Saturday, June 30, 2007

Featured Artist - Ashley White Jacobsen

This week we take a trip to the Etsy shop of Ashley White Jacobsen. What a treat!

The world through Ashley's eyes is full of charming owls, birds, bunnies, cats, dogs, squirrels and other animals, poppies, sunflowers, trees and more. She offers fabulous original paintings and prints, and she'll even paint your child or pet upon request.

Here are some personal words from Ashley herself:

How did you first get started with painting/drawing?

My mom always encouraged my brothers and me to follow our hearts and tried to introduce us early to art. She claims to have put a crayon in my hand at six months and I drew a picture. Though, I would say the first time I actually thought of myself as an artist was in 8th grade.

Your education?

I attended art classes and programs through grade school and high school. I apprenticed and interned for artists/teachers after high school. I attended East Carolina University where I received a degree in painting and a degree in psychology (people are my other love).

What else do you do besides paint?

I mostly spend my life behind a computer, now working for Etsy [Ashley is a new employee, as a Community Advocate] that will be even more of my life and I am happy to do it, But when I am not doing computer stuff or painting, I spend time with my husband, pets, friends and family - sometimes all at once!! My family lives in Asheville, NC.

Anything else about yourself?
-I love any excuse to laugh or be silly. I like to imagine characters and magical worlds of other creatures. My brother, Michael and I like to randomly take on different accents and become these characters - it's crazy fun to do in public.
-I like to make up nonsense songs.
-Escaping into movies is wonderful, and I have recently found that I have missed out on too many adventures in the world of books and I need to catch up :)
- I love visiting random places...random road trips...traveling down roads that you have never seen before and have no idea where they lead.
-Trees.. oh the love of trees!!
-Collecting art and anything cute.
-Taking photographs
much more.. but you get the point :)

Ashley's work is for sale here.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Monthly Challenge - Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy

Stop by our website, to see the winner of the Monthly Challenge and interviews with the members who talk about what inspires them to create.

Pictured is my entry - a self portrait with my buddy Einstein, "Love Me Love My Cat." This one has sold, but if you'd like one for yourself or need a gift for a cat lover, I'd be happy to make you one.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Featured Artist - Marmee Craft

For the most delightful read I've found so far in a blog, visit the cozy little whimsy nook of Marmee Craft.

Everything is Alright, Print

I just love these owls! They are found in Marmee Craft's Etsy shop, along with this adorable felted hedgehog. I just want to squeeze him!

A look through Marjorie's shop shows an amazing range of talent ... with original paintings and prints, needle felted creations, dolls, stuffed creatures, sculptural whimsies, pendants and card sets.

Each one tells a story and I think could easily have a children's book written about it!

I was tickled to spot this cat! For the kitty lover, here's
Miss Kitty Cabinet
who loves to wear polka dots.

She also has intriguing "people" paintings, like this one at right, La Fleur print ("He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me!" )

and this one below called Nesting. "All the birds know the best nests are taken from Lily's hair."

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Necklace I made last night

A friend I work with gave me some pretty yellow and blue beads for my birthday, temporarily strung on a ribbon, and told me, "You can do whatever you want with them."

Last night I made a blue polymer clay pendant with a small yellow dichroic cab made by Lis Kidder of Etsy in the center, and added some other beads I had.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Featured Artist: Treasurefield

To me, the most fascinating thing about polymer clay is its endless possibilities, and I love seeing what other people come up with.

I'm a member of the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy (PCAGOE) and we all share photos of our work on Flickr.

I kept seeing the cutest little birds with dangly legs!

I checked out the artist and found out she's the very talented etsy seller Treasurefield. Whenever I take a look around her shop, I find lots to make me smile! The first bird pictured here is called Miss Tangerine Longlegs and the second is Lillie Longlegs. There are more birds...

...and this delightful Frog Prince Pin...

...and then there's all kinds of jewelry that makes me ooo and ahh, like this bright Chartreuse and Brown Wafer Pendant Choker and this gorgeous Blue Raspberry Chunky Tile Bracelet.

If that weren't enough talent, she also makes amazing things out of paper. Her paper products encompass a wide range of items like ACEOs, journals, bookmarks, shadowboxes, collages and wall hangings.

Take a look at Treasurefield's etsy shop and I promise you'll smile and ooo and ahh too. For more creations and musings, visit her blog!

P.S. Thanks to Treasurefield for featuring me recently on her blog: She's So Artsy!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Why people enjoy making things

There was a thread on the Etsy forum this week called "Besides making money, what does Etsy do for you?"

People said they enjoy making things by hand because:
*it's relaxing,
*a way to relieve stress,
*productive and gives a feeling of accomplishment,
*a way to express one's individuality,
*it gives a sense of peace and contentment,
*a sense of being a child again and able to play,
*a sense of adventure,
*it adds joy to one's life,
*offers a challenge to come up with new ideas,
*gives balance,
*is intellectually stimulating,
*uplifting when dealing with depression or hard times in life,
*keeps mind off unpleasant things,
*allows me to breathe and gives me something to look forward to,
*keeps me from being bored.

It was fun to read everyone else's ideas and to give this some thought for my own response. Here's what I said.

"I grew up with an artistic mom who owned a craft and knitting shop, and cousins who were also artistic, and we were always making every new type of craft that came along, so I'm sure the NEED to create is in my genes.

I bounced from one medium to another till I found clay 10 years ago and am amazed that I've stuck to one thing that long, but there are always new techniques to learn and new colors to blend and new ideas of things to make. It's been extremely fulfilling to see my abilities grow and improve through the years.

I've spent my whole life making gifts but it's been a whole new fulfilling experience to have people want to BUY what I make. Selling at craft shows and online has given me the opportunity to share what I love to do with folks all over the world!

Another benefit has been overcoming my shyness and learning how to promote in person, and then online. I've always loved graphic design and photography, and am having a blast with my Etsy shop and now a blog...making everything look pretty and improving as I go along."

Friday, June 08, 2007

Featured Artist: Blockpartypress

Full Potential Pendant

Meet Tamara Shea of, a creative polymer clay artist whose inspiration comes from colors, texture, contrast and nature. As I've looked through her etsy shop, I've enjoyed the bright colors, bold textures, huge variety (over 100 items to choose from!), and creative names like "State of Grace Pendant," "The Ants Go Marching Earrings," "Jungle Fever Ring," and "I See the Moon in the Tropics ACEO."

Tamara is a SAHM to 2 boys (7 & 4), living in Maryland, with her focus mainly on wearable art, accessories and ACEOs. She explains, "I utilize hand-carved stamps to create texture in polymer clay, and then I use paint to add color and distress them to further bring out the texture."

"This pendant is called The Journey Begins and is a dandelion seed beginning its journey to find fertile ground and start a new life. The carving was pretty simple, just a few lines and I tried to keep it as true to form as I could.

"The finishing is what makes it interesting. I used several shades of brown and green and layered them, then distressed them and finally added some copper over the top to add a metallic sheen.

"I would love to see this pendant given as a gift to a new graduate, a new mom or someone starting a new job, to commemorate the beginning of their journey. Where would you go if you were that seed with all the possibilities ahead of you? I think we should consider each day a journey and embrace the feeling of the infinite possibilities of the little dandelion seed."

A Charmed Life

Tamara created this stunning piece for the Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy monthly challenge.

Tamara asks, "Have you ever wondered about the lives of trees?"

"As a seed you get to fly through the air, once you find the perfect piece of real estate (no closing costs) you set down your roots and start your upward climb. You get to sleep through the winter and wake to spring where you can show off your new spring colors. Your friends are birds, squirrels, butterflies and bees. A charmed life indeed."

Tamara says she loves to recycle boxes into shadow boxes (which has to do with saving trees) and wanted the tree to be coming out of the box portion of the shadow box with its roots and branches reaching out. She added the charms to represent the creatures that live in the trees as well as the leaves and blossoms. The charms are twofold: they are in fact charms which is clever with the title of the piece, and each one represents something special to the tree.

She goes on to explain, "Vintage sheet music in the background represents the sweet music of the birds that the trees wake to each morning and since the tree lives a charmed life, the sky is blue and the grass is forever green.

"A second meaning to this piece is about gratitude. As with most people, I tend to forget all the blessings that I have in life and only focus on the things that go wrong. A tree doesn't do this. It keeps reaching toward the sky no matter what happens to it. Have you ever seen trees who are curled or bent because of a strangling vine or another obstruction? They persevere despite the setbacks and obstacles. So the tree is a reminder that no matter what our struggles, we too live a charmed life."

Tamara says, "I love the way the piece turned out and I won't be adding it my Etsy shop. It will have a home in my kitchen where I can see it everyday and be reminded that I too live a charmed life."

See more of Tamara's art on her blog and in her etsy shop

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

All About Cats

One of the most fun things on is the Treasury where individual member can create a list with 12 items of their choice, and a lucky few are chosen for the home page. One of my lists was chosen once!

This week Etsy's been testing a new, improved version of the Treasury, and I was lucky enough to get to make one which I called "meowie cazowie." The Treasury concept is to promote other sellers, and have fun with a certain theme, or color, or simply a conglomeration of your favorites.

People can post comments and click on the items and buy them if they wish. The Treasury lists are rated by "hotness" which equals highest number of views, clicks on items, and comments.

Multi-generational bonding

I visited my grandkids over the weekend, and we always play with clay together. I love seeing their imaginations at work!

My grandson Stewart who's 10 made this nifty little pot for me. I've put it on my desk at work. It makes me smile every time I look at it.

Monday, June 04, 2007

I'm in a Treasury!

Carol Morris chose my watermelon pin to be in her Picnic Treasury on Etsy!

Her Etsy shop is
She was recently my featured Etsy seller (see post below).