Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holiday Blog Ring Week 4his

A fantastic week for Handmade Artists blog ring, two wonderful ladies are featured this week.  Kimberly of Makin the Best of It uses
Sterling Silver Leaves
sea glass that she finds on the Jersey beach near her home.  These beautiful pieces of glass that have been rounded and textured by nature in the waves and sand are framed in Sterling silver making one of a kind pieces.  Kimberly also serves as a promoter in several web sites of all handmade artists.  She and her husband are also the administrators of our forum and shops. 
Amber Treasure
ks to Kimberly (and Andrew) for all that you do for us.
  These pieces show just a small part of her ability.  I especially am enamored by the Leaves.

Next on the list this week is April from Brooklyn Bead Goddess.   April is an artist after my own heart, she makes her own lampwork beads to put in her jewelry pieces.  I have seen an artist making lampwork beads, and the degree of
difficulty in that process is such that I would never be able to do it.  Wearing special goggles is necessary as the artist is continually working in the center of a very hot flame.  This process is so beautiful to watch, but the end product is even more so.  I have a "blue phrog" bead that I use as a decorative piece on my shop bench.  Here are a couple pieces that April has produced from
her beads.

When you visit these two shops, please look at all the artists and craftspeople who have shops at Handmade Artists.  These folk are very creative, and make fantastic items in a wide variety of genres.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

HAF Blog Ring Week Three

This week we feature two artists that are new to me.  At first, I was wondering how to present one, Ananasa.  I finally comprehended that Ananasa was a similar site to HAF, many different artists list their works, but as with our HAF, all are handmade.  Based in the UAE (United Arab Emirates), this shop has very beautiful and unique offerings.  As a jeweler, I will feature that genre.  Enjoy.

The silver bracelets show fantastic metal work with a fantastic design.  The ring is made with gold plated brass and the shank is adjustable to fit a variety of sizes.

The second shop is one of our own, Highland Princess Designs.  Describing herself as a "nerd" caught my attention, as I am a semi-typical nerd of my generation (I still have and use a slide rule).  She makes very beautiful Celtic chain and maille pieces.  She got her start in this art while at a fair and saw a belly dance.  Anyway, here are a couple pieces from her shop.  The bracelet on the right captured by eye immediately when I visited her shop.  Both illustrate quality.

As with all artists in the Handmade Artists Forum, the work is exquisite.  Please visit these and all of our wonderful artists in the Shops at Handmade Artists.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

HAF Blog Ring Week 2

We enter the second week of our holiday blog ring for Handmade Artists.  First on my list this week is ThinkEco2, a shop from the ETSY venue.  Brian Behncke and Jules Lavallee produce wine racks and other wood products employing multiple craftsmen to make the products.
While a majority of the products offered in their shop are wine racks, I was particularly attracted to this herb garden.  It shows many possibilities for use in apartments or in an urban location.  This shop being located in California makes good use of recycling woods.

Second on the list this week is Deeliteful Jewelry. Dyanne Everett-Cantrell is located in Arkansas and produces unique jewelry.  As an example of this, I chose a pair of wire wrapped dangle earrings.  This piece shows a beautiful and unique style of wrapping wire around a focal piece of glass. 

Just in time for the holidays, these shops show the versatility of the Handmade Artists Forum.  They sell their products on another venue outside Handmade Artists Shops.  While HA has its own venue, we as a group support all artists, who create their own pieces.  Visit these shops for beautiful and unique gifts.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Reef Botanicals and Rasmussen Gems and Jewelry

The holiday blog ring has started for Handmade Made Artists Forum.  This week, Larissa and Eric who are Reef Botanicals and I are the featured shops.  So I have lucked out, I only have to write about one shop.

  Reef Botanicals -- We are a husband and wife team, Eric and Larissa, who discovered our mutual love for making things from scratch. Between us, we cook, bake, brew, craft, paint, photograph... and that doesn't take into account our other hobbies! We've got one dog, three cats, and four fish. Reef Botanicals was named after our 4th cat, Reef, a feisty, loyal sweetheart who is remembered fondly. 

This description is copied from their profile at their shop.  From personal interaction, I know that Larissa is well educated and has multiple abilities.  I have chosen three items from their shop to show here, but you absolutely need to visit the shop to see all that is available.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Approaching the Holidays

As the holiday season approaches, we are seeing several changes in our life.  Two new grandchildren this fall: McKenna Scott was born in August, and Rowan Rasmussen two days ago.  This makes ten grandchildren, one is not with us, he is in an adoptive family.  His story is for another day.  Rowan is to the right and McKenna is to the left.  At this early age it is difficult to determine the sex of the child in a picture.  

During the coming two months, we will be traveling to Greenville County for two different craft shows.  The first will be the Saturday after Thanksgiving at the YMCA (Eastside) and the second on December 14th at the Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery.  We have been to Swamp Rabbit twice before and had a great time.  If anyone is in this area, please feel free to stop in and say hey.  

Elder daughter and daughter in law have birthdays in the next two weeks.  Daughter should have her present already.  I finished the jewelry piece for daughter in law this evening.  The stone is primarily olivine (peridot) with small vugs filled with quartz crystals.  I decided to use copper for the frame instead of silver.  The metal is 20 gauge square and half round half hard wire fashioned to complement the stone.

Handmade Artists Forum will be starting a blog ring featuring the holiday season; we will be participating.  Hopefully, all will enjoy our contributions to this ring.  Until next time, I remain.....

Monday, November 11, 2013

Catching Up

The weather person on TV has told me that we might actually have snow Tuesday night.  Of course, he tempered that with the idea that there would be no accumulation.  Here in South Carolina, any snow, even as little as one flake predicted, means that every grocery store will be bought out of milk and bread.  Oh well, I'm not going out to purchase perishable stuff.  But I have finished a couple custom projects for customers.  

First was a necklace and cuff link combo for the mother and father for the customer.  Peruvian Blue Opal was used as the couple were married in October.  These will be Christmas gifts for mom and dad.

The cuff links were made with Sterling silver to form the bezel, to which Sterling silver stud was soldered.  The cabochons were cut as a single oval stone, which was then cut in two.  The pendant is a free form cabochon which was suspended from a Sterling silver Venetian box chain.  

The next little project was for my former EMS partner.  We worked the night shift on an ALS unit based at a local hospital.  Our primary purpose was to transport critical patients from the smaller hospital to the larger downtown hospital.  He has recently become engaged and needs a pair of simple wedding bands.  These were made from half round Sterling silver 10 gauge wire.  
That's bringing me up to date.  Starting another custom project, with an emerald cut stone and two trillion side stones.  That will take a small bit of time.  More to follow.  I hope everyone has an enjoyable Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. 



Sunday, October 27, 2013

It's Blue

Bead Thing

Something very different, but blue.  A keychain made with aqua geads.  Such a unique item could only be found at Bead Thing's shop.  She has many other items, fantastic shopping for the upcoming  holiday season.


My second great artist runs the Uniglits shop at Handmade Artists.  This special artist loves to repurpose items from the past, especially those made from Bakelite.  In this piece, buttons have been stitched to an elastic cord to make a multi-sized bracelet.  I really love her items, and I usually do not care for a lot of the "steampunk" items.

Yankee Burrow Creations

Yankee Burrow features her work on the Craft Star website.  This is one of the most wonderful parts of Handmade Artists Forum, in order to participate in the forum and gain from these associations with other artists, one does not have to have a HA shop.  Debbie regularly supports all Handmade Artists, and she continues to be a leader here.  Here I have chosen another strectch bracelet.  Enjoy, I did.

Brooklyn Bead Goddess

This is a shop that I totally love to browse.  In addition to designing and making her fantastic pieces, she makes the lampwork beads in the shop also.  I do find that blue seems also to  be her favorite color as many of her pieces feature blue.  We love all that she makes, and someday I will ask her about her "Brooklyn" connection as I now she does not live there now.

Colettes Collection

Colette does fantastic wire wrapping.  I really admire her ability to design and make the pieces that she has featured in her shop.  What a great way to celebrate the holidays, give some of Colette's pieces as presents.  This bracelet is made with silver wire and sapphire beads.  What a great piece.

Thunder Rose Leather

Debbie and John from Thunder Rose started their participation in the blog ring this week.  I introduce them in this round of the ring.  They hale from the southwest, and craft many beautiful pieces with leather and beads.  The Thunder Rose shop will also make custom items for you.  All you need to do to acquire one of these great pieces is shop.

I hope everyone has a great time looking at this small presentation.  Please shop Handmade Artists for all you holiday gift giving.

Friday, October 18, 2013

My Favorite Item

Our Handmade Artist blog ring continues, this week we are featuring my favorite item from each selected artists' shop.  This is extremely difficult for me as most of the shops work in areas where I am not cognizant of the method used.  However, I just decided to go with what I really just liked the look of.  So I looked through each artists shop and "poof" selected that which popped into my head as I looked through the inventory present on the shop site.  For each artist, just click on the presentation to see the item in their shop.

Sandi of I Knit Quilt Sew has made knit boots for infants for several years, and I have been fascinated by them.  So here are my favorite boots:  

Pam of Bead Thing makes very intricate and beautiful wire wrapped pieces.  Here, I actually know a bit about the art.  This pendant features a bloodstone cabochon, and the wire work accents the stone perfectly.

 Colette works in wire also at her shop.  In this piece she showcases a briolette crystal with silver wire to make the pendant for this necklace.

Lisa at Uniqlets makes fantastic repurposed items such as this unique choker.  Pun intended.  

Debbie of Yankee Burrow designed and completed this very nice wrist cuff.  I was taken with the bone button that was incorporated into her work.  The cut out pattern of the button just fascinates me.

Last to be presented, but certainly not least, is April
from Brooklyn Goddess.  She is an exceptionally talented lamp work artist.  She makes her beads, then crafts her jewelry items.  In this case, the simplicity of the design and beads struck my fancy.

These artists have super great pieces that would be absolutely perfect to use for presents over the next couple of months in the Holiday season.  While looking at these shops, please also look at the rest of the artists who present there work through Handmade Artists.  


Sunday, October 13, 2013


Debora has decided to cease producing strung beaded jewelry.  She selected several pieces and donated them to Beth Israel synagogue and the rest are being offered at our online shop   These pieces are being offered at cost (or in some cases even less than cost) / at a price of $7.50 for each item.  We invite everyone to look over the offerings and select that which you would like.  Here are a few of the pieces:

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wish I Could Do That

Handmade Artists Forum's second week of the fall Blog Ring has as its theme "Wish I Could Do That."  The featured artists are participants in the forum, three of them have shops outside of the Handmade Artists domain.  This is one of the features of Handmade Artists venue that makes it unique, you can be an active member and participant in our community and you do not have to have a shop withing the community.  This is a variation that the other venues do not allow.  Follow the imbedded link  above to reach Handmade Artists venue entrance page.  Our shops, the Forum, the HA Blog and Highlights are all available to people from the entrance page.  We are a diverse group of artists with a wide variety of genres and skills.

My first artist is Colette of Collette Collection is a wire wrapping artist.  Of the group this week, she is the most difficult for me to select as I also do wire wrapping.  However, my wish is that I could weave wire as well as she does.  Her creations are much more complicated than mine.  Most of her art is in the wire work, and she produces fantastic pieces as seen here.  This piece is made in copper wire with turquoise as the featured stone.  Absolutely fantastic work and design. 

The second artist this week is Larissa of Reef Botanicals.  Larissa is a multi-talented lady who does
many different crafts and art.  She is also a lawyer.  I am featuring her candle making ability this week.  Here again is a skill that I am totally lacking.  Many years ago (more than 50), I tried to make candles with my mother.  OOPS.....I am really good at setting things on fire, even with a water/steam boiler to melt parafin.  I would probably make a great arsonist, instead I was a firefighter.  Here is a ginger and peach combination in a set of candles for the home.  Larissa's shop is also one that is outside of Handmade Artists venue.

I should mention as we get to number three, that the order has no relevance as to ability or my opinion of the artist or their work.  Filling in the slot for number three on this hit parade is April of the Brooklyn Bead Goddess.  Here is a person after part of my own heart, she uses fire to make her lampwork beads, and then uses her beads to create jewelry art. 
For anyone outside the genre, Jewelry is wearable art.
April's creations are quite unique one of a kind items.  She features multiple shapes and colors as well as textures of the beads she uses.  Here is one of her many creations featured in her shop.

Next in the line of artists is Debbie of the Yankee Burrow Creations.  She is the last of the artists who maintain a shop outside of our venue.  Here is a person who creates with yarn and other substances to knit her way into my heart.  This pair of bears is just a perfect example of her art.  When I have tried to knit, yes, males do try this.  I found out just how difficult knitting is.  And my mother used to sit and knit while talking, watching TV, playing cards and many other activities.  Even when I concentrate, I can not knit.  My hat is off to Debbie, she makes fantastic pieces.

 Lisa at Uniqlets has mastered the world of "Steampunk."  In this genre, the artists takes pieces of watches, and other items and repurposes them into unique pieces of wearable or display art.  In this piece, Lisa features a Caterpillar tractor.  Near my home is a CAT assembly plant.  I taught a safety class for them several years ago, so that had a bit to do with my selection process in her shop.  The people who can see a design from used materials are doing something that I just can not do.  This visualization is beyond my capabilities.  Lisa does this with a beautiful end product.  Enjoy.

Pam at Bead Thing also produced a small dilemma for me, as my wife does bead work.  Since I don't, ok, here is something that I don't do.  Technically, I guess I could, but again, designing the pattern within the bead work takes too much concentration for me.  So, I really settled the matter by selecting a knitted piece that Pam produced.  Now I really know I can't do this.  As I already explained, knitting is just too complicated for me.  And to produce a beautiful piece like this scarf is.......

Last on my list this week is Monika from My European Touch.  Monika has a great background for her shop name, she lived in Europe.  She brings a great continental influence to her work.  She features reworked porcelain pitchers, platters and other food servers.  She takes the original piece and then adds additional features to emphasize the beauty of the original piece.  This platter is a great example of the art that she produces.

These are just a few of the fantastic artists and craft people that offer their work at Handmade Artists Forum.  We invite all to look through our shops, stop into the forum and add comments/posts/questions for the shops and artists.  We also have an open chat through the forum link every Thursday evening at 2030 hours Eastern US time.  Please feel free to stop in and chat with us any Thursday.  Until next week, I remain, Yours Truly, John (Rasmussen Gems and Jewelry LLC)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Seeing Red

Within the Handmade Artists Forum, there is a small group of folk producing a blog ring.  Each week we have a theme and seek to feature the artists pieces with that theme.  I am one of the members of the group.  Here are some items from each of the participating artists that features the color red.  Each week, the theme changes and each month the participants may also change.  This will produce a series of very interesting and unique blogs.

Bead Thing (Pam) as her title implies works in beaded pieces to illustrate her artistry.  She started beading following a heart attack, and works from her home in Daytona Beach, Florida.  She is very active in the Handmade Artists community.  Her pieces are a fantastic compilation of techniques, styles and colors.  Please visit her shop. The keychain to the right illustrates her styling very well. 

My European Touch (Monika) takes items (quite often made in porcelain) then refinishes them to create unique beautiful items.  She was born overseas and has settled well in the US.  She is in the process of moving to a new house, so she may be a little busy during this month.  I find the pieces that she has made to be of exceptional quality.  Please also visit her shop.  To the left is a well decorated picture frame.  She has some fantastic pitcher (ewer) combinations available.

My third artist this week is the organizer of the blog ring this month.  I Knit Quilt Sew (Sandi) very obviously uses her talent with thread and cloth.  She was told over many years of giving her art away that she should be
selling her creations.  In that vein, she established her Handmade Artists shop, and has never looked back to reconsider.  Her shop features a very eclectic group of artistic pieces.

Uniqlets (Lisa) art features her very unique design capabilities.  She likes to make things in the steam punk genre.  Her items feature used items from various sources.  I love how she recomposes a new piece from the old. While you are visiting her shop, look around Handmade Artists' Shops.  Like the forum where we exchange information, the Shops are the sales area.  Although all of our forum members do not have a shop in the Handmade Artists sales venue, we welcome all to our discussions and information sharing.

The last artist that I will feature this week is Yankee Burrow Creations.  Debbi and Amanda comprise the artists here and they make a wide variety of items.  Their creations range from jewelry, to home decor, to fashion.  I chose a scarf from their shop to feature here as it meets the whole idea of the theme "Seeing Red."  Please consider them whenever you are looking for a beautiful piece of wearable or display art.

Chars Creations shop only has two items listed, and although participating in the blog ring, neither item met any idea of red.  However, I include a link to the shop.  The last shop participating is Rasmussen Gems and Jewelry LLC.  Since that is I, I will only include a link to the shop and a picture of a red zircon in Sterling silver ring that I offer.  Please visit Handmade Artists anytime you consider making a present to someone.