Monday, March 22, 2010


The Mad Alchemist and her creations...
My Etsy Shop


SO, i have my uber favorites. If i want to eat one of there products that is completely
un-edible...yup, that is an uber favorite.

Hodge Podge at Pam's
YES, Vintage IS AN ART!!!!!

The more i meeet people that deal and dabble in Vintage, the more i realize it is a TRUE artform, with so many dimensions and complexiy to it. 
I would like to introduce you to my freind, Miss Pam!!! I met Pam in an etsy chat room, and something drew me to her. and INTO her shop where i was BLOWN AWAY with all the different vintage goodies from dolls to shoes to jewlery to books to hats...she has a definte eye for taste and a defintie eye for colour. I even think she has cured me of my fear of Pam is magic in my book. Would you like to meet her? Well, here we go....

Your shop is SO diverse, how did you get into it, and what is your favorite kind of art/vintage?
I think I first got interested in Vintage in the 80's. I couldn't afford a lot of clothes in High school, but was always looking to be different. I didn't really fit into the high school 'clicks', so I figured I would just GO with being different & with being me. Vintage was a great way to be unusual & ,at the time, was fairly inexpensive - think Molly Ringwald in the movie "Pretty in Pink".

DO you have certain qualities you look for when picking out vintage items, like colours or textures?

I believe in surrounding yourself with things (& people) that you love. So, when I become interested in something, I tend to dive in pretty hard. I started buying vintage online without knowing much about it. Unfortunately, vintage sizes are VERY different from modern sizes. So, sometimes, I received items that didn't fit. I also had to learn what to look for online. Sometimes, it is hard to know what you're getting when you can't: touch the fabric, try on the shoes, see how the hat looks on you, guesstimate the size of the knick-knack, etc. So, I began to have a collection of great items, but some of which I couldn't use. THAT'S when the Vintage-lover & collector becomes the Vintage-seller. I think this is probably true for many of us Vintage Vendors here on Etsy.

I adore happy colors - orange & yellow. Jewel-tones, like turquoise blue & lime green, are also my favs. But, then again, I love 'Victorian' colors, too - like pale pink & sage green.

I'm very drawn to novelty prints. These were big in the 60's & 70's. How can you NOT smile, when you see a silly 70's Disco shirt with a huge photo print of the Sphinx & pyramids on the back? My love of novelty prints is how I learned about Vested Gentress clothing. Vested Gentress was a clothing manufacturer from the 60's to the 80's. They had the silliest, cutest & wackiest prints of ALL! (I'm currently starting my new Blog with a collection of V.G's prints.)

I think that anything that makes me laugh, is my new favorite thing! There is SO much great kitsch and camp is vintage. It really is a lot of fun.

"my two cents? CAMPY ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! - Mad Alchemist"

The other side of vintage that draws me is the class. I can't stand the idea that it is considered "o.k." to go out in public in p.j.'s or house slippers. UGH! Our Grandmothers took their time to put themselves together when they left the house. There is something to be said about taking pride in one's appearance. I love being girly & it is so much fun to put on a dress with heels & a hat. And it is REALLY fun to go dancing in a huge puffy crinoline.

The quality of vintage clothing is SOOOO much better than anything you can find in the mall these days. I have multiple pieces that are 50 to 60 years old and are in great, wearable condition. So many things now days are MADE to be thrown away. Dresses in the 50's & 60s were made with quality material. Hats were made with craftsmanship. It was an Art Form, not a mass-produced industry.
I also get a lot of compliments when I go out in vintage. It is ALWAYS in style!
AND, it's a great way to recycle!

 DO you get nspirations from the "stories" behind each vintage piece?

I've also really enjoyed learning the history behind some of the wonderful things that I find. I try to research items, so I can give the most accurate description in my shop.

Some items that I've found & researched: Bells of Sarna (brass bells from India made in the 50's), an Underwood typewriter from the 30's, 'Bradley' Pose Dolls from the 60's/70's, Beistle / H.E. Luhrs Embossed Holiday Diecuts from the 60's & earlier, etc.

What do you do when you are not "working" at your craft?
In my "real" life, I am a Registered Nurse & work in Surgery.
Since, I don't have a natural talent for art, my love of vintaghas been my way of using
 my 'Right Brain' as well as my 'Left Brain'. I've always been creative, but not necessarily artistic. So I needed an outlet for all that built-up creativity!

well Pam, you are rockingthe worlds of many people with your passion for life and art...keep going, you are a true inspiration, and a woderfully DELIGHTFUL colourful lady,
Please CHECK OUT Pam's yummy stuff at

Meet my friend and fellow artist...
Giovanno Coraggio
at Planet Art

Ms.PLUG IT herself!!!!
I have been SO excited to do an interview with Gio for SO long now. I dont think I have ever met such a wonderful spirit such as she. I have LOVED watching her grow both personally and artistically over the time we have known each other, and i LOVE to say that "yes, my ear gear collection is that of Miss Giovanna Coraggio" She is a young soul and an old soul all in one.
Gio was my very first friend on etsy, over a a year ago now! She pretty much went from start to finish with me while i strecthed my ear lobes! Like a gauging mamma. She is a caring, compassionate, hilarious, spit-fire, smart and talented lady with a true passion for her all of her art...and art of others. Having just moved from Arkansas to the bush in Alaska, who knows what this change of scenery will inspire within her!!!  She is definitley NOT limited to one type of art, and.....well, would you like to meet her? Here is a bit of Giovanna through my looking glass!!! GIOVANNA  CORAGGIO, ladies and gents..........................................

What are your favorites types of art to create?

Ooh, everything I do is a favorite while I’m doing it, you know? I absolutely love painting woman and skeletons, and my dogs, but If I had to pick, I think it really would be making art sculpture for people’s ears! It’s just so fun to think they are chillin’ in someone’s lobes while they walk around in places I may have been or may never be, in different countries. Dancing in awesome clubs I’ve never heard of…making out.. haha! All those special times, my art becomes a part of. I really enjoy that.

How did you FIRST get started on the idea of making jewelry for stretched ear lobes?

Well, I was broke! I had a pair of glass spirals that shattered in the shower, and I wanted to replace them. I used that chalky old school sculpey, engraved them, and painted them purple! One broke when I tried to insert it. But I continued to rock that one piece! That was quite a few years ago. I went very small for a while with my old career. After re-stretching, I became addicted to opalite plugs. When I got bored of those.. I made another pair for myself. I loved them so much I thought others might too. I have a photo of those. They are awful! Haha!!

How have you grown as an artist since you joined etsy?
Absolutely, have I grown! Sculpturally, artistically, creatively my designs have grown right with me. It’s been a full time, morning ’til night job. But all that work paid off! Running a business solo has made me a super organized person. Socially I’ve grown as well. I’ve learned that I can’t just kiss ass anymore, bend over backwards and all of that. I’ve come to accept that no matter what, you cannot please everyone! I have also learned to have actual hours of business for myself and my husbands sake. When I worked 8am-11pm I was a nutcase. I couldn’t keep up with the amount of work coming in and found myself not taking the time to eat, exercise or spend time with my husband. Of course I’d stop to go to the Post office, or a supply run, but it was right back to work again. I wanted everyone to be happy and to cram as many orders in as I could. If I get poor feedback for dumb things, miscommunication, or a long turnaround, I’ve come to accept this is not a reflection of me, but of the customer themselves. Coming to grips with this concept has been by far, my biggest challenge. But it has also lifted a lot of the pressure I feel. I think this is advice I’d give to other sellers as well.

What is favorite colour, food, music, and animal?
Green! Currently anyway. I love beet juice! I swear! Right now I’m listening to Oumou Sangare. I can’t understand a word she says, but she’s a strong female artist and uses that influence for good. I love so much music though! Railroad Earth, the dead, STS9, Yonder Mountain String Boys, Bikini Kill, Bitch, Ani Difranco, Etta James, Artie Shaw and I listen to a lot of drum music and flute. Native American flute is my favorite. Oh and rock on Pink Floyd! ;)
Dogs and grizzly bears, though they don’t mix well! ;)

What is your favorite piece of artwork, earring or otherwise...or both!?
My favorite piece of artwork is this Bald Eagle felted wool wall hanging my friend Ali gave me. Of my own, my favorite earring is the Finger plug, so FUN to wear out! Ha! And my current favorite painting of mine if “Eve was Framed.”

Where do you see yourself and what do you see yourself doing in 10 years?
Well, the plan was….. totally different than full time artist! Though it has it’s advantages. In 10 years I hope to have my private pilot license, and work for Alaska Game and Fish as a biologist, which means I’d have to finally finish my degree. I also hope to have my house paid off!! Haha, who doesn’t!? Maybe will be finished by then!! Hahaha!
I think life should be fun! Don’t be afraid to look stupid!

you know...I couldnt agree more.

LOVE THIS GIRL! andi i want ot PERSONALLY THANK her for being such an inspiration to myself and a kind of, spiritual soul sister and guide during all this time on etsy. So, thanks ROCK!
PLEASE visit Gio and her amazing EAR GEAR at

and visit her blog at

would you like to meet her?

i introduce to you HOLLIE at blueberryshoes!

ok, this was pure artistic FATE. i wandered into a chat room, and there i was faced with the most adorable little icon of the most adorable little face. one click and i was in HEAVEN! i was in Hollie Dunne's WORLD! and i loved it!! From handcrafted to drawings to clothing to vintage to you name it, it was a WONDERLAND for me!! This girl has got TALENT! she is SO sweet, yet candid, which i totally love about her! I was taken aback by her use of colour and textures, her diversity and the loveliness that just radiated from her store on etsy! I ended up doing a minifeature on her,but i felt it just wasn't ENOUGH. there should be MORE MORE MORE i thought, and so i asked her for an interview, and lucky me got one. Oh and did i mention she juggles TWO shops, a blog, and a twitter account? GO HOLLIE GO!
MEET HOLLIE DUNNE ladies and gents....

Your art is so diverse…tell us a little about it!

Thank you so much! Sometimes it's hard to stay calm and work on one thing at a time, and I always have tons of plans for new creations. For instance I want to create plates and tea cups with my sketches on them! I want to make zines, and pet portraits and SO MUCH MORE. all in good time right? I have really been drawing since I could pick up a pen. Always princesses and maidens. As I grew older I felt more and more comfortable to show my deeper, yearning side in my artwork. You can see by the eyes of the maidens I draw, they're not exactly...well, content. But I think this really captivates onlookers. Most everyone has a dark side. Well, that's who I'm aiming to reach. I usually draw while listening to a song that fits, on repeat. Music is huge for me. I most usually draw with black ink pens, but sometimes pencil. I would love to get more into paint. Though color scares the hell out of me. I took painting classes and found it really hard to work with color. It's something I really want to master in time tho.

Do you have a favorite kind of art to create?
Oh god this is hard. Every different art form is loved for different reasons. Drawing is the gift that keeps on giving. Everytime you look at a drawing you get that feeling again. Plus as you mature, grow inside, you view the drawing deeper and deeper. New facets spring forth. So I love to draw. I also love to hand sew. Bows particularly. It makes me SOO giddy when I think that fashionable girls all over the world, of all different ages are wearing little beauties I've sewn.

What and where do you derive your inspirations from?
Nature, longing, hard knocks, dark fairy tales, deep and dark desires, innocence, belief in truth and music. Lyrics, literature, all of that good stuff. For my fashion, it's international street style, old school vintage, librarians, the 80's Molly Ringwald/Madonna style, earthy hippies and forest nymphs. Pretty much all of my work is inspired by women who are empowered by their own freedom and fight to stay outside the box, and who are extremely attached to the soil.

When did you start getting into vintage?
As soon as I got my first paycheck! Which was probably about 14. I always loved second hand stores and experienced the high of thrifting and finding good deals, very early on. My Nana is the exact same-I'm positive she passed it down. I like knowing something had a prior life, and most likely made a statement, before I discovered it myself.
I REALLY like that.

I love your love of colours and textures, do you have a favorite colour?
Oh god, yes. Color is everything to me. There are different favorite colors for each mood. For the girly, fashionable mood I adore pink, sparkly purples and yellow. For the brooding side I crave deep twilight blue (it makes my eyes burn), and moss greens. I'm very attached to the water and the earth. So all those colors just really calm me. My mom is very much an earth spirit. I get that from her.

(did i mention Hollie has TWO shops??)

What types of music do you like?
I can honestly say I love just about everything. My top picks however are Kate Bush, Tori Amos, Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie, Magnetic Fields, Eagles, Jackson Browne, Billie Holiday, Florence and the Machine, Lady Gaga, Marina and the Diamonds, The Smiths, Deerhoof, Wham! the list goes onnnn and onnnn.

Do you ever find it hard to part with something if someone makes a purchase?
I don't sell alot of original work, so I dont really experience this. But I sold a Bowie original to someone for a good deal and now I miss it, hee hee..

TEN YEARS: where are you?
California (we have plans to move within the year), extremely creative, spending alot of time in the woods, working on a great patio garden, successful on etsy and locally, doing lots of craft fairs, visiting family, spending time with hubby and friends, traveling...yummy stuff like that.
and FOLLOW Hollie on twitter at

and also her BLOG at

just follow HER yellow brick road to YUMMINESS

AND to find the sketches and illustrations by Hollie herself VISIT her SECOND shop:


Hollie May said...

this turned out so wonderfully! thank you sooo much!!!

Mama Ali said...

Awesome artists! Gio freaking rocks!

BanjoBaySoaps said...

THANKS! they are soooooooo RAD!

BanjoBaySoaps said...

i TRULY miss my 1/2 inches!!!!
(fiancee love comprise)
but it was fabulous while i was there!!!!

BanjoBaySoaps said...

Pam, i couldnt agree more about the "class" comment you wrote. Back in THE day, pride in appearance was so dreamy. I dont have it, BUT i respect the heck out of those whom do. I love that you wrote what you did about that matter...the matter of class.