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Etsy Take Five Tuesday

Pulling together my etsy finds for the week is always such a highlight for me. I’m both touched and humbled by the amount of talent out there. Crafting has always been such a huge part of my life but over the past few month it’s taken the back seat as other things jumped in and took the wheel. You know how that goes. My goal is to make time for balance over the months ahead because I made a promise to myself back on January 1st to schedule more time to MAKE and CREATE things — physical things that exist offline – ones that I will hand to my children someday as my mother handed to me. I’ll talk more about this below, but first let’s look at some of the lovely creators I’ve curated for you this week. I’m in love with this week’s etsy artists. I think you’ll be too.

Natasha Morton

The mixed media art of Natasha Morton in Scotland, who happened to be up on the etsy main page today as I mumbled “darn it” under my breath since I wanted to show her work here for a few weeks now. That’s what I get for snoozing on this. Well, if you didn’t already see Natasha’s work on Etsy today, you can bookmark her store now. It’s so, so pretty — the art she makes — it’s truly from the heart.

Carving My Initials

Second on my list of sweet little etsy must-shops are these mixed media paintings turned into prints by Carving My Initials (don’t you love the name?). This is where serene colors mix with nature and urban landscapes for a somewhat floating feeling…

Janet Hill Studio

Janet Hill Studio has such beautiful prints of her paintings and best part, they are only $10! There’s nothing quite like owning an original, but when money is tight a print will do just fine. Janet’s work is feminine and holds ones attention as there are so many details to examine in each of her works. I appreciate her focus on fashion and the home and love how she seems to incorporate flowers as often as she can. Charming!

Fabric Farrago

Fabric Farrago is another fave of mine this week because Jamieson has the best fabric covered thumbtacks around! I also like her fun new embroidered hoops that she’ll customize just for you. I quite like this idea for hoops, especially for a craft room or kid’s space! How cute would these be in a stationery shop — I imagine them above a card display spelling out “u send me” or something. I think the fact that Jamieson is a teacher by day shines through in her work, don’t you?

Beaky

Beaky in England is nesting doll heaven for fans of the kitschy cute matroska doll. Totes, lavender sachets, pillows… this mother of two is one busy and talented lady!

Now to continue my little story from above… did you know that both my mother and aunt were painters? My mother was trained as a floral designer but did many oil paintings (as a hobby) when I was a little girl, mostly still life with her focus on flowers. She also sewed constantly, from making clothes to everything else in the home that included drapes, shower curtains, you name it. She also taught these skills to me along with wallpaper, faux finishing, stencils, wreath making, all sorts of arts and crafts. My aunt, her sister, was an award-winning fine artist and art teacher, who lived in South America for some time, then Russia, Austria, Spain and she attended and later taught at the Holbæk Slots Ladegård in Denmark until settling in Newcastle, Maine where she taught art at a nearby waldorf school (I’m hoping to send my future child to a waldorf school, we’ll see — they’re quite expensive, but I’d really love to). She spoke fluent Russian, Spanish and of course English and loved ceramics, fashion photography, eastern religion and children which she unfortunately was not able to have. Her children were her students and though she passed away suddenly, my fondest memories as a child are of the things my mom and her sister made for me, from paintings to embroidered wall art, handmade board games, wooden doll houses, there was a lot of love in everything which instilled in my heart a deep appreciation of arts & crafts at a very early age. My mother is alive and well and when I call her we talk about crafting and decorating for a good part of our conversation.

As I am all grown up and writing this blog, seeing all the beautiful handmade works each day inspires me just the same — I love it. And I want to do more with my hands again too! I was once the home project/decorator crafty queen, known for this amongst my friends and family. Now I’m known as the writer and blogger — crafts are not the focus in my life currently. My resolve as the year continues is to make more and to continue to buy as much handmade as I can to show my support of others. I’m staying away from large department stores as much as I can, trying to reuse what I have, get creative with things, sell what I don’t use, etc. I want to contribute actively to the changes that we all as a global family need to make in order to contribute to the greater good. I always have, but this economy has encouraged us all to really think about how and where we are spending our money. I know a lot of you are feeling this way, the economy sucks, lots of you are drained, financially tapped, so let’s try to allow some of this inspiration that we’re finding online to influence our day-to-day life a little more… to make by hand something at least once a month or even to set aside an hour a week to do something creative. To look at everything in our homes and think, “How can I use this in a different way?” before storing it somewhere only to collect dust. More walk, less talk — make time, less whine.

Your thoughts? Are you making more lately? What changes have you made during this economic crunch?

(images linked to their sources above)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, Etsy Faves on May 05, 2009

Green With Glamour {eco-friendly}

I recently discovered Green With Glamour, a lovely shop that showcases products both stylish and eco-friendly, in the April issue of Lucky magazine and instantly marked the page for future blogging! Owned by Kathleen Rowan and Deana Bracken, two Chicago-based friends and business partners, they founded GWG a few years ago and bring the eco-conscious shopper glamorous accessories, clothing and my favorite, items for the home.

Green With Glamour

Oh and my, my, my… look at these gorgeous ikat cotton throws… tell me you don’t love a little ikat now and then in your life? I sure do, in fact I’m determined to find the perfect ikat throw or pillow for my home. Perhaps one of these will do? Hmmmm.

(images: green with glamour)

Posted in Decorating Tips on May 05, 2009

Prize Ribbons – Your Ideas

Remember my little horse show ribbon post last Friday? Seems some of you have already been up to some pretty creative ways to show off those show ribbons! Here are some images that readers sent in — thank you so much! I love that about you guys, you are all so interactive that I never feel alone as I’m writing here each and every day. I really appreciate all that you share with me.

Francine Zaslow Photography

Francine Zaslow Photography

Ribbons on display via This Is Glamorous from Francine Zaslow Photography. I giggled a little when I saw the over-the-bed display. Perhaps this is good for those who have a real stallion in bed? he he. Sorry, that was a little fresh for a design blog now wasn’t it? Sorry!

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How about these from Katie Runnels? She uses prize ribbons in art and as brooches. Thank you for sending me these links Katie!

Hayley Carmo

And check this out… artist Hayley Carmo sent me this image above of her work — this is an image of horse ribbons that she installed at the Urban Outfitters headquarters in Philadelphia. Isn’t this inspiring stuff? Love it!

(images linked above to sources)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on May 04, 2009

shopSCAD: New Website & Goods

I heard from Jessica at shopSCAD last week and I’m finally getting around to posting this as I’ve fallen a bit behind from my accident. I have so much to catch up on so I’ll be posting as much as I can this week! :) You may have read about this already elsewhere so my apologies if this is a repeat episode for you but I really like what shopSCAD has done to redesign their online store and thought you may too.

scad shop

Lots of pretty things for Spring! I especially like their new Re-Gift collapsible fabric bags to use for gift giving or as a tote. Each one is made of durable natural cotton and features a reinforced bottom and available in a variety of colors, patterns and sizes. The patterns were designed by the SCAD professor of fashion, Ben Morris. And talk about affordable, they’re only $5 each!

(images: shopscad)

Posted in Shopping + Products on May 04, 2009

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