Saturday, November 9, 2013

Upcycled Wooden Crates for Shelving!
I saw this picture on Facebook today and I LOVE this idea! You can upcycle old wooden crates to make beautiful (and in this case "nautical themed") shelving!!! I encourage everyone to check out Aimee Weaver's blog for more fun DIY home decorating ideas:

This blog article was written and contributed by Etsy Natural Healers Guild Team Leader Jessica of Eco-Friendly Freckles

Monday, October 14, 2013

"In the Shadows": A Lark Novel by Erica Cope - My Book Review

"In the Shadows": A Lark Novel by Erica Cope

I am absolutely captivated by the tale hidden "In the Shadows"; a novel written my by whimsical and witty cousin Erica Cope! Unveiling the secrets secluded in the depths of the shadows was so very enthralling and mystifying! After reading Erica's first book "Lark", I was eagerly looking forward to this sequel novel "In the Shadows"; both books are major page turners with gripping stories! The plot thickens quickly with so many twists and turns and unexpected surprises that have you on the edge of your seat excited to see what happens next! The fascinating relationships develop further between the main characters in this novel (which takes my emotions on a joyride!), and intriguing, new characters are also introduced. Many readers and Lark fans like myself are thrilled to follow the adventures of the main character and heroine "Mia" and discover how her juicy love triangle unfolds!!! LOVE IT!

I would highly recommend the Lark trilogy series to fantasy romance-loving ladies that are twenty-somethings like myself! I am very much looking forward to the upcoming third novel in the series! If you have not read the first book in the series "Lark"; you should check it out and delve into a fanciful world full of elven romance, elemental magic, woodland alchemy, and the sorcerous dark ones residing in the vastness of the underworld!

"Lark": A Novel by Erica Cope

After I read the first book "Lark" in the Lark Trilogy Series (I can't wait for the third book to come out!), I wrote a blog review titled "Lark: A Novel by Erica Cope - My Book Review". Along with my initial feelings and thoughts of praise after just completing this remarkable tale, I shared an Etsy treasury collection that I had created that was solely inspired and based on my memories of the book! "A visual stimulant" I call it for encouraging Etsyians to read this awesome book series, I have naturally put together another treasury to promote Erica's latest addition to the series; a collection that visually presents some of my favorite moments in Lark #2 "In the Shadows"! Please check it out, peek at the Etsy items, and discover this spectacular series for yourself...or buy it as a gift for your favorite fantasy romantic! Christmas is coming!

Since there were only sixteen slots available for featuring Etsy items that convey the message of my vision for this incredibly dynamic fable, there are a few handmade jewelry items that I want to spotlight here since they didn't make it in the treasury but certainly fit the ambiance and storyline of "In the Shadows":

Among the mysterious and revealing gems featured in the treasury, I have featured an item from my sister Andrea's Etsy shop "Storybook Artifact" as well as an item from our "sister shop" LaOohLaLa Boutique...both of which express the mystical mood of "In the Shadows"!

Now make yourself a strong, hot cup of coffee (author Erica Cope's favorite beverage of choice), get yourself a copy of Lark and In the Shadows, and follow along the dark and mysterious Olfossá river that takes you along a journey that will have you under-a-spell fascinated to be lurking In the Shadows! This is the perfect book series to cozy up with during this approaching chilly winter season! You'll want to check back soon as I share my Halloween costume; I will be dressing up as one of the characters from "In the Shadows"!

This blog article was written and contributed by Etsy Natural Healers Guild Team Leader Jessica of Eco-Friendly Freckles

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Think Eco…Eco-Friendly that is…for the Holidays

I recently got the pleasure of speaking with Jules Lavallee; she and Brian Behncke, owner of Briven Construction, are the Founders of ThinkEco2. Brian and Jules share a passion for helping the community while building jobs locally. They donate their rustic handmade wine racks to many charities to help fundraise. They believe it is important to be eco-conscious and to give back. Please take a moment to check out their beautiful handmade gifts for the upcoming holiday season and see what Jules has to share with us!

I love giving handmade eco-friendly gifts. Handmade gifts come from the heart and are truly appreciated. ThinkEco² is making good use from aged, weathered, and rustic fence by handcrafting 100% recycled gifts including cedar wine racks, wine gift boxes and garden planters.

Brian Behncke, Founder of ThinkEco² owns and operates Briven Construction during the day and builds creative eco-chic products at night with his crew. Their eco-friendly products are built from scrap cedar taken from Behncke’s fence job sites. He disassembles the fence panels, remills the sides of each fence board so they are straight. He then planes down both sides of each board to clean them up and to get the desired thickness. He then cuts the wood into pieces to make the products. Cedar is a great choice for wine racks and garden planters, since it is naturally resistant to pets and rot.

ThinkEco² wine racks are reclaimed and upcycled. They are offered rustic or in a variety of color frames include black, green, white, and red. They fit nicely onto a countertop or small space pantry.
ThinkEco² products can be found at
In addition to creative gifts, ThinkEco² offers a whole line of original wedding products. With a steady stream of material from city and state organizations including CalRecyle, ThinkEco² will continue to grow and build beautiful handmade products in the USA.

For more information contact Jules Lavallee jules@thinkeco2

 This blog article was written and contributed by Etsy Natural Healers Guild Team Leader Jessica of Eco-Friendly Freckles

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Book Review for "Lark": A Novel By Erica Cope

My beautifully talented cousin Erica Cope has written a captivating story that intrigued me the moment I saw the mystical book cover and peered inside to read the first few pages. An enthralling tale of romance, mystery, and fantasy await you in this magical book filled with intriguing characters and ambrosial sights! Please check out Erica's blog, and my book review "here" to get a sneak peek at the journey I experienced...but I assure you, there are no spoilers in my book review. I also put together a visual stimulant inspired by Erica Cope's "Lark" in my Etsy treasury collection below...

 This blog article was written and contributed by Etsy Natural Healers Guild Team Leader Jessica of Eco-Friendly Freckles

Thursday, August 15, 2013

End of Summer Team Treasury Contest

What an amazing team we have here in the Etsy Natural Healer's Guild.  Simply honored to be a team leader and looking forward to the turnout in this team treasury challenge to win two darling prizes.

A 10.75" by 6" copy (excluding the Storybook Artifact watermarks) of this original antique lithograph from my shop (Storybook Artifact), accompanied with an original retro magazine ad from team leader Jessica of Eco-Friendly Freckles.

This 100% team treasury challenge is more than what meets the eye, it is motivation to build a stronger more prosperous team.  A closer contact with you (our individual members) at helping you strive in the Etsy world.  We are building relationships, supporting others, and having fun!

Whether you sell herbal remedies, healing stones, handcrafted jewelry, organic all-natural treats, heirloom products, etc., our team has quite a broad scope at who is welcome to join us.  We are happy to have you.

Above is the first "sample" treasury featuring all members of the Etsy Natural Healers Guild.  Create your own and submit it here to enter the contest:

The winner will be announced at the beginning of September.

Begin building your 100% team treasury here:

Monday, August 12, 2013

Follow the Dragonfly - Dragonflybuzz Etsy Shop Review for Customized Stamps!

Follow the dragonfly! I share my experience ordering a custom wood mounted rubber stamp for my new venture "sister shop" through my Etsy shop review blog article for Dragonflybuzz! You can check it out here in my article titled: "Custom Etsy Shop Stamp from Dragonflybuzz".

This blog article was written and contributed by Etsy Natural Healers Guild Team Leader Jessica of Eco-Friendly Freckles

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Nature's Shadow Box - Etsy Seller Photography Tip

I am certainly no expert, but through the years I have experimented with several different ways of shooting my photography for my Etsy shop Eco-Friendly Freckles, and with many trial and error experiments I have discovered that the best "technique" for my optimal photography style! You can read the full article here on my personal "Eco-Friendly Freckles" blog in the article titled: "Nature's Shadow Box - Etsy Seller Photography Tip".

"For the Love of Cameras: 8x10 Fine Art Photography Print" by Etsy Shop Squeeky Chic

 This blog article was written and contributed by Etsy Natural Healers Guild Team Leader Jessica of Eco-Friendly Freckles

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Health Benefits of Cooking with a Birthday Cherry Pie!

In my personal "Eco-Friendly Freckles" blog, I talk about the Health Benefits of Cooking with a Birthday Cherry Pie! You might be surprised about just how nutritious this old fashioned kitchen staple ingredient is...and how it transforms your homemade pastries into something spectacular...just like grandma made it!

A 1916 Squire's Pure Leaf Lard advertisement...YES, lard "makes tempting pastry"!

 This blog article was written and contributed by Etsy Natural Healers Guild Team Leader Jessica of Eco-Friendly Freckles

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How Textures Inspire Nature's Child

Honored to be a leader of the Etsy Natural Healers Guild; I love how it motivates me to look at the world in a more natural light.  With my son's birthday this week, I can't help but want to look back at his brief life "so far" through his eyes: a child's viewpoint.

Textures are everywhere.  Seen in pictures: a carpet sample, gingerbread dough, egg shells, a stick on a rock, and bubbles.  Childhood is filled with exploration!  Providing different textures for children to explore or simply being in an environment filled with different textures, helps to build a child's understanding of this magnificent world.

In the kitchen, one may discover oozy gooey things, what is malleable, and different tastes and smells.  Examine how foods can change consistency once cooked or frozen: dried pasta to limp noodles, water to ice, eggs fresh to hard boiled, etc.

Off on a hiking trail, one may discover sticks, stones, fossils, exotic flowers, mushrooms, leaves, pinecones, nuts, berries, moss, feathers, and maybe even some tracks left from local wildlife!

Furthermore, learning about the different textures of materials helps to establish a foundation for understanding which materials may be recyclable: i.e. glass, plastic, paper, tin, etc.

Play is learning!  One concept that inspires parents to homeschool, nature's children grasp and perceive the world around them in a way that can't be achieved simply from sitting in a classroom, reading in a book, or reading on the computer.

Even though my main Etsy motivation is the thought that "100% of the profits made from my Etsy store's sales benefit educational funds for my children.", I still recognize the fact that money can't buy an education like what nature provides us.  As a mother, nature motivates me too; possibly how Mother Nature had intended it.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Naturally Color Your Cake Frosting with Dried Hibiscus Flowers!

I have always been mesmerized by the beauty of hibiscus flowers. My beloved Grandpa Bill would grow big hibiscus blooms in his garden and I often remember him picking one for me which I would then put in my hair like one of the beautiful Tahitian ladies in the famous Paul Gauguin's paintings. Below is a painting of a hibiscus flower that I found on Etsy that is absolutely stunning!

 In April, I made this brightly colored Barbie doll cake to celebrate the welcoming of my precious baby niece Lydia. I naturally colored the cake frosting with a homemade hibiscus syrup. Isn't the color vibrant?! The recipe is very simple. All I used was about 1/2 - 3/4 of a cup of dried hibiscus flowers; I placed them in a small pot with about 3/4 - 1 cup of water and I added 1/4 cup of sugar. I simmered this "tea" on low for an hour or so until the liquid reduced down to a thicker solution "syrup". While simmering, I made my buttercream frosting which was just a few sticks of softened butter that I blended with powdered sugar (sweeten to taste). Once my hibiscus syrup was ready, I added it to my frosting and I was amazed at how beautifully radiant the color was! It made a dark raspberry pink color...which was almost red!

Here is an example of what your tea will look like below; you can find these dried hibiscus flowers "Organic Hibiscus Tea" in Etsy shop Happy Earth Tea:

Looking for a vintage Barbie doll for a homemade doll cake? I have some here in my Etsy Shop: Vintage Barbie Dolls.

This blog article was written and contributed by Etsy Natural Healers Guild Team Leader Jessica of Eco-Friendly Freckles

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Last Bouquet of May Flowers Goes Out with a BANG!

After gathering the last of the irises, it becomes apparent that the month of May has come and gone.  As swiftly as they came to bloom filling the atmosphere with such sweet aroma, these decadent flowers beg adieu with one last stunning floral arrangement.

Seen here in this picture above is a charming vase created by team leader of the Etsy Natural Healers Guild Jessica Woody.  This vase is one of her decoupage art creations featuring collage images with resemblance to Lichtenstein pop art.

With attention to detail and a divine eye, Jessica's artworks turn recycled materials into pure works of art!  Giving the timeless essence of mod sixties flair, this vase provides the most perfect container for this last bouquet of May flowers.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Rest and Relaxtion with Passionflower

Passionflower has many healing properties; but perhaps my favorite is its calming, relaxing, sedative attributes that I find while sipping on a hot cup of passionflower tea before I turn in for the evening. Not only is this amazing flower beneficial to our health and thus therapeutic, it is also amazingly gorgeous! Above you can see the psychedelic, geometric structure of the flower beautifully captured in a photo and below you can see a similar image with a stunning monarch butterfly...
Above is a vintage passionflower plate that I have in my Etsy Shop Eco-Friendly Freckles; it is elegantly adorned and framed in one of my favorite colors Seafoam Green.
Enjoy a serene slumber with this floral all-natural herbal bedtime tea "Organic Peaceful Passionflower with Rose Loose Leaf Tea" by Etsy Shop Kyra Botanica
...Or drift off into wonderland with a wonderfully potent "Valerian and Passiflora Herbal Slumber Tincture" also found in the botanical oasis of Etsy Shop Kyra Botanica

This blog article was written and contributed by Etsy Natural Healers Guild Team Leader Jessica of Eco-Friendly Freckles

Saturday, March 23, 2013

All-Natural Make-Up: An Easy Routine Switch That is Good for Your Health!

It's easier than you think to make the switch to all-natural make-up. For years I had been using conventional makeup that I picked up at a nearby grocery store or mainstream pharmacy chain, all of which contained hundreds of chemicals that are harmful to my skin and overall health! Parabens, fragrances, dyes, etc...all of these things truly are toxic and often it is hard to read or find the ingredients list on a tiny bottle of eyeliner! I've heard about pregnant mothers going all-natural with their make-up choices (or no make-up at all) because of the harmful chemical additives in mainstream make-up products, I figure that it is time for me to make the switch for "me" before I become and "expecting mother".
"Three Muses" by Etsy Shop Artist: Fred Cabrera 
Up to 60 percent of whatever we place on our skin goes into our blood stream; however, companies are blatantly adding ingredients to our personal care products. These include parabens, synthetic preservatives suspected to cause problems like weight gain, skin aging and certain types of cancer! Do your research, read labels, and don't always trust the words "natural" and "organic".

You will want to rid your cosmetic bag of all of these hazardous parabens: Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Benzyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid, Methyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid, Ethyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid, Propyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid, Butyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid, Parahydroxybenzoic acid and Parahydroxybenzoate. Not to mention the hundreds of other harmful chemicals leaching in our cosmetics! Save yourself the stress, and find some all-natural, organic makeup that is safe with a similar look and feel as your trusty old go-to cosmetics!

I went with Willow Tree Minerals! I absolutely LOVE their Natural Liquid Nightfall Eye Liner, Ginger Natural Mineral Blush, and Forever Blonde Natural Mineral Eye Brow Pencil...these organic cosmetics wonderfully and easily replaced everything I was buying at the supermarket and are perfect for my soft sunkissed ivory Irish complexion! I was able to continue to use my tried-and-true makeup application techniques without needing to alter a thing!

Give it a try, your skin will be happy that you made the switch to all-natural makeup! Embrace the beauty of Mother Nature and rediscover the gorgeous, glowing, natural "you" with nature-derived cosmetics! Speaking of "glowing beauty" below I have featured a handmade retro pin up pillow titled "Art Deco Damsel" created by my lovely and creative Aunt Mary Lynn from her Etsy shop "LaOohLaLa Boutique".
This blog article was contributed by the Etsy Natural Healers Guild Team Leader Jessica of Eco-Friendly Freckles

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bamboo Toilet Tissue! 100% Tree Free!

My husband Joe works at a natural health foods store, Akin's Natural Foods Market, and last night he purchased our very first package of bamboo toilet tissue! I couldn't be more thrilled! It is made out of 100% bamboo and thus is 100% TREE FREE! The company that makes this particular bamboo toilet paper is Ultra Green, and I am inspired by the details about the product listed on their packaging:
Beyond Recycled Paper: Before recycled paper became "recycle paper", it originally came from trees. Today, most manufacturers use either a blend of recycled paper with tree pulp or 100% tree pulp to make bath tissue. That's no way to save trees. Ultra Green uses 100% bamboo, a fast growing natural resource. If everyone used this product, we would save millions upon millions of trees.
 This blog article was contributed by the Etsy Natural Healers Guild Team Leader Jessica of Eco-Friendly Freckles