Thursday, February 19, 2009

Garden of a Joyful Heart...

That's the name of this print by Etsy artist, Trmackstudio. With the bright colors and fun dots of color, I'm not sure how anyone could be less than joyful!

If you haven't already figured it out, I'm a sucker for anything that is full of bright color. To me, color means happiness and joy. So the title to this piece of art was a siren call.

This is an art print, and with a cost of just $13.50 (and that includes postage, folks), it is a major steal of a deal. Tom will even sign it for you! Now, it is an open edition, which means that he'll keep making 'em as folks wanna buy 'em, so if you are looking for a piece for investment purposes (hey, you never know, Tom could become the next big 'thing'....! Just hope he doesn't cut an ear off, or something (Van Gogh did, you know)), then check out his original art. He does a variety of grouped images, too.

I mentioned before that art is a panacea for what ails ya. And I do mean it. This piece is small enough to frame for that boring office cubicle but large enough (with the impactful color) to liven any room. Check out his shop at

Personally, I'm looking at one of his series for when I redecorate. I am tired of the boring reprints found at the local hobby store. And gallery art, at least around here, is so expensive as to be ridiculous. I went into one gallery not that long ago and found a small piece (not nearly as cool or detailed as Tom's pieces) for more than $500.

Sorry, but that just won't knock my socks off. But this one did. And I'm sure you'll find one, or more, that make you smile, too.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sushi, Anyone?

Recently, my brother, John, introduced me to sushi. I always had this 'omg it is raw fish' thing in my head, convinced that it would taste nasty. That it would be slimy and just plain gross. Well, I have to admit that my younger brother was more than right, the sushi was firm and flavorful. I enjoyed it so much that I posted a restaurant review and got a bit teased for it! After all, I surely wasn't an expert after only eating it once!

Even though I'm a newbie to the world of sushi, I have to say that I've always been just blown away by Midohana's Bento Boxes. Shown above is just one of her cute, resuable bento boxes filled with sushi. Oh, but this isn't the type of sushi that you eat. This is the type of sushi that you wash with! Yup, that's right, you're looking at one of the most artistic and clever ideas I've seen in a long time: Sushi soap!

I asked Elsie how she came up with the idea. Even over the sterile environment of email, her answer was clear. She loves sushi. It's her favorite food and so naturally, she thought of taking her two passions--sushi and soap--and combining them for all of us!

A SAHM (stay at home mom for those of you not quite as internet savvy as moi), she likes the ability to be creative and explore her talent while still being available for her family. I like win/win situations. Or rather, win/win/win. Cause Elsie can stay home (win). She can explore her creative side (win). And we get the results (BIG WIN!).

I've been enthralled by Midohana ( for a long time. We're part of the same Etsy 'street team' (a collection of folks who work to promote each others' product) called the Soaper Stars. She's posted pictures of her beautiful soap and I have always known that if I ever open another store, having her bento boxes in inventory would be a must (psst, haven't talked to her about it, so keep it on the down low, ok?)

So, if you're like me and are looking for a way cool gift (I finally have something for the 'brother who has everything' John. And John, if you are reading this, completely forget about it, dude...cause you're getting one for your birthday...or Christmas next), you cannot go wrong with these boxes. Available as shown, or in other colors or combinations, anyone who gets one of these will be thrilled.

Did I mention that the 'ginger' and 'wasabi' are soap, too? OMG.....

The genuine bento box is reusable, of course. So two gifts for one price! Just $17.50 (and I am not sure if that is in US $ or Canadian $ but no matter, it is a reasonably priced gift), get two. Because I'm positive you won't wanna give it up when you see it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Cold where you are?

It isn't that bad of the major benefits to living in Texas is the winters. (Don't EVEN get me started on the 'simulation for hell' that the summer provides....good training for wanna be demons and fundamentalist preachers....)

Today it was 65 degrees. That's in fahrenheit, folks. Nice and balmy for winter. But isn't spring. And I have to keep the windows shut and the furnace going (because it does drop a bit at night)....

So what can you do to dispel the winter doldrums? Buy art. Seriously. I'm not joking. Something lively and fun. Something that will intrigue your eye and put a smile on your face. Or maybe even, both. Above is a piece that I personally own from Etsy artist, Justin Vining. Check out his work at

I love him. Now, if you are his wife or girlfriend, relax. I mean this in the most artistic way. I love his work. I bought some of his art last year (Sorry, Justin, I still haven't framed them...but I will) and I just adore the brightness and the funky take on reality that his work exudes.

Ok, maybe Martian landscapes aren't reality as most of us know it (Justin is, after all, working on a law degree AND a creative type....not sure if there is joke in there...but as a 'once long ago, wanna be attorney' myself, I 'get' that there needs to be a fantasy world. And he's found a cool vibe to enhance his...). And YES, he is known for doing some really cool Martian style landscapes, retakes on classic art (particularly of Van Gogh) as well as stylized (and slightly warped) views of landscape, complete with interesting horizons and buildings that seem to jut out of the earth with little regard for physics.

The guy only has 5 items in his shop at the moment. I'm rather sad about this, but maybe law school is the culprit. Write the dude and let him know that you want ART.

I'm sure he will oblige.