Category Archives: Found On A Friday

Shadow Play – Found On A Friday

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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.

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Cleaning Up With Kindness – Found On A Friday

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SewEco Reusable Snack Bags on Etsy

As a newly born “vegan”, I am looking for ways to reduce my carbon footprint, reduce my use of chemicals and natural resources, and still maintain that fabulous air of geek chic that I have cultivated for myself. Sometimes, there are challenges in the way of finding that perfect new time-saving and Eco-friendly object of desire for your home, but luckily, that is not always the case. Here are a few fabulous finds that you can easily put to work in your home and they will make you feel all green and fuzzy all over.

SNACKABY Eco Friendly Dishwasher Safe Reusable Sandwich Bags on Etsy.

The first area where you can make a quick and easy change is swapping out all those plastic sandwich and snack baggies you use in your own, or your children’s lunch kits.  Yes they are convenient, but they cost a fortune and end up in the trash.  There are heaps of options that you can make yourself, or take advantage of the many fabrications and expert touches that can be found on Etsy. Many of these bags can be cleaned in the dishwasher, and certainly in the washing machine, and have well “Serged” edge details that will stand the test of time. Unlike bulky plastic containers that are forever losing their lids, and take up room in a lunch bag or backpack, these collapse flat, and are perfect for smaller snacks like dry cereal or raisins, without offering a challenge to little hands.

Inspired Stitchery Unpaper Towels, Selection Of Colors on Etsy.

Paper Towel is another product many of us are forever buying, and once used, tossing out. Unlike a kitchen cloth, which may harbor bacteria after a single use, a paper towel offers the ease of a clean wipe for window cleaning, and can be used in a variety of ways. So how do you replace something so indispensable? You buy or make yourself some reusable toweling that does the same job but can be washed endlessly, maintaining it’s lint free surface, and absorbency.

Sew Happy Designs by Abby Custom Reusable Cloth Paper Towel Roll With Snaps on Etsy.

Personally, I wash all my lettuce and leafy veggies like kale as soon as I come home from market. I then place the leaves on toweling, and roll it up before placing it in the fridge crisper compartment or a storage bin. This is a huge waste of paper towels, but it makes perfect sense for a re-usable thin toweling that can be used week after week.

Kootsac Reusable Bulk Food and Produce Bags on Etsy.

We have all been a party to the movement to replace plastic and even paper grocery bags with cloth or canvas reusable bags, and many of us have embraced this change. But take it a step further and you can replace a few other shopping bags on your trip.  For instance, if you buy bulk foods, particularly dry goods, nuts, or candy, you are likely forever looking for that roll of plastic bags and twisty ties near the bins. How about using your  very own cute baggies that you can easily stash into those reusable grocery totes.  You can use them over and over, and they won’t add any weight to your scales or garbage to your bins at home.

The High Fiber Reusable Produce Bags on Etsy.

Similarly, you can get yourself some reusable vegetable bags that can go from market, right into the fridge when you are in a hurry. Made of linen or mesh, you can pop these directly into the fridge and not worry about things going mushy in an air-tight plastic bag, and they look really cute too.  Easy wash and stash for your next shopping trip, they are the perfect thing for veggie lovers.

Clean Sypria Wool Dryer Balls by Tara Fletcher-Gibbs on Etsy.

Want to replace your fabric softener and have some fun at the same time? Pick up a handful, a half dozen, or more of these fabulous all natural wool dryer balls. They average about the size of a tennis ball, and can be found in colored or natural tones.  They are safe for handling around the kids, and can be scented with natural oils to impart a yummy scent to your laundry loads.

Moss Creek Wool Works Wool Dryer Balls on Etsy.

They actually do more than just soften your clothes, they draw in moisture to speed your drying process, therefore reducing the amount of energy you use per load. Reducing static naturally, they contain no harsh chemicals, and are safe for your household pets to play with should one roll away. They are especially perfect for drying cloth diapers, and can even do double duty for play when teaching your toddler about colors.

Sew Much Style Reusable Eco Friendly Bowl Covers on Etsy.

My final kitchen miracle worker is one that is equally stylish and very smart, whether you are baking bread or storing leftovers.  Bowl covers have been around for a long time, they usually resembled mini-shower caps, but were still plastic which become greasy and aged poorly over time. When looking for a plastic wrap replacement, or even to foil the aluminum foil trap, using fabric covers is the perfect option. They breath a bit to let out excess gasses and prevent spoilage, but still keep things crisp and fresh.

chez-sucre-chez Bowl & Container Covers Set [Various Sizes & Colors Available] on Etsy.

These are just a few of the great Eco friendly and washable kitchen essentials, and a laundry essential that will save you time, money, and most importantly your conscious when it comes to reducing your environmental impact. They may seem like small things, and maybe they are, but they are just a small part of a bigger trend.  All of these items are produced by hand, made by crafty artisans that believe in their products and are more then happy to work with you to meet your needs. Many will create custom orders just for you, and you can often find very local products made in your own area to reduce your shipping costs too. There is no reason why your kitchen can’t be the center of your new Eco conscious self, just as it it the center of your home.  Fabulously kind and chic items like the ones featured above are not only great for your personal use, but make brilliant gifts for friends and family too. I love finding a reason to blog on Fridays!

Imagination Factory – Found On A Friday

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Double Rainbow – Miniature Ceramic Rainbow Factory Duo by PearsonMaron on Etsy.

 Thank goodness it’s Friday, and thank goodness I am feeling more like myself so that I can share today’s Fab find with you all. It’s been a while since I have blogged, about 2 weeks actually. Being sick is never part of ones plans or on the schedule, it happens, often out of the blue, and it forces us to pay attention to our bodies and get better. Sometimes when we are feverish and in that half sleep state, we get wonderful inspirations for work we want to do, unfortunately, we are often too ill to remember to write those ideas down or follow through. Just as well, I suspect some of those feverish great ideas are actually not so great.

Chartreuse Sea Lion with a Toy Top – Ceramic Figurine by PearsonMaron on Etsy.
Rolling Blue Cat Fish – Miniature Ceramic Sculpture on Wheels by PearsonMaron on Etsy.

Today I want to show you some absolutely wonderful and whimsical sculpture work that seems born of that fevered dream state. Not to say that it is exceptionally odd or strange, just that it is quite magical. The “Handmade Curiosities” of PearsonMaron on Etsy are wonderful little bits of inspiration and ingenuity, all wrapped up in a bundle of kitsch.  Colors pop against pure white ceramic backdrops, small creatures come to life with spinning wheels and a healthy dose of whimsy.

A Nuclear Love Story – Miniature Nuclear Cooling Towers With Hearts – Geeky Wedding Cake Toppers – White Ceramic Sculpture by PearsonMaron on Etsy.
Bigfoot Diorama – Limited Edition Ceramic Mini Sculpture by PearsonMaron on Etsy.

Married couple Adam and Quincy together produce a marvelous menagerie of urban legends, sweet and poignant statements, and playful creatures from a blend of ceramics and other mixed media. While they work collaboratively on many items, some are the work on one or the other alone.  The Etsy Shop of PearsonMaron is chock full of an amazing array of items, from Prints and Paintings, Buttons, Magnets, Sculptures and Figurines, Dioramas, and even some Housewares. What that adds up to is a whole lot of wonderful.

Green One Eyed Octopus on Wheels – Mini Sculpture by PearsonMaron on Etsy.
Black Birds On A Wire – Miniature Ceramic Telephone Pole Sculpture by PearsonMaron on Etsy.

Adam and Quincy, who reside in Southern California, have a good thing going on in their Etsy Shop, and it is definitely worth a click on over to check it out. Prices range from just a few dollars for their Pin Back Buttons, to a whole lot more for one of the amazingly detailed sculptural pieces such as the one below. Most of the items featured on this page range from $20.00 to $95.00 USD, so there is a wide range of prices for any budget, whether you are a collector yourself, or looking for a unique gift for a special someone.  Thank goodness I found PearsonMaron on a Friday, and thank goodness I am back in the blogging groove once again.
 

The Astronaut – Space Exploration – Sculpture by PearsonMaron on Etsy.

Small Art Big Love – Found On A Friday

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“Jake The Tortoise” Hand Sewn Brooch, Felt Badge, Tortoise Pin by Jess Quinn.

 Sometimes in my travels I stumble upon something that is so many wonderful things in one shop that I can’t decide upon which day of the week to feature it. That is why I am thankful for Fridays, where anything goes here on the Fab.  When I cam across the Etsy Shop of Jess Quinn, I knew the only place to do her amazing stash justice was to place it in a Friday feature.  Simply called Small Art, Jess’s shop is full of the most fabulous items, from paper goods, cloth dolls, clay creations, felt accessories, original oil paintings, and so much more. If this is Quinn’s idea of ‘small’, I can’t imagine what she considers to be ‘large’. With almost 150 items in her Etsy Shop, I would say there is nothing small about the work of Jess Quinn at all.

The Woodsman – Art Doll, Soft Sculpture by Jess Quinn.
Alphabet Fairy – Wood Art Doll – Beatrice by Jess Quinn.
“Higgety Pop” Vintage Altered Art Doll by Jess Quinn.

What is really special about Jess’s Shop is the way she presents her fabulous items.  The photos are precious and engaging, and they make you want to look closer.  She will create a whole tableau of items around her dolls, brooches, and other items, often using dollhouse furniture or toys that not only add a sense of playful whimsy, but also indicate the scale of items for sale. 

Easter Bunny Hair Band/Fascinator – Pink Felt Bunny Rabbit by Jess Quinn.
Spring Bib Necklace, Fabric Pink Clown – Blue Pom Poms – Embroidered Textile by Jess Quinn.
Little Indian Head Dress, Dressing Up, Head Band – Native American by Jess Quinn.

The little [ and big ] pops of colour against a white background are perfectly styled. Her accessories are often worn by adorable kiddies with naturally silly smiles or honest pouts, and her paper goods and artwork are presented in the perfect lighting to make them appear as magical as you know that they are.

“Isabelle” Girl In A Yellow Dress – Illustrated Greeting Card by Jess Quinn.
“Girl With Apples” Illustrated Greeting Card, Printed Drawing, Black & White by Jess Quinn.
“Knitting Queen” Illustrated Greetings Card, Printed Drawing by Jess Quinn.

Items in Jess Quinn‘s shop range in price from less than $2.00 USD to just over $200.00 USD. That means there is something  for every budget and every taste.  Shipping from Bristol, England in the UK, shipping cost are excessively reasonable. The cards are frame-able art, the dolls enchanting, the brooches would make brilliant gifts, and the accessories are instant one-of-a-kind treasures.

“Bitsy Boo” Fabric Art Doll, Red Felt, Little Girl, Linen Cloth Doll by Jess Quinn.
“Miko & Molly” Hanging Fabric Decoration, Printed Cotton Sweethearts, Vintage Silk by Jess Quinn.
Cloth Art Doll, Soft Sculpture, Textile, Square Clown Blue by Jess Quinn.

Jess takes great care when describing her items, often including little anecdotes about their inspirations, the materials used, and the dimension of the items.  All essential information when you are buying handmade goods online. I have to commend her on her presentation style, her shop feels intimate and you get the distinct impression that you are getting a peek ‘behind the curtain’.

“Miss Bird” Clay Brooch, Circus Pin – Hand Painted Small Sculpture by Jess Quinn.
Clown Art Doll, Clay – Textile, Felt Fabric, Hand Painted by Jess Quinn.
Clay Brooch, Wearable Art, Hand Painted Pin – Green, Lettuce by Jess Quinn.

Jess has divided her shop into specific categories of items, so I decided to present a few of examples of her work that reside under each category heading so you can get a good idea of the range of whimsical items she offers.  As always, I showcase items that tend to appeal to my taste, but there is so much more to be discovered in Jess’s Small Art shop. Jess herself calls her items Unique Artworks and Original Gifts, I would stress the unique, I haven’t seen anything quite so fantastically outside of the box in my recent travels.

“Clown Miko” Felt Brooch, Pillow Pin Portrait, Wearable Art by Jess Quinn.
“Bunnyhoot” Small Art Doll, Purple Felt Brooch, Plush Forest Creature by Jess Quinn.
“Matilda Mouse” Felt Brooch – White Mouse Bow Tie Pin, Printed Drawing by Jess Quinn.

You really must take a closer look at the work of this Art School graduate and mother of three, who says she comes from a family of ‘makers’. I rather like that statement, I can identify with it completely. For more information on her captivating work, you can also swing by her Blog and check out what Jess is currently up to. You might also like to know that Jess is offering a “Free Shipping” code until March 11th, 2012 and that currently she is having a small Spring Clean Sale on selected items in her shop, as if you needed more reason to head over and check it out. It may be Small Art, but I have big love for it. [In particular, that “Jake The Tortoise” Brooch at the top of the post, how incredibly sweet it is!]

Small Oil Painting on Canvas, “Sisters” by Jess Quinn.
“Infanta Margarita in Moonlight”, Small Oil Painting on Canvas by Jess Quinn.
“Mary” Small Oil Painting on Canvas by Jess Quinn.

Links:
Small Art – Etsy Shop
Jess Quinn’s Etsy Profile
Jess Quinn’s Blog

“Tom & Nancy” Wooden Art Dolls, Hand Painted by Jess Quinn.
“Lulu” Wooden Brooch, Wearable Art – Hand Painted Pin by Jess Quinn.
“Eric” Wooden Badge, Hand Painted Pin – Wearable Art by Jess Quinn.

Note: All Designs and Images are the Intellectual Property and Copyright of Jessica Quinn and QUINN. No infringement is intended. Please contact Jess Quinn directly with inquiries about her work. Follow the links provided under each image in this post  for further information about the items featured in the post, including price, payment options, availability, and shipping information. 

Making Faces – Found On A Friday

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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.

Kiss Me Cate – Found On A Friday

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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

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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 Is For Awesome – Found On A Friday

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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.

Found On A Friday – Accidentally On Purpose

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Illinois born Megan Carter is a rarity among the artist I have come across on Etsy. Her work is striking and powerful, and yet she seems so unaware of just how good she really is. Her shop name says an awful lot, why else would she have named it Accidentally Good. It may be an accident, but there is no doubt about it, she is beyond “Good”, Megan’s work is great.

The first image I saw of her’s, I came upon quite by accident. Simply titled Morte, I saw so much in this painting. I reminded me of something specific, the face was speaking to me, and how could it not. Megan has the ability to turn a few colours, well chosen, into something beyond a composition of elements, her work is deep and affecting, and it has a way of staying with you. And I must admit, it will now be staying with me, I couldn’t resist her.

The above work goes by the name Jinx, again it is minimalist abstract portraiture in style, but the play of positive and negative, dark and light, makes this painting another standout. Make no mistake, you are not looking at a print, all of the work currently on sale in Megan Carter’s Etsy shop is one-of-a-kind [OOAK] original work. These are not copies or silk-screened reproductions, not photographs, this is the real deal. Most original work of well known artists on Etsy sells up into the hundreds of dollars. But this is a rare opportunity for you to “get in” on the work of an artist before she hits that tipping point.

Prices range from just $30 to $80 USD, and Megan uses primarily Acryclic, and some Water Colour, on Canvas, Wood, or Canvas Pad. The image above is of Megan’s work titled Tatiana features an example of a Water Colour on Paper original.

I found Gloria, the image above to have a lovely retro feel to it, it looks very Old Hollywood Glamor to me. But then, that is what I like best about Megan’s work, it speaks differently to each viewer, where I see Old Hollywood, you might see something entirely different, and isn’t that the point of art?

The above 9×12 Original Acrylic on Canvas Pad work, entitled Robyn is a perfect example of why you can have original artwork in your home for less than the price of most art prints. This image is a steal at just $35 USD, and illustrates perfectly why Accidentally Good is the most ironic of names for Megan’s Etsy Store. Click on over to see the rest of Megan’s work currently up for sale, and see what you “Accidentally” fall in love with. I found it on a Friday, but I will treasure it always.

LINK: Accidentally Good on Etsy.

Found On A Friday – Pinkytoast

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If there is one thing I can say about today’s Found On A Friday feature, is that it was love at first sight. Sometimes I can easily put into words why I love something, other times I am not entirely sure, I just know that the object in question “speaks” to me. In the case of Pinkytoast, these fabulously creative works of original art didn’t just speak to me, they screamed. It seems fitting that this post lands on a Friday the 13th, because it’s a little scary how wonderfully addictive this artwork is.

Pinkytoast is moniker of an incredibly charming and creative artist from Brooklyn, New York and her work is simply enchanting. Pinkytoast calls her original artwork, prints, and dolls Big Eyed and Sweet and Sour, and it is all that and so much more. Pinkytoast‘s images of Sad Eyed Vixens, Stylized Pin-ups, and Kawaii Cuties with liberal dashes of delicious pinks and yummy pastels are instantly recognizable and ultimately desirable. She has a huge following of fans and collectors, and her work has been blogged to the nth degree. My personal feeling is that you can never have too much of a good thing, and so today I bring you an ample sample of Pinkytoast and tell you where you can find her work and how you can get it home for yourself.

The artist’s self-described ‘Sweet and Sour doll art’ is inspired by “retro kitsch, fairy tales, little kiddles, mod fashion, blythe, dollfie, vintage rag dolls, sad clowns and circus shows, the melancholy of goth, and all things pink”. From pencil sketches and original paintings, art prints, handmade pillows and dolls, and items created with her original printed images as adornments, there is something for every fan of Pinkytoast at every price point.

In her Etsy Shop, Pinkytoast offers a wide range of goodies, such at the original painting at the top of this post entitled Swan Song-Angel Cage My Heart, the Spring Rain Kokeshi Doll Home Decor Pillow featured above. The Vintage Boxer Sings A Rainbow 7×10 Art Print is an example of what Pinkytoast refers to as a one of her Sweet Tooth Girls.

Things take a little turn away from the “Sweet” and head into “Sour” territory in some of Pinkytoast‘s other work. Little Blue Bat Girl in a Gothic Garden 6×9 Art Print [above] and Winter Deer Wear Your Feathers 11×14 Art Print [below] are a little more abstract and even creepy images, but equally attractive and stylized works of art.

Prints are priced starting around $10 USD and up, depending on size, and original works of art move into the $500-$900 USD range. Original dolls and ornaments made of custom Pinkytoast fabrics, paper, other fabrics, and other mixed-media findings are hand-made one-of-a-kind items that can add a touch of whimsical fun to your home or office. The current selection available in Pinkytoast‘s Etsy Shop are all offered for under $60 USD, and they are hot sellers to be sure. A few of these fabulous dolls are featured below.

The best bargain by far for the budget bound and penny wise are the Pinkytoast pocket mirrors, buttons, coasters, bottle openers, and key chains created by the artist using her original artwork prints and featuring many of her most delightful works. For around $6 USD/CDN you can put some Pinkytoast in your pocket, on a key chain, or on that boring coffee table. Check them out following this preamble and then head over to her Etsy Shop to get a sweet and sour sampling of Pinkytoast.

Link: Pinkytoast Original Big Eyed Art + Sweet and Sour Dolls on Etsy