tgif FEATURE AND GIVEAWAY :: artlife

happy friday! our featured artist and giveaway is ellen from artlife. it's great fun to learn more about our fellow sellers over at etsy and help get their name out. i first 'met' artlife via a giveaway she had on the etsians blog. i've since then received her note cards set and i absolutely love them! pop on over to her shop as there are many great items to take a look at.

Q. Who are you?
A. I'm Ellen Honich and I run Artlife over at our favorite place to buy and sell all things handmade -- Etsy!

Q. When did you open up shop and how did you come up with your shop name?
A. Artlife opened in August of 2006. I've always been involved in some form of the creative process be it painting, drawing, photography, jewelry making, dance, poetry or graphic design. The mediums have changed over the years, but the art has always been at the center of my life. I'm very interested in conceptual art and actually making my LIFE be my art. Everything I do involves seeing and being and I truly see my life through "art colored glasses". Art and Life are interchangeable for me. Thus the name Artlife!

Q. What do you create and sell?
A. Right now I'm primarily making and selling Note Card Sets, which I design and print myself. I also make pin-back buttons and my Mom has some hand-sewn napkins in my shop. My Mom and I are also about to open another Etsy shop called Booklife where we will sell our fabric-covered magnetic bookmarks.

Q. What is your favorite item in your shop?
A. My favorite item in my shop right now (it changes all the time depending on my mood) are the "Fig 8" Note Cards. Figs are just a nice image and a great fruit. I had fun playing with the word "fig" and the abbreviation for "figure (fig.)" like it is used in a botanical drawing. Plus the number 8 stands for infinity, so there is a lot going on in this simple image if you go a little deeper.

Q. Do you have any advice for newbie Etsy sellers?
A. Well, when you have just opened your shop on Etsy and don't have any sales yet, I highly recommend trading to start building up feedback and your seller reputation. Also, the forums on Etsy are a great source of information. If you are looking for a supplier or advice on a certain technique, chances are someone has started a thread on that very subject in the forums.

Q. What is the passion on your heart or your burden for this world?
A. I think the passion in my heart and the burden on this world both have to do with love. It seems that all the world's problems stem from a lack of love and all the magic in the world stems from an abundance of love (a giving heart, a helping hand, a kind word, spreading your joy out to others). The cool thing is: in every single situation we get to decide our next action. Will it be an action coming out of love or an action coming out of resistance and pain or hate? So in the end, we do get to change our world. Too much of the time we give this power away or think that we don't have it when we always do. We DO have the power to change the world through simple daily actions that radiate love!

Q. Lastly, what is your giveaway this fine TGIF!
(one giveaway winner will be selected at random the following Wednesday at 11.59pm EST. to enter, please comment below with your favorite item from 1. artlife and 2. MustardSeed by.carollai. 'follow' my blog and you'll receive an automatic second entry. :) remember to leave an email address because if you are the winner, you will want to be contacted!)
A. Fig 8 Note Card Set of 3


and the winner is... ::

congratulations oceansidecreations!!! you are the winner by random pick.

thank you all for your wonderful suggestions. i will definitely try them out! it touches my heart that you thought of different ways to help me market my shop. :) tune in friday for our next featured artist and giveaway!


patiently waiting ::

leaving work last night, i saw this little fella patiently sitting outside a cafe watching his owners eating inside. it was so adorable, i had to stop and take a pic! :)


winning is a wonderful feeling :: part 2

giveaways are really the best. :) unexpected happiness thrown your way. today i won this wonderful fabric embellishment from 2sweetboutique. thank you jackie! if you like this, swing by her shop so you can take a look and purchase something for yourself!

last night i received the beautifully wrapped package from the giveaway i won through artlife. not only was i uber happy to receive something aside from bills in the mail but i truly LOVE the notecards. :) if you're a lover of snail mail, definitely stop by her shop and take a look around.


greek isle . soleil bella . earrings of love ::

two new items added to my shop!

the first pair of earrings are so beautiful largely because of the bright aqua chalcedony briolettes. they remind me of the water in greece. the clarity. the fresh feel. the crispness. :) thus, they bring me back to my honeymoon. such great memories indeed! the second pair of earrings are amazingly sunny and bright. citrine is one of my favorite stones because of their translucent color and soleil flavor. :) swing by my shop and take a look around!

:: ::
i wrote the thoughts shared below for my church's women's ministry :: monthly email tree. the email tree is a wonderful way for women to encourage one another with the things God has been working on in their heart and life. i hope you are encouraged as well. :)

i trained for and ran the san diego marathon in june '04. through that experience, i learned that life is like a marathon. both are in full need of God's presence, discipline, routine, pushing through challenges, breathing consistently, doubt, letting the little things pass, pure joy, utter pain, endurance, faith and even slowing down at times. all of this jumbled about and happening a thousand times over and over again.

my life marathon has been filled with ups and downs. God has been faithful and is daily growing and challenging me to run a stronger race. through the Word, prayer and chats with the hubby and close girl friends, i feel God speaking to me via annual themes.

in '08, i felt that God was telling me to "let go". although i truly have faith that God handles all the big and little details of my life, i realized that i was unable to place at His feet the one thing i hold closest to my heart. this being my desire to live near my sister and BIL (brother in law). their move to california in august '07 brought me way down. in my heart i knew that this was likely a permanent move and i couldn't figure out a way to fix the problem. my heart was often filled with sadness. through praying and chats with my sister, we were both reminded that God IS sovereign. sure, we may not see a solution in sight and we may still be on opposite coasts which make us miss out on the daily happenings of each others lives, but we must remember that God knows all. He has it under control and He hears the deepest desires of our heart. even though '08 has come and gone, i am still learning how to let God have this desire. the constant ache of being far from my family and wishing we all lived next door to each other is still ever present.

"rejoice in the Lord always. i will say it again: rejoice!" philippians 4:4
"i know what it is to be in need, and i know what it is to have plenty. i have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. i can do everything through him who gives me strength." philippians 4:12-13

in '09, God is growing me to rejoice and be content whatever the circumstance. in reading, meditating and praying last week, i heard God reflecting with me on these two things. the word 'rejoice' means to have joy. my heart has not felt joy in a long time. i have been too discontent with different situations (i.e. the "letting go" situation from '08) in my life to see all the blessings and love that God has provided me through family and friends. in my discontentment, i grew extremely selfish. needing and wanting jumped far above loving and giving. i'm glad God has spoken to me regarding this aspect of my life and am excited to see where and how my heart will change. hopefully, it will soon look a lot more like His heart.