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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Artist of the Week!

Congrats to Lisa of Lisa Raspino Jewelry as this week's featured artist!

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm the lone spot of estrogen in my house. I live with my husband, three kids, three dogs, guinea pig and fish -- you guessed it: all male! I'm an adult with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. I tend to run the extreme between hyper-organized (type A) and super-distracted. I hate to cook, but love to eat. I love making jewelry, but again the ADHD tends to inhibit me: I'd like to take additional classes in metal smithing, learn to use precious metal clay (PMC), stamping words onto silver disks, etc. So much to learn, so little time! :-D
How did you get started making handmade items?
As a child, I would dismantle old pieces of costume jewelry and re-fashion them into something new. In January 2005, a neighbor taught me how to string beads on flexible-yet-sturdy beading wire. From there, I expanded my designs to include wire-wrapped items (self taught).

What does a typical day look like for you?
After getting the kids off to school, I head to work for a few hours (part-time admin at a law office). Once I get off at noon, the afternoon is mine: I might shop, visit with friends, take a nap, work on my jewelry. It depends on my mood and whether or not I'm easily distracted that day. Once the kids arrive home from school, my primary job is Mom and/or Chauffeur. Fortunately, I'm a night owl, so once everyone is tucked into bed, around 9-10 p.m., the night is mine!

I was born in New Orleans, and grew up in the area surrounding it. It is the most "international" city here in the United States. The artisans here in Louisiana rival that of any other city in the world.

What is your favorite item to make?
Right now, I enjoy making the wire-wrapped briolette pendants and earrings. I also enjoy creating my bird nest pendants (one of my most popular items). However, at first the learning curve was steep. I'd make 3 or 4 before I'd finally come up with one that met my standards. Now, I usually get it right the first try.

What is your favorite food from Louisiana?
I love all seafood: fish, crabs (boiled or softshell), boiled crawfish, chargrilled oysters, lobster...

Any other information you'd like us to know?

I'm a founding member of Handmade Louisiana. I studied metalsmithing with Alan Hill (formerly of Symmetry Jewelers in New Orleans). I teach religion on Monday nights to 10th grade Catholic teens. I have a bachelors in Drama/Communications from the University of New Orleans and a Masters in Organizational Development from George Mason University. It took 11 years of college for me to realize that I prefer to work with my hands - ha ha!

Shop & website address



Winners from last week's giveaway are: Jessica, Susanmeep, SkiptheLaundry, Kiddo, Christina, & Alexandra. Congrats & thanks for participating!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Artist of the Week!

Introduction- Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm Michelle, the 39 year old mom of 3 (1 married daughter and 2 teen and tween sons) and the “Maw Maw Shelle” to 4 beautiful angels. I'm a true G.R.I.T.S. (Girl raised in the south), and New Orleans native who relocated to the beautiful serene “country” in St. Charles Parish after Katrina.
How did you get started making handmade items?
As long as I can remember I've always felt the need to create things. Only way back then I didn't know there was a name for the affliction. Had I known then what I know now, life would have been so much easier. My fondest memories of creating as a child was making things with my dad who's philosophy was “Why buy it if you can make it?” I remember crafting an igloo for a science project out of one of my mom's Tupperware bowls and lots of bars of Ivory soap. That was a craft fail! I've learned that sometimes it is better to just buy it! I also realized that I was a nonconformist and that my tastes bordered more on the wacky and eccentric, and if I wanted something to have that extra edge I had to create it myself. I remember my mom would lovingly sew these beautiful dresses for my sister and I every holiday. She would use the finest fabrics and heirloom laces, and meticulously sew these dresses. I remember her hand embroidering designs and hand hemming the dresses. I also remember me literally destroying them to add my own special flair or touch to them. As I look back now, I can see why she thought that I was crazy...but then again, who in their right mind bypasses an Ivy League education to become a florist?

What is your favorite item to make?
I love making my handbags. I don't use patterns, everything is cut free-handed, and I guess on what size or shape I want to create. When I begin, I have no idea what the finished product will look like. So each one that I create is definitely a OOAK. I love watching the design grow into fruition.

What is your favorite food from Louisiana?
My favorite foods without a doubt are crab-meat stuffed shrimp and beignets from Cafe du Monde.

The reason that I create now is because it is what my dad calls my occupational therapy. I was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness and it sort of stopped me from enjoying the things that I liked best. Especially like working outside of my home. So rather than letting it get me down, I found other things to enjoy. I began creating things using my two favorite mediums, paper and fabric. I would create handbags as thank you gifts for the nurses and other staff that I would encounter during doctor's visits and hospital stays. Soon everyone began asking me to create bags for them. I enjoyed making them so much that I had to be forced to take payment. As I became more inspired, I also became in my mind less ill. From there a new business was born.

The graphic design section of my shop began because I enjoy playing with paper. Some days I can't make it to any of my sewing machines, but I always make it to my computer and my laser printer. I love designing new labels and stationery because I hate seeing blank paper. I have this wanton desire to rescue blank paper and give it personality.

What does a typical day look like for you?
My typically day begins with a coffee/breakfast meeting with my “boss”, my tween son Delles. He became the majority shareholder of the company after purchasing 25 cents worth of stock. Each morning while he waits for the school bus we choose a color, theme, and design of the the day. While he's at school, I use those elements to create 2 new things while he's at school. I also fill any orders that I may have, all while doing the typical household duties. 

If you could tell someone anything about Louisiana, what would you tell them?
I would stand on the highest peak in the world and rave about Louisiana. There's no place like it. The people are amazing, the food is divine, and the blend of cultures is phenomenal. We have some of the most caring and understanding people in Louisiana. We see past race, religion, and politics. Only in Louisiana could a security guard be a Mardi Gras Indian chief, a city coroner a jazz musician, and a college professor an in-drag burlesque dancer and no one bats an eye. That's what I love... we don't judge because we have a deep affinity for one another. There's something special that runs through Louisianans' blood, we know how to get by and make something from nothing. Whether it's a good pot of gumbo or Super Bowl champs out of Aints. This is a place where we really do care about your mama and them!

Everything in life happens for a reason. Your decision on how you deal with it determines your destiny. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade squeeze them into a Bloody Mary.

Butterfly & Ladybug is giving away to 5 new followers a set of address labels and for a follower of this blog a Handbag and accessory set!

In order to enter the giveaway, you must follow Butterfly & Ladybug on twitter & then visit the shop and/or beautiful website and comment below to tell us your favorite item! (If you do not have twitter or an etsy account, you can become a fan of Handmade Louisiana on Facebook & tell us how awesome this shop is!! :-)

For extra comments, you can "heart" Butterfly & Ladybug's etsy shop, tweet about all of the wonderful items, & write a blog post about this shop! You can also follow Handmade LA's blog!

Tell us with comments below what you did! Don't forget to leave your email incase you are the winner, as their will be more than one! :-)

Etsy Shop

Winners of giveaway will be announced on next week's featured artist post.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Craft a Long Winner is...........

BrendsSWhite again!!! Congratulations Brenda! Your beautiful bookmarks won with 31% of the votes!! Congrats!

Be sure to check out Brenda's awesome work!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Artist of the Week!

Congratulations to JaNae of Signs of Patriotism as this week's featured artist! Both of her shops have such wonderful things! After visiting the shops, you will truly appreciate the items that she has made! Read more to learn about this talented artist!

 My name is JaNae Manley. I am the wife of a retired Army soldier, mother of 2 and Mimi to 2 :)

I got started crafting when my husband was stationed overseas in Panama and the jobs were limited. Fortunately for me I moved into a neighborhood of crafters that consigned at a local on base craft shop this was in 1994 and from there as they say the rest is history :)

A typical day starts for me about 7am I spend the first hour or so catching up on emails and my Facebook, which might I say has been a priceless marketing tool. Then I head to town to spend some volunteer time at a store that features my products while in town I will pick up need supplies, go to any committee meetings (I try to stay very involved in our historic downtown committees as our store is located in this area) then head home to start working on orders that have come in from either my website or Etsy.

I love Louisiana!! My husband and I are not natives, but have chosen to make this our home after we retired from the Army. I love the food, people and the history, what a wonderful place to live!!

Enjoy every minute of living here, it is truly a unique experience! Living in a military town where folks come and go often I get alot of chances to talk about LA and do, LOL.

Even though I make signs, which I do love doing, I truly miss tole painting that I started doing in the beginning. I still get orders every once in awhile, but there isn't quite the demand there used to so I stick with the signs and love when someone comes to pick a special order up and they get teary eyed because it brings back a memory or feeling for them that was special, I love contributing to that.

I think I have a tie on food, I love crawfish!!! But in the winter I can't wait for that first pot of gumbo :)

Visit a few sites to see Signs of Patriotism:




Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Artist of the Week!

Congratulations to Wendy of Splendiferous Fiber as this week's featured artist!

Introduction- Tell us a bit about yourself.
I live in Alexandria, have 2 young adult children, both of whom learned to sew in grade school, and several cats. My daughter is a costume designer, graphic artist and dances with Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre. My son is a painter and photographer. Artistic endeavor runs in the family. :-)

How did you get started making handmade items?
I've been making things since I could hold a crayon, and sewing since I could hold a needle. I started making my own clothes in 6th grade, when I got my Sewing Badge in Girl Scouts. Within a couple of years, I was not only making but designing my outfits.

What does a typical day look like for you?
I have an outside retail job, so the schedule depends on when I have to be at work, and what else I have to do (feeding the cats is a given). I did quite a bit of painting in the last couple of weeks to get ready for Second Saturday Art Market at the Alexandria Museum of Art on the 12th. I hope the weather warms up by then!

If you could tell someone anything about Louisiana, what would you tell them?
There are educated people who live here, and some of us got our education before we had our family. Not all of us hunt or fish, unless you mean hunt for bargains, and fish for compliments, LOL.

What is your favorite item to make?
I love making my handpainted and dyed scarves and other items. You never know exactly how the paint and dye will come out, so there is always that element of surprise when you see the finished product. I also love working on more complicated things, such as original art quilts, and watching what I work on take shape and go from my vision to reality. Often, those projects change in progress, usually for the better. There's nothing more amazing than working on a piece and realizing you really have something and it's GOOD. It doesn't always happen, of course, but that's the nature of art.

What is your favorite food from Louisiana?
Tonight: Gumbo (it's really cold!) I make king cakes, which disappear alarmingly quickly, so they must be pretty good (having a son who eats half the cake before his dad gets home doesn't hurt either).

Any other information you'd like us to know?
I am also a fiber and quilt artist, have won several awards, and had a piece selected to be published in "500 Art Quilts," a book published last March. My quilts and photography have also been displayed at the International Quilt Festival. Contemporary Fiber Artists of Louisiana, which I belong to, has a current exhibit touring the state; the virtual version of the exhibit can be seen here: http://cfalart.blogspot.com/

My photo site with fiber art and wearable art:

Etsy Shop!

ArtFire Shop!



Show Wendy some love & visit her facebook page & tell her your favorite item! You can follow her wonderful blog too to keep up with Splendiferous Fiber!!

The winner from last week's featured artist giveaway is Jacqueline!
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