Tuesday, March 23

Howdy Y'all

Being a country girl, of course I was attracted to the work of Peacock Garden. It reminds me of growing up- days spent playing in the barn, county fairs, helping dad with our cows, and other simple farm living. Her work transports me back to a simpler, easier time.

Please meet Cari Humphry, of Peacock Gardens.



1. Can you tell me your name and a little about yourself and your studio/creative space?

Cari Humphry, wife of Byron for 12 years. I have two kids, ages 5 and 1. On M,W,F I paint at home in a little nook in my bedroom during the kids rest time. On T,TH I paint, varnish & ship out from a studio space in my dad's accounting office. I paint almost everyday, even if I have to "steal" the time away from cooking or cleaning my house- :)

2. If there’s one thing that defines you, what is it? Right now I would say INSPIRED, but maybe it would be more accurate to say BUSY!

3. Do you have a family and if so what role does your family play in your art? My husband is a great resource for accuracy and information about the cars and the cows I paint. His family has always had cows in south Arkansas and I guess just by being male he has a fetish for all things on wheels.

4. Where do you live and what is it like? I live in Fayetteville, Arkansas in the northwest corner of the state. Wonderful city that is the home of the University of Arkansas.

5. Where did you learn your medium? I started painting with oils in college (as an accounting major) in an art elective class. A couple of years ago I began expirimenting with acrylic due to the "season" of my life (kids, etc.). I found not only were they easier to clean up & the drying time was a lot faster, they were also forced me to be looser and more intentional & bolder with my color.


6. What are your goals with your work? to have fun and get "looser" in my painting style.

7. How did you come to selling online? A friend told me about etsy & I thought it could be an outlet for some of my "collection" I was accumulating and a way to actually get paid for one of my favortie ways to spend my free time.

8. Where all do you sell? Etsy & peacockgarden.com & I have had some art cards at a local shop


9. What is the best piece of advice you can give other artists? I don't feel I should be giving out advice, but all I know that works for me is "paint everyday or as often as you can"

10. Why do you think that buying and selling handmade products benefits society? I think handmade products take us to a simpler time when people took pride in the works of their hands and there was a connection between the craftsman and the buyer. It actually supports and rewards the originator of the product and not all the middlemen.


11. Your shop name and link? http://www.peacockgarden.etsy.com/ - Cari Humphry

Thursday, March 18

Rushing to calm down...

Its been a busy week and I haven’t been able to write a single proper story,. the art show and two kids home have left little time for anything other than my nerves to become frayed. It seems the more I try and get done the less that actually does get done maybe that old saying “the hurriered I go the behinder I get” is true? It seems I have fairly ran this week and not walked and yet I have half painted paintings, nothing is tagged, the kids scrounged up their own lunch, Ky the Amazing did manage to make them a healthy dinner, but of course he would. I though have been mommy the missing and sequestered in the studio trying to get prepared. I always freak out before a show. I love them, but I tend to freak out. Today however I am going to try to approach the day in a zen like calm and actually get something done be productive relaxed serene and smiling….ha ha ha isn’t that funny~!

Wednesday, March 17

This and That...

Getting prepared for an art show this weekend. Sometimes I really like those and sometimes I don’t. Being a folk artist, many folks do not get folk art. I have had old ladies literally say “my grandkids can paint better then that”. Well okay lady, then get them a booth?! But other times Its great to meet the people who buy my art face to face. So it is with trepadition and excitement I get ready for the show.



The biggest thing here at Bumpkin Studio though is my work is going to hang at the local hospital. It was a grueling nail biting juried selection process but I was chosen. They have literally turned the walls there into a fine art gallery. Mostly original paintings of some rather “big name” artists. From where you my wonderful readers all hark from I don’t know if you will know the names, but around these here parts (hee hee) they are some pretty big names I will hang next to…Bev Doolittle, Steven Lyman, Betty Billups, Boots Reynolds and many many others. I was so excited I was ready to happy dance. However, If you are a loyal longtime reader you will remember my last happy dance landed me with a broken foot..so there will be no actual dancing!!!



Coming up here on the Bumpkin blog. I have some great talent lined up. I have a young girl doing some great mini sculptures, I have a fine artists, a paper artist, a jeweler…the list goes on and so does my search. If you can think of anyone who should be featured please give me a holler!!!



You guys have a wonderful Wednesday!!!

Tuesday, March 16

Bloomin' paintings...

If you remember an earlier post, when I interviewed Julie Behm of Quirky Dame designs, I had chose a word for the new year rather than a resolution. This is what she has done and I thought it a lovely idea. Since picking my word I have tried my best to live up to it. The word was bloom. Daily I have striven to modify my approach to life both far and near. To loosen my old ideas and allow new ones to unfold.



I tried some new things in the studio yesterday. A bit out of my “box”- so to speak. Still my folksy, hark back to the past, styling, but with a different flair. I wanted to share this personal step towards growth with you guys. I really hope you like what you see.






Monday, March 15

Joday-today!

So today we are going to hear from a great gal I met through Etsy. I asked hr to tell us a little bit about herself and her work. I hope you enjoy!

Jodaycraf
Hi everyone - I am Joann Temple, also known online and in my ETSY Shop as Jodaycraf. I am a lifelong resident of Delaware, the Small Wonder, and the third of four daughters in my family. My first attempt at creativity was trying to make Christmas presents for my three sisters. I took a needle and thread and toilet paper, and attempted to make rosettes. If I remember correctly, the attempted rosettes were a little sad. But, I had fun trying. I haven’t stopped creating since then. I have dabbled with ceramics, cross stitch, wreaths, and silk flower arrangements.

I have always loved jewelry, and remember on many instances looking through my Mom’s or my Nanny’s jewelry. I would try on the jewelry and imagine myself transported to another place. I still have a few pieces of my Mom’s jewelry and my Nanny’s jewelry which I enjoy wearing.

Inspiration:
I am inspired by the beads themselves. I don’t usually plan a project, but sit down with my beads and draw my inspiration from the shapes, textures, and color. Then I just start creating from that point forward. I am also inspired by nature, and the beauty of the world. I love the creative process of going from a pile of beads to a lovely necklace, bracelet, or earrings.

I really enjoy working with natural stones, such as Turquoise, Goldstone, and Jasper – there are so many more. I also enjoy scouting for lovely vintage pieces, which are also in my ETSY Shop.

Blogging:
I am very new to Blogging. My Blog is http://www.arkofjewels.blogspot.com/. I need to work on my Blogging skills, and am currently reading a lot of Blogs to determine which direction I want to take. I am still a little lost in this area, but hope to improve soon.

ETSY Shop:
What is Your Favorite Piece of Jewelry?
I have a Rose Rhodonite Necklace that is my current favorite in my Shop. I can’t say I have a favorite in my personal jewelry. It just depends upon the day.

My ETSY Shop is jodaycraf. I currently carry items for sale which include handmade necklaces, earrings, bracelet, and also some Vintage. I have a lot of beads and supplies so will be getting creative real soon to expand my shop’s offering. Happy Crafting!!

Sunday, March 14

Sculpting little lives...


Creativity has always been a high priority in my life. I try to find it everywhere and carve little nuggets of creativity out of ordinary daily life. I have also always tried to instill a creative flair into my children. My daughter loves to do crafts and has developed a sense of very creative play. She writes books and poetry and even a song or two. My son who is usually very hyper active (he has medical issues) and won’t hold still for even 2 minutes-by the clock will sit for hours if given the tools to create He loves tactile creating, clay, paints, textured papers and the like. I think too often now days kids are given toys that do not allow for this creativity to flow, Games are mapped out, toys literally, because they are electronic tell them how tio play and the creative mind is left to wither. We do not have such toys here. We do simple stuff, the basic old fashioned toys.




A few days ago the kids clamored upstairs spilling excited words out of their mouths ushering us to “come see” what they had done in the toy closet. We turned the stair well into a little toy area for them with bright lights and lots of storage bins, crates, bags etc. I headed there with trepidation because I never really know what messes all this unrestrained creativity will hold. I was taken abac by what I saw,. They had worked together-this is a colossal feat in itself- but anyways, they had cooperatively built a sculpture of toy cars. It stood about a foot high. You can see in the photo how the cars are placed exactly in the right spots. You can see their attention to the little details and how one car balances on another. I cannot actually picture the two of them working together. The older sister usually has nothing but distain for her brother and he with his issues is very misguided in his dealings with others (Aspergers). So to picture them working side by side on this makes the task of creating more gargantuan then the actual sculpture itself.



I love to the creativity; it is my hope to you enjoy this as well!

Have a very happy Sunday!

Saturday, March 13

Saturday Shopping

So here we go again with Saturday shopping. I found some things I really love this week. Be sure to click the store names and browse the shops. Lots and lots of great items can be found in each of these stores!!! Have a happy Saturday, and lots of fun shopping!


Porcelain Designs


They are very unique, artistic, and shiny!
Using techniques similar to the ancient art of china painting, each piece begins with the finest porcelain clay, individually formed, and hand-finished before it's first clear glaze is applied and kiln fired.
Then, each barrette is painted by hand, with layers of mixed metallic glazes and on some pieces we also add accents in 22k gold.

Take a look around my shop and let me know what you think!


Poetry Jewelry (Please see the ad this page!!!)
I am Creative. Its the best way to describe myself. My husband thinks I have OCD – Obsessive Creative Disorder. Everything has to be creative, my food, my house, my books, my music, the packed lunches..you get the drift. I love creating and have lost track of how many handmade gifts I have made and given through the years.

I am inspired by life. I love books, music, ancient history, anything that tells a story. I am a Cancerian, so like a little crab I hoard all the positive energy I get out of these and then input it into my creations. I want to share them with you, give you the same joy it gives me creating them. Every piece is created with complete commitment and passion. Each piece is passed through my harshest critics, My Family. So I can actually call this a family Business :) . But over and above that I am my harshest critic and my biggest completion. My aim is always to learn from Yesterday, absorb Today and be better Tomorrow.

My line of jewelry is a collection of colourful pieces in various materials and textures. I have pieces for casual wear, office wear and occasion wear. So do take a look and visit often for new designs and ideas will keep coming and do add me to your favourites. On a last note, My name is Kavitha and in Sanskrit it means Poetry



JuJuBeesBoutique

i am a stay at home mom of a 3 and 6 year old. I have had a shop on Etsy for about a year now. I have been an artist my whole life and hope to build my business over the next few years so when both my kids are in school I can make a "living" off of what I love.
Thanks again,

Natalie


Waterwaif

"Becoming an artist: how did I start? Honestly, I put a blank canvas on the table in front of me, picked out my favorite color (aqua/teal) from the paints I’d just bought, and positively slathered it on the canvas! Then I sat back and watched it dry. I have never in my life been that excited to watch paint dry. And at the ripe age of 33, too. I never knew in the years I was in school and then putting my children through school that I had this in me!

The idea to paint, create jewelry, and sell what I’d created was born of boredom and an unfulfilled sense of self. I've been a stay-at-home mom for quite a few years and felt so empty and unlike myself when everyone was gone during the day. And I realized that I honestly lived for MORE than just their coming home at the end of the day. I lived for the deep wellspring of passion that only art and its creation can tap into; the one that had been buried for way too long!"
~Tara


Hey there! My name is Casey and I’m a 19 year old, Australian photographer. I have had a love for photography for as long as I can remember and I truly believe this passion for photography emerges through my photographs.

I feel as though my specialty is portraiture. I really connect to this genre and love being able to share a story or emotion through a single second in time. I am constantly learning more about myself and my camera and I feel that learning new things is super important when (attempting) to run a small business.

I have really only started to think about my photography in a professional manner over the past year, before that it was simply just a hobby I adored. In 2009, I bought my first DSLR camera and since then my passion for photography has grown more than I could have ever imagined. I’ve recently opened my etsy store (Jan 2010) and began selling my fine art prints which has been a huge learning curve!

I’m really looking forward to seeing what this New Year will bring for me and my photography. I’m shooting for a couple of weddings soon and aiming to fill lots of people’s walls with my unique photographs!

Friday, March 12

Borne To Beauty

And another great artist, here on the Bumpkin Blog. I just love all the great talent I come across, and I love even more to bring it to you guys. If you know any artists you would like to see here –including yourself- please just pass the name along and I promise to check it out. Thanks so much.


So today I bring you…

Earthborne Art

1. Can you tell me your name and a little about yourself?

My Name is Dana Morton and my business is Earthborne Art. I specialize in a line of ceramics called, "My Grandma's Linens".

It all started when I needed favors for our wedding. I went through a box of old linens that my grandmothers had made, and created little dishes by taking impressions of them. They were a huge hit!

I now scour flea markets, yard sales etc., in search of old textiles. I like the idea of preserving them in clay while breathing new life into an old art form.

2. If there’s one thing that defines you, what is it?
There really isn’t one thing that defines myself. If there’s one thing that defines my ceramics it’s probably my love of texture and nature.

3. Do you have a family and if so what role does your family play in your art?
My husband, (Ford), and I have been married for 15 years now and he has helped me in every aspect of my business every step of the way. If it weren’t so heavy, I’m sure there was a time when he could have thrown my kiln over the fence. Hee! Hee! I still haven’t been able to get him to pick up a ball of clay and create something yet…. He does all of that boring excel, tax, business stuff that I hate doing and he loves it. So you could say, we’re a match made in heaven.

4. Where do you live and what is it like?
I live with my hubby and dear old dog in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, just east of a cute little town called Sonora. Located in the gold country of California, adjacent to Yosemite National Park.

I have a ceramic art studio in my back yard, kiln and all. I watch birds, squirrels, deer and other various wildlife stroll by while I'm working.

5. Where did you learn your medium?
I first discovered ceramics in high school. I credit that class with keeping me interested enough to graduate. I continued studying ceramics at Columbia College, and graduated with a degree in early childhood education with a major emphasis in ceramics.

6. What are your goals with your work?
I’m have been teaching ceramic workshops at local Charter Schools for several years now. I would like to expand my workshops to include art therapy for senior citizens in care homes.

7. How did you come to selling online?
I ran into someone at an art show that recommended Etsy. It’s my first adventure into cyberspace selling and I love it!

8. Where all do you sell?
My work is for sale locally at:
La Petite Maison, Main St. Jamestown CA.
Mountain Sage, Main St. Groveland CA.
I also sell at small local art shows, charity events and Farmers Markets.

9. What is the best piece of advice you can give other artists?

Do it because you love it and believe in yourself.




Please go to her website and look at more of her work. I was hard pressed to pick the photos to use. There wasn't anything in this store that was not an absolutely stunning piece of work...so PLEASE, take the time and visit Earthborne Art!

Thursday, March 11

Hoppin' around... smiling!

I just love stuff that makes me smile. It doesn’t take much. I am a pretty simple person. My dogs muddy and running through the house doesn’t make me irate, it makes me giggle. When my children spill their dinner [plates on the white carpet I chuckle. I like to be happy. I like to smile. I think that is why the work of today’s feature got me. I saw it and started smiling. The whimsical little characters were dancing across my screen while a smile did a jitterbug across my face. I hope the work of Something Bunny makes you smile as it did me… enjoy!

Something Bunny

1. Can you tell me your name and a little about yourself and your studio/creative space?

My name is Lea and I've often been told that I have type A personality; "a high-achieving workaholic who multi-tasks, drive themselves with deadlines, and are unhappy about delays" (courtesy of wikipedia). It may not always be a good thing but here's where my art comes into play. My illustrations and the whole concept of "Something Bunny" came out of my need for a relaxing creative outlet. My studio is a small cozy den plastered with inspirational artwork and photos. My desk is littered with pencils, pens, erasers, and sketchbooks amongst my laptop and tablet.

2. If there's one thing that defines you, what is it?

I'm not sure if there is exactly one thing that defines me, but I do think that my silly and happy nature best defines my personality and my art. My passion for art and love for all things sweet, silly, and simple drives me to create the illustrations you see today.

3. Do you have a family and if so what role does your family play in your art?

I have a wonderful supportive family and a boyfriend of four years. My mom is the artistic one and although she doesn't draw or produce fine arts, she dabbles a lot with crafts so I think that's where I got my artistic side from. My dad has always been supportive of me pursuing an arts education (when it was a possibility for me) and my sister has always believed in me.

4. Where do you live and what is it like?

I live in Toronto in Canada and for the time being I love it here. It's especially lovely in the spring/summertime when the weather starts to get warmer and walking around the city is much more pleasant. My favourite past times include visiting the Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario (free on certain nights), riding bikes at Center Island, and so much more.

5. Where did you learn your medium?

All of the Something Bunny illustrations were created in Adobe Photoshop with a Wacom tablet from start to finish. I had come across other artists' works that were created digitally with paint software and graphic tablets and was instantly interested in how the tablet worked. I started working with a Wacom tablet a few years earlier and the first tablet I owned was a blue Wacom Graphire 2 that I had gifted myself for my own birthday. It does feel different from traditional media (e.g. paint, graphite, etc.), but after using it for awhile you get used to the feel of a tablet and coordinating your tablet pen movements to the monitor.

6. What are your goals with your work?

If there is one thing I hope to achieve with my art it is that I can share my love for all things sweet, silly, and simple with the world through my illustrations. Etsy may be a small start to achieving this goal, but nonetheless it is a start and with small steps I hope my art will grow organically by itself and take me wherever it does through this growth.

7. How did you come to selling online?

I came across Etsy in 2007, specifically coming across miniature cupcakes that I thought were the cutest thing. At the time I didn't think much about selling my art online and I didn't even sign up for an Etsy account. It was only after a few months later when I stumbled upon Etsy again that I started to browse through all the wonderful artwork in Etsy. Eventually I decided to give my own shop a go and I signed up for an account. I couldn't sustain my shop very long because of time commitments I already had when I first started, but I vowed to re-open my shop one day when I felt I was prepared. Here I am today, about a month old into a grand re-opening and it's been wonderful so far.

8. Where all do you sell?

I don't have any formal outlets where I sell my art but I have done art commissions in the past for customers who had seen my work and were interested in a custom illustrated portrait. I only became more serious with selling prints of my artwork when several of my friends encouraged me to do so. Eventually I would like to set up my own website (alongside Etsy) and also expand to outside venues.

9. What is the best piece of advice you can give other artists?

The best advice I could give to my fellow artists is to always, always, always create art. If art is your passion and it is what you love to do, you will never be able to let it go or squash it down. The more you create, the more you will grow as an artist and ultimately as a person.

10. Why do you think that buying and selling handmade products benefits society?

In a world where everything is massed-produced and waste is abundant, I believe that buying and selling handmade creates a personal touch to things and creates less waste. The fact that an item is made by a person and not by a machine greatly increases the value of it and it is usually cherished more dearly than massed-produced things.


11. Your shop name and your links?

Etsy Website: Something Bunny

Blog: http://somethingbunny.wordpress.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/somethingbunny

Wednesday, March 10

Mesmerized

Not only does today’s feature have great talent that drew me in instantly, the name had me popping out of my seat. You see my very favorite private art teacher was of the same last name. I am not sure what I learned from him. Of course I learned the basics of art, how I am not sure since I was completely head over heels for him. You know, the kind of school girl crush that has you stealing glances, giggling and unable to focus on anything more then silly day dreams. Sanchezisms art however too is a day dream. Wonderful work that leaves me dreaming. A husband and wife duo, I think you will find their answers highly interesting as we hear commentary from each. So, pull up a chair, sit back and get ready for a great read!

Sanchezism


1. Can you tell me your name and a little about yourself and your studio/creative space?

Steve: My Name is Stephen Sanchez. I believe that a true artist’s creative space is in the mind. Through vision and creative thinking processes. It is separate from the place that we bring our vision to reality. Our Studio is the place where we put our assumptions to the test. A corner in a room, the pavement on a sidewalk, a wall in a child’s bedroom. All of which are places I feel can be as special a studio as any place. A place where we are not limited to standards or guidelines as they are what stifle creativity. While at the same time standards and guidelines breed creativity for those who chose not to color inside the lines.

Kellie: My name is Kellie Sanchez and I am a self taught glass artist and crafter. I have loved drawing and creating things since I was very little. I have done a variety of mediums through the years, from acrylic painting and wall murals to ceramics to Ukrainian eggs, and now glass. I love mediums that are challenging and unforgiving. My studio has always been a desk located somewhere near the center of the family living area. right now, the entire bottom floor of our house is our studio. We have equipment and working areas located in every room.

2. If there is one thing that defines you, what is it?

Steve: Surrealism. To take something that is very real and twist it. Stretch it. Smash it. Taste it. Feel it. Even become one with it. I have always fancied people who look at the glass half full or half empty but question the energy that surrounds the glass and the way people analyze it to begin with. Glass is malleable, hard, cold, hot, sharp, soft, clear, opaque, fluid and most of all, what it does with light can not be compared to anything other than sunsets and sunrises that we see through water in our atmosphere which plays a very similar role to crystal clear glass. Truth is we have only scratched the surface of what glass can do and we are having a total blast exploring our way ever forward.

Kellie: OCD. Obsessive compulsive disorder that i have taken ot a highly functional level LOL! Everything that has ever piqued my interest became a challenge that I had to master. Not just to do it, but to do it well. I can multi task like a fiend, but also stay focused on one thing until I feel that I am as good as I'm going to get at that particular subject.

3. Do you have a family and if so what role does your family play in your art?

Steve: Creativity runs in our blood. I was born the son of an art student. Apparently I found my way into my dad’s paints around the age of 3 and added my own style to his paintings. Out of frustration and my mothers chagrin, my father supplied me with everything I needed to paint by his side instead of on his side. My first oil painting was called “birdy”. It was that way through out my entire childhood. My younger brother also saw at an early age that I was praised for my talent potential and eagerly started his trek. He’s a talented artist who currently works as a graphic artist for International Gaming Technology where I also worked for 2 ½ years. If I am going to get what I want in life, I have to be my own manager and create my own path. My son has been creatively challenged since his birth and today works with me on several projects. He’s attending college now learning graphics. His first child will be his first life long canvas and I will be sure to influence.

Kellie: I have 4 kids of my own and 2 step children. My kids love my art, and a couple of them inherited my artistic ability. But it is my husband that pushes me to do whatever it is that I am learning better. He knows how to motivate and inspire me. It certainly helps that he is an incredible artist himself, with not only natural talent, but he has formal art training where I do not. He teaches me a lot.

4. Where do you live and what is it like?

We live in Nevada City California. It is completely stress free. 5 miles from my favorite fishing lake, the smell of fresh air. In fact the fresh air itself is a huge plus. I am not keen of snow but deal with it. I just stay in and create. Nevada City is a very creative community and reminds me of San Francisco with all the Victorians but in the mountains. When I drive down into the valley for what ever business reasons, I feel my blood pressure start to rise the moment I start to hit traffic and congestion. The people are more pleasant to be around up here. I have the crystal prisms in a local glass shop and they have been selling for 4 months straight. We are loving it here!

5. Where did you learn your medium?

Steve: From pure desire. Anyone with creativity can easily pick up a tool and explore what it can do. Most tools come with a guide and that guide may tell you if you strike an object with it, you will break it. But that could be the very thing that is needed in order to spark the creative vision. Salvador Dali is and will always be my inspiration in what I want in life. Standing in front of one of his paintings, I wanted to paint just like him. I picked up my brushes and started painting one right after another until I got it to where I wanted it. At first I copied his paintings. Painted murals on the walls in my bedroom, drew on desks and tables in school during lectures. Took several years but I did it by not giving up. Sort of like the way an athlete or musician practices in order to become an expert in the field. I attended the Academy of Art is SF at 17 thinking I was god’s gift to the world. What I learned at the Academy was not how to be a good artist because I already was, but I was tossed into a pool of hundreds of artists and suddenly became one of the crowd. I was humbled and my eyes were split wide open and suddenly I began to see a more profound and deep TRUE vision of myself as an artist. I learned how to sculpt Crystal after leaving the Academy as an apprentice to a crystal sculptor who was well established in the glass art community. Both my Brother and I worked for him for 5 years but we were only working on his designs. Sort of like the shoemaker with the elves. “ what if we did this?” “What if we did that?” we constantly asked but for the most part we stayed on the path because it provided a clear shot to his success. Not ours. He passed away and everything ground to a halt. 20 years later it’s my turn and I call the shots. The biggest and most valuable question in the world to an artist is: “What if?” We are now finding that out. When we finish, we will ask again.

Kellie: I am self taught in everything I've ever done. Witht he glass, my husband bourght home a microwave kiln and some glass scraps about a year ago. I reserched fused glass on the Internet and just took off from there.

6. What are your goals with your work?

Steve: To make it perpetual. To influence. To serve myself by being able to continue creating while it pays for itself. I have worked for corporate for over 10 years because my talent didn’t always pay the bills. Doesn’t now but I have found that corporate America is completely dysfunctional when it comes to logic and I became nauseated with authority. I obtained a business management degree to go into administrative management only to discover the higher you go the tougher the shackles and cuffs they put on you are. I walked away and emptied allof my 401K from all the corporate jobs I had. All the stock options cashed in and put it into the crystal business. The goal is to continue all the way down this path and start something huge that will continue to grow well after I am gone.

Kellie: To create or develop a technique that not many other artists do. I hope to stand out on my own and to be respected in the artistic community as a good artist.

7. How did you come to selling online?

Steve: 20 years ago when I first attempted to do this we did not have internet. It was IMPOSSIBLE to get all the information needed in order to get a good start. The crystal sculptor we worked for was very private and did not share information on how to get started for fear of our taking his business away… I guess. I can only assume. When he passed that was it. Now, because of the internet not only do I have all the information that I need, suppliers that I need but I have discovered that if you have an object that someone wants regardless of what it is, it can be sold to a total stranger in a rice field in Thailand. All we need is .0001 percent of the population to buy one crystal and the business will be set. But our goals are higher than that. Something even more valuable than a sale and that is respect in the field.

Kellie: Being a computer geek by day, I have been buying and selling on the internet since before Bill Gates created Internet Explorer. I ran a small community bulletin board where I programmed ASCII online games and sold "subscriptions" to the bulletin board back in 1990. I was also very active, mainly as a buyer, on EBay since 1995. LOL, my PayPal account is older than many of the kids online now!

8. Where all do you sell?

Kellie: We have Crystal Prisms in the Nevada city Crystal and Glass store in downtown Nevada City, hoping to branch out to more brick and mortar stores soon. We have our own domain and website. I also maintain active shops on both Etsy and ArtFire.

9. What is the best piece of advice you can give other artists?

Steve: You are already an artist if you can draw a straight line. A surreal artist if you can’t. Be honest with yourself. Understand who you are and what you want and make it happen. Sounds like a cliché but in hindsight cliché’s are there for a reason. Are you concerned by what people think of what you are doing? Or are you creating with out a shred of concern about what people think of your work? Do you accept criticism well? I believe that a true artist doesn’t create to please people but creates in order to temporarily relieve one’s self obsessed compulsion with creativity. Get it off your chest and walk away. Then come back and do it again, and again because it gets you off. If you happen to be lucky enough that your work DOES please people then you are golden and every human being … and recently animals… possess that potential. You just need the right influence, drive and motivation. When being compelled by an inner drive for creativity. Listen to it, question it, twist it and then stretch it as far as your mind can. What’s the worst that can happen? You offend someone? Can you live with it? A true artist can of course.

Kellie: Patience and practice, practice, practice. Something that we keep telling our kids that are artistically talented. Keep practicing and learning. Don't be afraid to try new things, techniques, materials. Learn from your mistakes. I keep mine around to remind me of what not to do, or WHY that particular technique didn't work.

10. Why do you think that buying and selling handmade products benefits society?

When you buy something handmade, you are actually buying a piece of the community from which it came. Before industrialization, everything was handmade. Some people where naturally better at making some things than others. But everything was made because it was needed or wanted. If you wanted to be warm at night, you needed a quilt. If you were much better at training horses than sewing, you bought or traded for your quilt from the person down the way that just loved making quilts. Homemade items also come with their own history and story, making it more personal. Buying handmade connects us indirectly and directly in a way that mechanical mass production items just can't.

11. Your shop name and link?

Mystic Prism is the name of our studio and business. http://www.crystalbymysticprism.com/ is our main website. I am in the process of creating our Mystic Prism Studio page, but not yet ready to advertise it yet. Our personal portfolios of previous work is on line at http://www.sanchezism.com/

Tuesday, March 9

Sling-A-BUY-baby...Must have for new mommies!

Our artist today is one of my favorite gals. One of the first I met here online when I started selling on Etsy. She has two shops, one, The Little Ballerina where she makes fabulous little hair clippies, tutus and a menagerie of other little goodies. I've bought several of her clippies and just love them!!! Today though I want to focus on her shop Sling-A-Bye-Baby. She has come up with a very cute and clever baby sling. She has also loaded her tore with all sorts of other adorable baby items! Her work is spectacular, just like her personality. I hope you have fun reading all about her!


Sling-A-Bye-Baby
1. Can you tell me your name and a little about yourself and your studio/creative space?
Marcella Hogg, I'm a stay at home mom to three kids, a full time college student, wife, and crafter. I craft in what used to be our breakfast nook, but my space is constantly shrinking!

2. If there’s one thing that defines you, what is it?
I love to try new things! I'm very sporadic.

3. Do you have a family and if so what role does your family play in your art?
My shop was inspired by my kids. I started this shop after I made myself a baby sling to carry my newborn in [he's 8 months now]. I started adding hats once I got into crocheting and now knit.

4. Where do you live and what is it like?
I live in Central California and it's alright. It's beautiful on some days, but sometimes seems busy. I'd like to live somewhere more secluded.

5. Where did you learn your medium?
Self taught. Picked up on sewing and crocheting through books and how to videos.

6. What are your goals with your work?
Just to make a little extra cash, either for spending or to pay bills. I know it's not going to become a full time career for me, especially since I have 3 little ones to focus on and school.

7. How did you come to selling online?
Someone recommended that I start selling what I make, and I had a ton of people ask me where I got my sling.

8. Where all do you sell?
Just on etsy!

9. What is the best piece of advice you can give other artists?
It takes time and work. You can't expect for things to sell as soon as you post them. And most things you try to sell have a huge market [jewelry, clippies]. You need to somehow make your items stand out.

10. Why do you think that buying and selling handmade products benefits society?
We're all helping each other out. I love to buy handmade so I can see others arts.

11. Your shop names and link ?

Sling-A-Bye Baby  and The Little Ballerina


Monday, March 8

Nothing to Poo Poo about!

Good morning! Today we are going to hear from yet another wonderful artisan. When I saw the work she has done with paper I was truly transfixed. She has blended so many natural elements to make something as simple as paper into an art form. The color and textures were nearly implausible. I sat staring at my screen transfixed as I read more about her and her process. Here she is, Liz-Anna in her own words…



Liz Annas On The Lake

1. Can you tell me your name and a little about yourself and your studio/creative space? I’m Liz-Anna from Liz-Anna’s Lakeside Studio. I work out of my home studio which has a beautiful lake view. Artsnark did a piece on her blog featuring my studio if you are interested. I spend a lot of time outdoors in the spring and summer collecting materials and ideas for my art. I work as an admin assistant but most of my free time is spent in my creative pursuits.

I make handmade papers from plants that are grown in my region and even from moose poo. Full details about that process are on my blog. I also spend time exploring various art forms including mixed media collage, my current favourite. I enjoy working in textiles, creating one of a kind hand dyed pieces. I use a variety of techniques including batik, silkscreen, block printing, beading and embroidery. I also create natural soaps, lip balms and body butters and do some work in stained glass and concrete. I teach workshops in my area as well.

2. If there’s one thing that defines you, what is it? I love to create beauty. I can’t imagine a life without that. I am so fortunate to have been born in a time and place where I can have this freedom.

3. Do you have a family and if so what role does your family play in your art?
My children are all adults now and my husband is very supportive of my creative endeavors, even when it meant coming home to ‘who knows what’ boiling away on the kitchen stove before I had my own studio. I think the moose poo was the last straw though! My family has always encouraged me in my art and when my children were young, they worked along side me doing their own version of whatever it was I was doing. I don’t believe in putting art on hold while you raise children when you can use it to share and grow together.

4. Where do you live and what is it like? I live in the north central interior of British Columbia, Canada in a very rural area accessible by ferry. It is a beautiful and peaceful place to live with lots of lakes and open sky.

5. Where did you learn your medium
I learned to make paper through an Emily Carr College Outreach program with an instructor from Paper-Ya about 15 years ago. We made a variety of papers but I especially fell in love with the texture of the paper we made using Japanese Kozo fibre. As soon as the workshop was over I started experimenting with plant fibres I could find locally. I also purchased some good books to expand on what I had learned in the weekend workshop.

As an artist, I am mostly self-taught although I do take weekend workshops when I can and I devour books and other publications on my creative interests.

6. What are your goals with your work? Personal satisfaction is important but I also like to share what I do through workshops and participating in events that showcase my work. I’m not holding my breath for fame and fortune but it’s good to know that I will leave something behind that says I was here.

7. How did you come to selling online? I heard about Etsy through various magazine articles that featured artists who sold on Etsy so I decided to give it a try. I love this on-line community of artists that I’m getting to know.

8. Where all do you sell? I sell at local and regional craft fairs and art shows as well as wholesale and on consignment in some local shops.

9. What is the best piece of advice you can give other artists? Don’t be afraid to try new things. So much of learning is doing. I hear so many people say they couldn’t do this or that but they haven’t tried.

10. Why do you think that buying and selling handmade products benefits society? Handmade is generally kinder to the environment than factory made, especially when local resources and recycled materials are used. Artists and artisans who can support themselves by working from home have a special opportunity to be more available to their children. Handmade builds human connections in ways that commercial manufacturing and distributing can’t.

My on-line shop is Liz-Anna’s on the Lake  I have only been up and running for two months so I am still building inventory. I have also started a blog http://www.liz-annaslakesidestudio.blogspot.com./

Thanks Liz-Anna for letting us glimpse into your life! Please my wonderful readers... go check out the wonderful things found in her shop!