Artist Feature & Giveaway by Ewenique Essentials

Friday, May 31, 2013

"The process of making useful handmade items that are both pretty and practical is enjoyable and satisfying. I'm a quilter, a knitter, and a soapmaker. My handcrafted items are made with care and attention to detail."

An Interview with Debbie of Ewenique Essentials

When did you first start creating?
From childhood, I've enjoyed needlecrafts and over the years have tried my hand at just about everything involving a needle and thread or colorful yarn. I've been quilting for over 20 years, although I mostly make smaller quilted items now. My mother-in-law taught me to knit many years ago. My favorite things to knit are dishcloths and cowls. I started making cold process soap several years ago after I realized the benefits of using handmade soap instead of detergents on my skin and hair.

How did Ewenique Essentials come about?
A few years ago, a friend of mine who also knits asked me if I would like to share a booth with her at a local arts market. I decided to give selling a try, and for several years we manned our booth a couple Saturdays a month during the spring and fall. She told me about Etsy, so I opened my online shop there too.

The name is pretty cool, what made you decide on this?
I enjoy playing with words, and because my last name is Lamb, I wanted to use sheep imagery in my branding. As I was pondering what name to call my little business, I decided to call myself Ewenique, because there is one and only me, and my handmade items are one of a kind. The Essentials part describes the type of items I make - unique, handmade accessories that can be essential to daily living, things that are both pretty and practical. The name of my luxury soap is Ewes Soap, because everyone should use soap!

What drives you to create?
Everyone is gifted with creativity. Gardening, decorating a home, painting, quilting, knitting, scrapbooking, jewelry and card making are just a few examples of the myriad of outlets for personal creativity. Using fabric and yarn to create beautiful items that are useful gives me so much pleasure. Soap making is another creative process that results in a one of a kind bar of soap, which is a simple luxury for everyday use.

How do you get inspired?
Over the years I have acquired a fairly large stash of beautiful quilting fabrics. I like to play around with different color combinations and fabrics, which inspires me to make another useful item. I've recently started making quilted pot holders, which are basically little one block quilts. With my soaps, I like to formulate different types of recipes to highlight the unique properties of the various ingredients. I'll have an idea of what I'd like the finished soap to look like and will incorporate color and fragrance to the soap by using various artistic techniques. Sometimes the result is different from what I'd imagined, but I like the serendipity upon unmolding and cutting the soap.

What are your favorite items?
Every item I make is something that I would buy to use for myself or give as a gift, but I particularly love my soaps. I haven't made one that I haven't liked.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
"Fabric is very forgiving." and "You need the proper tools if you want to continue to improve your craft."

Describe your work in three words.
How about four words? Pretty, practical, useful, and unique.

~~~~~~~Enter below via Rafflecopter to win a $10.00 Gift Certificate from Ewenique Essentials~~~~~~

Thursday Roundup - Gifts for Dad

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Congratulations to Brittany V. of Gainesville, FL.
Winner of The Tropical Garden Giveaway!

Artist Feature & Giveaway by The Tropical Garden

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

"What can I say? I love all kinds of plants. I especially love flowers and plants with an unusual name, fact, color, or shape. I have worked in the horticulture business for over 10 years and have finally decided to branch out on my own."

An Interview with Maria of The Tropical Garden

What drew you to plants?
I guess what drew me to plants was seeing my grandfather work in the garden. I would go to my grandparents after school every day and my grandfather would be working in the vegetable garden. I loved watching him work. I always loved flowers and would get plants from my aunt who was also a great gardener.

How did you discover your talent?
I never thought of myself as talented. I was always curious and eager to learn more about plants. When I make terrariums, I just make something I like and hope everyone else likes it too.

How did the Tropical Garden come about?
I have always dreamed of owning a garden center, but that costs a lot of money to start, so I decided I would start small and open a shop on Etsy.

How did you decide on the name?
I love tropical plants! I hope to eventually expand my listings to include more tropical flowering plants and who wouldn't love to have a tropical garden?

How do you get inspired?
I get inspired by going to shops and looking at different containers (vases, candle holders, etc.) I often find something that I think I can make a terrarium from or it leads m to other ideas. I also love looking at garden books and magazines.

What is your favorite part of your creative process?
I love making stuff and saying to myself that looks cool. It is hard when you spend a lot of time on something and it just doesn't work out, but when it does, it feels great.

Do you listen to music while you work, and if so, what do you listen to?
Yes, I do listen to music sometimes. I really like 80's music and today's hits. I ask my son to play me music while I work. He loves to introduce me to new music.

Who are some of your biggest influences, artistically or personally?
Definitely my mom and sister, they showed me all you have to do to start a business is to have the desire and work really hard.

What are you currently working on?
I have several new containers I would love to make into terrariums when I find the time. I also have some new plants I hope to list soon.

Who would play you in the movie version of your life?
Angelina Jolie - just wished I looked like her.

Describe your work in three words.
Fun, cheerful, smile-worthy.

~~~~~~~~~~~Enter via Rafflecopter Below to Win a Sunburst Airplant Globe from The Tropical Garden ~~~~~~~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Artist Feature & Giveaway by Lucky Goat Designs

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Creating stamped jewelry is something I love to do. I enjoy the uniqueness of each piece of metal and that no two stamped creations are exactly alike. The rustic feel of working with metal and stamping by hand gives me something to focus on winding down from busy days chasing after babies. 

An Interview with Elizabeth of Lucky Goat Designs

When did you first start your craft?
I began making jewelry 10 years ago and have been stamping metal for about two years.

What made you decide on jewelry?
I love jewelry but consider myself an outdoorsy cowgirl. I wanted jewelry that fit my rustic style and jewelry that I could wear everyday. It just kind of went from there...I started dreaming of everyday staple pieces and began creating! 

How did you discover your talent?
I don't know if it is so much talent as it is wanting to have the jewelry to wear that I visualize in my head! 

How did Lucky Goat Designs come about?
One year my sisters and I decided that we should give hand made Christmas presents. I knew that I wanted to give personalized stamped metal gifts that would be extra special and say what I wanted. I bought my first metal stamping set and got to work hammering dog tags, key chains and mama necklaces to give as presents!

The name is pretty cool, what made you decide on this?
I wanted a unique name that represented a little bit of me. We rescued a blue eyed Pygmy goat named Lucky who is full of spunk and the name grew from her. In fact, one of the first things I hammered was an ID tag for Lucky! 

What drives you to create?
I guess the desire to make things for others that I would enjoy. It is really fun for me to watch my ideas take form and even more exciting that people enjoy them! I love that personalized jewelry can represent such special times, memories and people. It means a lot to me that people choose Lucky Goat Designs to be a part of those special things by creating a piece that represents those moments and people. One customer ordered necklace tags to give out at Christmas when she announced to their family that they were expecting their first baby. I loved stamping each of those pendants and imagining the joy they would bring in the announcement they brought. Every order is special and I really feel grateful to be a part of each of them. 

How do you get inspired?
By thinking of who the piece is for and what they represent inspires me. Because my jewelry is so personalized I also get inspired by my own life events. For example, the "always with you" pendants were created when a friend suffered a miscarriage. I wanted to give her something to represent that special life and comfort her and that necklace was created. Most of my work is initially inspired by my own life events or by my friends and family.

What is your favorite part about your creative process?
Watching each piece become its own unique design

What are your favorite items?
I love the mama charms and running charms. I wear them both daily! 

What environment do you like to work in?
I am blessed to have the most amazing San Juan mountain view out my window where I work in my home. It doesn't get any better than that! 

Do you listen to music while you work, and if so what do you listen to?Being at home with three kids under four I have plenty of noise throughout the day! I like working in the quiet and listening to my own pounding of the hammer!

How much time do you spend in the studio?
It really depends on my orders...since my days are filled raising three funny babies I spend a few hours or so every evening...sometimes more.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
To live a creative life we must lose the fear of being wrong.

Who would play you in the movie version of your life?
Um, I hope Cameron Diaz with a little bit of Ellen Degeneres to make it extra funny! 

Describe your work in three words.
rustic, personal, genuine 

~~~~~~~~~~~Enter via Rafflecopter Below to Win a $20.00 Gift Certificate From Lucky Goat Designs~~~~~~~

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hello Yellow...

Thursday, May 16, 2013

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