Archive for the ‘In the Spotlight’ Category

This week’s spotlight features Christelle of L’Atelier à rêver éveillé (In English this translates to  “The workshop to dream awaken”).  Christelle is a children’s author and illustrator in France, and she has the most charming illustrations in her Etsy shop!  I love how Christelle incorporates her art into a variety of useful objects, such as jewelry, bookmarks, pocket mirrors, and postcards.  This gives you the option to enjoy her artwork throughout your day, not just on your walls.

Christelle was generous enough to share a little about herself:

How did you get started in your craft?
First, I wrote stories for children. I have several books to be published in France this year :) After, I decided to illustrate my stories and then to include these illustrations in jewellery, boxes and so on!

Where do you find your inspiration?
I think my 3 daughters inspire me a lot! The older is 6 and my twins are nearly 4 years old (a lot of work but a lot of love !!). Music also inspire me, and everything around me I think!

How do you promote your shop/work?
I have a facebook page. I love facebook (by the way, I really pass to much time on it ;))

I also have a Twitter account:

And I just created a new blog too!

Name a guilty pleasure… what do you do to treat yourself?
I LOVE chocolate!! I eat some everyday :) What do I do to treat myself? Nothing!!! That’s too good!!

How would you like to be remembered by future generations?
Good question… I think I just want my daugthers to be proud of their mum. I don’t need more!!

Thank you Christelle for sharing a little about yourself and your work.  Be sure to stop on over to Christelle’s shop and blog.  Also,  Christelle is collaborating with Etsy seller Polarity to create some lovely locket sets – I just love it when handmade artists collaborate!


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Salty and Awake

Oh, I am so excited to introduce you to today’s spotlight artist, Tina Crespo!  Tina is a talented photographer.  She says she is drawn to everything that has stillness, beauty, and wonder, and she captures these ideals perfectly in her photos.  I love the color palate and the play of light in Tina’s work, and I love that her passion for her work shines through each and every shot!

How did you get started in your craft?
I took B&W photography in high school. They only offered it for 2 years, which bummed me out. So my senior year I spent my study halls there anyway. I had a really great teacher who supported me and we started a tech camp for kids. Teaching the little ones about cameras & photoshop was really inspiring.

At this point I had already taken the AP tests for English Literature credits for college in the Fall. With one quick sweep, I took a chance and went to Antonelli Institute of Art & Photography. I’d say that was the smartest move I could make.

Pink Ladies


Daisy of Love

Where do you find your inspiration?
In literally everything. From beautiful people on Flickr, the amazing photographers I’ve met, to hometown landscapes, birds soaring, the smell of the ocean. I live within my 5 senses constantly, it all works perfectly in unison for inspiration.

Given to Dreams

How do you promote your shop/work?
I have a Facebook Fan Page where I list sales or new items. Flickr has been huge, that is definitely my home base. As much as I hate to admit this, I do Tweet. ::shakes head:: What can I say, it’s easy & seems to work :)
I also blog (www.townabovewater.blogspot.com)

When you were younger, what did you dream of being?
When I was real young I wanted to be a Marine Biologist. I think every little kid who grows up near the ocean dreams of living & working in it for the rest of their lives. I think sometime after that I wanted to be a Dance Choreographer.


What four things you could never live without?
Ooo, coffee for one, my amazing family & friends with their love & support, my cat Piggy (Piggles, Wiggly, Chief Wiggums), & warm, toasty blankets. Is it bad I put coffee before my family? Oh well, I think they’ll understand.

If you could have any one superpower, which would you choose?
This is a fantastic question Kara! Ok. Ready? This is how much of a nerd I am.
I wish I had the power to touch old buildings and see & feel it’s past.
A recent trip to Fort Delaware had my mind spinning, and I childishly complained that it wasn’t fair I couldn’t see all the happenings from the past by one touch. Told ya, nerd.

Leaving Town

What is the most valuable thing you have learned within the past year?
Even though your artistic path crosses with other artists, it’s truly important to not be discouraged by someone else’s work or success. You are on your own path, working it out in your own way. It can be easy to be sidetracked & feel like your running with no end in sight. This insight was a huge change in how I felt about my work.

How would you like to be remembered by future generations?
Wow…I wouldn’t know how to answer this as an artist. As a person, I want people to remember me being awkwardly funny, a total nerd, & a person who will always have time to listen. I want my niece & nephew to look up to me and I hope I can be a good role model for them.

Thank you Tina for sharing a little about yourself and your work!  If you’d like to see more of Tina’s work, you can stop by her Website or her Etsy Shop.

Also, Tina is holding a giveaway over on her blog – stop by for your chance to win any TWO prints from her shop (the giveaway ends Saturday Feb. 20th, so hurry on over)!

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I am quite excited to introduce you to this week’s spotlight artist, the friendly and talented Elizabeth of Prince Design UK!  Elizabeth makes the most amazing poppy bowls and lacy birdies, and I’m in love with her heart-shaped ornaments!  Elizabeth was lovely enough to give us a little glimpse into her ceramicist’s world:

How did you get started in your craft?
I studied fine art and specialised in sculpture for my degree, and then worked as an interior designer in domestic interiors for seven years. During this time, I found ceramics as a hobby, and quickly became obsessed.

Where do you find your inspiration?
This is tricky for me to answer really. There are many many things that inspire me. Everything around you can inspire you, and not just the good stuff! Sometimes I will see something I dislike and think about how I could use an element of the concept behind it and create something that is better. Other times I am inspired by natural forms, objects that I find, patterns, textures, interiors, art, design, contemporary culture and visual codes. I guess the real answer is everywhere and anywhere!

Share with us a little about your creative process.
I draw occasionally and jot down notes of ideas to persue, but only as a starting point. Most development is done in clay these days. I will make a prototype, and sometimes I will then discard the idea. Other times I will make more and more and refine the form until I am happy with it. Often I will change the surface, or experiment with many variations until I am happy with it. Other times, I will make the same object in a range of versions.

How do you promote your shop/work?
Etsy has been a great showcase for my work. Having work on there has enabled me to reach a much larger audience than I could have ten years ago. From there and other online marketplaces, I have had wholesale enquiries, and some of these have lead to great press opportunities. I have been really lucky in that I have had great support from bloggers too.
As I sell online, I promote my work online too.
I have a page on facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Prince-Design-UK/139789272731?ref=ts
and also a blog –  http://gonepotty.blogspot.com/
I also show work in commercial galleries.

What does 2010 hold in store for you?
2009 was a great year for my business, and I hope to keep steadily growing throughout the next year too. I love doing what I do, and feel extremely privileged to be able to make a living this way. The run up to Christmas was so hectic with fulfilling orders that there was barely any time for making and I have really missed it. As a result, there are quite a few new ideas spinning around my mind that I cannot wait to get started on!

If you had a day free of any obligation, how would you spend it?
Doing what I do now, or on a beach somewhere hot with cold beer and good friends.

What is the most valuable thing you have learned within the past year?
You get out of life what you put in. I have seen people who have done wrong get back exactly the same, and I have seen positive people get positive results. Be positive and be kind, even when the going gets tough.

How would you like to be remembered by future generations?
I’m not sure that I really want to be remembered at all! One of the most wonderful things that has happened over the last year has been that people have commissioned me to make bowls to hold their wedding rings on their wedding days. It has been great to make objects that will serve as visual prompts for other people to remember special moments in their own lives.

Thank you Elizabeth for sharing a little more about yourself and your work!   Stop by and check out Elizabeth’s shop and her blog!

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greenHappy Friday!  I am quite pleased to introduce you to Kendra from GreenPost.  I stumbled across Kendra’s line of plantable gift tags (tags made with wildflower seeds), and I just had to share them and her with you!  Kendra’s line of eco paper is fun and earth friendly.  She makes her goods out of recycled junk mail, bills, receipts, as well as scraps from etsy seller Crafterall.  Kendra is also a painter – what talent!  You can check out her paintings  here.

What inspires you?
Trees. The natural world. Solitude. Color. Organization. Variety. Change.

Share with us a little about your creative process.
My creative process is dependent upon momentum. I find that all my ideas and future work develops from everything I do in the present moment. Thus, I allow myself to be fully present to my work and allow the future to show itself to me gradually through the natural course of things. Invention happens through awareness in the moment. Papermaking is very Zen to me; a meditation.
Also, I allow people to influence the work as I am trying to create something that is ultimately useful. I find that people are compelled to communicate with me about my paper, so I make myself available to their suggestions and enthusiasm. This work is for people and I appreciate that people want to participate in the process.

green9green8green10What do you find most challenging about your craft?
While papermaking is a simple craft, it is constant like a river. The entire process is continual and cyclical. Therefore, my greatest challenge is to remain disciplined and tend to my craft daily.

What do you find most rewarding about it?
I am rewarded by the many letters I receive from people who are excited by my work. The fact that so many people support my work makes me feel successful in creating something people need, can use and feel good using. People are my reward.

green7If you had an unlimited budget, what would you buy to further your craft?
I would love to buy a paper press and a printing press.

What is your most prized possession?
My husband is a Venetian-style Glassblower. So, my favorite possessions are all the beautiful sculptures, vases, drinking glasses that he has made. I am very fortunate to live with such beauty surrounding me each day!

Name a guilty pleasure… what do you do to treat yourself?

If money and time were not an issue, where would you travel and what would you do while you’re there?
I have always wanted to travel to Brazil. I want to float down the Amazon River and see the great Rain Forest and then end my trip in Rio de Janeiro and celebrate Carnivale.

green5What is the most valuable thing you have learned within the past year?
I have learned that MOST people care about the environment and are looking to buy well-designed Green products. It makes me feel very optimistic about the future of the planet, other people and my decision to start this business. This business began with a kernel of an idea, but taking action was the most important element. Everything else is sorting itself out.

How would you like to be remembered by future generations?
I would like to be remembered as someone who served the greater good and did so with passion and style!

Thank you Kendra for sharing a little about your craft and yourself!  It’s been a delight getting to know you!

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Allow me to introduce you to Crystal of Capow. Crystal is a graphic designer and a creator of many things whocurrently resides inf Albany, NY. In her shop, you’ll find photographs, hand-sewn clutches and tote bags, paintings, and more.  You can also find a few vintage items!

What inspires you?
I’m inspired by so much. There are so many great artists everywhere, and it seems like every time I click around Etsy I find so many more inspiring artists. I definitely find other people’s work lights a fire in me that makes me want to create my own.

Share with us a little about your creative process.
When it comes to photography, I try to carry my camera wherever I go and shoot any and everything that catches my eye. My paintings and photography are very closely connected. All of my paintings are based on photos that I have taken. As far as my sewing, I like to create beautiful unique items that are also useful in every day life. When I sew I usually layout my fabrics and pick some that I like together, then get started cutting the pattern.

il_430xN.88821600il_430xN.79593488il_430xN.86305790How did you get started in your craft?
When I was little my mom taught me how to sew and crochet, she enrolled me in 4-H where I sharpened my sewing skills and learned how to bake. I started with photography in high school, though I had always loved taking snapshots when younger. I learned how to work in a black and white darkroom, and later on moved to digital cameras and digital darkroom. I just recently started painting, I’ve only been painting for about 3 years, and it started because I wanted to make a painting of a photo I took of my dog.

il_430xN.71449680How did you come up with your shop name?
CAPow is derived from my first two initials (CA) and the first three letters of my last name (Pow). It is also the name of a slot machine that my boyfriend has won hundreds of dollars on :)

Do you have a “day job”? If so, what do you do?
I work a full time job and a part time job in addition to running my etsy shop. My full time job is in internet marketing, and my part time job is working as a groomers assistant at a dog grooming salon in a national chain store.

il_430xN.88164823Name a guilty pleasure… what do you do to treat yourself?

Gossip Girl. I am obsessed. It definitely feels like a guilty pleasure when I pop in the DVD and watch an episode.

If money and time were not an issue, where would you travel and what would you do while you’re there?
I love beaches, so I would like to travel to the world’s most beautiful beaches. All I would want to do while there is relax, lay on the beach, drink cocktails, and take a TON of photos.

What is the most valuable thing you have learned within the past year?

Persistence and self promotion will get you EVERYwhere! Tell people about what you’re doing, they will be interested and they will talk about it to other people in turn. Don’t get discouraged!

How would you like to be remembered by future generations?
I would like to be remembered for my photography and other art work. As long as one person appreciated and remebered my work, I would be very happy.


Thank you Crystal for giving us a little peak into your life and your craft!  You can find Crystal in her etsy shop, on her blog, and on her website!

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IMG_5792What a treat!  Today I am quite excited to introduce you to Laura Flavin, the artist behind Modern Bird!  I just adore Laura’s work!  Her nature-inspired jewelry is sweet and simple, and full of sentiment!   As a novice in metalsmithing, I am quite excited to hear from Laura, who seems to have quite a gift in this skill!

Laura was wonderful enough to be in the spotlight and share a little about her work and herself:

Your jewelry is just stunning! Where do you find your inspiration?
Thank you Kara for your wonderful compliment, it is my pleasure to share my thoughts and inspirations with you.

I find inspiration for my jewelry in many places.  When I first began metalsmithing, I drew from my love of mid-century modern design and art, accentuating simplicity in form and style.  As my work began to evolve I found that my surroundings had a big influence on my work and me.  I love infusing themes of nature in my jewelry.  Birds, butterflies, flowers, trees and leaves are my muse…..the way they fly, blossom, flow in the air, spread their wings and nest.  Nature’s inspiration is endless for me.

I work toward combining my love of modern design and my fascination with nature and my surroundings.  When I create jewelry I like to infuse meaning and energy into each piece.  For example, my Littlebird is a symbol of peace and each time one goes out to a new owner I imagine peace spreading throughout the world.  Some other themes I enjoy are love of nature, nesting, nurturing, family, best friends and personal growth.

IMG_5251IMG_5650IMG_6723Share with us a little about your creative process.
I work in my studio in Philadelphia; the space is in an old renovated textile factory. I surround myself with an array of hammers, files, pliers, dapping tools (for forming), helpful and inspiring books and vintage goodies.

Most of my designs start with a loose idea or simple drawing.  Then I begin working with the metal.  I cut out shapes with my jeweler’s handsaw; use techniques such as forming, forging and texturing. Most of my pieces include soldering to join silver together creating depth and dimension. As I work with the metal I sand and file any rough edges.  I enjoy the juxtaposition of bold design and sweetness, so I add patina to my jewelry along with semi-precious stones and sparkly crystals.


What do you find most challenging about your craft?
The biggest challenge for me is working alone.  I enjoy being around other people and interacting.

Therefore when I am working, I tune in to a good radio station or listen to a book on tape.

As often as possible I head out for coffee or lunch with a friend.

What do you find most rewarding about it?

Finishing a day’s work with a wonderful piece of jewelry that my two hands and mind created is very rewarding!!
Equally rewarding are the relationships I have made with the people who love my jewelry.  I enjoy packaging up a necklace and writing a note to the recipient in hopes that it will brighten up their day when it arrives on their doorstep.

IMG_1059I am just beginning to try my hand at metalsmithing.  Do you have any advice for someone new to this skill?
I do have some advice for those new to metalsmithing.  First, find out who the best metals instructor is in your area.  Take a workshop or class with him or her.  If there isn’t a good Art Center near you, think about traveling a little to get some hands on training if possible.  Next, I recommend getting a few good books on the subject. Tim McCreight’s books are a must for every jeweler; Joanna Gollberg and Susan Lenart Kazmer are both inspiring and wonderful.  Finally, work and practice as much as possible.  Jump in without being afraid to work with fire or make mistakes. As you spend the time working through your ideas they evolve into something you are very excited about and want to share with others.

What is your most prized possession?

This is a tough one…..Since my husband and I just packed our whole home and moved from Tampa to Philadelphia, I am a bit overwhelmed by stuff.  So, I have to say my health, family and friends.  I don’t own them…..but I do feel fortunate to have them!

IMG_6578Name a guilty pleasure… what do you do to treat yourself?

Should I tell??  Ok.
Cheese Doodles have been my guilty pleasure since I was a kid.
I like treating myself to decadent bath and beauty products from Haunt (www.haunt.etsy.com). The sugar scrubs, body glossing oils, soaps and lip glosses are fabulous, they make me feel special and smell lovely!

What is the most valuable thing you have learned within the past year?
This year I have learned to take chances. I have surprised myself by taking a leap into the unknown.  With an open mind, some planning and faith, big (life changing) change is possible.

How would you like to be remembered by future generations?

I would like to be remembered as someone who loved fully and accepted love from others fully.



Thank you Laura for sharing a little about your world at Modern Bird!  You can find Laura’s work here and here!

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get_convo_imageI just love getting a peak behind the scenes and into the lives of other artists!  This week, I am excited to introduce you to Carol Gilbert of yorktown road! Carol does some amazing things with fabric!  The texture and lines she uses in her designs are striking!

Carol was wonderful enough to be in the spotlight and share a little about her work and herself:

I just love your designs! Where do you find your inspiration?
everywhere. it’s usually something ugly, plain or often overlooked but somehow it will draw my attention and lead me to think about shape and form and color. my kids will often describe things in a manner that i would never consider which will lead me to look further at something. think about it differently, whatever “it” may be.

il_430xN.80735614il_430xN.80735544il_430xN.80740984Share with us a little about your creative process.
i’m very plain, simple and nondescript in many ways. we lead a very simple lifestyle here at yorktown road. our mid-century home is quite simple in structure and form. i wear the same basic thing every day. i have the same top in 4 neutral colors. i only have a few pieces of color in my entire wardrobe. most everything is grey, black, brown or dark blue. some think it is so funny that my work involves so much intense color. the truth is, i do love color, particularly when it is just an accent. I love to find ways to combine the simplest of forms with beautiful color and make them interesting without bringing in a lot of other elements, fabrications or hardware. i hand-dye my linens using fiber-reactive dyes and make many samples mixing and testing to come up with colors that i love. i will often sit with a piece of fabric for hours, folding it, twisting it, sewing it and studying how the color and movement of the design work together on the fabric. then i usually set it aside for weeks until i figure out how i want to work it into my collection.

il_430xN.53178927What do you find most challenging about your craft?
time. my business has really expanded this past year into some new, unexpected venues and there are several opportunities that have opened up to me that I would like to explore. however, i have 3 young children and they need to come first. i tend to work a few hours each morning and then many hours at night once the kids have settled. it’s amazing what i can accomplish between 10 pm and 3 am when there are no interruptions.

What do you find most rewarding about it?
i love what i do and it makes me happy. it allows me to express so much about me as a person, without having to use actual words.

You’ve been selling on etsy for a few years now. Do you have any advice for those who are newer to the etsy scene?
find your own voice, your own vision. don’t worry so much about what others are doing. let your work express who you are.

bagHow do you enjoy a day off?
sleep in. go to peet’s coffee. exercise. do something fun with my kids. whoop my husband at scrabble.

What four things could you never live without?
jackson, audrey, vivien and jeff. ok, they aren’t things, but they are my family and I can live without things as long as I have my family.

If money and time were not an issue, where would you travel and what would you do while you’re there?
the scandinavian region. i would love to explore the countries, their textiles, their landmarks and architecture. it’s something i have wanted to do for many years. plus, everyone i have met from that regions is so nice and down to earth.

What is the most valuable thing you have learned within the past year?
that you have to enjoy life. enjoy the little things that are present in your life every day.

How would you like to be remembered by future generations?
really, my only concern is that my kids remember me as someone who loved them greatly. that i was a strong vital person. although, i am sure they will only remember all the many crazy quirky things i do and say.il_430xN.79389763n40048936447_1578379_519045pillow

Thank you Carol for opening up and giving us a little glimpse into your world at yorktown road!  You can find Carol’s work here and here!

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