Category Archives: Art

Shadow Play – Found On A Friday

Standard
Le Grand Carnival, Shadow Box Diorama Frame by LaBoom, Etsy.

Paper is such a wonderful thing, it can become so many different things in as many different hands. When we are children, we are given paper and crayons or finger-paint, and let loose to make a mess. When we learn to look at books, we can see magical images on the same flat plane of paper. When we begin to read and write, we form letters and numbers with pencils and pens and begin to express ourselves in a non-verbal way that other people can understand. But by far, my favorite use of paper is to alter it from it’s usual one-dimensional form, and to create something entirely different.

3D Pedestal Display – A Day In The Island – by LaBoom, Etsy.

By layering, gluing, scrunching, folding, cutting, painting, and any other number of manipulations, we can turn paper into magic. We see the world in dimensions, though we may not be as aware of it as we are when we sit in a movie theater looking at that flat screen with those goofy 3D glasses on. There is perspective all around us, some things are closer, some things are farther away. When light moves over the land, be it natural or artificial, different things are highlighted. We see shadows, we see new items illuminated that we didn’t notice before, and everything can change in the span of a few hours. Think about your favorite place to be, it looks different based on how much light there is, and where you are in that space.

Handmade 3D Display – Ludella On Stage – by LaBoom, Etsy.

Shadow boxes and dioramas are becoming a lost art, and that is a true shame. Children create their art on a tablet or computer screen, and it never achieves the same quality of a hand made work. If you never play with sizes and shapes of cut out paper arranged closer or farther from your eyes, and with different light sources, you will never fully understand the magic of perspective. No matter what technology comes along, there is nothing that can beat a plain old arts and crafts kit full of scraps of paper, trims and findings, glue, paint, and colour.

3D Shadow Box Frame – The Journey of a Teapot –, With a Light by LaBoom, Etsy.

Today I stumbled upon the most magical of things, a wonderful Shadow Box Diorama created by the very talented hands of Tatiana Kontouli. Tatiana’s Etsy Shop, called LaBoom, contains a bounty of wonderful examples of 3D sculpture, shadow boxes, dioramas, lighted boxes and other magical hand crafted paper creations. Tatiana’s creations vary in price quite a bit, from $12.00 US for smaller shadow boxes, to $55.00 US for her most intricate creations. This makes them affordable for almost anyone to add to a collection of curiosities, or as a perfect gift for that person that is impossible to buy for.

Handmade 3D Frame Display – Miss Nagg’s Kindness Spirit – by LaBoom, Etsy.

Comprised of vintage ephemera, paper cutouts, fabric trims, wire, glitter, cardboard, and illusion, Tatiana’s work is fascinating to look at, and really makes you want to take a closer look inside the box.  From grand multi-figure displays, to simple seeming light boxes, each piece is so very special. You can see the careful combination of elements, the thoughtful placement of text and hidden creatures, and the small touches of magic that make these more than just crafty little items, it makes them something very special indeed.

Handmade Shadow Box Frame – Peachy Wonderland – by LaBoom, Etsy.

A close look at the individual listings I have selected to show you, or any of the dozens of others in the LaBoom shop, will show you different angles and close-up views that will enchant you utterly. Tatiana Kontouli’s “whimsical wonderland” ships all the way from beautiful Antiparos, Cyclades in Greece, one of the most magical and mythical places on the planet. It all just makes the story come together for me, Greece is the seat of a great deal of the historical evolution of sculpture and art.

Light Box Diorama Display – Watch Out Girls – , Light Off by LaBoom, Etsy.
Light Box Diorama Display – Watch Out Girls – , Illuminated by LaBoom, Etsy.

I urge you to take a closer look at LaBoom, and hope you see something so special you simply must bring it’s whimsy and magic into your home. If nothing else, it will have you heading into your old scrap box of bits and bobs, grabbing an old cigar box or cardboard frame, and planning to spend a little time with a glue-stick and some newsprint in the near future. Dioramas should not be on the endangered list of folk arts, too many things have already gone that direction.

3D Shadow Box Frame – Party Dog –  by LaBoom, Etsy.

So hit up the local craft shop or dig into your old stash of findings and create your own shadow box, and include the children in your life in the process, they will be enchanted by the magic that can be found in paper. Don’t let them think of paper as relegated to school work and books alone, as much as I love books – they need to learn to see possibility in all materials, and not just take them for granted. In the time before television, computers, and video games,it is too easy to forget about real creativity.

Shadow Light Box 3D Frame Diorama – Hippolyte – by LaBoom, Etsy.

Where will our future sculptors, crafters, designers and architects be without knowing the magic that can be found in 3D? I am so glad I found Tatiana Kontouli‘s Etsy Shop, LaBoom on a Friday, and now you can be too. Have a great weekend everyone, do something creative with paper and rediscover the magic.

3D Shadow Box Frame – Fox In The Woods – by LaBoom, Etsy.

Keeping Me In Stitches – Wacky & Wonderful Wednesdays

Standard
1.

Can you identify these stitched up quotes and sayings? Are you ready to take a little quiz with me here at the ‘Fab’? Put on your thinking caps, or tinfoil anti-alien helmets, and get a pencil. Each numbered image is a quote from a Television Show, Broadway Spectacular, or Movie. How many can you identify all on your own, no cheating – close that Google tab down!

2.

3.

4.

5.

Are you a movie buff, a pop-culture vulture, or a chic geek? Do you quote famous lines of dialogue, get all those obscure references and ‘in’ jokes? Do you have a catalog of expressions that comes in handy in almost any situation, giving you instant hipster cred? There are 24 fabulously stitched up quotes in this quiz, so you are bound to know a bunch of these.

6.

7.

8.

9.

Sometimes the best way to find a kindred spirit in a crowded room, at a party, or on the first day of work or school is to go with an inside joke that only those in the know will appreciate. Some of them are stolen from TV, Movies, or Broadway, but they all have one thing in common. Said in the right place at the right time they are absolutely hysterical and instantly bring to mind the scene of the line, the origin of the speeches, if you will.

10.

11.

12.

13.

OK, enough with the puns and on with the fun, here are a heap of awesome quotes, all you have to do if figure out where they are from. They come in one of my favorite forms of geekery, crochet and cross-stitch. A very traditional medium with a very modern twist, it is the hipster equivalent of chalk and cheese, at least in my way of thinking.  Two things that are different, particularly two things that are superficially alike but very different in substance, or rather the opposite. Two things superficially different, but somehow alike in a hipster substance kind of way. Never mind, it’s hard to explain. It just works.

14.

15.

16.

17.

I have numbered the images, the answers to the question “where did this quote come from?” can be found at the very bottom of this post, along with links to the fabulous Etsy shops where you can snap up these little bits of wonderful. Some of these hoop sayings are ready made, some are made-to-order, and others are patterns for you to download or receive and stitch up yourself. So read the individual Etsy listings to find out for sure what form of funny you are checking out.

18.

19.

20.

21.

Whether hanging in a group on the wall near your entertainment section, or placed on a side table with your favorite family photos, you will surely have room in your home for a little awesome in an embroidery hoop. Now get cracking at my little test, and let me know in the comments just how many of these quotes you identified on first reading.

22.

23.

24.

Answers and Links To The Etsy Listings:

  1. Suck It, Trebek. [Quote from SNL Skit, Will Ferrell as Sean Connery on Celebrity Jeopardy Parody, 1999] Embroidery Hoop, Blue Fiber Art Home Decor, 4″ Hoop by Stitch Culture on Etsy.
  2.  Tea. Earl Grey. Hot. [Quote from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Captain Jean Luc Pickard] Cross Stitch PDF Pattern by BetaStitch, LadyBeta on Etsy.
  3. Suck It, Nerds. [Quote from Liz Lemon, 30 ROCK] Simple Home Decor, 3″ Art by StitchCulture on Etsy.
  4. Nobody Puts Baby In The Corner [Quote from Dirty Dancing, Johnny Castle played by Patrick Swayze] Beautiful and Charming, Hand Stitched, Ready-To-Hang Dirty Dancing Quote by My Heart & Anchor on Etsy.
  5. I Gave Her My Heart, She Gave Me A Pen. [Quote from Say Anything, by Lloyd Dobler played by Jon Cusack] Embroidery Hoop Art. Embroidered Quote, Ready To Ship by Gracey May on Etsy.
  6. I Saved Latin. What Did You Ever Do? [Quote from Rushmore, Max Fischer played by Jason Schwartzman] Embroidered Wall Art. Movie Quote by Gracey May on Etsy.
  7. There’s No Basement At The Alamo! [Quote from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Movie, voiced by Tina played by Jan Hooks to Pee-Wee played by Paul Reubens] Hand Embroidery Hoop – Pee-Wee by moxiedoll on Etsy.
  8. Does Barry Manilow Know You Raided His Wardrobe? [Quote from The Breakfast Club, John Bender played by Judd Nelson] Quote Framed Cross Stitch Sampler by Snarky Little Stitcher on Etsy.
  9. Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica. [Quote from The Office (US), voiced by Jim Halpert impersonating Dwight Schrute] Pop Culture TV Quote Hand Embroidery Hoop Art, Office Decor Wall Art by Stitch Culture on Etsy.
  10. Stay In The House, Carl. [Quote from The Walking Dead, said by pretty much every other character on the show, but he never stays in the frippen house, does he?] by Stitch Culture on Etsy.
  11. You’ve Got Red On You. [Quote from film Shaun of the Dead] Halloween Hand Embroidery Hoop Art, Zombie Blood Movie Quote Home Decor, 3″ by Stitch Culture on Etsy.
  12. I’m Not Crazy. My Mother Had Me Tested. [Quote from The Big Bang Theory, said by Sheldon Cooper played by Jim Parsons] Hand Embroidery Hoop Art – Television Quote Comedy Hoop by Stitch Culture on Etsy.
  13. I Don’t Have A Square To Spare, I Can’t Spare A Square. [Quote from Television Comedy “Seinfeld”, Episode ‘The Stall’ #76, dialogue between Elaine Benes played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Jane played by Jamie Gertz] Cross Stitch PDF Pattern by BetaStitch, LadyBeta on Etsy.
  14. No Day But Today. [Quote from the Broadway Musical “RENT” by Jonathan Larson] Hand Embroidery Hoop – Another Day by moxiedoll on Etsy.
  15. I Am So Smart. S – M – R – T. [Quote from Television Animated Comedy “The Simpsons”, Homer Simpson voice by Dan Castellaneta] Embroidery Hoop – TV Quote – Funny Television Home Back To School Dorm Decor by Stitch Culture on Etsy.
  16. You’re A Virgin Who Can’t Drive. [Quote from the 1995 film “Clueless”, said by Tai Frasier played by Brittany Murphy to Cher Horowitz, played by Alicia Silverstone] Hand Embroidery Hoop Art – 1990s Teen Movie Bright Pink Home Decor: Hoop Art by Stitch Culture on Etsy.
  17. Clear Alcohols Are For Rich Women On Diets. [Quote from TV Show ‘Parks and Rec.’, uttered by Ron Swanson played by Nick Offerman] Hand Embroidery Hoop Art – Parks and Rec TV Quote: Kitchen Home Decor by Stitch Culture on Etsy.
  18. And I Thought They Smelled Bad On The Outside. [Quote from STAR WARS: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, said by Han Solo played by Harrison Ford] Star Wars Embroidery for Tauntaun Lovers by Water Penny on Etsy.
  19. As You Wish. [Quote from the modern classic movie “The Princess Bride”, uttered repeatedly by Westley played by actor Cary Elwes] Cross Stitch Quote From The Princess Bride by (not so) Modern Millie on Etsy.
  20. There’s Always Money In The Banana Stand. [Quote from TV’s “Arrested Development” yelled by George Bluth at his son Michael Bluth, Season 1, Episode 2.] Cross Stitch Quote From Arrested Development by (not so) Modern Millie on Etsy.
  21. You Stay Classy, San Diego. [Quote from Comedy Film “Anchorman” starring Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy. This is his classic signature sign-off at the end of the News Broadcast.] Personalized Hand Embroidered Hoop Art – Customize to Your State, Home Decor by Stitch Culture on Etsy.
  22. Do Or Do Not. There Is No Try. [Quote from STAR WARS: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, said by Yoda, voiced by Frank Oz, to Luke Skywalker played by Mark Hamill] Hand Embroidered Hoop Art – Yoda Movie Quote/Motivational Embroidery Home Dorm Decor by Stitch Culture on Etsy.
  23. You Rush A Miracle Man, You Get Rotten Miracles. [Quote from “The Princess Bride”, uttered by Miracle Max, played by Billy Crystal] The Princess Bride Embroidery Hoop – Philosophical Movie Quote Home Decor – Made to Order by Stitch Culture on Etsy.
  24. My Name’s Not F#@!ing Warren. [Quote from 1995 Teen Flick “Empire Records”, said by “Warren” played by Brendan Sexton] Embroidery Hoop – Empire Records Movie Quote Home Decor/Mature by Stitch Culture on Etsy.

How did you do kids?  I had to look up five of these classics myself, though one of them was on the tip of my tongue and I was so close to getting it. Meanwhile, looking up all the details for you made this one of my most research dense Blog posts yet. Who loves you? This Gal! Have a fabulous Wacky & Wonderful Wednesday everyone.

A Rainbow In A Box – Wacky & Wonderful Wednesdays

Standard
ECO Kids Handmade ll Natural SOY CRAYONS – Love Hearts by Earth Grown Crayons on Etsy.

Think back to when you were a child, do you remember the first time someone placed a chubby wax stick into your little fist and gave you a scrap of paper. Do you remember someone taking your hand, and placing that waxy stick down against the paper, moving your wee arm so that suddenly, like magic, there were marks on that paper, and they seemed to come from the end of that wax stick. Maybe it was red, perhaps blue, or even green. but a crayon was likely the first writing instrument you held in your hand and put to paper. It is a powerful moment, whether you remember it or not, the moment you discover that you can create scribbles and dashes of colour with your own hand.

ECO SOY CRAYONS Farmer’s Market – Handmade, All Natural, Biodegradable, Scent Free (Set of 8) by Earth Grown Crayons on Etsy.
ECO SOY CRAYONS People Skin Color – Handmade, All Natural, Biodegradable, Scent Free (Set of 4) by Earth Grown Crayons on Etsy.
Recycled Rainbow Crayons – Jumbo Heart Rainbow Crayons (Set of 3) by Art 2 The Extreme on Etsy.

Some of us had this experience at home with a family member, maybe it was mom or dad, or an older sibling… perhaps your aunt or uncle, a grandparent. Sometimes, we were given our first wax crayon by a nanny, daycare worker, or teacher.  Whoever gave it to you, gave you a gift, the gift of learning that you could create something that was ‘art’, something that could be hung on the front of the fridge, or framed, or tucked into an album or scrapbook and kept for years to come.  Our crayon creations were the cleanest and fastest way of not only being entertained, but of learning fine motor control and hand eye coordination.

FORTUNE COOKIE CRAYONS – Set of Six with Gift Box by Ivy Lane Designs on Etsy.
Handmade Colorful Autumn Crayons by Central Treehouse Studios on Etsy.
Pastel Hello Kitty Mix – MuckyPup Recycled Crayons, Favors, Eco Friendly by MuckyPup Crayons on Etsy.

Do you remember the joy of getting a new box of crayons? I do, I loved that smell, that clean waxy odor, and the sharp tips ready to go. Not a broken or unwrapped crayon in the box, and they were all mine.  Sure we had plenty of crayons in my house. There were four of us kids born within five years, and all those crayons literally required a plastic dish basin to hold all the broken bits and pieces, the peeled paper bits.   At some point along the way, companies like Crayola introduced toddler sized crayons, larger diameter sticks made for smaller hands.  There was also that mega-box that I adored, it had something like 64 colours in it, and a sharpener built right into the back of the box.  That was joy in a box.

24 Cupcake Crayons (12 Sets) with Personalized Labels and Coloring Sheet or Ribbon Cello Bags or Easter Eggs by Lil Creative Creations on Etsy.
1 KIDS Bling Crayon Ring – ONE Ring – Size 4 by Oh My Lucky Star on Etsy.
LEGO Men Style Crayons Party Favor, Party Bag Filler, 20 Sets of 5 by Ashgate Crafts on Etsy.

Since it is Wacky & Wonderful day, a day for all those geeky fun and fabulous things, the collectables and the vintage childhood fun, I decided to dedicate today’s post to the humble and hardworking crayon, an item I still adore, by the way.  I love sitting with my nieces or nephew and revisiting the fun of colouring books full of cartoon characters or games,  I still colour the same way that I did as an older child, I do a dark line of the colour inside the shape I am about to colour, then I gently shade in the whole area with the same colour. Habits are hard to break.The smell of that wax always brings me right back to being a kid.

Ponytail Holder, Orange with Green Crayons Ends by Fancy Things and Such on Etsy.
Crayon Colors Loopy Hair Bow – Back To School – Primary Colors by Hair Bows by Marsha on Etsy.
7 Embroidered Crayons – Craft Felt Embellishments For Scrapbooking, Hair Bows, Etc. by Lovmy3grlz on Etsy.

I love teaching kids my favorite crayon magic tricks. The one where you fill an entire sheet of paper with random color scribbles, edge to edge, then cover the entire sheet again with thick black crayon.  A random coin in hand, and you can then scratch out a picture, removing the black wax from the page with the coin to produce a really magical effect. Yes I know they sell something similar, and that it is much less labor intensive.

CRAYON BOX RECYCLED NOTEBOOK/Upcycled Journal – Eco Friendly by Ivy Lane Designs on Etsy.
Recycled Crayons – Rainbow Crayon Travel Tube (1 Recycled Crayon Travel Tube) by Art 2 The Extreme on Etsy.
Altered Colors Art Crayons – 100% Non-Toxic Recycled Wax by 6Blue6 on Etsy.

What really is wonderful about crayons these days, is that they are very much the same deal as they always were, they are still the first writing instrument many of us use, they still come in tons of amazing colours, you can still create amazing ‘art’ with them, and they are a cheap anytime activity that is fun for anyone at any age. What is even better about crayons lately, is just how different they can be.

Crayon Art by Clarissa Webb on Etsy.
Monogram Crayon Art – Great Teacher Gift by Handmade by Leah on Etsy.
Vertical Rainbow, 16″ x 20″ by JK Create – Melted Crayon Art on Etsy.

If you are browsing Etsy, you will see just how amazing crayons can be. There are handmade crayons, recycled crayons, crayon art, crayon caddies, crayons in all sorts of wonderful shapes and sizes, and more.  This entire post is full of these lovely rainbow hued items, and there is just so much to love about them.  Even just a photograph of crayons or the image of that old familiar yellow and green box makes for happy memories. Why not grab yourself a box, or bag, or frame full of wonderful rainbow memories today. Share a little time scribbling, you might be surprised how much you have missed it.

Mini Me Owls in Pink – 8 Crayola Crayons Included – Great Gift by Kate Williams Designs on Etsy.
Whispered Dreams – Crayon Apron [Holds 32 Crayons – Included] by Childish Thoughts on Etsy.
Hand-Made Crayon Roll for 24 Crayons with 24 Crayons by Mrs. Dressup on Etsy.

Note: All Images and Products In This Post are the Intellectual Property and Copyright of their respective creators and the Etsy shop in question. No Infringement is intended.  Please follow the links beneath the image for more information, including price, availability, and custom orders if available.

Wooden Crayon Train – Crayon Holder [Holds 38 Crayons] by Grampa’s Workshop on Etsy.
A Digital Photograph of Crayons in All of The Colors of the Rainbow – 5×7 by Tara, A Pocketful Of Photos on Etsy.
Crayon Box Handplied Bulky Yarn by Jennifer, Otter Moon Patterns on Etsy.

Making Faces – Found On A Friday

Standard
ONE 28″x20″ Mixed Media Print, ART by Vincenzo Rizzo on Etsy.

Friday’s are the day that I don’t have to worry about any categories, I can simply showcase something wonderful. That is a blessing and a curse sometimes. A blessing because it removes any constraints on the fabulous finds I get to introduce, a curse because I am spoiled for choice.  It has become apparent to me that I like a heck of a lot of things, and so it comes down to choosing an artist to feature that doesn’t “fit” into one of the themes days here at the Fab. That means that mt Fridays are usually reserved for Artist that have a unique and original flair that somehow speaks to me. Today’s featured artist is one of those.

Every You Every Me – Mixed Media 15/100, ART by Vincenzo Rizzo on Etsy.
Angel – Mixed Media 12/100, ART by Vincenzo Rizzo on Etsy

It has become apparent to me that the original art that seems to grab me full on from the jump is often art that features human [or humanoid] faces. I don’t know why, but when I see a face, I see emotion, and it often connects with me on a very deep level. I have presented several artists that do a sort of ‘abstract portraiture’ before, and try as I might to pass them by in search of something else to showcase, I keep coming back to the same work over and over again. Vincenzo Rizzo is one of those artist who works just grabs me. I will be doing a random search of artwork on Etsy, or even just searching the whole of the newest listings pages, and every time I see one of Vincenzo’s paintings, I click through to look at it closer. I often don’t even realize it is yet another of Rizzo’s amazing creations until I get to the image listing, at which point I have that “well Duh!” moment, the moment where I realize that it is no wonder I like it so well. Vincenzo Rizzo is a master of capturing faces that captivate me.

Canada 10/100 Limited Edition Mixed Media, ART by Vincenzo Rizzo on Etsy.
Drinking My Tears – Mixed Media 14/100, ART by Vincenzo Rizzo on Etsy.

Vincenzo’s Etsy Shop is chock full of the most amazing mixed media prints and original paintings, and they are all of them priced well within the grasp of an collector.  Prints are almost always limited to an edition of 100 copies, and most are available for purchase at just $10.00 USD.  Canvas mounted prints run higher, but they are large in scale and ready to hang. You can bring home an amazingly high quality print on canvas, mounted on wood, and signed and dated by the artist, for $220.00 USD. Many original works are also available, these range in price from the ridiculously affordable $10.00 USD price point.

Agata – Mixed Media – 11/100, ART by Vincenzo Rizzo on Etsy.
Feeling The Wave – 4/100 – Mixed Media, ART by Vincenzo Rizzo on Etsy.

You may well recognize some of these faces, as I do, as some of the most beautiful models to grace the pages of fashion magazines, to portraits of some of the most iconic celebrities.  Many people may attempt to do portraits of famous faces, but Vincenzo does it with such skill that you often feel that you know who you are looking at in these images, you just can’t figure out how you know them. Rizzo’s combination of these lovely faces and splashes of colour, script, or other mixed media elements are masterful. The range of colours and materials used makes them so appealing, and with such an accessible price, you can bring these lovely limited edition prints or originals into your home with very little hesitation.  I simply love the way Vincenzo makes faces.

LoVe BomB – 49/100 Mixed Media, ART by Vincenzo Rizzo on Etsy.
Watercolor’s Spirit // Limited Edition 32/100, ART by Vincenzo Rizzo on Etsy.

Rizzo’s art would look stunning in a traditional mat and frame, or in a floating frame of glass.  The sizes make them very easy to frame for a reasonable price, so they would all make wonderful gifts as well.  I could see them in a gallery like collection, featured on the walls of a hip hair salon or spa, or in the bedroom of that budding Fashionista teen you know so well. A group of these prints would work in just about any room that needs some colour and personality.

NERONE – miXedMedia 12/100, ART by Vincenzo Rizzo on Etsy.
Wings Of Stone – 34/100 – Mixed Media, ART by Vincenzo Rizzo on Etsy.

This is just a small selection of Vincenzo’s works available on Etsy, so please follow the links to Rizzo’s Etsy Storeand see which works speak to you personally.  While I mainly presented a sample of portraits, Vincenzo also does some fantastic nudes and humorous images featuring juxtaposed vehicles, animals, and other artistic elements.  I particularly love the whimsy of some of the original works done on pages of Latin dictionary pages, they are simply fantastic.

LOVED – 18×12 Inch – Mixed Media, ART by Vincenzo Rizzo on Etsy.
3D O.R.I.G.I.N.A.L. Hand Painting Mixed Media on Page of Antique Italian Vocabulary of the Early 1900’s Original Unique Artwork, ART by Vincenzo Rizzo on Etsy.

Make sure you take a trip over to Etsy this weekend, a long weekend for us Canadians, and don’t forget to visit Vincenzo Rizzo’s Etsy Store in your travels. You will not be disappointed, and it is a great place to start if you are an Etsy ‘virgin’, as may be the case.  Don’t be afraid, Etsy may seem like a daunting place, there is so much to look at and explore, but there is truly something for every taste and living space, and the images presented are almost universally lovely and appealing.

UV – Mixed Media 49/100, ART by Vincenzo Rizzo on Etsy.
Gucci 12 of 100 Limited Edition, ART by Vincenzo Rizzo on Etsy.

You may think of Etsy as akin to eBay in some respects, but it is far more focused on handmade, one of a kind, and antique goods.  I find eBay to be impossibly over-run with what often seems to be ‘crap’, there seems to be no standard of presentation or attention to detail. Etsy provides a much better shopping experience, and there is a true community feel to the site. Have a lovely weekend and may you find a whole lot of fabulous in your foraging attempts.

I Know You Like My Poker Face – 30/100 – Mixed Media, ART by Vincenzo Rizzo on Etsy.

Note: All Images/Products Featured In This Post Are Copyright and the Intellectual Property of Vincenzo Rizzo and the associated Etsy Shop. No Infringement is Intended. Please Follow The Links Below Each Image For Purchase Information or Further Details.

The Curious Curiosity Box – Strange Stuff Saturdays

Standard
Altered Art Tall Taper Handmade Box
by Patricia Hecker, Tattoo Dreams on Etsy

 Everybody needs somewhere to put all those little bits and bobs that manage to accumulate throughout the days, weeks, and months. You know the things I mean; concert ticket stubs, interesting coins, pebbles, bits of beach glass, marbles, buttons, broken jewelry, little handwritten notes, and other tiny treasures. The fact is, tossing them into a kitchen drawer or a bedside table means they are out of our sight and eventually out of our thoughts. Some items are too special to seal up in a plastic bag or shoe box, and sometimes things just get shuffled into the wrong pile and thrown away.

Wooden Trinket Box With Skeletal Hand
by The Curi-Oddity Shop on Etsy.

 Today’s Strange Stuff is also practical, all these “Altered Art” Boxes are not only strange and wonderful to look at, but a special place to hold all your own strange and wonderful things. All created by different hands, they would definitely stand out on a coffee table, dresser top, or desk.  Not only will you have somewhere to put all those small things, but it might help you edit your existing stash down to just the most special things that will fit into your new box of curiosities.

Box Altered Art Handmade With Secret Compartment OOAK
by Petrina Case, Petrina Case Studio on Etsy.

 Some of these are way out there, it is the day for strange and odd items after all, but the idea still holds.  There are many wonderful storage boxes and Altered Art boxes on Etsy, and they range in size from tiny Altoids Tins to an entire chests of drawers. You can find something to fit every taste and style, from contemporary to shabby chic, but I particularly like the odd little boxes in today’s post.

Piano Keys That Hold Treasures
by Doug Sorenson, Traveling Inkwell on Etsy.

 Does everyone collect the little bits of things they come across? I know it’s not just me, but some people don’t have the sort of sentimental connection to objects that others do. I am by no means a hoarder of everything I find in my travels, but I do like to hold on to things that have special meaning. What do you hold onto and what are your most treasured objects? Do they have a fitting place to stay? If not then you need to start thinking about where they belong, and how you can keep them safe and still enjoy looking through them every now and again. As a girl I would visit with my grandmother, and we would sit at her amazing vintage wooden vanity with it’s huge mirror, and go through the one drawer in the middle where she kept her most wonderful things. The gloves she wore to my parent’s wedding, the beaded handbags she used in her younger days, some fabulous “paste” rhinestone jewelry, and a collection of linen hankies, some with embroidery accents made by herself or her sisters and friends. Such wonderful memories.

Tarot Box, Witch Witchcraft Wiccan Pagan “Dratxx
Pippenwycks Wildwyck Woods on Etsy.

 In my mother’s home, there is a vintage box that is covered in a opalescent blue mother of pearl mosaic, it has a hinged lid, and if you open that lid and peek inside, you will find the most astonishing things. All collected from her yard, there is a monarch butterfly that somehow lost it’s way, a real fuzzy bumble bee that met a similar fate, along with a dragon fly and some other specimens. It sounds a bit macabre perhaps, but when you look closely at these amazingly preserved found “bugs” you get a real appreciation for the awesome beauty of nature.

Decoupage Box Keepsake Trinket Jewelry Storage Box
by Briana Lee, Blissful Treasures – Blushing Peach on Etsy.

 What do I love best about this little box of curiosities? All these tiny corpses were found by my young nieces and nephew as they explored their grandmother’s backyard, and the box sits in my mothers somewhat formal living room, along with all her other prized possessions. Every time the grand-kids see it, they feel compelled to peek inside and revisit those amazing creatures, and remember who found which one. I can only imagine the surprised looks of her contemporaries as they come over to have a luncheon or card night, and open this lovely little box and find, well, dead insects. Only those with a true appreciation for the precious and delicate creatures of this world will understand why they belong exactly where they are.

Vintage Altered Cigar Box – Let The Games Begin
by Kelly B., Kelly Bee’s Place on Etsy.

 Treasure the little things and place them in a fitting home, it is a wonderful tribute to the memories they trigger. Your children or grandchildren will treasure them all the more if you spend a little time sharing your collection with them, telling them about the items and where they came from.  You will smile every time you see your box of curiosities, and seeing the box alone will begin to remind you of what is inside.  It will be even more fun if your box is one of these strange and wonderful finds from Etsy.

“Rare” Raw Meat Jewelry Box OOAK
by Amarynth, Dead and Undead Horror Couture on Etsy.

NOTE: All artwork, products, and images in this post are the intellectual property and copyright of their respective creators, and the Etsy store indicated in the links under the items.  No infringement is intended.

Kiss Me Cate – Found On A Friday

Standard
Lacy by Cate Rangel

At last it’s Friday once again, and today’s Found featured artist is one who’s work speaks volumes all on it’s own. Which is a great thing for a variety of reasons, it has been a very busy blogging week for me, and I may need the help. I initially happened across the work of the astonishingly awesome Cate Rangel on Etsy, and I just knew I had to share it with everyone I could.

Daydream by Cate Rangel

Cate is among the small number of self-taught artists that I would place in the “Are You Kidding Me” category. What I mean by that is, her work displays such an unbelievable level of skill and style that it is hard to believe that she hasn’t been studying art her entire existence.  Her work is startling in it’s expressiveness, and her images will stay with you, almost call to you, as they did to me, asking you to come and have another look.

Culinary Curiosities by Cate Rangel

Based in Los Angeles, Cate’s paintings of primarily female subjects reflects what she describes as a “psychological mirror”.  While her formal education includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, Rangel’s work is a school in the elements of the feminine mystique. 

Vera by Cate Rangel

Her portraits, of real or imagined subjects (it is sometimes difficult to be certain) are powerful in their apparent simplicity. They convey the “mix of boldness and fragility” that Cate herself identifies, but something more that is hard to describe in words.

Lilith by Cate Rangel

For me, art is all about the way it makes me feel, I know instantly whether I love something or if it not my ‘thing’. The moment I saw Rangel’s work, I was swimming in the pure joy of having connected.  Her work speaks to me, not only because of the subject matter, but the style as well. There is a haunting vulnerability in the eyes of these women, while at the same time, a sense of the power they possess.

Savannah by Kate Rangel

 A mix of pop art, pin-up, fashion illustration, and expressionism, with an ample dose of Suicide Girl sexy, there is a stark beauty to each and every painting.  Working primarily in acrylic on panel, Cate’s skill is breathtakingly obvious, her images look like they are ready to come to life in some perfectly dark futuristic cyber-society or comic book, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find them in a local Tattoo Parlor either.

Kristen by Kate Rangel

You can select from a lovely selection prints, many Limited Edition in Cate Rangel’s Etsy shop, or visit her online store where you can find some of her original work alongside her prints.  On Etsy, prints range in price by size and edition availability, but generally start from $25 USD, while original paintings can be found beginning at $325 USD and up. Cate also has a website where you can see a large gallery of her work, her exhibiting calendar, and more.  Rangel also indicates in her Etsy shop information that some images not appearing in her store can be purchased as prints upon request, so I urge you to have a good look around. Aren’t you glad that Cate Rangel was Found On A Friday? I know I am.

Cherry’s Jubilee by Kate Rangel

LINKS:
Cate Rangel on Etsy
Cate Rangel Original Art
Cate Rangel Store 

Cotton Candy by Kate Rangel

Going Mobile – Found On A Friday

Standard
Mobile Venice Wave Kinetic Hanging Sculpture for Baby or Adult by Carolyn Weir, Skysetter Designs on Etsy. $199.00 USD.

Most people only think about buying a “mobile” when they are planning their baby nursery decor. You know, those animals tied to strings that hover over the crib and rotate slowly in tune to a wind-up lullaby. You can find them in just about any character, style and color. We buy them, use them to entertain our little ones, and then put them away when the kiddo move up the the “big boy” or “big girl” bed. When it comes to having a mobile in the house, it is such a shame that we only think of them as a nursery decor element.  They can be so much more in the hands of a talented artist.

Rustic Rain Kinetic Sculpture – Hanging Mobile Art – Calder Style by Carolyn Weir, Skysetter Designs on Etsy. $125.00 USD.

Today’s “Friday Finds” are a sampler of amazing Kinetic Art Mobiles from four great Etsy creators.  The above two images are creations of Carolyn Weir, an incredibly talented artist from Natchez, Mississippi. Her work is perfection, so full of visual impact and aesthetic appeal.  Carolyn creates her mobiles from her own original watercolor paintings.  In her Etsy shop, Skysetter Designs, she has a lovely selection of lightweight aluminum mobiles, with stunning aluminum adhered elements created from her colorful painted works.  This would be stunning in an office setting or home, and it would be lovely in a child’s room as well. They are by nature one-of-a-kind [OOAK], As a former kite-maker, Carolyn understands how the smallest movement in the air can make magic happen. Her mobiles are available in a lovely assortment of colours and shapes.

Pink Cherry Blossom Mobile Medium by Sara Lawrence, Flutter And Twirl on Etsy. $45.00 USD.
Changing Color Leaves Mobile Medium by Sara Lawrence, Flutter And Twirl on Etsy. $38.00 USD.

The next mobile artist I want to share is the proprietor of Flutter And Twirl on Etsy. Sara Lawrence is the creator of the two mobiles above, featuring a stunning Cherry Blossom ‘Branch’, and a whirl of ‘Changing Color Leaves’.  Sara’s work is beautiful in it’s apparent simplicity, and the organic shapes that comprise the body of her work are not only attractive to the eye, but calming to the soul.  Her custom designs come in a variety of sizes and would work beautifully in a nature retreat or spa, or even as a calming element in a bedroom setting.  Mobiles featuring translucent paper and other feather light elements cast lovely shadows and move with the slightest breeze.

Colorful Mobius Mobile – Best Baby Mobile Design 2010 by Julie Frith, FRITHMOBILES on Etsy. $150.00 USD.
Eliptusmobius Small – Best Baby Mobile 2010 by Julie Frith, FRITHMOBILES on Etsy. $135.00 USD.

Julie Frith’s Modern Art Mobiles are a visual treat. These really are amazing suspended sculptures you can bring into your home. At FRITHMOBILES on Etsy, you can find a bounty of brilliantly colored ceiling suspension and table-top mobiles. With over 40 years of experience making mobiles, you can see her skill in every piece.  Colour combinations are masterful, and the polished plastic elements really have an amazing retro appeal.  Julie is willing to create custom colored creations with her clients, and can create a handmade work of stainless steel suspension for your home or office. Her mobiles would make a wonderful housewarming or wedding gift, and would perk up any doctor’s office. I can only imagine how calming it would be to lie back at the Dentist’s office and have one of her lovely creations gently moving above me. 

Modern Art Mobile – The Milky Way, in Spectrum by Rachel, The Wonderland Studio on Etsy. $104.00 USD.

The final Mobile Artist I want to highlight today is Rachel of Newburyport, Massachusetts. At The Wonderland Studio Rachel creates her Made To Order masterpieces that feature a plethora of circular and curvilinear elements.  These brightly colored mobiles would be the perfect addition to any children’s playroom, nursery school, or classroom.  Exposing children to art at an early age is so important, and these carefully balanced sculptures not only catch the eye, but the imagination as well.  Made of bright aluminum wire and foam, Rachel’s mobiles feature a light structure that whirls and floats to stunning effect with a light wind or the gentle gusts of your own breath. 

The Mobile – The Constellation, Large, in Wildflower by Rachel, The Wonderland Studio on Etsy. $96.00 USD.

Clearly, mobiles aren’t just for children anymore. When your walls are covered with bookshelves and artwork, or maybe a big flat-screen TV, it’s time to start thinking about other ways to personalize your space.  Hanging high overhead, these amazingly modern and organic appearing sculptures are a safe and lovely way to add a special touch to any room.  The science of balance involved in these Kinetic wonders is not lost on me, and it speaks to hours of studio time on the part of these creators as they work to achieve the desired effects. It’s time to start thinking about Going Mobile.

A Trip Down Grocery Lane – Time Travel Thursdays

Standard
Groceries ART BLOCKS – Set of 21 Ephemera Art BLOCKS 1950’s Magazine Advertisements by Suzanna Scott, Sushipot Parts on Etsy. $145.00 USD.

I was born in the early seventies, that means the big 4-O is coming soon, but even I remember a time before grocery stores became giant tributes to mass consumption of over produced and over packaged goods. Most people dread the “weekly” trip to the grocery store, some people go out less than weekly. Our food has become so laden with preservatives that shopping carts are now immense, ready to hold all those giant boxes and bags that can shelf sit for decades.  Many of my friends and family have turned to shopping on-line, with a standard order delivered right to their doors at great expense, but it is a busy family’s savior in a time pressured world.  We now have so much waste, so much to recycle, that taking out the garbage can be more labor intensive than cooking up dinner.

Vintage 1946 Grocery Shopping Advertisement – Mother Daughter at French Frou Frou Antiques on Etsy. 10″x13″. $12.95 USD.
Vintage 1950 Mother Daughter Grocery Advertisement at French Frou Frou Antiques on Etsy. 10″x13″. $12.95 USD.

So when did it all go so horribly wrong? I am by no means the best at being ‘green’, I am not a vegetarian, and I am not someone who is the most socially aware, but I would have to be blind not to see that we have gone in a direction that is going to be very hard to change.  The old Corner Grocery Store is almost extinct, and that is a shame.

Corner Drug Store Vintage Photo of A Woman Standing In Front of a Drug Store at Romance Writer on Etsy. 3 3/8″x3 3/8″. $2.50 USD.
Girl Buys French Bread & Spaghetti from Retail Market Shop in Snow – Antique Photograph at Snaposaurus on Etsy. 3.5″x2.5″. $4.25 USD.

 In Canada [where I hail from] and the United States, the mega-sized grocery and drug store combo is a dominant feature on the landscape of most suburban shopping centers.  We don’t really even question it when yet another Big-Box shop opens around the corner. However, there was a time when small corner grocers were essential to a neighborhood, and many shopped for fresh goods on a daily basis.

Large Vintage Wire Shopping Basket with Handles – Old Country Store at Antique Beans on Etsy. SOLD.
Vintage Light Blue Grocery Store Shopping Basket at Planet Alissa on Etsy. Estimated 1970-1980. 16″x10 1/2″x9″. $20.00 USD.
Old Vintage Metal Store Display Tag for Fruit Flavor Certs Candy Breath Mints at Leora’s Magic Carpetbag on Etsy. 2 1/4″ Across. $9.99 USD.
Old Vintage Metal Store Display Tag for Dentyne Spearmint Gum at Leora’s Magic Carpetbag on Etsy. 5 3/4″ Across. $12.99 USD.

We drank out of glass bottles, which we returned. Dry goods were sold in paper boxes lined with wax paper, or tins that would be re-used.  Ice cream came in a paper box. Bread, produce, and meats were wrapped in paper and tied with a string. Your home ice-box didn’t hold as much, and things did ‘spoil’ as you would expect fresh food to do.

Vintage Sky Flakes Cracker Tin – Add To A Collection or Use To Store Special Items at Artsy Gemini on Etsy. 7″x4 3/4″. $4.50 USD.
Vintage Spice Tins & Extract Bottle – Lot 2 at UnAbashed DeStash on Etsy. 5 Spice Tins/Boxes, 1 Bottle. 1940s. 50s. 60s. $30.00 USD.
Vintage Spice Tins – Lot 1 at UnAbashed DeStash on Etsy. 7 Spice Tins/Boxes. 1940s. 50s. 60s. $35.00 USD.

So what, you may ask, is my point? Well, sometimes we need to take a look back in time to remember that most families had all their needs met by their corner store, and that the more we package and preserve, the more wasteful we have become.  For many, a look at vintage grocery ads, items, and containers in a wonderful way to remember the days of their childhood. For others, a reminder that for all our “progress”, we have taken a huge backwards leap in taking care of Mother Nature.

Set of 10 Sample Size Grocery Products Rare Collectibles at Antigua on Etsy. Boxes and Talcum Powder Tin Contain Product. Circa 1960s. $100.00 USD.
6 Vintage Jack And Jill Strawberry Gelatin Dessert Boxes at Antionettes Vanilla & Vintage Finds on Etsy. 3.5″x3″x1″. New Old Stock, Never Used. $8.95 USD.
Vintage Chocolate and Food Extracts for Vintage Snacks at Violet’s Steamer Trunk on Etsy. Original Price Tags On Some Items. Range in Size. $11.00 USD.

My family is rather unique in that I come from a ‘Grocery Ancestry’ of sorts. On my father’s side, his parents owned a corner grocery store on St. Clair Avenue in part of Toronto’s most well known early residential areas. He grew up working the store, and as he tells it, bribing the delivery drivers to let him drive their trucks long before he was of age.  On my mother’s side, her father and his partner had a ‘pop’ bottling plant in Thunder Bay, Ontario where they bottled such favorites as Nu-Grape and Sun Crest.  My maternal grandmother also had her time working in a butcher shop as a young woman before she married my grandfather.  You could say my love of the corner grocery store is almost a genetic trait.

Vintage Coca-Cola Bottles, Set of Coke Bottles in Original Carry Carton at Kona Boutique on Etsy. Holiday Style Cardboard Holder Included. $19.99 USD.
Vintage 7up Green Glass Soda Bottle at Antoinette’s Vanilla & Vintage Finds on Etsy. Circa 1950s. 7 oz. Bottle. 8″ Tall. $6.95 USD.
TWO VINTAGE Sun Crest Soda Bottles at Dee’s Attic Treasures on Etsy. 10 oz. & 7 oz. Bottles. Bottles From Atlanta, GA. $18.00 USD.

 Most people, I imagine, have had some connection to a corner store at some point in their family tree, there were just that many small shops serving the community.  Today I want you to remember those days, before the mega-ginormous food outlets, and remember all the families that relied on the small corner stores for their livelihoods and as a main food source for nourishing their families.  The stunning art blocks at the top of the post are the perfect way to honor that heritage in a new and eye-catching way. If you collect old photographs or glass bottles, you can find some of the best on Etsy. Vintage packaging and ephemera remind us of a simpler time and are great photo props or serve as inspirations for decor and artwork projects.  An old soda crate can become a great way to organize your craft room or studio.  This Time Travel Thursday, I ask you to think outside the “Big Box” grocery stores.

Vintage Wood Divided Soda Crate A-Treat Supplies Storage Primitive Industrial Box at Vintage Jane on Etsy. 17 3/4″ Long, 12 1/2″ Wide, 5 1/4″ Tall. $36.00 USD.
Coca-Cola Crate at Cottage On Cactus Lane on Etsy. Vintage Original. 18″ Long, 12″ Wide, 4.5″ Deep. Perfect for Storage, Decor, or Shelf. $25.00 USD.
Vintage Land O’Lakes Wooden Cheese Box at Uknow Uneed Another on Etsy. 11 3/4″ Length, 3 3/4″ Height, 4 1/4″ Wide. Bottom Opening Hinged. $25.00 USD.

A Is For Awesome – Found On A Friday

Standard

I am admittedly slow to catch on to trends, sometimes I need to get hit over the head with something to realize that it is out there at all. It’s even better when that trend is literally AWESOME. Alphabet Photography, the work of Niagara Falls photographer and entrepreneur Jennifer Blakeley is one of those things that make me feel like I am the last to arrive at the party. Jennifer spent over 2 years traveling the world looking for letters in the things we see everyday. I mean that quite literally, Jennifer found shapes and details in architecture and the environment around her that form letters of the alphabet, and then she came home to create Alphabet Photography. With dozens of options for each letter, this stunning photography takes on a whole new dimension when the individual letters are combined to make words, names, or titles.

Starting at under $40 USD/CDN you can get a lovely piece of artwork on your walls that says more than just about any architectural photography could. While each image alone would be a stunning image, beautiful captures with amazing tone, shading, and depth, combined they have a whole new life. This is not “hit you over the head” obvious word-art, this is subtle, and often you really have to look to decipher the words. Jennifer Blakeley has an amazing eye, as most artists do, for seeing things that others simply cannot. Above is one of the Gifts On A Budget options, spelling out the word DREAM. It is Plaqued and Framed, as is the image below, JOY. Both priced at $39.99.

These sepia toned images of the most popular 3, 4, and 5 letter words, all copyright of Alphabet Photography, are available in simple Plaque Mounts as well, for even more economical options. The simple but sweet word LOVE, shown below, would be a perfect Valentine’s Day gift, the Plaque Mount version is available for only $25 USD/CDN.

But my very favorite part of the Alphabet Photography website, and the best part of the concept by far, is the custom Create A Word application. You can type any word into the window and an instant Alphabet Photography Word will present itself. If you want to adjust the individual letters to ones more or less recognizable, or just more to your liking, you can click on the letter in question and select from over a dozen options in matching sepia toned fabulousness. For fun, I played around with my blog name, FORAGING FOR FAB and created the following three images.

These images are screen captures, which is why they have watermarks over each letter. I also did a little editing to add mats and frames in my own fun bright colors, but they are obviously not actual framed works. I hope Jennifer and the team at Alphabet Photography will forgive me for my little cut and paste, these frame colors are not at all like the stunning frames offered by the company. The Art created using the custom Create A Word application allows you to select matting and frame options, each image is an original printed photograph, and they are custom framed and shipped from the studio in Niagara Falls. Framed, matted custom words start from $145 USD/CDN. In addition to the stunning sepia photographs, there is a “found sign/neon letter” option for individual letters. Prices are similarly variable based on the word length. I created screen captured versions below [and at the top of this post] to give you an idea of what I am talking about, using my pen name/nick name KETSY. Of course a real frame and mat, with actual photographs is going to be far more lovely and of course, watermark free.

This bright version would be a great addition to a child’s bedroom decor, or would suit a more retro designed space. The sepia letters seem so classic, I can see them in an office or study, they would fit into most modern homes with ease. There is also a line of products called the Inspirational Series that includes a poster printed on Photographic Grade paper and mounted on wood, with wood frames. These special prints include sentiments, quotes, and inspirational sayings with the Alphabet Photography words. They would make unique gifts and are reasonably priced at under $50 USD/CDN. Below you will find a lovely example for the word BELIEVE. The text quote reads ‘As you believe, so you become’ – Unknown.

There are heaps more wonderful items available from Alphabet Photography, including a full alphabet poster, calendars, wonderful framing options, single letter prints, and now a new design series featuring an amazing ‘Human Alphabet’ featuring high profile members of Gymnastics Canada. This amazingly beautiful work by Jennifer Blakeley features Canadian athletes forming the letters of the alphabet with their bodies, in part to provide support to Canadian Gymnastics Team as they prepare for the London 2012 Summer Olympics. The images are beautiful, inspirational, and so meaningful to athletes and fans of sport worldwide. Find out more about this new project at Limited Time Human Alphabet Art, where 100% of proceeds from the limited edition Inspirational Series and Human Alphabet Poster go towards supporting Gymnastics Canada in the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games. These specific products would make the perfect gift for any gymnast, dancer, or athlete in your life, but you can also use the individual images to create, again, custom words. I am going to close this post with one final image captured from the Create A Word interactive tool, featuring this Human Alphabet, and then send you off to explore all the wonderful items on the Alphabet Photography site. GO TEAM CANADA.

    LINKS:

  1. The Original Alphabet Photography
  2. Alphabet Photography on facebook
  3. Jennifer Blakeley Photography
  4. Jennifer Blakeley Photography – Niagara Falls on facebook
  5. Alphabet Photography on Twitter

Note: All Images And Artwork Featured In This Post Is Copyright Of Alphabet Photography, A Registered Trademark. Photography by Jennifer Blakeley. No Infringement Is Intended.