Switch off

Commentary

Today I’m not going to drink more than three cups of tea, no matter how much I convince myself that my throat hurts or I have that craving. I will drink more water and I will make a mental tally of the liters I down by night time. It will be close to the big two and I will feel a sense of achievement for doing something that should be part of my mundane routine anyway.

I will not spend hours getting tangled up in website links and referrals and e-mails and replies. I don’t have to update my facebook status or tweet that I’m drinking water for the day because it is not important. I will not open photoshop to edit any one of my candidate photos for flickr. I won’t even browse other photographs for inspiration and I most definitely will not log in on tumblr. All that inspiration and clicks can be downright distracting, especially if it leads me to etsy. I cannot allow myself to go on etsy, or any other online shop for that matter, because today of all days, there will be no window shopping. Even my metaphorical wallet is empty.

I will make the bed in the morning, and I will actually eat breakfast because it is the most important meal of the day I persistently choose to forget. I will call my mom to see how she is because I will remember to reach out across the telephone line that separates the measly distance between us. If I’m ambitious, I will also make the 10-minute drive to see my grandmother, who speaks in television language because that is all the company she has. I will make her day by sitting down next to her and listening to all the episodes I missed during the week. I will call my friends for a casual coffee drink of water and I will make the effort to be more than a Facebook friend.

Today, I will set aside time to read my book, even if I’ve forgotten its title from the time it’s been to hold it. I will not do this before I sleep because I want to read more than just a couple of sentences. I will write in my real journal, not my blog, about the thoughts in my mind, the things I most wish for, the quotidien that saturates my minutes. I will think of friends abroad and actually call them. Or better yet, I will sit down and write them a letter, not an e-mail. I will play songs I’ve forgotten about and I will sing along fearlessly. I will take a walk on the beach and I will write a poem. I will jot down my ideas on actual paper that is inside a thought notebook, not a post-it note.

Today, I’m changing everything. It all starts today.

Plain Bananas Has Friends

Plain Bananas Has Friends

plain bananas has friendsIt’s Friday and I made it just in time! The days have been speeding past me like the Roadrunner and I hear that all familiar “beep beep” entirely too late. School starts this week and so this Friday could be the last one with my sanity all intact. Things are bound to get a little hectic (a little is my favorite denial word at the moment), but why should I care about this when I can have a feast of color, style and fabric. Hold tight, because my friend today will make you want to get dressed up in your favorite girly heels and venture out  á la Sex and the City.

Meet Carol whose creative hands bring to us the wonderful items of yorktownroad.

Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes

Right now, Carol is exactly where she’d like to be. Ok, ok, if you’re thinking she’s behind the computer monitor like you and me, then you’re partly right. She does tend to spend a lot of time on the web (who doesn’t?). But, no, I meant that she’s doing something she’s always wanted. Her background in business operations, finance and management in the clothing industry, was well-suited to her natural progression to opening her own Etsy shop.

Despite being a popular seller on Etsy in her two-year online presence, Carol loves to spend time with her kids, enjoys taking random photos and keeping fit. She has my kind of schedule: She doesn’t do mornings, preferring to work late into the night instead. Late at night, inspiration always comes right?

Carol, had a few things to share with you. Ready?

Raised line clutch - darkest pink

Raised line clutch - darkest pink

My name is…Carol Gilbert

I make… accessories for women and the home using hand-dyed linens and repurposed leathers.

I’m inspired by… the unexpected. I never know what will spark my imagination. Sometimes it is the way my daughter Audrey describes the shape of a cloud or sometimes a broken twig I find on the ground. It can be a song or eyes that are so sparkling and blue.

Petite zip - starburst pleat

Petite zip - starburst pleat

I cannot live without… my family.

An item I’ve made that was hard to let go… was a scarf, I kept it and wear it every winter.

I create because… It allows me to express who I am without using words. I’m not very good with words. Or, as my daughter once told her friends, “my mom makes things, it’s just what she does”.

Wavy pleat zip

Wavy pleat zip

If I could learn another art it would be… graffiti art / street art (without breaking the law of course). I am often amazed at how incredible these artists are… there is a bold sense of freedom and movement in their work and I would love to express in that way. Or sculpture.

My website is… http://www.yorktownroad.com and will soon have an entire new look. I also have a yorktown road page on facebook.

I blog because… I don’t, I’m not very good with words but I do keep a photoblog on flickr.

The gorgeous fabrics Carol works with

The gorgeous fabrics Carol works with

One day… I used to start many sentences with that phrase. Now I’m trying to focus more on the reality of “today” and to make today the best it can be.

I started… refurbishing our home 3 years ago. It’s taking far too long and I don’t know if we will ever get it done.

I always…daydream.

If I were a color I would be…grey – it’s very subtle and nondescript at first glance yet when you look closely, it has a lot of depth.

Patched zip

Patched zip

My full-time job… not sure how I would describe it but my titles seem to be “mom” and “hon”. Truthfully, my full time job is making all the aspects of my life work together. Family, business and personal. There are months where it can be difficult but it usually works out fine.

In a nutshell…I love what I do

In a bigger nutshell…I do what I love and try to enjoy each day.

You can find yorktownroad here:

Etsy: http://www.yorktownroad.etsy.com

Website: http://www.yorktownroad.com

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/yorktownroad/

Or you can become a fan of her work on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/yorktown-road/40048936447

I leave you with some more of her stunning work. Dress up and go out — that’s what I feel like doing after browsing all these enviable clutch bags. Have a great weekend!

Zip - black - repurposed leather

Zip - black - repurposed leather

Petite zip - 8 line

Petite zip - 8 line

Pillow slip - grass

Pillow slip - grass

Mum tote - grey

Mum tote - grey

Plain Bananas Has Friends

Plain Bananas Has Friends

Plain Bananas Has Friends

Are you moody? Stressed out? In love? A little confused about things? Or downright creative?

I’ll be the first to admit that I can be all of those things at once, and I can play that off by saying I’m a little bit complex. Mitsy, from ArtMind, understands this. In fact, I’m suspecting she’s a pretty complex character herself, because let me tell you, she sure knows her emotions.

At least 99 of them, for sure.

What am I on about? It’s Friday (yes, it’s really Friday today! Finally caught up with the days in blogosphere) and I want you to meet this extraordinary artist.

Meet Artmind

Meet Artmind

She’s inspired by anything happy and has a keen eye on human emotion. In fact she portrays feelings so well, I’m starting to suspect that there’s actually nothing that complex about it.

This bubbly artist, loves laughing and her witty little descriptions of her products are a testament to that. They are as amusing as the items themselves!

But anyway, enough from me. Let me pass you on to Mitsy, who has a few things she’d like to tell you.

Torn - 2 - Mini art feeling

Torn - 2 - Mini art feeling

My name is…Mitsy – not a common name and lots of people tend to call me Misty – it always makes me smile!

I make…things from clay, felt and paper. I recently took up the love addiction of yarn.

I’m inspired by…daily life: everything and everyone can be a source of inspiration so watch out!

Stress - 1 - Mini art feeling

Stress - 1 - Mini art feeling

I cannot live without…chocolate (hope my partner is not reading this).

My goal…is to lead a happy life – preferably a happy handmade life.

An item I’ve made that was hard to let go…I have a hard time to let go & some pieces, I will never sell.

I create because…it’s a life neccesity.

I wish I…lived in the middle of nowhere surrounded with all that I love.

Invincible - 1 - Mini art feeling

Invincible - 1 - Mini art feeling

If I could learn another art it would be…sewing – need to get my hands on a sewing machine.

I think…usually happy thoughts.

I blog because…I hope that it inspires people.

One day…I’ll learn to like mussels.

I started…a book too long ago – should spent more time reading.

Restless - 1 - Mini art feeling

Restless - 1 - Mini art feeling

I always…need coffee in the morning.

If I were a color I would be…green – although I love red, I think I’m too modest to be red.

I love…food & cooking – hmmmmmmm.

My full-time job…is not anymore. I like to combine a part-time job with part-time ceramics.

In a nutshell…I’m a happy person living a happy life with my happy parter & happy cat.

In a bigger nutshell..I have still lots of things that I want to accomplish in life.

You can find Artmind here:

Buy it at: http://ArtMind.etsy.com

Read more on: http://artmind-etcetera.blogspot.com/

See more on: http://www.flickr.com/photos/artmind_etcetera/

Know more on: http://twitter.com/ArtMind

Explore more on: http://artmind-etcetera.deviantart.com/

I leave you with a photo of her studio, some felted & paper creations, and of course, with nothing more than feelings.

Oh and P.S.: How are you feeling today?

Mitsy's atelier

Mitsy's atelier

You're a star - greeting card

You're a star - greeting card

Super - 1 - Mini art feeling

Super - 1 - Mini art feeling

Vulnerable - 1 - Mini art feeling

Vulnerable - 1 - Mini art feeling

Chaotic - 1 - Mini art feeling

Chaotic - 1 - Mini art feeling

Growth - brown felt beads on adjustable cottonwaxed cord

Growth - brown felt beads on adjustable cottonwaxed cord

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=24650177

Confused - 2 - Mini art feeling

Plain Bananas Has Friends

Plain Bananas Has Friends

Plain Bananas Has Friends

You’re onto me, I know. You’ve checked your calendar and now I’m exposed. It’s Saturday — in fact, it’s not just any Saturday, it’s Independence Day Saturday (in the US). I should have posted this entry yesterday, but there were so many things going on that I actually ended up staying away from the laptop mostly. To my immense shock, real life hasn’t lost its charm at all and I didn’t even witness Etsy withdrawal symptoms. Gasp!

If you live in the States, or celebrate this day wherever on the globe you may be, I’m sure there are plenty of sizzling moments and mouthwatering bites to attend to. Don’t worry, this post will be just enough to wet your appetite. Make yourself a cup of coffee or tea and feast on the wonderful whimsyandspice!

Homemade Chocolate Marshmallows

Homemade Chocolate Marshmallows

My name is…Jenna Park.

I make…designs and Mark, my husband and partner, makes food.

I’m inspired by…anyone who has a lot of passion and enthusiasm for what they do.

I cannot live without…my computer (sadly) and my family.

An item I’ve made that was hard to let go…a pair of stereo speakers.

Coconut Five Spice White Chocolate cookies

Coconut Five Spice White Chocolate cookies

I create because…it’s something I’ve always done, though it has evolved from pencil and paint, to music and the piano, to computer and photography.

I wish I…had some sushi right now.

If I could learn another art it would be…another musical instrument.

Earl Grey Sandwich Cookies

Earl Grey Sandwich Cookies

My website is…our lifeline and a realized dream.

I blog because…it keeps me sane.

One day…I will get more sleep.

I started…to draw a little again.

I always…take pictures.

If I were a color I would be…a dusty, purply grey.

Homemade Maple Marshmallows

Homemade Maple Marshmallows

My full-time job…consists of 3 things: design, cookies, and parenthood.

In a nutshell…I’m pretty happy with the way my life has turned out, despite it not being anything I imagined it would be.

In a bigger nutshell…I have bigger things that I want to accomplish because I still feel like something is missing creatively from my life, but I know that it’s a lifelong process as we are always growing and learning.

You can find whimsyandspice here:

shop: http://www.whimsyandspice.com

blog: http://www.sweetfineday.com

twitter: http://twitter.com/whimsyandspice

etsy: http://whimsyandspice.etsy.com

I don’t know about you, but I’m salivating right now. I wish I had those earl grey cookies, or some divine marshmallows. Too bad you don’t ship to Europe Jenna — I would be an avid muncher.

I leave you with the whimsyandspice family, some more delicious photos and some sweet parceled thoughts to all my American friends out there. I miss all of you!

The sweet trio behing whimsyandspice

The sweet trio behing whimsyandspice

Whimsy and Spice classic sampler box

Whimsy and Spice classic sampler box

Brown Sugar Gingerspice shortbread cookies

Brown Sugar Gingerspice shortbread cookies

Rose and Black Pepper Thumbprints

Rose and Black Pepper Thumbprints

Cinnamon Chocolate Malt biscotti

Cinnamon Chocolate Malt biscotti


Plain Bananas Has Friends

Plain Bananas Has Friends

plain bananas has friends

Do you felt?

Well, if you’re an English teacher, or a stickler to English grammar, you’d have noticed that something is just not right in that question. Well, it’s not right if “felt” is treated as the past of “feel”. I assure you it’s not. Put your grammar books aside and let’s meet a true felt artist:

Meet Karlita

Meet Karlita

This wonderful artist has stolen my heart. In fact she’s stolen many hearts: there are only so many items I can heart before I realize it’s pointless to try and choose from the creative felted selection she has on display at her shop.

So what’s behind that colorful smile?

XL felted scarf/ jewel blue with olive green accents

XL felted scarf/ jewel blue with olive green accents

My name is…Karla Vandebeek, a.k.a. Karlita.

I make…all kinds of jewelry and accessories.

I’m inspired…by colours, materials and trips abroad.

I cannot live without…1. my loved ones (including two cats 🙂 and 2. supplies!

An item I’ve made that was hard to let go…I honestly don’t remember; if I really want to keep something, i just do (when i first started – 12 years ago – I made everything double, one to sell and one to keep 🙂 ).

XL Felted scarf/ jewel lime colour with olive green coloured accents

XL Felted scarf/ jewel lime colour with olive green coloured accents

I create because…I cannot not create.

I wish…I could create full-time, but since last year I work part-time and have a lot less time to create.

If I could learn another art it would be…metalsmithing, computer design, to design things to make jewelry with, sewing very well, working with clay …. aargh, too many to choose, I might need a second life!

My website is…well i have a few: http://www.karlita.be, http://www.karlita.etsy.com, http://www.karlita.dawanda.com and http://www.karlitashop.blogspot.com [Note: listed again at the end of this.]

Ring with felt in purple with turquoise polkadot

Ring with felt in purple with turquoise polkadot

I blog because…I love to write little stories and it’s fun to keep track of my own life that way 🙂 – it serves like a (little bit censored) journal.

One day…I hope to be able to only create, travel – with my loved ones of course.

I started…because I bought a necklace in Venezuela and my mom challenged me and said I could not make something like that. But I also was always making things as a kid.

Textile jewelry - colourful felt and fabric artistic necklace

Textile jewelry – colourful felt and fabric artistic necklace

I always…used to run to the computer when I got home to see if I had messages or sales- now I bought myself an iPhone and an internet everywhere thing – I’m a total addict!

If I were a color I would be…RED.

My full-time job…part-time working for a city, and part-time my creative business.

In a nutshell…I’m a happy camper 🙂

Handmade enamel ring in turquoise with pink polkadot - adjustable size

Handmade enamel ring in turquoise with pink polkadot - adjustable size

In a bigger nutshell…creating is what colours my life (in bright colours – I’m usually inspired either by colours or by materials). I started by making jewelry collections in 1997 – selling them to stores in Belgium. But I got tired of having to create one necklace several times, wanted to quit but accidently stumbled upon Etsy and the rest is history as they say :). I love all aspects of a creative business: making things, selling them and even the administrative side!

You can find Karlita here:

shop: http://www.karlita.etsy.com, http://www.karlita.dawanda.com

website: http://www.karlita.be

blog: http://karlitashop.blogspot.com

I leave you with a photo of Karlita’s enviable workspace and more of her felted treasures. And don’t hesitate to give her a heart or two — they’ll keep my hearts in good company 🙂

Karlita's creative corner

Karlita's creative corner

felted scarf/ jewel brown with red accents

felted scarf/ jewel brown with red accents

Letterpress necklace - the vintage looking H, with a little green adventurine

Letterpress necklace - the vintage looking H, with a little green adventurine

Felted scarf/ jewel in white with blue accents

Felted scarf/ jewel in white with blue accents

Necklace with felted pendant in turquoise with a green polkadot

Necklace with felted pendant in turquoise with a green polkadot




Plain Bananas Has Friends

Plain Bananas Has Friends

plain bananas has friends

Though it feels more like plain bananas has a headache right now, it is Friday after all, and I want you to meet some of my friends too. This pair of Etsy artists is unusual from others featured because they happen to live across the street from me and I just spent my Friday with them (yes, plain bananas has real 3D friends, as opposed to just cyber-friendships).

Meet thelittleanorakgirl — or the people behind the anorak girl (don’t tell her!): Jools and Sarah.

sammy the dog notecard

sammy the dog notecard

Does she remind you of any childhoood favorite characters? Well it’s not accidental: in fact it was the Little Red Riding Hood that gave the inspiration to Jools to create this little likeable character for the stationery set. At the time, Sarah was working on a design for a bag with a japanese print featuring the classic red-hooded character, which was enough to set Jools’ imagination going.

The ideas for the illustrations stem from the red riding hood itself as well as some childhood holiday photos of Sarah who also owned a similar red coat.

it blew away mini notecard set (4)

it blew away mini notecard set (4)

The combination is a cute one for sure.

This creative couple loves its non-typical days of unexpected surprises — and there are many . They both teach English as a Second Language and are your average pair of nightowls and morning slugabeds. Originally from Birmingham, they have been in Greece for a while and only recently moved to Crete. On living here they both say in mock seriousness: “It’s a hard life really.”

How hard is it? Well let’s find out.

[Note: Blue is for Jools’ answers and pink for Sarah’s. Answers in black are in the odd occasion that they both agree. Oh and Jools forgot to follow the one sentence rule, but we’ll let that slip because he’s a really cool guy.]

pretty in pink bracelet

pretty in pink bracelet

My name is…Jools (Horton-Lakins). / Sarah.

I make…A mess generally. However, I also draw and produce “the little anorak girl” products. / the things, he does the drawing.

I’m inspired by…A multitude of things. Books, music, cartoons (especially Japanese animation). Film, photography and art. My students and their idiosyncrasies (I’m a teacher) and basically anything I see that interests me. / Murakami, fruit, polka dots, plastics, ribbons, dolls, mechanical toys, vintage pearls, postcards, art deco, Poirot and childhood sea-side holidays.

wet wellies brooch

wet wellies brooch

I cannot live without…More things than I could possibly fit into one sentence. My better half and family, of course. Music, books, mysteries, tea, and my computer and the net. My kitchen and the plethora of things within it. Pencils and paper. Irony satire and sarcasm (especially the dark stuff, forget what the song tells you). Good friends and good wine. The sea… basically everything I like. / cheese.

wet wellies necklace

wet wellies necklace

An item I’ve made that was hard to let go of……was the 10th stationary set we made. (I managed to glue it to my finger). / was so hard that I didn’t.

I create because……it is one way to let out all the stuff in my head. / I want to.

I wish I…had the time and concentration to be able to put all my ideas into production. / I could write longer answers than him..

If I could learn another art it would be…musical. To play the guitar and I’d also like to learn how to mix. / sculpture.

mr postie notecard

mr postie notecard

My website is…in the pipeline. As with most things with me. / a work in progress.

I blog  because…I don’t blog. / I can.

One day…all the world will be paper. People will stop labeling and learn that there are only individuals and I’ll actually finish all the things I’ve started, dreamt up or promised to do. / I will have done all the things I’ve been meaning to do.

it blew away bracelet

it blew away bracelet

I started…so I’ll finish. (Here’s to you Magnus).

I always…wanted to be a lumberjack! Ha ha! I am always more creative when I’m supposed to be doing something else. / amuse myself if nobody else.

If I were a color I would be…really miffed that someone had stolen my “u”.

My full-time job…can be rewarding, maddening, highly amusing and extremely boring all in the same hour. / came as a surprise.

In a nutshell…taking everything into consideration, at this specific moment in time, I feel, that is to say it is my strong belief, that it is necessary and indeed only fair to reveal to you that the information that is currently available to me and which I am able to furnish you with, is not only insufficient but also wholeheartedly inadequate to enable me to be in the position to give anything other than an incomplete and vague response to your enquiry. / I would feel trapped.

In a bigger nutshell…let’s not go there. / I would feel slightly less trapped.

You can find the little anorak girl here:

shop: http://www.thelittleanorakgirl.etsy.com

blog: http://thelittleanorakgirl.wordpress.com

flickrhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/thelittleanorakgirl/

Some more anorak cuteness and ready for some aspirin!

I spy something beginning with b...

I spy something beginning with b...


ooh a bunny notecard

ooh a bunny notecard


searching for moon cheese tiny notebook/card

searching for moon cheese tiny notebook/card


The creative masterminds

From the creative masterminds: And a happy weekend to you too!

Plain Bananas Has Friends

Plain Bananas Has Friends

Plain Bananas Has Friends

I thought things were bad but bearable without a phone line (yes, it has been a week but still no tone), but they got exponentially worse when we realized yesterday the internet was also cut. The shred of contact we had with anyone who wasn’t a local, has been severed for an indefinite amount of time. What am I feeling right now? Very definite hate for phone / internet companies and it’s a good thing it’s a Friday and I have friends.

Let me introduce you to Urbandesign, who stumbled on a new hobby and business after joining Etsy! If you haven’t noticed the paradox, let me tell you, things don’t run like that in the Etsy community; you open a shop after you’ve discovered your obsessive hobby. Unless you misread the signs and you’re lucky to unravel a side of you that you never knew existed.

This is urbandesign’s story.

She opened a jewelry shop last year on Etsy, and set to promote it, she started looking for good ways to photograph her creations. And that’s how her new love and absolute obsession was born: Photography. She purchased her real camera last spring and has let her artistic eye take her on a new journey. It wasn’t until February 2009 that she felt comfortable enough to sell her photos online on Etsy, where her shop suddenly became the centre of the focus.

Love Blooms II - 8x8 Fine Art Print

Love Blooms II - 8x8 Fine Art Print

In her brief and creative career as a photographer, she managed to get five photos selected for the set of the upcoming thriller The Roommate (released in 2010), much to her surprise and utter exultation. In her words, “I about had a stroke the day they sent me a [message] through Etsy asking for permission to use them!”

She tries to make time for her photography and often takes her three children along to her photographic adventures.

Thankfully, she had a little time left to tell me a little something about herself. Let me share it with you.

Pool of Bliss - 8x12 Fine Art Print

Pool of Bliss - 8x12 Fine Art Print

My name is…Maleah Matthews.

I make…fine art photography prints.

I’m inspired by…everything in nature. Nothing like being outdoors to get my creative juices flowing!

I cannot live without…my family — I adore my children and I can’t imagine my life without them or my husband.

All Things Beautiful - 8x12 Fine Art Print

All Things Beautiful - 8x12 Fine Art Print

An item I’ve made that was hard to let go…The only thing I’ve ever been sad to sell wasn’t something I made. It was my oldest child’s first Easter dress. I didn’t think it mattered that much to me, but when I packaged it up to mail I started bawling like a baby. Seems kinda silly now!

I create because…it is very relaxing to me. It is one of the only times I feel like I can escape from my crazy busy life.

I wish I…had more hours in the day so that I could  do all the things that I’m always creating in my head!

If I could learn another art it would be…someday I would like to try painting or quilting.

My website is…www.urbandesign.etsy.com

The Sparrow - 8x8 Fine Art Print

The Sparrow - 8x8 Fine Art Print

I blog because…it’s a fun way to connect with other people, artists and bloggers. I’ve met some of the nicest people this way!

One day…I hope to travel more; there are so many beautiful places to photograph!

I started…a Facebook fanpage last month and that has been a really fun way to interact and get feedback on my photos.

I always…enjoy a hike with my kids.

If I were a color I would be…blue — it’s my fave!

Stars In The Sky - 8x12 Fine Art Photograph

Stars In The Sky - 8x12 Fine Art Photograph

My full-time job…I own a salon with a staff of 25 people, and I’m a hairstylist

In a nutshell…I love that I get to create and do what I enjoy!

In a bigger nutshell: I would love for photography business to grow to the point that I could spend more my time doing this and getting paid for it! I’m working towards a photography vacation with my family!

Here’s where you can find urbandesign:

shop: http://www.urbandesign.etsy.com

blog: http://urbandj.blogspot.com/

Or you can become a fan: http://facebook.com/pages/Urban-Design-Photography/86438245904

I leave you with some more of her romantic photos and a note: You have Internet, and I don’t, so enjoy it!

The Old Grove - 8x8 Fine Art Print

The Old Grove - 8x8 Fine Art Print

Town Meeting - 8x12 Fine Art Print

Town Meeting - 8x12 Fine Art Print

Dream Scape - 8x12 Fine Art Print

Dream Scape - 8x12 Fine Art Print

Poppy Enchanted - 8x8 Fine Art Print

Poppy Enchanted - 8x8 Fine Art Print

Plain Banans Has Friends

Plain Bananas Has Friends

Plain Bananas Has Friends

If it’s one thing I like (well, actually I like too many things, but regardless), it’s dressing up in costume. I’ve always been the dreamy kind of costume dresser: come carnival or Halloween, I always opted for the chic, feminine look, dressing up as a high class lady or a jazzy flapper from the ’20s, much to the general confusion of my other 10-year-old friends. I did the flapper look 4 times over the years because as I grew up, I actually went beyond the suave pretty dresses of the time, I realized that the period truly captivated me.

As it turns out, I’m not the only one inspired by all that razzle dazlle. Meet Matou En Peluche. You can call her Sam if you like — it is, after all, her real name.  Yes, hello Friday — it’s time for some friend time.

November Wallflowers- 4 X 6 print

November Wallflowers- 4 X 6 print

This Australian artist holds a degree in Education and is currently teaching English as a Second Language (like this banana over here). Her heart, however, has always belonged to the Arts, and liked being involved with anything artistic – from pottery to performance art. Her secret favorite? Drawing.

As a university student at Sydney university, she drew at the “dungeons” of the student newspaper, and later followed-up as a freelance illustrator and cartoonist for a range of publications — from children’s books to Mad Magazine — before obtaining specific training as an  ESL teacher. She joined Etsy about a year ago and has felt overwhelmed by the incredible talent, connections and wonderful things it has to offer.

So what’s all this French about? Here, meet Harry, your average plush tomcat, and also her dad’s beloved pet.

Harry

Harry

But what does Sam have to say for all this?

My name is…Samantha (Sam) Battersby.

I make…charcoal and pastel drawings of quirky fur and feathers and stylish gals.

I’m inspired by…everything!

I cannot live without…my boyfriend, my Dad and his cat Harry and time alone to draw.

Art Deco Flapper - print

Art Deco Flapper - print

An item I’ve made that was hard to let go…was a drawing of a butterfly I drew for a friend as a present when I was 10 years old.

I create because…it’s such an incredible adventure!

I wish I…could fly!

If I could learn another art it would be…to be able to play a vibraphone (it’s like a xylophone but a bit different!)

My website is…http://www.matouenpeluche.typepad.com

I blog because…it’s the most fun you can have with a keyboard and mouse!

Irene and her BLUE VELVET COAT - print

Irene and her BLUE VELVET COAT - print

One day…I’d like to live in a house with a garden, my nearest and dearest and a couple of pussy cats.

I started…knitting a scarf last year but I still haven’t finished it!

I always…enjoy a good laugh!

If I were a color I would be…duck egg blue.

My full-time job…is thinking about beautiful things to draw.

In a nutshell…I’d be happy to become a drawing hermit.

In a bigger nutshell…actually, I think I’m a drawing hermit in truth already!

Here’s where you can find Sam:

blog: http://matouenpeluche.typepad.com

shop: http://www.matouenpeluche.etsy.com

I leave you with some more plush drawings.

Have a jazzy Friday!

Love - print

Love - print

Lovely Rita - 4 X 6 print

Lovely Rita - 4 X 6 print

Little Blue Bird of Happiness II - print

Little Blue Bird of Happiness II - print

Little Geisha Girl - 4 X 6 print

Little Geisha Girl - 4 X 6 print

Plain Bananas Has Friends

Plain Bananas Has Friends

Post #1

It’s Friday and I have friends (sorry, The Cure). Yes, I do, and what’s more I want you to meet them.

Wanting to put my journalism degree to some good use (other than dust collector) I decided to run a feature on Fridays on artists I either like, connect with or am inspired by (sometimes, all three, of course). It will keep me on my journalistic toes and it will introduce you to some wonderfully creative people — not to mention give you an ever-expanding list of options of presents you could surprise me with.

So without further ado, I present you Kreativlink, from Austria.

As a child, she was sure that the distant year of 2000 would find her in an artistic persona, and oddly enough it has. She worked as a self-employed web-designer / programmer before she decided to devote herself full time to the arts and the world of journal-making. Lucky for us, of course.

Let’s get to know her better, shall we?

My name is…Renate Ikinger a.k.a. Kreativlink.

I makemostly journals from suede but also painted fabric ones.

Swirly Growings, painted fabric journal

Swirly Growings, painted fabric journal

I’m inspired bynature mostly and my somewhat crazy brain that often brings up strange ideas.

I cannot live withoutmy loved ones, enough time for me alone, frozen snickers, diet coke, laughter, dreaming, trees.

An item I’ve made that was hard to let gooh there where many. Probably this one.

I create because…I’m not good in other jobs.

I wish I…won the lottery and could make a crazy “supplies around the world” shopping trip!

Hidden, original drawing, ink and watercolors

Hidden, original drawing, ink and watercolors

If I could learn another art it would be…ceramics.

My website is…http://www.kreativlink.at

I blog because…it’s fun.

One day…I’ll live in a house by the sea.

I started…because I could not afford sketchbooks with good paper in it.

Birds on a Wire, leather journal, suede

Birds on a Wire, leather journal, suede

I always…think that life still does suprise me.

If I were a color, I would be…purple. Or more realistically, black. Everything, but not pink.

My full-time job…is it. Starving artist. Oh yeah…

In a nutshell…should better be a nut!

In a bigger nutshell…ought to be an even bigger nut!

Here’s where you can find Renate:

blog: http://www.kreativlink.at

shop:http://etsy.kreativlink.at

flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kreativlink/

twitter: http://twitter.com/kreativlink

Or become a fan on Facebook: http://de-de.facebook.com/people/Renate-Kreativlink-Ikinger/1523500282

I leave you with a sneak peek at Renate’s workspace and some more of her wonderful creations.

Have a creative Friday!

Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes

Insomnia, painted fabric journal

Insomnia, painted fabric journal

My Flowers Are Alien, painted fabric journal

My Flowers Are Alien, painted fabric journal

Hungry Dog, original drawing, ink and watercolors

Hungry Dog, original drawing, ink and watercolors