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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cool Etsy Video!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

My Necklace Was Included in This Beautiful Treasury East!!


Thank you so much for including my necklace in your wonderful collection!!

Indie Junction Featured Artisans for the Week of July 25th!!

Let's end the month of July strong with these three wonderful Indie Junction Artisans:  Original MischiefCMU55, andFabled Charm Designs!
Let's start with Original Mischief, a shop featuring HANDMADE clothing and accessories from retro and vintage fabrics.  In the artist's own words: "Although I lived through the hippy era, (my Mum always tells me that if you remember those years, you probably weren't there) I never quite left it and find myself drawn to colours that are 'over the top'. I can't help myself - they make my heart sing!  My favourite fabrics are barkcloth, polished cotton and terry fabric... oh the texture! So lush, so tactile, so.. ahem, excuse me... got carried away.  Just know that I have a house full of vintage fabrics that I love to look at, take out and pet and stroke, fondle and love.  The kids are jealous! (not really - they think their Mum is crazy!)"
You can follow Original Mischief Here:
Now let's take a look at some of the wonderful things you'll find at Original Mischief!  She is in the process of moving to the USA from Australia so she put her shop items on sale!

Our next Indie Junction Featured Artisan is CMU55 or Wimzee, featuring hand knitted really fun hats and other accessories  for infants, teens, women, and men!!   This includes hand knitted Fruit Hats,Cupcake Hats, and Flower Hats!  There's also some lovely crocheted items as well!  In the artist's own words: "All my items are ready to ship within two days of placing your order.  All of my items are listed with "one" in the quanity available box if you need more than one just send a convo/email and I will increase the quanity amounts or set up a custom listing to fit your needs.  I now ship to Canada,United Kingdom,New Zealand,Australia and the Netherlands."  You can follow CMU55 on Twitter!
Let's let the beautiful hand knitted designs speak for themselves:

Our third Indie Junction Featured Artisan is Fabled Charm Designs, where you will find handmade one of a kind jewelry and small sewn creations.  In the artist's own words: "Along with one of a kind daily-wear jewelry, I design and create customized bridal and special event jewelry. Working with the bride, I make designs that encompass the bride's vision of herself on her special day!! I can also design bridesmaids jewelry to match."  Visit her online shop for designs that are customizable with any colors you choose and adjustable lengths as well as pre-made designs available for immediate purchase!
Other places to find Fabled Charm Designs, besides website and Etsy shop:
Now let's take a peek at some of her wonderful creations!!

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's new home is a little over a month old!  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!

My Ring Was Included In this Wonderful Treasury!!


Thank you so much for including my ring in this wonderful collection!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wednesday Window Shopping on Etsy!

Well, maybe my Christmas in July sale (teehee I know, shameless self promotion but I couldn't resist) has got me thinking about theme gifts...I love a good theme when creating a gift for someone on my list!  Every time I am browsing the wonderful handmade items on Etsy, I think of how many wonderful theme gifts I could put together!  Here's one:
For all the knitters and crocheters on your list:
Some yummy Popsicle Rocket yarn from BK Yarns!
Remember those juicy ice-cold "rocket pops" that you could eat during the fireworks displays on 4th of July?
That is what inspired this Hand-Painted chunky worsted weight yarn.
Red, white and blue through and through.
This yarn will be variegated
Yardage: 94
Weight: Chunky Worsted Weight
Fiber Content:
80% acrylic
20% wool
Upcycled and Revamped

Add to that some really beautiful stitch markers TJB Designs!

Add some fun to your knitting experience with this set of six rose and pink quartz beaded stitch markers. The unique marker bead is for marking the beginning of a round. 

As the artist says: "My stitch markers are made with nylon coated wire which gives them that teardrop shape. The markers are shown on US size 10 1/2 needles, but knitters can use them on almost any size needle because the beads will hang lower than the stitches and not interfere with the current row. They also slide from needle to needle easily. The come on a gold plated earring wire for easy storage.  I have coordinated these markers with Rose beaded scissor fob."

Another piece for the theme is some handmade glass knitting needles by Namaste Glass!

Great starter set as a gift or for a friend!
Here's what's available for this collection:
Malt Ball - size 15
Pink with Pink Dots - Size 13
Black with White Dots - Size 11
Bubblegum Swirl - Size 10
10" length, unless requested otherwise.
In the artist's own words: "We having been making durable Pyrex glass knitting needles for many years. We make needles that are meant to last and be used daily. Glass is awesome to knit with, plus they look amazing~"

And add to this a wonderful Par Avion Medium WIP Project Bag by Slipped Stitch Studios.
This is a light-weight cotton drawstring bag that will keep your yarn from rolling around town, and your projects from getting snagged in your purse or a larger knitting bag. I use these bags to separate my projects, and they are super easy to grab when you are on your way out!
Approximate Size:
*THIS BAG IS A Medium 14” x 12” (with Inside Pocket)
Best used for Shawls and small garments (Baby clothing, tank tops, baby blankets, etc)

This bag is made with quality cotton fabrics, and lined with coordinating cotton fabric. The bottom is flat and a heavier bottom weight is used for a sturdier stand up and better wear. This feature sets my bags apart from the competition and shows you my commitment to a well made product as well.

There are so many more items I could add to this theme!!  That's the beauty of's a place of endless artistic imagination!
Hope you've enjoyed this week's Window Shopping on Etsy segment!  Stay tuned and have a great week!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Pittsfield Art Show 2010

                                                                                                        This weekend I attended the Pittsfield Art Show in Downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts, a city that is called the urban hub of the beautiful Berkshires...home of Tanglewood (the summer home of the Boston Pops), The Norman Rockwell Museum, and many other cultural attractions!                                                                 The Pittsfield Art Show is a juried fine art and crafts outdoor show sponsored by the City of Pittsfield’s Cultural Development Office and Artscape Committee, Downtown Inc, and the Berkshire Art Association. Their mission is to promote downtown Pittsfield as an arts destination and to provide area artists and artisans a high quality, outdoor summer outlet to sell their work.

The show was well attended and the collection of artisans were quite extraordinary!

I was there to support my sister, Pat Hall Pellegrino, a photographer who sells affordable art...framed photos, matted photos,beautiful art cards and more! 
 And to scope it out as a possible show to promote Zur Designs!


After the show, we attended the Open Studio event at The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts.  This was a wonderful opportunity to visit an excellent group of talented local artists right in their own work space and get to talk to each artist to get to know a bit about the idea, process, and techniques behind the work!

Here's just a few of the great artists we saw at the Open Studio Event:

His process involves approximately 32 layers to obtain these finished works!

Check out his blog for some insight into his works!

Other Artist Participants included: 
Peg Dotchin  
Mario Caluori
Julio Granda

More Information About Open Studios and Galleries

Indie Junction Featured Artisans for the Week of July 18th!!

This week the sizzling heat continues with these three talented Indie Junction Artisans: Tanya of  Green Tea Photography and Green Tea Jewelry Designs, Debra (and Don) of Gilstrap Designs, and Shoshi Po!
Let's start with Tanya of Green Tea Photography and Green Tea Jewelry Designs.  Green Tea Photography where you will find beautiful photos of nature and the great outdoors!  In the artisan's own words: "'I've loved photography since I was young. I focus on outdoor photography. I love nature and spending time outside. I try to capture the beauty and texture of nature. I love exploring new areas and revisiting old areas looking for new photo opportunities. I started out with a 35mm point and shoot camera when I was in my early teens. In my 20's I got my first film SLR and used that up until recently when I got a digital SLR (Canon 10D). I was hesitant for a long time to take that next step, but I have more freedom to experiment now. I always felt somewhat constained in how many shots I took. I couldn't afford to take as many as I wanted. Now as long as there's room on my memory card, I'm good to go."
Here's some of the beautiful work you will find at Green Tea Photography!

Green Tea Jewelry Designs features one of a kind jewelry designed and priced for everyday every occasion wear.  In the artist's own words: "enjoy the creative aspect of designing jewelry. I primarily do beaded. I like to take older jewelry and make them into something new. I also try to incorporate wood and other natural items into my jewelry. I use the best quality items and supplies with every piece of jewelry that I make."
Here is some of the wonderful pieces you will find at Green Tea Jewelry!

Our next Indie Junction Featured Artisan is Debra from Gilstrap Designs featuring handmade mixed media art, jewelry, and home decor.  In the artist's own words:  "I am a jewerly designer, home accessory designer, as well as a mixed media artist. My husband Don also is a jewerly designer, a home accessory designer, and a mixed media artist as well. We make a lot of one of a kind jewerly or limited edition jewerly. We make one of kind orginal art work signed and dated on the back by the artist. We also design and make a lot of other home accessories.  We love what we do creating art, jewerly, and home accessories."  You can follow them on Twitter!
Now let's take a look at some of the wonderful things you will find at Gilstrap Designs!!

Our third Indie Junction Featured Artisan is Shoshi Po, a shop that features handmade modern jewelry bracelets, necklaces, and earrings that are made from sterling silver, Swarovski, and other items ready to enhance your outfit.  In the artist's own words: "I am a self taught artisan. I started on Etsy in November 09. I started out with sterling silver/swarovski earrings. Wanted to see how it would go before I continue on my journey on making other kinds of jewelry like necklaces and bracelets."
Places to find Shoshi Po:
Now let's take a look at some of the beautiful designs you will find in Shoshi Po's shop!

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!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Etsy Sellers Christmas In July Sale!!

It's the Etsy Sellers Christmas in July Sale! 
Originally organized by Etsian, DesignedByLucinda, this sale is taking place from July 15th through July 25th in thousands of stores on Many handmade shops will be offering free shipping, BOGO sales, store discounts, and more! If you would like to find shops and handmade items that are a part of this sale, you can search on Etsy by typing "christmasinjuly" or "CIJ." You can also visit this forum thread to read more about the sale and participating shops.

Zur Designs will be participating in this sale! Just check out the savings in my shop under the special Christmas in July section!!  Happy Shopping! Happy Savings!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wednesday Window Shopping on Etsy!

This week's theme for Wednesday Window Shopping on Etsy is sweet creatures you will want to adopt!

Let's start with these wonderful bunnies from Mami Made It!  

Mami Made It's shop is filled with wonderful handmade goods made in Austria, Europe. They are all made carefully with love and passion.  In the artist's own words: "I love to work with cotton fabric because it is easy to clean, fulfills any wishes in colour and pattern and it's lint-free.  I also love to make beautiful, handy and useful things like bags and home accessories."

The method she uses to make these wonderful bunnies is:
* I buy the fabric
* I wash the fabric with 100% natural wash nuts, so you can be sure there is no shrinking and loss of color when you wash the bunny
* I fix the bunny with love

Now let's take a look at Benjamin Krudwig's shop where you'll find some really cute crocheted animals, monsters, and a special faerie that looks a lot like my friend Frann from Armored Hearts!

These wonderful little peeps are designed by Benjamin Krudwig himself and are made using natural fibers  and renewable or reused resources.  It's all about the faces when you are creating crocheted amigurumi and in my humble opinion, Ben has mastered the art of making the cutest faces around!!

Now let's take a look at a great new shop on Etsy called Little Munsters!  Munsters are quirky, charming, bashful little creatures who are looking for homes and humans to keep them company. Each Munster has a disctinctive personality, which can be read about in his/her bio.  Each Munster is one of a kind and made with love from polymer clay.   Adopt a Munster for you or someone special! :)

You owe it to yourself to check out these munsters and read their bios!  They are very loveable!!

Hope you've enjoyed this week's Window Shopping on Etsy Feature!  Stay tuned next Wednesday and in the meantime, have a wonderful week!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Social Shopping Networks Part Two--This Next

I discovered ThisNext when a fellow jewelry artisan recommended one of my necklaces...thanks August Studios!!

ThisNext  sends visitors down one of three paths: Discover, Recommend and Shopcast. The discover section lets users browse products recommended by others. Clicking on a item allows them to add it to their wishlist, recommend it, or find out where to buy the product. Users can recommend products by creating themed lists, or simply by clicking on an easy to install 'Add to ThisNext' browser button.
Appealing to the blogging crowd, ThisNext's standout feature is shopcasting: bloggers can create small banners for their website. These shopcast badges either display their own recommendations or those of the ThisNext community, broadcasting the products they love or must have.
So I started playing around with it and here's what I came up with:

This content requires Flash Player 8 or higher.

zurdesigns' recommendations at ThisNext
Powered by ThisNext. Get Widget!

And this is the blogcast

zurdesigns' recommendations at ThisNext
Here are some sweet products I discovered at ThisNext. Check them out!
There is also a way to post this information directly to Blogger or TypePad and code to embed for other blog types.

ThisNext, unlike some of the other social shopping networks does not have groups so it's a bit more challenging to find other handmade artisans using this network.  They do have a rich and lively community which is highlighted by its Maven Program.  Mavens are the leading and most influential members of the ThisNext community. They are the tastemakers and trendspotters that make ThisNext such an awesome place to be. They find the most unique products from the coolest stores, find them first, and write informative and interesting recommendations.

ThisNext is definitely worth a look-see if you are looking to get your products seen in a wide audience.  The tools make it simple and easy to use because we all know that time is our scarcest resource in running our handmade indie business!  Have fun with ThisNext!! 

A Day in Hudson, New York

So a friend and I took a trip to Hudson, New York and spent some time walking up and down Warren Street which is Hudson's main shopping and dining district.  The fine, early 19th century Opera House, the brick houses along Warren Street and many of the side streets have been --or are in the process of being--lovingly restored. Interesting and colorful shops: bookstores, clothing and furnishing shops have moved into the eight blocks from Front Street up to Route 9. There are over sixty antique shops and art galleries in this compact area giving Warren Street a focused and stylish appeal.  I've been told that a nightime stroll down Warren Street is like a walk through a period stage set.  

Cannot forget to mention all of the wonderful restaurants!  We had a hard time choosing but decided on Mexican Radio, Hudson's version of the popular Lower Eastside (Manhattan) restaurant.  The black bean and butternut squash soup was a work of art!!  I do, however, have the Wall of Voodoo's song stuck in my head!! :)

The migration of artists to this area and the revitalization of the town of Hudson itself--complete with sophisticated restaurants, B&B's and galleries--reached critical mass within the past five years. As the area flowered, so did the arts community.

Roughly 5 miles northeast of Hudson to the left off Route 66, is a large property that is home to artists' colony Art OMI. Its informal grounds include many pieces of large-scale sculpture sited outdoors and offer a pleasant venue for a stroll featuring sculpture in the wild. 

Considered one of the most important artistic residences in the US, Olana, the moorish-style villa of Frederic Church on Rte.9G south of Hudson also has paths for hiking; the house is open to tours year round, but check their schedule for the abbreviated winter schedule.

Every autumn, the Columbia County Council on the arts sponsors Artwalk an event in which local merchants display local artists' works in their shop windows along Warren Street.  Each year this event grows in participation and quality!

A great day in Hudson!!  I feel inspired!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Thanks Year of the Tiger!!

My necklace was included in this wonderful summer treasury!!
Along With Lots of Other Indie Junction Friends!!

Zur Designs Product Video

               Zur Designs on Etsy

Indie Junction Featured Artisans for the Week of July 11th!!

This week's featured artisans are as sizzling as the summer heat! Put your hands together for Mandy, owner of Fuchst Bags, Sue of Glass 4 Him, and Theresia of Silver Moon Crafts!!  In one of those funny coincidences that happen in life, today happens to be both  Sue's birthday and Theresia's as well!  Happy, Happy Birthday to both of you!! We missed Mandy by a few months...she was January 11th!
Let's start with Fuchst Bags, a shop that combines functional, chic, and stylish handmade handbags with unique designs and impeccable craftsmanship.  In the artist's own words: "have been sewing and pattern making since graduating from college in Fashion Design in 1988. I have since been making wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses, drapery, cushions, and handbags. I also design and handcraft my personal line of jewelry.  My inspiration for designing and making handbags came when my first child was born. I could not find a carry-on bag that was both functional and modern for a new mom like me. All the diaper bags I found on the market were mostly printed with teddy bear prints. As I like to look good and fashionable, I could not accept the fact that there was nothing out there for me. Therefore, I designed and produced a hands-free design diaper bag that went around my waist. I used colourful fabric and leather trim to add some glamour. Ever since then, I was hooked on designing and making handbags, and that's when Fuchstbags was born.  All of my handbags are a labour of love as I personally design and handcraft each piece with attention to detail. I hope you like what you see! "
Places to Find Fuchst Bags:
Now let's take a look at some of the wonderful designs you will find at Fuchst Bags!

Our next Featured Indie Junction Artisan is Sue from Glass 4 Him, featuring art glass for your life, your home, your spirit... In the artist's own words: "I fell in love with glass when I saw Christopher Ries's sculptures how they could capture light. That was many years ago, and after taking classes at Corning Glass, and learning from glass artist Sasha Zhitneva on fusing basics, I'm more in love with it then ever. I am fascinated with cameo glass, and have been experimenting with the technique, with results that I'm happy and excited about. The world can be a discouraging and frightening place at times. My philosophy and theme is simply to show light in darkness. I welcome custom orders, and I love a challenge! It's my hope to combine my two loves of fusing and carving glass to give you jewelry and items for your home that will bring some light into your life, your home and your spirit."
Places to Find Glass 4 Him
Now let's take a look at some of the wonderful glass work by Sue from Glass 4 Him:

Our third Indie Junction Featured Artisan is Theresia from Silver Moon Crafts, where you will find classic semi precious gemstone and pearl jewelry created with quality materials.  In the artist's own words: "An avid crafter and lover of jewelry my two passions came together when I discovered I could make my own jewelry. I started making simple strung pieces over 7 years ago and have been learning new techniques since. I'm also a stay at home grandma to a toddler who keeps me on my toes and keeps me young. I hope to one day share my passion with her and teach her to "play" with pretties. "  Silver Moon Crafts also features some wonderful jewelry supplies!
Places to find Silver Moon Crafts:
Now let's take a look at some of the beautiful things you will find at Silver Moon Crafts!
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!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Wednesday Window Shopping on Etsy!

Maybe it's the recent holiday parties that has me in this frame of mind...but this week's Window Shopping on Etsy is all about cupcakes! Mmmmm!  Let's take a look at a few artisans that have been inspired by cupcakes!!

Routine is for Robots creates lampwork designs and is definitely inspired by cupcakes!  This adorable glass cupcake pendant features lime green 'cake' and white frosting, dotted with tiny rainbow sprinkles and topped with a genuine Swarovski crystal cherry! 

In the artist's own words: "All my jewelry is lampworked by me and is annealed for durability and strength. "

At Crocheted Little Things you will find a vast variety of cupcakes as well as faux food and spa items.  This Crocheted Pincushion Cupcake in White with a Red Cherry in white acrylic yarn helping a busy seamstress to keep her pins and needle in order in one spot. Embellished by a red cherry also in acrylic yarn.

Luisa, the owner, is the busy mom of two wonderful kids who is having too much fun selling her crocheted little things on Etsy and Artfire to really call it a business or a job!  Her work is colorful and wonderful and certainly fits right in with our cupcake theme!

This Cupcakes Four Drawer Trinket Box by Sister Butterfly is perfect for stylishly storing jewelry, or other small treasures.  In the artist's own words: "The entire box and inside drawers were painted a metallic brown. Then I decoupaged various cupcake patterns...The back has chocolate frosted sprinkles! Then, I inked the edges for a "shabby chic" look. Last, I sealed it in triple coats of sealer for extra protection. This box measures: just under 8" tall, by 6" wide, by 4" deep."

Oh, AND they have real cupcakes on Etsy too!  These are Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes by Sugar Plum's Cupcakery.  In the artist's own words: "You simply will not believe the burst of flavor that pops through your mouth! The sweetness of fresh raspberries in our raspberry filling combined with our very own lemon meringue fill and guessed it...Our very own Raspberry Lemonade Buttercream Icing!!!"
So I hope you have enjoyed this week's Window Shopping on Etsy Feature!  Wishing everyone a wonderful week!

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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.