot key fobs in her treasury that asks the age-old question, What Am I Going to Wear Today?  Ever have one of those  mornings when you stare blankly into the closet?
Well, now that I have some free daylight hours, I intend to start wearing crop pants and t-shirts (off duty, of course) -- and sunglasses!  This pretty red and white sunglasses case would be perfect for taking to Husker baseball games - Go Big Red!

Cassie  CassieVision featured my green and white bunting in her treasury, Earth Day.  This butterfly rear view mirror charm has a modern back-to-Nature vibe. 

Susan McAnany of McAnany featured my turquoise key fob in her treasury, Tempting Gifts.  I love Susan's art and her art photos.  In Spring, I'm always homesick for the farm where I grew up. This amazing wood cabin photo has a vintage rural feel.

Valerie of NandysNook was BUSY making treasuries this week!  She featured my tangerine on green roses oven mitts in her treasury, Flower Sisters.  There's some serious flower power in this hot green mug cozy -- one of the beautifully-crafted crocheted items from Valerie's shop!

Sharmila of KraftynKatchy featured my pastel pink floral oven mitt in her treasury, Mother's Day Gift Ideas!  This lovely cloud mobile has me thinking back to when my adult children were babies--they loved to look at mobiles.  Tim's changing table was near a window, and he just loved to watch the leaves glistening in the sun outside his window! 

Lynn of Midnightcoiler featured my green chevron oven mitt in her treasury, Saturday Pickings.  Speaking of Saturday --the TEMPT Team has been hosting Treasury Blast-Offs most Saturdays, resulting in some impressive page views!  This past week, six Tempt Team member treasuries made the front page of Etsy's Treasury section!  Here's a link to a great Etsy-Preneurship article on crowd promoting.

But I digress....
ceramic buttons

Lynn works magic with clay.  I just love these handmade ceramic buttons!

The TEMPT Team (I'm thinking Cassie had a hand in this) created a BEAUTIFUL team treasury, Mother's Day Gifts, which included my crocus oven mitt.  TEMPT stands for Terrific Etsy Members Practicing Teamwork.  New members are welcome.  Here's their avatar:

Rachel Pennington of RPArtandVintage featured my blue man dorm d├ęcor pillow in her treasury, Beautiful Blues - TEMPT Team Treasury Blast Off.   This Old Energy Sketch No. 12 is one of a series of beautiful modern abstract art pieces.

Debbie Ann from StrangeKarmaPerfume featured my green chevron oven mitt in her treasury, May Gift List.  Emerald is the May birthstone, and Debbie chose to curate a lovely green-themed treasury.
These white dove barefoot sandals would be perfect for a beach wedding - or someone blessed with pretty young ankles.

Rossiter Lisa of PNLJewelryDesigns also featured my green chevron oven mitt in her green-inspired treasury, Mother's Day Gift Ideas.   I know it's not nice to covet, but I really, really love this green and purple lampwork glass necklace!!  And what inspiring product photograph!!  If you love distinctive jewelry with a slightly modern edge, you will LOVE browsing in PNLJewelryDesigns!  Every listing is Pin-worth IMHO.

Suzanne Perry of Glowblocks featured my pink roses oven mitt in her treasury, You Are Loved.  Many of my friends are cat lovers, so I couldn't resist sharing this golden cat night light.   Hmmm-I could use a little cat nap myself.

Cheryl Madonna of Sparklesbythesea featured my lavender floral oven mitt in her treasury, Spring Fling.  This lovely Spring bracelet in green and purple is one of my favorite sparkly accessories from Cheryl's shop. 

MJFlowerfield featured my poppies on teal oven mitts (last pair is in a wedding registry -- this gorgeous fabric is out of print) in her treasury, It's Great to Be a Mother Treasury Blast Off TEMPT.  MJ has mastered the art of tatting (my Danish paternal grandpa used to tat).  This Spring flowers tatted bracelet is one of her beautiful creations.  She uses an old artform to create colorful modern accessories!

Atelier Chloe featured my crocus oven mitt in her trend-watching treasury, Best Trends 2015: Midnight.  I'm thinking these fun and funky handpainted sneakers could definitely start a trend!  Wouldn't they be a great Mother's Day gift for a gardener?

Francie of Insideredo featured my blue floral key fob in her treasury,  Naturally.  Francie's vintage shop has the BEST selection of guy-friendly vintage I've seen anywhere -- like this gorgeous 100% silk Tommy Hilfiger tie.

Hmmm--my bachelor son the economic analyst has a birthday this summer. . ..

And there you have it!  Another great week for treasuries!

Whew!  Tax Season is OVER!  I'm still in recovery mode, but I have begun to tackle some of the projects that I'd set aside until "after tax season."  Today, I'll be catching up on Etsy orders, and, hopefully making progress on some new little gifts for Mother's Day.

Thanks for stopping by!