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Have A Peek Through The Looking Glass

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Satire Saturday!

Finally Satire Saturday has arrived! Let the Games Begin!

'On Monday British Patroleum promised to pay all necessary clean-up costs for this oil spill. And they said they will do it no matter how much they have to raise gas prices. '
- Jay Leno

"The BP president said that the company would survive. That's like someone running over your dog and saying, 'Don't worry, my car is fine.' "
-Jimmy Fallon

..And my personal Favorite...

Until next Satire Saturday, Have A Great One!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Feature Friday!

This is my very first Feature Friday! I'm very excited to share with you the Etsians that I absolutely adore, whether they be crafters, or suppliers. Today, I would like to share with you one of my personal favorite suppliers of fabric from India, Fabricana! I turn to her myself for all my silks, and the fabrics that I find difficult to find here in Turkey.


Shikha is a very sweet woman with magificient customer care, and a wonderful Fabric shop! As soon as one enters one sees the lush and exotic materials from Maharastra, India which are difficult to find anywhere else in the world, such as Jamawar and Sari pieces.

 As she quotes about herself in her own shop 'Being a fabraholic that I am I love collecting different kinds of fabric from various places across my beautiful country'. Shikha offers various authentic trims such as Kutch and Maharani trims,  and rich stone studded jacquard trims and scalloped laces.

The quality of the materials she offers are some of the best I have seen, and I absolutely love her silk dupioni. I know you wonder if her prices are reasonable, and I must say Yes! This is why I'm such a loyal customer! I find that Shikha is one of those rare suppliers of material that is incredbly fair in her pricing and shipping, which is difficult to find. With so many people interested in gaining a profit from shipping costs, it has become a rarity to find a supplier that has such astounding integrity to match her fantastic customer service, and fabulous products!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thursday! Just Thursday!

Welcome to 'Just Thursday' Thursday!  Today has been a somewhat productive day, yet, in a non-productive sort of way. I know that makes no sense, but here is my explanation. I planned on doing quite a lot today, as I have been spending entirely way too much time on twitter and Etsy. Yes, I am a tweet-aholic, and an Etsy addict. Please don't make me point out my own weaknesses, as that's not very nice. None, the less, it's true!

So, since I had planned on actually getting some work done, I managed to produce a rather nice Treasury for the Turkishteam on Etsy, which I am now a member of, as well as lengthen an advertisement for the promotion of our month long sale. Okay, that makes two tasks down, but what else did I do? I tweeted like a maniac, did some housework- which is not directly productive for my store, but it helps inspire me in a weird way, and ate a bit more ice cream than I needed in an attempt to cool off while I pined the rest of my evening away complaining of how hot I was. We have no A.C here. Yes, I am a baby when it comes to handling the heat, but at least it isn't as bad as the humid New Orleans heat.

So, since I wasn't as productive as I planned to be by creating things for my Etsy store, it pushed me to actually get something done today, and I managed to sketch out a piece for the Haute Couture Beading Contest ending in November. Therefor I was productive in a non-productive sort of way or rather, due to my non-productiveness I became slightly productive. I quite like the piece I will be creating, and I'm excited to get started! I think I may post some pictures during the process, but I'm undecided about that as I may keep it a complete surprise. Here's a hint!

On another note! I actually have an idea for a giveaway in the works. I think I may spend the next month working on a special giveaway prize, while meshing out the details of the giveaway. I love the idea of creating a OOAK piece for someone rather than something dsuplicated. It makes the giveaway even more special in my opinion. So, I guess I'll be sketching up something for that soon too!

Well, That's all for Just Thursday! I look forward to tomorrow as it's my very first Feature Friday!!! Yay!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Photography Wednesday!

As you may have noticed I completely skipped over Tutorial Tuesday. Yes, on behalf of my neglect I would like to apologize, and I promise to make it up next Tuesday!

On another note, since today is a lovely fresh Wednesday I would love to share some Photography with you that I find to be personally inspiring! Everyone loves beauty, and I believe these pieces would make an amazing edition to a home decor, possibly with an elegant French flare.

The Guest Typewriter Photograph Original by Sixthandmain

I fell in love with this Photograph when I first saw it browsing for a Treasury creation. The Guest Typewriter evokes strong sentations that can only be described as ' the blissful feeling one has when recalling a very fond memory'. The rich hues, soft light, and simplicity are stunning!

Elegance Fine art Photograph by Lori411

The title speaks a thousand words, and says everything! Elegance is yet another hidden gem among thousands found on Etsy! I find that there are many photographers that photograph flowers and trees, yet very few of them actually capture a moment that gives the picture life and words of its own.  This is truly a beauty I would love to adorn my own environment with!

The Foreigner-Traditional Chinese Portrait- Xaimen China 2009

This photograph holds a place very near and dear to my heart. Why? Because The Foreigner is my mother!

 This picture has a small story behind it as well. It was a very small studio in Xaimen China, and my mother was the first foreigner to ever be photographed there. She had moved to China to start a Foster Care for Orphaned Chinese girls, and to teach English. She had these photographs taken in the studio shortly after she arrived. The beauty of the work the studio does is amazing! The traditional clothing, the setting, and props are all artistically placed in a way that creates an atmosphere of historical ambience!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Random Monday Fun Facts

In 1783 an Icelandic eruption threw up enough dust to temporarily block out the sun over Europe.

About 20 to 30 volcanoes erupt each year, mostly under the sea.

A huge underground river runs underneath the Nile, with six times more water than the river above.

Lake Bosumtwi in Ghana formed in a hollow made by a meteorite.

Beaver Lake, in Yellowstone Park, USA, was artificially created by beaver damming.

Off the coast of Florida there is an underwater hotel. Guests have to dive to the entrance.

Venice in Italy is built on 118 sea islets joined by 400 bridges. It is gradually sinking into the water.

The Ancient Egyptians worshipped a sky goddess called Nut.

The world's windiest place is Commonwealth Bay, Antartica.

In 1934, a gust of wind reached 371 km/h on Mount Washington in New Hampshire, USA.

American Roy Sullivan has been struck by lighting a record seven times.

The desert baobab tree can store up to 1000 litres of water in its trunk.

The oldest living tree is a California bristlecone pine name 'Methuselah'. It is about 4600 years old. The largest tree in the world is a giant sequoia growing in California. It is 84 meters tall and measures 29 meters round the trunk. The fastest growing tree is the eucalyptus. It can grow 10 meters a year.

The Antartic notothenia fish has a protein in its blood that acts like antifreeze and stops the fish freezing in icy sea.

The USA uses 29% of the world's petrol and 33% of the world's electricity.

The industrial complex of Cubatao in Brazil is known as the Valley of Death because its pollution has destroyed the trees and rivers nearby.

Tibet is the highest country in the world. Its average height above sea level is 4500 meters.

Some of the oldest mountains in the world are the Highlands in Scotland. They are estimated to be about 400 million years old.

Fresh water from the River Amazon can be found up to 180 km out to sea.

The White Sea, in Russia, has the lowest temperature, only -2 degrees centigrade. The Persian Gulf is the warmest sea. In the summer its temperature reaches 35.6 degrees centigrade.

There is no land at all at the North Pole, only ice on top of sea. The Arctic Ocean has about 12 million sq km of floating ice and has the coldest winter temperature of -34 degrees centigrade.

The Antarctic ice sheet is 3-4 km thick, covers 13 million sq km and has temperatures as low as -70 degrees centigrade.

Over 4 million cars in Brazil are now running on gasohol instead of petrol. Gasohol is a fuel made from sugar cane.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday Sales!!

Today is Sunday Sunday Sunday, and You know what that now means? Sales!!! Everyone loves a great sale, and Etsy has a ton of them going on right now! Some offer Buy one get one, Some free shipping, and others are offering a percent off on shop items! Be sure to check them out while they last! For other on-going sales be sure to check out my sales page!

Don't miss the closeout sale at the Serenity Shack!
Only $2.00 for certain styles & free shipping!

Lost River Rags is having a Major Sale right now!
All Dishcloth/washcloth sets are $1.00 off!
Soap Samplers are on sale! Plus! Lots of Soaps, Lotions & Soy candles are on sale!

A 'Summertime Fun' sale is being held by the following Etsy Angel shops starting Sunday June 13th to Sunday June 20th! Free Shipping, BOGO Free, Speciak Sale sections! The Following shops below are members of Etsy Angel.

OzarkNana- Free Shipping on the Entire Store & A special Sale section of 50% off!

CBLandCompany- BOGO + Free Shipping!

SilkCreekGallery- A special sale section!

BeadTail- Free Shipping on entire store!

SewingGranny- Buy any 2 items in the 'Summertime Fun' section & get free shipping! The rest of store has 20% off!!

MountainEagleCrafter- Free Shipping on entire store!

Craftsbychris- Free Shipping & some great deals in the 'Sale' section!

I'm Holding a Sale for my own Etsy Shop at CrimsonPetalCouture! View my Sales Section for savings ranging from $7.00-$40.00!!!

Turkishteam Etsy- These Ladies are holding a HUGE sale right now, and it may last until the end of June!!! Now how is THAT for a sale?? Huge Savings on such gorgeous pieces from a team of very talented ladies!

How's that for a Sunday Sale! More to come as the day passes!

Need Some Order To This Madness!

I decided today that since I have absolutely no order to this chaotic blog I would try and create some. I am very new at blogging, and to tell you the truth, I have no idea what I am doing! I see all these blogs that blow my mind away! The writers seem like they graduated with a degree in literature and writing, have doctorates in whatever topic they are discussing, and blow through a day on the blog like an every day Magazine Editor.
It makes me want to cry. Okay, well not cry, but pout sourly in the corner until I figure out how in the world I can be like that. The answer is simple. Don't.

So, What will I do to make this blog at least somewhat tolerable? Well..here it is..I will make a schedule so it will be easier for YOU to know WHEN you feel like reading. Simple as that. So what will this schedule be? Let's see how fast I can come up with that on a 3 second whim...

Hinceforth the days of the week shall be deemed as:

Random Monday- I will decide at random what will be added on this day for your personal amusement. Wether it be a joke, a story, a video or one of my rants!

Tutorial Tuesday- Want to learn a new craft? This is the day to come visit! I will post a new tutorial every Tuesday on a handmade craft! Good for Adults and Kiddos!

Photography Wednesday- On Wednesday I will pick favorite Photographers worldwide from online venues such as Etsy and share them with you. I will even share some local photos I've taken myself of Turkey.

Thursday- Just Thursday! I ramble about personal events, and my own experiences with my projects. I will also Announce Any New Giveaways on Thursdays!

Featured Friday- Every Friday I will feature a seller from Etsy! It is what it is!

Satire Saturday - Self Explanatory!

Sunday Sale - Every Sunday there is a Sale on Sunday Sunday Sunday! I find Sells, and dish them to you!

This is what I got in three seconds. If it's not do-able, then I guess I'm inclined to a random fit of ADHD induced swapping. Mwaha!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Mad Ravings Of An Angry Etsy Addict!

It's a frustrating night tonight as I am cut off from Etsy, and Twitter. The internet service provider here in Ankara, Turkey may be putting a countrywide ban on Google. They already banned Youtube and Dailymotion. Now I don't have access at all to my Etsy or Twitter? Is it merely a coincidence that I can't reach any of them all at once, or did Turkey ban them, too?

I really pray that I will be able to access Etsy and Twitter tomorrow or this will literally kill my business. I would have to call my mom in the USA, ask her to access my Etsy, and shut down my newly opened shop. I pray pray pray it's a fluke!

I'm pretty upset about this because I was even offered a chance to be reviewed and hold a giveaway on someone elses blog. It's amazing how quickly things rise and fall. I guess it opened my eyes though, that maybe I shouldn't put all my eggs in one big basket. I didn't even realize I had all my eggs in one basket!

Hopefully the ban doesn't pass here for Google, otherwise there will be a ton of protestors and walks in the citycenter. I can't say I wouldn't agree. This is a rediculous length to go, and it seriously oppresses the freedoms of the people. I like Atatürk, but not everyone will agree with one persons beliefs, or even like that person for that matter.

 So, why try to force every single person in a population to love someone by punishing all of them for the fact that one person made a cruel distatesteful comment? What good will it do other than anger the populace?! Most of the people here in Turkey love him and what he did for this country, but there will be some that don't. Are they not free to express their own verbal opinion?

I guess I am so use to the freedoms that my own country allows. If you do or don't like the president you have every right to say it to the public, and there won't be a ban where you announced it. I love the freedoms of my country, and things like this make me realize not to take those freedoms for granted!
It's Google! A search Engine!

I want my Etsy and Twitter back!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Oh! How I Love The Rain!

 It's a really cozy evening, and it's raining outside. It reminds me of the humid, cold rains back home in New Orleans. I really missed the weather and atmosphere there, but I can deffinently say Ankara is like a home away from home for me. Currently I'm listening to music tracks by The Hush Sound, and Iron and Wine.
 Today I didn't really get as much done as I was hoping to, though I managed to do the finishing touched on one piece of a set of bead embroidered earrings. I hate that I'm so ADHD when it comes to sitting down and getting work done. One moment I've got everything spread out on my bed, I've go the creative juices flowing, and I have my tea and cola both next to me with a snack so I can stay glued to my work.

  Next thing I know I'm half-way through a project, unfocused, and thinking about something completely different that I'd like to do. Most of the time this means cleaning up, leaving the project incomplete, to go off and be bored elsewhere because I had the sudden urge to do something else which was unatainable. Therefor, I end up pulling out my work again, just to wash, rinse, and repeat.

 So, when I accomplish something and it turns out exactly how I imagined, it's a completely rewarding experience. I realized I do best just by forcing myself not to leave the project until it's complete, whether it takes 30 minıutes, 7 hours or 12 hours. Yes, I've gone, at the least, on an 8 hour, no break stretch with bead embroidery.

 I don't know what I feel like making tonight, but it will come to me. Either I will work on some new obscure project that's rain inspired, or I'll finish those darn earrings!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Where It All Began

When I came to Ankara, Turkey to marry my husband 1.5 years ago, his cousin gave me a beautiful gift that I have treasured ever since. It was the most beautiful black cotton scarf with white flowers, but the thing that made this scarf remarkable was the lace trimming, which her mother had made by hand. I know it seems a bit dense and naive, but I never knew ladies still made lace by hand. In fact, I didn't know there was any other form of lace making other than bobbin and machine made. Now that I look back I realize I was really so uncultured, and lacked so much knowledge about things in the world. Ever since that day I became obsessed with handcrafts, and different forms of obscure art.

 The lace she made has several names and styles. The type of lace she made was tatted lace, and she made it with needles. The Turkish call tatted lace Mekek, which uses a shuttle or needle, and specific weaving hand movements to form the lace. The Turkish also vary between the two styles of Turkish Mekek and Kaydırma Mekek, which is the American style. The difference is the way the hand looms the lace, and the versatility of it.

 For example, Kaydırma Mekek transfers the knot from one piece of the thread over to the other to allow the thread to move over a thread ring, which holds the lace together. Tatted lace is believed to have been formed originally by ladies that had watched fisherman tie knots. These knots were then formed to create intricate lace designs hundreds of years ago. As time passed the technique progressed from having to cut and individually tie each attaching piece together, into forming picot hoops and joins to attach the pieces together and create more intricate designs.

                                      Emma Everman's hands; tatting lace with a shuttle she's had for over 80 years.
                                                                                              By: John Flavell
 It took me a while to learn the technique from researching online because the way Americans do this is different than the way the Turkish do this, yet it's a more versatile form. Also, most written and video tutorials online made it very difficult for me to see and realize that their was a knot being transfered from one thread to another. Thankfully one lady explained this in her blog. She even commented that many tutorials forget to explain this very crucial piece of information, and it is necessary in order to be successful at forming the lace.

 Once I mastered the technique my mother in law invited her mother to come over and see how I was doing. Her mother has been doing tatted lace since she was very young, and is an absolute master at Turkish Mekek tatted lace. Her trims are so precise, crisp, colorful, and beautiful! When she came over I was so nervous, yet I wanted to see if I was doing Turkish and American style right. When I showed her, she was amazed. I was too by her reaction! She told me I had managed to master both forms in a short period of time, yet it is known in Turkey that if a person learns one it is rare that they know the other. Learning both forms are an achievement.

 This was a heavy compliment; a great honor to receive it, and I hope hope I make her proud with continuing this handcraft for the preservation of it. Not many women outside of Turkey do tatted lace, and even less with the shuttle. There is shuttle tatted lace, and needle tatted lace. I haven't yet mastered needle tatted lace, but I find that I am more comfortable with the shuttle and have more control over joins and picots.

I started adding bead word to my lace shortly after I learned the technique, and have since made jewelry, brooches, and even started on a doily. I thank my AnneAnne (Mother in laws Mother) for guiding me, and passing a piece of Turkish culture onto me. I also thank my husbands cousin for giving such a personal gift to me that inspired me to learn such a wonderful art form. I hope to help preserve tatted lace, as this form of lacemaking has become more obscure over time due to cheapness, and availability of machine made laces.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Trip To My Awakening

 A little over a year ago I left my home in New Orleans, Louisiana to come visit my Turkish husband and his family here in Ankara, Turkey. It was only meant to be a 6 month visit until we managed to both arrive back to the USA together, but fate took another turn. Though we have the unfortunate delay of returning back to my country I have to admit it's been a major learning experience, which has given me the time for personal growth which I had never experienced before.

Since I have been in Turkey I have visited some remarkable places that have deeply moved my soul, and influenced me in life-changing ways. One can sense the history in the architecture and landscapes, feel the loving connection during the warm embraces of family and friends, and for those quiet moments when I'm sipping my tea on the balcony while watching the sunset hit the mountains and reflect gold off the buildings, I can feel a certain peace in my heart that makes me thank God for this life. Turkey is magical, mysterious, and en captured my heart.

I never took the time to stop, and focus on what could possibly enrich my life in a different way than the obvious. My life is already rich because of my faith, my husband, my daughters, and my family, but I mean in a way that gives me depth as a person. I never before stepped outside of the familiar, never stopped to learn a new skill or art form, and never took the time to look around me. I never saw the world for how truly wondrous it is because the world always seemed so small from my window. Silly huh? I didn't realize how vast the world was until I left my own doorstep, my own state, my own country, and even my own comfort level.

Now I know what I was lacking. I learned so much since I have come here, and gained so much from the skills I developed. I never pushed myself to better myself, and expand my mind until I came here and saw what the women could do. This is where the creation of Crimson Petal Couture all begins...
A Tsumami Kanzashi and Bead Embroidery Piece I created.