Wednesday, June 30, 2010

BEST Featured Artist - missprettyperfect

When I started to read the profile of Miss Pretty Perfect, for a moment I thought I was reading about myself!  This is what I read:  "Miss Pretty Perfect is described as a woman who is a care-free, motivated, go-getter who is not easily led. Miss Pretty Perfect represents the independent woman who works, strives, and believes in a positive lifestyle and surrounding. Miss Pretty Perfect feels good inside and thinks highly of herself. Attention and admiration keeps her breathing. Even though she doesn't live in a perfect world, Miss Pretty Perfect creates one in her mind".  Actually, it sounds like a LOT of women I know! 

But no, the owner and creator of Miss Pretty Perfect is La Toya, a woman with not one, but TWO degrees in fashion design.  She received a B.S. in Fashion Design and Merchandising from N.C. A&T State University in 1999. And in 2002, she received her A.A.S in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design in New York City.  Designing, creating, and selling her own line of handbags began in New York City and eventually returned her home to North Carolina.  The Miss Pretty Perfect line of handbags are made of upholstery fabric, patchwork and leather combinations. Now that she offers her line on Etsy, we can all admire, and purchase, her quality, gorgeous bags - no matter where we live.

Now, we all know some women who are shoe addicts, but my husband says I am a bag addict! I love bags; totes, hobos, satchels, week-enders...gotta have 'em.  So here are some of my favs from Miss Pretty Perfect's Etsy store!

Although officially called the Perfect Village Over sized Round Messenger Bag, this bag is also described as "the perfect 'everything' bag for the weekend gypsy".  Gotta love it!

Now say hello to Miss Lotti, Over sized Leather Tote Handmade Handbag. This beautiful leather patchwork bag will get you through anything!

Do you need a little bag, one to hold just a few essentials?  But don't want to skimp on color and style?  Check out this little number!  Miss Nina Petite Messenger Pouch in Juicy Grape Raspberries.  Five different patterned and textured variations of purple, red, fuchsia, lime, orange and blue are featured in this Miss Nina. Yum!

If you want to pick out your own favs, you can visit Miss Pretty Perfect in her Etsy store or visit her online gallery on Picasa. 

You can also find La Toya here:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

BEST Featured Artist - Lightkeeping

It is once again time for a feature on one of the BESTeam members.  This week I have the pleasure of presenting Lightkeeping.  This lovely Etsy shop is the creation of Anastasija, from Ireland.  Anastasija loves color, proportion, symmetry, and most of all, beauty!  Her handmade lampwork pieces are complemented by Swarovski crystals, genuine precious and semi-precious gemstones and pearls.  Many of her pieces are reminiscent of a beautiful garden! 

Allow me to share some of my favorites from Lightkeeping's shop.

lily fire agate earrings and pendant


    Handmade silver plated Butterflies in the Garden earrings

You can find Lightkeeping at:


Monday, June 14, 2010

BEST Featured Artist - Swan Mountain Soaps

Let me begin by telling you that I love skin products.  Soaps and lotions are not an extravagance, they are a necessity!  So when I had the opportunity to visit Swan Mountain Soaps I fell in love.  Swan, AKA Christine, Mike and their 5 children are the faces behind the products.  Their soap-making is truly a family affair.  They use the birch and spruce trees, the dandelion and the wild roses that grow around them.  Their garden provides chamomile, chickweed and calundula and more.  Swan does all of the formulating and soapmaking.  Everyone helps with planting, gathering, and much more.  Living in Alaska has provided them with the inspiration for making their products and they take great pride in creating products that are natural, contain no detergents, fillers or lather boosters, no formaldehyde, and no parabens - just naturally-good, skin-loving ingredients like cocoa butter, shea butter and olive oil. And an occasional beer. I hope you enjoy what I show you here, and that you will check out Swan Mountain Soaps for yourself.

Moisturizing hand and body lotion with birch sap - Alaskan Fireweed scent

Chocolate Orange Truffle -
Natural Handmade Lip Balm

Macapuno Sorbet - Natural Handmade Soap with cocoa butter

Luscious whipped shea body butter - Irish Tweed - vegan

Now, isn't that all just luscious?  Here is how you can treat yourself - find Swan Mountain Soaps at:



Sunday, June 13, 2010

Share the Love - Caliope's Caprice

Part of the fun of being active in the Facebook community is learning about new shops and getting to know new people.  Although I "know" people in this community only through their shops, profiles and status updates we all share a passion for creating.  We enjoy showing our work and sharing each others.  Several of the communities I've joined ask their members to feature someone each week.  I've so enjoyed poking about new shops and finding new items to heart.

Today I am sharing the lovely work of Caliope's Caprice!

This weeks Featured Artisan on Share the Love - Blogger's Unite is Caliope!
Jazz up your warderobe with a stunning creation by Caliope.
Visit her shop to see all of her beautiful works of art!!
You can find Caliope at:




Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Share the Love - My Helping Hands

This weeks Featured Artisan on Share the Love - Blogger's Unite is My Helping Hands Graphic Design! Jazz up your shop with a new avatar and banner set, get an ad, PR service and more. Stop by My Helping Hands website to see samples of all her work and pricing!

You can find My Helping Hands Graphic Design at:






Sunday, June 6, 2010

BEST Featured Artist - moonangelnay

This week I have the pleasure of featuring BEST teammate moonangelnay - Naomi, from Birmingham, UK.  Naomi is a stay at home mom whose love for photography shines through each and every photo in her Etsy store.  I thoroughly enjoyed browsing her shop - her photographs are outstanding! 

              Soft As Snow       "A delicacy of the waning year,
         crystalline formations will bring magic oh so near..."

End Of The Road    "All things come to an end eventually, but I don't mind, I have found purpose and beauty through hardship, this is only the beginning..."

I love the way Naomi uses quotes to describe her artwork - simple lines to evoke a feeling -

                             A Restful Place 

"By water's side a heart may find, a place for the soul that will make one whole..."

This is what Naomi says about herself on her blog -  "I'm Naomi, a mom from Birmingham in the UK, and am the one behind this blog and my contemporary fine art photography, wall art and photo jewelry store, I also have keen interests in baking, crafts, reading, knitting and crocheting".

Naomi also creates glass scrabble tile jewelry, using her photos.  And right now, they're on sale!  What could be better?  Here's a sample or two...

You can find Naomi here:

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Summer Games!

"Let me win.  But, if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt".  These are the words spoken by Special Olympians around the world.  These words will be repeated tomorrow evening - June 4th - at the RI State Summer Games.  My husband & I will be sitting in the stands, with Annie & her husband, and with other friends.  Our children will be on the field, repeating the pledge.  For the fourteenth year I will be watching the approximately 2000 athletes and coaches as they march in the Parade of Athletes.  For the fourteenth time I will be incredibly proud, and amazingly humbled.  My two boys will be dancing with excitement and waving at all of us in the stands.  They won't be thinking about the work, the commitment and the love that brought them there. They will only be thinking about how much fun they are having.  But for the fourteenth year, I will have tears in my eyes as I watch them, the children of my friends and the athletes I have met over the years. 

Fourteen years ago, at my first State Game, I wept.  I had always felt alone & isolated as the mom of a little boy with a serious disability.  But as I looked out over the crowd of athletes, coaches and families, I felt at first, afraid.  So many.  So many people with a disability.  So many parents who struggled.  But even as I felt afraid, I began to feel supported.  By all those people with a disability.  By all of those parents who were standing so tall in their pride of their child. And I felt "I belong here.  This is my community".

Tonight I will finish packing up the duffel bag, roll up the sleeping bag, pack the meds, the snacks, the personal care items.  I'll kiss Paul goodnight and remind him - "tomorrow".  And in the morning he'll go off with his staff person/coach for his favorite weekend of the year.  Henry & I will follow, along with Annie & Lloyd.  We'll watch Paul race his race, we'll cheer Lizzie in hers.  Saturday Joshua will play Unified Soccer with his team and Paul will compete in the swimming pool.  On Sunday, we'll all be exhausted.  Medals will have been won, the dances will be over and we'll be back at home.  But we'll carry the memories of a most important event.  A time and place where parents and families find each other.  Where our children learn self-confidence, the joy of competition and the ability to be graceful whther they win the Gold or Bronze medal.  They will remember the friends they meet and will delight in showing their medals.  We parents will have the opportunity to be proud of our children's achievements, whether they are large or small.  And we'll have to wait another whole year to do it again.  Thanks for listening.  Next week I'll have pictures of the medals!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Share the Love - Watches by Helen!

This weeks Featured Artisan on Share the Love - Blogger's Unite is Watches by Helen. Helen creates beautiful watches to enhance your wardrobe! Unique designs and beautiful styles. She also makes matching earrings for her unique designs. Stop by and see all her creations! I happen to LOVE watches, so featuring Helen is like being let loose in a candy store! I will only show you a couple of my favorites, you'll have to check out her Etsy and Artfire shops to see more!

Watches by Helen on Etsy and on Artfire

You can follow Helen's Blog

Chunky, Clunky Sardonyx,Gunmetal Watch

  Bold and Beautiful, Red and Rowdy, Pewter Watch 


And if you were thinking about something for me - well, this comes in just my size! 


Make sure you stop by and let Helen know you
found her here! :)