10/30/2012

Bigger, closer, sharper

Once upon a time there was a lady with a compact camera. Although the lady loved that compact camera dearly, she wasn't always happy with the macro mode. Sometimes she just wanted to get closer and closer, but all she got were blurry pictures.

Then the lady stumbled upon a guy, David ... and David had a special lens ...

I won't try to explain to you how exactly it works. What I can do is tell you that communication was great, shipping fast, and that in the end I held my Little BigShot in hands.

What else I can do is show you two quick pictures that I took of the same sample piece, and you'll be able to tell the difference yourself.


Isn't that amazing? As you can see, I even got closer to my sample piece in the first picture which is the one I took with the lens attached, and it's still not blurry.
I'm only glad the lens didn't break when I had dropped it on the tile floor just seconds before, ehem.

I'm just a pleased customer, so I can't answer any questions. I'm not affiliated with David in any way.
If you want to know more, check out the videos on David's page, Little BigShot, and also visit his photo help blog, Photography Central for Online Sellers.

10/29/2012

Interview with the artist - Frauke from Handmade Fuzzy

Ein herzliches Willkommen an Frauke von Handmade Fuzzy! You wonder why I'm talking German? Wait and see ...

Frauke says she has always been a needler, let's discover what she means by that, shall we?

Baby cocoon bunting sack

Tell us a little about who you are and where you come from.

I am a German that somehow ended up in the US (aah, that's the solution to the riddle up there ;-)). I have lived in Papua New Guinea and  Australia as a kid. Then worked for quite a while with kids and teens in the Southern part of Germany, also called Bavaria. That is also where I ran into my hubby. We had the chance to explore Europe for quite a while together and then moved to the USA in 2003 since then I got to live on the West Coast and now on the East Coast in wonderful South Carolina.

What's your craft/art and how did you get to do it in the first place?

Sometimes I think I was born with knitting needles, I take them where ever I go. I always have to keep my hands busy. I learned it in School in Germany, I think it was in 5th Grade. I knitted my way through School, knitting for friends and family. Now living in the States I don't have much family to knit for. I knitted while waiting for the kids to be done with their sports, in doctors offices etc. That's when people started asking me if I sell my items.

Hand knitted cowl

I think this is one of the most asked questions – where does your inspiration come from?

Hm... good question. I get inspired by custom orders mostly. Often my work grows while working on it. I often don't have a picture in my head of the finished product, because I go where my material takes me to. If that makes sense. (Makes total sense to me because often I'm the same way!)


Do you do other crafts, if yes, what?

I dabble in all kind of other crafts. I love trying out new stuff and introducing my kids to express themselves through art.

Mouse and her ice cream

Which one of your pieces is your absolute favorite? Which one was the hardest to make and why?

My favorite piece would be my mice. And the hardest one to make would be right now Yoda, I had to figure out how to get his toes the right way.

The Smart Mouse

Is there someone whom you admire and who inspires you?

There are a few people from the Zibbet community that absolutely inspire me with their drive and their passion. I have learned much from them business wise and privately.

If you had free choice of just one supply you can use for your craft/art, what would you be dreaming of, no matter how expensive?

Yes.  Yarn, one can never have enough YARN. Sock yarn or merino yarn.

Beaded crochet cap

Do you sell online, if yes, where can we find you?

Yes, I sell online, and you can find my store right here Handmade Fuzzy

Is there anything you feel you need or want to tell the world outside now?

Follow your passion, it knows where you should go.

10/27/2012

Trick or treat!

It's October and that means it's time for Hallowe'en very soon. It was an obvious choice for our Jewelry Artisans Community blog ring.

Since I didn't make any Hallowe'en jewelry this year (well, beside the vampire fangs choker) and didn't take a picture of our decoration at work, I decided to do a little spotlight of items I found on Zibbet and and that I love.
It is a little hard to focus to be honest as I'm staring out of the window and see snow. Ok, no distractions anymore, it's time for witches, vampires, ghosts and werewolves.

One of my most favorite Hallowe'en stories of all time (besides the Mary Poppins one that I already told you about in an earlier post) is a Donald Duck cartoon. He has a big stash of candy and he's determined to not share a bit of it. His nephews are not willing to let him get away with that, how lucky for them to meet Hazel, the witch ....



"Every post is a ghost if you have a witch's brew ..."

Little ghost lampwork bead by Dzign by Jamie

"Oh, bless their little black 'earts ...."


Hand painted wine glasses "Good pumpkin/bad pumpkin" by Laura's Glass Art

"Aah, thou do believe in witches!"


Vogue Witch tag by Dorothy Jane

"So, when ghosts and goblins by the score ring your bell and pound your door, better not be stingy or your nightmares will come truuuuuue ... BOO!"


 
Woodburned skeleton box by Midnite Muse Boutique

Want to see what our other JAC members have to say about Hallowe'en? Check it out here!

Islandgirl's Insights
N Valentine Studio
And of course the cat that can't keep his mouth shut ... Ponder - the cat 



10/25/2012

Jacqueline isn't bald anymore

Good for Jacqueline, don't you think? You might remember she's my second doll head, and now she finally got her own hair. It was about time. I'm almost a bit jealous of her curls ;-)

What else has happened in the Cat's Wire universum? Let me check my desk. Ah, a cat. Keep sleeping, Greebo. What can I find beside him?


When I look at my latest pieces, it seems I feel a need for bling and color. None of these are listed yet, but you know if you are interested in something, you can always contact me. At least the pictures are taken already.
There's the Confetti Loops bracelet for example. I'm having way too much fun with those galvanized beads.



Then there's a knit cuff with gorgeous Miyuki cubes. At first all you see is the black wire and maybe a shimmer of gold. Then you turn it and bang! Pure bling. The picture doesn't do it justice. It's really the contrast that makes this piece.
It has a button hole and is closed with a lovely black matte agate lentil, by the way.

And if there are beads left over on the wire, then you have to make a ring. I'm sure it's a law that's written down somewhere. If not, I might have to write it down.
Just a little fun piece which would be great for a young girl (not just because I happened to make it pretty small ....).


Bauble ring


10/22/2012

Interview with the artist - Nora from Borealis Art

Today I'm very happy to introduce you to a lady with many talents. I met her on deviantArt and have since then looked forward to each of her new pieces.
Say hello to Nora from Borealis Art and Axis Photography 1 ... and to one of my favorite paintings of hers "Bewitching".

 
Tell us a little about who you are and where you come from?

I'm from everywhere!  I grew up all over the world.  I was exposed to so many cultures, beliefs and countries growing up that I never really felt like I belonged in a certain place.  I was born in the US, but have since decided to settle (finally!) in Canada.
 
What's your craft/art and how did you get to do it in the first place?

First and foremost, I'm a watercolour artist and utilize pointillism for effect.  I've been drawing and painting since I could hold a pencil and have the photos to prove it!  LOL  There's never been a day in my life that I didn't want to be an artist.  As a child, I had other things I considered -- but they were to be "along side" my art.
 
I think this is one of the most asked questions – where does your inspiration come from?

Our primary home address when I was growing up was Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  I was heavily inspired by the colourful geometric shapes and patterns in Middle Eastern art and the henna patterns of the Bedouin people and East Indians.
 
Tell us a fun thing about yourself.

I'm a mother of three brilliant, beautiful children (two boys and one girl) and I'm obsessed with my three chihuahuas (one boy and two girls)!
 
Do you do other crafts, if yes, what?

I'm also a photographer, jewellery designer and make custom dolls. 

The photography kind of went along with being raised internationally.  Every country we visited or lived in was a whole new chance to whip out a camera and start taking photos.  When I was very young, my father purchased a top of the line Canon and as I got older, I was allowed to photograph alongside my parents.  The first time I was given free reign to photograph whatever I wanted was on a safari in Kenya.  My first photograph was a wee bit morbid, but still interesting to this day.  Our safari "bus" passed by an elephant skull and I hung my head out the window and snapped a photo.  I still have the photo.
 

The jewellery was originally an idea to help deal with my OCD.  I thought that the repetitive nature of stringing seed beads would help -- and while it did, I was really excited by the jewellery I created and kept going with it.  I'm actually looking into trying a new style, soutache!
 
 
The dolls began because for years in the US I made very simple "teddy bears" to donate to the local hospital for when children come in.  I decided to make one just for fun here in Canada and my husband asked me, "Why don't you do something more involved?"  From there, I created my own pattern and started making dolls depicting faeries, gypsies, witches, pixies, fauns, etc.
 

Which one of your pieces is your absolute favorite? Which one was the hardest to make and why?

You know, this is a hard question because my absolute favourites change often.  With each new piece, I learn something new and get better at reaching a goal I have set for myself.  Currently my favourite piece was also my most challenging piece, "October".  I put thirty-two hours of pointillism into the piece and then it still took another four+ hours to paint it.  I am extremely fond of that piece.  Of course, I'm also extremely fond of another recent piece, "I Remember".
 


Is there someone whom you admire and who inspires you?

I find myself inspired on a daily basis by so many artists it's tough to name them all!  I do happen to be completely in love with the Pre-Raphaelite work of John William Waterhouse.
 
If you had free choice of just one supply you can use for your craft/art, what would you be dreaming of, no matter how expensive?
 
I REALLY want a Cintiq tablet.  I'd like to give digital art a shot -- but I have a regular tablet and I can't connect what I am doing on the tablet with what is happening on the screen.  My brain just can't seem to make the connection.  On a Cintiq tablet, you draw on the tablet and you can see what you are drawing on the tablet.  It's just like drawing on digital paper!  I think it would be extremely cool to have every colour imaginable available to me with just the tap of a pen.  Being able to erase without fearing damaging the paper...  Never having to drive an hour and a half for paint or a new watercolour block!  It would be like having a never-ending supply of artist tools!

Do you sell online, if yes, where can we find you?

I have my own website where you can purchase prints and original paintings here:  http://www.norablansett.com
I have a zazzle store where you can purchase my art on various items located here:  http://www.zazzle.com/BorealisArt

Is there anything you feel you need or want to tell the world outside now?

Get out there and create!

10/12/2012

I'm so glad ...

... that jewelry doesn't move when I try to take a picture. As you can see I'm not as lucky with the cats, in this case Esme ...


10/11/2012

Catching up

Hey guys, what have you been up to lately?
I know it seems as if I am hiding in a big hole, but that's not completely true. True is that my motivation to blog is not the biggest one at the moment, that has to do with the fact that I feel a little torn. I'm still struggling with getting the flat fixed and things are not exactly going too smoothly. I'll be getting there, but it's draining my energy.
I recharge my batteries when I'm creating, but the part that comes after the creative process ... the pictures, the listing, the, erm, blogging ... I'll try to be better.

Let's have a look at what I have been playing with, shall we? A few things at least, I don't want to overwhelm you with pictures.

Remember Jo, my doll model head? This is her pal. I'm almost sure I had a name for her as well. I do know she looks French to me. Let's call her Jacqueline. You might have seen part of her in shots before. Jacqueline has one problem, she's bald. She borrows Jo's wig from time to time, but that wouldn't have worked for this shot because the wig is black and that makes it hard to see the necklace.


Yes, this is a necklace with black crystals. Today however the thought came over me that it would look fun as a head piece, too. Some hair pins in the right spots going through the chain and hair. Just an idea. This is a bad sneak peek picture of the necklace (Ms Newberry who's modeling it is still waiting for an outfit that works better with it). It's not listed yet for obvious reasons.

Then there is the second Bead Eater that's finally listed. The first Bead Eater was made in earthy brown colors, for this one I chose beautiful fall colors. Those triangle beads are pretty amazing. It's 125 cm or 4 ft long!
The name Bead Eater means that these pieces eat up my bead stash which is not necessarily a bad thing ;-)


Bead Eater in fall colors

The following necklace however did take even longer, actually a lot longer. I'm so in love with Miyuki's galvanized seed beads that I just couldn't resist making this fun and colorful loop necklace using different colors of wire and beads in different combinations. A friend said it reminded of coral and I liked the idea a lot.
I see loop earrings and maybe bracelets in this style, what do you think?


Confetti Loops necklace