A Favorite Quote

I wished upon a star – TTV Fine Art Photographic Print
by Etsy Artist, barbaragordon

I have many favorite poems and quotes.  Reading them often inspires me and renews my spirit.  Here’s one that I like…

As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that
wasn’t supposed to ever let you down probably will. You
will have your heart broken probably more than once and
it’s harder every time. You’ll break hearts too, so remember

how it felt when yours was broken. You’ll fight with your
best friend. You’ll blame a new love for things an old one
did. You’ll cry because time is passing too fast, and you’ll
eventually lose someone you love. So take too many
pictures, laugh too much, and love like you’ve never been
hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is a
minute of happiness you’ll never get back. Don’t be afraid
that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin.

Now, for our Creative Journey Task (Day 4):  If you are joining us on the creative journey, I hope you are keeping up with your mental dumps and that you’re seeing benefit in it!  Have you shared that practice with someone else?  Remember, when we teach, we learn better!  Also, how about that eulogy?  Can anyone share if they’ve been participating or trying any of these tasks?  Even if you are not following and doing every task, it’s nice to see the thoughts and experiences others have with them.  Please share!  Today, it’s all about quotes and how WORDS impact us. 

DAY 4 TASK:  Get a post-it note or a piece of paper and find a quote that inspires you.  Write the new quote down on that piece of paper and post it in a place that you will frequently see throughout your day.  Let it influence you. 

I love surrounding myself with quotes!  I enjoy the daily practice of finding good quotes and posting them to set the tone for, “my daily thought.”  My quotes often reflect circumstances or challenges that I’m facing and help me to maintain optimism and fortitude throughout my day.  It’s so refreshing!  When I used to work in an office, I made a binder of all of my quotes and displayed a quote each day, for all to see.  It was a great way to create a nice environment and a wonderful way to set a positive tone.  Please share quotes that YOU love!  I’d love to read them!  Thanks!  In the meantime…don’t forget to savor every moment of your day, and appreciate the small things.  They areoften quite impressive, beautiful and mesmerizing!

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paintings . chicks . birds . duchesses . general merriment

paintings . chicks . birds . duchesses . general merriment 

I\'ll fly away and live with the Ewoks!
i’ll fly away and live with the Ewoks – small mixed media painting on board
(I LOVE THE EWOKS, SO HAD TO START WITH THIS!)

Not so long ago, on March 30th, my “Color Me Happy Necklace” was very kindly featured on pollywogpouch’s blog.  Not only as a thank you, but to also showcase her beautiful whimsical work, (WHICH I LOVE!) I have decided to also feature her on The Chatterbox.  I don’t always like to do long introductions, but sometimes I feel it’s fitting.  In this case, I’d definitely say a longer feature is great because I think the artist is interesting and her art and life will capture you!  pollywogpouch put it perfectly when she said that she “loves how anxious Etsians are to help each other out.  We’re not just sellers, we’re also buyers, helpful critics, promoters, and mentors.”  I have encountered the same and share her feelings.  

The words you first read on this post, “paintings . chicks . birds . duchesses . general merriment,” are pollywogpouch’s tag line, and appropriately so!  pollywogpouch’s art and Etsy shop are full of beautiful colors and images, excite the imagination and abound in cheer and humor!  

does this cat make me look fat- portrait of a pregnant odalisque

So, who is she?  What is she about?  Where is she from?  Why do you care to know?
Well, after I have gotten to know about her, trust me when I say,
“I have found a new kindred Etsy spirit, and when I’m finished, you will LOVE her and her artwork too!”

  

Her name is Delilah Dawson.  She is a working artist living in Woodstock, Georgia, which is one town over from her home town, near lots of family.  She has a BA in Studio Art from UGA and has enjoyed working at local art centers with one foot in administration and one in education.  She is currently living the “high life” at home with her almost 20 month-old daughter and on any given night of the week, Delilah is hanging out with 4 generations of women on her mom’s porch, laughing.  If that doesn’t paint a picture of pleasure and strong family bonds, I don’t know what does!  🙂

Her friends would tell you that she makes eerily accurate animal noises to amuse children (and herself), all of her clothes have paint spots on them, and she’ll tell anybody anything, but only if they ask.  She’s irreverent and curious, likes to laugh and has an affinity for shiny things and apples.  She also hates tuna.   

  I’ll fly away and marry Freddy Prinze Jr. – small mixed media on board

I asked her about her balancing act of operating Etsyshop with everything else she does and Delilah responded, “Currently, not well! My husband tells me I stay up way too late playing on Etsy…”  Don’t we all, girl!  Don’t we all!  Ha ha!  And of course, as all you moms out there can relate to, while she was answering me, her daughter was hollering for her in the background, so it attests that mother crafters on Etsy must be excellent at multi-tasking, which it seems Delilah does!

I always wonder, and I know other people also do, about an artist’s story or background on how they and their art came to be.  For Delilah, she has always been an artist, but for the longest time she felt like art had to be very serious and… well… mature.  According to her, she is “not a serious and mature person.”  Can I get an AMEN to that?!  Who wants to be serious and mature all the time anyway?  I know I don’t!  There’s no fun and no room for blazing creativity when you’re serious and mature all the time!  On Etsy, Delilah learned that lots of people were doing the odd and whimsical things she always loved doing, so she knew she would fit in.  I respect when anyone is free enough to let loose and be true to themselves, because I think when you do that, BEAUTIFUL THINGS HAPPEN!  I believe Delilah’s art is a testament to that!!!

As you’ll see when browsing her shop, Delilah works on canvas and paper, but when asked about her favorite materials, she said, “I love the feel of a wood board– under newspaper, pencil, or paint. I like to see a little bit of grain peeking through and know that the item under all my work is *real*, not (entirely) manufactured.”  Delilah gets her inspiration from Etsy, from birds, from daydreams, and from things she has liked drawing since she was a child.  THAT, my dear readers, IS PART OF EXACTLY WHY I LOVE HAND MADE!  Delilah said that she likes when things have a story.  She said, “I love to know that things were really thought about, that someone really cared. I love to see brush strokes or stray pencil markings. I get sick of everything feeling so “same”.  I couldn’t agree more and I believe there is a true and meaningful story behind every creation!  Generally, there’s a reason for why pieces of art turn out the way they do!  Knowing those details are “goose-bump” moments for me and I don’t know about you, but those things are the things that incline me to become attached enough to BUY!!!

 

We all love to talk about our favorite things.  They bring us joy and inner happiness.  When you CREATE something and it’s your favorite, they take on a whole new level of meaning…they contribute to the artist’s self-esteem, self-worth, self-fulfillment, pride, inspiration, and create a mark on the measuring stick of quality and personal achievement.  When I asked Delilah about her personal favorite from her shop, she said, “I just love chicks with birds.  I love simple portraits with unusual details and silly descriptions.”  I must say, her silly descriptions are a big part of why I look forward to returning to her shop regularly – it is not only candy for the eye, but it’s candy and humor for the mind, and I love it!  After all…laughter is the best medicine!

ACEO – ATC – they said she had nice hooters – original watercolor portrait of Athena

If you want to know more about Delilah, or would like to take a deeper peek into her life, she blogs about etsy at http://www.pollywogpouch.blogspot.com, and blogs about herself and her life as a mom at http://www.delilahpaints.blogspot.com.  Both are enjoyable reads and I think you’ll enjoy visiting!  In her Etsy Store, you will find that she has some realistic paintings for sale, but she doesn’t think they’re as good.  How about you be the judge and share your opinions on her work by leaving a comment on my blog!  Oh!  Did I also mention that her husband is an MMA fighter?  Of course, I immediately connected, being that my husband, Anthony, is obsessed with MMA and has his own company (Bully Ink) where he sells Mixed Martial Arts apparel and equipment!  I wish they lived closer!  I would totally arrange a get-together!  🙂

=)  BONUS FOR MY READERS  =)
DELILAH’S OFFERING FREE SHIPPING IN HER ETSY STORE, pollywogpouch!!!
IF YOU MENTION, “NICOLE LEE ARTISTRY’S BLOG” IN THE MESSAGE TO SELLER.
I hope the wind changes and they stick like that, Lydia thought - acrylic painting on 6x6 board
I hope the wind changes and they stick like that, Lydia thought – acrylic painting on 6×6 board

Introducing Greenbelts…

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I enjoy introducing artists now and again, who really spark my interest, and I’ve found someone who not only makes astonishingly original pieces, but she does it using recycled materials that we all wear out and throw away – belts.

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Her name is Shannon Ritscher.  She is from Seattle, WA.  Shannon is a part-time graphic designer and part-time crafter (Greenbelts), but she is also a full-time, stay at home mom to her 4 year old son – Henry.  (Round of applause for balancing all three and rockin’ it out on Etsy at the same time!)  She’s awesome, is an inspiration, has a ton to choose from on Etsy and I seriously have so many favorites, it makes my head spin!

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I don’t know about you, but I think the growth process of artists, when they work from the ground up, is a beautiful thing.  Shannon started listing on Etsy in June of 2007.  When I asked her about her early beginnings, she recalled, making collars and cuffs for friends and family for Christmas presents just 6 months before she opened shop.  She said they liked them so well that she thought she’d try her hand at selling them.  As Shannon thought back, she said, “I worked out of my neighbors basement for one full year before my husband finally built me a little work space (shed) on our back porch just a few months ago. Yea!”  If you’re a crafter, you can likely relate.  I know I started working at the kitchen table, which was followed by a relocation to our home office, with yet another bulge into our guest bedroom.  I don’t think the growth and development ever ends. 

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I asked Shannon what her favorite material or materials are to use.  I’ve already said belts were one, but you’ll see from her work, she also enjoys working with buttons, found objects, and bottle caps and humorously, a favorite of most but not often thought of, Shannon’s other favorite thing to work with is “time.”  🙂 

heartband2.jpgheartband.jpgheartbandback.jpg

Shannon’s personal favorite of the items in her shop is a toss-up, but here was her response…  “The first one is a cuff made from a very cool weathered leather belt, a giant metal washer, and an amazing vintage dark abalone carved button. The contrast between the materials makes my heart flutter. I also have a soft spot for the red, white and black large cut flower cuff and collar setthat I have listed right now. I just about go cross-eyed every night, sitting and cutting out flowers (TONS of flowers!). I think they look adorable though – especially on. I love things that are girly but without all the frill.”  I’m sure there are lots of people out there that share Shannon’s taste!

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When I asked her what she loves about handmade items, Shannon said she loves the unexpected aspect of handmade items.  Wonderfully said, Shannon’s additional comments were, “when you see something fantastic that is made from something else (recycled) and/or something that is uniquely beautiful – Well, there’s nothing better.”  She also added, “I do tend to gravitate toward recycled pieces because I love things that have a story behind them.”  I too love stories and because I’m a talker, love things that generate fun conversation!  Shannon’s items are and do, exactly that, which may be why I love them so much!  Plus, I’m an animal lover with three dogs – what fashionable, dog owner girl wouldn’t love having a matching dog collar and owner cuff set?  They’re sweet!

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redbelt.jpgdogcollarmatchingownerbracelet.jpgdogcollar2.jpgdogcollar.jpg

For all of our Etsy readers out there, I always think it’s good to know how other Etsians are promoting.  I’m a firm believer in working smarter, and not harder, so I’m regularly looking to borrow ideas from other successful people.  Shannon’s success has come primarily from promoting her items through her website, a blog, her Etsy shop, Myspace, and similar web based opportunities.  

Even though we are pretty much saturated by technology these days, I know some people still don’t realize the power and marketing potential of the Internet.  With 386 Etsy items sold and having 100% positive feedback, Shannon is one to prove that it works! 

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Shannon says that most of her promotional efforts have been put on hold until her son starts school next year and she has a little more time to give it a good effort.  Currently, she has products in 8 stores, from Seattle to the UK.  She has a portfolio on TrunkT, her Greenbelts are featured on www.seekingdesigners.com and various blogs like www.pupstyle.com, itsthedogslife.com, www.treehugger.com, www.ourgreatgreenglobe.com, etc.  She is also gearing up to attend some local art/craft shows this summer.  Jeesh!  For having her promotions on “hold,” I’d say she’s pretty active and thriving!

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Shannon had some kind words for me for featuring her in my blog, but after learning about her, her talents, and drive, I have this to say to her: Shannon –>YOU rock! 

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High Five!

And lastly – one more thing about Shannon — she’s great because her birthday is the same day as Anthony and I’s wedding Anniversary…December 17th.  🙂

I’VE BEEN SPOTLIGHTED!

Simply Serra, another wonderful Etsy artist, who is also a newbie, started out making adorable headbands for babies and has since grown her product line to include snugglie blankets, magnets and jewelry for all occasions and ages.  

White Glass Heart Magnet - Set/Lot of 5

Serra found me in the Etsy forums and has graciously featured me as her very first artist on her blog!  It is wonderfully composed and I’m honored to be the first to grace her page.  Check it out here:  http://cachevalleyboutique.blogspot.com/ and make sure to leave her a comment and make a mental note to return to her blog another day.  It’s her first feature and I’m sure, as we all do, she would enjoy feedback!  Let’s make her feel welcome.  Thank you!

MY NEW FAVORITE ARTIST…

     I recently stumbled upon this amazing artist and I can’t stop feeling filled with excitement about her bright future!  She doesn’t even know I’ve decided to feature her, so I hope she doesn’t mind!

Introducing
Blaze Danielle

BLAZE DANIELLE

     Blaze Danielle is her REAL name.  She is a 20 year old college student from Seattle, Washington.  She does watercolor paintings, drawings and ink drawings that are both watercolored and digitally colored.  I really and truly believe she is going to be a renowned artist in print!  To me, her art reminds me of A.A. Milne, Arnold Lobel, or Beatrix Potter.  Her prints are imaginative, charming, comforting and reminiscent of childhood days gone by (for me anyway).  I can’t get enough of them and I have already decided that, should God ever bless me with children, my nursery will be decorated with Blaze Danielle’s artwork!  If not, my future studio will certainly be!  Here she is…

Blaze Danielle

In her own words…

Blaze Danielle finds herself being inspired often and twirling much.

She is a Tree Climber, Dress Wearer, Tea Drinker, Berry Picker, Story Teller, Flower Presser, Picture Taker, Porch Swinger, Seed Planter, Puddle Jumper, and Art Maker. She loves windowsills, swimming holes, and old maps.

You will most always find her picnicking on a grassy knoll.

ARTWORK

Miss Betsy Paige
BlazeDanielle 1

Coffee Drinker
Coffee Drinker

Pink Morning
Pink Morning

Green Noon
Green Noon

Purple Night
Purple Night

Cozy Trio
Cozy Trio

Bug Catcher
Bug Catcher

As you can see…a very bright future ahead!

She has an etsy store and a blog.  Please visit and support handmade!
Here’s Blaze Danille’s Etsy store: Blazedanielle.etsy.com 
Here’s her blog site – a real charming and fun read:  blazedanielle.wordpress.com

I also featured her in the Treasury on Etsy that I was lucky enough to get last night:
http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=31812