Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Favorites for the End of the Year

Pearl Necklace - TulipsTreasureBox
Beautiful Dreamer Silk Scarf - MysticSilks
Burgundy Pleated Bag - daphnenen
Grey Crocheted Choker - Magdalinen
Victorian Necklace/Bracelet - perfectlydivine
Handspun Yarn w/Ribbon - Weirdandtwisted
Beaded Necklace - TopCat
Ruby Earrings - Malves1009
Magnolia Booties - FrostingCouture

Capo D'Anno: Buon Cibo

Capo D’Anno (New Year’s Day): A Special Italian New Year’s Day Recipe

I have recently become friends with a mother of one of my son’s friend Elizabeth. Her mother, also Elizabeth, and Pia, Francisco, and Pasquale (her other children or should I stay adult children) come from Rome. I love listening to her stories about her parents, and growing up in Rome. She moved here when her daughter Elizabeth was 14. Not only do I love her stories, but love when she invites me for lunch, which is always something delicious.
A few weeks ago she asking me if I knew where she could get some sausage called, Cotechino, which I admit I had never heard of before. She explained it is only made for New Year’s. It is a large pork sausage which can be cooked in a sauce or mainly in Lentil soup. So I figured it I would find it anywhere it would be Arthur Ave, a small, very Italian neighborhood in the Bronx, where most people still speak their Italian dialect. When I took Elizabeth there for the first time, she was elated to be able to speak Italian to all the shopkeepers. They have the best markets, where everything is made fresh; from their Italian pastries to the Olive Loaf Bread. Even better are there restaurants, and small cafes which serve the best Cappuccino!
Anyway, I did find the “Cotechino” sausage, and last night made Italian New Year’s Lentil Soup with this very large sausage.

Here is a great recipe to try and very easy to make!
Boil one bag of Lentils in 8 cups of water, (half of which use Chicken Stock). Continue boiling for 45 min.

While that is boiling; sauté in olive oil, celery, carrots, 1 large onion and 2 cloves of garlic.
Drain then add this to the boiling lentils, and chop up 2 tomatoes, and 1 bay leaf then add to the soup.
While this is cooking, heat the Cotechino sausage then cut into slices and sauté in a pan until golden brown.
When cooked through, add to the soup and let simmer for another hour.
When serving, add a bit of fresh grated parmesan cheese on the top.
And of course, you must have nice fresh homemade Italian bread, and a glass of Chianti to finish off the meal! Eating this on New Year’s, is a sign of good luck for the rest of the year. Buon Cibo (good eating!)

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Christmas Pageant 2008

Although I love all the designing and crafts I do, nothing is more rewarding to me than our annual Christmas Pageant. I have been involved in working with the Children's Masses for 18 years. The culmination of our work leads to the Christmas Eve Pageant. I started when my children were very small, and attended our Parish School, Sacred Heart in Hartsdale, NY. Now several years later, although I am still involved, it is rewarding to see my daughter as the Director of the Pageant for the past few years (she somehow has a special gift with children!)
We usually begin the planning in early October. Of course, every parent wants their child to be the star of the show! So that is our main obstacle to overcome. Once all the main characters are chosen (Mary, Joseph, Wisemen, angels, etc.), without any hurt feelings or comments from some parents; the practices begin. Besides helping my daughter with the staging of the children and doing costumes, she begins her directing. The children range in age from 3 (which are the little angels) to age 12. The older children get the main parts, which gives the other children an incentive to work up to each year. Oh sorry, I should mention, our youngest participant is only 3 months old, playing the "Infant Jesus." We have a wonderful Children's Choir who do all the singing throughout the play. As with any play, once the children put on their various costumes, their whole demeanor changes. They suddenly assume the role they are portraying. A lot of credit goes not just to the Director, but to the small group of parents who dedicated themselves each year working on the Pageant. They each automatically assume the positions they have had each year. One assembling the little angels, another for the shepherds, and still another for the Wisemen, and drummer boy and girl. It is team work that makes this so successful. The success is well noted as the Narrators (children grades 5-7) begin to tell the story of the Nativity, and you look at the smiles on the faces of each parent. Although our little angels, who I said are mostly 3-4 year old's, completely steal the show; the other children are so professional, and kneel so reverently as they portray, Mary and Jesus from the time they are approached by the Angel Gabriel, to the birth of Jesus, and the arrival of the Wisemen. The final scene is the little Drummer Girl (this year we had 2 Drummer girls, not to hurt anyone’s feelings, and the Drummer Boy who walk so very slowly down the center aisle playing their drums while the choir sings 'The Little Drummer Boy,". The most adorable thing is not only watching them, but watching the little angels singing their hearts out - pa rum pum pum pum, I could continue talking about the beauty of the children in the Pageant, but the pictures tell it all.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Pluggers! Unite

Meet “Plugger’s United”! We are a new group, in fact we just started last week, through the many efforts of Rod from “Blockhead Rod’s Radio”, and my favorite little witch, “agoodwitchtoo” . Although our group is a creation of the many artists from Etsy, of which we already (as of today) have 27 members, we are already united as a group supporting each other. Thanks to the exposure we as Etsian’s (Bloggers Team) have gained through Rod and Allison’s exposure on their Radio station, we hope by tomorrow to have made our “Plugger’s” an official team on Etsy.
Who are we? “Pluggers United are artisans for artisans”....working together to can gain more exposure for team members and their shops. This is done through radio shows, blogs,advertising, guerrilla marketing, entrecard generator, website, etc. and there will also be charity events. As for now we can be found every Monday night on chatting away on “Blockhead Rod’s Radio Show”, (http://blockheadradio.blogspot.com/). Although we do tend to chat a lot, and occasionally get a visit from “buttbubbles”, the Chipmunks singing, a nightly phone call from ET; one of the first night’s that I was on, earlier that evening we learned of an “Blogger” teammate from Etsy, that her husband had just come home with the news that he has just been laid off: “Merry Christmas”. Concerned for our teammate, we automatically came up with many ways of helping them out financially during this time when one should be thinking of the many gifts one would like to be putting under their trees for their children. Many brought items from her shop to increase her sales; and it was suggested, as she does crochet work, that we send extra yarn, which will now be an added expense, so that she can create more and generate more sales to help while her husband is now out of work.
Like I said earlier, there are currently 27 members (as of this morning), I have chosen a few to highlight, and in the days to come will showcase more “Plugger’s United” as we continue to grow.

Of course the first shop I wish to showcase is "agoodwitchtoo@etsy.com". Her unique designs of soaps always makes me wonder if I should be bathing with them or eating them. According to her profile, things she can't do are: eat fire, bathe a cat, leap tall buildings in a single bound; but Things that she can do: is make small batches of soap to wash the "wicked" away!

The second "Plugger" I wish to showcase is "WinifredCottage.co.uk" , know to us as Sassy, her Etsy shop is Sassalynne@etsy.com. Sassy has been working with textilea for over 20 years, and dyes her own wools to create the most beautiful yarns and thread, of which I had created some beautiful scarfs from. She calls her pieces Serendipity which means 'the result of a happy accident' - the results created from her random dye pots are so very special and individual. These are just samples of her beautiful work:

The third artist from Etsy who has joined "Plugger's" is "
TulipsTreasureBox@etsy.com" Lily also has another shop on Etsy, "MockingbirdDesigns@etsy.com". Her beautiful pieces of jewelry are created with natural materials, such as gemstones, turquoise, silver, rock, glass, beads and crystals. I especially loved these two pieces from her shop:

Although there are so many other talents artisans who have joined "Plugger's", many of whom I will showcase in future blogs; I would also like to mention some of the work by "
Beadedtail@etsy.com". Sharla is a true animal activist, who designs and creates beaded jewelry which she donates a portion of the sales proceeds to animal awareness causes. If you read her profile you will see the many animal causes she is involved with. Her love of animals is also defined in her work, each one with an animal motif.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thanksgiving Day Parade!

The annual Thanksgiving tradition in New York is the Macy’s Parade. This is the 82nd year of the Parade; and my daughter, Kelly with her husband celebrated her 29th birthday standing for hours in the freezing cold to wait for the Parade to begin. They arrived at 6am, and of course, had to call me to tell me they had a great spot to view the balloons, floats, clowns, etc.
Each year a new balloon is introduced. For those who are really adventurous, you can head to Central Park in the City to watch them inflating the balloons for the next morning. I started watching the Parade on TV in the days of black & white, sitting with my sister in great anticipation for the opening of the Parade which begins with the huge Turkey marching down Fifth Avenue. So it is only natural that my children followed the tradition of watching the Parade, but no black & white for them, a 42” color screen showcased the many balloons and floats that followed the Turkey down Fifth Avenue. Of course, the Parade is not complete until the finale - the arrival of Santa on his sleigh! Once Santa stands and waves to all the children, even those of us sitting in front of the TV, you know that the Christmas season has officially arrived.
Thanks to my daughter here are a few pictures from this year’s Parade.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My Newest Lisitings

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday

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Black Friday, which refers to the Friday after Thanksgiving, which officially is the start of the Christmas shopping season. Thanks to the Macy’s Day Parade, which originated in NY City in 1924, once Santa Claus appeared at the end of the Parade, stores would begin to decorate, and people would start their shopping for Christmas. Tradition seems to move on though, as it seems each year stores start decorating earlier and earlier, and each one tries to outdo the other offering tremendous sales to draw the people to their particular store. The term “Black Friday” started sometime during the 1960’s, as many people tend to take the day after Thanksgiving off, and the sales begin. Not only are stores competing for business with their sales, but some start opening as early as 4 and 5 am.
Yes, I admit I was one of those nuts who ventured out at 5am with my son to join thousands of others rushing to take advantage of those early sales. After a quick cup of coffee, we barely had time to comb our hair and dress, before we headed to Best Buy, one of the biggest electronic stores in the US. My son bought a 42” HDTV (high definition TV), which now takes up half of his bedroom. We met some friends who were also out at that ungodly hour shopping, taking advantage of the “Black Friday” sales! By 7am, after standing on line after line, we finally were done. It is a strange feeling to leave the store to great the sun just waking up. After all that energy, we all took off to the diner for a big breakfast.
The Bloggers, one of my favorite teams on Etsy, not to be outdone by all those competing stores, are holding our own version of "Black Friday". Each shop is offering sales from today, Friday 11/28 to Monday 12/1. Hopefully we will have as much success as some of those stores today!
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H a p p y H o l i d a y s ! !The EtsyBloggers HOLIDAY S*A*L*E* is going on from Black Friday thru Cyber Monday!!That's Friday 11/28 thru Monday 12/1!!See a list of the 50+ shops having a SALE: http://etsybloggers.etsy.comH a p p y S h o p p i n g ! !☆:*¨¨*:★:*¨¨*:☆:*¨¨*:★:*¨¨*:☆:*¨¨*:★:*¨¨*:☆:*¨¨*:★:*¨¨*:☆☆ ; ;:* ¨¨*:★:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Triumph and Tragedy Quilting Project Resumes!

Last January, what started off as a basic conversation on the Forums, turned into an idea about doing something special to commemorate the many historical Triumph’s and Tragedy’s that have affected a lot of us during this past decade. From there came the idea of assembling a quilt, which would involve many here on Etsy, by having each person who signed up, submit a quilt square that they felt either inspired or affected them personally. When I first opened up this idea to those on Etsy, I had a great many positive responses. I received quilt squares from Scotland, the UK, Alaska, and many states located right here in America; square’s ranging from Women’s Suffrage, The Oklahoma Bombing, Breast Cancer, Sept 11, 2001, Global Awareness, Adoption, Campus Shootings, and Pope John, just to name a few. As each person submitted their square which would become part of the quilt, I posted a picture of the block, as well as a write up of why that particular idea was chosen by the specific quilter. To view all of those submitted, or are unaware of the project, you can reference back through my many blogs which started last January 2008.
About two weeks ago, I received a convo from Gayle Williams, whatshername.etsy.com, whose beautiful contribution was called “American Has Heart”, asking what happened to the project. Sadly to say, that more than half of those who originally had signed up, had other commitments, and a few health problems. This left the dilemma of having too few quilt blocks to complete the Project. When I relayed this to Gayle, she immediately contacted her friend, Adriana, whose shop is, FabricCrazy.etsy.com, and asked her if she was interested in helping finalize our Project. Adriana immediately responded to me and asked if she could do a square on Katrina.
The picture above is of her finished square, which came out beautifully. The devastation of Katrina has a special meaning to Adriana, as both of her parents lived in Gulfport, MS, and survived the tragedy that befell many others. Coincidentally, Adriana was speaking to her parents on her cell phone when the storm hit their home. After that brief call, all lines were lost do to the storm and she could not get in touch with her family; not knowing whether or not they survived. After a week, when she finally heard from her parents who lived just blocks from the beach, they stated that what they saw in the aftermath was worse than anything they had seen during World War II while living in Holland at that time. Adriana and her family came to this country when she was just 5 years of age. So not only is this square by Adriana a beautiful tribute to those whose lives were lost due to Katrina, but also a tribute to her parents who managed to survive this great Tragedy.
Thanks to Adriana, I am now able to complete the project. With the help of Marion Lake, mademarion.etsy.com, we have already assembled the squares for the Triumph Quilt; and now can finish sewing together the many memorable squares received for the Tragedy Quilt. Once that is completed, Marion and I will begin the batting, backing, then quilting for each Project. What was once just a thought will now be the completed Triumph and Tragedy Quilting Project. Again, thank you to Adriana for that final bit of help, and to all those (not forgotten) women on Etsy for their beautiful contributions.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

'Tis the Season

Christmas Pageant 2007

Christmas is just around the corner. The stores have had their decorations up already for a month now, while we scramble here and there, racking our brains on what to buy our dear ones.
Thank goodness, my kids are grown, so the many trips to the toy stores are out. Of course, they are not yet into the shirt and tie gifts yet either. T-Shirts, DVD's, video games, and perhaps if my budget allows, maybe "rock band." But this blog is really not about what I need to buy, but what I really should be doing for the Christmas holidays. So many lose the concept of Christmas as a time of giving, not receiving.
This year especially, that thought should be in the minds of so many, while the recession which we have been hearing about for months on the news, is finally hitting home. Just yesterday, one of our very own Blogger's was hit with the news that her husband will be losing his job before the holidays. What a devestation to them, as they now realize, Christmas will not be a joyous day of opening presents stacked high under the tree. Perhaps a few gifts will prevail, but the reality is, what they will find among the many cards arriving in their mailbox will be the many bills that will be mounting up, while they try to figure out to sort all of this. When this person told us all last evening about what is forthcoming for her holidays as her husband had just come home, it hit many of us hard. It could be anyone of us in her position.
Last night was my first experience on "Blockhead Radio", which I will talk about in another blog; but the plight of one of our Blogger's came up. My heart swelled as everyone immediately rushed to her shop to buy something, helping to boost sales and money, maybe enough to get them started down that long road ahead of them. Since I also knit and crochet (which I have done long before I started making my jewelry) I have so many half skeins of wool, of which some never used, are just sitting there waiting to be created into something. My thought was since this Blogger does crochet, she probably uses a lot of yarn, something which will now be a luxury to buy; was to send all my extra yarn to her so that she can continue her craft, and possibly generate more sales and income to help support her family during this Christmas season, which should be one of joy. So many of the other listeners, who are also Bloggers, said they too would send whatever extra wool and yarn they had. Her shop is http://lazytcrochet.etsy.com/. Perhaps this year you could just possibly buy one less present, and use that extra money to purchase something from her shop, or send something that she can use towards her craft. If you convo "agoodwitchtoo" , she will provide you with her address.
It is a sad reflection of our times, as we look forward to a new beginning with a new President, that we also have to look forward to whether our not we, or our husbands, will be without a job or be able to have that special Christmas dinner you always look forward to. Or Perhaps your children will not really need all those gifts you would love to buy them. Did you ever look into a childs face who was hungry, and you hand them something to eat, even if it is just one little cookie, it means the world to them. So I ask that this year you remember the true meaning of Christmas, that of giving to others who are truly in need, and not expecting something in return. You will not only bring that extra star into their homes to light their tree, but you will feel that star light within yourselves.

Monday, November 10, 2008

DIY Magazine Interview - Nov 2008

DIY City Magazine Blog


Today I want to introduce you to Pam of
Sara: Please tell me a bit about you and your background.
Pam: I am the person behind “MagdaleneJewels”, Pamela Baker; although my kids and all their friends call me Pammy; on Etsy, I am know as Mags, MJ or Magdalene. Now about me personally, I have been single for many years, raising 3 children, Kelly, Keith and Ryan who now, as adults, have grown into their own person. My daughter Kelly has been married for 2 years, of which I have a few pictures from her wedding on Flickr. I have lived in Scarsdale, New York for my whole life (moving exactly one mile when I was married). I was raised by my grandparents, who were the nicest people, and were always accepting of anyone they met. I think that is where I get my easy going personality from, never judging anyone, accepting them for who they are.
S: How did you get into arts and crafts?
P: For as long as I can remember, I have always had a creative nature within. My first memory is of my little 6” high sewing machine, which I would create my own doll clothes. No pattern for me, I would just lay my doll whatever fabric I had (sometimes my Grandmother’s beautiful silk and lace blouses) and just cut away. To this day, I still do not know how to use a pattern. As I got older, I started embroidering, crocheting, knitting, and quilting; all of which I taught myself and still love to do. Actually, I didn’t start designing jewelry until about two years ago. Truthfully I didn’t even know what a crimping bead was; but somewhere in my mind it was something I wanted to attempt. The first time I walked into a bead shop and saw all the beautiful colors of crystals, I was hooked. My favorite shop, located in Nyack, NY, which is a 15 minute drive going across the Hudson River, not only has the most beautiful colors of crystals (ones I can’t find any where else), but Judy and Grace who run the shop, have both been my mentors. I use Swarovski Crystals for most of my pieces; I love the various reflections the crystals give off when gleaming in the sun.
S: Do you sell your work? What inspires you when making your jewelry?
P: Although I have a shop on Etsy: MagdaleneJewels.etsy.com, I primarily do a lot of custom orders, and craft shows. Recently, I started showing my work on YouTube; creating my own videos, which has also increased my custom orders: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uM69mwGjq8 (don’t forget to turn the volume on!)
It is hard to explain where my inspiration’s come when designing one of my pieces. There are many days when I look at the beads sitting there, and just can’t decide what I should create. Then somewhere in my head I get a vision of something; colors and design all worked out for me. I immediately set to work creating the vision I have. As my children will tell you, it is not uncommon to find me at 4am sitting in bed beading away. At times I will also see a beautiful pendant on Etsy made by one of my friends there, and immediately know what I would create with that piece. Of course, I have to purchase the pendant first, and anxiously await to receive it so I can start working on what I have envisioned with that piece.
S: I know that you are a very passionate crafter, often highlighting other causes through your craft blog…why is this work so important to you?
P: For those of you who read my blog,
MagdaleneJewelspjk.blogspot.com you will find my main passion, which is writing. Thanks to Sara, from Sara’s Crafts of Texture, I have had many articles published. I usually have to be totally passionate about what I am writing about. About 10 months ago, I started a quilting project called, “Tragedy and Triumph”. My main objective, which I have written about often, is to bring to light the Tragedy’s and Triumph’s which historically have affected so many of us in this generation. The quilt is made up of many quilted blocks contributed by Etsy quilter’s. They have designed a quilt square either commemorating something which may have touched them from their own personal experience, or something that may have affected all of us, whether “Tragic” or “Triumph”. I hope to have this project finished within a few weeks. I have also been quite involved along with another Estian, Diane Clancy, in bringing to everyone’s attention “The Orphan Act”. This is a Bill which Congress tried to pass this past April, which would affect almost every artist: painter, quilter, jewelry designer, photographer, etc. whose work they may put on the internet. If this Bill was passed into a Law, it would negate any of these artists to own their own work. Unless we buy “copyrights” to our own work, it becomes the property of anyone who chooses to copy or use it for their own purpose. After many petitions being circulated and many articles making people aware of this Bill, as of August 2008, “The Orphan Act” has been shelved.
S: Do you have any other interests?P: In between all of this, I am also member of a local theater group as their costume designer, as well as having had a few small parts in some of their plays. One could say it is a family tradition. My mother joined this same theater group in the 1950’s. When my daughter joined about 8 years ago, as an actress and stage manager for many of their shows, it was only natural that I would follow their footsteps into the theater. One can kind of say that I have joined forces in my work, while designing the costumes, I have also designed jewelry pieces for some of the actresses to wear on stage.

by: Sara Millis of Sara’s Texture Crafts.
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November 8th, 2008
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The Filigree Garden
What a pleasant surprise to see my Etsy team mate and her lovely jewelry featured here! Nice to learn more about Pamela.November 9th, 2008 at 6:52 pm

Friday, November 7, 2008

Dona Nobis Pacem


As we ask for God's Peace, my only thought of is the violence and persecution of Catholics that is currently going on right now in India. India has long been known as a Hindu country, primarily in the Northeast part of India near Tibet, which is largely Hindu. For centuries, Catholic Missionaries have gone to the region to try to convert some of those interested in the Catholic religion. Many wars have been fought to prevent this, but as time passes, the people have become more tolerant towards other religions.
About a month ago, Hindu terrorists began a campaign to destroy all traces of the Catholic religion in that region of India. Catholic Churches and homes of many Catholics are being burned to the ground (see photos). Many priests are being killed, as well as many Catholics who continue to practice their religion.
Fr. Thomas Chellen, director of the pastoral center that was destroyed with a bomb, had a narrow escape after a Hindu mob nearly set him on fire. Fr. Chellen had this horrifying experience to share with Catholic News Service: “A gang of about 50 armed Hindus beat us up and led us like culprits along the road in what they referred to as the ‘Crucifixion Parade’ and led us to the burned pastoral center. “They then poured kerosene on my head, and one held a matchbox in his hands to light the fire. But thanks to divine providence, in the end, they did not do that. Otherwise, I would not have been there to tell this horror,' the 55-year-old priest, director of the pastoral center at Konjamendi in the Indian state of Orissa, told Catholic News Service in a telephone interview from his hospital bed Aug. 28.When the Hindu mob of 50 people broke into the pastoral center around noon that day. Father Chellen said he fled through the backyard with another priest and a nun. The terrorists then grabbed the 20 yr old noviate (one training to become a nun) while teaching was dragged from her school, to the center of the town, stripped and raped her in front of everyone, and set her ablaze while alive (see the photo). Young children are being burnt while still living in their homes.
Currently the burning of Catholic Churches has spread to the South of India which is primarily Catholic, and where I have many friends living there. I worry and pray for their safety, as these terrorists continue their journey of destruction. I asked my friend who is from South India, and is presently living here why the Government of India is allowing this. His response was “they turn their heads, as the Government is primarily made up of Hindu’s”.

*****Please visit this site :"Blog for Peace"


Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

“From the listless repose of the place, and the peculiar character of its inhabitants, who are descendants from the original Dutch settlers, this sequestered glen has long been known by the name of SLEEPY HOLLOW. . . ” Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

One of Icabod Crane’s sources of fearful pleasure was to pass long winter evenings with the old Dutch wives, as they sat spinning by the fire, and listen to their marvelous tales of ghosts and goblins, and haunted fields, and haunted brooks, and haunted bridges, and haunted houses, and particularly of the headless horseman, or Galloping Hessian of the Hollow, as they sometimes called him. All the while trying to win the affections of the Lady Abigail Van Tassel. The old Dutch Church was one of the favorite haunts of the Headless Horseman, and the place where he was most frequently encountered. Not far from the church, along the Hudson River was a wooden bridge; the road that led to it, and the bridge itself, were thickly shaded by overhanging trees, which cast a gloom about it, even in the daytime; but occasioned a fearful darkness at night. As one strolls past the Old Dutch Church on a dark Halloween night, it is easy to imagine the shadow of the horseman rising up from behind the gravestones, armed with a jack-o-lantern as he gallops along in search of his head; wherein lies the history of the Headless Horseman of Sleep Hollow which began over 200 years ago, and his spirit has lived here ever since.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Article: Orphan Act is Passed

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Rather Disturbingly... Orphan Works is Passed! by Guest Writer Pamela Baker
On August 26, 2008, I added to my blog, http://magdalenejewelspjk.blogspot.com/, an Article, “Orphan Works-Shelved!”, published by Sara’s “Crafts of Texture” stating that the “Orphan Works Act” had been put on hold by both the Senate and the House of Representatives. As I stated in the Article, “I'll bet you, as I, thought this was a dead issue. Well we, DianeClancy.etsy.com and I just found out that is has been put on hold (again). In fact Congress tried twice to push it through, and both times was held due to the fact that not enough was made known to the public of the ramifications of the Bill”. You can find more details on Diane's Blog at, http://DianeClancy/blog.com.
Now only one month later, Diane and I just learned from a group, “The Illustrators’ Partnership” that as of September 27, 2008, in a very controversial move, the Bill known as “The Orphan Works Act” was passed by the Senate. How and why?
The sponsors taking advantage of the current crisis in Congress, that of trying to save big businesses, by trying to raise $700 Billion, used this opportunity to bail out “business too big to fail” by very quietly passing “The Orphan Works Act” Legislation. Their reasoning is that it would force “us” (artists, photographers, crafters, illustrators, musician, songwriters, etc.) who use the internet as a marketing tool, to buy into Congress’s copyright law. Which essentially means that unless you buy copyright’s to your own work, that piece of act becomes known as an “Orphan Work” , and would allow anyone the right to steal or copy your work. Their plan is to use this money from the small copyright holders to subsidize big businesses who are currently failing. One example, is that of Google, who stands to make millions from the internet interests it already holds in regards to the millions of imagines it’s site support, and which will now due to this Bill, will ‘orphan” these works.
So it seems that Congress in an attempt to protect the many failing Financial Houses on Wall Street, will use the many corporate internet basis, as the source to regain the billions of dollars being lost daily by these large Corporations. What is means to us as “artists” is stated in a quote by David Rhodes, President, of the School of Visual Arts here in Manhattan, “the Orphan Works bill would socialize the expense of copyright protection while privatizing the profit of creative endeavors. Copyright owners neither want nor need this legislation. It will do great harm to small businesses. We already have a banking crisis. Congress should not lay the groundwork for a copyright crisis.”
The Illustrator’s Partnership in answer to this atrocity, is what they call Plan B: The Orphan Works Opposition. They propose that we contact Congress now to stop the House Judiciary Committee from the final adoption of this Bill. We can do so by following this link:
PLEASE EMAIL CONGRESS TODAY.If you've done it before, do it again!It takes only a minute to use our new special letter.Click on the link below, enter your zip code, and take the next steps. http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001Jy9bPtnrLry0dnwUZKg_XIpt2vtesjBjOfw--BpF5j9yhFq9rSJZHrIqlSpCvKU_ULeMredFZM3AQgRjKFmkqw7cBBeN4Xxzd50ouxtxRssaBoX1gZV8ApkY-ebZqiFrxM2knT4XzgQZC0Jw6lbaN0LaDXxK_2M1aVvSWbSOeQwxNox3SEqJW477So1Ck8yxFor
ongoing developments, go to the Illustrators' Partnership Orphan Works blog: http://ipaorphanworks.blogspot.com/%0b%0b%0b
For those of you who are unfamiliar with “The Orphan Work’s Act” please take a read here.... http://sarastexturecrafts.blogspot.com/search?q=orphan
Written by Pamela Baker
Posted by Sara's Texture Crafts
Labels: ,

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Autumn in NY

There are very few days that exist that one could say I wish it would never end. Friday was one of those days. Although a little cloudy, 2 friends (Wency who is from India, and Muna, who is from Iraq), and myself, ventured out to enjoy the beauty of Autumn in NY. We headed up to Bear Mountain, which is only about ½ hr drive from here to enjoy the changing colors of the leaves on the trees. It would be hard for any artist to really capture the beauty in nature of God’s creation, as you will see in the pictures I had attached. Driving up the mountain, you come upon many lakes, with the beautiful colors of the changing leaves. What stuck me most was the mirror image of those colors reflected in the waters of the lakes. Although the day was a little cloudy, one would have never known, as each tree brought forth it’s own palette of beauty with the various colors of Autumn; oranges, golds, maroons, reds, yellows, amidst the remaining colors of green still on some of the trees.
Towards the bottom of Bear Mountain, lies one of my favorite and most peaceful places, Graymore, in Garrison, NY. Rich in history, Graymore has a few chapels which date back about 100 years with the most beautiful artifacts within each one. My favorite chapel, St. Theresa, is very tiny within, but with its peacefulness and beauty, I can sit there and just meditate while feeling its warmth within. You cannot walkout without experiencing an inner peace within yourself. My other favorite spot that I love to just sit is at the top of a mountain which overlooks much of the Hudson Valley. Abounding in artistic colors, in the distance one can also see the glimmer of the Hudson River.
Since I cannot take all of you with me to visit the beauty of Autumn in NY around these mountains, I will share a few of my pictures with you, and hope you get the warm and peaceful feeling that the colors of Autumn bring within.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sassy:An Artist of Many Realms

Wool/Viscose Chennille Yarn

Viscose Felt

For someone who takes the time to honor all her Etsy friends in her special blog, “Sassa’sEtsyTreasury.blogspot.com”, I thought it was time to honor her and her many accomplishments here at Etsy.
Although known to most of us as Sassy or SassaLynne, her real name is MyFanwy Hart, who lives across the Atlantic in the UK. To me Sassy is one of the most creative and active member’s of a few teams here on Etsy; EtsyBloggers and Bbest Chatters, just to name a few, and yet she still manages to add something new to her shop almost daily; as well as write one of her creative stories on her blog, or highlight daily other artists on her special “Tre
asury Blog.”.

Serendipty Cotton Fabric

I have long admired the beautiful colors she creates in her threads, which can be found in her shops’ here on Etsy: “http://sassalynne.etsy.com”.
According to her bio, MyFanwy has been seriously involved in textiles for about 20 years and has been dyeing for almost that length of time. She refers to some of her featured dyed items as from her Serendipity range; meaning “the result of a happy accident”. As any artist who works with textiles can attest, when using your own dyes, the colors you create at times even amaze themselves. With each item from her random dye pots, Sassy’s creations can be described as very special and individual.
As I mentioned before, I would often ask Sassy if any of her threads could be used as yarns for knitting or crocheting. Well, one can now find some beautiful yarns of Cotton and Viscose which are dyed by using a combination of Fibre Reactive Dyes. While her silk and wool yarns are dyed using acid dyes. I have since purchase a few of her beautiful yarns, and in fact, I am currently in the process of knitting with one of her Cotton and Viscose yarns, which is like knitting with silk. Her blending of colors is stunning and I am so excited
at how my knitting project is coming out.

Perle Yarn Threads

This is just one faction of the many talents that Myfanwy has. Among her many different blogs, her various other talents can be found in her many shops here at Etsy. One of her talents which really amazes me is the working with felt. The whole process of how she creates her felted fabric is done with an Embellishing machine. If this isn’t enough to keep her busy, she also finds time to teach courses and workshops in the UK. Sassy teaches various embroidery techniques using some of the embroidery threads which she sells from her other shop in England, “www.WinifredCottage.co.uk”. For most of us, myself included I couldn’t begin to find enough hours in a day to complete half of what she does. Yet Sassy also manages to find time working on her “Paper Patches” which are cards using patches of abaca tissue which she again hand dyes and prints herself. See her shop: http://paperpatches.etsy.com.
With all of these projects occupying her time, Myfanwy can always be found chatting in the threads, while highlighting the works of her friends on one of her many blogs. It was quite difficult to choose which of her works to showcase here on my blog, so I will take a little of each to give one a sampling of her many talents.

My project: Wool Viscose Chennille Neck Warmer