Sunday, February 22, 2009

Spay Day USA

This Tuesday, Feb. 24th is the 15th annual Spay Day USA-- an annual campaign of The Humane Society of the United States to inspire people to save animal lives by spaying or neutering pets and feral cats. Every year, millions of cats, dogs and rabbits in the US are put to death due to a severe overpopulation. Spaying and neutering is the only solution. Please visit the HSUS website for more information, and SPAY & NEUTER YOUR PETS!!

This year, members of Etsy for Animals and Etsy Veg are helping to promote the campaign by offering special sales or donations in their shops.

***I will be donating 20% of all sales from my Etsy shop that day to Pigs Peace Sanctuary***

Here is a list of all the other members' specials, with a link to their shops. Please show your support by shopping with these caring crafters and help spread the word about the importance of spaying and neutering!

1. Nancy - - 20% to Illinois Doberman Rescue
2. Jen - + - Free Shipping
3. Heather - - 50% of all sales on Spay day to the EFA charity of
the month (Rainbow Connection Animal Foundation)
4. El - - 100% donations of profits to
5. Michele - - 25% of shop sales to the EFA Charity of the Month (Rainbow Connection Animal Foundation)
6. Marjorie - - giving 50% of my sales
7. Meghann - - 25% of the total sales to the Lanark Animal Welfare Society
8. Holly - - free shipping, and 50% of shop sales to German Shepherd Rescue
of New England.
9. Eva - - 25% of proceeds divided equally to HSUS & SCGR Rescue plus Free Shipping
10. Linda - - Free Shipping
11. Lynn - - 10% to the EFA charity of the month (Rainbow Connection Animal Foundation), 10% to Sophia the dog for her heart surgery and Free Shipping
12. Emily -
13. Heather A. - - Free Shipping and 10% to the EFA Charity of the Month (Rainbow Connection Animal Foundation)
14. Kim - + - Free shipping on that day and 50%
of anything sold will be donated to:
15. Kylie - - 20% off all purchases, with proceeds being split between
the HSUS and a local Pittsburgh animal organization
16. Cynthia -
17. Bonnie - - 10% off on dog leashes, plus many items 100%
donation to Dance with the Bunnies Rabbit Rescue
18. Julie - - Free Shipping
19. Lynn - - donate 20% off ALL sales that day to Pigs Peace Sanctuary
20. Ashley - - Free Shipping
21. Christina -
22. Cari - - 50% to an animal charity
23. Ginger - - 100% of the proceeds on the small blanket sale to spay day
24. Wei - - Free Shipping
25. Gina - - Free Shipping for orders of $40 or more and donate 100% of the proceeds to HSUS.
26. Akire - - Free Shipping on most items $20 or more, and 10% of *ALL* sales on Spay Day will go to Little Miracles Rabbit Rescue
27. Rebecca - - Free Shipping
28. Ann - - donate 25% of any of my reproduction prints ( ) or earrings ( ) sold on Spay Day to one of my favorite local critter charities. Some of my listings already specify a charity - for those listings I’ll donate to that charity. For the listings that don’t specify a charity, I’ll pick one.
29. Maria - - 100% of all sales from my “DT” Collection and 25% of all sales from the rest of my shop will be donated to the Florida Boxer Rescue
30. Karen - - 50% of total sales on Spay day will go to Patriot Siberian Husky Rescue
31. Nita - - Donate 50% of proceeds on two items ( and
32. Shari - + - 20% Discount
33. Stephanie -
34. Renee - - 20% of sales will go to the EFA charity of the
month (Rainbow Connection Animal Foundation)
35. Gena - - 100% to spay day
36. Annette - - 20% from every Baby Hare sold will be Donated to The Rabbit and Guinea Pig Welfare in Rugby, UK to help spay their incoming rescued bunnies

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Catching Up With Christmas

Oh, I'm so far behind....this is my first of many product reviews that I will be posting here. These are items that I received as gifts this past holiday season:

My Vegan Etsy Team coordinated a Secret Santa for any members that wanted to participate. This was a really fun activity for me, and a great distraction from the usual hustle and bustle of the holidays (craft fairs, birthday parties, family get-togethers, etc.) We were all (secretly) given the name and address of a fellow teammate to whom we were to send a handmade gift (our own creation, or something purchased from another crafter).

My Secret Santa was Bashley of Bashley's Uncommon Threads. I was so thrilled when I opened my package, which contained a handmade, decoupaged box featuring a collage of BIRDS(!) and accented with beautiful bird pins (see photos below). The second part of the gift included a donation in my name to a chicken sanctuary! -- The Chocowinity Chicken Sanctuary in North Carolina. It is one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received, and this was from someone who only knows me through our online connection with Vegan Etsy! It was especially impressive considering handmade boxes are not even the craft that she sells on her Etsy site, which is kitchen aprons! Please check out her site and show her some love...

Here are pictures of the box-- from every angle:

The recipient of my Secret Santa gift was another Lynn!--Sparklynn, who makes really beautiful handcrafted jewelry and hair pins. I was worried that it would be a challenge deciding on an appropriate gift for someone that I do not know in person. But after reading in her profile that she has a few pet snails, it was an easy decision. I gave her one of my box sets of Snail Mail Greetings-- a handmade, recycled box with a selection of my handmade photo greeting cards (including, of course, one of my Snail photo cards!) She was very happy with my gift, and I received this message from her:
"I just received my present today and I LOVE it! I was just looking for a snail picture to frame and it just appeared in the mail - how cool is that?! I love the cards and the snail is going into my office at work. Thank you so much! I adore my present. Your pictures are so beautiful!"

Hymns for a Dark Horse
Another gift I received was from my friends, Rob & Eleni of Beloved Binge (band) and Binge Cafe (blog). It's an album by the Bowerbirds. Eleni thought that I would really like their music style, and she was right! And it's not just because of their name or the many bird references throughout their songs. I'm still trying to figure out who the lead singer reminds me of. Names that come to mind are David Byrne, Clem Snide, and Thom Yorke, but I think there might be someone else who would be a better reference point. Anyway, they definitely have a unique music style which combines acoustic folksy melodies with hints of world music sounds, and interesting lyrics. They mix in a lot of different instruments including guitar, piano, violin, accordion, drum, banjo, and upright bass. All equaling up to a highly pleasurable listening experience! Check out the Bowerbirds!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Name that Bird Contest #2

This month's contest is a little different, and another multi-parter, but should be pretty easy (and fun!) for everyone. Pictured below are five photos of six famous Cartoon Birds (one of them is a pair). To enter this contest, you'll have to name all six birds, and tell me what kind of bird they are supposed to be. (Cartoon birds don't always do justice to what they look like in real life, although some of them are awfully cute!)

The prize for this contest will be a 4 Pack of Photo Greeting Cards of your choice! You can choose from over 100 different cards, now on display in my new Snail Mail Greetings Gallery. The winner will be selected at random from all correct entries. Contest ends at midnight, Feb. 28, 2009.

Please email ( your entries with the subject "Cartoon Birds".

Good Luck!

(Click on image for a larger view)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bird Nerd

I wish I had a Whooping Crane
But only got the Cough
I really want to get back to work
But doctor says stay off

Five more days of Quarantine
I think I might go mad
Turn Lemons into Lemonade
And maybe not so bad

This poem really has no rhyme,
But for to mention the bird
If it were not certain before
I am officially a nerd.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Blue Star Art -- Feb '09

Since September 2008 I have been the volunteer coordinator for the Art Wall at The Blue Star Cafe and Pub. Each month features a different local artist and usually an opening or closing night artist reception. The remaining walls and rooms of the restaurant are covered with the many "olde time" black and white photographs that are part of the owner's permanent collection. These feature scenes of early Seattle and the surrounding area, including the customer favorite of the bar scene with a count down to the start of Prohibition.

The featured artist for this month is Kristian Rickard. Her vibrant colors and bold, over-sized acrylic/mixed media pieces are a great contrast to the black and white photos on the other three walls of the back room. The smaller pieces add a wonderful balance to create an aesthetically pleasing scene that you won't want to miss! Please come in sometime during the month and check out her work. The artist reception is a great time to come so you can meet the artist, mingle with other art appreciators, and enjoy drink and appetizer specials! Check out Kristian's website for more details about her art.

Artist Reception:
Sunday, Feb. 15th, 7:00-9:00 pm
Blue Star Cafe & Pub
4512 Stone Way N Seattle, WA 98103

The Blue Star is also a part of the Wallingford Art Walk, which is on the first Wednesday of every month, from May through October. Also look for "theme" months where we will feature the works of several different artists that fit into a selected theme!

Please check in with The Grapevine every month to learn about the latest featured artist. You can also sign up for my email newsletter, so you won't miss a thing!

If you would like to be a featured artist at the Blue Star, please send me an email, including some samples of your work. We encourage customers and friends of the Blue Star, and those in or near the Wallingford area to apply, as we like to keep this as a community event.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Spread the Love

This month I started a new donation program through my various crafty marketplaces. From now on I will be featuring selected items as "Donation Items", which means that 50% of the profits from those products will be donated to an animal rescue sanctuary. Currently I am donating to Pigs Peace Sanctuary in Stanwood, WA, a non-profit organization that takes in animals that have come from abusive or neglectful situations. Among the many pot bellied pigs residing at the farm are also rescued llamas, horses, chickens, dogs, cats, turkeys, and sheep.

This is a group that I have been volunteering with and supporting for many years, and am happy to be able to continue that support through my creative endeavors.

I am launching this new program appropriately with my new Valentine greeting cards: Llama Love and Valentine Piggy are both made with photos taken at the sanctuary, and can be purchased online through Etsy, ArtFire, or 1000 Markets. So, spread the love-- give a card to your special valentine, and help animals at the same time!

Also, if you live in the Seattle area, you can now purchase my greeting cards at Sidecar for Pigs Peace, Washington state's only totally vegan grocery store and boutique! There are cards for every occasion (well, maybe not EVERY, but a lot): Birthday, Bird Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Thinking of You, Wish You Were Here, Thank You, I'm Sorry, New Home/Address, Congratulations, Valentine, Easter, Spring, etc., plus lots of blank ones; all featuring my wildlife/bird/nature photos. Another way to spread the love!

Sidecar for Pigs Peace
5270 B University Way NE

Seattle, WA 98105

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Name that Bird Answers & Winner

The bird in question, from last month's contest is Alex, the African Grey Parrot., who became famous for his astounding vocabulary and cognitive abilities. He died unexpectedly and prematurely on September 6, 2007. Everyone who entered got both of those correct! The NY Times ran an article about him after his death. The NY Times Magazine also published a beautiful tribute to both Alex the Parrot, and Washoe the Sign Language Using Chimpanzee, who also passed away that year, less than two months after Alex. But an official Obituary was published in The Economist, and that was the answer I was looking for. Only one person who entered guessed the third part correctly, and that was Jean White from Bellevue, WA. She wins a four pack of my handmade photo greeting cards! Thank you to everyone who participated, and Congratulations, Jean! Please check back soon for more fun contests and prizes.

Recommended/Related Reading:

Alex & Me, by Irene Pepperberg

This is the story of Alex the Parrot, in layperson's language. It's also a very quick read. You'll be flabbergasted by Alex's accomplishments, and charmed by his personality. It'll make you laugh and cry. This is a great book for anyone who was a fan or follower of Alex; for anyone who is a lover of animals, birds, parrots, or African Grays; or anyone interested in language studies or animal behavior.

The Alex Studies, by Irene Pepperberg

If you're looking for something more technical, then this is the Alex book you should read. It's goes into more scientific detail about the language and cognitive studies in which Alex participated. Also available in hardcover

Next of Kin, by Roger Fouts

This is the story of Washoe the Chimp, the pioneer who helped break the language barrier between species. It was written while she was still alive, but there are still parts of the book that will wrench your heart. Another encouraging story that maybe someday other species will be treated with the respect they deserve.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Green Energy is Here!

Tom's band, The Irish Experience has just released their second album, Green Energy. It is a lively collection of traditional Irish and Appalachian folk music, featuring lightening electric fiddle by Joe Bowbeer; rocking guitar by Tom May, and the energetic thumping of the upright bass by Tom Hotchkin. This release also features some unique and fun instruments (tabla, cajón, djembe, dunun, bongos, congas, harmonica, synthesizer), plus a special Clogging appearance by yours truly! This summer I had my very first studio experience (at Egg Studio!) and recorded my fancy footwork of Appalachian Clogging, taught to me by the lovely and talented folks in my group, the Eclectic Cloggers.

Green Energy
is available at lots of online music retailers, where you can download individual tracks (14) or the entire album, including:
CD Baby
Amazon MP3

OR, you can purchase a hard copy of the album directly from us! We'll even give you a sweet deal: Only $8, including shipping!! We can accept payment through PayPal, Amazon, or Google Checkout:


Come dance a jig with The Irish Experience this St. Patrick's Day at Finnegan’s Irish Pub in Renton, WA.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Two shows: 3 pm and 8 pm
201 Williams Ave S,
Renton, Washington 98057