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New: Violet

I’m so excited to write this as two of my favorite artists, Camilla Engman and Elisabeth Dunker in G?teborg, Sweden recently moved into a working studio together that they’ve called Studio Violet. Studio Violet has a blog, web store (they ship worldwide) and a website. I have to admit, when I stumbled upon this news today while reading Camilla’s blog I felt butterflies inside because I really LOVE their studio space and the current products they have for sale in their shop. Have you ever looked at something and said, “That is just SO me”? Okay good so you know how I feel about Violet.

So far, Camilla and Elisabeth have collaborated on a few products together and no doubt more will follow, but for now I’m especially enjoying the Friends of Violet poster (which I’ve already ordered for my apartment because the color palette totally fits my place). Isn’t it sweet?

As you know because I’ve mentioned it a gadzillion times here already but in the future I have big dreams of opening a shop/arts & crafts gallery & workshop center with a friend so I imagine that for these ladies this is a very exciting goal to have reached… together. I’m sure they dreamt of this moment too. I love seeing talented women find one another and work together in such a beautiful productive way.

Congratulations to them and to all ladies (and gents) reading who are collaborating on projects. This seems to be a growing trend in the independent arts and crafts world right now, though I hate calling it a trend as they come and go… hopefully collaborating sticks around for a very long time because it’s really taking off and so far I’m hearing nothing but positive reports. I hope to see more and more talented people pulling together to make their dreams come true.

(images from elisabeth dunker)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, inspiration, small business on October 22, 2008

I’m a Featured Buyer on Etsy!

Oh my goodness I’m so excited! I just found out that today Etsy posted my article in their Featured Buyer column. Weeeeeeeee!

I’m soooo happy. Click here to view it. I have to go see what comments have been left, I can’t wait to see what Etsy readers have to say about my article on shopping handmade. This is really exciting for me, I’ve been shopping Etsy since Feb. 2006 and never expected they’d ask me to participate in this series. Thank you, Etsy!

(screenshot from the etsy storque)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, etsy, shopping on October 22, 2008

Pixie Blossoms

I found Pixie Blossoms by clicking on her ad over at Creature Comforts, I don’t think I’d heard of this shop before so I was excited to find it. It features the work of self taught seamstress, crafter and photographer Zee Longenecker who currently lives and works in Arizona.

I have one of her gorgeous postcards (this one) but I could not recall where I got it (I think it was a gift). But I have always wanted to purchase more so when I found her shop, Pixie Blossoms, I was quite excited that I connected the dots without even realizing it! You must also check out her Red Bubble portfolio – you’ll love it and you can purchase the photos directly from that website too.

If the above links weren’t enough, Lee has a gorgeous blog to completely blow our minds, too.

(images from pixie blossoms zee longenecker.)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, walls on October 21, 2008

Etsy Take Five Tuesdays

I’ve really been enjoying the hand-picked items on the Etsy home page recently, especially today as some of my finds here came directly from shops I spotted in hand-picked. Wanna check out the stores on my radar this week? Here we go, friendsies! :)

I adore the bag designs of this South African designer, Wendren and her shop Wren. Handcrafted by Wendren and with help from her local community, no two bags are alike. Motivated by sustainable principles, Wren is a small business dedicated to the production of conscientious design that is authentic and well made. Lovely! (Psst: She also has a website here and a DaWanda store here.)

Hettle in Connecticut connected me to a bit of my past today. Did you know that when I was like 19-years-old I was trained by a seamstress to construct custom hats, headpieces for brides, and pins/clips for bridesmaids in a millinery shop? Oh yes. And I remember very clearly all the work involved, and all of the rosettes just like the ones shown on Hettles pillows that we had to make in a week by hand. It was such a wonderful job though and I stuck with it for a few summers in a row. After seeing these pillows today I remembered this period in my life and that I really should try to make something with rosettes for my home. I imagine the drapes in my bedroom, my white linen ones, could use some fancy (but simple) embellishment. Perhaps a few rosettes as a simple tie back with velvet pale mocha ribbon? Hmmm. Anyway, I love these pillows – linen and velvet? Oh sign me up!

Piano Bench Designs in New Mexico is just holy smokes cute. Cupcake necklaces? Check. Initial necklaces? Bunny wabbits? Check. Happy clouds? Check, check, check! Love this girl, love her jewelry… Weeeee!

Canadian photographer Jennifer Squires has my attention this week as I’ve been experimenting more with nature and travel photography and so I find her work a bit of an inspiration to my own. Jennifer currently has a series in which she has photographed pieces of her vacation to Greece and I find them so serene and exactly how I imagine life in Greece to be. Thanks Jennifer for writing in about your work this week!

And last but far from least, I’ve really been into blankets lately. Lap quilts in particular. I do love those granny-esque crochet ones (you know, the one that a designer was kicked off of Top Design last season for…oooh!), and of course ethnic patterned blankets (esp. if they’re vintage)… but lately I’m really craving a good old-fashioned quilt to curl up under on my sofa. I made one and I use it in my New Hampshire home, but it took me like 30 years to make it so I’m not sure if I should attempt another one before the ultra-cold weather sets in or if I should suck it up and shell out some dough on a beautiful handmade quilt on Etsy. I mean, I am supporting small business if I purchase one, right (justifying a purchase is hardly a problem for me)? I picked up a blanket at IKEA in August but it’s not warm at all, that’s synthetic fibers for ya, and it basically looks pretty and nothing more. Arm candy for my sofa, no substance — it can’t keep me warm at night. I bet the ones from Golden Gate Quilts (aka SFOQuilter) would be a nice replacement for the IKEA one. I appreciate that they’re so affordable given the sheer amount of work that goes into piecing all these squares together… having made a full-size one myself, I know the work involved. If someone sells a lap quilt for $150, they are basically earning $5 an hour to sit and make it. I like the patterns and fabric combos that the SFOQuilter uses, lovely! I wish she shipped abroad because I would purchase this quilt in a heartbeat! (Psst: She also sells quilted table runners.)

Hope you’ve enjoyed my eclectic round up this week! :)

(images linked to their sources above.)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, etsy, Etsy Take 5 Tuesday on October 21, 2008


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