Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Latest Featured Artist


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This artisan goes by the name Sandi.  I met Sandi a few months ago on the Handmade Artists Forum Chat.  Anyone can come by and sit for a spell and talk with us all, however, I belong to this amazing community of handmade artists.  I am so happy about that.  Especially meeting Sandi.  She is a wonderful artist creating amazing baby booties and I do mean "boot"ies as shown below.



This is just one of many, there are so many variations, you won't believe the selection, but hey that is not all, take a further look.




This amazing bear was also made by Sandi.  Ok, let me just show you some more so that you get the idea that you really, really need to get to her shop at IKnitQuiltSew

 Sunny Yellow Warm Headband for Ladies with a flower






                                                This adorable head band for your baby.


Ok, enough of a taste, you just have to go the her shop to find the rest and trust me there is SOOOOOO much more.

And if this is not enough.  This lady is also kind, caring and very very helpful.  She has been such a blessing to me since I joined the Handmade Artists site.  She gives solid advice and I have never gone wrong when taking the advice of this magnificent artist.  Come by, take a look and please do spend a little time, do some Christmas shopping.

In this shop and in every shop on this site you will find nothing but handcrafted items.  Yeah, FOR REAL.  There are only handmade items in these shops.

You can also follow Sandi here
Facebook

Have a look around, don't be shy.

Have a great day!!!



Saturday, September 29, 2012

10 Day You Challenge

Ok, I think I will just have a little fun.  The title says it all.  Blog Love Therapy has issued a challenge called "Ten Day You Challenge" So here goes, the first installment is to list 10 secrets.  I am not at all sure that I want this to be public knowledge but oh well, it's just info right.

My 10 Secrets

1.  I am very very shy.That's why facebook and chats are a godsend for me.
2.  I love to write (though not necessarily good at it).
3.  I am a loner. It does not bother me to be alone for days and days at a time. Though I would miss my grandson
4.  I love to cook. Most of my best dishes don't have recipes.
5.  I am a bead hoarder.  (shhhh, I am supposed to be selling these things)
6.  I love to crochet but scared to death of a knitting needle.
7.  Until recently I almost ALWAYS wore black.
8.  I love to read, especially about Vampires.
9.  I adore shoes, but I hate wearing them..
10. I am not a quitter.  I keep trying until I either get it or someone forces me to stop.

Ok there, I'm done.

Let's see your secrets.

Have a great day.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Finding Inspiration

Do you ever wonder where inspiration comes from?  I did, I do, I still do. I'm feeling a bit philosophical tonight so please bear with me while I ramble.

 I look at photos of all kinds.  I have posts from people all over the world on my Facebook page, I watch tutorial videos, look at magazines, crafting books of all kinds.  I even look at the backgrounds of the photos that I take of my grandson when he is playing around outside, at the park, the beach or wherever. I even have one bead company that occasionally posts a photo on my Facebook specifically for the purpose of inspiration and ask "what does this photo inspire you to do".

Even with all that I see and choose to see more of, it does not seem that any inspiration comes from this.  Inspiration, where does it come from?

Truth is I really don't know.  I am sure that the geniuses of the world who delve specifically into how our brain works would say that somehow the images of the things that I see lodge themselves into my overworked, sleep deprived, aged brain and come out in the creations that I make.  Maybe! Maybe Not! I am far from a genius so who am I to say?

What I can say is what I believe.  I believe that inspiration springs from our heart.  Of course, our mind plays a huge part in it, sure it does.  But the actual inspiration, no that comes from something stronger than our mind.  For instance.  I created a bracelet a while back using twin beads and a circular stitch that I learned from a free video tutorial from Beadaholique.  I had so many people compliment me on the bracelet when I wore it and many asked me to make them one.  Well I am in the business to sell jewelry, so for very close friends, yes, I may make them one for a gift.  After all, having folks wearing your art will sell more art, right?  Yeah, I think so too.  Anyway, I digress.  First I emailed the company and asked them if I could sell this particular bracelet that I was making.  The answer was a resounding "NO".  So okay, I asked and was answered.  But still.  The video was free, and the knowledge of the stitch is now my own, once it goes into my brain, I am the owner (according to some copyright attorneys I consulted).  Anyway, I did not want to do anything that would cause anyone any issues so I don't sell that particular bracelet.  But I kept thinking about it. It was just festering in my brain.  Then one night or should I say morning after going to sleep, I had a dream.  Some would call it a vision, I call it an answer.  In this dream, I saw exactly how to create this bracelet right down to the additional beads to use, where to put them, what to take away and everything.  The next day I created the new bracelet.  Now it can only be called my own as far as I can tell.  Here is a photo of the bracelet in the vision. Not a great photo but you can sort of get the idea.

Here is the photo of the bracelet that I will not sell.

Because of the different colors used and of course the bad photographer (me) it is difficult to tell the stitch is the same, however, completely different bracelets.  The top is from my dream, the bottom is from the tutorial only with different colors.

One came from a learning experience and the other from "inspiration".  That inspiration came from somewhere within me or was put in me from who knows.

Another instance of inspiration from where I have no clue is this.  I had made some beads from polymer clay over a year ago, a couple of them were just scraps that I rolled up into balls, baked and coated for just a slight shine, the other were shapes of leaves that I had created.  Mind you these were some of the very first polymer clay beads that I had attempted.

I pulled them out of the bin and laid them on my desk where I create and placed them "front and center".  Well over a month has gone by and they have been moved to the side, back to the front, to the back, piled into a pile of other things, covered up with other stuff and it would seem just generally forgotten.  Not so.

Tonight, I was sitting at my desk, reviewing my facebook and my forum on Handmade Artists Forum and playing "words with friends" with my cousin.  Suddenly the beads were in my hands and I was making earrings.  Two pair of earrings.  The photos are below.  Now you tell me where did this come from.  I am still scratching my head on this one.  I had not given them a thought and suddenly I am going through my findings and crystals and this is what I ended up with.

                        

So tell me if you can, where does inspiration come from? What is its form? How do we tap into it intentionally?

I await your responses.

Be sure to stop by my shop at Bead Thing.

You can also follow me on twitter and facebook if you like, just click below.  Take a moment and join my blog for more on this topic and many others.

Facebook
Twitter

Have a Blessed day!!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

I KNOW RIGHT - 3RD POST TODAY

Actually, this is a repost for a friend of mine.  This was something I read on her blog at TamsJewelry.  I happened to be at her blog because she had posted a quick blog to encourage others who read her blog to visit my shop at Handmade Artists.  She was also encouraging folks to visit another artist shop The Alchemists Vessel.  So you be sure that you do that OK.

BUT FIRST

Read the following post that everyone needs to see and be reminded of.  I live in the Daytona Beach, FL area, so this post truly hits home in this area.  We have two events every year for bikers and I am sure that at some point or another this beautiful artisan has been in our area.  We lose bikers every year because some (please excuse) dumbass, just simply believes that they have more rights to the highway than the bikers do.

Have I ever cut a biker off.  Yes I did and I was soooooo sorry, it was my fault and it made him mad but I apologized and went straight to the body shop and had my side view mirror replaced which had been knocked off my car.  Sometimes you just can't see the bikers without turning around.  Right, SO TURN AROUND.

OK, enough fussing. Please read and please remind others that we all have to share the road and some are smaller than others. Guess what they are not paying $60 to $100 to fill up now are they.  So whose the smarter.


THE BIKER

I saw you, hug your purse closer to you in the grocery store line. But, you didn't see me, put an extra $10.00 in the collection plate last Sunday. I saw you, pull your child closer when we passed each other on the sidewalk. But, you didn't see me, playing Santa at the local mall. I saw you, change your mind about going into the restaurant. But, you didn't see me, attending a meeting to raise more money for the hurricane relief. I saw you, roll up your window and shake your head when I rode by. But, you didn't see me, riding behind you when you flicked your cigarette butt out the car window. I saw you, frown at me when I smiled at your children. But, you didn't see me, when I took time off from work to run toys to the homeless. I saw you, stare at my long hair. But, you didn't see me, and my friends cut ten inches off for Locks of Love. I saw you, roll your eyes at our leather jackets and gloves. But, you didn't see me, and my brothers donate our old ones to those that had none. I saw you, look in fright at my tattoos. But, you didn't see me, cry as my children were born and have their name written over and in my heart. I saw you, change lanes while rushing off to go somewhere. But, you didn't see me, going home to be with my family. I saw you, complain about how loud and noisy our bikes can be. But, you didn't see me, when you were changing the CD and drifted into my lane. I saw you, yelling at your kids in the car. But, you didn't see me, pat my child's hands, knowing he was safe behind me. I saw you, reading the newspaper or map as you drove down the road. But, you didn't see me, squeeze my wife's leg when she told me to take the next turn. I saw you, race down the road in the rain. But, you didn't see me, get soaked to the skin so my son could have the car to go on his date. I saw you, run the yellow light just to save a few minutes of time. But, you didn't see me, trying to turn right. I saw you, cut me off because you needed to be in the lane I was in. But, you didn't see me, leave the road. I saw you, waiting impatiently for my friends to pass. But, you didn't see me. I wasn't there. I saw you, go home to your family. But, you didn't see me. Because, I died that day you cut me off. I was just a biker. A person with friends and a family. But, you didn't see me. Re-post this around in hopes that people will understand the biker community. If you don't re-post this, It sucks to be you. I hope you never loose someone that rides. EVEN IF YOU DON'T LIKE US, RESPECT OUR RIGHTS TO RIDE WHAT WE CHOOSE AND TAKE A FEW EXTRA SECONDS TO BE SURE WE'RE NOT IN 'YOUR' WAY - LIVE TO RIDE . . . . RIDE TO LIVE.

New Featured Artists on Handmade Artists

This week featured artisan for Handmade Artists is TheAlchemistsVessel. This artisan is a wonderfully eclectic creator and designer of beautiful jewelry. She uses unusual pieces and the finished product is for me just "WOW". I love to check on her shop regularly to see what else is new.

Alix is a self-taught artisan who uses her love of nature and the outdoors to inspire her creations. As with many artisans, the freedom to create shows in her work. Alix uses natural gemstones and high quality glass pieces and findings in her work. Her work is created with a love and a passion that comes through in each piece.

Here are a few of the pieces that I have chosen. Please do visit her shop and take a look at all her work.


This is a beautiful Egyptian style necklace which Alix has redesigned  using salvaged parts.  She has polished this and brought it to a beautiful shine.  Take a closer look at this piece on her shop at Handmade Artists

This lovely watch was created using handcrafted silver plated jump rings and sapphire Czech silver-lined glass beads.  Alix has not only handcrafted her own jump rings she has beaded each one and connected the in the Full Persian chainmaille weave and used a 'clever clasp' which is magnetic and provides a secure hold for this beautiful piece.






From the Bridal Path section of her shop, are these beautiful Pink Glass Pearl earrings with a herringbone pattern twist.  This creates a very feminine look with these graduated sized pearls. 

Be sure to check out her shop at 



You can also follow Alix at the following locations
Etsy Shops
Facebook
Blogger






Featured Artisan

As a member of "bloggers unite' albeit a member that is a bit behind, let me just say. This artisan is unique, her things are absolutely gorgeous and I for one love to look and look and look. Why don't you?







This weeks Featured Artisan is Regina Plummer McDonald, better known as Gina, owner and designer at Chrysalis Designs by RM. Gina has beautiful creations and are all true works of art! You can find Chrysalis Designs on:





Website

Etsy

Artfire

Twitter

Facebook



Grab the Code for your Blog HERE



Are you On Fire for Handmade? http://onfireforhandmade.com

Friday, September 14, 2012

Rasmussens Gems & Jewelry

I would like to feature an artist from our Handmade Artists Shops.  This artist is John Atwell Rasmussen of Rasmussen Gems.  This gentleman and I do mean gentleman is well known among most of the artists who list here on Handmade Artists.  He is an active participant in the forum and always has an encouraging word for each of us.  He offers us valuable critiques, support and suggestions to be better artists as well as have better shops.

After receiving his education in Geology at Renesselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY John taught geology for about 10 years.  At that time he decided to move into a different direction in his life as we all do from time to time. John decided to work in medicine and retired from emergency services and returned to his first love, ROCKS!  He has also studied at the International Gem Society as well as Gemological Institute of America.

John and his wife Debra make amazing jewelry.  John is the lapidary and jewelry for his shop and his wife Debra who is a designer by trade having a career in designing decorative swags and more for home decor, now spends her time designing all the beaded jewelry for the shop.

Here are a few of my very favorite pieces.  Do make sure that you stop by Rasmussen Gems & Jewelry, LLC and have a look for yourself at all the beautiful work of these amazing artists.


A beautiful Picture Stone 


Lovely Quartz Pendant





Beautifully handcrafted by Debra

And last but by no means least is one of my very favorites a handcrafted wire pendant in copper by John.



DON'T FORGET TO STOP BY THE SHOP AND HAVE A LOOK SEE!!!!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Getting Out There

I want to talk a little bit about "Getting Out There".  This is about putting yourself out in the public view along with your craft, artwork, jewelry, whatever it is that you do.  This is not easy to do and for some, like me it is nearly impossible.  BUT, it can be done, I did.  For some of us it is really scary to put yourself out there with your work and nervously wait to see what people think of it.  This is especially true for me.  You see I have been creating jewelry for almost 3 years now.  I have given many pieces as gifts or just to give it away so that others might wear it and then even more people would see and say "hey, that is nice, where did you get it".  This has not happened for me, my friends accept the gifts and say "ooohh, how nice" yet I never see them wear it, but I do see them wear things they purchase from say, Target or some yard sale they visited.  So what happens is that you begin to wonder, "is my work any good", "why don't people like my work".  I have even stopped making jewelry for a time, thinking that "ok, it's just not going to be my thing" even though I love making jewelry and can't seem to stop doing it.  I always come back to it. 

WELL, yesterday, I vowed that I would make sure that I would attempt to engage everyone who came by in conversation. I would not care whether they liked what I displayed or not.  I like what I create and I know that there are others who will as well.  Some just said 'Hi" and kept walking.  That was ok. Some stopped to look and that gave me the opportunity to talk about whatever piece they were looking at which at times led to further conversation and sometimes not, but that was okay too.

Sharing the table with me was the scrapbooking instructor, which helped me because it gave me someone to chat with when there was no one around.  This helped me tremendously when people did stop by. Why?  Because I was already in a fairly animated discussion and it was easy to just turn it to the people who stopped by.

As a result, I signed up 2 people to 3 different classes and met some people that I would never have met, for instance.  I did not know after having lived in this area for 20 years that there is a gem and mineral society here locally that meets every month.  Now I know and I will get involved because they have classes in lapidary work and wrapping specific types of stones and even have a connection to another group that teaches glass work.  I am so going to love learning to create lampwork beads.  Plus I found out that if you take their classes, you get to use their machines for any work you may want to do.  Of course, it is limited as they are using them for their own work.  But this lady, Karen was sooooo friendly and I was so happy to meet her. 

Now I know that had I not "got out there", I would never have found out about the gem and mineral society or the glass work or that I could learn to create lampwork beads, which is something that I have always wanted to learn. 

So the moral to this story is that no matter what holds us back, we must find a way to put it aside for short periods of time to get through "a thing" and then we see that we really can and it becomes easier every time that you do it. I even had one lady who asked if I knew anything about knitting.  I told her that I did not, but I would try to help her as the stitches are similar to crochet.  I am thinking to myself, probably not, but it will keep her at the table.  So she went off to pick up a couple knitting needles and some yarn to show me where she was stuck, came back and I and the scrapbooking lady who used to knit some 30 years ago tried to help her.  Finally, I told her if she was just interested in creating afghans and other things like that, and was having a hard time trying to figure out how to handle the two needles, why not just try crochet.  I explained the difference to her and off she goes to pick up a crochet hook, comes back and very quickly I demonstrated several stitches to her and she is like "WOW" that is so much easier.  She purchases the crochet hook, the yarn and a couple pattern books.  I explained the terminology to her and told her to check back with the store as they may start having crochet classes again and if so, then I might be that instructor as well.  This ended so well for me.  She not only was grateful for the tiny crochet lesson, but she said, "I'm would like to learn to make jewelry too."  So she signed up for two classes.  Yay me.

Because I made myself "get out there" yesterday, I now know that I will not have any problems teaching my classes, which I was a bit hesitate about.  I create but was not sure that I would be able to teach.

I have to tell you "getting out there" is the best thing one can do for your art. But more than that "getting out there" is the best thing you can do for yourself.  It gives you an outlet for your thoughts, gives you ability to inspire or become inspired and realize that it is OK to be who you are.  We all have things about us we are not completely satisfied with, but yesterday taught me one thing.  There is nothing about me that I can't change if I want to but also that there is nothing about me that I want to change.  Except maybe lose a few pounds. LOL.

If you can't get out there yourself, how will anyone ever know about your art or you and what a wonderful person and artist you are?

Thanks for reading.





Sunday, September 2, 2012

Handmade Artists Forum

Here we go folks, this is one you don't want to miss out on.  If you like friendly people, talented people, diversity of products, last but absolutely not least, generous people, then you will love the Handmade Artists Forum.  This forum was started several years ago by Andrew and Kimberly Kitchen as a way for handmade artists to meet, discuss and promote handcrafted products.  This forum evolved a couple of years ago into not only the forum but also Handmade Artists Shops, where there are over 400 handcrafting artists who have set up shop here.  The cost to the artists is only $5 per month, there are no other fees and the site owners, Andrew and Kimberly who are artists themselves, spend limitless hours promote all the shops on the site.  They take every avenue possible to promote the work of the artists on the shop.

The only criteria for becoming a member here is that your product is HANDMADE.  There is no commercial or reselling allowed here.  The site owners are dedicated to handcrafted promotion.  This means that we don't lost in the shuffle as on some of the larger venues where 'anything goes'.

The forum is a place where we have discussions on everything from our products, what we are up to that day to 'oh my, what a headache I have today'.  We have contests with each other that ultimately are promotions for everyone.  It is not about the winning, it is about promoting your fellow artisans which also results in the promotion of your own shop.

Bottom line here is that this is a place where we know that our successes and our issues are acknowledged.  Our successes are promoted everywhere possible and our issues are addressed.  We either receive advice on how to fix our issues or if it is a problem we are having with getting our shops up and running, then we get advice from Josey, the web developer or the site owner who are always available and participating in the forum and the chat.

I am honored to be a member of the Handmade Artists Shops as well a regular participant in the Handmade Artists Forum.

Come on along, bring your handmade creations and join us. You will be pleasantly surprised at the feeling of being at home here.

See you soon!!!!