24 Feb 2012

Etsy Interview

I've been thinking about interviewing some of the Etsy artists for some time now. I'd like to know more about them, and I think there are more people like me, interested in the stories behind all the fabulous things we can find on Etsy.
Here is the first interview, I hope you'll enjoy it! :)

Petra



1) Hi Jessica, thank you for doing this interview! Could you please introduce yourself?

 Hi, thanks for interviewing me ☺ My name is Jessica, aka Vocisconnesse. 

2) What can we find in your Etsy shop?

You can find illustration prints, original mixed media artworks as my recent series of little sculpture-paintings I called “Windows on this world” (featuring creatures coming from other worlds), illustrated jewelry: including my illustrations or photos, mixed media jewels including some hand-sculpted modelling clay creatures, vintage elements, crystals and stones...I’ve recently introduced a new category: solid perfumes and lip-balms, handmade natural beeswax products, but this is just a side project in the process. In addition I’m currently going to do a self-produced edition of my Tarot Deck (with a different case and additional design) and when ready it will be available on my Etsy shop (at the moment some copies of the old edition by Museo dei Tarocchi are available at the publisher e-shop).



3) When did you start painting and creating jewellery? Was it always your dream?

Since when I was a child I used to draw and later I wanted to be an illustrator. I always spent much time drawing and creating things. I also liked jewels, and I use to collect stones since when I was a little girl. After high school I attended an illustration school, anyway the most of work and research has been made on my own and together with another illustrator, which is now my partner in life and work and together we created “Diramazioni” (www.diramazioni.it). We currently carry on both commissioned works for publishers and other companies and individual personal works, mine are sold in Vocisconnesse shop, some by Diramazioni are available in a second etsy shop (www.etsy.com/shop/diramazioni).


4) What is your favourite material to work with?

There are many materials, I don’t have just one favorite. I often like to experiment and mix them, from found objects and up-cycled things to stones, modelling clays (mainly for little sculptures/ 3D paintings and for jewelry), and my computer too (mainly for illustration). A large part of my illustration work is digital but not all, my favourite material tool is acrylic painting I think, but I usually use to mix more media.

5) I noticed your lip balm is named after a Minoan goddess. Is mythology your inspiration? And what other things inspire you?

I’m very inspired by mythology, there’s such a great imagery in all mythology material…By folklore images, tales and weird characters, symbolism, nature elements, a sort of animism, dark tales, magical dimensions. Other things that inspire me a lot are dreams, and music, all that can be linked to emotion, expression, freedom, thoughts, meaning, imagination.
At Diramazioni we illustrate dark, fantasy, weird, sci-fi books and we like a lot this kind of subjects, for Edizioni XII in particular we have worked on contemporary novels inspired by mythology, archetypes, folklore characters and strange stories hanging between reality and imagination.

My lip-balm, solid perfume and similar products are natural using rough beeswax, essential oils and other oils as extra-virgin olive, I love to work with natural materials. I started making some for myself but when I decided to make some for sale recently I thought how to design and name the labels: beeswax is the basic material, so I found that associating “Melissae”, a Minoan Bees Goddess, was perfect! It symbolically could also be a small celebration for the Bee goddess to thank bees for their work ☺


6) What is your Greek/Roman favourite god/goddess?

My favourites are the “moon goddesses”, the ones linked with “magic”, as Hecate, Diana/Artemis. I also like Medusa with her amazing serpent hair and I like how it was painted by renown artists. Cybele, Athena /Minerva with her owl (the most ancient version-interpretation more linked with wisdom and arts), and archaic goddesses too as the Greek Minoan “Snake Goddess” and the “Dreaming Goddess” of Malta. I like antiquities very much and archaeological cultural imagery.


7) Do you like flea markets?

Yes, I like to visit flea markets or curiosity shops and find inspiring and useful things.
When I was a child I sometimes had dreams of me wandering around strange curiosity markets. I always had the idea that you can find magical things, that are hidden among many. In general I think I like aged things and everything which has a strong expressive impact.



8) Anything you'd like to add?
Thank you very much again!
:)

21 Feb 2012

Triumph Triaction

Hi Girls,

if you do any kind of sport, you know that it is crucial to have a really good and supportive sports bra. At least those who were gifted from mother nature like me (34/75 D). I run, play squash, do fitness trainings or visit power plate classes, etc. Without Triaction by Triumph I am afraid I would not be able to do these kind of sports. I discovered this bra in 2008 when I was in Ireland and I was super excited. Direct link on German page is here, only problem I can see is that the page in only in German, or you can try to google other e-shop, I had a really good experience with Less bounce sports bras. But the wide scale of Triaction bras is naturally on the official websites. Triaction bras are divided in 4 performance categories - low, medium, high and extreme. Each of the categories include 1 to 4 different types of bras in various colour combinations. I personally prefer Triaction Extreme N. I will give you a brief description (for those who don't speak German :-) ) and a review.


This bra promises save support during extreme physical performance. Such effect is achieved by special side supportive areas (I would say that there are double fabric layers, no underwire). The lower bra part consists from elastic rubber band, which holds very tight and nice, but it does not pressure nor restricts the moves. Bra cups are very soft, seamless from special high-tech and Coolmax fibres, which provides very high level of breathability and ventilation.    Straps are wider, but comfortable with thicker padding in shoulder area and are length adjustable. Extreme N looks from the backside like any other normal bra. It has three small hooks in three variable positions for more flexible fastening. Extreme N bra is available in three colour combinations - white with red and blue stripes (on pictures in the post), black or white,  and sizes from 70/32 A to 90/40 F.  
I have the white version with red/blue stripes. I don't wear any other kind of sports bra and this one is my lifesaver. It really looks nice on your body, not too massive or dominant but though the support is incredible. Extreme N creates such a nice shape of your breasts, not like most of other sports bras, which re-create the famous J.P. Gaultier look for Madonna (I call it Unicorn). All mentioned above is true and well tested in more than 3 years of daily using. I bought new Extreme N just a few days ago (smaller size) and I am again fully satisfied. I also decided that there is time to try something newer with better technologies - Hybrid Star P.


Hybrid Star P is the latest and most innovative version of Triaction sports bra. The biggest innovation are the air conditioned bra cups and ultra-shallow bra fastening.  Other attributes are the same or almost the same as mentioned by Extreme N. To be honest I am a bit unsure about the innovations :-) I really don't like bra cups to be a bit stuffed, like here with the newest model. The stuffing is probably the new material and really thin, which ensure fast drying etc. but I am not used to it. I didn't do much exercises in Hybrid Star P, because I was not in mood to adjust my body to something new. But as soon as I do it, I will let you know if I changed my mind and fell in love with this upgraded version. 

All I can say about Triaction is - this investment is worth every coin. After almost daily using for more than 3 years the material is like new, no holes or cracks, support ability is almost the same as in the beginning. 

YES to  Triumph Triaction - I can only recommend!! 



Zu xx

17 Feb 2012

Palmer's Cocoa Butter - 10 days results

As I promised in my previous post about Palmer's Cocoa Butters, here I am with my conclusions from the ten-days-usage of Tummy butter & Bust cream. 
Unfortunately I have to say that I don't see much changes or progress on my breast during last ten days. Bust cream using is really refreshing, my skin feels smooth and hydrated with no signs of allergies or any other unusual reactions with my skin. But my stretch marks are still on their place. No, here I don't see any results (after 10 days). 
Tummy butter - that is a totally different story. Like I said in the comments under the previous post - the butter doesn't soak in the skin, but there is really no stickiness (that I hate more the any other thing :) ), but you can just feel there is something. Even when I applied the butter in the evening, in the morning I could feel a soft layer of the butter on my skin. When it comes to my stretch marks - I have to say something is happening! I see that my stretch marks are not so much visible as before,  stretch marks rims seem to be smoother, not so noticeable and sharp. Some of my stretch marks were a bit reddish, but this tone of colour is gone. I really have to say  that I am excited, and can't wait to see what will happen in a few more days, months of using. I will definitely buy next one, when I finish this. Lets see if this excitement will last, because I will do next post about the result again in 10 days - so in total after 20 days of using Palmer's butters. I also made a picture of the Tummy butter, so you can see how much I have used.


In the beginning I used just a tiny bit on each of the stretch marks, but with time passing and laziness creeping in, I began to use the butter on larger areas. I would say that you use a bit more from the butter, but on the other hand there are some small stretch marks not so easily visible next to those huge ones, so with this way of application you will not miss even the smaller ones. 

Stay tunned for more results :-)

Zu  xx

12 Feb 2012

Forest Dweller

I'm on Etsy since 2008 and only now I decided to create a treasury list! It's a little thing, but I'm so excited that I wanted to share it with you! ;)



Some of the things I chose I own and I love them, you can read for example about For Strange Women here. Some of the things I purchased just recently and I'm waiting for them to arrive. And some of them I'm just planning to get in the future.
Etsy is full of great and adorable things, so I'm surely going to create another list. Until then I'd like to see your lists if you've created any? If not, maybe you'll decide to do one now! ;)

Have a great Sunday,

Petra

11 Feb 2012

DUO eyelash adhesive

Hello Ladies,

I want to share with you an experience with a really useful tool, which helped me to win over my struggles with false lashes. The miracle is called DUO eyleash adhesive, I prefer the one with clear effect after drying but there is also dark version.
For those who never heard about DUO I have some basic information. This product is made in USA - no China thank God. It is a safe latex (keep this in mind when you are rubber latex allergic) non-irritating adhesive used for applying false eyelashes or any other accessories you want to be part of you look. This glues is waterproof - this is really good thing, my eyes tend to water a bit and with DUO my false lashes are perfectly safe.


The glues I used before tend to irritate my eyes a bit and didn't hold the lashes for very long, especially when my eyes started to water the lashes fell off. Also there were problems during application (I am no expert, but other glues made this task impossible). I could see that the lashes didn't stick down to my skin and tend to move. Sometimes I could feel heaviness on my eyelids and my eyes felt a bit squeezed. When you successfully survived during the whole evening with all eyelashes tightly glued to your eyes, the biggest danger was right in front of you - removing your eyelashes. This was the worst part of the whole "false lashes operation" for me, sober or not, I always lost a lot of my eyelashes - it was just ripped off my lash line even though I never directly touched my lash line with the lash band or the glue. The result was always the same.
I have to say that using DUO glue solved all my problems. It holds "your" lashes tight but gently, the effect lasts long and removing is so easy! I often tend to use my false lashes more than just one time, and have to say that with DUO glue it is possible. You can peel the rest of the glue very easily with a tweezer of just your fingers. The consistence of this glue is more like a gel paste, so it stretches itself and easily goes away.
I made a few pictures for you of one look that I created with the help from DUO glue clear. I use the clear version even when I wear eyeliner, it feels safe like nothing can surprise you later. 
The only thing I have to point out and it is more of a subjective preference is, the ending of the tube is too wide, as you can see on pictures above. When you press the tube a lot of air comes in, and then no glue goes out but in the least convenient moment (typical, right?:)) a lot of the product just pops out of the tube directly to your eyelash on one spot of the band. This is a really stressing factor for me. I would recommend to put a bit of the glue on the back of your hand and apply it from that amount directly on the lash OR you can use the other end of your brush - ending of your handle, this will give you small surface and you will reach more accuracy during applying. I got my DUO from Ebay (link here).

I am really happy that I discovered this glue, otherwise false lashes would be closed chapter for me. I can only recommend this product to you ladies. DUO glue adhesive is a really helpful tool to look glamorous and perfect.


Zu  xx

9 Feb 2012

It's Freezing Outside

Today it's 'only' -9°C, but for the last week the outside temperature was around -14°C. I'm not complaining, I love snow and winter, but my skin might not agree with me. Every time it starts freezing my skin gets dry, so dry it's drier than the British sense of humour. I moisturize my skin everyday, but during winter I need something extra-nourishing. These two are my saviours.


Shea Body Butter by The Body Shop

I know, this is probably boring, nothing new, everybody knows these butters. But it really works, it's extremely nourishing, it sinks into the skin quickly, and it leaves a delicate smell behind. I just had to mention it, it deserves it! Also, it is a natural product, it's not tested on animals, and it contains Community Trade Shea butter. The only con is that it is not paraben-free.


Wild Planet Hand & Body Lotion - Wild Lavender


Now this is something interesting and I'm sure not many of you have ever heard about this organic brand, right? And that is a shame, because their products are amazing, at least those I've tried so far. Beside this lotion I recommend their bath melts!
It leaves a tiny bit of residue, as it contains some oils, so I would suggest to use it especially in the evening. It leaves the skin wonderfully nourished and smooth. And the best thing about this lotion? For me definitely the smell! I love lavender, so I've tested a lot of lavender products, but this is the best one I've ever tried!
The philosophy of this brand is amazing, and I'm glad there are people in this world who are able to create high-quality products, in lovely packaging, and do it with respect for nature.
Also, their website is adorable, very informative, and well-arranged. If you want to try something new, go and check them out! :)



Hope this was helpful!

Petra xx

PS: I love British sense of humour! ;)

5 Feb 2012

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula

Hello Girls,

I finally decided to deal with one problem, which is bothering me for a pretty long time - stretch marks. I got a tip from one person, whom I trust with beauty tips (you should check out her blog, I love it Lucy's Stash). I wanted to try something, but if you are not sure about the results you obviously don't want to spend so much money (I found creams for 35 £ or more, and these creams have to be applied exactly on each one stretch mark - so who has money and time for this). Then I tried to look for Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula, and this brand surprised me with wide range of stretch mark creams for different body parts. I got my two from Drugstore - direct links here -  Tummy Butter and Bust Cream.

Lets first review the Bust Cream.

As you can see on picture the packaging has net content 125 ml /4.4 oz and has the shape of classical tube, so you can squeeze exactly/ only what you need. The bottle can be cut open so there will be no leftovers and you will use 100% of the product. The main ingredients are cacao seed butter, shea butter. These two give the cream wonderful sweet nut smell. I love it. Therefore is the application maximally pleasant, you feel like you want eat the cream instead. The smell will last but it is not the annoying kind scent. Vitamin E maximizes moisturization while collagen, Elastin and other ingredients help to support your skin in bust area and increase tone and firmness. This product is hypoallergenic, paraben-free and it is NOT tested on animals. Cream itself absorbs nicely and fast, no feelings of stickiness or heaviness. The producer recommends to use it twice a day - I apply it in the morning and evening. Small drop of the cream is sufficient for pretty large area. 


Tummy Butter


Ingredients included in Tummy Cream (125 ml/4.4 oz) are the same as in the Bust Cream, but here you can find and smell the Soothing Lavender. On the other hand the consistency varies on max. possible level - Tummy cream is like a solid fat/oil. You will see on one of pictures little hole in the middle of my cream - I had to dig a little bit underneath the surface, because I think that is is a bit better to dig a little amount of the cream and smudge it directly on your skin, than rubbing the cream while it will soak in your fingertips and not much will be left to apply. Or other option is to keep the cream on some warmth place, so the consistency is less solid, but I am not sure if the heat would not harm active ingredients in the products. 


I am using both creams for 4 days, always twice a day. Till now I did not experienced any unpleasant side-effects or allergies. The results, if any ever will be :-), are not visible yet, but the skin feels softer and I would say that the stretch marks seem to fade away a bit - I mean they are not so distinct.




I decided to do another post in approx. 14 days to let you know about results or side-effects :-) Lets hope all will be well!


Nice day,


Zu 
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