Looksy Wednesday - Jessica Swift

I found out today is Jessica Swifts birthday!! Jessica paints beautiful paintings, fun, and brightly colored! She's having a special sale at her Etsy shop.


The only problem...is that i want more then two!!! Head over to her page and wish her a happy birthday, or buy a really beautiful print!!

Happy day to you!

Foodie Friday! - DJ and Carissa's house!

My friend's DJ and Carissa are super swell.

You may know
Carissa...she is an extremely! talented local artist i'm so glad i have the pleasure of knowing IRL. She draws very well, is uber creative and is one of the most inspiring people i know. Her partner DJ is a pretty nifty, artistic guy as well as a very good cook.

For months i've been inviting myself to taste Carissa's hand made lunches that DJ made her, because i want to try just about everything that he creates. So when i had the chance to spend the day with them, i was THRILLED to hear DJ was cooking us dinner. :D

Batsmati rice, fresh shrimp with a thick spiced cream sauce.

It was glorious! [and the perfect ending to a food filled adventure day!]
I w
ish i had a recipe to share with you, but alas, i do not. DJ, the amazing cook he is, wings it, but i do suggest trying to recreate this delicious dish on your own!

I hope you're having a wonderful day!
Smiles to you!

Ohhhh these Crafty Folk!!

When i saw these fun stickers by CraftyFolk i was hooked and had to see what other goodies this lovely artist had.

My goodness, I am so intrigued by Sarah from CraftyFolk. Her drawings are simply adorable and i love how she has made her drawings into wood pendants. Brilliant!

Make sure you visit her website and blog too, and go see what other goodies are on her etsy page. You won't be disappointed! :p

Blog at www.craftyFOLK.org

Handmade Love.

These lovelies made my day brighter. I hope they brighten your day as well. :D

Holy cow! THIS. IS. GORGEOUS!! These floral bouquets are made out of Vintage brooches, and made by Amanda from Fantasy Floral.

I love love love this image, but i can't remember where it came from. Does anyone know??

These treats look too good NOT to post! She makes lots of other goodies as well. Her shop name on Etsy is called Jaynel Hollis.

How stellar is this hand carved stamp!? All of her [Sugar Skull 7 on Etsy] stamps are oh so detail oriented which are awesome. Check them out!


Peace and Blessings,


Don't just be Thankful. Photograph it!

I was reading some very fabulous interviews from a book about journals while at Borders the other night and a lovely gal named Christine wrote about what she was thankful for every week. I found it amazing she found a creative outlet to share that. Riley and I make sure to ask "what were you thankful for today" to each other every day, so now i wanted to share some of the things i was thankful for this week.

If you don't know me personally, then you wouldn't know that food is really the way to my heart. Thus, this weeks images of what i was thankful for. (Obviously there are many other things i was thankful for, but these are the only images i have to show. :)

I Heart Picnics.

Riley and I went on a picnic the other day. It was a gorgeous day out. We napped, played cards, read to each other, and most importantly ;) ate these amazing sandwiches he made me. He calls them his Saturday morning sandwich's and i really fancy them.

I Heart Pizza.

Frozen Pizza. Comfort food and horrid weakness. I had a lot of meetings this day so i splurged on this delicious pizza since i knew i couldn't pick around in the kitchen all day like i can when I'm at home working. I've been eating these pizzas since i was kid and they always hit the spot.

I Heart Chocolate Drinks.

We try to eat very healthy most of the time, and we also try to budget everything quite tightly, so when i got a coupon for a free drink at Borders, i knew it was time to "splurge" (on the calories anyways). This drink is really bad for you but ohhh soooo goood!! I really am quite impressed with how delicious all of Borders drinks are. Kudos to them!

Other then that I'm thankful for...

* time to work on Cherry Runway
* hanging out with/talking to friends again
* Riley's constant support
* our engagement party tomorrow!!
* seeing his family tonight and mine tomorrow
* bananas (see note below)

(this seems silly i know, but we aren't spending any money right now and we saved our last banana for the Saturday sandwiches. The best way to really appreciate a fruit is by not being able to eat them for a while)

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! See you on the flip side. :)

Have you met your dream home yet?

Melissa from "Little Pink House" creates the home of our dresms with needle and thread. She's extreamly talented, and has created so many lovely homes. Your dream home can be reproduced from a photograph, or from your dreams.

Little Pink House.

How long have you been crafting?

I have always loved to make things--I have been an avid drawer my whole life, and I'm the kind of person who hates to buy anything I can make myself. (I haven't purchased a greeting card in probably a decade!) When I become interested in anything--any new skill, whether it's craft related or not--I kind of attack it until I get it right.

Did you always craft in this genre?

No--sewing is pretty new for me. I started with hand sewing about eighteen months ago. You ought to see some of the ridiculous softies I made--a particularly wonky, thrifted-pillowcase duck with ragged seams was my first effort. I took up a kind of free-style embroidery loosely based on crewel techniques about six months ago, and since then I've been mainly working with wool felt, cotton fabric, and embroidery floss.

Who or what inspires you?

My nine year old daughter is, as far as I'm concerned, one of the most creative and talented artists I've ever known. I wish I had her imagination and natural skill. I also find endless inspiration on etsy--so many incredibly talented artists. I am particularly fond, right now, of the work of Ashley G., michelemaule, Roadside, woolandwater, and my in-the-flesh friend Jennifer Judd-McGee of Swallowfield. Obviously, houses also inspire me!

What challenges have you found while taking your craft into the business world?

Honestly, I find the sales model offered at etsy to be pretty darn simple. I have had no illusions about getting rich from this work--for one thing, it takes too long to produce, so I'd never have the volume needed to make a lot of money. I'm amazed by the opportunity to make and share things and constantly surprised by the fact that people want to buy them. It's delightful. I'm sure that if I decide to expand my business, I'll encounter new challenges. For now, I'm having a blast.

Please make sure to check our Melissa's blog and etsy. And be sure to see this inspiring post about her work "behind the scenes"!!

Blog: http://checkoutgirlcrafts.blogspot.com/
Etsy: wwww.littlepinkhouse.etsy.com

These are a few of my favorite things...

A few of my favorite things...

a) Saving lives during the day, and creating during the evenings, EMT Sweeetie makes intricate, yet delicate greeting cards.

b)Sadly, there aren't many items on the "Lucky Little Dot" page. But what does have are really cute. I can't wait to see the rest of her collection!

c) I can't say much about the amazing work of Sarah Jane that most of you wouldn't already know. Just when you think she's make the sweetest little print you've ever scene, a few days later, there's another on her site that takes your breath away.

d) Lindsay from "dot dot dot"makes really cute cards, wall hangings and wreaths. I was captivated by her sweet style last year, and have been intrigued since.

e) Holly from "Gollybard" makes really unique prints. Make sure to also check out her other shop too called "The Beehive Press".

f) I am a sucker for color. And these awesomely colorful bags and wallets from Lusitania were lovely for the eyes.

I present you...APARTMENT ART!!!

If you actually follow my blog, you know i work at a SWWWEET shoppe called Anthropologie. I work on the visual team with two wonderful, amazingly talented ladies. Elizabeth and Karen. Together the three of us (well..mostly them, put all the crafty displays and details you see in our store. It's an amazing job, and i'm very lucky to be surrounded by so much talent!!

The three of us have been talking about having an art show for months and here is the 1st one. November 2nd. I am more then stoked!

AparmentArtflyer -- flyer curtosy of John Cox

Apartment Art started once upon a time when three "antropologists" wanted to show the local world how fantastic handmade art and craft could be. Thus, Apt Art was born. Jenipher "jewelry extortioner", Karen, "the felt queen", and Elizabeth "illustration genius" are the head dogs of this sweet project. Come see us and many more splendid artists at Austin Coffee and Film on November 2nd from 11-5. We are having a stellar day of cool artists, sweet tunes, and the food and atmosphere are awesome already!!!

Aptartcraplogo2 -- logo curtosy of Riley Tuff

I hope to see you out there!!

PS: Our myspace is seriously lonly! We need friends! Please befriend our Myspace! www.myspace.com/apartmentart

Crochet = Amor

I first came around this necklace months ago and have saved Maria's shoppe, Kjoo, in my favorites for some time now. When i 1st started to write about artists, she one of the few i already knew i would have to interview. Her style is amazing, and i love the colors and textures of her work. She does beautiful crochet pieces that is absolutely practical artwork to wear!


My name is Maria João Ribeiro I am Portuguese and I live in Palmela, a small beautiful mountain next to the capital, Lisbon.

How long have you been crafting?

I have been crafting all my life. Specially on my adolescence when I was always making modifications on my clothes and crafting some jewelry's and accessories for personal use. Crafting with the intention of making business of it, I started at about one year. More or less December 2006, after a few months thinking on what should I do for life.I was not happy at all with the professional offers regarding my formation area Graphic Design.



Did you always craft in this genre?

I am still exploring the materials I am crafting with. Since started this projected not so long ago, I am still learning new ways to use crochet and felt. And I am also introducing some new materials such as silver, plastic, glass and other fibers. My work is also very experimental so I am always seeking new ways to use shape and color.


Who or what inspires you?

I can get inspiration from everywhere. Can be a movie a book a website and illustration... What really inspires me is finding some unusual color combination. I am always seeking color combination and I have not many rules regarding color I just like to explore.


What challenges have you found while taking your craft into the business world?

I think the most difficult part of this is get your name out there. Be noticed takes time and effort. Anyway I have to say that I have been really lucky. I work many hours a day and I have been really lucky to have receive really pleasant invitations (like this interview) that get the word about my work out there. I have taken the option of making my business almost all an online commerce and I am really happy with the results so far. I just need to organize better my time to be able to answer all the invitations, have new items available in the shop and for other proposes.


Not only is her work wonderful, but many of her images are lovely as well. i LOVE the way she photographed the pins on the plate with the chop stix, so clever! :)

Felt Brooches To Strike Your Fancy!

I can't express how much i adore Laura and her shoppe Lupin. She makes adorable felt pins and mobiles. Her work is just incredibly detailed! Laura also has a personal blog where she not only showed her work, but is also runs the crafting 365 group, where she and other amazing artists show us a photograph of their art 365 days a year.


How long have you been crafting?

I've made stuff for as long as I can remember - I was an early upcycler, saving any interesting little box or piece of sparkly paper that I thought might be "useful". I've always had some kind of project on the go, and normally 3 or 4 half-finished in a drawer somewhere!


Did you always craft in this genre?

My felt obsession only really began last year. Before that felt was just another material - I liked to use it to make handstitched card toppers, and when I was a kid it was my material of choice for making hats and other accessories for dolls. I sewed a little, drew a little, made collages and gift boxes, all sorts of things. Knitting was my way to relax for many years, but I was always dreadful at it and I never really progressed beyond simple blanket squares. We stay very warm in the winter, but it's not the most exciting crafty endeavour! Nowadays I have so many things I want to make out of felt that other crafts rarely get a look-in...


Who or what inspires you?

I have found it hugely inspiring to connect with communities of crafters via the internet, on Etsy and on Flickr. Feeling part of a crafty community helps me feel like being this felt-obsessed is "normal", I get a huge boost from every comment on one of my Flickr photos or sweet message sent via Etsy, and seeing how high the bar has been set makes me strive to improve my own work. In general though I just like turning my various obsessions into felt - I look at things and think "how would I make that out of felt?", and sketch furiously until I find the solution.


What challenges have you found while taking your craft into the business world?

The list of skills I've developed in my first year in business is very long! I design my products, make them, photograph them, list them, blog about them and promote them, package them, ship them and restock them... Selling on Etsy has been great as I've been able to start out very very small, and learn all these things gradually, but the learning curve has still been huge. I am trying to build on what I've done so far, to learn from any mistakes I've made, and to have the confidence to say "I make this, it is awesome!" :)


Her work is great, so head over to her Etsy site to see all of her brilliant work!! She's very nice and would love to hear from you. :)

Ohh...Put a cork in it!

What started off as a search on Etsy for "trees" led me to the intriguing Cat from Uncorked. A clever Etsy shoppe devoted to jewelry crafts made obviously, from cork. :) It was crafting love at 1st site. Her idea is creative, the packaging is the cutest, and her photographs are awesome. Plus, the icing on the cake? This all started out as a science fair project..! Read on...

1. I have been crafting always! I remember my poor mother going to work with a pocketbook made from ziplock plastic sandwich bags covered with purple feathers and having to store her kitchen supplies in decoupaged cereal boxes and fabric covered Pringles potato chip cans!


2. This is the first time I have ever crafted jewelry and I am certainly no jewelry artist! I have always worked with industrial supplies and always sought to re purpose those supplies into something new, unique and beautiful. As a science teacher I started my Uncorked line after receiving an unusually wonderful supply of cork with my test tubes. I found myself rolling the cork around in my hands, reminding myself of the clay I have always loved to work with, and really within a few minutes I had a picture of my jewelry in my head. I wanted to use Uncorked as a way to inspire girls with my love of science and math, especially my crafty girls, who I am always trying to convince of the connections between science and art! I am determined to get my artsy students to see the beauty in Tesla coil, exploding glass and, yes, cork! And I am equally determined to get my computer students to see the beauty in their binary numbers!



3. As a scientist I am continually inspired by the things I do not know. When a student asks a question in a way I had not though about, I get excited. When I hear something I am unfamiliar with, the researcher in me kicks into high gear. I love to google! I am also a born skeptic so I love to experiment. As an artist I am always inspired by the rawness of real emotion and the contrast of color and texture. I have been an artist all my life. College was kind of a crossroads where I choose science as a career because I knew the art would always be there for me (and maybe I copped out a little bit for the money, but just a little bit because I am a teacher after all!).



4. Bringing a craft into the marketplace is a challenge because when you create something you are not thinking - can I sell this? If you are thinking that you will probably never create anything new or exciting. The scope of my pieces changed quickly from science and math themed into the humor and more modern illustration that my wholesale customers requested and those pieces have also been the primary sellers with my retail customers, so my line has evolved from the influence of the marketplace in a way I had not anticipated. It has been a bit of a trade-off to get my work out there. I am still determined to get my science and math themed pieces (UNCORKEDucation) into the hands, or I should say around the necks, of girls though! It may take a bit of good luck to do it, but luckily I am a mad scientist and luck is something I strongly believe in!


If her images alone aren't enough to interest you to go to her Etsy, i don't know what else will! She's a swell gal and would love for you to check out her shoppe! :)

Beck-ing Call For An Amazing Painter

I feel so horrid, i havn't written about anyone in a while. My excuse, although not a brilliant one is the Holiday rush. On the bright side, i interviewed Julie Beck, from Julie B Creative ages ago. I found her incredible talented and her work makes me wish i could paint. Looking through her work now, a month or so later, i can honestly say, i am even more impressed then i was the 1st time i saw her paintings. It's even more incredible then i remember!


1) How long have you been crafting?

I have been painting for about 5 years, but as with most people on Etsy, I have been artistic most of my life. Not very good though. I think my drawings as a kid were actually better than some of my first paintings. I'd have to say that only in the past 3 years has my work been "up to snuff."


2) Did you always craft in this genre?

Not at all, I started in acrylics, went to oils, and then back to acrylics. I have absolutely no patience, so the oils were definitely the wrong medium for me. I like the immediacy of water based.


3) Who or what inspires you?

There may not be enough room to list them all but the top few include: books, old trains and railroad tracks, the bins of old photographs that are abandoned and end up in an antique store, flea markets, numbers, ghost stories, The Dark Tower series by Stephen King, farms, bold color combinations. In my daily life, the one tings that always stops me in my tracks is a really good color combination that’s just exisiting...it wasn't planned, it just happened. It's kind of a chaotic natural pairing that makes it so beautiful.


4) What challenges have you found while taking your craft into the business world?

Time management. I work a full time job creating motion graphics. I started offering the custom paintings, which was a really good decision, because a lot of people look for personalized gifts for people...and for so many, like myself, their house is very important to them and it means a lot. It's a place that is somewhat sacred...which is why I started the series. However, each one takes about 8 or 9 hours to complete. This is forcing me to learn how I need to manage my time better so I have more than 4 hours to sleep at night. The nice part about this is I can really start making painting my part time job and cut back my hours at work. It's the one benefit to being a freelancer.


Misc Information:

I took an abstract painting class one time, and I think it really helped my work...the funny part is that the hardest thing for me to do was to not painting "something." Interesting random fact about me: I was valedictorian of my college and have a degree in math.

So head over to Julie's Etsy account, tell her hello and drink in her creative spirit. Enjoy! :)