Thursday, December 17, 2009

Holiday Cards


Well, I've not been as productive as I'd like to be, but I have managed to finish my holiday cards (yeah, I know I'm late with them, so what else is new? ha!)... I even unpacked the new sewing machine (that I bought last year, but never unpacked until just a couple of weeks ago) and did some stitching on these cards -- with metallic thread, no less! It was actually a lot of fun, and even though it's only a few holiday cards, it felt very liberating.

Here's one of the cards... each one is a little different, because I used a different decorative paper on the top of each one.

I've also been busy, tea-wise... check out my tea journal to see what I've been up to!


Sunday, November 29, 2009

My Christmas List......

Not that I think anyone from my family will actually read this... this will be more like my "treasury" of favorite goodies from my three favorite venues: Artfire, Etsy and 1000 Markets.

Now that I've found a favorite produce market (local produce at excellent prices!) I would love to have a few of these bags from QwertyO to make shopping easier on me and the environment. Simple and inexpensive, these would make great stocking stuffers ... and comes in a fabulous set of FIVE bags for one low price!

This mug from Chat's Pots is HUGE! I love the color, and I love the shape of it. Most of all, I love the size. Sure, I already have two nice size mugs for my tea, but I could use another one... hey, I drink a lot of tea!

I'm a bit of a fiber freak. Now that I have my awesome sewing table and my awesome sewing machine... I do plan on exploring fiber art more. I love this "rag yarn" from Confections -- it reminds me of my gramma, who had the coolest rag rug... whenever I see rag yarn like this, it evokes fond memories of her.

I just love this Starry Night Palm Frond from The Palm Frond Artist. A fabulous, earth friendly interpretation of my favorite painting from my favorite artist... AWESOME!

I have been amazed by this artist's work for quite some time now, and truth be told, I love everything inside Jen Maestre's shop, but I think that this pendant is my favorite. She used to have ACEOs (aka ATCs) ... I'm sad that I never purchased one now that there are none in her shop!

I have a serious thing for cupcakes. I'm not sure why, exactly, but I have fallen completely in love with just about anything cupcake. And this cupcake from Bud and Lucy's Kid is no exception... it's absolutely beautiful.

And... speaking of cupcakes... I absolutely adore this cupcake cookie jar from Fruit fly Pie's shop! I already have a cookie jar which doesn't make this the most practical of gifts, but, it will give me more room to put *more* cookies.

I absolutely love this clock. There are several styles and designs available from Pragmatic Effects, this is my favorite size and style from this shop, however, I would prefer the tan crackle color... and since it's made to order......

So, I think I'll stop there for now. Believe me, I'm sure there's lots more I'd like to have.

Whatcha think of my list?


Friday, November 27, 2009

Finally getting around to posting some new art...

Greetings! Wow ... it took me a while to get around to posting this... that this art doesn't even feel new to me anymore! haha!

For the Fall Tea Swap for my Tea Group we had a "destinations" theme. Each person in the swap was to select up to three destinations to where they'd like to travel. These destinations could be real or fantasy.

My partner chose "Art Gallery in Paris," "Fall Festival" and "Outdoors/Camping" -- the Outdoors/Camping one was also specific to the sounds of nature.

For a combination of the Fall Festival and Outdoors/Camping theme, I made her this field journal, where she could sketch or write (or both) ... I imagine with her emphasis on the sounds of nature, she could also use it to write her feelings as she listens to those sounds...

As you can see, I used the box of my favorite cookies from Trader Joe's (these cookies are awesome!) as the cover of the journal, and inside I used blank watercolor paper that I stained and stamped with inks (just to take away the new whiteness of the paper ... I find that intimidating sometimes, don't you? It's much more fun to journal when you have something already on your page!) Finally, I bound the pages with my Rubicoil machine... which I love!

For the "Art Gallery in Paris" destination, I decided to create a "having tea in a Paris Museum" type of route, and included tea and chocolate truffles, and wrapped the box in a cool Paris themed paper. I also made a "scrapbook" type of fatbook for her that includes images of famous paintings that can be found in Paris's Museums. The fatbook ended up being 14 pages thick (I think -- I can't remember!) and is anything but conventional, as I took a cue from one of my favorite artists, Aileen from Outside the Margins and went a bit outside the margins of this book. Several of the images of the paintings were larger than the 4 x 4 size, so I simply ignored that and so some of the pages don't look like they fit!

Neither my hubby nor my oldest daughter liked the fact that this book went beyond it's boundaries, but I really did like it. Sure, when the pages fit nice and neatly inside a book, it's all well and good, but I like my fat books to be chunky and a bit unusual, I think it gives the book more character like that.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

An Artistic Moment with Meghann from Little Studio Jewels


Not long ago, I had the unique opportunity to conduct a transaction with Meghann from Little Studio Jewels. This is the ring I received, isn't it a beauty?

I just love it, it is so delicate and it sparkles so beautifully. By the way, if you'd like one for yourself, just click on the photo, and it will take you directly to the listing!

I was so enchanted by her jewelry, that I wanted to get to know Meghann a little better. The following is an interview that I conducted with her. I hope you enjoy it!

How long have you been an artist and At what point did you decide to start making jewelry?

I’ve always been fascinated by photography, and started when I was a teen. I caught the bug pretty badly and continued on my own until I was hired by a photographer as his assistant. I have always wanted to have my own studio, especially after working in a few portrait studios over the years. I like doing portraits, but I live in a very small area and the business just isn’t there. However, I LOVE doing nature and landscape photography. I feature these in limited prints and in gift cards in my stores.

The jewelry aspect started at about the same time as the photography…I wanted to have nice jewelry that was stylish and high quality, but the only pieces I could find that I liked were WAY out of my price range. The jewelry that I could afford was cheap – in price and quality! I turned my wrist green once from a piece of cheap jewelry and that was it – I started making my own.

Three years ago, I had just started my photography business part time (I was working full time and going to school part time) when I got sick with fibromyalgia. After 2 years I was so sick that I couldn’t work and I knew I needed to find a source of income that I could make from my home. I rediscovered my jewelry making after a few years of it being put on the back burner and found that I could do it anywhere in my house: at my workbench, on my couch, even in bed – it was perfect! I took photographs when I was well enough to travel and then found that I had a stack of photos and a box full of jewelry…with no one to buy it. Enter the world of online selling! I found Etsy, ArtFire and iCraft and haven’t looked back. Although I don’t make a full time income yet, I have found a fabulous community of online sellers just like me – people who are interested in producing quality handmade items.

How long does it generally take you to create each piece?

Pieces can range from half an hour to weeks, depending on the complexity. Some simple wire earrings can be made fairly quickly, while a few of my newer, bead woven pieces are taking days at a time to complete due to their intricate structure. Still, no matter how long it takes to make a piece, I love every second of it and put that love into all of my pieces.

I've noticed that you seem to be active in helping charity with your sales. Would you like to tell me about some of the causes, and why this is important to you?

Each month I give 10% of my total sales before tax and shipping to a different charity. Sometimes it is an animal charity, sometimes it is a charity for people, but always they are dear to my heart. I give to the National Wildlife Federation, Epic Farms, The Canadian Cancer Society, The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, and many more. I have been helped by so many people in my life time that I want to be able to help others in my turn. I can’t describe how good I feel to be able to donate even $10 to a cause I believe in and know that it is going to help in some small way – whether to symbolically adopt an animal through the National Wildlife Federation, or help fund research for Fibromyalgia. Every little bit helps, especially when the causes are dear to your heart like these are to mine!

What is your favorite piece that you've created, and why?

I always get asked what my favorite pieces are and I always have such a hard time answering! I love all of my pieces, as each reflects my personality, mood or thought process on a given day. Each piece has special meaning, as I love what I do and feel so incredibly blessed to be able to do this full time! Right now I am loving my NeoAmour Collections, specifically these: NeoAmour Marie Antoinette Rainfall Earrings:

NeoAmour Victoria’s Bangle Bracelet:

NeoAmour Boudicca’s Celtic Silver Ring in Sapphire (it’s my birthstone!)

Any sales going on?

If people reading this bio wish to purchase from my shops, they’ll get 20% off an order of $25 or more by entering “I Love Tea” during checkout. Thank you!


So there you have it! Thank you, Meghann, for your time in answering these questions... and if you've been enticed by any of these beautiful pieces, you should make your way to Meghann's Etsy Shop and take advantage of her 20% off sale! Just in time for the holidays, and take it from me... these pieces would make a beautiful gift!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Check out this Etsy Artist!


I was just browsing some Etsy shops (yeah, I do that on occasion), and I found this amazing polymer clay artist! Check out this totally awesome, miniature food jewelry!

Salty Pretzels with Spicy Cheese Dip Earrings

The Etsy store is called The Mouse Market and I find the detail in these pieces to be absolutely mesmerizing!

Custom Made Party Cake Pendant

How cool are these? Imagine getting a customized slice of cake, made to look just like your own birthday cake!

Lemon Cupcake Charm

I think that the cupcakes are my favorite... I do LOVE cupcakes!

If you're looking for something truly unique and special for someone for the upcoming holiday season... shop Etsy or Artfire or 1000Markets for something handmade.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hey... check out this contest!


I was just checking out a few of my favorite blogs, and I happened to come across this one... I've not visited it before, but, I will definitely be visiting more often now!

Check this out!

These are some of the goodies that are being given away this month in the "Happy October Grand Giveaway!" Oh... I want, I want!

Just click on the above link for details on how you could win this awesome package. But... don't win it, because I want it! :) Yes... it will be mine! It will be mine!


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Some New Art - Finally!


For those of you who know me, you know that I've been having issues with my creativity lately. It's been difficult to find the inspiration to work on my artwork, and when I feel uninspired, whatever I might create comes out quite disappointing.

Fortunately, my trip to Tohono Chul Park had a very positive effect on me, and I have been more inspired to work!

It really is a great feeling after such a long period of feeling so uncreative.

I finally got around to completing my entry in Bonnie's True Color Journal!

As you might have guessed from looking at the picture, Bonnie's chosen color palette is all shades of blue.

When I think of blue, I am reminded fondly of my gramma, as it was her favorite color. One of my most cherished memories of my gramma is that she would have tea parties with me. I had quite a few toy tea sets, and she would lay out her best lace table cloth and I would choose some of my favorite tea set dishes to use. She'd mix coffee and milk together and this would be our "tea" (gramma never really did care much for tea). We'd share cookies and "tea."

Thank you to Bonnie for allowing that memory to come alive in my artwork. I hope that you like the spread I created for your journal as much as I enjoyed creating it.


PS: Be sure to check out my "Fall Is Coming" sale on my teas in tins... only in my artfire shop!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Got Tea?


I just wanted to write up a quick post to announce my tea sale! You can learn more about this sale on my Tea Journal blog!

Earl Grey Creme

25% off on all full-sized tea in tins in my Artfire shop! It's a great time to stock up on your teas for Fall... my favorite time of year!

Be sure to stop in my shop and take advantage of my love for Autumn!


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Exquisitely Beautiful!

It's been a couple of weeks (at least!) since I've created a spotlight, and this time, I've created one featuring some of the gorgeous work that is available at Exquisite Studios at Artfire!

Stop by Exquisite Studios soon and check out all they have to offer... you won't be disappointed!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I Love Purple!

Time to visit another fabulous artfire studio: Haffina Creations!

For this spotlight, I chose some of this artist's fabulous purple pieces... but you can find stunning work in many other colors Haffina Creations as well... it's well worth the visit to artfire to check out this artisan's beautiful wearable art! You deserve it!

Friday, June 12, 2009

True Colors -- FINALLY!

Hello Everyone!

Well, this post is long overdue -- and even longer overdue is the artwork of this post. I am in a round robin swap with a yahoo group, and we are working on a True Colors round robin (and have been for many months now!). If you've read the True Colors book by Kathryn Bold you are most likely familiar with what this round robin entails.

The palate chosen by Candace was comprised of the following colors: turquoise, orange, red, yellow, purple and lime. A retro rainbow! (Hey... if I had thought of the "Retro Rainbow" before I started working on this journal entry, I would have come up with an entirely different layout!)

Here is what I did come up with...

I had a lot of fun with this layout, especially with the word/letter placement, because I wanted it to complete the quotes that I utilized, but I also wanted to make it appear random and interesting at the same time.

I hope that Candace likes what I came up with... and hopefully she'll like it enough not to be too terribly upset with me about how long it took me to complete it!


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Gott Beads?

No, it's not a typo... that's the name of the Artisan Studio that I'd like to share with you this evening! Gott Beads!

I love beads. I have a rather large stash of them, as I tend to horde them. I don't use them as often as I should in my altered artwork... mostly because I seem to be rather enchanted by just keeping jars full of beads on my shelves in my studio... and leaving them untouched!

Just a sampling of some of the treasures you'll find at Gott Beads!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Check Out Rocky Creek Gems!


I'd like to share another artfire studio with you! Check out Rocky Creek Gems! If you like jewelry (and who doesn't?) you can find some really unique pieces at this artfire studio!

I really love the color and the unique beauty of each of these pieces... stop by this artist's studio on Artfire today for some quality finds!


Thursday, May 28, 2009

It's been a while!


It's been a while since I've posted on my blog! I've been dealing with some pretty stressful stuff, and haven't really had much time to focus on other things outside of my personal realm.

But, I'm back, and hopefully, I'll be able to get back to posting more often.

I'd like to start with a spotlight featuring some of the artists that I've missed on the crazy train promotion over the course of the last four weeks or so... I'll call this one "Shades of Green"

And here is a list of the artfire shops featured in this spotlight... please take a moment and visit them... you won't be disappointed in what you find there!

Creative Cove Designs

CatFluff Studio

Bijoux Designs Studio
Wooley Creek Studios
LaDeDa Creations
Janelson Arts Studio
Jewelry by Janzia
Suzbax Studio
Absolutely Amy Studio

Thanks for checking out these studios... and thanks for reading along!


Sunday, April 26, 2009

I'm a Mommaprenuer!

Hello Everyone...

I know that some of you also read my Tea Journal, and already know that I'm the Mommaprenuer at Cafe Handmade... but, just in case you missed it... well... I'm the Mommaprenuer at Cafe Handmade! You can check out my interview and story by clicking here!

And that is all for now!

Hope everyone is having an exceptionally creative day!


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Shine Your Hiney!

I really had fun selecting items from this shop to share with you... Shine Your Hiney's Artfire Studio is filled with bathtime items that are fun, whimsical, and all about ... well, Shining your Hiney!

I have been using handmade soaps exclusively now for about 3 years (possibly more?), and I can say that there is a significant difference between handmade soap and commercially manufactured soaps. Handmade soap pampers your skin, and most (like the soaps found at Shine Your Hiney) are made with only the highest quality ingredients... no fillers!

And Shine your Hiney makes bathtime fun with whimsical shapes and other handmade items, all available at Shine Your Hiney's Artfire Studio.... isn't it time you gave your hiney a good shining?

Shop handmade!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

An Easy Way to add some Spice!


I'd like to share with you a new decorating secret that I've recently "discovered" -- well, I didn't actually discover it, but I've put it into use, and found how effective it really is!

What I'm talking about is changing up your Light Switch Plates! Yes, it may seem like it's too simple an idea... and certainly too simple to actually make an impact, but, trust me, it does create a lot of impact and add a lot of WOW to any room.

Photo from 3zArt Studio at Artfire

The above photo is the first light switch plate that I purchased from 3zArt's studio a couple of months ago, for my youngest daughter's room. She selected it herself, and it's really a perfect representation of her -- pink is her favorite color, and she is very girly... loves flowers!

This simple addition to her wall really added a lot of extra life to the room. I mean, think about it, ordinary light switch plates are very dull and drab... but when you *switch* (pun... ha ha!) them up for one of these spectacular covers from 3zArt, you're adding some punch and pizazz to something that is otherwise very ordinary and mundane... and you can revitalize your entire room with this very inexpensive update!

Here is another one that I recently purchased from 3zArt for my family room. One of my favorites! It just adds the right amount of color and punch to the family room, it's really eye catching and vibrant!

And that's not all that is available from 3zArt! You can also find outlet covers (another great way to add some punch to your room!), mouse pads (spruce up your desk!), coasters (protect your furniture in style!) and beautiful lamp shades (another great way to change the whole look of any room!)

She has a huge selection of light switch plates & outlet covers to choose from, so whatever look you're going for, funky, abstract, sleek, sophisticated, a touch of wild, or a touch of simple beauty... you can find it at 3zArt's studio at Artfire!


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Some Pretties from Alisuns!

Hello Everyone!

Today, I'd like to share with you some of the gorgeous handcrafted jewelry that can be found at Alisuns on Artfire. Check this out!

I love it! Makes me wish I still had pierced ears! What I love most about Alisun's jewelry is that Ali is not afraid of color, as evidenced in my latest spotlight that I call "Rainbow of Colors"...

Perfect Spring Colors! Visit Alisun's studio today, and pick yourself up something to celebrate Spring!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Meet Shadow of Felt Fusion!

Greetings Everyone!

I hope you are all enjoying these interviews as much as I am. I find it so interesting to learn about what drives other artisans and their process.

Especially true with this next artist... a FELT artist! For those of you who have known me a while, you probably remember how much I enjoy needle felting. However, I'm quite the novice... I really am happy to have this opportunity to get to know an artist who creates beautiful felted pieces such as this...

Beautiful! The detail that goes into these needle felted pieces is amazing. What follows is my interview with Shadow, the artist of this amazing piece!

How long have you been creating your art?

Just over a year, I started around Christmas 2007, very slow until I built up confidence and explored new techniques.

Where do you sell your art?

On Etsy [], Hyenacart [], Misi, and Folksy (latter two are are UK sites), also by word of mouth on a UK forum.

How do you market/advertise your store?

By chatting on forums, posting on Flickr, and also by word of mouth although to a lesser extent. I can't cope with cold selling, nor do I understand sites such as Facebook or Twitter.

At what point did you decide to sell your art?

I started selling officially in October 2008, but sold a little here and there previously. As I got more confident and having sent little items out to online friends and receiving their feedback I decided to go for it! Being flooded with orders in the run up to the holidays gave me a huge boost in confidence to keep at it.

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?

Network. Find forums of people indulging in the same craft as you, look up tutorials, ask questions. Not only will you learn so much more, you'll meet a great bunch of people with at least one similar interest!

What inspires you?

Myths and legends, nature, the ideal of peace on earth and general ecology, my children. Sometimes just the fibre in front of me tells me what it wants to be.

Every artist experiences "creative block" -- a creative dry spell -- how do you deal with creative block?

I put my work down and mull things over subconsciously for however long it takes. Ideas will form over time and when intuition says go for it, I'll get a strong urge to pick it up again.

How did you choose the medium you work with?

I'd been considering felt for a while having tried many crafts and found I was pretty useless at them. Chatting on a forum and seeing a fibre artist there whose work was amazing, she gave me the courage to have a go. Intially I thought I'd wait until my children were all at school particularly with wet felting as it can get messy and hard to leave in the middle of it, but once my youngest started playschool I was ready to get on with something. My older two boys have both had a go with me!

How do you wish to be remembered?

I've never thought about it! I guess I'd like my children to grow up being good, honest people and to be remembered through them. Otherwise, once I'm gone, I'm gone -- get on with your lives!

Who are your favorite artists (living and deceased)?

I'm completely ignorant when it comes to artists. I guess Dali was a favourite as a teen and having visited his home town in Spain his work is pretty awe inspiring, but I wouldn't say there's any influence from artists in my work as such.

What blogs do you visit on a regular basis?

My absolute favourite is and I regularly dip into blogs of several people I've met through a forum for people with Cystic Fibrosis, and their carers. My youngest son has CF and I find it helpful and inspiring to read about the experiences of adults with CF although it can be tough to read at times.

For anyone who might be reading, what shops would you recommend that they visit right now?

For fibre shops I'd say my favourites are all on Etsy - Probably FeltStudioUK, followed more recently by LimeGreenJelly and WonderfulWool. I also like Shunklies and Vampy and more I use less simply because they are abroad. Otherwise I usually buy a lot of handmade items for my family, clothes, eco-friendly household items, toys, etc. from many, many fabulous vendors who are far too numerous to mention and a lovely community vibe there too.

Any final thoughts?


Thank you, Shadow, for your time... it was great getting to know you!!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Check out Picard Creative!

Hello Everyone!

Well, today I'm taking a little break from my standard artisan interview, to show off a really COOL artfire shop!

Picard Creative Studio

This is a magnet that has been made out of tin can lid! How clever! And the "wicked fun" expressions on these tins never fail to bring a smile to my face. How much fun would it be to have one of these on your fridge?

These would make a great gift, and because of their size, they would fit well in a gift card... send a smile to a friend with one of these!

OK... back to our regularly scheduled program!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Meet Jennifer of Jennuine Candles!

Greetings Everyone!

This past week has been crazy for me, as I've already mentioned, I was sick toward the end of last week, and I'm still trying to get caught up! I'll be posting pics of my latest artwork soon, fatbook pages for the Sweet Treats fatbook! woot!

In the meantime, I'd like to share a new interview with you... this time, I got the opportunity to interview Jennifer from Jennuine Candles!

photo from Jennuine Candles at Artfire

Beautiful! I love the crystallized appearance of Jennifer's candles! Let's learn a little bit more about Jennifer, and her beautiful candles!

How long have you been creating your art?

I've only been creating my candles for about 6 months now, and the first couple of months were spent solely on learning the process so I could make the best candles possible. However, I think that I've had the creative "bug" for a long time and just recently opened myself up to that creative side. I've always had an interest in the arts, dating back to my elementary and high school days, when I belonged to the "Art Club." But I really didn't pursue anything in the arts, per se, until I had a realization just recently that my job requires me to be creative every day. As an occupational therapist over the past 13 years I have worked with older adults and pediatrics, but my "mission" has always remained the same... improve the quality of life for each person/patient/resident that I have the opportunity of serving. In order to acheive that mission, creativity is my number one "friend." Although I may have not always been a true artisan, I can say I have been a "creator" for quite a long time now.

Where do you sell your art?

I currently sell my candles on Artfire, Etsy and 1000Markets.

How do you advertise/market your store?

This has been my most difficult task thus far, realizing that marketing is really the key component to succeed in being "found" by buyers. I have created a blog on Blogger (, a business page on facebook, a profile on, and I try to make sure that I regularly visit and post in the forums on ByHand, Etsy, and Artfire. I also have a twitter account and a plurk account. It can be quite time consuming, but I believe that the time, effort and research will pay off in the end.

At what point did you decide to sell your art?

When I first started out making my candles, I only intended on making them for friends and family, and of course for my house as well. :) That is until my husband took a few of my candles to work to burn at his desk while he was working and then my "business" kind of bloomed from there. His co-workers started asking if I could make candles for them and then my co-workers got wind of my hobby and they started ordering the candles and the orders just kept coming, thus the creation of jennuinecandles.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

I would tell them that marketing, item photos, shop organization and forum presentation are the keys to not only surviving, but thriving in these types of venues. There are hundreds of artisans that do the exact same or very similar thing that they do and making themselves unique and stand out to buyers is the biggest barrier standing between them and success. I am still learning these rules myself!

What inspires you?

Honestly, it depends on the day. I know that sounds vague, but when I make a new candle it's solely based on how I am feeling that particular day and what scent will meet that need for me. Now, obviously, I do custom orders as well so I won't wait for the "feeling" to overcome me to make an ordered candle. :)

Every artist experiences "creative block" - a creative dry spell - how do you deal with creative block?

I have yet to experience a true "creative block," but I guess it could be those days when I don't pull out my supplies and a new and beautiful creation.

How did you choose the medium you work with?

I was actually introduced to palm wax by a good friend. Prior to this exposure, I only knew of paraffin, soy and beeswax candles, but the intrigue and beauty of the palm wax really inspired me to learn more about it. And, the added benefits of it being a sustainable product that is good for the environment, unlike some of the other waxes, was definitely the final decision in the candle path that I chose.

How do you wish to be remembered?

Smart, funny, honest and trustworthy.

What blogs do you visit on a regular basis?

Hmmm.... I have so many these days. Since I've been involved in ByHand, Artfire, Etsy and Plurk, the blogs I follow has grown and I try to visit them at least once a week to see what is new and exciting with everyone.

For anyone who might be reading, what shops would you recommend that they visit right now?

I would actually recommend following the link to my ByHand.ME spotlights because that's where I "store" my favorite items/shops:

Note: You can find her spotlights if you scroll down and click on her "my spotlights" tab

Any final thoughts?

Thanks for doing this... it's been fun! :)

Sunday, April 5, 2009



I wanted to offer a quick note of apology to any and all of the entrecard members who might have purchased ad space on this blog. I removed the widget today, because I randomly visited my blog and found an ad on the widget that I DID NOT approve, and entrecard assured us that this would not happen... but it did.

So, again, my apologies to anyone that did not get their full ad time on my widget.

I don't know if I'll be back to entrecard... I really did like the additional exposure entrecard provided but I'm not willing to sacrifice the integrity of my blog for that exposure.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Meet Teri from The Beaded Branch

Hello everyone!

It's been a pretty eventful week for me, I came down with a pretty nasty cold! At first, I thought it was just my allergies kicked into overdrive, but, when the Allergi-TEA wasn't as effective as it usually is, and when resorting to OTC options didn't help, I realized that I had a cold virus. Fortunately, I was able to knock it out pretty quickly with a secret weapon (I'll share the secret weapon with you on my other blog).

But on to more interesting topics... such as the artwork of one Teri Landow of The Beaded Branch.

Recently, I was able to interview Teri about her amazing jewelry, as well as her thoughts on art and selling online. I hope that you'll find her interview as enlightening as I did! Enjoy!

How long have you been creating your art?

I've been crafting and creating pretty much one way or another for my entire life. With a mother who sews and crafts, and a father who does woodwork and basket weaving, I've always been surrounded by people who were creative and creating, so it was natural that I took up crafting too. It was about 10 years ago after taking one or two classes in beading that I really caught the jewelry bug, and feel as if I truly found my niche in the art world.

Where do you sell your art?

I started off at one local craft show which I still do, Fluvanna County Old Farm Day. I also do one or two other very small local craft shows, as time permits. After starting to sell at craft shows, I started selling online, at Over the last year, I finally decided to start slowly moving all my stock over to my store on Etsy: I also sell on consignment at a small local store, the Palmyra Country Store.

How do you market/advertise your store?

Marketing and advertising is something I'm still learning a lot about. Right now, I concentrate only on free advertising. I have pages on,,, and facebook. I also participate in IndieSpotting, where I can submit one piece a week to be on their spotlight page. Plurk and Twitter have also been helpful, along with the old standby, business cards. Right now my business cards have only my main web address on them, but when I order more, I will also include my etsy shop address. I leave them on any community bulletin board I can and my husband hands them out when he's at work, to coworkers and other people who might be interested.

At what point did you decide to sell your art?

It was around eight years ago that I decided to start selling my jewelry. I had been making jewelry on my breaks at work, and people kept asking me, "How much is that one worth?" After my jewelry stash started to fill up several plastic shoeboxes, I decided I was never going to be able to wear it all, and so I had better get my business license and start selling. If for no other reason, than to recap some of the losses I had from trying to buy every bead I could get my hands on.

Photo from The Beaded Branch on Etsy

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?

I have several pieces of advice:

  1. Learn time management skills. They will be invaluable to you as your business grows.
  2. Figure out how big you want your business to grow. How much time do you have to put in to this?
  3. Figure out what you want to sell. If you are only in it to make money, then don't do it. If you truly love your art, and want others to be able to enjoy it, then by all means, sell.
  4. Stay organized. Organize your finished stock by where you want to sell it. Keep your supplies organized. Keep your paper work up to date and organized. Do whatever it takes. Disorganization takes time away from creating, listing, and promoting.

[Good advice. I definitely can learn from the disorganization tip... I so badly need to get organized!]

What inspires you?

Everything. Books I read, nature, architecture, photography, art, friends, family, magazines, and movies. I try to glean inspiration from wherever I can get it. People inspire me the most. I'll pick a person I know, and create a bunch of jewelry that I believe they would like. I think about the colors they wear, or should wear, what styles they like to wear, how they carry themselves, everything. I believe that if one person in the world likes it, then there's a pretty good chance that there is one other person in the world who will like it.

Every artist experiences "creative block" -- a creative dry spell -- how do you deal with creative block?

Walk away. I get away from it for a while. I try working in a new or different medium. I color with my kids; I cook a new dish that I have never tried before. I listen to new music. I just see if I can experience something new and different, or re-experience something I haven't done in a while. And most importantly, I don't let it bother me.

How did you choose the medium you work with?

I have to admit, I kind of giggled at this question. Yes, I work in jewelry, and yes, I basically work with beads. But there are so many other mediums I use at this point that I start to lose count. But it all ends up as jewelry. I love the versatility of jewelry. There are a million different mediums that can be used to make it, and it seems like more are coming out every day. I love to try different things, experiment and play with my supplies with only a basic knowledge of how they work and what they are supposed to do. I'm less afraid to to try something new if I haven't taken a class in it, because then I don't have a bunch of "can't do's" or "won't works" hanging over my head. ("You can't do that." "Well, you can try it, but it probably won't work.") More or less the actual medium I use pretty much choose me. I get an idea, and then have to figure out what medium will be best to create the pendant, earrings, necklace, or whatever it is I'm trying to envision.

How do you wish to be remembered?

First off, as a good mommy and wife. Of course, that goes without saying, probably. Second, as a jewelry artist who might not have pushed everything to its very limit, but did step enough outside the box once in awhile to create something beautiful and unique.

Who are your favorite artists (living and deceased)?

Salvador Dali, MC Escher, Leonardo Da Vinci, Rene Jules Lalique, and my mom and dad.

What blogs do you visit on a regular basis?

and (which is my brother's very conservative blog, but he's my brother and I love him anyway!)

For anyone who might be reading, what shops would you recommend that they visit right now? and

and of course: (Thanks Anne!)

Any final thoughts?

Go ahead and play. Get your hands dirty. Color in a coloring book, but color outside the lines. When life gives you lemons, make grape juice and make people wonder how you did it? ;-)

Thanks for the great interview, Teri! Very informative!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Meet Orin Drake from Wicked Orin!



Orin Drake is the artist behind Wicked Orin, a shop that can be found on both Etsy and Artfire. Much of the artwork are objects of fantasy: dragons ~ including some rather remarkable beaded dragon jewelry pieces; large, beaded spiders, and fabulous jewelry such as the piece shown above -- so enchanting that it looks as though it should be adorning the neck of the fairy queen herself!

Recently, Orin took some time away from creating fantastical art to answer a few of my questions... I hope you'll enjoy this opportunity to get to know Orin Drake a little bit better...

How long have you been creating your art?

"Seriously" (meaning I've consciously been creating, producing and improving whatever I've been interested in) for about six years. Apparently I've been working on it since I could hold a crayon, though. If it wasn't sketching or discovering water color it was crochet, sculpting whenever I could get my hands on clay, painting--I was just out to make stuff!

Where do you sell your art?

Right now I'm sort of going between ArtFire ( ) and Etsy ( ). It's a bit of a difficult situation; Etsy is far better known and I have a good deal of positive feedback and sales there, but ArtFire is more "comfortable" from my own artist's standpoint.

How do you market/advertise your store?

A lot of my creations have a definitively geeky slant, so hanging around gaming communities helps quite a bit. Otherwise, I have a DeviantArt account and a SheezyArt account, both of which get a pretty good number of people interested, and the DIYScene forums ( ). There's also my own blog, I suppose, but... very few people see anything in my blog.

At what point did you decide to sell your art?

I'd like to say it was at the point where I realized people might actually buy what I make. But really it was when I realized that I could not get, let alone keep, a steady job unless I employed myself. I'm afraid the "triple threat" of being an artist, musician and writer don't really matter when you don't have any interest in customer service or three degrees in... anything, really. The curse of a college town.

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?

Do what you love, and do it your way. Sure we can all learn and take friendly advice (when we ask for it), but there comes a point when you know what you want to do and you should never let anything get in your way. Most importantly, though, don't lose heart. There are probably going to be people who don't like what you do, and that's fine--but there WILL be someone who absolutely LOVES your work. Focus on what you love and what makes you happy, and that absolutely will carry through.

What inspires you?

Anything, everything! Sometimes it's actually a joke or a not so serious challenge ("Bet you can't do ____."). Other times I'll see something that I think is way too expensive for the work that seems to be involved (or the materials used strike me as ridiculously overpriced), so I'll try to make it myself. But most of the time... I don't really know. I like to default to the answer "video games and music", because that seems to hold true to just about everything. I have fun with what I create, and that seems the most important self-fulfilling inspiration of all.

Every artist experiences “creative block” – a creative dry spell – how do you deal with creative block?

Honestly, I usually drop in front of a console and play video games for a few hours, turn up some music or go watch one of my geeky favorites like a handful of Beast Wars episodes. Then I have to admit, I'm usually good to go after that. My dry spells don't usually last more than a day. I think I'm much too focused on doing SOMETHING, anything. Boredom is not acceptable.

How did you choose the medium you work with?

I have too many mediums! And the list is always growing. But I think it comes down to what looks fun. Jump rings looked fun, I've become quite good at some chainmaile patterns. Sculpting looked fun, and I still love making masks and dragons. Fabric looked fun, and I'm currently making more patterns after my little plush dragon turned out so well. Next up, leather and needle felting!

How do you wish to be remembered?

Just as someone who loved what they did, and loved to share that with people who had a similar connection with the creations. People always ask if it's hard to let go of a piece I've spent days or weeks or even months on... and no, it's not. I have confidence that the person buying it caught a similar "spark" when they saw it that I had when I created it, plus I get the funding to buy more materials and make more fun things. That seems like the way it ought to be.

Who are your favorite artists (living and deceased)?

I'm utterly uncultured when it comes to art. I have way, way too many artists that I follow and am lucky enough to be friend with quite a few of them. Some day I'll have to make a list! I'll really have to admit to my horrifying geekdom by listing Yoshitaka Amano and Tetsuya Nomura specifically, though. They're both character designers for Final Fantasy games, but they both have distinctive art styles that I adore. Amano's work is some beautiful combination of colorful, soft, and amazingly sharp and harsh--it's too hard to describe without really seeing it for yourself. Nomura's work has become cliche in the RPG genre--but he established the cliche because his work is just that distinctive. I'm certain that there are countless other artists whose work I've seen and admired and get little to no credit, sadly. Concept art for nearly anything makes me very happy.

What blogs to do you visit on a regular basis?

Mostly ones that have to do with video games and absolutely nothing to do with art, actually. I do like to take a look at Etsy's and ArtFire's blogs from time ot time, but the only really art-related ones I follow are Cute Plush ( ) for all kinds of plushie/stuffed animal ideas, and Craftastrophe ( ), because... well, I have a sick sense of humor.

For anyone who might be reading, what shops would you recommend that they visit right now?

I absolutely have to recommend my incredibly talented friends--most of which unfortunately don't have shops open at this time. I'm afraid I might just have to recommend my links page ( ) to be updated whenever everyone gets all set up. In the meantime, if you're into geeky cross stitch, definitely go visit Schala-Kitty at Crafted With Zeal ( ).

Any final thoughts?

There's nothing wrong with admitting that you started to make jewelry because you love shiny objects.

Thank you, Orin, for your time... I enjoyed your art, and getting to know you a bit better!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Meet Kristen from Kristen's Custom Creations!

Happy Saturday Everyone!

Today, we have a unique opportunity to get to know Kristen from
Kristen's Custom Creations! Kristen creates beautiful silver jewelry ... and if you have a something special that you'd like to express, Kristen can help you and create a custom piece for you that's just for you... and you alone! Here is an example of what you'll find at Kristen's Etsy shop:

This is probably my favorite piece in Kristen's shop, because it makes me smile! My youngest daughter and I often "argue" about who loves who more! Such a sweet little piece... I just might have to get this for her upcoming birthday! I recently interviewed Kristen... please read on to learn a little bit more about this artist!

How long have you been creating your art?

I have been ma
king jewelry for 12 years but metalwork for just over 2 years.

Where do you sell your art? - Kristen's Custom Creations

How do you market/advertise your store?

Most of my business is from referrals but I do market my business on my two blogs and I really do not spend much on advertising and don't feel you need to.

At what point did you decide to sell your art?

I started giving my handstamped jewelry as gifts and then by word of mouth had people contact me to purchase items and when I kept being asked if I had a website I decided it was time to open up a shop on Etsy.

What advice would you give someone who is just starting out?

Don't expect the business to just come to you, you have to market your business and even if you only blog that is enough to get you started. Don't under price your items, I see many artists really under price their items. Regardless of what your competition is doing price your items so that you feel you are making a fair amount. Always under promise but over deliver to your customers and they will come back.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by so much around me but my biggest inspiration is my son, many of my pieces are sayings that we say to each other or from books we love. I like to create pieces that hold special meaning.

Every artist experiences "creative block" -- a creative dry spell -- how do you deal with creative block?

Here's how I handle this, I keep a sketch book of designs, so when it pops in my head I draw it and save it for a time when I'm ready to create. So when I get in a dry spell I just pull out my sketch book and I'm refreshed, some days I have 3 - 4 ideas for new pieces and I am just too busy to create new items.

How did you choose the medium you work with?

I really prefer to work with sterling silver since I love sterling but I am starting to work with some other metals. At heart, I am a Silver Girl!

How do you wish to be remembered?

The best part about creating custom pieces is the keepsake pieces that hold special meaning and when a customer tells me that the piece I created touched someone, that is how I want to be remembered, as an artist that made an impact through a piece of jewelry.

Who are your favorite artists (living and deceased)?

I love Monet and many of the artists in the impressionist period.

What blogs do you visit on a regular basis?

I actually have a few favorites and they aren't fellow artists, and they both make me laugh and are so real.

For anyone who might be reading, what shops would you recommend that they visit right now? has fab headbands, I personally own 6 custom headbands and I love for really adorable little pottery pieces that are stamped, love them! I also love your tea, it is my daily afternoon treat when I am working on orders.

Thank you Kristen, for this opportunity to get to know you a little better!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My Last Tip-In

Jeri chose Vintage Ladies with Umbrellas as her theme for the tip-in swap. This is the tip in I created for her...

The scan doesn't really show it very well, but there are quite a few layers to this piece. And of course, the scan doesn't show the sparkle of the rhinestones in the center of the silk flowers either... I am really happy with the way this tip-in turned out, although for some reason, I was a bit intimidated by the theme (which I don't really understand why, as much of my artwork tends to be more vintage-y, so this should have been right up my alley!)

Anyway, I hope that Jeri likes the tip-in. I had so much fun with this swap, although it's a bit uncomfortable to step outside of your comfort zone -- and tip-ins were a step outside that comfort zone since I've never made one before! -- it's also a lot of fun to challenge oneself to create something with which they're unfamiliar.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Meet Brandy from Broken Hallelujah!

Greetings! Today we are going to explore the art of Brandy from Broken Hallelujah, who creates unique crocheted accessories such as this beautiful "Time for Tea" hat ...
I wish I could crochet like that! Brandy's work is fabulous, and inspiring, and I'm so thrilled that she gave me this opportunity to get to know her better... so, everyone, please take a moment and meet my new friend, Brandy!

How long have you been creating your art?

I have been crocheting and selling my products online for almost 4 years. It'll be 4 years in July.

Where do you sell your art?

Artfire and Etsy

How do you market/advertise your stores?

I have a blog that I try to keep relatively up to date with new items. I also spend time on the Artfire forums, on Plurk (brokenhallelujah), twitter (bhallelujah), flickr, and kaboodle.

Photo from Brandy's Artfire Studio

At what point did you decide to sell your art?

When I couldn't afford to go out and buy yarn because I was spending too much and my crafts were starting to pile up after I'd already made something for everyone I knew.

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?

It's hard; it takes a lot of time; and you probably won't see an immediate return on your efforts. The hardest part is having the patience to wait for customers to find you. Take great pictures, get your name out there, network, and keep to it and you'll finally get there.

What inspires you?

Creativity. When I see great new designs that I admire, it pushes me to another level.

Every artist experiences "creative block" - a creative dry spell - how do you deal with creative block?

Take a break. If you try to push it you'll just get even more frustrated with yourself. Just chill out and let it come to you.

How did you choose the medium you work with?

I crocheted when I was young, and so it when I was looking for a hobby to fill some time I had, I felt it would be easier for me to pick up since I had previous knowledge of it.

Photo from Brandy's Artfire Studio

How do you wish to be remembered?

Creative, fun, whimsical.

Who are your favorite artists (living and deceased)?

I'm really not a big art buff. I don't think I could name a favorite artist really. I enjoy old Renaissance paintings, but I'm much more in to movies and tv.

What blogs do you visit on a regular basis?

This is when having your RSS feed emailed to you bits you in the bum because I don't know any of the blogs URLs! I love Tracy at Pink Purl and a Year from Oak Cottage provides great recipes every day. Those are two I love that I remember off the top of my head.

For anyone who might be reading, what shops would you recommend that they visit right now?,,,

Any final thoughts?

Thanks so much for this opportunity!

And... thank you Brandy!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fairy House Tip In!

Hello Everyone!

Well, I sent these off the other day, but, I didn't get around to formatting the photos until this afternoon... so I thought I'd share with you one the final two tip-ins that I made for the swap... this one is Carole's "House" tip in...

Carole wanted "Houses" to be her theme for her tip ins... at first, I thought I'd make a 'tea house' but my oldest daughter told me "everything you do is tea... do something different" and she is right, it is my most common theme! What can I say... I love tea!

So I decided instead I'd create a fairy house layout for Carole. The door opens to reveal a little baby fairy. This piece is very dimensional, as all of the leaves and many of the flowers are silk...

I hope Carole likes it!


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Meet Elizabeth at ElizaArt!

Hello Everyone!

I guess it's no real secret that I love art. It's one of my greatest passions in life. And that passion extends from my own canvas to the work of others... I find great inspiration from other artists, their process, their journey. My soul comes to life when I see the artwork of another. There is a restless stirring within me that needs to capture that exhilaration that I feel when I am experiencing another person's art... as well as my own.

To that end, I have decided that I'd use this blog to not only chronicle my own artistic journey, but also to learn about other artists by interviewing them, and publishing that interview, along with some of my favorites of their work, right here... I hope you enjoy this new feature as well!

My first interview is with Elizabeth from ElizaArt. Elizabeth is a painter, and creates stunning works of art such as this.......

Photo from

Amazing, huh? Well, that's just a sample of what you'll find in the gallery of her website. Please, read on, and learn a little more about Elizabeth!

How long have you been creating your art?

I have been creating art ever since I was little and could draw with a crayon. I actually remember using nailpolish and painting in a coloring book when I was around 4 years old. It wasn't until I became a florist at 16 years old, and that is when I became more passionate about creating art. I was raised with a creative family where my brothers sang opera and my Mom was always into crafts, so it fascinated me to want to venture into art. Working as a florist for over 8 years taught me the importance of line, color, texture and the passion to create even more. I had always painted and drawn on the side, but it wasn’t until I grew in my paintings throughout the years, that I knew I could do something really great with my gift. I started letting people know that I could do commissioned paintings and that is when my art began to sell. I created my website last summer in the hopes that viewers could see what I could do and then commission me to paint something unique for them.

Photo from

Where do you sell your art?

I sell my art through a few online websites: Or should I say promote my art. I am new at promoting. I guess you could say I am not the pushing type to make people buy my art, so it has been hard to try and promote myself, but it is a good experience. I definitely would love for more people to see what I can do and purchase my art and prints! Is my official website where a lot of my art can be viewed and you can learn more about me. is where I just created my “ElizaArtshop” almost a month ago. I don’t have any sales, bu t I am hopeful!! Right now I am selling my art, prints of my art and my mini art pendants. is a place where I can also market some of my work.
I also sell my art through word of mouth and at my hometown Veterinarian Clinic where I offer to create custom Pet Portraits.

How do you market/advertise your store?

Well, lately I have been trying to visit forums throughout Etsy and, because that is how you gain more exposure, and I have been adding new items to my store every week.
I also created a “mini art video” on “Youtube” where some of my art is shown.

I just started a blogging website where I have some of my art listed on
I am fairly new to the blogging world, so if you visit my blog, be one of the first to follow me! I would love to make new friends and learn more about all the artisans out there!

At what point did you decide to sell your art?

I actually decided to start selling my work, when I couldn’t possibly cover any more of my walls at home with my art….lol. It was last year that I really took my art to a new level and felt driven to create even more and to give people art that they can have in their homes or as gifts. I have worked for Fleer Corporation and designed game playing cards, but I knew that my style was more about landscapes, pet portraits and home d├ęcor art. I think finding out what my speciality was, made it easier for me to focus on the types of paintings I was best at. From then on, my paintings had a certain theme and that is when I began staying true to that theme and selling my art.

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?

I would tell them never to give up on something they love to do. I was always and still am a dreamer with big dreams. Everyday I keep motivated and pushing myself to do more. I would tell someone starting out to continually strive to do better. I still have a lot more to learn and can’t wait to see how I’ve progressed when I look back in 60 years!

What inspires you?

Really good music inspires me! I love to paint to all sorts of great music. I also have to wake up and have that creative feeling for the day. Some days I have it and some days I don’t, but when I do, that is when I turn up the music and paint away!

Photo from

Every artist experiences “creative block” – a creative dry spell – how do you deal with creative block?

I tend to step away from what I am creating for a couple of days until I feel motivated to come back to it again. It doesn’t do any good to work on something if you are not “feeling it.” The creativity will flow, but there has to be breaks in between where you spend time doing something else and rejuvenating your soul. I often take a look at my work and after hours of working on it, I don’t see it with fresh eyes anymore, so I have to walk away from it and come back to it with a new mind.

How did you choose the medium you work with?

I actually work with oils, acrylics, watercolors, oil pastels and just about any type of medium you can think of. I like to say the medium chooses me, but sometimes I go back and forth with the mediums I use. I will use oil for a couple days on a painting and then use acrylics on a new painting. I think I am one of those artist that likes to mix it up a bit….no pun intended ;)
How do you wish to be remembered?

I wish to be remembered as someone that was super creative, talented, warm, passionate about my work, loving, persistent and was a hard worker!

Who are your favorite artists (living and deceased)?

Monet, is one of my all-time favorites, for the way he captured light so well in his paintings. One of my other favorites is an artist named Marty Stanley who captured the California Delta sunsets and landscapes so beautifully through his paintings. I love his work not only for the way he mastered water colors, but also because he was a local artist.

What blogs to do you visit on a regular basis?

Blogging is new to me, but the blogs I have been following are:
Soap Deli News

For anyone who might be reading, what shops would you recommend that they visit right now?

I love browsing the shops that offer delicious looking soaps, like the shop The other shop I enjoy looking at is Everyday I discover a great place!

Oh and make sure you add them to your favorite list! It’s nice to see who likes your shop if you are an Etsy member.
Any final thoughts?

Persistence, following your passion and getting yourself out there, whether you are a person like me who is not so keen to being noticed….sometimes you have to make yourself be! Oh, and don't forget to have fun during your creative journey!

You can learn more about Elizabeth at her website: