Friday, February 27, 2009

The exceptional Quid hosts two etsy shops. One for the Vintage Love, the other for handmade jewelery and other delightful surprises. What do I mean by delightful surprises? I mean reclaimed house numbers, wearable artwork, a monogrammed tape measure, wild belt buckles, flashy wears, fashion for a good cause, so just click to find out.


1. If you could live any time period, what would it be? What would you do?
My first thought would be 15th century Europe. But then I’m sure I would get my head lopped off for saying something stupid. I guess my second choice would be old Hollywood. I would travel with the troops, learn to dance like Ginger and win an Oscar all with my hair in pin curls, wearing false eyelashes and red lipstick.

2. Tell the story of at least one stellar vintage find…

By far my best vintage find is my couch. My husband and I have very particular taste in furniture which means we haven’t had a couch since we’ve been married. A few months ago I stopped in at one of my favorite thrift shops and found a little old man sitting on the couch of my dreams. It only cost $50 (for the couch, not the old man…thankfully he wasn’t part of the deal) and I practically did a little dance. After five years, we finally have a rockin’ place to sit!

3. What is etsy to you? Lifeblood, profession, obsession, joy, or something else?

Etsy came into my life at just the right time. The boy and I both unexpectedly lost our jobs within a few days of each other and etsy really helped give legs to my dream of having my own business. Since then etsy and I have developed quite the hot affair.

4. List three of your favorite films, artists or actors.

I’m in love with Tim Burton. His films are super great. What a lovely whacked out fellow.

If you haven’t seen the work of Jonathan Davis, you’re missing out on some of the best illustration of our time.

I read like 5 books at a time so it’s really important to me to find great authors rather than actors. Right now, my obsessions are Malcolm Gladewell (Blink), Sue Monk Kidd (Secret Life of Bees) and Gregory Maguire, (Wicked).

5. What advice would you have for Etsy starters?

In the words of The Joker, “Why so serious”? I think etsy works best for those who don’t take themselves too seriously. If you make something and it doesn’t sell, don’t assume you’re awful. Pay attention to what people are looking at and elaborate on that. And don’t be afraid to ask others for help. I’ve learned so much about my craft by simply hovering around in the forums. I learned really quickly that throwing a pity party isn’t flattering on anyone. And please, for the love of God, try to take the best pictures you can…I can’t tell you how much that helps.

6. What’s your ideal artist’s studio space?

Since I seem to have taken over every particle of space in our apartment, a studio is becoming more and more of an obsession. I guess my ideal space would be a place where I could keep the cats out of the yarn, my paint brushes out of the sink and my sewing machine off the dining room table. Yeah, that would be delightful.

7. List five things you wish you could buy on Etsy.

Listing only five things is nearly impossible! I have so many favorites! That’s why I started my blog…so I wouldn’t be the only one drooling...

Hands by Blue Bell Bazaar.

Also a work from Honeytree.

A work from Fleathers so cool I'll let you search for yourself rather than risk depriving Quid.

And last but not least, the avatar darling of strawberrycouture.

8. What question do you wish I’d ask, how would you answer?

I wish you would ask me over for tea. I would love some earl gray right now. I’d even bring my favorite tea cups for us to use!

9. If you could time travel, would you peak at the future?

Absolutely. I’m dying to see how the dress I’m working on is going to turn out!

Of course, now I'm craving tea so badly that my taste buds threaten to riot strait out of my mouth. This is not the first time I've run into my passion for tea in an interview or blog entry, but I still feel like I must applaud Quid for her apparent ability to read my mind. All thumbnails and images were used with express permission of the artists.

Tune in every Weekend for more Interviews and reviews of fellow Etsy Crafters.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

This Just In!

Tune in this weekend, there are more fascinating blog etsy interviews to come, starting with the skinny on Quid, but in the meantime I am also working on a few restaurant reviews for travelers in the city of San Jose Costa Rica. Happy Reading -J

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Art and Tea Talk

The following is an interview with Etsy artisan and poet myteacups. The Philadelphia based artist creates black and white, simple and elegant tea cups, saucers, and mugs with her own unique haiku, poems and wisdom.

The Interview

1.List three things that strike a cord in your heart.

Waking up to notes on my kitchen fridge from my boyfriend (when he wakes up earlier than me)

Sipping on a cup of tea while listening to jazz music and the rain

Watching old home videos of family during the holidays

2. About the creative process. Tell us about your experience of the creative process, where do you find yourself when the words strike you, and what is your favorite time of day for inspiration?

I often find that I am most creative in the evening, while reflecting on a busy day over a cup of tea. I have a very active imagination and like to replay the day’s events in my mind as if they were a mini silent film, and then I tend to write and fill in the words.

I always write my haiku while brewing a pot of tea. I have a tea tray on which I keep my glass teapot and a few of my favorite cups (collected over the years). I bring the tray into my kitchen, open my purple notebook, put my tea kettle on the stove, place my tea in the infuser, and just relax and let me mind wander as the water heats up. I find that I am most creative as I fill the glass teapot and watch the tealeaves paint the water. I don’t force a haiku. I tend to just write observations and thoughts, and allow the haiku to come naturally. I continue to write while I sip the tea.

3. As a fellow tea enthusiast, I have to ask, imagine this, it is a foggy morning, early and crisp, you can drink any blend on the balcony of a Paris hotel, what do you select?

This description reminds me of one of my favorite paintings: Matisse’s “Woman Reading at Dressing Table”

I often imagine that if I were in that setting, I would be sipping on a cup of Orchid Oolong.

This fine tea has delicate floral notes paired with a hint of coconut. The fragrant aroma balances the richness of the tea. The aroma is intoxicating and reminds me of spring on a crisp morning.

I would probably be sipping the tea from a cup with a French haiku.

4. If you could sell your work to anyone anywhere in the world? (to who and where would it be?
I have actually thought about this before and have a million answers. Although the first response that came to mind is, the Corpo di ballo del Teatro alla Scala , which is probably the best known Italian ballet company. I adore everything about Italy and always imagine that enjoying tea after a ballet performance would be divine. I would feel so honored if they purchased my cups. I envision visiting the dance company to deliver the cups. I would sit with the dancers after watching the graceful ballet and share thoughts over a cup of tea in my haiku cups.

5. What are your goals in the next two years as an etsy artist?

My goals are:

• Continue to write new haiku and refine my craft
• Explore using lettered stamps on cups to “write” haiku
• Collect a batch of antique cups to work with
• Team up with a graphic artist to create a few limited edition tea cups with hand drawn design and hand written haiku to complement the design (I have an etsy artist in mind)
• Sell enough cups so that I can afford to donate a percentage of the profit to Slow Food, “a non-profit, eco-gastronomic member-supported organization that was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world.”
• Sell sets of cups to teahouses nationwide (or at least in Philadelphia ☺ )
• Add teapots, embroidered tea towels, and create other haiku tea ware to add to my shop
• Continually be inspired by tea….

6. If you could buy any three things on Etsy, what would they be?
I adore these items and wish I could buy them......
maybe if I sell more teacups :)

I would wear this dress to a tea party...

Small pastries and tea sandwiches would fill this fabulous cake-stand on my kitchen table...

I would head to my local tea shop and fill this bag with my favorite loose teas... day, I would love to purchase items from all three sellers

7. List ten favorite artists or writers.
In no particular order:

1. Ella Fitzgerald (singer) she inspires me to belt along with her

2. David Sedaris (writer) his words excite me and make me laugh

3. Charles Wright (poet) his poems push me to be a better writer and experiment with open space on the page

4. Leanne Marshall (designer) one day I hope to own one her lovely creations

5. Alicia Block (photographer-her work is on etsy) I adore each and every photo, and own one.

6. Sarah Seven (designer) I dream of wearing her creations at several elaborate tea parties

7. Henri Matisse (artist) as noted above, his paintings of open balcony doors instantly send me into a daydream of tea and fresh air.

8. Ernest Hemingway (writer) The Sun Also Rises is one of my favorite books

9. Rufus Wainwright (singer-songwriter) his lyrics are amazing

10. Chris Cason (tea artist) as a tea sommelier he “selects and blends premium loose leaf teas from all over the world.” His teas inspire me.

8. Now, in true Inside the Actor’s Studio fashion, what is your favorite word?

It’s a tie: “lady” and “hooray”

I adore “lady,” because I feel it carries a certain quiet grace with it. It’s polite and elegant and always makes me think of tea.
I often begin my emails to female friends with “hi lady.” I absolutely love the words that it merges with: “ladybird” “ladybug” “ladylike”

I also couldn’t live without the word, “hooray.” I actually have expressed my love for this joyful interjection on my word blog. So in an attempt to keep this answer short and sweet, I’ll just list the links to the blog posts:

hooray for hooray!

fall’s best worded accessory - interjections.

9. & Last, what question do you wish I would ask? How would you answer?

Considering the fact that I don’t have an official workspace (besides cafes and my kitchen table), I wished you would have asked me to describe the ideal room in which I would create my cups (I would like to give credit to my fabulous friend Sara, for asking me this question the other day).

I envision a small room with high ceilings and large windows, one of which opens to a balcony (that would have flower boxes filled with fresh herbs-like mint for my tea) . The weathered hardwood floors are only slightly covered by a small purple rug, that is now faded from the vibrant sunlight. Two of the four walls are white. The third is painted a French blue (my favorite color). A long glass table runs along the blue wall, on which I have my porcelain pens, cups, and pages of haiku strewn about. The fourth wall would be painted in chalkboard paint, so I could always see the haiku I am currently working on. A large chaise lounge would sit directly in the center of the room with a record player next to it (my favorite jazz albums would be stacked underneath). This chaise lounge would be special, and referred to as the “word chair.” It would be covered in favorite words written by friends and myself with per manent fabric pens. I would literally sit on and be surrounded by words when I needed a bit on inspiration. A small antique stove would sit against one of the white walls, on which I would heat my water for tea. Next to it would be a circular glass table (I would enjoy most of my cups of tea on that table). A few shelves, placed right above the table would be overflo wing with tea. Bookshelves would be lined with my favorite cups (so me collected, some of my creations).

For more about this wonderful artist see her personal blog about tea love., or her etsy site .

“Now you understand the Oriental passion for tea," said Japhy. "Remember that book I told you about the first sip is joy, the second is gladness, the third is serenity, the fourth is madness, the fifth is ecstasy.” -Kerouac

Soon to Come...

A series of wild and fun etsian interviews with the likes of myteacups & quid, and of course, the film projects and photography will continue. Hope everyone is having a blast this weekend, I know I am. -Jolt

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Carnival at the Intersection

My visual postcard of San Pedro at night, the intersection in front of the Grand Entrance of the Universidad De Costa Rica. These guys are out nearly every night, and can often be found near the river on campus, practicing their basic juggling skills.

For the last seven nights I've been fortunate to sleep near the University proper, this footage is a mere sampling of the nightly shows.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Left on The Streets

My newest STA procrastination project is a video and photo compilation studying graffiti in Costa Rica, particularly San Jose. This sample film, less than a minute long, is just a rough portion of the film's introduction...

Friday, February 13, 2009

On a more frivolous Note

If you haven't already, please take a look at the previous post on Baha'is in Iran...
On a much, much lighter note, a new image...soon to be for sale on Etsy.

Something of Importance Appears on Facebook.

Correct. The next is from a recently formed Facebook group.

Let's take action!

The Iranian ISNA news agency has reported that next week the seven members of the ad hoc administrative group, also known as the “Friends in Iran,” who supervised the affairs of the believers in that country until their arrest in early 2008, will be put on trial in an Iranian revolutionary court on charges of “espionage for Israel, insulting religious sanctities and propaganda against the Islamic Republic.” These charges, clearly, are nothing more than a sham on the part of the Iranian
government in an attempt to justify its documented and reprehensible intention to bring harm not only to the Iranian Bahá'í leadership, but to the whole of the Iranian Bahá'í community.

Here's what we can do for them:

Please Contact your federal Congressional Representatives from both the House of Representatives and the Senate, by telephone or email, or in person at their district offices. Express to them or their staff your deep concern for the Iranian Bahá'í leaders whose lives are in danger. Most of the members of Congress will be in their home districts the week of February 15, as there is a Congressional recess at that time. You may find the following websites useful in identifying your Congressional Representatives: and type in your Zip Code + 4 and select your state

and please don't forget to keep them in your prayers,

Sina Sabet,