Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Weekly BESTeam Feature

moonanglenay




I wish I had a photographer's eye. But I don't.  I really appreciate how those that have this sense can capture images that absolutely stir ones soul. This weeks feature is on moonangelnay, a very talented artist, digital artist and photographer.

Look at the way she captures the image in the archival print "Beyond Boundaries." It just beckons us to look beyond the gate and wonder what lies thru the door. I love images of door and gates, I don't know why, but they always fascinate me.

But is just isn't prints that you will find in her shop, Naomi also sells collage sheets such as the Bamboo Tile Collage Sheet Urban Nature Abstract . If you are into making your own pendants, or using these in other ways, you should check out the series of collage sheets she has! Don't want to make your own pendant? Moonangelnay has ready made options for you, such as this one called "Twilight Rose."


One of the things you have to check out is her blog. She has pages of great photography tips. I've bookmarked her Product Photography 101 tutorials. They are some of the most comprehensive, well written and easy to follow tutorials I have seen. You owe it to yourself, and your products, to check out these tutorials!

You can also follow her on Twitter: http://twitter.com/moonangelnay

Have a wonderful week.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Ashtabula Beach Glass Festival



I'll be off the the Beach Glass Festival in Ashtabula, Ohio this weekend. I'm just going as a visitor this year and I hope to meet several other beach glass collectors and artisans at the festival! I found out about the festival from the sea glass collectors group that I belong to: Sea Glass Artists & Sea Glass Collectors‏. I've found lots of useful information on our groups site. There are many groups, from  Sea Glass Jewelery 101 to local area groups that you can join.

If you're going to be at the festival leave me a comment-I'd love to meet up with others at the festival!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Weekly BESTeam Feature

mysticwynd

"An awareness of peace and love rose anew, As the spirit found truth and the Mystic Wynd blew..."

And so goes the creations of this weeks featured team member mysticwynd. Peaceful and lovely would be just a few of the words I would use to describe her jewelry.  Karens work just has a great appeal to me.



I picked just a few examples of her work that really caught my eye. The first piece, Tidal Pool Necklace in Blues and Greens, is a breath taking collection of  blue, green, and white lampwork, foil glass, and luster glass beads with cultured freshwater pearls across a length of silver chain. The design is finished off with a matching blue-green acrylic go-go pendant adorned with cute seahorse and starfish charms, as well as seashells and a cultured freshwater pearl tangled in a mass of fine silver wire coils.
 
Another piece that caught my eye was the Paua Shell Business Card or Money Clip, I really like paua shell jewelry, I think I hearted this piece for me! Keeping with the ocean theme, my eye caught this fabulous Aqua Shell and Silver Fish Charm Jewelry Set. Perfect for a fishprincess!
 
But it isn't just beachy themed items she has in her shop, just check out the Spirit of the Sonoran Brass Copper Necklace. Clean modern lines in this necklace would make it a perfect accessory.
 
Here are some of the places you can follow her shop:
Blog: http://www.mysticwynd.blogspot.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mysticwynd
and become a facebook fan at: http://www.facebook.com/MysticWynd

I hope you are enjoying my team members features. If you have taken the time to read them, I'd appreciate a comment from you! Tell me what you have found.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Weekly BESTeam Feature


CROCHETIZE

Sometimes it's as easy as black and white, or is it?

Look at the workmanship in these gloves. Now, I like to crochet simple things for myself, but I don't have nearly the skill that it takes to make something as beautiful as these gloves. Can you imagine a bride wearing the white ones or as I was looking at them, wouldn't they make a stathement peeking out from under the jacket of your business suit? Wow.

All the way from Lithuania, crochetize does hypnotize us with the beauty of her work.  Although the numbers of items in her shop are small, I think you should check it out. She would be happy to do custom orders! She is also trade friendly!

You can follow her at flickr and twitter as crochetize and be sure to check out her blog at http://www.blogspot.crochetize.com/.

Happy looking!

And Greetings to all from Cape May, New Jersey. We've been on the road and the beach was beautiful!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Weekly BESTeam feature

Gilliauna

Bits n Beads is an online store ran by Gilliauna that specializes in unique bead and gemstone jewelry and accessories from necklaces and chokers to earrings and bracelets, charms, lanyards, eyeglass chains and more. With 250 items for sale it was hard for me to limit myself to just a few items to feature!

 Whether you're shopping for a shimmering champagne key chain charm, a special rosary,  a fresh charm bracelet,  a handmade mother of pearl and coral bracelet, you can't go wrong checking out all the bits and beads of Gilliauna.

And, if one shop isn't enough-then check out her destash shop BitsnBeads.

 It's full of all sorts of bits of treasures-maybe just something you might need for a project!

You also want to check out her two wonderful blogs:
http://www.handmadeshoppingguide.com
and

http://www.colorfulartisanjewelry.com/

There's some much to find here-be sure to take a look and leave me a comment about what you find!

 

Sunday, June 6, 2010

My Sea/Beach Glass collecting trip to the Lake Erie Shore

I've always loved the water. Growing up  and living in Michigan means that you're never more than about  an hour from one of the Great Lakes. I can remember combing the beaches for all sorts of treasures-but it wasn't until I was an adult that I first found a piece of beach glass. I had collected a few jars full-and then used them to line a fish tank. But I never thought to use them in jewelry until recently. Now I've become almost obsessed with finding these jewels.

After a bit of research, I decided to set off to Ohio, on the the southern shores of Lake Erie near Cleveland to look for some glass. I found another collector who offered a collecting trip and off I went! A three hour trip from my home I set off at 3 am to go on my venture. I met up with out host Jen Morrow and three others and off we went!

We hit a couple of great beaches  near Cleveland and this is some of what I found:

I was really excited about my collecting trip...after only about 5 minutes I found this rare treasure:
I was really happy to find this marble!

When I sorted through my pieces of glass I found these pieces of patterned  glass:
 You have to look closely-but those pieces in the center have patterns! I also found a few pieces of pottery:
Not too bad for a few hours of searching. Now I can't wait to go back. Here's one of the pieces that I turned into a  wire wrapped pendant:

The trip was wonderful, the new friends I met were great. If you're ever in the Cleveland area I highly recommend  looking up GenuineBeachGlass.com.
Jen and her husband Don are talented artisans whose work is certainly worth taking a look at.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

LotusMira




I'm a little late posting my weekly team feature-but I think this shop is worth the wait. LotusMiraGe Ephemera has an electic mix of items featuring  vintage imagery, found items, and ephemera. She thinks there is a lot of value both in the artistic chaos of collage, as well as in the simple beauty of something classic.

I find her two sided pendants and bracelets fascinating. I love the imagery.

One of the things many artisans struggle with is placing a value on their work. While wanting to be affordable, we often undervalue our work. I like the piece that she has about this in her shop profile:

As Mary Ann Williams writes:


"I believe that many artists don't put a high enough value on what they do. Many work for pennies. Some do it 'just to earn enough to buy more supplies.' Unfortunately, in doing so, they are educating the public not to appreciate what they do, or at least not the time they have spent on it.

"We have educated the public in thinking that most artists are hobbyists and this is something 'extra' that they do to earn a few bucks. I have seen some beautiful work done by excellent craftsmen and have heard the buying public say 'can you believe what they want for that????' Most times, the prices compared to the hours spent have meant the artist is working for less than minimum wage. Many talented artists are discouraged from continuing their craft because they can't make a living at it and we are thus deprived of the beauty they could create and we could enjoy. Many people think nothing of spending $100 on a dinner out but wouldn't spend $100 on a piece of art that they could have forever. It's because they don't value it the same. It's not because they can't afford it."

http://www.thebeads.com/articles/pricing.phtml
 
How often have you felt that you have to price your items "cheaply" to sell them. Pricing should take into account your supplies, overhead-things like utilities, rent, insurance, advertising as well as wages and a fair profit for yourself.
 
I am slowly raising my prices, realizing that I have not been taking all this into account. When potential customers come into your shop, what perception do they have? Are you an artisan that values your own work?
 
Thanks LotusMira, for reminding us about this.
 
To find out more about LotusMira:
http://LotusMira.blogspot.com/

http://twitter.com/LotusMira
http://www.lotusmira.com/

... and search for "Lotus MiraGe Ephemera" on Facebook!
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