Saturday, May 30, 2009

West Coast Crafters #10

Happy Weekend! Hurray! My husband and I plan to do a little window shopping and maybe see a movie today. For two over-39 (hubby is 40) people, we sure see a lot of Pixar movies! We love them.

I'm not a gardener (my husband has a degree in horticulture so he gets those chores) but my latest HandMade News column is about killing weeds without pesticides. Read it here.

Don't forget to visit the
Crazy Train, featuring TheBroomCloset. Paula has a wide variety of destashes in this shop. One less now, because I bought them! Paula is also the creator of the Crazy Train. (Bows to the Crazy Train Master.) She and the original secretary then abdigated all responsiblity to LaDeDaCreations, who is doing a wonderful job of keeping us in line.

Today's West Coast Crafters are:
Thechainmaillelady Chain maille jewelry Theskinyourein Handmade bath and body products

Here is a link to our West Coast Crafters guild

Thechainmaillelady says, "
I make gorgeous chainmaille jewelry! I have been weaving teeny tiny jump rings for over 4 years.

"My passion is working with sterling silver however, knowing that not everyone can afford sterling silver I have also created chainmaille using other mediums. I believe everyone should own at least one piece of chainmaille!"

I bought a version of this for my daughter-in-law:

"I would love to hear from you about my designs and quality so I can keep up to date."

"Listen To Me Every Tuesday 7PM EST On BlockHead Radio. Just Click On The Banner"

There is a BlockHead Radio widget on the right.


Theskinyourein says, "I am a wife, mom, grandma and step-mom and I love my job! I've been making bath and body products for the past six years and I'm blessed to have this profession as my full time job. This business was born out of my own battle with eczema and severely dry skin. After a few years of formulating and testing, I can say that my eczema is now under control and I am my best advertising tool.

"I love what I do and I hope you will too!"

Don't forget to visit their studios and leave messages for them as comments on this blog. Each month a random commenter receives a free pair of earrings or sterling plated bracelet (their choice).

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

West Coast Crafters #9

Number 9...number 9....number 9... Ok, sorry. I'm a long-time Beatles fan.

Happy Sneakers Tuesday, folks! My husband and I had a great holiday with his mother, brother and wife and girls, and family friends. We were out of town, and it was great to see the clear sky stars and gorgeous lake in the mountain valley. We saw brother-in-law's family cabin, which is new and ready for rental over the summer. I'm glad it wasn't rented while we were there so we could play with the babies!, I mean, see Mom-in-law, Brother-in-law, Sister-in-law, and friends. I hope your holiday wasn't spent in grief but in celebration of the freedom the sacrifices of our military have bought.

Don't forget to visit the
Crazy Train, featuring Angelas_Adornments. Angela has played with the new studio options that ArtFire has provided us and I think you will agree they are awesome!

Today's West Coast Crafters are:
QuirkynBerkeley Greeting cards
Sewstitchedup embroidery designs on fabric squares, (SewStitchedUp appears to be on vacation, so we will visit with her later)
TantalizingStitches Craft supply

Here is a link to our West Coast Crafters guild

As a San Francisco Bay Area resident, I'm a little amused that anyone in Berkeley need identify oneself as quirky but I can tell you that if you browse this studio you will find many fun and simply beautiful items. Quirky does greeting cards, and the teeny tiny envelopes are clearly quirky, but cute, and the great day card pictured is clearly beautiful, so you need not be eccentric to visit this studio.

The artisan says, "Love paper. Love color. Love Berkeley.

"Beyond that, my style is eclectic and I love to experiment. I get completely absorbed in engineering my varied creations for hours. Each one is a new and unique production, made of treasures from my collection of paper and ephemera, transfigured into a single piece held together by a little glue, a lot of ideas, practice and work, and most of all, a great amount of joy. Everything is made in a smoke free environment."


TantalizingStitches is a neighbor: we live in the same town.

The artisan's bio reads, "I opened up my supply shop after my craft room became overwhelmed with supplies! So now, you too, can enjoy my excess craft room supplies. (All items are new and have never been used!)

"I am a avid supporter of animals and for that reason I send 5% of all sales to PAWS-Saipan, an animal welfare organization on Saipan, an island in the Northern Mariana Islands of Micronesia, where I lived for two years. I started selling my craft when I lived there so it was only fit to dedicate part of my store to those wonderful animals."

Two great artisans who are practically neighbors!

Don't forget to visit their studios and leave messages for them as comments on this blog. Each month a random commenter receives a free pair of earrings or sterling plated bracelet (their choice).

I'm also going to go out on a limb and offer the pick of any AlisunsToo item or Alisuns item under $25 and under to the first person to reply to this blog with the basic grammatical error (excluding punctuation) in my latest HandMade News column in the Green Wise section. Here is a link.

Enjoy your Sneakers' Tuesday and be sure to visit the .ning site or the ArtFire Forum to discover the identity of this week's unsub!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

West Coast Crafters #8

Happy Saturday, folks! We have a Spare the Air day here because temps are expected to hit triple digits. I think I'll stay in :)

Don't forget to visit the Crazy Train, featuring Creative Haven

Today's West Coast Crafters are:

MzzThang unique and one-of-a-kind handcrafted jewelry
Papierlune Unique, upcycled, mixed media fun

Here is MzzThang in her own words:
My designs and inspiration comes from many things - Listening to a really good song, stories my kids tell me, a drive along the coast, the smile on someones face, etc.

I host several fund raising events to benefit the Lupus Foundation of America -- from bowling and darts tournaments to the proceeds from the sales of every 50th piece of jewelry that I create. Please check my jewelry listings for the word "DONATION" in the heading. 100% of the proceeds from the sales of these pieces will be donated to the Lupus Foundation of America (

You can also view additional jewelry in our online store by visiting:

Fo-Shizzle Design Studios"

About her studio:"From whimsical to elegant and chic, the Fo-Shizzle Design Studios has it all. We offer unique and one-of-a-kind handcrafted jewelry, using quality materials and excellent craftsmanship.

Don't see quite what you're looking for? Simply call or e-mail us. We'll be happy to custom design a piece tailored to your liking."


From Papierlune: "Welcome to Papier Lune!! Unique, upcycled, mixed media fun is what it is all about here. Kick off your shoes and come on in."

"My name is Sarah and I am mixed media artist that resides and creates up here on beautiful Whidbey Island, Washington. "

This is an upcycled olive oil tin light.

Stop back here and drop a comment for them and you will be entered into my random May Giveaway: a set of earrings or custom-length bracelet.

Have fun today!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

West Coast Crafters #7

Life happens. I missed everyone while I was busy with it.
Happy Thursday, everyone! This week's unsub was jennuinecandles.
Don't forget to visit the
Crazy Train, featuring today.

Today's West Coast Crafters are:

Marysrosegarden rosary bracelets
Morumoto Guinea pig plushies from original design

Here is a link to our West Coast Crafters guild

Marysrosegarden does beautiful rosaries, rosary bracelets, key chains, and car rosaries. She does custom work, so ask her for what you've always wanted in a rosary.

Her studio intro is:"
Specializing in handmade sterling silver and semi-precious gemstone wire-wrapped rosaries and rosary bracelets. Car rosaries and key chains are also available in silver plate and Czech fire-polished beads.

Custom orders are always welcome!"

Her bio reads, "My son gave me my first rosary bracelet. He purchased a little pewter bracelet, using his lawn mowing earnings. I was delighted with his gift and wore the bracelet until it fell apart. I found wearing a symbol and reminder of my faith very comforting. I needed to replace my original bracelet and wanted a bracelet that was more like a piece of jewelry. I was also looking for something more strongly made to withstand daily use. I found many beautiful bracelets, but the cost was out of my price range. That's when I decided to make my own. I have gotten so much pleasure from making and wearing these rosary bracelets, that I decided to share them with others. My goal is to spread the power of the Rosary by making a quality bracelet, using the best materials and selling for an affordable price."


Morumoto is a fun studio selling plushies. The intro reads, "I love small animals. I know there are many of you out there who do too. My goal is to create life-like plush representations of our favorite critters. I only use faux fur, never real. I also make custom plushies, you can visit my gallery here to see all of my work:"

And the bio is, "Hi everyone! I'm Morumoto (Japanese for "guinea pig", in case anyone was curious). I've been drawing ever since I could remember and learned to sew at a young age. Creativity is something I cherish, and I just don't feel right if I'm not working on some sort of artistic or crafty endeavor.

Although I picked up the needle and thread when I was young, making plushies is something I began doing somewhat recently. It began with my fondness for guinea pigs; simply put, I've only ever found so few cavy items such as figurines and plushies that I decided to make some of my own. I craft my plush critters carefully by hand, creating a life-like portrayal that captures the feel as well as the appearance of my subjects. My crafting endeavors have already turned towards other rodents, such as mice, rats, hamsters, and and I won't be satisfied until I have made a plushie of most if not all rodents. I'm constantly searching for more materials and ideas."

Amazing little guys aren't they? I hope you enjoyed your stroll through our West Coast Crafters' studios today. Be sure to visit them and see what else they have to offer you.

Stop back here and drop a comment for them and you will be entered into my random May Giveaway: a set of earrings or custom-length bracelet.

Have fun today!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

West Coast Crafters #6

Happy Sneaker Tuesday, everyone! Today's unsub is Pelecypods2
Don't forget to visit the
Crazy Train, featuring JewelrybyJanzia today.

Today's West Coast Crafters are:

LaBellaVive jewelry, scarflets
LampworkbyAmy Lampwork glass pendants and bookmarks

Here is a link to our West Coast Crafters guild

One of these studios is new to me, so let's go explore LaBellaVive first:

The studio intro is, "~FREE Shipping!!~

Thank you so much for stopping by my Artfire Shop!
I'm posting new items and will post more - please check back often.
LaBellaVive is handmade - mostly jewelry.

There is beauty everywhere and all my pieces are about trying to capture some that.

I hope you find something of interest and Thank You so much for your support!

As revenues begin to pick up I will be donating a portion of the profits to an Auto-Immune (research) foundation."

The bio states, "I've been making and designing jewelry for about 10 years now. I've just started putting my newest pieces up for sale and look forward to this new venture.

I see beauty everywhere and hope to capture this inspriation in the pieces I make. ~ A great feature here on ArtFire is the allowance to tell the story behind the art work.
Each and every set is unique with its own personality and style. What will it say for you?

Thank you for your interest!"


LampworkbyAmy says: " am a lampwork artist from Victoria, BC. I make glass beads and other glass creations out of art glass (mostly Italian), on a special table top torch. I do all of my work by hand. Each bead is kiln-annealed in a digitally controlled kiln straight out of the torch (I don't batch anneal), carefully cleaned, and inspected for flaws.

"I take my photos in a light-box with a digital camera. I don't have a professional photo set-up, but I do my best to make the colours look accurate, and to show the beads as well as I possibly can.

"I am a self-representing artist. This means that my beads are always hand-made by me.

Why buy from a self-representing artist? Here is a blurb from the SRA Website:

'We are a group of glass artists who are dedicated to the art of lampworking, an ancient art form that flourished in Italy in the 1300s and then spread throughout Europe, the Americas and the rest of the world.

'We work at home in our own studios, making beads, marbles or other glass objects one at a time. Patiently and carefully we strive for perfection in every object that we make. We are from the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Israel, Germany... all over the world!'

Beadmaking is a treasured hobby in my life. It is a source of relaxation as well as artistic expression. "

I hope you enjoy strolling through their shops today. Stop back here and drop a comment for them and you will be entered into my random May Giveaway: a set of earrings or custom-length bracelet.

Have fun today!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Good Sunday, everyone! Don't forget to visit the Crazy Train, featuring JanelsonArts today.

I want to say Happy Birthday to all the May babies. How lucky you are to be born with Emeralds as your birthstone (my 3d favorite stone, edged out by sapphires because it's so soft).

Today's West Coast Crafters are:

GreenMeanies photos, felt and other jewelry and housewares
KelliCraftStudio Greeting cards and jewelry

Here is a link to our West Coast Crafters guild

Katie says of the studio, "
Hi! I'm Katie, and this is my humble little ArtFire studio.
I've always loved making things, and over the years I've learned a little bit about a LOT of art forms.
The variety of items in my shop is sure evidence of that!
Thanks SO much for stopping by. ENJOY!!!
Don't forget... I'll cover the shipping on just about every item here!

And of herself, "Hello! I'm Katie. I'm a 20-something California girl enjoying this little life I've created for myself.

"I’m a life-long crafter born from a long line of other life-long crafters.

I’m a firm believer that there are no mistakes in art… or in life for that matter! Everything happens for a reason, you just have to be willing to find it, and make the most of it.

My all-time favorite color is green. I love to drink Diet Pepsi from the can through a straw. I also love Kyle, Mixie, and Dottie.

I’m the friendliest Meanie you’ll ever meet! Drop me a line if you have any questions about my shop, have an idea for a custom item, or just want to say hi!
................................................. "


Kelli says, "Welcome to my little corner of the crafting world!

"My name is Kelli. When you care to give the very best, why not give a handcrafted paper gem to send that special message or a lovely, handcrafted piece of original design jewelry. All of my items are made with quality materials. I have created jewelry that can be spotted on women of all walks of life: secretary of a NYC CFO, teachers, stay at home mothers, librarians, directors of education, grandmothers, and college students.

Free envelopes are included with all cards.
Free gift packaging are included with all jewelry.

Thank you for looking at my shop!"

About herself, Kelli says, "Kelli Craft Studio began as a hobby. For over 30 years, I have been crafting items for family and friends. I began with crocheted clothes, dolls, and blankets. Later, I extended my interests to rubber stamping and paper crafts. Finally, I began to create jewelry through beading and wire work. During these 30 years, these crafting interests have merged to create unique items.

"After 30 years, I have decided to open my craft studio to the handmade market. Kelli Craft Studio is where art meets quality. Every item is made with care and attention to detail and uniqueness. Jewelry is made to order so there should never be a problem with sizing. Cards are made with quality card stock and embellishments. "

I hope you enjoy strolling through their shops today. Stop back here and drop a comment for them and you will be entered into my random May Giveaway: a set of earrings or custom-length bracelet.

Have fun today!

Friday, May 1, 2009

West Coast Crafters #5

LaDeDaCreations is on the Crazy Train today. If you want a fun stroll through a studio, hers is the one! Not for the timid, by any means.

Congratulations to MeaCulpaBodyandBath who won my Blog Giveaway for April. Not too late, I have another for May! Just visit the blogged shops this month and leave a comment for the artisan on my blog regarding their work. Artisans like to hear what you liked best, so that's a good place to start.

ArtFire Sneakers had a lot of fun ambushing DontKnowPub. What was even better, Linda of the duo walked in as we were mid-ambush!

Today's West Coast Crafters are GemKitty75 and Goldenrod. Let's take a peek at their studios:

GemKitty is someone I know from the forums. She has gorgeous jewelry.

About her studio she says, "Unique, non-mass produced jewelry that is as special as you are! My personal touch and craftsmanship are combined with all of the beauty that Mother Earth provides us with. I use only quality beading wire and findings to ensure that the piece will last for years. Whenever possible, I support products produced in the USA (TierraCast findings, Soft Flex beading wire). Please browse and enjoy the scenery!! Thank you for viewing and/or selecting my jewelry pieces."

Of herself, "My love of gemstones began a few years ago. I started collecting, learning and growing to love the absolute beauty mother earth creates. About 2 years ago I ventured into making my own jewelry. The name GemKitty actually came from one of my cats, Munchie. Munchie loves the beads as much as I do and you can often find him nosing around my beading supplies and pulling at the beads. Mother of 1, Grandmother of 2 my family are my heart and soul. I love being able to share the pieces I make with my friends and family. Please browse my shop and send me comments even if you do not purchase. I love to hear what people think!!"


Goldenrod is a new studio to me. Let's go see:

Of the studio, Goldenrod says, "Whether it's fancy or funky, we strive to create beautiful high quality pieces that you will be proud to wear.
Try something out; you'll be glad you did! "

Of Goldenrod, "My mother and I have been making and selling jewelry together for several years now. It is just another way that she has been passing her creativity and love for fashion down to me."

So let's explore the studios of our guild members by visiting their shop and letting them know what's best about it.

Remember to note here what you found the most extraordinary so that you might win the earrings or bracelet (gentlemen, I have one for you as earrings though. I haven't bought stud findings yet.).

I hope you enjoy today. Have fun!