Fort Worth Opera + Blue Eye Brown Eye

This Spring, the Fort Worth Opera sponsored both Funky Finds Spring Fling events by donating the swag bags we gave out in conjunction with the charitable raffle. The bags were large red reusable shopping totes featuring the Fort Worth Opera logo on one side & Funky Finds on the other side. They were a big hit with attendees & perfect for carrying lots of funky finds! Earlier this month, my Mom and I attended FW Opera's production of Lysistrata, Mark Adamo’s contemporary opera buffa production of the ancient Greek comedy by Aristophanes. It was wonderful!!!

While there, we had the pleasure of meeting Holland Sanders, the Marketing Communications Manager that facilitated our partnership. She gave me a lovely gift, a hand-crafted notebook (pictured - click photo for larger view) created by Fort Worth based artisan Lauren Essl of Blue Eye Brown Eye. The FW Opera is now partnering with local artisans to create unique hand-crafted gifts for subscribers. It's so exciting to have organizations such as the FW Opera working closely with independent artisans! I asked Lauren what this opportunity has meant to her.  

"The Fort Worth Opera opportunity has been a great experience. It's been my experience in the past the quantities of this magnitude can be very tedious (I'm actually still working to complete 2,000, I'm at about 1,200 now) - but are worth it. I value anyone that has the appreciation for handmade, one of a kind items, and the Fort Worth Opera has been an amazing champion for local artisans. This new initiative for the gift is a great opportunity for local artists to share their work with a demographic and group of people that otherwise would never know about your work." (pictured: Grey and Yellow Vintage Inspired Typography Letterpress Suite)

Lauren is a letterpress printer, calligrapher, designer, and vintage collector. Her letterpress invitations & calligraphy work are amazing! In addition to offering letterpress and hand-stitched cards, Lauren also teaches letterpress classes. For updates & more info, follow Blue Eye Brown Eye on Facebook. SPECIAL OFFER: Receive a 15% discount on any order from Blue Eye Brown Eye with coupon code FUNKYDEAL.

GIVEAWAY: Mary's Jewelry Designs

Mary Bishop, owner of Mary's Jewelry Designs, began making jewelry in March 2011 as a therapeutic escape from being a full-time college student with a full-time work schedule. Once she realized how much she loved beading gemstone jewelry, she decided to turn this wonderful hobby into a small business.

Mary specializes in beaded gemstone and pearl jewelry that are always unique and eye-catching. Mary says she strives to provide high-quality jewelry at affordable prices for the everyday woman. The wide selection of necklace & earring sets are terrific, especially the Chunky Blue Howlite Set (above). I also love the Multi-Colored Agate Gemstone set.

One of Mary's latest offerings are the polymer clay floral rings. Available in a variety of colors, these rings are the perfect accessory for any ensemble, especially during Spring & Summer months! Colorful coordinating bracelets are also available. (pictured: Bright Pink Polymer Clay Rose Ring)

Mary's Jewelry Designs has participated in several craft shows in the East Texas area, including Longview Trades Days, the 1st Annual Funky Finds Spring Fling in Longview, and arts and crafts shows at local churches. In 2012, she plans to participate in shows not only in East Texas, but also in the Shreveport/Bossier City area. You can also purchase Mary's products in person at Vines and Friends in Longview, Texas, on Saturday, June 30th, and in July - dates TBA. Also, Mary recently sent jewelry to Adele, Ann Rice, Kristen Stewart, Katy Perry, and Ashley Green, so keep an eye out when browsing magazines & you may see a celeb sporting one of these lovely designs!

*** GIVEAWAY - Closed - Congrats Angel! ***

PRIZE: One lucky winner will receive a custom made beautiful three strand Picasso jasper gemstone bracelet (pictured). This gorgeous bracelet features Czech rondelle crystals & Picasso jasper gemstones. Matching necklace and earrings are available for purchase.

TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this post noting which of Mary's designs you like best.

ADDITIONAL ENTRY: Like Mary's Jewelry Designs on Facebook, then leave a comment on this post noting you have done so.

ENDS: 9pm CDT, Sunday, July 1st.


DreamPapercut features handmade papercuts by Ukraine-based artisans Dmytro and Iuliia. The duo creates hand-cut paper silhouettes inspired by nature, life and people who like their work. Paper cuts are made from a single sheet of paper and all of pieces are interconnected. Dmytro & Iuliia said they took interest in this craft about a year ago, then decided to create their online shop in order to share their art with other people.

We did a mini interview via email where I asked them how they got started making hand-cut paper designs. "Our story begins from childhood, when we visited creative classes such as painting, drawing and paper craft. Growing up and studying at university we didn't pay proper attention to creativity, but it always lived in our hearts. Once, we created a greeting card with hand-cut elements for our friend’s birthday. It was the first time we realized how much creativity occupies an important place in our lives. After that, we took interest in paper cutting art and started creating paper cut silhouettes."

While looking at all their pieces available online, it's evident that Dmytro & Iuliia are very talented & creative. The In Love Elephants (above) are amongst my favorites, as is Animal Planet. Of course, there are many images available that aren't animal related, such as Grand Piano and Couple In Love (left).

We summed up our interview with me asking the pair what handmade means to them. "We love creativity & handmade things, because looking at them you can feel the inner world of the person who made them," they said. Follow DreamPapercut on Facebook for updates & additional information.

Airstream Boutiques

According to Wikipedia, Airstream is a brand of luxury recreational vehicle manufactured in Jackson Center, Ohio. The oldest company in the industry, Airstream trailers are easily recognized for their distinctive rounded aluminum bodies, which originated in the 1930s from designs created by Hawley Bowlus.

To me, what's most interesting about Airstreams is the current trend of gutting them & creating boutiques on wheels. While researching this trend, I came across an article on TrendHunter Business featuring Los Angeles-based independent designer, Jeanne Landau, who has gone mobile in her Airstream aptly named Hitch Couture (interior photo above).

The Urban Cottage Airstream (left) is a new Dallas-based mobile furniture showroom steered by Ida Gleaton. The traveling boutique carries an ever-changing mix of furniture Gleaton has refurbished. Another shiny silver Airstream is home to Grey Dog, a vintage boutique in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Following owner Molly Clark's lead, there are now three other Airstream shops in the area - Wheels Grill, Silver Stream Café, and Out on a Whim - with an occasional fifth joining them.

The allure of a shop on wheels seems to be mobility & low overhead costs. Brick & mortar locations can be very costly & good locations can be hard to come by. Of course, many are drawn to the quirkiness & originality that can be found in a remodeled Airstream. As you can see, this trend is one that seems to be quickly spreading throughout the United States which in turn may drive up the cost of Airstreams.

Other Airstream boutiques I discovered online include Bootleg Shoe Boutique in Austin (pictured), Southern Hippie in Georgetown, Haberdash Vintage in Boston, and tech-savvy sportswear label AETHER who's set up in San Francisco's mobile-focused shopping lot Proxy.

Have you had the opportunity to visit an Airstream boutique? If so, please leave a comment as I would
love to hear about it!

Detroit Texas Arts Fest

Detroit Texas Arts Fest

This weekend Funky Finds will be set up at the Detroit Texas Arts Fest. Detroit is located in Northeast Texas near Paris, TX. It's a wonderful small town that works hard to provide the community with a yearly arts fest & antique car show featuring activities for all ages. There will be an all-ages art & photography competition, petting zoo, bounce house, variety of vendors, baked goods, refreshments & much more. Learn more on the Detroit Arts Fest website and Facebook page. (Yes, that is ME standing beside a pink car AND holding a baby kangaroo! Does it get any better than that? I don't think so!)

All With Love

Established in 2010, All With Love features hand-crafted goods created by the mother/daughter duo comprised of Evelina (mom) and Tiffany (daughter). Having been taught to sew by her grandmother, Evelina has been quilting since she was ten years old. Tiffany specializes in selecting unique fabrics & creating tote bags & other hip accessories. The duo says that their goal is to show others that quilts can be modern and fun.

I was lucky enough to view their products in person at the Funky Finds Spring Fling held in March. I loved all their designs, but was most enamored with the Spring Fox Quilt (pictured above). The fabric glass cases (pictured below) are perfect for protecting your eyeglasses or sunglasses. The well-made totes, available in a variety of modern prints, make great diaper bags, book bags, and all-around junk totes!

Evelina can create any quilt that you can dream up & she says she enjoys consulting with clients on the color and fabric choices. If you are looking for unique items for yourself or for a loved one, All With Love is a great source. Check out the All With Love Facebook page and Tiffany's blog for more information.


FriedaSophie is a jewelry designer based in San Francisco, California. Her handcrafted organic modern nature-based mineral stone jewelry in unusual colors sets her products apart from the masses. FriedaSophie says that she is passionate about designing & she feels that her jewelry adds a new fresh & modern style to the world of accessories. Using carefully selected gemstones in combination with sterling silver & 14k gold, each piece makes a bold statement. The Green Chrysoprase Triangle Necklace (pictured) is a perfect example of this.

Each piece is so gorgeous & feminine, making it hard to narrow down which ones to feature here. I love turquoise, especially for Spring & Summer, and the Rectangle Turquoise Earrings (pictured) are exceptional, as is the 14k gold Turquoise Rondelle Necklace. If I had to choose an absolute favorite, I believe I would choose the Onyx Ametyst Cluster Earrings because the color combination & shape are so wonderful.

To see some of FriedaSophie's one-of-a-kind pieces that are sold out, visit her Tumblr site. Also, Funky Finds readers will receive FREE SHIPPING with coupon code FREEBLOG.

Houchin’s House of Wizarding Wares

Based out of Fort Worth, Texas, Houchin’s House of Wizarding Wares is a premier maker of wooden wands & walking sticks. Their goal is to produce wands that are not only fun & stylish, but also affordable for everyone. Each wand is hand-carved from locally-purchased or found wood.

This unique company is currently rotating through the Hogwarts houses, offering discounts on select wands that would be compatible with someone who identifies with a specific house. Now that has been up for over a month, many die-hard Harry Potter fans have joined and been sorted into a house. This is a fun way to help people find the wand that might best suit them at an even better price.

The schedule for the sale is:
Ravenclaw: June 1-7
Slytherin: June 8-14
Hufflepuff: June 15-21
Gryffindor: June 22-28

Houchin’s House of Wizarding Wares is also hosting a “House Cup” which ends on June 28th. For each person you refer to Houchin's House of Wizarding Wares that makes a purchase through The Shops @ Funky Finds, you will receive one point. Make sure they include your name in the comment section when checking out so that you get credit for the referral. On June 28th, the points will be tallied & the winner will be announced. The winner will receive one wand stand, hand-crafted by a master wandmaker. (Wand not included.)

Disclaimer: Open to US residents age 18 and up. No purchase necessary to win. The HHWW House Cup is not affiliated with Harry Potter, Facebook, or any other related entities. Void where prohibited.

Follow Houchin’s House of Wizarding Wares on Facebook for daily updates & more information regarding the promos mentioned above.
(Pictured: 1. Ash Kicker; 2. Domino)

Summer Social at Urbanic Paper

Summer Social

Urbanic Paper is hosting a Summer Social on Thursday, June 14, from 7-10pm. Please RSVP by Tuesday, June 12, via email.
Location: 1644 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, California

GIVEAWAY: Laid Out and Candle Lit

Meeting author Ann Everett

I love to read & mysteries are among my favorite stories to immerse myself in. (I'm on Goodreads, are you?) Also, being a Texan, I am always happy to discover talented Texas-based writers. That's why I was so happy to learn about author Ann Everett. Creator of White-Trash-Face-Lift and Halter tops, Ann is a native Texan & an award-winning short story author. For many years, Ann enjoyed doing stand-up comedy for businesses, corporations, & non-profit organizations.

Her first novel, Laid Out and Candle Lit, is a humorous, romance mystery that has been released by Briona Glen Publishing under their Raven’s Wing imprint. Ann’s writing style of over-the-top humor & zany characters has been compared to Janet Evanovich and her Southern voice to Charlaine Harris. Those are mighty talented writers and Ann deserves every bit of the praise. This fast paced story will have you rooting for love & justice the entire time! It's very enjoyable & keeps you guessing to the end.

QUESTION: What do Sweet Thangs, Org@sm Pie, & murder in Brownsboro, TX have in common?
ANSWER: Tizzy Donovan

Small town girl, Tizzy, is a widow, single mother, sister to the county sheriff & known as the local girl who talks to the dead. After almost five years without a man, she’s pent up & hot-to-trot. And in small town Brownsboro, the roster of available men is just plain lousy. When Tizzy discovers a dead body in the cemetery, she quickly becomes a suspect. With each lead placing her credibility on the line, she knows there will be no talking her way out of this one with saucy come-backs and a helping of Better Than Sex Cupcakes. Texas Ranger Ridge Cooper arrives in town to cut his teeth on his first murder case, and becomes torn between duty & desire. His job gets a whole lot harder as he works to find a viable suspect other than the sexy woman with a sassy mouth.

Jory Sherman, Pulitzer Prize nominee & author of The Ballad of Pinewood Lake, gave the following endorsement of Ann's book. “Laid Out and Candle Lit is an enchanting tale of murder & deception teeming with endearing Texas characters. Tizzy Donovan is a captivating character & her relationship with Texas Ranger Ridge Cooper, investigating the murder that occurs in the first chapter, will keep the reader enthralled throughout. The novel takes you into a story that fairly crackles with originality & verve. Lest you think this is just another run-of-the-mill grim murder mystery, this tale of rural Texas is laced with an undercurrent of rollicking humor that will lay you out & light your candle.”

Ann’s second novel, You're Busting My Nuptials, will be released this summer. Currently, she’s busy adding to her line of White-Trash beauty, fashion, & decorating tips, as well as working on a cookbook titled Sweet Thangs. Laid Out and Candle Lit is available in paperback and e-book format at and Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and ibooks. Ann is also on Twitter @TalkinTwang.

*** GIVEAWAY - Closed - Congrats Julie McCall! ***

PRIZE: One lucky winner will receive a signed copy of Laid Out and Candle Lit.

TO ENTER: Subscribe to Ann Everett's blog & leave a comment on this post noting you have done so.

ADDITIONAL ENTRY: Leave a comment on this post noting which book(s) you have most enjoyed recently or are looking forward to reading this summer.

ENDS: 9pm CST, Saturday, June 16th.

Please note that this giveaway is open only to residents of the Continental United States.

Funky Five: Father's Day

Father's Day Finds

Father's Day is June 17th. Men can be a bit harder to shop for
than women, so here's a few ideas.

1. The Mother Huddle has some great DIY gift ideas for Dads,
including a pocket watch photo album.

2. Why not cook dear 'ol Dad a great breakfast or dinner on Father's Day? Tip Junkie shares 11 delicious recipes.

3. Scraps of Life shares instructions for creating an adorable grill treat box.

4. I love these great FREE printable tags by Delightful Distraction.

5. Make Dad a simple stitching vinyl wallet following
How About Orange's directions.