Deep Midnight Perfumes

Deep Midnight Perfumes

Monday, June 29, 2015

What is Geeky, Fun, and Very Useful? An Interview with Maria of Adopt a Pencil

Hello to all my lovely readers!  I had the pleasure of getting know Maria from adopt a pencil.  When I think of pencils, I think of school times from my childhood.  I remember the smell of  new wooden pencils that were freshly sharpened ready to take on the new school year. If only I could have had the opportunity to have these fun and geeky  pencils in hand while tackling 5th period Algebra!  It's never to early to start planning for school supplies or just office gifts to make writing fun!
Please read on to see why pencils rock!

What inspires you in life?
My family is my inspiration. They are the ones that make me push myself and reach for my dreams.

How did designer pencils become your choice to create?  

I love pencils of all kinds!! And I am a huge book nerd! It was actually my husband's idea to print on pencils. His family owns a cigar business and they stamp their own logo. Fascinating by his idea, I started stamping on pencils as a hobby. I would make pencils for my children's schools with the students and teachers names on them or make some for my friends baby shower. It became a huge hit, and more and more people started to request pencils; eventually providing an extra little income.

What is your favorite phrase for putting on pencils?  

My absolute favorite phrase for putting on a pencil has to be "Intellectual Badass". It is my comeback for people who love to call me a nerd. :) I always tell them, "I'm not a nerd, I am an intellectual badass". I think it describes me perfectly.  :)

If you could be any fantasy character, you would you be?

If I could be any fantasy character, I would love to be Hermione Granger. I grew up with Harry Potter and always wished as a child that I could be part of this magical world. Hermione has always been my favorite character with her smart remarks and her great wits.

What do you envision for the future of your business?
I envision for my business to grow over the years. It already has become more than a hobby, I can only go up from here on. Every time I get a sale overseas, I am thrilled. It is an amazing feeling to know your product is enjoyed worldwide.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I love to do crossfit in my spare time. It is another hobby of mine. Lately, it has been a bit difficult with a 3 month old baby, but my husband is a great supporter.:)


What music helps you get into the creative mode?

I always listen to Dido Radio on Pandora to get into my creative mode. The soothing music relaxes me and I travel to another world in my mind.

Where can we find your pencils?
You can find my pencils on:

Thank you so much, Maria for introducing us to your fun shop! 

Until next time, dear readers.....Love, Cat

* All photographs are the property of and copyright of Adopt a Pencil and are used with the permission of the owner.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Worlds of Wonder and Whimsy: An interview with Rachel Kupper of Fable Link Jewelry

Hello Dear Readers:

It had been a while since I have had a chance to take some time and interview other unique and interesting indie artists and I have missed being able to do that, but finally today I have an interview for you with the fun and talented  jewelry designer, Rachel Kupper, owner of Fable Link Jewelry.  Read on to learn about her lovely and sweet jewelry creations that embody a world of wonder and whimsy.
Rachel Kupper, owner and artisan: Fable Link Jewelry

What inspired you to become a jewelry designer?

When I was a kid I always used to love making things with my hands. I would make beaded jewelry and sell it to all the neighborhood kids. I would have to say though, that my real love for creating jewelry was discovered when I took a metals class in high school. I was hooked. I liked how there was so many different techniques and ways to manipulate metal and that the possibilities to create beautiful pieces of jewelry was endless. I had found my medium and knew that designing and creating jewelry was what I was meant to do.
Sterling Dragon Pendant

How do you begin your design process and what are your favorite materials?

My design process begins with whatever happens to pop in my head. Whether it be from nature, folklore, antique objects or just some random thought. Once I think of a design I will sketch it down right away. From there I will take a sheet of sterling silver and coat the surface with a layer of white water color paint. Then, I will put a piece of carbon paper over the metal and draw my design on top of the paper. It will leave a nice clean image. I will then lightly scribe over the image, so that if it gets smudged when I am cutting it with my jeweler's saw I will still be able to see the outline of my design. All of my material is sterling silver including the chains I use for my necklaces and bracelets down to the solder. I can also work in gold upon request.

Sterling Fox Necklace
Sterling Fox Necklace

You have a lot of wonderful whimsical, dreamy, fantasy themes in your pieces. What is your favorite theme to create around?

 That's hard to say, because I like fantasy as well as dreamy and whimsical themes. I find that I try to combine them a lot of the time to make it my own, but I would have to say in general the over all theme that I try to convey would be more of a whimsical theme.

Sterling Crow and Key Necklace

 Describe the very first piece you created?

 The very first piece I created other then when I was in school, was a fairy necklace with filigree soldered into the wings. It is the same fairy design I have in my shop.
Sterling Fairy Necklace

What piece of jewelry remains your favorite?

I would have to say the barn owl necklace with the lantern. I absolutely love barn owls (hence the logo :)).
Sterling Barn Owl with Lantern

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I have two small children, so I am usually running around the house saying things like, "don't eat that, that's not food!" "Quit biting me!" And "do you need help wiping your butt?" So, when I do have some time to myself and I am not working on my jewelry or thinking of poems to go with new pieces, I like to indulge in a hot bath and get lost in a good fiction novel, and spending time with my hubby.
Sterling Earrings

What handmade possession do you treasure the most?

The fairy necklace, because it is the first piece of jewelry I made that drove me to start designing and creating my own jewelry.

Where can we find your jewelry?

My website for sales is on etsy:

Social Network sites:

I have also started doing art shows in North Carolina and I have signed up to do an art show in downtown Durham which is September 19th and 20th called CenterFest Arts Festival.

Rachel, thank you so much for sharing all the information about your whimsical and lovely jewelry! :)

Until next time, dear readers.....Love, Cat

PHOTOS: Are the property of and copyright of Rachel Kupper and Fable Link Jewelry, and are used with her permission.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Fantastic Spring and Summer Giveaway with Laughing Vixen Lounge!

Spring is here and it's time for a big giveaway from Laughing Vixen
Lounge. 13 shops have come together to create one amazing Prize Pack
($300+) full of Jewelry, Perfume, Clothing, Vintage and much more! Our shops offer lots of
unique, handcrafted and custom designs.

The Fabulous Spring Giveaway is open worldwide. 1 winner will win the
Prize Pack. You can enter via the Rafflecopter below. Please visit the
Laughing Vixen Lounge Blog and the Main Giveaway Post HERE to see full prize list, participating shops and daily features during the giveaway. Follow with #lvlspringgiveaway.

Since Summer is right around the corner the giveaway theme is Vacation
Memories. Each of our participating shops, and many of our blog
sponsors, will be sharing some of their favorite vacation photos with

Giveaway runs May 4th - 18th. Laughing Vixen Lounge is responsible for all giveaway details. See full details HERE.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 20, 2014

An Interview with Ann Forseth of Romany Rapture

Hello, dear readers!  Today's interview is with Ann Forseth, clothing designer and owner of Romany Rapture:  Fun to wear, all handmade, luxurious and original Steampunk, Gothic and other Alternate History Fashion designs.  Her styles are elegant, sexy, and adorable, with many looks to choose from.  Come and read about Ann and her fantastic shop.

Ann Forseth of Romany Rapture

How did you become interested in designing clothing? 
First of all, a heartfelt Thank You to Cat for letting me share! XO 
As far back as I can remember I’ve been drawn to the exotic, colorful and highly decorated clothing of cultures and societies outside my realm and I really wanted to touch and wear them. Clothing and costumes are some of the most wide spread (world wide) forms of self expression. The cultural relevance of any sort of clothing style still intrigues me. I narrowed my focus starting in my teenage years when I began finding antique blouses, coats and dresses to buy. If they didn’t fit, I would alter them or adorn them with my own bits of found lace, ribbon, buttons, etc. When a purchased pattern wasn’t quite what I wanted my super seamstress mom would help me get it to where I envisioned it should be. That simple delight in seeing and then going on to make, (in my own way) interesting and creative clothing is probably the beginning of my interest in designing clothing from start to finish.
How long have you been designing ?

I’ve been at it about 18 years. The last 6 years more seriously.
What or who inspires your creations?
The shapes and movement of people I see every day are the most inspiring. Fabric speaks quite eloquently to me and can convince me rather quickly that I need to take it home and transform it into some other shape! I really love the Victorian and Baroque styles for the exuberant way textiles and trims were applied. So many layers and colors and textures, oh yes! The colors of India are another huge source of inspiration. I realize not everyone can be as enamored with color as I am but Indian fabric is so cheerful and utterly alive. Then there is the dark and secretive feel of black you can usually find in Gothic styles. Pure elegance there, I love it.

How do you begin your design process? 
Lots of thinking…letting my brain build something I can work with I guess. Sometimes the ideas present themselves fully formed. I then sketch out the various parts of the garment. I’m not very good at fashion illustration so I do drawings of parts rather than the whole. Then I dig around in my fabric collection to see which ones strike me as compatible, or… do I need to buy some? I love it when that happens!

Pic includes my model; Shannon Boxrz on the left, myself and author Nikki McCormack, who also has kindly modeled for me on occasion. Author Nikki McCormack
What are your favorite fabrics and or styles to work with?
I love woven fabrics. Natural fibers like silk, linen, and cotton are lovely to handle. Sometimes the fabric is so well behaved I just want to sing!! I’ll admit to my fabric addiction right now. Jackets are my most favorite garment to make. Things that are both fitted yet flow I like, also styles that allow me to add trim. I really like decorating the garments! So, Victorian, Steampunk, Gothic and my lifelong personal favorite style; Boho-Hippie-Fairy-Summer Girl.
Circus Punk Outfit   Model is Arika Thomas
What other interests and hobbies do you enjoy in your spare time?
Sewing and designing can be very structured so my “off”time I find myself doing things with less structure. I still sew….goodies like freeform bags and voodoo dolls. I love my camera and it goes everywhere with me. Hiking, gardening, archery, dancing, painting, screen printing, reading are a few things I enjoy when I have time. Taking a class in something new is great fun, and stirs up the brain cells! I’m starting soon in a fashion photography class and I’m very patiently teaching myself to drum, a hand drum called a djembe.
What is your most treasured handmade possession?
An earring/bracelet set my daughter made for me, in greens and blues with a silver turtle charm. And a quilt my mom made when I was 13, in the brilliant colors she knew I loved so much.
Models are Shannon Boxrz and Nikki McCormack

Where can we find your lovely clothing designs?
You can find me on Etsy
Also on my website
other places I play…
Thank you so much, Ann!  Until next time dear readers! XOXO Cat

Saturday, February 8, 2014


Hello, dear readers!  In case you have not seen the link on my blog, don't forget that Laughing Vixen Lounge is having her 4th annual 14 Nights of Valentine's Day Movie Marathon Giveaway! She does some of the most fabulous giveaways around! Make sure to stop by her main Giveaway Post and enter to win a $400+ Prize Pack full of decadent treats from 16 fabulous shops! A $30.00 gift certificate to my pefume shop is in the prize pack, as well as so many more amazing treats and goodies from some fabulous shops.  The link to the main post and rafflecopter entry box is below.  Good luck and have fun!  XOXO  Cat

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

An Interview with Melanie of Belle Bijou Atelier

Today I have an interview with Melanie of Belle Bijou Atelier.  Her shop is full of gorgeous and lush gemstone creations and I completely love it all, including her tagline!

"Belle Bijou Atelier: Beautiful Jewelry For Beautiful Women."

Melanie: Jewelry designer, writer, and owner of Belle Bijou Atelier

How did you become interested in designing jewelry?

Several years ago I was shopping at what was then known as Marshall Field (now known as Macy’s) and I saw a very simple beaded necklace. I believe it was about $140 which, at the time, was completely out of my price range. As I studied the necklace, I realized that I could probably make it myself. I lived not far from a bead store that I passed by all of the time, so I stopped in, purchased some materials and went to work. Within an hour or so I completed it and it looked even better than the one in Marshall Field (I thought anyway…)!

How long have you been designing?

I’ve been designing jewelry for over 15 years; however I’ve become more serious about actually selling my pieces within the past two years.

What inspires your creations?

I love color contrast! Wherever I go I gravitate toward colors. Whether it’s a bright yellow front door set against the dark brown bricks of a home in Ireland or a display of red and orange peppers in the grocery, the contrast of color really gets my creative juices flowing. I try to re-create that in my jewelry. I’ll combine Turquoise nuggets with a carved Carnelian pendant or Peridot rondels with Ruby briolettes – nothing is off limits for me!


What are your favorite materials or stones to work with?

Gemstones, gemstones, and more gemstones! I absolutely LOVE the feeling of caressing stones in my hands. I truly believe that all things hold some sort of power within them and gemstones are no exception. I’ve dabbled in Precious Metal Clay and tried my hand at creating glass beads but I get no greater joy than to sit silently at my workstation with a couple of strands of gems, feel them in my hands and allow them to tell me what they want to become.

What memories do you you have of the first piece of jewelry you created and what has been a favorite piece for you?

What I love about that first piece of jewelry that I made is the sense of accomplishment that it gave me. Not only did I make something with my own hands, people complimented me on it – what a wonderful feeling! Sadly I no longer have that necklace, (it got lost in too many moves, I guess). My favorite piece now is a bracelet created with delicate faceted Watermelon Tourmaline rounds and with Swarovski Crystal spacers strung on 14k gold filled coated wire. It has a tiny faceted Watermelon briolette hanging from the clasp. The rounds are strung on the bracelet in an Ombre effect so the stones go from pale pink, to fuchsia to dark green, much like a watermelon slice. I only had one strand of these Tourmaline rounds and, after I created the bracelet, there weren’t enough to create another. I posted to sell for a few hours before taking it down and keeping it for myself. I wear it all of the time with a bracelet created with faceted Ruby rondels of graduated sizes. They look stunning together.

What other interests and hobbies do you enjoy?

I very much enjoy writing. I’ve actually started the outline for the first of a three part series of mystery novels set l in England. The heroine of the story is an American ex-pat who owns a small string of jewelry boutiques (naturally…). I hope to self-publish by the end of the year.

What is your most treasured handmade possession?

My most treasured handmade possession is not something that I created. I have a client who purchased a pair of earrings in the Spring. After she received them she emailed me to thank me. She shared that she would have liked to have ordered more, specifically one of my pieces that had a photo of the Eiffel Tower on it, but she could not afford to. For Christmas, I surprised her by sending her the piece. She was so moved that she sent me a beautiful handmade card with a lovely note written inside and a handmade linen handkerchief lined with lace. That handkerchief means so much to me. I hope to be able to pass it down to my granddaughter when she is of age.

Where can we find your beautiful jewelry designs?

You can find my designs at I also have a Facebook page where I try to have a special or giveaway ever month .
I also have the following pages where I post regularly:
Twitter (@bellebijoujewel)
• Pinterest (Belle Bijou Atelier)
• Instagram (bellebijouatelier)

Melanie, thank you for helping us learn more about your lovely shop!
 ...until next time, dear readers!
Love, Cat

Monday, November 18, 2013

Truly "Fangtastic" Cards: An Interview with Alura Lapierre of Immortally Yours

Today I have an interview with the multi talented Alura Lapierre.  Alura has quite the entrepreneurial spirit; she owns several online shops from paper arts and cards with Immortally Yours, antiques with Alluring Antiques, and handcrafted soaps and body products with the Soap Witch Bath Co.  Today I will be focusing on her card and paper arts shop.  Read on to learn more about Alura and Immortally Yours!

Alura Lapierre
What inspired you to become a card designer and paper artist?

I've been scrapbooking since the 90's. After meeting my husband, my paper arts took a turn into another realm. If found myself inspired by him. But also inspired my vampires, Gothic literature, Poe, fairies and Marie Antoinette.  


Holiday Marie Antoinette Cards
Holiday Marie Antoinette Cards
How do you begin your design process and what are your favorite materials?

I work with all sorts of papers. I do love some of the more widely available papers that I can find at the craft store but I also look for unique Italian papers and handmade paper.

I love embellishments like flowers, lace, ribbon.  Because I love each card to be unique, I try to not make any that are identical-although some might be similar in nature.

Steampunk Cards
Steampunk Cards
Gothic and Hallween Cards
Gothic/ Halloween Cards
You have a lot of gothic elements and baroque themes in your cards. What is your favorite theme to create around?

I love Gothic elements and elegant themes. I feel that my cards are from another time, a time when women wore elegant gowns and men were chivalrous.

I am inspired by Marie Antoinette and her Rococo lifestyle which I use to design cards that I feel reflect her spirit.

My more Gothic cards are very inspired by Poe and Vampires. I think my darker cards have a romantic element to them. I want to create an aesthetic beauty that captures the feel of the Victorian era.

Not to mention that I also adore Halloween, and I make alot of Halloween themed cards-although you can give them for any occasion.

Gothic Cards
Gothic Cards
Describe the very first card you made and who it was for.

My first cards on etsy were out in 2009-The Witches Cottage collection. Cottage chic feeling but with an underlying Witch theme.

Holiday Cards
Holiday Cards
Romantic Gothic Cards
Romantic Gothic Cards

What types of music do you listen to while you are in designer mode?

Nox Arcana, Trobar de Morte, Midnight Syndicate are all wonderful bands and I love to play them when I'm creating.

Dark Valentine/Gothic Cards
Dark Valentine/Gothic Cards
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

In my spare time, I find myself reading or planning a meal. I love to cook and consider myself an amateur chef!
Gothic and Victorian Cards
Gothic and Victorian Cards

What handmade possession do you treasure the most?

It's hard to say because I have so many! I do have a scarf that I got as a gift, it's 9 feet long and wraps around me like 5 neck is never cold in the winter!

All Occasion Dark Cards
All Occasion Dark Cards

Where can we find your cards and paper arts?

Thank you so much for the interview, Alura!

Until Next Time......Love, Cat


Victorian Holiday Cards
Victorian Holiday Cards