Friday, May 28, 2010

Summer Variety

We all look forward to summer! Barbecues, flowers, friends, and so much more we enjoy. There is so much more variety -- or so it seems. From more plentiful fruits and vegetables to choose, to the sights to see in gardens and off the beaten path where we are more free to roam, we enjoy the opportunity of that variety.

But, there is also variety in the weather. Just when we sigh over 90+ degree days, a sudden storm will blow in. Not all those storms are fun when they include hurricanes, tornadoes, or hail. But, it does add to the amazing variety of summertime.

Members of the Boomers and Beyond Etsy Street Team live all over the world -- and have so many different plants, flowers, and even storms they see. Often those are interpreted in their artwork. Just look at these amazing finds inspired by the variety of summertime!!




Monday, May 24, 2010

On the Cheap

As the economic challenges continue around the globe, we are tightening our personal budget at my house. We want to be generous with our family and friends; yet find a way to hold on to every bit of change for as long as we can. What a dichotomy!
When I reflect on everything, I know that this frugal focus is a good thing. We are taking the bus, limiting trips, searching for bargains, clipping coupons, eating or freezing leftovers, reusing. We feel a lot better about doing things that are better for ourselves and the environment. And we feel like we are setting a positive example for our children.

There are great resources on the web to help gain perspective and find better balance while moving in a frugal direction. A great article on enjoying your life while reducing your spend can be found here. And two web sites that I refer to often these days are "Fabulessly Frugal" and "Frugal Wine Review."

It is also delightful to see this trend growing in the handcrafted and artistic environments. Many of our BBEST team members have been creating fabulous items with materials they have on hand, reusing and recycling and being an amazing example.

But from a practical perspective, I often have the dilemma I have today. Several birthday's and a baby shower are coming up in the next few months, and a few little hostess thank you gifts are needed as well. Additionally, my cousin has been sick and could use a little pick me up.

And so I sat down to see if the BBEST shops on ETSY could help me out. I assumed a $5.00 limit, not including postage, for each item I needed. And just look at all the goodness I found!

First, there are the cards -

This lovely card is from Colors and Textures shop, and just the ticket for a cheer-up message.

And these cards from PFD Original Art Works are perfect for regular little notes to, oh, everyone! Have you noticed how getting something in the mail is like getting a present? Taking the time to write with a pen might be old fashioned, but it is also creates a wonderful treat!

From Big Island Rose we have this excellent Scrunchie, that would be absolutely perfect for one of those little surprises - and perfect for the budget, too!

Button Diva's made some retro buttons/magnets that are both fun and a reminder of simpler times - and they would be great in any format! Haven't you seen things - not as cool, of course - in gift shops for, like, $18.00 for the pack? What a bargain!

And just in time for protection from the summer sun, I found these yummy lip balm's from Get Lathered.

I am simply delighted to report that there is no excuse for letting the economy stop your generous spirit - thanks to the great work of the BBEST team! Hooray!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Whimsical Things

Scrolling through BBEST listings on Etsy confirmed that BBEST is a gifted team of artists and crafters.  Some of my recent favorites:


You can always count on ZudaGay to come up with elegant clay forms.  If anyone could make a black bird whimsical, it’s Zuda.  She’s quite a master of her medium.



Imaginuity combines vintage beads with wonderful crocheted shapes to creative stunning asymmetrical pieces like this choker.



Colours and Textures has such a lovely light touch in her watercolors and silk paintings, they always look like fairy gardens to me. 




Vivid color and abstract shapes make this painting by Heronkate a real standout.  The collage-like textures show Kate’s skills as a trompe l’oiel artist. 




When talking of VanFleetStreetDesign’s work, surreal is probably a more appropriate term than whimsical.   It’s a treat to see her mastering digital media.   (I also really like Two Feathers.)



il_fullxfull.105097476[1]Of course in my humble opinion, nothing says whimsy quite as well as Make Your Presents Felt’s egg cozies. I think she actually pinched these off the tiny heads of the elves that must watch over her garden.   


il_fullxfull.128718811[1] And when speaking of gardens, it’s mandatory to mention The Filigree Garden, whose jewelry is inspired by her magical garden.  Her work and her blog are always wonders to behold.  Perhaps Liv and Chrissie share the same elf gardeners?   Hmmmm . . . . .

Monday, May 17, 2010

Think Pink!

“Sally,” I answered as I saw her number pop up on my cell phone.  “What’s up?”

“I’m sorry, but I won’t be able to come over today.  I really need to get a gift, and it has to be pink because that’s my sister’s favorite color in the whole world,” Sally said.  “Plus, I know you have to go to the dentist, and our timeframes just aren’t going to work out.”

“Yeah, the dentist!  What fun!  Can hardly wait!” I laughed.  “But, hey, I’ve just searched for Bbest Team Pink, and wait till you see what I’ve found.  I bet your sister would love all of these.  Let me know which one you choose,” I continued.

“You know I will,” Sally replied.  “Looking at Bbest creations is one of my favorite shopping treks!”

Asian Expressions pink origami 518

ajscountrycottage pink soap 517

six sisters neighborhood girl 517

bethpeardonprods dahlia 517

natureinpastels hibiscus 517

mysticsilks painting 517

pdforiginalartworks pink flowers 517

coloursandtextures pink peonies 517

chris1 pendant 517

bytheby spring pillow 517

jnoriginals scarf 517

magdalenejewels earrings 517

scottieacres pink sweatshirt 517

stitchesbyjulie crochet shrug 517

katzskreations pink neckalce 517

blazingneedles pink scarf 517

getlathered shampoo 517

buttondivas spring deer button517

jstinson earrings 517

eversodear pink bracelet 517

glitznglass bracelet 517