Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Thank You and Goodnight

For all intents and purposes, Dough, Dirt & Dye is defunct.  However, you can still find me at my food and recipe blog, An Unrefined Vegan.





Wednesday, March 28, 2012

BESTeam Feature: She's So Unusual

un·u·su·al

adjective
not usual,  common, or ordinary; uncommon in amount or degree; exceptional: an unusual sound; an unusual hobby; an unusual response.
Origin:
1575–85; un-1  + usual


un·u·su·al·ly, adverb
un·u·su·al·ness, noun


extraordinary, remarkable; rare, strange, singular, curious, queer, odd.


What She Does:
Handcrafts necklaces, bracelets and earrings using Chinese blue-and-white beads and semi-precious stones.

Why She's Unusual:
Each piece is one of a kind and totally unique.  Bright, bold and full of color.  American-born, Claire has called Bangkok, Thailand and Santiago, Chile home.

Where You Can Find HerShop || Blog || Twitter


Tangerine & Green Stone Bracelet.

Tiger Eye & Turquoise Necklace.



What She Does:
Hand-sews fuzzy, furry and dressed toys.  Isobel has been creating lifelong friends for kids and adults alike for the past sixty years. 


Why She's Unusual:
There's a reason why Isobel's toys have found homes around the globe. You won't find anything like these cuddlies from anyone else.  And she even has a Soft Toy Clinic so you can rehab your love-worn family friends.

Where You Can Find HerShop || Blog || Facebook || Twitter

Melissa and Melinda Mad March Hares.

Plush Mommy Hedgehog.


What She Does:
From her workshop in paradise, Irith crafts gold and silver jewelry studded with gems or etched with lines, swirls and unique textures.


Why She's Unusual:
Irith's pieces combine the primitive with the elegant for eye-catching necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets to complement any look. 

Where You Can Find HerShop || Blog || Facebook || Twitter

Freeform Silver & Opal Ring.

Silver & Peridot Earrings.


As part of my BESTeam commitment, throughout the month I will be posting short features of several of the fabulous shops and talented artisans who comprise the team. What is BESTeam? It's The Boosting Etsy Shops Team and our goal is to give support to each other and to help promote each others' Etsy shops through blogging, Facebook and other social networks. If you are an Etsy shopowner and are interested in learning more about BESTeam, please visit the team page on Etsy or have a look at the BESTeam blog.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

BESTeam Feature: Shiny Things

All of us have, I think, a little bit of the crow in us, the greedy raven.  A little part that is attracted to shiny things, sparkling in the light.  We want to reach out, touch, take them home and hide the precious things away in our nests.  My inner crow has come out in full force today.  Hard to resist all of these beautiful shiny things from Redemption Art, Absolutely Kismet and GMaEllen Crochet Gifts.

Redemption Art
Shop || Blog || Facebook || Twitter

"For as long as I can remember, I loved to peruse through vintage shops, second hand stores and garage sales. My mother would take me to Chinatown in Downtown Honolulu and as she looked for fresh vegetables, herbs, spices and seafood for her delicious gourmet meals, I just couldn't wait to be "cut loose" to wonder through the mazes and sometimes messes of the old Hawaii vintage shops.

Lobster Brooch.

Knife and Fork Earrings.


Absolutely Kismet
Shop || Blog || Facebook

"One of the things I love most about making jewelry is the absolute individualism. For each gift that I've created for a family member or friend, I've kept the person's favorite colors and personality and potential use of the item in mind and tried to see the person wearing or using what I've made."

Clear Glass Bead Bracelet.
Pewter Wine Charms, Set of 8.



GMaEllen Crochet Gifts
Shop || Blog || Facebook || Twitter

"I love being crafty and creative, keeping busy outside of work. I really enjoy creating things that are not only nice looking, but are functional.  What inspires me creatively? Research mostly. That and my huge collection (over 35 yrs worth) of patterns, pattern books and magazines; yarn, thread and any other thing I can wrap around my hook!
 
Drop Shell Jangle Bracelet.
Black Beaded Crochet Cell Phone Charm.
As part of my BESTeam commitment, throughout the month I will be posting short features of several of the fabulous shops and talented artisans who comprise the team. What is BESTeam? It's The Boosting Etsy Shops Team and our goal is to give support to each other and to help promote each others' Etsy shops through blogging, Facebook and other social networks. If you are an Etsy shopowner and are interested in learning more about BESTeam, please visit the team page on Etsy or have a look at the BESTeam blog.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Scaling Back

It started a couple of years ago with an ill-conceived idea of launching a hand-painted greeting card store on Etsy - how hard could that be? - and progressed slowly from there: blogging (not one, but two sites), opening another virtual store on Zibbet, providing cards to a small boutique near Tulsa and signing on to do my first craft show.  I took online courses to learn HTML, XHTML and Dreamweaver with the goal of creating my own website.  Then added a class to learn ways to promote that website - a website as yet unrealized, I might add.  I started spending a lot of time promoting my blogs, commenting everywhere I could, following like-minded bloggers and generally spending way too much time clicking away on a keyboard.  Since I didn't do all of these things at once, I didn't appreciate the time that these all of these "little" projects would take - until I was juggling all of them.  One of the reasons Kel and I moved from Washington, DC was to get away from our computer screens.

My time outside, my time in the garden dwindled; my enjoyment of being in the kitchen messing with the mixing bowls lessened because it always felt like I needed to do everything really fast and I stopped relishing the process.  My once-daily yoga practice turned into once a week, if I was lucky.

So after a good talking-to with myself, I'm scaling back.  Dough, Dirt & Dye will get the short-shrift while I focus most of my blogging energy on An Unrefined Vegan - where my heart and stomach really lie.  Triple D will remain the home of my BESTeam features, and any pretentious literary-minded musings that crop up.  Empty on the Inside will not be stowed away in mothballs, but I won't be devoting much time to it.  Perhaps in the future I'll get back into it and give it the attention it requires/deserves.  In the meantime, I hope you'll keep up with me at An Unrefined Vegan

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Back to My Plow

Back to the howling old owl in the woods
Hunting the horny back toad
Oh I've finally decided my future lies
Beyond the yellow brick road
- Elton John, Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road

Every once in a while I get the itch to be in a city.  When I get tired of wearing work boots, dog-hair-covered shirts and dirty jeans.  When I just need some time in a store that isn't Walmart - one that's heard of tempeh and fennel and miso.  When a thin layer of lipstick makes me feel made up like a beauty pageant contestant.

I got my big city fix last week in one of the country's most beautiful cities: San Francisco.  There is no doubt there is something exhilarating about being in a large metropolitan area - the streets and highways like pumping arteries, the overwhelming amount of goods and services - anything that one's heart desires - the flow of people from every walk of life and culture making their way along sidewalks and through city parks; new vistas, unfamiliar sounds.  I enjoy it all and sometimes feel like a country bumpkin fresh off of the turnip truck, constantly swiveling my head to take in the colors and sights.  

The urge to be surrounded by cement, however, and block after block of buildings and endless streams of cars passes quickly and I'm always relieved to get back to the quiet days and dark nights of the country.  My mind inevitably strays, just as it did as I was crossing over the San Mateo Bridge one late afternoon, the sun sparkling on the water and the rise and fall of blue mountains far off in the distance: This must've been really something before humans got here.  That's when I know it's time to head home and assuage my jaded eyes with the fields and trees of home.  Time to pull my crummy jeans back on and to head out with Ike into the sound of the clean wind.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Goin' to California

Triple D will be quiet for a few days while I journey to northern California to spend time with two of my best and dearest friends (whom forthwith shall be dubbed L and K) - women I've known for (gasp) 28 years - ever since our first nervous days as freshmen art students at Miami University (that's the one in Ohio, folks).  The richness of my college experience is owed in large part to these two beautiful women.  I've trusted them with some of my most intimate secrets, and they've never betrayed my faith in them.  They've been both support and comfort during difficult times.  They've been my partners in shopping crime.  And they've never failed to make me laugh until it hurt.

Over the years we've kept in weekly, sometimes daily touch by email and every few years we manage to slow down our busy lives enough to see each other in person.  The photos below are from our last trip to California where the three of us completed the 2009 Nike Women's Half Marathon.  (Incidentally, an incredible if painful way to see San Francisco.).  L was down with the flu, my left knee was shot and my right foot gave out somewhere around mile 15; K ran it ably while intermittently texting me to see where I was - and thus in our own fashions, we crossed the finish line.
This trip is extra special.  We are celebrating L's wedding.  I'm so happy to be able to be part of this special occasion in her life and to add to the treasure of memories that we share.  It will be a time to reconnect, to remember, to laugh, and if we can squeeze it in, do a little shopping.


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

BesTeam Feature: Glamorous

Even if we had cable or satellite, we wouldn't watch The Academy Awards.  I might reconsider if they pared things down to, oh, about ten minutes.  And that would be ten minutes of "red carpet" time only.  I do enjoy looking at the dresses, jewelry and hairstyles.  (Which is why I treat myself each year to the People Magazine issue that has the Best and Worst of Oscar fashions.)  Anyway, if I'm looking for glamor I'll take the kind my friends at BESTeam serve up.  The hand-crafted kind.

Joy Hand-painted Silk
Shop || Blog || Twitter || Facebook
It's easy to see that Joy gets her inspiration from the colors and textures of the natural world around her.  The rich, bright, vibrant swirls and splashes of colors come from the fine silk dyes with which she hand-paints her flowing creations.  Truly elegant, wearable art.  Joy also offers couture pieces and has also begun selling elegant jewelry that beautifully complements her scarves, shawls and gowns.
Double Pearl Earrings.

Golden Shibori Hand-painted Charmeuse Gown.



Boretto Art

New to BESTeam, Australian artist Lesley creates bright and imaginative acrylic paintings depicting city streets, sunny beaches, fashionable ladies and a myriad of other subjects - all painted in bold, strong strokes using a palette knife.  Lesley's passion for color, composition and...dreaming shines through in each work of art.
Modern Geishas, Original Painting.

Paris, Original Painting.


Patty's Dream Design
Shop || Blog || Twitter || Facebook
A little closer to home, Patty crafts her necklaces, bracelets and earrings from gemstones, beads and pearls.  From soft, subtle greens, pinks and lavenders, to deep cerulean and bright red, you'll find both "everyday" pieces and special occasion items perfect for every outfit.
Pink Mother-of-Pearl Bracelet.

Turquoise Necklace & Earrings.
As part of my BESTeam commitment, throughout the month I will be posting short features of several of the fabulous shops and talented artisans who comprise the team. What is BESTeam? It's The Boosting Etsy Shops Team and our goal is to give support to each other and to help promote each others' Etsy shops through blogging, Facebook and other social networks. If you are an Etsy shopowner and are interested in learning more about BESTeam, please visit the team page on Etsy or have a look at the BESTeam blog.

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