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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Indie Junction Featured Artistans for The Week of January 31st!!



Well, it's time once again for a new round of Indie Junction Featured Artisans! This week we are featuring Benjamin Krudwig, 2 Girls in Trouble/LuvZit, and Scribbles and Nibs! You are going to love these shops!

Let's start with our first artisan, Benjamin Krudwig who creates sustainable crochet products made using natural fibers, renewable or reused resources. In this artisan's own words: "Over a year ago, I learned a Japanese craft called amigurami from my friend. She made cool Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle dolls for her little brothers. I wanted to learn how to make them and other items, so I set off on a journey. A few web-pages, and a trip to my local bookstore later, I had begun teaching myself how to crochet.

"My first few projects came out looking like, well, a few first projects. I kept at the craft and continued to learn. I found that crocheting was much easier for me than knitting to make patterns that I really liked. After a couple of months I branched off and started making hats with my own patterns, and eventually scarves. I primarily make hats, scarves, and amigurumi. If you need anything else crocheted, I can custom make it for you."

Places where you can find Benjamin Krudwig:

Take a look at a few of Benjamin's creations!


Our next featured Indie Junction artisan is Mary Madonna from 2 Girls in Trouble and LuvZit. 2 Girls in Trouble features fun whimsical jewelry. The artisan quotes Ben Crenshaw in saying, "'There are many things in life that will catch your eye. But only a few will catch your heart.' I hope my pieces catch your eye, catch your heart, and inspire you."

Here are some offerings from Mary Madonna's first shop 2 Girls in Trouble!


And here are some designs from her LuvZit shop:


You can find Mary Madonna on Twitter and on her blog!

Our third wonderful Indie Junction Artisan is Andie Freeman of Scribbles and Nibs! In the artist's own words, "creative goodies await you...beautiful art jewelry, illustration prints for kids and adults, all occasion cards, pillowcases and so much more! I am a fine artist and award-winning graphic designer/illustrator with over 15 years of experience in my field.

"I have been creative for as long as I can remember! My cousin and I used to play "craft show" every summer and were determined to be the first Martha Stewart (at the time, no one had heard of her) but mostly we made shell art because that's all we had. I am a mom-graphic designer-artist-crafter-preneur. Jobs I've had are (not in this order): cocktail waitress, graphic designer, publisher for a family magazine, owner too, photography assistant, portrait painter, illustrator, golf course photographer. No really, I took pictures of golfers as they were tee-ing off to sell to them on the 18th.

My favorite job is this one... creating everyday, making new items that bring people joy. "

Take a look at some of Andie's wonderful designs!


You can find Andie at her primary Scribbles and Nibs website, Andie's art site, Andie's illustration portfolio site, Facebook, Twitter, and her blog.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit today with these three fabulous Indie Junction artisans! If you would like more information about Indie Junction simply click here. Indie Junction is a place where indie artisans across all genres form a synergy that helps each individual achieve their goals within the handmade industry.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

I Was Nominated For A Blog Award!!


Thanks so much to Found on Folksy for nominating me for this award!!

The conditions when accepting this award:

* Put the logo on your blog or within your post.
* Pass the award onto 12 bloggers.
* Link the nominees within your post.
* Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
* Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.


I'd like to nominate the following blogs:

Thursday, January 28, 2010

OMG Fuchstbags Is Having A Valentine Handbag GIVEAWAY!!


One of my favorite handmade artisans Fuchstbags is having a Valentine Handbag Giveaway over at her blog!

Her bags are of such fine quality! In her own words: "all Fuchstbags collection are personally handcrafted by myself made-to-order with special care and attention to detail."

This giveaway is really easy to enter and each task you complete earns you 1 entry into the drawing that will take place on February 14th! You could be the winner of this wonderful handbag named "Juliet"!

So head over to her blog soon! What a great Valentine gift this would be...even if it's for yourself!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New Valentine Listing!!

I once had a friend say to me that he didn't like when people said, "I love you," and expected it in return. He said the reason it bothered him was that it made it too commonplace a phrase, like "see you later!' and wasn't a strong enough expression for what being in love really felt like. Yet he didn't feel comfortable replying with something a bit closer to his feelings such as "you are part of my own skin". It was as if what he felt was beyond love...and saying "I love you" simply wasn't enough.

So the other day I started thinking about a love like that...it was self-assured, confident, and impenetrable and I started to wonder what a design would look like that would capture that feeling of love. I realized that it would definitely glow.

So I used my shiniest crystal, and even used my shiniest chain, a diamond cut sterling silver, that glittered in the light. I added shiny charms, one of them a bright red sterling silver heart and some red and clear swarovski crystals dangling from the side.

And I called it "Love Squared". Love Squared is 19" end to end and can be purchased in my Etsy Shop.

Happy Valentines Day!!

Vote for Your Favorite Artisan in HAF Etsy Street Team's Winter Challenge!!


The Handmade Artists Forum Etsy Street Team is sponsoring a winter challenge. The theme of the challenge is Frozen Moments. The entries are in and now is the time to vote. If you leave a comment after voting and be entered in a drawing for a chance to win this exclusive bead pictured here courtesy of Rachel Elliot Glassworks. It's gorgeous! All her beads are wonderful!!

So have fun looking through all the great pieces assembled on the HAF Blog and vote for your favorite! It's so great to see everyone's individual interpretation of the theme Frozen Moments!

I'll keep you posted when the winner is announced!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

New Indie Junction Featured Artisans for Week of January 24th!!



Let's have a round of applause for these next three Indie Junction Featured Shops! This week we are showcasing: Brand New Colony, CUTEure Creations, and Lazy Cat Beads! Wonderful artisans and you are really going to enjoy these shops!

Our first shop is Brand New Colony (BNC Jewelry) featuring very unique handmade jewelry using gemstones and glass beads, vintage pieces, and other findings. In the artisan's own words: "I graduated with a double major in apparel design and fashion merchandising and have just recently entered the world of jewelry. When it comes to jewelry making I am completely self taught, however I am just beginning a class so I can perfect my product! Other factoids about me: I have an unnatural obsession with cardigans, I love to bake, I've traveled to 13 countries and am looking to go to more (any suggestions?), and I put relish on my grilled cheese." You can also find Brand New Colony on Facebook.

Take a look at these wonderful designs!

Our next shop is CUTEure Creations featuring crocheted items for boys and girls, hair bows, and hair clips. In the artisan's own words, "I have always been drawn to the art of crochet. I love how I can create something beautiful, simple, and usable all at once using nothing but a string of yarn and a simple hook. I was taught the basics of crochet by my grandmother as a little girl, and over the years I have continued to teach myself through experimentation and practice. While creating, I keep my daughter in mind. I love functional pieces for children that are also stylish and unique, which is not always easy to find. All of my designs are tested out by me to ensure practicality and ease of use. After all, when it comes to children, a pair of mittens is useless if they don't fit over pudgy fingers and still fit snugly around the wrist, and a hat is no good if it's so scratchy they won't keep it on."

Places you can find CUTEure:

Take a look at some of her wonderful designs!

Our next featured Indie Junction artisan is Lazy Cat Beads featuring fine lampwork beads and original jewelry. In this artisan's own words: "Glass is a passion for me and creating beautiful things to wear is what I like to do best! When I am at the torch I lose all track of time......only the glass and the flame are in my mind. Each piece you see is a small work of art designed to grace your ears, neck, wrist..." Curious to know more about Lazy Cat Beads? Head over to the website!

Here is a sample of her wonderful work!!

I hope you have enjoyed your visit today with these three fabulous Indie Junction artisans! If you would like more information about Indie Junction simply click here. Indie Junction is a place where indie artisans across all genres form a synergy that helps each individual achieve their goals within the handmade industry.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Indie Junction's First Featured Artisans for Week of January 17th!!





Indie Junction's Weekly Featured Artists Series has started off with a bang! This week we are featuring some really wonderful shops: Yum Yum Pendants, The Curious Pug, and Kaslkaos art & Design!

Our first featured artisan is Yum Yum Pendants! Yum Yum Pendants specializes in unique scrabble tile pendant designs tailored to your style. Fantastic gifts for all occasions! In the artist's own words: " My name is Ela and I love to make pendants! I first started making glass tile pendants in 2008 and have decided to branch out to scrabble tiles as well. I hope I can offer you a huge selection of fabulous designs that are eye catching and complimentary to your style. I went to school for Fine Art and I do a lot of painting along with making all of these fun pendants. "

Take a look at her wonderful Etsy Shop for yourself!!


Etsy
Buy Handmade
YumYumPendants

Our next incredible shop is The Curious Pug! This wonderful shop is filled with creative and unique handmade gifts for every occasion! Here's a little history in the artist's own words on how The Curious Pug began: "I am a certified radiologic technologist (fancy word for xray tech). I opened The Curious Pug on November 6, 2009 originally as a creative outlet for myself while looking for work during the days -turned weeks-turned months - while looking for an xray job. But now, I'm really invested and enjoy this venture much more than I thought I would! I have always been crafty since I was a kid. My mom taught me how to sew and creating keeps me busy. Etsy has opened a floodgate of creativity!"

And that investment has paid off...take a look at her lovely shop for yourself!

Etsy
Buy Handmade
TheCuriousPug

Our third featured artisan is Ingrid from kaslkaos art & design! In the artist's own words: "...Fine art and fabric artist, painting myth, magic and nature motifs. Graduate of the Ontario College of Art four year General Studies Program. If you wish to know more about my art, my life and philosophy, see my Artist Illustrated Journal at http://www.kaslkaos.blogspot.com (drop in and say Hi!)." You should really check out the blog...it's wonderful.

Take a look at KaslKaos Art &Design's beautiful shop!

Etsy
Buy Handmade
KastlkaosArt&Design

Hope you enjoyed browsing through these wonderful shops and visiting these three wonderful Indie Junction artisans! Indie Junction is an open community created to bring artists of all genres together in the spirit of collaboration and mutual support. Come join us! Sign up here!! It's as simple as that...and then you can begin to settle in and join other artists in this new and exciting social network!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hippie Chick In Love Necklace

This was one of those necklaces that came together from the moment I went into my favorite bead store, Webs in Northampton, MA.

I must confess that when I go into most beads stores, I turn into a kid in a candy shop, but Webs is different. The atmosphere is calm and relaxed, I can browse for hours or pick up a few things quickly if I am on a tight schedule. It's a well-laid out store and has just about anything you would ever need...whether you are a beginner or hobbyist or whether you are a business owner/designer.

So like I said, Hippie Chick In Love came together from the moment I walked into Webs and began seeing all the elements together...the oxidized sterling silver chain, the bright and bold crystal, the red glass hearts, and the little silver peace sign charm. Had all the elements in front of me and said, "Hmmmm....Hippie Chick In Love." The necklace brings me back to a simpler time when love was a lot less complicated...

Hippie Chick In Love can be purchased at my Etsy Shop and comes beautifully wrapped and ready for giving.

Happy Valentines Day!!

♫•*¨*•.¸¸❤¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Come Join Us At Indie Junction!!

Indie Junction is a new social networking site that provides a place where indie artisans across all genres form a synergy that helps 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 Deb Hall (me) 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.

The site is a bit over a week old at this posting but already boasts over 130 members! Already when you log on there is a feeling of excitement! 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. The discussion forums are active and already filled with useful information; anything from marketing strategies, getting more fans and followers to Facebook, Twitter, and blogs, to photography tips that are useful for all of us selling through an online venue as well as the array of talented photographers gathered there. There is even an Indie Cafe in the discussion forum where people talk a bit about what's going on in their lives whether it has to do with their art or not. I am here to report...these people are hilarious!

The Indie Junction Blog is part of our plan to feature all of the wonderful artisans that join Indie Junction. We are in the process of creating a schedule of artists and three will be featured each week! It's such a talented group...you are going to be amazed at the work you see here! Barring any unforeseen circumstances, we will begin these features starting the week of January 17th...so be sure and check back there soon!

You can also follow Indie Junction's Twitter Channel! We will be keeping you up to date on the features and all the new exciting things ahead for our site and its members!

Membership at Indie Junction is open, so simply click here, sign up, and start customizing your own page with photos, music, and depending on your selling venue, a little version of your shop! 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, or chime in at the Indie Cafe! Come join us at Indie Junction! We'll be waiting for you there!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Spreading "Link Love"!!

An interesting and exciting phenomenon has been happening over the last several days on Facebook, amongst the pages of the handmade indie artisans that comprise a rich and robust community.

A few months ago I began offering on the discussion page of my fan page a place for other indie handmade artisans to post their links: Facebook Fan Pages, Twitter Channels, Blogs, and URLs for their Etsy Shops. It was in an effort to both meet some interesting and talented artisans and also to give some of the new artisans to the online venue a good start at gaining the community presence necessary to be successful online. Most importantly, I thought it would give my Facebook Fans added value and ultimately entice them to return to my fan page on a regular basis.

My little initiative was going very well. People would post their information, and would follow the others in the thread and several people would check back and catch up with any new posts. At periodic intervals I would post a little reminder to folks to leave their links on my discussion page and I would tweet that same message frequently. I would usually greet new fans and tell them to post their links to my Discussion Page.

Then shortly after Christmas, I received a couple of messages on my fan page from Runway Crochet and Paper On Parade saying they were going to do a similar thing on their pages. I was really happy and made a note to myself to check back with their pages when I had a minute and post my information to show my support. Well, things happen and the holidays were a bit crazy so by the time I got back to do that little task...the entire idea had spread like wildfire!

There is even a directory on many of these pages now call "List of Link Love" Fan Pages! This allows anyone coming to one particular Discussion Tab on one particular fan page and see where else they can leave their links. This list is by no means complete because this popular trend is still continuing.

Aside from the fact that it helps everyone increase their fan base, exposure, and social proof; the love and excitement this entire thing has generated makes me happy and proud to be a part of this wonderful handmade community!

Thanks to Runway Crochet and a growing list of other who are participating in this wonderful endeavor...it's viral marketing handmade style!

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    About Me

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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.