Tuesday, December 29, 2009

January Giveaway!

Ok, since I am completely indecisive, I have decided that my very first giveaway will be your choice of one of two prizes.

Option number one:

8x12 print on metallic paper.

Metallic paper is fabulous! It looks like a photo printed on the dull side of a piece of aluminum foil, but it has all the thickness and duribility of a normal professionally printed photograph. This image will be signed and dated, and will include a card with information about the artist.

Option number two:

A collection of four 4x4 prints from my antique buildings collection. Each image will be signed and dated and will include a card with information about the artist. They will be professionally printed on matte paper.

Also included with either option is a 50% off coupon good in any of my shops, and a credit for one free photo retouch. Please see my listing here for more details about photo retouching.

How to enter:

There are lots of ways you can enter! The more you do, the mor entries you get, and the better chance you have at taking home your prize. The first thing you need to do is follow my blog. Only blog followers will be considered for the prize! Even if you have done other things to get entered, you will not be considered until you're a follower. Following my blog is worth one entry.


*You can become a fan of my photo page here. - 1 entry (comment here telling me you did)

*You can make a post on facebook about this giveaway and make a comment here telling me what you said - 1 entry (up to 5 total)

* You can make a comment on a photo I have posted on my fan page and tell me why you like it, then leave a comment here telling me that you did - 1 entry (up to 5 total)


*Tweet about me and post a comment here with a link to it - 1 entry (up t0 5 total)
*Tweet about my giveaway and post a comment here with a link to it - 1 entry (up to 5 total)


*Start a forum thread telling about my giveaway (make sure you include a link to the blog!) and post a link to it in a comment here - 3 entries (unlimited)
*Purchase anything from http://www.charmingmittens.etsy.com/ http://www.thecharmingmitten.etsy.com/ or http://www.modfauna.etsy.com/ and post a comment here with the link to your purchases- 15 entries (unlimited)

Ok! That's how you do it. Good luck! I will tally all of the entries on February 1st (my birthday!) and announce the winner on February 2nd. The winner will then be contacted and asked to select their prize and I wil have it shipped off to them that same week.

Good luck! The more you do, the better your chances!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Messina Hof Winery

Yesterday I visited the Messina Hof winery in Bryan, Texas for a little inspiration and a few photo opportunities. It is a really beautiful property! The tour guide gave a fabulous tour, and he was very friendly.

You can view a few of the photos taken here:

Feel free to take a look around my website! I will be doing a giveaway soon, so if there is anything you would personally like to see as the prize, please feel free to leave a comment below and tell me about it. Any image on my site is up for grabs.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

ModFauna Treasury feature #3

ModFauna has just been featured in another treasury! This makes three for us, how fabulous!

Go show it some love here:


Here's the link to the Lucky Duck itself, who also enjoys love:


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Christmas this year was fabulous!

I spent the entire time with my fiance's family, and despite past unhappiness, they were quite nice to me this time! I am VERY happy to finally make some progress in that area! It has been a long road, but they are finally starting to be sweet to me when I am around.

I am now armed with multiple gift cards, so Michaels here I come!

I also won a couple of great auctions on Ebay, so you can expect to see some fun new additions to my shops based on my new materials.

Happy holidays everyone!

Stay tuned, because 2010 will be the year of the monthly giveaway!

That's right... free stuff!

It will range from jewelry, to photography, to ModFauna animals, to frames.... You'll just have to wait and see!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Asian District = Inspiration!

Today ThePaperElement and I went to the Asian district of Houston located along Bellaire Blvd. and Beltway 8. It's ths amazing center of Asian culture in our area and has everything you could possibly think to find.

We ransacked the grocery store, coming away with empty pockets and full bags, loaded down with treats, variations on basics, and.... Joss paper!

Joss paper is a Chinese traditional paper used in burning at ceremonies to respect the dead. It is beautiful and comes in many many colors, styles, prints and textures.... and it's super cheap. She and I picked some out, and once we got home with it we realized we should have gotten much more!

We hope to return after the holiday and pick up some other types, as well as visit some other stores. Time was tight today, but next time will be better.

TanTan Vietnamese "Fast Food" (Fast because they cook it fast!) is an absolute must for anyone visiting the area. My personal favorite is the E-25 seafood noodle soup with egg noodles, but you can rest assured that EVERYTHING (all 300+ items) on the menu is fantastic. They are located at 6816 Ranchester Dr. at Bellaire Blvd. Make sure you get some bubble tea in the shop in the next parking lot to the east, yum yum!

Many new projects will come from this day of inspiration, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I love to paint.

I'm just throwing that out there.

I love it! One evening while painting a some flowers on a few outgoing packages I had some extra paint left in my tray, so the once blah photo frame was transformed into a Tiffany blue masterpiece. Then the nearby mirror frame. Then the cover of a sketchbook within my grasp, and finally, when I had all but thought I ran out of things to transform with my painting prowess, I spy my collection of toy animal figurines.


The teal donkey was born.

Gleefully I showed my crafty friend my creation in the webcam, and she fell in love. I jokingly said that I should make an Etsy shop devoted to my mammalian creations, and she told me that if I didn't, she would. So ModFauna was born.

We are going into business together!

ModFauna will contain transformed objects d'art created from the blah base figurines of vintage, found and discarded but beautiful animal toys of our childhood past. We hand paint and design each and every figure and they are packaged with the utmost care (and style.)

ModFauna creations are perfect to transform any space! They add a certain style to an otherwise dull area with their bright colors and traditionally inspired patterns.

Take a look! (and pass out some hearts, we love those.)


We are currently featured in two treasiries:


Saturday, December 19, 2009

ThePaperElement + CharmingMittens = Craft Nest

Today my friend ThePaperElement came over and we had a whole evening of crafting!

It started out with a $70 trip to Michael's, followed by some yummy dinner at Pei Wei, a trip through Lowes and finished with a massive craft nest in the middle of my living room floor where we proceeded to work on elements of our future business venture, to be announced.

We are quite thrilled!

My living room is trashed. hah!

Stay tuned, my lovely followers, because what is yet to come will knock your handmade socks off.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Today there was a jedi battle in the organic produce section of my HEB.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New photos on the website

I added some beautiful new photos of Hannah here on my website. Take a look! Leave me a comment and see what you think =)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New Things To Come

Sometimes, just when you think you finally have everything figured out, something will just fly by and smack you in the head and make you reconsider some stuff.

This happened to me this evening. The thing flying and smacking me was my brand new kitten (Capers) (Best Christmas present ever) (Thank you darling fiance) and the stuff I reconsidered = my current art projects.

I have been feeling pretty cozy in my ability to create work for myself. I find enough stuff to keep me busy all day long and then some, usually keeping my mind racing many hours after I should have stopped and given myself a break, but times are changing!

You can expect to see some exciting new stuff out of me.

Constructive Tendencies

My new website is up and running!

Many thanks go to Richard Filyaw, my fabulous and talented web designer, who helped this become possible.

As you know, I am a photographer, and more than anything I wanted a place where I could show my work and not have to follow the scripts or setup of a hosted website, so I finally got my stuff together and got started on this project. I am very very proud to be able to show my work in such a fun online space! I am working on it daily, it is everchanging!

I am hoping that with time it will grow to look exactly how I want it. Nature inspired yet modern, fun yet classy, inspired yet professional.

I am encouraging all of my friends and etsy associates to go through my site and suggest to me some photos that you would like to see in my etsy shop. I am always trying to add new listings and bone up my shop, so please leave a comment and let me know your opinion.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Etsyselling.com Tradeaholic Team Feature!

How fun! Our team was mentioned on the etsyselling blog, yay! Maybe we'll get some more awesome shops to join :D

You can read it here: http://etsyselling.com/2009/11/team-time-etsy-traders/

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Muffintop Designs

Everywhere you immerse yourself with new groups and ideas you will find yourself picking one or two that really strike your eye. Whether it is one or two really fantastic people in a new clique, one or two shops in a great mall or one or two artists in a new gallery. I have been lucky enough to stumble upon Muffintop Designs in my travels around Etsy and I have fallen in love with her work!

While strolling through her shop recently, one of her beautiful stacking collections caught my eye. When worn together it gives the appearance of a single disc shaped ring with beautiful organically shaped spheres surrounding it. When taken apart you can see the fabulous amount of detail in each piece that creates this grouping.

This set is called Rustic Sterling Silver New Moon and Organic Orbit Stacking Rings - Set of 4, and is available in her shop here.

I was lucky enough to get a chance to ask her some questions about her work. I really love finding out more about those who can create such fabulous pieces of art. It brings more meaning and value to their pieces to know their background.

What made you decide to start making jewelry?
- i went through a bit of a difficult time personally and for the first time in a long time, lost my creative drive. a friend introduced me to beading, and the rest is history! i'd always wanted to make jewelry - recently i was going through a box of old papers and found a necklace i had made when i was 16!

What inspired your stacking rings?
- my wedding set is made up of three rings and i've always loved the layered look. i love it that you can change your "stack" depending on your mood or outfit.

Do you have a daily crafting routine with a schedule and goals, or is it just something that just happens when you have time?
- having a 6 month old baby really forces me to maximize my crafting time! i'm never sure if i'll have time to make anything or fill orders, so i squish as much soldering as i can when she's in her playpen or down for a nap. sometimes i have the torch going at 5am! but i haven't done too badly!

Grannies or Tinies :D?
- tinies. lol!

Do you make jewelry for the mini?
- not at this point. she'd try to eat them. she's teething.

What inspired Tradeaholics?
- there was a thread in the forums at the end of 2007 (i think) where people were listing their shops if they were willing to trade. i started another thread when i compiled all of those shops alphabetically (geez, where did i have the time?) and it grew and grew and grew. fellow etsy seller AKHotDoggies started the traders' list (http://etsytraders.blogspot.com ) which she and i kept adding to. then AKHotDoggies and beadalicious came up with the idea of having a team and the rest is history!

Tell me about a few of your favorite trades. Or, What are some of the things you love trading for?
- my first trade with with fabulous etsy seller magymai711 - she fell in love with some of my beaded bracelets and i got some amazing collage sheets. lately i've gotten some great stuff - tutus from thegirlyplace, key fobs from tracydesigns, fudge from hillsidebakery, and jewelry supplies from julieellyndesigns. i love trading for handmade bags, totes and purses, and now that the mini is here, baby girl stuff!

If money wasn't an object, what would you create?
- i would be definitely creating high end rings, earrings and bracelets, using lots of gemstones, silver and gold. i don't have the money or the space for the equipment i would need, and i would probably need to take more classes! (of course, i'd hire a personal instructor!)

Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you find something you love in the Muffin Top Shop.

Website, hurray!

It sure is awesome to know someone who can build websites!

My awesome friend Mike is building a great site for me :D I am very excited, I actually own my own dot com! http://www.constructivetendencies.com/ will be live as soon as he can get it pieced together. This will allow me to show off all of my work without having to type out my previous 41 character long address! I am also escaping the clutches of Photo Reflect.com and moving on to bigger and better things.

I am trying to keep it simple so that my artwork is the main focus, not my fancy website. I hope to have a site where I can mention people that contribute to my creativity, so it will end up being good marketing for everyone!


This calls for a latte. I'll be right back.

Annnd back.

I also wanted to update on my ring endeavor! I have been busily crafting up little photo seaglass rings like California Dreamin' and by morning I should have two more ready to list. One of which features Bearial, my darling travel companion featured at the top right of your screen, and one features a shiny sealed dime. No, the dime doesn't fit with the other seaglass rings, but it's still pretty fantastic in my opinion.

Let there be business cards! (Designed by yours truly)

Yes, I now realize I wrote the wrong address on my card, but this is being fixed right now! I am hoping to spread these babies far and wide and find some new clients that want my photographic expertise. Here's hoping!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Through the Viewfinder

Much more to come on this subject, but I thought I would share my second TtV shot ever, the Lovey Birds. They are available as a set of two in my etsy shop here. As always, there is a 15% discount if you mention my blog in your message to seller. The percetnage will be refunded in paypal. This pair of birds is a small set of porcelain treaures I found one evening out with my mom shopping. I really love the idea and style of TtV photography, but I am just getting started, so much potential! I have been deathly ill lately, so I couldn't go outside for my TtV images, so I made little stups, which this cute picture is the product of. I am currently buying Duaflex cameras on ebay and spiffing them up and reselling them, so if you are looking for TtV equipment please contact me :)


Recently I got the fun opportunity to do a shoot for a local Texas band, Potbelly.

They have a fantastic reggae/rock sound, and the band members couldn't be nicer! They invited me to one of their practice sessions to do a few shots and I ended up with some really fantastic ones.

I placed one in my etsy shop here.

My personal favorite part of the shoot was doing their individual portraits. There are so many group shots of bands, but you rarely see anyone except the lead singer heavily photographed. I took the opportunity to catch each element of the band in their own personal role.

Each member had such a strong personality, which made it super easy for me to do my editing. I am currently really loving the desaturated look, but I wanted to retain some flair for this image because the portrait is of the very talented lead singer and he is definitely not a desaturated kind of guy. Desaturated kind of guy? It's late, cut me some slack.

It's much too late, but the guilt of abandoning my blog recently finally won! I have many many many projects in the works that I am more than excited to share, so stay tuned! I also will soon be featuring MuffintopDesigns and her fabulous work, as well as doing a tribute piece to a few etsyians that I admire.

Goodnight blogspot! I will do my best to share the wonders of Through the Viewfinder photography with you tomorrow :D

Monday, November 2, 2009


Today I am writing about Jerseymaids, an Etsy.com artisan that uses the unique and fantastic Polariod camera as her creative outlet.

Her work ranges from beautiful views of Paris to super heroes on patrol and arrives at your doorstep lovingly packaged in forms such as earrings, magnet snap interchangeable rings, necklaces, prints and calendars.

I have always been taught the means to create the perfect photo. Perfect color, perfect clarity, perfect lighting.... But as the years have gone by I have been drawn to things such as Polaroid art, which in the hands of a skilled photorgapher such as Jerseymaids, can lead to beautiful works of art. They are a far cry from the classic photographer's goal, but that is what makes them so amazing. He work lends a fantasy view to the norm, something looking through a high powered couple thousand dollar lens couldn't possibly capture.

As a photographer and an art lover, I am quite proud to say I own a copy of Onion Bloom, and it sits lovingly on my floating shelf next to a vintage Petri fisheye lens and a small moss terrarium. {Don't you worry Jersey, I'm working every day to try to get you one too ;D } It is on the wall that faces me when I wake up and is often the first thing I see each day. A warm, glowy image of the flower moving slowly in the wind reminds me of fields unmet and sunny days yet to be taken advantage of.

Take a walk by her shop, I promise it will leave you with similar feelings.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 2, 2009

Trade-A-Holic Buttons, yay!

I am a very happy member of an etsy street team called Trade-A-Holics, Team Trade On!

It's an excellent group of very talented artisans of all types who unite in their desire to barter. We have trade-and-stay events (One of which is happening this weekend yay!) and the occassional surprise "trade frenzy." We trde our wares for other wares and everyone is thrilled at the end of it all, and it is quite exciting!
I wanted to show my tradeaholic pride on my blog, but unfortunately none of the current buttons quite matched my style, so I made my own :D

They're super-cute in my opinion, and if you're a fellow tradeaholic please feel welcome to snatch them from me. I love the whole scrapbook feel right now, so I am trying to stick with it. It seems to be the medium I am most comfortable with :)

Here you go, enjoy!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Well, I finally broke down and listed a print on Ebay. As much as I love selling prints on Etsy, I need to learn to make them move faster! As a photographer I have the persistant problem of being chronically broke, so any sales are welcome. I decided to broaden my horizons and list on Ebay today to see if I can get any art action. It costs more than listing on Etsy, which of course is terrible, but we'll see what happens. I listed a print from Bearial's travels:

Very soon I will do an article on Bearial so you guys can learn what he is all about. For now you can be content with knowing he is a fantastic world traveller and his pictures are absolutely adorable. He is the perfect touch to children's rooms as well as that boring workspace that needs cheering.

Time for the post office! I am going to drop some Etsy goodies in the mail so they can reach their eager Tradeaholics.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Ok then!

Ok, so here goes.

I am a Houston, TX area photographer and I run a small shop at Etsy.com under the name CharmingMittens. There I sell my photography, as well as small bits of jewelry, supplies and the occasional journal or paper product.

I am a proud member of Tradeaholic and I look forward to their upcoming trade event! (The first weekend in October, woo!) I try to trade for supplies and tools, and I am always looking for new jewelry tools and paper punches.

As far as my photography goes, I have been shooting for 10 years now, and working in Photoshop just as long. Every image you see on this page has been touched by me. I made the banner and all of the side banners as well as shot my profile picture and the picture of Bearial, whose life story you will soon be told. The papers, tape, pins, bits, pieces and colors are all products of me, and I absolutely love doing it. If you would like your blog to have a custom feel to it, let me know. I would be glad to try to design something for you.

I do wedding photography as well as portraits. I work with families, children, pets and babies. I can edit old photos to give them new life and perfection as well as place your images on various items such as cards, mugs, t-shits and all that stuff. A small selection of my portfolio is available for viewing here.

My prices are very reasonable, so please consider me for your events! Christmas is coming up and portraits make wonderful gifts. (They are much cheaper than most other presents you can give, also, so keep that in mind during times when penny-pinching is a must!)

Silver Jewerly. Well, let's see. I spent a long time in college learning various techniques and styles of jewelry making. I love rings! I enjoy making bezels and custom rings out of things from seaglass to minerals, gemstones, driftwood, and once upon a time I made one with moss inside.


Nice to meet you guys! I hope that in the time sto come you will enjoy my posts and hopefully learn a few tricks from my tutorials, as well as find some new favorites among my featured Etsy sellers.


Getting this going!

Ok. So after many hours of work I have managed to turn a not-quite-my-style scrap layout into something my own. While I was working I made sure to leave a note for any potential views, just so I could make clear that the original heading was absolutely not my idea.

I am hoping with this blog I can give you guys some tutorials, stories, updates and a bit of insight into my work.

I'll introduce myself in the next post when it isn't 4:00 AM and I trust myself to be a tick more coherent.