Thursday, October 28, 2010

EclecticDesignChoices to be at Hillsboro Holiday Craft & Antique Bazaar

Outlets at Hillsboro is sponsoring a Holiday Craft & Antique Bazaar on Saturday and Sunday, November 13 - 14, 2010. You can "shop till you drop" from 10 am to 6 pm on both days. On Saturday there will be even more fun for those shoppers that purchase a Shopping Extravaganza ticket. So, if you are in the area, grab some friends or head out solo to come by, say "hi" and see my creations in person.

You will find many of my current listings from EDCCollective and EclecticSkeptic and much more. I've been busy creating and I will have many items at the Hillsboro show that are not currently listed in my shops. I have added some photos of some of these new goodies to my Facebook business fan page albums.

Whether you will be shopping for yourself or shopping for those perfect holiday gifts, I hope you will get a chance to take advantage of this great shopping opportunity. While you are there, please stop by the crafts area and introduce yourself. I'd love the opportunity to say "hi" in person. Look for my sign near the back of my booth.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Design This – Native American Hair Tides

This design project got its start when a prospective customer saw something in another one of my “Design This” blog posts that she liked. She sent me a screen shot with the item that she hoped to be able to purchase. I had recently sold that exact pair of Native American style feather and leather hair clips but had a similar pair that was not currently listed anywhere, so I sent off a picture of them. She liked them and was interested in some earrings in a similar style and wondered, “Also, do you make Native American hair tides, they are also called hair leather straps?”. The earrings were the easy part of this custom request but I would have to do some research into these “hair tides” to see if they were something I felt confident creating.

I was having some difficulty locating examples, so my customer found a couple of links for me. After seeing the product that I was being asked about, I discovered that they could also be found by searching for Native American leather hair ties or wraps. This gave me an idea of the product that my customer was after. These hair accessories are meant to wrap around your hair braids and the solid leather part at the top is tied securely around the braids with the leather fringe hanging below. I asked for some specifics as to the preferred length of the solid and fringed portions as well as color preferences and then I was off to search for supplies and to investigate fringing methods.

I found a nice red suede piece of leather that looked like it would make what my customer had asked for. After researching fringing, I decided to use a multibladed tool to fringe the lower portion of the hair tides. I practiced on some scrap leather to get a feel for the tool. I had to be careful how I pulled the leather or the fringes would not come out right. After a bit of practice, it was time to create my customer’s custom hair tides. After fringing the pieces, I attached laces to each one for securing the hair wraps to her braids.

Since my hair is not long enough to braid, I needed a way to model the product for my client. I used the tail of my stuffed white tiger to simulate a hair braid. I have doubled up this image so that you can get a feel for what these Native American style leather hair wraps would look like when in use.

Feel free to contact me if you find something on my blog, in my Facebook photo albums or EDCCollective's sold listings that you like. If I don’t have the item but can recreate it or something similar, I’d love to make a custom piece for you.

Item availability update: I have begun listing my Native American Inspired Hair Wraps in my EDCCollective Etsy shop section Feathers, Leather n Wood as of 2/14/12. These wraps can be worn in a variety of ways. One example can be seen in this photo sent by one of my customers.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Gardening for Wildlife - Monarch Migration

There are several great plants including milkweed and butterfly weed that can attract Monarch butterflies to your garden. I would like to share two Texas natives, that you might not be as familiar with, that Monarchs flock to in my garden. They feed on the nectar of these plants to help fuel their 2500 mile fall migration to Mexico, where they hibernate for the winter. These two Texas natives, late flowering boneset and blue mistflower, supply much needed food for this epic journey.

Late flowering boneset naturally grows near streams, lakes or other low lying areas. I have found that it is adaptable to being included in my xeric garden. This plant does spread by underground roots and if it is in an area where it is very happy (damp or frequent watering), it will spread and form a large colony. It is also a vigorous reseeder, so it is best to clip and dispose of the seed heads so that you won’t be constantly pulling seedlings the next year. (Natural seed propagation is how it found its way to my garden in the first place.) So much for it’s vices, there is still a lot to recommend this plant for the right spot on your property. Late flowering boneset will attain a height of 3 to 6 feet. In my garden, it tends to get 4 to 5 feet. It usually blooms, from late September into early October. It is covered with an umbrella of white, fuzzy blooms for a few weeks and attracts a large variety of insects to feed on its flower’s nectar, including Monarch butterflies. This is a plant for the back of a large bed or for holding the soil along banks near low lying areas on your property. It is a perennial that dies to the ground during the winter.

Blue mistflower is also good for stabilizing sloping ground near low lying areas. It also spreads by underground roots but I have not found it to be an aggressive reseeder. It too, will happily fill an area that stays damp or is watered regularly. I have found it to be very useful in my xeric garden. I got my start as a division (with permission) from a local xeriscape. It also dies back in the winter but only gets a foot or so high in my garden, so it can be planted closer to the front of a bed. It usually blooms at a similar time as late flowering boneset but often for a little longer. It has similar flowers that are lavender in color.

If you have the space for either of both of these plants on your property, I would like to encourage you to plant them to help support the Monarchs on their long journey. You will be rewarded by getting to watch Monarch butterflies flitting around your garden during their fall migration, in addition to the other nectar sippers that will visit.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Thanks for the Treasuries - September 2010

Three different Etsy shops featured one or more of my items in a treasury in September. Seven different September treasuries included one of my items. You can see a collage below of my items from EDCCollective and EclecticSkeptic that were featured during September. (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 3 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.

Wine-related products make the perfect gifts! If you are a wine connoisseur who happens to appreciate hand made items, look no further.

Hand painted keepsakes including jewelry and memory boxes, glassware, votive candle holders and more can be found here.

Home of the StayPut towel. These towels make fantastic housewarming, wedding, or hostess gifts.