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Friday, March 25, 2011

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

CuteLootnFood2Boot Congratulations Brenda! Your beautiful spring gift tags won with 47% of the votes!! Congrats! Third month in a row!!!

Be sure to check out Brenda's awesome work!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Artist of the Week!

Congratulations to Kenny Spears as this week's featured artist!

Tell us a bit about yourself.
My Name is Kenny Spears. I'm 30 years old from a small town in southwest Louisiana. Kinder, Louisiana to be exact. I'm not a typical Louisianian in regards that I don't hunt or fish. So I'm not the typical sportsman in the "Sportsman's Paradise". I enjoy BBQ'ing and playing music while in the company of friends and family. I've been married for almost 7 years to a beautiful and wonderful woman who I love very much. We have one son named William Hollis. He's named after both of our grandfathers. I'm a singer/songwriter and guitar player.  Most of my friends are musicians also.

What does a typical day look like for you?My days are anything but typical. I have a job that keeps really weird hours for the most part. If I'm going to work in the daytime, I usually start out before the sun comes up. If its night shift, I get up around 3:00 in the afternoon to spend some time with my wife and son before I head to work. If I'm not heading to work, I usually get up in the morning and hit the coffee pot pretty hard. I love Community Coffee. Like my ol' Pawpaw used to say "IF it ain't Community, it AIN'T". If I'm off of work for the night shift, I gotta try to stay up late to keep my schedule. That's where I get alot of songwriting in. I have a friend in the town of Oberlin not far from Kinder who is also a night owl. We write together and play together on a regular basis.

If you could tell someone anything about Louisiana, what would you tell them?
Its hard to say what you would tell someone who's not from Louisiana about Louisiana. There's so many great things to talk about. From music (which is culturally and geographically our own) to the great food. Man I've been some places where the food was just horrible, but that's the way those people were raised, they don't know any better. But above all, I believe that the certain lifestyle that we live here is the most fulfilling in all the country. We have a rich history of just about everything. All different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds that make this state what it is. Its wonderful.
What is your favorite food from Louisiana?Ma ol' ladies gumbo cher'!
Remember to support your local musicians and watch out for the gators! Geaux Saints! Geaux Tigers!
You can find Kenny on YouTube under Whiky88. (click here to see videos!)  In case anyone would like to contact me my email address is hummingbird1124@rocketmail.com .

Friday, March 18, 2011

March Craft a Long Voting Begins!

Hi all! This month's theme is "Happy Spring". What is a Craft a Long? Each month our members are challenged  to submit items they've made (or vintage items they find) that fit the current month's theme. Then our readers vote on their faves!

Happy Spring all from Handmade Louisiana!! You may vote for more than one item and voting ends in one week!

Dance Tote from Splendiferous Fiber
Cute hot pink ballet terms and ballerinas print with coordinating white ball fringe and and sassy pink and lime green print trim. A unique gift for a little (or big) dancer!

Spring Pink Check Dress w/YoYo Flowers from Vivy's Closet

Happy Spring Ponytails from Mama's Little Monkeys
Fun flower ponytails for your little or big girl!

The Rose Hair Garland from Trapped in Time Designs
hand knit backing with felt flower detailing

Happy Spring Happy Everything! gift tags from CuteLootnFood2Boot

Pink Floral Frame by Embellished Bayou

Spring Green Jewelry Dish - Pottery from Hurricane Pottery
The color of Granny Smith apples glazes this small stoneware dish, while a tiny white Bunny leaves a pink egg. Is he the Easter Bunny? Shhhh, We can't tell. This little dish is an adorable place to put your rings or ear rings; use it next to the sink or by your bed. Hand Thrown stoneware dish; hand built bunny rabbit, too.

Plaid Altered Clothespins or Magnets from MicroMops
Spring means picnics, which these plaid clothespins remind me of! Use these clothespins to keep your bags closed, or to hang your laundry in the fresh spring air!

Yellow Rose in Spring by FunckyLove

Thanks to all who entered! Time to vote!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Artist of the Week!

Introduction- Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a very busy wife and mother! I have two daughters, the Chicklets, who are 10 and 13 and a wonderful husband, Sarge, who I have been married to for almost 20 years.
MetryChick.com is my full time job and I wouldn't have it any other way, although I always say that I work for the worst witch on the block. Being self employed I work harder than ever before.

How did you get started making handmade items? I taught myself how to etch glass after needing some Christmas gifts and looking to do something different. Since I taught myself I didn't know about using stencils so I learned the hard way for a while. I got used to it and still don't use stencils in any of my etching - this allows my etching to be very detailed and nothing is off limits. The saying is that you have to break a lot of eggs to make a good omelet and I seemed to break a lot of glass in the beginning until I got the hang of it. I also made a lot of UGLY glasses. My mom still has some of those - gawd bless her! I expanded into jewelry in 2008 as a way to increase the portability of my items at festivals and shows. My family was affected by a layoff and I needed to broaden my business base, so I took glass and expanded into jewelry. I have an obsession for all things glass - kind of like a barracuda, I love shiny things!

What does a typical day look like for you?I get the young one off to school and am back home for about 9. After that I am full speed ahead. I try to schedule errands all for one day so I am not interrupting my "flow". I try to break up my days for maximum efficiency. If I am etching I will spend the WHOLE day etching. If I am making jewelry I will spend the whole day on that, and also spend time on the computer doing graphic work, updating my sites, etc. 

If you could tell someone anything about Louisiana, what would you tell them?
Louisiana is unlike any place you have ever been. Every 10 miles you find something special about that community, that area that is unlike any other.

What is your favorite item to make?
I like it when I get to etch really complicated decor items. There is nothing I like more than to make something just heart breakingly beautiful.

What is your favorite food from Louisiana?
I would have to say my fave food is Begniets. Fried dough with sugar. What's NOT to love? That ties with chicory coffee. I can't stomach weak coffee!

Any other information you'd like us to know?
I work really hard at what I do. My business is just like a living child to me. I tend to it every day and it grows and changes continually. I like to specialize in "different". When a customer tells me my work is different that is the highest compliment I can get. I work hard to find and experiment with items to make sure they are different and live up to my high expectations. 

Check out Metry Chick at the following locations!
Website address
Blog metrychick.blogspot.com and megametrychick.blogspot.com
Facebook www.Facebook.com/MetryChickFans
Twitter - @metrychick

Retail Therapy Locations
Sign-Up Here for Metry Chick's Newsletter

Congrats to Amanda as the winner for last week's giveaway!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Artist of the Week!

Introduction- Tell us a bit about yourself. 
Hi, I'm Christy and I live in Shreveport, LA, with my husband and pug, Gidget.  I have lived in Louisiana all my life, mostly in Shreveport, Baton Rouge & New Orleans.  I am an LSU alumni and a huge Tiger fan!  Some of my hobbies include reading, gardening, surfing the web, shopping estate sales, and spending time with family & friends.

How did you get started making handmade items? 
I have been creative and crafty pretty much all my life.  I can remember doing all kinds of craft projects with my mom as a child and with friends on through college.  I first started selling my handmade items after I made some baby gifts for friends a few years ago.  I would see cute frames and other things in stores and knew I could make them even cuter myself!  Then my mother-in-law gave me her old embroidery machine last year and it has been non-stop ever since!

What does a typical day look like for you? 
I usually start my day like most, checking my email, Facebook, and other pertinent websites.  I also work part-time as a retail merchandiser, so 1-4 days a week I visit stores like Kohl's, JCPenny, and Academy completing various projects.  I am home in time to take Gidget for her daily walk and agonize over what to cook for dinner!  On days when I'm not working my retail jobs, I will work on orders or play around with my embroidery machine and of course do the boring stuff like housework, grocery shopping, and laundry.  I can usually fit in some fun shopping or lunch with a friend at least once a week.  In the evenings hubby & I relax by watching TV/movies, playing video games, or hanging out with friends.

If you could tell someone anything about Louisiana, what would you tell them? 
I would tell them not to believe everything they see on TV! We don't all have alligators in our backyards, take pirogues to work, or have unintelligible accents! 

What is your favorite item to make? 
Right now I love creating things with my embroidery machine.  I love making anything from personalized onesies and burp cloths to travel tumblers and koozies.  I also love using vintage jewelry on my frames, although I haven't made any new ones in a while. I try to make all of my creations unique by embellishing them with some sort of special touch like rhinestones, vintage jewelry, or cute fabrics.

What is your favorite food from Louisiana? 
How do you choose a favorite food from Louisiana? That is next to impossible! I love seafood, and I'm particularly fond of crawfish etoufee, crawfish chowder, meatpies, pralines, and bread pudding.

Any other information you'd like us to know?
I also sell my items at a local consignment boutique.  This is a great way to get your product out to a wider market; if there are any in your area, I highly recommend checking them out!  Also, Facebook and Etsy teams have been a great resource from me.  I've gotten such great information and support from HML and others! 

Shop address



Embellished Bayou is giving away One personalized Travel Tumbler: http://www.etsy.com/listing/54598349/fleur-de-lis-personalized-monogrammed

In order to win, you can become a facebook fan and share your favorite item from Embellished Bayou's shop by commenting below. For more entries you can follow their blog and twitter! For other entires, you can post a comment on their facebook page!  

Also, readers can use the code "HANDMADELOUISIANA" for 20% off their purchase from the Etsy shop.

Embellished Bayou Etsy Shop
Winner from last week's giveaway is carolynmcintyre! Winner for this week will be posted on next week's blog post!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Artist of the Week!

Congratulations to Sandy of Dusty Oak Ornaments as this week's featured artist!

Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello, my name is Sandy. I was born a military brat and arrived in Louisiana, courtesy of the USAF and I’ve been here ever since. I’m a SHAM (Stay-at-home mom) my kids are now grown and my nest is empty, so I suppose you could call me a stay at home …. waiting and waiting for the day I can say, “I’m a grandma!” :-) My sweet hubby and I have been married for almost 34 years and it’s been a wonderful adventure. I spent 21 of those years home schooling our kids and believe me, I was the one who gained the education. I wouldn’t have done it any other way and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to stay at home all those years.

Some of my hobbies include; scrapbooking, crocheting, making decorations for weddings and teaching arts and crafts. My favorite outdoor activities are gardening, letterboxing, hiking, and writing scavenger hunts, but mostly I just love being outside!

How did you get started making handmade items?
Like most crafters, you could say, it’s in my DNA. My mom was a wonderfully talented artist, crafter and seamstress. I remember sitting for hours and watching her paint and helping her with projects for Vacation Bible School. My sisters and I have fond memories of standing on the table and turning, so slowly, so she could mark the hems for our new (always matching) dresses.

When my husband and I were married, I decided to make handmade ornaments, each Christmas for my family and friends. I made some quilted ornaments, painted gingerbread men, cut out wooden ornaments, baked dough ornaments, cross-stitched, painted glass ornaments… etc. I tried to make something unique every year. In 2006, it was time (Way Past TIME) to clean out my craft closet. So, I listed a few quilted ornaments on eBay and DustyOak Ornaments was born.

What does a typical day look like for you?
I suppose most people would say it’s pretty boring. My life has totally changed since the kids are gone. Once I get my hubby off to work, I spend the morning walking, doing chores, reading my Bible, answering emails and packing up any orders that may have come in overnight. If I’m home at noon, I eat my lunch in front of the TV and watch Star Trek -The Next Generation. Yes, I Love Jean-Luc Picard! LOL Depending on the day of the week, I’m either out the door doing errands, meeting with my girlfriends for lunch-bunch, doing some volunteer work, occasionally searching for letterboxes or at home diligently working on new ornament designs and filling orders. And believe it or not, I cook supper almost every day. I love to cook and my husband loves to eat, so it works out great!

If you could tell someone anything about Louisiana, what would you tell them?
We bought a little house at the end of a dirt road, next to a little pond; in the sticks of North West Louisiana… here we raised our kids on the sweet aroma of honeysuckle and cypress trees draped in Spanish moss. Almost daily, deer wonder through the yard and snuggle down in the tall grass near the water for afternoon naps. Fish spawning at the edge of the pond make slow swirls with their tails as the sun bounces and sparkles like tiny diamonds across the water. In the trees there are woodpeckers, busily hammering away for their supper, Kingfishers swooping down to snatch theirs from the waters below and squirrels recklessly darting from tree to tree in a wild game of chase. At night, the coyotes get all stirred up, yelping and howling about the beautiful star studded skies, while the bull frogs sing their baritone lullaby. Did I get a little carried away on this question? Well, sorta :-D But, if my tiny little corner of Louisiana is filled with such beauty and life…imagine what the rest of this outdoorsman’s paradise holds.

What is your favorite item to make?
My favorite ornaments, by far, are wedding ornaments. Most of them are crafted with items from the wedding itself and each is unique and filled with sentiment. It’s thrilling to get feedback from a bride who has just received her wedding ornament! And just knowing that something, I created, will be a treasured keepsake….. no words.

What is your favorite food from Louisiana?
Choosing a favorite food is next to impossible. Just like the wildlife, the music, the art and the people… Louisiana’s cuisine is diverse, exciting and full of flavor! I love it all!

Any other information you’d like us to know.
I believe that God, the ultimate creator, has placed in each of us the gift of creativity, whether crafting, math, science, music, painting or teaching… it’s our responsibility to put forth our best. Not for our own praises, but, to glorify our maker and to please Him.

Links to visit Dusty Oaks Ornaments:
Website: dustyoakornaments.com

Dusty Oak Ornaments is giving away one free ornament of your choice from the in stock supply valued at $30.00 or less.

To be eligible to win, visit Dusty Oak Ornament's website and leave a comment on the blog and also become a fan of their facebook page.
Once you have done this, please comment & tell us!! Extra comments for posting what you love about Dusty Oak Ornaments on their Facebook page!
 The winner will be chosen from random.org & posted on next Wednesday's post (ends next Tuesday)
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