Archive | November, 2011

Black Pearl Creations: Featured Artisan

25 Nov

My studio name is Black Pearl Creations http://www.artfire.com/users/BlackPearlCreations
My own website is http://www.blackpearlstyle.com
People can “like” me at http://www.facebook.com/BlackPearlCreations

When and how did you  first become interested in crafting?
My father was in the military and when we  lived in England, my parents took me to the Nottingham Lace Factory when I was  about 8 years old and I was “hooked” ever since!

How long have you been  creating your chosen craft?
That would mean I’m telling my age so let’s say over  20 years.

What are your crafting influences?
I really don’t have any. My  designs come from my head, from wanting to wear a particular outfit and then not  being able to find it in the commonly available stores.

Does anyone in  your family do a similar craft?
I am the only one. My 5 year old daughter wants  to learn and we are working on that.

What else do you do besides create  these beautiful pieces?
I am a single mother, a full time student at Harvard  University and recovering from my second fight with breast cancer. My free time  consists of time with my children, studying/writing papers, and crocheting.

What is your favorite piece that you have created so far?
I would have  to say the crocheted pants and jacket.

Why did you make that piece?
I  was going to see Cedric the Entertainer in concert and didn’t have anything to  wear.

What does it take to create pieces like that?
Time, but when you  do that type of outfit last minute, there is no time. It takes a clear idea of  how to create the piece. There is nothing worse than getting halfway through a  piece and then “frogging” it because you went back to a SC when you were doing a  HDC!

What is special about your pieces?
I make them with my own 2 hands  and with my pseudo-ADD, I get bored quickly. I make a few pieces and then,  that’s it! Buy them while available because I may never make that piece again. I  also rarely make anything in a solid color. Solid colors are too boring and  crochet is when I get to really express myself.

What makes this kind of  craft “good” to you?
Crocheting and knitting, even though enjoying a  resurgence in the last few years, is still seen as the “old woman” crafts. Since  there are relatively few (especially crocheted) designs, it’s a good craft to  know. To today’s society, it’s “new”. It’s also therapeutic, fun and you never  know what you will end up with!

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Make a Promise

22 Nov

Make a promise

Make a promise to yourself and keep it. There’s something that you’ve always desired, and now is the time to make it real.

You are fully capable of reaching whatever you decide to reach. Promise yourself something wonderful, and then do what it takes to fulfill that promise.

Stop groaning about how unfair life is. Start making life into something grand and joyful.

Every problem is an opportunity to make an improvement. Pick a particularly vexing problem and promise yourself that you’ll get triumphantly beyond it.

Find a dream that positively inspires you and promise yourself that you’ll reach it. Make a serious commitment to the richness of your own life, and follow through on that commitment.

You can do it if you’ll simply choose to do it. Make a promise to yourself, and make it happen.

top 10 turkey facts

21 Nov

1) Did you know that turkeys have heart attacks?  When the Air Force was conducting test runs and breaking the sound barrier, fields of turkeys would drop dead.

2) A spooked wild turkey can run at speeds of 20 mph. They can also burst into flight approaching speeds of 50-55 mph in a matter of seconds.

3) Benjamin Franklin wanted the national bird to be a turkey.

4) Wild turkeys are known to spend the night in trees.

5) The dance called the turkey trot was mainly popular because the Vatican thought it was too suggestive.

6) A full grown turkey has over 3000 feathers.

7) The drink that the Puritans brought with them in the Mayflower was beer.  It was safer than water.

8) Californians are the largest consumers of turkey in the United States.

9) Turkeys can see in color

10) Each year, the President will pardon at least one Turkey.

Lehane: Featured Artisan

18 Nov

How long have you been  creating your chosen craft?
I have been creating jewelry items on and off for  most of my life but my effort and investment increased greatly after a couple of  life-changing events about a decade ago.

What are your crafting influences?
My  life is my influence. I love nature, especially the ocean and woods. I believe  things that challenge us make us stronger and I also believe there are energy  sources all around us with power we can tap for healing and direction. These  energies may be found in color, shape, and natural material used in jewelry and  may be symbolized in patterns and shapes such as those of rings used in  chainmail.

Does anyone in your family do a similar craft?
My parents worked in  copper, fabric and wood.

What kinds of places have you displayed your craft in  your life?
I have been in juried craft shows and sell in several online venues.  I have sold my creations to people in the USA, Canada, Europe and Australia.

What else do you do besides create these beautiful pieces?
I design publications  (books newsletters, flyers) and business systems (websites, membership  datgabases, order entry, billing, tracking, etc.). I have created a line of  greeting cards based on my digitally altered photography — I sell these on  other venues and may move some to Artfire.

What is your favorite piece that you  have created so far?
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Why did you make that piece?
I was making a special gift for one of my sisters  who I only see twice a year. She loves aquamarine and it looks great with her  blue eyes. She was here visiting and I showed her my plans for the necklace. She  asked for me to add yellow beads and to change the pendant to a circular  crystal. Although I was reluctant to make the changes, when I saw her wearing  the finished product it was obvious that her ideas were just right.

What does it  take to create pieces like that?
I start with an idea: it may be an image of the  intended user, a plan to use certain color bead combinations, or perhaps a  meditation on a particular pendant. I assemble the materials and lay them out on  a board to see how the combination looks. There may be several shuffles to get  an attractive blend of beads. Once the beads are selected I begin to add them to  a wire. Many times the results are not exactly as expected, since the beads are  closer on a wire, and the beads come off the wire and there is more tweeking to  the design.

What is special about your pieces?
They are simple and yet bold  without being outrageous. I like to think my designs can be worn with jeans or  dress clothes. I do see many other people create incredibly elegant and dainty  jewelry for special times — but my items are intended for everyday use while  still exuding an air of boldness and tapping in to energies from color,  materials, shapes, etc. I guess you could say there is nothing bland about my  creations. They are intended to be empowering.

What makes this kind of craft  “good” to you?
I see my creating as part of keeping my brain tuned up. Each  piece is like solving a complicated puzzle, you have to get everything right for  the whole to work. I also see my creations as sharing positive and healing  energies and empowering the wearer.

Some links: http://www.lehane.artfire.com —  jewelry on Artfire http://www.edgewatergallery.com — photo imagery on several  items http://www.zazzle.com/blarneycards?rf=238343480281114967 — some photo  cards

Get Creative

15 Nov

Get creative

There’s more than one way to reach the goal. There’s more than one way to solve the problem.

When you seem to be stuck, get creative. When the possibilities aren’t to your liking, open your mind and make some more.

There’s no reason why you must do things the same way they’ve always been done. Certainly you can learn much from past experience, yet you can also improve upon it.

Today is a new day and you’re more knowledgeable than ever. Get creative and develop some new strategies for going forward.

Creativity is not limited to artistic or literary pursuits. Creativity can be successfully applied to any undertaking.

Make each effort fun and interesting by applying some delightful creativity to it. Get creative, and enjoy more success than ever before.

— Ralph Marston

Zoomgraphik: Featured Artisan

11 Nov

Today we are featuring a fellow Artfire artisan who operates Zoomgraphik from Canada.

When and how did you first become interested in crafting?“Started crafting over 20 years ago in Vancouver ,I was doing only winter shows ( sewing mostly Santa’s, snowman ,ornaments etc…I graduated in fashion design, so sewing for me was natural and it was more fun doing Santa then making clothes!!” How long have you been creating your chosen craft?“I started doing jewelry when fimo was in “vogue”. Did others things until about 2 years ago when I moved back to Montreal and my sister needed jewelry for her new boutique. I was a hit with my stuff, because I was doing big bulky necklaces and everybody loved it.” What are your crafting influences?“My influence, well it depends on what I see that grabs me. When I to China, I bought lots of pearls, jade etc… and I could see what to make with that. My son brought me some wooden beads from Bali; there I could see the fun I can make with it…it just depend on my mood too.” Does anyone in your family do a similar craft?“I show my little sister how to make jewelry, the other one knits.!!~!” What kinds of places have you displayed your craft in your life?“I display my jewelry to a gallery in my neighborhood and others town where lots of tourist goes.” What else do you do besides create these beautiful pieces?“ I  used to design teddy bears .Right now ,I do illustrations for my cards and I am an amateur photograph (I do cards with my photos too)” What is your favorite piece that you have created so far?“Favorite pieces…difficult to say because most of them I kept it.!!!I am bad that way.Well ,It will be a piece i did with my mother old necklace .My father give it to her on their engagement …she didn’t wear it anymore and I redid a new version with it…”What is special about your pieces?“what special about my pieces, well they are one of a kind, maybe similar but never the same and I will redo it 2-3 times if I do not like the look of it or my loop is not that perfect …” What makes this kind of craft “good” to you?

“I like nice things and this is a “good “way to keep me sane and relax.”

To learn more check out her blog, homepage, or facebook account.

Why Following Us On Twitter is Great

9 Nov

1) random inspirational quotes
2) up to date news often off beat
3) articles of interest
4) blogs of interest that we follow
5) have input when we ask random questions
6) know instantly when we are running polls
7) Interesting videos
8) Animal interest
9) short and on the move kind of groove
10) Songs galore