17 July 2011

SilverCrow's ATC Challenge - Imaginations, Please Go Wild!

Deadline Extended - for MANY Reasons!
Monday, September 5, 2011. So you have lots of time to find SilverCrow stuff! Right after that, we'll start the
Sample ATC from Sherry Scott!
What to Make
Create up to 3 ATCs (Artist Trading Cards). ATCs are little works of art about the same size as modern baseball cards or poker playing cards, 2-1/2 by 3-1/2 inches (63mm x 89mm).

Circus, carnivals, clowns, masquerade - any interpretation you can conjure from that! 

3 Samples from Nicole Marie

What to Use Use at least one SilverCrow Creations product - old or new - from Etsy or our website. No purchase necessary - just as long as we sell the product - you don't even have to buy it from us. 

How to Enter
Post a picture on SilverCrow's Facebook page or email us - omar(at)silvercrowcreations(dot)com - or post a link to your picture in a comment on this blog. Just be sure to tell us where the picture is so we can find it. Maximum 3 entries. And, be sure to let us know which of our products you used in your project. Please send no more than 2 photos for each entry and make sure they are either .jpg, .tif, or .gif.

Monday, September 5, 2011. So you have lots of time to find SilverCrow stuff! Right after that, we'll start the voting.
Sample from Anne Squire

Entry Gift
Everyone who enters will receive a free specially created mini ephemera/collage pack in the real mail - yep! Each ephemera package will be mailed to you as soon as you enter. If you enter 3 times, you'll get 3 packs! Wow! Of course, we'll need your real physical address to mail the entry gift, so please make sure we have your address. If you're already a SilverCrow customer, then we have it. If not, send us a private Facebook Message or an email. We prefer to do it that way to protect your privacy.

If we can't find you, we'll let you know via our blog, Omar's Features on SilverCrowCreations.com and on Facebook.

Sample Background from Mitchell Schuller
There will be 4 prizes. First prize: $30.00 SilverCrow Gift Certificate. Second Prize: $20.00 SilverCrow Gift Certificate. Third prize: $10.00 SilverCrow Gift Certificate. Random Prize: $25.00 SilverCrow Gift Certificate.
3 Samples from Nicole Marie

The random prize will be awarded to one of the entries via random number generator. We will pick our top five favorites and then, at the end of the contest, we'll ask you to vote for your favorites by posting on our blog or our Facebook page. Right now our Facebook Gallery has samples from some of our wonderful customers! As we get entries, we'll move the samples to another gallery and put the entries in this gallery. Don't worry, if you're not the Facebook type, you can still look at the Gallery without joining Facebook.

Sample from Sherry Scott
Fine Print
By entering the contest, you allow us to post your photographs and your name or pseudonym online and in print.

10 July 2011


All of the wonderfully illustrated quotes are from http://www.cherrybam.com.

09 July 2011

Even More fun Websites - Art, Toys & More

Serendipity finds these for us and we're delighted. We find them when looking up information - either for work or simple curiosity and it's fun to share them. We hope you have fun with them, too! The poem in the generator is one I created. Share yours with us - it should be fun!

Create a Kaleidoscope

08 July 2011

Be not forgetful...Part Two

Pete and I reluctantly started using Facebook & Twitter thinking that we would grow our business, SilverCrow Creations. And it has helped us. Our goal with SilverCrow has always been to remain small but to act large.

We do our own programming, accounting and everything else business-y by the rules - even in these challenging times. Sometimes we're behind, but we always manage to catch up. That's the large.

When you come to SilverCrow or to our Etsy Shoppe, we want you to feel as though you walked into a small boutique. We try to remember all of our customers and what our individual customers like and dislike. We smile when we see someone return after several years. We have one customer (who is a regular blog reader) who has been so kind - for at least 3 years, we made a mistake in almost every one of her orders! Never a complainer, she was always kind in telling us about our error! Of course, we fixed them. But that's no excuse for us! We try hard not to make mistakes, but it happens! We've finally stopped the cycle (we hope).

At one time, we tried to figure out what would sell. That was a big mistake! Now, we find what tickles us - vintage and new - and then, if we get stuck with it - at least we like it! We're just being ourselves - and so are our customers! We love the personal contact.

The social media sites have really helped us become more personal! Thinking them to be a "necessary evil," we started slowly. We don't do anything fancy - we'd have to figure out how to do that - we're too small to hire bloggers, techies and such - we're all of those and more.

But what we really didn't expect surprised us more than ever! We've met the loveliest people- new personal friends - angels who have entered our lives before we even knew it! Some were already our customers; some will never be our customers. Some are over 90, many are teenagers, and every age in between.

We've had some rough times over the last few years and we have a few more bridges to cross. We can't tell you how much easier it has been for us with the personal encouragements, the continued patronage and the sharing amongst each other - some of our customers have met through us and have made the world a small and cozy place, if only for a moment.

We've met other people who feel like relatives (I was adopted, so maybe they are family) - but we'll accept a cyber family, too!

We just wanted to say thanks and we look forward the new angels we'll meet along the way.

07 July 2011

Be not forgetful... Part One

Several years ago, Pete was out of town and suffered a gallbladder attack and had to have it removed. We were still living in Pittsburgh and I was shocked when a hospital in eastern Pennsylvania called me to tell me to get out there right away. After making arrangements for our dear cat, Omar, to have someone give him his insulin shots, I jumped in the car and drove that night to the eastern part of the state. I didn't have a GPS. But I found the hospital after a lot of phone calls to the police and the hospital.

His surgery went well, but his recovery was a bit tough and he had to continue his business in the eastern part of the state. I had no idea where to stay and asked that I be able to sleep in the chair in his room. It was quite complicated to make this arrangement, due to hospital regulations. Back here in the western part of the state, our hospitals are a bit different.

Once he was released, he went back to what he was doing and I was about to return home. Always fancying myself independent, I told him to go ahead, I'd be fine. Then I realized that I had no idea where my car was. It was eleven o'clock at night. And, I had no idea if the area was dangerous at night, and I really didn't want to be wandering around in enclosed parking lots and garages looking for my car. I had my ticket and asked several security guards for some guidance. My guidance consisted of a few shrugs and some finger pointing. As you can guess, I was still lost.

I saw two young women walking together and talking on their way to the hospital entrance. One was a very artfully-dressed African American woman and seemed to be a visitor. The other was a Caucasian woman who appeared to be a medical professional, as she was dressed in a white uniform. I asked them for directions, showing them my ticket. Both knew exactly where it was.

The uniformed woman said she would have walked me there, but she was late for work; that I could accompany her inside and she'd find someone to help me. The visitor put her arm around my shoulders and told the other woman to look at us closely. If it were to be announced on the news that one of us disappeared, she would then know who had caused the incident. We all laughed. I went with her.

I thought the two women knew each other, but they did not.

The visitor walked me to her car, which appeared to be like a traveling temple of sorts, full of fascinating milagros and spirit dolls, incense and lots of blankets, bottles and other odd things. She then decided to smoke some marijuana and offered me some, which I politely declined. I now assumed that I'd never see Pittsburgh, or my loved ones again.

She drove me to my parking lot, reached over and hugged me, insisted on giving me $20 for my parking, and said, "your life will be fine, don't worry." She waited until I opened my car and honked the horn. She waved, returned to the driver's seat and drove off - away from the hospital. I have no idea of her name.

I was much more reckless in my youth, but anyone who knows me now would be shocked at the prospect of my getting into a stranger's car.

Why was she there in the first place? I suppose it was for me.

I have always believed in Guardian Angels, ever since my first grade nun told me that if I was good enough, my Guardian Angel would come down from heaven and do my homework in golden ink. I was never good enough, I guess, until I left eastern Pennsylvania that night.

This wonderful movie, Grand Canyon, is all about the same types of encounters. I watch it whenever I can. Danny Glover, Mary McDonnell, Kevin Kline and Steve Martin are exceptional. Maybe you'll like it, too.

04 July 2011

Independence Day - Freeing my Fears

I have always fancied myself an independent thinker. I've registered as an independent voter. I lived on my own in my own apartment (not even a roommate) for almost 20 years. I majored in philosophy. I didn't follow the crowd.

My independent life was glorious in many ways; lonely in others. I treasured my parents. I never moved farther away than 25 miles from my home. I have never been willing to leave such treasures as those I love for the excitement of a truly independent life.

Every year as our Independence Day approaches, I remind myself not to call it the Fourth of July. I remind myself to acknowledge that I've been fortunate to live in a country that allowed me to create the type of independent life that I wanted.

This was not always my way of celebrating "the fourth." Cookouts and fireworks and patriotic music and toasts and parades - that's how I celebrated.

Now, every year, I remember a single, very brief encounter I had one Independence Day in the 1970s.

Of course, I had forgotten my potluck contribution for the party I was about to attend, so off I went to a convenience store to spend too much money on something that I would have to alter wildly - so that it would appear creatively planned.

I was the only customer for a few minutes and in walked two very tall young men.They made me nervous because they were staring at me. I pictured the front page of the evening paper announcing a massacre in the little store - I with my American flag t-shirt, lying on the floor.

One of the fellows approached me. And, I'm sure I was quite rude. He held out his hand. I was so nervous that I couldn't speak (very rare for me, indeed). After a moment I realized he wanted to shake my hand. So, afraid not to comply, I gave him my hand uneasily.

He shook my hand so hard it hurt. I was instantly relieved that I'm left-handed. Still afraid, I said nothing.

And then, he said to me in an thick, unrecognizable accent [I remember this almost verbatim], "hello, miss, congratulations on your Independence Day. How lucky you are to live in a country where you don't have to be afraid to live your life!"

I thanked him in return. He introduced me to his friend. I have forgotten both their names. I have never forgotten them. I have never forgotten that the Fourth of July is really Independence Day, and so is every other day.

And every year I cry for those who can't live their lives without fear. And every year I thank that young man. And every year I try to remember that I am fortunate, even during tough times like these.

03 July 2011

Michael Vick - Please Just Do the Right Thing

When our grandson, Bobby was around 9, Michael Vick was his hero. We bought all kinds of endorsed products for him. Mr. Vick appeared to be a prime candidate for a little boy's hero.

There is no need for me to explain what changed all of that.

I am appalled that his sentence was so short for such a heinous act. I am appalled at his lack of honor. I am appalled by those fans that think this is all ok.

But I am amazed at the sponsors offering him millions of dollars for endorsements. Maybe I don't understand the concepts of business. But, I cannot imagine that this makes any business sense - forget about the ethical sense.

I am an a-political person. But I am a vicious advocate of those who cannot protect themselves against arrogance and self-righteousness and disregard of life: animals, babies, the elderly and people who cannot care for themselves (either temporarily or permanently).

I have no reason to forgive Mr. Vick's acts. And, yes, I know that he has fulfilled his punishment as set by law. But, no, I don't think he is truly sorry for anything but getting caught. Please don't tell me I don't know him and that he is repentant. I'll believe that when he donates every penny of the endorsement deals to animal shelters - particularly to the ones who have spent thousands rehabilitating the dogs he harmed.

I've read on many websites that some people are as appalled as I am and that others say, "not all dog owners are upset about this." So, how do I answer this? Few people care what I have to say. But I care that I say it.

First, we don't own dogs. We are lucky to have dogs in our lives and to be able to be their caretakers as they are ours. Secondly, there is a difference between dog owners and dog lovers. Alas, we do not own each other or any other living being in this world.

As an athletic (or any other celebrity), it is the duty of the ethical human to behave in a manner that sets forth a positive model for those who may not be as talented, fortunate or intelligent. Therefore, in promoting any sort of violence such as Mr. Vick has done, he was suggesting that this is a good path for his admirers.

All he has done to change this persona has been to make public statements before and after his term in prison.

Now it is time for him to set forth a new self-righteousness - to use the new found support that he has gotten from his employers, fans and endorsement sponsors to become the man he should be. Give that money away, Michael and teach us all - including me - a lesson.