Thursday, February 25, 2010

The featured studio this week

from the Artfire ShopswithLessthan10(sales) Guild is On Pens and Needles This is a truly wonderful studio with many surprising things in it and each and every one is handmade.

Jan and Don are a married, retired couple. Jan is a retired nurse and Don is retired from the Navy. Now they are free to spend time on their hobbies. Don makes pens and things from wood and other things-like Corian-and Jan creates wonderful embroidered baby blankets.

I am deeply impressed that Don received the 1st Place Blue Ribbon and Judges Award of Merit at the 2009 Los Angeles County Fair for his entry of the Rose window of Notre Dame scrolled (that's done with a saw) out of Corian the countertop stuff. Now that's artistry for sure!!

Here's a picture of it . Isn't that GRAND?!

Don creates the wooden pens and toys they sell.

Jan creates one of a kind, custom baby blankets that are adorable and other one of a kind things.
I love this little Hooded Bath Towel with the yellow duck ribbon trim. How much cuter can you get for bathtime than yellow ducks?

So click on their studio link and go see their studio on Artfire. It will be worth it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Have you ever seen a magenta sock moneky?

If you haven't you should-they are cool. You can see one on the Artfire ShopswithLessthan10sales guild featured studio this week. It's CuriosityPiqued .

Lori is the owner and creator of the fun items in this studio. She has an incredible variety of stuff-like a magenta sock monkey-and a lavender one, too. I love sock monkeys especially when they are marching to the beat of their own drummer.

Lori also has some other neat stuff in her studio. Among those things is a belt I just love. She has had a life long love of creating things in the fiber art category and it shows. Her work is wonderful.

So here are a couple of pictures, then you really should go see the magenta sock monkey-I mean her studio-for yourself.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The featured guild studio this week is

PositivelyCharmingThings. You can find this studio here

Nikki, from Phoenix is the creator, curator and owner of this great studio. She works with a lot of polymer clay and does it very well, too. (I tried it once and it isn't as easy as it looks.) She love to create-anything and is always working on something besides holding down what I call a "paycheck" job. One day, she hopes to be able to make a living off of her creations. (I know that feeling.). As wonderful as her creations are, I just wouldn't be surprised if she does just that.

My absolute favorite piece in her studio is this Pink and White Swirly Heart Necklace on an organza ribbon. It's so delicate, feminine, and wonderful-perfect if you have a girly-girl on any kind of gift list. The rivoli crystal in the center is going to reflect the light and add lots of dazzle.

Ok, I"ll stop gushing and post the picture now.

I know it isn't close to Christmas right now, even though the weather across the country seems to disagree, but I wanted to post this picture so you can see just how talented Nikki is with polymer clay sculpting.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Spotlight on Va Beach Quilter

The Spotlight studio this week is Va Beach Quilter. You can find her here.

Several relatives on my mom's side of the family were quilters, so I appreciate the art of quilting and it is an art. Kim's work is no exception to this statement. Not only does she have quilts, but a wonderful mix of quilted items from totes and backbacks to table runners and place mats. In fact, when I have the money, she's going to do a custom quilt for me.

I love the colors and style of these placemats.

As a reformed (trying to reform, anyhow) purse collector, I am in love with the selection of quilted purses she has in her studio. Loving the color blue and flowers, of course this is my favorite purse from her studio.

Tali's Creations

Tali's Creations is the Artfire Guild with Less Than 10 Sales studio of the week. This wonderful jewelry studio can be found here .

There are many beautiful pieces of jewelry in Tali's studio, but my favorites are the pieces she has designed for Breast Cancer Awarness in honor of her sister who lost her battle with this all too common form of cancer.

Tali also has some lovely necklace sets in her studio. These sets consist of earrings, a bracelet and a neckace. You don't often see this anymore and it's nice to get matching pieces in one set.

Here are a couple of pictures of her jewelry, then you can click the link and see her studio and maybe find a nice gift. After all, Mother's Day is coming up soon.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ruth Nichols aka Hillside Gradens Art Studio

Ruth is another talented lampworker who was falsely accused on the fraud blog of being a tax evader, among other things. Let me assure you, she is not.

Ruth is a “Jill of all trades” in the glass field-at least in my opinion. When you are done reading this post, you will understand why I say that.

Ruth's dad was an artist and teacher and she found herself following in his footsteps and becoming an artist in her own right. After spending time creating with oils, acrylics, charcoal, acrylics and more, she discovered the world of polymer clay. She began making small things, like buttons and sculptures with poly clay. Then, “I soon started creating on a larger scale, making 18 inch to life size Santa's and old world inspired father Christmas's, angels, elves, political figures & fantasy figures. I found that creating almost all of the items that went with each Santa or Father Christmas was worth it in the time spent. Her polymer clay obsession lasted 18 years. Then, she discovered glass.

Glass was able to feed her addiction to color and being able to blend and fuse colors like she could with the polyclay. There was just one small hitch-she wasn't really happy with the tools available for shaping and working with glass. So, while she was torching, she was thinking about tools and what would work. After searching online and not being able to find what she was looking for, Ruth made a drawing and asked her husband to make it for her. Well, since it was made from graphite, it created a bit of a mess, so they decided to contact somebody who had experience with graphite. They found Leon Good at Weaver Industries and soon, The Perfect Tool system was born with Ruth doing the tool designing.

So, now you know why I called Ruth 'a Jill of all trades in the glass field”. If you look at her website, which can be found here, you will see just how talented this lady is

Monday, February 1, 2010

Seagulls-never just one around

Have you ever noticed that there are never just one or two seagulls around? There are others, hiding and lurking-hidden until the first food scrap appears.

Growing up at the beach, I had lots of opportunities to observe seagulls and their interaction with humans. I would watch the tourists start out throwing bread to 2 or 3 birds. Then, watch the tourists start to freak out when suddenly hundreds of seagulls would show up-flying in circles, diving and screaming. About the time it started to resemble a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds", the tourists would dive back into their cars and feel safe again. Meanwhile, their car was getting splattered with bird droppings-which is another reason I have never liked large groups of seagulls. You could always tell when the tourist got splatterd with droppings-shrieks, cussing and screaming would follow. For some reason, very few of them would run into the ocean to wash it off. Even if you didn't get totally wet, you could at least rinse the bulk of the ick off of you. I never understood that. If a bird splatters me, I'm headed to the nearest water source-hot, cold, salt or fresh, I don't care- that bird stuff is coming off ASAP!!!

This post was inspired by my working first shift this morning and is rather meandering because I worked my usual second shift last night, so I am tired and goofy after 4 hours sleep. I work first shift once in a blue moon.

First shift has all the people checking out that I checked in last night. I really don't like seeing them twice-especially the difficult ones. They are the ones who are schlepping a mile to get ice. LOL! I work at a small, clean, ecomony priced motel and you should realize that by the logo sign. This is not a five star resort and we don't claim to be.

It's chilly, kind of overcast and windy here today, so some seagulls have come inland. There are a couple of seagulls lurking out by the duck pond. A woman took some bread out to feed the ducks and suddenly was surrounded by seagulls. She fled to the safety of her car and headed for I-95, probably vowing to never feed birds again unless it's from a feeder in her yard. Songbirds have much better manners.

This little walk down memory lane has been inspired by my working first shift. I work first shift maybe once a year. That means that I get to check out the same people I checked in last night. Last night was busy, too, thanks to the Rolex 24 Hour Race at Daytona ending around 4pm or so. People know thatif they can just get across that Fla.-Ga. border, the price of everything goes down-especially the price of motel rooms.

We offer a continental breakfast at the little economy chain motel where I work. Just enough to get you on the road and, if you are like me, and don't have a big appetite, tide you over until afternoon.

It's kind of overcast, cool and windy today, so we have a couple of seagulls hanging out by the duck pond. A lady took a couple pieces of bread to give to the ducks and within seconds, was surrounded by a bunch of raucous seagulls.

It reminded me of when I was a kid and used to watch the tourists start to feed a few seagulls on the beach and suddenly would be surrounded by every gull within 3 miles-all shrieking and diving through the air trying to get that one scrap of bread. Most of them, when finding themselves right in the middle of a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds", would retreat quickly to the safety of their car and sit there while the car got splattered by seagull droppings. You could always tell when a person would get bombed by droppings, there would be a loud, horrifying scream, sometimes cussing and a mad dash for their vehicle. I never understood this. Why not head for the water to wash it off as quickly as possible? I have been hit a few times by bird droppings and the first thing I want is water to wash it off. I don't care if it's fresh, salt, ocean, lake, pond, stream or tap water-I want water ASAP.

Hippie Chick Jewelry and Design

is the featured guild studio this week. I love the name of this studio-maybe because it's because I'm just an old hippie chick myself. LOL! Hippie Chick is located in the beautiful state of Oregon and here .

She has been designing jewelry since 1999 and has been actively involved in several large arts and craft shows out there. Her work is cool, colorful, reasonably priced and she has free shipping for US and Canadian customers.

One of the pices that I love in her studio are these Vineyard Cluster earrings. Wouldn't they go perfectly with that little black dress-or that black turtleneck and your favorite jeans?
The Unakite Lariat is a wonderful piece. It would go beautifully with soft warm colors.
So go and check out her studio and see what you can find that you like. Remember, Valentines Day is coming and so is Mothers Day.

There is a link to the guild blog on the right, under My Blog List-be sure to check it out.