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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wednesday Window Shopping on Etsy!

This week's window shopping expedition is dedicated to all the wonderful photography you will find on Etsy.  I wish I could showcase ALL of them but let me at least show you a sampling!

Let's start with this beautiful black and white from Year of the Tiger! Here you'll find photography, collage paintings and assemblage (three dimensional collage)!  Very talented artisan!

Ready for Big Girl Shoes

This sweet image is actually a pair of bronzed baby shoes resting on an old window sill. The light came in perfectly at that moment and the cobwebs behind the shoes became visible so the shot was irresistable to me.

Professionally printed on 8" X 10" archival paper. Signed on the back. Available as a print only or matted and framed.

Next let's take a look at CW Images that produces images and products that give your environment the style and beauty that you desire. The galleries focus on the beauty of nature and the artist's unique abstract style of photographing light to create interesting compositions.  

Printed on 5x7 matte photo paper
Requests for other sizes welcome
(low res photo used for display)

From the CW nature gallery which feature the beauty of the plants and animals around us.

Emele Photography brings you a range of affordable prints perfect for your home and office, plus gift giving!

Greek Church Dome Print
Think of Greece and you're bound to think of the churches... This photo of a church dome roof was taken at a monastery just down the road from where I lived in Crete...

Size: 5x7 inches or approx 13x18cm
Paper Type: Gloss
Printed on: Premium Quality Fuji Crystal Archive paper.

 Kelly Warren Photo Art features happy, colorful art and photography to color your world! 
Miss Jasmine Take Two

Meet "Miss Jasmine", a 50's era Oldsmobile from my Harvey Collection series. Jasmine hung out with Jenny and Violet in her younger days; they didn't like Christine. Jasmine's heart belongs to Mr. Newman. Fine art print will be printed on Kodak Endura Lustre paper with a small white border to assist in framing.

Read the story behind the Harvey Collection on Kelly's blog here!

Well, that's it for this week's Window Shopping on Etsy!  Hope you have a wonderful week...and stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Indie Junction Social Community Has A New Home!

What's Your Indie Junction?
Indie Junction is a rich and wonderful social community where artisans across all genres come together in the spirit of collaboration to help each individual achieve their goals within the handmade industry. This network was the brain child of two indie artisans, Nicky of Ambient Girl Designs and Jolie Papeterie and Deb Hall of Zur Designs.Together we had a vision of a gathering place for artists to share, collaborate, and support each other through cross-promotion and sharing of resources and ideas. That’s why the key words for this site are: Create. Love. Explore. Collaborate. Support. Learn. Grow.
Indie Junction was created just in time to ring in 2010 and by the first week had already grown to approximately 130 members!  Now, about six months later, we boast approximately 300 members, we have our own blog where we feature three talented Indie Junction Artisans each week in an on-going series, an Etsy Treasury Committee, we have an active presence on the Etsy Forums, we have a Facebook Fan Page, an Indie Junction Twitter Channel, a Flickr Group, and we have become an official Etsy Team! And we have so many plans to enhance the value of the community for our members!
In the meantime, between all the changes over at Ning and the fact that we have totally outgrown our original space, we were struggling with how we would continue to keep the community free to all members. Therefore, it is with great pride that we present to you Indie Junction’s new home, designed by the dynamic husband and wife duo of Nicky and Steph Vee! Together they have designed a home for Indie Junction that contains all of the favorite features…and then some! One of the new additions at Indie Junction is a special hub called Indie Euro–An up-to-date creative hub for the European members of Indie Junction. Allowing both sides of the Atlantic Pond to share ideas and to work together in a positive, relevant and fun environment. We’re all Indie Members, but realize that in some areas, more localized information would make membership more relevant and useful. Whilst, at the same time offering a direct link between Canada, the Americas and European Communities, through chatting, buddy link ups and tons of really useful information, regarding all aspects of creating and selling our pieces.
People began to move into the new site and set up their pages even when the site was not yet officially complete. Already when you log on there is that old familiar feeling of excitement so you know you are home! There are photos of new artisans every day, people are gathering in Chat to exchange ideas, take a break while they are working, or even eat lunch together…virtually. There are a number of groups already started: All Things Etsy, Indie Junction Darkroom, Indie J Business Group, Indie Maillers, Flickr Group, and The Brits of Indie Junction. Members are encouraged to start their own group if they don’t see one that suits their needs. The discussion forums are active and already filled with useful information, and each member has their own Word Press Blog and there are already some wonderful posts that help to show the artist behind the designs.
Membership at Indie Junction is open, so simply click here, sign up, and start customizing your own page, join some groups, post to the forums, and make some new friends! Once you’re settled, come over to Chat and exchange ideas with other artisans or just hang out! Or join in on the forums, start your own discussion! Come join us at Indie Junction! We’ll be waiting for you here!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Indie Junction Featured Artisans for the Week of June 27th!!

The talent fest continues with this week's fabulous Indie Junction Artisans: Ambidextrous Octopus, Ida Michaeli ofIdale,  and Valerie from Additions Style!!
So let's start right in with Ambidextrous Octopus, a shop featuring salvaged, repurposed, upcycled, revamped, recycled creations (or however you wanna put it) and some pretty amazing photographs!  In the artists' own words: "The Ambidextrous Octopus is a brother / sister team effort which is why we are an octopie: 8 appendages means at least 2 hands cooking up new crafty goodness at all times!   We are totally enamored with remaking, salvaging, repurposing, upcycling, revamping, recycling or however you wanna put it. We love twisting and turning something obsolete into something awesome-tastic!  We also like to go on photo taking adventures into lost places. Peeling paint and rusty nails make us giddy. Abandoned buildings are our Taj Mahal. Graffiti spray is our Mona Lisa. Give us back allies and junkyards and we are a happy cephalopode."
Take a look at some of the goodies from their Etsy Shop!
Our next Indie Junction Featured Artisan is Ida Michaeli from Idale featuring exclusive handmade ceramic artwork, functional pottery, jewelry, and artifacts!  In the artisan's own words: "I have been in love with clay since i took part in archeological expeditions as a teenager. What do archeologists discover? Mostly ceramics. All the materials, all those bones and iron, turn into dust after centuries and millennia, only fired clay stays intact. It may break, but it is impervious to entropy... I remember my ecstasy as i washed disinterred beads in the river - and they sparkled and dazzled in the sun with shocking blue, deep purple and mellow yellow colours.  However, my style has nothing to do with the ground or archeology. I would call it Quasi Victorian Eclectic. My overglaze techniques and multifiring allow me to compose collages of images, ornaments and reproductions on ceramic surfaces. The work is completed by drawing with lustres, mostly gold lustre.  You are welcome to visit my website."
Now let's take a peek at some of her wonderful work!
Our third Featured Indie Junction Artisan is Valerie from Additions Style featuring her wonderful jewelry collection created from recycled & repurposed hardware.  In the artist's own words: "I am a jewelry artist who works with sterling silver, and a mother of a teenage daughter who loves jewelry. A couple of years ago I was ready for a change and wanted to try something new. I wanted the opportunity to try a new medium, experiment with new techniques, and create jewelry and accessories that were young, fresh, and affordable.  Working with my daughter we started a collection named ADDITIONS. When we started I did not know the design direction we were going to take, until one day when I went into the hardware store. My whole design process was recharged that day and I realized that I could create jewelry that looked like silver, using hardware to make it affordable. Since that day I have found great resource for recycled hardware to create the jewelry and accessories in our collection.  Working with the hardware has been inspirational for me. I get new ideas all the time and creating is exciting. Sometimes the best thing is trying to figure out what to do next, so check back often to see all the new items.  You can follow my design process and my adventures on running an online business on my blog." You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter!
Here are some of the designs you will find at Additions Style!
We hope you have enjoyed this week's featured Indie Junction Artisans!  Indie Junction is a wonderful community that brings together artisans from across all mediums in the spirit of collaboration, support and growth.  Indie Junction now officially has a new home!  Due to changes within Ning and incredible growth of our community, we have moved to a brand new home!  Many thanks to the design team of Nicky (co-owner) and her husband Steph for creating a wonderful site for all of our members!  With this new site we can not only continue to add value for our members but also keep the site free!  For more information about Indie Junction, please go here!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wednesday Window Shopping on Etsy!

Well, it's officially summer!  So let's go to the beach!  Take a look at some picks from my weekly window shopping trip that are beach themed!

Well we need to include something from a shop called Lapis Beach!  How about Beach TwistThis stunning necklace is knit on warm gold thread and has all types of glass beads and shells twisted through the knitting. The colors are golds, tans, ivory & creams with touches of pale blue. It is absolutely one of a kind.

And how about this wonderful print from Emele Photography!
Title – “Blueish Gray Pebbles
Size: 10x7 inches or aprox 25x18 cm 
Print includes a 1 inch white border.
Paper Type – Matte
Printed on premium quality Fuji Crystal Archive paper.
Orientation – Landscape / Horizontal
Not to mention this wonderful Stone Cairn Pendant by  Aimee's Rock Works?   Three drilled stones on a silver-tone post. Rock cairns are often used on trails to mark the path and to show the way.  This mini-cairn will show that its wearer is always found!
And then there's these adorable Crab Wine Charms from Ogden Arthaus!

Don’t let your glass of wine get pinched! These handmade lampwork glass crabs will help you keep your glass all night long! This set of six charms includes a variety of colors that are easily identifiable!

And I could go on and on and on!!  Hope you enjoyed this week's Window Shopping on Etsy! Stay tuned next week when I'll explore more wonderful shops who offer high quality handmade items and excellence in service.  That's why...HANDMADE RULES!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Earrings Were Included In This Treasury by Voleur de Bijoux!!


Handmade Headlines

Handmade Nation

Faythe Levine's documentary "Handmade Nation" takes viewers inside a movement that has gone far beyond a hobby. It was nice to see that do-it-yourself crafting has proven to be a viable career for a a great many talented young American artists and creators and who want to balance creativity and work within the handmade industry.

It's wonderful to see another generation of artisans who believe in the core vision of the handmade movement and the importance of growing handmade economies through craft, cultural heritage and community assets.   Honoring arts, artists and cultural traditions preserves and enriches community life.   With technology and the web, this vision has been expanded globally but its meaning is the same; an appreciation of art and the artisan within the global marketplace.  A strong sense of community and a pride in the creation of quality goods and providing excellence in customer service.  

"Handmade Nation" has been out for quite awhile...but just in case you haven't seen it yet, here's a short trailer!  There's also a companion book, if you are interested!
Oh, as for Faythe, take a look at her current project: "The Sign Painter Movie"!  

Monday, June 21, 2010

Indie Junction Featured Artisans for the Week of June 20th!!

As we approach the first official day of summer, let's celebrate with this week's three talented Indie Junction artisans: Buddy Noone of  13 Coffin Nails, Jennifer of Simply Inviting Cards, and Frann from Armored Hearts!
Let's start with13 Coffin Nails, your home for all things VintagePunkPop Art... What is VintagePunkPoP Art you ask? In the artist's own words: "well it's the term I came up with to describe the work you see. A lot of my pieces contain some Vintage Imagery somewhere in the mix. What I do is take all those vintage images and mix em with a little grungy Punk spice; finally I toss those wonderful ingredients together with a lil splash of PoP Art. Bake for 60 minutes at 425 and what pops out of the oven is what you see... VintagePunkPop.
"  I've been a graphic designer for over five years and I enjoy sitting behind a computer doing this stuff. I am heavily influenced the the strange and or weird. I also find a lot of inspiration from the past through vintage magazines and advertisements."
Follow Buddy Noone/13 Coffin Nails on TwitterFacebook MySpaceEtsy, and his website!
Now let's take a look at some of the awesome things you will find in his studio:
Our next Indie Junction Featured Artisan is Jennifer from Simply Inviting Cards where you'll find cards, albums, memory boxes, and all kinds of paper goodies.  In the artist's own words: "I find beauty in simplicity, character in imperfection, and charm in the everyday motifs and objects from the lives of generations past. In a world laden with frenzy, I create greeting cards, albums and other paper delights that let you express, share, and preserve your own sunshine!"
Places to find Simply Inviting Cards:
Now let's look at some of the wonderful things you will find at Simply Inviting!
Our third Indie Junction Featured Artisan this week is Frann from Armored Hearts, featuring custom chainmaille jewelry and wearable art.  In the artist's own words: "I started Armored Hearts to explore my addiction for chainmaille. My goal is to offer unusual items, and customer jewelry through Etsy and local craft shows. I love to do custom orders and I have an ever changing inventory of items.  I'm seriously addicted to chainmaille, and have been incorporating beadwork into my work."
Places to Find Armored Hearts:
Now let's take a look at the wonderful designs you'll find at Armored Hearts!
We hope you have enjoyed this week's featured Indie Junction Artisans!  Indie Junction is a wonderful community that brings together artisans from across all mediums in the spirit of collaboration, support and growth.  Indie Junction now officially has a new home!  Due to changes within Ning and incredible growth of our community, we have moved to a brand new home!  Many thanks to the design team of Nicky (co-owner) and her husband Steph for creating a wonderful site for all of our members!  With this new site we can not only continue to add value for our members but also keep the site free!  For more information about Indie Junction, please go here!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I Was Included in this Wonderful Treasury by Lapis Beach!!

I like a little grey with my pink

Thanks  to Indie Junction Member Lapis Beach for including me in this wonderful Treasury East!

Featuring some members of Indie Junction

Wednesday Window Shopping on Etsy!

This week's theme of Wednesday Window Shopping on Etsy is Bridal--Planning Your Wedding!  There are so many wonderful artisans that specialize in making your wedding  a unique and special day!  With so many details to think of, every couple should really start at Etsy if for no other reason than the wonderful collaborative relationships between sellers can minimize your search for each facet of your wedding day plan.  Custom bridal invitation sellers for instance can make the correct recommendations to other quality sellers who make veils, dresses, and more.

Let's start with custom invitations.  I think your best choice has to be Jolie Papeterie specializing in couture invitations for the hip and trendy bride. A selection from their line of contemporary, handcrafted designs is sure to make a memorable statement for your event. 
No matter your budget, they will be happy to craft a unique solution to fit your personal sense of style.

Places to Find Jolie Papeterie Boutique:

For Birdcage Veils, Tulle Birdcage Veils, Feather Fascinators, Flower Fascinators and Bridal Accessories you owe it to yourself to visit Tessa Kim!  Tessa Kim Designs is based out of Los Angeles, California and specialize in vintage inspired wedding birdcage veils and bridal hair accessories.  In the artist's own words: "We are a husband and wife duo and started designing hair adornments prior to our own wedding in 2009. Our inspiration comes from the 1920's to the present and many of our pieces contain vintage aspects therefore each piece is completely unique. All of our designs are handmade with the highest quality materials and made to order. Since all of our items are made to order we also offer customizations."

Places to Find Tessa Kim Designs:

For your wedding decor, you should check out Emma Leigh Designs a wonderful shop that features card boxes, ribbon boards, and pomanders.  In the artist's own words: "I would love to create custom pieces for your special day. All the items can coordinate to create a wonderful look.   I work with each bride and groom to create a unique pieces to coordinate with their wedding style. "

You can follow Emma Leigh Designs on Facebook!

I hope you enjoyed this week's Wednesday Window Shopping in Etsy where we looked at a few of the wonderful shops that can help you plan your wedding!  Stay tuned to next week's picks and have a wonderful week!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Indie Junction Treasury Called Something Blue!

Featuring Some of the Talented Members of Indie Junction!

Indie Junction is a social network bringing artisans together across all genres in the spirit of collaboration to help each individual achieve their goals within the handmade industry. 
 Create. Love. Explore. Collaborate. Support. Learn. Grow.

Handmade Headlines

Cultural Trends for 2010

Like many of you who run an indie handmade business, I like to keep track of the cultural trends and relate them back to my business.  Therefore, I read a lot of articles, review websites, and spend my time in the grocery line perusing the latest magazines to try to form a snapshot of the primary trends for 2010 and beyond.  Then I try to think of how this relates to my own business.

Cultural trends invariably mirror what is going on in the world and the economic downturn and recession has forced many people to review their prior lifestyle, downsize, and interestingly enough, change their perspective in many cases as to what things are important.

Some of the trends for 2010 that caught my interest as a designer and seller of handcrafted jewelry were:

  • Bold Color--this is a typical trend after what our country and the global community have faced during the past year.  Adding bold and bright colors to your designs and your brand will help attract consumers to you because after all, it is all about giving the customer what they want.
  • Personalized Gift Giving--there has been a shift away from luxury gift giving in favor of more personalized gifts.  No one is better prepared to service this consumer group than handmade sellers who can offer customization on many of their handmade products and enter into a collaboration with the customer to give them exactly what they need.
  • A Concern for Our Planet--the pursuit by consumers of environmentally safe and friendly products is a very prevalent trend and one that the handmade industry has been involved in for quite some time.  From organic cotton fabric and fiber, to recycled and up-cycled designs,  he industry offers eco-friendly alternatives to products you use every day.  Handmade sellers do this because it's what they believe sets them apart from regular retailers and e-tailers rather than capitalizing on any cultural trends.  However, it's nice to see that it is what the consumer wants to see in 2010.
  • It's Cool To Find Quality Bargains--not only does this mean that consumers desire to find the best value for less money, it is also a trend to seek out gently used clothing and fashion accessories but also means that they are looking for alternatives to the inferior quality mega-stores have to offer.  They can find just that within the handmade industry.
  • Nostalgia for Simpler Times--consumers, again due to the drastic shifts in both the economy and personal life quality are interested in returning to a simpler time in life.  This not only applies to the baby boomers by also to those consumers that didn't live during those times!  This is good news for vintage sellers, those designers who take vintage or antique items and re-purpose or up-cycle them and for those designers who have returned to styles and materials from the past.  This trend also points to a renewed interest by consumers for high quality service; business as it was conducted in simpler times.
Well, hope you have enjoyed some of the trends I've talked about here.  I think it positions all of us in the handmade industry in a wonderful place to serve our customers' needs.  We offer quality products, using the best materials, unique styling, and superior customer service.  Here's to a very successful 2010!!

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    I am an MBA Jewelry Artisan and owner of Zur Designs.  I create handcrafted jewelry using only the highest quality materials such as sterling silver,semi-precious gemstones, swarovski crystals, and pearls.

    My designs are inspired by life, love, and the beauty that surrounds me from the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts to the wonderful beaches in Rhode Island...both I consider my home.