Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Etsy photographers

There are tons of pottery artists, loads of fabric artists, and a boatload of beaders on Etsy, but sometimes the photographers don't get the attention they deserve. I thought I'd share a few here in honor of my family members who carry cameras around with them wherever they go.

The inspiration for this post is this listing by ara133photography, and this has to be one of my favorite photos on Etsy, just for sheer craziness. I mean, I've seen deer poop in the woods, but even if I'd thought to take a picture of it, I doubt I would have thought someone might want to buy a copy of that picture. Wow. Lest you think they're a complete freak, however, they also sell some gorgeous closeups of bugs and flowers and kitchen goodies.

Photovita has some gorgeous, ethereal shots in her shop. This one is only one of many that are dreamy and fantastical in their quality. She has a lot of flowers and organics listed, but also includes some great shots of architectural studies and shadows and some ocean views. She has a buy one get one free special going on right now, so hurry on over there. Just come back here when you're done...

Of course, both of these shops were on the main page treasury last night, so they probably have had a ton of hits - but here are a few that may have gotten a little less attention.

Kellya from Colorado also has a special going on, but just through tomorrow - hurry! Looking through her repetoire, I can't for the life of me figure out why this girl has only sold 20 photos! A lot of her images - most in fact, are digitally altered in some way. Mostly just color editing and such - nothing that takes away from the image. Check out this gorgeous sunflower. I would so want this blown up to about 3' x 4' and hang it in my living room!!

Carinemily, from Cincinnati, has had her shop up since July of last year, but has only sold four items. It's not due to her prices or her sense of humor. Check out this great pic called "Gossip". I swear my "fashion dolls" used to talk about me behind my back... She also sells her photos in several sizes, including a postcard. Seems like a perfect combination - a photo called gossip on a postcard to your BFF.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Treasure hunting - no travel required

Of course, what consitutes treasure is definitely open to interpretation, but I'm easily amused. And easily excited when it comes to finding bits of trash that I deem to be treasure.

Yesterday, hubby and I and the boy for a while hung out at my mom's house. She lives in what used to be my grandparents' house outside of town on 5 acres of woods overlooking the White River. Before my grandmother made my grandpa buy the place and build a house on it, it was split by a county road that ran through it down to a bridge that crossed the river. That bridge burned down and the county road was closed, but until that time a whole lot of people used the sides of the gravel road as dumping areas.

You see where I'm going with this, right?

Yesterday I wore my old jeans, put on some gardening gloves and took a spade and a bucket down to the hillside and started clearing away leaves. My mom is a big fan of this activity, and calls pretty much anything she pulls out of the dirt "treasure". But I have to say, yesterday was a good day. Here's a list of things we found... unreliably based on my memory, since the goodies are still at mom's:

*Pieces of green-glazed pottery
*Lots of clear glass, probably broken canning jars
*Two nice pieces of depression glass - one pink and one yellow
*Old shards of pottery with gold gilt on the edges - I think it was a bowl
*An old button
*Lots of old rusted nails, large and small
*A heavy metal piece that looks like a door escutcheon
*Another metal piece that looks like a car part
*Two small bottles with metal lids marked "Norwich"
*Two medium sized intact jars - these are gorgeous!

I'm really pleased with the little bottles and bits of pottery. I think they'll be great additions to shadow boxes and altered art pieces. I'll add some pics as soon as I have some. It was too cloudy and rainy to take any yesterday.

After getting our knees dirty for a while, we went inside and dug through a dresser drawer full of fabric and quilts. I came home with a nice little box of quilt squares to turn into something, and some other bits of lace and fabric that will work their way into my tote bags.

What a fun day! And, there's a whole closet at the top of the stairs to go through. I took a peek, and a couple of boxes were labeled "fabric".... oh joy!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Embellished bags

I'm making a break for it, leaving the Snowfolk behind and running full-tilt toward the spring and summer seasons and all the trips to the library and farmers market they bring. Since one cannot have too many tote bags, I've decided to take it upon myself to create a few.

I prefer to make my bags out of vintage fabric, or at least colorful and unique fabric. In making a few, I found that the coolest part is coming up with a way to embellish them. I can't just make a bag. I have to make an artsy bag.

This is the latest... and my favorite thus far. I used wool scraps from my Snowfolk work to create 3-D leaves and flowers. I've made some bags with long straps to hang across the body like a messenger bag, but this one is for wearing over the shoulder.

More to come, but not tonight.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

AREtsy Street Team!

I'm a proud member of the Arkansas street team on Etsy.com. We're called AREtsy, and we are 76 members-strong!! We are made up of a wide variety of crafters and artists from all over the state, and if you haven't checked us out yet, you should!

Take a look at our blog - created by our very own Idyllhands: http://aretsy.blogspot.com/

For Valentine's Day, we had a secret swap (thanks DogwoodLane!) and everyone received the cutest, coolest things.My goodies were from Ms. Dogwood herownself. :-)

There's a little patchwork makeup bag with too too cute buttons and pink cotton lining, and a little lavender pillow to soothe the stressed eyes. So yummy! Thanks Dogwood!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Movies inspire me

I went to see Atonement with a girlfriend Saturday, and left feeling so inspired to be creative! I have always loved film - I'm a drama geek from way back and used to have Oscar-watching parties. Attendees were usually just me, my mom and brother, but I won't bore you with my ineffectual party-throwing skills...

So, I've known I love good films for a long time. But I had an "aHA!" moment Saturday when I realized, after reveling in the amazing costuming, cinematography, and even the score of Atonement, that I wanted to get home and make stuff and write stuff and just be generally creative. I stopped by B&N and picked up the Writer's Market 2008, and came home and started digging through my fabric piles and cutting out tote bags.

I got two unlined bags done this weekend, and another one, a custom for a friend. The first two are made from some great vintage upholstery fabric I bought a few weeks ago ---------------------->

Plus, I have three others that just need to be detailed and lined. Isn't it interesting how things can inspire us that are not at all directly related to the craft we actually make? I guess we're all inspired at times by nature - or music... I just hadn't put the film and art connection together before. At least, not in terms of my own art.

What are you inspired by? Anything unusual? Your children? Favorite music? Walks in the woods? Fudge brownies with that crackled crispy crust on top??

Friday, February 15, 2008

And the award goes to....

So, I got an award today for my blog. But it's from my sister, Erin of Knitting Hands, so I don't know if it can be considered a legitimate award... but I'll take it. :)

Erin has a great little blog herself, where she is much better than I am about posting bits about her current craftiness and lovely pictures of things she makes and is inspired by. She also sells gorgeous knitted wire jewelry and colorful scarves in her etsy shop, Idyllhands. Little known facts about Erin: she was a sleepwalker as a child, and had to have a Golden Corral fix whenever she visited grandma and grandpa.

The rules of the blog award are fairly easy to follow:
First - Post the award on your own blog. Obviously, I'm doing that one...
Next - Indicate its original link and link to that site
Finally - Give the award to 5 other blogs that you enjoy, find creative and inspire you.

I'm not very good at collecting blogs, so I don't have five to recommend. Actually, I would recommend Denise Felton and Casserole, but they were also given the award by my sis. So, here are three fabulous places to hang out on the web that I think you'll enjoy as much as I do:

The Thicket is a lovely spot where my good friend Stacey writes about "Etsy, indie design and other goodies. Replete with mental undergrowth." She's been on an 'etsy favorite' kick for a little while now, and I've found some great new artists on her blog. She's also just a cool-ass chick.

Gooseflesh is the home of Helle Jorgensen, an Australian artist with an intriguing imagination who crochets delicate undersea creatures out of plastic bags and string. I know, it sounds weird, but you'll be amazed - trust me on this. On her blog, follow the Crochet Sea Creatures link. And all the other links along the left side... she's wonderful.

Small Motor Designs is where Becky of St. Paul, MN shares her detailed and precious little bits of recycled fabric jewelry. I just can't help but love a woman who lists her interests as "embroidery, knitting, books, pens, beer, cupcakes." She doesn't post often, but she makes me smile when she does.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bags of the future!

My newest project started as Christmas presents. I made a couple of tote bags for my brothers out of scraps of slacks and denim, and some bits of sweaters I used in my Snowfolk work. My favorite details are the pocket on the first one that is actually the pocket of the slacks and the bottle pocket made from a wool sweater on the other. (He's a law student who bikes to school - so I thought that would be handy)

They turned out pretty cool, so I have been putting together some other bags. I have one made from the top of a pair of overalls and a pair of sleeves from a cardigan, and a couple from vintage curtains... The only pics I have are the ones of my brothers' bags.

I suck. I'll post more soon, I promise!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Thrifting and Ebay day

My sister and I went to a couple of flea markets and a thrift store today. We need to hang out like that more often - for many reasons. I picked up an awesome little bar stool to use at my craft table so that I can put our kitchen bar stool back at the counter. The one I bought is orange vinyl and has a split in the back, but a cover will be easy enough to make. I'll post a before and after pick when I get some.

I went back to the place with the cool books, and was bummed to find the Grey's Anatomy book was gone. I was afraid it would be, since it's been over a week since I saw it. I did pick up a couple of year books from the 30's, and two newspapers from 1934 as well. One has authentication papers with it. I can't wait to go through it and see what kinds of cool bits I can use for some collage art. I'm not sure if I want to hack into it, I may scan sections and print things off instead... we'll see what works best. Anybody have advice about that??

At the thrift store I picked up a linen skirt and a shetland wool sweater vest to felt. I was tempted to get a few other things at a flea market (some old maps) but decided I don't need to buy supplies just for the thrill of buying supplies. First, I need to use the ones I have and actually MAKE some collages - then when I need more stuff, I'll shop. How boring and practical of me!!! I must be growing up.

Finally, I won a couple of great pieces of fabric on Ebay today. They will soon be fabulous tote bags!! I made one from a pair of vintage curtains I bought from DogwoodLane, and LOVE it, so it's my new focus in the crafty room.