Hand-Made for MOM

I remember when I was little, how excited my mother would get over my home made gifts.  She always said that they meant more to her.  I imagine that many mothers feel the same way, and I don’t think that changes as we grow older.  With that in mind, I thought I’d share some ideas with my crafty readers, who might just decide to make their own Mother’s Day gifts.  And if you are reading this and are not crafty…well, I’ve provided some great gift ideas for you as well – all hand made items from Etsy sellers.  Hope you find some inspiration!

HGTV has a great selection of hand made gift ideas, with how-to videos and printable instructions.  The list includes Photo Transfer Pillows, Beaded Wind Chimes, Souvenir Lamp Shade, Mom’s Memory Book, Heirloom Candles, To Mom With Love Bracelet, Mother’s Day Brunch, Fun and Funky Tote Bag, Quick and Easy Flower Arrangements, and a Breakfast in Bed Tray.

Don’t like those ideas? Paint a picture!  Water color paints are easy and forgiving.  If you’re not sure how to get started, here’s a helpful beginner’s guide. 

 Write a poem.  When I was younger – probably 18 or 19, I wrote my mom this LONG poem that recalled memories of all the times I thought of her as a mother in my life…moments when she comforted me, laughed with me, scolded me, disciplined me, loved me, and as I grew older, how she also became a friend to me.  I think it is one of my most favorite gifts that I ever gave her because I put so much time and thought into it.

Let’s let our moms know how special they are.  Show much we appreciate, love and are grateful to them for the nine months of gestation they endured, their guidance and support, their laughter and joy, their tolerance for the possible agony and gray hairs that we gave them,  and all of the years that have followed.  Think about it…if you were or are a mother, what would you want your child to feel toward you?  Turn those feelings into something tangible.

And for those of you, NOT interested in making a home-made gift?  Let someone else do it for you!  Check out Etsy’s Gift Guides and the one specifically geared toward Mothers Day.  🙂  Hope you find something you like!  (Pssst…my Felicitous Green Earrings are in the Everyday $15.00 and under guide on page 8, I’m certain they’d make a mom pretty happy!)

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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

Awe-Struck…

So, yesterday, I was visiting blogs and came across this video that razorberries posted in hers.  I thought I’d borrow it and share it on mine because it just left me in emotional conflict.  I’m not sure whether I should be excited about the talent, happy because the artist is enjoying himself (which I’m not sure we can be SURE of), sad because the artist is on display, or amazed because it opens your eyes. 

 I am TOTALLY an animal lover and I completely feel that animals experience emotions and that they have more intelligence than we sometimes give them credit for.  THIS video is astounding…and YES – the artist IS an elephant.  He IS PAINTING, and he’s very CAREFULLY painting!  The attention to detail, the care in his brush strokes, and the movement to manipulate the brush and paint literally leave me astounded.  WATCH:

Just so you know, per youtube, this elephant was rescued from abusive treatment in Burma, and ExoticWorldGifts.com supports him and other, “Starving Elephant Artisans” by selling their paintings so they can continue to have a new life in Thailand.  The Asian Elephant Conservation Project also has a web site where you can learn more about their non-profit organization that is dedicated to saving the diminishing number of Asian elephants through its work with domesticated elephants. The AEACP raises funds through donations and the sale of artwork created by elephants in order to fulfill its mission. That makes me feel happier about the whole thing.  Your thoughts?