Friday, June 24, 2011

Featured Artisan: Cupertinosoap

Hello everyone, please welcome today's featured Artisan- Veronica Nourse of Cupertinosoap

Tell us a little bite about yourself! 

I am a fiftyish single mom who loves to make soap and bath products. I am also a self taught artist that enjoys painting on wood, glass, metal and canvass. I also enjoy making jewelry, taking photographs and learning new techniques for art.

How did you start creating your artwork, and how long have you been doing it?

I am a self taught artist and I have enjoyed doing art ever since I was a child. Three years ago I taught myself how to make soap. I really enjoy making a lovely bar of soap, it is very satisfying to make something that smells good and is healthy for your skin.

Where do you get your inspiration from?  I never knew what I was missing until I started making handcrafted soap. I used to think soap was just soap, it was something to wash with and that was that.

Then one day when I was working for a fair trade company I was chatting with one of my friends there and we started talking about what we would do if we could do anything we wanted.  My friend Dawn said she wanted to make handmade soap.  I said “you can make your own soap?!?” I had never given that any thought, I didn’t know you could make your own soap. Wow! that got my head spinning in all sorts of directions. So I asked her a million questions about making soap. I could not stop thinking about making my own soap.
I used to buy my soap from the grocery store or drug store. It’s cheap as can be and you get several bars. 

Well after talking with my friend Dawn, I started reading ingredients on the soaps in the grocery store. Yuck! I could not pronounce half of the ingredients and the other half of ingredients I had no idea what they were. So that sent me into research mode. I am the queen of research, I love to look stuff up and find all I can on the subject. 

I checked out all of the ingredients in the soaps from the grocery store. Boy was I grossed out after reading all of that. I started thinking I can’t believe I have been putting this junk on my skin for years.

So of course I just had to research the best things to put into soap.  I found that soap does not have to be made with cheap or harsh ingredients, or with ingredients that you couldn’t pronounce. It could be made with wonderful nourishing oils, butters and essential oils that make your skin really healthy.  I had dry skin and eczema and I thought I was just going to have to live with it. My son also had skin problems. We went to the doctor’s and got lots of medications that never really helped.

Well, I started making my own soap. It was quite the experiment at first. I made a lot of really bad soap. They looked horrible and didn’t smell nice. But practice makes perfect. I finally started making very nice soaps that actually made a huge difference in my skin and my son’s skin. So I thought I would share this with my friends. 

Well, they were not that interested at first. They said soap is just soap what’s the big deal! Well, I wasn’t going to take that lying down.  So I explained to them about the ingredients in the soaps they were using, for example: most large soap manufactures use beef fat in their soaps. They were not happy to hear this, but still not that interested in my soap. Geez, what was I going to do with all of that soap I made. So I decided to give all of my friends some soap as a gift. Well that really changed their minds.
They used my soap and became hooked on the good stuff.  They discovered how lovely the lather was and how soft their skin was, and that they no longer needed to use lotion, and they smelled really nice after their showers.  Now they can’t seem to get enough and could not imagine ever using the soaps from the grocery store ever again.
I must confess that I am totally hooked too. It is so fun to try a new soap fragrance or a new soap blend. Sometimes I have several soaps in the shower and a different one in every bathroom and at the kitchen sink. Sometime I wash my hands just so I can play with the soap and feel the great lather. Ok I admit that I am a soap-a-holic, I just can’t help myself, and there is something very nice about a great handmade natural soap.

Come on, ditch the grocery store and drug store soap and buy handmade natural soaps. You will be so glad you did. Be good to yourself and the planet, use natural soaps. :)

Outside of crafting what else do you enjoy doing? I enjoy doing anything that is creative. I love to garden, cook, take photos and I spend a lot of time learning about herbs and essential oils.

Thanks so much Veronica for sharing your lovely work with us. xoxo

Friday, June 17, 2011

Featured Artisan: BibeezBaby

Hello everyone, please welcome our featured artisan, Frances of BibeezBaby.

First off, tell us a little about yourself!

Hey there! My name is Frances and I am an Air Force wife and stay at home mom to my magnificent son-and I LOVE it!

My husband and I have been married 5 years and I praise God for all he has provided us during this wonderful time. 

In the past 5 years we have had 7 different addresses that have spanned the United States, it's been very exciting. Before we had our son, I worked as a preschool teacher which didn't pay much but, has given me a whole basketful of funny stories!  My favorite story is of a little girl in Oklahoma. I asked her what we used our feet for and she replied "Kickin' armadillos."  There you have it. I love my life.  

Now we are blessed with the most independent, inquisitive and energetic 1 year old you could ever meet. I am never bored, never without someone to talk to, and never, ever short on smiles.
How did you start creating your artwork, and how long have you been doing it?

I've known how to sew basic projects since I can remember- you know the basic apron, or pillow. 

I started diving in to sewing as a hobby after my son was born in order to carve out a little "me" time. It quickly turned in to much more than a hobby, and I haven't looked back since.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Oh goodness. So many things really!  I am inspired by the women in my family- They are such positive role models, and a great example of how to balance being a wife, a mother, and a creative individual. Obviously my little boy, and my husband, they make me smile, they give me ideas, and they help to get me out of my "creative ruts" when I stress or over think things.  I'm inspired by fabric, rain, trees in the fall, laughing, children's books, ice cream shops, and my grandmother's quilts. 

Outside of crafting what else do you enjoy doing? 

I love family time. I've recently taken up jogging and I'm really enjoying it. I love to bake (and eat the products of baking, which is why I started jogging.
ha!) I enjoy trying new foods, reading, and window shopping!

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Sure! Diet Coke is my favorite. I think my husband is awesome. I love blankets and brand new socks. I mostly make patchwork items because I have trouble choosing just one fabric :-)


Twitter: @bibeezbaby

Frances, thanks for allowing me to share your work with my readers :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Featured Artisan: Kristen Solecki

Happy Friday everyone, please welcome this weeks featured artisan, Kristen Solecki of

First off, tell us a little about yourself?

I am a freelance traditional mixed media artist working out of the Philadelphia area. I work mainly in traditional printmaking, ink, and paint. I love the beauty and uniqueness that comes from making art by hand. 

How did you start creating your artwork, and how long have you been doing it?

I don't remember a time when I didn't make art. I grew up spending hours a day drawing and painting. I would make things like bracelets and magnets and sell them to neighborhood kids in lieu of a lemonade stand.   

When I went to art school for illustration, I learned a lot about the tools of the trade and about the market itself. I think the most important thing I learned was that when it comes to art you have to make your own rules. However, I didn't learn that until after I graduated.  

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get my inspiration from many different things. I really love nature and I think a lot of my work reflects an organic quality. I grew up in an old, historic town and some of my work also reflects a form of nostalgia.  Memories, people around me, and current experiences always play a part in my work. 

Outside of crafting what else do you enjoy doing?

Outside of making art I love to swim in the ocean. I still haven't learned to surf but would like to someday. Besides the ocean I like traveling and being with the great people in my life.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

My work and more about me can be found on my website,

In honor of spring there is no shipping with any orders through my Etsy store, just type in the coupon code "springishere." 

I love talking with and meeting creative individuals of all kinds so write and say hello! 

Kristen, thanks so much for sharing your lovely artwork with us. xoxo

Monday, June 06, 2011

Blogger Problems

I recently discovered some issues with my blog. While I have been able to log in and make blog posts. I have not been able to click on any navigation links or make comments using Mozilla Firefox, my preferred web browser. 

I have been using this for a couple of years now without any problems. I spent most of yesterday evening installing and uninstalling web browsers with the hopes that it would fix the problem, but that has not helped. :(

Accessing my blog from a different computer (Firefox web browser) didn’t help either. However, using Internet explorer has not been an issue. I am not sure whether this is a blogger issue, web browser problem, or something I have done wrong. 

Is anyone else out there is experiencing the same problem? Any help would be appreciated.
Email: annakaycreations(at)

Friday, June 03, 2011

Featured Artisan: Littlewrenpottery

Today, Anna Kay Creations is featuring Victoria of Littlewrenpottery.  Victoria produces hand thrown stoneware pottery in the UK, all of her work is both functional and decorative designed for everyday use.

First off, tell us a little about yourself!

Hi, I'm Victoria and I run Little Wren Pottery in North East England. The North East isn't very well known for its craft scene more it's industrial past as a ship building and mining community.

I create all the pieces for my shop by hand throwing them on my pottery wheel with stoneware clay. I particularly love to create tableware pottery that can be used and admired everyday. I think its important that what you create has some sort of 'function' rather than being purely decorative and I often find I'll think of a person using a piece while I'm creating it.

How did you start creating your artwork, and how long have you been doing it?

I started creating pieces of pottery in 2009 so I've been throwing now for about 2-3 years. I've seen my work vastly improve during that time. I started by learning the basics and using the facilities of my local college, my dad who's also a potter also taught me a lot of skills. It's great that we can work together and I get the benefit of all his knowledge!

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I really admire the work of Isaac Button, Shoji Hamada, Bernard Leach and Michael Cardew

I also get a lot of inspiration from the history of where I live it's shipping heritage and the time I spend outside in the garden watching little birds hopping around - sometimes they make it onto my pots.

Outside of crafting what else do you enjoy doing?

I love the satisfying and gentle art of knitting, I love to make cable jumpers and anything with a cowl neckline. I tend to my vegetables outside in the garden, bake cakes and watch old movies and tv shows. At the moment I'm really into Blake 7.

Is there anything else you would like to share? 

I really love melted cheese. Seriously though thanks for featuring me on your blog!

I would like to thank Victoria for allowing me to share her lovely work with you. Victoria can be found at any of the links listed below.

Have a great weekend! xoxo

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