Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Special coupon offer:   15% off anything in my Etsy shop, use code Holiday15, good from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday.  

 Check out my Etsy shop Weddingzilla.

I have all sorts of unusual items for gifting and you don't have to be getting married!  My items are all handmade and high quality. 

 I have handmade holiday ornaments: 



 Gifts for your dog!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness and Good Karma from the Crystal Heart Factory

October is national breast cancer awareness month and its a cause that's very near and dear to me.   I lost my little sister to breast cancer.   Six months after her untimely death, I found out that I also had the disease.  I was the lucky sister, early detection saved my life.   Cue the music...."I'm a survivor!"

Rhonda Spruce from the Crystal Heart Factory is doing something to keep awareness focused on issue.  She hand makes crystal awareness hearts on Etsy. 

Rhonda began making the hearts 8 years ago after seeing one in a bead store offered as a class. It was love at first bead. At the time, she was working as a manicurist/pedicurist and many of her clients wanted them, so she  just started making them and charging them what they cost her to make. She is now an Etsy artisan.
Rhonda's family is a military family, her husband is in the Coast Guard and is is her biggest supporter.  He is the one who came up with the idea of putting the pink ribbon inside the Swarovski crystal heart. He also has come up with other designs for the inside of her crystal hearts. 
 Rhonda calls herself  a "Mon" trenuer as she is a stay at home to two gorgeous girls.  She crafts her hearts and will even teach anyone who wants to learn how to make them, including several of her uncles.  She is very generous in her donations, she donates hearts to every cause she can find. 

In her own words:  " The Pink Ribbon is by far the heart I have sold/given away the most of. Breast Cancer is a cause close to EVERYBODY'S heart. Including mine.  I want Breast Cancer cured. For you, for all survivors, so those who died from it, didn't do it in vain & for my 2 beautiful daughters, Abigail & Hailey (ages 2&4).  We believe here at the Crystal Heart Factory that Support=Awareness=Funding=Finding a Cure so we support everything we can. To this day, we have never said no to a request for a piece of jewelry to be donated to an event."
" All the donations have definitely brought us good karma. It has brought us some great positive attention lately and things are going so well that I have recently enlisted in the help of my mother in law. She is a computer whiz and great with the business marketing side of things. I am lucky she has come aboard and is as passionate about things as I am. It is really exciting for me."

Here is my heart from Rhonda.  I cherish it and will wear it proudly.   Because of efforts of wonderful people like Rhonda to raise funds and keep breast cancer awareness in the forefront, I am a survivor.   Early detection saves lives and Rhonda is contributing to the fight.   Run, not walk to The Crystal Heart Factory and get your heart.  Tell the world that you are a survivor or that someone you love has dealt with the disease.  Rhonda has a heart bigger than most people I know.   "HEART" her on Facebook and give some love back to her!  

Friday, September 14, 2012

Meet Toni Zaza, Of Toni Girl Whimsical Art

I've never met a cupcake I didn't like.  Cupcakes are one of life's great pleasures...ooey gooey chocolate icing, caramel filling all over my face.  Cupcakes are probably nature's most perfect food, they lift my spirits, they make me happy and smile.  When I came across Toni Girl Whimsical Art on Etsy and I saw her cupcake prints, I knew I had to know more about the artist.   How can you not like an artist who tells you to eat more cupcakes?   And the way to solve the world's ills......Peace, Love, Cupcake!  It works for me.  ;)

Then I saw her Warhol-esque skull and crossbone cupcake drawing and I decided I had to know more about her whimsical mind. Toni has an interesting story, she is a take no prisoners can do person who overcame a lot of obstacles in her life.

Me:  How did you get started?

Toni: I got started accidentally, when I decided to go to school for interior design in 2009. I had to take some basic drawing classes, which I totally had no idea would be such a big part of interior design! I was petrified and thought that I was going to be humiliated with my stick figure drawings. But it turned out that somewhere deep down inside me was an artist waiting to get out. I LOVED all my drawing classes. I loved the painting classes. I loved them all so much that I decided interior design didn't have enough of that so I dropped it and went to Graphic Design for a year. I ended up having to stop all of it, but that's where I fostered my love for art.

Me:  Where do you get your inspiration?

Toni: My inspiration comes from bright colors and a love of unique, whimsical objects and art. I love the bright pops of colors that you see in comic books and I LOVE Andy Warhol pop art. I don't really look at anything and think, "I have to draw something like that." It's more like the things I end up creating come from a need I have for a piece that just doesn't seem to exist anywhere else but in my head. :)  

Me: What is your proudest achievement?

Toni: My proudest achievement right now, as far as art is concerned, is the commission sale that I had. It was very validating to know that someone chose ME out of all the possibilities that were available to them on Etsy. The customers had some great ideas and I added my own to theirs and the posters turned out awesome! The coolest part is that they're hanging in their new frozen yogurt shop in Texas, so lots of people will get to see them. It made me feel like a REAL artist lol!

The proudest achievement in my personal life is that I'm in school again. When I was a senior, I dropped out of high school to get a job and help my mom pay the bills. From the moment, I knew it was a mistake but life kind of took over and I was working full-time and struggling and didn't see where school was ever going to fit in. In 2009, I decided I couldn't keep labeling myself as a "high school drop-out", so I took my GED and passed. I went to the art school until I couldn't afford it; now I'm going to Community College, but what matters to me is that I'm in school and I'll have a degree in a couple of years.

Me:  How did you get started on Etsy?

Toni:  When I moved with my boyfriend at the end of last October, I had a lot more time on my hands. I went from working full time as a retail store manager to not working at all for about a month, and then only working 20 hours a week. With all that free time, I discovered that I LOVED creating things! Everything! I refinished and distressed a huge dining table, repainted and distressed my boyfriend's super old and worn out dining chairs and reupholstered their seats, I made art work for the walls. Pretty much, you name it, I did it, right down to learning how to bake things from scratch. Having gone to an art school for a year before I moved, I had awoken some creative nut job in myself. I could not be stopped and things were starting to pile up everywhere after I'd already filled every wall to capacity. So what could I do? I couldn't just stop! Sheesh!

Another interesting facts about Toni:   She's a dog mom to two dachshunds, one a baby pup. 

Toni's Uber Neat Studio

How's this for a motto for life?
Day of the Dead Sugar Skull Series

Toni's original print coasters

These coasters are all custom, you get to choose from her original designs!

 I think Toni's coasters would make an amazing wedding, bridal shower or housewarming gift.  We all NEED coasters, we don't need half of the stuff on wedding registries!

 You can find Toni here on Etsy:   Toni Girl Whimsical Art

On Facebook: Toni Girl Whimsical Art

On Pinterest: ToniGirl83

On Tumblr:  ToniGirl

On Twitter:  Tonigirl83

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Meet The Flying Crabbit

I don't know what attracted me to the Flying Crabbit on Etsy.   Maybe it was the name, maybe it was all the cool vintage Asian items in the shop.  Or maybe it was the collectors glassware.

I first checked out the glassware.  My dad was a glass collector A fun day as a kid was traveling to southern Ohio to visit the glass factories and watch them blow and create glass in rainbows of colors.  (kept me out of the fabric stores with my mom)   This pic brought back so many memories.   I think it would look so good on an antique dressing table full of dusting powder with a great powder puff. 
Hand Blown Cobalt Blue Trinket Jar

Japanese Chokin Decorative Plate Harvest Cart in Fall Colors 24 K Gold

The Flying Crabbit has some amazing vintage Asian treasures at a really unbelievable prices. The plate above blows me away, it would make a focal point in any room....and its only $10.00!!  Plus there is a coupon for 15% off, which makes this collectors plate only $8.50.   This would make a great gift for a wedding gift or shower gift, and no one will ever know how little you spent on the gift.  Plus, since its collectable, it will appreciate in value over the years.  Win/win situation! 

So where does the name Flying Crabbit come from?   I contacted the owner of the shop, Jules and here's what she said in her own words:

"My buddy is a japanese bobtail. He looks like half his body is a white rabbit's, and the other half is a cats. Cat + rabbit gave him the nickname crabbit. He also continually jumps into my arms and lands like a butterfly...he's very good at this and looks like he's flying. Then, one day I shot that picture of him wearing some angel wings i had bought for my own halloween costume. and the flying + the crabbit came into my mind.

Also...the japanese bobtail is Japan's only pure bred cat and were once only allowed to be kept by royalty. The "maneki neko" cat that you'll see in the "about me" section on crabbit's fb page is legendary in japan and china and dolls and collectibles are sold by the million. it is said to bring good fortune when it waves at you."

The Flying Crabbit

I had seen the waving white cat in a lot of Japanese art and web sites and never knew what it meant.  Now I know!

The Crabbit has its own facebook page.   Check out the Crabbit. 

This pic cracks me up.   Love the  Crabbit's facial expression. 

The Flying Crabbit's Etsy shop is also on Facebook, stop by and give Jules a big like!  Flying Crabbit on Facebook

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Prayers For Shannon

Sometimes you think life is dealing you a low blow and then something happens and you realize how trivial your problems really are in comparison.  

Shannon is a lovely young mother of three young children and an artist on Etsy.  Stucco from a facade fell on her neck as she was shielding her baby.  Her injuries are critical and she has endured three surgeries since Saturday.  She is paralyzed from the neck down and the doctors are not sure any of it can be recovered. 

Link to the news story here: Galveston News   When you see the crushed stroller, you will get a lump in your throat.

The Promo Pros on Etsy are holding a BNR fundraiser for Shannon and her family as they will need help with childcare, etc.   The links are here:

and here:
Profits up to 100% are being donated by the Etsy artisans.

If you'd like to make a direct donation of $5.00, here is the link:

If you can't donate and you want to help, prayers are free.   Please send prayers for Shannon, her husband and children and Teresa, her mom.  

Donations for Shannon, Click Here

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I'm Dying For Weddings....Dying Fabrics and Laces

I've been having fun dying fabrics and laces.   Some turned out amazing, some....well, lets just say will look good if I ever decide to make a clown's costume for Halloween.   I try different techniques and a lot of trial and error.  Some days its more error!

My theory of weddings is individualize the wedding, make it personal, make it your own.   It should reflect the personalities of the couple, not mom's, not grandma's, nor your peeps.  I make wedding accessories differently than the norm because they aren't available in the mass market.  China has infiltrated the market with a lot of mass produced stuff...the same old same old that everyone and their brother has at their wedding.

Anyway, I have bolts and bolts of fabrics and laces that we used back in the day in our late great bridal salon.   One day I decided....hey, I'm going to dye some of this stuff to get some different looks.   During a manic dye session, the phone rang and I took off my gloves and forgot to put them back on.   My nails turned a murky shade of green/blue.   It creeped out my husband after he stopped laughing.  He imagined they looked like a corpse's nails.   I scrubbed, I bleached and the dye was set and wasn't coming out easily.   I had to go out, so I painted them green.   Problem a few days the dye faded and I was back to normal. 

We used to tea dye in the bridal shop, but dying with fabric and veggie dyes is way more fun.  I get excited watching them dry because the colors change.  Its way more fun than watching paint dry.   OK, truth....I never slow down enough to watch anything dry. 

Vintage tea dyed lace on the top of the chair, brightly dyed lace on the chair seat, working hard to perfect the colors.

I have a big bag of dyed lace just waiting for me to create something unique for the unique bride.   Here are a few of my creations using tie dyed white Japanese chiffon.

I've been dying feathers and its interesting how different feathers take the dye.   Only problem is when I am drying them outside, they get fluffy as they dry...and they float around.   I realized it when the post man came to deliver a package (yeah, I buy on Etsy, too) and asked me what bird has pink feathers.   I couldn't stop laughing when he said a pink bird must have been attacked in my driveway.   Oops!

Check me out on Etsy!     You never know, I just might have a clown suit listed....

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Free Stationery and Invitation Samples!

For a limited time, our friends at Tiny Prints are offering three free samples of any of their outstanding stationery products!
This includes their thousands of invitation designs for all occasions, boxed cards, announcements, labels, and more.
Just use the promo code 3FREESAMPLES when you checkout to get this incredible deal. Please note that the offer is limited to three samples per customer and you can only do it once, but it is a great way to try out their stuff. It is truly classy stationery.
Check them out today and remember to use the promo code 3FREESAMPLES to get them!  

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Yeah, I'm On Etsy

Can you believe it's June already?  This year is just flying by and I haven't even thought about making a new years resolution.  I've been busy, yeah, I'm on Etsy.   I make wedding accessories and my shop is Weddingzilla  Original name, huh?  While I use the same name for everything I do online and sometimes even offline, the designs and ideas ARE original.

I joined Etsy last year but didn't have the courage to stock my shop until Christmas.  I didn't tell anyone what I was doing in my studio besides blasting classic rock and making a mess.  If I EVER get organized and if I EVER stop sewing long enough to take decent pictures, I'll share them with you.   I envy the people who have a workroom that looks like it should be in a home magazine. 

I'll describe my workroom. I have drawers of threads and sewing accessories,  bolts of fabric and ribbon and lace. Some are draped, some are piled up, some are where I intended them to the organizer.  There are strings, threads, needles and pins and small pieces of cut off fabric on the hardwood floor.  Hey, its a workroom!

I have three mannequins, one dressed in a Bonny wedding dress, one dressed in MY wedding dress and another dressed in a dress that is a work in progress.  More on that later.   I have bakers racks with miniature detailed bride dresses, thank you Victoria's bridal.  I have my great aunt's wedding pictures from the late 1920's as well as her porcelain doll.  I have all the awards won my my late great bridal salon, Rosann's Bridal.   I won the best of the Knot bridal salon three years in a row!   Woo Hoo!

In the corner is a bed for my Annie, who helps her mommy by picking up tiny scraps of fabric and dragging them around the house and barking when she wants me to play. On the walls are my fashion Barbie drawings which graced my bridal salon. I bought them at a bridal market and I will part with my husband before I part with those drawings. 

My studio is my space and I love it.  If I had a big screen TV and a refrigerator, I'd never leave. 

You probably all know that I practically emerged from the womb sewing.  Mom was/is a dress designer.  I was sewing before I could properly pronounce the word "no".  I grew up in her sewing studio and in the family bridal salon. Yes, the girl can sew like her momma. I was trained by THE best. Mom designed for the elegant woman/bride, my designs sometimes take a flight of fancy.

I am in the process of redesigning/ remaking/redoing some traditional wedding dresses. That's upcycling in Etsy speak.  One I've been working on since last fall.  I put it on a mannequin and look at it, come up with an idea, work it and it goes back on the mannequin.  If I did it all at once, I would have quit months ago.

I also just did a group of "Not Your Grandma's Camo"  wedding accessories.  Camo is a wedding trend, maybe because of the pride in our military, maybe because there are people who love the outdoors and love to hunt.  Who knows? 

Not Your Grandma's Camo

I created a couture ring bearer pillow by combining vintage high end laces that I've collected over the years.  It was like putting together a puzzle.  I love it, I'm torn between selling it and having it grace my bedroom.  Its safely tucked away in my studio, lest I decide I have to have it!

Luxe Ring Bearer Pillow of Vintage Laces

Vintage Venise Lace Wedding Garter Set

I promise I will not be one of those Etsy gals who does fashion shoots with edgy models and work boots.  Nor will I photograph myself  daily wearing any of my creations in a meadow of flowers with my hair billowing in the wind.  Nor will I bore you with the outfit of the day.   You probably don't want to know but I'll share it with you anyway:  The hair color of the month is platinum blonde with brown low lights.  I am wearing a black Beatles tee shirt, denim shorts and shiny red flip flops with a huge gem on them.  On my left thumb is two colors of nail polish, green and bronze that I was testing and forgot to take it off.   Yeah, I'm so edgy........

 Come visit me on Facebook:
Please fan me...I need the fans.  ;)

I'm also on Twitter, but I never have anything interesting to say:!/Weddingzillas

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I Don't Get Haute Couture Wedding Dresses....

I don't get haute couture wedding dresses. Yeah, I know they are made for the media and to get attention to the designer's line. Or to put the designer in the spotlight. But seriously, there is a lot of work put into these dresses....and I can't help but wonder.....Does anyone ACTUALLY wear them? 

These haute couture wedding dresses are by 
Jean Paul Gautier. 

She's wearing the chandelier!

One size fits all.

I can just imagine the mother of the groom's face when the bride walks down the aisle in this get up.  I recommend dress tape.  Lots of it!

Take a good look at the models face.  Is it me, or does she have a moustache?

Yes, this is my avatar.  The press nicknamed this dress Jesus bride. 

The mohawk?

The wedding dresses below are by Christian Lacroix

Is this a statue in the Vatican?

Really?  A basket on her head?  And zombie eyes....

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