Athens, Georgia, known for its enormous college and crazed football fans, also has an engaging artist community. One market is not enough to contain them all. Athens Farmers Market, in Athens, and Oconee Farmers Market, in nearby Watkinsville, feature fresh produce, and handmade goods from March to November each year.
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.
I’m head over heels for this week’s artwork by Paola Zakimi. You know watercolors are my favorite painting medium but have I ever told you that when sketch lines show through in the work I simply melt into a puddle of happiness? I’m being a bit silly but seriously, isn’t the above piece fantastic? The yellow lifts my spirit and the humble use of fleshy pink on the girls face excites me to no end. For me, it’s all in the details.
I’m fond of this piece for several reasons. The entire painting is understated and free. The floating illustrations evoke a peaceful, dream-like emotion. Also, the little fox befriending the tree on the right is so sweet.
This bird must be the way to travel. Grab some friends and jump onto this feathered friend! Again, the details draw me in. The birds beak, string thin feet, spotted back and the girls hats with twigs and leaves all leave my eyes scurrying over each inch of this illustration. The textured background…don’t even get me started…there is so much to appreciate!
You will find not only the featured artwork in Paola’s shop but also some amazing art dolls. Prints and originals are available!
Cartoons! I watch tons of cartoons.
That was Mike from Skudfisher‘s response when I asked him what inspired his fun plushies. How can you argue with such enthusiasm?
Everything from Invader Zim to Rocky and Bullwinkle (both of which are responsible for huge chunks of my sense of humour). I also pretty obsessively try to absorb as much cool art as possible from the internet. Flickr has so many amazing independent artists that it kind of blows my mind sometimes. I can spend hours just going from artist or artist on flickr. I have some pretty amazing people on my contact list on there that I really admire.
Mike has been obsessed with drawing silly characters and monsters since he was little. Then 2 years ago he decided to try and make one of his monsters into a toy for his nephew as a birthday gift, lucky kid. It only took that one toy to turn sewing into an obsession and he’s been making plushies ever since. Each monster has it’s own story along with it’s likes and dislikes to ensure monster/child compatibility.
There is something very satisfying about coming up with an idea, cutting out the fabric and sewing everything together, into something you can hold in your hands, that I just don’t get from drawing. I still love drawing though!
Mike’s current favorite is Acorn! He thinks she is just so adorable and huggable and really loves working with faux fur material. And as I was working on this, my 2 1/2 year old son told me he wanted THAT monster – so I guess she’s not just Mike’s favorite!
Currently Skudfisher’s plushies are only sold through Mike’s shop, but after many years of attending craft fairs and enjoying Montreal’s great craft scene he hopes to get involved as a vendor there soon. So if you’re in the Montreal area, keep your eyes peeled.
You’re missing out if you’re not perusing the submissions over in the Gallery — look who else I found!
Jenny Hoople: Bienvenidos! I grew up on a farm, graduated from college with a bachelor of arts in fine arts and now I work part-time on an organic farm and in a library. My life ethic is one of authenticity, because a more authentic life is a more meaningful one, and, for me, an authentic life is a handmade one.
My good friend has told for years that I should sell some of the crafts that I am compelled to make. When I started making this jewelry and couldn’t stop, I figured I’d better start selling them! The best part is, I grew the grey Job’s Tears beads right in my own backyard!
I choose knotted silk because I like its history, it’s more romantic! I choose “natural” materials (stone, bone, wood, shell, silk) because even when altered by human hands and arranged and strung by them, the beauty of the processes that formed them breaks through and dazzles me. Really, this jewelry is so wonderful because it’s so much more meaningful than something that was mass-produced. Everything is designed and crafted by yours truly from start to finish.