Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Featured Artist -- Lil Bit Sassy

From the northwest corner of Pennsylvania, Lil Bit Sassy has this to say about herself:

"I live in Meadville, PA and love to make items that are useful as well as fun. This is why I enjoy making baby and children items so much! I can use my imagination to come up with unique things that babies and children will love to play with.

I come from a rather large family so this is where most of my inspiration comes from. I am always making things for my family and a great many ideas have been their suggestions.

Along with sewing, I also love to cross stitch, read and ride on our motorcycle."

She is one of the artists who has a shop with Handmade Artists.  There and on her blog and personal website, she features her wares.  She makes items, that I can't even imagine doing.  Take a look:

A service that many of us can relate to.  A great keyring for any grandmother to own.

For my younger granddaughter, she is a supergirl.

And something for my grandsons who love to play online games featuring "zombies."

Finally featuring something for my wife, a life long Steelers fan:

We definitely could use this, especially in August when our ninth grandchild is due.  While you visit her Handmade Artist shop; browse some of the other artists shops.  There is a great variety of genres represented in these shops.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Lady Faith Jewelry -- Highlighted Handmade Artist

Lady Faith speaks:

When I was about 5 or 6 years old, my grandmother the manager of a ladies dress shop here in West Texas brought home a bag of broken jewelry for me to play dress up. I immediately began putting all kinds of things together and using safety pins to mend the broken necklaces. So began my jewelry making career. After a few necessary slowdowns and a couple of stops, I began my career again. I believe every woman should have pretty and fun jewelry. So I have designed and made this jewelry just for that woman. Some of the pieces are entirely handmade by me and are One of a Kind. Some are vintage pieces re-purposed for wear in today’s world. Visit and enjoy with me my journey of jewelry designing and making.

She speaks frequently at her blog.

Lady Faith creates:

Mixed Metal Bracelet

Lady Faith Jewelry
Mixed Metal Necklace

Sterling Silver Hammered Bracelet

These are but a few of the uniquely beautiful pieces that Barbara has for sale in her online shop -- Lady Faith Jewelry.  She maintains high quality in all her jewelry offerings.  Her metal work is fantastic.  While you are looking at Lady Faith Jewelry, feel free to browse the other artists represented at Handmade Artists.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Handmade Artists Shops' Highlights


Those of us that post "highlights" are spotlighting the work of others (and sometimes ourselves).  In the Handmade Artists Forum, there are contests that are themed and a prize is given to the highlight with the most comments.  The people putting together the highlight have a great time selecting items for sale in the shops to meet the criteria of the highlight.  Here is one that I did last year: Rings of Silver.  

Unfortunately, I can not figure out how to get the highlight to show up in my blog, so I will post several links:

It's Snowing Rainbow Colors
Christmas Colors Cousins
Festival of Lights

To see all the highlights that have been created and posted in Handmade Artists Highlights just click on the hyperlink.  This is the entry page to all highlights. 

Highlights are another way to see selections that have been selected by other members.  A great way to see what other genres have been doing.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Handmade Artist -- Finding Charm

Sarah started making jewelry because she had outfits she just couldn't find that perfect piece to go with. So she thought she'd buy some beads and give it a try. She was hooked, it's almost an addiction! It's important to her that she create charming pieces that don't break the bank. She started getting compliments and requests and decided she should help others in their journey of finding charm.  Sarah hails from Kansas City, MO.

Her brand "Finding Charm" can be found at Zibbet, and eCrater.  She has a blog and facebook page.  The above samples from her shops demonstrate her philosophy and style very well.  She is a talented artist.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Handmade Artist -- Brooklyn Bead Goddess

Hello and welcome ~ My name is April. I am a glass bead maker and jewelry designer. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York gives me the style and flair unique to my jewelry. I've always been intrigued with glass. When I was young I remember seeing glass artists along the Coney Island boardwalk. I loved seeing the sparkling delicate sculptures they made. Today I am pleased to create my own glass beads and incorporate them in my jewelry designing. I use a technique called "lampworking" to make my glass beads.

I copied April's own description of her history.  I can also remember seeing the folk at Coney Island, but I was only visiting a friend who lived in Brooklyn.  Lampworking is a skill I have seen demonstrated many times, but one which I do not see myself being able to master, so lampworkers are in my awe.  After creating her own beads, April has put together many very beautiful pieces.

These four are a small sample of her work.  More can be found at the Handmade Artist's Shop -- Brooklyn Bead Goddess.  Her art will make great gifts.  While you are looking at her shop, please look around the many other venues at Handmade Artists.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Handmade Artist Feature -- Bead Thing

Pam is the artist, designer and fabricator of the wonderful variety of items she has displayed at her many different venues.  One of them is at the Handmade Made Artists Shops.  She suffered a heart attack several years ago, and at her daughter's suggestion she started crafting jewelry items.  She hails from the northeast section of Florida near Daytona Beach.  I feel that her work speaks for itself, so her is a selection:

As you can see Pam is a very talented person.  Please feel free to visit her shop; and while you are there, you can shop the other great shops at Handmade Artists.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Handmade Artists Forum

One feature of the group of sections to Handmade Artists is the forum.  Buyers and sellers can post in the forum asking questions, answering questions, displaying their works and giving opinions.  One of the very unique features in the forum is that everyone can actively interact with the site owners (Andrew and Kimberly) and with the Web Guru (Josie).  This is done with posts to the forum topics and in the "Chat" section.  Every Thursday evening (8:30 Eastern US time) anyone involved with Handmade Artists can participate in an interactive chat.  Josie attends, she is in England, so it is like 1:30 AM, but she is there with bells on.  This makes us very unique, everyone can have personal input into the design and operation of the shops.

Another feature of the forum is a provision for sending personal messages between members.  This is outside of the message system in the shops, where customers can send messages to the artist.  Forum also features a list of members, and a search function.

The forum is a place to see new items posted, interact with other members and just plain have fun posting and reading.  Anyone coming into the forum will see that the members of Handmade Artists are a great community.  We help each other.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Brooklyn Bead Goddess -- Handmade Artist of the Week

My name is April (BrooklynBeadGoddess). I am a glass bead maker and jewelry designer. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York gives me the style and flair unique to my jewelry. I've always been intrigued with glass. When I was young I remember seeing glass artists along the Coney Island boardwalk. I loved seeing the sparkling delicate sculptures they made. Today I am pleased create my own glass beads and incorporate them in my jewelry designing. I use a technique called "lampworking" to make my glass beads.

Lampwork is used to describe handcrafted glass beads that are made by melting glass rods with a torch. The word "lamp" was used in ancient times when the glass was melted with the flame of an oil lamp. Today the craft is also called "flameworking".
Each glass bead is individually hand crafted by heating a glass rod in the flame of an oxygen and natural gas mixed gas torch. The hot glass is melted and applied to a steel rod. I'm open to whatever glass I can experiment with. Lately I'm using German Lauscha, Italian glass Effetre/Moretti, Vetrofond and Creation is Messy. I enjoy learning from and making friends with other artists. Being involved in the art world has always been my passion.
Making glass beads takes time and patience. Mostly it takes practice, practice and more practice. That's what keeps me focused. There is always something new to learn.

I hope my work brings as much joy to you as it does for me.

 Alice's work is so terrific.  I copied her biography from her shop profile as I could not tell the story better.  Lampwork is so difficult for me to even think about.  I have seen a lamp worker craft beads, and it is so fantastic to see the process.  While you visit her shop, please feel free to look at the other handmade artists shops.  Much more than just jewelry is offered at Handmade Artists.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Thunder Rose -- Featured Handmade Artists

Debbie and John of Thunder Rose have been creating beaded leather goods for over 20 years.  Their work is so terrific that it speaks for itself.  In addition to their own website, they also have a shop with Handmade Artists.  Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I will show you their art:

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Handmade Artists Shop -- Yankee Burrow Creations


Debbi grew up the youngest of 10 kids.  Her mom (nana) was a free flying artist spirit of the 60's and 70's.  She loved art and her family.  She has so many memories of warm summer days spent in any and all art shows within a 100 mile radius of our home in Tonawanda, New York.  My favorite show was the Allentown Art Festival in Buffalo, New York.  My dream is to one day participate in the show myself.  She now lives in North Carolina with her best friend and husband, Chuck, her daughter Hannah, foster children, and misc animals. 

Amanda is the other half of YankeeBurrowCreations.  She found her latest passion in yarn!  Crocheting like a mad woman, always with a hook in her hand, lol.  But she has a great talent for fine arts, and if I nag her enough, maybe she will share it with you.  She just finished her masters degree in Graphic Design, and makes all the banners you see on their shop. 

Together, they have a great fashion sense, and make some of the most wonderful  art.   Yankee Burrow Creations can be found here.

Their WORK:  From top to bottom, a hand quilted bedspread, a turquoise necklace, and a beautiful fall wreath.  These selections show the fantastic variety of pieces in their shop.

Please visit Yankee Burrow Creations, and while there, feel free to window shop the other handmade artists.

Monday, October 1, 2012

I Knit Quilt and Sew Handmade Artist Shop

Sandi Levy markets her handmade crafts in her handmade artists shop I Knit, Quilt and Sew.

She has recently designed a custom "cowboy/cowgirl" boot for babies.  These knitted items are totally unique to her shop.  And they are so reasonably priced.
Now that I have shown her knitting, here is a fantastic quilt (also for the younger person in the family).

Finally, here is a sewing piece.  A rag doll for the small fry, again.
Sandi is a multi-talented creator of beautifully unique items.  She can be found other places on the internet:  her personal blog and her Google+ page.

Visit her shop, many other pieces of her very unique skill are on display to be purchased.  While at her shop, look around the Handmade Artists shops, forum and blog.  The artists who participate in this group are of many different talents.  There is something that anyone can find to their delight.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Alchemist's Vessel -- Handmade Artist Shop

Alixandra Browning is the artist who designs and creates her art under the trade name -- The Alchemists Vessel.  She is a self taught artists with an eclectic taste in her designs.  She has a great love of nature and the outdoors where she gets many of her design ideas.

She and her work can be found on many venues including Facebook, Blogspot and Pinterest.

I find her work to be very interesting and her designs extremely unique.  She took a money clip, reformed its shape and added a bezel set onyx cabochon to make a necklace pendant.
She also took inspiration from "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy and made a necklace from chain to fashion this tribute to the Riders of Rohan. The chain is fashioned in a full Persian weave with a bone horse's head as the clasp.  This is my favorite piece in her shop. 

The last design I am going to feature is called "Dragon's Tears."  Again she has taken wire and hand made the rings for the chain.  Absolutely beautiful.

Please visit the Alchemist's Vessel (oh how I love the name of the shop) and look at some of the other great items Alix Browning features.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Custom Wedding Set

A friend of mine's mother had a wedding set that was painful to wear, as the outside bands were held together with soldered on bars on the outside of the shank.  These two bars cut into her fingers and made wearing the ring set very uncomfortable.  In addition, the "gold" plating was wearing off the base metal.  So, taking the stones out of her old ring, they were reset into Sterling silver castings to make a new wedding set.  The stones are 7 mm and 2 mm cubic zirconia in a round brilliant faceted cut.  Setting the large stone was fairly simple; setting the 10 small stones was very trying.  However, after a couple hours, I finally finished setting all the stones:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Handmade Artist Shop -- A Bead Thing

Pam and her daughter are "A Bead Thing."  She began active beading to create her unique style following her myocardial infarction in 2009.  Later her daughter asked her to make her some pieces to wear to a Halloween Party.  This was the beginning of a terrific beading cooperative between the two of them.
Here is a fantastic Celtic style ring that sets off its color and design perfectly.  This pair of earrings is modelled after a pair of "flip-flops."  
As a final offering for your viewing pleasure, this bracelet is made with red Swarovski crystals.  Absolutely the most beautiful piece that she has in her shop:

Everything that A Bead Thing offers at Handmade Artists Shops is a one of a kind unique item.  They make their jewelry in their shop in Daytona Beach, Florida.  Take a little time to visit her shop, you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Technology Changing the Face of Handmade

As I have aged I have had the privilege to see many advances in technology. Astronautics from the orbit of Sputnik, the landing on the moon to space stations and shuttles and recently the Mar's rover. At the same time, slide rules giving way to calculators to personal computers. Data input changes, punch cards to interactive. Even the computer word processing software that I am writing this “blog” with. Many, many, many changes (advances) in easing the work load of the human to produce products.
My field is the production of gemstones and jewelry. On several different venues, I have watched debate about “What is Handmade?” Technology has changed the face of jewelry design and production. Less than 100 years ago, diamonds were cut by cleaving them with mallet and chisel, now computer driven faceting machines are available. This technology produces faceted gemstones that have the best optical characteristics. Laser welding machines are used instead of cold connections or soldering. CAD/CAM software associated with CNC milling machines allow the computer generation of many different methods for jewelry manufacture.
Sewing / quilting has progressed from needles and thimbles giving way to sewing machines, some of which are now available with computer control. Likewise, the manufacture of cloth has changed from the spinning wheel to highly computerized looms.

This is the rub. At what point in the use of technology do we consider that the product is no longer handmade, but machine made. If an artist uses a drawing program on a computer to produce an image, is this not handmade? Or must the artist use a graphite pencil to render the same image? Again, in my field, I could (if I had the money) use a CAD/CAM program to design my jewelry, then a milling machine to produce it, or I could use hand graving, planishing, casting, etc. For that matter, if a photo artist uses a computer editing program is it still “handmade?” In my youth, I learned to compose and take photos on black and white film, develop it myself in a darkroom, then use a print maker to expose the photo paper and then develop it. Now I take the picture with a digital camera, then use a computer program to crop, enhance, and perform many tasks to my picture.
I offer this as a possible way to differentiate handmade from machine made. If a human being, using technology, designs and produces an original one of a kind product, Then it is “handmade.” If that design using technology is used to produce multiple copies of the same product, then it is machine made. Technology can produce high quality pieces, it can also be used to mass produce cheap garbage.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Handmade Artists Forum

The Handmade Artists Forum (HAF) began several years ago.  It was started by Andrew and Kimberly Kitchen and features discussions and posts regarding a wide range of artistic genres.  I have been participating in the forum for about three years and have received great advice from the members about my art.  If you follow the above link, it will take you to the general entrance to the Forum, Blog and Shops.

The original forum expanded a couple years ago with the addition of the Handmade Artists Shops.  Currently with just under 400 artists displaying their work, HAS is dedicated to the idea of "handmade."  No commercial selling or reselling is permitted in the shops.  With the only cost to the artist of a $5 per month fee, HAS is the most cost effective way to display and sell on the internet.  Handmade Artists is the home for Rasmussen Gems and Jewelry LLC.

The forum features several contests every year, and several ways to advertise and promote each other.  This is one of them, this is a blog ring entry.  I will go to my fellow participating members blogs and comment on their presentation of a shop or some part of HAF/HAS. 

There is also a blog section of the HAF, where original blogs are presented.  These are composed by the member artists and published.  Several of us are regular contributors to the blog.  The subject of a blog presentation is totally up to the individual writing the blog.

An additional feature is the weekly Chat where members can exchange ideas and thoughts with the other members.  A unique item is that in this "Chat" both the owners and our web person (Josey who lives in England) actively participate in the discussions. 

I feel honored to be a member and vendor in Handmade Artists.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Ooops! But we will go on!

This evening the motor for my lapidary unit decided to stop turning.  It is only 4 months old; should be covered by the 2 year warranty.  However, we have been productive over the past few weeks.  Have two commissions waiting in the wings; sold a couple of items also.  A Clemson themed lanyard and another tiger paw wing.

At the same time, Debora has been busily beading making many necklaces.  This is one of her most beautiful.  It was crafted from round and faceted round beads that measure about 1 cm in diameter.  The purple and pinks of the beads are very complimentary of each other
Our work is for sale at Rasmussen Gems and Jewelry LLC on the Handmade Artists website.