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.