Sunday, July 27, 2014

Things You Didn't Know About the Creative Genius Dr. Seuss!

A grandson of German immigrants, Theodor (without an “e”) was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, on March 2, 1904. Seuss was his mother’s maiden name. While the actual German pronunciation of “Seuss” rhymed with “voice,” the American pronunciation, rhyming with “juice,” stuck.

You’re wrong as the deuce/ And you shouldn’t rejoice/ If you’re calling him Seuss./ He pronounces it Soice. 

2. Theodor Geisel began using the pen name "Seuss" after being kicked off of the Dartmouth College literary humor magazine for throwing a rowdy drinks party!

When the sassy young Mr. Geisel was caught hosting an adult beverage get-together at Dartmouth College at the height of Prohibition (the early 20s), he was instructed by the college staff to discontinue all of his extracurricular activites, including his editor-in-chief post at the college's humor magazine, the "Jack-O-Lantern." In order to keep writing without the superiors knowing about it, Mr. Geisel adopted the pen name "Seuss."

Dr. Seuss was for the books he both wrote and illustrated. Theo LeSeig was for books that he wrote without illustrating

3. Mr. Geisel added the "Dr" onto his Seuss pen name as a nod to his father's unfulfilled wish for his son to earn a doctorate at Oxford

Mr. Geisel, senior, had always wanted for his son to earn a doctorate at Oxford. Although Geisel, the Younger, entered Lincoln College, Oxford with the intention of completing a doctorate in literature, he returned to the United States before his studies were completed. He added the "Dr" onto his Seuss pen name as a wry acknowledgment of his almost-achievement.

4. Mr. Geisel/Dr. Seuss first rose to national fame, not as a children's book author, but as the creator of a number of wildly popular insecticide advertisements

In the late 1920s, Standard Oil hired Theodor Geisel to create a number of advertisements for its insecticide, Flit. Mr. Geisel's cartoon-like ads, along with taglines such as "Quick, Henry, the Flit!" "Swat the Fly," and "Kill the Tick," became nationally recognized slogans. Mr. Geisel made a tidy packet on these ads which remained popular throughout the 1930s.

5. Mr. Geisel/Dr. Seuss was inspired to write his first children's book, And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, by the rhythmic sound of a ship's engine

In 1937, Mr. Geisel and his wife, Helen, were returning to the United States from an ocean trip to Europe when the rhythmic sound of the ship's engine suggested to him the idea of writing an equally rhythmic text for a children's book. The result was his first foray into children's literature, And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.

6. Dr. Seuss' first book, And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, was initially rejected by over 20 publishers before finally making it to the printing press

Dr. Seuss may be considered classy children's lit today but when he was first starting out, he could scarely get any serious consideration. After sending the And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street manuscript to nearly 30 publishers (and receiving an equal number of rejections), Vanguard Press finally agreed to publish the book.

He almost burned the book because 27 publishers rejected him!

After a 27th publisher rejected his first manuscript, Dr. Seuss walked dejectedly along the sidewalks of New York, planning to burn the book in his apartment incinerator. On Madison Avenue, however, he bumped into Dartmouth friend Mike McClintock, who that very morning had started a job as an editor in the Vanguard Press children’s section. Within hours, the men signed a contract, and in 1937 Vanguard Press published “And to Think that I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” which launched the extraordinary literary career of Dr. Seuss. “If I had been going down the other side of Madison Avenue, I’d be in the dry-cleaning business today,” he later said.

7. Dr. Seuss' most famous books -- beginner books such as The Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, and Green Eggs and Ham -- were also some of the most difficult things he ever wrote.

Great writers always share one common characteristic -- they make writing well seem easy. Nothing could be further from the truth. And while tomes like Hop on Pop and Fox in Socks may seem ridiculously simple to write, Dr. Seuss labored for months on the production of each of these supposedly "Beginner readers."

8. If I Ran the Zoo, published in 1950, is the first recorded instance of the word “nerd.”

9. The Cat in the Hat was written basically because Dr. Seuss thought the famous Dick and Jane primers were insanely boring. Because kids weren’t interested in the material, they weren’t exactly compelled to use it repeatedly in their efforts to learn to read.

Theodore Seuss Geisel, also known as "Dr. Seuss," in his studio.

10. Green Eggs and Ham. Bennett Cerf, Dr. Seuss’ editor, bet him that he couldn’t write a book using 50 words or less. The Cat in the Hat was pretty simple, after all, and it used 225 words. Not one to back down from a challenge, Mr. Geisel started writing and came up with Green Eggs and Ham – which uses exactly 50 words. The 50 words, by the way, are: a, am, and, anywhere, are, be, boat, box, car, could, dark, do, eat, eggs, fox, goat, good, green, ham, here, house, I, if, in, let, like, may, me, mouse, not, on, or, rain, Sam, say, see, so, thank, that, the, them, there, they, train, tree, try, will, with, would, you.

11. Oh The Places You’ll Go is Dr. Seuss’ final book, published in 1990. It sells about 300,000 copies every year because so many people give it to college and high school grads.

12. No Dr. Seuss post would be complete without a mention of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! I couldn’t find much on the book, however, so here are a few facts about the Dr. Seuss-sanctioned cartoon. Frankenstein’s Monster himself, Boris Karloff, provided the voice of the Grinch and the narration for the movie. Seuss a little wary of casting him because he thought his voice would be too scary for kids. Can you imagine the cartoon with any other voice?! If you’re wondering why they sound a bit different, it’s because the sound people went back to the Grinch’s parts and removed all of the high tones in Karloff’s voice. That’s why the Grinch sounds so gravelly. Tony the Tiger, AKA Thurl Ravenscroft, is the voice behind “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” He received no credit on screen, so Dr. Seuss wrote to columnists in every major U.S. newspaper to tell them exactly who had sung the song.

 Dr. Seuss never had any biological children. 
Helen Geisel was unable to bear children, and Geisel did not father any children with second wife Audrey, though he was a stepfather to her two daughters. When Dr. Seuss was asked how he could connect with children in spite of not having his own, his stock answer was, “You have ‘em, and I’ll entertain ‘em.”

Thank you to:

Monday, July 21, 2014

The CraftStar Featured Artist: Island Girl Expressions

Welcome to Island Girl Expressions where you will find beautiful handmade jewelry in silver, bronze, copper and steel. Take a look at my personalized keepsake collection called Everlasting Prints. These precious pieces can be fingerprints or footprints of your children, husband and wife, grandparents or any loved one.  I welcome custom orders!

My name is Cheryl Frazee, I'm married to James and we live in Brighton, Colorado.  We have two grown daughters: Tara and Brooke, 4 grandchildren: Brandon, Hunter, Taylan & Ashlyn, and Ashley the Sassy Cat and Wilbur the Pug

How did you get started in your handmade business? 

I began beading with a friend about 8 years ago and really enjoyed it.  When another friend decided to hold a home show for her jewelry, she invited me to show a few pieces.  When I got my first sale, I was so excited!  Shortly after that, I was introduced to metal clay and fell so in love with the medium that I couldn't get enough time making jewelry.  I started having home shows, then moved on to local craft and art shows.  Today, my sales are primarily web-based and past clients. 

What inspires you?  

My inspiration for my Island Girl Expressions shop comes mostly from the Caribbean Islands and Mother Nature. 

Palm Tree and Ocean Necklace Handmade Pendant 

My inspiration for my A Timeless Impression shop comes directly from my clients ... everything I make in this shop is completely personalized using their fingerprints, footprints, handwriting and more.

Handwriting Jewelry Silver Oval 1" x 1/2" with YOUR Handwriting Custom Personalized Keepsake Unique Gift

Where do you see your handmade business in 5 years?  

In 5 years I will be working my jewelry business full time.  Eventually, I would love to have a studio with a storefront and have the ability to teach metal clay jewelry design.

Have you experienced any major accomplishments or recognition?  

I had one of my pieces published in a book written Hadar Jacobson, who is a very well known metal clay manufacturer of base metal clays, a designer and teacher.

Silver and Steel - Precious Metal Petals Earrings

What are three tools in your work space that you could not live without?  

My kiln, my dremel and my xacto knife!

Have you ever experienced a craft disaster?  

I've had many! Metal clay can sometimes be unpredictable when firing, especially the base metal clays.  I have had numerous pieces not sinter (or fuse) and had them crumble as I pull them from the kiln. 

What other interests or hobbies do you have?  

Just about anything crafty:  I love to scrapbook, make handmade cards, knit, floral design, etc.  I would love to learn lampwork, glass fusing, pottery and soooooo much more! 

Sideways Flower Necklace with Citrine Cubic Zirconia

How much do you social network? 

Not as much as I would like!  I try to post something on FB at least once a week, but I would like to get to the point of daily posts on FB, Google+ and Pinterest.  I have a twitter account, but don't tweet and I seldom use Instagram.   

Floating Crystals Bracelet

What has been your most effective marketing tool?  

I send extra business cards with every order and wrap a sticky note around them that says "Please share. Thanks"  I am getting a lot of referral business from this.

Silver Sun with Yellow and Blue Resin Necklace

What item in your shop is your top seller or is your favorite design?  

My Island Girl Expression Shop sells more mixed metal designs than other designs, but all of my pieces are one of a kind, so I don't really have any one item that is a top seller.  A Timeless Impression's #1 seller is either the 1/2" circle fingerprint charm or the 7/8" heart with handwriting.

A Timeless Impression

What are your  favorite items from other shops on The CraftStar?

I love glasswork and I love bright colors!  And honestly, I love EVERYTHING in this shop.

Retro Bowl DLC Glass Studio LLC

I have done a little knitting, so I have an appreciation for how much time and work goes into a piece like this.  The items in this shop are absolutely stunning!

Knit Afghan in ZigZag Pattern by The Needle House in Soft White

Follow Cheryl!

Monday, July 7, 2014

The CraftStar Featured Artist: EclecticConcrete

Welcome to Eclectic Concrete, items created by Kasey Dutton, where you will find an eclectic collection of stained concrete planters and more, That you can add to your home or garden. I love all sorts of cultural art work and I love to work with concrete as a forum. So please check back soon and see what's next, Thank you for shopping with us, hope you find a treasure!

My name is Kasey Dutton and my wife’s name believe it or not is Charlie.  I have four beautiful children. 

My oldest is Joshua (24), second oldest is my Daughter Chelsie (20) Dustin (19) and then my baby is Wyatt (14).

We live in beautiful Tucson, Arizona. We have a dog named Diego and a cat named Milo.

I fell in love with concrete as a medium when my older brother and I made concrete countertops in every room of his house that he was building; all in one night. He needed to have something on the cabinets by morning or he wouldn't be able to collect on his draw from the bank. The inspector showed up around 8:00 am and we just finished around 6:00am.  My brother received his draw and the countertops didn't look half bad. So I've been trying to make any thing I could think of out of concrete ever since. Ranging from carved patio walk ways, showers, planters to tiki torches.

Southwestern lizard torch, tiki torch, outdoor lighting

I was reading up on sites that are a good alternative to that other more conglomerate craft site. When I read about The CraftStar I felt a real sense of community and I found a wealth of education on the subject of making an online craft business successful.  On top of all of that something in my heart told me that this is the place.    

Kokopelli wall sconce

I feel that hand crafted things have within them a little bit of the craftsperson’s soul in whatever they create. Which is what is missing in today’s mass produced world; I think.  I guess what inspired me about concrete is that it can have an earthy element if done correctly.  So I figured if I could couple those two things together along with something that would a t least evoke a smile. Then maybe I would have a winning combination.  So I guess to answer the question as to what inspires me I would have to say inventing and creating things that make people smile.

Concrete tiki torch, outdoor lighting, backyard lighting

In five years I would like to be able to Have the freedom to drive around the Western region of America doing craft shows and things of that nature with my beautiful wife.  By building my online business up enough to supplement my income.

What are three tools in your work space that you could not live without? 

Dremel , Cement Mixer, Utility knife

Have you ever experienced a craft disaster? What happened? 

You know if anybody says education is expensive; they should try ignorance. I spent more money on wasted material than I ever want to think about.  But nothing replaces the sense of accomplishment you get when you do figure it out on your own.

Bowl / Ash tray

What other interests or hobbies do you have? 

I have two boys that are very into collegiate wrestling. One is just getting started; the other one has already finished high school so the older brother and I do what we can to help the youngest. Because he has dreams of becoming an Olympic wrestler.  And when I'm doing that there is no place I’d rather be.

How much do you social network? Can you link us to your personal social media pages so we can follow you? 

I am currently trying to work my way through The CraftStar Social Media Boot Camp. And I feel that up until now I have just been shooting in the dark with social networking. Right now I am trying to take a step back and devise a strategy. Taking into account what I've  learned thus far. Pinterest and Instagram is where I think I will focus most of my attention.

Concrete saguaro rib tiki torch, backyard lighting, party torch, citronella torch

What item in your shop is your top seller or is your favorite design? 

My kokopelli Sun and Moon vessel.  This one really took me some time and I think I got very close to what I had in mind. I wanted it to tell a story and maybe take the viewer back in time. Its meant to symbolize prosperity and fertility through the masculine and the feminine, night and day, Yin and Yang, if you will.