Sunday, July 31, 2011

Summery Artist: Raes Spirit

This Cali girl likes to incorporate natural elements into her jewelry. Check out her shop!

Tell us a little bit about your shop and how you got started:
     I started collecting beads when our church ladies' guild was making rosaries for the troops. When there wasn't enough beads for a complete rosary, they were made into rosary bracelets and other pieces of jewelry. It can become very addicting and I soon found myself collecting beautiful semi precious gemstones, seashells, antlers, and anything else that I could turn into a piece of jewelry. I am mostly self taught with the help of the internet and books. While talking to a friend about my numerous collections, she suggested that I look into Etsy as an outlet. This has been a wonderful spiritual journey for me. You can read more about what inspires me in my Etsy profile.

How does the ocean/beach inspire you? 
     I'm inspired by how the ocean awakens all of your senses: The nautical sights and colorful sunsets & sunrises where the horizon seems to go on forever; sounds of the waves crashing in and softly trickling out, the chirping of the seagulls and other wildlife sounds; the the taste of the salty air; the warmth of the sun, the cold ocean water and the feel of the sand on your bare feet; the smell of the surf fish as the fishermen pull in their nets.

What is your favorite beach destination? Why?
     I like to go to Fort Bragg and the surrounding towns. My family grew up a couple of hours away from there. Going to the ocean with Mom's and my cousins delicious picnics was always a favorite thing to do. The men would put their nets in the breaking waves and bring in nets full of surf fish. They would let us take a couple of dips and laugh at our feeble attempts! And of course, getting their limits of abalone was always thrilling. A delicious meal was coming and the beautiful abalone shells became yard decorations, candle holders and planters. While the men fished, the women and children would check out the tide pools, search for driftwood, seashells, ocean polished glass and other treasures that washed up on the shore.
     Life changed a bit while raising my children, but we still made a few trips to the ocean. Now that we are being blessed with grandchildren, I am looking forward to more trips to this awe inspiring destination!

Anything else we should know?
     I have bags of seashells and numerous ideas just waiting to be created!

*Rachel will be offering 25% off all items in her shop for the month of August with coupon code SANDDOLLAR.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summery Artist: Angela's Artistic Designs

Button bouquets?! What an awesome wedding idea!! You are too clever, Angela! When you're done reading her interview, don't forget to check out her shop!

Tell us a little bit about your shop and how you got started:
My daughter got married in Sept.  She said she didn't like flowers for her wedding and wanted a button bouquet instead.  Prior to that, I hadn't heard of them!  I embellished her idea and did a fabulous bouquet for her and fall bouquets for her bridesmaids.  They were such a hit that everyone said, "You should sell these!"

I have always been crafty, even as a child.  I would get craft books out of the library and create some of the items in the books.  Glue and glitter and 2 of my favorite things!  Now I'm learning fine art as well.

How does the ocean/beach inspire you?
Oh, I've always loved the beach.  The waves of the ocean are mesmerizing.  I love walking with my bare feet feeling the sand in my toes, letting the water slosh over me.  The beach is serene, calming and healing. 

What is your favorite beach destination? Why?
The Jersey Shore because that's what I grew up with.  I may have a new favorite now, though.  Recently, I went to Okracoke in the Outer Banks for my first anniversary and fell in love with it!  It's Gilligan's Island with shopping! 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Exhibition- Art in the Streets

These artists have some guts! If you're in LA this summer, check out this exhibition on graffiti and street art at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Installation view of Art in the Streets. Photo by Brian Forrest.

It's amazing how vandalism has turned into a beautiful art form. 

Kenny Scharf painting at Art in The Streets. Photo by Gregory Bojorquez.

Art in the Streets ends August 8th. If you visit on a Monday, admission is free courtesy of Banksy! What a guy!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Summery Artist: Jammy Designs

This mother-daughter team makes the most adorable baby booties!! Check out their shop!

Tell us a little bit about your shop and how you got started:
Jammy Designs sells hand-knitted and hand-crocheted items - at the moment this is mainly baby clothing, and womens clothing and accessories, although we are currently working on expanding our product range!
We are Sandra and Kerrie, a mother and daughter team and over the last 30-something years my mum Sandra has created allsorts for our home, from knitted Christmas stockings to machine-sewn curtains. In 2008, after a few changes in her working situation, my mum started knitting and crocheting to sell in local shops. In 2010 I also started knitting more seriously. In 2011 we started going to local craft markets and in May we launched our Etsy shop!

How does the ocean/beach inspire you?
Nature gives us so many colour combinations, whether it's in flowers or landscapes, and the yellow and blue of the seaside is a perfect example of this. My mum and I both love to use nature as inspiration for the colours in our work, and in our "seaside" themed pieces this normally translates into bright ocean blues and pale sandy yellows.

What is your favorite beach destination? Why?
My family has been going on holidays and trips to the beach all of my life, and since the 1950s when my mum was little! Some of my favourite childhood memories are of being on the warm sand, or paddling in the freezing cold Scottish sea! My favourite beach destination is East Lothian in Scotland, because it has so many happy memories for me and my family and because it is such a relaxing place to get back to nature and be creative.

Anything else I should know?
We are a small family-run business and it would be so wonderful to be featured in your blog! We are still waiting for online sales and this is probably partly because we are more used to talking to people face-to-face, but we put so much love and energy into all of our products and into expanding our product range, and we hope this comes across in our shop!

*Sandra and Kerrie are offering 5% off all items in their shop with coupon code JAMMYYOU01 until 7/28!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Unfinished Business

Oh unfinished paintings...I wonder if I will ever complete you.

Why do we start something with so much excitement only to toss it to the side? Do we just lose interest? Do we just get stuck and don't know how to move forward? It seems like artists are notorious for this, but anyone who participates in any sort of home improvement project is probably in the same boat.

Couldn't figure out how to "fix" it.

I have several canvases stacked away that I abandoned for one reason or another. When I'm in a creative slump, my husband will often say "why don't you finish that one painting?" I'm not quite sure why I don't. I'd like to, but I don't.

After 45+ hours, I had to take a break and just never went back.

How do you get over that hump and finish the project? Will they just remain half-complete? Or will a miracle happen and I get started after having a relaxing vacation?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summery Artist: Too Cute Felties

Shauna's items on TooCuteFelties are just that, too cute! And she lives not too far from my old stomping grounds- shout out to Western PA!

Tell us a little bit about your shop and how you got started:
My shop is mostly comprised of my cute food creations, with some video game tie ins and jewelry sprinkled on top. I had happened across this site before and thought I'd try my hand at sewing and crafting again. All I made at the time was my felt food like cookies, popsicles and ice cream cones. And that was all I thought I would sell.  When it came to find a shop name I thought to myself "These felties are too cute!"  And that was pretty much the entire thought process and my family liked it as well so I used it.

I appreciate the support and diversity of Etsy more than all of you can know. Without it I never would have found a passion for polymer clay or jewelry making. When I started this I was just using felt, and my scope wasn't very broad, but with the help of this site and it's community I have grown as an artist and as a person. Thank you all so much.

How does the ocean/beach inspire you?
The inspiration behind my "Beach in a Bottle" necklace derived from the peace I felt at the beach. With the sand in between my toes and the tide coming in I can definitely say it was one of my life's most perfect moments. I believe that each person has a place that brings peace to their chaotic lives, and for those who don't have the luxury of being there every day (like myself) the memories are what gives us inspiration.

What is your favorite beach destination? Why?
My favorite beach is the shore of North Carolina. The reasoning is simple, Its the only one Ive had the privilege of visiting. It was only one time, but that was all it took for me to fall in love with the ocean and its calming energy. It may sounds strange but i've never felt the calm i have next to the shore, the immense power and beauty will bring me back there one day.

*As a small token of appreciation for being featured, Shauna will give a 30% discount on any item in her shop.
Coupon Code: SeaShell

Monday, July 18, 2011

Exhibition- Stella Sounds: The Scarlatti K Series

Most DC visitors frequent the various Smithsonian museums, but they don't know what they're missing at the Phillips Collection! This Frank Stella exhibition is the first time his Scarlatti Kirkpatrick series will be displayed at a museum.

Frank Stella, K.54, 2008. Protogen RPT with stainless steel tubing, 80 x 53 x 37 in. FS2008.048. Calvin and Jane Lipton Cafritz. © 2011 Frank Stella / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photograph © 2011 Bruce White.

Bright colors and lots of visual movement! Can you tell that these works were inspired by musicians Domenico Scarlatti and Ralph Kirkpatrick?

Frank Stella, K.43 (lattice variation) protogen RPT (full-size), 2008. Protogen RPT with stainless steel tubing, 144 x 176 x 116 in. Courtesy of FreedmanArt. © 2011 Frank Stella / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Gregory R. Staley.

This is another exhibit on my list for this summer. But I better hurry, it ends September 4th!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Summery Artist: The House of Decadent Delusion

Susan is definitely an animal lover! Check out the "Animal Charity Donations" section in her shop to help support a great cause!

Tell us a little bit about your shop and how you got started:
 My shop currently features my metal collage and beaded jewelry, as well as knitted accessories and my own handspun yarn.  As it gets colder, you will probably see more yarn and knitwear.  For the summer, I've been showcasing bright colors and beach-inspired jewelry, and experimenting more and more with metal collage.

Everything you see in my shop is something that I would wear myself.  I promised myself when I opened my shop that I would never post anything I didn't love.  That makes it hard to put things up for sale, especially since most of my items are one of a kind creations!  However, my purpose in opening the shop was to share my personal style, and I'm committed to continuing to do that!

How does the ocean/beach inspire you?
 I have always been inspired by water, and especially by the ocean.  When I was very young, my family took a beach vacation every year, and I always associate the ocean with family activities, natural beauty, great food, and lots of fun!

As an adult, I've traveled to beaches all over the world.  Every one is so unique and beautiful in its own way.  I learned to scuba dive about eight years ago, and now am inspired by the beautiful reefs and animal life that I've seen underwater, as well as by the fascinating locations where diving has taken me.

What is your favorite beach destination? Why?
 My favorite beaches are in the Mediterranean.  I lived in Italy for awhile, and I became very familiar with those beaches!  I love the way the sea is intertwined with the local culture.  In Europe, you can really sense the community's history of relying on the sea.

If I had to choose one beach destination, it would be the island of Corfu in Greece.  The days that I spend there were some of the most peaceful times in my life.  The light seems to be filtered differently there, and all of the colors seem brighter and more intense, especially the blues, greens and grays of the natural landscape.  I'm inspired by the color and fragrance of the cypress trees so close to the ocean.  Plus, the culture on Corfu is wonderful - the people are so welcoming, and the food is amazing!

Anything else I should know?
 I have many, many interests, and all are reflected in my shop in some way.  I love literature, travel, and art history, as well as vampire books, science fiction, and bad television!  I think that if you visit my shop, you'll find something you like.  I have an eclectic mix of items, but the unifying factor is they're all based on what I'm wearing and what's inspiring me at any given moment!

I'm also a proud member of the Artists For Animals team on Etsy, and I support Calliope Rescue, the Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary, and the Wolf Sanctuary of Pennsylvania.  Please see my shop for 100% donation listings!

*Susan is offering 11% off all items in her shop with coupon code OCEANS11, and don't forget to check out her Facebook page too!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Beauty in Russia

As some of you may know, I recently started a series of paintings that were inspired by aerial views of freight containers. (And I am still working on more freight paintings.)


Google Maps has been super helpful with providing inspiring images for my freight series. And I think it may have inspired a new series....

These shots were taken above Russia, somewhere very far north where it is ridiculously cold. I doubt anyone lives in these areas, but they are absolutely gorgeous from above!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summery Artists: Release Me Creations

Maureen makes ridiculously fun nautical jewelry! Check her out!

Tell us a little bit about your shop and how you got started:
I started crafting jewelry when my Dad was sick with Cancer. I was at home helping my Mom, and spending as much time as possible with him. I found myself in need of a creative outlet while there, as he slept much of the time. I turned to making jewelry. It helped me so much, to be able to get lost in creating a piece. It helped me during the most difficult time in my life. I still rely on my creations to help me find peace in my crazy life.

How does the ocean/beach inspire you?
I have loved the beach and the ocean since I can remember. My Mom always says that I was born with saltwater in my veins. I hope to one day live near the ocean so I can go to it every day.
Everything about the beach inspires me...the sound of the ocean, the smell of the saltwater, the boats, the seagulls...

What is your favorite beach destination? Why?
My favorite beach destination is St. Lucia. I was married there and it was one of the most magical times in my life. My hubby and I were married on the beach, with the tropical blue water, washing up on the beach. It was pure magic. 

Anything else we should know?
I just got my red belt in Tae Kwon Do. It is the first belt in the Advanced Belt division. It means that it is now a legal shot for people to hit me in the face when we are sparring! Eep!
Tae Kwon Do is my other outlet for my's a little more physical than my jewelry making :)
Check out Maureen's shop and blog!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Exhibitions- Modern By Design

If you've never been to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, I highly suggest you visit! (No pun intended) This Modern Art exhibit makes me crave another trip to the ATL....

The pieces are on loan from the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Peter Schlumbohm Chemex Coffee Maker

Exhibit ends August 14th.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summery Artist: Selkie's Crochet

Scarves and gloves on the beach?! These may not be what most Americans think of as beach apparel, but they are a "must" in Ireland! Check out Rosemary's shop, blog, and Facebook page!

Tell us a little bit about your shop and how you got started:
I only picked up crochet last year but seemed to take to it like a duck to water - I love having 'something' on the go all the time and there's only so much that I can wear myself or give to friends and family so a friend suggested that I open an Etsy first item sold (to my friend, bless her!) in July last year and since then I've had 92 sales to all over the world!

How does the ocean/beach inspire you?
Oh gosh - well I grew up right on the sea, here in County Kerry, Ireland - I spent most of my childhood on the local beaches and it remains my favourite place to go to relax and have some 'me' time; I am a born beachcomber! I am lucky enough to be back living at home again now, after living in the UK for a long time (in the midlands - as land-locked as you could be) and I love to take my crochet down to the beach with me -- this is me working on a bag. Our house and garden are full of beach-combed treasures - from whale bones to pretty shells -- we even burn driftwood in the winter to keep warm! 

What is your favorite beach destination? Why?
I've never actually gone on a 'beach holiday'  apart from visiting various beaches in the UK while we lived there. My favourite beaches would all be local ones - our coast is so varied, you can choose from long sandy strands or proper rugged rocky beaches: I prefer the rocky ones - they are always more atmospheric and you are less likely to bump into other people there.

Anything else we should know?
I'd love to have the chance to thank my friend Carrie for introducing me to Etsy and for being my Etsy-guru.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Falling for Handmade

Last fall, I joined an Etsy team comprised of artists from the DC area- CREST (Capitol Region Etsy Street Team). They were planning the group's very first art and craft fair, but I unfortunately couldn't participate because I joined the group days before the event.

Now we are in the process of planning CREST's second Falling for Handmade show, and I volunteered to help a few other members organize the event. After tossing around several places to host this event, we were able to book the Ernst Community Cultural Center at NOVA Community College in Annandale, VA. They've hosted other events like this, and I think it is a great choice! The event will take place on October 16, 2011, which will hopefully be a great way to help people kick-off their holiday shopping.

As the details become finalized, I'll be sure to let you all know! I hope to see you at our event!

And feel free to "like" our Facebook page to get a sneak peak of the artists!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summery Artist: SSMDesign

This Floridian makes beachy jewelry! Thanks for the interview, Stephanie! Check out her shopblog, and website!

Tell us a little bit about your shop and how you got started:
started making jewelry as a creative outlet. My J O B was not where I saw myself when I started out in the world, which is why I very recently quit to focus on my craft full-time. I'm still finding my own voice in my creativity, so I don't limit myself to one technique or medium. I am always learning and trying different things and right now my shop has an eclectic mix of all my trials. 

I only make jewelry I would wear, so my designs tend to be more delicate and girly. I have a relationship with every piece I create and a lot of who I am goes into them. So while I am always elated when someone else loves one of my pieces and purchases it for themselves, I am a little sad to see it go! 

How does the ocean/beach inspire you?
The beach is my calm, my center, when I look out over the water I see infinite possibilities! There is no end, no ceiling, no expectation only the endless individuality and creativity mother nature has conceived beneath its surface.

What is your favorite beach destination? Why?
That's a difficult one and I can't pick just one, each of these is a favorite for different very reasons! The beach near my home, is a private beach where I can simply take it all in and just be. It's what I imagine old Florida to be, with dunes and rocks, before all of developers took it over. And a little north of here, there is a sandbar that can only be accessed by boat (or if you're a distance swimmer) to stand there is like walking on water, and it's just peppered with sand dollars! But then there are the beaches of Hawaii, my all time favorite place, and like no other! There is a beach on the The Big Island, a green sand beach, created entirely of olivine, a gem that forms within volcanic rock. It is quite a hike to get to, but so worth the work!

*Stephanie is having a sale in honor of her shop's 2 year anniversary. Customers will receive 10% off and free shipping with a special code. "How can I get this code?" Just "like" her Facebook page or follow her on Twitter!