Saturday, January 31, 2009

FEATURED ETSY SHOP - FIREFLYGIRL

Mixed Media Collage
Her Nerves Jittered theme Dolls and Cat and stressed Mom
by
Margaret

WELCOME, Margaret and her Etsy shop, FIREFLY GIRL! You really must visit Margaret's shop to see all of her delightful creations....from Fairies and Pixies captured in jars, to collages, glass slide necklaces, pendants and more!

Be sure to read Margaret's interview below to learn a bit about what thoughts and ideas go into her "creativity"!

What led you to start creating your art/craft?

After many years doing and selling decoupage items, I discovered ACEOs and collage. From there I have been trying all different forms of mixed media and assemblage and enjoying every minute of it.

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

I have not decided to settle on one medium. This is an exciting journey which may not have a true final destination.

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

The most enjoyable aspect is that moment when it all comes together for me on an idea. Suddenly, as I work, I just know or find what to add or what to take away from a piece. When I know the piece has expressed a part of me I wanted to give away or share, it is ready for the person who will "connect" with it to have it.

If you had to choose a fruit OR a vegetable to describe your "creativity", what would that be and why?

I would say an artichoke would be the vegetable I would choose. Naturally, it is because of the many layers! Then, inside the artichoke, is the best or sweetest part. I feel like on my journey I am peeling off layers and finding more and more within myself to express.

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

If I had to choose one medium it would be collage with paper and paint. Again, for the layers. I feel our hearts, our very souls, are layers of consciousness. Thoughts, ideas, expressions, all contain meanings which are deep and meaningful.

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

I want to convey both HOPE and HUMOR. There is a part of us, no matter what is happening in our lives that holds fast to hope. Humor helps us see things from a unique vantage point and contributes to hope by creating more coping skills for us.

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?

My advice to others is: Let go! Mostly, let go of the idea that you cannot express yourself! Even if you cannot draw and have not yet been trained to paint, you CAN learn to create if you can push past doubt!

Margaret, it is a real pleasure to have you out here on DZFANTASY as a featured artist. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts (I love how you expressed yourself), and for sharing your work with everyone.


Friday, January 30, 2009

"FLOWER FAERIE" Face pins...new design!

"Flower Faerie" face pin
My new fairy pin design

I decided I needed to try something a little different for my pin designs (so I don't get bored)....and the above photo shows my first little "flower fairy" face pin! They take about 2 hours to create, as the petal background is a crocheted rosette (which I purchased), which I have hand-dyed using silk fabric paints to match the faerie's hairdo. It is a bit messy, but I love to see the colors flow on.

Below is a photo, which I talked my husband into taking, while I had the pin attached to my sweater. It turned out rather well....so I told him he was hired!


Pin's Back

I'd love to hear some comments on my new idea...., so if you feel like letting me know what you think of this style pin, I'd really appreciate it. You can learn more about her by clicking on the top photo.

I just might have one of these "flower faerie's" as one of my monthly giveaways. What do you think?

"WILD CHILD" Butterfly Fairy...!



"Wild Child" fairy


This is my latest fairy, which I am calling "Wild Child", as she looks so whimsical and wild with her colorful wild hairdo. Now wouldn't it be fun to be a fairy and be able to flit and fly all over the place!



I just listed her out in my DZFANTASY shop on Etsy, so you can learn more about her if you click on her photo above.








IT"S ALL IN THE PERSPECTIVE!!


A friend of mine just sent this to me in an email, and I thought it was so wonderful, I decided to put it out here for all to read. Even if you've seen this before, it is always a good reminder, as to what is really important in life!


One day, the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, 'How was the trip?'


'It was great, Dad.' 'Did you see how poor people live?' the father asked. 'Oh yeah,' said the son. 'So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?' asked the father.


The son answered: 'I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.'

The boy's father was speechless. Then his son added, 'Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are.'


Isn't perspective a wonderful thing? Makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks for everything we have, instead of worrying about what we don't have.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

FEATURED ETSY SHOP - SILJA'S GIFT SHOP

Felt Cow - SUSSU

Silja of SILJA'S Gift Shop has a huge variety of items to peak your interest....bracelets, earrings, art cards, felted animals and dolls, and much more! Be sure to pay her shop a visit! After reading her interview below, you'll see that Silja also has a sense of humor!


What led you to start creating your art/craft?

I bought a pencil and I can't stand stuff just laying around, so I had to use it. Same goes for the lamb wool and the felting needle.


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


I like oil colors the most. It is like paste, you can poke it with your brush until it gets into the shape or color you want it to be and it can take 2 days if you want to, because it dries so slowly. Oil is the perfect medium for people who are slow.



What aspect of creating your art/craft do you find the most enjoyable?
The middle part of creating, where you can do things freely. Making finishing touches drives me crazy! After that, getting compliments! It is easy for me, because I take EVERYTHING as a compliment. If you say you hate my work, I only hear "I think about your stuff and it makes me feeeeeeel something, mushy mushy".

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

Chernobyl pumpkin. It's illuminating! Not really! I just had to say that. I am not conceited. Maybe a potato. It is dirty, but people love it! No, no. That is not it either. Berries? Corn? Hmm...would love some corn now...Will check if we have some...

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

Clay! Not polymer clay, but real clay. I would love to learn how to do clay pipes and maybe some clay dolls too. And then bury them and see if someone finds them in 2000 years and what would they say? But it is not easy to live for 2000 years to see it myself, so I think I will not execute this great plan. Maybe if I had some extra sandwiches though....

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

Traditional art to masses! That sounds awful, I know.

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?

Honesty means just random opinions from people who haven't got their morning coffee yet. Think for yourself! Nobody is right all the time anyway. So would you rather have someone else's bad idea or your own?

THANKS, Silja for your delightful interview, and for taking the time to share your many creations with everyone. To see more of Silja's work be sure to visit the links below. She has some fantastic paintings on her FLICKR site.




BLOG

FLICKR

DEVIANT ART

FEATURED ETSY SHOP - EFFULGENT CRAFTS by Elise

Heathered Pink Panta (knitted headband)

Let's welcome Elise and her Etsy shop EFFULGENT CRAFTS! With all the cold, snowy weather we've been having here in Wisconsin...I could use one of Elise's hand-knit headbands. EFFULGENT CRAFTS has a variety of handmade knitted scarves, hats, mittens, felted purses and more, so be sure to pay a visit!!

What led you to start creating your art/craft?

I have always liked "making things". Arts and crafts were always my favorite part of camp! However, a period of unemployment gave me the time and energy to really get back into creating, and helped me to learn that crafting is the perfect creative outlet for me.

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

For me, knitting is like meditating. I really enjoy the simple act of doing it. I also love the change to work with different colors and fibers. This keeps me from getting bored and gives me more freedom to experiment.

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

With knitting, I love the fact that at its base level, you start with some sticks and some string....and all of a sudden, you have a hat, or mittens!

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

A carrot. Bright and classic, but also versatile....with a bit of a crunch.

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

I wish I was musically inclined, but I'm really not. Although I do love living out my Rock and Roll fantasy playing "Rock Band" with my friends.

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

Hand knits are made with much more love than stuff you buy at the store.

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?

Do it because it's fun...not to make money.

THANKS, Elise for taking the time to share your thoughts and creations with everyone.



Tuesday, January 27, 2009

FEATURED ETSY SHOP - SHIMMERMEBLUE by MELISSA

Rustic Unachite Bracelet
by
Melissa

Welcome, Melissa of SHIMMERMEBLUE on Etsy. I was surprised to learn that Melissa and I live in the same area surrounding Milwaukee, WI. What a small world it is!

I'm happy to have Melissa here on DZFANTASY as a "featured jewelry artist", and hope you take the time to visit her shop SHIMMERMEBLUE. She has a wide selection of delightful jewelry! First, let's learn a little bit more about Melissa.

What led you to start creating your art/craft?

I actually started making jewelry out of the blue. I have always been a 'crafty' person, and started to see a lot of handmade jewelry. I thought 'I can do this!' I skimmed through several tutorials on different sites, watched a few You Tube videos and started buying beads.

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

I love the look of glass beads, but honestly it was the easiest thing to start out with! As I learn more, I will be making a lot of different things. It just all takes time and practice!

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

I would have to say, looking at the finished piece and the feeling that I accomplished something. This is especially true when I work on projects I've never done before and the finished piece turns out really good!

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

Hmmm, this is a really tough one! Maybe a plum because each one tastes a little different. That's kind of how I design my jewelry, a little different, but still the same in some ways. I don't stick to one specific style, color or pattern.

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

I really want to learn how to make handblown glass beads! I think the finished product is so amazing and I would love to be able to make my own beads for my jewelry.

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

If you are passionate in what you do, go for it! There's nothing better than being able to do what you love, even if you only do it as a hobby.

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?

Don't get discouraged if you are not successful and making tons of money right away! It all takes time, work and patience.

Thanks, Melissa for sharing your thoughts and jewelry with everyone. May you continue to enjoy creating, and may it bring joy to those who wear it!

To learn more about Melissa, and see more of her work, be sure to click on the links below.


SHIMMERMEBLUE BLOG

TWITTER

Monday, January 26, 2009

FEATURED ETSY SHOP - Pretty Cheap Jewelry

Simple Sophisticated FlipFlop Wood Pin...by Pretty Cheap Jewelry


Welcome, Nina and her Etsy shop PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY. Nina not only creates delightful jewelry at reasonable prices, but also cross stitched cards, journals and more, so be sure to pay her shop a visit. First, get to know Nina a bit better by reading her fun interview below.

What led you to start creating your art/craft?

When my full-time artist sister cleaned out a deceased friend's studio several years ago, I was sent a box of beads and supplies. Morbid? True! That was the start of the jewelry making phase. And let me advise everyone out there - don't start cross stitching!! You cannot stop!! Some years ago I stitched a pattern over a 3 or 4 month period during a cross country trip in our camper that says 'Give your children 2 strong things, One is roots, the other wings' with all these monarch butterflies and ivy. What was I thinking???? Of course, a sewing machine wedding gift was sweet too (were they trying to tell me something about saving money?). None of my totes, wallets or pillows are for sale on my website.

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

My husband is a rock hound (travels the earth in search of natural stone and fossils!) and would cringe at purchasing a stone. Since diamonds are still MY best friend, I followed him gathering stone and shells and whatever is shiny and pretty. But honestly, I have no qualms about buying stones. Otherwise, necessity being the mother of invention, says it all with respect to the other mediums I dabble in such as sewing, embroidery and pressing flowers. When my kids were really little I spent years 'making something from nothing' including puppets out of scraps, ships out of cardboard and string, and city streets out of big rolls of paper. Nowadays, I feel connected to the past, drying and pressing flowers for cards like my grandmother might have!! Being an environmentalist since 5th grade, I want to spread the word about California native plants (water-wise!) and use those from my yard to press and gather for the cards.

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

NATURE! RECYCLING! My biggest thrill seems to be finding the perfect use for that lonely something saved in my supplies. Look at the 'frame' on this necklace, it was picked up by my son on the beach. The remainder of the strand is recaptured from a piece I took apart.

Click on this link to see the necklace: NEUTRAL BUDDA NECKLACE

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

I am most certainly a vegetable! And probably a carrot because my things are classic in design, are sensible and affordable, and subtly sweet!

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

Soon, maybe even in 2009, I will venture into the realm of photography! Except I need a decent digital camera. My 1st generation Canon is on its last legs (er, last batteries). Back a mere 15-20 years ago in the 35mm SLR ages, when people developed and printed in a dark room, (!?) I gave my ole Nikon a workout for awhile. I love the technical yet creative aspect of photography. Although the Nikon is now gathering dust, I hear you can use the same lenses on a digital Nikon body! Birthday wishlist anyone?

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

Each item I make contains a blend of texture, material, color, shape. When these come together in harmony, voila! A small masterpiece. I hope people notice the design is atypical of usual commercial stuff. And the underlying clever angles in many of my things! Do you see the message in this (not just the quote)?

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=10895493

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?

Be true to yourself! Especially in pricing. Keep the critics at arm's length who may advise you to price higher or lower. Make what you love and not what will sell. That's easy for me to advise, being non-dependent on my craft income, absolutely not easy for full-time artists to follow.

Thanks, Nina for an enjoyable interview, and for taking the time to share your creativity with everyone! Click on the links below to find out more about Nina.



PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY ON SAVING ADVICE

FLICKR

PRETTY CHEAP JEWELRY MAILING LIST

Saturday, January 24, 2009

FEATURED ETSY SHOP - BABY MAKES THREE Designer Tutus for Little Ones

WHAT A PRECIOUS LITTLE MODEL!

Kristen of BABY MAKES THREE creates "designer tutus for little ones"! What sheer delight! You really must visit BABY MAKES THREE to see her delightful creations. I'm sure there are many mom's out there who would like to see their own little angels looking so magical in one of these colorful tutus!

What led you to start creating your art/craft

I had a beautiful baby girl who inspires me daily with fresh ideas for little princesses. I've always enjoyed creating, but she really gave me a focus. I saw lots of baby tutus for sale that just looked poorly made and designed. I wanted to create a beautiful and well-made product for my daughter...and all the teeny twirlers out there!

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

I decided to use yards and yards of fluffly tulle to create a full and soft look for my tutus.

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

I love seeing pictures of girls from all over the world wearing my tutus, and hearing feedback about their excitement when they opened up their packages! I also crave the design process, and love to come up with new ideas for every holiday and occasion.

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

Strawberries! Sweet, summery, and youthful.

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

I would like to open up a home decor shop...and am actually in the process of doing so. Why? I have too many ideas floating around that I would love to create! I am a craft-a-holic and love to get my hands in all kinds of mediums and assorted crafty endeavors.

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

That every little girl deserves a tutu! Everyone can be a princess for a day?

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?

Keep loving what you do and it will show in your work!

Kristen, thanks for sharing your thoughts and delightful, colorful tutus with everyone!

Friday, January 23, 2009

FEATURED ETSY SHOP - CLAY IT AGAIN

If you only had faith as a grain of mustard seed...
nothing shall be impossible to you." Matthew 17:20

I have always loved this saying from the Bible. I have a plaque with this same saying hanging in my studio. And every once in awhile I need to be reminded of those words. So I created a pendant with the same sentiment and a real mustard seed encased within the heart of the pendant.

Welcome, Cindi and her Etsy shop CLAY IT AGAIN. I love the idea of her mustard seed pendant above. In this troubled world of ours....we all need to remember to have faith! Be sure to visit CLAY IT AGAIN, to see Cindi's other wonderful creations.
What led you to start creating your art/craft?

My mother was my girl scout troop leader and so we were always doing some kind of craft or another...macaroni, tissue paper, ash trays for smokeless families... When that creativity is sparked in a child, it just follows with you, your whole life.

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

I discovered polymer clay when I ran out of wooden beads for some wire angels I was making for Christmas one year. I asked my (normally very generous) stepson if I could have some of his old junky modeling clay. I was shocked when he told me NO! So I sent my hubby and (and stepson) to the store to get me some beads. Hubby got the wooden beads; But my son picked out a sample pkg of polymer clay because he thought I needed clay. The clay sat around for a couple of months and then one day I saw Donna Kato on the Carol Duval show. And the rest, as they say, is history...I've had polymer in my veins ever since, and I blame my son for this addiction.. LOL

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

The most enjoyable part for me is when an idea pops into my mind, and I have to figure out the mechanics of how to put everything together to make a tangible product. To be honest, I get bored making the same thing over and over. And although I am very patient with tedious time consuming projects, it is a real challenge for me to make more than 6 of anything. When I do HAVE to make more than half a dozen of something, you will always see variations in the items.

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

I would choose grapes. They are can be sweet, juicy, sometimes sour, and they make you want to keep plucking off another one to enjoy!

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

I actually do switch off polymer occasionally to do landscape oil paintings. I can create a whole different place to go when I paint, but the whole time I am painting, my mind is racing with ideas of things I can make in clay. I have to keep a notepad with me to write down polymer ideas while I am painting.

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

I just want people to enjoy my creations, whether it is to look at, to touch, to wear, or simply to hold. If it brings someone happiness, I've done my job well.

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?

Practice, patience, and perserverance...Good things come to those who wait.

THANKS, Cindi, for sharing your thoughts, and creativity.

Cindi also has another talent....painting beautiful landscape scenes in oil! Be sure to also visit her other shop on Etsy...12 MIDNIGHT OILS.















CLAY IT AGAIN BLOG

Thursday, January 22, 2009

FEATURED ETSY SHOP - MNH Photography by Deon


I love the nature subjects of this photographer! If we take the time to stop and look closely, there are so many wonderful things to see in this world of ours!! Deon's work certainly captures these wonderful sights, that so many of us don't take the time to notice.

Let's welcome, Deon, and her beautiful photography. You can visit, Deon's shop to see more of her work at MNH Photography on Etsy. The links to her shop and blog will be below this interview.

What led you to start creating your art/craft?

I've always been a nature nut. So, photographing nature in all it's glory just fits. I love being out there with the birds and the animals, in the fresh air, enjoying their world, their way and then bringing it to others.

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

Honestly? I have zero ability to draw or paint or portray nature in any other way.

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

Being with nature, walking in the woods or old country roads. Seeing the world in a different way and portraying nature in all it's glory.

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

An apple. Crunchy and juicy, delicious and oh, so good for you!

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

Gee, I don't know. If I could paint, I would love to do that.

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

There is such beauty just outside our doors if we would only take the time to look. Whether its a majestic blue bird sitting on a branch, or a piece of ice stuck between two twigs, the world is absolutely stunningly beautiful. Open your eyes and you'll see it every time you walk outside.

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?

Don't give up. Get out there, let people know who you are and what you do. You're amazing, you just need to let other people know that too!

From one "nature nut" to another...Deon, I love your work! There is nothing more enchanting then getting in tune with nature! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and photography with everyone!

Be sure to visit MNH Photography by clicking on the links below.




BLOG

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

FEATURED ETSY SHOP - ROCCA DESIGNS

ARIZONA NECKLACE

WELCOME, Carolina and her Etsy shop, ROCCA DESIGNS. When you visit Carolina's shop you will find a delightful selection of earrings, bracelets and more...created with semi-precious stones. Be sure to stop by for a visit after learning a bit more about Carolina by reading her interview below.

What led you to start creating your art/craft?

I always loved creating. I come from a family of crafty people and I wanted to create jewelry that I would love to wear and could not find in stores.

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

I enjoy creating in all mediums. I sew, paint, and I learned how to knit. I like creating all sorts of things.

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

When something is complete, I feel very accomplished and I love to think about my items being enjoyed by their new owners.

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

I would choose cauliflower because it looks very rough on the outside, there are many different stems that spring from the one heart and the stems are individual and soft. Also I love its color because to me it symbolizes purity.

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

Sewing. I've always wanted to be a clothing designer and think clothing is one of the best ways to express individuality.

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

That we can all be creative, different. I create mostly for women and all my pieces are feminine, yet easy to wear.

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?

To have confidence in yourself and your products, and to take risks. You stop acting like an artist when you stick to only to what you know.

CAROLINA, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and creations with everyone!



Monday, January 19, 2009

WINNER'S CHOICE GIVEAWAY from DESIGNED by LUCINDA


I am happy to be hosting this fun "WINNER'S CHOICE" giveaway from DESIGNED BY LUCINDA on Etsy. As the prize, the winner will have the fun of picking out ONE item in Lucinda's shop with a value of $20.00 or less.

The two photos in this giveaway are an example of what you may want to choose as a prize! Don't miss out on this great giveaway.

The choices are too numerous to list here, so be sure to visit DESIGNED BY LUCINDA to see all the creations that you will be able to choose from...should you be the lucky winner.


START DATE: January 20, 2009

END DATE: February 20, 2009 - 12 MIDNIGHT - CDT

PRIZE: 1 - Winner's choice of any ONE item in Designed by Lucinda, with a value of $20.00 or less

OPEN: Worldwide

HOW TO ENTER:

1. Leave a comment in this post. It would also be fun to tell what item you would choose if you are the winner.

2. PLEASE BE SURE TO leave your email address in this post, or a link to your email address. WINNER will be contacted via email...so it is very important to leave a means of contacting you!!

3. I will randomly select a WINNER from all the entries received after the end of the giveaway. I will notify WINNER via email, with the request that they send me their complete shipping information.

WINNER will then have 5 days in which to respond to this email. If I do not hear from the WINNER within the given timeframe, I will randomly select another name from the remaining entries.

4. Once a WINNER has been confirmed, they will be contacted by DESIGNED BY LUCINDA so that they may choose their prize.

5. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at: dzfairies@msn.com




A big "thank you" to DESIGNED BY LUCINDA for having this fun giveaway!

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

FEATURED ETSY SHOP - SUNDOWN BEAD DESIGNS

Silent Waves - Blue Artisan Boro Lampwork,

Thai, and Sterling Silver Wire Wrapped Bracelet

by Shelby



Shelby of SUNDOWN BEAD DESIGNS on Etsy has some very exquisite jewelry designs. I love her use of lampwork beads with silver wire wrapping! It makes for some very original and beautiful creations!

Be sure to pay SUNDOWN BEAD DESIGNS a visit. First, let's learn a bit more about Shelby and how she became a jewelry artist.

What led you to start creating your art/craft?


I have alway been crafty, even when I was very young. I have dabbled in lots of different crafts. So this being said, when we were on vacation I wondered into a bead shop. Seeing all the strands of beads and supplies peaked my interest. I was very curious about how to bead. So, I purchased some magazines at that shop and purchase some supplies once I got back home. The rest is history. I started stringing exculsively, and gradually started experimenting with wire. Now I concentrate mostly on wirework projects. That's what I love.

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

While I enjoyed stringing, there were certain aspects of it that I did not like, such as finishing (crimping). I would leave projects unfinished because of the dreadful crimping. I preferred the look of wire jewelry. I really enjoy being able to create a wearable piece of art by manipulating and bending the wire.

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

For me, my craft is very theraputic. I craft mostly in the evening, after my children have gone to bed. Hence the name "Sundown." I can sit undisturbed, and either have quiet time or listen to my ipod, while I design a unique piece of jewelry. Of course, each new piece of jewelry is my fav, that is until I create a new piece.

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

Cherries, because I think a bowl of cherries is beautiful to look at, and they are yummy!

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

That's a hard question...I enjoy doing a lot of other crafting, but I would say that my next favorite craft would have to be knitting, because that is something that I am trying to learn now. And I have a scarf fettish...so now maybe I can make my own.

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

May it always be enjoyable. Occasionally I do get burned out when I am forced to turn out a lot of jewelry (when I'm getting ready for a show), so I take a break. But I always come back because for me, working with wire is just like curling up with a good book.

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?

Have fun and aim for the stars!!

Shelby, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and your wonderful creations with everyone! Your work certainly reflects that you "love" what you do!






BLOG


FLICKR


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Saturday, January 17, 2009

MYSTICAL, MAGICAL MERMAID!

My newest mermaid creation!

It must be the cold, long winter we are having in Wisconsin that has me thinking .....I wouldn't mind being a mermaid, living in a warm tropical sea!! Well, since that isn't possible, I've been making more mermaids lately, and this is my latest one!

I've just listed her out in my DZFANTASY shop on Etsy, and I am still running a 10% - 15% off sale through January 31, 2009, so you might want to visit her out there. CLICK on any of her photos to learn more about her.

Below are a few more photos of her.
She has real sea shells and Swarovski crystal accents in her hair, necklace, belly button, waist accent and on her fins.







She was a bit modest, so she is wearing flowers for her top, accented in the center with Swarovski crystals.

ART AND CRAFT SHOW LISTING RESOURCES...WHERE TO FIND SHOWS!


It is hard to believe, but it is already time to think once again about what art shows to enter for 2009! The applications are coming in, and it is time to make a decision of what shows are going to be the best ones to do this year!!

With show fees continually going up, and higher prices on gas, and slower sales....artists need to make selective choices on which shows they feel are going to work the best for them. I know I am.

I used to do about 14 shows a year, and over the past several years have cut down to doing only about 7. This year it may be even less.

Over the years, I have found it best to try different shows out for myself, instead of relying on what another artist or artists may say are good shows for them. What may be a good or not so good show for one type of artist, might work well for another.


If possible, it is usually a good idea to visit a show you are considering doing before actually applying for it. Get a "feel" for what is going on at the show....are there a lot of people attending, does it appear that people are buying, or just "looking", what is the quality of the art being exhibited, do the exhibitors look "happy"?


Below you will find contact information to find out about art/craft shows in Wisconsin and other areas of the USA.

You can search this directory for listings of Art/Craft shows in Wisconsin, by month. It will give you information on each show listed and also who to contact, etc.

Wisconsin Alliance of Artists and Crafters (WAAC)

WAAC has two great shows, which I've done for several years. One is their summer show in Madison, WI, and the other is their Winter Show in Madison. Click on the link above to learn moe about this organization and their shows.

Photo of WAAC Winter Show (before it opened) at the

Monona Terrace Convention Center 2008

Below are other links or contact information for shows in areas surrounding Wisconsin.

Illinois Arts Council
James R. Thompson Center100 W. Randolph, Suite 10-500Chicago, IL 60601312-814-6750 info@arts.state.il.us
No charge.


Indiana Division of TourismOne N. Capitol, Suite 700Indianapolis, IN 462041-888-ENJOY-IN
No charge (Festival and Events Guide).


Iowa Division of TourismDepartment of Economic Development200 E. Grand AvenueDes Moines, IA 503091-888-472-6035
No charge (Calendar of Events).


Michigan.org

Fairs and Festivals can be found on the Michigan.org website.


Midwest Art Fairs

PO Box 72Pepin, WI 547591-800-871-0813info@midwestartfairs.com
$15.95/yr., published in February and August.

There are also other ART/CRAFT Show Resource listings out on the web where you can search using different criteria to find listings by state, mediums (Fine Art, Crafts, Country Crafts, Photography, and more). Some of these sites give you basic listing information for free others charge a subscription rate, etc.

ART AND CRAFT SHOWS

On this site you can search for listings by STATE, then Month, Day, Year and categories: Fine Art, Fine Crafts, Country Crafts, Prints, Lithographs and more

SMART FROGS

This site covers Northeast states and provides links to resources for other states. They also have Tips and Tricks articles, Rate a Show, List a Show, and other links. A 1 year subscription is $40.00

SUNSHINE ARTIST

$34.95 yr. subscription

CRAFTMASTER NEWS

This site says it covers events in 17 Western states. It has a $48.95/yr. subscription rate.

EXTRAVAGANZA CRAFT PRODUCTIONS

This site is a new one I just found, and for a $12.00 yearly email subscription, you get all sorts of information relating to show listings, and more. Might be worth checking it out.

I will be posting more art and craft show resource links here, as I find them. If anyone has some good ones, be sure to leave them here in a comment!

Friday, January 16, 2009

FEATURED ETSY SHOP - COCO'S JEWELRY

LIGHT MY FIRE
by Coco

What a stunning necklace....! Anyone wearing this very creative necklace would be sure to get a lot of compliments!

Let's welcome Coco and her COCO'S JEWELRY shop on Etsy.

Congratulations are also in order for Coco, as she informed me that she has been contacted to be on the Martha Stewart Show!! Now that is a real compliment to her and her creations.

Be sure to visit COCO'S JEWELRY as she has some gorgeous creations in there....necklace and earring sets, bracelets, and my favorites macrame necklaces, and much more!

What led you to start creating your art/craft?

I grew up in a very ‘artistic’ environment. My father was a well known artist and the house always smelled of turpentine and linseed oil! Words like ‘color’, ‘composition’ ‘design’ etc. were part of our everyday vocabulary. But even in this environment, I never considered myself to have any talent for anything. Then, a few years ago I ran into an old college friend of mine and found out that she was working with fiber and macramé. Although she did large commissioned hangings etc, she showed me some of the jewelry she had made with thread. I was hooked. She was kind enough to teach me this technique. Since then I have been enjoying this craft (sometimes I think of it as art). The second part of this creative process is equally important to me. I do work with other materials besides thread and glass beads. This is what I would call ‘mainstream’ jewelry. I love gemstones, wood and resin beads and the colour and textures of all these materials combined. I offer both these styles in my shop. I would love to use different types of beads, other than just glass in the macramé styles. Unfortunately, I am restricted in this area because of the size of drilled holes in most of these beads, especially gemstones. I am fascinated with lamp work (flame worked) beads. I took a course on flame working last year, but I am still not good enough to use my own beads in my work. These would lend themselves extremely well to macramé knotting.

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

I didn’t ‘decide’ on the medium. The medium came to me quite by chance as explained above.

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

It’s the design aspect. You see some beautiful beads, all in different shapes and sizes, and think about what you can do with them, and slowly, a design is born. The rest is just execution. The technique of knotting in macramé is not difficult. There are only a few knots that are involved, so the execution may not be hard, but it is definitely time consuming. It is the design concept that takes me the longest time.

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

It has to be the Alphanso mango, the king of all fruit. The smell and color of a ripened mango in full season can be maddening! The color is so rich and lush and warm. My jewelry is also full of these rich and luscious colors. Visually and tactically beautiful.

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

I would like to work with textiles some day. I love the idea of creating designs, with paint or block printing on fabric.

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

To think outside the box. To bring new life to ‘old’ traditional materials and make them beautiful again.

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?

Get good at what you love to do. Enjoy the process of learning and creating. I am constantly striving to improve. Having a shop on Etsy brings about the need to excel in other areas too, like photography, marketing etc. I have much to learn in these departments.

GREAT WORK, GREAT INTERVIEW! Thanks, Coco, for taking the time to share your thoughts and creativity with us!

HAVE YOU HAD AN "EARTH ANGEL" IN YOUR LIFE...? UPDATED...WITH NEW STORIES!

JANUARY'S "EARTH ANGEL"

STORIES GIVEAWAY
Since more stories have been added to this special giveaway, I'm bumping it up to today, so more people may find it and enjoy reading the stories. Also, there is still time to turn in your "earth angel" story

For the month of JANUARY, 2009, I'm looking for people who are willing to share a story or experience about someone in their lives who has been or still is an "earth angel" to them. It can be someone whom you feel has either helped you or someone else in some "small or large" way. It could be a family member, a friend, a stranger, or perhaps even a pet who has been an "earth angel" to you at some point in your life. I know I have had many of them and still do.

There is so much negativity in the world today, that I think it would be very rewarding for people to take the time to think of someone who has had a "positive" impact on their lives, and to share it with other people.

For those people who are willing to send me a paragraph of "at least 25 words, or more" stating who they consider to be an "earth angel" in their life, and why, their name will be entered into a random drawing for a custom designed "angel" OR "fairy" in their choice of colors and style. The winner will be contacted by email, so please be sure to leave me a means of getting a hold of you. SCROLL DOWN for more information on how to enter.


By taking the time to participate, you will not only have a chance to help design your own "special angel or fairy", but you will be leaving a bit of positive energy out here for all to read!

I will be running this contest starting today, and for the full month of January. It will end on January 31, 2009, 12:oo Midnight.



TO ENTER THIS CONTEST YOU MUST:

EITHER LEAVE A "25 WORD OR MORE" COMMENT RIGHT HERE IN THIS POST,

OR SEND YOUR COMMENT TO ME AT:

dzfairies@msn.com with "JANUARY EARTH ANGEL" in the subject line.

I will post any entries sent to me, via email, out here in this JANUARY EARTH ANGEL post using first names only.

PLEASE NOTE: To be a VALID ENTRY, you must at least tell "who and why" you consider the person OR pet to be an "earth angel" to you.


THIS CONTEST IS OPEN: WORLDWIDE


Let's see how many positive stories we can get to read!! If you have ANY questions about this contest, please feel free to contact me at the email listed above.


Below are photos of several of the styles/designs of my angels or fairies that the winner will be able to choose from. NOTE: These photos are just examples. Winner will be able to select style and also choose fabric color, yarn for hair, and face color, etc.


3.5" High Sitting Butterfly Fairy

Above: 9" Wall Style Fairy (designed to hang on the wall or dance from a bit of ribbon)



6.5" Wall Style Fairy (This size fairy or angel is fun to hang from a bit of ribbon)


6.5" Wall Style Angel (note the angel wings vs the fairy wings in the one above)



4.5" High Sitting Angel

THE WINNER OF DZFANTASY'S "FROSTY FAIRY" GIVEAWAY IS.........


CHRISTINA
of
California!
CONGRATULATIONS, CHRISTINA!
Christina's entry of December 15, 2008, was randomly selected out of the 102 entries I received for this giveaway.

FROSTY will be flying out to Christina within the next day or two!

THANK YOU ALL for your lovely comments, and for taking the time to enter this giveaway. If you haven't already, be sure to enter the other lovely giveaways being held here at DZFANTASY. All my giveaways are always posted on the right hand column, under the heading DZFANTASY GIVEAWAYS. New ones are always being added so do stop back!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

GET UP "CLOSE AND STEADY" WITH THIS FUN LITTLE TRIPOD!!

If you need or want to take a lot of "close-up" photos...this little tripod, which I discovered about a week ago on Ebay, is the way to go !

I just love the flexibility of it! I paid $9.95 + shipping on Ebay. There are quite a few listed out there, with different price ranges, so if you take a look out there don't pay too much!

It is a Mini Ball Leg Tripod for digital cameras. My camera is a Canon Powershot 2000 IS, but it is also designed for use with other small digital cameras.... Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, and more. The ads say it works with any digital camera weighing up to 275 grams.


The three very flexible legs, which are made up of 9 black/white, hard plastic balls each, with sockets and joints, having a rotational range of 360 degrees, allows you to position it in every way imaginable. With the legs standing straight up, it measures 6.5" tall


I can now take great photos of my fiber sculptures, and tiny fairy face pins, without having to try and keep my hand steady!! What a joy!





In the last photo above, I just could resist "scrunching" it all up to show you how flexible it is!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

FEATURED ETSY SHOP - WILD WOMAN JEWELRY BY KARON DEAN


Leap...“Courage is not the absence of fear; it is acting in spite of fear.”

I really love the colors in the gorgeous bracelet above, which is designed by Karon of WILD WOMAN JEWELRY on Etsy. It reminds me of the colors of the sea!

Karon has a wide selection of colorful, whimsical jewelry, contemporary styles, and so much more.

You really must take a peek at her shop. As I was looking through WILD WOMAN JEWELRY I came upon these delightful earrings. How fun are they!


Mad Hatter's Tea Party MAD HAT Earrings Inspired by Alice in Wonderland


What led you to start creating your art/craft?


I’ve always been a creator of things, loved the idea of making something from nothing. This has taken many forms - photography, interior decor, gardening, needlework, knitting, crafty things....a few years ago a friend showed me how to make earrings and I fell immediately in love with the process and the beads. Oh, the beads! All shapes and colors and moods...I love them.


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


It picked me!

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

I totally enjoy the process of creation itself... the idea, the bringing to form of that idea, often connected with words- a quote or a story, and then the color. I am totally inspired by color.

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 fruit because I love bright bold colors with punch!

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

At the moment, it would be photography. I love playing with light, finding that ‘ sweet spot’ photograph that tells the story I want to share.

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

There are many...and they are mostly for me, but I love it if someone else feels them too. Life is good, have fun and enjoy it, dare to be yourself, hear your own voice, take chances...

What advice do you have for other artists/crafters?

GO FOR IT!!!!

KARON, your work is truly enchanting! Thanks for taking the time to be a featured artist out here on DZFANTASY.

You can learn more about Karon and her work by visiting her shop WILD WOMAN JEWELRY....!