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Random Acts of Kindness

Random Act of KindnessGarden Fairy or Random Act of Kindness?

We enjoyed an amusing surprise this morning after spotting an intruder positioned in our rock garden.  Standing tall stood an iron lily that had not been present the previous day.  After accusing each other of planting this arrangement of non perishable flowers in our garden, and each in turn adamantly denying the act, we came to the consensus that a benevolent and fun loving garden fairy must have stopped by in the night.   The lily adds interest and color to a drab garden and also added some curiosity and color to what could have been a drab morning!

What acts of kindness or generosity have you committed or been accused of lately?

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Posted by on March 24, 2013 in Open for Discussion

 

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Two By Two

Two By Two

bright cut out animals
Have you ever wondered how Folk Art is created?

One of the Folk Art items I enjoy creating is Noah’s Ark. I create the Ark from reclaimed wood that I salvage from demolition sites or old homes. Along with the ark I include a number of small wooden animals.

Following is my step by step method of creating wood animals from reclaimed wood:

1. The first step is to design the animal on paper and then carefully cut it out and laminate the design for a tracer that you can utilize over again for future animals. That would be a practical thing to do.
Or you can do as I do and draw the animal directly on a piece of suitable wood, which is my quick and easy no nonsense preference. Each animal becomes a ‘one of a kind’ with its own irreplaceable character.

2. When the outline of the animal is drawn onto the wood it is essential to cut it out. I use a scroll saw; I love this little saw and have used it for many years.
It was a present from my supportive husband who recognized early on in our life together that I was not the kind of woman who cared highly for roses or bling, but one who would appreciate the value of a sharp saw or belt sander. I have cut through many a board with this little saw, broken many a blade and stained wood with my blood.

3. Once one of Noah’s animals emerges from the piece of reclaimed wood the next step is to sand the rough edges. You can use a medium weight sand paper and do this by hand.
I utilize a belt sander, another gift that thrilled me more than a mix master would have. Many a knuckle has been sanded and skin lost, during this procedure!

4. As soon as the animal feels smooth all over the fun of painting begins. I use old house paint.
This is an efficient and practical way to recycle products that could end up in the landfill. Fortunately I find painting the house, inside and out, a pleasant and meditative pastime, so I am never short of dribs and drabs of paint.

5. After a base coat I apply the appropriate color and once it dries I apply a second coat. A bit more sanding, then an application of varnish or stain or wood wax depending on the amount of distressing I might do.
Additional details such as some hemp rope for the tail and mane on the horse are added.

The finishing touch on all the animals is to add the eyes. This last step ensures that the animals come ‘alive’!

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2013 in Tutorials

 

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Etsy Time

Etsy Time

045BLACK CROW CURIOS believes in creative reuse by reclaiming and transforming cast off items into useful and decorative home accents.  Beach combing and the inspiration of the outdoors are essential components of the BLACK CROW CURIOS design process.

Take a look around Black Crow Curios, you may discover an item that you just can’t live without…

Click on this link to learn more About BlackCrowCurios an Etsy Shop:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/BlackCrowCurios/about?ref=announce

Visit my online shop at:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/BlackCrowCurios

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Etsy Time

How much time are you devoting to your online business?

I am finding that I am spending wayyyyy more time on my Etsy Shop than I had imagined I would. Literally 5 or 6 hours some days. I don’t have an addictive personality, however when I do decide to do something I get 100% involved and I have to be careful that when I ‘power up my computer’ and sit down at my desk I don’t get sucked into the Etsy vacuum and lose myself in the reading, absorbing and applying of what I am learning.

Normally I keep my life balanced. Allowing and enjoying time for family, friends, real job, hiking, kayaking, creating something and yet lately I’ve begun to feel that I am spending more time than I had expected to allot to an online business. Some of this time is very constructive, interacting in the discussions, learning new strategies and applying them, but I need to come up for a breath now and then and determine where best to put my time here, and my hope is that this time will all be well spent, like sowing seeds for a later harvest…

How much time is too much?

Etsy Shop Link: http://www.etsy.com/shop/BlackCrowCurios

About BlackCrowcurios an Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BlackCrowCurios/about?ref=announce

Happy 2013!

My Etsy shop is new and I don’t have a ‘previous year’ to compare it to, so while my Etsy team members are preparing for their approach to 2013 and setting goals, I’m more focused on my accomplishments and reflecting on what I have learned.

And I have learned and accomplished plenty!

I’ve learned that opening an Etsy shop is time-consuming and comes with an enormous learning curve. I’ve accomplished opening a shop, stocking it with Barn Window Mirrors, Driftwood Boats and Hooks and Folk Art and I am actually making sales from people other than my friends and family. People unknown to me actually felt my product was worth purchasing. Go figure…

In reviewing my successes in 2012 the only thing I know for sure is that I am exactly where I need to be. I enjoy being creative and I required an outlet to sell my product so opening an Etsy shop was the right solution.

So what does 2013 bring?

I learned that if you want an honest critique from your team that is exactly what you will get. If you want compliments ask your friends and family! I have learned many things from the team I have joined, such as my photos are horrible, dark and cluttered and my shop is not cohesive. • So 2013 will see new brighter product photos, a more cohesive look and a paring down of product line. • To increase my shop’s reach I am learning the INS and OUTS of social media. So ‘friend’ me on face book, ‘like’ me on my blog, ‘save’ me on Wanelo and ‘pin’ me on Pinterest.

Basically I am requesting all your hearts and attention…

My Question To You: What have YOU accomplished in 2012 and what Business Strategies work best for YOU?

Etsy Shop Link: http://www.etsy.com/shop/BlackCrowCurios About BlackCrowCurios Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BlackCrowCurios/about?ref=announce

Visit my online shop at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/BlackCrowCurios

After some wild winds and big swells some lovely pieces of driftwood were washed up on our shore.  Perfect for Sailboats and coat racks!After some wild winds and big swells some lovely pieces of driftwood were washed up on our shore. Perfect for Coat Racks!
 
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Posted by on February 3, 2013 in Etsy Shop Talk

 

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