Monday, September 29, 2008

ETSY 3D CHALLENGE SPONSORED BY BLOCKHEADROD




For fun, I entered the above mermaid in the Etsy Challenge sponsored by Rodney Gambrel a.k.a. blockhead rod, in the 3D category, a couple weeks ago, and she is now out there with several other 3D artists, waiting for votes. The contest runs just this week for the group of artists listed out there now, under the various categories.

If you think she is worthy of your vote, I'd really appreciate it. All you have to do is click on the link below, and scroll down to the voting box. THANKS MUCH!!


I sold her about a week after I had entered the challenge, and she is now on her way to her new home.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

FEATURED ETSY SHOP - SILVER RIVER JEWELRY


Let's welcome Sonja of SILVER RIVER JEWELRY on Etsy. I love the unique design of the copper wires, and the brillant blue of these earrings. Sonja's shop has a beautiful selection of delightful jewelry, so be sure to pay Silver River Jewelry a visit. First, let's read what Sonja has to say about herself and her jewelry.

What led you to start creating your art/craft?

I have always done something as far as arts and crafts go and have dabbled in many crafts. The jewelry obsession started when I purchased a beading kit for my daughter's 13th birthday. She had shown some interest (anything that will hold a 13 year old girl's attention for more than 30 seconds AND is creative and/or productive is to be encouraged by any means, lol, so I went ahead and got it for her. She decided that she really wasn't that interested, so one night while watching TV I picked up the beading kit. That was pretty much it for me, I made 6 pairs of earrings and a necklace that night and haven't looked back since.

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

Well I have narrowed it down to three different main techniques that I want to focus most of my energy on. Metal smithing, wire wrapping and Lapidary (cutting and shaping stones from rough rock). These three techniques should allow me to take almost any design from start to finish with little or no dependency on commercial findings. (Barring glass beads, I haven't learned how to make those yet lol)

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

All of it! From that first look at the stone, beads or whatever to the finished product, I love the entire process. Oka,y I would be happy with a little less sanding and making of headpins but other than that I love the whole process.

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

This is going to sound kind of bizarre, but I am going to have to say a potato. Mostly because it is such an earthy vegetable and all of the basic materials for making jewelry come from the earth, the metals, the sand for the glass. Plus potato's are a very versatile product, so many yummy things can be made from them.

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

Sketching or painting, because there are no restrictions to what your mind can apply to paper or canvas.

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

That inspiration and beauty can be found anywhere and transformed into something else beautiful.

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?

Make what you love and make it well. Always, always work on improving your work, there is always the next level of craftsmanship to attain.

Sonja, thanks for a delightful interview, and for taking the time to give us a little bit of an insight into you and your lovely jewelry! Be sure to take some time to visit Sonja's Etsy shop and her other links below.




BLOG

FLICKR

HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A MERFAERIE??

MERFAERIE

This "Merfaerie" is my latest design. I've been wanting to create a fantasy creature who not only is a mermaid, who can flit through the magical ocean kingdoms and seas, but also one that can soar above the earth and visit other magical kingdoms as well. She is the first of my colorful Merfaeries!


I hope to be creating more of these "Merfaeries" in different sizes, as time allows. She is the largest ,and measures approximately 15" tall, with a fin span of 10" wide. Other sizes I am considering are 6.5", and 10".


Her upper body and face are 100% silk tussah fabric. Tussah silk comes from wild moths, whose main diet is oak leaves. I individually hand-drew, needle-sculpted, and hand-painted her face.





If you'd like to learn more about her, she is now out in my DZFANTASY SHOP ON Etsy...you can click on the link below to visit her:

MERFAERIE

I am also thinking of creating a "special" Merfaerie for one of my monthly "giveaways", so it would be fun to hear from all of you....to see what you think of this new design.

WINNER OF DZFANTASY'S SEPTEMBER GIVEAWAY!

CONGRATULATIONS TO ...GINNY
WINNER OF MY DZFANTASY'S SEPTEMBER GIVEAWAY

Ginny's entry of September 17th, randomly, picked by my husband, out of the 164 entries for the beautiful mermaid shown above, is the SEPTEMBER GIVEAWAY WINNER!

Ginny has now responded to my email and her mermaid will be shipped out to her on Tuesday, September 30th.

My "October Giveaway" is now out here, so be sure to enter. Next time you could be the lucky winner!

THANK YOU, everyone for all the lovely comments!


Friday, September 26, 2008

If you love cats, fantasy and whimsey...be sure to take a look at my new CAT FAIRY

CATS, CATS, AND MORE CATS!

10.75" Fiber Sculpted Cat Fairy
my latest creation!

I just finished this delightful "Cat Fairy", and was so pleased with her that I thought I'd share her out here with you. I great number of my creations tend to be very brightly colored batik fabrics, with wild colorful hair. I happened to be shopping for some more colorful batiks at a quilt shop in my area, and this delightful "cat fabric" jumped out at me. It was just begging to be created into a whimsical cat fairy. Now how could I say "no" to that! There a cat faces peeping out at you, whereever you look.




She is completed designed out of fabric, with a silk face, which I individually hand-drew, needle-sculpted and hand-painted. If you want to find out more about her, you can click on the link below to visit her in my DZFANTASY shop on Etsy. She would like to find a good home, where she can work her magic!


CAT FAIRY


DZFANTASY'S OCTOBER GIVEAWAY -COLORFUL, DANCING HEART FAIRY!

DZFANTASY'S OCTOBER GIVEAWAY
Colorful "Dancing Heart" Fairy!


Here is October's Giveaway.....! Since I will be on vacation October 2 - October 12th, I am putting the "October Giveaway" out here several days early!


Start date: 9/26/09
Ending date: 10/31/01 - 12 midnight CDT
Prize Value: $65.00
# of Winners: 1
Eligibility: 18 and over - Open to all countries

TO ENTER, PLEASE DO THE FOLLOWING:


1. Leave a comment in this post.


2. Leave your email or a means of identifying yourself, should you be the lucky winner. If you sign in as anonymous, be sure to leave at least your first name!


That's all there is to it!


A winning entry will be randomly selected on November 1st, and the winner's NAME and COMMENT will be posted out here on DZFANTASY. Winner has 5 days in which to respond with their shipping information. If WINNER doesn't respond within the 5 day limit, I will randomly select another WINNER from the remaining entries.


If you have any questions, you may contact me at: dzfairies@msn.com




Now...a bit about the fairy! She is one of my wall style fairies, measuring approximately 10.5" tall from the tip of her toes to the top of her fluffy hairdo. She is my own original design, and created individually be me.

Her face is 100% silk, which I individually hand-drew, needle-sculpted and hand-painted.


Her body wing fabric is a fun, colorful batik fabric, with all different colored "hearts" in the design. She is posed to stay in her current position, however, since her arms have inner wire armatures, you can move those up or down a bit.

Her colorful hairdo was designed from a wispy, long "eyelash" style yarn, and is accented with a silk flower and Swarovski crystals. Her other accents are Swarovski crystals accenting the lavender heart on her chest, a waist accent of hearts and Swarovski crystals, crystals on the tip of each toe, and a silk flower and crystals in the center back of her wings.


She is one fun fairy, who will be making her home with the lucky winner of this "October Giveaway"!


GOOD LUCK TO ALL!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

FEATURED ETSY SHOP - NINA'S WINDOW

"GRAPES" by Nina
Let's welcome Nina, whose shop on Etsy is called Nina's Window. What a exquisite painting! I happened across Nina's work and was so entranced by the colors and designs, that I had to write her and ask her if she would be a "featured artist" on my blog. Happily, Nina agreed!

Read below to hear what Nina has to say about herself and her artwork. I think you will find it truly inspiring and wonderful! Be sure visit NINA'S WINDOW and her other links to see and learn more about this talented artist.

What led you to start creating your art/craft?

I discovered my artistic ability after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis about 9 years ago. To say that my life would change drastically would be an understatement. Before my diagnosis, I was an extremely active person. I played organized softball, rode mountain bikes, went camping, enjoyed hiking, water skiing, and snow skiing. My husband and I did a lot of this together along with our three children.

One day out on a walk with the family, I began to stumble and I could not figure out why. We sat for a while and after resting I felt fine again. As time went by, I began to have more and more of these weird feelings in my left foot, numb feelings on my ribcage, blurred vision and feeling completely exhausted. It was a frustrating road to diagnosis because the doctors were unable to pin point the cause. It was not until five years later and several MRI’s that I was diagnosis with MS. I was told there is no cure. Doctor’s do not know how, or why, some people get it. Some doctors believe it is caused by genetics, cold weather, and certain vaccines. It is a progressive decease.

“Progressive” was the operative word for me. I am a realist. I had a pretty good idea of what my future was going to look like as far as my physical activity level and mobility was concerned.

I understood it was not a pretty picture. But it is what it is; I needed to put into perspective what I planned to do with what I had. I’m not only a realist, I am also a fighter. I began to pray diligently. I asked God to give me a new passion and purpose in life. I knew that God had not given me, an outgoing and spirited personality to end up in a wheelchair just looking out a window. I knew he had a purpose and a plan. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Dwelling on that, I kept praying.

A very good friend and neighbor gave me some paints and a canvas for a Christmas gift. She said “I know you would be good at painting. You are so creative and outgoing!” I responded, “Thank you”. When she left, I put it all in the closet, "out of sight, out of mind". I had never painted a thing in my life. Truth be told, I had no desire to. Going to art shows or museums was boring in comparison to my previously active lifestyle. So, I kept praying and telling God that I needed Him to give me a new passion…by the way painting was not what I had in mind.

Meanwhile my disease was progressing. I was experiencing less and less mobility. Throughout this entire process, Mondays were coffee days in my neighborhood. This particular Monday I woke up with a different feeling in my heart. As we were all sitting around talking and laughing I announced that I was going home and I was going to paint. I remember going to the closet, pulling the paints and canvas out and wondering how on earth I was going to make something look like anything on this white canvas square staring at me. I was scared. This was not my thing… or so I thought. But I felt that God put this desire in my heart for some reason. I do believe that when God closes a door He opens a window. The door has closed for me physically but He has opened a beautiful window for me with my art. That is why I call my artistic ability “Nina’s Window”. I give God all the glory and the credit. He has been so faithful to me. I love painting. It is so inspiring and it has given me such a venue to express myself.

I love seeing the joy on my friend’s and family’s faces when they see my art. Watercolor is my favorite painting medium. I like the unpredictable qualities it has. Through art, I have met wonderful people and I have learned a lot about myself as an artist and as a person.

Is living with MS difficult? Yes. Do I have difficult days? Sometimes. Am I angry? Absolutely not. My husband and I have three children. Our daughter Erika is 24, married and has a baby boy. Our sons are Ryan, 21, and Jeremy, 19. I have to be honest and say that I don’t know what the future holds for them. Difficult times and challenges come to all of us. I want them to see how full life can be in spite of very difficult challenges. I want them to persevere, be tenacious and to be fighters. I want to inspire in them the belief that God is faithful and that He will never leave us or forsake us.

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

I started with oils (which is what my friend gave me), but it took too long to dry. I switched to acrylics and really liked it. However, once I tried watercolor I was sold. I love how it can be so unpredictable. It is by far my favorite.

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

I love that there are no rules. I paint what I want, when I want and if someone likes it? Well that much better. Getting lost in color and creating is the best part.

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

I would choose a red chili pepper. I love the color red. I think of my work as very colorful, passionate and spicy. Making a statement.

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

I would say "music". Specifically, the trumpet. I am a real tomboy. Piano, violin, flute, etc. they just weren't me. I love the sound of a trumpet.

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

Fun! How color lifts your spirit!

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?

Paint, paint and paint. Don’t give up. The more you paint the better you get. Don’t let anyone discourage you. There is no such thing as a mistake. You learn something every time you paint. How can that be a mistake?

Nina, I can't tell you what a pleasure and honor it has been to have you out here on my DZFANTASY blog as a featured artist. I'm sure your story will inspire others. What a great spirit and gift you have! Be sure to visit Nina's links to find out more about her and her wonderful work.

A CHERISHED MEMORY (Nina's other Etsy shop)

BARGAIN BELLES

FEATURED ETSY SHOP - SILK BAGS 'N TREASURES by SUE

I'm happy to have Sue of SILK BAGS 'N TREASURES as a featured artist on DZFANTASY. The above photo show's one of Sue's original designed creations. Be sure to visit SILK BAGS 'N TREASURES after reading what Sue has to say about herself and her creations.

What led you to start creating your art/craft?
I have always had an artsy streak. I was even doing murals on the walls of the womb! I've worked in most all mediums. I've done many local craft fairs over the years, but I don't keep up with them anymore. I am tickled to have found Etsy!! What a great place to show our wares. In 1997, I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, which is an auto-immune disease that effects the communication between nerves and muscles. I had to retire on disability, and since then I have been crafting as much as I can to supplement my income and to keep busy. I started off painting critters on smooth rocks and then I began to sculpt them in clay. I'm an animal lover, so that interest worked well as inspiration.

In my shop I feature handbags made of 100% imported Chinese silks. Rich with color and texture, my silk bags are a delight to the eye and the hand. All profits made on the sale of each bag will go to support a Christian mission in the far East.


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

My craft closet, which badly needs 'destashing', can attest to my many interests artistically. I've tried most all mediums. There was even a period of time when I soft sculpted babies and sold them. But my most recent artistic endeavors have been influenced by the market. Folks love their dogs, and that was a deciding factor in what I could do to artistically represent them. I enjoy painting, and was successful at that, but then I discovered polymer clay, and that was all I needed!


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

It is fun to take a lump of shapeless clay and turn it into a close likeness of an animal. It's fun to rise to any challenge, trying to create a way to achieve a certain pose, and of course it's always terrific to get good feedback from happy customers.

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

LOL! Well, I never thought of it this way. I suppose it would be an onion, with all the layers, waiting to be peeled back. My clay pets have really improved. When I first started making them, my son joked that they all looked like little zombies, and I have to agree that they did! HA!! I still have to laugh when I look at pictures from that time. But like with most anything, practice either makes perfect, or greatly improves your efforts.

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

Well, I've ALWAYS loved glass. It mesmerizes me. Translucent, appearing to be fluid and yet solid! I would love to make lampwork items.

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

I have a sense of whimsy and humor, and I hope that comes through in my sculptures. I hope that people can see the "personality" of their pets in special order pieces.

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?

Be patient. It takes time to develop you client base. Just because your items aren't flying off your virtual shelves, don't give up.

Thanks again, Sue, for taking the time to share your lovely creations, and giving us get a bit of "insight" as to what makes you the delightful person and artist that you are! You can learn more about Sue (a.k.a SOO), by clicking on her links below. You just might want to have her sculpt your favorite four-legged friend! How whimsical!



HEART THOUGHTS BLOG

SOO'S ORIGINALS (Clay Animals)

Monday, September 22, 2008

FEATURED ETSY SHOP - D' Elle Jewelery

I had the pleasure of meeting this delightful artist from Belgium when I entered her "giveaway" for one of her charms. Lo and behold....I won the charm, and was so impressed with her Etsy shop and jewelry that I wrote and asked her if she'd like to be a featured artist on my blog. Happily, Elke said yes!

To find out a little bit about Elke and her delightful jewelry, read below to hear what she has to say in her own words.

Her charms are quite charming all by themselves,

and I wear mine on a sterling silver chain. (Thanks again, Elke)

What led you to start creating your art/craft

When I was younger I was always looking for something creative to do but I couldn't think any further than painting. And that isn't my favourite thing I guess. One day, someone in my class, that I didn't even like, told me she made jewelry. I visited her and asked her to teach me something. We made this pendant according to a pattern. Mine wasn't even done right. Then I asked my mom for some beads and a book with patterns. I showed this book and creations everywhere, and that's when some people asked me to make them something. I guess that's how it started. Soon I tried other things than just following those patterns. I didn't think of that as very creative when your own input is just choosing the colour of the beads. Family and friends bought some of my jewelry so I could buy new materials and that's how it started.

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

Lots of crafts aren't really suited for a 16-year-old girl. They often require lots of space or are really expensive just to make one thing. With jewelry, I could decide what to make up front, and buy what I needed for it. I could also wear it myself and make gifts for friends and family. I was also interested in gemstones before I thought about making jewelry, and now I'm using these too. At that time it seemed I chose it because it was something I could do but now it's a passion.

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

The thing I enjoy most is the moment when someone sees a piece of jewelry and falls in love. Then they try it on and it is meant for them to be worn. I can start crying when I see that. It is so rewarding. I know a girl who worked all weekends when she was 15 just to be able to buy one of my necklaces. Now she wears it everytime I see her. When I'm working on a piece of jewelry and after trying and trying and trying it's suddenly all right, I love that moment.

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

I would choose cherries. I try to make jewelry for very feminine women. I also think it is important to have something for everyone. Lots of people love cherries, but they were also used ages ago in paintings with high society woman. So cherries are a bit for everyone. When you buy a bag of cherries, they all taste a bit different. This is also something I want to show, and that's why most of my pieces are one of a kind.

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

Two weeks ago I would have said sewing. I wanted to make dresses to go with the jewelry I created. They go really well together. But I bought some fabric and made some wallets and I just don't feel the same passion. I tried scrapbooking, but it wasn't my thing either. I thought about soap making, but my mother wouldn't let me. I did make some paintings for our living room, but I was happy when they where finished. I guess the answer to this question is a bit weird. I would use acrylic. I'm a artificial nail technician and make-up artist and I just love making nail art with acrylic, like flowers and things like that. The fun part is that you can use it to decorate everything.

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

Everybody deserves a special thing for themselves. I want all women to feel good about themselves, and having something to treasure. When they are alone they should be able to imagine they are a glamourous movie star or a cow girl, whichever they prefer, but they should always be themselves.

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?

No one ever said it would be easy so keep doing what you love. Crafting is about true love.

Elke, thanks for such a delightful insight to you and your art! May you be successful in whatever you do with your creativity! To see the variety of Elke's jewelry,and to learn more about her, be sure to visit her Etsy shop, blog and also her website (which is in Dutch), by clicking on the links below.





BLOG

WEB PAGE

Saturday, September 20, 2008

FEATURED ETSY SHOP - TRACEY'S FUN FELTING

What a delightful felted creation!!

Welcome, Tracey of TRACEY'S FUN FELTING out on Etsy! I've been seeing more unique "felting creations" since I joined Etsy, and am happy to have this "felting" artist out here on DZFANTASY. I am amazed what people are creating...and in such detail! I tried felting several years ago and sure didn't have results like many of the felting artists out on Etsy. Read below to get a little bit of an insight into Tracey and her whimsical creations.

What led you to start creating your art/craft?

Actually, I was in a quilt store with my mother, dragging my heels and giving her a hundred reasons why I was "absolutely NOT going to get into another hobby or craft, especially not anything involving material, because I am needle challenged and besides I already don't have enough time to spend on crafty things..." Honestly, the words were pouring out of me that fast. When I stopped to take a breath, a very small very wooly sheep figure caught my eye. She wasn't especially attractive or well done, but the texture was marvelous. I couldn't put her down. Less than 30 seconds later I was starting my new obsession with things needle felted. I didn't even know what could be done with needle felt, but the idea of taking wool roving and creating sculptures with it was all it took... I was off and running. Well, poking anyway.

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

In needle felt sculpture you need two things - a needle and fiber. I've experimented with silk and soy and other exotics, but I love working wool. There's so much variety and texture and so many beautiful colors - and best of all, it felts beautifully. Silk and tencel are soft, but tedious to work with.

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

The sheer versatility. Wool goes where you poke it, so the possibilities are truly limitless. I can imagine the 3-dimensional rendering of a nursery rhyme and the piece of fluffy roving transforms in my hands. I also have to admit that I'm really into immediate gratification, and while needle felting is labor intensive, I can see the shapes and story emerging as I work and it keeps me engrossed in what I'm doing.

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

A pineapple. It's poky and fibrous and has a lot of different textures. There's also a lot of work involved before you get to the finished product, but it's worth it in the end!

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

I recently discovered the world of miniatures. I was working some very, very, tiny needle felt pieces, just to see if I could. Not only was it challenging, it was really fun. I didn't think about applications, but then I was in a miniature dollhouse store with my mother, who was working on a conservatory. I saw a picture of a fairy door, which I couldn't leave alone... I had to worry at the idea and eventually I had a fairy box that fits into the wall with a beautiful wooden door, and a whole miniature scene right out of fairy-land inside it. Complete with some needle felted pieces, of course. Hmmm... as I think about it, I see a pattern here. I've really got to quit accompanying my mother to new places

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

I read a series of books once, by Orson Scott Card, about Alvin the Maker. One of the ideas that really stuck with me was that bad things come from un-making. And the only way to combat un-making is to make something. Big or small, elaborate or simple, the act of making brings order and beauty to the world. Arts and crafts are makings.

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?

Enjoy what you do. From the selection of materials all the way through to the final piece, imbue your making with joy. Don't worry about commercial aspects - if there is joy in your art, it will stand out.

Tracey, thank you for a delightful interview and sharing your work with us. One can just "feel" the energy and love you have for your art! Treat yourself by visiting TRACEY'S FUN FELTING shop on Etsy by clicking either on a photo to go directly to that item in her shop or click on the link below the photos to go to her shop.


TRACEY'S WEB PAGE

FEATURED ETSY SHOP - WINKELPOTS


Now how adorable is this little model with her carmel apple t-shirt designed by her mom, Holly, whose Etsy is called WINKLEPOTS. Let's hear what Holly has to say about her adorable designs for childrens clothing, and how she got started.

What led you to start creating your art/craft?
Over a year ago, I started painting items for my daughter that I couldn't find in the store. Eventually I started painting for friends and decided I'd try to open my own business; and Winklepots was born.

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

Painting seemed easier than trying to learn to sew, honestly. I've been sketching for most of my life, so painting just seemed like the next step.

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

I really enjoy painting. It puts me in this creative calming state. As soon as the first brush stroke hits the fabric, I'm in the zone. It's very stress relieving.

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

A mango. It's pretty gender neutral and a little off the beaten path.

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

Polymer clay art. In fact, I have a lot of it, and have even made ornaments, but that's down the road.

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

It doesn't have to be cutesy in order to put it on your child, nor do you have to follow the mainstream trends in children's fashion. Different is good.

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?

Remember that everyone had to start at the bottom; no one becomes wealthy and famous overnight. When it comes to marketing, you have to work very hard to hardly ever work. Eventually, word of mouth will help but you have to generate the interest and sales first.

Here is Holly's other adorable little model!

Thanks, Holly, for taking the time to share your thoughts and your delightful designs with us. If you are looking for colorful, designs for your children, be sure to visit WINKLEPOTS by clicking on the links below.








WINKLEPOTS BLOG

Thursday, September 18, 2008

FEATURED ETSY SHOP - TILLEYJEWELS

Let's welcome, Meredith, whose shop on Etsy is called TILLEYJEWELS. Meredith's 16 year old daughter, Audrey, and her shop AUDDITIES was just featured out here, and I'm now very happy to have Meredith here on DZFANTASY also as a featured artist! The gorgeous bracelet above is just one of many beautiful pieces of jewelry which Meredith creates. You really must visit TILLEYJEWELS to see all of her other delightful creations! First, read below to hear in Meredith's own words what she has to say about herself and her creations.

What led you to start creating your art/craft?

I was raised in crafts. One of my earliest memories is of sitting with my mother doing needlepoint. I'm not sure if I could even read a book at the time, but I could read a needlepoint graph. Everyone in my family does something creative, so it was pretty much inevitable that I would, too. It was just a matter of what I would focus on.

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

I've tried pretty much every arts and crafts medium available throughout the years, but somehow it always seemed to come back to beads. My first beading projects when I was younger weren't jewelry--they were little bead and wire sculptures. I think that's why I enjoy making tiaras and headpieces so much--they take me back to that "sculptural" effect. The first "real" piece of jewelry I can remember making was a multi-strand pearl choker that I wore to my senior prom.

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

A lot of people would think I'm crazy, but I really enjoy working with brides. It's an incredible feeling to know that they trust my skills to create something that they are wearing on one of the most important days of their life. Knock on wood, I have yet to actually encounter a Bridezilla.

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

I would have to say my work is like a bunch of grapes--every piece has some common characteristics that hold it together into a group, but at the same time each one is its own individual unique creation.

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

I spent several of my school-age years creating pottery. I even taught children's pottery classes through our local artists' guild for a while. There was a whole "mad scientist" aspect to molding a form from the clay, firing up the kiln, we even mixed our own glazes from raw chemicals back then. That's an experience I would have loved to pass on to my own kids, but the facilities aren't available around here any more. The types of clay work I can do at home--polymer clay and PMC--are fun, but just don't have quite the same emotional feel to them.

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

I use the tagline "fairytale jewels for the everyday princess" for my business. I believe that every woman deserves pretty things and to feel like a princess once in a while.

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?-

Always take time to do what you enjoy, and not just what everyone wants you to do or what makes money. When it starts to feel too much like work, back off and take time to play around and create just for the fun of it, just for yourself. It's wonderful to make money off of your talents, but you don't want to end up resenting your art.

Meredith, thanks so much for sharing a bit of yourself and your lovely jewelry with us. It is always a real pleasure to get to know a little bit about each artist behind the lovely work that has been featured out here on DZFANTASY. If you'd like to see more of what's offered at TILLEYJEWELS, be sure to click on the photos below to go directly to that item in Meredith's shop, or click on the link below the photos to go to her shop. To learn more about Meredith and her work you can also visit the other links below.



Smashing Darling

LIZZY WISHES

MADE IT MYSELF

LOVLI

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

HUGE MAPLE LEAF FAIRY TUTORIAL continued

In my previous post "HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A MAPLE LEAF THIS SIZE", I showed the steps of how I created this huge, silk maple leaf, whose template was created from one of the largest maple leaves I've ever seen....11.75" long x 11.25" wide, when I found it.

Above you see the completed creation, which I designed entirely of 100% silk. Below you will see the steps taken to complete this colorful, fiber fantasy wall art.

Dyeing the "face" fabric

Here I have hand-dyed/painted the silk fabric , which I will use for the fairy's face. I brushed on the Dye-na-Flow liquid paint using a brush, just as I did with the leaf. I watered down the colors so I wouldn't have too dark of a face. After the fabric was the desired color, I pressed it dry with my iron.



Preparing the fabric for sewing

After I pressed the fabric dry, I ironed interfacing to one side of the fabric so that I could trace the face template onto the fabric.



If you will note in the picture, I have a tiny "+" drawn in the center of the face. I cut this little "opening" before I stitch the face so that it is easier, when it comes time to turn the face right side out.

The face is now sewn with the tinest stitch that my machine allows. Next it is being turned inside out.

Now the face is being stuffed with acrylic fiberfill. I was amazed at how much fiberfill it took to stuff this size face. It measures approximately 3" long and 2.25" wide. Lately, I 've been making teeny, tiny faces for my butterfly pins, so this was a big change of pace!

My next step is to draw the features onto the stuffed face, using a .005 Micron pen. It is about this time that I think they look a bit like "aliens". In the photos below, I am doing the needle-sculpting of the features. After that is completed, I hand-paint the eyes and lips, apply blush to the cheeks, and before you know it....she is looking a lot better.
In this photo the fairy's face has now been completely painted, and is ready for her hair.
Her hairdo was designed from a gorgeous, wispy, sparkling yarn with a texture of wispy eyelash, and poofs of color.


Her hair accent is a charming glass dragon fly accented with a string of 8mm Swarovski crystals. They are rather hard to see in the photo. She also has the same yarn as an accent at the base of the leaf, and more 8mm Swarovski crystals hand-sewn into the yarn.

The entire sculpture is now completed!! She will soon be out in my DZFANTASY shop on Etsy.

FEATURED ETSY SHOP - AUDDITIES by Audrey


Life And Death Original Art Two Pocket Portfolio
by Audrey
I'm happy to have Audrey and her AUDDITIES Etsy shop out here on DZFANTASY. When Audrey sent me links to her favorite item out in her shop, she sent me the above photo, and also a second choice, if I felt her first choice was too graphic. I decided to put both of Audrey's choices out here. Be sure to visit AUDDITIES and see Audrey's other art.


Bumblebee Girl Original Artwork Bookmark by Audrey

Before we get to hear what Audrey has to say about herself and her art, let's hear from Audrey's mom. Since Audrey is a minor, her mom handles all of her sales, etc. at Audrey's AUDDITIES shop.

Audrey just turned 16 in late July. She's a junior in a high school that has an excellent art program. She is taking all the art courses available to her in school--is excited about starting ceramics this semester when classes begin next week. She is planning to study art in college and pursue some form of art as a future career, possibly teaching or graphic design. Audrey has spent the majority of her life immersed in the art scene, travelling to craft shows and demonstrations with either me or her grandmother (just like I did growing up). Last fall she had her first booth selling in a juried art show and has won several school and community-based awards for both her artwork and fiction writing. THANKS, MOM!

Now let's hear in Audrey's own words what she thinks about art and her work.

What led you to start creating your art/craft?

I've always liked to draw, and it keeps me from being bored. I've also had many family influences who support my art, like my mom.

How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with

I try pretty much any art medium I can, and like them all to some extent. I usually use whatever supplies I can afford or that I get as gifts.

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

It's a way to create fantasy worlds of fairies and vampires. I like those things.

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

I'd choose an apple because it's bright and colorful. It's hard not to like an apple and my work kind of has that effect on people (or at least I hope it does!)

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

I really would like to work in 3-D, specifically puppets. Jim Henson has had a big impact on me and I would love to make things as memorable and lovable as his work.

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

Just that I'm having fun doing something I love.

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?

If you love to do something, keep at it and don't give up.

AUDREY, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and your art! It was really fun having a "budding young artist" like yourself out here on DZFANTASY! Your work has a whimsical quality to it, which I really like! Don't give up your dreams!! I'm sure Audrey would be delighted to have you visit her AUDDITIES shop. Just click on any of the photos below to go directly to that item, or click on the link below the photos.


3rd "WEAR A FAIRY" GIVEAWAY BY DZFANTASY

DZFANTASY'S "3rd WEAR A FAIRY GIVEAWAY"

Welcome to my 3rd "WEAR A FAIRY" giveaway. This month's giveaway is the colorful little butterfly fairy face pin pictured above. All you have to do to enter is follow the rules below:

1. Leave a comment in this post.

2. Leave your email address or another means of identification, should you be the lucky winner.

This "giveaway" begins September 17, 2008 and will end October 17, 2008 at 12 midnight CDT. On October 18, 2008, a winning entry will be randomly picked from all the entries.

If the WINNING ENTRY has left an email address, I will contact them immediately via email to let them know they have won. WINNER will then have 3 DAYS in which to respond to my email. If WINNER hasn't responded within the time allowed, I will then randomly draw another name from the remaining entries. A winning entry without an email address, will have their entry posted out here on DZFANTASY with a request to contact me within 3 days. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at dzfairies@msn.com

ABOUT THE "BUTTERFLY FAIRY FACE" PIN:

Size: 3" x 3" - The top wing span is just about 3", and the length from top tip of wing to bottom tip of wing is also 3".

Wings: the colorful wings are of my own original design and were created with a beautiful batik fabric whose colors are magenta, aqua, with hints of light olive green. The wings are stuffed with acrylic fiberfil, and have inner wire armatures.

HAIRDO: Her fun textured colorful hairdo matches the colors in her wings. It is a texture of "wisps and nubs of color"

ACCENTS: Her antennae were designed from 4 - 4mm Swarovski crystals on colored wire, which have been hand-sewn to her head.

FACE: 100% silk, which I hand-drew, needle-sculpted, hand-painted. Face size is approx. 1" long x .75" wide.

PIN'S BACK: Half-circle of texturized brass to which the wing and the pin's clasp have been cemented to.

THESE PINS MAKE FUN, COLORFUL ACCENTS.




GOOD LUCK!

WINNER OF THE "2nd WEAR A FAIRY" GIVEAWAY..ANNIE

2nd WEAR A FAIRY PRIZE

My "2nd WEAR A FAIRY" giveaway ended at 12 Midnight on September 16th.

The winner of this giveaway is: ANNIE and her entry of August 16th!

Annie name was randomly drawn this morning from the 79 entries for this giveaway. CONGRATULATIONS, ANNIE!

ANNE HAS CONTACTED ME, AND HER BUTTERFLY PIN WILL SHIPPED OUT TO HER!

I have now posted a new "butterfly fairy face pin" giveaway, called "3rd WEAR A FAIRY" GIVEAWAY! Be sure to enter for another chance to win. Coming in November, I will be sponsoring several other artist's work as "giveaways", and also two more of my own, so be sure to stop back.

THANK YOU ALL for entering and for your lovely comments!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I COULDN'T BELIEVE I WON THIS!!

I must say I was totally surprised and delighted when I received an email from Elke of D'Elle Juwelen to let me know that I had won one of her delightful charms which she had as a "giveaway" recently.


Me, who never wins anything, wins the very first "giveaway" that I entered. This has me thinking I should maybe take the time to enter more! I might be on a "lucky" streak!


I received my charm today, and it is just delightful in its simplicity and charm. It came in this colorful, gauzy bag. What fun to get a treat like that in the mail. I just happened to have a sterling silver chain to put it on.
Elke has more of these charms in her D'Elle Jewelry shop out on Etsy. Below is a photo showing several different colors, which she offers.






In addition to these affordable charms, Elke has other beautiful pieces of jewelry out in her Etsy shop. Be sure to take a look!

I also will be doing a "feature" on Elke and her Etsy shop, so do stop back to find out more about this 19 year old jewelry artist from Belgium. THANKS FOR THE CHARM, ELKE! I will certainly enjoy wearing it.

You can get to Elke's shop by clicking on any of the photos below, or the link below the photos.

Monday, September 15, 2008

DID YOU EVER SEE A MAPLE LEAF THIS SIZE?

Finished Leaf Waiting for the "Fairy Face" to be added

MY TUTORIAL ON CREATING

A

100% SILK "MAPLE LEAF FAIRY" WALL ACCENT

STEP ONE - The Leaf

What you will see here are the steps it took me to create a fiber sculpted "maple leaf fairy" wall accent using my original template of one of the biggest maple leaves I ever saw.

I designed the template from a real maple leaf my husband and I found while taking a walk two years ago during a gorgeous fall day in Lake Geneva, WI. It was the most amazing size maple leaf I ever saw!

This huge leaf, was laying among other regular sized leaves which had fallen from the tree. I was so thrilled at this find I had to rush back to our car and press it between paper towels so that I could perserve it until I got home. The leaf measured 11.75" long, and 11.25 wide by the time I got it home. It had shrunk just a little bit.

Below you will see the steps taken to create this 100% silk, leaf. In another post I will show you the steps taken to create the fairy's face, also out of 100% silk, and finally the completed creation! This is only the third "Maple Leaf Fairy" I have created using this huge maple leaf. There is so much work to it!

The photo below shows the template after I traced the actual leaf onto white posterboard. It was quite difficult tracing all the little peaks on the leaf without ruining the leaf.




The next step was to trace the leaf template onto the silk fabric which I used. I used "tussah" silk. Tussah silk is a silk that is derived from wild moths, whose main diet is oak leaves. I also use this same silk for all of my fantasy creation's faces, as well as the mermaids upper bodies. The natural color of tussah silk can be anywhere from a very light cream to a darker tan. When I plan on dying the silk, I use the very light colored tussah. In order to trace the template onto the fabric, I use an iron on interfacing.


Below you will see the leaf after I have sewn it. Let me tell you....it takes a LONG time to sew around all those little peaks, but the hardest part is yet to come....turning the leaf inside out!!



I think you can see from the photo above, where there is a tiny opening at the base of the leaf. That is where the trouble begins...trying to get the whole big leaf through that teeny, tiny opening. I use a long "alligator forceps" tool to manage this, but it still took me almost an hour to turn the leaf right side out! How is that for patience!

The next step is steaming and pressing the leaf to get all the many wrinkles out that were incurred pulling it through the tiny opening. The photo below shows the leaf after it has been stuffed with acrylic fiberfill.


The next step is to "top-stitch" a design onto the leaf. The photo below shows the leaf after I have completed this step. I always sew all of my creations using a clear quilting thread.


Now is the part I love best.....painting the leaf using Jacquard's liquid Dye-na-Flow fabric paint. It flows on so nicely, but you have to work very quickly with it so that you don't develop lines in the coloring. Below are several photos taken in the process of painting the leaf.



I used several different shades of Dye-na-Flow to achieve the colors I wanted for the leaf. Below you will see the finished leaf....waiting to dry! The next step will be creating the "fairy face" , which will go on the center of leaf. The final creation will be a delightful, colorful wall hanging. Be sure to stop back to see the how the whole Maple Leaf Fairy turns out. I will be doing it in another post later this week.


The center of the leaf and the stem are a bit off center, but this won't show when the creation is entirely completed. Be sure to stop back to see how the completed creation will look!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

HELP SAVE AMERICA'S WILD HORSES!

Do these beautiful, wild creatures deserve to die? NO! It is up to all of us to see that they don't. Let's preserve America's heritage!!

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has announced plans to kill America's wild horses rather than effectively manage our wild natural heritage. BLM claims it can no longer afford to round up wild horses and confine them until it finds people to adopt them, and the agency wants to euthanize these majestic wild beauties or sell them to the highest bidder "without limitation" - meaning sell them to anyone, even if the bidder also plans to kill these horses. Why does BLM need to round up wild horses and send them to slaughter? The BLM claims that the agency can't "allow horses to multiply unchecked on the range without causing an environmental disaster." But there are less than 30,000 wild horses on the range versus at least 3 million grazing cows. So rather than address the environmental damage caused by cattle overgrazing and expanding oil and gas exploration on our public lands, the BLM would rather placate corporate cattle ranchers who view mustangs as competition for forage, and drive wild horses - our country's symbol of freedom and independent spirit - to extinction.

If you want to help stop this plan of destroying some of American's most beautiful creatures, be sure to visit the link below and sign the petition. 50,000 signatures are needed.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

FEATURED ETSY SHOP - RARE ARTISANS - Handcrafted Jewelry and Original Art


"Sunlit Vase" by Frank Rose

I am very happy to have the "Rare Artisans" shop on Etsy as a featured shop out here on my DZFANTASY blog! What a detailed and exquisite drawing above!! One can only imagine the time it took to create such a work of art!
Be sure to visit the Rare Artisans to see more original art and beautiful hand-crafted jewelry. Let's hear what the Rare Artisans have to say about their work as they share their thoughts with us.

What led you to start creating your art/craft?
Our conglomerate began creating art years ago, all of us starting our journey at different stages in life. Collectively, we have all answered the same calling…to be creative and expressive by channeling love and joy. We all found the creative process relaxing, and only later discovered that it could also be lucrative. Several of our members have been severely disabled for many years and have found that making “things”, and having them be appreciated by other people, encouraged them to be more satisfied with themselves. Getting together, loving each other’s work, laughing at our mistakes, and learning from each other led to starting our website and then opening our Etsy shop!

How did you decide what medium you wanted to work with?
Basically, it has settled down to whichever medium is available at the time. We may not be the best at it, but love to dig in with every ounce of determination and talent granted to us. We encourage and mentor each other to try new things, so each day opens new possibilities!

What aspect of creating your art/craft do you find the most enjoyable?
For one individual, it is when he is constructing jewelry, taking time to ensure that each piece is strong and beautifully crafted. Another finds that the greatest moment is when he first sees a certain combination of jewelry components that he knows will become a beautiful piece. One of our artists enjoys the freedom of a blank piece of paper just waiting for his pencil to tell him what to create! For another one of our artists, it is when she clicks the camera’s shutter knowing it will be “the one” out of the bunch that captured all essentials to become an emotionally stirring photograph (see her fine art photography at http://alisondubois.etsy.com) ~ and she also loves imagining a jewelry item, and then creating it by learning different techniques. Another feels special knowing her art is out there in the world, adorning someone with her jewelry accompanying them on a night out on the town, during a significant moment in their lives, or a nonchalant moment where they take time out to notice her piece throughout their day.

If you had to choose a fruit OR a vegetable, to describe your art/craft, what would you choose, and why?
This is a difficult question! Maybe an interesting fruit bearing plant from the rain forests, currently unknown to man, that would make people wonder “Is it a fruit or a vegetable”? It would be healthy, entertaining and appealing, delicious and versatile…and no one would be allergic to it! The fruit would be our jewelry and art pieces - ready for people to pluck and enjoy today, tomorrow, and as heirlooms passed to generations to come!

If you had to choose one other medium in which to display your "creativity", what would that be, and why?
We gathered our pool of incredible artists together (some whose work is yet to be featured) to help answer these questions (and had a great time!) So, we came up with a few answers to this question.
1) Sculpture, because it is an art form that is not commonly displayed in the public as much as it used to be.
2) Old style techniques in photography, because this is a medium that should be preserved and revered.
3) Gastronomy~ simply because being a chef and preparing dishes that are not only vital to living, but are also a wonderful way to connect people of all ages and origins…everyday would be wonderful. How splendid it would be to create recipes that could potentially become a staple in everyday lives - to prepare glorious works of art, only to see them gobbled up!

What message, if any, do you want to convey with your art/craft?
Rare Artisans’ crafts are intended to capture emotions, convey beauty, and share our respect for the endless combinations of crafts that are available for anyone to try. We’d like to encourage people to believe in themselves…believe that they can create and receive satisfaction for their work.

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?
Just go out there, work with what you can afford, there are an abundance of resources to learn different techniques, for endless creations. If you fail, try, try again! Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the world of art is constantly growing and changing with the times.

THANK all of you "Rare Artisans" for taking the time to contribute your thoughts and ideas for this feature. GREAT answers, thoughts, and wonderful work!! It is wonderful to hear of a group such as this! I'd like to mention here, that Alison DuBois has also been featured out here on DZFANTASY. Be sure to visit RARE ARTISAN'S shop on Etsy and also the other links listed below.

RARE ARTISAN'S BLOG

ALISON DUBOIS BLOG