Saturday, 19 November 2011

ARTIST PROFILE: Lampworker Artisan from M1dnight Dreary

This is the first in a series I have been wanting to write for some time, profiling artists who create the most amazing things, are talented and creative and deserve to be seen.

Introducing the lampwork artist from etsy shop M1dnight Dreary

Born in Argentina and settling in Australia in the late 80s, the owner of the shop M1dnight Dreary, known on etsy as Glassy Lassy, is a musician, artist and designer.




I asked her some questions about lampwork, she was kind enough to say that my questions were okay, although I think that as I know nothing about the artform, my questions were totally inane and demonstrated my absolute ignorance on the subject!



What is lampwork?
I asked Glassy Lassy what lampwork is, she told me:


"Lampwork is the ancient art of making glass beads. The debate goes on as to wether "lampwork" relates to beads being made by the flame of a lamp .... but it is questionable as no one really believes a lamp would have generated enough heat to melt all the ingredients to make a glass bead. ...... There are very many examples of roman and viking beads of a very high standard, with intricate murrini."
OOOOH i KNOW that one! Murrine is a type of glass bead or decorative embellishment made from an intricately designed multicoloured rod of glass that when sliced in cross sections forms pieces with pictures or patterns, Millefiore being a well known type!(phew I am NOT as ignorant as I thought i was!)



Basic set up

If anyone wanted to start doing lampwork Glassy Lassy explained that the basic set up would need to include a torch (no bat-lings, not a flashlight.. but a burny, hot, ouch that hurts, flame type torch). The torch she uses is a "hothead" which uses LPG as its fuel. She explained that there are lots of different torches on the market and the more advanced ones burn really hot as they use a combination of O2 (Oxygen dear fiends.. you know that stuff we breathe??) and LPG, which makes the bead making process quicker.



If only we could find a flame breathing dragon! Then it could be a pet and a lampworking torch all in one....





I digress... back to our artist...

The next thing lampworkers need is a mandrel which our very knowledgeable and patient artist explains is a

"a long, usually stainless steel rod) dipped in bead release (it hardens like clay onto the mandrel, making it possible to remove the bead from the mandrel) otherwise melting glass directly onto the mandrel would make the glass stick to it for good."


Thirdly you need material that allows for the beads to slowly cool, they will be so amazingly hot that they would crack if they cooled too fast! Glassy said she uses vermiculite for this.



The bead needs to fired to finish it off properly, so you also need a kiln, our lovely artist explained that the reason the bead needs firing is that the very hot bead cools faster on the outside than on the inside which means that pressure will be exerted inside the bead caused by the differing temperatures, so to ensure the bead is nice and hard, it is fired in a kiln at a temperature lower than your initial torching.



What sets her work apart from the rest?

I first saw Glassy's work very recently, and I was instantly intrigued. What really appeals to me about her glass pieces is that they are different to mainstream lampwork. She adds an element of the macabre and the Baroque to her work. For example, have a look at these lampwork beads she has made called 'Dripping blood'



Who first taught you lampwork?

We all need to be taught how to do the basics of an artform if it is new to us, Glassy said her first lampwork teacher was Pauline Delaney at the Glass Shed in Sunshine, Melbourne, Australia. Pauline taught her how to form basic shapes with lampwork.



What got you into lampwork?

I am always fascinated in what inspires artists to try new media to express themselves, so I asked Glassy how she got into lampwork. She told me how she was once a member of a viking re-enactment group and was looking for some art technique she could use to share with the group, initially wanting to learn silversmithing she was unable at the time to locate a place to learn. She said that Vikings were skilled lampworkers so she located a lampworking course, with Pauline, and has not looked back!



The additional good news is that Glassy has also found a silversmithing course and has become a silversmith as well!



She promises that she will be listing some of her silver work in her etsy store soon too!

Personally I am very eagerly waiting to see Glassy's silver work as well, I love her lampwork beads that are full of heart, soul, and honesty, so I am sure her silver work will be just as amazing.


I really appreciate Glassy Lassy from the etsy store M1dnight Dreary for permitting me to profile her on my blog. Please visit her store, she is a true artist and deserves our patronage.

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Information on lampworking may be found at the following sites
............................................................................................................... Please visit me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat ...Please visit me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat


My recent purchases: check them out!

Hi my little Bat-lings, 

sorry for my slackness in regards to writing anything the last few weeks. Work has been most busy, and while that is guarranteed to keep me out of mischief, it also chases away the muse of creativity.



Today I am writing about a few of the purchases that I have made of late from fellow etsy sellers. I encourage others to drop by their etsy shops and pick up a few things for yourselves or as gifts for others! 


I have just ordered customised drop beads and some absolutely AMAZING lampwork bones from M1dnight Dreary.  I am very excited about these, and will be eager to see them when they arrive, as I have plans to make some jewellery for myself from them! Have a look at her store. you will love what she has there. very very talented lady!

I have purchased three times from the lovely Ruth at http://www.etsy.com/shop/Scarletrabbit
She is a very creative, intelligent,  kind person and her talent is amazing.

I recommend her store for anyone looking for beautful quality hand made crochet accessories.

I love my choker that I bought from her so much I wear it many times in a week, the same with the wristlets... They are only NOT worn on the days i wash them!
  
I am also a repeat customer at Ghostgap's store on etsy, you can visit it by clicking this link
http://www.etsy.com/shop/ghostgap

Julia is such a lovely person, and she is so clever!


She hand sews the most delightful trinket boxes, hair accessories and ornaments, The little bat trinket box I purchased from her is used all the time, and I have recently ordered another from her as I like it so much.
I am totally addicted to the gorgeous linden blossom scented faerie balm from Phoenix Botanicals ... thanks for that Irina!!


I have ordered a few times already in the last few months, I am scared they will run out .. and then i will have to wait for a LONG time until I can buy some again!


This delicately scented balm has so many uses, I use it as a lip balm before or instead of lipstick, i use it to soften cuticles, i rub it into the ends of my hair as a quick unfriz fix between shampoos!


this is a beautiful balm, do yourself a favour and grab some!
      












I am also a regular at the delightful Cat's gorgeous etsy shop where she creates and makes her own perfumes. Deep Midnight Perfumes  is the name of her etsy store.


She is happy to help you choose a scent that will suit you, and offers small sample packs at a very tiny price so you can get an idea of which perfumes you prefer so you know which ones to get next time. There WILL be a next time, once you have tried her perfumes you will never want to use any others!


I love in particular the Samhain night; Children of the Night, Esmeralda, Druids of Awen, and Bats in the Belfry.. those are my faves.. but she creates so many delightful fragrances that I have as yet to try them all... I WILL be trying them all by the way.. as they are all lovely, and never disappoint!
I HAVE to show you this purchase my fiends!


I have never owned a piece of 'steampunk' jewellery before, but this ring in Sassysteampunk's etsy store really appealed to me...


Kim is great, and she makes the most intricate amazing pieces .. industrial revolution turned chic!


No Kim, I am not turning steam punk... but this is a gorgeous ring and it had a lot of compliments when I wore it to work!


Please check out her etsy store, you do not have to be steampunk to want the great things she makes and sells, I am proof of that!!


PLEASE do not forget to check out  M1dnightDreary this girl is so very very talented. you will be amazed at her lampwork

Feel free to add comments and tell me about some of your recent purchases!
Thanks for tuning in guys.

............................................................................................................... Please visit me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat ...Please visit me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Old and Uncool


Dear Batlings,

I am tired, not sleeping much at night, and feel really yuk. I in fact feel ancient, uncool, boring, unattractive, and like an unwanted heap of mushy peas on a plate. Which would be fine if you like mushy peas, but as it happens i abhor them!

i feel very old and dusty and hideously revolting as my birth day looms closer. Chronology does not usually bother me, however at the moment it is causing me a lot of self doubt and depressive thoughts.

I find a lot of humans to be:

  • too wild for me,
  • too loud,
  • too obnoxious,
  • too disloyal,
  • bitchy and unrestrained in nastiness
  • fast to take offence
  • full of resentment,
  • unable to take pleasure in the happiness of others
  • unable to love in purity and with genuine affection,
  • too out for themselves.

I am a tired, disillusioned Goth, that only wants my pets, love, kindness and nice people in my life from this day forward.


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Addenda: 
a friend on etsy shared this link with me, it is inspiring and good and all things that is right, please have a read http://www.lordtonymackenzie.com/desiderata.html

Thursday, 27 October 2011

What’s your favourite book?

Dear Batlings,

tonight I will speak of two books featuring the same protagonist, that have always been favourites of mine, to the point that I once (pre-flood … I lost all my cool things in the flood) had a collection of ephemera and trinkets  based on these novels as well as owning many different editions.

I speak of the novels featuring a girl called Alice, written by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, or Lewis Carroll to his fans.

Published first  in 1865, and based on a story he created and regaled a friend’s child, Alice Liddell, with ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland became an immediate success. In 1871, another Alice book was published, ‘Alice’s Adventures through the looking glass and what she saw there’.

I first read these books when I was very young, a millennia ago it seems. I was struck by the fun and fantasy of the novels, the slight baroque feel to some of the scenarios young Alice found herself in, and the colourful descriptions. Every time i reread these books, and doing do as an adult, I note social commentary which is most amusing, as well as still being absolutely enamoured with the fantasy, the fun and the totally off the wall incidents in both the books.

This week I was most overjoyed when I received  necklaces made by my friend Katharine, that featured Alice inspired images.

I have started my Alice collection once again!

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrab

To Lewis Carroll, and books I will never be too old to love!

What’s your fave book? why not let me know in a comment?

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

More from the Apothecary of empressbat

 

Dear Batlings,

I have become obsessed with tiny glass bottles, cork stoppers, and creating olde worlde apothecary labels. (I hope you liked my Antique version of ‘Old World’.. I aim to please)

Yesterday I bottled tiny satin bats to form my bottled bats essence of friendship bottles, today i have bottled a small brass key..the key of Fidelis, elixir of loyalty, and also I have bottled a tiny plastic spider, Bottled Spider Tincture of Happiness… 

Maybe I need to go back to work??

I started cleaning our coffee table today, I found a bottle of glitter I had misplaced,… hmmmm  glitter, resin, and ..some trinket, would look great in an apothecary jar…

Back to bottling found objects, I will check in again later.

In the meantime fiends, don’t be strangers, just be strange!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

And in today’s news: bottled bats


Hi Fiends.
I am on leave this week, pottering around the house, husband is at work, pets are hanging out with me, and I am making stuff. Necklaces, clothes, artwork…
My latest fun project is making bottled bats!
Not as gruesome as it sounds my Batlings I assure you. I happen to like bats, in fact there is a colony of Pteropus alecto living across from our house.
No my dear Fiends, I am in fact embedding tiny fabric bats into glitter filled resin, and setting them inside tiny bottles!


Am I insane? … probably
Are the bottled bats cute? Indeed they are!


As yet I am not intending to sell my Apothecary bottled bats, as I have made them with the sole intention of giving them to the humans who are important to me,  as special gifts in appreciation of their friendship.


Due to the mess inherent with using casting resin, glitter, glue, and tiny objects, I have managed to glue a bat to my forehead, get glitter on my husband’s shirt that I was ironing , and I fear I may have spilled resin on the table… but let us not cry over spilled resin, and hurry instead to wipe it up before it sets!!empressbats special bottled bats apothecary

Monday, 24 October 2011

Inspired by cats

"A cat's eyes are windows enabling us to see into another world."
- Irish Legend




Inspired by Felis Cattus:
Cat Sketch
using Indian ink and thick cartridge Here is a sketch i have dabbled with as a preliminary to a painting.
Bastet Necklace
Using a decoupage technique i have set an image of Bastet into a metal base and covered it in resin to magnify and protect the picture. I have attached glass crackle beads to the outside of the pendant and used similar beads on the chain.
aceo abstract cat eyes <KENOX S860  / Samsung S860>
Cat Button Bracelet
I have conjured up this bracelet, out of non matching buttons I own,  and cat embellishments, attached to a metal base.
Cat Necklace
This necklace is based on a cat character I have created..which in turn, just to confuse you , is based on two real cats I have had the pleasure to have in my life!
cat1 phoenix necklace1


 An ACEO I have sketched of a cat in Favist style

And abstract cat ACEO

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Please visit me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat ...Please visit me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat

Calling all Insomniacs!

I can’t sleep.
I am tired. so very very tired, but my brain is sprinting like some obsessed insane and very fit athlete..which is more than i can say for the rest of me.


Yes I know I drink Caffeine and consume Theobromine, but even when I do not indulge in life’s coffee and chocolate pleasures and stick instead to consuming vats of herbal relaxing teas and eating light sleep assisting evening meals, i still have a hyperactive brain.


 I am happy that my brain is active and quick, it is great during the day when I am at work, or at home painting/drawing,  making jewellery, or sewing … but..at night.. when the pets and the husband are all snuggled into their beds and are SNORING .. it would be really kind of pleasant to be able to join them in this somnolent activity.. and get some SLEEP!


These days I average maybe 3 to 4 hours a night sleep,. That would be fine if I could function properly on so little regenerative rest, but I cannot!  I am sure I am become increasingly more eccentric and my conversations frequently more absurd as the sleep deprivation takes hold!  


As I do not converse with many people, I am unable to test my hypothesis in regards to my insane ramblings, however if anyone was willing to attempt to hold a conversation with me, I believe my hypothesis is sound, and they will find themselves momentarily stunned at my lack of coherent sensible adult conversation!!!!


I know why I cannot sleep.  I have been very busy with work, and things at work have stressed me… meeting new colleagues, and having to socially interact, has caused me some issues I admit… but seriously… need..sleep.


I have been wandering the house way past the witching hour like a crazed ghoul.


Any batlings out there up to entertaining me while I cannot sleep???  Or is every other human in this hemisphere happily ensconced in their sleeping places, blissfully dreaming of whatever people blissfully dream about?


I am a very tired, slightly unhinged, desperately needing sleep Goth!


sighh… where’s that chocolate…..


............................................................................................................... Please visit me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat ...Please visit me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Favourite Goth etsy stores (part 3)

Dear Fiends, here we come to part three in my series, 'favourite gothic etsy stores'. Please note that each of these store owners are part of the Goth n Gorgeous etsy team that caters for creative like minded individuals in the virtual etsy community.

Scarlet Rabbit
Just look at these beautiful hand crochet designs made so brilliantly by Ruth. What a talented lady!  I recently purchased from her and found her to be a really lovely person: she is talented, kind, and a delight to communicate with.  


Please look at her etsy store and buy yourself something from her elegant collection.
  

Sassysteampunk
Yes i know..I am gothically inclined not steampunkilly.., but as we have said before dear Batlings, we do not abide stereotyping or discrimination in this blog! 


Just have a look at the great things Kim has made, and you will understand why she is included in this post!


LadyNocturna

Prisca is another talented maker of gorgeous crochet items.
She specialises in making Amigurimi toys, some of which are Goth! I have purchased one of her creations from her, a cute cactus character that will  make a lovely edition to my desk at work!

You need to have a look at her store and she also takes commissions through her Facebook page.






Saturday, 22 October 2011

Bats for Bats!

There is a bat colony right opposite our house, Mostly Pteropus alecto (The Black Flying Fox) but also some of the nomadic red Flying Foxes camp out with them at times.


Last week when I was walking home from the train station, in my very dark street to the house, I ran into a tiny baby fruitbat that was fluttering at a low level while being supervised by an older bat.  The poor little bat fell to the ground stunned, I was so worried.  


Bats in Australia are known carriers of both Lyssovirus and Hendra virus, so one must always be cautious when touching them. As I am a first aid officer at work I tend to carry around latex gloves with me in my work bag. While the older bat was circling the young one, that was conscious but looking scared on the road, I donned the gloves and carefully picked up the baby bat.


Older bat, did not seem scared and just circled me watching what I did. I stroked the baby bat with my gloved hand and then held it out palm outstretched to the older bat. The bat then gently swooped to the baby and took it from me and flew back to the colony.


I know these fruitbats are used to humans as they live amongst them, so I understand why they did not show fear, but I marvelled at the moment.


It was so lovely that the older bat seemed to know I was not intending to harm his/her young charge.


Bats are amazing!
............................................................................................................... Please visit me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat ...Please visit me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat

Friday, 14 October 2011

Favourite gothic etsy stores (part two)

The beauty of etsy is that one can shop from the comfort of ones nice ergo desk chair, and check out so many wonderful items hand crafted by talented people.  Today for part two of my fave etsy shops review, I am choosing a few members from the goth n gorgeous team (*), not all of them specialise in gothic items, but their handicrafts are beautiful and will be a lovely addition to any Goth's home, jewellery box or wardrobe.
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(*) I created a team on etsy called goth n gorgeous, and we have really great active, talented members on board.  I am the 'captain' of the team, and have appointed some cool etsians as leaders to help support and motivate the team.  The leaders in the goth n gorgeous team have really funky shops please have a look at them: there is Jynxx;  ghostgap,  Lady Nocturna,deepmidnightbathery and UlZaorith.

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ChicSomethings

The owner of this store makes elegant handcrafted accessories, sashes, shoe clips and hair clips to name a few. Although not goth her shop certainly can cater ably to the needs of us darkling bats... I personally have been checking the items she has that come in purple, black, or red... Please have a look at her etsy shop, you will be delighted at what she has on sale.







tragischefledermaus
German for Tragic Bat .. love it... this shop, Domus des Atrum Bella,  has the most divinely hand painted coffin trinket boxes. The artist is friendly and happy to custom design one just for you!
I have recently been in conversation with her as I want a custom painted coffin trinket box from her store, she is so helpful and has the most amazing ideas. Please go to her etsy shop and have a look for yourself! what a perfect gift idea for the Batling in your life.











MadScientistsDesigns
Specialising in Steampunk jewellery and found objects, this seler makes amazing jewellery. Dont think its just for steampunks either (we do not like discrimination on this blog my batling friends), these designs are beautiful hand crafted artefacts that are made with care. 


............................................................................................................... Please visit me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat ...Please visit me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Yes my hair is purple

I have been me for as long as I can remember, My parents have nobody to blame but themselves when they allowed me at the formative years of my life to watch the original 'Addams Family' series. Even at 2 years old I thought their house was cool , i loved the carnivorous plant Cleopatra, and want to be Morticia when I grew up.

As I am in my cough 40s cough, I can safely say I am not growing out of this goth stuff any time soon...

I dye my hair black, with a purple fringe, lately I have black hair with an iridescent green fringe, I have many ear piercings, and a nose piercing, I tend to wear a lot of black, I really love animals, and kind people call me eccentric, lets not talk about the impolite specimens of humanity who have been known to hurl unprovoked insults at me as it is far to hurtful to talk about.

Of course, with my eccentricities, lace gloves and parasol, you may be wondering if I am in fact gainfully employed.  Yes dear readers, I have a full time job, I am paid nicely for what I do thank you, and I enjoy it. I work in an internal fraud prevention field in computer forensics, and I am good at what I do, remain respectful to others, and I also am careful to not inadvertently insult stakeholders or colleagues by wearing or accessorising in a manner that would be unprofessional or inappropriate.

How do I do that and yet not sell out? Did I hear you snarl in my direction??

Well ask nicely and I shall tell you!

At work, I often wear plain black tshirts, black skirts (with lace, or in velvet, with ribbon etc), dark opaque tights, on frivolous days I may even wear fishnet tights to work, ... and I have good strong, reliable, Doc Marten boots.  My hair is very long so I tie it up in pigtails or plaits, or on carefree days i have it loose and tangly and swirly!!  I do wear chokers to work, but the ones I wear to work do not have spikes, will not take the eye out of my colleagues, and are usually velvet.  I will wear lace fingerless gloves to work, and if it is very sunny I will take my parasol.  In other words I 'downplay' my normal attire, in order to dress appropriately and professionally for my job, but I do not sell out.

Yes you can be a goth in the workplace.

You need to ascertain what dress codes apply in your job, and stylise yourself for work accordingly, even if you have a strict uniform, you can still wear a cool bat hairclip, or maybe some nice black tights and boots . Please do not be arrogant about your attire, and understand that in some instances your 10 inch spiked heels may in fact constitute a heal hazard at work, so save them for the weekends!

I would be interested to hear how others of my ilk manage to juggle being corporate wiht being goth. Please feel free to comment below!/

............................................................................................................... Please visit me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat ...Please visit me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat handcrafted gothic goodies at bargain prices. see me on etsy! www.etsy.com/shop/empressbat

Monday, 10 October 2011

What to do with watch faces

I bought two working quartz movement watch faces recently, i want to make bands for them so they can be used... however I cannot work out what to use as the bands, or how to make them in  a way that reflects me.

I have seen ones made with beaded memory wire, and some with chains and charms, but I want to do something different and something that reflects me.

I am thinking maybe some velvet ribbon, with bats and spider webs charms sewn in the ribbon.. but i am still working on it

anyone got any ideas?

Spider!!!


its Part 100046 of our kitchen being fixed, post flood, we have a tradie here and as my husband is in North QLD with work i am working from home  while the tradie does his thing.    

I wanted a cup of tea, so i had to sidle past tradie  in the tiny kitchen, and had to move the drawers that are being fixed in the kitchen and a huge hunstman spider with a body larger than my hand ambled out.. i jumped as i thought it was a huge feral rat.. then realised it was as peaceful obese huntsman spider..

(NOTE: The bite of Huntsman spiders is of low risk (mildly toxic) to humans. Huntsman spiders are a non-aggressive group of spiders ) for more info on Huntsman spiders click this link.


I reckon i could have put a collar and lead on it...    put out my hand and she walked on to it, she was soft and furry, with eyes that shone like iridescent facetted diamonds. she tentaively put one leg than another out to make sure i didnt mean her harm. she then sat on my hand, i took her outside. put my hand near the Jacaranda tree and she walked off.


the tradie paled at the sight of me chatting happily to the spider, i explained to him that she is harmless, and beautiful, and good natured, but the guy looked like he was going to vomit .. he had  steel caps ready.he wanted to squash her!!!  i gave him  a lecture about how these spiders how balance our ecology to prevent us being over ridden by nasty bitey insects... tradie  gave me a squinty eyed look...


Yes Australia does have a lot of highly venomous, aggressive spiders, but Isopeda Isopedella (Huntsman spider) is not one of them. 


They are large and hairy and as they are quite timid, may jump and scurry which will cause you to also jump and scurry, but stay calm, and the spider is fine.


<end transmission>



Sunday, 9 October 2011

Add a button to your blog!


This shows how to use HTML to add a button to your blog so that others can copy and paste the html code to promote your blog on their site with your blog button.


The instructions are for blogger/blogspot, as that is what i use for blogging, and have made my button successfully... but the html will work for any site, its just a matter of how it is applied on the site.  You will need to check your blog host's instructions on how to add gadgets and code to see how to apply this to the site you use.

(1)  BUTTON: You need a picture or logo which becomes your button, I used Microsoft Paint for mine, and made a square that is 180 * 160 pixels. You don't want it too big otherwise it will just be a nuisance on your site and the site of others as it will be too huge! I added text and a pic onto my square and saved it on my computer as a jpg. (it probably doesnt matter what image type you save it as, i just chose jpg, which worked well ... so I know that will work!)

(2)  URL FOR PICTURE: i created my pic for the blog and then uploaded it as my profile pic , this is because the image needs to be hosted online somewhere and not just on your computer, it was easier for me to just use the image I already have online. Then you right click on the picture to copy the image URL.

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The following is how to add your button if you use blogger.com.

(3)  ADD GADGET: in your blog page, get into the Design window , where you can fiddle with your page design, choose LAYOUT, you will then see the skeleton of your page where it is marked out. on one of the side areas where you will see the word GADGET, click ADD GADGET.

A small window pops up with a menu, you need to choose BASIC, then scroll into the list of gadgets till you come to the one called HTML/Javascript. Click on that one!

(4)  CREATING THE BUTTON CODE: in the title field type something relevant like ADD MY BUTTON, you don't have to put anything in this field if you don't want to.
In the box below is a place to shove the HTML

(5)  HTML:  leave the quotation marks in as they are a part of the HTML, where i have BLOG URL that is where you paste the URL for your blog, and BUTTON URL is where you place the URL for your button.

<a border="0" href="  BLOG URL " target="_blank"><img src="  BUTTON URL  "a>

you may want to preview it to ensure that its working and you can see your picture on the sidebar!

SAVE IT!

(6)  ADD THE CODE FOR OTHERS TO USE:  The whole idea of this button is so others can take it to add to their sites, pages, blogs and promote your blog, so you need a place where they can come and copy your button code.

Go back to where you see the skeleton layout of your blog, click on add gadget just like you did before.. its becoming repetitive isn't it??

Find that HTML/Javascript gadget again .. this time DO NOT WRITE IN THE TITLE FIELD, we want that code to hang out under your button image neatly, so don't put a title on this gadget.

in that you will paste the following , noting that the number that follows cols= determines the width of your code box on your blog... I have it at 20 but you can make it bigger or smaller , just preview each time, and play around with the sizing.


..ALSO note that the middle line of this code is the HTML you prepared earlier.. so make sure you replace the words BLOG URL with the real URL of your BLOG, and BUTTON URL with the actual URL of your picture.


(7) HTML FIELD FOR OTHERS TO COPY: in the box below the title field that you did not type in... you will see once again the box for HTML...  


<textarea rows="4" cols="20">
<a border="0" href="  BLOG URL " target="_blank"><img src="  BUTTON URL  "a>
</textarea>

SAVE IT

(8)  Back in the window that shows the layout of your blog make sure that the button gadget is above the html code gadget.
PREVIEW... 
if the button sits on top of the code field all is well
SAVE IT

APPLY IT TO YOUR BLOG

and there you have it, a button others can use to share your blog link....

ACEOS: have you dabbled in making them?

Yes I know, I have blogged about them before, but these things fascinate me. They are art miniatures without all that formal arty constraint stuff put on official art miniatures. You can do so much with them!

Some of the members of the etsy team Goth n Gorgeous have also been making ACEO, and the results are great.


Sassysteampunk has this great Halloween ACEO which is fun, would make a great Halloween TREAT or card, and is also a great ACEO collectible.








Another Goth n Gorgeous team member Madscientist designs  also has ACEOS, featuring altered art, and includes Alice in Wonderland themed artwork That being my fave book of all time, makes me really like those ACEOS! Note these ACEOS are ALTERED ART, the artist has NOT merely stuck a printed piece of paper on a card... this has real creativity and heart in it.


As I mentioned  I am also venturing into the exciting fun creative world of ACEO creating. Currently I am working on Ancient Egyptian and also Vintage Garden themed ones.  Below is a pic of the scarab ACEO i made, as part of my Egyptian ACEO series. I have listed this for sale in my etsy store just to see if there is any interest. 

I am also  interested in locating other ACEO makers who want to be part of an ACEO swap, to build a lovely collection of hand crafted art.  If you are interested in an ACEO swap thing, please let me know in the blog comment section!!

I think ACEOS would make great little tokens of appreciation to give to someone, a hand crafted ACEO is a real keepsake that can be framed, put in a scrapbook, added to an album, glued to a notebook cover, used as decoration on a trinket box, the uses go on and on... as do i...

There are many web pages that provide assistance in how to create ACES, but i think one of the best ways to create them.. is just get yourself some card stock, and some supplies, paint, ink pens, glue, embellishments, whatever.. and make something!!

If however you really want to read instructions on how to create ACEO please see the link below:

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Favourite gothic etsy stores (part one)

It is a rewarding experience becoming a part of etsy. It isn't just about selling items, it is about meeting like minded people, finding etsy stores that sell things I really like and usually have to make for myself if i want them as they are not commercially available, and seeing all the great ideas and artwork of other people. It is a huge global community of artisans and I really enjoy being a part of it.

I created a team on etsy called goth n gorgeous, and we have really great active, talented members on board.  I am the 'captain' of the team, and have appointed some cool etsians as leaders to help support and motivate the team.  The leaders in the goth n gorgeous team have really funky shops please have a look at them: there is Jynxx;  ghostgap,  Lady Nocturna, deepmidnightbathery and UlZaorith.

All members of our team are encouraged to be an active part of our virtual artisan community, and we encourage and support each other in our handicrafts and art.  Our team doesn't bow to egos, as our common goal is to promote each others work, provide inspiration and encouragement, and to have a fun time while doing it.

In today's blog I would like to share with you all some of my favourite etsy stores.
This list could go on and on and on, but here are just a few , please check these guys out, they make some very cool things.  Have a browse in their stores, make a purchase or three.

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ghostgap:
The owner of this store, Julia, is a very talented lady who makes the most imaginative and cute creations.
She also chats to me over etsy mail and keeps me occupied while im on train journeys to work.. which i find a great distraction to my almost two hour commute to work each day, because she is in USA and I am in Australia she is usually settling down for an evening of relaxation as I am venturing out on public transport of a morning trying to avoid the feral humans spitting on the train ....

With a Halloween twist, her items include such greats as : a pirate trinket box, a miniature Halloween house, and a black cat necklace.

Julia is friendly and approachable and committed to excellence in customer service. Her second etsy shop is angels and crafts and there you will find an array of gorgeous angel themed items, and gentle accessories like this sweet barrette. I personally like her birthstone angel for November (because its all about me.. well my birth month anyway!). I have recently ordered a custom made trinket box from her, Julia is happy to accommodate custom orders.

Her work is high quality and you can see that she is passionate about what she does. Please visit her stores and make a purchase, ideal for gifts for whatever holiday you subscribe too!


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Moira Coon


The items in this store contain such treasures as reproduction Victoriana ephemera, I am particularly fond of the pendants that are made to look like vintage poison bottles. My favourite being the arsenic bottle pendant. I am also impressed that the store owner tries to use recycled packaging wherever possible.




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Moonie Tricks Designs


This lady is an inspiration. read her profile on etsy and see how she has motivated herself after facing adversity.  I personally admire her for her positive attitue and her self discipline and her very attitude is inspiration and motivation to others.

I have purchased one of her items, a gorgeous bat lanyard clip, and use it at work all the time. It is high quality, looks beautiful, and is very useful. She has so many beautiful hand made items to sell in her shop, you need to visit it to see for yourself!  I am a happy customer of her store and can vouch for her high quality items and wonderful customer service.


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Jynxx Designs


Jynxx makes the most inventive, amazing, charm bracelets I have ever seen (and hey I make my own charm bracelets, and hers are FAR superior to anything I could make!) I have purchased a rat inspired charm bracelet from her and am excitedly waiting for its arrival in the post! You really need to have a look around her etsy store to see the amazing jewellery she has created. A halloween bracelet she has made that features spiders, cats, witches and other amazing beads and charms looks so beautiful and is so well made you would expect it to be selling for $100 or more, but she keeps all her prices fair. I also really like a black cat bracelet she has made, and am secretly hoping nobody else will buy it yet, as I want to buy it for myself as soon as i have some cash!!


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deepmidnightbathery

Catrianna (Cat) is a perfume artisan who concocts amazing unique and ethereal fragrant fantasies!
I have recently ordered one of her sample packs so I can decide which ones i prefer to buy as a larger vial.  Cat respects animals and her products are vegan, scores BIG POINTS with me!

Cat is a highly skilled artisan, she is friendly and helpful, I contacted her to ask for suggestions for which of her perfumes she thought I would like and she provided a thoughtful, honest and quick response to me. She is well schooled in alternative therapies and has an eclectic collection of formal qualifications and her products reflect her knowledge, imagination and amazing abilities, please note that her products are kind to the environment and kind to the humans that use them being both Pthalate and Paraben free.  




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Please note that this is PART ONE of a series of reviews I am writing regarding etsy shops that appeal to me, stay tuned for more. Feel free to comment on any of my postings i welcome feedback and ideas.

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