SpunkySister: “Jewelry to inspire. Art to wear.”
I have Design ADD. I can’t make anything twice… so everything is one of a kind. I view my designs as art. I have so many ideas, that I usually have about three projects going at once.
I get inspired by fashion, nature, the vintage brooches I use, even soap bar wrappers. Maybe my pieces can inspire you… Enjoy!
I have always had a special affinity for owls. One of the living room walls in my childhood home was home to my mother’s extensive collection and it was literally covered with images of all sizes and types of the beautiful birds; from simple pen-and-ink drawings to beautiful oil paintings. I could sit and stare at them for hours and I’m sure my wide-eyed stillness mirrored the very pictures that I was so fascinated by. It was years, however, before I saw a real, live owl in the wild and, even then, it was just a glimpse. I have seen only a handful since then, but that initial thrill still hasn’t worn off.
My favourite species of owl has always been the fittingly-named Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa). Bold and beautiful, the Great Grey Owl was made the official bird of my home province, Manitoba, in 1987. Said to be the largest species of owl in North America, the Great Grey Owl boasts a wingspan of up to 5 feet; however, even for such a large bird, sightings are rare. Standing at a mere 3” tall, this needle felted depiction of Strix nebulosa (above) makes up in cuteness what it lacks in stature. The tiny creature was handmade by Melanie Anne Green and is a member of the fabulous flock found at The Felt Menagerie. Melanie Ann is also the artist who created the lovely owl print at the top of this article. Her illustrations and prints can be found in her other shop, Ink Me Up.
Although they have been depicted in art for thousands of years, owls have recently moved up the ranks of pop-culture, thanks in part to the young Mr H. Potter and his schoolmates. Easy to identify by his pure white colouring*, Harry’s own owl, Hedwig, is a Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus). Living up to their name, Snowy Owls are well-suited for life north of the 60th parallel, with their thick plumage and heavily-feathered feet. Should you find yourself in a northern clime, a good pair of woollen mittens like these ones from For My Darling (pictured above) will keep you toasty-warm. Upcycled from a pre-loved sweater, they also feature reinforced leather palms; perfect for gripping both steering wheels and flying brooms! (Be sure to check out For My Darling’s shop for adorable upcycled owl toys, as well.)
I am sad to say that my mother has long given up “her owls”. Once people found out that she collected them, she was inundated with owl trinkets and tzotchkes from well-meaning friends and family. Rather than allow her carefully curated collection to be sullied by dollar-store “treasures”, she packed up her art and replaced it with a very large picture of an empty branch; a rather symbolic move, now that I think about it. I would love to get her back into it, though, but on a much smaller scale. I know that she would love this beautiful 8×10” watercolour by Italian artist DIMDi, pictured above. I think this painting perfectly captures the sweet expression of the Barn Owl (Tyto alba), which are recognizable by their heart-shapes faces and lack of “ear tufts”.
*While the male Snowy owls are as white as the driven snow, the females’ feathers have dark markings. Now you know!
Shauna Thomas: I studied surface design at Bloomsburg University. In 2006 I attended a Surface Design Conference in Kansas City with my professor, which is when I truly realized my love for the medium. I began working on wearable art with the intent of just making beautiful fabrics. All of my fabrics are designed by hand. April 2007 I won Best In Show at a local wearable art extravaganza. I now work from home, where I live with my husband and our beautiful son.
What is your craft / art / creative endeavor?
I love to make illustrations, paintings, and tiny stuff,like tiny books or tiny prints… I also wrote and illustrated a children book.
How did you get started? Have you worked in other creative areas before the kind of work you’re doing now?
I finished my studies In Bezalel academy of art and design in 2008. I studied in Illustration Department, and finished it with excellence!! Yaaw!
Is there a story behind the name of your shop?
I feel that our life runs so fast specially with the all new technology that came in 20 last years , so it feels to me that we miss something, we miss the happiness of simple stuff, of simple beauty , or just a shunning days, in my illustrations I am trying to remind the naives feeling of being a child, a simple happiness………. I really wish that all the people would a bit more happier!
Do you work alone? With a team? Do you engage your family or friends in the work? What is your process? How do you ensure you get your work done yet still have a life?
I am working by myself, absolutely alone but with a lot of Music!
My life is my work (my art),I need it and I love it!
Usually I am waking up in the morning, looking at the sun putting music on and starting with a painting or illustration…..
in the evenings I am making a dinner and waiting to my boyfriend…. sometimes I do make myself a holidays and going to my friends or just shopping!
Where do you sell your work? Which venues are your favorites? Do you prefer selling online or in person? Do you attend shows or fairs? Is your work in a gallery or brick-and-mortar store?
right now i am included in Dona show Espai Cromàtic Gallery in Spain.
Do you have any favorite handmade shops or sellers?
http://www.etsy.com/shop/talitka I am in Love with her tiny creations!!!!!!!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/knittingdreams I love her teddy bears, and I have sitting close to me!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/natalyasots just love her creations
What inspires and motivates you?
I have no routine in my creation process. I love that it’s spontaneous and free. Sometimes I think about content, but sometimes I just pick up one of my pencils and start drawing. And sometimes I discover a new technique and I do something with my hands.
and sometimes I just making a painting of a photography.
What do you wish I had asked you?
“What i love to do apart of art?”
I do love to sleep and drink tea with cookies. Even when I sleep – I dream about drinking tea with cookies.
Those sound like great dreams :) Thanks for a fantastic interview, Jenny! And if you would like to be interviewed next, just head over to DIY Interview.
Block prints are my favorite type of artwork to collect. My home’s living room wall is covered with a variety of block prints that I have collected over the years. It’s fun to see the differences and similarities between them. As a novice block printer myself, I know that time, thought, and talent go into every print created! Block prints are a great way to add the handmade look to your walls and are extra special as each print is a true work of art on it’s own.
While all of the art at She Rides the Lion is unique there is also a classic or vintage feel to each designs. I love the one color prints as they are bold and intricate. You will find prints and some wearable art at this shop!
The block prints at Amanda Kindregan are entirely lovable and well done. I am especially in love with the horse print. Several types of prints and paintings are available!
Melissa Kate holds the most adorable block printed art and cards! The happy colors will have you smiling all day!
Nydam Press celebrates the art of block printing with non-fussy design and interesting subject matter. This radio would look wonderful in a men’s library or study.
Last but not least, Erica Harris hold block prints that are boldly executed and a bit humorous. Don’t forget to check out the drawings and collages as well!
These are just a sampling of some of the amazing block print artists and pieces available to you. I encourage you to search around for other talents that might capture your interest as well. Maybe you’ll be inspired to start your own special collection of block prints!