Friday, February 12, 2010

Innovative Recycling

Thank you, everyone, yesterday for taking a look at the off-the-topic-for-this-blog post I put up. Every once in a while, a break from the norm is a good thing, especially for something so important.

When I first came upon today's shop, I was struck at first by the shop's clean lines and crisp photos. So struck, that it took me a minute to realize what I was looking at.

I've seen quite a few of the "reuse, recycle" artists and work out there, and I'd never name any names, but there's a substantial portion of artisans in this venue that produce (what to me personally) looks like just... slapped together junk.

Tanith on Etsy is -not- one of those.

Tanith sells Guitar String, Steampunk and Found Object Jewelry What this means is that they specialize in jewelry handmade from guitar strings and other found objects. Yep... Found objects. You wouldn't know it, though, to look at the pieces in their shop.

Tanith Rohe is the artist of these terrific, innovative pieces, and is a featured artist at both The Museum of Craft and Folk Art in San Francisco, CA as well as the Sonoma Valley Music Center in Sonoma, CA.

Tanith loves to take an object that would appear as trash to another and to turn it into a work of art, and does an excellent job at doing just that! This shop is a stunning example of what you can do with a little innovation and creativity behind you to guide your way.

TO VISIT TANITH'S SHOP YOU CAN CLICK THE PICTURE ABOVE OR, IF YOU'D RATHER, CLICK RIGHT HERE!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

PLAGIARISM!

Today, for the first time on this blog, I'm not featuring any artists or shops. Instead, I want to draw your attention to a serious issue for self-representing artists everywhere.

Each of us out there that does handcrafting work and other forms of artwork, etc has an inherent pride in what they do. Because of that pride, most can't help but be concerned about plagiarism, copyright infringement and other forms of disrespect towards their intellectual property.

It's discouraging and upsetting when you run across someone copying your work. It's much more so painful and crushing when you run across a major corporation doing so.

With another artist, there are often more venues open to you and options on how to go about confronting and resolving this problem. With large corporations, you're often faced with going up against powerful lawyers with a great deal of financial backing. This can be discouraging in the extreme, even depressing.

A fellow artist from Etsy is currently going through just this thing with a UK company named Paperchase. I urge you to stop by her blog and read about it. Then take a moment and lend your support to her cause. Express your thoughts, share your feelings. Speak out against plagiarism and be heard, whether by writing to the culprit in question or spreading the word online or offline. Bring awareness to the forefront to help this kind of behavior take a back seat.

The artisan community is just that... a
community. We need to stick together on these type of issues. You never know.... Some day, it's possible it might be you who needs the help. The karma you earn today by helping others might just be to your benefit in the future.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blossoming Beauties

I enjoy making jewelry. I absolutely love it. It's one of the creative treasures of my life. I love shopping for jewelry too. And wearing jewelry.

I admire the craft, style and creativity that goes into every piece from concept all the way through to how a person wears it and pairs it up with their attire to create a unique "look" all their own.

Because of this love, I've seen a LOT of jewelry over the years. I can honestly say I've never seen anything quite so unique and beautiful as the pieces I browsed through in the shop featured today, though.

Today's shop is JenJewelry on Etsy, and the pieces in this shop are so beautiful and so intricate that I just couldn't tear myself away until I'd clicked on every single listing and looked at every single picture.

I can't think of a single piece in Jenny's shop that I wouldn't want to own and be honored to wear, and I can't imagine anyone else not feeling the same way too! If you don't believe me (or even if you do) this is a shop that you really have to check out for yourself to truly appreciate anyway. SO head over there and take a look! You won't be disappointed and are sure to be tempted by what you find.

TO VISIT JENNY'S JEWELRY SHOP YOU CAN CLICK THE PICTURE ABOVE OR, IF YOU'D RATHER, CLICK RIGHT HERE!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Secret to Living is Giving

Subtle, sweet and sexy is what you'll find in a browse through today's featured shop, and if you're like me and these things appeal to you... you're going to *love* iLE AiYE's shop for sure!

iLE AiYE sells some of the most beautiful
hand-knit pieces I have ever seen, some of them with a nearly ethereal quality to them that I find completely irresistible!

She sells everything from chunky hats to romantic gloves as well as shrugs, cardigans, scarfs and jackets. All of which show a true eye for color and delecate beauty. And, thanks to her son, they're all displayed to a kind of perfection that most of us who take our own product pictures can only hope to achieve!

Everything in iLE AiYE's store is hand knitted, designed and produced by iLE AiYE herself. If you want something truly unique, this is definitely the store for you, too! She's a truly talented woman who taught herself to knit and has been doing it ever since for just over 6 years now! She never learned to read or execute a knitting patter, therefore, she makes up her own patterns and designs so you're guaranteed a unique and truly one-of-a-kind piece when you order from her shop.

I could really go on and on and on about this woman's work. It's just beautiful and so unique that you have to see it for yourself. Also be sure to check out iLE AiYE's profile. It's filled with tons of interesting information about the artist and you won't want to miss it!

YOU CAN CLICK ON THE PICTURE ABOVE TO VISIT ILEAIYE'S SHOP AND TAKE A LOOK AROUND OR, IF YOU PREFER, CLICK RIGHT HERE.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Mother Earth and the Soul

I'm a big time nature fan. I've spent the majority of my life in or near the forests, mountains and sea and these things will always be a part of my blood.

In the city, I'm a fish out of water. I find them disorienting and far too busy and whenever I visit the heart of any city, or even most towns, I'm instantly longing to return to the earthy places I find most comfortable. These forests, mountains, streams and beaches are where I find my peace.

This is surely why I was so attracted to today's shop.

Natures Art Melbourne has a lot of nature related items, my favorite of which is the one pictured in this post.

All of the pieces in Natures Art Melbourne are created from scratch. The shop is ran by a wonderful, earth loving artist named Martina and she cuts, polishes and sets nearly all of the stones she works with herself. She also works with gems, timber, shells and other raw found materials, making her living off the land itself with love and obvious enjoyment.

TO VISIT MARTINA'S NATURESARTMELBOURNE SHOP YOU CAN CLICK THE PICTURE ABOVE OR, IF YOU'D RATHER, CLICK RIGHT HERE!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Heart Healthy... with Chocolate? - A Rare Post By Leal

Did you know that February is Heart Health month? This wasn't something I was aware of until just recently.

Being a hypoglycemic with hyper-metabolism, and still in my youth, I don't usually think of these things too often. At least not how they apply to me personally. But when I heard that it was Heart Health month, I started to become curious.

What if this was something I did have to watch? What kind of sacrifices would I have to make? For absolute sure, McDonald's and pizza would have to go. I have no doubt these indulgences are at the top of a very long list.

What interested me most, though, is the number of things
that didn't necessarily have to be cut out of your diet IF ate in moderation.

No, moderation does
not mean cutting down from a pound of bacon with breakfast to 1/4 pound of bacon. It means cutting down to one or two pieces of bacon instead of the entire package. So make sure when you moderate, you do it to your doctor's recommendations instead of your own personal scale of measurements.

One of the things I learned wouldn't necessarily need to be cut out is chocolate. And for me, that's a HUGE relief to my possible 20-or-30-years-in-the-future happiness. I have a major sweet tooth and chocolate is my absolute favorite.

According to the Cleveland Clinic Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute, a moderate amount of chocolate can be a benefit to your cardiovascular heath instead of a detriment to it. If you're interested in the article where I found this information, you can find it here.

As a personal connoisseur of chocolate, this is terrific news! I'm especially a fan of the chocolate and fudge from Aunt Billies. They make a wide variety of different chocolate treats as well as other candies (their peanut brittle is to die for) and they also offer many of their bests in sugar free as well. In fact, I can honestly say I've never tasted sugar free quite as good as theirs.

IF YOU'D LIKE TO CHECK OUT AUNT BILLIES WEBSITE AND BROWSE, BE SURE TO CLICK ON ANY OF THE PICTURES ABOVE TO BE DIRECTED TO THEIR SITE OR, IF YOU PREFER, CLICK RIGHT HERE.

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