Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bloom Brief

Hi guys!

Just wanted to give a brief update regarding new blossoms in my shop. Below are a few new ones and lots of earrings have blossomed as well. I seem to be having problems photographing as usual, but they should be posted shortly. Check'em out:





Grape Earrings

So everybody come on ova'!! I'm open 24 hours and Spring blooms eternal in my shop!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Etsy Vs. Ebay

I think that Etsy and Ebay are the 2 most prominent marketplaces on the internet. However, therein lies the only commonality. Both are distinctly unique and I'd like to point out the similarities and variances. I think Ebay (don't quote me on this) has been around longer and appeals to quite a large demographic. It used to be solely an auction house, but now has "Buy It Now" features that allow buyers quicker attainment. Anything you can think of can most likely be found on Ebay - collectibles, handmade items, vehicles, vintage items as well as your basic pair of jeans. And, most of the time, your basic consumption is cheaper on Ebay. However, you have to be aware of the shipping fees, which tend to be a bit pricey, if you ask me. So unless you're scoping out something very eccentric, it may, in fact, cost the same as if you purchased the items in a store near you, when you factor in shipping fees. I think many sellers make their money by jacking up the shipping costs. You can figure it out if you really want to by estimating the size of the item and then going to to check on the shipping. The S/H is not regulated by Ebay - they're soley providing a forum for you so they can make money. Sometimes you think you're getting a real bargain until you notice that the shipping fees are virtually the same as the item. Maybe if the item is coming from another country I'd understand, but they tend to be unusually high within state to state. Suspicions abound! As for ease of discovering your fancy, you simply search for it as you would in Google. You may contact the seller and ask questions, but I've found that they don't reply immediately. So if it's an auction that you're attracted to, you may not get your answer in time. If you're interested in selling, Ebay makes it fairly simple for you to follow their directions. There are even people and shops that will photograph the item and post it for you - for a fee, of course. When I've sold things on Ebay, the fee usually started at $.50 and rose depending upon the amount of pictures that you'd like to have included. Then Ebay takes out a portion of your final selling price. There is also a monthly charge just to keep your items posted on the site. (These fees are all stated in Ebay's provisions - I don't know them by heart) You can also have your own shop now on Ebay, for an extra fee as well. Now that we're talking about shops, though, Etsy is actually a huge marketplace consisting of individual shops. Although you can find some vintage and eclectic items, I'd have to say that 99% of Etsy items are handmade. Etsy used to be solely viewed as an artisan venue, and still to some extent is (though like I said, some shops sell man-made goods). To me, Etsy used to be synonymous with crafts - unique, handmade, one-of-a-kind finds that tend to satisfy its ever-growing fan-base. Having been a seller and buyer on both Ebay and Etsy, I honestly find Etsy to be a much more nurturing, communal market. The sellers respond to questions with enthusiasm and create their art with such love and care. The shipping costs are considerably lower than Ebay's, and I don't even bother to look at them anymore. As a seller, you have the option to be on various teams with various interests. Artisans are in constant communication via blogs, posts, treasuries (theme-based, curated lists of Etsy items), etc. They provide learning tools and applications as well. To me, the analogy is a simple one -  Etsy is one big family, whereas Ebay is a huge commercial corporation. Even Etsy's fees are much lower than Ebay's. It is only $.20 to post an item and you have the option of using up to 5 photographs. A nominal fee is taken out of the final transaction and there is no monthly charge for sellers. What can I say, I love Etsy! I'd much rather buy items on Etsy than Ebay nowadays. As for variety, though, you can't beat Ebay. Etsy doesn't sell vehicles or locks of hair from dead celebrities. If you're interested in beautifully, lovingly crafted items, though, Etsy wins hands down every time.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Admiring Art Therapy

It may surprise you to learn that art can be an effective tool in mental health treatment. What could art possibly have to do with psychotherapy? As an expressive medium, art can be used to help clients communicate, overcome stress and explore different aspects of their own personality. In psychology, the use of artistic methods to treat psychological disorders and enhance mental health is known as art therapy.

Art therapy is the therapeutic use of art making, within a professional relationship, by people who experience illness, trauma, or challenges in living, and by people who seek personal development. Through creating art and reflecting on the art products and processes,people can increase awareness of self and others, cope with symptoms, stress, and traumatic experiences; enhance cognitive abilities; and enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of making art.

Art therapists are professionals trained in both art and therapy. They are knowledgeable about human development, psychological theories, clinical practice, spiritual, multicultural and artistic traditions, and the healing potential of art. They use art in treatment, assessment and research, and provide consultations to allied professionals. Art therapists work with people of all ages: individuals, couples, families, groups and communities. They provide services, individually and as part of clinical teams, in settings that include mental health, rehabilitation, medical and forensic institutions; community outreach programs; wellness centers; schools; nursing homes; corporate structures; open studios and independent practices.

The purpose of art therapy is the same as any other psychotherapeutic modality: to improve or maintain mental health and emotional well-being. But whereas some of the other expressive therapies utilize the performing arts for expressive purposes, art therapy generally utilizes drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, and other forms of visual art expression. For that reason art therapists are trained to recognize the nonverbal symbols and metaphors that are communicated within the creative process, symbols and metaphors which might be difficult to express in words or in other modalities. By helping their clients to discover what underlying thoughts and feelings are being communicated in the artwork and what it means to them, it is hoped that clients will not only gain insight and judgment, but perhaps develop a better understanding of themselves and the way they relate to the people around them. Art making is seen as an opportunity to express oneself imaginatively, authentically, and spontaneously, an experience that, over time, can lead to personal fulfillment, emotional reparation, and transformation. The creative process can be a "health-enhancing and growth-producing experience.

Art Therapy As A Procedure

Art therapy can be used to treat a wide range of mental disorders and psychological distress. In many cases, it might be used in conjunction with other psychotherapy techniques such as group therapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Some situations in which art therapy might be utilized include:
  • Children with learning disabilities
  • Adults experiencing severe stress
  • Children suffering from behavioral or social problems at school or at home
  • People experiencing mental health problems
  • Individuals suffering from a brain injury
  • Children or adults who have experienced a traumatic event
People always search for some escape from illness and its has been found that art is one of the more common methods. Art and the creative process can aid many illnesses. People can escape the emotional effects of illness through art making and many creative methods.

Art Therapy As A Career

Are you interested in a career in art therapy? While laws vary from state to state, in most cases you may need to first become a licensed clinical psychologist, professional counselor or social worker in order to offer psychotherapy services. According to the American Art Therapy Association, the minimum requirements:
  • A master's degree in art therapy, or
  • A master's degree in counseling or a related field with additional coursework in art therapy
Additional post-graduate supervised experience is also required.

For more information, check out: