Michelle Prosek: I am inspired by the flowing organic forms of nature and the clean lines of geometry and architecture. I love experimenting with new ideas and pushing the boundaries of what glass can do.
I personally cut, carve, fuse and shape every single one of my designs to ensure that they are all one of a kind works of art. Each finished piece can take up to 90 hours to complete. I often feel like a pioneer in the glass fusing arts, because I am constantly creating new techniques and methods for working with kiln-fired glass.
No matter how implausible it seems while looking out the window, Spring and Summer will be here before you know it. Be prepared with a bathing suit from ByRo! Designs.
ByRo! swimsuits have special features for the “full figured woman designed by a full figured woman.” These design features include power-netting, princess seams and a more shaped and contoured fit to provide more comfort for the plus-size body. ByRo! Swimsuits are fashion forward with a contemporary and trendy design for the marketplace. Her fashion line also includes swimsuit cover-ups, sarongs, active-wear, cat-suits, sexy dresses and a new line of belly dancewear.
For about a two or three year stretch in the late 80s, if you wanted to track me down after-school or on a Saturday, you would have to go to a certain 2nd floor indie record store, housed in a heritage building in downtown Winnipeg. Without fail, you’d find me there, perched on a stool a the end of the counter, trying to maintain a conversation with the clerks over the ear-splitting volume of the latest 12″. And, if I wasn’t in “my spot”, I would be out fetching coffees or helping to unpack a fresh shipment of t-shirts. I didn’t get paid a cent to be there, save for the occasional bagel or coke; I was there simply for the atmosphere and my love of music.
It should come as no surprise, then, that my list of all-time-favourite movies includes “Pretty in Pink”, “Empire Records” and “High Fidelity”, or that visiting the local indie music store is always on my “to do” list whenever I travel to a new city. It seems that no matter where you go, indie record stores (both real and fictional) all share that common, inherent “cool factor”; something that you just don’t get in the big chain stores or their online divisions. I’m sure it’s a combination of several things – the music itself, the staffers who literally live for their love of music, and the underlying sense that the whole operation is barely hanging by a thread.
Sadly, though, that precarious existence is often the case for most independent record shops. With big-box electronics stores and online giants battling it out for the lion’s share of cd sales, and downloads becoming a preferred format; the indies are holding on, but barely. As SNL’s affable host Seth Meyers recently suggested, the next time you visit your local record shop, a Jamba Juice might be standing in its place.
In an effort to support, celebrate and preserve the unique culture of the indie record store, Record Store Day was born. Just 3 years old, this now-annual event is held in the 700+ independently-owned record stores across the US, as well as hundreds more internationally, and supported by retailers, artists, and consumers alike. The festivities range from in-store performances, “meet and greets”, parties, parades and more. In addition, many artists offer special, limited-edition releases and swag created especially for the day; which is now held yearly on the third Saturday of April.
Due to bad-planning on my part [Ed. and exacerbated by serious technical difficulties on my end!], this article is reaching you on the heels of Record Store Day 2010. For that I apologize, but it’s no excuse not to celebrate anyway. While the parades and hoopla may have passed, there are still plenty of reasons to pay your local music retailer a visit – hundreds and hundreds of reasons organized by genre and alphabetically, in fact. So, why not set some time aside this week to explore the sights and especially the sounds of your favourite (or new-favourite) record store? After you’ve made your rounds, be sure to talk to the people that work there to get a suggestion or two. Chances are, they’ll hook you up with something you’ll love…and possibly something that you would never have found on your own.
The shop where I whiled away hours upon hours as a teenager has since closed, but I have three current favourites that I absolutely have to mention: Into the Music, (Winnipeg, MB), Rasputin Music (San Francisco, CA) and Easy Street (Seattle, WA). And, when the urge to shop for cds strikes me in the middle of the night, CD Baby loves me and is open online 24-7.
The fabulous recycled-record necklaces featured above are by Yoshi of Random Prefect. (I recently grabbed one from her Etsy shop and absolutely adore it.)
Last weekend was the end-of-summer Bank Holiday in England and school will be starting again soon. There’s still time for a picnic though (weather permitting)! I’ve put together this product showcase full of unique handmade items to make up the perfect picnic.
Spread the word about your picnic with this adorable invitation design from Paperslice. The design is customized just for you and conveniently sent via email so that you can print as many or as few invites as you need!
Why not have a breakfast picnic featuring this gorgeous “Menage a Trois” marmalade? Lyn of Marmalady has been making marmalade for years and selling at farmers’ markets as well as online. Lyn explained that the combination of Seville oranges, lemons and grapefruit is very popular as it blends the sharpness of traditional marmalade with a touch of sweetness. When renaming her products a couple of years ago, Lyn wanted to move away from bland descriptive names, so her “Three Fruit Marmalade” became “Menage a Trois” as it is the perfect marriage of three fruits!
You’ll need something pretty to sit on, of course! Instead of the traditional blanket, spread out a pretty tablecloth like this one by Ellen from Tuwhittuwhoo. The Betty Brown tablecloth was inspired by a vintage charity shop (thrift store) find. Ellen especially loves how each of her tablecloths looks so different with a change of colour and fabric pattern.
Cupcakes are essential picnic food and these sweet EAT ME cake toppers by Rowena from Crafty Pagan Design would be a great decoration! Just like me, Rowena was caught up in Alice-in-Wonderland mania and was searching to create new items that could work well for lots of occasions whilst still having a touch of whimsy to them. The cake toppers have been used in Alice in Wonderland weddings, birthday parties, book club meetings and bridal and baby showers. The toppers are fully customizable.
In England, bad weather can often ruin even the most well-planned picnic. If rain should occur, don’t fret! Move your picnic inside and decorate with bunting and food-themed artwork. The inspiration for the ‘American Foods’ picture (top) began when Kitty put a print up on Etsy of an illustration she had made with all her favourite foods, which were mainly hearty English dishes! Kitty was then asked if she could make a similar illustration but with lots of American foods, and here is the result. Kitty is now planning to explore some different countries’ edible delights too!
Heidi started making bunting earlier this year for fun and relaxation and her boyfriend Will came up with the perfect name for her new line: Good Will Bunting! Heidi decided to develop a small range and sell it through her Etsy shop, which focuses mainly on fine art prints. At the time she was preparing for a summer holiday to New York with friends and decided to make Stars, Stripes and Denim bunting as a tribute to our friends in the US and their Independence Day celebrations.
Have you peppered your picnic with handmade delights? Share your links here!