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Monday, May 31, 2010

Indie Junction Featured Artisans for the Week of May 30th!!!


  
Well, Happy Memorial Day Weekend Everyone! With Memorial Day you expect fireworks and with these three fabulous artisans, that's just what you will get!  So let's celebrate Jewelry by NaLaThe Joy of Color, and Jenni 20 Designs!!
Let's start with Jewelry by Nala featuring unique, handmade fashion jewelry featuring Czech glass, Swarovski crystals, semiprecious stones, freshwater pearls, antiqued metals, sterling silver and other fine materials.  In the artist's own words: "I don't know what I would do if I couldn't create something beautiful.  I make what I refer to as "delicately elegant jewelry." My jewelry is designed to speak to women who want to make a beautifully subtle and feminine fashion statement. Aside from my ready made collection, I also love the challenge of creating jewelry specific to individual tastes, and I've been known to "tweak" existing pieces in my collection into custom ordered designs. Just tell me what you want, and if I can, I'll create it. I love making people happy like that."
Places to Find Jewelry by NaLa:
Now take a peek at some of the exquisite jewelry pieces you will find at Jewelry by NaLa!!
  
Next up is The Joy of Color where you'll find housewares, decorative objects, and fashion accessories. In the artist's own words: "My greatest passion is for color and Pattern, Which is the origin of my shop name.  I hope my optimism, and the joy I feel when creating is reflected in my cold clay painted object (Flowers. Napkin rings and containers). Natures inspire me and make me happy so the flower motive is running through my jewelry line as well. As a minimalist at heart I try to keep the shapes as simple as possible and let the color speak. I do hope that my objects will bring you joy and happiness."  You can follow The Joy of Color on Twitter!
Now let's take a look at some of the wonderful things you will find in her shop:
  
Our third Indie Junction Featured Artisan is Jenni 20 Designs specializing in fabulous travel accessories: laundry bags, lingerie bags, shoe bags, and now introducing our newest line of passport covers.  This wonderful shop also features hand towels and handkerchiefs. All her designs are handmade with love and care!  In the artist's own words: "Jenni20 started sewing and crafting in the 80s under the tutelage of her fabulously talented mother. When she’s not dreaming up some new project, Jenni either works tirelessly on adding to her fabric stash, hanging out on her vintage couch with her poodle, reading anything in print…or doing all three simultaneously!  Oh yeah, and she also teaches high school!  As a farmer's granddaughter, Jenni has always known the responsibility of being good to our land. That's why she is committed to creating housewares and gifts that will help you and your loved ones reduce and reuse!"
Places to Find Jenni 20 Designs
Now let's take a look at some of the wonderful things in Jenni 20 Designs:
  
Well I hope you enjoyed our wonderful line-up of Indie Junction stars for this week!  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.  Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend and a great week!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!!

I'm really looking forward to Memorial Day Weekend!  There are going to be parties and gatherings with lots of family! It starts with our annual birthday cookout on Saturday, because both my sister and I  have birthdays next week and have been celebrating together for more years than either one of us want to admit!  There will be lots of family and close friends and it's supposed to be a gorgeous May day here in the Berkshires.  There's bound to be good food, music, and lots of fun!

Then down to Rhode Island to celebrate the holiday weekend with more family...it's going to be great!

That got me thinking about the idea behind Memorial Day...it commemorates the members of the United States Armed Forces who fought and gave their lives for this country.  But during times like this, when many men and women will not be able to be with their families on Memorial Day, it should be a way of honoring both the soldiers and their families for their strength, courage, and spirit as well.

So in honor of all the families who are separated this Memorial Day, I made this design and called it Dog Tags.


 This 17" necklace combines vintage and contemporary. The vintage bead cap holds a fiery 24mm Swarovski Crystal Vitrail Teardrop pendant and sits side by side with a perforated brass tag pendant. The whole piece hangs on antiqued bronze chain and is held together with an antiqued bronze toggle clasp.

It's my small way of honoring the soldiers and their families in the present and across time!


You can purchase Dog Tags in my Etsy Shop!  Happy Memorial Day Everyone!!  And wherever you are and whatever you do...be safe!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday Window Shopping on Etsy!



This week continues our celebrate grads theme with some inspirational gifts for graduates!  If you'd like to see my picks for cards, read last week's post here!


Now for my selections for some inspirational gifts for grads:


Here's a gift that is unique and different, it's called a Wish Flower Plate created by Joy Elizabeth Ceramics.  It comes in a variety of colors and is beautiful grouped with others and displayed as wall art but can be used functionally also. It's simplistic design is fresh and inspiring for summer time decor. Wishflowers are dandelions that have gone to seed, blow on them and make a wish...wonderful for a graduation gift...or for whatever you are wishing for!!  


In the artist's own words: "Ever since I can remember I have loved art. It is my life along with my sweet, sweet, musician husband and adorable son. During the day I am an art teacher, and by night and weekend I work on my pottery. I love nature, walking my dogs, James and Ginger, and hanging out with my family. I love all things handmade, especially if they are not perfect!  I love to draw and paint and think of clay as an extension of that medium. I am all about surface decoration."  Take a peek at this wonderful Etsy shop filled with wonderful designs in clay!

How about this wonderful inspirational print by Mae Chevrette Art?  This is a 19" x 13" print of "To Be Brave" with a thin white border for framing purposes. Printed on premium archival fine art paper with archival Epson pigment inks. Print is lightly signed and dated on back by the artist. will arrive very lovingly packaged in a cello sleeve with stiff foam backing in a non-bendable mailer. Print comes unframed; any frame in image picture is for example purposes only. 

 From the artist about the original: 
"'To Be Brave' is an original, one of a kind mixed media painting on canvas, made with found paper, lettering, paint, magazine clippings, maps and polaroid photos. This piece would be perfect as a gift to a new student, recent grad, friend who is moving or anyone who needs extra encouragement in their next adventure."


Take a look at this wonderful Etsy shop dedicated to Mae's original artwork and archival fine art prints! And be sure to read her artist's statement, under her profile! Talk about inspirational!



I must admit, this is a favorite quote of mine and a perfect one for a new grad ready to take  on the world!  "You must be the change you want to see in the world." Mahatma Gandhi 

BE THE CHANGE by Lisa's Pieces at LP Jewelry is hand-stamped onto an energetic handcut sterling silver spiral. Stars (astericks) flank each side of the sentiment. The bail is also sterling silver. The pendant measures 1 7/8" long from the top of the bail by 1 1/2" wide. The spiral is signed Lisa's Pieces and hallmarked sterling.
The pendant hangs from a 16" stainless steel choker with a magnetic clasp. 

In the artist's own words: "I have been designing, handcrafting and selling jewelry at Art Shows and in stores for over fifteen years under the business name Lisa's Pieces. My jewelry is fun, unique and definitely makes a statement. I use an eclectic range of materials but my current favorites are sterling silver, fine silver, enamel and fused glass. I love that even if I try I can never get two pieces exactly alike with the fused glass. I love tools and new techniques for using them especially those involving adding texture and dimension to my work.  My jewelry is meant to be worn and just as comfortable with a top and jeans as with a business suit."  Be sure to browse through Lisa's shop...you'll be glad you did!

Well, hope these artists inspired you and pointed you in the direction of some wonderful gift ideas for some grads on your list.  Graduation is such a wonderful benchmark in the lives of young people...and nowadays even the old!  If I had to choose one piece of advice to give to any grad, I'd take my cues from Ralph Waldo Emerson: Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail

Monday, May 24, 2010

Indie Junction Featured Artisans for the Week of May 23rd!!


  
This week we have a wonderful lineup of Indie Junction Featured Artisans!  We have Maite from Tamsey's Trends, Aimee from Aimee's Rock Works, and Katie from Corner Studio!
Let's begin with Tamsey's Trends, your one-stop shop for uniquely handcrafted jewelry, accessories and d├ęcor.   In the artist's own words: "My name is Maite and I am a mom to two adorable young girls, a former technology consultant and a self-taught jewelry artist. I began making beaded jewelry and accessories several years ago and I have been hooked ever since. I really enjoy the process of designing and creating fun pieces that can fit any occasion. I work with a lot of different types of materials to craft jewelry and accessories for both men and women. I also make colorful and safe accessories for children. Each item you find in my store was created with loving care and quality materials in my home studio in Glen Allen, Virginia."
Places to Follow Tamsey's Trends:
Now let's take a look at some of the beautiful creations you will find at Tamsey's Trends!
  
Next up is Aimee's Rock Works, a delightful shop featuring hand-crafted rock products from the Pacific Northwest using stones that are personally selected for their beauty and character.  In the artist's own words: "Growing up I always swore off rocks as dirty dusty things to trip over. Only fitting that I ended up with a degree in Geological Sciences.
So now I have an 'official' purpose to my collecting. Time to share the rocks I love with the world!"
Places to Find Aimee's Rock Works:
Now let's take a look at some of the wonderful things you'll find at Aimee's Rock Works!
  
Our third featured Indie Junction artisan is Katie Fenwick from the  Corner Studio where you'll find unique and beautiful handmade cards, pins, and more! In the artist's own words: "I'm an admin by day, crafter by night. I have tried tons of crafts over the years! I settled on scrapbooking 10+ years ago and haven't looked back. I also dabble in rubber stamping. And I like to throw fabrics into the mix! Photography is also a hobby that I enjoy. Etsy has a wonderful atmosphere and I look forward to continually adding new things my store!"
Places to Follow Katie:
And if you are in Katie's neck in the woods in Missouri, stop by and see her here:
2010 Summer Schedule:
June 5 - Green with Indie @ Webster University, Webster Groves, MO
June 23 - Ladies Night - The Melting Pot, Town & Country, MO
July 17 - Soulard Market Park, St. Louis, MO
Now let's take a look at some of the beautiful things you will find in the Corner Studio:
  
Well I hope you enjoyed our wonderful line-up of Indie Junction stars for this week!  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.  Come join us! Have a great week!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Crystal Ball Sterling Silver Wire Wrapped Ring

Lately I have been wishing for a crystal ball.  Mainly because I am standing on the edge of change and it'd be nice to look into a crystal ball to see my future self and make sure I landed okay and made the right decisions.  


I have always had this habit when life is about to change, to envision myself on the other side of the change.  Like when I bought my house, I kept picturing myself on the inside of the house, looking into my sweet little pink kitchen.  And no matter how bad the setback and how remotely possible it seemed that I would ever get inside, I kept that vision in my head and it allowed me to do all the hard things necessary to get to the other side.


So I guess that's what I have to do as I come to a point in my life that I am facing change...not really bad change; it's simply a matter of orchestrating a new chapter.  And I've begun to picture what this new chapter will look like, feel like, what parts of my present I'll carry with me into this new chapter and what I will need to leave behind.  That picture is growing stronger and will allow me to do the list of very hard things that will get me to the other side...still wish I had a crystal ball...so I made this Crystal Ball Sterling Silver Wire Wrapped Ring


This gorgeous handmade glass bead in the most vivid shade of dark blue, surrounded by silver laced bead caps and all wrapped together in sterling silver wire is like having your own crystal ball, right on your finger.

This ring is size 81/2 and will look good on one of your larger fingers for a really bold statement. I can custom design the size to make it just right for you!



Stop by my Etsy Shop and see this ring and some other lovely things!


When I looked into this crystal ball...I saw the ocean!  Hmmm...that's very interesting! :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wednesday Window Shopping on Etsy!

So I thought I'd pick a graduation theme this week and see what picks I can find for my Wednesday Window Shopping on Etsy.  So it all starts with the card!




This handcrafted card from Katie Fenwick is a wonderful way to show your congratulations to a grad of any age.


Graduation is a big milestone at any age. Congratulate the graduate with this card, which can be customized to their school colors ('congrats' border will remain blk&wht). Just convo me! I can also add a money/gift card holder to the inside for $.50. Click here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/46767632

-handmade card is 5.5 x 4.25
-message inside - happy graduation!
-envelope included


Take a look at some other possibilities for graduation cards, cards for all occasions, and some really nice gifts!  You'll be glad you stopped by her corner studio!




This "Making Waves Surfer Graduation Card" by Simply Inviting Cards is perfect for any graduate on your list who doesn't mind making a few waves!
A card for the graduate who doesn't mind making a few waves, this card deviates toward a more progressive design aesthetic while retaining some of the retro-inspired elements that permeate my collection. 'To the Grad Who's' was derived from the memory of the old-fashioned DYMO labeling tape and dispenser lying around my grandparents' home. The mix of typographical elements in the 'Making Waves' sentiment incorporates some of my favorite vintage typefaces. To finish this card, I simply hand stamped Congratulations on the interior in black ink.

This listing is for a single 6 in. by 6 in. (15.25 cm x 15.25 cm) handmade card- in the color of your choice - with a bright white envelope. Worldwide shipping is complementary with this card.

Have questions? Feel free to contact me by e-mail: greetings [!at] simplyinvitingcards.com or by following this link:
http://www.etsy.com/convo_new.php?to_username=SimplyInvitingCards



There are many other selections of graduation cards and cards for all occasions, albums and journals, plus more!  Stop by and see this lovely card shop on Etsy! You'll be glad you did!


This inspirational card called "The Future Belongs to You" was handcrafted by My Grandpa's Pen.


This 6.5x5 inch (16.5x12.7 cm) card was created for any grad! It features an oval chipboard with very classy grey and white printed paper and a ‘The future belongs to you!’ rub on. The chipboard was mounted on black graduation themed paper with a square grey accent. This card is blank inside and comes with a white envelope. 

I’m happy to offer inside card verse personalization at no extra charge. If you would like text printed on the inside of the card please add it to the ‘Message to Seller’ area. The text you provide will be printed on coordinating cardstock and attached to the inside of the card. This can be done for sets of cards as well.

Please note I charge actual shipping on all purchases - if actual shipping is more than a dollar less than the amount charged I will refund the difference through paypal.

Link to my All Other Cards sectionhttp://www.etsy.com/shop/MyGrandpasPen?section_id=5702237





Check out the wonderful selection of handmade cards, albums, and supplies at My Grandpa's Pen!


So this week I've given you some great choices on graduation cards.  Hope you've enjoyed Wednesday Window Shopping on Etsy and stay tuned for more great picks next week!!  

Monday, May 17, 2010

Faith

Lately I've been thinking about the word Faith , in terms of the belief in something so strongly in the absence of evidence or even in the presence of evidence to the contrary.  


Faith is like an internal beacon of light, always constant, so that when times are very challenging, as they are for many of us, you can carry on with your journey without faltering.

Some of life's most magical moments are when you dare to take a leap of faith!

If Faith were a design, it could look like this. This coated metal birdcage with flowers, swarovski crystals, a swarovski charm, ribbon and an 18" sterling silver chain.  When I was creating this design, I was thinking of one of my favorite quotes:




"When you come to the end of all the light you know, and it's time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: Either you will be given something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.""
Author: Edward Teller


You can purchase Faith in my Etsy Shop.  Giving Faith as a gift? It will arrive beautifully packaged and ready for giving. And remember, there is always FREE SHIPPING at Zur Designs!!

Indie Junction's Featured Artisans for the Week of May 16th!!


   
Yays all around for this week's lineup of talented Indie Junction stars:  George from What Knot Shop, Karen from Le Petit Poulailler,  and Haffina from Haffina Creations and Beads by Haffina!

Let's start with George from What Knot Shop, where you will find handmade braided rope bracelets in a variety of colors; Unique hand dyed contemporary fiber bracelets; Dramatic wide weave designs in cotton and synthetics. A constantly changing collection of colorful, inexpensive knotted bracelets to keep and share with friends.  In the artist's own words: "Born on the east coast and spending summers in Rhode Island and Maine in and around boats of all descriptions I learned marlin spike seamanship including the techniques for creating the famous "sailor bracelets".  Now stranded far from the coasts I'm continuing to experiment with new designs and materials for making turks heads. I'm also working on developing more contemporary styles using hand dyed cords to create the )strata( design series. These are experimental fiber art pieces incorporating geological images, found beads, and unusual color combinations. The direction is casual and frayed as if the piece was just washed up on a beach. I like the more "primitive" look of these pieces and the free form designs possible without the strict geometries of the circular braided turks heads."  To learn more about George's passion, follow his blog and for updates on new creations follow him on Twitter! Now let's take a look at some of his work!
  

Our next Indie Junction Featured Artisan is Karen from Le Petit Poulailler where you'll find amazing Prints, Engravings, Chromolithographs~ For You ~ Your Home ~ Your Art ~.  Karen says, "I cook, quilt, sew, collect … I am the only daughter of an only daughter of an only daughter, going back 7 generations. Each one, a craftswoman; each one, a collector.  I owned and ran a 120+ year-old general store/antique shop/cafe ~ tag sales and antiquing are a way of life. I adore a good treasure hunt: nothing more satisfying than finding that which was lost." Places to Follow Le Petit Poulaillet:
Take a look at some of the wonderful treasures you'll find at Le Petit Poulailler!
  

Our third Featured Indie Junction Artisan is Haffina of Haffina Creations featuring unique handmade jewelry, chainmaille, polymer clay and other items, made with love and care to bring its new owners joy and happiness.  She also is owner of Beads by Haffina, where you will find polymer clay beads and components created by Haffina that you can use in your own creations.  In the artisan's own words: "'I'm a busy mum of 5 with a love of jewellery and creating... and now I'm offering it for others to enjoy. I live in Australia.  I gain inspiration from everything at different times. I have very eclectic tastes and this will be apparent in the variation of items available in this studio.  I have learned many techniques, mainly around jewellery making, such as beadweaving, chainmaille etc. I am continually learning new techniques, particularly focusing on chainmaille and polymer clay. I am also particularly skilled at multi-tasking LOL" Places to Find Haffina:
And there are probably some places we've missed here...so go to her blog and it will lead you to all the places you will find this talented lady!
Now let's take a look at some of the creations you will find in Haffina's Art Fire Studio!
  
And now take a peek at some of the creations in her Beads by Haffina Studio!
  
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.

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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.