Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
As posted on our HL Portal, Merry says, "We now have a Facebook group page for Handmade Louisiana. The link is http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=162110471799. Come and join us. It is an additional way to keep informed and support our members. The group is 'closed' so we don't have trolls who join, but are not interested in the common good of our group. All Handmade Louisiana members will be accepted as well as any new members who wish to join our group."
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
I’m pleased to introduce Suzanne, artist/owner of Art on the Half-Shell. She has two unique lines of home accessories. First is A Dozen Oysters on the Half Shell, featuring beautifully, hand-crafted wall clocks featuring a dozen oyster shells, set like the hours, around a unique collection of dinner plates and platters. Each creation is accented with sea glass in rich hues of sapphire, emerald, ruby and gold.
Suzanne’s second is She Sells Seashells by the Seashore. Inspired by collecting shells on the beach, her wall clocks feature an oyster shell with a real pearl at the 12 o’clock hour and assorted seashells, set like the hours, around the plate rim. Smaller seashells line plate bottom like minutes.
Suzanne has been creating all her life, but says, “My work has changed over the years as one’s life changes. Originally I dabbled in fine arts, then hand-painted jewelry, frames and mirror frames. After I started a family, I began doing custom painted table and chair sets, stepstools and rocking chairs for children.”
Suzanne enjoys working with her hands whether it’s creating jewelry, painting or, she adds, “re-tiling the master bathroom in a travertine mosaic I designed and installed myself!”
When asked which is her favorite piece, she says, “Oh, that’s a hard one. I have many. One of my favorite pieces is the clock that looks like a dozen oysters on the half-shell served up on a bed of crushed ice. I’ve done a few pieces like this, but my favorite is a clock made from an over sized round platter, lined with quartz white sea glass and a hint of pale coral colored sea glass. The oyster shells are set like the hours around the platter. You can almost taste the cool salty oysters when you check the time!”
So just how did Suzanne start creating wall clocks? She explains:
“One cold evening last fall, my two daughters and I were throwing a tennis ball inside the house for our puppy. I left the room for just a moment and then heard a crash and breaking glass. Thinking the ball had hit the window, I ran into the kitchen to find my girls in tears and my FAVORITE oyster shell kitchen clock shatter I'd had the clock for almost 20 years. The old white plate and dusty oyster shells were in pieces scattered across the kitchen counter and the floor.
No one was hurt though so I said ‘Girls, we'll just have to find a new clock. No more tears.’ Well a few weeks later, we still had not been able to find a replacement, so I decided to reconstruct the broken clock. I bought a new plate, a rich sandy colored one, speckled like real beach sand. My husband drilled a hole through the center of it for the clock movement and clock hands, which had amazingly survived the crash. I glued the oyster shells back together piece by piece and re-assembled my clock complete with the Mardi Gras bead pearl at the 12 o'clock hour. It looked great, with just a few scars.
A few weeks later, my husband and I had oysters on the half-shell at one of our favorite restaurants and I brought the shells home. We cleaned them, sealed them and made another clock.
It was so much fun that we decided to make a few clocks to give to our family and friends for the holidays, which were coming up soon. We collected more oyster shells, bought new plates in different colors, shapes and sizes, and found a supplier for the clock parts. We got creative and added seashells, sea glass, real pearls, and even beach sand. After the holidays I started getting requests for more clocks and thus our little business began - ART ON THE HALF-SHELL! We've made and sold over 50 clocks now and are thrilled to be joining the artists at Handmade Louisiana!”
Suzanne’s favorite aspect is “finding and creating the personality in each clock. No two oyster shells are the same. They range in color, texture and size.”
The biggest obstacle to her art is safety when using the oyster shucking tool. As Suzanne puts it, “Oyster shucking can be a dangerous job.”
Suzanne’s advice for other sellers is, “love your work when it’s finished! If it’s not right yet, work on it some more. It shows in the end.”
Although, she’s not currently living in Louisiana, her connection runs deep: “I’m a New Orleans native and have only been gone from the city for four years now. My husband’s career has taken us temporarily away, but we go back several times a year to visit friends and family.”
What’s next for Art on the Half Shell? Suzanne explains, “since moving to Monterey County I have discovered Abalone Shells. They have beautiful iridescent mother of pearl insides and I am working on a new series of clocks using abalone shells from the local abalone farm in Monterey.”
Suzanne’s work can be found on Etsy -- http://www.sfweichert.etsy.com/ , on Artfire -- http://www.sfweichert.artfire.com/ , and on Ebay.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Lisa has been creating jewelry since January 2005, but her creative roots go back to her childhood years when she would craft jewelry from parts of vintage jewelry using her dad's pliers and her mom's tweezers. These days, her pieces often feature pearls, gemstones, and sterling silver. Lisa's current favorite item is Dainty Baubles . These beaded orb earrings are a favorite for two reasons: First, she spent many hours perfecting the skills needed to weave the beaded spheres. Secondly, the earrings were one of the first pairs she created using her own round, handcrafted, sterling silver ear wires.
Lisa draws her inspiration from many sources, including nature and color. She loves finding new jewelry components, creating her color combinations and the feel of the materials in her hands. When asked what were her biggest challenges as an artisan, she replied, "My biggest challenges include 1) finding the time to create -- I'm a busy Mom of three boys and I have a part time job and 2) FOCUSING! (I have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and often the ideas come at me faster than I can implement them)."
What piece of advice does Lisa have for other sellers? "Persistence! Trust in the creative process, as much as the business side. I've felt compelled, for lack of a better word, to create a particular piece all the while thinking, 'oh, this will never sell.' And yet it does. From a practical, business aspect it might not have been the best use of my time and materials, but as an artist, obviously I struck a chord.", she said.
Future plans for Lisa include learning to work with PMC (Precious Metal Clay) and creating soldered jewelry. Several years ago, Lisa took semi-private fine jewelry lessons with local jeweler, Alan Hill (of Symmetry Jewelry in N.O.) . "He taught us to saw and shape metal, create bezels, set stones and solder". Lisa loved those classes and would like to get back to creating jewelry using those methods.
To learn more about Lisa and her jewelry, please visit her:
Website- Lisa Raspino
Online shopping venues- http://lisaraspino.etsy.com/
Blog: Jewelry by Lisa
Sunday, September 13, 2009
BDOriginals had 34% off the vote, which was on the sidebar of our blog. Congratulations!! Thank you everyone who entered and keep posted because another Craft a Long is in the works!!
Our winner will receive a free ad on our blog for one month, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for deatils!
Thanks for voting everyone!! If your fave did not win, make sure you VOTE next time! Not only that, but spread the word! Use facebook, Twitter, and more to promote YOUR favorite artisan!
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Presented by the Irma Thomas Center for W.I.S.E. (Women In Search of Excellence) Women at Delgado Community College and the New Orleans Craft Mafia, Handmade Nation - a film by Faythe Levine which documents the rise of DIY and the new wave of art, craft and design - will have its New Orleans premiere Friday, September 18th, 2009 at 7pm.
Starting in 2006, Levine traveled to 15 cities, logged over 19,000 miles and interviewed more than 80 individuals who are part of the tightly knit crafting community which exists both online through websites, blogs and online stores as well as within local communities around the world in the form of craft fairs, independent boutiques, modern day knitting circles and networking groups like the Craft Mafia.
Director Faythe Levine will be in attendance. A marketplace featuring local artists and crafters will accompany the screening, from 6-9pm. A question and answer session with Levine will follow the film.
This screening is free and open to the public thanks to the generosity of the Irma Thomas Center for W.I.S.E. (Women In Search of Excellence) Women at Delgado Community College. It will take place in the Lac Maurepas room on the second floor of the Delgado Student Life Center (on the back part of Delgado’s City Park campus, off Navarre Avenue - Building 11 on this map). Ample free parking will also be available in the nearby parking lot off Navarre Avenue by the former WYES TV studio.
A free daytime screening of the film for students will also take place at 2pm on Thursday, September 17th in the same location.
Monday, September 7, 2009
She says she has been creating for as long as she can remember. Wendy started sewing her own clothes in the 6th grade and has been, in her words, “a creative clotheshorse ever since.”
Wendy’s favorite aspect of her work is the variety. “It’s always different, seldom boring,” she explains.
Wendy draws much of inspiration from nature, in addition to pure color. A Louisiana resident since 1981, much of work is inspired by local plants.
When asked about her favorite piece, Wendy says she is currently fond of her scarves, especially the bronze oak leaves on sky blue. (pictured below)
Wendy’s biggest challenge is marketing, especially promoting her items to people she doesn’t know.
Her advice for other sellers is to “find a niche (and always color-match your sewing thread).”
Other skills Wendy would like to learn include free motion machine quilting (“I know the basics, but need improvement and a more cooperative machine”) and entrelac knitting.
A talented fiber artist, Wendy currently has eight pieces touring the country in several different shows. She is a two-time time Merit Awardee at Tom Peyton Arts Festival in Alexandria, La.
She also teaches classes at Delicious Art in Alexandria and is the Costume Mistress/Designer for Red River Dance Theatre, also in Alexandria (Nutcracker is November 29 & 30).
To learn more about Wendy and her art:
Visit her Etsy shop: http://www.splendiferousfiber.etsy.com/
Her fiber art online photo gallery can be found here: http://public.fotki.com/wlstarn/
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Now it's up to you! Please help us vote which piece truly epitomizes Louisiana Life!!
The winner receives a free ad here on Handmade Louisiana and of course bragging rights :)
Help us decide!!
Bon Temps by Cheese and Chocolate
Underwater Gator by BlackDogStudios
Ooh La La Louisiana from BD Originals
Black Fleur de Lis by DebiDeauxDesigns
Fleur De Lis Birthday Cake Soap by Amelia Amos
Parade Moss Umbrella by LizmPetro
Turtle Hair Clippies by ChickyGirlsHairBows
Mambo Clown by SplendiferousFiber
Prestigious Peaches Vintage and Antique Bracelet by LemonJitters
Black and Gold Hair bow by GirlsLoveBows
Louisiana Gulf Coast Oyster Shell Wall Clock by sfweichert
Bourbon St. Necklace by voyagejewelrydesigns
Crazy Leg Wall Vases by Jodie Flowers
Knit Hat by Knitzy
Check out MORE fantastic pieces by searching etsy.com and artfire.com "handmadelouisiana"!!
Long Live Louisiana Artists!
Please vote in the poll on the sidebar!!
Friday, September 4, 2009
Although she moved from La. (Louisiana) to LA (Los Angeles), her connection to her birthplace runs deeply. “I was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana,” Kat explains. “There ain't no place like it. We all gotta come home!”
You can also find her on:
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
She is inspired by anything southern, including nature, literature, music, and the Louisiana landscape. “I have lived in Louisiana all my life and know that it is a very complicated state,” Tina explains, “but I choose to see all the positive aspects of the state - food, music, art, people, landscape, literature.”
When asked about her favorite shop items, she says, “My favorite collectibles are interesting ashtrays to be used for anything other than smoking. I have not had a cigarette in over one year. I personally collect postcards (deltiology) of motor courts, Louisiana, and cards for each state. I also collect Louisiana souvenir figurines.”
Her biggest challenges include learning the background about the vintage items she encounters, as well as trying to discern the next hot new collectible item.
Tina retired with 24 years in public school where I was a speech, language and hearing therapist in Natchitoches Parish. “I spent many years being a people helper and loved it but it was a very serious profession that I gave 100% of myself to. I now want to spend the last half of my life exploring the creative side.”
Her advice to others sellers is to “be true to yourself and explore your creativity and ignite your imagination.”
What creative skills would Tina like to learn? “I would love to be a great seamstress but I remain a real novice,” she says.
On the personal front, Tina has been married to her wonderful husband for 28 years. They have two sons in their 20s. She explains, “my other 2 children are a Border Collie named Scout who is 4 years old and a yellow Lab named Ace who is a year and a half old. We are crazy about these dogs.”
In her spare time, Tina enjoys reading: “My favorite author is James Lee Burke and I adore the Dave Robicheaux series where he is a New Iberia police officer. Tennessee Williams makes me swoon!”
What’s next professionally for Tina? Without elaborating, she said, “I plan to put some of my own creations in the shop soon.” We’ll just have to check back to see what she means. ;-)
To learn more about Tina and Spanish Moss, check out the following links: