28 May 2008

The "R" word.

So we hear it every day on the news. When I hear the word "recession" and it makes my skin crawl. People have been incessantly talking about their stimulus payments and how they will spend them. Others go on and on about how things will get worse before they get better and how they will save their stimulus payment for a rainy day. Let's stop talking about the "R" word and DO something about the economic situation on a grass roots level.

While there are very few things that an individual can do to affect the US economy as a whole, there are little things we can all do to make things a little better. From what I have read recently -- it seems to me that the US economy is held up by small businesses. Tons of new ones open each and every day. With my focus there, I have been working on developing the habit of not going to chain stores when I have the choice of a local "mom & pop" shop. If we all make that "mom & pop" choice when we have the opportunity, we could really get things moving in a different direction for our local economies.

In the same vein, I hear constant bellyaching about the price of gas. Yes, it continues to go up and no one knows exactly when it will start to come back down again. While some of the complaining is my own, I also hear a chorus of other voices in agreement. There has to be a way to somehow have all of this make less of an impact on us and our lives. Many of my colleagues carpool to save on gas costs and quite a few have made new friends this way. Many workers have decided to telecommute to the office a few days a week to stay off the roads and get some work done in a "no-interruption" environment while saving on gas and road rage.

Along those same lines, I have recently explored in my area for a farmers market. I started online with a search which helped me narrow down the closest ones to me. It just so happens there are a few in my city and one in my own zip code. I want to support the idea of shopping local. By buying produce that is in season at my local farmers market from the people who grew it, I am supporting a small business. These fresh items were grown near my residence and didn't take many resources to get to the place where I can purchase them. That's less wear on the planet, my gas tank and piggy bank. (And quite honestly they taste better.) Check out this site, you can enter your zip code and see where your nearest farmers market is located.

For example, when a person buys kiwi in Texas flown in from New Zealand, there is a lot of waste involved in the process. The gas to get it here, the packaging to keep it from getting damaged in transit, the chemicals sprayed on it to get it to ripen at a "not too fast pace", the labor of workers outside our country, the labor to get it off the boat, the time it takes to get through customs, etc. Many more steps involved in getting a kiwi to Texas than buying the strawberries that were grown in my zip code. Buying local is a smarter choice. I'm not suggesting for a moment that you don't eat kiwi this summer. (Maybe you'll enjoy it more the next time you eat it -- knowing what all it went through to get to you.) By buying the majority of your "freshies" at your local farmers market, you help support the local economy, small farmers/local small business, limit unnecessary transport costs, save packaging and chances are the produce is fresher and picked at peak ripeness.

Although I do support a global economy, I think focusing on our local economies more closely right now is a way we can all do our part to help the US economy. A friend challenged me to go through my house and look to see the source of random items. I challenge you to do the same. Supporting specific countries with your purchases can make a big impact. China does not seem to be the best choice currently since they will soon be challenging us for resources. Supporting each other and focusing on buying QUALITY not QUANTITY seems to be a very good objective for now. Quality can usually be found in those "mom and pop" shops and from local artisans on etsy, farmers markets, etc.

I have started periodically featuring my fellow etsians right here on my blog. Although Etsy is an international site, there are handmade items available there. This site allows you to purchase truly unique quality handmade items while supporting artists. Give it some thought.

Each of us makes an impact on the economy each and every day with our decisions. Let's all do our part to support the US economy as well as our neighborhood ones.

27 May 2008

Etsy is growing!

Etsy is in the San Francisco Gate yesterday -- sounds like Etsy is growing much faster than I ever imagined. A $23 million infusion! Wow, I mean, WOW!! Sounds like the mushrooming is just getting started. Any etsians out there wanna share their oppinions or predictions?

25 May 2008

Summer Reading

Recently, my commute to work has grown to one hour in each direction. To quiet my potential for road rage and pass the time more pleasantly -- I started listening to books on CD. This past week, I finished Sweetness in the Belly by Camilla Gibb who has a degree in social anthropology. Since this has always been a big interest of mine, I was delighted to come across her book on CD at the library.

The story is about a woman named Lilly who has hippie parents and her adventures growing up through becoming a young lady. The story takes place mostly in London but has many references to Africa and her time there. Gibb writes about some very controversial topics -- but she treads on these topics gently. The novel is very international with themes of faith, love, hardships and family. I absolutely love her descriptions - they are incredibly colorful. About two thirds of the way through the book the meaning of the name of the book is revealed. Although I felt a bit melancholy finishing the book, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Other works by this author include;
The Petty Details of So-in-So's Life
Mouthing the Words: A Novel

I will be starting Steve Martin's Shopgirl this next week. What are you reading this summer?

20 May 2008

Etsy BeerBBQ --The Bees Knees!

When I pulled up, the first thing I saw was the Etsy Dallas Art and Craft Fair Sign and then I knew I was in the right place. 

There were people, like ants, moving their stuff into the house (Thanks Larry, for hosting us), the driveway and the garage. After checking in, I too became an ant and got all my stuff set up. "The ants go marching one by one, hoorah, hoorah!"

After my table was set up and the "ant-ness" wore off, I took a look around and was completely impressed with my fellow etsian's arts and crafts. Check out their shops;

We actually opened a bit early as the public was ready to come in. DJ ModChap spun a nice mix of hip groovy tunes until 2p without blasting the surrouding neighbors from their houses. Then there was lovely live acoustical provided by Garrett Heinrichs Band for the rest of the event. Grillman, Dylan Dowdy, kept our tummies and spirits happy. Thanks guys!

The make-and-take craft table was a hit. All day long customers were showing me their treasures created before beginning their shopping. We had some very creative shoppers -- they made everything from rings and bracelets to bookmarks. Our shoppers were a lovely cross section of those who make up the DFW metroplex and it was great to get to know them while they shopped.

The weather was the hottest day so far this year in Dallas, 91 degrees. Everyone was good about hydrating and apply sunscreen. Some of us, however, got a little bit silly (thanks, Tamara) from a bit too much sun - there was much giggling. There are rumors that this event may be repeated in the Fall -- so stay tuned for more details.

Thanks to everyone for their support, contribution, help, well wishes, time, efforts, etc. It is all greatly appreciated. A great time was had by all!

17 May 2008

Pinch yourself!!

The BeerBQ is tomorrow! Yes, you read right, tomorrow! It's gonna be great fun and the weather is predicted to be perfect for an outdoor event. It's from 11-5, so you can sleep in late too! You'll want to kick yourself later if you don't join in! :)

16 May 2008


Introduce yourself, please. (name, location, shop site, blogsite, etc.)

I am Debi, aka GrayEyedScorpio, and I work primarily with fabric. My shop is grayeyedscorpio.etsy.com, and my blog is http://grayeyedscorpio.blogspot.com/.

Is Etsy your primary "job"? If not, what else do you do?

Etsy is my haven and recreation. I teach high school English, and do most of my sewing in the summers. (Please be sure to check out her blog post about the life size cut out.)

What's your favorite color and why?

Blue--the color of the sky, and how we see water--is my favorite hue.

What have you created that you are most proud of?

I am proud of my bags. [Especially those that have sold to appreciative shoppers.] Each one is different, and each one I make is better than the last.

What's your fave snack and why?

I'll snack on anything with peanut butter. The scent, texture, and taste are irresistable.

Thanks Debi for sharing a little bit about yourself. I enjoyed getting to know you.

13 May 2008

today is my birthday...you get the present!!

Happy Birthday to me! It got here in a hurry this year. In honor of my birthday, eveything in my shop is 13% off, today only. (Not good with any other offer.) Just put the words "birthdaygirl" in notes to seller and I will send you a revised invoice. Check out my shop and find your birthday bargain! http://laalicia.etsy.com. It's less calories than cake! :)

11 May 2008

BeerBQ Reminder

It's one week from today -- the First Annual Etsy Dallas BeerBQ. Please click on the flyer to enlarge it to see all the details and a map of how to get there.

Only the first 25 to arrive at the event will receive goodie bags chocked full of goodies from our shops and coupons for future purchases. (the event is from 11-5 on May 18) There's also a raffle for a tote filled with more crafty goodness from Etsy Dallas -- be sure to look for the table and sign up!

Bring a friend, have a little lunch, listen to the live music, shop for those gifts (father's day, baby shower, birthdays) and make an adventure of it. Hope to see you there!

09 May 2008

Stamp Out Hunger is Tomorrow

Saturday May 10th is the 16th Annual National Letter Carriers Food Drive called Stamp Out Hunger. It's as easy as leaving non-perishable food items by your mailbox before the letter carrier gets there. (popular examples: canned food items, cereal, peanut butter, baby formula, rice, pasta, cereal, basically food stuffs that have a long shelf life) Some areas have special bags or postcards to identify the items for donation -- if those aren't available to you, you can just leave it by your mailbox. This event is once a year and they'll be keeping an eye out for your donations.

Shocking statistics -- demand for food assistance is up by 14% while donations are down by 6%.

Every little bit helps. Imagine how many families they could help if each person in the U.S. donated one item. Do something nice for someone else -- it's as easy as walking out to your mailbox.

05 May 2008


I invite you to enjoy getting to know DinnerTimeChimes. I certainly did. Here's my interview with her...

Introduce yourself, please. (name, location, shop site, blog site, etc.) Hi, I'm Erin. The (wife) half of DinnerTimeChimes from a small town in North Carolina.

Is Etsy your primary "job"? If not, what else do you do?
Etsy and crafting in general is yet another way to keep me busy when I'm not working for my real job (medical coding for pharmaceutical clinical trials) or working in the flower gardens.

What is your favorite color and why? RED! It wasn't the collegiate team colors for my school, but I'll gladly claim the NCSU Wolfpack. I've always been drawn to the bright color. I love how it demands your attention.

What kinds of things do you do to get the creative juices flowing? A quick trip to a thrift store or a long day at a sunny flea market will make my head spin with ideas. I love finding things that are being discarded and creating new and exciting things with them.

If you could be a fruit, what kind would you be and why?
I'd love to be a watermelon, for us it's a wonderful symbol of summer fun!

How did you get started creating things and what is your best loved material to work with? I started making the wind chimes when I was in middle school as a way to earn extra spending money. My parents helped me find silverware at yard sales and such, and then my dad would help me make the chimes. I still love to work with the silver plate. To keep all of the polishing from being too mind numbing, I like to look at the intricate patterns, day dream about the people that used the silverware, and wonder about the hotels whose names are occasionally engraved on some of the pieces.

In ten years, I'd like to ... be happy, healthy and just as much in love. Hopefully, that will include crafting too...if I'm not too busy chasing kids around the house.

What I personally love about the DinnerTimeChimes shop is that the principal of  "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" has truly been taken to heart. I can't think of many other ways to recycle/give new life to old pots and pans let alone silverware and shoes. It takes a lot of creativity to see additional purposes for what otherwise would be called "trash." Congratulations, Erin on integrating your creativity and ecofriendliness together! Great job!

04 May 2008

Dallas Etsy BeerBQ May 18th...14 days and counting...

If you are in the Dallas area, I hope you will add this event to your calendar. This is going to be a blast. Just click on the mini invite to the right to see the details. 

There are 25 goody bags stuffed to the gills with crafty goodness that will be given away for FREE to the first 25 people at the event! There is also a raffle -- a tote with all kinds of really cool handmade goodies will be given to the winner. The tote is chock full of items from Dallas Etsians, preview their works here http://www.etsydallas.com/Members.html

Something truly unique about this event is that there will be a Make-and-Take Craft area for all ages. Try your hand at something new or just new to you. Craft with your little ones (we'll clean up the mess). 

In addition, there will be FREE food including; hamburgers, veggies, and drinks. DJ Modchap will be spinning tunes for us when Garrett Heinrichs Band takes an occasional break from providing LIVE MUSIC. You can feel good about this event since you will be supporting local artisans while you're having a great time.

Hope to see you there!

01 May 2008

Economic Stimulus Payments This Month

Wondering when you may be getting yours? Click here to enter your info and see a ETA on your Stimulus Payment. They are set to start sending them out this month. What will you do with yours?

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