Friday, August 31, 2007

Inspired by Pods - Etsy Front Page

Sorry I haven't posted a lot this week, but I have been crazy busy. I am still busy today, but I thought I would sneak in a post about being on Etsy's front page last night. The gorgeous pod treasury list was created by, a very accomplished treasury curator. I knew the first time I saw the list that it would get to the front page.

It was just beautiful and luckily she featured my blooming pod pendant. I have been on the front page before, and each time it is a thrill and there is a whir of activity in my shop with lots of views, hearts and even some purchases. The great thing about being there last night was that I am closing in on my Etsyversary (1 year on Etsy for you non-Etsians) and I have set a couple goals. I would like to hit 500 sales and 2000 hearts by my Anniversary date Sept 12th. I actually didn't start my shop until September 27th, but it would still be cool to make my goals by the anniversary of the first day I joined Etsy. Well being on the front page has greatly increased my odds of reaching those goals in time. I am currently at 492 sales and 1976 hearts. So close, I can almost taste it. Hopefully not everyone will be going away for the long weekend, and I will get the sales I need to meet my goal!

I don't know if you knew, but pods are really big on Etsy. I don't know if their organic feel, their coloring, their shape or the possibility that lies within them, but they are extremely appealing, especially to artists (and me). I have created quite a few pod pieces and really want to do some more. I am actually carving a large one now that will eventually become a necklace and I have a sketch of an ACEO that I would like to create featuring some pods. So take a little time to enjoy this treasury list and explore pods and see where they take you!
Have a great long weekend!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Be Inspired by the Ocean

This week we are being inspired by the ocean. I chose this subject for 2 reasons. One, we just got back from a beach vacation, so the ocean is fresh in my mind and two, the PCAGOE is having their monthly challenge and the theme was the Ocean, so it only makes sense to go with the flow and be inspired by the ocean this week. To me the ocean is like another world. The opportunity for inspiration is as vast as its depths. The water itself and the it's movement are inspiring. Watching the shape and patterns of waves, the white foam against the blue water, the way the light shimmers across the expanse of water can all inspire you to create. Check out these ocean, water and waves inspired items from Etsy (click on the photo to see more work by the artists)

Of course the incredible sea life can lead to inspiration. The colors of the ocean animals can be bright and vibrant, drab and camouflaged, metallic and even bio luminescent and the shapes and textures can be sleek and streamlined ,lumpy and bumpy, spiked or even ever changing like the octopus and jellyfish (2 very trendy sea creatures, just search either on Etsy, and you will be amazed at the number of cool items you'll find). Check out these sea life inspired Etsy items:

The ultimate ocean inspiration can be found when you use items from the sea to create art. Coral, shells, pearls and even sea glass can all be incorporated into your art. Here are some creative items which incorporate a bit of the ocean:

Take a little time this week to be inspired by the ocean. Visit the beach for labor day weekend, watch a documentary about the ocean (The Discovery Channel has some amazing ocean documentaries, this week they are showing Blue Planet: Seas of Life. Click the link for show times), check out a book about the ocean from your local library, browse some photos on flickr (Some ocean groups: Ocean Water Life, Sea & Ocean, & Ocean Photography No limits) and finally check the ocean inspired items of the PCAGOE Challenge (and don't forget to vote for your favorite!)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

PCAGOE August Ocean Challenge - Vote & Win

This months challenge was to create a piece of polymer clay art inspired by the Ocean. I have watched tons of nature/animal/ocean show in TV (my oldest loves animals and animal shows) and I remembered one where there was a huge school of silver fish and they were moving through the water in this big constantly moving mass. They were all silver and the shimmered as they twisted and turned as a group. This large school of fish inspired my entry this month titled, Safety In Numbers. It is an ACEO created in polymer clay with acrylic paint. The background is the ocean which deepens in color as you move down the ACEO. The lines in the background are meant to convey movement and add texture. The fish themselves were hand drawn and carved. Each fish is exactly the same and is painted with a shimmery metallic silver color that changes with the light (same as the fish in my inspiration).

Here are the rest of the entries:

To vote for your favorite and to be entered in this month's drawing for a polymer clay prize pack valued at over $100, just go to and complete the form at the bottom of the challenge post.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Be Inspired by The City

Yellow cabs
Originally uploaded by b-tina

The noise, the pollution, the crowds, the inspiration? Yes, the city is a massive wealth of inspiration. From the lines of the tall buildings to the graffiti marking those same buildings. The colors, the textures, the sounds, the people, the cars, buses and cabs. I could go on and on, the urban jungles are just teeming with inspiration. For someone who is very inspired by nature, the city can offer up lots of new ideas. I have recently been creating different skyline pendants and a new series of "City" Art Cards. I am lucky in that I am right between Baltimore and Wash D.C., so when I need some city inspiration, I don't have far to go. As I always say, you don't have to be literal in your inspiration. You don't have to go out and create a skyline of buildings, just remember to look carefully at the shapes, colors, sounds, textures, the juxtaposition of architecture (An old church next to a modern building or an abandoned row house next to a brand new billboard) the advertisements, the street signs, and street names and of course the diverse people can all stir up inspiration.
Finally the overall feel of the city, the hustle and bustle, the general feeling of urgency can also be used as inspiration in your art pieces. If you can't get to a city or would like to see what other cities have to offer, there are tons and tons of amazing City photos on Flickr that can be very inspiring (again be inspired, don't copy or steal art or photos!) The photo at the top of the blog, title Yellow Cabs, was taken by b-tina on Flickr. Here are some Flickr groups which showcase city photos; Cities of the World , Old City , Big City Nights and City Roof. Check out how some of these Etsy artists below and in my Etsy mini on the sidebar that have been inspired by the city (click on the photo to see more work by the artist):

Take some time to visit and explore the city this week. If you live in a city, open your eyes to the things you see everyday and take little notice of. Try to look at your city with new eyes and you may find things you never knew were there. Also don't forget to take advantage of the height of the city. Go up in a tall building and look down to get a bird's eye view of the city and pay close attention to the patterns created by the buildings, roads and cars. If you don't live near a city, browse through Flickr or plan a trip. You really don't want to miss out on the inspiration that can be found in the city!

Remember, if you are inspired to create something from one of the Be Inspired features, please send a picture and description to my e-mail, and I may feature you on my blog. The piece must be inspired by the Be Inspired post and cannot be an item created prior to the posting. If your Be Inspired piece is featured, I will send you a free pendant from my Etsy shop (I will choose the pendant and it will be a surprise).

Monday, August 20, 2007

Computer Drama

Well upon returning from my vacation, my computer decided it needed a longer vacation and died on me. It is now in the shop and I hope it will be fixed very soon ( I am in serious withdrawal). Until it is, I probably won't be making any new posts and if you contact me through Etsy, Flickr or my e-mail, it may take a day or so for me to get back to you. I am hoping to be back up by Wednesday, so check back then for a little inspiration!!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Be Inspired - By Food

Well this week, food is the inspiration. Similar to the animals as a subject, food offers infinite textures, colors and shapes. Even the taste can inspire you to create. As with feelings, tastes can make you think of certain colors. To me, sweet is pastel pink, sour is yellow, and spicy is orange and red. Your relationship with food and the feelings food brings up can also be inspiring. Does food cause you distress? Do you eat to feel comfort and pleasure? Do you eat to escape? Do you avoid food for fear of gaining weight? All of these feelings can inspire great art.

Still Life
Originally uploaded by 1bluecanoe
With food being something that is required to survive, it is something that is often on our minds. We are often thinking about what we want to eat, planning where we will eat it, thinking about how we will prepare it. It is easily obtained, as it is in our refrigerators and pantries. How many of you remember your elementary art teacher placing a bowl of fruit on a table to teach a lesson about still life drawing? That teacher new what she was talking about. The gentle curves of a pear, the rippled skin of an orange and the vibrant color of an apple are all great ways to spur inspiration.

These days with a whole network devoted to food (Food Network) on TV and shows such as "Iron Chef" and " Ace of Cakes", the food actually can become art. The way chef's place items on a plate and how pastry chefs create amazing gravity defying cakes can all be very inspiring! I could go on and oon about how food is inspiring, but I better get to the pics! I will delve more into different types of food as inspiration in later posts.

Sushi & Sashimi for 2
Originally uploaded by yiuy
Even photographing food is an incredible art form itself! The two pics I have listed were found on Flickr, the first, "Still Life" , is by 1bluecanoe, and the second, "Sushi & Sashimi for 2", is by yiuy. To see more amazing Flickr Food Photos, check these Flickr groups: Friday Food Fiesta , Food Glorious Food, and Food Porn (not X-rated) or search food in photos or groups.

Here are just a few of the thousands of handmade food inspired items available on ( Just click each photo to see more work by each artist!):

So, take a little time to play with your food this week. Cook something new and pay careful attention how you plate it. Take a closer look at the goodies growing in your garden and inspiration may grow as well. Take a trip to the grocery store or your local farmer's market and spend your time looking at all the possibilities! Be Inspired!

Remember, if you are inspired to create something from one of the Be Inspired features, please send a picture and description to my e-mail, and I may feature you on my blog. The piece must be inspired by the Be Inspired post and cannot be an item created prior to the posting. If your Be Inspired piece is featured, I will send you a free pendant from my Etsy shop (I will choose the pendant and it will be a surprise).

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

You Were Inspired by What?

OK, I have to admit that I have been inspired by some strange things. Probably the strangest was when I actually found inspiration in spilled milk. I was cleaning my counter when I noticed a drip of milk that was shaped like a woman. Now don't write me off as a looney, I'm not claiming to have seen Elvis or the Virgin Mary in my food (not that there is anything wrong with that!), but she was there. I have photographic proof . Yes it is very blurry (isn't that always how it is when you are trying to prove something with a photo), but it is there, I swear!

Well, I took that image and drew it out on a block and commenced to carving. The milk drops had a perfect circle as the head and the perfect curves at breast and hip. The 2nd photo is the finished pendant entitled "Modern Goddess" and it is for sale in my Etsy shop. So the lesson today is don't cry over spilt milk , be inspired by it! (You knew I was going to say that!) Keeping an open mind and akeen eye out, you will find inspiration in places you never thought you would. This may be another regular feature (monthly or when I am lacking writing inspiration). I am going to poll some artists and see what the most bizarre thing is that has inspired one of their works of art. If you are an artist who has had some some strange or bizarre inspiration that turned into an amazing piece of art, contact me at and you may get a feature!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Be Inspired by Animals

This week we turn to the animal kingdom for a bit of inspiration. Many of us don't have to look far to find an animal. There are always our pets, the birds that wake us up each morning, and even the squirrels that are forever in motion. They can inspire us in many ways. From the feelings they bring out in us, to the many expressions they make in response to us. Getting out into nature and watching animals is also a great way to be inspired. Try to look at the details separate from the actual animal. Look at how they are constructed, the color combinations, the textures of the different skin types and the patterns they use as camouflage or warnings.

It is also great to just take literal inspiration and recreate the entire animal as a piece of art. Many, many artists feature animals in their art in many fantastic ways. Here's one of mine and a few I found on Etsy (click on each photo to see more of the artists work):

Inspirational Words: fur, scales, hooves, tongues, feathers, jungle, bird, primate, pet, pattern, color, camouflage, blending, features, paws, snouts, expression, habitat, conservation, predator, prey, texture, fly, slither, crawl, hunt, hop, leap, fear, shape, motion, survival, ocean, mating displays, wild, exotic, eyes, ears, anatomy

Take a little time this week to observe an animal or several animals. Maybe even take a trip to the zoo to see something more exotic than what can be found in your neck of the woods. You can also get inspiration by looking at the world through an animals eyes, try climbing up high and getting a "bird's eye" view of what the world looks like, or crawl through the grass to see what a snake sees. These different views can give you knew perspective and new ideas. The animal kingdom is rich in inspiration, all you need to do is look!

Remember, if you are inspired to create something from one of the Be Inspired features, please send a picture and description to my e-mail, and I may feature you on my blog. The piece must be inspired by the Be Inspired post and cannot be an item created prior to the posting. If your Be Inspired piece is featured, I will send you a free pendant from my Etsy shop (I will choose the pendant and it will be a surprise).


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