Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Changing things up

This weeks etsy mini spot holders include Artsy Crafty, Lady Hawthorne, Able Mabel, Stickers for You, Wvlampwork, Tasa Lada, Starglow and Scriven. So please take a gander on the side bar.

Tune in on Wednesday for an Adventure in film....

Monday, March 30, 2009

I must be going....

Ages ago, someone asked me to write about the nature of theatre. I came up with a bold thesis where I claimed human art, language, and communications is all, in some way, storytelling. If this conjures images of small children gathered around a wise woman in a library, you either way off, and right on point. As small children, our hunger for narratives was insatiable, and even now we cannot express ourselves without the ability to conjure images and ideas within each other's minds.

Today's simple spot goes to the artist who made me decide to open up an account on etsy. John Clark takes two of my favoirte mediums, bold black ink, and pages from old books, and transforms them into images that call to mind still frames from a haunting film noir...his dangerous, beatifull women, and clever, evokative word choice have combined to make one very sucessfull etsy shop.

And there she is in profile, I like to think she hasn't said it yet, that or this is the silence that has settled in too deeply after such a remark...It has the unfinished quality of a good story, like the characters are going on without you....

I feature him without warning, or prio preperation...afterall, this is a man who was already interviewed by the big wigs...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The games we play....

....With Editing Software...

Tonight I decided to have a little fun with photos from a shoot I did with my friend Elizabeth last September, I modeled in one of her bridemaids dresses, and we took the shoot out to the streets near her home, at nearly four a.m. No traffic, no interuptions, and plenty of street light...the goal this evening was to create the effects of high gloss spot color graphic novels without acting as a direct imitation of anything I'd seen before. The results were something I liked for better than I could have anticipated...

In fact, I am seriously considering using this image as my etsy icon. The last image in this post. It is me after all, and the best items in my shop contain (In my opinion) either intense black and whites, are wild popping colors.

Yes, I've received lots of good comments on the eye, y current avatar, but I've also received lots of strait forward notifications that other people have avatars that look like mine, or that the idea of an eye leading to a photography shop is the Internet's equivalent to a bad pun. Anyhow, I'd appreciate any words to the wise on the image to the side, as always,


Friday, March 27, 2009

The Art of Wreath Making Lives

That's right
The Art of Wreath Making Lives!

In Victoria Texas at least, one intrepid Etsian is still making handmade wreaths and arragements of exceptional quality and variety...

Now, for a flash two question interview:

1. List six things, people, or places that inspire you.

1. My Mom - she is a crafty person

2. My Grandma - she always had such an eclectic style

3. Different silk flowers

4. Colors are a big inspiration for my wreaths

5. Ribbon - I can pick up a spool of ribbon and come up with the idea for a complete wreath

6. Pictures in magazines - I love picking up a magazine and finding inspiration

2. O.k Southerngirl... I've got to know about the name of your shop, the why when and hows...

I had a hard time coming up with a name for my shop. I wanted people to know what I sold - Florals. I am from South Texas (and proud of it!) - Southern. And then I wanted a youthful sound (I am 25 yrs old) - Girl.

So...Southern Girl Florals. It just came to me one day.

I started crafting probably about six years ago (mostly for family and friends). I just started selling on Etsy December 2008, so I am still pretty new here, and learning a lot!

I craft because I love it! It is not my full time job or anything; I am just doing it for fun!

Tune in every Friday (and the occasional Monday, or Wednesday) for Etsy related postings, interviews, give-aways and reviews...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Models and Mayhem

Just a brief update... a few weeks ago I was lucky to work with some good friends on a brief photo shoot. This is one of the resulting images ... I'd love some comments, critiques, etc. Bonus points if you can figure out how I got this shot.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

About San Francisco

Monday, March 23, 2009

Cause Life Ain't No Anzbiotch

This Friday's flash interview falls to Anzbiotch, an Etzy Jewelry maker with some major talent for using one of my favorite materials; Wire.

The shop also includes tons of earrings, rings, key fobs and sales items, but it is my personal opinion that her best work involves free form, gems, and silver wire. (See Above)

Four Fascinating and random things
about Anzbiotch...

I hate leaving my house without earrings.

I moved to the U.S. when I was 7, I do speak Chinese and English.

I'm trying to balance school, work, social life and beading in between all of that.

I am hoping to own my own business, not really jewelry related, but studying to be an
account and would like my own business.

Six things that inspire Anzbiotch;

1. Beads, LOL, different type of beads, colors, etc.

2. ETSY, all the possibilities of unique items make me want to try to come up with something original.

3. Nature, I love the natural colors and flowers, etc.

4. My co-workers, they're so encouraging and positive about my work, they encourage me to strive higher with my techniques and ideas

5. My boyfriend, he lets me buy all that I want LOL and he inputs of what looks good if he sees it on a girl or not...

6. The endless possibilities of colors!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Image on my mind today

What more needs to be said?

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Spot of Poetry and a Brief Interview

o man
can't stop it
gotta gotta gotta
get down"
A few weeks ago I posted a thread while on the hunt for edgy Etsy artists. What came back to me was tiny glowing worm babies and flying clocks. Well, I asked for it, dark, random, yet hopeful, flight spirit, rather like Dada. Yup, sip sap, zadda zadda zim. Dadaism hits art like a ping pong ball hits (insert random object).

Wait, what is Dadaism? Dadaism is a reaction to the world that utilizes absurdity to question and undermine everything. It is also plain old fashioned cerca 1917 fun.

Dadasim rejected the ideas of the time, eschewed accepted logic and behavior, and influenced later counter culture, theory, criticism, and punk rock. It was
also a product of post great World War I despair. It is also a ceaseless delight in the phenomenon of thought. It is also contradiction, and nothing, nonsense and anything. It is also the best one word response I can call to mind to begin to describe this unforgettable creater, Artakimbo....

And now, without further exposition, The Interview;

1. From conception to creation, what is the longest an idea has ever haunted your mind?

I have a painting I have been working on for, I don’t know, twenty years or so. It is not done, probably never will be. I don’t much care for it, but I can’t seem to be able to put it out of its misery.

2. The flying heart is a recurring theme within your work, what might it mean or symbolize?

The Flying Hearts of ArtAkimbo's Shop...

"Love- coming, going,
flapping around,
elusive, annoying, inviting,
cloying, chirping,

3. Describe your ideal buyer…

An ideal buyer would allow total artistic freedom, have an unlimited budget, infinite patience, and a deeply loving nature.

Or just have a valid paypal account.

4. Five top artists, musicians, writers or other…

These, of course, change daily but would include:
Maxfield Parrish
Marcel Duchamp
John Singer Sargent
William Bouguereau
Keith Edmier

5. Three goals for yourself as an Etsy artist

1000’s of hearts
1000’s of sales
1000’s of treasuries

6. List Five Things you’ve got to do before you die.

I would like to develop mastery of the pedal steel guitar.
I’d like to see my kids win Oscars
I would like to build something that is astounding in its depth of beauty and meaning.
I’d like to learn how to weld.
I should probably finish that damn painting.

7. Ask yourself the one question you’d like to be asked, and answer.

Q: Are your eyes really that color or are you wearing colored contacts?
A: No, this is their real color.

For more about these oddities and engaging personality, see ArtAkimbo's shop or site, www.dcramer.com.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

New Images of the Past

I am one of those people who leans my forehead against the glass on the bus and tries to stop the past from creeping into the seat beside me, sometimes I can't keep it away, sometimes I don't even want to. This image makes me think of that train of thought, memory and forgetting...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Seeking Tranquility- through the love of Animals

There is a certain sparkle in their eyes every time they look at us. Something so soothing about their mere prescience in a room. When we are at our worst we need only sit near them for a little comfort. Then there is the way they move, so fluid and elegant, the alien and sometimes recognizable ways they seem to think. Those of us who have pets, dogs, cats, fish and birds know that special fascination intimately.

StarglowStudio is all about celebrating our love of our pets, from custom portraits, to exhilarating art, to a monthly donation project, (this month 20% of profits go to IMOM.org). The artist offers origional work, custom portraits, and even clip-art in her shop. As is evident from even this small selection of pics from her shop, Starglow is not just talented, but aware of how to catch thesse personalities, even if they are only glimpsed in a photograph.

Starglow is also the first of several etsy sellers to take up etsy mini residence in my side-bar, scroll slowly, click often, and enjoy.
This artist can also be found at http://StarglowStudio.com

Ahhh Sweet Breath of Spring

Dress giveaway sponsored by Grosgrain.

I'm going to honestly say I've just updated because I adore this dress, and the measurements are precisely me....

Also, just thought I'd say before it is too late, Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Look Closely this Week

I fear cluttered blog space, but I love photography, even other people's photography, even, say, images of things one might sell, such as the items in the shop of ladyhawthorne featured along side my blog this month, and the intricacies, so much like a closet of an older sister or stylish Mom, ladyhawthorne, scroll even further down and look to the left to see.

The above is a photo called "Photographing Motorcycles" taken in San Jose, capital of Costa Rica. That building is my favorite shade of broke down wonderful.

This week, in addition to having a glance at these artists, I'd love for readers to tell me, is my blog too dense, or just right?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Nemesis Productions

1. Tell me about your favorite place in the world...

My favorite place is Chicago. I just love that city, with all of my being. The food, the people, the stores, the architecture, the L...I love it all.

...Do you believe location influences creativity?

I definitely think that location influences one's creativity. If a person is happy where they are, surrounded by friends and family in a supportive environment, the creativity and inspiration will just flow. I find it easier to focus on the task at hand, and have greater motivation to do the things I enjoy.

I currently hate where I am, and I feel that it has a negative effect on my drive to work some days. When you are somewhere (whether in geographical location or life in general) that you do not like, it can be a huge distraction. Stress can wreak havoc on the creative process for me, and I think that there are days that it can be hard for me to really get myself motivated if I don't have orders waiting. I'm also less inclined to have a sudden urge to grab the camera and explore.

2. With no exaggeration I must say that Nemesis a favorite of mine, the winged Greek Goddesses, daughter of night… to what degree, if any, did the mythology influence your name choice?

I have a long association with that name. It began with the haunted attraction acting troupe I belong to. (I'm inactive now because I live in another state, but I am still technically a member.) It's a fraternal organization, meaning there are ranks or levels of membership. There is basically a mentoring program where a "Knight" can "Squire" a member, and at the end of the season a group of Knights votes on the Squires to decide if their acting and makeup techniques and skills are accomplished enough to move up in rank. When I attained Knight status, I chose the name of Nemesis for the reason you listed above, as well as others. I was a nemesis to many of the members of the group, especially some of the other girls, because I could look feminine and even sexy and still scare people (among other reasons, some earned, most not). That's not very easy to do, and it's an accomplishment I'm still proud of.

When I went on to DJ, Nemesis just seemed like a natural choice. Then, when I progressed to promoting shows, I chose Nemesis Productions for the name to encompass all of my endeavors. I've always loved that particular goddess, and I feel it's a kind of an empowering thing. A nemesis can be a blessing in disguise. Those people can drive us to excel, to improve ourselves and learn new things, to reach levels of skill we might not have strived for otherwise.

Only through adversity do we learn our true natures...

3. Give us your personal definition of “Spooky Girl”…

I think, first and foremost, it means being slightly different then the accepted norm in mainstream society for women. I have always been drawn to things that are unique, and I think being a Spooky Girl (or Grrrl) is special. While I associate it with lovely doom and gloom (of the good kind), it can be any woman who likes to live outside the box.

Instead of sugar, spice and everything nice, we like spiders, bats, and black cats.

4. If you suddenly had the ability to create any one thing, what would it be?

I would love to create my own home. I've actually done a mock up of my dream house for a set design class I took in school, and it would be wonderful to do something like that in real life.

5. Tell us the remarkable story of one photo shoot or photo find….

I think that would have to be the first photo "shoot" I went on. It was a total last minute fluke. My room mate at the time is a member of a few urban exploration groups and online communities, and one of these groups had scheduled an exploration get together in Gary, IN. I woke up that weekend morning after being out until dawn (ah, I miss Chicago!) with a migraine. I had a tiny little Kodak EasyShare 4.0 mp camera, nothing at all special, but I was always taking pictures with it, and he knew that I liked photographing things, so he asked me if I wanted to go with him. I hemmed and hawed for a minute, took some migraine medicine, and decided to go for it.

It was awesome. I still want to go back with the camera I have now and visit those places again. Every time I look at the images I took that day, I'm amazed at the images I managed to get with that camera! I think my favorite place was the church we went to, with the post office being a close second. I've always had a soft spot for churches. It's the arches and stained glass that get me. There is such beauty in entropy.

6. Tell us about your favorite scent….

I don't know if I can pick just one. I'm a scent junkie. I would have to say that I am definitely very drawn to spicy, oriental scents (my favorite designer perfume is Spellbound by Estee Lauder), but I really don't think I could only live with one scent.

7. Your top seven favorite artists, musicians, or fellow Etsians…

Another hard question! There are so many people to admire, and so much wonderful work. I think one of my all-time favorite photographers is Ansel Adams. I love black and white photography, and his is just stunning.

As far as bands go, I'd have to go with Gary Numan, Combichrist, Portishead, Cruciform Injection and Cervello Elettronico right now. I love music, and am especially drawn to industrial and powernoise.

I love a bunch of Etsy people. There are so many talented and funny individuals on there that I am hard pressed to pick any one of them above the other. I would like to give some love to my friend Jenn who has a shop, since she really helped me when I first started and has continued to be very supportive. Her shop is FreyasFire.

(FreyasFire specializes in glass pendants, such as the one shown right-->)

8. If you could buy from one shop on etsy, no price restrictions, whose would it be and why?
I think it would have to be this bed.
It would make me feel like a tree/forest elf straight out of Lord of the Rings. (Yep, I'm a nerd.) Just imagine sleeping in a bed like that! So amazing.

9. And as I always do, this is your chance to ask yourself a question you wish I’d ask you, and answer.

I think a good question to ask me is: Where would I like to be in 5 years, personally and professionally?

First off, I have to say back in the Chicagoland area. I would like to have a degree in technical theatre, or I should say finish the one I started and then earn a bachelors. A brick and mortar store with fun, sassy, and talented employees would be wonderful. I would like to have children by then. Two would be good, one boy, one girl. A garden to grow my own herbs and botanicals. I would love to be filling regular wholesale and consignment orders.

I would like to be somewhere where both my husband and I can be happy and do the things we enjoy.

Best wishes to you Nemesis, for more details about her work see her Etsy shop here. If you, like me, are itching to see those Chicago shots, my only advice is go to Etsy, become a member if you must, add this artist to your favorites, and watch for updates.


Starting this week my Blog will be home to a series of etsy mini paid features including the soon to be interviewed Starglowstudio, ArtsyCrafty tiny clothes, thelostandfound & with a little luck, the stunning ladyhawthorne. And, of course, more interviews and another film review are in the works, as well as a short film about my time in Costa Rica. If you too art interested in ad space, please comment or contact me...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Musings on the Ledio Flower

The same flower I photographed for my website fell down several days later, and seemed destined to die on the tiles that next morning in the hungry sun. However, my Abluela took them in, and the next photo I hope to take will be of them in a simple vase (alright, a glass drinking glass) in her kitchen.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Voyeristic Nose

As a buyer, it can be difficult to make an online selection of things one is accustomed to trying out, smelling, touching, with the rare exceptions of sellers who photograph or describe their items so excellently that one cannot help but wonder, anticipate, desire.

One such online shop is called BellaBubblesShop. The shop is owned Francesca, by a student in Northern Italy, who spends her free time creating bath goods and soaps.

Take a look at these images and read these scent descriptions by Francesca, and just try to tell me you don't fell like experiencing them first hand.

Francesca; "Well,My favorite scent at the moment is definitely the ice storm soap one! For this soap I used a great peppermint essential oil..."

"...If you close your eyes while smelling it you will see snow,wind,water and ice. (It) Is soooo fresh!"

In her actual item description Francesca goes on to describe the healthy effects of Peppermint, including its soothing, cooling properties and many uses, "...a valuable ingredient for comforting and refreshing the skin. Peppermint soap can be used for a refreshing foot soak or a cooling bath/shower to treat sunburned skin,dermatitis, acne, muscle pain, travel sickness..."

My personal favorite as a photographer is;

Francesca explains; "Another scent I'm in love with is the Princess one: a mix of floral scents, lavender,geranium and rose =) Very girly

Hugs, and happy thoughts this Friday,

-Bella and Jolt

P.S. Tune in again Monday for a conversation with Etsy soap crafter, artist, and photographer, Nemesis and on Wednesday for a special article on Starglow Studio.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sad day, my old treasury expired, but now I have this.

The Image to your left is from Provincijalka.

In other news I've decided to sell Etsy Mini Space on my page for only 1$ a week. For details scroll down to the area bellow my followers and poll sections on this blog.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

From Abandoned Places

The majority of listings in my newest treasury were found under the art section of etsy under such search terms as broken, ruined, lost, decay, urban, grime, paint, gone, and city. The images bellow are not mine, they are borrowed, with permission, from Etsy shop owners.

I happen to adore these places. The above Image is from zuppaartista's shop
The Image bellow is from the shop of CareyPrimeau

The neglected beauty series, seen above, tells us something important, not about reconstruction, or decay, but about simple effortless appreciation.

Friday, March 6, 2009

From the Underground Button Factory by The Sea

Seinna Orlando

I remember when I was a little girl I used to go into my Mother's collection of buttons, (she kept them in a big green glass jar) and sort them all out on my bedroom floors. The colors and styles fascinated me, and there was something so interesting about the textures and shapes to little fingers.

Today's flash fire Friday feature is Siennaorlando, a Northern California based seller whose forte is tiny ceramic buttons. Siennaorlando released a brand new line this February, adorable, durable, and uncommon.

Siennaorlando says, "I've listed many of them, but just like Willy Wonka I have secret buttons in my underground factory. (No, I'm not going to tell you where it is!) I honestly love to giving gifts, and this is the package...."

"...In the "Everyday is your Birthday Variety Pack" you not only get 5 buttons for the price of 3, you also get surprises, and most likely more than 5 buttons. This is fun for me and you. Amen..."

Indeed...In her profile section Seinaorlando describes herself as a plant lover;

"I am inherently inspired by food plants, and integrate these forms with my personal abstractions of the cosmos and what makes up the fabric of the universe. In my crafts I make a strict point of using primarily recycled/refashioned materials in regards to the environment."

So, does that make you a mother earth figure?

"I'm sure I've never given birth to anything that big. Okay, okay. . . admittedly, yes. I'm a country girl/hippie/hipster/mudslinging/ fruit-pickin'/dirt-eating kind of chick. I'm really into old-timey stuff like folk music and bluegrass, but I think all of us in the 2000 era have that sort of space age thread, too. I mean, look how we're communicating right now. .."

Good point Seinna, I mean look at how we are communicating in this instant. Most recently you created a treasury, inspired by a certain parakeet. (not lame) Care to talk about her?

"I guess I could. I'm really not obsessed or anything. I'm just out on the coast doing a residency for a few months, and my boyfriend and everybody are back home. It's just me and Jimi Sprinkles out here. She's gotten into the habit of sitting or perching on my computer while I work on etsy. Every now and then she'll clack over the keys. We sing to Joni Mitchell together."

If you liked Seinaorlando 's etsy shop, and treasury than be sure to check out her organic sculptures at http://www.siennaorlando.com/

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Fragments...Why are broken things so beautiful?

I sat down the other evening intent on editing a photo shoot and writing a food review for Brujas, one of my favorite little student Dives North of the Universidad de Costa Rica. Instead, I ended up watching a film.

The Tracey Fragments is a bitter and memorable disappointment, as lovely and impact full as the broken mirror which seems to be its inspiration. It is a concept film, wrought with all of the pretensions and narrative losses that drive so many away from the mere idea of an art-house flick.

The movie centers on Tracy Berkowitz, (Ellen Page, watchable as always) a fifteen year old girl in crisis (were we all?) or rather, the film focuses on her inner thoughts, thought simultaneous to action simultaneous to thoughts about action simultaneous to memory and imagination equals (breath) multiple frames.


Are we talking the sort of split screening used to indicate simultaneous action or a phone call in Quintin Tarontino films?

No, The Tracy Fragments can pride itself on an artfull and perpetual rearrangement of the frames, time zones, and imagery.

Even if the forever appearing and reappearing squares are sometimes frustratingly out of sequence, the reasons for the composition are often clear. Is that clarity a good thing? No, not exactly. Tracy works best when it focuses on the narrator's obsessive and joyful thoughts about Billy Zero, (Slim Twig) the new boy at school who exudes punk Brit style sexy, and simultaneously, the empty glorious distance of a vogue fashion model. Tracy's thoughts of Billy Zero are hard hitting, fascinating, I dare say they make you forget, no better yet, appreciate and pardon the gimmick for instants at a time.However, Billy Zero is not exactly at the film's core. The problem with describing The Tracy Fragments is that it all too easily sounds better than it is. I could tell you what I think the central driving point of the film is in specific event related terms. and in all likelihood, those events would sound exciting and unexpected. I won't make them seem any more redundant or anticipated than they were by outlining here, and instead offer this little line of abstracts,

Picture solitary innocence as a girl who wears her hair over her eyes, destroy by longing, turn human discard, and compound it all by uncharacteristically severe guilt punishment for lusting/longing. End film at most brain scrambling instant, and haunt on.

Anyone who has seen this film, I'd love for you to tell me how I'm right or wrong.

For further reading, 2 things way more fascinating than this article, first, the origional novel by Maureen Medved, which sounds even from a synopsis like it has more depth and guts, and then the incredible film editing contest (Damn, just missed it) hosted on the film's official site.