Serve it up!

My fellow citizens of America, voting for president is one of the most important things you can do for your country.

And, while voting in the Etsy Mud Team Serving Dish Challenge doesn’t quite have that gravitas,
it’s also a pretty cool thing to do. (And anyone in the world can participate!).

So please head over there to flex your decision-making muscle, check out some awesome serving dishes, and score a cool discount on handmade pottery!

P.S. Pick me! Pick me!

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Published in: on July 31, 2008 at 4:05 pm  Comments (7)  

Stuck on these

If you are even half as busy as me… well, then I kind feel sorry for you. Because I am one busy damn lady.

But that aside, if you are also a busy person, I’m sure you’ve discovered the joy of sticky notes. Truly, a gift from god. There are some days when I come into work and I just have to laugh, because my computer is so plastered with sticky notes that I can barely see around them to the screen.

In fact, I think it would be pretty awesome to carry sticky notes around with me ALL the time, so I would never ever forget anything again. Lucky for me, PulpArt thought of it first! She sells beautiful little sticky pad books created with hand-made and recycled paper. Brilliant!

Published in: on July 30, 2008 at 10:20 pm  Comments (2)  

Peachy keen

I got a great review and interview over at The Peach Tree, hosted by a fellow Amy artist!

There’s a few details about me that you might not know, and a few silly things you may not care to know!  Go check it out!

Published in: on July 30, 2008 at 2:38 pm  Comments (2)  

Without even trying

Hot. Hip. Sexy.

I love the simple design of this hand-sewn leather choker by Bobnstich. It looks like the perfect I-didn’t-even-think-about-this-outfit accessory for going out to the pub on a Friday night!

Published in: on July 29, 2008 at 11:00 pm  Comments (7)  

Saturday Writing Critique #13

Pour some coffee, folks, and wake up for this week’s installment of the Saturday Etsy Writing Critiques! (Or should I say really, really early Sunday morning critiques?)

This week Janet, of Trinkets N Whatnots, is under the microscope. Her shop features a huge array of eye-catching rings and jewelry, as well as a few of those “whatnots” thrown in!

But while Janet’s jewelry definitely calls out for attention, her product descriptions set my eyes wandering. All the components are there, but Janet needs some adjustments in order to tie her writing together into a readable, attractive package.

Let’s take a glance at her description for a bold, black and purple pendant:

~~~

This is a gorgeous, and unique porcelain pendant that has purple and pearl colors. The purple outlines an Orchid looking, delicate flower.

The necklace is made out of wood beads that has purple hues in it to compliment the pendant. A magnetic barrel clasp is used to finish this necklace.

Item ships next business day via priority mail flat rate, 4.80

If paying by personal check or money order the item will ship upon payment being received.

Thanks for looking.

~~~

When I look at Janet’s writing, I see puzzle pieces. There is plenty of information there, but the words don’t seem to fit together. It makes me want to take it all apart and rearrange it (thank goodness I’m allowed to!).

Let’s start with the first sentence. It begins well – I do like buying gorgeous things! But it ends in a fizzle. I don’t really need to be told that purple and pearl are colors, that’s not a whole lot of new or interesting information. Mentioning the colors is important, but they don’t need to be emphasized. As a buyer, I can already see them in the photo. Let’s save the end of sentence one for something with a little more “oomph.”

On to sentence two. To be perfectly honest, the phrase “Orchid looking, delicate flower” sounds wishy-washy to me. Save the fear of commitment for your boyfriend and let’s just say it’s a “delicate Orchid.”

In the third sentence there are two distracting grammatical errors. The first, more serious, is the mismatched verb. It should read “beads that have,” not, “beads that has.” This error actually makes the sentence difficult to comprehend, since it’s not obvious at first glance what “has” the purple hues. The second, minor error is the mix-up of compliment and complement (I’m guilty of this on occasion as well!). In a nutshell: “I’m trying to give you a compliment when I say that feather boa really complements your outfit.”

Passive tense undercuts the fourth sentence, and should be avoided when possible. Actually, “is used to finish” could simply be condensed to “finishes.” This brings me to a point about verbs. There are a lot of them out there. Don’t rely on ho-hum verbs like “is” and “has,” when action verbs can bring much more pizazz to your writing. Would you rather buy wooden beads that glow with a purple hue, or ones that have a purple hue?

And a note about “unique”: Please don’t use it. Every hand-crafted item is unique the way every kid is “special.” It may be true, but the word itself has been rendered meaningless. If you’re stuck, turn to a trusty friend.

Here’s my rewrite:

~~~

This head-turning necklace features a bold purple and pearl-colored Orchid pendent.

It hangs from a string of daring geometric wood beads. The beads glow with a purple hue, perfectly complementing the gorgeous centerpiece. The necklace finishes with an easy-to-use magnetic barrel clasp.

All my work ships the next business day via priority mail flat rate, $4.80.

If paid by personal check or money order, the piece will ship when payment is received.

Thanks for looking.

~~~

I noticed that Janet didn’t include any information about the focal bead itself, besides the color. It looks like metal but I’m left wondering what kind. As a person with sensitive skin, I think that’s important. [EDIT: Actually, she did. She said it was porcelain, and I was too half-asleep to notice! My bad.]

I did change the shipping information a tiny bit, as well. The word “item” sounds so sterile when referring to handcrafted work, so I try to avoid it.

I hope this helps, Janet! Many happy sales!

~~~

Interested in a critique focusing on language and writing? You’ve come to the right place! You must leave a comment on THIS blog post to be considered for next week! (Even if you have volunteered on a previous week!)

Also check out the Writing Critique archives!

~~~

Published in: on July 27, 2008 at 1:27 am  Comments (17)  

Let the drooling begin!

I’m in love.

Sauteed  portabello  mushroom, tomatoes, fresh greens, sprouts and French triple-cream brie packed into a warm, crusty baguette.

All the other sandwiches in the world mean nothing to me now.

Published in: on July 25, 2008 at 12:33 pm  Comments (4)  

The asparagus has left the building

VEGGIES!! ROCKIN’ OUT!

And also in their underwear…and dancing burlesque….

If you can look at My Zeotrope’s watercolors without laughing, you are a stronger person than I.

Or maybe you should have your head checked.

Published in: on July 24, 2008 at 11:00 pm  Comments (5)  

Best food on earth

If you like macaroni and cheese (and who doesn’t?), then I’ve got a special treat for you! I was bored the other night and made a homage to my favorite comfort food. Except, I’m a little picky about my mac and cheese. Well, okay, I’m actually a downright snob. I make my mac from scratch, with a spicy cream sauce and a combination of quality cheeses. See my recipe (and read my elitist ramblings) here.  You get extra hugs and kisses from me if you rate the page!

Also, my Snowy Night Cups were featured over at Gwynn’s Gifts’ blog this Saturday! Check it out and leave her some comment-love!

Published in: on July 23, 2008 at 6:50 pm  Comments (2)  

Seedlings


Honestly, growth can be a tricky thing.

It often hurts, is almost always messy, and I frequently get dragged into it kicking and screaming. But when you stop for a second and look closely, what a beautiful process! There’s a certain grace to the moment, and a joyous anticipation of the future.

I love the fact that growth is part and parcel of the gorgeous handmade-paper cards that Holly, of Recycledideas, creates. Laced with seeds, her cards can actually be planted and will grow into sweet-smelling flowers and herbs. What a way to celebrate and remember a special moment!

P.S. Check out her great blog, Newfoundland News, for all the puppy photos you can handle. A great read!

Published in: on July 22, 2008 at 9:08 pm  Comments (2)  

Impossible Iris

Let me state this for the record: I can’t do this. I have no idea how this is even done.

Joe’s papercuts are so incredibly fine and detailed…I have to remind myself several times that they are simply paper. Definitely not done with the kitchen scissors the way I used to do those snowflake cut-outs when I was a kid! Especially check out his intricate Mayan-inspired design. Unbelievable!

Published in: on July 21, 2008 at 2:28 pm  Comments (6)