Friday, December 21, 2012

Sentimental Journey Home for Christmas


Black Butterfly 

Grace slick with midnight oil, 
Tempered blue in glimpses on wings 
Broad as maple leaves... 

Against the pure anise in bloom, 
You still a pose of negative space, 
No trace of butter, more as resin 
Condensed mystic suspense, 

Exception to the rule of color, 
Are you all in greedy shadow, reflecting none? 

Or consummate lover of beauty, 
Embracing the prism's rainbow as one? 

Or simply paradox of nature, 
Brooding black alacrity 
In flight... 

Absorbing sun, yet shedding weight 
As you take the sky, your claim 
As true as Monarch's--who 
Only flirts with your depth of wing--
You, transcendent changeling... 

***

My Christmas Gift to You... 
Is this poem and quirky elf photo, one from a decade ago, one half a decade. Hug your family's children for the holidays. They grow up so fast!
My ginger (#3 on the right below) is 17 now...




Saturday, December 8, 2012

Art Deco Delite

Art Deco Delight
It's no secret that we're fans of females, fiction, and the Flapper era. I'm a bit boho myself--what mermaid isn't?--and our feminine clients love jewelry that is artsy and out of the ordinary...

So we could hardly wait to tell you, the most exciting thing has happened! 


Italian goldsmith and our dear friend, Ruven Perelman, has decided to pass along some of his hidden gems to you. 

His mother, who worked alongside his goldsmith father, created a sample collection of beautiful art deco era originals for her exclusive clients of the last century. 

These pieces were displayed as examples of her talent, but were never worn. 


Lois "Lipstick" Long

Today were are able to offer these originals to you as mint, vintage jewelry designs representative of a time when women were gaining independence in America. 


Writers and artists were forming communities of bohemians who wore their beads large, long, and loose. 

Similar iconic beads have been restrung as costume pieces for generations, but these are perfectly original designs, not copies. 

Beads of this quality are rare and expensive these days, and 14K gold and gold-filled findings are reserved for fine jewelry. 

Art Deco Delite is a collection of vintage custom designs in semiprecious stones, artistic enamel and handcarved beads that were secreted in a vault for decades. 

Karma Carnelian
They belong in a museum, but would look stunning with your new chiffon dress, and très chic over your favorite sweater. 


Do you believe in fate? Perhaps Mrs. Perelman created a strand of sumptuousness just for you so many years ago...


Swimmingly Yours,
the mermaid

Friday, December 7, 2012

Go Viral Like a Corgi on Pinterest! Advice for Artists & Entrepreneurs Alike


Let’s understand this grassroots social networking business world in which we’re living. 

I’m operating from a neighbor-to-neighbor, pay-it-forward mindset as always, but in a new way. 


As an entrepreneur with a gallery of artists to promote, I’m not shy about sharing my mission socially. 


In fact, it’s fair to say I consider it almost a moral issue to support those who can see no other purpose than to bless us with their art. 

Talents utilized as a spiritual mandate, a way of finding one’s place in the world, makes the world a better place.

I might stand on a mountain and blast my message into the valley and create a tiny breeze in the burrow below. 

But if I use a cute puppy, it might go viral on Pinterest! 


Never before has instant, emotional marketing been so effective. 


Instead of playing a video game (boo Angry Birds!), women are using their hunter/gatherer tendencies to sort the world into categories of personal relevance via photo representation.

Women love sharing photos. 

So do many men. 

But most people absolutely abhor advertising. 

We tune out banner ads, block pop up ads, banish spam using high tech filters, and ban spammers from our lives whenever possible! 

But then there’s this amazing Thing we have to buy at Target—we forget where we saw it or who told us about it—but it’s a must have this holiday season! 

Oh. Despite our best effort to avert our eyes, they still find what they want to see.


Here’s a Pin Tip:


Good design, clever words, and a photo of a Corgi puppy will always be worth saving and sharing. 

If you can design a cleverly worded Corgi puppy ad, you’re golden. 

Everyone will love it, love you, and your image will travel the globe in mere hours. 

Some may click, several may remember your brand, and a couple may buy your handiwork. 

The same is true of mermaid art, 
famous quotes, 
and DIY t-shirt scarves. 


(Note: Boho chics like me totally love DIY photos for hand-dying an ombre skirt made out of a vintage crocheted tablecloth.)

So, you’re an artist. Or an entrepreneur. Or both. 

How can you give your art the sparkle that creates the must-have, hunting/gathering response in women? 

We value cuteness, cleverness, and the belief that “we can do it ourselves!” 

If a cat, a caption, and a comment can boost your blog traffic, sales, and SEO, then the art of marketing on Pinterest may be worth an hour or two a week. 

I pin randomly throughout my computer workday. 

I don’t spend my entire day on my computer, but my pins tend to occur during peak Pinterest hours often enough.

Here’s the cat I used to draw in 4th Grade, done up as a long pin tutorial for MS Paint. 


Elementary, my dear Watson! 


Our artists are a lot better at painting than I am… 

Think I’ll stick to the promote!


Swimmingly Yours,

the mermaid

Monday, November 26, 2012

$aving $$$ is an Art Form

$avings. Here is how it's done:

Buy from shops that give you an incentive to save, now or later via coupon or rewards. 

For our part, here is your holiday coupon from Mermaid's Bite:


With other shops, check them out on Facebook, or Google "coupons" and the [shop name] to come up with offers. 

Here's what we just bought at DSW to give you an idea of what loyalty can be worth:



(Sure, it's a discount store, but we Never Pay Retail at big box stores if we can help it!)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Creatives: Essential Inhabitants of the Blue Planet

Thanks to Julie Bruce, PhD, we have 10 ways to survive the holidays as Creatives... by being ourselves. 


OK, perhaps we need a printable to hand out to family members who push us to fit in, or complain that we're not joining in the reindeer games correctly. Our families might want to remember that if it weren't for Creatives, there may not be reindeer games or holiday stories to tell!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Art Yarn Scarves for the Wanderer



Are you ready to travel this season? Snowbirds are flying in, students are flying out, tourists are forever wandering about... 



We pull some strings 

----

and spin some yarns 

~~~

to help you look 
pulled together 
in every endeavor, warm or cold weather.


Art Scarves $30-40 



<3
~:)-3-}}}><



Knitted Sari Silk Scarf/Belt


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Pinteresting...



It's not difficult to understand why Google owns the internet. And Facebook is monetizing through its "promote" option, as is to be expected. So it's adapt or die, folks. 

We're really into Pinterest these days because (for now) everyone on the planet (with a Pinterest account) can see everything we pin. As long as it's interesting, people will repin our photos to their own boards for their followers to find. Very fair and decent. 


Plus, we all like artists, DIY, beauty, animals, and PHOTOS, don't we? I have begun following many blogs since seeing someone pin crafts from them, so I feel like I'm discovering a little more of the universe one pin at a time. 

Eventually, Pinterest likely will become about the making money directly off of members, once we're addicted to pinning. But meanwhile, it brings a smile to my face that I can collect wise words, pretty photos, and great ideas. Plus, I can share the best of my friends' posts and crafts with my followers!

It's a pretty positive place, Pinterest. Join me by following? We'll follow you back! <3, Peace & Harmony. 

~Your Mermaid Friend

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sand Castle Season Starts!


Our season follows Stone Crab Season (October 15th - May 15th). During the season, we will have a second annual sand castle event on 5th Avenue Beach. Stay tuned for details! 



Meanwhile, revisit our castle from Easter weekend 2012.





Saturday, November 3, 2012

Mermaid Originals

Le Sirene Collection
Art Nouveau Style Originals Solid Sterling Silver
Le Sirene Gioiose - Italian for "The Joyous Mermaids"
Cuff is 84g Sterling Silver, hinged closure, 2.5 x 2 inches x 1.75 inches.


La Sirena Allegra - Italian for "The Cheerful Mermaid"


Friday, November 2, 2012

Siren Bookmarker

Remember when slipping a handmade bookmarker inside a holiday card was a totally legit gift? It still is, but now they are printables like this, and it's called vintage. :)



Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fall from Florida


Colombian Inspirations for Fall
from Mermaid's Bite Gallery
Adriana Rangel Handloomed Scarf (SWFL) $48-$200
Handwoven Wayuu Bags (Colombia) $100
Cypress Tables (Naples, FL) $80-$120
Cypress Knees (SWFL) $50


Scarf Handspun by Christiane Knight & Neena (MD & FL) $16
Nahuatl Dress by Suek (Mexico) $120
Scarf Handloomed by Adriana Rangel (SWFL) $105
Turquoise Necklace by Sandie Howe (Naples, FL) $95
Child's Cherokee Basket (Cherokee, NC) $40

Monday, October 29, 2012

Mindcraft. Teenspeak.


Listening to my son playing Minecraft on teamspeak...Kinda proud of his leadership skills. But in a geeky way.

Mistakes Are Beneath Me


“What about mistakes” he asked the flustered fairy, who was animatedly painting a bouncing crocus blossom red.

“Mistakes are beneath me,” she said.

“You don’t make mistakes, then?” he asked.

“Yes, mistakes are beneath me,” she repeated, motioning to the tall pile of flower petals under her feet. “I’m standing on them. With my mistakes beneath me, lifting me higher, I can reach the taller flowers.”



Rhiannon the Fairy Queen is featured in an exclusive eBook:

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Things You Can Do To Save Your Family


Things You Can Do To Save The Planet Your Family


One of our original purposes of supporting artists and giving the charities was to live according to our family's conscience. For example, little children should not be making clothing as slaves, workers should not be asked to sleep upstairs in the factory every night, and workers deserve a living wage. 


But as I perused my designer labels a couple of years ago, I justified my choices by thinking that surely fashion designers were vetting their factories in China pretty well. Surely nothing I bought during my corporate career was made by a child. 

Granted, they weren’t always the greatest quality, or even my romantic style, but they were safe from the bad energy of slave labor. Surely.

As I shopped online, it amazed me how often the flowery description of a casual shirt omitted its origin. And the customer service representatives were no help at all. They could tell me the color was azure, but had no idea where the pricey pieces were made. 

I’d already begun buying bespoke garments for myself from reputable independent designers, and was planning to carry original designs in my gallery, but much of my closet was a garish nightmare of uncomfortable, ill-fitting, often ugly-yet-high-end rags from Chinese factories. Clipping the labels out of them was not helping my conscience at all. 

I felt like a sucker. I was walking around town oh-so-cute in clothes possibly made by the hands of slave labor instead of mindfully sporting less-than-current, vintage-y shirts I had bought in college. Actually, that had been one of my finest fashion qualities. I was ready to get back to some of my finest qualities. 

Not yet a crusader for fair trade (again), I began to inspect my clothing purchases with the rigor of label reading I exercised at the health food store.

When voting with our dollars, we must find middle ground that respects our values, our human brothers and sisters, and our depth of responsibility. Yeah, it really does matter what we buy. It matters how hard we work to live with a conscience—it makes it easier to live with ourselves! 

We make choices every day. We consume, we waste, we want to care... We justify our wrong choices. What can we really do to save the planet?

Buying vintage clothing is easy. I placed my China labels in a consignment shop and stashed the copious cash from their resale in more artisan-made goods now for sale in our gallery. The sale of those goods will feed the artists’ families, all while making conscientious fashionistas drool-worthy. 


And we have a teenager watching it all. So we’re really saving our family. My son has gone to school with wealthy kids from China. I want him to think of making a better world for the less wealthy ones. It’s his choice. 


But perhaps ours will set a good example. His favorite tee these days is an organic USA-made, locally tie-dyed logo tee from our gallery. At least I believe it’s his favorite. Anyway, he owns one. It’s soft, it feels good, and he knows the difference. 

I’m confident he’ll make a difference during his lifetime.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Not Marketing, Just True.


They walked into the sunny shop with its bright art and orange sides and paused, as if interrupting something important. After being greeted by the owners, they thought, we must have imagined it. But the energy was different. This was not just a shop, but a family. The goods were marked by the hands that made them--not touched by slave laborers, but worked with love by creators.

It was almost too much, but just enough. It was breathing in and knowing the air was alive with grace. Humans don’t earn walking into another’s space, it is opened to others through hospitality. 

So if there is a conversation going when you enter here, and we pause to greet you, you are not interrupting, you are the invited guest arriving to the party. You’re expected and welcome.

Sure, we are living a rich life of struggling and investing capital and sweat into this adventure you just entered. It’s not a shop, but a gallery. It’s not a business, but a livelihood. It’s not stuff, but one-of-a-kind art. 

You’re part of this life. Step inside. We put this all together with the artists just for you. Appreciate this. Reciprocate if you can by falling in love with something here. Each piece was created for its rightful owner—perhaps you?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I'd Make Soap On a Bouncing Bet, No Lye!


I’d Make Soap
On a
Bouncing Bet,
No Lye!

You know that place right before payday back in college, when you watered down your dish soap to make it last a little longer? Yeah, most of the country is there about now.
In fact some of us have started making our own soap…



Social, political, international, economic factors—and gut feelings about all of these—finally reminded me to write this note to myself, which I may as well share with you. If you read this as part of a cyber archaeological site sometime in the future, well…


1 Cup Soapwort Plant & Root : 4 Cups Water

Simmer Until Soapy 

Store in a Glass Jar for Up to 7 Days


Look for my seed packet for Bouncing Bet and add a 4x as much H2O to the resulting mature hydroponically-grown plant (or however you’re growing plants in your century) including the root. Apply heat to the mixture until it begins to bubble and become basic. 
That would be called simmer until soapy in our day. Et voila!  You have just created pioneer survivalist soap.

 Bouncing Bet 

Saponaria Officinalis 

blooms out in flowers that smell like cinnamon, and makes soap that is easy on the skin and fabrics.
I made some thyme soap once that smelled awful, but if you want to add any other herb waters such as
lavender to spruce up the aromatherapeutic qualities of the soap mixture, just be quick about it. Without the preservatives found in commercial soaps or the cured properties of lye soap (which is a whole big deal to make, taking days instead moments), this soap lasts less than seven complete spins of Earth on its axis.

I’m sure you’ll use good sense: Please don’t drink soap or get it in your eyes.







Enjoy getting clean!



Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Come Sea


And when he touches your lips
With his long finger to linger
On what you long to say,
Don't push him away.
He is telling you of his silent love.
Words don't come, but his soul
Is in his hands, he is giving
All he has ever known.
Understand.

This tender moment when you want to question,
Let it be, hold your breath.
But don't forget to breathe.
He’s telling you he'll never leave you.
He's unaware of words to stammer,
He's underwater and grateful
You'll go there with him.

You've seen his depths
And he sees you'll hold his hand
And swim down to the reef,
Your lungs about to burst--
He told you to exhale first.
There’s just stillness
This close to every color God thought of,
You need to see more of this…
He wants to show you
The thinnest stripe on a
technicolor swimming thing
That bites your wrist.

This is his sea,
His life and depth,
The reason you each practiced
Holding your breath
As children across a gulf from
One another.
And for this rhyme?
He was always your brother in time.

You'll surface together in a moment,
But first, let the pressure
Of paradise do its worst
Until you let go of all the space
That keeps you apart,
Until you fill his lungs with more than air,
Until you see him nod
And see God…
And surface together gasping,
Eager to ride the squeezing bubbles
Of life and swim down again…

Into the tickle of his touch,
His toes on your thigh,
As you fly where no sun can spoil the skin,
Where fins and shells are grown and shed,
Where mystery is bred.
Give him your weightless hand
And watch his eyes when he points to the world
He wants to inhabit together.
Listen to his muffled laugh
And wonder with him a while...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Middle

Feet under me, 
past behind me, 
I feel a tap on my shoulder, 
I turn to find
Your bright face,
Your words
Strumming regret, and yet singing
Kindness for me
Saying what I've longed to hear
For years, since we met

When it all lay ahead
A desert, oasis, mountains, seas...
Even then your travels
Had me listening at the wall
Drawn around you by women

I placed a bookmark
In our pages,
Something to come back to
When our places
Matched,
When your feet grew tired
And you were thirsty
From the salt of tears,

As dreams loom
Elusive now
And anger spoils the landscape,
Take the lenses from my eyes
And see how I see you:

See your sweet smile
And the wide, open space
For love to slip
Into your arms.

Once you charmed me,
The future clanging through
The Windchime.
Now you touch me,
Your words moving over me
In firm strokes,
My skin receiving them,
Yeilding to your mercy.

In the freedom of this moment,
I realize I waited for you
More than one lifetime
Digging a garden
To the music of my memory
Of you...

Just a tune from a restless time
As you sing your words,
As you strum the strings
And I find the seeds
Were planted long ago--
Dormant energy
Rising
Toward the sun--
We lay down to
Watch it grow...

And you were never alone,
We were here in the garden.
Even as we trudged the earth,
We were dancing in the garden,
Spinning circles.

Now your dusty feet I wash,
Dry them with my hair,
Set them in the leafy vines
That line the path we made
Nourished by our tears.
So we will share the endless Well
And you will never thirst--
You've found it again.

Vine around me where we lay
As the past rots to feed our roots
And wisdom humidifies
To cloud the pain,
And we ripen
Just to share the sweetness
Of ourselves with each other.

The salt of all the struggling years
Giving way to the middle
Where I lay my head
As you rest your vibrating hands
On my healing places
And I wet the tip of time with my tongue...

Love is everywhere, hanging from the trees
Chiming in the breeze of yesterday
Reminding me that we are here
Because of its grace
As I turn to your face
As I turn to the future
As I turn in circles
With you
Dancing

Saturday, July 28, 2012

If Our Country Fails


If our country fails
Based upon the dollar,
What will become of our art?
If art remains, will it be
A projection on a flatscreen
With a thumbdrive plugged
Into its frame?

If we live in tiny cubicles
With other families
And share our lives with
Communal residents,
Perhaps rotating our art
By the hour
On the screen
Above the couch
Will be the remains
Of our great creators...

Picasso fades into
Digital edifices
Of skyscrapers now abandoned...
Our existence
Will demand this escape,
Large will be our luxury,
Large, multi-use space:
A museum on the one open wall
Of our habitats,
Our shacks beset
With jewels of other times...
          
Economy from affluence,
Posters of masters
Glancing at us
Through the screen of ages...
Then will artists demand
Their price
As dignitaries in palaces
Own the art
Of our world?

Will tiny vignettes
Become collectible
By those with wall space?
The downloads will
Sell for pennies
On our dollar,
Which, we are warned,
Is already depreciated
Below the price of bread...

Will we give up our art
At the end of the world?
Will a pixel-filled frame
Bring us our only memory
Of flowers,
Landscapes,
Industrial palettes
And sculptures too expansive
To fit into our new world?

When we crowd out our planet,
Will art survive?
Or will the squalor of common
Space house a vision
Of possibilities lost
In the squandering of riches?
How much is art worth?
How much would you pay?
$10 for 1000 digital copies
Of works from 2 centuries.
Adjust for inflation...

I guess that's fair…
For not long ago,
Access to excess
Was the artist's curse,
Slavery to the flavors
Of the men with favor.
We are only returning
To our roots...

But this time,
Who will draw on our
Cave walls?
Where will David reside
That we all may know
Michelangelo?

Who will be founding
The new salon?
Perhaps Milan
Will release these secrets
On iTunes
That we may download
A dead culture
Only princes will know
In person.

So buy the frame,
Let the art community
Dictate your wallspace.
They know what they are doing.
And it's easy to erase...