Thursday, July 31, 2008

DZFANTASY'S AUGUST "GIVEAWAY" - STAR FAIRY


Magical "STAR" Fairy

This newly created fairy is my DZFANTASY "GIVEAWAY" for the month of August. The GIVEAWAY will run from NOW - through August 31, ending at 12 Midnight CDT.


To enter the "GIVEAWAY" all you have to do is the following:

1. Leave a comment!

2. In order to have some means of identifying you, should you be the lucky winner of this one-of-a-kind, fantasy sculpture....PLEASE leave the following:

A means of identification....it can be your first name with middle initial (in case there are entries with the same first name), a nickname, or something else that will identify you!

You can also leave your email address, if you want to. Emails will ONLY be used to contact the winner, and not for ANYTHING else.

WINNER'S name will be randomly drawn at the close of the giveaway, and WINNER'S name will be posted out here on my DZFANTASY BLOG. WINNER will than have 5 days in which to contact me via email at: dzfairies@msn.com so be sure to leave a unique means of identification. It can be your first name, middle initials, nickname, etc.

If posted WINNER does not respond within the 5 day time frame, a NEW name will be randomly picked and posted out here on DZFANTASY.

NOW.....A BIT ABOUT THE FAIRY....She measured 9" long before sculpting into her current, permanent sitting position. Sitting she measures 4.5" tall when measuring from her "seat" to the tip of her wings.

Her lovely face, like all of my original designed fantasy figures, is 100% silk fabric, which I hand-draw, needle-sculpt, and hand-paint. Her eyes and lips have a coat of crystal, clear lacquer, which gives the fairy a very "life-like" look and shine.

Her body/wing fabric is a beautiful batik fabric with a pattern of stars and tiny speckles of gold. Her accents are tiny metal stars and Swarovski crystals hand-sewn onto the fairy. She has some on the front of her, around her waist and in her hair.

Her fun, wispy hairdo has metallic threads running through it to give her a very magical look.

I will be offering a new creation each month so be sure to stop back to see what the next month's GIVEAWAY might be. If you don't want to miss out, subscribe to my DZFANTASY newsletter.

THANK YOU ALL FOR VISITING DZFANTASY....GOOD LUCK!





Wednesday, July 30, 2008

FEATURED ETSY ARTIST - ORIGINALS BY TERRI

I've been browsing through Terri's Etsy shop, ORIGINALS BY TERRI, and find her work to be quite exquisite! I'm sure you will agree once you see her work.

Here, in Terri's own words, she gives us a little insight into how she got started creating jewelry, and what she enjoys about this creative medium. DON'T FORGET TO VISIT TERRI'S SHOP by clicking on the links below this interview.

What led you to start creating your art/craft?
Years ago my sister owned a small woman's boutique and there was an outfit I loved, but no jewelry to match it. I went out and bought all the necessary items to make earrings for it and within 1 hour the earrings and the outfit sold as a set. I was so excited, I couldn't believe somebody bought something I had made. I continued to make jewelry to match her clothes and even took custom orders. Unfortunately, her shop closed a few years back, but I am still making jewelry and loving it.

How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?
I have always loved color, different textures and the way they can all be brought together to look amazing. I guess it is the one thing that I can truly do on my own.

What aspect of creating your art/craft do you find the most enjoyable?
I find putting together different stones and colors that most people wouldn't think of and it sells to be enjoyable. It's not because of the money (even though that helps) but because there are so many jewelry artists out there and somebody picked ME.

If you had to choose a fruit OR a vegetable, to describe your art/craft, what would you choose, and why?
I would pick a fruit to describe my jewelry. It's fresh and juicy. Most, if not all, of my jewelry is one of a kind. I try to make jewelry with what colors are most popular at the current time. For example bright yellow is very popular, I would most likely pair it with something bright and bold like either turquoise or red.

If you had to choose one other medium in which to display your creativity what would that be, and why?
Pottery, because of the colors and textures, it is so unlimited!

What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art/craft?
Wear it because you like it not just because it's the perfect match. Most of all, be yourself!

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?
Everyone has their own opinion, but it is what you like and how you feel about yourself that matters.

TERRI, thanks so much for taking the time to share your very lovely work, and giving us a bit of insight as to what makes you an "original" as a jewelry artist.




TERRI'S BLOG

FLICKR

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

FEATURED ETSY SHOP - SID'S IN STITCHES

Sid of Sid's In Stitches makes the most colorful, delightful purses and totes. I'm happy to be featuring her shop out here on DZFANTASY, along with a "Special Giveaway" for one of Sid's purses, which she has so graciously offered. If you haven't already signed up for her giveaway, be sure you do! You will find the link in this post and the actual GIVEAWAY post is below her feature. Enjoy reading what Sid has to say about herself and her work.

What led you to start creating your art/craft?

I’ve done crafts and sewing my whole life. Several years ago I created my first bag and then made over 100 (and sold them) for a school fundraiser. This year I asked myself, “What do you really like to do?” My answer – MAKE PURSES! So now I’m working on making and selling my bags.

How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?

After practicing various crafts over the years, including embroidery and cross stitch (I designed cross-stitch patterns for years), I began to make quilts. It was a way to relax after I had my first child – I took a break by going to all-night quilt classes. Pretty soon I began designing quilts, and working with the beautiful quilting fabrics fed my soul. I began creating other fun items like bags, organizers, and purses and sold those patterns.

What aspect of creating your art/craft do you find the most enjoyable

The most enjoyable part of creating (for me) is choosing coordinating fabric and watching them come together as a finished bag!

If you had to choose a fruit OR a vegetable to describe your work, what would it be and why?

My craft is not just one fruit – it’s a salad! Colorful melons, juicy pineapple, crunchy cashews, rich plums, unusual kiwis, and funny bananas make a purse.

If you had to choose one other medium in which to display your “creativity”, what would that be, and why?

I would love to be able to sculpt fun and colorful objects. I admire all the wonderful miniatures I’ve seen. Whatever I made would be cute, funny, and colorful.

What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art/craft?

I’d like people to enjoy life a little more by carrying a purse that’s fun! I also would like people to express themselves with a unique bag instead of trying to be like someone else – wanting the latest, overpriced, “designer” tote.

What advice to you have for other artists/craftpersons?

Work hard and be strong! One of the hardest things for an artist is putting yourself out there and holding up when someone says something silly or stupid that cuts you to the core. You really have to keep yourself motivated, believe in what you do, and ENJOY the doing of it!

GREAT THOUGHTS, Sid!! You can see more of Sid's fun, colorful work by visiting her links below. Also, here is the link to Sid's GIVEAWAY PURSE. All you need to do is leave a comment and your name.

SID'S IN STITCHES GIVEAWAY PURSE





SID'S WEB PAGE

VIEW PURSE STYLES

Monday, July 28, 2008

HANDMADE, COLORFUL PURSE GIVEAWAY

SPECIAL GIVEAWAY

of a

HANDMADE, COLORFUL PURSE

by ETSY SHOP - SID'S IN STITCHES

This colorful, handmade, original designed purse is so generously being offered as an extra special "giveaway" on my DZFANTASY blog, by Sid, a creative artist whose Esty shop is called, Sid's IN STITCHES.

This "GIVEAWAY' will be running from now through August 31, 2008 12 midnight CDT.

To enter the "giveaway" please follow these rules, so that everyone who enters has a chance to win this lovely "giveaway":

1. Please leave a comment in this post.

2. Please be sure to leave at least your FIRST name in the post. You can also leave your email and your last name if you wish. The more information to identify the winner, the easier it will be.

3. WINNER'S name will be posted out here the day after this "GIVEAWAY" has ended (AUGUST 31 - 12 Midnight CDT), and will have 5 days in which to respond by sending an email to: dzfairies@msn.com with your full shipping information.

If I don't get a response within the 5 day limit, another name will be randomly drawn. If you have any questions, please feel to contact me.

Sid, herself, will be shipping the purse directly to the winner, and we DO need a way to contact you. Be sure to stop back to see if you are the lucky WINNER!


AGAIN....THIS "SPECIAL GIVEAWAY" will run from NOW - August 31, 2008, 12 midnight CDT. The winner's name will be "randomly" drawn from all those who have entered the "giveaway".

GOOD LUCK TO ALL!

Below is a description of the purse in this drawing.

This original (from my Joey Purse pattern) is made of a cool multi-colored and multi-print cotton fabric. The interior and outside pockets are solid navy. This Joey has a shorter strap, for those of you who like to carry your bag on your shoulder, but right under your arm (or as a handbag)! Magnetic closure.The Joey Purse is an ideal small bag for every day. It has an inside pocket, two pockets under the flap, and two outside pockets on each end (perfect for my cell phone!). The smaller pocket under the flap is my "Sweet and Low" pocket. This is the bag I carry every day.


Be sure to visit Sid's IN STITCHES to see more of Sid's fun, colorful bags!


FEATURED ETSY ARTIST - KARIN LORENC

Love the color of this mug!! Karin told me this delightful mug has been sold, but if you visit her shop on Etsy - KARIN LORENC, I'm sure you will find another one that you'd just love! Here Karin tells us in her own words about how she feels about creating her wonderful, useful, creations. Don't forget to pay a visit to Karin's shop after reading her interview!

I've been addicted to creating for as long as I can remember. I make something almost everyday. Most of my work serves an everyday purpose. I make things you WILL use. I love making pottery because it is such a natural process. It's pretty rewarding to turn a chunk of the earth into a beautiful and useful cup or bowl.

What led you to start creating your art/craft?

I've loved making pottery ever since I took a community art class as a kid. When I found an ad for a used kick wheel in the newspaper I jumped on it and started to take my pottery making more seriously.

How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?

I love working with clay. It's natural. It's REALLY messy. I love the way it smells. What more could you want?

What aspect of creating your art/craft do you find the most enjoyable?

Well I already said I like to get messy... My favorite part of the ceramic process is definitely wheel throwing. It can be so calming when it all goes right. It's like meditating.

If you had to choose a fruit OR a vegetable, to describe your art/craft, what would you choose, and why?

Hmm... this is a tricky one. How about a hard shell gourd? It's beautiful to look at but it can also be extremely useful.

If you had to choose one other medium in which to display your “creativity”, what would that be, and why?

Just one? Well I went to school for painting. But I also like to make musical instruments, and jewelry. So I guess I'll have to go with weaving.

What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art/craft?

Art can be functional. It doesn't have to be kept in a case or hung on the wall to be admired. Use it! Make everyday moments special. Your morning coffee can be a sacred experience. Then there's cereal time....and sandwich time...!

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?

Make what YOU love. Let your likes and dislikes rule what you make. It'll turn out better that way. Try not too keep too many of the highly awesome things you make because then you won't make any money!

Karin, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and work with us! I definitely agree with your "make what you love". That seems to be the feelings of most of the artists who I have featured out here on DZFANTASY.

Now don't forget to visit KARIN LORENC by clicking on either the photos below or the link to her shop.



" WEAR A FAIRY" FUN, COLORFUL, FAIRY FACE PINS

WEAR A FAIRY FACE PIN
I've been designing and creating these whimsical "fairy face" pins for almost 10 years now, and each one always ends up with her own unique face and personality! They make great conversation pieces, and the wearer is sure to receive a lot of compliments! I've had customers come back a couple years later, after having bought a pin or two at an art show, to tell me about all the compliments and comments they receive. I'd thought I'd share a few of the little fairies I now have available in my Etsy shop. They will all be going to an art show with me this weekend, so if you see one you like, you better grab her! They are colorful and fun to look at, and make unique, affordable gifts.


This colorful little fairy face has the most fun hairdo...it is an Italian yarn with all kinds of texture to it....loops, and poofs with a sparkle!
Swarovski crystals as her accents. A truly fun, accent for any outfit!

Now isn't she a "wild child" with her funky, multi-colored hairdo.
She is wearing a gold plated, filigree leaf charm with a teeny, tiny bumblebee dangling from it, and several Swarovski crystals at the top of the leaf .

I think of her as a little "blue bell" fairy face. She has a loopy, curly hairdo designed from an Italian yarn and it is accented witha silver plated leaf charm and Swarovski crystals

SO SWEET describes this little fairy face...with her deep mauve hairdo, which has a bit of sparkle to it. She is wearing a silk rose colored flower in her hair, which I accented with several Swarovski crystals


She is just one "glistening" little fairy with her sparkly AURA yarn hairdo, with Swarovski crystals as accents.

A VERY magical little fairy, you can wear whereever you go!


This little "green haired" fairy face is a bit more subdued then my usual wild haired creations. She has a very sweet little face! Her hairdo was designed from a soft, wispy Italian yarn which has bits of ribbon running through it. Her accent is a Swarovski crystal bead in silver, and several other Swarovski crystals.


There is a "free giveaway" now running throught August 14th for one of my "fairy face pins" with butterfly wings. There is still time to sign up for the drawing. To enter just click on the WEAR A FAIRY FACE PIN posted on the right hand column at the top of the page. Be sure tp stop back for a visit or subscribe to my DZFANTASY newsletter, as I always have a monthly FREE giveaway for one of my creations, and sometimes an extra drawing for one of my pins.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

FEATURED ETSY SHOP - BEADED ORIGINALS

No matter how many different artists and types of mediums I have run across since doing "features" on Etsy artists and others, I'm always thrilled to see the versatility and creativity that abounds! I'm happy to have this talented artist out here on DZFANTASY for all of us to enjoy! Please read what she has to say about herself and her work....then be sure to visit her shop out on Etsy - BEADED ORIGINALS!

What led you to start creating your art/craft?
My mother has always been very crafty, and she began making jewelry a long time ago. I decided to follow in her footsteps, so we actually make the jewelry together now!

How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?
I love jewelry myself, as most women do, but I would see things in stores and say, I can make this, for half the price! So I started making my own stuff, got a lot of comments on it, and it blossomed from there.

What aspect of creating your art/craft do you find the most enjoyable?
It's so relaxing. I can take my mind off of stressful things in my life, and focus on making my jewelry.

If you had to choose a fruit OR a vegetable, to describe your art/craft, what would you choose, and why?
Watermelon, because its a colorful fruit that people love to eat in the summer. I chose a watermelon because I love to use colors and I love to use leaves, which are alive and beautiful in the summer!!

If you had to choose one other medium in which to display your “creativity”, what would that be, and why?
I would love to make quilts. I have quilts that have been passed down in my family for generations, and I think that is so cool. I would love to create something for my children that they can keep forever (when I have them).

What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art/craft?
That we value beautiful and natural things!

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?
Don't be afraid to put yourself out there! If you love what you do, there are plenty of other people who will love it too!!

Thanks, Beaded Originals, for taking the time to share your thoughts and lovely jewelry!! Be sure to visit this shop as all the work is quite lovely!!


FEATURED ETSY ARTIST - KELLY OF BOXING DAY

"Shabby Chic" rose pin
(recycled from an old sweatshirt)

Welcome, Kelly and her Esty shop BOXING DAY, as another of my featured Etsy artists! This artist has some very clever and unique items you'll be sure to want to check out. Her shop's theme is "the art of recycling. Before you check out Kelly's shop read below to hear what Kelly has to say about her work, and what motivates her.

What led you to start creating your art/craft?

I've been painting seriously since I was 15, and making crafts since pre-school! After college, I worked in the fields of advertising and marketing but I was always doing something on the side related to my love of paint! This "something on the side" thing took its form in having gallery shows for my paintings or selling my jewelry at local craft shows or teaching kids at an art school! As I am dealing with being diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder, I found it impossible to keep working in my field due to the stress and long hours. To keep my busy body from going crazy, I started making things. And while I've always been into recycling, it became an intrical part of what I am doing now as I needed to spend money on food and not art supplies! Necessity is the mother of creative problem solving. (Or something like that!)

How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?

Painting has always felt right to me. Brush and canvas are where I am at home, but I enjoy learning and the challenge of figuring things out as well, so it seemed natural for me to create projects from what I had around me. Friends know to give me their cast off clothing and old jewelry and anything else that might be good for a project. My aunt sent me a box full of goodies that I have made into bunches of different objects d'art!

What aspect of creating your art/craft do you find the most enjoyable?

I love getting lost in what I am doing and then looking at the clock or hearing the phone ring and realize that I am still on planet Earth! For the recycled items, I love to get people's old stuff and then solve the problem of what I can make from it! I love color and creative problem solving and working things out and still being surprised that I can make beautiful works. And sometimes other people think things I make are beautiful too!

If you had to choose a fruit OR a vegetable, to describe your art/craft, what would you choose, and why?

The first thing that comes to mind is a rutebaga, but I think an orange is better. My art is so colorful and bright on the outside and the inside (or the meaning behind my work) is usually juicy and sweet and joyful. (And it doesn't hurt that my favorite color is orange.)

If you had to choose one other medium in which to display your “creativity”, what would that be, and why?

Pencil. I like to draw in pencil and color pencil too. It's good for my subtle moods!

What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art/craft?

My tagline is "The Art of Recycling" and my mission is "Saving the world, one art project at a time!" My method of art is to make beautiful things out of stuff that would go into the landfill, but my message is one of play and bold color, and (sometimes) of order out of the chaos!

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?

Hmmm... depends on what the question is! I guess it would be one of my favorite things to say: "Always have the courage to be happy!"

Kelly, what a great insight you gave us, as to what makes you "tick" not only as an artist, but you, as a unique person!! THANKS AGAIN, for taking the time to share your thoughts and work with us. Be sure to visit Kelly's shop BOXING DAY by clicking on the links below.

KELLY'S BLOG


Friday, July 25, 2008

FEATURED ETSY ARTIST - Milli Denny -All the Bling You'll Ever Need

WOW, is the first thought that came to mind when I saw this gorgeous earring and necklace set created by Milli of MaisonMilli on Etsy. The colors and design are just too exquisite!! Be sure to visit Milli's shop on Etsy to see just what went into the creation of this beautiful piece of art. Read below as Milli shares her thoughts and ideas regarding her work and what makes her want to create her delightful pieces of jewelry.

What led you to start creating your art/craft?

When I discovered that big superstore called the world wide web, I bought some handmade pieces, and that was the onset. Making jewelry satisfied my urge to create colorfull, glitzy and glamorous pieces, without any boundaries and rules. The more I make, the more ideas I get. When working on something that comes along the way I want it, which can take as much as a couple of months, I feel that I have found the ultimate way of expressing my creativity.

How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?

It has been a journey of trial and error. But all along the way it appeared that small brass and silver components and Swarovski Crystal have the biggest potential to fit my designs. I guess you can say that the universe decided for me.

What aspect of creating your art/craft do you find the most enjoyable?

The designing, with the biggest amount of gemstones, rhinestones, silver and brass findings you can imagine scattered around me. That gives me the biggest pleasure. And then, when it's completed, I hold it in sunlight or under multiple spotlights to let the sparkles explode and enjoy just looking at it.

If you had to choose a fruit OR a vegetable, to describe your art/craft, what would you choose, and why?

Watermelon. Cold and sweet, a delicious splash of flavour, combined with bright pink and green colors.

If you had to choose one other medium in which to display your “creativity”, what would that be, and why?

Silver smithing. That will be my next adventure, as soon as I can find the right place to learn. In the past I have made stained glass lamp shades; I love working with solder, and I already have designs for silver jewelry in my head.

What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art/craft?

Live, love, laugh and wear as much shiny glitzy jewelry as possible.

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?

A lot of pieces I have made were - in my imagination - meant to be worn by Oprah or Queen Latifah. Dream big, and never give up on your dreams. No matter how young or old you are, the passion of creating brings the ultimate happiness and fulfillment.

THANK YOU, Milli, for sharing your wonderful, exquisite work and thoughts with us. It is a real pleasure to have you as a "featured" artist out here on DZFANTASY. Now, don't forget to visit MAISONMILLI on Etsy. The links are below.




RUBY LANE SHOP

FLICKR

Thursday, July 24, 2008

MEET MY "FAIRY PRINCESS"

FAIRY PRINCESS
I can't believe I managed to finish her, as I've been very busy getting together a huge list of more Etsy artists, who will be featured out here in the coming weeks. I just finished her today, and thought I'd bring her out here, so you can see what else I've been up to.
She was such fun to create, and is full of sparkle! She is wearing a lot of Swarovski crystals, and even has one in her "belly button". She has butterfly shaped wings, and measures 4" tall from her "seat" to the top of her fluffy hairdo! I hope she finds a good home before I get too attached to her!




If you'd like to learn more about her , you can visit her in my DZFANTASY shop on Etsy by clicking on any one of her photos above.

FEATURED ETSY ARTIST - TANGO CAT GEMS

I am happy to have Janice of TANGO CAT GEMS, as one of my featured Etsy artists out here on DZFANTASY. What an enchanting bracelet!! I've visited Janice's shop, and her jewelry is gorgeous! It has a very "magical" quality to it! Before you drop in for a visit, please read below as Janice shares her thoughts and art with us.

What led you to start creating your art/craft?
I have a fascination with gemstones, and a love of art. Budget restraints, and a never say never attitude prompted me to do it myself.

How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?
At this point in time,my passion is gemstones, so that is were I am focusing.

What aspect of creating your art/craft do you find the most enjoyable? I love creating artistic pieces, and discovering new ways to express myself.

If you had to choose a fruit OR a vegetable, to describe your art/craft, what would you choose, and why?
Grapes.. I am Old World at heart.

If you had to choose one other medium in which to display your “creativity”, what would that be, and why?
Lampworks.. that will soon be my next adventure.

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?
Create the piece as if the piece is for yourself... You will make it with love, and with the attention it deserves.


Janice, thanks so much for taking the time to give us a bit of "insight" as to what motivates you, and sharing your lovely work with us. Below you can click on the links to TANGOCATGEMS, and see more of Janice's lovely jewelry.









Secret Garden
This enchanting painting by Janice is also out in her shop. It reminds me of the book I loved years ago, entitled "The Secret Garden".

FEATURED ETSY ARTIST - PATEREEVES

Just look at this beautiful butterfly!! I hope you enjoy reading the interview of this artist, and am very happy to feature her here. The beaded butterfly was one of her favorite items in her shop. Read below to see what she has to say about this work of art!

We live in the middle of 70 acres in Northwest Arkansas and these lovely butterflies flutter around our herb garden all summer. Their favorite host plants for their young is any member of the fennel family. We make sure that we have fennel in our garden just for the catapillars to munch on. They are such gorgeous butterflies that I had to try and create one to remind me of the beauty they give us every year! This butterfly was created with more than 1500 beads.

WOW, I can't imagine having the patience to create such a delicate butterfly such as that. Great job, Pat! Read below to find out more about this artist and what inspires her. Also, be sure to visit her PATEREEVES shop out on Etsy, by clicking on the links below.

What led you to start creating your art/craft?

My mother was very talented at sewing and crafting and I inherited her need to create. I love the outdoors and nature in all her splendor is my inspiration?

How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?

I love to use different mediums to create and still haven't chosen just one!

What aspect of creating your art/craft do you find the most enjoyable?

Creating a beautiful item that reflects nature!

If you had to choose a fruit OR a vegetable, to describe your art/craft, what would you choose, and why?

It would have to be an artichoke. Because an artichoke has so many layers and so does my art. I do not stick to one type of art/craft, and each item that I make reveals a different layer of my personality.

If you had to choose one other medium in which to display your “creativity”, what would that be, and why?

Silversmithing, I would love to learn that medium because it has such versatility!

What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art/craft?

You should honor the world of nature and strive to understand it.

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?

Follow your heart and create what you love!

Pat, thanks again for sharing your thoughts, and your art with us! Happy Creating!

If you'd like to see more of Pat's work, click on the links below.


FLICKR

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

FEATURED ETSY SHOP - SOUL ART by RAFFAELLA

I dream of PARIS
is the title of this mixed media necklace
by RAFFAELLA of "SOUL ART"

Let's welcome this delightful artist and hear what she has to say about herself and her art. I truly enjoy meeting all the different artists, and hearing about what makes them "tick" and seeing all the different art mediums. I hope you enjoy reading about Raffaella of SOUL ART on ETSY. Don't forget to visit her shop by clicking on the links below. You might just find something you can't live without!

Hallo! I am an Italian collage mixed media artist, and I particulary enjoy creating wearable art using any combination of objects and techniques that I can think of! I live in Australia, my pieces are sold in selected shops, markets, online, and my work has been featured in local newspapers and magazines.

What led you to start creating your art/craft?

I have always been involved in creating "something", whether IT was for my job as a fashion designer back in Italy, or as a way to escape from it, and express my feelings and emotions in a tangible, more personal way.

How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?

That was a very easy decision as I do like to experiment with any sort of media and material, I like to try and invent my own techniques….so mixed media it was!

What aspect of creating your art/craft do you find the most enjoyable?

Probably the challenge to transform an idea, convey an emotion into a tangible piece. I enjoy experimenting, the unconventional use of media, and the ever surprising result.

If you had to choose a fruit OR a vegetable, to describe your art/craft, what would you choose, and why?

A pomegranate. A delicious fruit, a whole entity made up of many unique juicy bits.

What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art/craft?

I mostly create Wearable Art using dominoes tiles and found objects, and collages on canvas and everyday discarded objects. So it is quite obvious that my message to the world is ‘recycle and re use!’ On a different level, my message will be ‘give’. My energy, my emotions and dreams are in my pieces, and I like to think that I am giving them to the world out there!

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?

Be true to yourself, be proud of what you do, no matter how profitable your art may be. Create for your own sanity!

Raffaella, thanks so much for taking the time to share your work and thoughts with us. Great work and "insightful" answers! Below is the link to SOUL ART! Click on any photo to go directly to that item in her shop, or click on the SOUL ART link below the photos to visit Raffaella's shop.


Monday, July 21, 2008

FEATURED ETSY SHOP - MISS INDIE

What a fun colorful scarf! When I asked Mandy to send me a photo of her "favorite item" in her shop, this was her choice. I can see why... it is such fun and full of color!! I'm happy to be able to feature Mandy and her MISSINDIE shop! Don't forget to pay a visit to MISSINDIE after you read below to hear what Mandy has to tell you about herself, and her work.

What led you to start creating your art/craft?
My mom taught me how to crochet a few years ago when I was a sophomore in high school. She taught me the basics, and I instantly fell in love with it. Soon after I taught myself how to read patterns and different techniques and I've been creating ever since.


How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?
Really, its all my mom's fault! She introduced me, and I fell in love with yarn.


What aspect of creating your art/craft do you find the most enjoyable?

Finding new patterns or creating my own. And yarn shopping. I LOVE shopping for yarn. I swear, I'm like a crack addict when it comes to yarn and a good portion of my room is a yarn stash. Its pretty awesome.


If you had to choose a fruit OR a vegetable, to describe your art/craft, what would you choose, and why?
A mango. Its funky and fun, always different wild colors, and is great by itself or with other things.

What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art/craft?
To be yourself, no matter what. And to have fun with being you.

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?
Just do what you love. Always. Be creative, and have fun with everything you do.



Lovely, lovely work Mandy...now it makes me wish I would have learned how to crochet when my grandma wanted to teach me years ago!! As I was looking through Mandy's MISS INDIE shop, I came across this beautiful crocheted scarf and thought I'd add its picture out here. THANKS, Mandy, for taking the time to share your work with us.
KEEP ON CREATING!!





MISS INDIE DESIGNS BLOG

Sunday, July 20, 2008

FABULOUS DESIGNER YARNS FOR FANTASY DOLL HAIRDOS, AND WHERE TO FIND THEM!

"FIZZ" YARN BY CRYSTAL PALACE
Several posts ago, I showed how I used some of the beautiful "designer yarns" out there, to create fun, colorful hairdos for my fiber fantasy sculptures. In this post, I will show you photos of some of my favorite yarns, and also where to find them. Several years ago, I used to know the name of every designer and the name of the yarn I used for each and every creation I made. In the past few years, there have been so many of these new delightful yarns, that I have lost track of a lot of their names. Hopefully, I can give you enough information to get you started on a fun journey of finding out about all of the colorful, whimsical yarns that can be used to give your creations one-of-a-kind, magical hairdos!

In the photo on the very top of this page, you will see some of the colors I have of FIZZ yarn, which is made by Crystal Palace. These are just a few of the colors that FIZZ comes in. There are also "varigated" shades of FIZZ, also called "print". This is a shorter eyelash yarn and you can use it by itself, or mix it in with other yarns for a very colorful effect. CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO SEE ALL THE DIFFERENT COLORS THIS YARN COMES IN:

FIZZ YARN COLOR CHART
I used 4 different colors of FIZZ to create the fairy's hairdo below.

Crystal Palace also makes a fun textured yarn, which I just love to use...it is called BeBop, and comes in 16 different colors. Its texture is "eyelash" and "poofs" of color. Here is a photo of a fairy whose hairdo was designed from colorful BeBop yarn.

Click on the link below to see what other colors BeBop yarn comes in.

BEBOP YARN by CRYSTAL PALACE COLOR CHART

Another of my favorite yarns, that I have been using for quite a few years now, is AURA by TRENDSETTER. Aura is a sparkly eyelash yarn, which really glistens and sparkles, especially when the sun or light from a lamp hits it. It makes very magical fairy hair, either using it alone or mixing it in with other yarns. I use AURA in all of my mermaids' hairdos, mixed in with other "eyelash" type yarns. It makes the mermaids glisten and look as if they have just come out of the sea! This yarn also comes in a lot of magical colors. At one time, I think I had just about every color there was. Here is a photo of some of the colors I now have in stock. This yarn also comes in solid, "print" and antique colors.

Click on the link below to get to a page on the web which will show you all the colors this delightful yarn comes in. There are also two other links on that page which will take you to the "Print" colors, and one for the "Antique" colors available. There is also a "Store Locator" link on this page, which lets you pick your state, and then will list the shops in your area that sell AURA. There are also "on-line" shops from which you can purchase AURA.

AURA YARN by TRENDSETTER COLOR CHART

I used an AURA "print" yarn for this little "butterfly fairy face pin's" hairdo. See how she sparkles and glistens!

Below you will see one of my drawers full of yarn, which I usually try to sort by colors. Looks like one is in there that should be, as this is my "green toned" yarns! As you can see, I love using a lot of fun textured yarns, which have "eyelash" and "loops" in them. They all make great fantasy hairdos!


Another one of my "favorite" yarns is made by Moda Dea. The most magical one is called FRIVOLOUS, and comes in a variety of colors, but my favorite color is Tutti Fruiti. Below is a photo of a fairy whose hairdo was created using FRIVOLOUS - Tutti Fruiti yarn! It is a very soft, wispy eyelash yarn with a metallic thread running through it. I use this yarn quite a bit, as it is so much fun, and colorful.


Below is a link that will take you to the MODEA DEA page that shows the other colors this gorgeous yarn comes in.

MODEA DEA - FRIVOLOUS COLOR CHART

These are only a "very few" of the yarns I have used when creating my colorful, whimsical hairdos. I used to purchase a lot of these "designer" yarns at a small yarn shop in my area, but in the last several years, I tend to look for them out on the internet, and purchase them "on-line". It takes a bit of time and searching to find what one is looking for, but once you know names of the designers you like best, and the name of the yarns, it makes it a lot easier. I have found out, over the years, that if you find a yarn you really like working with, be sure to get enough in several different colors, as the "designer" yarns tend to be produced for several years, and then you can no longer get them. Below are several links where I have been purchasing yarn on-line.

YARN MARKET

HERRSCHNERS

I will be continuing this "yarn" information in another post in the near future! Do stop back, and have fun trying some of this fabulous yarn for your fantasy dolls!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

FEATURED ETSY SHOP - LA CHAPINA HUIPIL CRAFTS BY ERIN

I am very happy to feature this artist's colorful work, and I think you will find it fascinating as to how and why she started creating her wonderful pieces. Erin of La Chapina Huipil Crafts out on Etsy selected this item from her shop as her favorite. Below is information from her shop regarding this piece. Don't you just love all the wonderful colors!

I made this mosaic from scraps of many different Guatemalan huipiles. I cut them into 168 half-inch squares and attached them to thick watercolor paper using fabric glue. Within the piece there is an accent piece featuring birds from a huipil made in San Lucas Toliman.Some of the villages represented in this piece are San Andres Xecul, Tecpan, Tactic, Quetzaltenango, Chichicastenango, Nahuala, Santiago Atitlan, and Tamahu.
WOW, 168 pieces....now that takes patience! Read below to find out in Erin's own words what got her started in creating her colorful works of art, and other insights into this delightful artist.
What led you to start creating your art/craft?
I've been in Guatemala since March 2007 fostering the little girl we're in the process of adopting. In August of that year, a local orphanage was raided here in Guatemala, and political tensions surrounding international adoption were running very high. Agencies began suggesting that fostering parents, like us, stay inside with our kids until things calmed down. Rumors abounded that the police were going to question any gringos they saw with Guatemalan children. So for close to two months, I only left the apartment with our daughter a handful of times. As one would imagine, being confined to apartment grounds with a toddler for that long was challenging. Eager for something to do while the baby napped or played on her own, I started looking at craft blogs for inspiration. I hand-sewed about 20 stuffed animals and little dolls out of outgrown baby clothes and, later, felt. It was a fun diversion from the stressful reality of our situation.
How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?
I had long thought something really pretty could be made from the embroidered collars of huipiles. Once I got the sewing bug, I started visiting a shop here in Antigua that frequently had used collars and other huipil scraps for sale. The first things I made were some pillows that featured collars from Chichicastenango; I embroidered Spanish words like “esperanza” (hope) and “amistad” (friendship) within the circle formed by the collar.For my next project, I purchased several small of bags of huipil scraps in order to make Christmas ornaments for some family members back home. Afterwards, I posted photos of the ornaments on my personal blog, and the next thing I knew, I had people leaving comments saying they wanted to buy sets for their own families. An online friend who was coming to Guatemala kindly offered to transport any items I sold back to the US for shipping through the USPS. I accepted and was thrilled to have the opportunity to earn some money to help with the many expenses we were incurring by having to maintain households in both the US and Guatemala. Largely through word of mouth throughout the online adoption world, I ended up selling about $2500 worth of Christmas ornaments over the next couple months.
What aspect of creating your art/craft do you find the most enjoyable?
I love going to local markets and shops to look for the used textiles. I also find cutting up scraps for my scrap sampler bags very relaxing.
If you had to choose a fruit OR a vegetable, to describe your art/craft, what would you choose, and why?
I suppose peppers, because they come in all different bright colors and can be spicy - They stand out from other ingredients.
What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art/craft?
I am constantly amazed by the amount of work that goes into the hand-weaving, so I want to spotlight the Maya women who make the textiles in the first place. My work is dedicated to them. I also want to spread the word about the many things one can make using repurposed materials.
What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?
Try to find a niche that very few other artists are occupying. Identify your target market and keep them in mind when brainstorming new products, setting prices, or advertising.
ERIN, thanks so much for sharing your wonderful story and art with us! Be sure to visit Erin's shop, LA CHAPINA HUIPIL CRAFTS out on Etsy. You may also visit her other sites by clicking on the links below.



ERIN'S BLOG

FLICKR

Friday, July 18, 2008

MEET MY NEWEST MERMAID!

This little mermaid is my newest creation, and I just finished her today! I was so delighted with her, that I thought she deserved to have her photo out here.

She was just 6.5" tall before sculpting her into her current, permanent sitting position. These tiny little mermaids are very hard to work with, and to get them to sit, through the use of wire armatures in her tail and arms, takes a bit of doing! Sitting, she measures just about 4.5" tall from her "seat" to the top of her fluffy hairdo. Her fins span approximately 5" wide.

I used a shimmery dark teal fabric for her tail. When using a silky textured fabric such as this, it is necessary to use iron on interfacing on both sides of the fabric, to give it more strength. Her upper body and face are 100% silk tussah fabric. Tussah silk comes from wild moths whose's main diet is oak leaves. It is the amount of tannin in the leaves that determines the silk's natural color. Tussah silk can vary from a light beige (this is what I have used for this mermaid) to a darker tan color. Tussah silk is getting very hard to find, and keeps going up in price. The lowest price I've found so far is $15.00 per yard, and it can go as high as $40.00 per yard depending on the supplier. Her face, of course, has been individually hand-drawn, needle-sculpted, and hand-painted. I use a Micron .005 pen for the features, and acrylic paints for the eyes and lips. Her little face is approximately .75" long, and .50" wide. I can't get much smaller than that and get a good face.

Her wild hairdo was designed from a unique textured Italian yarn with wisps and poofs in it, accented with a metallic thread running through this yarn. I added another yarn call AURA, which makes her sparkle even more.

Her accents are all hand-sewn onto her, using a 4# test, clear fishing line. She has a Swarovski crystal belly button, necklace and her waist is also decorated with Swarovski crystals, and a real sea shell.

She is sculpted so that she can sit all by herself.

If you'd like to see more photos and learn more about her, click on the link below:

MERMAID

Thursday, July 17, 2008

FEATURED ETSY ARTIST - KERI JOY COLESTOCK

I just love Keri's whimsical "wall dancer" creations. They are so full of fun and color. I'm really happy to feature Keri and her magical creations. Below you will hear what Keri has to say about how she got started with her wonderful dolls, and what motivates her as an artist.

What led you to start creating your art/craft?
As terrible as this may sound, it was a desperate cry to not go crazy in bed, being so ill with Lyme Disease. That is the truth. Because I went so long undiagnosed I was a mess! Even though there was not much left of me, some small part of my spirit had to be left. I was getting daily infusions twice a day and one day a 2 year old little angel came in and sat down next to me. She un-zippered her flannel footie jammies. She held her arm out for her infusion and this lil angel was dying from cancer. My pity-party ended there and then. I truly KNEW how blessed I was and I am! Laying in bed sick was no longer an option from that point on. The reality is these are the cards I was dealt. I do believe everything happens for a reason. So I have learned many great lessons and crossed paths with some of the greatest people....I choose to take my ride with a smile! Oh-life IS good!

How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?
I was a trained illustrator and was a Senior Designer for 15 years. I SWORE I would NEVER paint or draw again and became a bartender! I missed working on the drawing board and I felt like a secretary doing art on the computer. I guess I am an "Old School Babe!" Every year I would make polymer Xmas ornaments for the kids, so it was a medium I was 'used' to. I started out first making avant garde plant stakes.......then polymer covered vases......then one day the 'gals' were born.

What aspect of creating your art/craft do you find the most enjoyable?
I enjoy that each is one of a kind. I take the creative liberties every time I make one as there are no molds so I truly can play! Seeing other talented fellow artist's work.......that inspires me.... besides every weekend hitting a great art fair in the summer months!!!!!!! New fun embellishments also can bring on a creative surge. I see fun work, then I want to play too!

If you had to choose a fruit OR a vegetable, to describe your art/craft, what would you choose, and why?
A banana... because making these in bed in my jammies everyone thought I was outta my tree!

What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art/craft?
Do not let anyone tell you that things are impossible to do. That is the worst thing I feel that you can tell a person..my kids sure never heard that from me! My doctors told me when I was first diagnosed with the Lyme Disease that they would be IMPOSSIBLE for me to do because I was crawling & could not see and focus. The Lyme also caused Arthritis & Fibromyalgia. Now 7+ years later they get them every year as Xmas presents! ~laughing~ And now I have sold a tad over 1,000 dolls.

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?
To do what your heart tells you. It HAS to be FUN so do it for you and no one else. When you think you just are spent or discouraged with the economy or lack of sales.......we all hope it will turn back around. Try not to second-guess your work
because it is really easy to do! I think we all have been guilty of that!

Keri, thanks for taking the time to share not only your story of determination and not giving up....but, also your delightful, wonderful creations, which I'm sure have put a smile on many a person's face! Be sure to visit Keri's Etsy shop - KERIJOY, and also her other links below. What a fun, delightful artist!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

FEATURED ARTIST - GREEN FINGERS

I love the unique items created by this artist, and also her thoughts and ideas behind her creative energy! I believe you will find her work quite delightful, so be sure to visit, Michelle's GREEN FINGERS shop out on Etsy. Read below to learn more about Michelle and her GREEN FINGERS shop.

I'm a 30-something, country-dwelling, herb-loving, tree-hugging dirt-worshipper, artist, reiki practitioner, wife and stepmother. Although I do use commercial yarns for my goddesses, I also try to buy yarn from individual artisans, and hope eventually to use yarn exclusively from real people rather than corporations. I grow most of the herbs used in my creations on my small homestead in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. While I am not certified organic, my husband and I are committed to growing everything without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Furthermore, we work the land with the intention of creating better soil and a healthier local ecosystem, hoping to leave the land better than we found it. We see it as a spiritual practice as well as a factor in our health and well being. Every purchase you make helps my family move closer to the sustainable, close to the land life we long to lead.

What led you to start creating your art?
I've always loved creating, since I can remember. I liked to draw and paint of course, but I was always trying crazy new things that I would dream up. I was really small when my paternal grandmother taught me how to embroider and my maternal grandmother taught me to crochet (although I never got on with crochet). But things really started picking up steam after college, when I was living in New Orleans and having a hard time. I took up embroidery and beading, and it was really comforting. Then a few years ago a coworker loaned me her "Learn to Knit" book and an addiction was born.

How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?
I don't think I have chosen a medium. I just do what is enjoyable at any given time--right now I'm obsessed with embroidery, and with making things out of plants. I have some willow figures that aren't in my Etsy shop yet, but some of them might be there soon.There's really only one criteria for what I work with--I definitely prefer natural materials. I don't like working with synthetics--I just don't sense as much energy in them. I like to work with things that feel alive. I'm not sure that makes sense to anyone but me . . .

What aspect of creating your art do you find the most enjoyable?
I'm a very tactile person, I love the way it FEELS to handle wool or silk, cotton thread, gemstone or glass beads, plant material. It helps me feel grounded and connected to the earth. Sometimes when I'm working, I just sit with my materials and hold them and move them around, just enjoying the sense of touch.

If you had to choose a fruit OR a vegetable, to describe your art, what would you choose, and why?
I suppose I would choose a rose hip, which is technically a fruit. Partially because roses are my primary "plant ally" right now, but also because to me they're an amazing symbol of tranformation, which is the soul of art (in my opinion). People mostly notice the flowers of the roses, but after the flowers fall off, after the cold comes, you have this amazing, brilliant red fruit that is FULL of vitamin C, to enrich your health throughout the winter, and it feeds people and animals, and if it falls to the ground it gestates over the winter and becomes new plants in the spring. If you think about it, the journey from seed to plant to flower to fruit back to seed in the womb of earth is about the most miraculous transformation possible. For me, creation is like that, a long slow process of transformation, it begins in those "underground" times, the times we turn inward, and then a thought forms, and then you create from that thought, but the process so often takes you elsewhere and becomes something entirely different. And then you send your creation in to the world and other people see it, take it in to themselves, and it can start the process in THEM somehow. Does that make any sense? I can see it in my head but I don't feel I'm explaining it very well!

What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art?
For me, art is an opportunity to create more of what I want in the world. Not just images, but energy patterns. I'm also a Reiki practitioner, so I work with energy a lot, and I can feel when I make a piece of art, that I'm creating something more than just an image in fiber or beads or willow. I'm shifting the energy of the world just slightly, by transforming one thing in to another. So I feel art comes with this responsibility--be careful what you create, you know? You can create anything, so make it good! I try to create more beauty, more magic, and more trees! You will notice that I depict trees and leaves with alarming frequency. I'm rambling here, I think, because my understanding of the creative process is still evolving. I guess what I want people to get out of my art is first of all pleasure, and then a greater awareness of the mystery in the natural world, and a deeper connection with spirit and earth. That's a tall order and who knows if I succeed.

What advice do you have for other artists?
I feel like such a novice, as far as being an artist in the world goes. I would just say, give your best from your HEART. Do what brings you joy or what's the point?


Michelle, thank you for your wonderful thoughts, ideas, and creations! I really loved what you had to say, may your hopes and dreams for a better world for your family come true. Click on the links below to visit GREEN FINGERS, and Michelle's other links.

MYSPACE

BLOG

INDIEPUBLIC


FLICKR

FEATURED ETSY SHOP - ORIGINALS BY LAUREN

Introducing Lauren's Etsy shop....ORIGINALS BY LAUREN. Here you will find fabric creations ranging from colorful, fun aprons, potholders, bags, bibs, and one-of-a-kind metal jewelry. Be sure to check out the items Lauren has to offer. Below you will hear in Lauren's own words, as she tells us a little bit about herself, and what motivates her to create.

What led you to start creating your art/craft?
I have been sewing since I was 11 yrs. old. I took a metalsmithing class 5 years ago and fell in love with jewelry making, although I don't have much listed.

How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?
I have done different types of sewing. When my kids were little, I used to design Halloween costumes, and sell children's dresses. Later on, I starting selling children's clothing wholesale, and then I switched to dressmaking and alterations (mostly bridal). I recently got interested in adding to that with Etsy. I saw a need for plus sized aprons, and I have been making them since May.

What aspect of creating your art/craft do you find the most enjoyable?
I love choosing fabric. I want to buy them all. I love quilt shops. They have so many colors and designs.

If you had to choose a fruit or a vegetable to describe your art/craft, what would it be and why?
I think maybe apples, because they are colorful and rich, like cotton fabric.

What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art/craft?
I think I chose to make aprons for larger women because it is something I wasn't seeing in the stores. They only made larger bbq aprons.

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?
Do something that you love to do , and would do even if you didn't get paid for it. It is very hard work, and if you are not passionate, you will not have the drive you need.

Lauren, thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts and work with us. You sound just like me about your "love of choosing fabric, and quilt shops"! I love all the colors and designs! Be sure to visit ORIGINALS by LAUREN by clicking on her links below:


LAUREN'S BLOG