Friday, June 26, 2009

New product: EGG-citing Tagua Nut Necklaces

Tagua, a nut of many names, grows in the rainforest & Amazon Jungle on a palm type tree that reaches between twenty & thirty feet tall.

Its botanical name is “Phytelephas Macrocarpa Palmae”. “Phyton” is the Greek word for plant and “elephas” means elephant because of the nut's relative large size.

The nut itself grows in a cluster formation called ‘cabeza’ (head) and when ripe falls to the ground where they are easily harvested.

The native farmers continue to plant these palm trees today, instead of logging them, because they rightfully recognize how precious its renewable resource is.

Vegetable "ivory", a generic name for this gorgeous wood, is dried over a period of three months at which point it is considered petrified.

In the olden days, in the early 1900s, many buttons were made from vegetable "ivory" because this wood can be easily dyed, carved and engraved. The wood was also sought out for miniature carvings and today, modern jewelry such as these beautiful necklaces are created for our day to day pleasure.

Tagua - Vegetable "ivory"- & also known as Corozzo, is renewable, sustainable, eco-friendly, and quite simply: a gorgeous natural material.

I decided to call this particular line of necklaces: Egg-citing... they are unique and one of a kind... strung on a dark chocolate brown waxed cord with a sliding knot, these delicious necklaces are adjustable !

Please visit Brizel Handcrafts if you'd like to see more of my work... you can press here and away to there you'll go !

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Summer and Happy New Moon

With the Herb Exchange fair behind me and the Kelseyville Homemakers Wine Festival ahead of me... life is even more busy !

I enjoyed being down in Sebastopol yesterday... friends Julia, BJ and Christopher stopped by and hung out in my booth in the afternoon. It was like having a fan club at my feet. lol. A very pleasant day with lots of appreciative comments for my work :)

I set up my booth differently... this time with two bamboo walls and two open walls. (The photos really didn't turn out well but here is one:)

I decided to keep it simple and only display the Silk Tapestry Hip Pouches, the Tagua Nut jewelry and the Key Message bracelets. The other product lines stayed at home... this made for a much more manageable set up !

A lovely event, which I hope to do again in the future, with a farmer's market and live music to soothe the soul. After packing up, some of us went to Whole Foods for cake & smoothies. YUM!

Happy Summer Solstice and THANK GODS its New Moon !

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Overworking on my SEOs

Just a quick note... as I am getting ready to go to Sebastopol, Sonoma County to participate in the Herbal Exchange Farmers Market extension, Sunday June 21st... It'll be Fathers Day, Dark Moon and Summer Solstice... I must be mad to be going anywhere :) and all being well my efforts will be rewarded !

This last week has flown by because I have been overworking on SEOs, particularly for the Etsy Handcrafts site. Etsy made a HUGE faux-pas and added "Handmade on Etsy" and "by brizelhandcrafts" at the front and end of every single url link in my store. Of course... sellers weren't exactly given a complete heads up and as a direct result... all of our urls became robot unfriendly and were not search engine findable.

I was at the stage in my shop development where i was starting to now focus on becoming more visible to the public and... lol... suddenly i was even more invisible. Luckily I had started to reach out to other sellers for feedback and was visiting Forum threads... so I got a wind of it and began to learn how to optimize the meta tags that were available to me.

Meta tags are key words that become searchable (either on Etsy or through search engines). Store titles, Shop Announcements, Store sections, tags, item titles and the first 150 characters of item descriptions are all key word opportunities but only IF you abide by the rules and the character limitations. If you don't... then your site becomes 'robot unfriendly' and search engines don't even bother looking at your tags and no one ever knows you exist on the web.

The consequence of Etsy adding all that information on to our Meta tags... did exactly that. Everywhere the word Etsy was showing up and sure enough people were seeing "handmade on Etsy" and the rest of the information disappeared. Well... that just wasn't acceptable.

A group of us staged a Forum sit in and spread the word about the situation. Many Forums were closed and went unanswered by Etsy Admin. It did not look good. To cut a long story short. Etsy FINALLY removed the word 'handmade', consolidated its spam to "brizelhandcrafts on Etsy" & put it at the end of my URLs. The information that appears first is given priority so eventually when Etsy & Google re-index their information... this mess will be cleaned up. It will take a while !

As a direct result of this incident... i learnt about SEOs and completely revamped ALL my meta tags at the Brizel Handcrafts store. The shop looks much fresher for having a shorter Shop Announcement and item titles, more descriptive store sections... and the tags behind the scenes now better support the ones that are visible.

Next week I will need to learn how to upload all this information to Google Base. Lots more to learn & lots more work to do.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Hummingbird moth lands at Twilight

Every year it seems... the Mexican poppies attracts a hummingbird moth or two. I never see them flying in... or flying out, for that matter... I only see them whilst they are deep in trance feeding... and honestly they almost appear dead to me and yet, in a day or so... they are gone !

Friday, June 12, 2009

New product: Brizel SiLK TAPESTRY MiNi RUGS

A new product line of stunning miniature rugs is being birthed as I write this blog... A natural progression of the Brizel Silk Tapestry technique and design work that has been evolving since 2005 when I first discovered silk sari yarn at Solfest.

I have since then, sought after a large range of colors and experimented with different suppliers... discovered the complimentary banana silk yarn during my cyber space 'travelling' and continue to explore alternative eco-friendly materials that lend themselves to Brizel Silk Tapestry.

Inspired originally by ancient rugs, Brizel Silk Tapestry is a technique that was developed to create woven rug-like thickness. Since I work in spiral formation, I adapted upon crochet... each thick silk yarn loop must be pulled tightly before the next one can be made... making the creation of a Brizel Silk Tapestry piece both a conscientious & effortful act as well as time consuming.

The silk yarn that is used to create Brizel’s Silk Tapestry Mini Rugs is made from reclaimed silk threads, left overs from a silk garment factory... which are reclaimed and hand spun into this gorgeous yarn by Nepalese and Himalayan craftswomen. Some of the rugs also have some banana silk- a silk like yarn made from banana fibers - yet another lovely eco-friendly product !

Inspired by the Mediterranean, Brizel Silk Tapestry Mini Rugs have a stunning colorful design at the front: an insightful eye, an enlightening sun, a psychic moon, an energetic spiral motif. Whatever you decide to put on it, this unique rug will surely bring inspiration to your sacred space.

These unique (one of a kind) Silk Tapestry Mini Rugs have my special Brizel logo: a lilac faux swede label with the Brigit cross, rising sun and full moon, to assure you that this item is handmade by me.

Please visit Brizel Handcrafts if you'd like to see more of my work... you can press here and away to there you'll go !

©2009 Nicole Planchon ALL rights reserved

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Nimue and SNAKES

Nimue is resting today and she has extra cause to... yesterday evening she was bit on the foot by a snake. THANK the Gods it was NOT a rattler... but most probably a garter or a gopher snake. I didn't see it happen... all I saw was Nimue pulling herself across the land because her back leg had gone lame.

I got this hundred pound girl in the van then ran to get my homeopathic remedies whilst she settled down. I immediately gave her Arnica then assessed what the problem was. I could see two little dots of blood on her rear paw... so I knew it was a snake bite. Arnica worked fast and she regained control of her leg muscles within a few minutes !

Ledum is the remedy for puncture wounds... including bites (insect or snake), and also for mechanical punctures such as gunshots and needles (vaccinations). When you have found the right remedy... the next important question is what dosage to give... too high is toxic and will exacerbate the issue... too little is helpful but in a life threatening situation- time is of the essence !

I called my friend Julia... she can do long distance muscle testing as well as receive yes/no answers to specific questions. She immediately diagnosed that it was a snake bite but not from a rattler and that 200c Ledum was the appropriate dosage for Nimue. I immediately gave that to her and then checked around for the snake whilst Julia & I continued our phone consultation. Alas I could not find it !

Thank goodness, Nimue did not exhibit any symptoms of being bit by a rattle snake (inflammation, oozing punctures, shock, collapse) so we stayed at home and settled her on the big bed. I did a repeat of the 200c Ledum 4hrs later... then 30c 8hrs after that... and I will give her one more 30c dosage this evening.

She is recovering well... and has been sticking close to me today.

Earlier this year... I found Nimue munching on the remnants of a desiccated snake... and when I scouted the land... sure enough... I found a rattle... but nothing else. My main concern, at that point, was where did the head go ?

As I understand it... its always best to dispose of the head carefully since the venom sacks reside there but I have also been told that digesting the venom through the stomach is not usually fatal.

All I can say is: AY YAY YAH Nimue girl... stay away from snakes !!! and after this experience I hope she WiLL...

Much gratitude to my spiritual sister, Julia... YOU really ROCK :), to my Etsy friend Karen who sent some Reiki throughout the day, and to the Universe for giving us the best possible scenario in the given circumstances.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Happy Full Moon

Twilight's Full Moon in the wee hours before dawn... She was glowing golden orange and a sight to behold !

These white poppies are on the exterior edge of the Spiral Garden... the stems are approx 7' tall and the flowers have been dancing on the winds with the clouds... a wondrous sight as well :)

Albino white mulberries are prospering on the largest fruit tree of the Upper Orchard at Twilight. They look weird but they are sweet tasting and since the birds can't see them... i get to have some... yummy !

Friday, June 5, 2009

Brizel Handcrafts accepted into TEAM ECO ETSY !

I've just gotten word...
Brizel Handcrafts and Brizel Supplies are now officially part of Team Eco Etsy !!!

I'm very excited about being affiliated with and part of an Etsy Team !

and although I am not exactly sure what it will all entail at -this- very moment... I have once again (omg) revamped all my listings (only 140 of them. lol) in order to:
1) add 'teamecoetsy' as a tag (which in one way of seeing all team member's 'store items' in one search) and 2) add this beautiful promotional logo in the image portfolio of each of my listings.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Dome looses its bay window due to hail

Not everyday brings good news... but its how I choose to deal with the difficult situations that determines how stressful I make it...

I am, without doubt,  going through an interesting stage in my personal growth & development. lol... and at the moment... the best course of action on my part can be summed up by the tarot archetype "the hanged one"... Surrendering as a place of power and choice, within very limited parameters, can be tricky for my Virgo side but thank goodness i have plenty of Pisces in my personality to render assistance. But perhaps I digress.

Yesterday we had a rather heavy duty hail storm along with lightning, thunder and wind... and the consequence on the aging bay window of the dome was rather apocalyptic. Despite painting the huge bay window last year, in an attempt to strengthen a UV weakened plastic... the hail pierced through its skin shattering its upper level and compromising the middle one. 

I am grateful that the storm hit during daylight and stopped around 2pm, leaving me time to take the necessary measures. My special thanks to my ex-partner, Christopher, for his phone support, and to my ranch friend Radzy for helping me secure the plastic tarp.

Due to the age of the dome skin, I doubt that making repairs to the bay window are worth the efforts or costs... other parts of the canvas have and are failing... It is indeed the end of an era here at Twilight... and evidently "all good things must come to an end".

This upcoming dry season will be an excellent time to meditate on future options of re-birthing the dome. Those will include considerations such as a new skin (with fewer bells and whistles to fail) or perhaps a more permanent solution such as a serious adobe style papercrete plaster.

In the meantime... lets hope that the remainder of the T-storms heading this direction will be mild.
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