Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Featured Artist: Jesse Mosher.etsy.com

(c)Copyright of this work is retained by the artist and is not transferred upon sale.

Jesse Mosher Rock n Roll Folk Art Paintings on repurposed wood.

Why spend your life making art? Many people have art as a part of theirs, While for me it is the moon, the stars and nearly everything inbetween. I've been making pieces for sale continuously, without a break since sept 1998, selling over 14,000 signed prints and originals since those days. The reason I can't stop is that I feel myself becoming part of the long history of american art and culture that streches as a continuous line from Buffalo Bill Cody to modern times. Each of the 450 or so different people I've painted help fill in the picture of what and who we are as a culture, as a people, and what it means to dedicate a life to the pursuit of art and music, daring to express their vision as individuals and groups.

(c)Copyright of this work is retained by the artist and is not transferred upon sale.

My Etsy Shop: http://www.JesseMosher.etsy.com

My Blog: http://www.myspace.com/jessemosher

My youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thUps-FMvVM

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Featured Artist: DZFantasy

About 14 years ago, with no formal training in art, I was inspired to start designing and creating my one-of-a-kind fiber fantasy sculptures. It was through my love of nature, working with unique fabrics, yarns, colors, and fantasy which resulted in the creation of my Fiber Sculpted Fantasy Figures.I first started out selling my work in craft shows back in 1997, when I was creating more "doll like" figures, whose clothes I designed, and only hand-painted the faces. My largest creation at that time ws a 30" posable doll. Wanting to get into juried art shows, I changed my designs to smaller fantasy figures very similar to what I am doing now. It is amazing how one's art changes over the years! I now sell at art shows, via my web page, and last year in February of '08, I discovered Etsy. While, my business name for my art is/has always been YOUNG AT HEART, when I signed on with Etsy I used the name DZFANTASY for not only my Etsy shop, but my blog as well. I love having an on-line shop, but also truly enjoy doing shows for the one-on-one contact with customers.I individually design/create each figure using quality fabrics, many of which are silk, which I hand-dye to obtain one-of-a-kind colors and designs. Each creation's face is individually, hand drawn, needle-sculpted, and hand-painted using 100% silk tussah fabric. (Tussah silk comes from wild moths whose main diet is oak leaves, and the natural color ranges from light beige to darker tan.) This individual process is what gives each creation their unique personality. Their lips and eyes are further enhanced with a crystal clear lacquer which gives the face a 3-dimensional look, and a bit of shine! Finally, the face is then sprayed with a matte finish sealer for protection. Many hours of love, work and attention to detail go into each and every one of my creations.Each body, face and wing is firmly stuffed with the finest of acrylic fiberfill. The use of inner wire armatures allows me to position each creation into various permanent poses. Some of my creations are designed as wall hangings, mobiles, while others may be set wherever one wishes a bit of color, fun and fantasy!I design their colorful hairdos out of imported Italian, French, English and German designer yarns, or hand-dyed mohair in a wide array of colors and textures. I also design/create all of their accents; purses, necklaces, hair and waist accents, using Swarovski crystals, stones, glass beads, shells, and pieces of antique jewelry.Creating my fantasy creations is a "passion" with me, and I couldn't give it up if I wanted to!! It is such fun to see the smiles on people's faces when they visit my booth at an art show. I also started my DZFANTASY blog in April of 2008, and love having monthly giveaways of my creations.WANDA, here on the links.YOUNG AT HEART WEB PAGEhttp://dzfairies.comDZFANTASY on ETSY:http://dzfantasy.etsy.comDZFANTSY BLOG:http://dzfantasy.blogspot.com

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Featured Artisan: Hollywood Spotlight Jewelry

Hollywood Spotlight Jewelry creates Gorgeous Handmade Jewelry! I absolutely Love this Unique Handmade Necklace..."The Vera Ellen." http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=26356959


My Etsy Shop: http://www.hollywoodspotlight.etsy.com

My Blog: http://hollywoodspotlightjewelry.blogspot.com

Friday, June 26, 2009

How to make a Banner without a Fancy Program

You can make your banner or avatar in PowerPoint. That's right, PowerPoint!It can do just about everything that design programs can do - it's just a little clunkier. You can cut out shapes, add shadows, place type etc.And most of you will have it on your computer.Now I'm certainly no computer expert (I'm over 30 for God's sake), and I hope I'm not teaching you how to suck eggs, but here's a few steps to get started if you've never used PowerPoint before:1. Go the PAGE SETUP and change the size to: width 3.55cm and height 27cm.2. Go to VIEW and make sure you the FORMATTING PALETTE is open3. Make your banner. The formatting palette has all sorts of shapes and functions and type options.You can drag or import images and toy with them etc. If you're stuck, go to PowerPoint Help or post in this thread. I'll check it every so often and try to help if I can.4. When you're done go to SAVE AS and for 'format' select JPEG.5. Load it up to Etsy!Hope this is helpful to someone.xxx scarlett

My Shop:http://www.scarlettcat.etsy.com/My Blog:http://scarlettcat.blogspot.com/ My Flickr:http://www.flickr.com/people/scarlettcat

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Featured Artisan: MonikaRose

I started crocheting about 2 years ago. Went to Lincraft one day and noticed a book about basic crocheting and some of the projects in their were so beautiful, my hubby said why not give it a try, so we grabed the book and went to look for some hooks and yarn. Because he has big ideas and wants to see detail, we bought the larger size crochet hook 10mm and a length of rope. Ever since that day I was hooked.

I loved the color variety of different kinds of yarns, but especially acrylic, they have more choices of mixed colors in one yarn ball and it is not so scratchy like wool and it is tough but fantastic to work with. I also like the mix of acrylic and cotton, soft and very easy to crochet with, but not many colors to choose from.

This is where my crochet mania began. I tried several times to crochet out of a book, but first it was hard to follow, this is where YouTube on the internet came in. I searched for crochet and bingo, found this great lady that has tutorials on basic stitches to fantastic projects to complete. This is truly the time I got hooked. I tried and completed almost all the projects she taught. But most of all I fell in love with making mobile/cell phone pouches. I started on one and to this day I think I have over 20.

Because I love them so much I wanted to share these with the world. This is where Etsy came in. I was surfing the internet and really got interested in blogging. Everyone was blogging. I read so many of them, I came upon one that posted out pod cast of interviews of crafty people. One of them was of how Etsy was born.

Then I had the fantastic idea, hay why not, I can create a blog and share my crochet creations and designs in the process. Because I love to crochet and want to share my work, I went to check out Etsy, even though it is USA based, they have a great online community where people all over the world sell their handmade creations and they are reasonable with thier fees. Did you know that 95% of Etsians are women.

So I signed in and created my storefront and added my phone pouches and bookmarks. This was a start to my new beginning. A small shop front of my own, with my own creations, sharing them with the world, wow. In time, I started adding more, scarfs, pencil cases, clothes.

As time went by I bought a ring from one the Esty sellers and I thought hang on a minute maybe I can try one of my own. I bought few more and in return I received a bundle of tutorial on how to create my own ring, this included a mandrol too. Wow, I have to give this a shot. Spotlight was my goal, they are a huge store and have variety of products, espcially beads. I straight away fell in love with glass beads, they sparkle and shine. I started experimenting with all sorts of colors and combinations, earrings, rings, bracelets. These designs were so easy to put together that I had to add them to my Etsy store. I started out with beaded bookthongs and now have variety of charms, zipper pulls, bookmarks and recently added beaded jewelry, bracelets, rings, earrings and now I am thinking of adding necklaces.

I am so happy with these designs and creations that I will continue adding more to my store. I have a short positive saying, "I am creative". This I have stitched onto my sleeping hat and each morning I wake up I have many ideas going through my mind, I find it hard to keep up with myself. I love colors, yarn and hooks and now beads, I would love to share this with each and every one of you. So please check out my store and blog and look out for those colorful creations.

Crochet Creations (Etsy store) - http://monikarose.etsy.com

MonikaRose Crochets (blog) - http://monikarosecrochets.blogspot.com/

My three items to feature:

A bookthong full of color

Mobile/Cell Phone Pouch - THe Blues

Red Soft Scarf

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Working With Polymer Clay

This project is for persons 18 years old and older!

If you remember your kindergarten days, you might re-call several occasions in which you mashed and poked away at that vivid and doughy sculpting clay called Plasticine. This stuff would entertain me for hours, and I always loved it more than Playdough because it would never dry up. Whenever something looked all wrong, you could just ball it in your hands and roll it around some more to create something entirely different.

Polymer clay is quite similar to Plasticine. Both of these clays are somewhat solid when you buy them, but are softer from the heat of your hands. They both have an "oily" feel to them that leaves that residue on your hands, and they do not harden in the air. Plasticine is one of those clays that does not solidify at all, unlike Polymer Clay which, when baked, turns hard as a rock. So, if you intend to create a figurine, piece of jewelry, or some dollhouse miniatures that you would like to last forever, than Polymer Clay would be your best bet.

But Polymer Clay is a clay in name only. It is actually PVC based, and is more of a moldable and sculptable plastic than anything. It doesn't actually contain any Earth clay at all. Polymer Clay doesn't require any curing in a kiln, but it does require you to bake it in a conventional oven, ranging from 265* F to 275* F for about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the object you are baking. Afterwards, you may choose to sand buff it to create a surface sheen, file down any imperfections, and than leave it as-is or gloss it with a water-based finish.

Polymer Clay isn't a new concept. In fact, it has been on store shelves for almost 40 years as a sculpting material, and even longer for other purposes. So, it's no surprise that there are a vast array of clay brands and colours to choose from.

The most popular and well-known brands of Polymer Clay are Fimo Soft and Sculpey III. Through the years, these companies have come out with different formulas for their clays, so the texture and feeling of the raw clay in your hands has changed tremendously overtime. For a beginner, I would suggest that working with either Fimo Soft or Sculpey III would be your best bet, namely because they are easy to handle and easy to find. You can easily find other brands as well online, such as Premo or Kato Polyclay, and they can also be found in your local hobby or arts & crafts store.

Polymer Clay generally comes in small 2oz packs of one particular colour, although many brands also offer boxes of 24 or 32 small packets of various colours to get you started. This may be your cheapest option if you have never worked with clay before. If you wish to create something with just a few colours, than you might be better off just purchasing the small amount of colours that you need. You may want to go ahead and buy just one block of each brand just so you can get a feel for their qualities and decide which brand works best for you.

One of the most favourable aspects of working with Polymer Clay is that it comes in so many colours. There is basic colours, fluorescent, metallic, pearl, glow in the dark, translucent, glittery, and even textured clays. Unlike sculpting materials like Terra Cotta, you don't have to spend all the work painting your creations afterwards. The option is always there if you would like to add details after your goodies have been baked with paint such as acrylics.

The great thing about colourful Polymer Clay is that it does not shrink or alter shape after baking, and most of the colours only change hues a very small bit and are quite unnoticeable. The downside of so many colours to choose from is trying to keep them separate. If you have several packages of opened clay, you may want to invest in some zipper-top baggies and an airtight container. If you have too much clay to handle, invest in one of those plastic organizers with the different compartments. Grab some sticker labels, write down the colours, and stick them on the matching compartments. This will keep your colours separate and clean. A good idea is to keep opened clay in one place and un-opened clay in another place to avoid opening several packages of the same colour when you already have some opened.

Cleanliness is another huge factor in Polymer Clay sculpting. Light colours such as White and Yellow just love to pick up specks of dirt and dust from the air and your hands. Even when your hands appear clean, these specks somehow seem to find their way onto your clay. Here are a 3 steps to keeping your clay nice and clean.

1) Keep a smooth and clear work surface. An ideal surface would be a big chunk of ceramic tile or glass. Clean thoroughly with soapy water, baby wipes, or some rubbing alcohol. After the surface starts to get tacky or oily again, keep paper towels and alchohol to give your surface a wipe down.

2) Keep your hands clean. I find that washing up with dishwashing liquid and letting your hands air dry works the best. Cotton towels are monsters for little specks of dust, so avoid them. Also avoid wiping your hands on anything or touching anything. A good hard wipe with a paper towel on your hands does wonders in getting off any dust. Keep a scrap piece of clay to roll between your hands to get off any spare dust that the paper towel didn't pick up.

3) Work with dark colours last. Dark colours leave dark residue on your work surface, and when you are rolling light colours on the same area, you are going to pick this residue up and your colours can get very muddy. Also, red seems to be a bad culprit in bleeding into other colours, so consider this a "dark" colour.

Another addition to Polymer Clay is the very useful "Liquid Clay" usually sold under the names "TLS - Translucent Liquid Sculpey" under the Sculpey brand, or "Fimo Decorating Gel" under the Fimo brand. Use liquid clay on your wire when you insert it into the clay before baking. This keeps it from slipping or falling out eventually, and acts as a very good adhesive or glue. When you attach pieces of clay to each other before baking, try adding a bit of Liquid Clay to the joint before sticking it on, as this will ensure a strong grip onto the clay base. Liquid Clay can make very attractive garnishes, such as frosting, icing, syrup, and glaze. If you add some colour, either by Oil Paint or by shaving in some hard coloured pastel, you can make yourself some glaze or syrup. If you add solid clay to the liquid clay, you can stir it constantly to a smooth consistency and make some very tasty looking frosting or icing for some clay cupcakes. Liquid clay can be baked with the rest of your clay at the same temperature and the same time, so they can be combined effortlessly.

Polymer Clay can be rolled out and cut out with cookie cutters, it can be pushed through a clay "extruder" to create strands in all different sizes and shapes, it can be sculpted with an unlimited amount of tools such as toothpicks and Popsicle sticks, and it can be rolled into different shapes and stuck on itself. Experiment! If you look up "Polymer Clay Tutorials" on the internet or in a bookstore, you will get many helpful resources to get you started as well if you do not know where to begin.

You can do a lot with clay. It doesn't just have to sit on a shelf and collect dust. You can wrap pens in it, create picture frames and light switch panels, or you could do what I do - make some jewellery! Before baking, try sticking some wire loops or eye pins in the clay so that it can be hung on things like jumprings and earring loops. Polymer Clay makes very attractive necklace pendants, rings, keychains, and all sorts of accessories that anyone can enjoy.

Sculpting with Polymer Clay is an entirely different world where you are free to create all that your imagination conjures up. What I have explained will get you started, but if you are ever curious to know more about the art, there is a wonderful Polymer Clay encyclopedia on GlassAttic.com. The creator is a Polymer Clay guru, and she is always happy to explain anything you need to know about the wonderful art of Polymer Clay. Experiment and enjoy!

Original Source: Crafts: Working With Polymer Clay

Monday, June 22, 2009

Featured Artisan: boutiquepillows

I have been quilting for over 8 years now and sewing for much longer. My quilting has lead to creating custom pillows, some are fully quilted. I began designing and creating my pillows professionally about two years ago and have not stopped since. I enjoy the uniqueness and the special quality that is shown in each creation. I seldom make two alike. I also sell ready to make sachets, which also make great bridal shower favors. I will be adding more exquisite sachet styles shortly.

Many of my pillows become family heirlooms that will forever be treasured. Each one is personalized and customized to the person receiving the item. I make them for any ocassion. My most popular are my wedding pillows which can be given as a gift on the bride and grooms wedding day or ordered in advance to be used as the Ring Bearer pillow. I also design pillows and quilted wall hangings for birth announcements, first name personalization, monograms or to read a special sentiment.

My pillows are sold on my etsy shop http://www.boutiquepillows.etsy.com and I started a new store recently to showcase my quilts, http://www.patchworkbabyquilts.com .

I also sell on my website http://www.quiltsgaloreandmore.com where you will find my complete line. I am always adding inventory and always welcome new custom orders.