Jim Bradshaw: Jim loves everything art and creative and puts that passion into all assignments. Humorous illustration and cartoon surrealism is what he is drawn to. Some topics you’ll find showing up in his recent work are dreams, the tyranny of time, life & death, childhood versus the tainted adult world we all exist in, good and evil and just plain fun whacked out made up worlds that swirl around in Jim’s brain.
My name is Amber Bryce-owner, designer, and soul creator of Blue Scarab Jewelry. Jewelry, to me, is an extension of oneself-your personality, your being, your soul.
From a very young age I had an intense interest for art of all kinds. I always enjoyed creating-anything I could get my hands into I would put my own spin on it. As I grew older I found myself dabbling in many different artistic medias, from drawing and writing to clays and mosaics. But creating Jewelry has always been what I come back to, because I feel such a strong connection with each piece I make. So much of myself is poured into each piece, because my creations are spawned from such a deep inspiration. I find inspiration in the moldings of old buildings, victorian dresses, fabrics, textiles, and most importantly Mother Nature herself. Moods, textures and even music spawn my creativity, constantly etching designs and images in my mind.
When I create jewelry, I don’t like to limit myself to any one technique. My repertoire of skills as an artist is ever growing-I love learning new techniques, all the while mastering old ones. Craftsmanship is very important to me-I want my customers to feel good knowing that I take great pride in providing them with an heirloom quality piece of jewelry that they can wear and pass down for many years.
The walls of my home are decorated with propaganda art. Not the “Loose Lips Sink Ships” variety though. We gravitate towards a subtle and steely push to maintain your good hygiene and manners. My particular favorite is a series called Character, Culture, and Citizenship. It’s a classroom series that came out around 1935. The colors are brilliant and the messages uttered aloud today have an almost ironic, guiding sweetness to them.
My most favorite propaganda style acquisition was inspired by the blogger Sweet Sweet Life. Etsy recently featured her pretty home – where she used vintage alphabet blocks and a wooden doll to create a fantastic vignette. I recommend taking the time to browse Sweet Sweet Life’s Flickr set. But do it after you read this because once you see it you won’t be able to stop nuzzling your screen it’s just that cozy and cute.
Step 1: Think about your message! Be kind and offer your guests or seat. Tell people to put the toilet seat down. Remind yourself to breathe deeply. Say whatever you like, and it will look all the nicer for being spelt out in alphabet blocks. I chose “Keep Calm Carry On” an expression from a wartime poster created by the British Government’s Ministry of Information.
Step 2: Find your blocks! If you’ve got the time, hunt down some great old blocks at a garage sale or swap meet. I ordered mine directly from an Etsy seller because they already spelled out my message. And, well frankly I gained about 10lbs eating corn dogs the last time I went to a swap meet so I’m a little scared to return. You can find them by searching the Supply section of Etsy with keywords like, “Block, words, sign”.
Step 3: Get some glue! I had a hunch that any blocks left lying around would be claimed by one of my children. So I opted to glue them together so they were an obvious decorating item, and not part of the general block miscellanea. This is slightly sadistic, but effective. I recommend using E-6000, but truly any wood glue will do just as well.
Step 4: Apply a small dab of glue to the middle of each block that you are joining. Wait a minute for it to set and then smush together. Sounds obvious, but if you smush too soon you won’t get a good bond. After they’ve been joined – lay them bottom side down and press gently. It’s ok if the letters are misaligned – it adds to the look in fact. But if they aren’t flat on the bottom they won’t be stable when you are ready to display.
Step 5: Join in sections, and then join those sections and so on. I made rows, but didn’t join the rows to each other. That way I can stack or make a long message on a windowsill.
Step 6: Allow them to dry overnight and display!
The Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia, is one of those places far enough away to escape the rat race of Washington, DC. And still close enough to be a getaway spot for DC metro residents. That’s how I think of it, as a place to escape to a friends family house where fresh crabs and wild horses can be admired.
So when I found Soapomoke River‘s shop, I knew I had to check it out. I was tempted right away by the River Otter Soap, and Blackwater Honeysuckle Lotion Bar. Ah, good smells, no chemicals, and good memories.
I was even happier when my order arrived. The Blackwater Honeysuckle Lotion Bar is smooth and melts easily on the skin. And it smells wonderful. It also comes packaged in a small travel size, perfect to toss in your purse or backpack.
On small note for vegans, the first ingredient of the lotion bars is beeswax. But the cold processed soaps are vegan friendly.
The River Otter and Neem Oil Bug Repellant soaps are cold processed, and unique. The Neem Oil smells a lot like a citronella candle. Which is great, if you’re going to be outdoors. I love that I can just give the soap to my child at bath time and not have to fuss with bug spray when we’re going out the door.
The River Otter has a grainy feeling from the kelp it contains. And the smell does make me think of a river. It also has a nice rustic look.
Also shown, is the In the Buff solid lotion bar. I have not tried it yet. But it has the same ingredient list as the Blackwater Honeysuckle. And smells nice too.
Many of Soapomoke River’s products are named for the surrounding area. So when you visit the shop and you’ll get a bit of a geography lesson. Or if you’ve lived nearby, like I have, a trip down memory lane.
florspace is about everything adorable, quirky, unique, indie, classic & most of all, functional.
We believe in sharing the love for quality handmade goods like it always should have been. We don’t sell stuff we won’t already love so you get the good stuff everytime! We often take our sample designs to the streets, use them to bits to see if we love them enough to share them! No basement sweatshops and mass production here…
For anyone who wants to know, florspace is never my hobby, its my full time job. I live and breathe what I do and absolutely love it. ;+) Woo-hoo!