Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Featured Artist: SilverDragon Beaded Wonders

Yes, she is a rocket scientist.

And a former ballerina.

And an amazing artist.

Patricia Vener of the Etsy shop SilverDragon, creates gorgeous, drool-worthy beaded jewelry. Just look at this Hot Pink Fuzzy necklace. Gorgeous! "Beaded wonders" is what comes to my mind when I see her work.

When we asked her about that project, she said, "Yes, Hot Pink Fuzzy did take a long time to complete. But at the same time, when I was working on it I also worked on other pieces at the same time. I enjoy the work because I feel that I am building something - Art.I love things that are detailed and intricate and completing such work makes me feel very competent and even, to a certain degree, powerful in a way.

What inspires her? "Inspiration comes from so many sources and facets of my life, both internal and external. A great many ideas come to me during that nebulus at the cusp between sleep and wakefulness - those would be the ideas that arise from the workings of my subconscious. Other ideas spring up when I see or feel or read or hear something outside myself - perhaps a gorgeous sunset or an image or a passage or a leaf or an equation - right now, for example, I feel my subconscious working on something from Maxwell's equations. Can't wait to see what I come up with!"

Thanks for chatting with us, SilverDragon! Check out Silver Dragon on Etsy and at http://vener-art.com/.

Monday, November 26, 2007

It's the story...

of a lovely lady... who was bringing up three very lovely girls...

Do you know the rest of the song? We do!

I am a true Brady Bunch aficionado and have seen every episode except for ones that I can only imagine are lost episodes. I'll have to look in my Brady trivia book and list those episodes here, and see if anyone has seen them!

I had so much fun putting together this Brady Bunch in Hawaii necklace.

The hula dancer is a tribute to Alice: "It's my hula, Mrs. Brady. My 'hu' went one way, and my 'la' went the other.'" Right!

As you probably remember, Mike was sent to check out construction on a site in Hawaii. Of course, his boss sends not only Mike but his wife, all the kids, and underpaid-but-loyal housekeeper Alice to the Hawaiian Islands.

Bobby and Peter discover a tiki, which they find is cursed. It causes all sorts of problems--and they decide to try to return the tiki to its rightful destination, in a burial cave. What happens? You have to watch the show (a multi-episode adventure) to find out!

So which is your favorite episode?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Featured Artist: Amanda of Ulixis Crafts

Ulixis is a fun and funky Etsy shop featuring handcrafted items ranging from jewelry to notebooks and everything in between. My favorites are the button bracelets, shown here. They are so cute!!

Amanda, the talent behind Ulixis, took time out from her studying--she's a full-time college student in Ontario--to answer a few questions for us.

Creative Sundries: How did you come up with your Etsy shop name?

Amanda: I stole it! ... from my boyfriend. He came up with the name as a computer type business, but then he got a job and wasn't really doing anything with it. So I took it because it sounds cool. :P

Creative Sundries: I love your button jewelry! How did you start working with buttons? It's very cool!

Amanda: I was inspired by a friend (pinkkiwi.etsy.com) who made a necklace with buttons. I love buttons, they're so bright and colourful, so I decided to make myself a bracelet (my favourite piece of jewelry). It's as much fun collecting the buttons as it is making the bracelets!

Creative Sundries: I read in one of your bracelet descriptions that you solder your own jump rings! Wow! How did you get started in that?

Amanda: Heehee.. ok, I confess, more contributions from my boyfriend, Pat. He's a computer geek and learned to solder chip/boards or whatever :P .. so I tried to get him to show me how, but it requires 3 hands and he's gotten quite good at it!

Creative Sundries: Do you have any items to make that are your favorite?

Amanda: My Tiptoe Through the Tulips bracelet is one of my favourites. I spent a lot of time on it, and I think it turned out really well. The colours are gorgeous! I also love the colours in my Heather button bracelet and matching earrings ~ so pretty!

Creative Sundries: What inspires you?

Amanda: I get a lot of inspiration from my family, Pat, friends (jellybeans.etsy.com - same friend as above) and also from random things around me, like the clouds, the play of light in the leaves, candy wrappers.

Creative Sundries: Cool. What are your plans for your upcoming Web site?

Amanda: I wanted it to be a place to organize all of my crafty and online activities: my blog, my shop, other art I do and pictures I take, etc... But I've been way to busy to work on it. Once my thesis is written and defense over with, then hopefully I'll find some time...

~ * Visit Ulixis on Etsy, and check out the Ulixis Crafts blog, ulixis.blogspot.com.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Featured Artist: Phyllis Mufson of Personal Treasures

Phyllis Mufson's Etsy shops, Personal Treasures and Mufi.etsy.com, feature beautiful and unique handmade jewelry.
Her designs have a unique intricacy to them, and somehow look delicate but sturdy at the same time. It comes as no surprise that her designs are so lovely: as she explains in her Etsy profile, "Earlier in my life I was a textile artist and that sensibility influences my designs. I'm concerned with how the jewelry drapes and moves with the body. I'm also inspired by my customers. In addition to my ETSY stores I sell through private jewelry shows so I get to see how women respond to the jewelry. I talk with them about what interests them, and find out which designs are particularly flattering to wear."

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

Creative Sundries: Your jewelry is beautiful. Do you have favorite gems and stones?

Phyllis: I have so many favorites. My current stash includes: Labradorite, Tourmaline, Peridot, Topaz, Garnet, Carnelian, Aquamarine, Phrenite, Smokey Quartz, Jade, Iolite Peruvian Opal, Emerald, Chrysoprase, Hessonite, Onyx, Rock Crystal, Amethyst, Apatite, Fluorite, Rutilated Quartz, Moonstone, Citrine, Chalcedony, Coral, Rose Quartz, Turquoise, Amazonite and Lapis Lazuli. Uh, oh, you got me started. Also, many varieties of pearls.

Creative Sundries: You do home parties with your jewelry. How do you do that, and what is involved?

Phyllis: It’s pretty straightforward and lots of fun. Planning: I’ll talk with the hostess, about things like: who will send invitations, will it be open to the public or not, how to publicize, what kind of refreshments, where should I set up, who will do what, extra lights, etc. I usually offer the hostess a percentage of sales toward jewelry or a charity donation. Sometimes I’ll invite another artisan to join in, or someone will invite me to join their sale.Packing: Before the event I’ll tag new jewelry, make an inventory list of what I’m bringing and pack. I usually pack the jewelry on the form it will be displayed on so that set up goes quickly. Then it’s party time. There’s usually lots of trying on and meeting new interesting people. I love seeing someone put on a piece that is really right for her and seeing the ‘click.’ Also helping with gift choices.

Creative Sundries: How did you find Etsy?

Phyllis: I was a buyer first. I found an ETSY store through a Google search, bought what I was looking for and became intrigued by the site.

Creative Sundries: What do you like best about being on Etsy?

Phyllis: I like that the site is so well designed and easy to operate, so a novice to online commerce like me can move in and begin selling right away. Also, if you don’t understand something or have a problem the other sellers are very supportive and generous with information. There’s great positive energy in the community of ETSY sellers and buyers.

Thanks for chatting with us, Phyllis!

Be sure to check out Phyllis' blog, http://personaltreasures.blogspot.com/, where she writes about creativity and creative people--she just might tell you about her famous 23-story bead condo. Visit Personal Treasures and Mufi.etsy.com to see her fabulous designs.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Featured Artist: A Rose By Name

A Rose By Name's Etsy shop features a variety of beadwoven items, from necklaces and bracelets to candle holders to lip balm holders.

Anna, the creative force behind A Rose By Name, is a self-employed mother of two teenage daughters.

She says, "I enjoy beading and find that it is my therapy for stress!"

How did she get started in beading? "My daughters and I first tried beading many years ago. Over the years, the beads have gotten smaller and the designs more intricate."

It's a family affair, too! Anna explains, "My youngest creates cards. She thoroughly enjoys creating the original greeting cards that you will find here in my shop. She will also create custom cards...just let us know your preferences!"

A Rose By Name is involved with several Etsy street teams, including Etsy BeadWeavers Street Team, Cleveland Rocks Etsy Street Team, Boomers & Beyond Etsy Street Team. Be sure to visit A Rose By Name on Etsy, and see their blog, http://arosebyname.blogspot.com/.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Featured Artist: KreativeMindz

KreativeMindz is a shop for, as owner Aly puts it, "Handcrafted Goodness of all Kyndz." She runs the shop along with Beau, her husband and business partner. Their shop features handcrafted keepsake boxes (pictured below), awesome hair wraps, and other one-of-a-kind works of art.
Aly took some time to talk with us about their shop.

Creative Sundries: Which, if any, are your favorite item to make?

KreativeMindz: I think the goddess wraps, just b/c they are so pretty and I love the way they look. I enjoy shopping for fabric for them the most! Beau likes to make the wooden boxes.

Creative Sundries: What is most challenging about your work, or about having your Etsy shop?

KreativeMindz: Well this is a HUGE passion of mine. I really put my heart and soul into each and every item I make. So I guess the most challenging part is managing my time, so I don't neglect my family, home and gardens. :D

Creative Sundries: What are future plans for your Etsy shop; what might people see coming up in your collection?

KreativeMindz: We are hoping to continue adding to our collection. There should be more wooden items coming soon, along with possibly wooden toys. Also canvas shopping bags, more clothing, and hopefully some more fabric art. My mind is always working...so the ideas are constantly flowing through.


Be sure to take time to visit the KreativeMindz Etsy shop. You'll find gorgeous handmade items like this handcrafted Douglas Fir Keepsake Box (above). Isn't it beautiful? This, like many of their works, was a collaboration, with Beau on woodworking and Aly on embroidery. Aly explains that the exterior of the box has been finished with a fruit wood oil.
The piece at the top of this post is The Autumn Harvest, a one-of-a-kind art piece that incorporates organic cottons, batik cottons, hand dyed canvas and a piece of vintage upholstery fabric and embroidery thread. It is framed by a stained poplar frame, made by Beau.

And a visit to KreativeMindz would be incomplete without perusing their selection of Goddess Hair Wraps™--they are made of beautiful material--like this flower mesh--Aly explains that their trademark goddess wraps are so named because "that is the way you will feel when your hair is all wrapped up in a beautiful fabric! (Atleast that is how we feel!) Plus it keeps your hair up and out of the way, and is stylish too!Whether you have short thin hair or big phat locks, this wrap is so versitile anyone could wear it!"

Be sure to visit KreativeMindz on Etsy and check out their blog, kreativemindzthreadz.blogspot.com.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Featured Artist: Linda Chandler

Linda Chandler showcases her lovely jewelry in her Etsy shop, LChandler, and her Web site, http://www.jewelrybylinda.com/.

Linda works in gold, silver, and precious metals clay. She explains that her designs are uniquely her own and she never reproduces them.

Here is a lovely handmade basket-weave wire bracelet in her Arrowhead design.

Linda says, "I’m a self taught jewelry artist for over 20 years and still learning. Metal Smithing has been my passion for several years now. There is no rhyme or reason to my style of jewelry making, that pretty much ended years ago with so many fine art shows and repetitive work. My work derives from anything that’s pleasant looking to my eye. There’s never a plan or scheme, I can be intrigued by a simple curve of a stone or structure of a building. It’s all about design, variety and persuading unique pieces to come together with symmetry."

Linda Chandler has been creating jewelry for over 20 years. Linda started with wire wrapping and evolved her own original style, with an emphasis on weaving. Passionate about her work, Linda has studied jewelry making all over the country: Arrowmount, the Midwest Federation, Metalsmithing Society in Illinois, the Gemological Institute (GIA), Indianapolis Art Center, The William Holland School of Lapidary Arts and, as taught and taken classes at (SFMS) Wildacres Retreat in North Carolina.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Featured Artist: SimplySaidbySarah

Simply Said by Sarah is a fun Etsy shop featuring cute and cool stationery and gifts. Sarah's items are either handmade or altered (therefore, also handmade).

Look at this cute pouch,

which houses these cool handmade cards.

These teacher's chalkboard sticky notes are cute--
--so cute, in fact, that I purchased them. But never fear, Sarah loves custom orders and I'm sure she'd whip up another one for you if you ask. :-)

Perhaps you would like these sticky notes enclosed in a holly-print cover.

She can personalize invitations, cards, tags, and even magnets for you.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Featured Artist: MommyandMeBoutique

The MommyandMeBoutique is a sweet and cute Etsy shop featuring handmade aprons, baby bibs and blankets, and toddler dresses, and more. Corline of MommyandMeBoutique took time to chat with us about her work.

Creative Sundries: What do you like most about your work?

Corline: Truthfully, it is deciding on the fabric and ribbons and then just what it is that I am going to create. I use all designer fabrics and ribbons that I order from the internet and the choices are unlimited. I spend far too much time in the selection but it is so much fun!

Creative Sundries: What are your favorite items to make?

Corline: I do like the aprions for adults and toddlers. So far I have made over 100 aprons and have never duplicated one. I just started making the aprons about 2 years ago and I sell them in a lovely boutique which has been quite successful. The aprons are chic, modern, some vintage idea, traditionas - but different - definitely not your mother's apron.

Be sure to visit the MommyandMeBoutique and also check out the blog at http://themommyandmeboutique.blogspot.com/.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Featured Artist: Cryztalvisions

Today we are visiting with Beth of Cryztalvisions, whose Etsy shop of the same name just opened in October. Cryztalvisions features handmade jewelry, all of which is one-of-a-kind (or OOAK, in EtsySpeak).

Cryztalvisions has been designing jewelry for over 20 years! I love this gorgeous dragonfly pendant, Handcrafted Silver Dragonfly Pendant "Believe", which Cryztal explains is a fine silver (.999) pendant handmade from scratch, gently oxidized and finished with a rainbow patina.

You might be wondering why she spells "Cryztal" with a "Z." She explains, in her Etsy shop announcement, that "It's an homage to one of my wonderful teachers who pronounced crystals: 'creezzztals.'" Sweet!

Here, Cryztalvisions answers some of our questions about her work.

Creative Sundries: First of all, you live in California. Was your home or city affected by the recent southern CA fires?

Cryztalvisions: I'm in the south Bay area of San Francisco up in the Santa Cruz mountains so we are located quite a distance from the fires.

Creative Sundries: You work a lot with crystals. Do you have favorite crystals or materials?

Cryztalvisions: Some of my favorite stones and crystals to work with are: amethyst, labradorite, rainbow moonstone, and pietersite. I also love discovering and using stones that are rarely seen in jewelry designs.

Creative Sundries: What are some of the challenges in your artwork?

Cryztalvisions: I like to challenge myself by trying new processes and also pushing the boundaries of the materials I use. Sometimes I wind up with a "failure", but I always learn a great deal by trying what hasn't been tried before.

Creative Sundries: Cool. What do you enjoy about Etsy?

Cryztalvisions: The sense of community and the focus on arts handcrafted items.

Made to Order Silver Prosperity Ring. From the item description: "Handcrafted of Fine Silver (99.9% silver) Wide Band Ring with the Japanese Kanji of Prosperity & Good Fortune. The wide band features a beautiful and delicate feather-like texture. The band is approximately 3/8" wide. Each ring is hand polished and a patina is added to bring out the texture and accentuate the Kanji symbol. The kanji symbol fuku, which means fortune and well-being, is the image of a stone jar filled with food or wine. This feeling is familiar to all of us. When plenty of wine and food is stored we feel comfort and have confidence in the future.I suggest wearing the symbol upside down which signifies 'good fortune has arrived.'"

Cryztal says, "This Fine Silver Handcrafted Tree of Life Pendant [above] is the first in my new "Tree of Life" series. This pendant in lovingly handcrafted of over 12 grams of pure (99.9%) silver. I added a light patina to the silver to accentuate the twisting, swirling branches and spiraling roots of the tree. High in the tree top sits a silvery dichroic glass cabochon adding just the right amount of sparkle and light. The tree is hand drawn free form using precious metal clay from a syringe, so each tree is unique."