Thursday, June 26, 2014

Featuring A Dynamic Duo

This feature is about two people who are absolutely unstoppable.  I am not sure they even take a minute to breathe.  Well of course they do, but you catch my drift.  Very busy and extraordinarily talented in many areas.  Yes and I am talking about Larissa and her husband, Eric. 

As Larissa says in her profile, she sees herself as "a lawyer, teacher, face painter, artist, photographer, sewer, knitter, baker, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend and pet owner".  Whew that is a lot. Plus, they are now beekeepers.  Imagine that.  Oh and she forgot one.  She also gardens, grows her own veggies and stuff.  Takes my breath.

Larissa created amazing hives for her bees, hand painted with Winnie the Pooh characters and fish and it was awesome.  I am sure her bees just love their home. 

Her husband Eric, loves to cook, smoke and grill and has developed his very own sauces which he just bottled for sale and shipment and on his way home from bottling, sold many cases out of his car.  God has truly blessed this couple and now you will see first hand the results of all those blessings.  Just take a look and then I will tell you all the places you can find them.

These beautiful cards show off some stunning roses that she photographed in New Jersey and in the Bronx.  I just want to put them to my nose to take a sniff.

Below you will see a design entirely Larissa's own.  You will not find this anywhere else in the world.  She started out making one of these for her nephew, I believe for a gift and as she progressed she showed her work to many artists at Handmade Artists Forum in our "What are You Doing Today" feed.  Isn't it amazing.

Oh, I also forgot to tell you, Larissa is an actress.  The photo below is based on her character "Flossie" in a theatre production of "Cinderella Confidential".  She also made each one of the cast members a "Flossie the Cow" as keepsakes.  She also created a lot of the costumes for that production. 

Now lets move on.

And here we have her hand knitted wash cloths.  Yep, scarves, mittens, washcloths, you name it, she does it.

Here we have some of her other talents.  She makes candles, soap, insect repellents to name a few.

 Fudge Chunk Soap
Shaving Oil

Lip Balm

 Insect repellent

Moving On again.

Face Painting. Isn't this amazing? 
Wild Animals


Domestic Animals

So as you can see, Larissa can do it all and Eric, he pretty much does it all too, here is his sauce.

So there you have it, or at least a synopsis of the awesomeness of this amazing couple.  I don't know about you but I am totally envious of this talent even though I would never try to do all these things, why try when I can just make a few clicks and have it shipped to my door.

Oh and here is just a glimpse at the beehive.  She is a fantastic artist, all of this is freehand and yes, we can show it and she can use it because it is not an item that is for sale, so there is no infringement on any one's rights. At least I hope not.

Now for my earlier promise, here is where you can find them.

So there.  There is no excuse.  Let's go shopping.

Have a blessed day


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Last But Not Least - Handmade Artists Shops

For my third and final post for this particular feature, we have the Handmade Artists Shops.  There are hundreds of shops here and you can find anything your little heart desires.  It is great for shoppers as they can browse at their leisure and find just the right item, and if they have questions, they can email directly to the creator.  Also, shoppers will not find any reselling on this site, it is all handmade always.

The creators of this site, Andrew and Kimberly Kitchen are some of the greatest handmade artists that I have had the pleasure of doing business with and they are always on top of issues and questions that any of the shop owners may have.  They listen to our suggestions and if the suggestions are something they believe would benefit the site as a whole and all the other shop owners, they give it serious consideration.

The mission of the site is to showcase handmade and show the world that buying handmade may cost you just a bit more, but hey, you get a piece of art that has been created from the heart and inspiration of a human being, it will not come from some machine somewhere.  We have shop owners from almost everywhere, but all are dedicated to their craft.

To take just a piece of their mission statement to show you what the site is all about please read the following excerpt.

Our primary mission for the Handmade Artists' Shop is to support handmade. There are so many mass produced items out there that it often feels that the world has lost the respect for the small, independent merchant. It is so easy to go to one of those mega stores and get everything you want in one stop. Some of us think it’s better to take some time and create something with our hands and our imaginations. Our goal is when you visit The Handmade Artists' Shop you will feel the passion and understand that we truly love and support handmade.

So when you are looking around at all of the creations of all the artisans on the site, now you can better understand why we are there and what we all stand for.  HANDMADE IS BETTER.

Help support the small businesses of those who create art from the heart, support the local small businesses in your area, you won't be helping some person you will never meet to get another home as I have seen written many times before, you will be helping a mother and father put food on the table for their children, put clothes on their backs and perhaps if we are loyal to them, they might be able to send their children to college.

Let's band together and support Handmade Artists.  Come visit the site, you won't regret it and I believe once you have tried it out, you will be back again and again.

Be blessed

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Other Half

Here we go, yes the other half of my previous post showing the awesomeness of Kimberly Kitchen.  Well now you get to see the half, Andrew Kitchen.  They are simply an amazing couple.

Andrew is the owner of Handmade Artists along with Kimberly.  This site was created in response to Kimberly and her desire for a place where handmade and the artists who create it could be showcased and uplifted like nowhere else. 

Andrew has a shop of his own and his amazing chainmaille takes the spotlight.  I for one don't do chainmaille even though the thought has cross my mind to try it, I have just decided to leave this to the handmade professionals like Andrew.  Take a look at a few of his pieces and you will clearly understand why I made this decision.

Here are Silver and Copper Dragonscale Earrings.
Amazing right? Yes, keep on looking.
All rings are hand coiled by Andrew.  

The Braided European 4 in 1 bracelet is a spectacular sight to see.  Andrew calls this a showstopper, I have to agree wholeheartedly.  I just can't imagine making all those rings by hand and then putting them together.  This is an amazing piece and weighs in at a bit over 3 ounces and is about 1 inch wide.  Intricate and spectacular are just not the right words, but right now that is all I can think of. 

That is a peek at Andrew's work as far as his handmade, but if you look around the shop and check in at the forums, you will find the true worth of Andrew.  This site began as a forum and it grew and grew until they revamped it into a site where any artist can show, sell or just come and talk about their work.  They are always around to listen to your ideas, your complaints, and to offer support that you will find nowhere else on the Internet.  Andrew stands true to his words here on this site.  There are only handmade items to be find here, no reselling allowed. 

Please do yourself a favor and come by Handmade Artists and take a look for yourself at Andrew's beautiful work, pick up a piece or two for yourself, but more than that look around and you will find that this site is truly about handmade and supporting those who create it and Andrew is always ready with his bullhorn to pronounce it to the world and we all at the site love him for it.

Clink on this link Chainmaille by MBOI and check out Andrew and his work. You can also find him on Facebook and here on Twitter.

Then click out the forum and you will see many, many artists hanging out and discussing all kinds of issues and just being friends.  I am proud to call Andrew one of my friends.

Be blessed

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Handmade Artists - Let's Meet

Our summer blog ring is off to a running start.  We will be featuring new handmade artists every other week.  So you simply must stay tuned or you will absolutely miss some of the most special people in the world.

Our first selection is actually a 3 in 1, however, I will do them in separately so that I can hopefully do them justice.  They are Kimberly Kitchen of Makin the Best of It.  Not only does Kimberly have her own shop but she owns the site as well, along with her husband Andrew (we will talk about him later).  Check out her shop, she has some great cabochons.  Take a look.

This beauty is called "Mermaid Tai"l, done with sterling silver wire wrapping. It truly makes this sea glass seem enchanted.

Then there is this one which she calls "Soft Yellow Angel Wings".  Isn't it gorgeous.  Kimberly definitely shows off her talent with the wire. 

But truthfully, there is so much more about Kimberly.  First she is a wife, a mother of two beautiful boys, she manages two (not one) two websites, Handmade Artists as well as It's Better Handmade. Now at the handmade artist site, there are many, many shops for you to take a look at.  It represents only handmade work and on It's Better Handmade or better known to us as IBH, she showcases handmade artists from everywhere.  Kimberly is a true artisan herself and because she knows the issues that all handmade artists face each and everyday, she has dedicated  a huge portion of her life to supporting us all and she does a spectacular job of it.

Not only does she support handmade artists and their work, she teaches, she keeps up with her busy young boys and their wrestling and other endeavors as well as creating her own beautiful work as you can see.

I don't know where she finds all the hours in a day to get it all done but I am certainly glad that she does and I am happy to call her my friend because she will also step up when you need her in your personal life, she has given me tremendous advice on how to teach my gifted and ADHD grandson.

Thank you Kimberly, you are a wonderful role model for all handmade artists and women everywhere.

You can find Kimberly here just to name a few.
Handmade Artists

Stay tuned for the next of the 3 in 1.

Be blessed