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.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Featured Artist April 11-18: Dreams and Echoes

"Whatever dreams you have or whatever echoes call to you from the past, present, or future, I believe you’ll find something here that resonates for you. " This quote is from the home page of

the Dreams and Echoes etsy shop. Linda aka Raedawn started her journey with jewelry thanks to her daughter. She is influenced by her life in Maryland and also gains flavor from time spent in Ontario, Oregon and New Mexico. Working both symmetrically and asymmetrically she creates pieces predominantly from bone, semi-prescious stones, glass and lampwork, although if something else speaks to her then it can be found in her work as well. Please take some time and visit her blog or her shop and see what pieces she has that may speak to you.

At this point I must apologize for having been delayed in getting her feature posted, the house hunt made my desire to do adequate research nonexsistant. I'm proud to share some of my favorite pieces with you.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Featured Artist April 4-11: DreamRiver Designs

Wow a crazy week has delayed me getting this feature done, my apologies first to Debbie for not being more timely and also to my dedicated readers for the delay. Enough about me...

I'd like to introduce to you Debbie of DreamRiver Designs. Aptly named in conjunction with her long awaited farm in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. Debbie is a master chainmailler, an active member of Handmade Artist's Forum, Mailler's Worldwide and American Craft Guide Community. You can find many of her wares for sale at the Handmade Artists Shop and a few in her etsy shop. She also keeps up on Facebook with her fan page and maintains two great blogs, one highlighting her business, DreamRiver Designs and the other her farm, DreamRiver Farm (be sure to read about her crazy geese!). Her business blog features a wonderful picasso widget that displays a shifting gallery of her works, I spent a very long time sifting through the 400+ photos to bring you a few that I felt were a strong representation of her various talents. I'm also super pleased to find another "bug beader" how fun!!! Please visit her and enjoy all her works.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Feature Artist March 28-April 3: Lisian Blue

LisianBlue is Kris of Albuquerque, NM. A woman that has been crafting her entire life and learned many valuable things from her family: "My Grandmother taught me ... to never stop learning. My mother taught me a love of nature, along with the joy of making presents for our loved ones. My dad taught me to do whatever I do, to do it well." Her current endeavors are mainly stained glass and painted glassworks.  I cannot believe the detail that goes into her butterfly wing pendants, they blow me away! Below is but a sampling of her talent, please stop by her shop on ArtFire or her blog to get an indepth taste of her varied talents.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

New Store Front - Handmade Artists' Shop

A couple days ago I became a full member of the Handmade Artists' Forum which allowed me to set up as a vendor in the Handmade Artists' Shop. Now this may seem like a redundancy as I already have an etsy shop, however after some indepth research I've found several things that make HAF stand out. For starters they support ALL of US; whether you are a seller on Etsy, ArtFire, Zibbet, your own storefront, twitter, facebook or a blogger if you craft with your own talents on any level they support and love you for it. Secondly I don't know of any other format that has the experience and dedication behind it that HAF does, Andrew and Kimberly head up a team that provides round the clock support for all levels of their site. E.g. It's 4am and I just tried to create a new seller profile only to realize that I clicked the wrong link and created a buyer profile instead... emailed their admin page... fixed in MINUTES! I know emails to other companies can frequently have a 24-48 hour turn around time... You might be thinking perhaps I got lucky and they happened to answer my email quickly, well perhaps but I made several more mistakes/had questions throughout the day and each one was resolved in a matter of minutes. What other format has their admins working so hard not only to get you set up but also to promote their sellers? It has been disclosed they use 5 twitter accounts with a following of over 50,000 to keep everyone upto date on the latest and greatest from their shops and forum. I started out joining as a way to expand my online community and have found an extended family that is there through thick and thin. I accepted the offer of a 90 days shop for $1 as a very low risk way to try out another format, to see if I liked it better or if it was mearly another version of Etsy and Artfire (and there is nothing overtly wrong with either of those) and have discovered a whole new world that is woven into the online community. Fantastic people who put crafting and handmade first, yes, we all want to make money but we also want to be respected and appreciated for what we do. I am very proud to be a member of a new and rapidly growing community that is truely shaped by our own hands. Whether you appreciate handmade works or you do them yourself this is truely a fabulous place to be... please visit them and experience the love that is freely given! Come back and share your expierences, we can only grow through the input of those involved.

You can also find them at:
Facebook Fan Pages: Handmade Artists' Shop page and Handmade Artists' Forum page
On Twitter: @HAFshop and @HAFEtsyTeam

Monday, March 22, 2010

Featured Artist March 21-28: LTD Beads

My feature HAFteam artist this week is Joan of LTD Beads. A wonderful artist that is active on numerous fronts, you can find her blogging at Bead Beat, tweeting on twitter as @LTDBeads or fan her on her newer FB page. Oh you mean you'd like to shop her wares, well in that case, take a pick from her numerous shops... her website features many of her items, as does her shops on etsy, artfire, ecrater, and bonazle. Based out of Syracuse, NY you can frequently find her where she started, at the local farmer's market tending a booth. Her shops may be only a few years old but her passion dates back to her childhood when she began a box called "Joan's Stones" which is still tucked away safely in a corner of her garage. I'd like to highlight a few of my favorite pieces below. Please enjoy :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Feature Artist March 14-20: Baublezptoa

This week's HAFteam artist is truely one of a kind! Carmen Trueheart runs Baublezptoa on both etsy and artfire. She's got a couple of blogs (Mooaany alias BananaMiranda and Mooaany Says) that feature many of her pieces as well as several of her animal companions, including the imortalized Poppyseed, done by another artist, SmellyRhino. Carmen specializes in Precious Metal Clay (PMC) and has even gotten her certification in this medium, however her skills are not limited to PMC, she is also a very accomplished lampworker, beader and silversmith. I'm so impressed by the level of craftmanship that she puts into every piece. It was so hard to choose just a few items to highlight but they are shown below. Please take time to visit Carmen's shop and if you purchase something know that 20-30% of the purchase is going to help animals at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Featured Artist for March 1-6: ArtShu by Violet

So allow me to introduce to you Violet (Karen Grant) a fabulous red head from down under (Sydney,  Australia) who does a plethora of arts. Her blogs include Art Shu which features her fabulous photographic quality shoe paintings (yes I said paintings... you'll be amazed!), there's A Creative Spirit featuring phenominal paintings on everyday items such as hat boxes and cupboards, one can also head over to Culinary Delights by Karen Grant and delve into some culinary treats that will tempt your senses beyond reason. In the mood to shop rather then read? Visit her two fantastic shops on etsy Art Shu by Violet and Paris Accent. You can also visit her main webpage and get a taste of everything in one place. Below are a few of my favorite of her works. Please visit, comment and enjoy her works!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

HAF Etsy Street Team Sale

Have you heard? The Handmade Artists Forum (HAF) Etsy Street Team is running a sale in their shops. It began March 1st, 2010 and will go through March 15th, 2010 (yes that is the Ide's of March). My shop is offering 10% off all items and an additional bonus of upto $5 in free shipping. Several shops are doing discounted rates, free shipping, gifts with purchase etc. Want to know who's offering what? You'll have to hop on over to Etsy and do a search for HAFteam or visit the HAF Blog and read all the participating artists sales before you search.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Featured Artist - Red Fox Jewelry

I am honored to be a featured artist this week, however, since I have missed getting posts done for other artists I felt it was only fair to spend this week catching up and giving them their due time in the spotlight.

Red Fox Jewelry is based in Arlington, TX. Mother of 3 grown children, grandmother to 5 (soon 6 if I read correctly) she previously worked as a tractor operator until injury stopped her cold. Now a fan of chainmaille and wire working she creates beautiful pieces that showcase a variety of styles and talents. Upon reading her blog I learned she too is in limbo about whether or not to upgrade her artfire account, although I give her props because mine still isn't complete enough to post items. To really get a feel for her works you should visit her etsy store, because it's my belief that's where all the magic happens right now... She has a singature style of wire wrapping that she calls arrowheads, however, this doesn't begin to define her jewelry as a whole. Stop by and peruse her shops, follow her on twitter and give her the attention her work deserves.