Sunday, November 27, 2011

An ArtFire Collection: "Sunday Favorites"

Clicking on any image or link will whisk you directly to the shop or the listing.
Hovering will show you secret messages.

A Collection of Sunday Favorites

AccentsandPetals' Sunday Favorites

I know I am going to have fun here…

When I woke this morning, I stumbled into my family room and settled into my sofa with my morning coffee and opened my laptop thinking I'd be doing some preparation for tomorrow's purchases in celebration of Cyber Monday. I had no idea of what I was shopping for so I went directly to my email to see my messages and to discover what type of ads I had stacked up in my Inbox awaiting my perusal.

I had the usual stack of Ebay watch alerts that I usually click through, which I did today since nothing new or exciting caught my eye. Suddenly, I was staring at an email from a fellow ArtFire seller informing me that I have been included in a Collection. Yippee!

I always save these for last after clearing my inbox so that I can relax and at the same time get excited to find what was chosen from my to display in someone else’s Collection. I always feel so honored that someone else would consider an item of mine to display as a favorite of theirs!

So it appears as though I will be unrolling my Magic Carpet today, and then going on a ride! Charting my course, I find I am covering vast distances, too! I’ll be starting in Northern Wisconsin, Saint Germain to be exact, and then heading to Mesa, Az., and finally I’ll be jumping the left pond to visit the Philippines, where the creator of this beautiful Collection resides.

And here we goooooo!

My first stop, after whipping out the wrinkles and folds from my Magic Carpet, will be across the country from me, to Wisconsin, in fact what I refer to as “way-up Wisconsin.” Saint Germain (St Germain) is almost at the Canadian border, and I arrive amidst the snowflakes and chilly weather. My destination is the WireSculptress shop, by Kristine Schroeder.

Her Wire Art is probably some of the best I have ever seen, and I have seen a lot. There have only been a few people that catch my attention with wires as I find a lot of them beautiful but none the less what I consider to be overdone. Now Kristine’s are up there right with the intricate wire wrapping designs, but for some reason overdone is not a term I apply to her work.

Vesta Goth Art Nouveau Earrings
Vesta Goth Art Nouveau Earrings

It is gorgeous with a capital “Gorge!” which she describes as: “From Yesterday’s Future ..To You.”

Every single piece ranks as A-1, and explodes with gorgeousity, and not a single piece appears overdone, even though she includes many extras and designs in her work. Many of her pieces are Steampunk and Goth and perhaps that is why they have caught my attention so well!

I looked at page after page of her jewelry and every page held surprises for me. Here is a pretty bracelet that swept me:

Samantha Claire Filigree Bracelet
Samantha Claire Filigree Bracelet

While Kristine utilizes many of the techniques one sees on other wire wrappings, her eye for detail and just the way she sees things are what attracted me. I am very pleased that I chose her shop as one of my focus picks from the Sunday Favorites Collection today.

As I look back at this snowy scene, I depart with a wonderfully new and impressed view of wire in art and I totally agree with her statement “Reinterpreting Victorian, Steampunk, and Gothic styles of jewelry.”


Thanks Kristine for your keen creative ability and thanks for “Pushing the boundaries of wire sculpture and cold connection” and sharing it with the world in your shop at ArtFire!
Oh, and while we’re at it, we must check out Kristine’s web page too!

Let's go, this way now!

Next stop! From the snowy northlands to the warm and balmy southwest. We’re headed to Mesa Arizona! We’re going to see Lynn at Desert Rubble! Yay!

I love Desert Rubble! I have a piece of her work, too. I have a big blue green eye. And it looks like it belongs to a serpent! But I have digressed, so let me get back on track. The very first item that caught my attention as my Sunday Favorites Collection page loaded (and I saw this before I saw my own product; I admit it, I was looking for my own item first), but Lynn’s Mace stood out first against the page of Sunday Favorites for me.

Gothic Mace
Gothic Mace

There‘s nothing like a Mace for a good conversation piece, and even better as a pendant hanging from a neck! YES. I’ll tell you, back when I was shopping at Lynn’s Desert Rubble, I had a hard time trying to choose between the Mace and the Green Serpent Eye. The Serpent’s Eye won out for me because I was, after all, shopping for a pendant to make jewelry with, not for my own pleasure. Had I been shopping for my own pleasure, the Mace would be in my jewelry box right now, next to my cat o’nine tails. :o) oops TMI…. I also thought the Mace would make a great statement regarding my marriage to my darling Hubby. I’m his ball and chain. You bet I am, and never forget it, either!

Lynn makes the coolest jewelry. If it is not Sim-metal hinged fish, it’s body parts, or eyes, or dragon flies, moths, sci fi and more.

Industrial Gold DragonFly
Industrial Gold DragonFly

I love the look of spot welding, rivets, and screw heads and springs and a mish mash of parts showing. Lynn’s polymer clay has it all. Looks like metal!

Lynn talks of her desire to start casting in resin, and I read somewhere (probably in a forum) that she’d like to start working with precious metal clays, oh yeaaaaa, Lynn, bring…it…on! I’ll be watching for new and exciting things to emerge in your shop, down there in the desert!

I love her statement: “I feel free when playing with clay, liberated, you can just do anything with this stuff.” And I have to agree, she has certainly done well with her imagination here!


Lynn has a website and a blog, and I am sure you will enjoy yourself perusing both sites!

Ok, the time has come to return to my native Pacific Northwest, or as I like to call it My Pacific NorthEast, because in reality, we are in the Northeast quadrant of the Pacific Kingdom, after all.

Onward, we go...

But first, a stopover at our host of the Sunday Favorites: AccentsandPetals. So across the Pacific Ocean I go, all the way to the Philippines! This has got to be one of the best flower arrangement sites I have seen in a long time and I have to agree with the site’s statement of:

“Accents And Petals Where Flowers Last A Lifetime!”

I am quite impressed with the arrangements because they are made from paper and wood and recyclable things!

Purple Wooden Daisies
Purple Wooden Daisies

At first I thought they were made from silk but no, I was wrong. The wood they use has been salvaged from shipping crates then painstakingly shaved and formed into flowers!

The scraped wood and paper left overs are then recycled into paper beads to sell at their ArtFire Shop too.

But you’d better get there fast, because I just bought some of their beads and flowers, and I suspect that others will be there soon, too! Well, so much for my preparation for CyberMonday shopping tomorrow. It has now become my CyberSunday shopping. No! Wait a minute! It IS Monday in the Philippines! How perfect is that?

Paper Beads
Recycled Paper Beads!

To see more of their beautiful custom corsages and arrangements look at their blog.
…Wow! Very Impressive! In a way I wish I was getting married (again) so that I might have AccentsandPetals make some bouquets and corsages (including boutonnieres) for me, too.

Pretty Flowers~~folded stars
Birch wood flowers~~~~~Folded Stars

Oh, and word has it that they are having a Giveaway on their Facebook Page, too: Be sure to “like” the page for a weekly giveaway random drawing!

Well, the time has come for me to return homeward now.

There's no place like home, there's no place like home....

While on my way home let me tell you about the item that was chosen from my shop, wiresNpliers, for the Sunday Favorites Collection by AccentsandPetals.

The item chosen was one of my handmade copper bookmarks called “Bric Brac Love That Black.” This copper bookmark was shaped in a tight undulating wave pattern then with a right angle turn at the top where the hook dangles outside the book spine in an opposing wave pattern and finally adorned with a transparent lamp work bead laden with black applied flowers on its outside edge.

Bric Brac I Love That Black
Bric Brac I Love That Black

Below the lamp worked bead another bauble hangs: a cubed jet black Swarovski element crystal. I especially like the texture mixing of the dainty and curving edges of the flowered lamp work, with the angular-edged crystal, as I felt it added to the wave patterns. The shank and top outward face of the bookmark have all been hand scribed by me into the copper creating a flowing pattern.

Side View In Action
Bric Brac I Love That Black

Care was made to ensure that all of my bookmarks lie flat inside the books we read. My bookmarks are all buffed and finished with museum grade antiquity wax.


Well, I am back at home now and I want to personally thank AccentsandPetals for including my shop in their Sunday Favorites Collection today!

I have had great fun on my virtual travelblog today, and I have you and all the beautiful artists to thank for it!

Thank you,


wiresNpliers and the MiSFiTS

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Gemlover’s ArtFire Collection: Give Thanks For Our Art

Clicking on any image or link will whisk you directly to the shop or the listing.
Hovering will give you secret messages.

Well, it appears that I am going to be getting my Magic Carpet out again. That’s 2 times within 24 hrs! Yay!

This time it is for an ArtFire Collection! Some of our Guild members (that’s the Artisan Jewelers Guild aka AJG at Artfire) were chosen by John, our fearless leader, for his display in his Give Thanks For Our Art Collection. There are 12 spots open and I was lucky enough to get one of them in this great Collection.

Give Thanks For Our Art

So I am going to take a little jaunt to see the shops of some of the other players in this display. I have chosen 2 members to feature.

My first stop is Hagerstown, Maryland. I wonder if it snowed there a couple of days ago, during that early season snowstorm that blanketed the East Coast…

I am traveling to see KathrynDesigns tonight. Her shop is beautiful, and is filled with vintage impressions engineered with a modern styling in her jewelry.

Kathryn on the job
Kathryn on the job

Kathryn’s Flower Heart Polymer Cuff was chosen by John for his collection, and it was created with polymer clay and resin in shades of russet, silver and gold. A flower of copper and gold sits in the middle and is coated with resin for a dimensional and glasslike finish.

Flower Heart Polymer Cuff

Kathryn says that this piece, lightweight though substantial is: “Earthy meets Girly.”

Kathryn likes to create mini collages in jewelry with her polymer clay, utilizing precious metal clay (really neat stuff) in pure silver, gold, and copper.

Swirl Charm Heart Necklace

In Kathryn’s shop I came across her Heart Necklace in antiqued gold with a swirl charm in it. I really like the depth it shows. And it really looks great with the 17 inch gunmetal chain that holds the heart just below the base of the neck, looks so cool with the colors in this heart necklace.

I also found this Pair of earrings in her shop that really look pretty.

Artsy Red, Black, and Purple Earrings

I think they would look perfect with long straight hair (especially bright blonde) that would frame them so they could catch the light at just the right angle allowing the black faceted bicone beads to flash back.

And did I mention that Kathryn has two really cute and probably totally spoiled dogs?

Eddie and Allie
Eddie the Sheltie and Allie the Papillion

As I leave to move onward to my next stop I look back at KathrynDesigns one last time noticing that she has a blog….And word has it, there’s a contest currently going on, ending Sat Nov 5th at 11:00pm, EST (that’s 8:00pm here on the Great Time Change day, when I will relish that extra hour of unaccountable free sleep …. Sigh.
Next stop Donna Jo’s, in Des Moines~!


I am visiting Donna Jo at her shop NaturallyNickelFree where she creates specialty jewelry, for those that might tend to have sensitive and highly reactive skin.

Donna Jo uses Argentium, Niobium (one of my personal favs to work with), titanium (one I would like to get experience in) and metals that persons with nickel allergies can almost always find the ability to wear without discomfort.

Donna Jo, busy at work
Donna Jo, busy at work

Of course, like me, those being of a rather high 'maintenance' personality, wear specialty metals even though I don’t have an allergy. We just plain love them. But then, I can probably wear a pencil lead in my ears with no problem, not that I would; mind you. I am not sure whether that realization is good or not so good, so let’s just move on.

Wire Wrapped Jasper Necklace
Wire Wrapped Jasper Necklace

Donna Jo is a wire artist that loves working with beads, especially beads that are textured and colorful, while knowing that it is the wire that makes the creation, as Donna Jo says “Come alive.”

Donna Jo has her degree in theater education, she writes, and enjoys all of the arts including music, so of course, she’s an artist….with a specialty!

She has a lot of information networked through her shop bio page, her main website, and her blog, and in addition, her listings have specific and valuable information for the reactive shopper that requires the more hypoallergenic metals.

While at Donna Jo’s shop I found this a remarkably beautiful niobium chain pendant necklace.

From the pure natural niobium, being virtually inert to the skin, Donna Jo has curled and hammered this chain, link by link, one after another, shaping a beautiful wave pattern 19 inches long, making this one-of-a-kind handmade necklace shine all on its own...

Fluorite Pendant with Handmade Niobium Chain

Donna Jo then took it a step farther by adding (what I would call) a globe of fluorite, a natural semi precious gemstone which looks to be about 25mm or even larger in size. Looking through it, I am dazzled by its dimensional effect.

Next, I found some cute lamp work earrings that I am pretty sure drew my attention because of their bumps and curls and beads that slide.

Yellow Lampwork Niobium Earrings

The bumps on the transparent yellow lamp work have black and white bulls-eyes with red bumps in between. The curls hang below with green sliding beads that float along the bottom edge on each earring. Very Cute!

Well it's time for me to head east...

headin' east our fearless leader’s shop: Gemlover

John is a grad Gemologist (+40yr) and I believe his fire was lit, when his wife handed him a parcel of gems and said and I quote: “you’re the gemologist, what are these?” One thing led to another and John was cutting his own stones, and next stop GIA Jewelry Design and Repair….whoa he’s up there..….

Together, John and his wife, Deborah’s work makes my head spin, Deborah’s designs with John’s knowledge base, add them together, and you have some pretty significant works of art. John has some rings to die for, and I have to say this, I love his shop because his shop banner is an image of ….. daps ! Priceless!

daps, daps, everywhere

And one more thing before I leave. When you are visiting Johns Shop Gemlover be sure to look in his pendant section and his gallery for some tasty jewelry treats! And then there’s John’s Ganoskin blog. There’s always something interesting to read there.

Well it’s time for me to return to the West Coast.

Home Sweet Home

I am hungry and I have Indian Food in my refrigerator waiting for me.
I am so glad that I can sit back while my Magic Carpet does all the work for me, I can reflect on the item from my shop that John picked for this great Collection.

Baby Snakes
Baby Snakes

He chose my Baby Snakes Copper Bookmark style earrings, which are cold forged copper spirals in the style that I use for the bookmarks that I make. They have been patterned, then darkened and finally buffed with a tear drop dangle added…..oops I’m home…And I’m hungry, so I am just going to link the picture of Baby Snakes directly so that you can just “go there” while I am eating my dinner.

Back at home I roll up my Magic Carpet, tucking it away in its secret location until the next time I feel the need to take a travelblog adventure.
My Indian food awaits me.
Thanks John at Gemlover, our leader and dapper…hey….yea he’s our dapper, literally!


WiresNpliers features MiSFiTS

Etsy Treasury Created by Initasworks, features WiresNpliers

Clicking on any image or link will whisk you directly to the shop or the listing

So I was just finishing up some shipping and cleaning my little work bench area that I use when I create, which is actually my coffee table (so I can hang out near my family), and I happened to check my email and there was a message from Inita of Initasworks.

Not being familiar with the name Initasworks, I decided to see what it was about and I found that Inita has included wiresNpliers in her lovely Green Treasury that has been named:

Always So Topical Bright Green

Always So Topical Bright Green

Oh boy, I said to myself. I get to take a trip! Then I checked to see where Inita lives, and uh-oh (actually yippee), she’s on the other side of the world! Good thing there’s no such thing as “Carpet Lag!”

Oh Boy, here we go.....

Unrolling my Magic Carpet, I quickly check it for any wear and tear, since it’s going to be a long day for me, and finding that everything is ready to go, I hop on, grip my fingers into the front facing fringe and I am off~~~~ to... are you ready for this? Latvia! Yay! How fun is that? Good thing Inita specializes in leg warmers!


While I travel this leg of my journey (no pun intended), I decide to take a look at Inita’s Treasury, to see what’s going on. Everything is vibrant green, the same green we see through the backsides of spring’s freshly unrolled leaves that have the sun shining on them; the green of Granny Smith apples, beautiful lush and warm green!
My eyes immediately see an image of some gorgeous bulky green yarn that comes from Heidi at Faroeviking, in Ottawa, Ontario, so I think I’ll stop there while on my way to Inita’s place.

What's Your Poison?

Heidi at Faroe Viking has got one of the most picturesque banners that I have seen in a long time, a cold and misty ocean scape with jagged outcropped rocks, and green lands, and well, I just know that I would love it there. This is definitely the land that respects and glorifies the warm Sun when it does appear from behind the fog, mists, and clouds.

Faroe Viking

Heidi dyes and then spins her own yarn from fleece she purchases locally, and in her listings she includes the name of the local farms she harvests from. In addition to that, Heidi also supports other Etsy fibre sellers by using some of their fibres as well.

Purple Shadows

She also weaves blankets, and not only does she have fibre sheep and alpaca, she also creates plant based vegan yarn from soy silk! I must say I am quite impressed. I have never knitted or crocheted, but I love textiles and fibres and felted items so this stop at Heidi’s is quite a pleasure for me.

Now here’s the personal kicker for me, I fell in love with this, though I have no idea what it would be used for: SUPER COIL YARN! Check it out!

Super Coil Yarn

What a wonderful shop! As I leave Faroe Viking I vow someday, I will travel here, and maybe even take a lesson from Heidi (if she teaches) on that Ashford Traditional Spinning Wheel!

off we go!

I have decided to turn Southbound so that I can stop in at ....


4 Pottery Bowls

Pat, of PatsOfClay makes pottery that is fun, spirited and useful as Functional Art, display, and collecting, and I have to say that Pat has taken it a step farther and made this art her salvation after retiring from her teaching position. But she does explain how she witnessed the relaxation on her students faces when she would hand each of them a ball of clay and let them go….

As I mentioned, Pat has found her 'peace' with clay. Facing an unknown future with a pervasive illness, she has dealt with the stress that one feels when having to make life changes. I know how this works personally, because of my own recent situation, and I so love to read about others that have stepped up to the plate when dealt a hand of cards that sometimes feels as if that deck was stacked (see Sarahbushka, below).

Pat creates beautiful work and I love her analogy when she writes that she throws clay (oh I’ll bet she’s thrown some clay in her day), on the wheel. OK, I admit it, I already knew the term throwing clay, but when reading her profile, through misty eyes I suddenly saw her throwing clay .

Hand Thrown Reddish-Orange Bowl

Pat also makes slip casting art. For those that do not know about slip casting, it is a form of pottery, where greenware (unfired) is created with a low viscosity clay that is poured into double sided molds and dried then the mold is separated and the greenwware is fired, and later painted and glazed. It is an art, that is for sure.

Bowl of Fruit

And of course every single item is different, including Pat’s slip cast molded work as she finishes and glazes every single piece individually.

Her words are definitely inspiring, and as I mentioned before she has truly found her inner spirit. I am so happy I chose her work to visit today. For I know the effect art and creativity can have in releasing stress from our bodies and minds, and I couldn’t agree more when she states:

“Act on your inspired ideas ... Follow your heart...Love what you do!”

Off we go ...again!

As I travel to Initasworks, I realize that Inita is another textile freak, just like a lot of us…… And she makes tablecloths!

Natural Linen Striped Tablecloth

She also makes colorful leg warmers (see top image below the treasury). Inita is a textile designer and has worked in the industry for over 20 yrs, and loves to create fabric as a hobby. She knits scarves, ponchos, multi colored and multi-textured Gaiters Hand knitted leg warmers, and even some booties. In her shop right now she has a Black Green and Purple scarf that is really cute!


Well, it is time for me to come back home now, and as I return I want to tell you about the necklace that Inita added from our shop wiresNpliers. Inita chose Sarahbushka’s Celery and Greens beaded necklace.

Celery and Greens Beaded Necklace

I am not sure if Inita knew it when she chose this necklace but she chose well because the artist Sarahbushka (AKA Sarah) is also a student of the arts, one that needs to blow off stress every once in a while, as do the rest of us that happen to share the household with her. Sarahbushka is what is considered a “classic Autistic” once called Kanner’s autistic, and she is also developmentally disabled. To keep it short, you can click her name, or you can go to our lo-o-o-ong shop profile to read about her and her pursuits in life, but know that she is an artist, one who loves to express herself through her work.

Returning home, I roll up my carpet for my next travelblog, fix a cup of tea and reflect upon my visits today, realizing just how rich I feel, virtually meeting all of you, and I want you to know that I have returned home with a little piece of each of you within my heart today, and I have Inita to thank for all of this.

So I say warmly, Thank You Inita, for opening my heart this morning. Peace be with you, and with all of us, good cheer in the coming Holiday Season.

Carol & Sarahbushka

WiresNpliers ~ MiSFiTS