Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Featured Artist: Elektra

Today we are featuring Elektra, whose Etsy shop is http://elektrajewelry.etsy.com/.

Elektra's Aqua Chalcedony Bracelet is gorgeous. I love chalcedony. Recently I learned from a bead and gems catalog that "chalcedony" is pronounced kal-SID-ney. I was sure it was "chal-se-doh-nee." I love the way the colors play off each other in this design. The bracelet, like all of Elektra's work, is one of a kind. She says, "I never duplicate designs so each piece of jewelry is truly one of a kind."

In her Etsy profile, Elektra explains, "I have loved jewelry and gemstones all my life. My travels to Greece and Greek background have influenced my love of 18k and 24k gold and my choice to work with gold vermeil (24k over sterling silver). All my pieces are made with top grade gemstones,sterling silver,pure silver, and top quality gold vermeil which is 98.5% pure 24k gold layer over silver. My gold vermeil has a thick coating of gold and is an excellent quality."

Elektra is a newcomer to Etsy but has been designing jewelry for a while: "Although I began working with stones over 10 years ago, the demands of a full time teaching job and childcare did not allow me the time to follow this passion. Finally, the timing seemed right and I have started creating and selling my pieces. Now that I have started a business, I devote most of my time and energy into creating pieces that can be worn and enjoyed for years to come.

Elektra took time to answer a few of our questions about her work:

Creative Sundries: How did you come up with your Etsy name? I'm trying to remember--Elektra is from Greek mythology, right?

Elektra: Elektra means bright and shining and yes she is a Greek character.

Creative Sundries: How did you make the decision to offer only one-of-a-kind pieces?

Elektra: I make one of a kind pieces because I think it is important to have your own unique piece of jewelry. I hate to see someone else wearing my outfit and feel the same way about my jewelry.

Mmm, this Purple Passion Bracelet looks good enough to eat: a bracelet made with amethyst and lemon opalite. (Although please don't eat it.)

Be sure to visit Elektra Jewelry on Etsy and her blog, http://elektrajewelry.blogspot.com/. She is happy to accept custom orders, including sizing of the jewelry in her current collection.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Featured Artist: Yaslani

Today's featured artist is Yasmin of the Etsy shop Yaslani.

I love the unique pendants in her shop, especially the set of flower pendants, featured above, and, of course, Alice in Wonderland, one of my favorite stories.

We enjoyed talking with Yasmin and learning more about her work.

How did you come up with the name Yaslani?
My name is Yasmin and my daughter is Leilani….Yaslani!

We share a love of loteria! Your pendants are awesome. How did you become interested in Loteria?
I’m always on the lookout for fun pictures and ephemera. I love color and Loteria has a lot of color!
You have a lot of experience in art. How has your work changed or evolved?
Although I did have formal training, the majority of my artwork is about experimentation. I’m not a huge fan of rules when it comes to art so I just do what I feel.

Do you have any tips on making time for one's artwork and creative projects?
I have a lot of tips! LOL!! The most important thing is to never ever give up and do something related to your artwork or craft every single day. Set goals and make a plan. Even if you only take 10 minutes, every moment will count towards your goals.

Yasmin adds, "I love Etsy and I’m thrilled to be part of a community of such brilliant artisans. It is truly an honor."
I love her tip about working on your art every day, even if it's only for ten minutes. It makes a lot of sense!

http://yaslani.etsy.com/ is filled with fun and colorful pendants, including custom photo pendants you help design!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Featured Artist: Lost Mitten

I love Lost Mitten's Etsy shop! My favorite is these Pac Man Coasters! I love PacMan. I am an international expert, I might add, in Ms. Pac Man.

Lauren's work is eclectic, ranging from Kawaii buttons to knit wearables to fun needlework.
Lost Mitten's approach to handmade cuteness has made her shop very successful. Congratulations, LostMitten!

<---- Here are four Super Kawaii buttons featuring the Afro Ken dogs.

Lauren says, "I am continually inspired by my love for video games in creating many of my original crafts. The items in my shop are all highly unique and original - I came up with all of the ideas on my own. In addition to video games, I love to knit and crochet! I also love to create journals and other paper goods, as well as needlepoint, acrylic felt creations, pinback buttons, and jewelry."

Here is a dark gray knitted pouch with pink zipper, pink pompoms, Japanese Kawaii strawberry fabric straight from Kyoto, and a 1" Chiyogami Japanese Washi Paper button featuring a pink ocean wave with gold highlights. Lovely and sweet!

Lauren of LostMitten lives in Brantford, Ontario, Canada . She is happy to take custom orders at no additional charge. Visit her shop at http://LostMitten.etsy.com.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Featured Artist: BJ of Adornments by BJ

Our featured artist today is BJ of http://adornmentsbybj.etsy.com/. BJ is creates beautiful one-of-a-kind artistan jewelry, such as this Larimar Reflection of the Caribbean necklace, pictured above. Her pieces incorporate very high quality materials, and the designs are gorgeous. BJ time out to talk with us about her work and her Etsy shop.

CreativeSundries: You started creating jewelry about a year and a half ago. How did you start, and what inspired you to start making jewelry?

BJ: I retired from working outside the home and was BORED! Also, my husband had promised to build me a stained glass studio ~ about 11 years ago when we moved down here! It's still not done (go figure) so I needed some other creative outlet. I bought my grandaughter a starter kit for jewelry making and since she didn't seem interested, I started using it. I got hooked, and the rest is history. My initial creations were given away to family and friends and then I had too many so looked into online selling and found Etsy.

CreativeSundries: You use Accuflex in many of your designs. What is Accuflex?

BJ: Accuflex is a professional quality beading wire and is extremely flexible (especially the 49 strand)and comes in a huge variety of colors. It's similar to Beadalon, but I prefer this brand personally. I usually use the .019 diameter wire as it is a bit stronger than the smaller diameter wire. However the smaller wire is easier to use with pearls and other materials with small hole openings.

CreativeSundries: Do you have favorite stones/gems/materials?

BJ: Yes and no. Meaning I'm open to new materials to use and recently purchased an instructional video on chain maille. Haven't started that yet, but I will. Anyway, I prefer mostly natural materials such as semi-precious gemstones, wood, and then there is always Swarovski crystals, can never have enough of them. I'd like at least a dozen of each color, style and size! I love pearls, and like to wire wrap in sterling silver and gold-filled wire. My latest addition is silk and braided cord for my new series on Chinese Knot Jewelry. (That has become a challenge - rather difficult and very time-consuming.)

CreativeSundries: What do you find most challenging about your work?

BJ: I guess that depends on your definition of challenging! On the enjoyment side, is the design and creation of one-of-a-kind, unique jewelry. I don't want everything to look like everyone else's jewelry. I think I have enough of that anyway. But the other challenge is to come up with the words to describe my jewelry on posts and blogs and to find the words for a feature as part of the 90 day challenge!

Thanks for talking with us, BJ! Let's take a look at some more of her beautiful jewelry designs:

This Gotta Love Buttons multi-strand necklace (above) is so clever! BJ says, "It is a three-strand necklace of shell buttons, black buttons and mother-of-pearl squares, interspersed with crystal and black tube beads. Seed beads sit next to the Mother of Pearl beads and Hematite small cube beads are next to the black buttons."

The piece above is the Purple and Mustard necklace, featuring Amethyst oblong points in trios, separated by unique Bali twisted sterling silver spacer beads, and accented by Yellow Jasper.

BJ is a member of the Art Jewelry Collective and JET (Jewelry on Etsy Team). She is happy to accept custom orders for her beautiful jewelry. Please check out BJ's wonderful jewelry in her Etsy shop, http://adornmentsbybj.etsy.com/.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Featured Artist: BunniesHoney

BunniesHoney is a fun Etsy shop fun earrings, handmade soaps, and gorgeous photography from Canada.

I love these PacMan earrings:

BunniesHoney's Honey and Oatmeal Soap and Spa at Home Treatment Sets sound fantastic.

And I cute just eat these cute donut earrings:

http://BunniesHoney.etsy.com is filled with more delicious treats. Stop by; you'll be glad you did!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Featured Artist: StaciRose

Our featured artist today is StaciRose.

Stacirose's Etsy shop, http://stacirose.etsy.com/, offers original, one-of-a-kind items including ceramics, jewelry, wine charms, photo frames, and oil paintings.

Isn't this cool? It's a trivet made of wine corks!

Stacirose is a member of Worldwide Women's Art Organization. She is based in San Francisco and her work can be found at http://stacirose.etsy.com/.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Featured Artist: Kala

Karen is a mixed media artist from Cambridge, England. Her Etsy shop, http://kala.etsy.com/, features her handmade scrapbooks, original collage, and beautiful stationery, photography, and other gifts such as lightcatchers. She also specializes in gifts and accessories for weddings and christenings. Karen says, "I also love collage, illustration and textiles so you will find a bit of everything here!"

She creates a variety of items, including "bespoke" orders.
"Bespoke." Don't you love British English? It means a custom order, by the way. :-)

Her handmade scrapbooks are beautiful!

I love her bookmaking techniques. She says, "I've been interested in books and bookmaking for as long as I can remember but I didn't start making them properly until I started my business making bespoke wedding stationery back in 2000 and found that my customers were often asking for albums to match. It is very time consuming but very satisfying to hold a finished book in your hands."

I really like the Halloween cards in her shop (pictured here). Aren't they cool? When I asked Karen about Halloween in England, she responded, "Halloween has been celebrated in the UK certainly since I was a child but on a very small scale compared to the US. Trick or treating is not encouraged, especially for the little ones and is actually banned in some towns! But we do hold private fancy dress parties at home and we always put pumpkins in the windows - those cards are photos of the ones we cut last year!

Contact Karen for more information about custom (bespoke) designs. Kala items ship free within the U.K. and for very reasonable rates worldwide.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Featured Artist: Wanderlust & Pixie Dust

Isn't that a fun shop name? Wanderlust & Pixie Dust http://wanderlustnpixiedust.etsy.com/ offers vintage and altered art supplies as well as handmade jewelry.

I love the orange and black in the Halloween Take Out Embellishments and Trim, pictured at top, right, and at http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=7255257.

Another item I love from her shop is these Handmade Earrings Blue and Copper, pictured here (above) and in her shop at http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=7310573. The earrings were made using copper findings and wire, blue glass beads and real, clear Swarovski crystals.

When I asked Val what her favorite type of ephemera is, she responded, "Hard to say. I love any type of paper that immediately takes you back to another place in time. I'm also a real sucker for all things girly and dainty. Oh and melodrama. Can't forget the drama! I especially love corny, overwrought, melodramatic images as well. Fainting women, eyes gazing heavenly, swooning couples...that sort of thing."

Wanderlust & Pixie Dust also offers gorgeous glitter in a variety of colors: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=7223211. I loooove glitter!

I asked Val if she had any words of advice for the "glitter everywhere" situation one encounters when working with the glimmery stuff, or whether it was just another work-related crafting hazard. She said, "Personally I find that glitter everywhere is pretty much a work-related hazard. After playing with "normal" glitter I usually just throw caution to the wind and spend the rest of the day covered from head to toe in it. Glass glitter is much easier to manipulate (it will still sometimes generate electricity when in a plactic bag for exmple) and to pour back into a container. It does have a tendency to "bounce" however, so you must take extra care to clean it up afterwards. You can't just leave it glis! tening all over your floor, even if you like the effect, if you have a house full of little poms like I do!!"

Val welcomes comments and inquiries about her Etsy shop, http://wanderlustnpixiedust.etsy.com/

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ja Ja Ja Purses: A New Take on Recycling Fabric

Ja Ja Ja Purses http://www.jajaja.etsy.com/ features unique handmade fabric purses made from "recycled, new, old and vintage fabrics."

Their purses are so cute!

The Recycled Coat Purse, featured above (first photo), http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=7367121, was made from a coat! What a great way to recycle. It is a beautiful vintage fabric, dating to c. 1960s.

Ja Ja Ja was founded almost seven years ago. The sisters share a a love of unique fabric, and explain, "Recycling used fabric and embellishments is very important to the creation of our bags."

The sisters were DIYers (do-it-yourselfers) early on: "Our grandmother had taught us to sew as we were growing up Our clothes were always made at home. "

Ja Ja Ja's purses are very reasonably priced, especially for handmade, one-of-a-kind items. Be sure to visit their shop at http://www.jajajapurses.etsy.com/.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Featured Artist Joanne of CoconutPalmDesigns

Today's featured artist is Joanne of CoconutPalmDesigns.

CoconutPalmDesigns' Etsy shop, http://coconutpalmdesigns.etsy.com/, features handmade household decorations, signs, and ACEOs.

I love the tropical atmosphere of her original drawing Orange Wildflower ACEO, featured above and at http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=6356461.

Another of my favorites from her current collection is the Red Rose ACEO, pictured second from the top, above, and at http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=6390625. This piece was drawn on watercolor paper and colored with pencil crayons.

Joanne offers custom-made signs, made especially for each customer.

Fun fact: Joanne is a Canadian, currently living in Belize. Of the change in atmosphere, she says, "I think living in Belize is an acquired taste." She is making the most of it and explains that "it's a country rich in terms of history and adventure. There are lots of Mayan ruins to visit, jungles to explore and scuba diving and snorkeling to participate in." Sounds awesome! However, she adeds that, "like most places these tend to be tourist oriented activities that you only participate in now and then."

Joanne will shortly be adding other types of signs, various other paintings and illustrations to her Etsy shop, so stay tuned.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Featured Artist: Dawn Brandt, Elements by Dawn

Our featured artist today is Dawn Brandt, the talented artisan behind Elements by Dawn, http://elementsbydawn.etsy.com/.
Dawn's original jewelry is unique and expressive. My favorites in her current Etsy collection are the earrings above: Textured Fine Silver Disks 2, http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=5323010, and Fine Silver and 14kt Gold-filled Elongated Hoop Earrings, http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=7398584.
A talented jewelry designer and maker, Dawn is always learning new techniques, as well as perfecting traditional methods of metalworking and design. She also confesses to being a "self-diagnosed coffee and cheese addict.
Dawn loves custom order requests and welcomes questions or comments via her Etsy shop.
Dawn is a member of the ETSY Street Team: Art Jewelry Collective; Etsy Wisconsinites Street Team; the Kenosha Arts Association, and is Self-Representing Artist Jewelry Designer, member no. 407.
Visit her blog at www.elementsbydawn.com for show information.
http://thedutchtulip.etsy.com/ features Dawn's beads, supplies, and more.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Featured Artist: My Fairy Babies

Cute and more cute! Today we are featuring My Fairy Babies, the work of Hyla Waldron. Hyla's Etsy shop, myfairybabies.etsy.com, has handmade fairy dolls, such as Lolly--Sweet Tooth Fairy, pictured above (top photo, second from the left).
With all of the toy recalls going on lately, it makes a lot of sense to buy handmade toys for your child. My Fairy Babies is just the place for handmade items for children. The sweet fairy in blue pictured above is named Ariella, and she is a Seaside Fairy. "She enjoys diving from waterfalls, scuba diving, collecting sea glass and seashells. You can usually find her hanging around near a body of water frolicking with the mermaids!"

My Fairy Babies' work is also featured on:

Friday, October 12, 2007

Featured Artist: Tiffany Teske

Tiffany Teske is a talented multi-media artist and photographer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Joint BA in Art and Photography (Magna cum Laude) from the University of Maine at Augusta.
She specializes in Polaroid image transfers, such as the those pictured above, and at http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=7356685.

They are gorgeous! Some of Tiffany's favorite materials are Polaroid peel apart films, TMAX and HP5 black and white film, fiber-based prints made in the darkroom, gel medium, poker chips, and bottle caps.
I love the variety in her work. Each piece is thoughtful and evokes different emotions. Her willingness to experiment with different media has resulted in a wonderfully unique style.

She currently resides in Banff, Alberta, Canada, with her husband and their toddler, Quinlyn.
Please visit her Etsy shop, tiffanyteske.etsy.com, and her Web site, http://www.oldesage.com/.

New: Featured Artist

Announcing a new feature on the Creative Sundries blog: Featured Artists! We will be featuring many different talented artists, so please check back often.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Little About Us!

Here's a little more about us. :-)

We are Carol and Sarah, a mother-daughter/friend-friend team in beautiful Minnesota. We came up with the name CreativeSundries, it was approved by our chair of the board--beloved hedgehog Bob--and only then realized that the "C" and "S" match our initials. :-)

We love many techniques and crafts, including:

jewelry-making, including earrings, plastic charm necklaces, and sterling silver.


Loteria-themed items

handmade cards and art tags

collage, atcs, aceos

altered books and assemblages

art dolls


Our wish list of learning techniques includes

stained glass

soldered pendants

copper and other metalwork and jewelry

crochet (Sarah)

What about you? :-)