flowery felty bowl
This bowl has been made from un-dyed native British wool using a wet felting method to create a seamless structure. I added a touch of green Merino to the base of the bowl to create a mossy effect, and decorated the edge with needle felted flowers in lovely soft… details »
Twists Earrings from Bale & Twine
Hand twisted elegance. Fine silver with Hand Formed sterling silver wires. Dangle to approx. 1.25 inches in length.Beautifully presented in our complimentary handcrafted rose gift box. details »
Pontos the flannel monster
This cuddly, flannel fellow is one of my son’s favorite designs and just right for snuggling. He also makes a perfect naptime pillow.All of the flannel monsters are handmade from new materials and have securely stitched felt details. details »
Over the years I’ve seen bows popping up everywhere, and while I would have previously called bows just a trend – they’ve become a classic mainstay now as far as I’m concerned! Interestingly enough – I decided the theme of this post yesterday when I saw a gorgeous example on the front page of Etsy, but today all these bows have taken on an even a greater significance for me. Because when you’re making a bow, essentially you’re tying a knot. And – my cousin got engaged tonight! So you should probably expect some handmade wedding posts from me as I’m so excited to help her with all the planning. She and her fiance have already decided that the wedding will be next summer, so that means the next few weeks she’ll be researching venues and soon after that shopping for a wedding dress!
Now – back to the topic at hand, bows! I’ve found some fun items to feature today, from a variety of Etsy shops.
Secda has a very sweet Etsy shop, Secdus, where she sells pillows – many embellished with sweet bows. During the day Secda helps design lingerie for her families business, but after work she likes to create for herself as she finds it really relaxing.
Lime Green Modern has a beautiful Etsy shop featuring her own metal work. I’m pleased to learn that she makes her own silver pendants and ear wires by hand in her studio, all out of reclaimed and recycled silver. The second I saw her bow necklace I knew I had to post about it.
Lamorez lives in Malaysia and loves to sew! How sweet is this red purse I found in her shop? Made of canvas, because of it’s size you could use it for pretty much anything: a diaper bag, school tote, an every day purse, and the list goes on!
Zoa Art consists of the combined artistic efforts of husband and wife team Tony & Lisa Blackwell. Tony does glasswork and casting, while Lisa works with PMC, silver designs and completed jewelry. Lisa also teaches classes about her work. Newer work includes forays into Shibuichi, and thoughts of other metals are blooming.
Understand that the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege. Use it. Dwell in possibility.
– Oprah Winfrey
Once in a while, I come across handmade items that instantly grab my attention and compel me to learn more about the artist behind them. Discovering Barbe Beaty’s eco-friendly silver work was a highlight of my week; and even more so after hearing more about it and the work that Barbe does through her own social enterprise, the Promise Project. Not only does Barbe create lovely, hand-sculpted pieces which celebrate diversity, strength and self-awareness; she generously shares her passion and spirit with others, so that they, too, may discover the uniqueness within their own selves. I am so excited to share Barbe’s work with you and invite you to learn more about Njia Studios and The Promise Project in the artist’s own, eloquent words.
How did you get your start in Jewelry design?
I am a completely self-taught precious metals artisan. As a graphic artist, I first began by designing a line of angels as symbolic reminders for those touched by death (having volunteered with our area Hospice). I thought that they would make nice lapel pins but wasn’t sure how to go about creating them. Having attended an art show and admired the designs of a jeweler who specialized in Precious Metal Clay (PMC), was when I had my first aha moment! The rest was herstory!
What led you to using PMC?
Having stumbled across the medium at a local art show, I loved the idea of being able to create original pieces of jewelry/art without a large overhead. I was amazed that I could create beautiful pieces of jewelry by merely using a few inexpensive tools and my kitchen stove!! (I’ve since invested in a digital kiln)
What do you like about the medium?
I truly love the flexibility of the clay. It lends itself to being sculpted, rolled, overlayed, hollowed out, carved, imprinted–you name it! I love the eco-friendly nature of PMC. It is comprised of finely ground recycled silver particles, water and an organic binder. Once fired by kiln, torch, or stovetop, it becomes 99.9% fine silver!
Does it present any challenges?
The major challenge I’ve found is the limited amount of time in which to work the clay–it dries quicker than traditional clay. Additionally, the cost has skyrocketed since I first began using the medium five years ago.
How has your interest in the environment influenced your design and your business practices?
My family was eco-friendly long before it became “the thing to do”. I think some looked at our practices as pretty strange! We could often be found tagging alongside my Dad picking up roadside trash back in the 70’s! So, caring for our environment has always been a part of my being. I love knowing that I can build a business while not further compromising our environment. Whenever possible, I also use recycled materials for shipping and packaging.
Tell me about The Promise Project; how did it come about?
As an artist, I feel the importance of creating positive images of hope and encouragement. As a social entrepreneur, I felt a deeper need to empower our community. There are so many social issues that affect our society, but the loss of self compares to no other. It is so easy to be pulled from living our purposeful path–from being who we were born to be… our authentic self.
Who attends the workshops?
My workshops were initially designed for girls and women from all walks of life, through various community organizations, i.e.: hospices, girl scouts, schools, social service agencies. Although, at several of my contracted public schools, I’ve had wonderful young gentlemen in attendance!
What do your participants take from the workshops (besides their silver token)?
I stress the symbolism of each and every step in the process as they create their promise tokens. I present the idea that we are each artists–we are each co-creators of our world. We may not necessarily be able to choose every experience we encounter along our journey, but the choice to create joy is always ours. Participants take with them greater awareness, empowerment, and a tangible commitment to self.
What have you learned from the girls/women (and young men) who have attended?
That age and social economic status are illusions. We are one in the same. Hearing “You matter”, feels the same wherever you may happen to be along your road through life.
Barbe’s jewelry can be purchased through her shop. (Be sure to sign up for her shop feed to be kept abreast of new designs. )
A couple of years ago, a one of my mother’s friends took me aside at a family event and told me, “Your mom would move mountains for you, Rebecca. Remember that.” At the time, I took as an off-hand comment, but it was actually a prophecy of sorts. Just 6 months later, when I called my mom to tell her that I was planning to leave the West Coast and move back to the Prairies, she said, without skipping a beat, “Great. Rent a truck. I’ll drive.”
A few short weeks later, with Vancouver in the rear-view mirror of my Jetta and my mom at the helm of a packed U-haul, I headed home. It took us 3 days to make the 2000+ kilometre trip. My mom was Thelma, I was Louise, and the gas-guzzling U-haul was called “Piggy”. A lot of laughs, a few tears, and a couple slightly-sketchy hotel rooms were shared as we made our way across 3 1/2 provinces. At the end of our trip, when my belongings and I were safely in Winnipeg, my mom asked for nothing in return. She just gave me a huge hug, told me to behave, and hopped on a flight back to BC.
Someday, I hope I get the chance to pay it forward and do something like that for my own kid. (Except I’ll probably make him drive the U-haul.) In the meantime, since my mom is my rock, I have gathered up this collection of stone-cold awesomeness in her honour…and just in time for Mother’s Day!
According to Lindsay, unlike children, air plants require minimal nurturing to keep them alive. They don’t even need soil; just a sunny spot and a twice-weekly bath. This Tillandsia makes his home in a sandstone pebble planter, which has a lovely modern, organic design. Check out Lindsay’s shop of all sorts of unique and beautiful gifts for mothers (and others.)
Dean & Sue of British Columbia carve words and designs into stones that have been polished by the Pacific Ocean, using a sandblasting technique. They will carve all sorts of words and images into the stones, but I think these sweet little baby feet would be perfect for a new mom. The pendant pictured above, from the Monkeys Jewels shop, hangs from a silver bail and comes on a black leather cord with a silver clasp.
I love how these felted pebbles fool the eye. At a glance, they appear smooth and hard; but in the hand they are warm, soft and touchable. Taking her inspiration from nature’s organic forms and textures, Delica creates her tromp l’oeil rocks by felting natural merino wool. The set pictured above is made up of nine grey pebbles; each as unique as their stone counterparts would be in nature.
And, finally, some rocks of a different kind – the edible kind! These decadent mini rocky road cheesecakes (pictured above with the peanut butter cup cheesecake) from the Bakesalery are topped with loads of vegan marshmallows, ganache and chopped almonds on a chocolate cookie crust. The best part, though, is that they come in pairs; perfect for sharing with mom.
Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 9th, 2010.