Monday, February 25, 2008

Knit, Crochet and Macrame Hemp Creations

Diana at Knit, Crochet and Macrame Hemp Creations makes beautiful pieces that have a high visual impact, while leaving a low impact on the environment. “I chose to work with hemp because it has a low impact on the environment. It can be harvested in as little as 100 days, and does not need to be sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals, in fact it even fertilizes the soil for future crops. Hemp can grow in near drought conditions therefore it is not a huge drain on precious water resources.” To find out more on why she chooses this particular material, view her profile.

Any natural material has an appeal to Diana. “I don’t know if I could pick just one, it changes all the time. I love any natural fiber! I just started a project using a bamboo / wool blend yarn and it is beautiful – very soft and silky.” She doesn’t use patterns, but is inspired by the materials themselves.

Diana’s full time job is home schooling her three children, and she uses her crafting as a creative outlet. “It can be hard to find the time, but I have to create, it makes me feel whole. I find it help me cope with the day to day stresses of life.” She finds encouragement from her husband. “I remember one time I had asked him to pick me up some more natural colourred hemp on his errands. Now, my hubby is not the craftiest guy, and does not particularly like craft stores – but he went anyway. Much to my surprise, he bought many different colours of hemp, tons of different beads and containers to organize my supplies. He was so happy to show me his finds! He even found some mood beads which have turned out to be some of my best sellers.”

Monday, February 18, 2008

What's going on

For those that have started to watch this blog, I just wanted to apologize for not posting much recently. I've got a big show this weekend, and am scrambling to get as much painted as possible in time. After this weekend I'll make up for my absence with a post every day next week.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Alchemille's Garden

Body scrubs, incense, candles, teas, herbs and more can be found in the naturalist’s haven: Alchemille’s Garden. Alchemille is a well studied herbalist whose products are inspired by folk medicine.

Naturally, Alchemille’s favorite material to use are herbs. “I blend them in my teas, I infused them in oil for my body care items and I put them together as incense. I also make candles and accessories from time to time.”

Alchemille follows an Earth-based spiritual path, and this is a central part to all of the goods that she creates. All of her creations are completely natural with no artificial scents, and she uses recycled goods whenever it is possible.

“I started Alchemille's Garden about 2 years ago, when I realized that my first love was herbalism.” Before becoming a full time herbalist, Alchemille went to University and got a degree in Applied Arts, and another in Fashion/Textile Design. Aside from the herbs that she works with, she also finds inspiration from art, literature, and music.

When asked if she had any advice for fellow crafters, she said “Be true to yourself, follow your inspiration/dreams & be creative!”

Monday, February 11, 2008

Baby Anne Quilts

When I was young, I loved to burrow under piles of quilts that I would pull from my mom’s heirloom chest. There were quilts pieced by my great grandmother, and my grandmother, and each one had a story. Heather of Baby Anne Quilts makes memories with her beautiful heirloom quilts. Her baby and doll quilts will definitely be cherished by your small ones, and would make great gifts for moms to be.

Heather started quilting when her husband urged her to find a hobby to relieve job stress. She finds inspiration everywhere in her world, “I've been inspired by the pattern of a cobblestoned sidewalk, the ceiling vaulting on a chapel ceiling, certain color combinations or just some great fabric that gets my imagination going!”

Heather’s degree in art history eventually led her to quilting. The history of quilting fascinated her and drew her into creating them. She has also written articles on the history of quilting, which Etsy published in the Storque. You can read the article here.

Heather is an American who has moved to Germany. To read more about her live in Europe and her craft, visit her blog.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Washi by Maoiliosa

Washi is a type of decorative paper made in Japan. Melissa Rogers has found several of different uses for Washi paper, and you can find her tiny creations on her Etsy shop, Washi by Maoiliosa.

Melissa’s unique shop name comes from a moniker she created several years ago. There was a period of her life where she was interested in Celtic things, and she found that “Maoiliosa” is the Gaelic equivalent to Melissa. So, she’s been going by Maoiliosa online ever since.

Melissa stumbled on to Etsy while Google searching for more Washi paper. “I immediately began thinking about opening a shop, and in mid-January, I became an Etsy seller. it has been the most rewarding experience I’ve ever had!”

It is obvious by glancing into her shop that Melissa’s favorite material is the great Washi paper that she collects. “I LOVE finding the precise little spot on the huge sheet of paper that I will feature on a pendant!” Her other great inspiration is music, and she listens to music that conveys the same feelings that her pieces do, such as Bjork, Ellen Allien, and Kitaro.

Melissa finds encouragement from her supportive fiancé, and her best friend Sarah.

Monday, February 4, 2008


Bridget Farmer of Bridbird has a healthy obsession with, you guessed it, birds. You can find her scribble gesture etchings of birds, as well as vibrant Gocco screen prints, and brooches in her store, and be sure to check out her blog to keep up with what Bridget is working on.

All of Bridget’s etchings are based off of her life drawings. “All my work is drawn from life, birds, people (I like drawing musicians) buildings, and other everyday things I see around me.” She uses copper plate acid etching, which gives very fine lines. Every print off of a copper plate etching has to be inked, which gives slight variations in each print.

Bridget has moved around quite a bit in her life. She was born in England, but moved to Belfast, Northern Ireland when she was four. She went to college in Edinburgh, Scotland, and now lives in Melbourne, Australia. “I first came here to visit friends just over 2 years ago. I've always been a bit of a bird lover so when I arrived in this new country I was blown away by all the birds I had never seen before. New species, new variations, new bird song, I loved it. I then met my boyfriend, who is Australian, and a visit, initially going to last 5 months, has turn into 2 1/2 years and me applying for permanent residency!”

In Edinburgh, she got her degree for jewelry and silver smithing. In Melbourne she completed her Masters of Fine Art, and Printmaking, which is where she focuses now. Bridget sells her work in shops and galleries in Melbourne, and has stalls in several markets. “I find going to the market of great benefit for, apart from selling, promotional work. I have got most of my shop and gallery contacts from being seen at art and craft markets.”

Her Etsy site gives Bridget an internet base which allows her to show people all of the different things that she offers. “I found the promotional side of etsy daunting to start with, I still consider myself a bit of a newbie, although I've been on since October. It was a bit slow to start with, but my advice is keep going with it. Give out business cards at markets, have your etsy name on your packaging, and do lots of talking in the forums. It can be exhausting, but fun and rewarding when finally your work starts to take off and be noticed.”

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Sparkling Stars

Etsy is full of jewelry makers, and each has their own take on the usual adornments. Ishi of Sparkling Stars has a wonderful selection of unique, funky, head turning jewelry that really stands out from the norm. You can see her love of dark and antiqued chain and high contrast colors in all of her designs.

Ishi is a part time crafter who spends evenings and weekends designing. “Sometimes my laundry and dishes pile up, but it always feels worth it.” She finds encouragement from her boyfriend and family, as well as the friends that she has found while networking. “It's great to find fellow artists and create your own supportive networks.”

Making creative jewelry isn’t the only talent Ishi has, she grew up playing piano, and taught herself flute and violin. She has played in a disco band while in Austin. She also majored in Math in college and works as a financial analyst. “I think doing such different things keeps me balanced and keeps me from going crazy on both sides. It’s good to come up for air sometimes, step away and then come back to what you're doing for a new perspective.”

You can check out Ishi’s blog here: