Thursday, June 28, 2012

Win-Win-Win Novica Giveaway!

UPDATE --This giveaway is now closed -- Congratulations Suzy!

I interrupt this extended blog silence to bring you a fantastic giveaway.  

I was recently contacted by Novica--a business/website that works in association with National Geographic to promote and support artists from all over the world. 

I was intrigued from an artist's point of view -- I know what it's like to be passionate about creating things and wanting to sell them.  Unfortunately, people with the creative genes and skills don't usually get blessed with the business genes/skills.  Hence the term "starving artist".  

When I first started making jewelry I decided to pop into a little boutique around the corner to see if they would like to sell my jewelry.  I was absolutely shocked to find out that ALL retail has at least a 50% mark up.  So, in order to make my designs accessible, and to continue doing what I love to do I would mark my prices so low (basically breaking even). 

So I haven't made a fortune in the jewelry design business. Luckily, my livelihood doesn't depend on it. 

What does this have to do with Novica and you, you might be asking?.... Well they find artists around the world and promote their wares through the website Artists that the rest of the world would never know about are now being marketed around the world. When you shop the site you see a picture of the person who made it. And, you can read their story-- I love that. 

They've got everything for men and women from clothing to housewares.  

For example, if I needed a walking stick. Or knew someone who did, I'd for sure grab up this one 

although they've got all kinds of cool sticks to choose from. West African walking sticks

If I didn't make my own jewelry, I'd buy this one. In fact, I might just grab it for myself, because I couldn't create it for less than they're selling it for -- so cute! 

I love any of the clothing designs from India and after I purchased this, 

I saw this. 

and this

Did I make the right choice? I don't know, but I can come back right?.... 

Finally I had to turn away from the women's clothing, because everything was just too beautiful. But my shopping experience didn't end there, 

You know I love a pretty table.  So, I admired these for a while. 

Then, as I started to wind down my day, I thought, how great would it be to soak in a hot tub or take a nice hot shower and wrap myself in this beautiful robe. 

I have a lot of traveling in my future and I decided a shawl is the perfect accessory to have with you in a car with A/C blasting or on a plane, where you never know what you'll be dealing with. So, I ordered this 

And I can't wait to get it.  Silk and wool and the colors say year round to me and the design says personality! 

So by now I'm sure you're thinking, "well good for Julie, but what does that have to do with me? And, didn't you say something about a giveaway?...."

Why yes I did!  

Here's what you have to do to enter the giveaway for a $50 gift certificate (which is plenty to find something great!). 

Just tell me what you would buy if you win the gift certificate. That's all, no strings attached. 

Check out Leave a comment. 

Every comment gets you an entry.

Now go get yourself a little visual stimulation and a chance to win something really beautiful!

Winner will be announced July 3rd.   (robe)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Simplifying My Life (and garden)

Remember last year when I wrote about my pond management responsibilities 
I think I referred to them as a time suck. 

I decided this year I needed to scale back.  

First, I switched my filters so the more powerful one is in the back pond.  
This means I won't have to constantly be cleaning it. 

Last year I fiddled around with different vessels for the fountain. 
This year I put the iron urn back, which I love. 

Second, I installed a simple little spray fountain in the front pond. 

Third, I resigned from my volunteer position at the school pond. 
After the major overhaul and cleanup, I was a burned out on the whole thing. 
They've already replaced me and I couldn't be happier.

 Now, all I have to do is sit back and enjoy the sight and sound of my fountain ---I feel better already.