An artisan jewelry journey in color, texture and fun. Beaded jewelry with handcrafted sterling silver is my focus and joy.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Do you believe in magic?

In a young girl's heart.......Okay, now that I've got you singing - haha - let me tell you about an Etsy artist for whom the rocks sing and make a magic all their own.

Beth Alexander of Cryztalvisions is lucky to be blessed by winning the genetic lottery of coming from a long line of artistic souls. Beth's influences include her father who was an artist and art teacher, and her great grandmother who had a fantastic eye for detail and could paint tiny pictures small enough to fit on a thimble. Luckily her great grandmother left a legacy of oil paintings for Beth to treasure always.

As you know, I am a self-confessed pretty rock addict, and Beth, too has been fascinated by crystals and stones for as long as she can remember. A jewelry artist for over 20 years, she is still excited by the process, learning new techniques, and pushing the boundaries of her creativity. She has been drawn along the way to studying and practicing various energy healing arts, like Reiki, chakra balancing, Earth based energy medicine, shamanic practices, and Angel Therapy. She has found combining her love of minerals, her artistic eye and skill in jewelry fabrication and design, along with her heightened sensitivity to energies creates a powerful synergy. I find her jewelry creations in silver, like this Tree of Life piece in fine silver, especially wonderful.

She finds that she loves to immerse herself in the creative process, and is fascinated when some pieces seem to magically design themselves. I know just how that feels. Some of my most favorite creations seemed to create themselves, too - it must be those pretty rocks!

It is Beth's hope that you will find a very special piece her creations that speaks to your heart. So be sure to drop by her Etsy shop, her website or her blog to find out more about these magical pieces of beauty in stone and precious metals. You can find out, too, what's up with that "Z" in "Cryztalvisions"!

May Good Fortune find you today!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Crafty Mama

Becki, a stay-at-home-mom, started making jewelry about 5 years ago when she was trying to work from home. She ordered an earring making kit and worked on them for weeks. A little light came on, and she said to herself, "Why am I only doing earrings?" She went to her first bead store and well, the rest is history. Her style and techniques have blossomed over the years, and she opened her Etsy shop, Entyqua (Becki's Designs) in January 2007. She has several items currently in stock, and she adds more all the time.

The jewelry at Entyqua caters to the plus-size wearer, but Becki does custom orders as well, and can size most pieces either smaller or larger at request. She makes both costume and genuine stone/metal jewelry, as well as finished jewelry boxes, cards, and other paper crafts. Coming soon, she will be doing clothing as well! That is one crafty lady!

She use a lot of natural stones and beads for her creations, and she says her favorites are wood and gemstones. She also loves to use pearls, whether they are freshwater or faux pearls, as she says they "have a very elegant feel to them and always and a touch of class to every piece they are used in!"

For her finished jewelry boxes, she loves to take something ordinary like a plain, unfinished wooden box and make it dazzle. They are one of her favorites of all her hobbies. She likes that they come to her from a craft store plain, dull, and wood-colored, and end up with color, flair and style. What a transformation!

For more information on all of Becki's crafty hobbies, have a visit to her blog!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Victorian Charms

A lover of antique and vintage everything, Etsy artist Wanderlust & Pixie Dust expresses her creativity in clothing, jewelry, linens, textiles, anything beveled, books, ephemera, you name it. The older the better is her motto. In her spare time, she likes to dabble in all things crafty. She shares bits and pieces of the buried treasure she has collected over the years on her blog.
Check it out if you have the time.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Make it Personal

So many different opportunities exist for crafters on Etsy. Although sometimes it seems as if there are only jewelry artists there, the real fact of the matter is that all sorts of handcrafted items are posted there by people who want to share their love of handmade. Personality Plus Boutique had been customizing gifts for those she loved, so she thought it might be fun to see who else might love her ideas, and her shop on Etsy was born. Her claim is that she is dedicated to bringing her customers unique, quality embroidered gifts at an unbeatable price! She loves to customize orders so if you want something specific, just let her know and she will let you know what she can do. All of her orders are completed in a smoke free, pet free home where she will give your items her highest quality treatments!

She also offers bulk pricing, so if you have a group that want the same product (it still can be personalized with their name!) then let her know and she'll get you a quote. Think about a Lamaze class (personalized burp cloths!), family or class reunions (matching embroidered T-shirts for all the band geeks at the reunion!), bridal parties for the rehearsal..... you get the idea.

Check out her blog for her MANY options on what you can do with her products.

Get Your Groove On

Born and raised on the Jersey Shore and then moved to Los Angeles, Etsy artist Yaslani studied Fine Art - painting - at Otis Art Institute. Before long she found herself back in New Jersey where she detoured from art for a while and settled into a normal life fully stocked with a corporate job. Turns out normal wasn’t for her: making things became an addiction. A packrat by nature, she believes all items have a second life and loves using recycled items and supplies that are gentle to the environment.

Her work consists of bamboo pendants and mixed media paintings. She uses found objects, bamboo, ephemera, old paper, acrylic, gouache, pencils, pens, ink, glitter… and anything else within her grasp. Her influences include pop culture, color, music, animals, fashion, movies, magazines and too many artists she cares to mention. There are no heavy messages in her work; instead, she considers her art to be an aesthetic conversation. A lovely chat between friends, sometimes relaying a story or an inside joke. The only judgment Yaslani makes with her art is “am I feeling this or not.” The “not” pile gets recycled for another day.

Yaslani is the brainchild for all her creative outlets. There is so much more she plans to do. There are so many more beautiful conversations she says she plans to have, and she is still planning her escape from normal. Stay tuned at Yaslani's Groove Spot.

Friday, October 26, 2007

A Treasure Trove from Philly

Phyllis Mufson from Philadelphia, PA, is the creative force behind the Etsy shop Personal Treasures. With a distinguished career in design, first as an award-winning textile artist, she is the founder of the San Francisco School and Gallery of Textile Arts, winner of a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and former director of Career Services at Moore College of Art and Design. Now a career consultant and personal coach, Phyllis helps her clients create reality from their dreams.

To appease her creative side (as if creating reality from dreams is not creative enough!), she now expresses herself through jewelry design, with an eye to rich gemstones showcased in silver and gold. Her designs are one-of-a-kind or limited addition, and her commitment is to beautiful, well-constructed, comfortable jewelry pieces. She has two online shops, one more upscale (Personal Treasures) and one more simple and casual (Mufi Jewels).

She uses her blog to showcase her creative expressions, and has also been actively participating in the 90-day blog challenge with wonderfully written posts on fellow Etsy artists (see here for the one she wrote on me - thanks, Phyllis!). If you want to know more about her Catalyst for Personal and Professional Growth, you can visit her site for her practice as a career coach for creative people. Anywhere you look, you'll find a trove of Treasures.

Tropical Flava

A Canadian transplanted to tropical Belize, the Etsy artist behind Coconut Palm Designs uses her creative energies and graphic design capabilities to craft signs and ACEOs (collectable small format art cards). The cheery "Welcome" sign is carved, handpainted, and sealed against the elements. What a happy way to greet your guests to your space.

I especially love this bright, colored-pencil ACEO of a tropical wildflower from Belize. I can only imagine what a different world Belize must seem for a Canadian. These art cards are fun to collect, as they are the size of a playing card (2.5X3.5 inches), and yet are original works of art. Coconut Palm signs and dates all of her cards on the back so that you can be assured of owning an original.

To see more of this artist, do drop by her shop, and read more about her on her blog.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Cool Color from a Hot Dog

Beautiful swirls of color on silk, Etsy artist AKHotDoggies is all about "color, color, color." Both textiles and paper are hand marbled in the most luscious way, and you can find clothes, scarves, accessories, and even some jewelry made from some recycled materials and interesting and serendipitously beautiful "experiments".

A proud member of the Etsy Fiber Arts Street Team, Jodi Hughes hails from Alaska, and since she is willing to marble anything she can get her hands on, she is very open to custom work and colors. Be sure to check out her adventure in color blog, too.

Objects of Desire

I'm not so secretly in love with jewelry artists that do beautiful metalwork, as I dabble in silversmithing myself and fantasize about having a full metal studio someday. For now I get my fix from visiting artists like Etsy's Kalicat, the shop of Londoner Catherine Marche. She creates lovely "jewellery" and self-described Objects of Desire. Catherine was nice enough to chat with me, and had this to say about her art and craft:

How did you get into your craft?
Once upon a time, I used to make my own little jewels and also some to give away as gifts. A few friends noticed and started to commission pieces for weddings, hen parties, an a shop owner asked me to place some of them in her shop.... They SOLD. A few years later, I was thinking of reconverting from IT to a more creative job, in addition to painting and illustrations (see I got some training and Voila. What is fascinating about jewellery is that the area is so vast, I feel I can learn and create new things for a very long time.
What inspires you?
Fashion, people, colors, "poesie", travelling around the world, art, the sun...

What challenges you in your art?
Creating from a brief. I love when someone comes to me and says "I am looking for something special...." and they usually do not even know how to express it. I really enjoy playing with discerning their personality and what makes they tock, to then come up with a design they will love.

How long have you had your shop?
January 2007
Do you consider your shop a job or a hobby?

I would say that Etsy is a little window of international opportunities.

Do you have any advice for fellow Etsy shop owners?

Promote, network and be yourself.

And lastly, what is your favorite fun fact about yourself?

I own (and wear) a blue wig :) Another one is that my legs are too long for my trousers. Thank you for the interview and the feature.

I offer your readers 20% off my shop until 01.01.2008, using code Headley20

So there you have it, a hidden bonus for reading through this post! You can find out more about this artist so that you, too, can be more "stunning, chic and elegant" by visiting her blog or her MySpace.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Mark this!

Hallmark better pay close attention to the indie paper market out here in cyberland. With artists like Etsy's Earmark Invitations, the bar for modern, witty, crisp, clean paper goods is getting set pretty high. Wonderful graphics set the tone for fully customizable invites, greetings, journals, you name it. Establishing a name for themselves with a feature at the Sundance Festival in January 2007, the folks at Earmark got to hobnob with the celebs at the Kari Feinstein Style Lounge and show off their wares. In September 2007, Bridal Guide Magazine featured their customizable chocolate bars for weddings. Sweet!

Their motto is simple - "Paperie goodness for you". With a total dedication to customer satsifaction, they aim to "create happiness" with their products. So the next time you're tempted to send out an email to friends for the next soiree, maybe it's time to reconsider the "old-fashioned" excitement of receiving honest-to-goodness mail, and handcrafted paper invites at that. How classy, and with Earmark, how modern at the same time. You can see their beautiful happiness-creating goods at their website, too, and keep up with all their doings through their blog. Happy correspondence, y'all!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ode to the Etsy Challenger

Pippit Carlington, the instigator of all this Etsy-artist-90-day-blogging, also the beloved leader of the Art Jewelry Collective of which I am also a member, is a jewelry artist that describes her style as "contemporary tribal." Her organic aesthetic is a direct result of her diverse heritage of Iroquois, Hawaiian, Russian Jewish and French Canadian and her love of nature. Not content to only create beauty (which she does in spades), she also incorporates her social and political interests to inform her pieces to educate the observer. A formally trained artist, Pippit received her art education at Callenwolde Center for the Arts, The Atlanta College of Art, and Atlanta Jeweler's School and Studios. In addition to her jewelry, she works also in acrylics, watercolor, drawing, and clay sculpture, and has shown at numerous shows and galleries.

Diversity is not only in her background, but in her work as well, with something for all styles and perspectives in her shop at Etsy, Giftbearer. From classic simplicity as in the braided gold ring above, to modern ethnographic like the Many Muses Gemstone Hearts necklace also shown.

One of my favorites is her Fall Finery necklace featuring carnelian. Yummy. So many pretties - check out her blog, too, if you get the chance.

Art Jewelry Collective gets into the Fall Mood

A lovely post on Fall foliage-inspired art jewelry includes one my favorite pieces. If only Fall would come to central Texas (I promised not to fuss about the long "summers" here, but it is technically running 15 degrees ABOVE normal right now - ack.). Forecasters promise a change next week. We'll see.

Elastic Zucchini

I must confess, I am clueless as to why the shop of Etsy artist Ren Adams is named Plastic Pumpkin (hence the tongue-in-cheek title of this post). Now, an explanation is given in the PlasticPumpkin blog, and I do get the quirky and fun part and how that ties into the art. What Ren does offer is fun, and it is also philosophical, and intriguing: artwork and crafts for the discerning (and playful) collector. Ren works in a variety of media: mixed media assemblages, pencil, marker, acrylic, Chinese brush painting, watercolor, oil pastel, pen & ink, etc., finding something special and engaging about each artistic method and taking every medium seriously. Plastic pumpkins? Nowhere in sight. Only beauty everywhere you look. Memorable name, though...method in the madness?

In the words of Ren Adams: "About Ren Adams"
I've been doing artwork my entire life (even scribbled in my own baby book) and for me, it's more than a "hobby" or "job" it's a state of mind and a fulfilling pathway. I can't NOT do it. I simply must. If I'm not drawing, painting, or otherwise expressing myself (however badly), I'm not in harmony with everything around me.

Art is a sensation, a sense of humor, a sense of elation, a tantalizing window... it's pure energy, pure thought, and pure darkness, and pure light.

I explore themes, people, and places that intrigue me...

I'm also a Taoist and a lot of my artwork reflects my spiritual pathway (the art of compassion, simplicity, and patience). I practice Qi Gong meditation and enjoy artists who aren't afraid to be themselves.
The art of Plastic Pumpkin Designs has heart, as well, and as would be expected from an artist who creates through spirituality. In support of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Ren donates 50% of the proceeds from the sales of certain pieces in the EtsyPink section of the shop.

So take some time out of your day for a look at intriguing, beautiful art in a shop who's name you're not likely to forget. Also, for more detailed information about this Albuquerque, NM artist, check out the website.

Maybe I'll start a band under Elastic Zucchini, if it's not taken already.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I'm always excited when I come across another scientist that has also embraced the right side of their brain in creative pursuit. Not that science is not in fact very creative. To be a great scientist, one must constantly ask new, unasked questions in the pursuit of the next level of truth. That is a very creative process. (But it is an iterative process that can get bogged down in the left, analytical side. There's a reason a lot of people think science is "boring"!) And any study of nature will reveal unspeakable beauty if one just keeps their eyes open. For me, it is the microbial and molecular world. For Etsy artist Patricia Vener, her scientific call is to the stars. She holds a Masters Degree in Astrophysics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy NY, has worked as an astronomer and still teaches astronomy as an adjunct professor for University of Maryland University College. But she's more than an astronomer, she is also an artist. She has provided a painting illustration for an astronomy textook, and has illustrated a children's book, "Papa Cardinal Finds Breakfast" by Sandra Wellborn.
At her shop SilverDragon you can find exquisite jewelry creations of uncommon detail and color, inspired by Native American beadwork techniques. Drop by to see for yourself, and find out more on her Dragon's "Lair".

Little Treasures

Marcy Lamberson is an Etsy glass artist who self-proclaims that she loves making people smile through her whimsical beads and sculptures. I have no doubt that she's surrounded by a lot of smiling folks!

She has the wonderful work situation of a sunroom studio overlooking her garden and birds, squirrels, chipmunks and occasional wandering possums. To our enjoyment, she sometimes makes them into beads, too, complete with clothes and jewelry, and turns them into little fun glass treasures.

Glass artists always amaze me, working with a 2000 degree torch and creating colorful amalgams of seemingly delicate glass. Most of Marcy's glass, in fact, comes from Murano, Italy, the center of the beautiful glass world. But strength is important for creations that are meant to be worn like beads, and every piece from StudioMarcy is kiln annealed for durability.

You can find out more about Marcy on the Etsy Glass Artist website and her blog .

She adds new beads almost daily, so stop by StudioMarcy often. You, too, will be amazed at her whimsical art, and the incredible detail she works into each and every piece.

be-dee, be-dee, be-dee, that's all folks!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Passion in Pictures

A woman with a passion for photography, Tiffany Teske from Banff, Alberta has loved photography since she was given a 110 camera at the age of 7, to capture memories on a family trip. She didn't have a direct path into professional photography, but took a few side trips along the way. She studied ballet, creative writing, and art in high school but did not take photography classes. Instead, she was "the after school photography club" and was taught by a science teacher how to use the darkroom. The chemicals got into her blood, and after roaming the US for 5 years (Arizona, Florida, Connecticut, & New York) she settled in Carrabassett Valley, Maine, population 200, and home to Sugarloaf USA, and decided to go to University for.... nursing? Well, fate stepped in, and after one summer color printing course and some credit mishaps on the school's part, she switched her major to photography and graduated from the University of Maine at Augusta with both an Associate of Arts in Photography (Magna cum Laude) in 2000 and a Bachelor of Arts Joint BA in Art and Photography (Magna cum Laude) in 2002. She now lives in Banff, Alberta, Canada, with her husband and toddler, Quinlyn.

If you want to know more, feel free to check out the About Tiffany section on her website at

Her favorite materials are... TMAX and HP5 black and white film; Polaroid peel apart films for transfers and emulsion lifts; all kinds of paper; fiber based prints made in the darkroom; hand coloring markers; archival mats; black metal frames for sleekness and gold gilded frames for romance; silver and copper jewelry components; gel medium; bamboo tiles; poker chips; bottle caps; watercolor paper. Her aesthetic is one of ethereal beauty and romance, with a wonderful eye for line and balance.

Take a visit over to Tiffany's Etsy shop and see for yourself what beauty can be created from her passion for photography - it will be worth the trip, I promise.