29 July 2012

Colorful Inspirations are the Quilt of Life

Quilts may have originated for the sole purpose of keeping the bed warm, but quilters have turned the utilitarian quilt into a work of art. Quilting bees were popular at churches, social gatherings and other places where women could sit and visit and create a quilt for a member of their group or community. Quilting was a social event and the presentation of a quilt was an event. The presentation of a quilt marked significant milestones in people’s lives. Even the designs on quilts were planned and there was a lot of pride in developing new patterns and each pattern has a name.

Aviva Sieber, of Sieber Designs, knows full well what goes into the creation and planning of a quilt; she has been quilting for over 15 years and selling her designs for four.

Even though she has an ability to knit, crochet and cross stitch, her real passion is quilting and sewing. “I create all of my designs on my own. I am inspired by color and placement, and then just let it flow,” Aviva said about her design creation process.

Halloween Quilt with Dancing Witches




She says she always has a plan of what she is going to make, but does not have a final vision until she begins to sew. “Sometimes I have a definite idea, but not always,” she says. That is why she really enjoys her scrappy purses since they are bits and pieces of her left over quilt fabrics that seem to fall together for her once she lays them out. “Even after I lay them out together, the focus is not truly determined until I pick the thread color!”

Aviva is inspired by color and more color with a pattern or two thrown in for good measure. Her eye goes to the Cotton batiks in particular. “I love the colors, and the prints that are used in these fabrics,” she said. “I especially love that they are hand dyed and somewhat inconsistent in that way.”

Green Batik Hip Purse in Upcycled Fabrics

 




“I love the creation process and seeing what can become of just a bunch of fabric,” Aviva said. “I like that every piece that I make is an original work, and that when someone purchases it, they know they have something that is one-of-a-kind.”

She believes that hand-stitching everything in her work is part of an important step in keeping with the handmade tradition, even though, she finds stitching the bindings the least favorite part of her craft.

Quilt for Baby in Bright Circles



Aviva has been selling her work online for several years on both Etsy and Artfire. She does try and do 15 shows a year in her local western Massachusetts area where she is on the Board of Directors for a local artisan group. Her group encompasses artists, artisans and crafters from the Western Massachusetts area. She sticks to handmade shows and does not sell at festivals that allow buy-it-sell-it type items. “I live in Northampton, Massachusetts. This is a very artistic community and there are a lot of galleries here,” she said. “It is a great place to be an artist!”

Aviva is a full-time studio owner and spends a good 12 hours or more in her studio daily whenever possible. She also has a 12-hour a week job for 38 weeks a year at the local college, which helps her to pay off her graduate student loans. Even on the days where she is working at the college, she still spends four hours in her studio, which is her favorite place to be.

Every day is spent creating. She puts in 3-10 hours daily in her creation mode and then marketing where needed.

Aviva advises new quilters and those who are interested in working in fabric to take chances with their fabric selections.

Asian Inspired Kindle Cover



Aviva’s perfect day is to sew all day long and she is most relaxed when she is sewing. “If I don’t get to sew on a particular day, I am definitely not as pleasant to be around,” she warns.

Aviva is a Certified Handmade Artisan and a Guild Artisan of the Artfire Community.
You can visit Sieber Designs on Artfire.

http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/studio/SieberDesigns
 
Follow the trail of color by connection with Aviva on Twitter, Facebook and her websites.

http://www.twitter.com/sieberdesigns
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Northampton-MA/Sieberdesigns/161599408456
http://www.sieberdesigns.com/
http://www.sieberdesigns.etsy.com/

15 July 2012

Traveling Life’s Highways is Documented in Butterfly in the Attic’s Artfire Studio

It may sound strange to some, but there was a time when travel was something the average person was unable to participate in on a regular basis. Flying was expensive and many men and women only saw the world by joining the military.

In fact, it was not until the 1950s that the United States even had a highway system; most people only traveled locally and vehicles were considered a luxury.Then President Dwight D. Eisenhower pushed for the creation of interstate travel. With the opening of the highway system, people began to see the USA in their Chevrolet.

In the early part of the 20th century, most people were limited to travel stories from wealthy neighbors, relatives or employers and if the person was really lucky, they would receive a postcard from some far off exotic land that was probably some place they would never be able to see in person.

Newly married, Colleen (Roush) Cornelius and owner of Butterfly in the Attic has been captivated by travel since she was a little girl growing up in the Midwest. Her dreams of travel were ignited by those postcards from places far and wide with their tinted drawings and places with exotic fruit, like coconuts, from Miami. Vintage art enchanted her and novelty postcards amused her. Her collection of vintage art goes back to her childhood.

“I have been collecting vintage items since I was a child and it started out with my fascination with postcards,” Colleen said. In addition to collecting postcards, she has been working with natural crafts for over 20 years, combining skill, art and items from nature to create her art.

Vintage Linen Postcard - Cluster of Coconuts in Florida - Colorful




“I love working with paper and vintage items. I am relatively new to creating with paper aside from the traditional art of sketching and painting,” Colleen said when asked about her creative endeavors. She not only uses paper in her art, but she incorporates minerals, dried flowers and other items that nature donates to her projects as they both see fit.

Both of Colleen’s grandmothers taught her to crochet, sew and design jewelry and left her with a lot of supplies and freedom. She lends importance to the freedom of creating what she sees in her mind’s eye and her postcards provide some of her inspiration.

Although Colleen is a full-time employee outside of her studio, she is driven to make this her full-time profession. She currently puts in just as many hours creating and working on her business as she does as a manager outside of the studio. She is no stranger to online businesses and had been a vintage seller on eBay while dreaming of taking the step towards selling her art. She would love to sell at festivals, but she is not able to fit the time it takes to do shows into her busy schedule. Her days off are dedicated to creating new items for her studio.

Currently, Colleen is preparing to launch her digital art section in her studio. “It takes a good while to get a good selection done, so I am holding off until I have a complete collection ready before I list it,” she said of selling her artwork.

As part of Colleen’s natural art, she has created some wonderful selections of sachet. Keeping with her love of vintage, she has paired up her sachet packets with vintage and contemporary ornaments or sachet holders to create a timeless gift. The sachet packets can be placed in the holders for a wonderfully natural scent throughout the bedroom or bath.

Handmade Sachet Mix Graceful Swan Pomander



Not only does she provide drawer or dresser top goodies, she has a few that belong in the shower or bath. By letting the water run over the sachet, the scent creates a soothing atmosphere of natural oils and scents.

Handmade Lavender Oatmeal Bath Mix for Sachets

 


A sachet is also a vintage item by its own right. It was originally a small disposable bag that contained things like flower petals, such as a rose, and placed within a drawer to keep stockings, undergarments and the delicates fresh and lightly scented. It was used in linen drawers to give sheets and towels a pleasant scent. Sachets precluded dryer sheets and other perfumed detergents.

“My vintage items are usually very rare and unique. They make a statement about the era they come from. My handmade items are very high quality and I take my time making them by hand,” Colleen said, adding that she does not have fancy equipment or more than the bare necessities of tools to create her labor of love.

4 Beautiful Romantic Red Rose Gift Tags - Shabby Chic - Handmade



Colleen is currently residing with her new husband in Fresno, California. She is enjoying the lower humidity since it helps her work on her paper crafts without a dehydrator as she did in Wisconsin.

Colleen advises new artists and crafters to enjoy what they do. Although things may take awhile to sell, she contends that at least you can surround yourself with the things you love while waiting.

Colleen would love to learn how to blow glass because the art form takes a tremendous amount of skill and not just everyone can do that particular craft.

Her idea of a perfect day is one where she can just escape into creating without distraction or the need to stop until she is ready. She can be found sipping Jasmine tea in her small, but beautiful Japanese garden when she is not working.

Her admiration for her new husband is both personal and professional. “He is a formally trained and true artist and I love his work,” she said.

Butterfly in the Attic has a little story behind it, which can be found on her blog. The story involves a dark and scary attic and what magic Colleen found there as a child.

Explore travels of your own by visiting Butterfly in the Attic’s Artfire studio.

http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/studio/ButterflyInTheAttic
 
Follow Colleen on her journeys by following her blog, her twitter, liking her on both her Facebook pages and adding her Artfire studio to your favorites.

Blog:   http://butterflyintheattic.blogspot.com/
FB:     http://fb.com/ButterflysAttic
http://fb.com/PostcardsInTheAttic
ETSY:  http://www.postcardsintheattic.etsy.com/
http://www.butterflyintheattic.etsy.com/

12 July 2012

Pamela Bead Jewelry


Beaded jewelry for girls, women, and men! All styles for all occassions. Visit my online store and find a great gift for someone special or for yourself.
Free shipping for orders of $40 or more with code 05161952 at checkout. I accept all credit cards, checks, and money orders. Next day shipping.
All of my work is handmade by me. A single mother of two children. A boy and a girl. I live in California and love it! 

09 July 2012

A Nod to the Orient From Keaki Designs on Artfire

Being unemployed has its’ up side, as Krista (Kri) Wood of Keaki Designs found out one summer day when her mother gave her a box of beads and supplies titled “How to Make Jewelry” while Krista was in the process of job hunting.

Originally, it was the two of them, mother and daughter, in the process of learning how to make jewelry, but since Krista was the main designer the business fell into her lap. That was two years ago in August 2012, and Krista has been working on perfecting her craft ever since as she attends college, majoring in business and designs jewelry on the side.

“To me, this is a hobby, although I do this part-time professionally while going to college,” Krista said.

Krista works selling her jewelry in her Artfire studio, but jewelry is not the only creative expression that interests her. She has a passion for photography, knitting, crocheting and she enjoys painting in the traditional Japanese brush painting, Sumi-e. The Japanese and Koreans inspire Krista.

“For some reason, my heart feels at home with Japan,” Krista said. “I use the fashion that Korea and Japan sell and form around their idea for fashion. The harajuku style and Ulzzang style, although completely different, are the ones I’m most interested in.” She also enjoys the business style of the Japanese.

Her interest in the Orient can be seen in her Origami earrings and brooches.

Orange/red Origami Fan Brooch

This beautiful brooch not only has been created with Origami Washi papers, it is in the exact color scheme that Krista’s grandmother, Vergie Harrell, loved.

Modern Orange and Red With A Splash of yellow Necklace and Earring set

This piece is closest to Krista’s heart and created for her grandmother.

“Her favorite thing to do was working in a garden of flowers, and her jewelry or clothing always had a piece that was either red or orange,” Krista said. “My mother later told me that her favorite color was orange and red and her favorite seasons were spring and fall because that’s when the flowers are in bloom.”

Krista believes the piece is as elegant as her Southern Belle of a grandmother. She will always envision her grandmother picking flowers.

When Krista is designing her jewelry, she will allow the pendant or focal bead to coax her hands in the direction that is right for the piece. Unless she is designing for a specific person, her designs are drawn from the stones and colors themselves. If she is designing for a custom order, she likes to know the person she is designing for in order to get the right feel for the design. She will draw upon her own personal relations to capture a feel for a gift and the recipient.

The shell inspired wire wrapped pendant is one of her favorite pieces in her studio and the shell and the wire designed it with Krista’s hands following the natural flow of the shell. This piece was one of the first pieces she ever created. It had a companion piece that sold as Krista was working on it at the local art festival. Alas, she has no photo of that piece.

 

Sea Shell Sand Dollar Illusion Pendant

 

She also favors a piece that she has in her gallery of sold items. This was the second piece she ever created, and it was the result of not being able to sleep the night before the finals. She may have been a little sad to see it go, but she derived great pleasure in knowing that someone was also in love with the pendant.

Hanging Beside The Lantern Necklace - Purple and Blue/white

 

Krista attributes the artists that have gone before her and left their legacy as her inspiration. She believes their path paved the way for the next to learn. She enjoys reading books about techniques and learning to master the simple things in order to move on to more challenging aspects of jewelry creation.

“Never give up. Always seek advice from other artisans that have done this for a long time. Never be afraid to take criticism because this criticism does help in the long run, but never take it all at heart,” she says of giving advice to new jewelry designers.

Krista also advises to keep all creations, no matter how bad she feels they might be. She feels that practice, practice, practice will help in perfection of her craft. She enjoys looking back over her creations and marveling at the way her skills have grown in a short two years.

Krista is in love with the act of selling as much as she is with the act of creation. The idea that someone would love to own a piece that she worked hard to create is equal to falling in love. “Just the sheer idea someone wants to buy something from my store gives me the butterflies like making that 100 on a test you thought you would fail,” she said.

Wire Wrapped Swarovski Crystal Sword Pendant

 

 

Krista adds that her dragons and swords are some of her designs she would like to see sell.

Krista may say she works part-time at her hobby, but she still puts in a 20 to 30 hour week, but only creates Monday through Friday. She spends a lot of her time marketing and when her class schedule permits, she does put in 40 to 50 hours in her studio.

Keaki Designs is derived from a childhood nickname of Krista’s, Keaki, and she designs.

Krista is a resident of Huntsville, Alabama, home of the arsenal and a mobile community. She tries to sell at local festivals when the option is available and she works for the anime convention when it comes through town. Next year, she will be selling in the Artist Alley of the convention.

She enjoys reading and outdoors when she is not involved in a video game. She is active in the Deviant Art community where you can see some of her photography and paintings. She uses her portfolio to show off her jewelry designs and direct people to her Artfire studio.

Krista admires those who can work with seed beads and would like to learn to do beadwork at some point. "I tried once, and I got impatient with the needle and the bead,” she said. She loves working with soft fleece and can be found all snuggled up in the fleece as she works on her knitting or crocheting project.

Krista is a number #3442 of the Self-Representing Artist Jewelry Designers (SRAJD) and a member of The Checked In Today! Guild on Artfire. Artfire is her first online selling venture.

Add Krista to your social network by liking her page, following her tweets and adding her studio to your market.

http://niola.deviantart.com/

http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/studio/KeakiDesigns

http://www.facebook.com/KeakiDesignsJewelry

https://twitter.com/KeakiDesigns

http://keakidesigns.blogspot.com/

 

 

06 July 2012

Olympic Cheeer!

The London Summer Olympics begin on July 27th! I'm always psyched for the Olympics: Winter *and* Summer.


And no, I'm not that athletically inclined. If I were invited to attend and participate in the Olympics it would be The 10 Foot (Couch to Television) Frantic Cheering and Hollering. And I'd stand tall and proud ... okay, maybe not so tall, but definitely proudly ... on that top podium and receive what I imagine will be a gorgeous Gold Medal very proudly.


And, yes, I'm very patriotic ~ I *love* when the United States athletes do us all proud. But, in all honesty? It is the enthusiasm, the youth, the pride, the effort, the background stories, the triumph of spirit, and accomplishments both little and large of each and every one of the athletes.


When we watch the Olympics, we see one minute, one jump, one leap, one effort, one performance ~ but what we don't see are the years and years of effort and time and dedication spent for that one minute ~ from the athlete, the families, the schools, the coaches, the communities.


There are 205 countries participating in 302 events in 26 sports for the 2012 London, England Olympics. 205 countries!! I'd love to see a gathering of all the flags (I love flags) and I am sooooooo looking forward to the Opening Ceremonies on July 27th!


See you there!
1935 Flags of the United States and 1935 Flags of Europe and Asia




Olympic Cheeer!

The London Summer Olympics begin on July 27th! I'm always psyched for the Olympics: Winter *and* Summer.


And no, I'm not that athletically inclined. If I were invited to attend and participate in the Olympics it would be The 10 Foot (Couch to Television) Frantic Cheering and Hollering. And I'd stand tall and proud ... okay, maybe not so tall, but definitely proudly ... on that top podium and receive what I imagine will be a gorgeous Gold Medal very proudly.


And, yes, I'm very patriotic ~ I *love* when the United States athletes do us all proud. But, in all honesty? It is the enthusiasm, the youth, the pride, the effort, the background stories, the triumph of spirit, and accomplishments both little and large of each and every one of the athletes.


When we watch the Olympics, we see one minute, one jump, one leap, one effort, one performance ~ but what we don't see are the years and years of effort and time and dedication spent for that one minute ~ from the athlete, the families, the schools, the coaches, the communities.


There are 205 countries participating in 302 events in 26 sports for the 2012 London, England Olympics. 205 countries!! I'd love to see a gathering of all the flags (I love flags) and I am sooooooo looking forward to the Opening Ceremonies on July 27th!


See you there!
1935 Flags of the United States and 1935 Flags of Europe and Asia