Thursday, June 26, 2014

Advertise with Brittanibus!

Original CC image courtesy of Vinoth Chandar / CC BY 2.0

Hey, folks! Today I'd like to announce that I'm accepting ad submissions from other creative bloggers and businesses! If you're interested, head on over to my recently-updated Advertising page for more information, or send me an email at Brittanibus [at] gmail [dot] com. Thanks for reading!

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tuesday Treasures 20

This tear-drop trailer birdhouse is just adorable! Created by husband-and-wife team Paul and Sharon, each birdhouse available in their Etsy shop is handmade and painted to look like different-shaped retro trailers.

I love how simply gorgeous these gold-handled scissors from Moorea Seal are. Who knew a gold handle could create such a strong visual impact on an everyday item?

This darling deer illustration is by Joanne Young! I love the fawn's long eyelashes, big dark eyes, and abstract shape, as well as the artist's subtle use of color.

These hand-painted skulls certainly put an interesting twist on traditional rustic home decor! You can find many colorful animal-inspired pieces at the artist's Etsy shop, Zook!

This vintage kitty container is so pretty! I really adore the body design and the cat's sweet sleeping face.

Thanks for reading this week's edition of Tuesday Treasures. Stop in each week for more of my favorite handmade and vintage-inspired finds! Have a great week!

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

DIY & Tool Review: Bead Crimper

If there's a single tool that's made jewelry-making quicker & easier, it's this right here: the bead crimper.

If you've tried to use crimping beads with nothing but plain old pliers, then there's a good chance that
  1. You use a lot of them, probably because
  2. You break more than half of them, resulting in
  3. Wasted beads & moneys; therefore
  4. You have become entirely frustrated with beading and have shamelessly abandoned easy jewelry projects for months at a time.
And that's not just unacceptable - it's sad. Get yourself a pair of these instead.

They're actually super easy to use! Here's how:

When you close the crimper, you'll see that it forms two openings. First, use the opening that fairly resembles a heart to bend your crimping bead into a U-shape, with your wire or strand already inserted.

Disclaimer: there's been a mistake in my tutorial! Debbie Frank comments:
One more tip: try not to criss-cross your wires, optimally they should be parallel in the first step as you make that crease in the crimp bead.

Next, use the circular notch to clamp the bead down on itself, allowing it to close around the strands.

And there you have it - a perfectly-secured crimp to hold your beaded creations in place! They're so much easier to use than pliers, and don't break nearly as many beads!

Thanks for reading The Blog of Brittanibus!

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tuesday Treasures 19

This is just one of Stefan Zsaitsits' amazing surreal portraits! I could browse galleries of his drawings for hours, getting lost in the details of each & every one.

The wonderful lacescape table is designed by Miro Roman & Luka Vlahović, and each is an entirely unique work of art, carefully calculated from designs based on traditional Croatian lace. You can see how each one is made by clicking the image below.

I love this adorable watercolor calico by Kelly Bermudez! You can find more of her original prints over at her Etsy shop!

Look, with your special eyes! These kaleidoscope glasses by Beautiful Dreamers are so cool! Although I doubt they're really all that useful...

I'm loving this crazy-cute vintage farm skirt, discovered by Nico of Rad Rat Vintage! The little cows and rolling hills are just perfect!

Thanks for reading this week's edition of Tuesday Treasures! Be sure to check in each Tuesday for a weekly collection of vintage and handmade finds!

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Saturday, June 14, 2014

My 100th Blog Post!

CC image courtesy of LEOL30BY NC SA 2.0

Hey, folks! Thanks for stopping in to help me celebrate my 100th BLOG POST!

I've been blogging on and off for the past three years now, and have learned so much about myself in the process. I've watched myself change and improve - not just as a writer or blogger, but as a person - and I've watched myself transform from a younger, much more shy & naive version of myself into the person that I am today. Needless to say, while reviewing my blog and my past, I've cringed a lot. But mostly I've found that I've been able to open up through writing in ways that I often can't find myself doing due to my timidity, and revealing things about myself that I typically wouldn't have the courage to discuss. I guess you could say I've been breaking mad boundaries these days.

Of course, I've also grown as a blogger and learned so much in constantly trying to improve myself and my website. In the past three years, I've switched from one blogging platform to another, undergone a complete name change and rebranding, and have recently earned the bragging rights of having 100 fans on my Facebook page! And let's face it - I've really written way more than 100 blog posts at this point, since my post counter has only been ticking since I switched from hosting my blog with Wordpress to Blogger. Yes, I realize I'm needlessly bragging at this point, but that's what celebrations are for. Happy 100 posts!

So thanks for sticking it out with me and being such a lovely friend in the process. I've enjoyed meeting you, writing to you, and connecting with you, and I look forward to using this blog to build more wonderful relationships in the years to come, and sharing more of the knowledge that I've picked up along the way. Thanks for reading!

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

How to Browse Etsy the "Old Fashioned" Way

I don't know about you, but when I'm browsing Etsy to find items of a specific category, or even just shopping around for something I really admire to jump out at me, I find that their new curated item-browsing method just doesn't always cut it.

Sometimes I'm curating an Etsy treasury or blog post, and I'm not looking for anything specific, but waiting to be engaged by whatever I find striking. Sometimes I'm just looking to browse new jewelry, and don't have any particular preference in mind regarding necklaces vs. bracelets and whatnot. And sometimes I find myself feeling nostalgic over the way Etsy's browsing system used to be...

Thankfully, I figured out a pretty simple method of URL-hacking Etsy's search function to bypass their annoying gallery-style browsing method. It really isn't as hard as it sounds, and I'm going to walk you through it in only two quick steps!

First of all, you should have in mind which category you intend on browsing. However, rather than clicking directly on that category in the "Browse" menu, try typing it into the search bar instead.

In fact, you don't even need to write anything specific in the search bar. Any old query will do. Hit the 'Search' button.

Now that you've entered either a relevant or totally random word to search for, we're going to get rid of it! Click on your address bar and you'll see your search query, proceeded by 'q='. Highlight it, delete it, and load this URL instead.

Once the page loads, you can go ahead and select your desired category from the menu without having to worry about their silly curated browsing method! Also, remember to bookmark the page for your future Etsy-browsing convenience!

Please share or 'Pin' this blog post if you've found it helpful! Thanks for reading, and be sure to let me know in the comments if you have any questions!

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tuesday Treasures 18

I love these handmade ceramic bowls by Liz Aldag of The Lulu Bird! The little clouds sprinkled all over them are so cute and whimsical!

This beautiful vintage-inspired dress from Modcloth is so pretty! The adorable fan-shaped lace pattern and matching little white belt contrast wonderfully with the soft black body of the dress.

This gorgeous girl is an illustration by Taiwanese digital artist Hsiao-Ron Cheng. I love the way her floral crown, worn over her eyes, appears to become a part of her rather than a simple accessory. I could stare at her for hours...

These beautiful beasties are original works by Australian artist and illustrator Emma Kidd. Each posable figure is entirely unique and perfectly imagined. You can even buy a kit to make your very own at her Etsy shop, BenConservato!

This octopus pipe is carved from briar-wood by Cecilia Arnqvist, also known as earfox on DeviantArt, and it is stunning! The detail is absolutely exquisite, and the inlayed amber eyes are just perfect! Cecilia is a prop-maker and multimedia artist from Sweden with an impressive body of work. Go check out her gallery on DA!

Thanks for stopping in for Tuesday Treasures, where every week I love to share my favorite handmade and vintage-inspired finds! Stop in next week for more!

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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Lost River Caverns

Hey, folks! Today I'd like to share some photos of my tour of the Lost River Caverns in Hellertown, PA. 

Before the tour begins, visitors are welcome to browse the Gilman Museum for free. The museum is fairly small, but consists of a wall lined with cabinet after cabinet of interesting items, from antique weaponry and mining tools to a wide variety of rocks, minerals, and fossils, such as those seen in the photo below.

Of course, we couldn't leave the museum without photographing the coprolite, discovered right there in Hellertown! I also have to make a note of the cute little trilobite at the top of the photo!

Also in the museum is a small collection of tiny, antique sewing machines! The Little Comfort, seen below, I happened to find especially adorable!

Here's a shot of a few more of the sewing machines at the museum! I love these old and beautiful pieces!

Once in the cave, I tried to take only a few photos so as not to hold up the tour. The photo below is of a large, bulbous formation that is said to look like a turtle, although my photo certainly doesn't do it justice. The focus for me was the bright green coloring and all of the interesting textures seen here.

In the center of the photo below, you can see a 'pillar', which occurs when stalactite and stalagmite grow and grow over time until eventually meeting at the tips and forming together.

The plaque below reads "Crystal Chapel". The 'room' in which this was taken was used in the 1800s by locals for summer square dancing because of the constant 52° temperature, but what's even more interesting is the fact that they eventually turned the cave into a chapel for wedding ceremonies and receptions.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take many great shots of the inside of the cave, as the lighting was pretty bad (as I should have expected) and also because I've been stuck with Brad's cell phone camera since I lost mine right before we left for our vacation in March.

Because the cave has only a single entrance, our tour ended right where it began. Once we reached the end, we had the opportunity to browse the souvenir and rock shop, where we discovered that they have an awesome selection of jewelry-making supplies! I would certainly visit the Lost River Caverns again, this time bringing some spending money for the gem and jewelry shop! Thanks for reading!

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