Saturday, June 5, 2010

Featured Artist May 29th-June 5th: Kazumi

I'm loving the varieties this blog rings presents and the artist for this past week was Kazumi of K&K Chalk Art Designs and K&K Crafts and Designs, who masters several art forms that make me realize just how much art is everywhere! Kazumi hails to us from Yokohama, Japan so reading her blog can be an adventure of its own, much of it is in her native language of Japanese, but if you are like me you'll love the challenge of exploring it. I mentioned that her artwork makes me realize how art is everywhere, lets start with her beautiful chalk signs, she designs them for sidewalk cafes as well as beautiful wedding themed ones to welcome attendees to your reception... they can be seen on her home page (in English and Japanese), at her shops on Etsy and Zazzle as well as a facebook fan page.

On to her other passion... Sock Monkeys! Who hasn't become enthralled with sock monkeys in recent times? Many of us had them as children, or our parents and grandparents did. They are making quite the come back (as are other animals too... I own a sock-to-pus) and Kazumi makes some fantastic ones in several styles such as Amigurumi and coin purses, she's even found fabric featuring them. These and other sewn tiems can be found in their own home page, her etsy and zazzle shops, facebook page and even a blog dedicated to her first sock monkey, called Socky's World.

To stay up to date on her current activities you can also follow her on Twitter... which might be the easiest way seeing as how she is such a busy bee!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Featured Artist May 22nd-29th: iKnitQuiltSew

Wow another week flew past without me even realizing it! Once again I'm slacking in my blogging duties... time management skills need some intense focusing. I'm hoping Sandi of iKnitQuiltSew will forgive me for my tardiness. Once you see her work you'll understand my extreme embarassment in being so late getting her the proper feature.  Allow me to share some background, Sandi has been creating her works for over 40 years and just opened her etsy shop in February of this year, a blog and facebook page were soon to follow. She was originally taught to sew and knit by her grandmother using patterns passed down through the generations from her great-grandmother. Several years ago she decided to expand her knowledge to include quilting and taught herself from a book. I relate to this in that my grandmother and mother taught me to do cross stich and crochet when I was preschool aged. As I got slightly older my grandmother taught me the basics of quilting, I lacked the patience to ever complete a single peice though and never learned all the steps involved. My mother has several of my grammy's decorative squares for safe keeping. I'm also reminded of a story I frequently read to my children called "The Quilt Story" that is about a quilt which is carried to a new home on the frontier by a young girl and later put in the attic only to be found by another girl who moves into the home generations later. Sandi's quilts, teddy bears, dolls and even her knit items could easily be substituted into this story. Anyone lucky enough to posses one of her creations would do well to cherish and enjoy them to the fullest. Take a journey down memory lane and experience all the emotion and care put into every single creation of hers, be sure to have a tissue handy as tears are apt to accompany you.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Featured Artist May 15th - 22nd: Twiddletoes

Twiddletoes is my feature artist this week and I must apologize for the delay in posting their fantastic snug, cozy looking socks! I fully intended to get this done about Wednesday night but life happened and here we are Saturday afternoon...

A short except from the shop home page really explains it quite simply "twiddletoes socks specializes in handknit, artisan footwear, designed entirely by me and created by hand -- no machines, no mills, and no mass production". She is based in Atlanta, GA and only recently joined the HAF team but we sure are glad she did! Specializing in custom design of japanese tabi socks and traditional socks all made out of luxuoriuos materials such as alpaca, cashmere and yak wools. These are truely a product you need to see for yourself! Her site has all the info and is beautifully designed to keep everything in one place, I love the layout of it all! Please take sometime and visit, your feet will be glad you stopped to rest!  Just a tought... wouldn't these be adorable as Turtles? I'm sure it'd be lots of work but how freaking cute to have turtle socks on your feet... just saying...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Like a bolt of lightening from the heavens...

Inspiration has struck this week and hard! I have been viewing the works of some extremely talented chainmaille artists and gotten the bug to learn new weaves. I've been creating chainmaille for a few years now and haven't learned a single weave since shortly after I started. Mind you I've played with some and tried to learn but I'm guessing without a mentor or the experience behind me I just wasn't catching on. I'd like to thank Andrew & Kimbery of Chainmaille MBOI, all the minds at Seodoir, Erin of E-Maille, Penny of Jewelry by Saniki Creations, Mel of Dragonix Creations and of course all the folks who contribute to M.A.I.L. All of these artisians have inspired me in the last few months, several have provided that driving force to challenge myself and become better, many have spurred a hint of jealousy as well but in a good way. I admire their work and get jealous that they know patterns I do not or that they take time to create when I have not. All in all it's a journey of growth and betterment, anytime I get to learn new things, be it involving bead weaving, chainmaille or of course mathematics, it fuels that complete desire to learn everything I can, to dive head first into all my projects, no holds barred and let my creations take me anywhere. Thank you all for your inpiration, patience and wisdom. Best wishes, Kris

Grr... I posted this intially without any pictures... that will not do! LOL It was so plain and boring so here's a pic from each artist that has truely inspired me on one level or another.  I've also decided to add a bit of a contest... Leave a comment with names associated to each picture naming the artist. I will do a drawing of the correct answers and send the winner a creation from this learning surge.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Featured Artist May 8th - 15th: Haffina

Jennifer of Haffina is about as awesome as they come! An Aussie Mum to 5 kids, she also rangles multiple sites and shops including being "Guildmaster to the ArtFire Chainmaille Guild, a member of the Polymer Clay Smooshers Guild, The ArtFire Cafemom Team, Australians on Fire Guild, the We Love ArtFire Guild and a columnist for the Craft Techniques Department of" Not enough for you? She also administors on Alundra's Conundrum, moderates for our very own Handmade Artists Forum and is an active member of While you may or may not be impressed with that listing of titles please take a look at the diversity of creations she presents:  These include beadweaving, chainmaille on both a regular scale (shown) and microscale, polymer clay beads (featured in the second chainmaille item) and knitting. I was also thrilled to see that her talents are not limited to herself, her mum occasionally helps with her speedy knitting skills and 3 of her sons, twin 13 yr olds and a 10 yr old have taken it upon themselves to open their own shops with minimal help from her. How awesome is that? I would love to help my kids do that when they get a touch bigger. Go travel down the rabbit hole, fall into her world of creativity and enjoy your stay! Here's a listing of her links for easy traveling: Blog: HaffinaCreations Artfire shop #1: BeadsByHaffina #2: HaffinaCreations Etsy: HaffinaAgain HAFshop: Haffina Zibbet: HaffinaAgain and several FB pages: BeadsByHaffina HaffinaCreations HaffinaAgain

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Featured Artist May 1st-8th: Jewelry by NaLa

Our first blog ring concluded and I decided I loved being committed to learning about an artist every week, so I signed up for round two. We have several new artists coming although we start with Nancy of Jewelry by NaLa based out of Chicago, Il. You may recall I posted about her previously and you can read that article here, however, I look at this as a chance to challenge myself to learn and share even more about this fantastic woman who puts her heart and soul into the world of handmade and spends countless amounts of time promoting others. Since writing about Nancy in February I've had the chance to see many of her postings on FB, read her blogs about other artists and also chat with her on the HAForum. With a heart of gold, Nancy always has a kind word to share and positive outlook on life. She is an exception where so few artists have managed to diversify themselves across the multitude of social avenues available on the internet these days. Here's a listing of her sites so you too can join her where ever you haunt: Etsy, Facebook, Twitter, Office Live, Flickr, Artfire, Ning, StyleHive, and StumbledUpon.  I also thought I would make an attempt at a new technique for showcasing her many gorgeous pieces. I love her signature wire wrapped briollettes (which made the front page on etsy) I also love how she combines a mixture of medias to create elegant pieces that transition well between day and evening wear as is eveident in the necklace I chose. Take some time, stop by and give NaLa some of your attentions, not only has she earned it, she will reciprocate as well.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Featured Artist April 18-25: Paradise Purls

Let me start by saying I know there are issues with commenting on my blog... I am researching into it. However since I'm tearing down my computer this evening for our move and will not have internet until Monday, when the cable guy comes to hook us up, I felt getting the feature for this week done was paramount. On to better things....

Allow me to introduce Elizabeth Humphries of North Carolina, she run a wonderful business aptly named "Paradise Purls", for those not familiar with knitting the spelling is a play on word from knitting terms. As an extremely tactile person knitting is well suited to her and she admits to loving to spend time browsing yarn shops feeling all the wonderful textures and fibers. Elizabeth is primarily self taught, having picked up a "how to" booklet and then seeking help from friends and her MIL. Knitting is not her only forte though, she also does some beautiful bead work, is a mom, runs multiple online shops (etsy, zibbet, HAShop), tweets, a blog and facebook fan page in addition to being a wonderful member of our Handmade Artists Forum.

I've chosen a few pieces that really are unique to her, the first is a spring scarf (in progress) made of ribbon yarn that looks so delightful with gorgeous tones of the ocean. Second is one of her beautfil knitted bracelets, each features so many variations in color, I'm sure no two end up exactly alike. Lastly is one of her very fun hats in a color called Tuti-Fruti modeled on her very adorable daughter. How can you not love that impish grin? Go and give Elizabeth some love and all her other beautiful creations, each of her main sites is linked above.