Thursday, August 30, 2012

Announcing Photographic Art Purse Hangers from EDCCollective

While I was purchasing some new supplies for a custom order earlier this summer, that I hope to share with you next month, I found “backbones” for customizable purse hangers from one of my suppliers. I was also ordering a variety of glass cabochons and paper punches for this custom order from other suppliers, so I looked to see if I could find a properly sized punch and glass cab for the purse hanger backbones too. It took a bit of searching, but I finally found all of the sizes of supplies and tools that I needed for my custom order and my prototype for what I hoped would become a new product line for my EDCCollective shop.

I suspected that some of my photographic art would look good mounted under the glass cabochons that I intended to top the purse hangers with. This hunch was based on working with my graphics that I use to make my flying pig and music cufflinks for my EclecticSkeptic shop. After working with several of my photographic art images, I found out how tight I should crop the images to look their best under the glass cabs. I came up with six floral photographic art images that I liked and made two of them up, a daylily and a water lily. When completely assembled, I was even more pleased with the way my artwork looked than when the purse hangers were just mocked up.

I have just recently listed my daylily photographic art purse hanger. It is a functional and pretty piece of art to carry with you in your purse. It folds flat for easy storage and is easily employed to keep your purse at hand but off the floor. I had purchased a similar purse hanger years ago and love to be able to go to a restaurant, grab my purse hanger from my bag and hang it and my bag from the table. No more germs from the floor in contact with my purse, no more hoping that the chair will allow me to hang my purse from it without it slipping off. These things are great!

I was telling a friend of mine about my new product and now I need to put together a purse hanger for her with one of my photographic art sunflower images. While I’m doing that, I think I will also make one with my Mother’s Day rose image as well as my daffodil image. Please contact me if you have a favorite flower that you would like to have on your purse hanger. If I have an appropriate image to use, I’d be happy to customize one for you.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Arlington Archosaur Site

Let me start with a great big thanks to Derek Main for allowing me and a couple of members of my family to participate in this summer’s dig at the Arlington Archosaur site. After helping out for several weeks, it was also a pleasure to be able to tag along on the tour of the site that Derek gave to a new Earthwatch group that had just arrived for a two week (I think) “vacation” to help out with the dig.

I first heard about this type of citizen scientist project on a TV program over a decade ago. The program had mentioned some digs out West where volunteers were allowed to participate. This really caught my attention and I hoped I would get lucky enough to be able to participate in one someday. A few years later an opportunity presented itself for an archeological dig but unfortunately my family was unable to take advantage of it. Then, I think it was near the end of the first or second dig season at the Arlington Archosaur site, I learned about the call for volunteers to help with the dig a little too late to be able to be able to participate. At the time, I did not realize that this was going to be an ongoing effort, so I was really excited to find out this past spring that it was still going and needed some additional volunteers. (If Derek had not participated in the Front and Center Event this past April, I probably would still be oblivious.) It is so cool to have this type of opportunity “right in my own backyard”.

So what is the Arlington Archosaur site and do they still need help?

From the Arlington Archosaur website, “The Arlington Archosaur Site is a prolific fossil site that was discovered … by UT-Arlington students Phil Kirchhoff and Bill Walker along with local fossil collectors Art and Olivia Sahlstein in the summer of 2003…. To date, more dinosaur fossils have been recovered from the Arlington Archosaur Site than from any other site in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex." Fossils of ancient crocodiles and turtles were the main finds uncovered during my volunteer time.

With regards to help, assistance is needed in two areas, volunteer sweat equity and monetary donations. While the summer field season is over, the fall dig season should begin again near the end of September. You can stay up to date with current information about the site by visiting the Arlington Archosaur facebook page. The website also has information about how to volunteer to help at the site in the “sweat equity” category. While there does not seem to be any information about how to donate funds to this project, from having worked at the site several times this summer, I am aware that there are smaller day to day needs that donations would help with as well as long term wishes, that if they come to fruition, will require a large amount of funding. If this type of assistance is more your speed, contact Derek to see how to help with the monetary category of assistance.

Update: I have just noticed that a donations button has been added to the website.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Happy Holidays Gift Market Vendor Applications

Earlier this year, I shared a post with you about how I was planning on helping promote the Arts in my area through 817ArtsAlliance. In addition to the listings and announcements that I described in that post, I am pleased to let you know that 817ArtsAlliance will be sponsoring a handcrafted and vintage holiday show this coming December.

Vendor applications are currently being accepted for Happy Holidays Gift Market (HHGM). Completed applications received by Sept. 9, 2012 and juried into the show will receive a discount on their booth fee.

HHGM will be held at the Maverick Activities Center (MAC), 500 W. Nedderman Dr., UTA, Arlington, TX on Friday and Saturday, December 7 - 8, 2012. The show will be open to the public on Friday from noon - 7 pm and Saturday from 10 am - 4 pm.

Information about Happy Holidays Gift Market, including the vendor FAQ, is found on the 817ArtsAlliance site. If you have any questions after reading the FAQ, please use the contact form on the 817ArtsAlliance site to ask your questions. After carefully reading the vendor FAQ, you will find a button to take you to the vendor application at the bottom of the page.

If you know anyone in the DFW area who might benefit from participating in this show, please share this post with them.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Veggie Garden Pests – Tomato & Tobacco Hornworms

Even though hornworm caterpillars can grow up to 6 inches in length, they are adept at hiding in your garden until they have chewed their way through a lot of foliage or even fruit. They feed primarily on plants in the nightshade family. In your garden that usually means tomato plants, although they love my pepper plants too. They may even munch your eggplant and potato plantings.

I have found that a good way to watch out for these pests is to look for their black frass (poop pellets). I often find these easier to spot than the camouflaged caterpillars. If you don’t notice the frass or the caterpillars soon enough you could be confronted with stems stripped of leaves (or even completely missing stems) and chewed or missing fruits.

Now before you go and reach for something to spray your plants with, remember that you want to eat the fruits of these plants, plus I find their adult stage to be very interesting. The sphinx moths of both of these caterpillars often make me do a double take because they look a lot like hummingbirds in flight. Therefore, I always handpick the hornworm caterpillars and fling them into my pasture where they can munch the purple and silverleaf nightshades that they find there. If you must spray, Bt is a natural control of these and other caterpillars.

(Click on images to see larger views.)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Thanks for the Treasuries - July 2012

Four different Etsians let me know that they had featured one or more of my items in a treasury during July. Nine July Etsy treasuries, that treasury makers let me know about, included one of my items. My Rainbow of Colors Zipper Pull was even featured twice. You can see a collage below of my items from EDCCollective and EclecticSkeptic that were featured during July. (Click on the collage to see a larger view.)

I really appreciate being featured by the treasury makers. To thank them, I have listed below (in alphabetical order) links to the 4 Etsy sellers that let me know that they featured at least one of my items, as well as an item from their shop that I like.

Enjoy window shopping and please click on the shop links of anything that catches your eye.

Get gorgeous gemstone jewelry in a variety of styles and colors from this talented jewelry artisan.

CorkyCraftsCorkycrafts' unique wine cork wreathes and cork crafts make the perfect gift for the wine lover.

Items in Hot Dog Crafts such as Fridge Magnets, Pocket Mirrors, Buttons, and Keychains may also be able to be customized.

Organic, modern stained glass art.