Archive | December, 2011

Crafted Joy: Featured Artisan

30 Dec

When and how did you first become interested in crafting?

I have done some kind  of crafting for as long as I can remember. I have always loved putting things  together and creating interesting projects with color combinations I felt a  connection to.

How long have you been creating your chosen craft?

I primarily  create Jewelry pieces now. I made strung pieces as a child and learned to work  with metal in my early twenties and learned to create woven jewelry about a year  ago. I love to mix the mediums to create unique one of a kind pieces.

What are  your crafting influences?

For me, colors create emotions and combinations of  color can create moods and connections for the wearer or the people admiring the  jewelry. Love, passion, peace and tranquility are fabulous to portray with a  piece of jewelry.

Does anyone in your family do a similar craft?

No I am the  only person in my family that makes jewelry but my mother and sister knit.

What  kinds of places have you displayed your craft in your life?

My work is in  several local boutiques and gift shops as well as on artfire. I also teach  jewelry making and have in home parties where I make custom jewelry for the  attendees.

What else do you do besides create these beautiful pieces?

I love  photography and scrap booking. I’m not scrap booking much right now but I do  love it and will get back to it soon.

What is your favorite piece that you have  created so far?

I bought a multicolored dress for my birthday party this year  and designed a necklace and bracelet to match it. The dress and jewelry are a  mix of bronze, brown, turquoise, green, purple, and orange. The bronze and brown  are prominent and the other colors compliment each other beautifully.

Why did  you make that piece?

This was my 35th birthday and was extra special because I  had stage 3 cancer in 2009. The colors in the dress signified life and moving  forward to me and I wanted jewelry to accentuate that. The jewelry compliments  the dress beautifully but looks fabulous with several other outfits as well. I  love that I can create pieces to match anything in my wardrobe.

What does it  take to create pieces like that?

Passion and patience. I combined a few  different techniques in making this necklace so I needed to design a combination  that worked and looked the way I imagined.

What is special about your pieces?

Every one of them means something to me. Most of my pieces are one of a kind and  are made with a thought or feeling in mind that I want to portray. Be it fun,  passion, love, peace, hope or something else, I try to make pieces that touch  people with that feeling. I absolutely love when people send me pics of them  wearing my jewelry. I remember every single piece.

What makes this kind of craft  “good” to you?

It indulges my creativity and I can create one of a kind  pieces. I don’t like doing the same thing over and over again. Doing one of a  kind pieces allows me to go with new ideas, designs and color combinations.  During the time I was undergoing cancer treatments and the time is has taken to  recover physically, it gives my hands and mind something to do. It makes me feel  a little more normal and it makes me so happy when someone wears and loves  something I created. I frequently donate pieces and proceeds from various pieces  to charities that are close to my heart.

http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/studio/Craftedjoy

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Buttons and Banners: Featured Artisan

23 Dec

http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/studio/crochet18purple

http://aneedleinthehaystack-debbie.blogspot.com/

http://www.etsy.com/shop/crochet18purple

When and how did you first become interested in crafting?

I have been  crafting for as long as I can remember, I believe I first started with crochet  over 30 years ago

How long have you been creating your chosen craft?

The  digital art about 4 years now and the polymer clay about 12

What are your  crafting influences?

Color. The choices of fibers and clays just make me  want to create.

Does anyone in your family do a similar craft?

No but I  can say I was influenced by my grandmother as she use to crochet alot and wishes  that she still could but at 97 it is hard for her to hold a hook any longer

What kinds of places have you displayed your craft in your life?

In  craft shows and selling my buttons at a local craft shop

What else do you do  besides create these beautiful pieces?

I love to cook, I play the piano,  photography and knit

What is your favorite piece that you have created so  far?

I would have to say my retro diva’s

Why did you make that piece?

I love retro and vintage and by doing my diva’s not only do I get to create  digitally I get to kinda go back in time

What does it take to create pieces  like that?

A lot of time at the computer. I like to use old vintage patterns  that I scan in and then erase backgound’s change colors and make it what I want  it to be

What is special about your pieces?

I believe they are unique. I  put a lot of thought, and time around my digital art some have taken hours to  create but it is something I love to do and I am self taught so each one can be  a new challenge to do

What makes this kind of craft “good” to you?

Since I am not great at drawing and painting per say being able to do this  on my computer brings me lots of creative joy to be able to say wow I did that

image

Wyvern Cesigns: Featured Artisan

16 Dec

http://www.artfire.com/users/WyvernDesigns

When and how did you first become  interested in crafting?
As a child my mother and sister used to buy me these  bags of scrap cloth, lace and sundries from the local fabric shop. Then, as they  were sewing or knitting, I would create my own “masterpieces” from my goody  bag. I think it was their encourage and patience that set me on my crafting  course.

How long have you been creating your chosen craft?
I have been making  jewelry from polymer clay for 10-15 years now.

What are your crafting  influences?
I find Nature is my biggest inspiration and influence in my art.  There is nothing more perfect than the shape and color of a Fall leaf, or the  perfect spiral of a seashell.

Does anyone in your family do a similar craft?
No  one in my family makes crafts jewelry but my sister produces lovely quilts and  purses and my daughter creates fantastic greeting cards.

What kinds of places  have you displayed your craft in your life?
I’ve done a few craft shows but  most of my work is sold on-line here on Art Fire and a few other sites.

What  else do you do besides create these beautiful pieces?
I love to paint and draw.  My current avatar on Art Fire is one of my original watercolors. I also knit,  crochet and sew.

What is your favorite piece that you have created so far?
I  really love the pair of flamingo earrings that I currently have in my Art Fire  shop.

image

Why did you make that piece?
The flamingos were inspired by my sister, who  loves and collects flaming pieces. I crafted her a set of pink flamingo earrings  and pendant.

What does it take to create pieces like that?
Patience is the most  important requirement. most of my pieces have lots of small bits of clay and  patience is a big part of creating them.

What is special about your pieces?
I  try to create pieces that are unique and often whimsical. I find that a lot of  my pieces appeal to a small set of people.

What makes this kind of craft  “good” to you?
Sculpting with clay gives me a fantastic outlet for my creative  drive. I love to see whatever creature I’m working on come to life in my hands.

On Pens And Needles: Featured Artisan

9 Dec

http://www.artfire.com/users/onpensandneedles

When and how did you first become interested in crafting?
I’ve been  interested in sewing since high school and sewing clothes for the family to  stretch the wardrobe budget. Machine embroidery was the next step and I  purchased my first sewing/embroidery machine about 4 years ago. Don has loved  woodworking since high school as well. After he retired, he started working more  with his scroll saw. One day at a scroll saw club meeting, they had a  demonstration on pen making. That was all it took. The next day he bought a  lathe and has been making pens in addition to his wood working since.
How long have you been creating your chosen craft?
We have actively been  crafting for the past 4-5 years.
What are your crafting influences?
Mine ususally comes from a customer  request. I has several ask for adult bibs at our craft shows. Now they are one  of our biggest sellers at our shows. Don gets his from finding a new wood,  scroll design or pen blank.
Does anyone in your family do a similar craft?
Not similar, but our oldest  daughter does scrapbook embellishments and loom knitted items that we inlcude at  our shows. Our youngest daughter provides us with suggestions for new products,  packaging and marketing ideas.
What kinds of places have you displayed your craft in your life?
Don  entered a replica of the Rose window from Notre Dame Cathedral in the Los  Angeles County Fair. He won 1st place and the Judges Merit Award.
What else do you do besides create these beautiful pieces?
When we are not  crafting, we are spending time with our children and their families and we  participate in several groups at our church.
What is your favorite piece that you have created so far?
Don’s is the Rose  window piece. I can’t pick a favorite. Usually my last piece is my  favorite.
Why did you make that piece?
Don was looking for a challenge.
What does it take to create pieces like that?
The Rose windo took months to  complete. There were 192 cuts. He cut it from corian (like the counter top). It  had to be cut very slowly and carefully.
What is special about your pieces?
I love putting fabric and colors  together.
What makes this kind of craft “good” to you?
Don and I get to use our  “hobbies” to work together at something we enjoy. Participating in the craft  shows keeps us active. We meet other crafters and we even make a little  money.

Cheerful Cherub “Abhorrence”

3 Dec

” ABHORRENCE

Among the contraptions

My nature abhors

Are bookcases shaky,

With sticky glass

doors.”

 

Tammy and I have used many different ways to display our art. We started off with simple shelves with slats that just about drove us crazy with having pieces falling between the slats and having no room for earrings to hang, as well as having a huge space of storage take up by these shelves as they did not collapse at all. We then moved up a huge step to solid bookcases that the shelves are on a hinge system to fold mostly flat while keeping all of our goodies pretty much where we put them. Still did not have a good way to display earrings or to protect our more expensive items from small hands that are still learning to look with eyes not hands. We then added spinning earring racks that seemed to not invite people to actually spin them to look at all the options as well as needing a HUGE tote to keep everything safe. After one of the stands broke we have now invested in hanging ear nest racks from a fellow Portland Saturday Market Artisan and wow do they make the difference! As for the cases we have talked about adding more cases that have a glass top to tilt for viewing yet protecting out viking knit. We have concerns of the sticking though and I always think of the quote when we talk about those potential cases lol. What display concerns do you have in your home or business?

Floribunda Studio: Featured Artisan

2 Dec

Studio Name: Floribunda  Studios
http://www.artfire.com/users/FloribundaStudios
My Name: hallie madhoun

When and how did you first become interested in crafting?
Wow, that’s asking  me to remember a long time back. I’ve honestly been interested in crafts and  the arts since I was old enough to pick up a paintbrush. I think it runs in the  family, actually. I can still remember going to Vacation Bible School as a small  child with the ultimate goal of making something pretty to give to my mother.

How long have you been creating your chosen craft?
Well, I really don’t have a  “chosen” craft. I tend to create whatever comes to mind. I may make soap for a  while, then try my hand at beaded jewelry, and later pick up my knitting needles  (I’ve been known to do all of this in the same day!). However, my mainstays  tend to be photography, landscape painting, and the fiber arts. I’ve been  working with paint and cameras since sophomore year of high school (about 1995),  crocheting for twelve years, and knitting for two.

What are your crafting  influences?
Anything and everything! Whether it’s my friends teaching me a new  stitch, trying to capture a gorgeous flower in an image, or turning something  old into something new, my creative inspiration is all around me.

Does anyone  in your family do a similar craft?
I actually come from a family of  artists/crafters. My mother also crochets (I bow down to her afghans). My  maternal grandmother embroidered beautiful pictures, and my paternal grandmother  made plastic canvas doodads that are still treasured today. I have an aunt that  is a cross-stitch fiend, an aunt who makes jewelry even though she’s blind, and  a cousin that also paints and makes gorgeous jewelry pieces.

What kinds of  places have you displayed your craft in your life?
Actually, this is really my  first venture into displaying/selling my work. I tried to sell my soaps on Etsy  for a while, but their policies really turned me off. I’m hoping someday to  perhaps be a part of a local gallery, but first I have to get up the courage to  ask.

What else do you do besides create these beautiful pieces?
Well, my  “day job” is working at a group home for MR/DD individuals as direct support  staff. I help them with all aspects of daily living, from hygiene and self help  skills to learning how to function in the community. When I’m not at work or  making something, you can find me spending time with my husband, at my friend\’s  organic farm helping out (or hanging out, depending on the day), or about a  dozen other things.

What is your favorite piece that you have created so far?
That’s a tough question. Almost like asking a parent to choose their favorite  child. Still, if push came to shove, I’d have to pick Seascape No. 2  as my overall favorite.

image

Why did you make that piece?
I’m constantly dreaming  of the ocean, and it’s just a little island I’ve seen in my dreams. It was so  beautiful that I just had to paint it. Unfortunately, my hands can’t always  capture the full beauty of the things in my mind, but I try.

What does it  take to create pieces like that?
A willingness to turn a screw-up into a happy  accident, and the guts to throw the “rules” of art out of the nearest window.

What is special about your pieces?
The fact that I made them! Wow, that  sounds egotistical. Haha! Seriously, though, I believe that they’re special  because I’m willing to experiment with conventional ideas, twist them, and turn  them into my own. Instead of just crocheting a bag, I’ll add a little something  extra. If I’m out with my camera, I’ll look for things that aren’t obvious to  the masses before I snap. (One example is The Mossy Grove.

image

This was taken on Grandfather Mountain, which is a popular nearby tourist  destination. Most folks only take photos of the view from the mountain and of  the animals they have in their sanctuary. I did, too, but I also looked around  me a little more, and found this beautiful little grove on the side of the road.  I just had to snap the photo!) Basically, they’re special because they have my  own personal touches.

What makes this kind of craft “good” to you?
All of  my art, whether it’s visual or creating something handmade, is a creative  outlet and a stress release for me. I get upset, I grab some yarn. Feeling blue,  grab the camera. Bored? That’s why there’s duct tape! Creating is a way for me  to unwind and take a little “me” time in this all-too-hectic world.

All the details motivation

1 Dec

“All the details

If you wish to achieve a great and ambitious vision, you have to be willing  to fill in all the little details. Though they may seem terribly tedious at  times, those details are what give substance to the dream.

Don’t ever consider the details to be beneath you. Doing so will put the  achievement of your dream beyond your reach.

Yes, it is enormously helpful when you can delegate tasks to others. Yet to  do so successfully, you must have full respect for the value of those tasks and  for the people who perform them.

Dreams are not achieved by those who merely imagine and articulate them.  Dreams are achieved by those who take responsibility for making sure that every  little detail gets done.

Dream the dream, and then do the work. Envision the achievement, and then  find a way to tend to all the details.

No detail is unimportant or beneath you. For it is all those details,  combined together, which bring the dream to life.

— Ralph Marston”

 

In life this motivational quote is true but not more so than when you run your own small business. Every day Tammy and I are talking through and planning everything we can think of for our business. We talk about how the past week went, what we want to include in our business plan, what we want to display and how at our next event (normally Portland Saturday Market on Saturdays and Sundays Too) or what work needs to get done online with social networking, blogging, and artfire. Every little detail planned beforehand makes the actual doing so much smoother and less stressful. We know we will have all the displays we want or need, enough business cards on hand, and that our art is just right. How does looking at every little thing help in your life?