Monday, 22 February 2010

The Winner!

The winner of my weekly challenge is BLUETERRACOTTA who came up with this amazing fish.

I actually did not choose the winner myself. Since my son was the inspiration for the contest (he is 7 and has wanted to be a marine biologist for almost 3 years now, with a bookshelf full of books to prove it), I let him choose the winner.

After looking at all the entries, he thought that this fish was just about the coolest thing he'd ever seen. So aces to BLUETERRACOTTA - you've got the ability to go straight into the heart of a future world scientist. :)

To find out what BLUETERRACOTTA'S theme will be, do check out her blog.

Monday, 15 February 2010

The Winner of the Weekly Challange -

The theme was "Spring", and I put in my TULIP SOAP to compete with all the other great creations of my Etsy Collegues.

Winning means that I need to choose the theme for the next week.... and so, without further ado, the theme for this week is: SEA CREATURES. Artists/Craftspeople can use either living, extinct or fictional as their inspiration.

Come back to this blog daily to see what competing contributions have been given from some of the most talented people on this side of the Atlantic.

A lot of hard work and personal sacrifice (and almost a few stitches as well) went into the creation below: Lucy the Octopus by P8Accessories. P8 i located in a tiny village in Germany, and has a fantastic selection of hats, skirts, bags, totes, aprons, wallets, and wrist warmers to name just a few. Do be sure to check her out.

This lovely scarf is made by one of my favorite Norwegian artists, INGERMAAIKE. Born in Holland, she and her family made the move to Norway a few years ago, looking for a better life. They seemed to have found it. Inger's Etsy skills are mostly seen in the felting of wool with spinning and a tiny bit of knitting on the side. Over the years, I have seen developement take a sharp curve upwards and her products become more and more beautiful.

Below is a scarf inspired by sea mythology.

This next entry is from BlueTerracotta. Located in Francem BlueTerracotta works with both textiles and ceramics. She has a fantastic eye for detail and almost always has an element of nature in her work. Here is one great fish that would love to find a blue bed to swim in sometime soon.

This entry is a great beaded starfish made by madebyCsJ's. She is a great new artist from Hungary who's beadwork is just amazing! Do check out her shop and maybe you can be her first customer!

Presented below is a LARGE MOLESKINE, by GUFOBARDO. What is a Moleskine you ask? I had the exact same question a few weeks ago and have since learned that it is a type of notebook. Gufobardo makes all of hers from leather, and hand draws each picture. Each one is OOAK - and a gorgeous piece of artwork to cherish.

This creation below was made by STAROFTHEEAST and is made from a combination of natural and artistic objects. In this frame is a lovely little piece of driftwood and a sand dollar. In addition to this, two hand crocheted sea anemonies are proudly displayed. Very cool for someone who enjoys being by the ocean but lives high in the mountains. :)

This next wearable piece comes from CREATIONSBYEVE, and is made from nuno felt. The colors are fantastic and the textures do make you feel as you are floating in a lovely sea of paridise.

This next entry is from COLOURSANDTEXTURES, located in Surrey, in England. Her store is full of beautiful paintings, some done in water color and some in acrylic. Some done on paper, some done on fabric. I thought this was a beautiful rendition of tropical fish, originally silkpainted on a kimono, and now available as a set of postcards.

This entry is from Kreativlink - she makes the most amazing, handmade workbooks/diaries/notebooks from both leather and textile materials. All the inside pages are hand torn, and the effect is stunning!

I gave a friend one of her books as a gift, and I do think it was a great hit!

Saturday, 13 February 2010

A New Soap - Exotic Bouquet with Tulip Petals

Here is a picture of my latest soap, which will be out in a few weeks for sale.

I was a little concerned what would happen with the tulip petals, and I'll explain why. Most flower petals discolor, or if we really want to honest, turn brown/black and completely disintigrate when making soap. I found this out last summer when I was making soap from lots of wild meadow flowers I had spent hours collecting.

Some flowers are strong enough to stand up to soap when using the French Milling process. Rose petals are strong enough. And I've been using rose petals in my soap already.

But I was not sure about tulip petals. I had not read anything about this, despite semi-extensive searches on the net.

So like most things in my life it was just to hop in with both feet and try.

And above is the result: a lovely soap with a little bit of Exotic Floral Bouquet Essential Oil, and beautiful, brightly colored tulip petals.

I could not be happier.


Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Nominated to the Handmade Olympics

Of all things that I was not expecting - I have been nominated to the 2010 Handmade Olympics!

I knew that it was occuring, but with my busy life and responsibilities, I was not paying attention to it. So imagine to my surprise that out of over 900 different talented people who were nominated, I was one of 80 that was chosen to participate.

First of all, a special thanks to Fluerfatale, whom I think was the person who nominated me. (If it was someone else and that someone sees my mistake, please inform me of it as quickly as possible so that I can fix it).

Secondly, I would certainly appreciate it if everyone who likes my soaps would vote for me. It will only take two minutes of your time.

Simply go to this link: Handmade Olympics Event #4, scroll down through the wonderful other handmade items I am competing against, and vote for me - or vote for someone else if you really do, truly, in your heart feel that their product is better than mine.

Let the best craftsman win!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Long Time......

It's been a long time since I've written in my blog. Things have been incredibly busy at home (but then, when are they not) and creative efforts other than maintaining my store have been put a bit on the back shelf.

But just because I've been a bit quiet does not mean things have been happening. Here are some soaps that are pretty much ready to be put onto my store shelves.

Below is my giant Mocha Soap. The very first Mocha Soap that I made was not French Milled.... this was fine in the beginning, but now I want all my soaps to be French Milled.

The beautiful color in this soap comes from a combination of cocoa powder and coffee.

The next a new batch of Juniper Berry Soap for Men. My last batch sold out quite quickly.
Finally, I have a brand new soap, which is *almost* ready to be sent out. It's still a touch too soft for my liking.... but soon it will come of age.

This soap is actually GRAPEFRUIT AND COCONUT SOAP. Grapefruit is great for greasy skins as it has anti-fungal and astringent qualities. The coconut works as a great exfoliant.

And this is what has been happening in my neck of the woods for the last little while.