Thursday, October 23, 2008

Julie & Co's Jaw-Dropping Japanese Temari Ball Decorations

Since words couldn't possible do Julie's Temari work justice (she's a color GENIUS!), and I couldn't possibly fit all of my favorite pieces in this blog post...

...I invite you to simply visit her online gallery, instead, where her shop announceent invites us:

"Welcome to my little corner of Etsy and enjoy browsing through my handmade items! I love to work with my hands, I delight in the feel of soft cotton, smooth threads, cool crochet hooks, and fuzzy yarn. I love beauty and texture, detail and color. I have been sewing, crafting, creating and imagining for over 30 years and still find joy in each new project and idea.

Japanese Temari hand balls are my passion -- their colors and symmetry delight me and their design and precision challenge me. These ancient folk art creations are visually stunning and so wonderful to display. Perfect for housewarming gifts, unique thank-you offerings, and special-day gift giving.

Please linger, browse, envision temari in your home and in your custom colors! Be inspired!"

Julie, I couldn't be more inspired, thank you for putting your outstanding work "out there" for everyone to enjoy!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Why Does Desiree Do It?

Desiree's profile in her online jewelry boutique, Desiree Designs, reads like the beginning of a fascinating book:

"I'm from New Mexico originally, the child of flower children but adopted by a Catholic schoolteacher."

I'm featuring Desiree today as a thank you for putting my Red & Pink Delight Crimson Rose Handknit Scarf in her Red, Sexy, Fabulous or Fascinating treasury, with alluring images ranging from the subtle to blatant--in a good way!

One thing I'm always interested in when discovering a new artist is what drives or inspires them to create (most of us are BOTH driven AND inspired, lol). Desiree explains:

The earring craze began after giving up on Cheap Crap...I used to love that I could buy several pairs at once for so little... but they always fell apart and were made from questionable metals that made my skin turn green... so I decided to make my own, using better materials (no base metal!) and my own aesthetic, honed in many years of beading, macrame and other self-decorative arts."

Thank you, Desiree, for living your dream!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

From Denmark, with Love!

This post is set to the tune of Tom Jones InterNATional, baby! :)

Yesterday, the extremely talented Lisa Astrup sent me a note all the way from Copenhagen, Denmark! She's blogged about me in her Me & My Jewelry DANISH! How cool is that?! I feel sooo cosmopolitan!

And guess what? Like me, Lisa ships her handmade creations (some are pictured here) worldwide! She charges only $4 USD (United States Dollars) to ship the first piece of jewelry anywhere in the world, $2 each for additional items. Wowza!

I especially enjoy how she photographs her pieces with the tools that helped her handcraft each piece. I feel like if a ring or necklace can handle being hammered or plied, it's meant to be USED & ENJOYED in "real life." Wouldn't you agree?

Monday, October 20, 2008

I found a really nice jewelry designer: MrsThunder!

Don't you just love meeting nice people? I know I sure do! I was recently introduced to Mrs. Thunder when she sent me a conversation on Etsy to let me know that she'd included my Halloween Green Apple n Black Unisex Handknit Scarf for Wicked Elphie Elphaba Fans in her first treasury ever, entitled Misunderstood and featuring all things green & black witch.

I especially like her quote, "Jewelry is meant to be worn, not put away until the next big fancy dress party comes along ;)"

I've included a few of her jewelry pieces here. My favorites are the "sets" of earrings, bracelet & necklace together. I've never noticed that before on Etsy and I think it's a really nice touch! Nice to meet you, Mrs. Thunder.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

An Exceptional Jewelry Design Artist: LB Jeweled

With LB Jeweled, the hardest part is picking a favorite! Each piece is a unique, inspired design using only the finest quality materials.

I *thought* my favorite was the conch shell pendant...but then I saw the colored teardrop necklace...and then the artful arrangement of the different greens in the beaded necklace...decisions, decisions!

This Texas-based online jewelry boutique is worth checking out! And if you have the time, please also visit their latest "Absolutely Amazing!" treasury, which includes my Chocolate Sparkles See Through Handknit Scarf.

I have a fascination with...

...photographs from days gone by. I have even collected old photographs of people and places I knew nothing about. I can stare at an old photograph for hours, trying to imagine if the photo was realistic (if some of the reality had been lost in translation), wondering how it felt to be there, discerning details such as temperature and time of day.

What a pleasure it's been to discover, then, Marianne of Clancy's Classics. I really think that Marianne's Etsy shop announcement explains her work & vision best:

"Welcome to Clancy's Classics, offering art prints and cards from original photographic glass negatives, my original polaroid transfers and my collection of fine art vintage photographs.

I have been collecting glass negatives ranging in size from 2X3 inches to 8X10 inches for many years. I have traversed the globe to find images printed on glass which I then scan and tint and make into wonderful prints for framing and cards to send, keep or frame.
MY polaroid transfers were created from 1970-2004 and I have really started to feel re-invigorated and stunned by the subtle colors and hues that these images have.
I will offer them as cards and prints.
I also have a large collection of images from the 1910s and 20s. I call them Americana Snapshots.

I have recently decided to offer some of my original vintage images as I have boxes of them everywhere and some are really wonderful for collage or altered books or a myriad of art projects and expressions..or if you are a purest.. just for the love of the vintage image itself...

Each photograph has a story and I love trying to figure that story out.. I think that mystery is what has kept me in my great joy and love of the vintage image! Also my dad was always carrying around a camera with slide film or movie film in it so our large family of 11 couldn't go anywhere without a few photos for the memory. I think I have loved photos of any kind all my life and I just can't stop myself! Thanks dad!!

I love them all and hope you will too!"

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Pleasing Art of Jessica Doyle

I'm heartened by Jessica's prints and originals. I love gardening--or, rather, putzing in the yard, wandering around in my gardening gloves, just being "in the moment." Jessica's pieces feel organic to me. They remind me of the sun on my face, dirt in close proximity, the smell of a crushed leaf.

Her process is palpable. We're constantly reminded to, "Just be" and to let the present surround us, embrace us. When I look at Jessica's work, I have no other choice. I'm not only placed firmly in my own present, I'm also transported to her present when she was making the piece.

If this all sounds a bit too's nothing I can explain. I'm just wondering: Do you feel it, too?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Quality Bath & Body from Astrida Naturals

Would you like expertly packaged, luxury-grade bath & body products made with 100% raw shea butter? Then please visit Astrida Naturals, shipping to you or your loved one's home from Chicago, Illinois. And it's really no wonder that Maia of Astrida's work looks good enough to give away as gifts: her other business is Media Move graphic design!

Here's more information about shea butter, one of nature's miracles, from Astrida's profile:

My name is Maia and I am the creator of Astrida Naturals. All of the products in my shop are handcrafted by me especially for you! I specialize in creating products that are made with unrefined shea butter.


How does shea butter benefit my skin and hair?

Regular use of unrefined shea butter produces softer, smoother healthier skin and is safe for all skin types. Shea butter is a natural source of vitamins A, E, and F. These antioxidants help the skin to retain its natural elasticity, absorb moisture from the air, and help prevent premature wrinkles by boosting collagen production.

Shea butter contains natural UV sun protection that is estimated to be around an SPF 6. Daily use of shea butter on the face and body reduces sun exposure, which in turn slows down the rate of aging. Shea butter also acts as a natural mantle against elements of cigarette smoke, smog and chemical pollutants in the atmosphere.

Shea butter can also help your hair. It provides moisture to dry or damaged hair from the roots to the very tips, repairing and protecting against weather damage, dryness and brittleness. It also absorbs quickly and completely into the scalp to rehydrate without clogging pores. It is particularly beneficial for processed and heat-treated hair, and is an excellent treatment for dry scalp.

Unrefined Shea Butter is known for many benefits:

Known to help heal:
Sun damaged skin and burns
Scres and blemishes
Small wounds and scrapes
Helps to prevent and relieve diaper rash
Relieves itching insect bites & stings
Relieves muscle fatigue, aches & tension

Use for skin care:
Absorbs quickly into skin leaving it smooth and soft
Increases elasticity
Moisturizes dry and chapped skin and lips
Helps to reduce wrinkles by boosting collagen production
Helps to reduce and prevent stretch marks and fade scars
Relieves eczema
Minimizes razor bumps and can be used as a shave cream

Use for hair care:
Heat slightly for a hot oil treatment
Dread maintenance
Scalp moisturizer
Protects hair from environmental elements
Prevents hair breakage

Please visit Maia's latest treasury, which includes one of my favorite new designs, Red & Pink Delight Rose & Crimson Handknit Scarf!

Kindred Spirit Alert!

Kelly of Lean Dog Pottery and I are both members of the wonderful Etsy Veg team, part of Etsy's handmade community (your place to buy and sell all things handmade)!

We also agree on the statement that Kelly makes in her shop announcement: "Sometimes I can't sleep at night because I am thinking about new things to create!! :P"

Kelly and I also both love the complementary color combination of violet & yellow together; she's even made an EtsyVeg Team treasury all yellow and purple! Thank you, Kelly, for including my Solid Gold Yellow Sunshine Handknit Scarf in your collection!

You can check out the treasury through today, and also find Kelly (including where the name Lean Dog Pottery came from) in her blog. Kelly is also a member of the California etsy team and has a flickr account to check out, as well!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fun with WhimsiDoodle!

I think we could all use a little fun in our days, and Jen of Whimsidoodle is here to provide!

Jen shop is full of community and family, her supply sources are reputable and she supports her fellow New England artists. To read more about this wonderful designer from Maine, please see her online Profile and her new blog.

Meanwhile, please enjoy these most definitely fun items from her online gallery (I'm especially enjoying "Whimsi's Onesies" cards, tee hee)! Thanks, Jen, for being a shining light for all of us and for making your fellow artisans a Green & Brown treasury (including my Autumn Twilight Harvest Ribbon Scarf is Blue Yellow Brown Burgundy Copper for Fall Holidays).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mod Art Originals & Prints from Cathy Scarlett!

I am so excited to share some of the artwork of Cathy Scarlett! I really, really love her clean, mod style. Even more, I love the confident spark of her art pieces. Most of all, I love the incredible colors!! I can see her work gracing both design-savvy homes and businesses.

I originally contacted Cathy, a member of Idaho Indie Works (a street team on Etsy, your place to buy & sell all things handmade), because her home studio is based out of Boise. My mom moved to Mountain Home, near Boise, last year and spends a lot of time in Boise, where her sweetie lives.

Anyway, Cathy was nice enough to write back right away and even let me know that she's including my Solid Gold Sunshine Handknit Scarf in her new treasury collection of Etsy finds.

Cathy, thanks so much, I love your palette, you deserve your success this holiday giving season!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Friend of a Friend is a Friend, Indeed!

Today, I'd like you to meet Jill of JILLreDESIGNS. Yes, that's "JILLre" as in "Jewelry." *wink* You're loving her sense of humor, right?

You bet, Jill welcomes special requests and custom orders...just in case her 3 pages of colorful, diverse designs leave you hungry for more!

Here's the fun part: how I know Jill! You see, my friend Valerie (the Valerie of mistflowerstudio, the same Valerie I keep mentioning in my posts here) adores Jill & I met Jill through Valerie. And if she's good enough for Valerie, she's good enough for me! :) And Iris of Brown Bunny by Iris hats knows both Valerie and Jill, so it's a "circle of friends."

So, you know how yesterday I blogged about how Iris put Valerie, Jill & I in a treasury together? Well, she's done it again with her I Love Bubblegum treasury. And Jill has a treasury with Iris, Valerie & I called You look purrrfect!

So, yeah, I'm feelin' the love and feelin' pretty goofy for not being treasury literate, myself! I thought the least I can do is feature each of these Three Craftsyteers in my blog. ;)