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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Blog Award!

We would like to thank Janet of JeByJa's Creations for presenting us with the "One Lovely Blog Award! Janet is a fellow Etsian with a really cool Etsy shop! Some of my favorite creations are her repurposed vinyl record products! So check out her blog and Etsy shop!


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Celebrating Our Anniversary in Asheville

An overnight trip. Our first time away from Quinn. See more photos at


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Celebrating Father's Day

These are a few pictures I snapped of Quinn and Michael on Father's Day:

So goes a photo shoot with an uncooperative 16 month old. He's cute, though, nonetheless, don't you think? Well, of course, I think they are BOTH cute!


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Rustic Rainbow

Don't you just love that shop name? I met Jennifer on Etsy (of course). I fell in love with this listing and had to have it! I know, I know, I have been cursing my big purse, and then get another big purse. I just hate how the keys somehow sink to the bottom of the bag and you can then never find them. Anyway, Jennifer was up for a trade, so I made her a hat. I love re-purposed items. The tie bag is so colorful. Warm colors are on this side with cool colors on the opposite side. I love trading! It enables me to get what I need or want and gets my creations out there. A kind of advertising in a way. I love creating! Crochet for me is so relaxing and rewarding. As Michael and the boys can tell you, I am often in my own little world crocheting and counting stitches. It is so very surreal to think that someone else is wearing something I made. Wow. Please, check out Jennifer's ecclectic Etsy shop. It mostly contains hemp jewelry and polymer clay pieces. She sent me one of her cute wristlets as well. Share the Etsy love!


Monday, June 22, 2009


You all know I love Etsy. One of the many reasons--other Etsians! It is so fun to meet like-minded artisans contributing to the handmade movement! I met Lois just this week. Here is a bit from her bio/policies on Etsy: I LOVE playing with fire. In that tiny moment of time where the metal flows into liquid, I find Nirvana. I'm at peace when creating with metal and fire.Big box equals boring to me, and I treasure natural, handmade and unique items in every facet of my life. Lois' shop name on Etsy is Evitts Creek Arts. Check out some of her lovely jewelry! These are some of my favorite pieces in her shop...


Saturday, June 20, 2009

It's a Surprise

Tomorrow is not only Father's Day, but it is the Summer Solstice. What that means, is that it is also our anniversary! So, Happy Father's Day, baby... AND Happy Anniversary! I am taking Michael to some unknown place (unknown to him) for a night and two days together. We've never left Quinn like this, so it will be hard. But, it is also much needed for us, both of us personally and relationally. We need this time alone together. I can't wait! And it is KILLING Michael that he doesn't know what we are doing... Tee, hee... I love it! I love him! So, I will schedule a blog post for Monday. Maybe Tuesday I can blog about our trip to {HA!} I bet Michael was hoping I'd slip. Have a great weekend everyone!


Friday, June 19, 2009

Cool Photo

Okay, Michael made the cutting boards, but I really like the photo I took of them. I listed three BRAND NEW cutting boards today on Etsy. We had two online sales yesterday. Yippee!!! I love living our art.

Now, back to the picture. The bottom board is a gorgeous curly maple chopping block. The board on top is a solid cherry chopping block. I was trying to capture the thickness and shaping of the board. I think I did pretty good.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Help Out My Little Artist

Jacob is creating again and he has two listings in our Etsy shop. His very first listing sold immediately, but these two are taking a bit longer. It is a good lesson, but the little guy could use a boost. :) I mean, how can you pass up this cute little face?


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

We ALMOST made the front page!

For those of you unfamiliar with Etsy, to make the front page of the site is a big deal. We have been doing really well with the recycled cutting boards, and that is the listing that was listed as an ALTERNATE for a front page feature yesterday.


We have been on Etsy for almost 6 months. We love this community of handmade sellers/crafters/artisans and of course, buyers! If you haven't checked out Etsy, please do!

We are


Blog Award

This is so much fun! A special thanks to Indie Style Blog for the blog award! Check out dirtygirlsoap's Etsy shop. Such yummy soaps! My favorite, because I love mango: Unfortunately, I don't have time to list my favorite 15 blogs, but just check out those I follow.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

More Center Cuts

Michael made lots more center cut cutting boards, and I just listed one on Etsy yesterday. Click on the picture to go to our Etsy page and see more photos. Keep checking back as more will be listed daily!


Saturday, June 13, 2009

2009 Baseball Season

Well, it's officially over. The Cardinals made it to the championship game. The Cardinals beat the Braves Thursday night, but because the Braves were undefeated, the Cardinals were going to have to beat them twice. The game was last night, and unfortunately Aaron and Jacob's team (the Cardinals) lost. Hey, second place isn't bad! Aaron and Jacob had a fun season, and both of them improved in their skills tremendously. I am so proud of them! Next year, Aaron is off to little league, and Jacob will play one more year in the pitching machine league. Here are some pictures:


Friday, June 12, 2009

I thought I'd take the time today to brag on some fellow Etsians. In our home, we have incorporated a new purchasing habit, and that is (if you are a returning reader, you probably already know) buying handmade, local, or at least made in the USA whenever possible. The items cost more, but I put a lot more thought into what I buy, which probably causes me to spend less in the long run. While walking through a store, I used to be such an impulsive buyer. I am sure you can relate. I would go to Wal-Mart to "get a few things" and walk out spending two or three times more than I planned to. With our new habit, I have had the most difficult time buying clothing. But, I found these Etsians: Xenotees I bought Michael, you know, being a woodworker and all, the saw blade tee, while I got the star moss tee. I just purchased Aaron their names of animals shirt. The artist of these professionally screenprinted tees draws all of her designs, so it is original WEARABLE art. She also uses American Apparel to supply her base/blank tees and they are made in the USA (meaning sweatshop free!). For every shirt sold she donates $1 to Flat Iron Wildcats of Philadelphia. So take the time to check out Xenotees Etsy shop and blog! While you are at it, re-think your buying habits.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Yart Sale

Art + Yard Sale = Yart Sale! Check out what we have on sale. Also go to the ACE blog and find others who are "yart sale-ing" Happy Etsying!


Monday, June 8, 2009

Blue Plum FUN Pictures

Here are pictures of us at the Blue Plum festival:

Quinn playing in his "I love Etsy shirt."

Cute little dirty feet...

Enjoying a plum at the Blue Plum:

I wanted to try to share a bit of the crowd:

Look closely at his dirty little feet here:


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Blue Plum Product Pictures

These are pictures of our tent/display/items for sale. Tomorrow, I will post our Blue Plum FUN Pictures...

Set up on first day, Friday, June 5th...

Second day, Saturday, June 6th, set up slightly different:


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New Listing!

Copied from the listing on Etsy: Give a green gift! Or treat yourself! READY TO SHIP! More recycled oak wood flooring products! These are a great size for various functions! Use as a trivet or hot plate to protect your table and countertops. Use as a coaster. It will hold an extra large cup and protect your furniture from those unsightly rings! I think they'd also work nicely as a candle holder. Let us know if you find ANOTHER use for them. All pieces are handmade by Michael. They are finished with 100% food safe exotic nut oil. They are each one of a kind but are approximately 4 1/2 inches by 5 1/2 inches and 5/8 inches thick.This listing is for ONE trivet. Others pictured for display only. Each trivet has Michael's "potter's mark" burned into it. The trivets will have various natural markings including knots. Vase in background was also made by Michael, look for future pottery listings soon. Click on the photo to go to Etsy and see more product pictures!


Monday, June 1, 2009

Countdown on Hold

Well, we are unsure of move in date. If you read our previous post, it was supposed to be tomorrow. We now are expecting later in the week, but since we have The Blue Plum festival Friday and Saturday, regardless, we can't begin moving in until Sunday.

These photos were taken during our last walk through on Saturday. This is taken from the front door into the open living space which includes dining, kitchen and living.

This is the corner of the kitchen, you can see the concrete countertops, large upper wall cabinets, refrigerator placement, and pantry. Can you believe above the pantry is the water heater? They do all that they can to maximize floor space.

The unfinished CONCRETE countertops. Are these not AWESOME? When finished or sealed, they will look wet. WOW! They are a muted orange, which will go GREAT with the orange pendant lights Michael let me pick out for the island area.

The master bedroom. I let Michael pick the wall color--green of course! As you can see, baseboards have yet to be placed. We are lacking LOTS of finishing touches.

Have you ever seen a rusted metal shower surround? This is for the master bath. It has a clear coat over purposely, chemically rusted metal. The shower will have two shower heads. I am thrilled about this feature!

Michael has been scrambling to get vanities done, moving them from studio to loft, and meeting up with the plumber. We are using substitute sinks until he can throw pots for the sinks. The sink for the master is a borrowed glass vessel sink--it is BEAUTIFUL! The sink for the boys' bathroom is a stainless steel bowl that we purchased at a kitchen specialty shop! I said I wasn't going to show the vanities until they were installed, but they look sooooo good! The vanity pictures were taken today in Michael's studio.

Master vanity with ambrosia maple top, unstained, just finished with a waterproof clear coat. Poplar base stained dark and sanded edges. Michael will (eventually) make some wooden boxes for use as bins to organize the shelves... Maybe one for him, one for me, and bottom shelf with folded towels?

The boys' vanity made out of poplar. Top was stained with a mahogany color stain with a contrasting honey oak for the base. Since we have four boys, we have four spaces for hand towels to hang, four shelves to the right for their personal stuff... Again, I am hoping Michael can make wooden bins for them. As far as the bottom open area, we are considering a metal door of some kind to coordinate with the metal rods that separate hand towels. The top shelf will be used for folded towels.


The Basics

Michael and Talina Ripper met online and when they met in person, they knew they had found something special, a once in a lifetime love. Michael obtained BFAs in both Wood Design and Ceramics from ECU. Talina has always been a creative/artistic spirit, but has her BSN from ETSU and still works as an RN. Talina has three sons, Seth (17), Aaron (8), and Jacob (7). Michael and Talina have a son together, Quinn, who is 17 months. They are getting settled in their downtown loft just around the corner from Michael's studio and the gallery. Their dream of living their art is coming true!


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