Thursday, January 31, 2008

Group Artist Blog

Art Pub Studios is a network established for the career-minded individual, comprised of professional mixed-media artists. Their primary goal is to provide a supportive environment in which to explore new ideas and promote their members' work in the art industry.

What I love about this site is that most members have a blog where they share pictures of their work, tutorials and giveaways. They are full of eye candy - plus you can win stuff!! How good is that!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Etsy Loving

Oh, I love Etsy. If you haven't heard about Etsy, it's a marketplace for handmade goods and it is just busting at the seams with gorgeousness! If you can think it, you can probably buy a beautiful handmade version of it here.

To get even more out of your Etsy experience, try Etsy Wiki to help you find great stuff to spend your hard-earned on. It has great info including Top Sellers, how to guides, lists of Street Teams (groups of like-minded sellers) and stories by established sellers.

If you are a creative person, Etsy is a great place to sell. It's easy to set up your own "store" with your own URL ( It charges a listing fee and then a commission on all completed sales, but these charges seem reasonable.

There are a number of other webstores focusing on handmade items, but I don't have any experience with them including Yessy, Ruby Lane.

If you know of any other great marketplaces, please leave a comment - my credit card will love you!

Giveaway Carnival

If you love you some freebies then scoot over to Bloggy Giveaways - this week they are running their Giveaway Carnival - already they have listed 550 different giveaways. Most only require you to comment on a blog, however a lot will only post to US addresses :(

Go nuts - get commenting! My fingers are crossed for you!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Lots of activity - announcement to come!!

Lots of activity behind the scenes here at Inspire Create, because I am finally taking the plunge and doing something I have dreamed of doing for years! I am beside myself with worry and apprehension, but also very excited. I will dish all the details in about a weeks time, once everything is set up!

I am also very proud of myself for finally signing up for a yoga class. This is also something I've been wanting to do for a long time, but always found excuses not to. But I just paid for the next 9 weeks' classes, so I'm committed - once I pay for something, I go!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Lately I have been really enjoying listening to podcasts on all sorts of topics - crafting, art business, buddhist teachings. I don't get many opportunities to listen, but when my gorgeous little boy is at day care and I have time to spend creating, often I listen to a podcast or 2 while I work.

If you are new to the whole podcasting thing and are going "pod-whatting???", then at the end I will give you some information on what it is and how to do it.

But first, here is an eclectic selection of podcasts to get you started. Those marked with "#" are ones I listen to regularly and can recommend. All others have been recommended to me, but I haven't listened to them yet. Descriptions generally have been taken from the hosts' web site.

* Craftypod# - a bi-weekly podcast that’s all about "making stuff". Sometimes it’s about project tutorials. Sometimes it’s an interview with someone craftily fascinating. Sometimes it’s the history behind your favorite craft supplies. Always, it’s a big, crafty geekfest. Hosted by Sister Diane.

* Craftcast# - live interviews, reviews of the latest supplies and materials, as well as addressing listeners questions. Hosted by Alison Lee.

* Craftsanity# - discussion about art, craft and all things creative. Hosted by Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood.

* Zencast - discussions on Buddhism covering topics like different methods of meditation, mindfullness.

* Creative Mom Podcast - The goal of the weekly show is to provide a creative talk show filled with good creative discussion and inspiring music for creative moms (and non-moms and artists and creatives of all types) to listen to for a feeling of community, understanding, and inspiration. The format for the show is fairly organic and changes often, but staples of the show include creative projects with kids, artist notes from the week in review, journaling ideas and suggestions, book reviews, blog mentions, weekly prompts, and, sometimes, creative non-fiction essays.

* FrenchPodClass - learn French via podcast. Download as a guest, or become a member and get access to more information.

* Prosperous Artists - designed to support you in building the career, business and creative life you desire. The podcasts offer inverviews and forum participation as support for your goal of living a creative life doing what you love.

* ABC# - Australian radio station that makes many of it's segments available for download. Has regular segments on art, science, religion, spirituality, health, sport, etc.

* Triple J Radio - another Aussie radio station, this time focused on indie music.

* Podcast Directory - huge listing of podcasts, sorted by genre.

* Yahoo Podcast Directory

* Podcast Pickle - another directory.

Ok, now to the nuts and bolts - what is a podcast? From Wikipedia:

A podcast is a collection of digital media files which is distributed over the Internet, often using syndication feeds, for playback on portable media players and personal computers. Though podcasters' web sites may also offer direct download or streaming of their content, a podcast is distinguished from other digital media formats by its ability to be syndicated, subscribed to, and downloaded automatically when new content is added, using an aggregator or feed reader capable of reading feed formats such as RSS or Atom.

How do I find them?

You can just visit the web site and manually download the file, you can subscribe in a feed reader like Bloglines or check out the Wikipedia list, or you can subscribe through podcasting software such as Juice Receiver (an Open Source cross platform podcast receiver), Apple's iTunes for Mac and Windows or similar podcasting software.

How do I listen to them?

You can listen straight from your computer, you can download them to your mp3 player, you can even burn them to CD and listen to them on an mp3 enabled player.

I'd love to hear more recommendations - leave me a comment with your suggestions.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

Hug your children

Today I am feeling quite distraught over a couple of news reports I have read on the internet about people killing the children in their care. It makes my blood turn to ice whenever I hear about this type of tragedy. I won't link to the reports because, well, they are pretty distressing.

Please - if you have children, give them a hug, tell them you love them and remind yourself how blessed you are to have them.

And if you are a carer of small children, but finding it too much and you are thinking abouting hurting them or yourself - PLEASE TALK TO SOMEONE, get help, and please get yourself away from the children or send them somewhere they will be safe. No child should have to endure any trauma because an adult is struggling with the difficulties of life.

If you know anyone that you think might be on the edge, don't stand back thinking "it's not my place to get involved" - well, it bloody well is your place - protect the children and worry about any fallout later.

Children are pure, love-filled gifts that should never, ever have to suffer at the hands of anyone.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


How come I've only just discovered Threadless??? What a cool concept!

The Threadless site accepts contributions for tshirt designs from the public, which visitors to the site then vote on. If your design receives enough votes, you get paid and the Threadless team produce the tshirt which can then be purchased via the site.

A very simple idea, which seems to be well executed. What has caught my attention though is the amazing designs people submit.

Here are some examples:

I've already started a list of all the people in my life who will be getting Threadless tshirts for their birthday, next Christmas, etc, etc!

Friday, January 11, 2008

it's the little things

I have just discovered the blog of Lisa Leonard - it's the little things - and I am in awe of this inspiring mum, wife, jewellery designer, blogger.

Her jewellery is beautiful and her site is filled with gorgeous photos. She has 2 little boys, one with a disability, and her attitude to this is quite remarkable. You really have to read today's post - it's a tearjerker, but also so positive and life-affirming.

This site is filled with food for your eyes and soul. I'm sure you will leave her site feeling inspired, lucky, thankful and impressed.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Naughty Embroidery

I have been cruising the internerd today checking out some very cool indie craft designers' sites which I will share with you in coming posts. First one I'll tell you about is Nicole Locher who makes sweet, prim and proper tops and accessories, except that they all have a rather naughty phrase embroidered on them. Warning - if you are easily offended by 4-letter words, please don't visit this site!

Nicole is a Swiss designer, based in Paris, who takes her inspiration from flea markets in Paris and London. Her tops and accessories, at first glance, look very prim and proper with traditional embroidery of flowers etc. But then she includes such statements as "Will f@#$ for shoes", "I don't play nice", "I like it rough".

They all look beautifully made and I love the contrast of traditional embroidery with very modern, in-your-face phrases. She seems to be a designer pushing the limits a bit, and having fun doing it.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Craftster Best of 2007

The wonderful site Craftster has just listed their best of 2007. From the site:

"Craftster members posted tens of thousands of craft/DIY projects in 2007. All of which were brilliant in one way or another. The very notion of choosing "the best" projects from 2007 is absolutely insane! But alas, we thought it would be fun to try and programmatically determine “the best” projects. Here’s how we did it…

For each craft category on Craftster we determined which 10 projects posted in 2007 got the most replies and views. Then we whittled each of those lists of 10 down to our 5 favorites. (An excruciating exercise to say the least!)

And so here we are… “the best” projects of 2007… or perhaps a better way to describe them would be… “a bunch of totally kick-ass projects out of tens of thousands of kick-ass projects!” "

It is a huge list of very cool, clever projects - with tutorials. Gotta love that!

Superhero Mondo Beyondo

The gorgeous Andrea of Superhero Designs starts each year with her "Mondo Beyondo" list (see here for details). This year she has started by firstly cleaning the slate and saying a proper goodbye to 2007 - from her site:

"The surest way to start fresh and move forward is to be at peace with what came before. You might have had an incredible year, a dull year, or a truly difficult year. Whatever happened, your aim is to celebrate what there is to celebrate about it and grieve what there is to grieve..."

To do this she has invited her readers to join in by answering 3 questions. Below are the questions and my responses:

1. What do you want to acknowledge yourself for in regard to 2007? (What did you create? What challenges did you face with courage and strength? What promises did you keep to yourself? What brave choices did you make? What are you proud of?)

I helped my gorgeous little boy continue to develop into a healthy, funny, clever, cheeky toddler. I started creating regularly. I got over the shock of the big move to a new country and having a baby and started getting out and making friends (this has saved me, I'm sure. The loneliness I felt in 2006 was crushing). I have made our home a haven. I found the strength to keep smiling and to find fun anywhere I can.

2. What is there to grieve about 2007? (What was disappointing? What was scary? What was hard? What can you forgive yourself for?)

My Mum's ongoing battle with breast cancer (god, just writing that made my heart stop). I live in denial of the possible negative outcome, and constantly remind myself to be positive because she is doing really well at the moment.

I grieve because I live so far from my family which means my parents aren't a part of my son's everyday life. This makes me so sad.

3. What else do you need to say about the year to declare it complete?

Thanks 2007 for the lessons you taught me about being a mother and wife. Not always easy lessons, but I'm starting to see the benefits and understand the changes I need to make. Thank you for being much easier than 2006 (otherwise I'm sure I'd be in a straight-jacket by now!). Thank you for letting me finally start to unravel the creativity I always knew was locked up inside me. Even for all that, I'm still glad to see the end of you! I heard the word "cancer" too many times, I still had times of terrible loneliness and sometimes I struggled with the person I am compared to who I would like to be.
Then, we declare the year complete:

I DECLARE 2007 COMPLETE! May only the good things about you remain in my memory, may the lessons I learnt make me stronger and may 2008 be better, bigger, easier.

If this feels like something you would like to do too, go read this post on Andrea's site and take part. What have you got to lose?