Tuesday, March 30, 2010

finally a treasury

I know not all of you are Etsy sellers or buyers, but I think a majority of you are. If you are not, I highly recommend taking a look around Etsy. There are so many wonderful, handmade items, including cleaning supplies, home decoration, edibles, fine art, ceramics, perfume, soap, not to mention the vintage arena!

Click on the photo above, which will bring you to the treasury west area of the website and the current treasury that I have curated on the site.......to start, these sellers are part of Team Etsy Project Embrace, which you are all familiar with if you've been reading my blog for any time now. If not, most of them donate a portion of their profits to the American Cancer Society, which, in my opinion, is one of the most pressing health issues of the human race. I know there are many many other issues to be dealt with, but cancer is just insidious, and touches almost all of our lives in some way. It has effected me personally so many times..even my pets are not immune.

To read more about this fine team of artisans working to make a difference, please see the Etsy Project Embrace Forum thread. And please support their handmade efforts. You get something really nice and they are giving back in return :)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Etsy Easter Voter and Team Etsy Project Embrace

Team EPE is well represented again in this week's Etsy Voter! My friends, Kerrin, from Sigmosaics, and Kim, from Slinkymalinkicat are in the running in this week's Etsy Easter Voter! Please take a minute or two to visit the Voter and cast your vote for your favorite item. The theme this week is "what would you like to get in your Easter Basket?"
Kim's chromolithograph from Rev. Canon Atkinson's 'British Birds' Eggs and Nests', published by George Routledge and Sons, London. Circa 1880
Kerrin's super-cute mosaic eggs!Visit these seller's shops by clicking on the items above! They both have such amazing and beautiful items on offer for your Easter Sweetheart. Enjoy!
To find out more about Team Etsy Project Embrace visit the forum thread...there you can find out what we are about, how to join, and what's happening today!

Friday, March 26, 2010

What's been happening over there?

I know, I know...I've been so incredibly busy that I haven't had a spare moment to post for over two weeks now. One minute it was pancake breakfast and then all hell broke loose! It's been better weather for one...so I've tried to be outside as much as possible. I believe I mentioned my new friend too:
Thomas says hello!

Let's see...my quilt came in first place in the Etsy Voter :) Thanks so much to all who voted for it. It really generated a lot of interest in the shop and I had a flurry of sales and custom orders come in, so it's been a little crazy around here. There were so many wonderful shops in the Voter selection..they were all so great. Ruby included my quilt in her Friday picks blog post today. Thanks Ruby!
I also managed to get my taxes done! Wow! Every year it's the same thing..I scramble around for a week, putting together all the information, trying to find forms, and cancelled checks, and excise tax bills. Somehow I just cannot manage to stay organized for the whole year. Seriously, already three months into the new year and I haven't managed to straighten out the record keeping system. It always seems like I have better things to do than deal with receipts and paper. Anyway, it's done and I don't even owe money this year!! Yay!! On the way home from the tax accountant's office, I was texted by my good friend Dan to stop over their house for dinner. Andrea was making scallion pancakes and eggs! YUM!

Mollie, at roughmagiccreations also asked me to do an interview for the Etsy Project Embrace blog, which should be posted today at some point. If you do not know about EPE, we are a Universal Coalition of Artists whose main purpose is to create awareness and support for people who have been diagnosed with Cancer, whatever kind it may be. The project began as a way to help our friend and wonderful Etsian, Laura Slocum, who has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and is currently having chemotherapy. You can read more about Laura and her incredible uplifting journey here: http://www.etsy.com/profile.php?user_id=6760712 (taken from loveartworks post in the team forum thread. I donate 10% of my profits to the American Cancer Society!
A star from Laura's shop!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Oh My!! btaylorquilts Nominated in the Etsy Voter!!

So Awesome! Thanks so much to all of my Etsy Project Embrace people who nominated me for the Voter! I'm really psyched to be included, and thanks to Etsy Admin for selecting my quilt out of the hundreds of nominations received. So Now Vote!

Did Someone Say Bacon and Pancakes? Gould's Sugar House!

Head out on Route 2, West, in Massachusetts and you'll run into Gould's Sugar House, the home of the best pancake and bacon in the universe. I don't eat bacon a lot, but when you walk into the restaurant at 8:30 a.m. and the place smells like bacon, it is imperative that you eat some. I'm surprised that Yankee Candle doesn't make a bacon scented candle. (actually that would be pretty gross, so forget I said that!) It was a dark day, but well worth the not so photoworthy trip out there. It's an amazing operation...I think it takes something like 20 gallons of "sap" to make one gallon of pure maple syrup. It is so well worth the effort....the stuff is like gold....a gallon costs $50! A pint is $12. So worth it :)
The steam rising is amazing...this is the water evaporating off the sugar. It boils down until the sugars are left. Yum!

We got to sample the sap right outside the door of the sugar house. Here is the tap into the tree. One drop comes out about every minute. It's a slow process.

The sap tastes faintly sweet, but mostly like water. So you can really see how it takes all that boiling down to get to the sugars.
Gould's also has a great selection of handmade items from local artisans and farms. They have honey, their own syrup of course, maple sugar candy. They even sell fresh eggs for only $2 a dozen! That's an amazing bargain in the fresh egg market if you ask me.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Roolzz is Roolzz - And the Second Winner is!!

Sorry Furs A Flyin', rules are rules and I didn't hear from you in time. Here is my friend, Cindy, from across the hall at Eastmont Custom Framing, drawing today's winner! And the Winner is:

If I do not hear from mumumarie within 24 hours (via either a comment here on the blog, or a comment on facebook), I will be drawing ANOTHER name.... Good Luck!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

And the Winner IS!

And the btaylorquilts winner is:

Today is the day. I've drawn the name from a "quilted nesting bowl" and the coasters are all set to be sent out to their lucky recipient! If I do not hear from Mary-Kate from Furs A Flyin' within 24 hours (via either a comment here on the blog, or a comment on facebook), I will be drawing another name.... Good Luck!!

Your prize!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

At the State House with the Mass Cultural Council

Drove out to Boston today. The Massachusetts Cultural Council announced the recipients of this year's Gold Star Awards. The Gold Star Awards honor exemplary projects funded by Local Cultural Councils across the state, and the Easthampton Cultural Council had nominated Easthampton City Arts to receive an award for the Easthampton Bear Fest. Six awards were given in all, and ECA was honored with one! Fellow ECA Coordinating Committee member, John Polak, and I attended to accept the award on behalf of ECA. Marcia Morrison, from the Easthampton Cultural Council was there too. For those of you who don't know, I am the Coordinator for Easthampton City Arts (yes, I work too! btaylorquilts has not gotten me to "Quit Your Day Job" status yet! ... and not that I'd want to either, it's a great job and I love it!!) Hall of Flags - In the State House, this hall displays City and Town flags from across the Commonwealth. It's beautiful.

It is the room where the MCC Program was held. There were over 100 communities represented in the room, many of which got to meet individually with their state reps. to discuss their needs and plans for the coming year. In all, there are over 2,400 volunteers that operate the Local Cultural Councils around the state, one of the largest networks of its kind in the country (according to Rep. John Keenan of Salem. Cake. We also got to do a little exploring around the State House. The whole building is decorated in mosaics just like this one above. This motif fills the room in the photo below all around the edge and the center of the room. There are large displays of flags in this area and they all had an amazing history, one of which still has the blood stains of the infantryman that carried the "colors" into battle.

John's got a spaceship landing on his head! Oh no!

This is me in the House Gallery. This is where the Representatives meet and vote. We also snuck into the Senator's Gallery but you cannot take photos in there, darnit.

Represenative John Scibak announcing Easthampton City Arts
Here's Rep. Scibak after the announcement, with our award!
It was too quickly over, and we had a freezing walk back to the car. Here is the Frog Pond Skating Rink in the Commons. It was snowing out and raw but people were still out skating.

John at Emmet's on Beacon Street....they have excellent shepard's pie!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The March Giveaway! Yay!

I'm so excited to be holding my first giveaway! You can be automatically entered in the drawing in two ways. #1 ~ by being or becoming a "follower" of this blog, or #2 ~ by being or becoming a fan on btaylorquilts facebook page. If you are BOTH, then you get TWO chances to win.

Here's how it'll work. For lack of a more technological way to draw names, I'll be doing this the old fashioned way by putting all of your names in a bowl and having a friend draw the name. (luckily I don't have a huge amount of followers....yet) I'll then post the winner on the Blog! If I don't hear from that person within 24 hours, I'll draw another name. So be sure to check back. I'll be announcing the winner on Wednesday, March 10.

Here's what you'll get! A set of four quilted coasters from btaylor quilts! There are bigger plans in the works for the next giveaway sometime in April :)