Thursday, April 30, 2009

Drool-Worthy Handmade Pet Items On Etsy

Etsy has put together a collection of handmade pet-related goodness, and is asking YOU to vote for YOUR favorite! I have been fortunate enough to be included in this "drool-worthy" collection, and would appreciate your vote. The top items will snag a spot in the Etsy gift guides.

My Custom Realistic Portrait Of Your Pet. Hand-Painted Art Pendant Necklace. is the item from my shop that Etsy has chosen to include in this collection. Each original miniature portrait is created with high quality acrylic paints on a wooden tile. The painting is then sealed on every surface, and then receives a high-gloss resin finish which gives it a very polished look. The finished effect is similar to that of a heavy glass pendant, but it is actually very lightweight. The pendant features a medium silver-plated aanraku bail securely fastened to the back, and comes with a black waxed cotton cord with a lobster claw clasp.

So please, vote for me here ----> VOTE!

I would really appreciate it. Have a wonderful day! :)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Call For Workshop Wednesday Participants

Each week I run a blog series titled Workshop Wednesday. Each Wednesday features either a tutorial by yours truly or another talented artist or artisan, or a snapshot of an artist's creative process. Here are examples of past Workshop Wednesday posts:

1/14 - How To Create A Resin Finish On A Wood Tile, by Allover Art
1/21 - Handmade Dog Collars With GoneDoggie
1/28 - Handcrafted Wooden Toys With McCoyToys
2/4 - Pet Portrait Process With Allover Art
2/11 - Photoshop Tutorial With McGuinness Photography
2/18 - How To Make A Canvas Collage, by Tangente
2/25 - How To Create A Reversible Headband, by Zemphira
3/4 - Crocheted Flower Earrings With Jennifer White Designs
3/11 - How To Create An Eco-Friendly Cuff, by TuscaloosaRoad

I'd like to expand the Workshop Wednesday feature to include photos of artists' workspaces or studios. It's been difficult to regularly find tutorials and snapshots of an artist's creative process, so I'm hoping that by expanding the Workshop Wednesday I'll be able to feature more artists and artisans. Plus, it's always interesting to get a peek inside another artist's creative space. :)

If you're interested in being a part of Workshop Wednesdays, please feel free to convo me in my Etsy shop or comment on this post. I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with! Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Have You Heard Of The Thursday Sweet Treat?

If you haven't checked out the Thursday Sweet Treat blog yet, you are missing out.

The Thursday Sweet Treat is "a place for artists and writers to dream, support one another and share the work they love to create." Natasha of DoodleStar is the talented and charismatic artist who put this blog together. About the blog she says "A theme is posted every Friday and then the people who choose to showcase their work post their new creations on the following Thursday! Come join us!"

Anyone can participate, and as someone who has been a part of this endeavor the past few months, it really is a lot of fun. For example, one theme was 'Artistic Safari' for which I created this piece, Safari Sunset Hand-Painted Art Pendant Necklace. So many talented artists showcase their work every Thursday, and it's thrilling to see how each artist interprets the weekly theme.

A new theme will be posted this Friday after new work is showcased on Thursday, so be sure to keep checking out the blog to get inspired! There will be instructions with the new theme on how to enter.

The Thursday Sweet Treat also has a weekly segment in addition to the inspirational themes called the "Artist Play Date." Each Wednesday the blog will feature an artist and his or her artistic process or a tutorial. There will also be a giveaway featuring something from that artist's shop.

There are also a number of things in the works that will expand the Thursday Sweet Treat as it continues to inspire artists and anyone who visits the blog. Add the Thursday Sweet Treat to your daily blog reads and be prepared to see some amazing work. :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Monday Must-Have

Today marks a new installment of my Monday blog series titled Monday Must-Have. Each Monday I will feature a fellow talented Etsian and his or her phenomenal work. Each featured artist will have his or her own online Etsy shop where you can peruse and admire his or her one-of-a-kind body of work. Hopefully you will find new favorite artists and artisans whose work you MUST HAVE. :)

Today's featured artist Elena of FashionTouch.
Who are you (actual name/and or shop name)?

Hello, my name is Elena and I have an online boutique named FashionTouch.

What do you create?

I consider an accessory a simple way to add a perfect touch to any outfit. In my store you will find a large variety of knitted, crocheted and beaded accessories, like scarves and scarflettes, capelets, hats, bracelets and earrings.

Where are you located?

I live and create in the center of beautiful Regional Municipality of Niagara. The region of Niagara is a peninsula located between Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and The Niagara River. This region offers year around fun including visits to Niagara Falls and trips to award winning wineries, so the location is very inspiring.

When did you start creating?

I have been creating for as long as I can remember. As a child I knew my grandmother was a very creative person, I have lots of memories of her that always inspire me.
Why did you choose your shop name?

Since I have planned to create accessories, I was thinking what does it do. The first answer was – it adds a Fashion Touch. This phrase was chosen as a best fit.

What inspires you?

Many things inspire me however my main inspiration is my family. My husband is eternal support and inspiration, my parents, my little puppy, my new garden, the place I live at, my friends and just random people I may meet.

What is the most time consuming part of your craft/art?

My work in general is very time consuming. I have plenty of ideas and they are realized quickly enough, but it takes time to knit or crochet and to do the job right. I wish I could have more than 24 hours a day.

What is your favorite place to visit in your hometown and why?

We are just 15 minutes away from Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake. These 2 places are always welcoming visitors and I love them. It is like a small adventure every time we go. I also like to visit local flea markets.

What is your most popular item that you create (and why do you think it is so popular)?

Harmony in Peach Blush Bracelet is my best selling design. The picture is worth a thousand words. See it to believe it… I have sold this bracelet in many different colors and I am very proud that some of my customers even picked it for many important events in their lives, like weddings and prom dresses.

How do you acquire new clients?

My main focus is to create new items so my clients would have options to choose from. Thankfully I have friends who put my link on their website. I do have some followers on Twitter, so if someone would like to follow my updates please feel welcome to do so at:

What's your next project going to be?

I have just started a new type of capelet, so it will be coming soon, in beautiful mermaid colors. I consider the capelet is one of the most feminine accessories and it adds a nice vintage touch to any ensemble.

What types of things do you do to turn first time buyers into repeat clients?

I am offering discounts on any additional purchase for each customer. I also offer combined shipping and was blessed with repeated customers. Communication with my customers is the key point as well. I am always welcome to the special orders, including wholesale orders and I am willing to negotiate.

What do you do when you are not creating?

I recently became a big fan of gardening. I also enjoy fishing with my husband and long walks with my little puppy.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I am very glad to have the opportunity to be featured on this blog. I am inviting everyone to visit my online boutique FashionTouch and I am sure you will be able to pick something for your self or someone special to you.

Happy Mothers day to everyone!

Be sure to check out Elena's shop! If you're interested in being featured in future Monday Must-Have segments, please feel free to convo me in my Etsy shop or email me. Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

How To Install A Social Bookmarking Tool On Your Blog

Yesterday I was at the Spring Daze Arts & Crafts Festival in Cary all day, so I'm a little wiped. Thank you to all of your who came out! :) It was a successful show and a beautiful day, but quite warm in the afternoon. I'm taking a breather today, so I'm re-posting a previous post about how to install a social bookmarking tool on your blog. Come back tomorrow for the Monday Must-Have feature! Have a wonderful day.

Last night I posted a question in the Etsy forums about social bookmarking and blogs. I wanted to know how I could add a button or some sort of tool to the end of each post that would allow someone to socially bookmark and share my posts with other sites. I received a few different answers, but my favorite response was from Joanna of JoannasPhotography. She introduced me to "Add This," which helped me install exactly what I was looking for.

Here's a brief tutorial of how to add a social bookmarking tool button to each post in your blog using "Add This." Click on any of the images in this post to make them larger.

Go to and click on the big orange "Get Your Button" button. :) The button you will want will be the "sharing/bookmarking button." Choose how you want your button to look and choose "on a blog" for the "where." Next you can choose your blogging platform; TypePad, Blogger, WordPress, or Other. I chose Blogger, so the rest of the tutorial is specific to Blogger. Finally, click "get your button code."

Next you will want to scroll down to "Blog Post Button" to insert the code into your blog template that will create a button at the bottom of every post. Go to the "Layout" part of your blog, and click on "Edit HTML." At this point you will want to backup you Blogger template just in case something wacky happens while you are editing the HTML. Click on "Download Full Template" (1 - see image below). Your computer may handle it differently, but mine opened the download with Internet Explorer, which I then saved to my desktop as an xml file. Once you have saved the template, go back to the blog layout and click the box next to "Expand Widget Templates"(2 - see image below).

Then, hold down the "control" button and the "F" button at the same time. This will open up a search toolbar at the bottom of the page (3 - see below). Copy and paste the text "Add This" asks you to look for. The text you are looking for will be highlighted in the html (4 - see below).
Copy the button code from the "Add This" site and paste it immediately behind the highlighted html text. Click "save template" and go check out your new social bookmarking tool! It should be at the end of every post.
Enjoy!! :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Spring Daze Arts & Crafts Festival Tomorrow

The weather tomorrow here in central NC is going to be GORGEOUS! Come out to Bond Park in Cary for the Spring Daze Arts & Crafts Festival and pay a visit to Allover Art. The festival runs from 9am-5pm. Check out all the great fun that will be happening from the town of Cary website!

The festival is filled with wonderful arts and crafts, your favorite festival foods, community based civic groups handing out information on things you can get involved with, and entertainment. Children will be delighted by activities just for them in the Children’s Village and will be invited to exercise their imagination as they play in the always popular Lazy Daze Playground – the center of the village. In the Earth Day area of the festival, you can find out how to play a role in preserving our natural resources and protecting the environment. This is the perfect family event to learn more about what you can do to make every day Earth Day.

We’re growing older, getting bigger and reaching for new heights. Join us as we celebrate the arts in the park!

New at Spring Daze 2009 Storyteller Stage
For the first time ever at Spring Daze, we’ll feature the ages-old art form of storytelling all day long on a dedicated stage! Our featured storytellers will weave tales of mystery, intrigue and fantasy that will transport young and old alike to the magical land that exists in stories. Take a minute to listen in as our storytellers continue the tradition of their ancestors through spoken word, stories and tales.

Cary Performs

Join us for the third annual Cary Performs event! Cary Performs celebrates and highlights local performing groups who will showcase their talents for the public. This year's event will feature performances by Applause! Youth Theatre, Cary Players, Cary Ballet, Concert Singers of Cary, Philharmonic Association, Triangle Wind Ensemble, and Triangle Brass Band. You’ll find these talented local groups on the Sertoma Amphitheatre stage from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Cary Jaycees Amateur Photography Contest

The Cary Jaycees and Spring Daze Arts & Crafts Festival present the first ever Amateur Photo Contest for the community. Everyone can participate, adults and youth. If you love to take pictures and are not a professional paid photographer, this event is for you. All entries will be displayed during Spring Daze on April 25 at Bond Park at the Boat House. Community professionals will judge all entries and winners will be presented at 1:15 p.m. at the Earth Day Stage. Join the fun! More details and an application can be found at or e-mail

WakeMed Fitness Pavilion

The WakeMed Fitness Pavilion is designed to promote healthy lifestyles and to deliver community health awareness messages. Featuring informative booths, interactive exhibits, demonstrations, hands-on activities, greenway information and local health and fitness opportunities available to you, the Fitness Pavilion will help you reach your optimal health and fitness level. During Spring Daze, Get Fit, Be Fit and Stay Fit in Cary! The Town of Cary has been designated a Fit Community (2007-2010) by the North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund.

NCSU College of Design Public Art Installation

Students from the North Carolina State University College of Design are creating a temporary public art installation to be displayed at Bond Park as part of the Spring Daze Arts & Crafts Festival celebration. "Discovery" of ordinary structures in unusual places can encourage people to think about their surroundings, the environment, and our impact on the earth. Hopefully, the installation presence will suggest an ambiguity of time. What we witness in the present moment alludes to our memories of the past as well as our curiosity about and predictions for the future. Associate Professor Dana Raymond's students will create thought provoking and intriguing installations to be discovered and enjoyed by the Festival and Park visitors.

Cary News Photo Contest: How I See It – Spring Daze from a Youth Perspective
The Cary News is sponsoring a photo contest for youth up to age 17! Come to the Festival, take your best photos in any (or all) of the categories and submit to the Cary News by April 29. See for full details! Age Ranges for entrants: 12 and younger, 13-17 Photo Categories: Earth Day, Cool Performance, Arts & the Artisans, Food / That’s Sooo Good!

Have a Community Impact Through Our New Program – Friends of the Festivals!
By joining the Friends of the Festivals, you will become a standard bearer - helping to continue the spirit and tradition of these wonderful festivals that define our community as a great place to live, play and work!"

I hope to see you out there!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Special Giveaway Featuring j. brown Art

Today I'm announcing a special giveaway. This giveaway features Jenn of j. brown Art, a brand new Etsy shop! In her shop you will find prints of her original artwork. Right now she only has 4x6" prints listed but will be adding more sizes as well as original artwork soon. She just opened this shop, but has another shop on Etsy that she opened in November of 2008.

The giveaway runs from Thursday, April 23rd to Thursday, April 30th at 11:59pm EST. One winner will be chosen and the prize will be the winner's choice of any 4x6 fine art print with free shipping from j. brown Art!

j. brown Art is full of so much generosity that she's not only sponsoring a giveaway, she's also offering a sale to all of you in both her shops! If you buy one print or one bangle you will get the second one half off. You can convo Jenn for a revised listing or put "alloverart blog" in the note to seller section during checkout and she will refund via PayPal.

Now it's time to get down to the nitty gritty of how you can win this fabulous giveaway. Here's how you can enter:

1) Go to the Etsy shop of j. brown Art and pick out your favorite item.

2) Come back to this post and leave a link or comment telling me what your favorite item is from Jenn's shop, as well as a way to contact you in case you win. This could be an email address, your Etsy shop, or something similar.

3) Only one entry per person, unless you blog about the giveaway. If you blog about the giveaway, be sure to leave a link to your blog in your comment and you will be counted twice.

4) I will assign each entry a number. The winner will be chosen by a random number generator. I will announce the winner on Friday, May 1st on this blog, as well as contact him or her.

Good luck to you all! Have a great day.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Workshop Wednesday

Today marks another installment of a new weekly blog series titled Workshop Wednesday. Each Wednesday will feature either a tutorial by yours truly or another talented artist or artisan, or a snapshot of an artist's creative process. This week's Workshop Wednesday features Jen of McGuinness Photography, and I'm super-excited about her Photoshop tutorial "How To Tone Your Photos In Photoshop."

How To Tone Your Photos In Photoshop

Here is a quick technique you can use to tweak the colors of your photos. This is particularly helpful if you've underexposed an image or it's a cloudy day.

This is a test shot before a photo shoot of the lovely Mimi. It was cloudy outside so the colors are not as sharp as they could be. Her mouth and nose especially are very dark.

First I'm going to set the black and white values of my Levels. (In Photoshop, go to “Image” ‐‐> “Adjustments” ‐‐> “Levels”.) Photoshop will preload levels for you. You can change the values by double clicking on the black or white eyedropper. Let's start with black. I set my RGB values to "10" for each one. Then click OK.

Now double click on the white eyedropper.

I set my RGB values to "245" for each one. Then click OK. You'll be left with the levels window. Click OK to close. Now there is one more step to take. Go to Window‐‐> Layers.

A new box will show on your screen. Right click on the ying‐yang image at the bottom of this box. Select "Threshold."

Your image will turn to black and white.

Now when you slide the little arrow to the right, your image will turn to black. In my case, a little bit of white remains. This is the brightest part of my photograph. (If no white appears for your image, slowly move the arrow back to the left until the first white shows in your photo.)

When you move your mouse to go over your photo, a little eye dropper will appear. Hold down the Shift key and click on that white space. This will leave a cross hair on your image as a marker for later, as seen in the next example.

Now you'll do the same to find the darkest part of your photograph. Slide the little arrow to the right. Your photo will turn white. Now slowly move your arrow back to the left until something black appears.

Move your mouse to that part of the photo and hold down the Shift Key and click. Now you will have another cross hatch. When you are finished, click OK.

Now that we're done using the "Threshold" feature, you can go into your Layers box and delete it.

Click and hold that layer and drag it into the trash can icon.

Now you'll have your photo back. Go back to "Levels" by going to "Image" ‐‐> "Adjustments" ‐‐> "Levels" and the Levels box will come up.

Now click on the black eye dropper and find your cross hair (in this case, it will show as cross hair 2 on my photo).

Click on that space. Your image should change in tonal values (also notice how the Levels graph changes after you click).

Now you just need to tone the highlight.

Click on the white eyedropper and then click on your first cross hair.

When finished, click OK.

The cross hairs will still show on your image but will not show when you go to print your photo.

If you still want to play with your image, you can do other things in Photoshop, such as playing with Curves ("Image" ‐‐> "Adjustments" ‐‐> "Curves").

In here you can also play with how dark or bright the photo is by moving the graph up and down.

Thank you to Allover Art for inviting me to do this feature! I hope you find the above tutorial helpful! :)

Please be sure to check out Jen's work in her Etsy shop, McGuinness Photography! You can also find Jen in her other Etsy shop Fairy Crystals, in her Artfire Shop, and on her blog. Are you on Twitter? Check Jen out at username JMCPhoto. If you're interested in being featured in future Workshop Wednesday segments, please feel free to convo me in my Etsy shop or email me. Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Earth Day Sale!

Earth Day is this Wednesday, April 22nd! According to everyone's favorite internet resource, Wikipedia, Earth Day is a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment. It is held annually during both spring in the northern hemisphere and autumn in the southern hemisphere. It was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in in 1970 and is celebrated in many countries every year.

So, while we all think about ways to save and conserve our planet, I'm having a sale in my Etsy shop to save YOU some green!

25% off any item(s) in the Wearable Eco Art section

Simply pay for your order and I will refund you the difference within a few hours. Feel free to convo me in the shop if you have any questions. Sale ends 4/23/09.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday Must-Have

Each Monday I feature a fellow talented Etsian and his or her phenomenal work. Each featured artist has his or her own online Etsy shop where you can peruse and admire his or her one-of-a-kind body of work. Hopefully you will find new favorite artists and artisans whose work you MUST HAVE. :)

At the end of last week and over the weekend I traveled to Atlanta for my sister's bachelorette party, and unfortunately completely forgot about interviewing someone for the Monday Must-Have feature. Instead, here's a list of some of my favorite Etsy shops. Check them out; I'm sure they won't disappoint.

SpawnStudio creates handmade cards for a number of occasions. Her sense of humor is one-of-a-kind, which shows through in her humorous and original cards. I've actually ordered custom bachelorette party invitations from her and they were fantastic! They received many compliments, and most of all, the bride-to-be loved them.

EarthCadets creates tote bags that are "practical in all applications, shopping, the grocery store, picnicking, spy adventures... if you need to carry it, an Earth Cadets tote is here to help. [Their] mission is to provide every Earth Cadet with their own uniquely designed and hand screen printed tote bag made entirely out of recycled materials."

FancyThatCookies, located in Raleigh, NC, creates delicious-looking cookies, tarts, torts, pies, brownies, and meringues. I say delicious-looking only because I haven't had a chance to order anything yet. I have enjoyed drooling over the pictures and imagining how yummy everything is. FancyThatCookies is actually having a sale right now that ends on April 30th.

DecorateTheDiva creates handmade jewelry. I am especially in love with her variety of big wooden earrings like the pair shown here. I purchased a few pairs of earrings for my sister-in-law for her birthday and she loved them! I'll be ordering some for myself soon.

If you're interested in being featured in future Monday Must-Have segments, please feel free to convo me in my Etsy shop or email me. Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mother's Day Is May 10th

Mother's Day will be here before you know it! Here's a little history about the holiday according to Wikipedia.

The modern Mother's Day holiday was created by Anna Jarvis as a day for each family to honor its mother, and it's now celebrated on various days in many places around the world. It complements Father's Day, the celebration honoring fathers.

This holiday is relatively modern, being created at the start of the 20th century, and should not be confused with the early pagan and christian traditions honoring mothers, or with the 16th century celebration of Mothering Sunday, which is also known as Mother's Day in the UK.

In most countries the Mother's Day celebration is a recent holiday derived from the original US celebration. Exceptions are, for example, the Mothering Sunday holiday in the UK.

I've created a section in my shop dedicated to Mother's Day Gift Ideas. Browse through several elegant, simple, and fun wearable art pendants and rings. Here are a few select items that Mom would surely be happy to wear:

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Indie Pics!

10-Week Old Indie

For those who are new to my blog, WELCOME! Indie is the 10-week old rescue Beagle mix we adopted when he was six weeks old. He's been quite the handful, and always quite comical, happy to pose for pictures.

Here's what usually ends up happening at the end of the day after working in the studio and running around keeping an eye on Indie and his big sister Kasey: