Nicholas J. Bott was born in the Netherlands in 1941. At an early age he was inspired by the works of the Dutch Masters. He settled in Canada in the late 1950s and fell in love with the landscape in and around Smithers, British Columbia where he was then residing. He spends many days on remote mountain slopes, some locations accessible only by helicopter.
I was thrilled to read recently that parts of the next Pirates of the Caribbean film are being shot in Cornwall, a very beautiful county on the southwest coast of the UK. I adore the franchise and although I’m nervous about the sequel effect, I can’t wait to see the next film. Inspired by everyone’s favourite pirates coming to these shores, I’ve put together this week’s product focus, with nautical-themed jewelry and gorgeous piratical artwork!
The inspiration for finestimaginery’s adorable cutout pirate necklace came from the idea of zombies, ninjas, cowboys and pirates being the top four character trends. The design is based on a captain hook style character, with a typical pirate moustache and hat. And, according to Kim, he wouldn’t be a pirate without a patch!
I love this octopus necklace from yellowsquirrel, who is based in Manchester like me. Nicole took her inspiration from the fact that it’s a popular image and combined this with her love of vintage. Nicole says, “Raw brass and antique gold chains, they just look ‘right’ together!” – she’s certainly hit the nail on the head with this piece!
Simple but pretty, louloudo’s ‘rope’ necklace was inspired by the very charm that makes it work. Louise thought that the silver charms were so sweet that they didn’t really need anything more then a nice, lightweight candy striped string. She also thinks that they look “sort of lucky, dangling there on their string!”
Andreakett’s amazingly detailed pirate artwork (top) just had to be included! I’m always green with envy over people who can draw as I have zero talent in that area. Andrea started working on this piece just because she loves pirates, which is the best reason for creating something that I can think of! Andrea says that she tends to have characters in her head when working on a drawing and with this one, she was channeling Poison Ivy from the Cramps and Tura Satana from Faster Pussycat Kill Kill, and the character Aunt Sally from Worzel Gummidge all together!
Are you a pirate lover? To share your favorite handmade pirate-themed pieces, or to just drool over Captain Jack Sparrow, post here or send me a message on @elliethouret!
In the U.S. Mother’s Day is May 10th this year, and while you may run out the day before and grab a dozen roses and a card for the special mom in your life, why not give her a real surprise with a thoughtful handmade gift. Moms always love gifts made by their children, but if you are not creatively inclined, or you need a gift for the mom who has everything, here are some wonderful ideas.
Let’s start with the card. Yes, you can buy one at the grocery store along with your frozen pizza and green beans, but it won’t be nearly as beautiful as this gorgeous Mother’s Day Card from Smock Paper. This card is so pretty that Mom will be wanting to leave it out to admire year round!
A bouquet of flowers is always a good gift for Moms, but why not give her some flowers that will last and last. This photo from Photo Menagerie is just the thing to show Mom that she is special and, just think, no watering necessary, which is good if the Mom in your life is as bad with plants as I am.
Why not make your Mother’s Day gift personal? This custom silhouette from Blue Clara Paper Goods is stylish, sentimental and sure to make Mom smile. What a sweet gift for any Mom you know.
Know a Mom with an adorable child? How great would it be for that kiddo to show that he or she is Mom’s biggest fan? This tattoo inspired organic tee from Small Threads will show Mom how much your little one appreciates her every time they wear it.
This next personalized option is the perfect thing for new Moms. Made from sterling silver and swarovski, this necklace will quickly become part of Moms daily wardrobe. Available from sTuck in the Coop.
Another personalized option is this lovely nest with name stones from SJ Engraving. This nest is a peaceful and pretty way for you to show Mom that you are thinking of her.
What woman wouldn’t want a new handbag for Mother’s Day? This zebra bag by Paco and Lupe is a fun way for Mom to stay organized when she’s on the go.
Jewelry is always a reliable gift for Mother’s Day. After all, do you know a Mom who wouldn’t like a little extra sparkle in her life? The Mother’s Pride necklace from The Venerable Bead is another custom and fabulous way for Mom to show her love for her kids and look stylish in the process!
And, last but certainly not least, this Mums The Word necklace by Handmade Jewelry From Lorelei would make an excellent gift for any mom. The owl is a theme we’ve seen in past Seasonal Handmade columns and it’s done just right here! Lorelei is an amazing artist, and a friend of mine, so make sure to tell her Kristin sent you.
Now you have no excuses for not finding a fabulous handmade gift for all of the Moms in your life (note to my husband: are you paying attention?). Next week we’ll look at some seasonal fashions that will take you from spring into summer in style!
I first came across Helen Dalgairns’s bright and eye-catching work when researching a product profile inspired by my cats. I Her print of a cat basking in the sun (above) stayed with me as I thought about how it captured the very essence of most house cats. I was intrigued to learn more about Helen and her work, and to share it with you.
Helen lives in Hull, in Northern England with her husband and a black cat called Neo. Working full-time as a youth worker with the local council, Helen illustrates in her spare time, creating visual artwork that depicts her love for cats! She loves to use bold colours, patterns, vintage, nature and animal humour. “I have also recently started to introduce some human creatures into my artwork, mainly pretty ladies and their cats. The first of this new work is illustration ‘No:1 Crazy Cat Lady’ [below], which was inspired by the many crazy cat ladies out there.”
Helen says she’s always been “obsessed with drawing” and studied art and design at Hull College, with a focus on illustration, photography and textiles – sounds like a perfect mix! After graduating, Helen didn’t create much artwork until about three years ago, when she started creating and selling her work. “One day I had this creative urge, I realized I was not utilizing my creative skills to their full potential, something was missing from my life including the opportunity to express things in a visual way. I wanted to introduce some colour amongst the grey and I wanted to create artwork that made people smile.”
What keeps Helen going with her busy dual lives is knowing that her artwork is making its way into people’s homes, and particularly when she gets positive feedback on her pieces, “especially when someone shows appreciation for your vision and creations, this is very special to me. Buyers and visitors have often shown me things I have never even noticed about my work.”
Summer is going by fast, but there’s still time to hit the beach and soak up the sun. One of the hottest trends in swimwear this season is the retro look, featuring high waists, ruched tops, and draped bodices. While it may be intimidating to sport the same beachwear as pinup girls and classic beauties, this season’s suits flatter all body types and will surely set you apart from the crowd.
This red one piece from The Red Dolly recreates this season’s vintage-inspired style with a gathered bust, halter top, and classic, flattering shape. The suit’s subtle detailing will allow you to wear it next summer without looking last season.
The high waist bikini is for the more daring trend setter, but all you need to pull it off is a little confidence and some sass. This white suit from LA Drama Queen features sweet eyelet detailing and a little bow, making it both feminine and flirty. While the high waist may look intimidating, it will actually make you appear slimmer by complimenting your natural curves and holding in your tummy.
A true retro girl never leaves the house without her signature lipstick. This cherry red shade from Glory Box Cosmetics is a quick way to pull together your retro-inspired beach look.
The hot summer weather is sure to leave the sand scorching. You’ll need a cute pair of sandals in order to comfortably stroll down the beach. Hit the sand in this silver pair from Tuto. Made from leather, they have a simple, modern style that will freshen up this season’s retro look and make it decidedly 21st century.
There are still plenty of long summer days left to pull together this season’s retro-inspired beach look. Channel the classic beauties, head to the nearest body of water, and get ready to turn some heads!