Friday, July 29, 2011

Featured Artisan: Personally Charmed

It's yet another Friday! Today, Anna Kay Creations is interviewing Heather Brown of Personally Charmed.
First Off, tell us a little about yourself!

I gave up my career as a high school teacher when my daughter was born. I always intended to go back when she entered pre-school but the economy tanked, the teaching jobs became scarce, and my hearing loss progressed.

When I finally made the decision to make my hobby and art into a fulltime business and gave up teaching, I felt like a heavy weight had lifted from my shoulders, that I was free to create without any feelings of guilt about how I should be searching for a job instead of wasting time and money making pretty things. It was then, that my creativity took off, my business bloomed, and everything just felt right.

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

I loved staying at home with my daughter and in the beginning, she kept me pretty challenged.  But I am one of those people who thrives from a creative challenge; I can't survive very long without making something or solving some kind of problem. 

I love to make things and to work with my hands.  So one year I wanted to make Christmas gifts for all of my sisters-in-law, and I had seen glass tile pendants before and decided to try making some.  After countless hours of research and trial and error experimentation and enough money to buy a hundred that somebody else had already made, I finally had a decent product.  I ended up making over a hundred of them to give out as party favors at a Christmas party that year.  And at that party, one of the guests asked if I could make one with a photo of her children on it.  

Back to work I went and my business was born.  By the next summer, I had opened an Etsy shop because so many people were requesting the photo pendants.  Over time my products evolved and I no longer make glass tile pendants.  The work began to be redundant and the creative itch was throbbing.  

I wanted to keep improving the products, make them different from other photo jewelry products and allow a little more creativity into the designs so I took up silver smithing and am now adding hand fabricated photo jewelry and other metal pieces to the Personally Charmed brand.  With these new pieces, I feel like my work has finally evolved from a craft into a skilled art.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I think that I am mostly inspired by nature.  A lot of my silver work has organic lines and rough textures that are patterns found in the natural world around us.  I love the feeling of taking something that comes from the Earth and molding and forging it with my own hands into something beautiful that can be carried with us on our bodies and shared with the people around us. 

Outside of crafting what else do you enjoy doing? 
There is nothing tastier than homegrown veggies and herbs! I garden all year round. Even in December, I'm pulling up carrots to make room for planting the onions in January.  I also like to sew, make fancy cakes, and am studying American Sign Language.  I've been writing a novel for about five years, hopefully someday, I will finish it.  I also blog both on my business website and on my personal blog about my journey with progressive hearing loss.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I work hard to keep my studio as green as possible.  I only use reclaimed metals rather than newly mined metals because of the destruction caused from mining.  I also reuse packaging and recycle.



 Heather thank you for the lovely interview :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Featured Artisan: The Dancing Brick

Hello everyone, please welcome today's featured artisan, Rachel of The Dancing Brick.

First off, tell us a little about yourself! 
I am a teacher, currently teaching at an International school in Germany.  My German is not great, but I can get around, and my students love to teach me how to say things in German.  They are very supportive!

I have always loved making all kinds of art and have tried all kinds of painting, drawing, and jewelry making over the years.  I usually have several projects going at once and go back and forth between them. 

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

I first started using Fimo to try and make beads when I was probably around 10 years old.  But I got very frustrated because I couldn't make it look like the picture I had in my head, so I gave up on it and went back to drawing.  Now, about 20 years later, I was encouraged to try it again by a friend of mine who used it to making some cufflinks.  So I bought a variety of colors and just started playing around with it.  I was much happier with my results this time! 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get my inspiration from colors.  In my drawing and in my jewelry making I love to play with different colors and see which ones go together and which ones really pop out at you.  So I can be inspired by someone's garden or a colorful ad in a magazine or just looking at my box of colored pencils.  But I usually start out with colors in mind, rather than an idea of what object or shape I want to create. 

Outside of crafting what else do you enjoy doing? 

I love cooking!  I have gotten enough confidence to buy a German cookbook and I have been trying some recipes from that.  I also really love teaching. It is really amazing to work with young children and see them make so much progress over a year.  It is rewarding, sometimes frustrating, and usually lots of fun!  


  and Blog:  

Rachel, thanks for the lovely interview!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Featured Artisan: Endexus Creations

Today, I am interviewing a lovely friend and talented fashion designer, Edna of Endexus Creations. Today, she will showcase her latest designs at the Africa Fashion Week in New York (AFWNY).  Endexus Creations is all about "Ethnic African Heritage Fused with modern designing to give a dimension of aesthic apparels."

First off, tell us a little about yourself!
Edna Ndebele is my name. Proudly Zimbabwean. I come from a family of 6 although of all I am the artist..I love art.  I have been blessed with a wonderful husband and a wonderful daughter TANATSWA. I love fashion designing.

How did you start creating your artwork, and how long have you been doing it?
I have been in the industry for almost 6years now and I have enjoyed each year that passes by because every year comes with new ideas that make me grow as a designer. I believe being a designer is something that I was born with. For me being a designer comes natural; so I cannot specify excactly when I started because it has always been a part of me.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I am inspired by nature. I am inspired by everything that surrounds me. My background, my Zimbabwean culture. All these play an important role in bringing out my designs.

Outside of crafting what else do you enjoy doing?
I love singing and acting..

Is there anything else you would like to share?
word of advise, it is always good to try, never be afraid to try.

More of Edna's work can be found on her website

Facebook Page:

Thanks for the interview Edna, all the best at the Fashion Show!

Friday, July 08, 2011

Featured Artisan: Wilderness Serenity

Today's featured artisans are Stephanie and Shane of WildernessSerenity
First off, tell us a little about yourself!

Hi! My name is Stephanie and my husband is Shane. We live in Virgina, where we have 4 great kids, a garden & plenty of national parks to hike in. We are natives to Virgina but we love to visit the beach & hike so we travel when ever we get the chance.
How did you start creating your artwork, and how long have you been doing it?

We have been crafters since high school but started making the items in our shop about 2 years ago. Our dining room started filling up with hiking sticks that are beautiful to look at but weren’t getting much use since there are only 6 of us. I had been finding fallen trees on our hikes that were so unique and as I started carving them their beauty was showcased even more. I couldn’t resist adding to my collection.
My wife has always sewn for ours girls and started cloth diapering with our youngest which led to a wonderful world of woolie fluff & so began our adventure into the world of dyeing wool & making woolies.  
We started out selling at the local farm up the road & then started seeking out ways to bring our crafts to the online world. I came across Etsy & Hyena Cart one thing led to another and here we are.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I am constantly looking for inspiration in nature. I stop at every national, state and city park I come across in the beautiful forests of Virgina. The local gardens are an amazing resource for new colorways to dye up,too. I also check out as many blogs a day as I can looking for fresh takes on color. 
I'm always looking at the hidden inner quality of an old beat up piece of wood that is lying under a fallen tree trying to figure out what will showcase it‘s wood grain the best.  And then, of course, my family is always inspiring me. As children, they are consumed by their love of playing, laughing & having a good time. It's just so refreshing seeing kids loving life. I'm so proud to call them my kids.

We have been slowly trying to find a way to live off the grid as much as possible. The philosophy that less is more rings true to our hearts in today's busy world of instant gratification. 
Some day we would like to be able to say that we are true homesteaders but until then we will have fun finding ways to get there.

Outside of crafting what else do you enjoy doing? 

We love hiking, canoeing, swimming,& hanging out at home. One of our favorite things to do is have a campfire in the backyard and roast marshmellows. I’ve even been known to do a little Irish step dancing on a Friday night.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Stephanie and Shane, thank you for the lovely interview :)

 P.S. Want to be featured, click here.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Happy Fourth Of July

Graphic image source

Friday, July 01, 2011

Featured Artisan: INK! STOMP

Happy Friday once again, please welcome today's featured artisan, Cindy of INK!STOMP.

First off, tell us a little about yourself!

Hello, I'm Cindy, and I create hand pulled lino cut art prints at INK! STOMP from my home in Toronto, Canada. I design, carve, ink, and print all my pieces by hand.

I love creating pieces that have a modern and clean aesthetic, in bright colours and with meaningful words. 

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Other than printmaking, my crafty love is to knit and crochet. I am also a big tea-drinker, Whovian, and reader of all books.  I read many art, craft and design blogs, and from one place or another have accumulated thousands of pictures that I think are lovely (I include the artist name or source as a note). These could be fashion editorials, National Geographic photographs, pieces of jewelry, or any other range of things. I store these on an external hard drive and dive in there when I need a hit of inspiration. Similarly, I write down quotations from books.

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

I've been making art of all sorts all my life, but upon starting university last year, I found I had barely any time for creativity. I needed balance, and decided to use this summer to get back in touch with my artistic side.

My grade 8 art teacher Mr. L is an awesome person, always positive, upbeat, and ready to get his hands dirty to make something; I think of him as a great influence on my work and the way I relate to my art.

So when I started considering getting back into creating again, it was the printmaking process he taught us that came to me first. I believe in seizing opportunities, and so decided to dive in head-first; I officially started INK ! STOMP at the beginning of June.

Outside of crafting what else do you enjoy doing?

My "day job" is being a university student; I major in Life Sciences, so I guess studying must be a hobby of mine! I am fascinated by the human body, especially the brain, and by the medical advances which have so much potential to improve life for many. I'm proud to call myself a science nerd.
Is there anything else you would like to share?

I just recently started my Facebook page, which you can find here. I'm also trying to be a better blogger, here.


Thank you so much to Anna for having me! You can use the coupon code ANNAKAY in my Etsy store for free shipping this July :)

Cindy, thank you so much for the lovely interview!

P.S. Want to be featured? Click here.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More