30 March 2010

care package from etsy with love

This is a bit of a secret! I have recently been browsing etsy to put together a care package for a loved one. Everything finally came in and I can't wait to send it off. {Well, with all of the rain we are getting I can wait a few days to drop it off to the post.} I thought that I would share these great finds from artists who also have the politeness, etiquette and fun it takes to be a good seller.  

I immediately think of Heather Jeany when I am on the hunt for some great paper goods. A fellow Craftlander and lover of Providence with an eye for fun illustrations. A great combination for a paper artist. 

I adore these bike cards. It seems such a subtle way of reminding people to pedal whenever they can. And seeing this bike reminds us of fun summer days of our childhood, great inspiration for getting on our bikes again. 

This card recalls summer celebrations in Bristol, RI to the maker. But won't it recall fun summers in locations all over the world for just about everyone? Okay, I am ready for summer now!

So, this is just a small dose of Heather's designs. Go visit her etsy site for more gocco printed goodness. 

After going straight to the artist who I knew would have what I was looking for I started to search etsy knowing there would be lots of lovely paper artists out there. 

Next came Michelle Brusegaard and it was ever so difficult to focus on just paper goods in her shop. The scarves, dish towels, napkins, tunics, skirts, totes & paintings are equally lovely.  But I stayed strong for the time being and shopped only for the loved one. 

These teeny notes are so sweet. Sometimes you just want to pass on well wishes or a simple I Love You. I love her choice of teal for the peacock feathers, it is a perfect contrast to the chartreuse envelopes. 

This peacock is so intricate and beautiful with subtle dashed of teal and rust to accentuate it's beauty. Perfect for a little note of admiration. 

Please do remember to look at all of Michelle's beautiful creations, paper goods are just the beginning.

I haven't been drooling over just stationery, my new attraction is to address labels and etsy is filled with some pretty great decor for you envelopes.

Just as I wiped the drool off my face with some unlucky results for labels I was reaching for a tissue again. Bohtieque surfaced in my long search.
Their work has a simplicity that I love. Subtle hues with one main color popping just a little. And their images have a sketchy quality, not at all overpowering but delicate and still worthy of appreciation. It gives the labels a personal quality, as if someone sat and sketched these designs just for you. 

Bohtieque has wonderful customer service, I can't believe how quickly they got back to me so I could proof the address I had sent them. And they were ever so willing to send me images for a "deliver to..." matching label. I wish I had an image of that label to share with you, it is simply beautiful. 
{in case you were wondering, this is Bohtieque's image, i am not giving away the identity of the recipient of these lovely paper goods!}

Since I love options, and don't want to completely impose all of my preferences on a loved one I continued the label search for some more beautiful work.

Le Petit Papetier was the final shop to catch my eye. Most of her work is for weddings but she shares her beautiful images for those of us just looking to pretty up our stationery. And for this, I am delighted and grateful. 

There are so many simply lovely themes in her store but I am most smitten with her peonies, as I hope my loved one will be. The thistle and bloom themes are equally lovely as are the people named themes. This is such a small sample of what she has to offer so please do look at Le Petit Papetier's shop. You will be smitten.
{this isn't another slip up, my loved one is not the return address here either. don't you just love the font?}

I can't wait to package this all up and send it off once the sun decides to come out. For now I still have it all to admire.

23 March 2010

my fetish with object fetish

I love being saturated with images of jewelry. Seeing how other artists use the same materials in different ways, or how they problem solve in their fabrication process. Aside from taking in the beauty of the objects, I have become fascinated with what makes the pieces come together to form an earring, ring or necklace. Then I wonder what can I learn from the images before me? What draws me to admire these pieces and what can I make that will cause admiration?

Seeing the work of April Higashi on object fetish made me realize that I need to step away from the traditional when it comes to using enamels. 
I get so carried away making certain the finish on my enamel is like glass, however, in my perfection I leave behind some hidden qualities of enamel that I love. April chose to keep her enamels in the sugar coat state, making the white appear crystalized, adding texture to the bold color. 
There is more to these earrings than the texture of the enamel. The tiny hinge attaching the ear wire to the setting the enamel sits on is simply beautiful. It allows for subtle movement, a chance for light to allow the viewer to pick up the texture of the enamel. 

I walk away from the picture of these earrings reminding myself to keep all of the techniques I learned in mind. Hinges don't need to be saved for boxes, enamel doesn't need to look like glass, prongs aren't just for holding faceted stones. Metalwork is versatile, you just need to keep our bag of tricks handy. Now, to put all of this into practice so I can make something worthy of awe.   

19 March 2010

a few things I am grateful for

the sun finally shining and drying up the rain puddles
longer days
bright blue skies
budding flowers
siting outside with callie after work
my cozy bungalow
tulip leaves
the first signs of spring blooming in the yard.....
what is it that you are grateful for?

17 March 2010

help the environment through your blog

Today I received a direct message from Ixpo through twitter. It was a mere request to make my blog carbon positive. It is as easy as adding this button below to a column on your blog, write a post about the project and send Ixpo the link.....                                              

Get Carbon Positive With Ixpo
....and they plant a tree to offset your blog.

Pretty great, huh? I didn't want to stop here with the copying and pasting part. I wanted to know more about the damage I am doing with my blog and sure enough they have done the research. In case the little hippie in you doesn't just jump on the bandwagon I will tell you why this is oh so important.

For ye ole small time bloggers, attracting less than 15,000 hits per month we generate 3.5 kg of carbon each year. When you consider that there are 200 million blogs in the world it starts to add up to about 700,000 tons of carbon in the atmosphere every year. Seems that our hobby or livelihood may be hurting us and not helping us. 
So, how does this little tree help? It is estimated that your tree will help to remove 10 kg of carbon per year making your blog carbon positive by 6.5 kg. But the big picture is, if all 200 million blogs added this cute button, blogged about it and had a tree planted then us bloggers would help REMOVE 2.1 million tons of carbon each year.

Imagine all the people.......sharing all the world.........

happy st. patrick's day to all

Today is so bright and cheery and I found myself looking through photos of Québec. My time spent there was full of late autumn sunshine warming my skin before winter came. Seems I had already taken some pictures suitable for today.

Québec may have many dreary winter months but they know how to add color to their façades to liven things up and help you get through a dark winter. I am so in love with this sign, maybe because my last name is O'Brien?

I hope to find myself at an Irish pub like this one tonight {sadly it won't be this one in Québec} drinking a pint of Guinness from the tap. I would have it no other way. If you are in the Pawtucket/Providence area look for the brown haired girl with freckles and a green shirt saying "everyone loves an irish girl" and wish her a Happy St. Patrick's Day. You will be certain to get a huge smile in return.

Enjoy yourselves, drink some good hearty beer and feel the luck of the Irish today. And be safe. 

Love, this little irish lass.

16 March 2010

etsy finds for pretty packaging

I spent the day home recovering from a sinus infection. Since I am not in the studio I found another way to get work done. So, my search began for ric rac and baker's twine which will be used to decorate my jewelry boxes. And, oh my, was my shopping experience ever fun. 

After looking over oh so many pages of results I settled on these items. And I can't wait to get them in!
This baker's twine is from Olive Manna. I loved the blue so much that I bought two spools.
I am certain that the red and brown will be loved equally. By the way, I made these items irresistible for you to purchase. There is a link to Oliva Manna's store and each photo is linked to the specific item in her shop. Click away.

Now onto ric rac. Goodness did I get carried away here!

This lonely spool from PolkaDot Strawberry was an easy add to basket. When do I turn down any shade of green, especially jade? This is a small sample of what she offers so click on over to her shop and find a color you love.

Now, down to my final four in the ric rac category. 

These delicious rolls of ric rac in plum, fuchsia, turquoise and olive are from Beautiful Additions. Her etsy store is filled to the brim with colorful trimmings and fixings. 

Have fun getting stocked up and all of your finishing touches for your packaging. The sun is shining and staying out longer, open markets are fast approaching.

15 March 2010

antique, vintage and salvage shopping in New Bedford

I found myself doing a little more than searching through antiques for jewelry displays this Saturday.  Upon discovering New Bedford Antiques at the Cove, I also discovered Circa {vintage clothing mecca} and New Bedford Demolition and Salvage. It was quite the fun, picturesque day. {psst... little secret between us, you aren't supposed to take pictures of the antiques or salvage so don't go telling anyone important okay?}

As you can see, the Salvage floors of the refurbished warehouse was far from my search for antiques looking to become displays for my jewelry this Spring....
...no matter, it was fun to capture rows upon rows of hidden treasures. 

spindles, doors, columns, movie seating, full bars...
...railings of wood and steel, mantels, stained glass....
....signs, shutters, cabinets, drawers.... 
...hummer front ends. 

but wait, this is just the first floor, now onto....
....radiators, toilets.....
....claw tubs, wooden tubs too, full kitchens, sinks.

The repetition of all that has been left behind was amazing to me. There is something so powerful about seeing these vast treasures in massive quantities. I know where I will be going should I ever my our own diamond in the rough. I adore fixtures that stand the test of time. I think that is what draws me to the medium of jewelry, it is meant to be passed down to future generations to be held sacred and cared for. Just as these items should be. 

In the beginning of this post I mentioned a vintage clothing mecca, no worries it wasn't forgotten. You know all to well I didn't come home empty handed!
This dress is a promise that I will make some grand pieces and be a part of a gallery show. I do need somewhere to wear this lovely dress to don't I?

Just a little detail so you can see how quickly I fell in love....

Now, to find time to get to the studio and start making jewelry to fill my displays and fulfill the promise of a future show. 

12 March 2010

Craftopia: a sure deal!

It is true! I am going to be in Craftopia, run by Rhody Craft 100. They are doing a wonderful job of introducing new artists to their followers and spreading the good cheer of the upcoming sale. {uh hem, did I mention that the sale is 11.april.2010 from 10am-5pm? And I have been accepted?}

Now that you are all excited and want to meet the new artists here are a few places you can find Rhody Craft 100. To follow their blog just click the image above. Rather look at their website? or follow them on facebook so you can catch up an all of the artists and details of Craftopia?

Hope to see you there. I think their first large sale will be grand.

11 March 2010

my travels, documented through a lens.

Whilst dreaming of traveling and the coming of spring, this picture of London jumped out at me...
I suppose that I just can't wait to be able to open my windows and share my red curtains while some fresh air seeps through the sill. 

......Until then I will sigh and dream of London....

thanks for reading!