Musical Monday - Time

Here is Josh Ritter's "Change of Time" for Musical Monday. If you you'd like to hear (or share) some tunes about Time or The New Year's Holiday, pop on over to Xmas Dolly's and check out today's MM blog hop.

So, how have your holidays been? Things have been both relaxing and busy around here. It is no surprise that I am waaay behind on blogging (seems to be a trend for me this year). However my Year In A Garden project continues over at Instagram. Today was Day 259 - Misty Morning.

Are you on Instagram? Have you tried statigram's snapshot tool to make a mini-slideshow featuring your Top 5 photos? It is free and easy. Just sign up over at statigram with your Instagram account. Then pick "snapshot" and they will email the video to you. Here is mine: 

Curious? Click here to read more about it on the Statigram blog. If you decide to make a video, please leave  a link and I'll stop over to check it out.


We have a winner of the Free Craftsy Art Class

I just heard from the creative folks over at Craftsy.com and they have picked a winner of the free online Fine Art workshop!

The lucky winner of Craftsy's random drawing is.....

Raffi from RunningBetty.com

Congratulations, Raffi! You will be contacted by someone from Craftsy with a link for ordering the online fine arts class of your choice. 

Thank yous to everyone who entered this random drawing and a huge thank you to Craftsy for offering such a cool prize!

I mentioned in an earlier post just how much I love Craftsy. If you are not familiar with the site, you should check it out. They have some fabulous cooking, gardening, art and crafting classes. The format lets you work at your own pace, returning to earlier videos as needed. Plus you can ask questions of other students and teachers. It is worth signing up for their emails or liking them on facebook so that you can find out about the frequent sales they offer.


Touching base

Hey there! I'm still here... just super busy with the holidays. I am sure many of you are too! Lots of good artsy news this week which I'll share tomorrow. 

Regarding the Craftsy.com Fine Arts Class Giveaway: They're picking the lucky winner today. I'll announce here as soon as I find out who it is.

Gotta run - family beckons. Best wishes for a creative day!


Vote For Veggies

Please vote for me 

WOW! I just found out that my bok choy photo made it to the finals of Twenty20's food challenge! Originally photographed for day 226 of my Year In A Garden instagram project, these tasty green leaves seemed like a fun submission to the competition.

Judges picked the finalists but the winner is picked by the public, so the photo with most votes wins. So, I'm calling out for votes. I only have until tomorrow so every vote helps!

Click the link to Vote for My Veggies:

If you are not a member of Twenty20 yet, I think it requires you to sign up in order to vote. This is free but takes a minute or 2. If you'd like to spread the word I appreciate that too! 

Thank so much for your support! 

P.S. On a totally different topic, have you entered the Craftsy.com random drawing for a free online fine art class? One lucky winner will be announced on 12/19. Click HERE for details


Win A Craftsy Fine Arts Online Workshop - Ends 12/18

I Love Craftsy.com!

Are you a "creative type"? Time-challenged? Looking to learn a new skill?

If you've answered 'yes' then Craftsy might be the place for you! I joined the site ages ago to take some of their DIY classes and have been going back again and again. I started with gardening and jewelry videos and have since added several baking, papercraft and basic sewing tutorials to my Craftsy library.  

Let me state right away that I am receiving no compensation for this post. I am a big fan of Craftsy.com so when they asked me if I wanted to host a giveaway for them, I said heck, yes! 

Why do I love Craftsy?

The lessons are given in a series of videos and you control your video library: 

Stop and restart your tutorials at anytime.They even have an ipad/iphone app for watching on the go. 

You can access your videos when it is convenient for you.  This is a huge selling point for me. I have (sadly) signed up for online classes on other sites that had time limits. Then either something comes up and I am cramming to watch as many lessons as I can before they expire, or I don't work on the project for a while and when I resume I have forgotten a step and have no reference for help. This is not a problem with Craftsy where I can access my library forever, 24/7.

The instructors really know their topics and explain steps clearly. Images are also clear & it is easy to follow along with what the teachers are doing.

There is also an "interactive classroom" where you can post your questions and get help from other students or instructors.

If you don't like the lesson, they have a 30 day money back guarantee. I have never needed to use this, but is is great to know that it is an option.

They also regularly offer sales and even have a bunch of free mini-classes

Sorry about going on and on, but I love this site!  So I was super-excited this summer when they started offering fine art classes. They are teaching drawing and painting using a number of different materials and techniques. I haven't tested any out yet, but (based on the quality of the other workshops I have taken) I bet they are fun, easy to follow and very informative. 

I was even more excited when Craftsy contacted me about giving a fine arts class away to one lucky Artsnark's Artifacts reader! 

How can you enter this random drawing and take home the fine-arts class of your choice? Entry is a little different than some of my other giveaways. To enter: First click this link . Then, if you are already a member, sign in to Craftsy. If you are not yet a member, join the site; create an account using either your email or via facebook. It is free to join Craftsy. No purchase is necessary to enter this random drawing. One entry per contestant, please.

You have until midnight (EST) on 12/18 to enter. The folks at craftsy will pick a winner on 12/19 and I will announce it here.

So what are you waiting for? Click through and take a chance! You might be the lucky winner and discover a new passion or skill you never knew you had!


Sunday Markets

Oxford Exchange view from club floor landing

I took some "me" time yesterday at a couple of Sunday Markets. The first was a holiday bazaar on the club floor of The Oxford Exchange. The brunch crowd filled the first floor cafes, restaurant & shops. Upstairs the joint was jumping with eager customers and a mix of local handmade & vintage vendors.  I blew my budget on optical lenses, letterpress blocks and an Edison wax cylinder (because I love the packaging).

I have more photos of this charismatic locale to share soon. It is such an inspiring space that I find it impossible to resist stealing a few pictures. In November I attended a wonderful evening of chocolate, tea & coffee tastings, as well as a lively book group. I have already posted a few photos of the chocolate event here.

one of the many cozy chairs at OE

Then there was a sunny stroll over to the Hyde Park Fresh market. The walk led me by cute restored bungalows and historic buildings, like Firehouse #3 with these gorgeous wood and iron doors.

We are fortunate to have several weekend markets and each is a bit different. Hyde Park Village holds theirs on the 1st Sunday of each month. In addition to the yummy fresh farmer's market fare there are handmade goods, local shops with booths and even a kid's stretch of sidewalk for budding entrepreneurs.

All day the reds and purples kept capturing my attention. Check out these cool eggplants.

And you can never have too many rosemary plants...right?

What do you know - more purple!

Do you have a favorite outdoor market? What is your must-have item or favorite vendor?


Final winner from 7 Days of Giveaways

It has finally come.... 
Day #7, the final day of a week of giveaways!

This has been a really fun run of random drawings! Many thanks to those who took the time to enter and promote this fun week. Now, lets find out who gets to take home the stainless steel 1 oz flask with chain, decorated with one of my designs.

And the winner is.....

Ed Wait! Congratulations, Ed!
I'll get in touch with directions for claiming your prize.

Thanks again to everyone who played along this week! I needed to jump start my sleepy blog and this seemed like a fun way to do that. Lots of posts to share in the near future: reviews, interviews, "field trips",works in progress and (yes) even more random drawings. In fact, pop back here on the 5th when I will announce a new prize that is so fantastic I wish I could enter!


Winner #6 takes home a $15 Amazon card

7 Days of Giveaways is almost over! 

My fabulous assistant, Birthday-Boy, has picked the winner of today's random drawing. The lucky winner of Prize #6 (a $15 Amazon.com gift card) is...

Gregsulkinfan! Congratulations!
I will email you today with instructions for claiming your prize

As of this posting, there are 12 hours left to enter the last giveaway in this series. Follow the link to find out more about the prize (a tiny flask to hold some holiday spirits) and leave a comment there to enter your name in the hat:  Day 7 - Enter to win artsy mini flask pendant. Ends 12/1

Be sure to pop back tomorrow to find out who wins!


Holiday stamps winner - prize #5 of 7

prize #5 for 7 days of giveaways

Hope everyone is off to a TGIF and fabulous weekend! There is a new random winner to pick today, so lets get started...

The lucky winner of this fun set of holiday rubber stamps is...

Shay Strane! Congratulations!

Thanks for entering this drawing. I will contact you today for your shipping info.

Many thanks to everyone playing along with the 7 Days of Giveaways. It has been great fun spreading the love and free stuff! There are still a couple of random drawings yet to come. If you would like to enter, click the links below for details. Then pop back this weekend to find out who the final winners are.


Winner of giveaway #4 of 7

Happy Thanksgiving! I am going to sound very shallow here, but oh-my-I-am-so-thankful-for CHOCOLATE!! The really good stuff, like they sell at Oxford Exchange. Like the 3 bars I am giving away today to 1 lucky winner!

Drum roll please... and the winner is....

Artfully Yours, Linda!

Congratulations, Linda! Hope this sweetens your day :) I will contact you today for your shipping address.

Many thanks to those who take the time to read & comment on my ramblings. There are 3 random drawings left to enter. If you haven't signed up yet, visit the links below and leave a comment or two.


Winner of $10 Michaels Gift Card is....

Congratulations, Chrissy!

Chrissy, you have won today's random drawing for a $10 Michael's Craft Store gift card! I will email you with instructions for collection your prize.

So, this was Day #3 of 7 Days of Giveaways. Many thanks to everyone who entered. Have you signed up for the next 4 random drawings yet?. If so, pop back tomorrow to see if you are a winner. If not, jump to it and follow the links below. Each day features a different prize:


Winner #2 of 7 is.....

Gypsy Thread! 

Lucky winner Gypsy Thread takes home a print of their choice (with mat) from my instagram gallery. 

Thanks to all who have been playing along with the 7 Days of Giveaways. I always enjoy these random drawings and hope that you do to. Pop back tomorrow to find out who will be the winner of prize #3, a $10 Michael's Craft store gift card! At the time of this posting, there is still time to enter the next five drawings happening this week.


Day #1 winner of Artsnark Etsy gift certificate

Let the games begin! 

Sorry - couldn't resist. At least I didn't wish that "the odds be ever in your favor".

Last week you got a peek at the prize assortment for this 7 Days of Giveaways. This week the random drawings begin! 1 lucky winner per day will be randomly selected to take home the prize du jour. To start us off, The Dude helped me go old-school, picking 1 name out of a hat. Today's winner of a $20 gift certificate to my Artsnark Etsy shop is ...

Congratulations, Mark (aka Pastor Guy)! 
I'll contact you today with instructions for claiming your prize.

Many thanks to all Artsnark readers who entered. Keep checking back this week as there are 6 more prizes to go. If you haven't entered the other giveaways, visit the links below to sign up:

Day 2 - Winner's choice of 1 matted print from Artsnark Instagram gallery. Ends 11/26
Day 3 - Enter to win $10 Gift card from Michaels Craft stores. Ends 11/27


Giveaway Day #7 - for the holiday spirits

This week just flew by! Today is last day of prize announcements & tomorrow the random drawings begin - woo hoo! For info on all 7 Days of Giveaways prizes, visit the links at the end if this post.

Today's prize may lift your spirits. It will certainly help you carry them. This stainless steel mini flask hold 1 oz of liquid and comes with a removable chain for use as a pendant. It also slips easily into a pocket.

I ordered a few of these with different images to see if I'd like them for my Etsy shop. My Once Upon A Time dancing skeleton design was originally printed on temporary tattoos for the INK art show last spring. This particular flask has the design slightly misprinted to the left of center but us otherwise in working order.

Leave a comment before 7 a.m. (EST) on 12/1 to enter the random drawing for this fun flask. Please add your email info if it is not in your profile.

Depending on when you are reading this, there may still be time to enter the other 6 days of giveaways. Check out the links below for details:

Day 1 - Win $20 gift certificate to Artsnark's Artifacts on Etsy.com. Ends 11/25
Day 2 - Winner's choice of 1 matted print from Artsnark Instagram gallery. Ends 11/26
Day 3 - Enter to win $10 Gift card from Michaels Craft stores. Ends 11/27


Enter to win $15 gift certificate to Amazon.com - giveaway day #6

Welcome to Day #6 of 7 Days of Giveaways! This has been so much fun and I am really looking forward to announcing winners next week. If you haven't entered the earlier giveaways yet, please check out the links at the end of this post & have a go. I'll let you in on a little (not so) secret: due my poor content this past year, this blog has been super-quiet lately..... So there are very few entries in this giveaway series. Makes for pretty sweet odds for you - but only if you enter.

Today I wish I could enter my own random drawing. I am a total Amazon.com junkie and today I am sharing the love with one lucky winner. On 11/30 one random commenter will be selected to receive a $15 gift certificate to this shopping wonderland. 

How to enter? Simply leave a comment before 7 a.m. (EST) on Nov.30 and your name goes into the hat. Leave an email address if it isn't in your profile. It really is that easy.

Curious about the previous prizes? Check out the ending dates & if you are still in the window, go ahead and enter. You never know; it could be your lucky day!

Day 1 - Win $20 gift certificate to Artsnark's Artifacts on Etsy.com. Ends 11/25
Day 2 - Winner's choice of 1 matted print from Artsnark Instagram gallery. Ends 11/26
Day 3 - Enter to win $10 Gift card from Michaels Craft stores. Ends 11/27


Happy Holidays - giveaway day #5

Hey there! Can you believe it is already Day #5 of The 7 Days of Giveaways? If you haven't entered the other days' random drawings yet be sure to check out the links at the end of this post.

Today's prize is a set of 4 new holiday-themed rubber stamps. Perfect for crafters or kids. The 'home for the holidays' is from Inkadoo, the two fairies are unknown and the gingerbread men stamp is made by craftsmart.

I purchased these new ages ago for my online supplies shop which is still on hiatus. Upon inspection one of the fairies has a few blue spots on the rubber (see above right). 

How can you enter the random drawing for these festive stamps? Just leave a comment before 7 am (EST) 11/29. One lucky winner will be announced that day. Please leave an email if it isn't in your profile.

Have you entered the other days of giveaways yet? Each one is different. Click links for more info:

Day 1 - Win $20 gift certificate to Artsnark's Artifacts on Etsy.com. Ends 11/25
Day 2 - Winner's choice of 1 matted print from Artsnark Instagram gallery. Ends 11/26
Day 3 - Enter to win $10 Gift card from Michaels Craft stores. Ends 11/27

Oxford Exchange sweet sensations - Giveaway #4

Oxford Exchange in Tampa, FL is an oasis... with a twist.

marble floor

Walk into this bookstore-cafe-conservatory-restaurant-teashop-refuge and step out of the world for a little while. The classic yet modern decor and soothing yet stimulating ambiance have introduced a new type of public space to Tampa. Time seems to stop in a way that reminds me of Rome's Caffè Greco or Padua's Pedrocchi Cafè. Impressive since OE opened in 2012, not in the18th or 19th centuries.

"party appetizers in a pinch"

Recently I had the pleasure of attending a blogger-event at this lovely locale. It is already one of my favorite haunts (although I don't visit nearly as often as I daydream about it). This was my first sojourn at night though, which gave the place a magical air. The candles and Edison bulbs added to the cocooning vibe.

view of the tea/coffee area from stairs to club level

Guests enjoyed adult beverages with party appetizers from Executive Chef Erin Guggino. The dates with walnuts & goat cheese and butternut squash shooters were very popular and are easy to make. (I have the recipes; if you're interested let me know & I'll add them to this post). I apologize for the poor quality food photo. My iphone's camera finds low light to be challenging sometimes.

playing with a closeup of Tebella's antique cash register

Sweets came next. While sampling the decadent combination of Tebella teas with Mast Brothers rich chocolate I was secretly lusting after this old National cash register. Years ago I helped restore a similar machine to working order and have been a bit of a groupie ever since. 

oops - accidental selfie in a teapot

Check out this fabulous bit of decorative architectural filigree below
Art nouveau maybe?

Nah – just some teacups waiting to be filled. (tilt your head to the left)

I love tea and Teabella has some fantastic combinations. With almost 100 loose leaf teas from around the globe they should be able to satisfy every palate.

Across the room, this gent from Buddy Brew was pairing their robust coffee with delish Dandelion Chocolate. We were offered some advice on how to get the most from this decadent experience.

Oxford Exchange is made up of several rooms, each lovelier than the last. After sweets, we were given a history filled tour of the building. In addition to the tea/coffee area, there are shopping, dining and studying/relaxing spaces. Everywhere you look there is a fascinating tableau or rustic antique to captivate your attention. This was all too fabulous for just one post, so I will share more pics of this dreamy space soon.

In the meantime, here is your chance to perhaps enjoy a tasty bit of OE in your own home! Oxford Exchange is sponsoring the prize for Day #4 of 7 Days of Giveaways. On 11/28 one lucky winner will get to take home.... 

... 3 decadent bars of artisanal chocolate from Mast Bros. and Dandelion Chocolate - Yum!

To enter the random drawing please leave a comment before 7 a.m. (EST) on 11/28. It is that easy to enter. Drawing is open worldwide and prize ships free to winner. Please add your email address if it is not already in your profile.

Want to Check out/Enter the other giveaways? Visit links for more info:

Day 1 - Win $20 gift certificate to Artsnark's Artifacts on Etsy.com. Ends 11/25
Day 2 - Winner's choice of 1 matted print from Artsnark Instagram gallery. Ends 11/26
Day 3 - Enter to win $10 Gift card from Michaels Craft stores. Ends 11/27

Disclaimer: The Tampa Bay bloggers were invited by Oxford Exchange to the enjoy their Holiday Blogger Event.  I was paid with food, drink & a tour in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.


Giveaway Day #3: Enter to win $10 Michaels gift card - ends 11/27


Welcome (or welcome back) to 7 days of giveaways. We are on day #3 and I have something new for you. By the way, if you want to enter the random drawings for Days 1 & 2 (& it is not yet 11/25 & 11/26) follow the links at the bottom of this post for details on those those giveaways.

I have a confession to make: I am a Craft Store Junkie. For better or worse I have a Michael's craft store within walking distance of my house... and spend wayyy too much time (& money) there. 

Today's prize is a $10 gift card to this fun shop! If you are a crafty person, this the random drawing is for you. They also sell an eclectic collection of toys, home decor, art supplies, and loads more. Please note: this is not a sponsored post - I'm just an avid fan and want to share the love.

Wondering if you have a Michaels nearby? Click here to use their store locator

One winner will be randomly selected from everyone who comments on this blog before 7 a.m. (EST) on 11/27/13. To enter the drawing, please leave a comment and include an email address if it is not already in your profile. I need to be able to contact you if you are the lucky winner. 

Want to check out the prize announcements for Days 1 & 2 - visit these links for more info:

And be sure to come back tomorrow for a virtual tour of one of my favorite retail/resting/dining spots in Tampa. Plus a sweet prize announcement for day #4.


Day 2 of 7 Days of Giveaways - Happy Hour

Welcome to Day 2 of the wonderful week of giveaways! 

(To enter day #1's random drawing for a $20 gift certificate to Artsnark.etsy.com click here).

Happy Hour
By the way, this image is entered in Twenty20's 'Pets' contest if you want to vote, click here. Please note, voting is not required to enter my random drawings and in no way affects your chances of winning.

My original plan was to share assorted artist photos and links from the recent Disney World Festival of the Masters today. Unfortunately time has gotten away from me, so that post will have to wait until the weekend. In the meantime, the prizes continue rolling out...

Day 218 New Growth

The second prize this week is Winner's Choice of one 5" photo print from my Instagram gallery. Most pictures you'll find there are from my ongoing Year In A Garden project with a smattering of other images. If desired, I'll mat your print as part of the prize.


You have until Tuesday 11/26 at 7 a.m. (EST) to enter this random drawing. For 1 entry, simply leave a comment on my blog. If your email is not in your profile, please leave that too so that I can easily contact you if you win.

Day 215 Begonias

To get a second entry, check out my photographs at Instagram.com/Artsnark then pop back here and tell me your favorite.

Day 151 Wet Feather

If you'd like a 3rd entry, share this post on your favorite social media platform and pop back to let me know where.

Day 171 Bromeliad

See? Easy peasy. This random drawing is open to everyone. 1 winner will be announced next Tues. 11/26 and the print ships free worldwide.

So, c'mon & enter. Tell your friends. Be sure to check out/enter the Day 1 random drawing too. 

And pop back tomorrow for prize #3. See you then!


Downtown Disney Chalk Walk + enter to win 1st of 7 prizes

Phew. I've finally made it back here to share some more chalk drawings that decorated the sidewalks of Downtown Disney during the recent art festival. I've been feeling a bit like Corbet's Desperate Man selfie the last couple of days. 

I thought these high schoolers did a great job with their vibrant interpretation of Klimt's The Virgin.

Now, this is where I apologize to the chalk artists. I usually make sure to give credit with links to creative folks. Unfortunately I flaked & neglected to take down their information. If anyone here sees work they recognize, feel free to share any info and I will correct this post ASAP.

By the way, congratulations to Tampa chalk artist, Bridget Lyons!

Her reproduction of Victor Nizovtsev's All Stacked Up took home the award for Best European Master, Non Figurative. You can see more of Bridget's work at http://www.bklyons.com/chalk-art.html

A few more impressive drawings...

Check out how the fellow below is working the Degas... coming along nicely.

The Festival of the Masters is such a fun show! There were many more sidewalk drawings. Plus lots of fantastic art for sale in the (I think it was 300) booths. I'll be back tomorrow to share a few links to some of my fave artists from the fest. 

Until then, lets get wacky! With Thanksgiving around the corner it feels like a good time for a solid week of giveaways. Starting today, I'll announce a new prize each day for 7 days. You'll have a week to enter each random drawing. Simply leave a comment on my blog before 7 a.m. (EST) on the day of each drawing to get your name tossed into the day's hat. So, next Monday I'll announce the winner of today's prize, which is...

A $20 gift certificate to my etsy shop: Artsnark.etsy.com. Hop to it - share any ole comment before 7 am (EST) on 11/25 to enter this drawing. Also, be sure to leave your email if it isn't already in your profile so that I can contact you if you win.

And be sure to pop back every day this week to sign up for more random giveaways!