Thursday, April 30, 2009

ART VS CRAFT (In This Corner...Craft)

Art vs. Craft: Is it an issue / non-issue and how do you feel about the argument? This is the subject of the current Blog Carnival at Etsy Bloggers.

By definition (thanks there is certainly a correlation between the two.

Craft can be defined as “an art, trade, or occupation requiring special skill…”

Art “the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinay significance.”

This suggests (I think) that the difference between craft and art is not the medium of the work but the level and quality of the work.

You could give me the a fine canvas, the highest quality paints, and the paint brushes previously used by Rembrandt and set me free to create. I guarantee the result would NEVER be called art. But look at the work of some of the wonderful beaders, paper crafters, chainmaillers and the the word art would certainly apply. It’s in their choices of colour, balance, design…

But just as with paint and canvas, I cannot create art, neither do I accomplish it with Fireline and beads. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very proud and even in awe of some of my creations. However I have not reached the level of art, and I’m not likely too. I struggle with colours and have few totally original works. I’ve just never been artistic but I have always happily been crafty. It’s enabled me to make jewelry bags out of fabric scraps, gift boxes out of old paper, and given me an excuse to never throw anything away.

So my answer to the Etsy Blogger question is yes…and no… and sometimes. But who really cares? Just go out there and create!

Addtitional thought: There was a bit that the Kids in the Hall did on their show which featured a line apropos to all this and I've used the line many times..."Is it art just because you hang it on the wall? Don't get me started."

Perhaps art is simply in the eye of the beholder.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The 99.99999 Cent Store?

When you shop at The 99 Cent Store now, you'll notice the items ringing up at $1.00 It seems they've changed their prices from 99 cents to 99.9 cents. Or 99.99. Or 99.999. I'm not sure. At first I thought that was pretty clever. I mean, with prices going up, what's a simple 99 cent store to do? Some of the volume items changed. Six soft drinks used to be 99 cents and then it was four for 79 cents. I guess that wasn't enough so they did the whole .9999999999 thing.

As I thought about it, I liked it less and less. It kind of makes me angry in fact. It's deceitful and shouldn't even be legal. The shelves say 99 cents. Not 99.999999cents. Could this practice spread? The prices posted would be the price posted OR the price posted plus.9999999999999999. It's similiar to gas stations but with gas stations it says it right up there 9/10.

Okay I know it's only a penny, but there is a principle here and I shop at that store fairly often and all those pennies will add up. I'd be really curious how much more The 99 Cent Stores makes with their ill-gotten gains.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How Does My Garden Grow?


Etsy Bloggers ask, “Spring has sprung, what would your dream garden look like?

My dream garden would feature lavender, tomatoes, peas, various other vegetables as well as an array of herbs. Sunflowers running along the walls.

Unfortunately I’m awake and my garden is more of a nightmare. It’s a shame really. It’s big enough to grow many things I like, yet small enough for one person to tend to.

In my dream garden is a dream gardener who, out of the kindness of his/her heart, sets it all up, leaves me detailed instructions and checks on it periodically. Or someone who loves to garden but lives in an apartment and takes total control of my garden for a 50/50 split.

Apply within.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Two Zany Zebras

If ‘zany’ appeals to you, gallop over to Two Zany Zebras, the Etsy home of all things zany, as well as home to the Zarkles. Zarkles are whimsical creatures, each with it’s own name and personality. They also feature a Zarkle pocket blankie so they are ready for sleep-overs.

More Zany-ness ensues at the Two Zany Zebras blog.

Check them out at Two Zany Zebras and let your imagination run amok ‘cause customs orders are happily accepted!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

ESMARTS Strikes Again!

As I may have mentioned, I am a member of an Etsy Street Team, “Esmarts.” We are an eclectic group of artists and craftspeople who have come together from all over the world to offer each other support and guidance in this crazy mixed up world of internet marketing.

In addition to each individual Etsy store, we proudly bring you the Esmarts shop. Featuring items from many of our members, you will find wonderful variety here.

I recommend you bookmark the Esmarts shop. You will be amazed at the handmade glories awaiting you. New items are added regularly. And for even more Esmarts check out the team blog.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Do you know what April 22nd is? Why it’s the birthday of Prokofiev, Bettie Page, Aaron Spelling, Jack Nicholson, John Waters, Ryan Stiles and of course, Laurie Hendler - Julie from Gimme A Break.

It’s also Earth Day. This from Wikipedia: Earth Day is one of two observances, both held annually during spring in the northern hemisphere, and autumn in the southern hemisphere. These are intended to inspire awareness of and appreciation for the Earth's environment. The United Nations celebrates an Earth Day each year on the March equinox, a tradition which was founded by peace activist John McConnell in 1969. A second Earth Day, which was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in in 1970, is celebrated in many countries each year on April 22.

Etsy Bloggers asks “What do you do (or what can you do!) to make your Etsy business or home, a little bit greener?”

Many of my past crafts have been a result of not wanting to throw things away (this is indicative of both my wish to be green and my cheapness…I mean frugality.) I still make candles using recycled wax as chunks. I used to spend hours folding little boxes from recycled papers and pictures.

It’s a great sadness to me that I have, thus far, not found a way to recycle, reuse and repurpose in my jewelry making. There are people that have managed beautifully and I admire them greatly. Creatively, I am just not there. But I hope to be visited by the recycling muse someday.

Though my pieces aren’t ‘green’ I do recycle much of the packaging that my supplies come in. Those little Ziploc bags the beads come in? The labels peel righ off, cleanly most of the time, and I never throw those away. The tubes that some of my seed beads come in? Never throw those out, they make great bead storage. Padded envelopes? Re-label for mailing.

At home, I recycle, conserve water wherever possible (it’s a desert out there!) watch my use of electricity, gas (car and home,) buy almost all my clothes at thrift stores, Freecycle…

It’s not much but I’m always aware and wherever possible, take the path of least consumption.