Friday, April 27, 2007

A flower and a frog!!!

So, I've been super busy getting ready for a show Mother's Day weekend...SUPER BUSY!! I've revamped my display, had to get a new canopy, folding tables, tablecloths.....oh, and did I mention displays? This is my first fair showing my notecards and's a bit overwhelming!

But, in the thick of it all, I have manged to list two new notecards - and I think they are pretty cool! One is a pretty plant my husband bought at Lowe's. It's in the Daisy family and is called a Trailing African Daisy...very unusual in my opinion!

The other notecard is a picture of a metal frog garden decoration that we've had for a few years now but I guess how Glenn put it in our garden this year it just looked cute and almost whimsical with it's face peeking from behind the plant looking at me!

So, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! Come by my Etsy shop to check them out in full.

Now, back to work!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Today's featured artist is....Studio AMF!

The first word that comes to mind when I visit this artist's shop is FUNKY! I should say FUN and FUNKY! She has the coolest jewelry...everything is so unique.

All of the pieces in her shop she makes herself with the exception of the wooden bracelets which are a collaboration between herself and her Grandfather. The hand knit items are made by her Grandmother.

And I just have to show you this Networking Bracelet made out of circuit boards....

How would you describe your shop? Studio AMF is an eclectic mix of styles, techniques, and materials. Working with my hands helps me to know myself and the shop is a direct extension of my personality.The shop also contains a few articles made by my grandparents who are not plugged into the wide world of the web.

How long have you been crafting? I have been crafting and taking art classes since I was a little girl. Throughout my life it is one of the few interests that has been constant and consistent.

Where does your inspiration come from? I have always had a love for jewelry and appreciation for heirlooms. As a child I played dress up with my mother's and grandmother's jewelry and have inherited several of those pieces over the years. They are a definite inspiration. I also wake up in the morning with fresh ideas and take inspiration from my surroundings.

What is your favorite piece? and why? It so hard to choose just one.Right now my favorite piece is the Spirit of St. Louis necklace. It falls just right on the neck is shaped like a plane!

And, I love the wooden rings. The oils in your skin darken them over time. They age with you and that is cool.

How do you spend time when you're not crafting? gardening, yoga, traveling, friends and family

What is the best advice you have received? The best thing for me was not so much advice, but encouragement from the people I respect.

Thank you Studio AMF for being part of my blog! I just love your Etsy shop and I can't stress enough for everybody to visit you at:

In addition to her shop, she has a website

Check them out folks!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Treasuries, Treasuries, Treasuries

So, let me start off by explaining what a Treasury is.....on Etsy there is a section where members can display their favorite pieces of OTHER Etsy members works. I love creating treasuries and helping other Etsy artists get their work recognized! Many items sell from my treasuries and that makes me feel great!!

But, what makes me feel even better is when I'M featured in a treasury and can I tell you that I'm in 3 right now!!! Yes, count them....3!! HAPPY DANCE! It is such a big deal to be in a know that somebody liked your piece enough to showcase it and then all the exposure it will get....well, it's big!

So, of course I must share them with you.....and it's funny 'cause they all include my notecards:

Off to clean the studio...have to begin preparing for the Mother's Day Craft Show I'm doing. Well, that's a whole other story...I'll keep ya posted!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Today's featured artist is....Kittygrrlz

Have I mentioned that I love to knit and play with different textured and colored yarns? It is SO MUCH fun to create something that you can wear and get enormous satisfaction from.

With shops like Kitty Grrlz Knitz & Spins, it makes knitting that much more fun! She's been a knitter since 2004 but recently she learned how to spin and she now spins these wonderfully yummy yarns! And the best part, she has them available in her Etsy shop for us!! In addition to her knitting, she also creates beaded jewelry (she's a girl after my own heart!)

How would you describe your shop? "Kitty Grrlz Company" (named after my two kitties!) started as a catch-all for any type of crafting I would do and has shifted from jewelry to hand knit items and now handspun yarn . . . all with the idea of being fun, unique and expressive. My items are about fun, color, texture and individuality! I also hope to walk the line between function and fashion--I want yarn that "works" but is pretty and wild! Hand knits that look great while serving their intended purpose!

My shop will evolve and change as I discover new things--new patterns or fibers or colors or techniques. Kitty Grrlz is my outlet for creativity, enjoying the process of creating and I hope that others can benefit from the final outcome. Everything I make comes from the heart--I do it because I love it and hope others do, too!

How long have you been crafting? I started making jewelry about 4 years ago, but then happened to learn how to knit at the DIY Trunk Show in Chicago in 2004. I always say that's where it all began! Their local SnB group was there, right near our booth (I had jewelry at the time!), giving free knitting lessons, complete with free needles and yarn. So, I figured I'd give it a shot! It really wasn't easy at first. I felt like I would never "get" it, but I went home and just practiced . . . and soon, I was able to knit, purl and by the next Trunk Show in 2005, I had knit a sweater, along with many things for the show.

Then, things changed when someone forwarded the Yarn Wench site ( to a mailing list I'm on. I ordered some of her "Pirate Yarn" and thought, wow! This is wonderful! And that was my introduction to handspun yarn! I began knitting with her yarns and then she began offering hand dyed fiber! I immediately started plotting . . . I mean, planning . . . to learn how to spin so I could buy the fiber and make my own yarns . . . then I'd have yarn to knit with to make my items even more handmade and more unique! (I still love knitting with other fiber artists' handspun yarns, and I use them in my hand knit items often.)

I learned how to spin in December 2006, and now it's pretty much all I do! Though, I do try and knit a little, too, and plan on having lots of hand knits for Fall 2007 shows.

Where does your inspiration come from? Inspiration . . . . I'd say it comes from . . . everything! Though, color seems to be the starting point for me. Since I do not dye my own fiber (yet!), I am attracted to fiber in colors that just . . . speak to me! Then, each one sort of "tells" me what it wants to be (2ply? single? bulky art yarn?) and I go from there. I also think some of my motivation is from the process itself. The actual physical repetition of the spinning and knitting is sooo soothing to me! I call it my "therapy"!
What is your favorite piece? and why? "Tequila Sunrise" I love the colors and softness of the hand dyed Merino wool, and I spun in soft novelty yarns and plied it with thread . . . and it all just came together the way I imagined it and for me is my proudest moment as a spinner!

How do you spend time when you're not crafting? I'm actually a librarian by day! I work in a college library as a cataloger and for the past few years have been working on cataloging a HUGE donated collection of Children's Books! So, when I'm not working at my "day" job, or working at my "crafty" job, I hang out with my boyfriend and cat, watch more tv than I care to admit (but it's so easy to do while knitting and spinning! I always seem to need to be multi-tasking!) and just enjoy life!

What is the best advice you have received? Advice . . . hmm, I'm not really sure. I am very grateful for that very first knitting lesson and how patient she was with me . . . and the great spinning teacher I had . . . but now, advice on crafting, selling, etc. comes from varied sources and many wonderful people and usually just boils down to learning from others' experiences and being open to listening to what they have to say!

Final comments? I truly love knitting and spinning, and love that I can create something from, well, not really nothing, but something else. I love the tactile nature of working with fiber. All I truly hope is that others out there can benefit from what I do . . . whether it be to use my yarn in their perfect project, or to wear one of my hand knits . . . I just want my items to be . . . enjoyed!

Thank you so much for being part of my "Featured Artists"!! You do lovely, lovely work!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Today's featured artist is....Dawns Beaded Delights!

When I look at her shop I think Gift Shop! She has everything from barrettes, frames and pendants made out of polymer clay, wine charms, glass beaded jewelry up to her Wee Diva Collection of pins and magnets (also made out of polymer clay)! You must browse around her are sure to find something that you'll love!!!

How would you describe your shop? Bright, colorful and fun. I have items for everyday wear and for formal occasions, as well as polymer clay creations.

How long have you been crafting? Most of my life, the jewelry just sort of took over about 5 months ago.

Where does your inspiration come from? I like creating my own beads, each one is completely different, I like things that have a little quirkiness to them. I just start working and let it flow.

What is your favorite piece? and why? I like this whole collection, it's not traditional, and very unique.

How do you spend time when you're not crafting? I love riding my motorcycle, traveling, we just got wave runners, and I like to hike and just be outside.

What is the best advice you have received? and from whom? Not take things personally and to get a thicker skin. I am extremely sensitive to comments , my boyfriend and one of my best friends told me that, it is not easy for me!

Final comments? Come on in and visit, it may not be real fancy, but my creations are fun, and can be worn everyday, and that is what my goal was in creating this site.

Thank you so much for allowing me to feature you! Everybody can visit your shop at

Happy Shopping!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Today's featured artist is....Artandghosts

Today we are going to take a trip into the surreal and this artist's shop is the perfect avenue to travel! Inspired by dreams (including nightmares) she creates pieces that will draw you in and want to see more!

"Most of what I produce is unbidden and unexpected, a continuous joy (and just as often, a terror!) of unconscious unravellings and adventures in picture form."
How would you describe your shop? I would describe my shop as a surreal adventure, a sort of journey through the unconscious of a curious individual! I cannot imagine how other people perceive my work! There are images to suit many moods; dark, frivolous, silly, cute, etc. A bit of a mixed bag:)

How long have you been crafting? I have been making things forever. But mostly my early days were spent creating stories. I used to live on a farm, so I spent many afternoons just walking around the woods and fields there, living out stories I had invented, which later led me onto an interest in narrative and films. I began studying photography in my early twenties (I'm 33 now) and went on to do a degree in fine art. This is when I realised that I could turn the stories inside of my head into images, bringing them to life - it was a wonderful discovery indeed!

Where does your inspiration come from? My inspiration comes mostly from dreams, old folktales, and fairy tales that I recall from childhood. Some of the dreams are pleasant, some are more like nightmares, which is often the way of fairy tales in general. I love metaphor and symbolism too, which are also integral to dreams and old stories. Music is essential for my works too, and my favourite films, particularly Jan Svankmajer, David Lynch and the Brothers Quay!

What is your favorite piece? my favourite piece is 'Love is a rose' . It represents so much that is important to me. The image represents hope, self acceptance and love. Not so much a romantic love as a deep understanding of the self. The rose is a symbol of purity and innocence here, which I think can be attained no matter what life has thrown at us. I have suffered a number of traumatic experiences, and these experiences have taught me how important such things really are. The child represents belief and new beginnings, and a secret joy that no one can ever steal.

How do you spend time when you're not crafting? when I am not crafting I am reading, completing college work, seeing friends or relaxing with a nice cup of tea, a good film and my beautiful cat, Mirlo:)
What is the best advice you have received? and from whom? The best advice I have ever received was from my mother! An extremely wise and perceptive woman who has a habit of proclaiming herself unintelligent! She has always supported what I do, no matter what, and has stood by me 100%. Her greatest advice to me was simply to be myself, to follow my dreams. Another simple but priceless gem of hers is 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger'. I am a living example that this is quite true!

Final comments? I would love my work to somehow illustrate all that is written above, particularly concerning the power of our imagination as an aid to overcoming adversity: To truly believe in ourselves and what we do (be it art or anything else) is a very special gift, and so often quite difficult to attain. To perceive a light in the darkness, beauty beyond the negative, evil aspects of existence is within us all, I often try to convey that in my work. Fairy tales are rarely 100% pretty, and neither is life! But we do have the ability to reinvent goodness, hope and beauty within.

Thank you so much Artandghosts for participating on my blog! You are truly inspiring!

Be sure to check out her Etsy shop at and her blog at

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Balancing home life and a business...any suggestions?

My son has been on Easter break this week....and I've come to the conclusion that this is going to be a very loooooonnnggg summer! I MUST find a summer day camp - it's actually harder than it sounds!

I've gotten absolutely nothing done so far this sad 'cause I have all these great ideas but I just can't execute them because I have no TIME!!! As I write this he's upstairs calling me...and calling me....and calling me! WHAT, WHAT, WHAT???

It makes me wonder....How do mothers who work from their home and have preschool children do it? What is the secret to balancing family and a home based business? If you are reading this and you know...please tell me!

So, with that being said, I'm so sorry that I have no updates, new designs, or pictures to show you. I told my husband that I need Saturday afternoon for studio time. That will be my time to play!!!