Monday, November 29, 2010

It's Cyber Monday!

Happy Cyber Monday! I did my share to participate in Cyber Monday shopping, just ordered a new Laptop!  Very excited! I also finally ordered my new Photo Shop software that I promised myself when I sold 50 pieces on Etsy.  I am planning on staying in my PJ's and learning all about both over Christmas break.

I am having a bit of trouble getting back into the swing of things after Thanksgiving break.  I am planning on making Silver Clay for my Christmas gifts today. Hoping that gets me back in the swing and in the Holiday mood too.  I did a little shopping over break. Found some awesome felting and knitting yarns at a little yarn shop called the Yarn Vault in Meadville Pennsylvania where my husband's family lives.  If you'd like to read more about the shop, check out their blog at The Yarn Vault.  I really love the muted colors in the felting yarn and the brighter colors in the knitting yarn.

I also found this great Altered Jean skirt. I really love the artwork and design that the artist created. Her name is Jude Ongley and she has two great blogs that talk about her art, Notes From Straw Mountain and Jude Ongley Artworks. She is an amazing artist! I love her paintings and mixed media art. Her work was also featured in Altered Couture Magazine. 

Don't forget about the Two's a Charm special promotion at Stacie Jewelry on Etsy. Today's the last day to take advantage of the promotion!

Well, I"m off to the studio, see you Wednesday for the Artist of the Week. Stacie

Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Black Friday!

Hello everyone and Happy Black Friday! Hope everyone's Thanksgiving was wonderful. Ours was great, of course ate way too much!

Don't forget about the Two's a Charm Promotion at Stacie Jewelry's Etsy Shop.

Starting Today...for every two items (valued at $20 or more each) that you purchase from my Stacie Jewelry Etsy Shop you may select a free charm! Visit the charm or Holiday section of the shop, choose a charm and include the name of the charm of your choice in the note to seller when you make your purchase.

Enjoy your weekend & I will see you on Monday. Stacie

Monday, November 22, 2010

Time for Play!

I finally had some time to play yesterday and today! I am doing a Holiday gift tag swap that is hosted by Wishstudio. There is still time to enter, if you are interested follow this link WishStudio Gift Tag Swap.

I had fun...first I cut out my tags from my favorite grunge paper, then I painted a coat of gesso on both sides. When I painted the gesso on the front side I made sure to leave a few lumps and bumps to add texture.  Next I used a paper towel to paint on several shades of blue.

I have this awesome paper that I found a way back that has an amazing waxy texture and finish. I cut out the same size tags from the awesome waxy paper and sewed the two together using a zig zag stitch.  This allows for a blue cast to show through the cream wax paper. 
My next step in the process was to stamp a Holiday greeting, distress the edges of some paper and glue it all on.  I also used these great little trees that I bought from Art Chix Studio.  I decided that I wanted the trees silver, so I used silver embossing powder and a heating tool to change the color. 

I am entering a contest that they have on their blog using German Scrap materials, if you'd like to enter there is still time on that one too! Check out the post on My Artistic Life. 

Next, I added a little sparkle with Swarovski crystals and a pretty white ribbon to attach it to a gift. Here is the end product.

I am excited to send them off in the mail and can't wait to see the tags that I get back. I will post photos of them when I receive them in the mail.

There will be no Artist of the Week Post this week because of the holiday week.  I hope you all have a wonderful Turkey Day!  Stacie

Friday, November 19, 2010

Two's a Charm at Stacie Jewelry!

Black Friday through Cyber Monday Promotion!

Two’s a charm at Stacie Jewelry…

For every two items (valued at $20 or more each) that you purchase from my Stacie Jewelry Etsy Shop you may select a free charm! Visit the charm or Holiday section of the shop, choose a charm and include the name of the charm of your choice in the note to seller when you make your purchase.

Here are a few charms that you can get Free!

To see all the charms that are available, stop by the Charm and Holiday sections of my Etsy shop.  I will be adding more jewelry every day, so keep checking back to see what is new.  Hope you have a wonderful weekend! See you Monday. Stacie

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Emily Connell - Artist of the Week

Today it's time to meet the Jumble Bugs! Who are they you ask? Well Australian born artist Emily Connell is the inventor and creator of these fun little creatures.
Leilani the Hula Girl

Johnny the Punk
When Emily started creating her Jumble bugs she handmade each little bug, a process that takes her around 8 hours to make just one. When they became popular she knew she couldn't keep up with the demand, so she decided to have some of her designs mass-produced.  In 2007 she found a company online that recreated the toys from her patterns. The Jumble bugs would be a great gift idea! They are safety tested for ages 5 and up. They are still hand sewn so they need to be treated more gently than a regular toy.  The two Jumble Bugs pictured above are available for sale on her website Jumble Bugs.  They are both available in the "handmade" style and are packaged in limited edition plastic bug jars.  Emily said she is currently working on "new and improved" Jumble Bugs designs, that will be machine sewn with softer fabrics, so they are more durable, washable and look more like a "real toy".

Emily has big plans for the Jumble Bugs...she would like to bring them to life by writing stories about them.  When I asked her about stories, here is what she had to say;

"This is a brand new venture for me! And something that I have been "talking about doing" since I made the first Jumble Bug in 2003. Over the years I have thought up different character traits for the Jumble Bugs. In my mind I know how they act, speak and their unique personality quirks. Putting this to paper has been a challenge, and my stories are still works in progress. Some recent encouragement from my sister and my husband has got me looking through old notes I have jotted down, and I am back thinking about and creating the world of the Jumble Bugs in written form. "
To bring them to life even more, she is also planning on producing an animated TV series or a Movie starring the Jumble Bugs!  Emily works full time as a Creative Director for the "As Seen on TV" industry, so she does have some familiarity to the television industry.  Here is what she has to say about these exciting plans:

"My overall dream is to turn the Jumble Bugs into more than just plush toys. Growing up in the 1980's I loved the Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake, Thunder Cats - and I'd love the Jumble Bugs to be well-loved toys and a well-loved TV show. (Or a movie!). I spend most of my time at work animating in a program called Flash, so when I get home I am usually quite burnt out and the last thing I want to do is more work on the computer! That is one of the reasons I started sewing in the first place... I wanted to create something real and tactile. So I do have the skills to work on a pilot episode, it's the energy and time that is most lacking, but little by little I hope to make the dream a reality."
Emily has many different Jumble Bug characters. When I asked her how she gets her ideas, here is what she said:

I like to create different themes, or "sets" of Jumble Bugs, like the Halloween themed ones, circus, Christmas and so on. In my stories they would all live together - the Halloween bugs live in the creepy castle, the circus bugs would travel the land together.  The rest are pretty random! The cool thing is that pretty much anything you can think of can be turned into a Jumble Bug! I have a long long list of new ones I plan to make!
Emily was born in Sydney, Australia and grew up in Wollongong, which is about an hours drive south of Sydney on the coast.  She now lives in San Diego, California with her husband Kevin, and their adorable old poodle named Pierre. They adopted Pierre last year, he was a rescue dog who is 14, blind in one eye and completely toothless so his tongue hangs out of his mouth all the time which Emily finds very endearing.  I think I see a future Jumble Bug design?

To look at some of Emily's other crafts, take a peek at her other website called Look What Emily Made. This site has other non-jumble bug craft projects like dolls for people in her favorite bands. She said that she made Vince ShamWow a doll and sent it to him and he loved it!

I hope you enjoyed meeting Emily and the Jumble Bugs! Make sure to stop back on Friday, I will be announcing a Great Stacie Jewelry Sales Promotion that will be starting on Black Friday and ending Cyber Monday.

Monday, November 15, 2010

More Felting! Sneak peek of what's to list on Etsy!

Had a bit more fun needle felting yesterday with my daughter, Madison.  She did great! Here are the jeans that she felted.
Madison's jeans
I did some work on a jean shirt that I have had for a while, but never feel like wearing.  I sort of borrowed the circle idea from my friend Whitney...she used the circles on her skirt she felted at the class last week.  Then I sort of borrowed my daughters idea to use black circles and the opposite color polka dots on the other side of my shirt.  Ok, so I borrowed a lot! At least I did the felting!  I also cut out the pockets and stitched up the sides in my shirt to make it less bulky.  It seemed to help a lot.
Stacie's felted shirt
Speaking of wool and yarn, my friend Allison just posted an article on her blog about knitting caps for babies in need.  We did this last year and really enjoyed it.  Take a peek at Allison's post to find out more and see if you'd like to get involved.

Working on more new jewelry for my Etsy shop this week. Here is a little sneak preview of a few pieces I will be posting this week.

See you on Wednesday for another new Artist of the Week post! Thanks so much for stopping by! Stacie

Friday, November 12, 2010

Needle Felting Class

OK, so now I'm addicted to yet another form of art!  I loved the needle felting class that I attended this week.  It is such a fun and rewarding process.  Here are the jeans that I felted.

The actual process of felting is very easy. You basically use use a felting needle to punch the wool into the layers of the fabric and fibers.  There are tons of sites out there with information about needle felting that you can research if you'd like to give it a try.

I really loved all the beautiful colors of wool that our teacher Margaret had available for us to choose from.

If you'd like to see more photos from our class, visit The Muse blog.  Whitney did a great post with a little more information about the process and lots of photos.

I think my daughter and I will have to play with all my new felting toys this weekend!  See you Monday!  Have a wonderful weekend.  Stacie

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Kristen Ann Walker - Artist of the Week

The first thing I noticed about Kristen's work are the fabulous colors. The second thing I noticed are the positive messages she incorporates into her work.

Just Begin - An Affirmation for Artists

Follow Your Bliss

Kristen lives in Santa Barbara California where she works full time at a county education office as a web developer.  She is lucky because she loves her 9 -5 job and has a creative outlet in her artwork.  Kristen sells her artwork on her Etsy site, Kristen Annie follow your bliss.  

Kristen is a craft store junkie (I'm sure many of us can relate to that!) and loves to try new materials and techniques.  She is a big fan of acrylics for their easy clean-up, but also loves sharpies, paint pens and fabric paint.  Kristen's grandfather was a big influence on her and her artwork.  Here's what she said, "My grandfather was an extremely creative person, and has greatly influenced my creativity in materials. He gave me a wooden artist's box with oil paints in it when I was young. He included all kinds of unofficial art supplies in it, too, like a comb and some buttons. I asked him what those were for, and he said I could try creating textures with them. That planted the seed for seeking out unconventional materials and seeing everything as a possible creative tool. I am so grateful to him for sharing his creative perspective and joy with me."

As I said earlier, I love Kristen's use of color. I know I can be a bit intimidated about using different colors in my work, so I always admire other artists that seem to have the freedom and confidence to incorporate lots of great colors into their work.  Kristen said she loves to play with color and when selecting her color choices, she goes with what's calling her name when she looks at her paints and pens. 

Kristen has some beautiful words to share about creating artwork in general.

"I feel like the act of creating art is a form of tuning into the cosmic
creative radio station in the sky and transmitting energy and feelings to
others via images and color. For a long time I felt like, "who am I to
offer what I create to people?", but more and more I am realizing that I don't *own* my
artwork, if that makes any sense. I feel like when I create, I am receiving
a gift, and by offering the images to others, I am allowing the gift to
reach the people that it was supposed to reach, and not blocking it. Even
if the image only resonates with one other person, but that person totally
gets it and sees something that illustrates a thought or feeling or emotion from their own soul, it's worth it."

If you'd like to read more about Kristen and her work, visit her blog, Kristen Walker Art, Life and More. Thanks so much for joining me for the Artist of the Week post, see you Friday!  Stacie

Monday, November 8, 2010

Busy Monday

I was so busy in the studio today that it's almost 6:00 at night and I'm finally writing my post!  The good news is I got so much done.  I love when I have a productive day, it's very rewarding.  Today I was working on putting together pieces for The Mystic Jewel.  They have two stores in the Outer Banks, North Carolina.  Wish I could actually go down to take my jewelry to the store instead of the post office!  If you can't get to the Mystic Jewel either, visit their website, they now have a section for Stacie Jewelry!

So here are some of the pieces that I finished today.
Rose and Poppy Bracelet

Vintage Photo and Artwork Bracelet

Fairy Necklace

Brown Art Collage Watch

Blue Hope and Home Bracelet

Black and White Eiffel Tower Earrings
My plans are to finish all of the pieces over the next few days that I will be mailing to the beach and take them to the post office on Wednesday.  I have a great class called Needle Felted Jeans from the Muse on Wednesday night that I can't wait to take.  I thought it would be nice if I had all the jewelry done and mailed before I set out to my wine and cheese art class with a friend!  What a nice reward! By the way, they still have a few spaces left if you live in the area and are interested in taking the class.  Here is The Muse Class Schedule.

Thanks for stopping by! See you Wednesday for the Artist of the Week post! Stacie

Friday, November 5, 2010

Getting ready for the holidays

Ok, so there are only 49 days left until Christmas!  My friends and family know that I'm kind of a nut about the holidays. My daughter even found me a countdown to Christmas app on my phone so every morning I wake up and see how many days are left.

My husband and I have a morning tradition of sharing Starbucks mochas together.  The other morning he was nice enough to go and get our mochas. When he woke me up, it wasn't just with a mocha, but a mocha in the holiday cups!!  I love the holiday cups, the Christmas music, and spending time at home with my family. What is your favorite part of the holiday season?  Any good ideas about how to keep the stress down and the fun up?  Let us know.

I have two more stores left to stock, then it will be concentrating on keeping my Etsy site full and filling holiday gift orders from the stores.  I posted my first piece of holiday jewelry on my Etsy site yesterday.
Snowman Stamp Charm
I plan to add more jewelry and holiday pieces just about everyday, so make sure to visit often.  Today I'm working on the Photo transfer portion of the design process. I always enjoy this part, because it's a very creative and fun process.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!  Thanks so much for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Amber Dusick - Artist of the Week

Amber Dusick is the creative force behind Woodmouse.  Amber creates her wooden toys out of her Los Angeles studio where she lives with her husband and two children.  She uses sustainably harvested domestic woods and beeswax from a local beekeeper to make her colorful toys.  This type of wood is more expensive than "normal" wood, but Amber is very passionate about trees and feels strongly about protecting our forests and the animals within them.
Babywearing Mama Figure
All the wooden toys and figures in her Etsy shop woodmouse are designed, cut, woodburned and sanded by Amber.  The toys are simple, creative and safe for children to play with.  Each figure is sealed with beeswax and organic jojoba oil and all edges are sanded buttery smooth.  The water based paints that Amber uses have been independently third-party tested and are non-toxic.
Autumn Leaf Child Toy Children of Nature Series

Amber adds interesting woodburning details to her toys that make woodmouse products truly unique. She developed this unique style in 2006 because she wanted the toys to look similar to the black ink and watercolor paintings she had created many years ago.

I asked Amber what her favorite part of creating her toys is and she replied, "My favorite part about creating my toys changes on any given day. I love to sketch and come up with new designs. I love to stand at my saw and cut wood as I find it very meditative. I also love to paint them because they really come to life. I also love to photograph them. At each step I say to myself, "Yeah, this is my favorite part" but then I'm onto the next step. "

Her toys are perfect gift ideas for children and adults too.  I love her Nativiy Toy Set with the soft colors and woodburning details. 
Natural Wooden Nativity Toy Set 12 Piece Set
Amber was featured in an Etsy Handmade Portrait Video in December 2008.  Take a few minutes and watch her video to be further inspired by her work and find out more about the behind the scenes life of Amber.  She also has a great blog, Amber Dusick where you can follow Amber and learn about her family and work day to days.

Thank you so much for joining me for the Artist of the Week post. I hope you have a wonderful day! Stacie

Monday, November 1, 2010

Creative and Motivational Sunday

Yesterday before all the Halloween festivities began, my daughter Madison and I spent hours in the jewelry studio creating our Creative Mandalas. As I mentioned in my earlier February 20th post  Madison and I are working on the exercises from the awesome book The Creative Entrepreneur by Lisa Sonora Beam This week we had so much fun taking our last four journal entries and creating an artistic Mandala.  The word Mandala is from Sanskrit and is loosely translated as a "magic circle".  Here are some photos of my finished Mandala. 

I loved working on this and have to say it felt very motivating.  I decided to hang it in my studio inside my supply closet door, so each time I open it I can remind myself of my visions and dreams for my business. 

Here is Madison's Mandala.  She talks about two different dreams in hers, one of her business of making and selling her artwork and one of her dream to be a famous singer!
After our creative session, my son and I were off to the bookstore to spend a little quality time together.  I did find another great book Creative Is a Verb: If You're Alive, You're Creative that was recommended by one of my fellow coconuts, Sarah Stevenson.  She was the artist of the week in my October 20th post.  I spent an hour in bed reading this book last night after trick or treating with my daughter and the neighbors.  It was a perfect ending to a wonderful Halloween day.  I hope you and your family had a great day together.  I'll close with the "sweet" picture of my little zombie bride.