Saturday, July 31, 2010

Eclectic Skeptic One Year Anniversary

It doesn’t seem like it has been almost a year since I opened my whimsical flying pig (aka pigasus) shop, EclecticSkeptic, on Etsy. I started stocking my shop with altered photographic art of flying pigs on note cards and bookmarks. I expanded my line to include flying pig necklaces, holiday cards, earrings, zipper pulls, tie tacks, keychains and pins. My latest addition takes me back to my photographic art beginnings, clocks with flying pig imagery. I hope to have at least one new type of item available before the Christmas shopping season and also plan to add some items for the math and/or science geek.

Stay tuned to my blog, by becoming a follower, my facebook business fan page, by liking it, or my monthly newsletter, by subcribing to it, for details. But I digress, back to EclecticSkeptic’s one year anniversary! EclecticSkeptic’s one year anniversary is officially on August 1. To help celebrate, I will be offering a special sale to my customers the following week on Sunday, August 8, 2010. The details of this sale will be in my newsletter, scheduled to go out on Friday, August 6. You still have time to sign up for my newsletter and get the details so that you can participate in this sale. You will find a form in the right hand column of this blog to have your e-mail address added to my newsletter subscriber list.

So here is a great BIG THANK YOU to all of my past and future customers for your support, without which this anniversary would not have been possible. Here is to many more anniversaries to come as well.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Design This – Circuit Board Pine Tree

Shortly after completing the dead iPod pendant custom request, which included a piece of circuit board in the design, I spied another general alchemy request that offered the prospect of upcycling some of the old circuit boards that I had set back in my materials stash. The title of the request was “Circuit Board Pine Tree (Christmas Tree). The request included the basic size needed as well as a description of what the requester wanted to be different from an attached photo. I submitted my bid and it was accepted.

The first thing to do was to come up with the shape that my customer was looking for. After sending a couple of templates and revisions for approval, we had a winner. I then cut out the center of the winning template and used it to find a section of circuit board that looked good on both sides within the size and shape of the template. Next, I cut out another copy of the template and traced around it onto the section of circuit board that I wanted to use. To cut the shape out of the circuit board I mounted a fairly heavy jeweler’s blade into my jewelry saw and got to work. This proved to be a bit trickier than expected. Straight sections were easy to cut, but I had to bring my skills learned coping baseboards into play for the curved sections and rounded corners. I think I only broke one blade. After the shape was freed from the circuit board, I used my dremel tool to smooth and slightly round the edges and finished off the project by drilling a hole to facilitate hanging.

You always wonder how your creations are used once they have gone to their new homes. I can envision my little tree hanging from a rear view mirror or as an ornament on a Christmas tree.

If you have a project that you think I could help you with, I'd love to brainstorm it with you. Just click on the "contact EDCCollective" button or the "request custom item" button in my shop.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Texas Stars – Low Maintenance Plant Resource

Do you ever go to the garden center and stand there scratching your head trying to decide what pretty plant is likely to do well in your garden? Sometimes the plant tags help give you a clue and sometimes they are too vague or missing entirely. Plant recommendations are one of the services that I offer as a garden coach.

Often, my clients aren't familiar with my suggestions. To keep from having to lug my plant books around or hunt down links to photos of these plants, I am developing a resource that I hope will be useful. I have started a photo album on my Eclectic Design Choices’ Facebook page. In this album I will be posting photos of plants that I find to be low maintenance, reliable plants in my garden. This list has been developed through years of trial and error based on recommendations, research and just trying out that pretty plant from the nursery.

I garden in North Texas in an area that seems to correspond to USDA zone 8. Even if you are also in zone 8, your success with some of these plants may vary due to different microclimates and soils found on your property. Many of these plants will thrive in other zones as well. I will be adding to my photo gallery as I can, so check back periodically to see what new “stars” I have added.

For me, low maintenance means that the plant shows little or no problems with diseases or insects and has low water requirements. Of course, mulch is an important part of any low maintenance garden. Some of my Texas stars are true Texas natives, others have learned to adapt to the climate. Please add you comments below the photo of a plant to share your experience with it. This information will help others make informed decisions regarding the purchase and planting of these plants. Also, feel free to ask any questions in the comments that you may have about any of the plants and I will try to answer them for you.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

EDC Opens New Online Shop

On a tip from a fellow online merchant I recently found an intriguing new online sales venue. After looking through the site, I decided that it has potential, so I opened a new shop. The look and feel is much different from my other shops, EDCCollective and EclecticSkeptic, on Etsy. I'd love to hear what you think of the site in general and my shop specifically if you get a chance to check them out.

I currently plan to stock this shop with my photographic art images, as unmatted prints in a variety of sizes as well as in free standing frames, on bookmarks, on note cards and on clocks. I will also be adding my gardening related booklet and information sheets that are described in my garden coach profile.

Note: The site that I opened a new shop at was sold in 2011 and changed how it did business, so I no longer have this third shop. If you are interested in my garden resource booklet or information sheets, please contact me.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thanks for the Treasuries – June, 2010

During June, five fabulous fun items found their way into an Etsy treasuries. Two of them were from my shop EDCCollective and three of them were from EclecticSkeptic. Below is a collage of the 5 items that were showcased during June. (Click on the collage to see a larger view.)

It is really cool when one of my items is featured by the treasury makers. To thank them, I have listed below (in alphabetical order) links to the 4 different shops that featured at least one of my items, as well as an item from their shop that I like.

Enjoy window shopping and I encourage you to click on the shop links of anything that pleases your eye.

ButchsBaubles' shop announcement states that you will find jewelry for beautiful women, freaks, geeks, goth kids, steampunk lovers and bikers.

Wine-related products make the perfect gifts! If you are a wine connoisseur who happens to appreciate hand made items, look no further. You will find decorating items themed for other occasions as well.

OOAK handmade jewelry designs, inspired by a love of travel, can be found at HippoptameJewelry.

A wide range of jewelry items and styles can be found at MarjoriesCorner.