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***Please note any and all images you see from our artisans belong TO the artisans so please respect copyrights and our artists by not copying them. If you'd like to share something you see on this blog, please do, but always link back to the artist and ask permission if in doubt.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Member Artist Profile: Stitches in Cotton

Congratulations to November’s Craft-a-Long runner up: Stitches in Cotton. (It was Handmade Louisiana's closest vote ever!)

Artist/owner Dee creates accessories for babies, children and adults. “Throughout my life I have had an interest in various crafts,” she says. “I learned how to crochet when I was a little girl, then I moved on to hand quilting. It’s been about a year since I’ve gotten back to doing it on a more regular basis.”

Hers is another example of necessity being the mother of invention. She explains, “When I found out my boys were allergic to polyester. It was getting cold and I needed to find hats and gloves that didn’t contain polyester. I searched stores and the internet and came up with nothing. I decided to look for a crochet pattern and I found an adorable little hat. My boys loved the hats so much and it brought so much joy to them that I decided to create more to spread that joy. Nothing makes a mama happier than seeing her creation being drug inside and outside, through stores and being slept with because it’s their prized possession.”

When asked which is her favorite item, Dee cites the popcorn hats she made for her boys (and the one submitted to the Handmade Louisiana November Craft-a-Long).

Dee’s biggest challenges include time and money. “I have so many ideas in my head I don’t have enough time to get them out,” she says. Her favorite part of the works she does is being able to stay home with her sons and earning a little spending money.

She offers the following advice to new sellers: “If you are just starting out, have patience. It’s hard at first. Get a lot of products together and take the best pictures you can.” She advises seasoned sellers to “help the newer sellers. The advice of those that have ‘been there, done that’ is invaluable to us. I tend to promote those who have helped me to try and pay back what I was given.” (Her philosophy epitomizes Handmade Louisiana’s mission.)

When asked what other skills she’d like to learn, Dee replies, “I don’t think I could fit another skill in my life. HA HA! But if I had all the time in the world I would say painting.”

Dee’s connections to Louisiana are strong. She grew up in the Greater New Orleans area, left for a brief year stint in the Air Force. “There is no place like LA, and no matter where I am it will always be home for me,” she says.

To learn more about Stitches in Cotton, visit the following links:

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Member Artisan Profile: Etco, winner of November Craft-a-Long

Congratulations, Yamarilet of Etco, winner of the November Craft-a-long!

Yamarilet has been selling handcrafted jewelry and paper bowls online for about six months, but says “for as long as I can remember I have been a maker of things.”

“My grandmother is an amazing ceramic artist,” Yamarilet explains. “I remember helping her when I was a child, I enjoyed that time so much! So I have been encouraged in that direction since I was a little girl!”

When asked about her favorite creation, she’s hard pressed to choose just one. “I do love a pair of black earrings that I called Manhattan Nights, but I also really like my paper bowls.”

Her biggest challenge as an artist to earning a living from what she loves to do, but the best perk she says, is “it‘s great when you do what you love to do, be my own boss and have the time to be with my children.”

When asked to provide advice for other sellers, Yamarilet says, “I am pretty new myself! Share what you love to do with others, be honest, take the best photos you can, Be patient!” She adds, “Nothing will happen overnight. Post often and the most important: always appreciate and treat your customers with care.”

Yamarilet was born and raised in Venezuela. She moved to United States 17 years ago and has lived in New Orleans for over nine years now. She shares a home with husband William, daughters Nikole and Mara, and finds inspiration from the natural beauty around her. “I always will be connected to LA since my daughters where born here,” she explains. “Time has gone by so quickly, and I’m so grateful for the moments I have here.”

“Being with my family comes before anything else. My life is mostly about my kids, I also volunteer at my daughter’s school,” she says. By way of introduction, she adds: “I love: the ocean, silence, coffee, stay at home, cook, swim, and create things.”

Welcome to Handmade Louisiana, and congratulations on winning the November Craft-a-long!

To learn more about Etco, visit the following links:
SHOP: http://www.etco.etsy.com
BLOG: http://etcoblog.blogspot.com/
FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/pages/etco/146192609053?v=wall
TWITTER: http://twitter.com/handmadebyetco

Monday, December 21, 2009

Member Artisan Profile: Chloe Boutique

Amanda, owner of Chloe Boutique, has been creating beautiful artisan jewelry for about 3 years. She found herself increasing frustrated when she couldn't find high quality, chic accessories for outfits. She explains, “When I did find something in a store, it just seemed so cheaply put together with wires sticking out, or coatings chipping off of beads, cheap metals that quickly tarnish, etc., and, stores charged a lot for this mass produced sup-par jewelry! I knew I had to have a creative side to me; my entire family is artistic. Just took me a while to find my own creative niche!”

One of her favorite pieces is one she made for herself for autumn. Using a friend’s handcrafted polymer clay maple leaf bead as a focal point, she embellished it with peridot, citrine, carnelian and red aventurine, and Karen Hill Tribe Silver. “[It] features all of those gloriously warm and cheerful autumn colors that I miss so much,” says Amanda, who originally hails from northern West Virginia, in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains.

Amanda draws her inspiration from nature. “Born and raised in the beautiful mountains of northern West Virginia, I appreciated the simple things in life. As I got older and went to college (my Bachelor of Science degree is Wildlife & Fisheries Management, Master of Science degree is Biology with an Ornithology concentration--Study of Birds), that only intensified.” She continues, “I love gemstones! They're ‘handmade’ by Mother Nature! I take what Earth has provided and I add flair to it. My pieces are perfect for everyday wearing. One piece can be casual enough to be worn with your favorite pair of jeans, or dressy enough to be worn with your business attire, or even a nice evening out!”

Amanda cites keeping up with fashion trends as her biggest challenge. “I usually create jewelry that I would personally wear. I tend to stick to medium sized stones, and streamline in design,” she explains. “I'm not usually one to go huge and bold since I have a smaller frame. So, it's really hard to make things out of my comfort zone and [still] feel that it fits in to my Chloe Boutique jewelry line, if you will.”

When asked the favorite thing about her work, she says, “I love the vast possibilities that you have as a jewelry designer. The world is literally your limit! With all of the colors, shapes, cuts, sizes, and types of gemstones alone, your jewelry creativeness is limitless! Then, you add the array of metals, findings, artisan-created lampwork glass (which is unique in itself with no two pieces being the same) and polymer clay beads, crystals, glass, vintage beads, etc., you can just let your mind go crazy...just hope your fingers can keep up with all the designs that play in your head!”

With nearly 450 sales in just 2 ½ years, she’s in a fine position to offer advice to other sellers. “Promotion is key to being a successful seller. This is hard for me personally because time does not allow me to promote as much as I would like. Jewelry making started off as a hobby, and something to supplement my own personal jewelry box. I do have a full-time day job,” Amanda says. “But, for those that create and sell as their livelihood, self-promotion seems to be the successful tool. Join groups, have a blog (and keep it updated, this is something I admit to be lacking in), submit your work to local galleries, magazines, etc., do craft shows, get business cards made and hand them out everywhere you go, get yourself a Fan Page on Facebook and post your work there. There are so many things you can do to promote your work. Get as many people to your sites as you can...they'll like what they see, and they will most likely spread the word!”

When asked what skill she’d like to learn, Amanda says she’d like to improve her wire-working skills. “I’m so intimidated by the whole ‘wire-wrapping of gemstones’ concept that I do them few and far between. So, I end up almost starting over each time I create a wire-wrapped piece of jewelry.”

For the curious, Amanda’s pseudonym, Wildlifer78, is her original Etsy buyer’s ID. Her shop name, Chloe Boutique, honors her dog, a pug. (In addition to pug Chloe, she also has a beagle named Ellie.)

Amanda lived for a short time in New Orleans when she was a year or so old. She returned to Louisiana to pursue a Master's degree at the University of Louisiana, Monroe. Her research was studying migratory songbirds and determining the forest management practice effects on their abundance and vitality.

“I always wanted to see and work in the bottomland hardwood forests of the Mississippi River Alluvial Valley. So, that's why I chose to do my Master's work here,” she explains. “I met my husband while working as a student worker at the local Wildlife and Fisheries office. We married in November 2004, built our first home in 2005, and both have good jobs here. Louisiana is now home!” She enjoys her day job as an Environmental Scientist for the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.

Other personal interests include the outdoors, exercising (especially running), hiking, backpacking, canoeing/kayaking, occasional hunting/fishing, and bird watching. She says, “I also thoroughly enjoy traveling, spending time with friends and family, reading, music, shopping (like any other girl!), cooking (mostly baking), and of course being creative.”

Amanda’s stunning creations can be found at the following:
http://www.facebook.com/chloeboutique (fan page)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Benjy Davis Christmas Show

Special Delivery from Jake at RockRidge Music! :)
I wanted to let you know about the Benjy Davis Project Christmas show this Friday, 12/18/09 at the Varsity Theatre. Doors are at 8pm and the show is $15.

There’s all kinds of exciting things going on: BDP will be on the WCDV morning show that day and performing on KSLU out of Hammond on 12/17 at noon. WCDV will be hosting a soundcheck party before the show where the band will be doing a signing. Additionally, tracks from the new album “Lost Souls Like Us” are going to be played before the show. That night, the band will be performing a special set just for this show.


I hope you guys can make it! They put on an awesome show! :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December Giveaway: Get your Techie on!

This month's giveaway comes from Easy Shop Names.com, one of the shops of our very own AmazingArt. Amazing Arts is run by Bob, who technically lives in California, but was born and raised Louisiana, and still carries it in his heart! :)

This month Bob is offering a fabulous package deal to help you get your business or websites in order for the coming year!!

What You'll Win:

The Giveaway will be for my EasyShopNames.com full Artisan Domain Name & Support Package, including 1 year of:

  • Domain Name Registration
  • Tech Support via online Help Desk or Toll Free telephone
  • 1 business day turn-around or less for all updates (forwarding changes, etc.) - most changes made in one our or less
  • Unlimited Sub-Domains

  • Blogger Domain Setup (blog.domain.com)
  • Branded Google Apps Standard under selected domain, with:

    • Up to 50 users (less 1 for me to administer the account)
    • Google Mail/Gmail
    • Google Calendar
    • Google Docs
    • Google chat username@domain.com, including AIM support
    • Google Sites – Template drive website creation with UNLIMITED number of sites
    • much, much

  • 1 business day turn-around or less for all updates (forwarding changes, etc.) - most changes made in one our or less

If the winner already has a domain name, then I’ll substitute the Artisan Support Package, which is all the same services and features, but just transfers an existing domain to our servers rather than registering a new domain name.

(Don't worry, Bob will communicate in a less tech way if you need him to!)


1. Visit Bob's Shop, AmazingArtPhotos. Come back and leave a comment on which item is your fave!

2. Visit one of these shops belonging to my fellow members. Come back and leave a comment on which of their items is your fave!

(IF any of these shops are on vacation as does happen this time of year, make sure to look in the shops SOLD ITEMS to see super cool items the artisan has made before!)

You must leave a link to the items and you must complete steps 1 AND 2 to be entered. You MUST leave a URL, email, or contact IN your comment for us to contact you when you win! We have to have some way to contact you, via your shop, blog, whatnot if you don't want to leave your email.

You have until January 4th to get your comments in!

Extra entries:

1. Send an email to merry@handmadelouisiana.com with your email address for our future mailing list.
2. Tweet, Facebook, or promote this contest. You MUST provide a URL where you promoted this so we can verify.
3. Join our Facebook Group.Please make sure your Facebook account is set so we can contact you, and include info about yourself (friend, buyer, seller, artist, etc) in your application.

If you would like to join Handmade Louisiana please email Merry at merry@handmadelouisiana.com and she'll send you what you need to know! There is never any cost to join HML!

Good luck!

Wordless Wednesday

Lady in Red (8 Note Cards) by marilynnarrington

Monday, December 14, 2009

Member Artisan Profile: Charmies Online

Meet Tiffany of Charmies Online. She’s been creating jewelry for nearly five years. Tiffany has lived in New Orleans her entire life. “It is all I know,” she explains. “Even after losing everything in Hurricane Katrina, I have chosen to rebuild and start my life over again. I love New Orleans!”

It’s been said that necessity is the mother of invention, and that’s certainly true for Tiffany. Following Hurricane Katrina, she was laid off from her job in New Orleans and had to come up with other means of income. Hence the birth of Charmies Online.

“I love designing jewelry,” Tiffany explains. “It has always brought me pleasure in designing special keepsake pieces for people... I am inspired by things going on in my life. “ When asked which is her favorite piece, Tiffany names her Snowball Jewelry Collection.

Her biggest challenge is managing multiple online accounts. “I go from my website to Etsy to Facebook to Myspace to my blog to Twitter, etc. Too many!” she says with a laugh.

When asked her favorite piece of advice for other sellers, she responds, “Don't give up. Success doesn't happen overnight. I work full-time outside of the home, plus run my personal site and an Etsy site. It is a lot of work but I love every minute of it. If you love it, go for it.”

Tiffany’s oh-so-cool creations can be found online at:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Local Musician Review: Marc Broussard

Full disclosure: I am a HUGE Marc Broussard fan. There, now on to business! :)

I first heard of Marc from my niece a few years ago. My first thought was, "who?". Then I listened to some tunes on his Myspace page...I was hooked! Such soul, such life, such a gorgeous voice..and he was HOW old?

Marc released his debut album, "Momentary Setback" in 2002 at the age of 20 but he is no stranger to music. Marc is the son of acclaimed Louisiana Hall of Fame Guitarist and former member of The Boogie Kings, Ted Broussard. Marc has been on and off the stage since age 5. It's obviously in his blood! Multiple albums have succeeded but my favorite is the "Must be the Water EP". It's only 5 songs but I feel they are some of the best 5 songs Marc has ever done. So New Orleans, so Louisiana, so US!

Marc is one of those artists who does actually talk to his fans, appreciates them and never forgets that fans are the reason he is where he is. Music may be his life but he'll tell you the bigger part of his life is his wife, Sonya and his three young children. Marc's family are important and that is just another example of his down home attitude. What is more important around here than family!??

The Broussards hail from Carencro, La (also the name of one of Marc's albums!) I would call Marc's music a blend of rock, soul, R&B, and definiately southern jazz. Seriously, whan a man busts out a washboard on stage, you KNOW it's going to be a good show!

Marc and his band put on one hell of a show and if you ever get the opportunity to see one, I HIGHLY Suggest you do so! His bandmates are equally talented and fabulous! I'll be the tall brunette in the front singing along and dancing!

I also respect Marc because he openly talks about his political beliefs on Twitter. He is a staunch conservative and proud of it. At a time when many in the public eye would hide their beliefs, Marc stands up for what he believes in. Be forewarned, if you instigate a twitter argument, he will come right back at you with facts, so be prepared!

You can learn more about Marc from his website. You can also keep up with him on Facebook, Twitter and Myspace.

Rock Steady Marc!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Handmade Louisiana November Craft a Long Voting!

This month's theme was "Be Thankful!" And our fabulous artisans came up with some great work!! Please be sure to read the meaning behind each piece if one is provided and vote for the one you feel most fits the theme "Be Thankful." Vote for your favorite in the poll on the sidebar.

With Gratitude by Hurricane Pottery
The curves of this little pot remind me of cupped hands making an offering to give thanks.

Rustic Pumpkins by ChloeBoutique

Nutcracker Santa Stripe Bag by Splendiferous Fiber
I've made many friends over the years working backstage at the ballet company. After 10 years, my daughter moved on to dance at the college/ pro level, but I still go help out and hang out with the other parents and volunteers. We work ourselves half to death, but always have fun. It's so worthwhile to not only help the dancers have a performance venue, but to present the ballet to the public and school classes that come to watch. I love seeing the dancers grow and improve every year.

Fleur De Lis Pendant by Gaudet's Gems
Thankful that the Saints are thus far UNDEFEATED!

Andrew and Matthew's Beau Beau Bags by Mama's Little Monkeys
I am thankful to do this charity for Matthew Akin. Baby brother Andrew may be gone but will never be forgotten. I am thankful for healthy kids and that I can help this one family even a little.

Black Lotus Bracelet by Etco
Lotus flowers symbolize ….how people should live…with purity of speech, mind and body.

Crochet Child's Hat by Stitches in Cotton
I am thankful for the ability to crochet and 100% cotton yarn, without these my children's heads would be cold during the winter.

So be sure to get your votes in, check out these great shops and more from our lovely team members!! :)

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