Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Share the Love: Chrysalis Designs


Featured Artisan – Chrysalis Designs

This Weeks Featured Artisan is Regina Plummer McDonald – Chrysalis Designs  Better Known as Gina! Gina has beautiful Creations and an abundance of talent. She Works full time and still manages to find time for her passion! Chrysalis Designs offers an array of beautiful Handmade Jewelry. A Must Have for Every Jewelry Box!

Quick Blurb

Hi, My name is Regina McDonald, but friends call me Gina. I have been making jewelry for quite some time and truly enjoy it!


I am very interested in learning to work glass, lampworking specifically, I just haven’t gotten brave enough to buy the torch and I don’t know where I would put it. I think my hubby would have a serious talk with me as My Studio is pretty full!

Featured Artisan – Chrysalis Designs by RM

Regina McDonald also known to friends and family as Gina is the artist behind Chrysalis Designs. She currently resides in Chattahoochee, Florida with her husband, Larry in a small house outside of Chattahoochee surrounded by woods and wildlife.
She started making jewelry some time ago when she was a Large Sized woman and had real problems buying anything off the shelf. Over time the necessity to make jewelry became a lot more, she found that she had a real knack for designing, a good eye for color and a real talent for the technicality of the process and that she loved it! All of those things shine through in her work. She loves working with semi-precious gemstones, Swarvoski (TM) crystal, Czech beads, sterling silver, copper, polymer clay, glass and many other mediums. When asked where her talent comes from, she is quick to answer that “There is only one I can give the credit to and that blessing comes from God.”
You can Find Chrysalis Designs on:

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Madness

Monday has rolled around again.  I'm starting to call my Monday planning "Monday Madness."  I always plan to accomplish way too much stuff during the week on my Mondays.  But I will continue to do so because it gets all my ideas down in one place, and even if I don't get it all done during the week, I can roll it over to the next and keep going.

This week, I plan to:

  • Make at least two more Candy Corn hats
  • Make a couple of Pumpkin Hats
  • Design a Frankenstein Hat
  • Make a few Eyeball Hacky Sacks
  • Make a Witch Hat or two
  • Make a Ghost Hat or two
  • Maybe make a few Spider plushies
  • Make a Black Cat Hat or two 
As you can see, I'm finishing up the last bit of my Halloween products.  I plan to list it all on October 1st and 2nd, so I'm trying to get it all done beforehand.  I only have a few more days to finish the task.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Mass Motif Blocker


DIY Alert

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday To-Do: Week of 9/17 to 9/22

I actually managed to finish up several projects last week, but I failed to write the What I Made This Week post for Saturday, so I'm going to include it here in a list.

I finished:

Red Loom Hat - Infant 0-3 months
Blue and White Granny Square Blanket
Silk Lined Black Slouchy Hat (Custom Order)
Black Beanie - Adult (Custom Order)

This week, I'll be:

  • Finishing up several toddler hats that I have planned
  • Sewing and weaving in the ends on a lot of keychains
  • Entering the information for the toddler hats and keychains into the database
  • And attempting to make a second crochet coupon organizer from the now-written pattern to see if I wrote the pattern correctly.  If I did, it'll be posted on Thursday as a free pattern.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Feature Friday: Kate Bertin of Big Sky Artworks/Big Sky Clay


Kate Bertin Big Sky Artworks/Big Sky Clay

Please start by telling us a little about yourself and your studio.

When I am not up to my elbows in clay, I teach writing and public speaking at a tribal college in Montana. Clay is my release, my relaxation, the activity that stops all time. I specialize in whimsical character mugs and jugs, sculpted faces of animals and people that range from silly to scary. No two pieces are ever the same; even when I repeat a theme, each has its own unique character. This is what  I love about clay.

If there is one thing that defines you, what is it?

Chaos and creativity. Wait, no, that’s two things.

What role does your family play in your art?

While my sons and my husband play no direct role in my creations of clay, I am constantly surrounded by their support and encouragement. Because they believe in my capacity to create anything at all, I frequently find myself pushing far beyond what I would normally find comfortable – and grow in the process.

Where do you live and what is it like?

I live in Colstrip, Montana, a tiny coal mining town in eastern Montana. Pine-covered hills rise up on all sides, and the scent of sagebrush is often carried on the breeze. The area is very dry, and sandstone buttes create fantastic organic features in the landscape. Montana is sparsely populated, and eastern Montana even more so. The nearest mall is 130 miles from my home and studio. But what we lack in amenities, we make up for in beauty. I love eastern Montana, and am happy to live here.

Where did you learn your medium?

I wanted to learn to throw on the wheel for most of my life. A few years ago, I finally got a chance to take a class at the local art museum. I was so excited to finally get to throw! But my excitement quickly turned to frustration – it turns out, the wheel is a lot harder than it looks. I was TERRIBLE. But I really wanted to learn – so I went in on my own, and practiced for hours. I finally got the hang of it. Soon I had a wheel in my basement, and a kiln in my garage. My online business was born.

I started sculpting faces on mugs simply to practice sculpting. I have worked in many other mediums, and I know that if I have no outlet for my work, I quickly stop. Making whimsical mugs allows me to sculpt without leaving sculptures on every flat space in the house. It was a happy decision, as I found people really enjoy my one-of-a-kind mugs.

What are your goals with your online studio?

Right now, my goal is to accentuate my full-time income by selling my artwork. I reinvest much of the income back into supplies and equipment, so my work is at least self-supporting. Having a little extra income also means that I can treat my family to things like camping trips – and by saving several years, I took my husband to Europe to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.

I also hope that my work will make people smile. So much of the world is difficult, or dark, or frustrating. But it’s hard to be negative when you’re holding a pig mug. It’s my own way of lighting a candle in the darkness.

How did you come to selling online?

I’m an Internet addict. Seriously. When our internet connection goes down, I’m like a junkie in need of a fix. So selling online was the natural choice.

How did you come to find a home on your particular venue/host?

I had an Etsy account before I even started making mugs. When I realized that working with clay was going to be more than a passing fancy, I also realized that I needed to find a place to sell my work, so that I could continue creating. Etsy was a natural outlet, with its focus on unique and handmade goods.

What is the best piece of advice you can give other artisans?

Make what you love. The rest will follow.

Why do you think that buying and selling handmade products benefits society?

With our increasing focus on technology, the world is moving faster and faster. While I’m not averse to technology, I also recognize that we must stay connected with simpler things – things like handmade goods. If we lose this connection, we become little more than technology-wielding machines. I love my computer – but there’s nothing like the feeling of wet clay sliding between your fingers. It is, quite literally, touching the earth.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Creativity


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Share the Love: Andrew Kitchen of Chainmaille by MBOI


Chainmaille by MBOI

This Weeks Featured Artisan is Chainmaille by MBOI

Chainmaille is an ancient art that dates back before the 5th century.  The process involves interweaving rings of various sizes into intricate patterns to create wearable metal art.  In ancient times, chainmaille served the useful purpose of protecting soldiers in battle; but, since there are very few jousting matches happening on modern streets, chainmaille has evolved into wearable art.  ChainmailleByMBOI creates pieces using a variety of metals including Sterling Silver, Copper, Aluminum, Brass, and Bronze.  Almost any pattern that you see can be created from a different metal so if you don’t see exactly what you are looking for, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to begin a special order for you.

Andrew and Kimberly create beautiful jewelry… and are truly dedicated to the Handmade Community. They own Handmade Artists and It’s Better Handmade sites as well. They dedicate their time to promoting artisans and do this in between their busy daily lives! They have both been an inspiration to me and I think it is time to put them in the “Spotlight” for a change! Thank you Andrew and Kimberly for all you do for the Handmade Community and thank you for these beautiful creations as well!

You can find Chainmaille by MBOI on:
Handmade Artists

Monday, September 10, 2012

Weekly Plans: 9-10 through 9-15

Now that I have three children at home all the time to contend with during the day, I've learned to not expect a lot to be accomplished on a day to day basis.  I did manage to get a bunch done yesterday, organization and weekly-preparation wise, but that was a fluke.  My major plans for the week are to:

  • Make a list of my Works in Progress (WIPs) and try to at least finish the small ones up and make some progress on the big ones.  (I know I have at least four full-size blankets in progress for family members.)
  • Finish editing my photos and prepare descriptions for listing them on my Artfire shop.  (My pictures are still no where near great, but they are the best I can do with what I have right now.)
  • Pre-write all blog entries that I can for the week.
  • Schedule what I can through HootSuite for the week.
  • Weave in (A LOT) of ends on keychains and add the rings so the items will be finished.
  • Try to get decent photos of my bracelets and keychains once my new photo props get here
Hopefully, I can get a large amount of that done before the week is over.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wordless Wednesday


Love, love, love Autumn...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Feature Artisan: Thunder Rose Leather


Hi. We are Debbie and John, buckskin and bead work artists living outside Sedona, Arizona in a little community called Cornville.
We have been working with leather and beads for more than twenty years now. We truly enjoy making beautiful pieces of functional art for our customers and always hope you enjoy your new creation as much as we enjoy making it for you. If you see something that appeals to you and would like it in a different color or style please feel free to contact us, we will be happy to work with your ideas.
We do old style leather and beadwork, one piece at a time, by hand, with attention to detail.You may order one of our standard items or ask for something special.We develope our own designs and can work with your ideas.
All of our work is  handmade in Arizona and quaranteed by us. Most of our work reflects the styles of the old west, western, mountain man and native american cultures. We are always moving forward and so the needs of contemporary lifestyles become a part of our designs. Some call our work bohemian, gypsy, hippie or new age, it’s all good. At the end of the day we think each piece we make is unique, practical and made to use and enjoy for many years. Elkskin is our primary choice of leather. Buffalo, deerskin, deer tanned cowhide and other leathers are available.

Beautiful Leather Creations!

Thunder Rose – Featured Artisans

This weeks Featured Artisans are Debbie and John,  Thunder Rose Leather. You will find original quality made leather accessories! Handbags, clutches, baby moccasins, medicine bags and more!
You can find Thunder Rose Leather on:
Handmade Artists