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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.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

January Craft-A-Long---Time to Vote!!

January's theme is "New Beginnings". Please choose your favorite item that best fits this theme in the poll on the left hand sidebar. Thanks to all who entered!

In the kitchen cupcake towels by Baby Deary
These are towels that can be used anywhere, especially in the kitchen! The crocheted butterfly pins give the cupcakes such a new beginning feeling! When I think of butterflies, I think of this quote: "Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, he became a butterfly!" I have had many people buy the cupcakes as gifts for housewarming & engagement parties! Here's to new beginnings!

White Snow Balls from Chloe Boutique
White is a sign of New...and it's the Beginning of Winter so bring on some snow! 

Nesting - Signed, Open Edition Print from SlmChance
Little blue speckled eggs nesting, preparing for their new beginning. Print of original watercolor painting

Disco Granny Baby Afghan from Naturegirl17s 
Pretty pinks, blues and white unordinary crocheted granny squares

Bookmarks from BrendaSWhite 
Should birdie stay in the nest or explore a new beginning in the bird house? 

Heart Bracelet...New Love..New Beginning from Etco. 
A beautiful antique brass heart charm (28x22mm) is combined with antique brass chain. A small lobster clasp closes the bracelet. All findings are nickel and lead free 

Are You Going My Way? from DitsyGypsy 
I'm ready for my new beginning! Are you going my way? 

Welcome Sign from Embellished Bayou 
I gave this antique ceiling tile a new beginning by turning it into a door hanger. Welcome 2011! 

Wetlands Pitcher from Hurricane Pottery  
Hand thrown stoneware pitcher, thrown by my husband, with "wetlands" slip details and handle applied by me. I chose the glaze combinations and he mixed and applied the glazes. (The swamp colored glaze flows around the grassy slip details.) Not a new beginning for us really, but hopefully the wetlands will be growing and making new beginnings this spring! 

Sunrise Hand Dyed Shaw from Splendiferous Fiber
Every new day begins with a sunrise

Spring is around the corner from Vivy's Closet
Wrap dress in green, blue, and brown.
Snow Dove from Dusty Oak Ornaments
This beautiful snowy white dove represents peace and new beginnings. I crafted the ornaments using sheer organza ribbons and a unique lacy trim. The bow is made with matching blue and iridescent ribbon, golden leaves and snow kissed branches. Celebrate January by placing this lovely ornament on an ornament stand and displaying it on your desk or tabletop. 

Saints Fleur De Lis Scarf from CatStraight

Rust Elephants from Rachel's Original Art

Krewe of Cute from Magnolia's Boutique
Welcome Spring from Karen's Klayworks
Ceramic lightweight disc can be worn as a brooch or with a magnet attached brighten a fridge or file cabinet- your choice

Thanks for voting!

Handmade Louisiana Pick of the Week

Robot Love Hand Carved Rubber Stamp from doodlebugdesign.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Artist of the Week

Congratulations to Amanda of Chloe Boutique as this week's featured artist!

Introduction- Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Amanda and I'm an Environmental Scientist by day, and the jewelry artisan behind Chloe Boutique by night!  I currently reside in West Monroe with my wonderful Husband and my two furbabies...Chloe the Pug (my baby!) and Ellie the Beagle.  I'm originally from northern West Virginia...the heart of the Appalachian Mountains.  I moved to Louisiana in January 2003 when I began my Graduate studies at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.  I landed my current position immediately after I graduated and haven't left!

How did you get started making handmade items?
I started making jewelry in the spring of 2007 when I found myself annoyed because I couldn't find quality, chic accessories for outfits.  It continues to amaze me the lack of quality in basic jewelry you find in every day stores.  Not only is my jewelry carefully hand-crafted with attention to detail, I feel my prices are very reasonable considering I use real gemstones and pearls, artisan-made beads, Swarovski crystals, and quality metals.  Women like inexpensive REAL jewelry...and prefer unique over "cheaply mass-produced"!
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!

What does a typical day look like for you?
Very routine.  I get up at 5:30 am and work 4- 10 hour days Monday through Thursday.  I work on jewelry at night and on weekends or as time allows.  The jewelry side is typically busier in spring (weddings) and late summer/fall (shows and Holiday orders). 

If you could tell someone anything about Louisiana, what would you tell them?
The food is phenomenal. You won't find food like Louisiana cuisine anywhere!  "I guarantee!" (as in Louisiana-Native, Justin Wilson's famous line).  And, it's HOT down here (coming from a born and raised northerner)!

What is your favorite item to make?
This is hard for me to decide on!  I love working with Brides...they are some of my favorite customers.  There is something so rewarding and fulfilling about creating jewelry for a girl's "Big Day"!  I also love creating fall-inspired pieces as it's my most favorite time of year (again, I'm born and raised northern and we have spectacular autumns back home!)

What is your favorite food from Louisiana?
This is another tough answer...probably seafood/duck gumbo!

Any other information you'd like us to know?
I love the great outdoors...my undergraduate degree is in Wildlife Ecology and my Master's Degree is in Biology/Ornithology.  I get most of my creative inspiration from nature.  I love gemstones! They're ‘handmade’ by Mother Nature! I take what Earth has provided and I add flair to it.
One day I would like to live in western North Carolina...that's my favorite place!!!

Visit Chloe Boutique at the following places:
Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/wildlifer78
ArtFire: http://www.artfire.com/users/chloeboutique
Local: Little Green Boutique, Monroe

Chloe Boutique even has a cool blog!! Show her some love!!


Chloe Boutique is giving away a $15 gift certificate good for either of her shops (etsy, artfire) or if you are local, you can use it in the Little Green Boutique in Monroe.

In order to have a chance to win this $15 gift certificate, you can visit either of her shops & comment below on what is your favorite item. You must also follow her blog!

Extra Entries include:
- Tweet about Chloe Boutique

The winner of last week's giveaway is Susanmeep! Congrats to you!! :-)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Artist of the Week: Amy of Mama's Little Monkeys

Congratulations to Amy as this week's featured artist!


Introduction- Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a SAHM to two boys, age 5 and 3. I am a former teacher, so much of what I make is inspired by my children or day to day needs! I've lived in La my whole life and although I complain about hurricanes, taxes and house insurance....I can't imagine living anywhere else!

How did you get started making handmade items?
Ironically, I started in the summer of 08 because I was cloth diapering my youngest son and I could NOT find cute cloth wipes (I had yet to discover Etsy at that point). Somehow, I don't remember how, through cafemom.com I think, I found Etsy and discovered this world of handmade!! My original goal was to make cloth diapers for my son and to sell...ironically...I've yet to make any!! LOL I got sidetracked by just the art of sewing and how much I could do with it. I've learned A LOT the past 2.5 years and I wouldn't change a thing!
Well, it will soon change when my youngest starts school NEXT WEEK, even only 1/2 day but I am looking forward to it. (he has Autism and will be starting a preschool early intervention program.) So once he starts that, my day will be, get the kids up and off to school, head home for breakfast and a QUICK check of the internet (that's the hard part...QUICKLY checking in), and to commence with work. I've already created myself a schedule, some days will be creating, some will be the business/online side of things, some will be working on things for my teams, this one and several others I help with. THen of course there's the day to day routine of chores, groceries (I'm a coupon freak), and just sitting quietly NOT watching Nickelodeon....

If you could tell someone anything about Louisiana, what would you tell them?
We're not all drunks who eat weird things. Of course, I love my drive through daiquiri shops! Louisiana is a wide range of art, history, music and food....if you're going to come visit...try to bring a local friend! You'll see so much more!

What is your favorite item to make?
I think my fabric buttons. They are my little self therapy. I can make a ton of them in one sitting, either for my badge reels, button ponytails, and more. I think it's the act of pushing the button in the mold...it sort of gets any frustrations out! :) I also love to make my stuffed rocketships and the Super Mario Hats...anything my kids love, I love to make because I love to see the smiles on their faces when I make something they love!

What is your favorite food from Louisiana?
Well, I actually do NOT eat most seafood and I am gluten free so that DRASTICALLY limits my choices of food. If I am going to cheat and eat gluten, I will hurt myself on beignets from Cafe Du Monde. I don't get down there often at ALL, so if I'm going there...I'm going to enjoy it! I did figure out how to make gluten free chicken and dumplings and that is awesome because it's such a walk down memory lane for me...my families good ol' country cooking :)

Any other information you'd like us to know?
I'm an open book, if you're curious about something, ask away :) Oh and I do goofy tutorials sometimes on my YouTube channel, youtube.com/mamaslittlemonkeys if you are so inclined. Most are linked on my blog also.

www.mamaslittlemonkeys.etsy.com and www.mamaslittlemonkeys.artfire.com
www.badgereels.etsy.com and www.badgereels.artfire.com
www.destashcity.etsy.com and www.destashcity.artfire.com
www.micromops.etsy.com and www.micromops.artfire.com

Blog? blog.mamaslittlemonkeys.com

Email? Concerning Handmade Louisiana: amy@handmadelouisiana.com for overall other communication, mamaslittlemonkeys@yahoo.com

Amy founded Handmade Louisiana in April 2009 with two friends she met through Etsy and she's very glad to see how everyone has grown and how our members can work together!! :) Thank you Amy for everything that you do!!

Amy is giving away a badgereel to one of HandmadeLouisiana.com's readers!! Your choice from www.badgereels.artfire.com! In order to enter you must be a follower of her blog! Leave a comment below telling us your favorite shop since she has more than one! You an also become a fan on facebook! Don't forget to leave your email in case you are the winner! (Winner will be announced on next Wednesday's post!)

Winner for last week is Jhitomi.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Artist of the Week Wednesday!

Congratulations to Sharon of Hurricane Pottery as this week's featured artist! Read the interview to learn more about Hurricane Pottery!  

Hi, I’m Sharon of Hurricane Pottery.  Along with my husband, Louis, I make pottery. Our work is mostly mid-fire stoneware, hand thrown on the pottery wheel, but we also enjoy raku and porcelain work.  We work in a studio at our home. Louis still works at a full time job, so I do most of the throwing. Louis, however, mixes our glazes, using recipes shared from other potters, tweaking them as needed to suit our firing schedule and clay bodies.

I was introduced to making and creating by my mother who was always busy making and creating herself.  One of my earliest memories is making mudpies in my backyard.  Mom’s good garden soil did not lend itself to very good pies… not enough clay. My mother taught me several of the needle arts: I learned to crochet and make granny squares; I learned to embroider, cross stitch, needlepoint and crewel. I took sewing lessons and learned how to make my own clothes. My mother always had a variety of crafting supplies available, and every fall, we (mom, my sisters, and I) would sit around the dining room table and make Christmas ornaments from ribbon, beads, sequins and other trims.  My mother was also an artist; she began working with acrylic, but then learned how to do very fine china painting. Her exquisite work required 6 to 8 firings as she built up layers of color to create depth in her designs.  Having a kiln at the house was a bonus.  I learned to hand build and made ceramic ornaments and pendants, which I gave as gifts.

Later I studied sculpting, hand building, and throwing on the wheel in college at LSU. I loved the sensation of the clay as it slipped between my fingers. Although a psychology major, I knew I wanted to be a potter, too.  My husband was a Fine Arts major, and always had a creative, but analytical spirit.  After the stressful period following Hurricane Katrina, my husband encouraged me to begin throwing again. So, he and  our sons bought me a potter’s wheel and a kiln.  Throwing pottery is so rewarding, I had to share it; I taught them all to throw.
One of our favorite family activities is doing raku firings. Sitting together on a chilly night waiting for the pieces to reach temperature in the raku kiln is a special time, but the real excitement begins when the pieces are removed from the kiln and placed in the combustible material.  And then there’s the ultimate moment when the pieces are removed from the ashes and we scrub them to see what glorious colors will appear on the surface. It’s a magical time.

I love working with clay and enjoy sharing it with others. I particularly enjoy teaching children.  My daughter learned to throw when she was 7, although I find that most children do better when they are a little older. (Louis designed some modifications to the wheel that allow the young people to have more stability when centering the clay!)  Since I spent over 25 years working with children as a school psychologist, helping them to express themselves in clay just seems to be a natural extension.

When asked what is my favorite thing about Louisiana, I can’t name just one thing. I love the moodiness of the swamps and the trees draped in moss. I love that winter is short and that flowers bloom almost year round.  I love that people are genuinely friendly and take time to help each other. Our HandmadeLouisiana Team is a great example of the wonderful people here.  I also love that almost anything can be an occasion for a party. But I guess most of all, I love the French Cajun, Creole, and Italian influences on food.  I love seafood best of all, and there’s no place like the gulf coast for good, fresh seafood.

Hurricane Pottery would like to offer a coupon for a free small spoon rest (made to order) or $7 off any other item (not including shipping). (For followers of Handmade LA only- if you aren't a follower of Handmade LA- follow us)! Thanks!

In order to win the spoon rest or get your discount, follow Hurricane Pottery's BLOG, & visit her shop to tell us your favorite item by commenting below! Please leave your email address incase you are the winner so that we can contact you! Winner will be announced on next week's post.

Places to visit Hurricane Pottery:
Etsy Shop- Hurricane Pottery



Winner will be chosen by random.org & will be announced on next week's featured artist post. Winner for last week is Tanya904.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Handmade Louisiana Pick of the Week

This week's pick is from CreoleSha. Check out her shop for lots of unique items!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Featured Artist of the Week Wednesday!

by: Brittany Ponvelle at BabyDeary

Read our interview with Emily to learn more about her!

Introduction- Tell us a bit about yourself.
 Hi, I'm Emily, a soapmaker from New Orleans.

How did you get started making handmade items?
I have been making soap since I was a little girl in my Grandma's kitchen. Once I was old enough, my parents let me make the family soap in the shed until it quickly became a monthly chore. Every year for the dreaded school science fair, I would do a soap making demonstration because it always got an A and remains to be all of the science I know. This hobby went to college with me and never failed as Christmas presents when I was broke, which was always. And then one day in 2007, I was sitting in a pile of hundreds of beer soaps that needed to be labeled and packed for a friends upcoming wedding/crawfish boil and how on earth was I going to fit my full-time work schedule in and still have time to make my outta-this-world potato salad? Before pulling out every hair on my head, it occurred to me that I should just quit my job and become a full-time soapmaker, so with no regrets, that's what I did.

What does a typical day look like for you?
Crazy, hectic, totally out of control- just the way I like it!

If you could tell someone anything about Louisiana, what would you tell them?
You would have to duct tape, staple gun, glue, sew, and weld my mouth closed just to shut-me-up about all things I want the world to know about Louisiana. But even then, I have very expressive eyes and am skilled at talking with my hands.

What is your favorite item to make?
My recipes are very special to me and reminders of the people, places, and things that I love. Each soap has it's own musical soundtrack and set of memories and I could never sort out any one as a favorite. Let's just say, If I didn't LOVE making it, I'm not making it again.

Places to visit Sweet Olive Soap Works:

Emily would like to donate a $15.00 gift certificate that can be redeemed in her etsy store. In order to win, visit her shop & let us know your favorite item by commenting below. Please leave your email address to be contacted if your name is chosen to win!
Winner will be chosen by random.org & will be announced on next week's featured artist post. This giveaway is only for followers of Handmade Louisiana so if you aren't a follower, you can follow, then comment.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Handmade Louisiana Pick of the Week

Hi all! We're starting a new feature here, along with artisan features, we'll be having a "Pick of the Week", an item from one of our members shops featured weekly! So stay tuned and check back each weekend to see who/what is the Pick of the Week!!

This Week's Pick is from RachelBillow

Check out her shop for more cool local photography!


***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.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year from HML!!

Hello all! I hope you all had a great holiday season and a happy new year!! Handmade Louisiana is growing with new members almost every day. We also have a new blogger added to our roster, Brittany of Baby Deary will now be writing artisan features and helping with our Craft a Long. Look for Craft a Long's to resume this month, so look for that post soon!

Let us know if you'll be at any upcoming craft fairs, or if you have any news about your shop to share!!

Thanks to those who follow us, and to our great members!! :)

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