Where am I?

August 20, 2007

I’m recovering from waking up to a completely fried hard drive in my iMac G5 yesterday. After replacing the hard drive, along with a new O/S, and some software, I’m running around trying to get my computer back to normal today. I should have everything worked out by tomorrow. See you then!

Books + Magazines, Inspiration

Midwest Modern *New* Amy Butler Book

August 18, 2007

I can’t wait to give you a sneak peek and a mini review of this wonderful book next week. Amy sent along her new book, Midwest Modern (release date 10/1), and I’ve already read half of it and it arrived a few hours ago. Whenever I flip a page, I keep thinking about you and how you’re going to love it, it’s so inspirational that your head will explode with ideas. :)

Midwest Modern *New* Amy Butler Book
If you feel like shopping for Amy stuff, her web shop is having a sale, 40% off pillows, journals, and handbags. Just enter SALE upon checkout.

Hope you are all having a a great weekend!

(image from holly becker for decor8)

Arts + Crafts, Interviews

Meet Melissa Contreras (Axel Honey)

August 17, 2007

So many inspiring, creative women out there! I’m constantly reminded that blogging is the only way I’d know about so many of them. It is via all this web digging that I found out about Melissa Anderson Contreras, also known as Axel Honey, an artist based in Los Angeles. Her work is so colorful, full of whimsy, and very detailed, I felt like I had to get to know her better. She received her BA in Fine Art from UCLA and made a living as a graphic designer for quite some time before pursuing her dream: painting. Yeah Melissa!

Meet Melissa Contreras (Axel Honey) Self portrait, Melissa A. Contreras.

I can see her illustrating children’s books, greeting cards, product packaging, she’s super talented. And it’s clear to me that she found her visual voice, her unique style, because her work is authentic, you can see the passion in her lines and colors. Here’s a little q + a I had with her recently that I think you’ll enjoy, and she exposed me to a few new links, so click around. I kept it short since it’s Friday and I don’t know about you, but I’m in weekend mode!

Meet Melissa Contreras (Axel Honey)
First Melissa, can you tell us what you do for a living? And where do you live?

Melissa: I’m an artist, currently not making much of a living but I have done: catalog layout, product packaging, tee-shirt graphics. I live in Fresno, as of August 1, quite a change from Los Angeles, but it is my hometown and I am near my family and more affordable real estate.

Where do you sell your work?

Melissa: Currently I have a little show up at The Kids Are Alright, a store in Echo Park (Los Angeles). I also have a piece hanging at Thinkspace Gallery (Los Angeles) and The Hive Gallery (Los Angeles). I have work for sale online at Rising Artist Series as well as a few other places. I have my art on products at My Favorite Mirror and I am on of the artists available for web design at Aeolidia Web Design.

Meet Melissa Contreras (Axel Honey)
I guess I should have asked this first, what do you sell? :)

Melissa: Paintings, mooshees and cooshees (small hand painted sculptures) and other
crafty things.

Meet Melissa Contreras (Axel Honey)
What inspires your designs?

Melissa: Everything. I love folk art, nature, good design and beauty in unexpected places.

I notice lots of American Indians and nature in your work, why?

Melissa: They embody a lot of things I embrace: rich culture, relationship with the environment, an appreciation of nature, geometric patterns, feathers. A romantic view in a world that is becoming homogenized and man made. Also, I grew up in Central California. It is probably the closest to a true American culture that I have been
exposed to.

Describe the type of client that shops with you?

Melissa: People who appreciate handmade and enjoy whimsy.

Meet Melissa Contreras (Axel Honey)
What are the store display photos all about over on your Flickr page, did you design the window? Or? I love seeing artists commissioned to do window displays!

Melissa: I created the window display for my solo show, Sickly Sweet, at Black
on Sawtelle in June. The characters are modeled after these little sculpted ornaments I make, that are about 4″ tall. I tried to make it look like one of my paintings in 3D. The people that ran the series are using it again at Atmosphere Boutique on Vermont in Los Angeles. I installed it a little differently to fit their windows better. Here is the original setup (below).

Meet Melissa Contreras (Axel Honey)
Thank you Melissa, so nice to meet you and view your work! And if you have time and would like to learn more about Melissa, click on over to im right your wrong.

(images from melissa contreras)

Arts + Crafts, Etsy Faves, Inspiration, Small Business

Etsy Poster Swoon

August 17, 2007

Annie from Curbside Treasure told me about this fun contest that Etsy had, she said that they asked etsy members to create posters featuring items found on the website. I had no clue! I missed the boat on this one… Anyway, they selected 60 winners and will use them as large posters and as hand outs at craft fairs. I loved looking at the entries, the color combinations. graphics, some of these entries really sing to me.Here are a few that I like, but feel free to browse them all here. It’s really fun, so prepare to spend a lot of time clicking around. :)

Etsy Poster Swoon Created by: Emma Lynne

Etsy Poster Swoon Created by: Curbside Treasure

Etsy Poster Swoon Created by Five Forty

Etsy Poster Swoon Created by SkullKnockers

Thank you Annie for telling me about this contest, it was really fun to see this!

(images from etsy)

Fashion + Accessories, Objects

Alabama Chanin

August 17, 2007

Mary Jo wrote in to tell me about her blog, Trust Your Style (thanks Mary Jo!) and it was there that I discovered the beautiful Alabama Chanin.

Alabama ChaninI hadn’t heard of this designer before, despite that her company launched in 2006, which surprises me because I’d think with a collection like hers, she would be on all the blogs. Natalie “Alabama” Chanin covers a wide area of disciplines, from limited-edition jewelry, to sustainable clothing and home accessories and furniture. She also runs her flagship store out of Florence, Alabama.

Alabama ChaninThis lady is a creative dynamo! I really enjoy the natural beauty of her collection, the appliqu?d work on pillows, the embroidery, organic materials, it’s not only a smart way to design, but with such beautiful results. Here are some gorgeous images to enjoy, I can picture Alabama Chanin appearing in Selvedge magazine, can’t you?

Alabama ChaninAlabama ChaninAlabama Chanin
Thanks Mary Jo for leading me to this talented lady!

Psst: Alabama even has a few good old-fashioned southern recipes on her site. For her chocolate pie recipe, I’d add pecans or walnuts to the recipe, as that’s how we use to make ours growing up. Then you heat it, topping with vanilla ice cream. :)

(images from alabama chanin)

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