Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Feature and Giveaway!

****And the winner is.... Erin! Congrats!****

Hello everyone! I hope you enjoy this weeks Friday Feature and Giveaway! This weeks feature is on a wonderful Fine Art Photography shop, called Celtic Cats Photos! This shop features beautiful pictures available in prints, as well as note cards! Please read her feature! (Giveaway details available at the end of this feature!)

1. Could you give me a little background information about you and your shop?
I started drawing and painting at a very young age. But photography has been my real passion. Over the summer and autumn seasons my partner and I do local art shows as well.
2. How did you get started in your craft?
My father had given me a camera for Christmas one year. Back in the day, you shot color for holidays and black and white the rest of the year.

3. How did you come up with your shop name?
My studio was originally called A Touch Of Ireland, but unfortunately, that name was taken when I set up my domain. So one morning I called my cat Osisin the Celtic Cat. I thought is was
a good name and changed everything to Celtic Cat Photos.

4. How long have you been doing your craft?
I have sold photograph at art shows for about 20 years. I am new to online selling though. Etsy has given me a chance to create during what would be our down season.
5.Where do you find inspiration for your crafts?
I find inspiration in old things, barns, farms, houses, carousel horses.

6. Where else can we find you? (blog, facebook, twitter, etc.)
On my blog.

And now for the giveaway! Celtic Cat Photos will be giving away a beautiful Magnolia Blank Note Card! Gvieaway ends at Midnight on Friday May 6th. (EST)
To enter you MUST:
1) Be a follower of this blog
2) Got to Celtic Cat Photos shop on Etsy and tell me what us what your favorite item is.

For Extra Entries:
1) Heart Celtic Cat Photos on Etsy ~1 Entry~
2) Heart The Green Haven on Etsy ~1 Entry~
3) Follow Celtic Cat Photos on her Blog ~1 Entry~
3) Make a Purchase from Celtic Cat Photos on Etsy ~5 Entries~
4) Make a Purchase from The Green Haven on Etsy ~5 Entries~

**** Please leave separate entries for each. A purchase must include the transaction number so I may verify that the purchase was during the giveaway.****

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Friday Features! (On Tuesday!)

Hi everyone! Getting back on track with my blog! Found a couple of people I needed to still feature and wanna get a head start and get them featured! Will hopefully have another Friday Feature actually on Friday of this week! Im also changing up the style of my features hopefully it will make them a little easier to read and follow along with! Please feel free to share your comments, now there is no need to enter a word verification to leave a comment!

First up is Authentic Arts by Jenny Hoople! This shop is full of natural jewlery and is quite cute and wearable!

1. Tell me a little about you and your shop.
My name is Jenny Hoople and my business is Authentic Arts. I make glamorous, colorful, natural jewelry. I choose knotted silk because I like its history, it's more romantic! I choose "natural" materials (stone, bone, wood, shell, silk) because even when altered by human hands and arranged and strung by them, the beauty of the processes that formed them breaks through and dazzles me.

2. How did you get started in your craft?
A few years ago I had grown some grey job's tears seeds in my garden and I couldn't decide how I wanted to make a necklace with them. I was waiting for my mom in a craft store when inspiration struck. I brought home a few beads that would match the grey job's tears and once I got started I couldn't stop creating! A lot of things were coming together in my life, bringing me to this, so I jumped on it and started selling them.

3. How did you come up with your shop name?
I call my business Authentic Arts because my life ethic is one of authenticity, a more authentic life is a more meaningful one, and, for me, an authentic life is one that's handmade. I like that my business name could apply to oil paintings as much as to jewelry or to knit hats, it leaves me free to explore!

4. How long have you been doing your craft?
Just 6 months!

5. Where else can we find you? (blog, facebook, twitter, etc.)
6. Anything else you would like to tell us or include?
It's so fulfilling to finally be using my creative side (B.A. in fine arts, millions of crafty hobbies) as a part of my livelihood. I really feel that my inner self is a craftsperson first and foremost!

Second up is Buddha Kitty Glass! A shop that has beautiful fused glass products! A must see for any glass lover.

1. Could you give me a little background information about you and your shop. 2. How did you get started in your craft? 4. How long have you been doing your craft?  These questions were combined to make for a better more chohesive answer.
My love of glass goes back many years. During a college trip to Europe, I became fascinated with the stained glass in the cathedrals. Upon returning home, I took my first class in glasswork and learned how to make stained glass windows. This served as a wonderful introduction to the world of glass art. From there I began to learn glass bead making and became intrigued by the amazing transformation that takes place in glass once heat is applied. These glass beads became parts of handmade jewelry that I gave to friends and occasionally sold at small craft fairs. A cross-country move and new neighbors served as my introduction to fused glass. My new neighbors commented on a glass bead necklace I had made which turned into a discussion about kiln formed glass. My neighbor’s mother taught fused glass. We talked about my fascination with glass she suggested I try one of her mother’s classes. I signed up for her class and was immediately captivated by kiln formed glass. Shortly after the class, I purchased my first small kiln and began perfecting the art of fused glass in my basement. After several years, I decided to relocate back to the Pacific Northwest. The Seattle area is renowned for its glass art and is a wonderful location to continue to pursue fused glass.
3. How did you come up with your shop name?

I had a cat many years ago who would sit with me while I made stained glass windows. He was fascinated by the glass and the way the light reflected on it. Also, this cat was quite large. He would sit up next to me with his back legs straight out and his front paws to the sides. His large belly would spill over to the sides and this reminded me of the laughing Buddha pose. When I started my shop, I wanted to honor my now deceased kitty who hung out with me on my first glass projects.

5. Where else can we find you? (blog, facebook, twitter, etc.)
6. Anything else you would like to tell us or include?

Most people do not allow themselves to do more than look at glass art, perceiving glass only to be something fragile that must be admired from afar. To me, glass should not be just a flat object experienced only with the eyes--glass is beautiful both seen and touched. For this reason, I endeavor to take fused glass from a two-dimensional object to a three-dimensional experience. To achieve this, I add glass dots, which are tack fused onto the glass base, adding both dimension and texture. My glass dots come from pattern bars that I have built, fired, cut into pieces on a tile saw, and re-fired into dots, creating tactile embellishments for my fused glass pieces

I hope you enjoy learning about each of these wonderful shops! Such great and unique products and of course all handmade! Please take a moment to check out these shops and if you like what you see it will only take a moment to comment and let the shop owner here what you think!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Cherry Blossom Festival

Cherry Blossom Ballons!
Over the past weekend my fiancee and I took a trip home to see my parents. Last weekend also happened to be the last weekend and the parade weekend for the Cherry Blossom Festival in DC. Since DC is only an hour from my home we headed up for the day!

Cherry Blossom Queens
 One from Japan and one from the US
We arrived around 9:30 and walked down to the parade route. We managed to squeeze in and get a pretty good spot. I got tons of pictures from the parade! Lots of High School Marching Bands, floats, horses and cars! We stayed for about 2 hours and the parade still wasnt done!

New York City Firemen
After watching most of the parade we decided to walk to the Holocaust Memorial Museum. I wanted to go before the mad rush of people watching the parade started to explore DC, this way I was sure we could get tickets. We got there only to find out that we couldn't get into the exhibit until 3:00, it was only 12! So we walked around the "open" exhibits, meaning the ones you could see with out the ticket.

The Washington Monument

Then we when to the Ronal Reagan Building for lunch, also giving us a much needed break from all the walking! The building was packed with people trying to find tables, stand in line and eat their lunches. My parents stood in line while me and my fiancee scouted for a table. Which we eventually found and a while later, after standing in rediculously long lines it was time to eat! Yummy Chinese food and gyros! After resting and eating we decided to walk around for a while and eventually made our way back to the museum.

The Capital Building

The Holocaust Museum is quite an experience and would highly recommend it to anyone planning a visit to DC, and the tickets are free you just have to get there early because they only give out a certain number per day. But I warn you it is very graphic and has A LOT of reading. You are also given an Identification Card, which has an actual person from the Holocaust in it. You follow their story through the floors, and at the end you find out if you lived or if you were a victim of the Holocaust. It can be quite hard for some.* I've also heard you can get guided tours, but I'm not 100% positive.
My goodies for the day:
 ~2 commemorative cherry blossom buttons
~A commemorative shirt
~Me and my fiancee's Holocaust ID cards.

By the time we finished the museum and walked our way back to the truck it was already 5:30! Such a long day, but worth the experience!  I also collected a few items along the way! Both the button's and the shirt were technically "free" but we were asked to give a small donation, in which the proceeds benifit the homeless. We got 2 shirts and 2 buttons for 10 bucks! Quite a good deal if you ask me!

All in all I had a wonderful day! And am so happy I got to spend it with the people I love so dearly!