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The Lost Art of Letter Writing

19 Jan

I have a crazy idea.

For a few minutes, close Facebook, stop tweeting, texting and emailing and sit down and write someone you care about a proper handwritten note. Then seal it lovingly in an envelope, locate your local post office, pay a few cents for a stamp, stick it on and drop it in the mailbox. The extra effort will be well-appreciated when they receive a nice bit of mail the next day. And maybe you’ll get one in return.

When I was a teenager, I had pen pals. They were in New Zealand, Nigeria and Kenya. Of course there was no Facebook. We wrote to each other – not Word document print-outs, but with colored pens and cute stickers. We put little “treasures” in the envelopes with our letters – photographs of our families, pieces we cut out of magazines, a few coins of our own currencies. It was something to look forward to but letter writing is sadly a lost art now.

So maybe it was silly of me to create greeting cards for my Photo Larks shop on Etsy, but I’d like to think it will be a little nudge of encouragement to pick up that pen again.

Here are the designs available so far, but any of the photos in the shop can be turned into cards, so if there’s something you’d like to see, just say the word. Click on the photos for more information or to order some for a rainy day that you feel like brightening up someone else’s.

Have a lovely Thursday!


Dad’s Retirement Project / Craft Show

29 Oct

If you’ve been on the Etsy shop lately, you may have noticed I’ve added a new shop section called Dad’s Retirement Project. It does what it says on the tin!

Dad’s been dreaming of retirement lately and started contributing some of his garden products to the shop which he plans to expand on in the coming years. He works with both wood and PVC. At the moment, the majority of the pieces featured in the shop are his cedar wood nesting boxes for our feathered friends, stenciled and painted by Mom, his partner in crime.

They open up on the side by slipping out a little pin at the back so they’re super easy to clean. The size of the hole attracts creatures like wrens and bluebirds, and they’re perfect resting and nesting places for the winter months when the snow blows in.

He was even featured a few times (and on two different front covers) of Langenbach magazine and in a couple of others. They called him a “master woodworker”.

Here’s his PVC feeder too:

Check it out and keep watch for more…


In other news, I’ll be doing another craft show tomorrow. Stop by if you’re in the area and say hi!

Date: October 30, 2011
Place: St. Andrews Church (Gym) – Sheridan and Elmwood in Kenmore, New York
Time: 9:30 – 3

I have two lined up in November as well. More on those later.

Hope everyone’s having a great weekend!

New Product: Beaded Flower Headband

29 Sep

Hello! How are you enjoying the first days of Fall? Weather cooling down, pretty leaves on the ground…

This time of year always makes me want to try something new. Headbands! This is my first headband, hand-beaded with a double strap and flower which is one of the most recent.

Lots of new stuff in the shop lately!

Russian Matryoshka Doll Jewelry

24 Sep

After a bit of a creating break, I’ve holed myself up in the attic studio to create some new pieces under the skylights. I bought some fun new beads too. Like these awesome little matryoshka dolls! Reminds me of a set that my grandmother kept on top of her piano when we were kids. Occasionally we would be allowed to take them apart…

Message me for a discount if you’re interested in buying the set!

More fun new stuff in the shop.

And I was interviewed the other day. How cool is that?

And hey, thanks to all of you who helped me reach my goal of 100 Facebook fans by the end of September! Shall we go for 200 by Halloween?

New Dangle Gemstone Earrings

20 Sep

I haven’t posted new products in the shop in quite a while, but I made these earrings yesterday – wire-wrapped gemstones in clear, pink and white. They’re pretty long – 9cm – and elegant, a change from the chunky playfulness of the guadua jewelry.

I also made two new necklaces which I haven’t photographed yet. Both include guadua. They should be up on Etsy later today sometime!

Reduced Shipping, Facebook Discount and an Elephant Box

2 Sep

I arrived in Buffalo last week with a suitcase stuffed full of goodies for the shop. Guess what that means? Greatly reduced shipping costs on a lot of products! For example, a necklace that would have cost me $13 to ship from Colombia, I can now ship within the states for $2.

I’ll be in New York until January working on marketing, promotion and new products as well as developing ideas for handbags, jewelry and home décor to send back to the artisans in Mogotes. They’re still creating bags and guadua goodies while I’m away which they will photograph for me to post in the shop. So with their work and my new line of jewelry coming soon, you can expect a full shop make-over.

If you stumble on any awesome bags or jewelry that may be able to stimulate the creative juices of the artisans and you’d like to see in the shop, post a link in the comments.

In honor of September (It’s one of my favorite months), I’m offering all new Facebook fans during this month only 10% off their next purchase. So become a fan and I’ll send you the official coupon code.  To find us, go to

At the moment, I’m re-painting all of the travel texture series necklaces so the insides and backs will be a color rather than painted just white. Every day I’m photographing new pieces and adding them to the shop.

One of the latest is this pretty elephant box, which I love. It was a collaboration between two different artisans. Scoop it up if you like it before I decide to keep it!

One last thing – I updated the page on how fique is made (the material the bags in the shop are made from) with more photos if you’re interested.

Red, White and Blue Bags

28 Aug

The last few weeks have been rather chaotic for me, hence the lack of posting…

One bit of news if you don’t already know is that Made in Mogotes is now an official business – all the licenses, registrations and nitty gritty paperwork are in my hands.

I’ve come back to New York until January with a suitcase full of bags and jewelry, which means those certain items which were before being sent from Colombia have seriously reduced shipping prices! Yay! There’s only a couple new ones up on the shop right now, but I’m slowly photographing them to post. Keep an eye open this week as lots of new pieces should be popping up. I will still be working with the Colombian artisans while in New York and they are very open to customized orders as well.

Being home also means trips to Hobby Lobby, A.C. Moore, Michaels and other crafty places which means a wider variety of jewelry-making goodies. Plenty of that to come soon too.

What’s new right now?

The latest three fique bags I’ve posted have fun nautical colors (or patriotic ones for my temporary return to the States, I suppose).

There’s a cream colored one which is a bit elegant with sparkling lurex thread woven throughout and a cool nut close.

The next one is striped with different blues and the same cream color as the first one – a fun summery bag for the last month before the leaves start to change.

Then there’s a vibrant red one which I love the color of and may just keep for myself so if you like it, snap it up quick before I change my mind about selling it! It has a great red lining inside with a little pocket and a zipper close.

The red one will carry you through the cooler days. Or me…