Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spingtime Shopping Festival on Etsy!

Shop Window Pioneer Square Seattle, WA by Shelley McElhiney*
Hi everyone! Today I wanted to let you know about the Springtime Shopping Festival going on through 4/15 on Etsy :) Shops from the Simple Trading Team are offering shopwide discounts from 20% to 40% off or even free worldwide shipping! It's a great time to get fun, handmade, vintage & one of a kind gifts for upcoming holidays, birthdays or even yourself :)

Here is the list of the participants & a little about what each one makes. Check them out & Happy Shopping:

1. Cards, Stickers, Supplies
2. Custom Digital Stickers
3. Clay, Multi media Jewelry
4. Jewelry & Home Decor
5. Vintage Clothing
6. Glassworks
7. Jewelry & Accessories
8. Prints & Paintings
9. Hand Painted Shoes & Tees
10. Jewelry & Accessories
11. Dreamcatchers

1. Cards & Gifts
2. "Inspiration to Your Mailbox"
3. Photography
4. Fabric
5. Leather Wallets & Accessories
6. Weddings & Special Occassions
7. Vintage Lingerie
8. Weddings & Special Occassions
9. Jewelery
10. Rock Paintings
11. Jewelry & Art
12. Polymer Clay Charms
13. Jewelry & Accessories
14. *** Me :) Jewelry, Accessories & Wearable Art
15. Phone Cases

1. Vintage
2. Beads & Charms
3. Jewelry & Photos
4. Vintage Clothing
5. Bottle Cap & Scrabble Jewelry
6. Incense, Wallets, Jewelry
7. Resin Jewelry
8.  Nature inspired Jewelry

1. Crochet Accessories & Home Decor
2. Custom Digital Stickers
3. Journals & Paper

*Photo the property of Shelley McElhiney, all rights reserved. Please contact the blog for any desired usage.

Friday, April 4, 2014

And Now for Something Completely Different...

And now for something completely different: a book review, at least I don't think I've done one before...
Bookmarks by shellseye Etsy

"Ex Libris" by Anne Fadiman
Farrar, Straus and Giroux 1998
This is a book is most often described/catagorized as a book about books but, from my point of view anyway, is more of a book about & for book lovers: All (well, maybe not all...most? many? probably not 'all') of our strangge habits & beliefs about books; a quirky tribe brought together in our love of books, but divided in the practices & rituals of our particular 'religion.' Some of us believe that books should remain pristeen, even if read: no beent spines, no folded corners while others believe that books should be well loved, devoured page by page, annotated & remembered & this divide is only the tip of the iceberg. Fadiman introduces to many book lover rituals, in the habits of her friends, family & even more than one historical figure.
Since this is a work or really many works of non fiction, tied together by a mutual love & reading of books & of tthe people who write them, I can't say that there is a favorite character here. I find theem all fascinating & real, eaach with his or her own quirks & rrationalized idiosyncracies. If I had to choose from among them, I'd maybe say the author, herself as she relates the tales of those around her. Personally, I enjoyed reading these tales, both amused by the quirks & sometimes appalled by the odd rituals presented here.
I found the book difficult to get into, at first, filled with obscure & sometimes antiquated terms, some (but not all) of which the meaning could be guessed through context. I often re-read books & if I re-read this one, I'll try it with some sort of dictionary by my side, to capture more of these elusive terms. This could only serve to add meaning to an already interesting sociological exploration.
The book is divided into small chapters or essays & so I can't really say that I have a favorite or least favorite part, each part being separate, but pretty much equal. The only thing that might be changed about the book, would be the addition of a glossary of terms in the back. This might end up as too much of a distraction, so maybe it should be left as is, a choice for the reader, to have references or not.
I have not read any other books by this author, but I may now, having read this one. She seems to have a lifetimes worth of annecdotes & stories to tell. I would definitely recommend this book to others interested in books, reading & even sociology.
I'm not sure why, since the title reaally does say alot about the book, but I was surprised by how little of the book was about books, but instead was more about people; how within a sub culture (lovers of books) with so many similarities, how different people really are & what an interesting thing that can be. Maybe if the book had been called "Ex Libris: Observations of a Common Reader" instead of "Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader" I would have been less surprised, but then, again I would have been less interested in reading it. It would have sounded less human & more clinical. Maybe, the author's title is best, after all.
I hope I've given you an idea of the book, without revealing too much & that maybe you'll read it, if you haven't already...SAM

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Clutches, Scarves & Wallets...Oh, My!

New stuff I've been making lately (well, finished a couple of weeks ago, anyway):
Earth friendly spring clutches handmade from repurposed & vintage materials
Yellow Clutch made from repurposed georgette ribbon (Darn Good Yarn, Inc), vintage art deco button, vintage cotton fabric lining, hand crocheted, hand stitched Available Samsstuff Etsy
Pink Silk Clutch: Repurpose pulled silk yarn (Darn Good Yarn, Inc.), vintage cloth button, vintage cotton fabric lining, hand crocheted, hand stitched Available samsstuff Etsy
Some cute little wallets
Teal Blue Wallet: Locally sourced Alpaca yarn, repurposed silk ribbon (Darn Good Yarn, Inc), vintage flower button, cotton fabric lining, hand crocheted, hand stitched Available samsstuff Etsy
Mint, Chocolate & White Wallet: US grown cotton yarn, vintage button, cotton fabric lining, hand crocheted, hand stitched Available soon
Some fun skinny scarves

Radiant Orchid Skinny Scarf: 100% wool yarn, vintage lace, hand crocheted, hand stitched Available Samsstuff Etsy
Plus, a bracelet or two
Snake Bracelet: Repurposed silk chiffon fabric (Darn Good Yarn, Inc), metallic teal embroidery thread, snake toggle clasp, hand crocheted Available Samsstuff Etsy
Can't wait to get back to making things (My wrist is recovering from surgery)...
How about you, have you been making things lately or discovered any great vintage finds? These are great ways to get ready for Earth Day (April 22, since 1970) & celebrate every day...SAM

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Today I Made...

Today, I made...a great big, giant (about the size of a soccer ball) ball of pretty flowery 'yarn:'
It takes a bit of time, but it's a lot of fun & pretty simple to do. I used a pretty, buttery yellow, flannel sheet, cut/torn into strips along the grain (these vary in size, but a 1.5" width seems to be a good average). The strips were then sewn together (this can be right sides facing together or all strips facing the same way) with a 1/4 to 1/3" seam. Strips can also be knotted together, which will create an even more rustic look to the yarn. This is rolled into a ball & viola, a giant ball of yarn. Done this way, the yarn can be crocheted or knitted using large needles/hooks made for bulky yarn or arm knitted/crochet, if you want to try a fun, new fad...
Now, what should I make with my pretty, new yarn? A little rug, maybe? A bag or tote? SAM
How about you? Did you make anything today? Have you ever tried making your own yarn (beads, etc.)? I'd love to hear about it!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Happy Pi Day :)

Taken inside Earthwise Architectural Salvage Tacoma shop. Image by Shelley McElhiney, all rights reserved.
MMM, Pi...

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Storytelling Saturday: Objects That Tell Tales "Locking Up Love"

Locking Up Love:
This is a tradition at Chambers Bay Park, here in Tacoma. Someone, years ago, decided to 'lock up' their love, declaring its permanence on the long pedestrian bridge that leads to the beach area of the park (I don't know if it's really known who was the first or if their love has survived as long as the lock placed here) & others followed suit. Each lock symbolizes a love story of a different kind: some are couples, some are family, there are even locks here that are for the love of a pet...Each story is different & I'm sure each has a different ending, some are enduring, others transitory, some have ended in pain, some in great happiness, some commemorate the loss of a loved one, remembered always, here & in the hearts of those left behind, some symbolize a new marriage or the anniversary of an eduring one. No matter what the story told, each was left here to tell the tale & commemorate the days' symbology & each is beautiful, in its own way...SAM

Since Valentine's Day is near, what love stories have you come accross recently?

*Photo is the property of Shelley McElhiney, all rights reserved. Please contact for any desired usage.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Every Day is Exactly the Same

So...not exactly the same, but most of our winter has been like this: fog, rain, wind, cold. This is a seven day project, one photo taken each day, for seven days in a row, from the same location, showing seven days of our wet, winter weather.

Day One: Not everything is brown & dead here, even in winter, we have a fair amount of green, like these ferns in my yard
Day Two: Foggy & Cold, front yard
Day Three: Foggy & Cold, back yard
Day Four: Budding Branches, Cherry Tree, Signs of Spring?
Day Five: Rain on my window
Day Six: A Bit of Sky among the clouds (this was in the morning, before the clouds unleashed their daily downpour
Day Seven: Bulbs starting to come up, Day Lilies, More Signs of Spring? Maybe I'm just being hopeful...We often have our coldest weather in February (hopefully not in the teens, like last month) & sometimes snow...

Hope you enjoyed these seven days in Tacoma, Washington & that there are signs of Spring in the air for you! SAM

(For any of you wondeing about the Storytelling Saturday, I will be making this a monthly feature & attempting to add a space for you to share any interesting storytelling objects you've stumble accross)

*All photos & text the property of Shelley McElhiney, all rights reserved, please contact for any desired usage.