Saturday, December 31, 2011

Twitch and Whiskers New Year Scavenger Hunt - Win a $25 Gift Certificate!

Ring in the New Year by winning a $25 gift certificate from Twitch and Whiskers. Go on a blog scavenger hunt.
You don't have to be a genius to win.
Here is how you can enter to win the gift certificate:

1) There are 12 questions(for 2012...get it?). They can be found here on a Google Doc.  Comb through my blog to find the answer to all 12 questions. Hint: use the labels on the side of the page to guide you.

2) Want to be entered twice? Share this contest on Facebook or Twitter. Indicate that you have shared it on the scavenger hunt form.

3) Make sure you submit your name and email address on the form. I will not place you on a mailing list or share your address with any one. This information will just be used to contact the winner.

The last day to enter this contest is January 8th at midnight. The winner will be randomly chosen from all entries using on January 9th.

I will contact the winner via email on the same day. You can use the gift certificate towards any item in my Etsy shop, for a customized piece, or in person at an upcoming show.

You can DIY (or get help from a friend).
Follow the link above or click here to get started. Good luck and thanks for playing!

Check back each month for a special contest or promo!

Happy New Year! 

Friday, December 30, 2011

Beauty in Full Circle or An Elephant Never Forgets

Yesterday Thom and I went to New York City. With the holiday craft show season behind me and vacation upon me, I thought it would be a good opportunity to go and explore some museums. I needed some new inspiration for the New Year.

 stair-ing at Thom - New Museum

First stop was the New Museum (speaking of new). Highlights of our visit included jet propelling down Carsten Holler's Experience slide, watching Thom conduct psychological experiments on himself, and taking a technicolor primate nap. 

Carsten Holler's Experience
Pinocchio Nose Experiment
primary primates
Next, we headed to one of my favorite places - The Museum of Arts and Design. When we came upon its location at Columbus Circle, I nearly stopped in my tracks. Smack dab in the center of the circle were some old friends: two giant elephant statues. Let me explain. Back in mid-October, I had a strange day. It started with finding five shopping carts neatly parked in front of my house on my way to work.
art ala cart
At the end of that same day, I met up with some friends at Molten Java in Bethel. We parted ways on that rainy and dark night and I headed back toward Danbury. A few blocks from the coffee shop, a huge flatbed truck slowly pulled in front of me from a side street, carrying two life-sized elephant sculptures. I drove home behind these colossal creatures in awe. From start to finish that day was both sculptural and surreal.
larger than life drive home
Well lo and behold, these two behemoth buddies greeted me once again in a swirl of traffic right outside the Museum of Arts and Design. It was such a surprise because I never thought I'd ever see them again! It was fun getting up close and personal with the sculptures. On the placard, I found out the elephants were created by sculptor Peter Woytuk and that there were eighteen other whimsical sculptures of his scattered about the city. Things really came full circle at Columbus Circle. 
Well hello again!
a fruitful encounter
The rest of our night out in the city was a whirl of activity. We explored jewelry and mid century design at the MAD, karaoke sang our hearts out until we nearly lost our voices, visited the mecca of all synthesizer shops (it was a religious experience for Thom), and ended the night sharing the perfect little pizza in Little Italy.

burning out my chords
Throughout the evening, I kept having "whoa" moments whenever I thought about my reunion with the elephants. It was the perfect reminder that life is quite spectacular when you stop and take notice of the beauty around you. Sometimes it comes in unexpected forms: shopping carts, glances down staircases, bright blue orangutans. Thanks to two elephants, I will never forget this!

There's magic everywhere!
Happy New Year from Twitch and Whiskers! 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

On the Road: Hot Cup o' Handmade 2

My last hoorah for the 2011 holiday craft show season was the Hot Cup o' Handmade 2 show at Molten Java in Bethel, CT. And what better way to end the year than being surrounded by my talented friends in one of my favorite places? We set up early for an afternoon show. The gals all charged up with toasty drinks and snacks from the counter. We were visited by many of our local friends, including Julie - who was knitting colorful goatees for an upcoming Pantera tribute party. My pal Alex also stopped by to say hello wearing one of my pieces. She looked fabulous!
caffeinated craftanistas
Jen Matlack of Milly Gilly Home and Garden (aka Daisychestnut on Etsy) brought a lovely array of whimsical terrariums, vintage utensil garlands and garden markers, and creatively embellished ceramic goods. I adored her hand dyed cotton ribbon that was wound with care around wooden sticks. Her vintage ceramic plates are specially marked with poems and quotes, but my favorite had to be the "Crap" plate. Jen also had a new terrarium with a grazing deer that was oh-so-sweet. I love how she used the candle holder on the deer's back to hold a tiny spot of moss. Visit Jen's shop on Etsy for a charming holiday gift from the heart.
Alex and Jen
Milly Gilly's goods
the dearest deer
My favorite Little Cowgirl, Lys Guillorn was adorned with a new fringed outfit that shimmied and shook the day away. Lys displayed new snazzy Christmas stockings, fabulous purses, and jewelry with candy-colored vintage buttons. I couldn't resist getting one of her adorable collaged Christmas cards with sewn details and a little clear pocket o' sequins. I like it so much, it just may be a Christmas card to myself. Don't can get one for yourself in her Etsy shop (in addition to many other unique gifts). Word on the street is that her shop will have many new things in it soon!
Shake it cowgirl!
Bags for stuff and stockings for stuffing
stationery go round
Folk Couture's display is ever-changing and inspiring thanks to Grace Napoleon's busy hands and clever point of view. I got to thumb through racks and racks of dramatic dresses and swanky sweaters. I was so impressed when her friend Laura showed up in a Folk Couture original with a dramatic floral neckline. She looked like an absolute knockout! You can find Grace and her fabulous frocks this weekend at IDM Boston, SoWa Holiday Market, and Craftopia. Pepper your conversation with the phrase "grace and glory" when you see her and get a special discount. Pass it on!
Grace had Laura the acupuncturist on pins and needles.
sweater land
two beauties
It was a pleasure having Jean Maimone of Vintage Gems join us for Hot Cup o' Handmade 2. I had first met Jean at Dawn's Vintage Jewelry when her striking redesigned vintage creations were being showcased. I have always appreciated Jean's use of color n' glitz in her statement pieces. From beaded tassels to brightly hued chokers she offered an amazing array of showstoppers.  I fell in love with her orange and gray acorn necklace and was thrilled when Thom surprised me with it during the day. Visit the Vintage Gems website and Facebook page to find out where to find Jean next.

Jean of Vintage Gems
make a statement with these pieces
I squirreled away the gray and orange acorns!
Throughout the day I got hellos from local friends, pals from school, and family. A fun array of jewelry scooted out the door, including thimblism necklaces, REcap bracelets, and one of a kind pieces. A 1920's powder compact locket called "Encharma" and a vintage bicycle headbadge necklace called "Knight Night" went home with happy customers. The day rounded out nicely with a fun visit from Gwen (who looks splashingly sensational in her whale tail thimblism necklace) and hubby Keith. My in-laws, sister-in-law Marnie, and niece Darla also popped by to show love. It was a superb Sunday all around!
Twitch and Whiskers
Knight Night

Gwen and Keith
we are family
If you're looking for a unique handmade gift or a personalized present - I'm your go to gal! Shop local and handmade this holiday season. Pop on by to my Etsy shop or email me if you would like me to make ya something special.

Happy Holidays from Twitch and Whiskers!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Kimblism Thimblism at the Toy Room

I got a visit from my pal Kim Ramsey at Hot Cup o' Handmade 1 back in November. She brought with her a pretty silver thimble inscribed with "Kate" (her grandma's name) and asked if I could custom make a thimblism necklace for her. Of course I was more than happy to! I swung by her shop, The Toy Room after school one day. I love any opportunity to visit her shop because it's chock full of wonderment and the coolest toys around. I brought with me containers full of kitschy charms, bead caps, and beads. Kim chose a bright plastic apple charm to dangle below her thimble. It came off a vintage Carmen Miranda/ fruit salad type necklace.

The Toy Room on Greenwood Ave in Bethel, CT
After making the necklace, Thom and I returned to her shop last Saturday to drop off the piece and to do a little holiday shopping. Kim looked absolutely radiant in her new necklace! To honor Kim, I named it the "Kimblism Thimblism" necklace. I just couldn't resist! I love it when I get the chance to work with items that hold meaning and sentiment and I especially enjoy making things for friends.
an apple a day
Kim in her "Kimblism" Thimblism necklace
There was so much to look at in the store. Last year, I purchased a bunch of realistic looking chocolate chip cookie purses from Kim and they were a big hit during the holidays. Imagine my excitement when I saw a whole new line of products from the same company, including big ol' pizza and cupcake pillows! The Toy Room was filled to the brim with all sorts of cute stocking stuffers like goofy rubber faced hand puppets (I remember having these when I was a kid), colorful marbles and glass critter figurines, and mysterious socks that expand to full size in water. I asked Kim what was one of the hottest items in her shop right now and she said it was the "Loopdedoo" friendship bracelet maker. This jewelry maker gives this crafty kit a big thumbs up!
good enough to eat
faces only a mother could love
hypnotizing colors
a friendship bracelet maker's friend
And then of course, there is the toy that I want (hint, hint). I almost forgot to mention that one of my favorite parts of visiting Kim, is the fact that we both have an extremely immature sense of humor. Knowing this, she pointed out the GAME OF ALL GAMES a few weeks ago while I was visiting: Doggie Doo. Let's just say that it features a dog, goopy green dog treats, a leash that you squeeze, and gaseous noises. I hope the man in the big red suit is taking note.
I really doo want this.
Every time I visit Kim, my day is filled with toys and laughter. What else could you possibly want? The Toy Room has perfect gifts for kids of all ages. Support a great local business this holiday season and if you swing by, please bring a hat or pair of gloves. Kim will be collecting these items for the Dorothy Day House in Danbury until December 15th. Happy Holidays!
Princess Charming - Upcycled Rouge Locket Necklace
Looking for a memorable holiday gift? Swing by my Etsy shop for unique upcycled rings, bracelets, and necklaces.