All of my fairy doors, fairy houses, fairy dolls, scented bookmarks, dryer balls, and other magical creations are available in my etsy shop! Click on the images to learn more about each one!
Motherhood does not always smell great, and among the many benefits of motherhood, moms deal with a lot. This Mother's Day, give your mom a magical gift that not only smells great and looks pretty, but also can aid her in her everyday magic, as well as offer some rejuvenation of that magic. Not sure which scent is best for mom? Here's a great guide to help decide!
Rosemary is great for reducing stress and tension. For those moments a back rub is just not possible and booking a day at the spa is not feasible, a whiff of rosemary can elevate mood, soothe those tense muscles, and help in a stressful moment. There's so much for mom's to remember, this is a great aid for memory. It enhances concentration and increases retention. Plus, the refreshing smell can cut through dirty diapers and a sink full of dishes!
Much like Rosemary, cinnamon is great for boosting moods, relieving tension, a great memory tool, and aids in those smellier moments. It can also increase attention span, offer relief from menstruation cramps and discomfort, reduce headaches, and is used as a mosquito repellent.
Coffee is great for rejuvenating! On those busy days or for the mom on the go, just the smell of coffee is a great way to gain all the benefits of caffeine without having to drink a cup. While it can give you that needed pick-me-up, it is also can be calming and de-stressing.
Much like coffee, chocolate is a pick-me-up, while relaxing and de-stressing.For those moms who are looking to stave a craving, but wish to cut back on the sugar and candy, just the smell of chocolate can also boost memory and energy for those busy-scheduled days, while elevating mood for those difficult and frustrating moments.
Mint improves memory, raises alertness, relieves and eases stomach aches and headaches, provides comfort, energizes, manages stress, fights mental fatigue, and is an insect repellant.
Lemon shares many of the same benefits of mint, while also providing a refreshing and clean aroma that can overtake the green clouds that moms can often find from the infant's dirty diaper to a teenager's room.
Lavender is a symbol of devotion and rose is a symbol for love. While these scents symbolize all a mother gives to her children, these scents can also give back to moms. Lavender is a scent people either love or hate. Therefore, if mom is not a fan of lavender, rose is a great alternative to receiving the same benefits. These two scents relieve stress, relax body and mind, fight anxiety, can help reduce mild pain, relieve headaches, and fight insomnia.
The stocking were hung by the chimney with care...
A fire place sits snug on a snowy tea cup fairy garden between a couple sprigs of rosemary. Holly and berries align the top of the mantle and a fire (glow in the dark) offers some warmth from the cold.
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse...
Well, perhaps a couple mice were stirring. But, after Santa eats that tasty plate of cookies, there might be a crumb or two left. Unless the Grinch stops by. Then the one speck of food that will be left in the fairy garden, will just be a crumb not even big enough for this wee mouse.
The second mouse scurries among the three wrapped presents that sit beneath the rosemary and mint foliage. What do you think the fairies are getting for Christmas?
Twas the Night Before Christmas Fairy Garden will be available at my next upcoming events. Stop by Tamiza's Treats on December 1st and December 13th!
They say any pet is beneficial when battling depression and anxiety, but the Cinnamon Cat-erfly is particularly helpful. They aid in diminishing lethargy, petulance, pain and regular headaches. They also aid in mental capabilities, such as focus, memory, attention span, etc . Mosquitoes stay clear of the wee cinnamon Cat-erfly. Unlike their house cat counterparts, along with repelling bugs, they also freshen the air.
It is believed that the cinnamon Cat-erfly originated from Sri Lanka and India, but can now be found all over.
Pelargonium Felines, better known as Cat-erflies, were first discovered hiding in scented geraniums. They camouflage using both scent, as well as color. Despite their name, they can also be found hiding in their corresponding herbs and flowers. This can make them extremely difficult to spot, along with their tiny size. Masters of hiding, if you catch a random whiff of a familiar smell, a Cat-erfly might have crossed your path!
Cat-erflies are made from wool and other fibers (and a little bit of magic). They also contain fragrance oils. They can lose their scent after some time, but can always be rescented. They are handcrafted with love in the USA!
Find more information regarding cinnamon here:
As artists, we make a specific something with a specific purpose or reason in mind. We try to convey our own meanings.
Every time a customer walks into the booth, I give my well rehearsed spiel. "These are fairy doors. They are hand carved and hand painted. You stick them at the base of a tree or on a bookshelf, anywhere you want to invite the fairies."
My main goal and purpose is to offer products that will draw the fairies into your world and enchant it. While accomplishing that goal, I have also sought out ways to appeal to a wide audience and remain unique.
Despite my intentions as the creator, the customers will find different ways to use my product and different meanings behind it. Take, for instance, Seeds of Inspiration's Ouch Pouch Line. This is an aromatherapy product that can be used in the freezer or microwave as an ice pack or heating pad. It's scented with lavender and chamomile and can be used for anything from bumps and bruises to ear aches and migraines. A friend and constant customer, Jess, used her personal ouch pouch on her bottle fed puppy. The poor little guy was the only one of his litter to survive and the ouch pouch neck wrap helped offer the comfort and warmth he normally would have found from his litter mates.
My customers tend to first have their interested piqued by recognizable, or even not so recognizable, designs. Then the door itself. Sometimes the purchase is for nostalgia, sharing the interest, or a different meaning behind the same message. A Dalmatian fairy door is now used to memorialize a beloved pet who has crossed the rainbow bridge. My TFIOS door becomes a reminder to a loved one that everything will always be okay. Or, most recently, a custom ordered 82nd Airborne fairy door will bring comfort to a little kid every time he gets scared at night.
Another example is my fairy bottles. They normally feature miniature scenes in tiny glass bottles. People have used them as ornaments to hang on their tree. They use it as attachments to key chains. Just a few months ago, at the steampunk convention it was used as part of a cosplay outfit.
John Green said books belong to their readers. The same goes for art. When that door leaves my booth, it opens to something more. It becomes more than I could ever dream.
About a month ago, my awesome friend and equally fantastic local artist, Jessica from Jessie J Inspiration's invited me to include some of my items in her booth at Her Royal Majesty Steampunk Expo at the Queen Mary. It was a three day event and from that experience we learned a few tricks and tips.
This weekend she and I are booth buddies once more at Whiskey Flat Days in Kernville (and there really is no better person to share with than Jess) While this is not exactly an Expo, it is a multi-day event with a clear theme, so many of these tips and tricks apply. Two weeks following, her and I will be at the Long Beach Comic Expo, and maybe I'll blog about a few more things we learn along the way.
But for now, here is what we learned and will be applying to our upcoming events:
A sign at the start of the garden welcomes all the fairies to 'saddle up!'
A cowboy fairy forgot his hat after it fell off a ride on a buckin' bronc!
An abandoned wagon wheel leans against a succulent, ready for a fairy to reattach to another wagon!
Follow the horseshoes down a path lined with turquoise through the desert...
... to a fence where the cowboy fairy left his rope!
There’s an irony to accidentally cutting yourself while carving a door inspired by the man of steel. It’s not the first time I’ve done it. I carry enough bandaids with me on a daily basis for my purse to be considered a first aid kit. During the last craftsman’s guild fair I received a very nice scar on my finger. On the bright side neither of these injuries required stitches. But it reminded me of something I and some fellow crafters talked about during the HMSB Maker’s Retreat last weekend, the difference between a hobby and a business.
One of the crafters there talked about how it was the difference between something like Handmade in South Bay and something like the Torrance Craftsman’s Guild. On the ride home from the retreat, though, we decided it was more than that though. For us in Handmade in South Bay, it’s our business, our income, our livelihood or what we’d like our livelihood to be, but it’s also our passion. There is a flame that refuses to die. Yes, we get frustrated and walk away for a bit. We put down the needle and thread and paint and brushes, but we always come back. We walk around with idea books stuffed in our bags and purses. We have our planners as our brains. And we never stop thinking about our business. Even when it’s something as simple as spying all the trees that would be perfect for a fairy door, or dreaming up a new design. We are our business and we take it with us, in our purses, in our notebooks and phones, in our brains, and in our soul. You can hear it in our voices and see it on our faces when we talk about it. We live and breathe not only our businesses, but what our businesses can do for the world at large.
And we bleed for it. We cry for it. We try for it. We risk for it. And we work for it. From the moment we wake, to the moment we rest our heads on our pillow. We do not work a nine-to-five. I don’t think we know how. Sometimes dinner, when we remember it through our painting pallets and sewing machines, is at 9 o’clock at night. Lunches are optional and breakfast is accompanied by updating social media and scheduling posts. When Degas was going blind, he switched to sculpting, because there is no such thing as idle hands for a passionate artist. Again, we don’t know how.
We are disciplined enough to accomplish it amidst the mind-sucking everyday distractions that come with working from home. We are brave enough to bare our souls to an often unkind world, sometimes even in the circles where we should feel the most safe in doing so and who should be able to understand the most. We push ourselves further than we ever thought we could go. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” Passionate handmade entrepreneurs do hundreds on a daily basis. Larger events. Events out of state. More events. Different events. New products. And we do it with very little respect, sometimes even from our fellow crafters who use air quotes whenever they refer to their work as a business. Because while to them they fail to see it for themsevles, us who are businesspeople, who are passionate, who do what we love and love what we do, it is an insult to us.
We are crazy. Crazy to think we can do it and put ourselves through it. To be this passionate. But as Jack Kerouac said, “The only people for me are the mad ones.”
So, “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” (Apple Inc.)
“Stop thinking about art as objects, and start thinking about them as triggers.”- Roy Ascott
In my family there are a lot of traditions that include the Christmas tree. We tend to put it up the day after Thanksgiving. (We’re a little late this year.) We blast Christmas carols as we decorate. By far, my favorite, though, is the ornaments. We don’t do themed Christmas trees. You will find very few simple or elegant glass balls. Our tree tells a story and every year that story starts with Grandmom’s star, a gold and red ornament. It’s always the first on the tree. Next, I put my baby’s first ornament, a brown bear laying on a group of blocks that have my birth year on them. Following that are ornaments we’ve received every Christmas since we were first born. Every year my grandparents would get us an ornament. Each ornament represents an interest of ours from that year. It’s what we liked, who we wanted to be, where we wanted to go, where we went, who we were. It’s a story about each of us individually, but also who we are as a family. And I have yet to see a tree more beautiful. (I may be a little biased on that count.)
My ornaments range from The Comfy Couch and Madeline to ballerinas and teachers, from Crayons and beloved books to feminist quotes. Photos of beloved pets who have since crossed the rainbow bridge to handmade ornaments marking milestones. Each is a memory. It makes the tree feel more special to me. It is unique and it is specifically mine. No one would look at my tree and doubt who it belonged to.
I like to achieve something similar with the ornaments I carve. I like them to be unique. I like them to be special. I like them to reflect and capture people’s interest. That beloved books or movie, that milestone, something important, something my customers can looks back on with a smile, something that tells a story. That captures this moment, this year, forever. And maybe, just maybe, something that would mean as much to them as Grandmom’s star.
After a fantabulous event at the Torrance Craftsmen’s Guild, my best event yet, where I not only made yet another customer cry (this time over the Rosemary Remembrance Fairy Pillow), but also had repeat customers from a year ago, I’m gearing up for more upcoming events, not only the last ones for the year, but also for next year as well. As my calendar starts to fill up, I’m planning and brainstorming products and production time for each individual event.
It helps, of course, to take certain factors into consideration when planning and brainstorming, such as themes for the event and close by holidays that potential customers could be shopping for. Four days at Whisky Flats means a lot of product, but also going western and vintage! Two days two weeks later at the Long Beach Comic Expo means comic and superhero related items and plenty of product for that event as well! Then there’s the bee themed HMSB Spring Boutique in April and the Torrance Craftsmen’s Guild Spring Event (If you couldn’t come for the holiday craft faire, here’s your second chance for the year)! Before all of that, I have to restock for the upcoming HMSB Holiday Boutique in two weeks. Needless to say, I’ll be busting my butt and cranking out as much as I can! The excitement really helps!
So, what to make first? Well, my most recent upcoming event is the Holiday Boutique. I need to focus my attention on restocking the raggle taggle fairy dolls, some doors, and plenty of ornaments. A few new fairy houses will be needed for any repeat customers (cue wink and fingers crossed). After that is a small event at a local school, but it is only a six foot table space and any product left over from the HMSB boutique can be used there. That gives approximately two months to build up inventory for Whisky Flats (this will be the longest event I have ever done) and the Comic Expo. Arguably for every comic and superhero related item I make, I should make two items for Whisky Flats.
This begs the question; do I put out the superhero and comic products I have already made at one of the events before the comic expo? Or, to be fully prepared for that event, do I put them to the side? By putting it off to the side, am I running the risk that I could lose out on a sale? To Spiderman or not to Spiderman, that is the question.
At both the Comic Expo and Whisky Flat Days I am sharing with Jessie’s Custom Greetings again. We have both agreed that our comic and superhero products will be put off to the side for Whisky Flats due to the events being so close together. These are not easy decisions to make, but it feels really great to have to make these types of decisions.
How am I, of all people, going to keep this all straight? Why, piles, of course! I have the start of my Whisky Flats piles, currently, two fairy dolls. I have a pile for the Comic Convention, both doors and ornaments, and soon to be Gotham Fairy House (keep an out for upcoming pictures)! I’m rearing to go! And now that I’ve celebrated this bursting of excitement with all of you, I’m going to get back to work! Wish me luck!
On Fairy Wings and Acorn Hats
The magic behind it all!