Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Best Vampire!

In the spirit of halloween I want to share my baby vamp necklace from Bittersweets NY which is an awesome jewelry store specializing in the delightfully grotesque.
I have the rose gold version and I love love love it. Bite me, please!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

New HB Facebook Fan Page!

Hightower Botanicals caved! We are now on Facebook!

Getting ready for 2010, we are now part of the mighty interweb giant of profiles and status updates.
It will be The Place for discounts, new designs, my Brick and Mortar consignment shops... good stuff. SO, fan me!!!
And don't worry, I will continue to blog about everything and anything that strikes my fancy here on Blogger.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Delicious Bath and Body Shop

Succulent aromas fill my bathroom every day and I have to share!

I bought the "Woodland Rose -Creamy Shea and Mango Soap" from "Soft Shell Bath and Body Shop" recently. This soap is made from scratch. It smells outrageously good! A rosy, creamy mango comfort in my nose after every shower. Wow. And fragrance lingers on my skin after the shower so I can savor it. The Woodland Rose blend is not currently available, guess its a summer fragrance. But I have confidence in ALL of Soft Shell's soaps and highly recommend.

I also purchased the "All Natural Facial Oil". A unique blend of high quality oils. Watermelon Oil is one of the main ingredients! Yeah, Watermelon oil! "How weird", I thought when I first read the description. How much oil can you get out of a watermelon? The blend here is really different. Rosehip Seed oil, Jojoba oil, Plum Kernel oil, Orchid extract... Actually the first time I opened up the bottle and dotted my finger I was confused by the smell. A bit earthy, floral, citrus, spicy. I just didn't know what to think. But I tried it and it felt good on my face. I have a mix of dry and oil skin. According the Soft Shell, this facial oil is good for both. So I continued to use it. My face feels great and now and the scent has grown on me. I can appreciate the complexity of exotic (for me!) ingredients. definitely recommend this facial oil for anyone with dry/ problem skin.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Lancaster county, PA

I went to Pennsylvania Dutch Country yesterday for a day trip. Rainy, but we decided to go anyways and just go with it.
At an Amish roadside stand. Everything was glowing with color. I picked out three gourds and a pumpkin. Going to make pumpkin soup!

Wilbur Chocolates americana museum and store in Lititz. "Road Apples" can be found here only I believe! Amish country!
And here are some old chocolate molds! Wilbur chocolates is the oldest continuously running chocolate factory!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Gearing up for Halloween

Edgar Allen Poe and H. P. Lovecraft.
Two of the greatest horror writers, perfect for Halloween! I've been wanting to make a treasury in honor of them for awhile. Finally snagged one! "Lovecraft, Poe, Oz and Ozzy!!!"

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Love letters to my new designs!

Ahhh, Sweet Basil! So green, so succulent... we will meet again next spring dear Basil!
But Sweet Basil, I have you now... everlasting in silver!

Raw Rose Quartz. I love your light pink hues. Iridescent layers. Soothing feel of your stone...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Beware, the Basilisk

Get out your Basil leaves! For they are considered the best cure for a basilisk bite. That is, If you haven't looked him in the eyes yet. Those eyes hold a great power- instant DEATH! Some say you will drop dead to the ground. Others say you will turn to stone.
I found this awesome basilisk illustration by Richard Svensson.
Consider yourself warned and keep a lookout! If you do see him, advert your eyes and now you know what to do. Grab a basil leaf... I wonder if a Basil Leaf Necklace works just as well!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

studying spinning maple seeds

You know, the "helicopters" that you threw as kids. Looks like playing around with maple seeds has gone to a whole new level. I found this cool photo of a maple seed in an article for the California Institute of Technology.

Here is a quote from the article-
"Maple seeds could represent the most basic and simple design for a miniature helicopter, if the swirling wing could be powered by a micromotor," says Lentink. Single-rotor helicopters have been built and flown successfully with wing spans of roughly a meter, but never at the scale of a maple seed.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New stuff!

baby basil studs
I'm so happy with how they turned out!

Etsy Labs

Last night I went to my second Etsy lab craft night! Etsy headquarters are in Dumbo, Brooklyn, under the Brooklyn Bridge.
I have to say that the first time I walked into the space that is Etsy I was nervous! After spending hours and hours in front of my computer in Etsyland It feels like some kind of a friend. So being there in person was actually really weird! Interweb Etsy is real. Dumbo Etsy is am impostor!
I did see some homemade looking soap at the sink...
For me craft night is reverting back to art class in kindergarten. Last night we made exquisite corpse cards with Esther K. Smith. Esther demonstrated how to make our own Halloween cards with magazine cut-outs, including some magazine paper used to clean her press so the paper had a pretty metallic ink wash over it. Made for great craft supplies. Esther was a very good teacher. I pretty much used the colored pencils. Like I said, I was back in kindergarten! I made some new friends, and will be back!

Esther's website for Purgatory Pie Press, a bookmaking and printmaking company.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cleaning Silver

I've heard about an easy cleaning method for silver tarnish. Memories of a lazy Sunday afternoon a few years ago. Me watching an infomercial about a book of home remedies. The frantic salesman on TV demonstrating entries in the book. Little sneak peaks. This one really caught my eye. It seemed so cool, cleaning silver in an aluminum pan.
Well, I finally tried it out today and its awesome! Easy and cheap. Most likely you will have everything that you need on hand!
Baking Soda, Salt, Aluminum pan or foil, hot water. And my dog Gunny's helping!

Get a disposable Aluminum pan like I have here or line one of your pans with aluminum foil.
1Tbs Baking Soda and 1Tbs Salt into the pan. Heaping Tbs's are fine!
Boil some hot water and pour a little bit into the pan.
Stir for a second and dissolve most of the mix.
Dunk your tarnished silver in!
Watch it clean magically.
I don't recommend trying this on jewelry with gemstones. Some stones might be fine, but i would do some research first. Also, don't clean your oxidized jewelry this way. It will take the oxidation off too.

Its so cool! Here are my tarnished silver necklaces. Tarnish city! Especially the feather necklace. Its so dirty! I cant see how dunking that into anything will clean it.

Let the silver soak. Depending on how dirty it is, a few seconds might be good enough. Or a few minutes. I scrubbed the feather some with the undissolved solution in the aluminum... it was so dirty.

And here they are a few minutes later!!!


Friday, October 2, 2009

Gold Gold Gold!

rosemary and half maple

I love the way it feels, looks, solders, hardens, bends, cuts, tastes smells!

Thanks to some recent sales, I recently made two gold necklaces. One rosemary and one half maple. I can't say that I was exposed to very much gold growing up. And I've always assumed that it was "gaudy" and "some gross yellow color". Perhaps a jealous reaction to my deprived jewelry box! Or, perhaps I was just naive.
Since making jewelry, I have slowly broken through the great gold barrier! With humble beginnings of a black onyx heart gold plated ring from my grandmother in grade school. Then onto a snake link necklace found in the middle of the road while bike riding in middle school.Too bad it was butt ugly and I would have only worn it If I had morphed into a wife beater wearing, gelled haired muscle man. I cannot remember much gold in high school... I was more into grunge with flannels and old thrift store strange-pants that would not see a washing machine for over a month (serious).
After college, I merely watched a jeweler friend work with gold. Gradually, my fingers felt a tingle for the precious metal. One day I made the plunge and whalla! The magic of gold came clear!