Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I'm back! :-)

Well - I finally got the latest bout of Fibromyalgia under control and am feeling better than ever! I plan to get back into writing my Etsy artist features beginning next week. THANKS and many hugs to all my readers! Your continued support has helped me through a difficult time...
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Friday, May 22, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: hilariagalleries

The artist behind hilariagalleries says that she is a "fun, accessible gal in love with vintage fashion, nature-inspired abstracts, the color red, and my sweet little family." She also admits that she loves "saving money - and getting a good deal is of utmost importance when I'm on the shopping path." She has had a "myriad" of occupations in her short life, but enjoys her current one most--"artist, mom, wife." She finds inspiration all around her - "but that's such a cheesy answer,"she admits. "I truly find an abundant variance of items throughout each day that light a fire--a commercial on TV, books from the library, a little birdie on the dogwood outside my front door. Whenever I see something I'd like to replicate or use in a piece, I take a mental note (and sometimes a written one too, if my brain's too full at the moment)." Her ever changing eclectic style reflects images of someone "who might paint an abstract in the morning and then a custom pin-up that same night." She explains that, "Though it may work for others, I don't believe it's necessary to pigeon-hole yourself into a single genre. If I do, the muse gets bored and my work becomes stale. My palette rotates and subject matters range from the most literal to the least figural. It's all in the mood of the day." Although she has been painting since the age of 7, she doesn't believe she has become an artist until the last 4 years. "My hand became more confident and my mind expanded beyond it's perimeter just enough to capture a bit of raw beauty on a canvas," she says. "When I worked in a cubicle for a while, I felt like a little piece of my soul died each morning." Please check out her shop: http://hilariagalleries.etsy.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: raycious

Rie is a Japanese transplant in Australia with an Aussie fiance, a dog, and birds. "We both enjoy being involved in our own craft," she admits. "My inspiration is coming from my country Japan. We have a lot of traditional craft/art which I love to spread all over the world!" Of course her mother and fiance are also a huge inspiration. Her Saikumono style is a "very delicate way of a hand sewn craft from time gone by in which disappeared during the period of war, but now it is revived anew." Pre WWII Japanese women used the art of Saikumono to express the beauty of nature throughout the four seasons. Please check her out on Etsy: http://saikumono./

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist:HammelmanArt

I don't know about you, but I'm ready for Spring!
Linda Hammelman is a native Missourian, who transplanted to Texas, Iowa, and Virginia - and is now at home again in St. Louis. For the last 12 years she has held the position of Director and Treasurer of the Saint Louis Watercolor Society - and has studied watercolor with over 15 internationally known watercolorists. She has received numerous awards for her eclectic paintings and is a signature member of the Saint Louis Watercolor Society. "The colorful, splashy, energetic quality of watercolor appeals to me," she admits. "My favorite subjects reflect my interest in boating, flowers, people and places. And the very process of brushing watercolor onto the paper is a joy." She explains that "color is the primary thread among my paintings where style and subject vary widely." For the last 13 years she has been painting exclusively in watercolor. Although she says it's a hobby, she "pays many dividends through personal gratification and the privilege of sharing." She is ecstatic that "Etsy is a great venue for sellers and buyers alike." She says, "There is an aura of friendliness and community that is not found everywhere on the Internet." Please check out her Etsy shop: http://hammelmanart.etsy.com/ and Blog: http://hammelmanart.blogspot.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: lenoirdesigns

The artist behind lenoirdesigns is an "introverted, laid back guy that loves art, shooting pool and a variety of genres of music." His inspiration "comes from everyday life." It can be the "intimacy and passion from (an) interpersonal relationship, the day to day surroundings from politics to spiritual views and finding beauty in small things." He describes his eclectic style as "contemporary urban flair" or "abstract figurative." A lifelong artist, he's been selling his works professionally for 10 years. He appreciates Etsy for allowing him to find an online following. Please check out his shop: http://lenoirdesign.etsy.com/ and website: http://lenoirdesigns.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs


Monday, May 18, 2009

$556.00 and counting...

Well, I cut 14" of my hair (braided) and donations are still rolling in. I've collected $556.00 so far - and while it's just a drop in the bucket, every bit helps. I'm actually liking my shorter hair. It's easier to take care of and a little cooler for the summer, so I've been wearing it down more, which my husband loves. It's been painful raising awareness and funds at work (LONG story), but I know there is something bigger than a few people's egos, so I persisted, going along with my efforts. I beat my goal by $56.00 and am happy to be able to help someone in need. All I can say is that all the pitfalls have been worth it. I'd rather be fired, living in a cardboard box - than win a popularity contest at work and stand idly by when I know I could help. It's a sad day in history when doing the right thing could get you in trouble (or cast you in a bad light), but I guess that says more about the people I work for than it says about me. At any rate, I'm proud of what I did and the money I raised and would do it again in a heartbeat. God bless you, Ramsey! Get well soon!
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http"//dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Friday, May 1, 2009

Would you like to help a child battle Leukemia?


In the spirit of St. Baldrick’s I am running my own fundraiser to help pay for Ramsey Farrar’s medical treatment. I will cut my long hair in WW19 and donate it to Locks of Love, but I need your help. 100% of the proceeds of any donation will go directly to Ramsey (I will pay for the haircut out of my own pocket as well as make a monetary donation). If you are interested please contact me (Wendy Baylis) at mrsbaylis2004@yahoo.com
Thanks,
Wendy :-)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: schin

Schin Hern Loong admits that she loves bad puns. "The worse, the better," she jokes. "My guilty pleasure is listening to bad pop music." She also enjoys milk tea and "go(es) out of (her) way to step on crunchy, dry leaves." Nature and Life in general are a huge inspiration to her. "Yesterday I found myself wanting to paint something based on the golden colors of a cute puppy," she explains. "The subject is important to me as I always try to incorporate a story or idea in it. It's my mission that when someone sees a painting of mine, they will form their own story for it." She has been drawing and painting ever since she can remember - and considers Etsy a hobby. "It's not a job when one enjoys it," she says. "Keep the passion in your work." Please check out Etsy her shop: http://schin.etsy.com/, website: http://schin-art.com/, and blog: http://schin-art.blogspot.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: DeepCreekStudios

John is a full-time photographer and has been exhibiting fine art prints of his work for over 20 years. He started out as a writer for a newspaper, but was captivated by photography while in college. "When I saw that first B&W print come up in the developer tray I was hooked," he admits. Like many artists, nature's beauty is a huge inspiration to him. He is also interested in architecture - especially rural churches. "I like to imagine the people of a small town coming together to build their church and I find that many of these churches are simple and beautiful, made of wood and made with love," he explains. "I try to show the world as I see it," he says of his craft. Etsy has been a great opportunity for him to reach a wider audience and he is "excited to be a part of that creative community." He advises his fellow artists to "keep to your vision and create work that excites YOU, because that excitement always shows in the work." Please check out his shop: http://deepcreekstudios.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: Corbaecreative

By day Aimee Tuck is a freelance graphic designer working for companies that focus on renewable energy and senior housing. "I’m a gigantic geek at night," she admits, "speaking with earnest about the last Battlestar Galactica episode, but have no idea who played in the last Superbowl." She lives and works out of an old 1917 fixer-upper that she seems to be working on constantly. A large part of her inspiration comes from her "incredibly artistic, talented, and funny husband" as well as the beautiful Pacific Northwest. "Although I primarily work with paper, I’m not limited by it," she says of her craft, "often using beads, yarn, string, metal, and other objects in my creations." She enjoys making things, but the Capricorn in her mandates they be useful. "I love the idea of someone using what I created to communicate – sending a card, writing in their journal, etc." After a 2002 trip to Japan she also began making keepsake boxes. "Even their most mundane store wrappings around a book are just beautiful. I wanted to combine that pleasure of receiving and opening something beautiful with an item that doesn’t get thrown in the trash – that can be reused." A lifelong creative soul, she jokes, "I have vivid memories of learning to sew absolutely horrid doll clothes, of painting a clay dinosaur bright red for a grade school diorama, and an eighth-grade science fair in which I was much more interested in making the display than in the actual experiment." Etsy has been a great opportunity for her to connect with other artists - and customers aside from friends and family. "I love being a part of a world-wide community of so many artisans and crafters, and bore people to tears telling them of the amazing things I’ve found on the Etsy site." Please check out her shop: http://corbaecreative.etsy.com/ and website: http://corbaecreative.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: TheArtisticNewts

North Carolina mosaic artist Elizabeth Newton originally hailed from Augusta, Georgia. Much of her inspiration comes from fairy tales ("especially the lesser know ones with really oddball morals at the end") and her travels to "odd" places. She also has a fascination with renaissance fashion. "No, I don't hang out at Renaissance fairs," she jokingly adds. However she does dabble in many other art forms, including painting and jewelry making. "I love making really large stained glass mosaics just for the wow factor because they are quite impressive in person," she says. Although she's been honing her craft for 5 years, she's been a lifelong artist. "I guess if I can count crayoning on the walls and making my mother insane." While her art is just a hobby right now, she hopes to turn it into her career - if she can get over her shyness and start promoting herself. "I just signed up for my first (craft show) in Thomasville, NC on May 2 and I think I'm already having mini panic attacks about it," she admits. "I actually kind of miss things when they sell and I have to send them off. Please check out her shop: http://TheArtisticNewts.etsy.com and Blog: http://theartisticnewts.blogspot.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: ambaarts

Tarini has been a devotee of the Goddess since high school. "I love Her in Her many forms, but have worshiped Ma Kali for the last 15 years," she explains. "I love to worship Her through painting, puja (traditional Hindu ritualistic worship), and meditation." A 1994 graduate of Laguna college of Art and Design, she admits that watercolors are her favorite medium, although she also enjoys working with clay. Her inspiration comes from the Goddess in her many forms, including nature. "My dreams and spiritual practice inform my art and my art informs my dreams and practice," she says. "I try to immerse myself in the atmosphere/influence of the deity I am painting. " She is also inspired by others who "strive to inspire and uplift through their art and service." Through Etsy she hopes to "bring my (her) and love of the Goddess to people who wouldn’t otherwise see it." Please check out her shop: http://ambaarts.etsy.com/ and blog: http://ambaarts.blogspot.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: glasswench

Kelli Graves' love affair with stained glass began several years ago, after a shoulder injury prohibited her from becoming a potter. A simple visit to the cathedrals of Paris sparked her interest - and after an Adult Education class in the craft she was "hooked like a trout on the line." Inspiration can come from anywhere. "I love color," she admits, "in general; intense, saturated, rich or subtle, it doesn't matter, color is a visual feast for me." She has a soft spot for patterns as well - especially tapestries, batiks, and henna art. "I love the play of light (I almost called my blog by that name), the way it filters through clouds, sprinkles through the leaves of a tree. The patterns and shifts of light from a coming storm, or approaching thunderhead. The soft, caressing light of dawn, and the brilliant, aggressive light of sundown." Artistic, even as a child, she remembers drawing "big fancy Jessica McClintock dresses." Eventually she moved on to gardening and picture framing - and even jewelry design. She had an interest in glass arts since high school, but never really pursued her love until the fateful trip to Paris. "I became completely obsessed with it," she explains. "It satisfies all my creative needs, from finding or making the pattern, to color and texture selection, to the detail of cutting and forming the puzzle pieces of the glass, to joining it all together, for that final glorious moment when you can lift the completed piece up to the light and discover the true character of what you have been imagining." While her art is just a hobby at this point (she is a skincare therapist by day), she admits that trying to turn it into a business "sucked the majority of the joy out of it." For that reason alone, she has resisted selling her creative works, even to friends and family. Only now is she allowing herself to get her name out there because she has so many ideas for projects - and nowhere to hang them all. "So I make them, enjoy them for a bit, and then offer them for sale to my friends - and now the world at large via Etsy." Please check out her Etsy shop: http://glasswench.etsy.com/ and blog: http://glasswench.wordpress.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Monday, April 6, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: MrBenWu

Ben Wu may just be a pen name, but it suits the artist perfectly: a fusion of East Meets West. "I'm a 31 year old white guy in love with all things Asian," he jokes, "and I live in the rural depths of Tennessee, dangling somewhere just southeast of the Bible Belt." He already has three "traditionally" printed books (The Macabre Alphabet, An Ivory Chopstick, and Very Naughty Figs) as well as "some privately printed and bound volumes that I sell exclusively on Etsy or just to friends/fans." He has also done illustration work for several websites, including goreydetails.net and logospilgrim.com. "My first art-love was medieval art," he admits. "Strangely enough that lead me to Aubrey Beardsley. Which lead me to Edward Gorey. That is where the bones of my art technique came from." Around the age of 20 he "fell head over hills in love with China (and Japan to a lesser extent), not just the art, but the culture." He explains, "Chinese art, calligraphy, Peking opera, Chinese classical novels and philosophy all play a part in my life and my art." His love of Asian cultures in showcased beautifully in his intricate drawings. "I rely heavily on cross-hatching," he says of the process, "and I love to fill every inch of the page with something: weird details, hidden names, and faces." He started his artistic pursuits at the tender age of 4 while in the hospital with cancer. "I'd draw dinosaurs on my father's Styrofoam coffee cups," he admits. "From then on, I never stopped doodling on any scrap of paper that I can find." While his art has been a good source of income he is eager to find something outside his own creations. "I have spent the last ten years working on my books and my art in seclusion. Now, I want to get out and reintroduce myself to the world. I've sort of missed it." Etsy has been a great place for him to meet fellow artists - and buy handmade. When asked if he had any advice to share, he joked, "No matter what group of people I'm addressing (be it prostitutes or preachers) my advice is always the same: be persistent. If you don't get any nibbles on your hook, change your bait." Please check him out on Etsy: http://mrbenwu.etsy.com/ and on his website: http://ben-wu.com/. He also has a LiveJournal for his Studio of Little Consequence, which he maintains mostly for friends, but adds, :However if anyone wants to add me (and bear the horrors of my personal ramblings), I will usually add them back." http://jade-teacup.livejournal.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: CanesGalactica

Christine is a 24 year old illustrator, artist, and lover of cosplay. Originally from the Midwest, she moved to Virginia Beach with her 2 cats and 9 tarantulas to be with her husband, who is in the US Navy. She graduated UCM with a degree in illustration, but admits she's more into watercolors and fiber art lately. "Books are very inspirational to me - as are fashion, cosplay (people dressing up as their favorite characters from television, movies, etc.), and sushi," she says. "I LOVE sushi." A lot of her work is also reminiscent of her passion for history, mythology, and whimsical fairy tales. "Nearly anything and everything can inspire me," she explains, "even found objects on the side of the road." She describes her style as "chaotic neutral," a Dungeons and Dragons reference. "That essentially means that most of the time I do art and crafts that make me happy, but I do not enjoy the suffering of others, so if my art or hobbies could help someone in some way, I would help, but I don't specifically go out of my way to make anything and everyone happy," she explains. Strongly bonded to her art, she feels that it is a "projection of a tiny piece of my soul." Etsy has been a great way for her to connect with other artists and "goof off." She recommends everyone "hav(e) fun with your business, not treating it like some giant burden where you have to churn out 'x amount' of a certain product by 'x date.' It's good to set deadlines, but you don't want them to feel like they are overtaking your life or causing you to not enjoy your creative side." Please check her out on Etsy: http://canesgalactica.etsy.com/ and Deviant Art: http://canesgalactica.deviantart.com/

-Wendy Baylis

Dharma Designs

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: tashdesigns

The Sri Lankan American artist behind tashdesigns opened shop a mere week ago, but has already caught my eye with this gorgeous Medicine Buddha painted in the Tibetan thangka style. "I just posted my first painting on Etsy a few days ago and I am in the process of adding more." A graduate of UC Berkeley, tashdesigns was born in the US, but "find(s) that it is necessary to be true to your culture." South Asian iconography has been a huge influence - especially Buddha images. "Follow your heart and love your craft and embrace your culture." Please check out this brand-spanking new Etsy shop: http://tashdesigns.etsy.com/

Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: Kozue

Originally from Japan, Kozue moved to the US last summer to get married. "When I was a kid, I used to buy monthly girls comics, which Japanese girls love," she admits. "I liked imitating (the) comic books. I guess that's where my recent style comes from." It all started with a fascination with drawing crying girls. "I see beautiful thing in crying girls," she explains. "They are weak. They are strong. They are beautiful." Pencil is her medium of choice - "simple, yet complicated, which shows your feeling, emotion, and each person’s character." She says that the most beautiful thing about drawing is that "you can’t draw a perfect line or circle like (as) computer." She also fell in love with the art and process of carving rubber stamps - merely a month ago. It's hard to believe it's only been several weeks since she began her new foray since her work is so crisp and polished; simple yet emotional like her drawings.Please check out her shop: http://kozue.etsy.com/ and Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/girlsarecrying/

-Wendy Baylis

Dharma Designs

Monday, March 30, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: paisleybleu

Shelley is the mother of 4 year old fraternal twins, who works nights full time as an RN2. Her children have been an excellent test market for her baby inspired creations, which evolved from wanting something hipper than the typical pink, yellow, and blue designs. "I work all night, come home, play with the kids, throw on pj's and sew," she says of her hobby turned second job. Eventually she'd love to turn her Etsy endeavor into her sole income and work at home, so she could spend more time with her kids. She recommends her fellow artists never give up. "Even when it seems like there are new laws and regulations staring us in the face, together we can make a difference." Please check out her shop: http://paisleybleu.etsy.com/ and website: http://paisleybleu.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Friday, March 27, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: HarryBoardman

As a fellow portrait artist, this next Etsian caught my eye awhile back...


Harry is often inspired by nature and his "fairly immediate surroundings," which includes the rolling hills of Pennsylvania. "I think half of the paintings hanging for sale right now are based on the street we live on," he jokes. With an ever changing variety of styles that runs the gamut of classic to abstract, he admits, "I have the attention span of a child or tiny insect." He says people often mistake his myriad of styles for those of several artists. "To that end, I try to keep specific series going so that there is enough of each style to create a cohesive look," the life long artist explains. "Some of my earliest memories are of making fantastic colorful messes." Eventually, in 2004, he started a business for his fine art and portraits. "Etsy is an interesting creature," he says. "I try to use Etsy as a way to get my work out and be available to a wide audience for an affordable price." When asked if he had advice for his fellow artists, he joked, "I hate to influence and warp people's minds if I can avoid it." He later offered, "I would say to go with your gut and do what you think is right. This community (and it is that) is just as understanding and as weird and awesome as you are." Please check out his shop: http://harryboardman.etsy.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: NamasteSilks

I found this next artist while searching Etsy for a gift for a male friend. I was excited to find someone who hand painted men's neckties - with Buddha, no less...


Susan grew up in a Philadelphia suburb, "loving school, nature, and art." If she wasn't enjoying the great outdoors, she was busy behind her sewing machine making her own school clothes. "I have always been fascinated by the creative process and the handmade results," she admits of her urge to learn a myriad of mediums. "My professional path evolved from college as a Textile/Fashion design major to designing in NYC, to motherhood, to custom wedding gown designing, then to elementary school teacher for 9 years," she explains. "Midlife and the 'empty nest' were my gateway to intensive study in areas of wellness, human development, healing arts and spirituality." She eventually developed a life coaching program with her acupuncturist husband "to empower professionals with mind/body techniques for optimal living." Her own creativity has been empowering - and a true stress reliever. "I wanted to offer a form of this process to clients and now hold silk painting classes for clients." As for her own creativity, fellow Etsy artists are a huge inspiration to her - as well as nature, ancient art, and spirituality. "Midlife has gifted me with a deeper sense of purpose and meaning seeking as a joyful pursuit," she says of her creative approach. "My intention is to not only create something beautiful, but something meaningful for people to connect to in the way I look to connect." Like most Etsians, she values handmade objects - whether for art or functionality. In fact, like me, she originally joined Etsy as a buyer before even dreaming of selling her eclectic silks. While she describes the sewing as a "conscious creation, the artistic design is all heart. "I think to have a quality product good enough to sell it must have this head/heart connection," she explains. Please check out her shop: http://namastesilks.etsy.com/ and website: http://thechristophergroupheals.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: reflectionsoflight

"I've been creating as long as I can remember," Sharilyn admits. "I've always got my fingers into something." Creativity has always been a "need" for her, not just a passion. "Photography is one of my first loves," she explains. "In planning an upcoming trip I am very excited about the photo opportunities I am going to encounter." Although she has worked for years in education, she recently shifted focus to her art, which she aims to make functional as well as aesthetic. Painting ceramics has been the perfect combination for her. An avid hiker and lover of the outdoors, nature often inspires her - as with the beautiful bamboo sushi set. "A country girl at heart, anything in nature is beautiful and appealing and I love to represent a small part of that in what I create." In fact - that is why she named her shop Reflections of Light. "Perhaps I can take a small piece of the beauty of nature and reflect it in something I make." Please check out her shop: http://reflectionsoflight.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: KeepsakesByKristie

Aside from being a jewelry artist, Kristie Jones is a 38 year old stay at home mom to "three terrific children" and a few cats, dog, and birds. "I’m a lover of the Victorian era and collect period clothing," she admits. "My interest have a wide range - I am not above panning for gold in Alaska or digging for emeralds in North Carolina." Thankfully she also hunts the beach for treasures to use in her beautiful jewelry designs. "I was fortunate to grow up in a very artsy crafty family," she says. With talented quilt makers for a mother and grandmother, she followed in their footsteps. Eventually her grandmother taught her the Victorian art of redwork. "I have done some very intricate Victorian portraits; you know the big hats and bustles." Jewelry came came later. "It was actually my daughters who inspired me to make the jewelry when they saw it at some sort of festival and had mentioned to me how much they loved the sea glass jewelry," she explains. "So after years of ignoring the glass on the beach I started to pick it up and make a few things for the girls and the rest of my family." Her earthy designs show off the natural beauty of the found pieces, letting the glass take center stage. "I am not fond of overshadowing the natural beauty of the sea glass, I am often afraid that if I use too many extras I’ll lose what first attracted me to it." She lets the treasures "speak" to her and inspire her to create something special. "I am often overwhelmed with ideas and not enough time to try them out," she jokes. "There are so many talented people out here that I am just proud to be selling my creations along side them," she says of her fellow Etsians. Please check out her shop: http://keepsakesbykristie.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: blueart1999

Adipa discovered art when she visited a gallery and knew that she wanted to create beautiful images like the ones she had seen. She learned her craft by trial and error over the next 10 years - and lots of practice through the years. Her sister, also an artist, has been her inspiration and, at times, a teacher - showing her how to mix colors. She hopes people will love her work. Please check out her shop: http://blueart1999.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist HBeliveaux

Heather was born into art. Her father was an architect and both of her parents owned a graphics shop. Close family friends were in the theatre, which led to her brief obsession with ballet and Indian dance. "Art is like oxygen for me," she explains. Growing up she became interested in world cultures, even living in Russia during the early '90s. "That translated into majoring in Russian and Eastern European Studies in college," she says. "The deeper I delved into the ways of the world the more interested I became in human rights issues." Inspired to help, she went to law school and began practicing law, but admits to feeling "out of balance." It wasn't long before she found herself submerged in the world of art again, making cards and invitations in her free time. She and her husband soon started a web based business (http://circleearth.com/) to carry her stationary and crafts from other artists who share their view that "earth is one country, mankind its citizens." Unfortunately she felt as if she was spending more time on business rather than art and ended up starting her own venture - Lucky Bug, which was inspired by her daughter's nickname Ladybug. "Sophia is a surviving twin and my miracle baby," she explains. "After extreme complications during my pregnancy, Sophia and her sister, Lily Grace, were born four months early. My Lily lived two months. Sophia, weighing only 10 ounces at birth, is one of the smallest babies in the world to survive." Her daughter spent 6 months in intensive care, which was a life changing experience. "It was a self-study in the meaning of life and the purpose of our existence. Going through hell and back with her care and struggles, my purpose began crystallizing." As her daughter's health improved she found herself drawn to Yoga and art "as a way to process (her) experience and emotions as a new mother to two children in completely different planes of existence." Many of her creations are influenced by her experience and "curiosities." Inspiration often comes from her world travels and friends of other cultures - as well as her favorite poets: Tagore and Hafiz. Although she still practices law part time, she stays at home to care for her daughter, who requires weekly physical therapy and doctors visits, "bask(ing) in the moments many said would never be possible with her." Please check out her shop: http://hbeliveaux.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: temple7e

Ohio artist Muluc began his artistic adventures with "graffiti" and street art before eventually finding his current niche. He, too, has a love of everything Asian, which is often reflected in his urban zen creations. "I get extremely inspired by seeing what others do," he says of his fellow artists. "There is just so much amazing creativity out there and it really turns me on." Although he has been drawing his entire life, he didn't experiment with other mediums until the age of 20. "If I weren't selling on Etsy I would still be making all of this anyway." Spoken like a true artist. He does make a little money, though, although not enough to quit his day job yet, which is his goal. "Be patient and allow your shop time and space to grow," he recommends. "Keep your quality and shop appearance tight and be prompt and clear in your communication." And of course, "Love your customers." Please check out his shop: http://temple7e.etsy.com/ and blog: http://temple7e.blogspot.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Monday, March 16, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: sweptfromthesea

Like me, Canadian jewelry artist Cheri Bourque, has Fibromyalgia. "It has been my best friend and worst enemy for 12 years," she says. "It is my best friend (when) it makes me get things done ASAP because I never know what tomorrow will bring. It is my worst enemy (when) my tomorrows are filled with pain and fatigue," she explains. Instead of giving up or giving in, she pushes through and manages to follow her heart, creating simple modern jewelry from beach glass. Much of her inspiration comes from the West Coast. "I haven't always lived in Victoria. I grew up in Northern Ontario next to Lake Superior (also very beautiful), but I always wished that I lived near the ocean." Now only half a block away from the beach, she doesn't take it for granted. "I design what I want to wear," she admits. Although she has been a crafter for quite some time, she started Swept From The Sea Designs professionally 3 years ago. "I owe my crafting addiction to my mother who introduced me to crocheting 15 years ago," she jokes. "Running an online business takes time and requires tons of patience. I find that advertising outside of Etsy the key to making progress." Please check out her shop: http://sweptfromthesea.etsy.com/ and website: http://sweptfromtheseadesigns.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My Latest Finds From The Grocery Outlet...

Like everybody else out there I prefer to eat well - even on a budget. Many of you know one of my favorite stores is the Grocery Outlet. Here are just a few of my recent finds there...
POM iced coffee - just .99! They normally go for $3.49
Paul Newman's spaghetti sauce for $1.99 (my favorite to use as a pizza sauce) - usually $2.99
Seeds of Change orrganic chocolate bars for .99!
Hagen Daazs Butter Toffee Pudding icecream for .99
You just can't beat that. If you haven't checked it out, I highly reccomend that you do. GO, I LOVE you! :-)
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Friday, March 13, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: DanaLaymon

North Carolina native Dana Laymon has a full time job, but hopes to eventually make her art her career. Like many artists, she finds inspiration in nature. "Cute married couples in love" are also a source, she admits. Her laid back, ethereal style creates windows in time - immortalized in photographs - although her favorite pictures are candid glimpses of people. "I've been doing photography ever since I was young, but really became serious about it about 6 years ago," she explains. "I realized I wanted to do it for a living." By day, she's a wedding photographer - and by night, an artist. "I take my camera with me everywhere I go." Please check out her shop: http://danalaymon.etsy.com/, Blog: http://danalaymon.blogspot.com/, and Website: http://danalaymon.com/

Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Meet Etsy Soap Maker & Artist: DirtyAssSoaps

This sushi looks good enough to eat, but it's actually soap...
Hip 29 year old artist Alison Kowalsky is a New York native, who recently transplanted to Boston. She fell in love with soap making at 18 when her friend Amber got her a kit as a gift. "It included some glycerin melt & pour soap, soap fragrances, colors, and molds," she explains. "She invited me to make some soaps with her and I was immediately hooked!" Soon, she was making soap with her Mom and her passion grew from there as she experimented and learned the ropes of her craft. She no longer purchases the supplies from a craft store. Instead, she focuses on organic handmade materials - and an amazing sense of humor and fun - to create her whimsical designs, which often look like junk food or toys. "When I want to make soap, I usually start out in a restaurant or grocery store," she says of her creative process. "I look at food and how it's displayed. Even if it's someone else's food, I will probably stare at it and make some mental notes." She brainstorms with her boyfriend, too. "The best thing we've done for the business is to cover the dining room table with trace paper. We draw, doodle, sketch and write notes, jot numbers and math equations. After trying different ways to solve the problem of making the soap at hand, we pick the best one. We make it, photograph it, and put it online." She started with prefab molds, but progressed to making a lot of her own. "Trial and error is my friend," she jokes, "and if I didn't make the mistakes, I don't think I would have gotten as far as I have." All of her soaps are vegan - free of animal fats, milks, honeys, and insect dyes - even the fried bacon design. She started her Etsy shop two years, unsure whether they would be a big hit on-line since a big draw to her soaps is the scent. Eventually she listed her Cupcake and Cheeseburger soaps - and the rest is history. "There's a lot of Etsy love going on, and I love doing trades with people for awesome stuff," she admits. Please check out her shop: http://dirtyasssoaps.etsy.com/ and website: http://dirtyasssoaps.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: Yeshela24

Teryl grew up in the oceanfront town of Marblehead, Boston. "I was born in Salem, which had the history of the persecution of women healers," she explains. "I felt the pain of that suffering strongly as a child. My heart wanted to heal it." She also had an early passion for art. "We had tourists that came through the town in droves every summer and my first experience of selling my art was making sculptures from beach stones and then selling them to tourists," she says. By nine she had raised enough money from her work for a trip to France, where she spent time at the Ecole Freinet school, "which was created for the children of Filmmakers and Artists." Her time there was well spent. "We made art in the forest, created fetes(skits), created large sculptures, ate from a garden there at the school, skinny dipped in icy cold water each morning to awaken for the day, bathed in the sun in the afternoon. Quite an awakening from Boston puritanism," she jokes. "I learned that art could be integrated with nature and every moment of life. Art was not a compartmentalized element." At 19 she travelled the world on her own for 18 months: China, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, Burma, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Israel, Greece, and Turkey. "I came home turning 21," she says. "I had surrendered my journey, listened to my heart and let it guide my journey." She worked in villages, taught English, and became a part of every community she visited. Upon her return she went to college, which is where she met her Tibetan teacher, "a cave dwelling yogi that had escaped persecution in Tibet and carried his (own) teacher out on his back." She says, "He taught through his presence rather than trying to impress externally. His purpose was to help other refugees and that was the only reason he had left the cave and his meditation." Awed by his dedication and resolve, she quickly started her own efforts to sponsor refugees. After Grad school she returned to Asia for meditation retreats in the sacred places she visited 12 years before. "On this journey I lived in Bali and shot much of the Lotus series seen on my website." Along the way she was diagnosed with breast cancer, but never let it get in the way of leading a full and happy life. She has triumphed over her illness, depending on her spiritual Faith and art to see her through the tough times. She reminds her fellow artists to "encourage each other." Please check out her shop: http://yeshela24.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: innerlightarts

While Kristena sells her beautiful jewelry and art on Etsy, it was not always her primary site. She has also been very successful on Ebay, but with the site's downfall - and Etsy's uptick - she is focusing more on Etsy these days. "I am...rebuilding my Etsy (shop) and my http://www.innerlightarts.com/ site," she explains. A professional artist, she has also been a teacher for over 30 years. "I studied with shamans for years and taught basic & advanced shamanism and had a private practice for years," she says. With two degrees - one in fine art and the other in psych/communications - and a love of drawing, she has created many spiritual pieces, such as the one pictured above. In her work "you will see lots of images of powerful women." She uses humor and fantasy in her works to create joy and promote inner clarity. "I love supporting women making art," she admits. "A life long dream of mine was to design women's clothing, so I started http://www.sunheartclothing.com/ and am now designing and sewing small collections - which I am going to sell on Etsy." Please check out her shop: http://innerlightarts.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Monday, March 9, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: NotJustaVase

Four years ago Brian remodeled the bathroom and decided to paint art for the walls. "I ended up painting three canvases that I was really excited about," he says. That planted the seed for his foray into painting and digital art - and few weeks ago he opened his Etsy shop after a friend recommended the site. "I have always been interested in using my creativity," he admits. "I have spent the bulk of my adult life working in retail as a visual merchandiser." He has also been an avid photographer and began playing with Photoshop a few years ago. "All of this is like evolution and it leads me into this phase of my life." He finds a lot of inspiration in mid-century design. "There is so much from that era that I absolutely love: architecture, graphic design, interior design, fashion, and the advances in technology also shaped so much of the design aspects," he explains. "I like the clean and simple lines represented with this era of design. I also think that Asian influenced art is a great compliment to this. Especially the bold rich colors." Still working full time as a merchandiser, he follows his artistic passions on his time off. "It is a hobby now, but eventually I hope to make it more...I am getting my feet wet with Etsy and long term I hope to open a little boutique to sell my art along with vintage items, small home accessories, and tabletop items." He reminds us all to "believe in (ourselves) and (our) art." Please check out his shop: http://notjustavase.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Friday, March 6, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: metalwork

Aside from creating beautiful zen inspired home decor and furniture from copper, Tom Petrilli is also a roofing contractor. Most of his art displayed on Etsy was created in the slow winter months when work as a roofer slows to a screeching halt. "On most projects we have scrap metal left over, it always bothered me to see these shiny beautiful pieces of copper crushed and sent off the scrap yard, so I started making little things out of the remnants," he explains of his artistic beginning. "It started with really simple stuff like ashtrays (event though almost everyone I know has quit), birdhouses (they are all vacant and I can’t figure out why), and useless but lovely little boxes," he jokes. "I would give some of the stuff to clients if they paid their bill in a timely manner, some people really liked it, but I think most of the time my gifts would wind up in the back of their garage." Thankfully he kept at it. In fact, a large part of his inspiration came from a classified ad for a lot of old tools. "I love old tools," he admits. "When I saw what the man had to sell I bought everything he had. They were all sheet metal forming machines, cranked by hand, they make curves, beads and edges and they are all at least 150 years old. I wanted to put the machines back to work, despite their age they perform flawlessly." Although it took some time to learn how to use them with the aid of 90 year old books, he has developed quite a knack. Oddly enough, being a roofer has helped him as an artist - and vice versa. "I've been roofing for 17 years, almost every house has a weird little corner or oddly placed chimney that requires a creative solution to keep the building dry. The copper smithing work has made me a better roofer and roofing has made me a better coppersmith." His copper tables are generating interest, so although this is just a secondary job, he hopes to transition over to it one day. "For now this is my job http://www.lyonscontracting.com/ and I’m very happy to do it," he says. As for Etsy, he says the "real payoff is when someone writes to tell me how much they love something I’ve made." He admits that "when I’ve finished a roofing project and the client just gushes about how much they love the work we’ve done, about how beautiful it came out; that is a thousand times more satisfying then getting their final payment." He half-jokingly added, "I still need the check though; I can’t pay my mortgage with compliments." Please check out his shop: http://metalwork.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist & Potter: SynapseArtworks

The artist behind the hip Etsy shop SynapseArtworks is a 28 year old Salt Lake City potter and illustrator. Brian graduated in 2003 from the University of Wisconsin - Madison with a BFA, majoring in Philosophy. "I haven't been able to produce much art in the last two years since I recently took a job working and studying in the field of ocularistry," he explains of his time consuming job making prosthetic eyes. "It's a crazy, wonderful job I never anticipated falling into, which only about 120 other people in the country do." His shop may not be filled to the brim yet, but his modern take on a sake set struck my fancy right away. He hopes to have a studio up and running soon, where he'll focus on designing functional ceramics. "My more conceptual work, which is very time consuming and fussy, I show at Artisan Gallery in Paoli, WI," he says. "This is mostly inspired by art history and aesthetic theory. On Etsy, I tend to showcase my more functional ceramics work like teapots and sake sets, as well as t-shirts which I do just for entertainment and the fun of graphic design." He hopes to blend the screen printing he uses in his T-shirts with the ceramics in the near future. He describes his style as "tight, tidy, and often geometrical." Influenced by minimalism, his designs often showcase clean modern lines and geometric shapes. "I love all kinds of beverages, and hope to create vessels that elevate their consumption to a more conscious aesthetic experience; one in which there is an interplay between the subtleties of the drink and the art, each complimenting the other." Although his art is not his main source of income he does take it seriously and treats it as a second job. "You can check out http://synapseartworks.blogspot.com/, my horrendously un-updated blog for additional info," he jokes. Please check out his shop: http://synapseartworks.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: EasternSunPrintworks

"After a relatively calm life growing up in NJ, graduating from college, and teaching French in junior high school, I moved to Maine and went to graduate school," Nancy says. With an M.A. in French Lit, she set off on a 2 ½ year backpacking trip around the world. "I spent lots of time in the Orient as the quintessential Buddhist tourist, visiting temples and studying meditation. I kept written and painted journals throughout the trip. When I returned, I went to a month-long meditation program at a Buddhist center in Colorado where I met my husband, Tom." They later moved to Florida with their daughter where she started a card and stationary company 25 years ago. "I have a lovely studio in our backyard, surrounded by chirping birds, live oaks, and luscious bromeliads, very near the Fountain of Youth Park, in St. Augustine," she gushes. "I am a very happy, art-making maniac." Her imagination is endless, providing endless inspiration, but she also gleans ideas from "the infinite qualities of color, natural landscapes of many regions, and my love for Tibet." She explains, "The iconography of the Buddhist countries in the Himalayas is rich in imagery and is incredibly inspiring. I find it unbelievably satisfying to make something that I know is going to bring happiness to another being, maybe my neighbor or maybe someone who lives halfway around the world." All of the plates for her silkscreen designs are from hand drawn positives that are printed on 100% recycled papers. "I also use photography to enhance my 'seeing.'" She is also an accomplished illustrator and collage artist. "I’ve gotten a real kick out of being part of Etsy. It’s a supportive forum for artists and has lots of useful tools and guides. There is an inspiring mix of sheer talent, quirkiness, technology, ingenuity, and business savvy." Please check out her shop: http://easternsunprintworks.etsy.com

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Meet Ramsey Joseph Farrar

A friend of mine from work recently found out his young son has Leukemia. Ramsey Joseph Farrar is only 2 and a half years old, but has already gone through more than any child should ever have to. Just thought I'd spread the word about his condition and recovery process. Please check out his story: http://caringbridge.org/visit/ramseyfarrar I am selling 10 inches of my long hair on HairTrader.com (Ebay-like site for wig makers) and will donate the proceeds to his recovery: http://thehairtrader.com/viewlisting.asp?lid=253257
-Wendy Baylis

Dharma Designs

Friday, February 27, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: tHeENDpeace

Jennifer has many hobbies - from jewelry making, crocheting, cooking, baking, and even heirloom & organic gardening. "Tying in with my love to grow things, I also save seeds (for conservation purposes) and either sell them, keep them for the next year, or trade them with other gardeners," she explains. Her Sushi Dragon bracelet is not only gorgeous and fun, but captures all of her passions in one soulful piece. Another passion of hers is collecting. "I collect from yard sales, thrift stores, and antique stores," she admits. "I love to 're-create,' such as altered art charms." Like me, she also enjoys experiencing other cultures and has a deep appreciation for nature, as is evident in her gardening and repurposing of items. "I dislike waste and always try to think of a way to get another use out of an item." Aside from her art, she is also working on becoming a Special Education teacher. "Personally, I want to see the look of pride and accomplishment on a student's face when they learn something by thinking outside the box and being creative." Inspiration can come from anywhere - and usually pops up at inopportune moments. "Most of the time I get my best ideas when I should be paying attention in class or when I am trying to go to sleep," she jokes. Please check out her shop: http://tHeENDpeace.etsy.com
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com/

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: SteppingStones

Tracy Prince creates beautiful jewelry and natural cabinet pulls out of gorgeous beach stones and glass she finds with her husband and children along the Rhode Island coast. She describes herself as a "Jane of all trades" and admits that if she is not constantly creating she falls into a deep depression. "It doesn't have to be jewelry. It just has to be something I'm creating," she explains. Recently she tore out the entire downstairs bathroom - and although she doesn't have a plan for it yet, she has the drive and "constant need to make." Much of her inspiration comes from nature and she counts herself lucky to live in "such an amazing part of the country." Although her craft and passion is also her full time job - along with motherhood - she keeps a once a month position at a local emergency room as a Medical Assistant "just to talk to big people and not go out of my mind." Please check out their shop: http://steppingstones.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: gracebaleymosaics

Brooklyn artist Grace Baley has been creating beautiful mosaics for over 12 years. She first fell in love with the art after seeing the tile designs in the NY subway system. She admits it took a lot of trial and error, but eventually she perfected her craft. "I use sheets of stained glass to create my pieces and cut them down to fit the needs of the design," she explains. Her work includes everything from the beautiful Buddha above to landscapes, floral arrangements, and portraits. Aside from being a mosaic artist, she also professionally installs bathroom and kitchen tile. "I work with interior designers to create custom pieces for their clients matching color and design style," she says, which has turned out to be very therapeutic for her. "I become very attached to my pieces when they are finished because they are usually the result of a long enjoyable journey," she admits. "I hope that Etsy will afford me the opportunity to sell my work to an audience that supports and appreciates the emotional connection an artist has to her work." Please check her out: http://gracebaleymosaics.etsy.com/, http://www.gracebaley.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: Dhuni

The artist behind Dhuni may be an Engineer, but she has a passion for creativity. "My job takes a lot of my time, but I try to grab some time during the weekend," she explains. Inspired by nature and exotic cultures, her line of bindis and body jewelry range from ethnic to whimsical - and everything in between. Designing her pieces allows her a chance to rejuvenate from the rigors of her day job. While it is still just a hobby, she aims for her creations to make someone's day. She also uses a percentage of her Etsy income to help local charities and hopes to one day start her own organization. Please check out her shop: http://dhuni.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Monday, February 23, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: WormwoodHollow

William Bezek has been a professional artist since the age of 17 when he was hired as an illustrator. His paintings - such as the gorgeous Buddha above - are often inspired by his exotic travels. "My favorite holiday is Halloween and I do a lot of crafty items for that," he admits. Sometimes these pieces share a fun Tim Burton-like whimsy. "I am part of the Halloween and Vine group show every year with some very talented artists," he says. He recently took a six month hiatus from his art to move across country, but is now hard at work again. Please check out his shop: http://wormwoodhollow.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Friday, February 20, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: Raku4u

"Beauty, whether found in a glorious sunrise, a galloping horse with mane & tail flying, the glittering Milky Way in a midnight sky or the intricate icy geometry of a snowflake, has always captivated me for as long as I can remember," Lynne says of her fascination with nature. She majored in Art Education "as a way of surrounding (her)self with some of the world’s greatest art/artists and spent (her) family rearing years working as a public school art teacher & sharing that passion with hundreds (if not thousands) of students." When her kids were old enough she returned to school as a student, earning a Master’s Degree in Art Education from the University of Northern Colorado. Although she only took ceramics as an elective, she was hooked immediately. "When my hands first touched a lump of clay on the potter’s wheel, I had the most profound sense of 'coming home,' artistically speaking…..I knew this medium was going to change my life," she explains. She immediately changed her degree to focus on ceramics and the rest is, as they say, history. Her love affair with clay began as a hobby, but she eventually turned it into a successful business. She appreciates Etsy for being a "consistent venue for past & present customers to have full access to (her) work." Please check her out: http://raku4u.etsy.com/, http://raku4ubyshekinahclay.blogspot.com/, http://www.shekinahclay.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: BashiSquashi

Although Barbara has been an Etsy member for over a year, she has only recently opened up shop. "I wasn't ready for the commitment back then," she jokes. "Life just got a bit crazy all of a sudden, but I've been working on my quilts and other things over this time and decided now is the time. A crisis will happen now and then, but life doesn't stop." Her husband has an excellent job that allows her to quilt - and she counts herself very lucky to devote her time to something she enjoys. "Unless I make it work, though, I will have to find a paying job," she says. For the time being, she's giving it all she's got, entering shows, contests, and stitching up a storm. She finds inspiration everywhere - from a crease in the fabric to a recurring dream. "(It's) everywhere if I'm paying attention," she explains. She fell in love with Tim Burton's style while watching "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and hopes her own designs approach his ingenuity. "I was so surprised that so few came (to see it) and so few got it," she laments. Instead of her generation, it was the one before that was enthralled by the spectacle. Always good for a laugh, she says, "I've been making myself an artist since I was 4 years old. That's when I exclaimed to the world 'I will be an artist' and my elderly great aunt told me I should look for a wealthy husband." Even then she knew she had to follow her heart, what ever the outcome. Please check out her shop: http://bashisquashi.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: CherryLime

I'm a sucker for all things Asian - and found this next artist's idea for tub teas right up my alley...
"At present I live in Dallas with my husband, my Singer 503a Rocketeer, my serger, my grandmother's machine, and my dress form Elanor. It's a rather cramped life but I enjoy it," Alicia jokes. She first learned how to sew through watching her mother. "Honestly, I learned more what not to do than anything else," she says. "My mom is a wonderful person, but not so mechanically inclined." She also took lessons in junior high and found a mentor. "A friend's mom really gave me the foundation I needed and so, when I found myself doodling designs in college, I was able to take my first steps into turning those sketches into reality," she explains. "I'm currently a graduate student and sewing for my shop gives me a chance to get outside the books and spend some time just creating; an outlet I desperately need in such a cerebral environment." She enjoys creating her designs and pattern drafting so much that she jokes she has to be careful to make sure she follows her projects through. "I have a bad habit of drafting, doing a trial version, liking it, and then moving on to another idea," she admits. Her background in architectural drafting has helped her immensely. "If nothing else, (it) taught me to add measurements correctly," she quips. Her inspiration often comes from the fabric itself. "Fabric tends to speak - no, shout - at me when I pass it in the fabric store," she says. "I love the feel and smell of it all. Colors inspire me and I love seeing how different colors mix and meld when put together in a robe." She is also inspired by every day fashion, which she describes as "what people are really wearing in my less fashionable world." A lot of her pieces have an Oriental feel, which accentuates the spa aspect of her plush robes and calming tub teas. Right now Etsy is a hobby and she uses the supplemental income for an occasional night on the town - or even to purchase fabric for her students from low-income families. "Be nice," she advises her fellow Etsians. "That's never a bad idea." Well said! Please check out her shop: http://cherrylime.etsy.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com/

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Meet Etsy Artists: RavenstoneTiles

RavenstoneTiles is a collaborative effort between artist Laura Reutter and web designer/glaze maker Tim Taylor. They've been working professionally as a tile team since 1999, using their personal website as their major source of income. They have also sold on Ebay, are are just now dabbling with Etsy. I was lucky enough to stumble across this gorgeous bamboo set recently. Many of their pieces reflect a zen like tranquility, but they are also inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement and the Art Nouveau period. "Nature, trees, and landscapes are also sources of ideas," they explain. Laura has had a lifelong love affair with clay (35+ years), but only began making tiles 10 years ago. "This is a job, or was, until the recent economic crisis hit," she manages to joke. "Sales are really slow right now and we're looking for other work to tide us over," she admits. They are excited about the opportunities on Etsy and are enjoying the community it offers. Please check out their shop: http://ravenstonetiles.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis

Dharma Designs

Monday, February 16, 2009

Meet Etsy Jewelry Artist & Painter: BellissimaDesigns

Sherri is the second daughter in a family of five girls, who grew up in Alberta, Canada. "I would never have said that I was crafty growing up, but looking bAdd Imageack we made our own barbie clothes, beds, houses, etc.," she says. "In later years I drew a bit, but mostly I was consumed by reading and spending time with friends." Now married to someone she describes as "the most wonderful man" and the mother of two, she manages to find time for her art. "My daughter would want me to also mention the other members of our family - our dog and our three fish," she adds. With a need to try it all, she jokes she may be 'craft ADD.' "I have never been formally diagnosed ,but I know my husband would gladly write the letter stating that I am," she explains. Much of her inspiration comes from nature and her love of gardening. "I am also very obsessed by oriental art and sculpture, especially Buddha images," she confesses. I completely understand. :-) "If I am ever in need of inspiration I just go onto Etsy and I am blown away by everything that these amazing people create...Have you seen the soap that looks like cake? So amazing," she gushes. While she dabbles in many mediums, her true passions are painting and drawing. "My daughters room is covered, on every wall and ceiling. She is in love with Tinker Bell so I made it her little magical wonderland. However since that time we had to move her into another room to make room for her brother so he is also currently enjoying a little fairy magic." Not always an artist, she can't imagine how she ever survived without crafts. "They seem to be consuming so much of my thoughts I don't go a day without thinking about, planning for, buying for (my husband swears it is every day), or creating something crafty," she says. "Get on the (Etsy) forums and learn all you can - there is a wealth of information that Etsians are willing to share," she suggests. Please check out her shop: http://bellissimadesigns.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: jPerlmutterArt

Jennifer says she is open to the "NOW" and "this is the motivation that moves my brush or hand." She is also inspired by Dharma realizations. "Relationships and nature with Dharma woven throughout both – those are parts of my inspiration." The dedicated mother of a 6 year old, she also says her child plays a huge part in her art. "Because of the value I place on the importance of being with my son, I don’t paint everyday," she explains. "I sometimes take long breaks – weeks without painting." She admits that she is always thinking about it, though - and often plans out her next series while on hiatus. Her current abstract Buddha series is both mystical and ethereal, capturing a serene mood. She has been painting for 12 years and began by decorating furniture. Please check out her shop: http://jperlmutterart.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Friday, February 13, 2009

Meet Etsy Glass Artist: nickpaul

Chicago designer Nick Paul teaches Glassblowing and Glass Fusing in his spare time - and creates unique glasses from upcycled bottles. "The recycled bottle idea came from the need for more drinking glasses for a party," he explains. "The studio I work at throws these massive benefit parties were they give away hand made cups at the door. Each time there's a party we try and make five hundred or more cups...we were running short and somebody asked if it was possible to turn a bottle into a drinking glass." His unusual creations were a hit and sold better than the other glasses, so he ran with it. "I wouldn't really describe the recycled cup thing as my style," he jokes. "I'm a glassblower. I just happen to be able to turn recycled bottles into drinking glasses and vases." He's been at his craft for 8 years, but has only repurposed bottles for 2. He describes glassblowing as "a hobby that just so happens to pay." He started Etsy with the goal of making a little extra money for a car, but got such a positive response that he decided to stick with it. "Now I'm out there promoting myself and Etsy like crazy." He admits it's been a lot of fun, though. He advises his fellow artists also promote the site. "By getting others involved it helps spread the word." Please check out his shop: http://nickpaul.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: sirikul

A native of Thailand, Kay Pattachote is currently living in the US (New York). English is not her first language, of course, but I was lucky enough to interview this talented artist. She started out as an Interior Designer, but painting is her true passion - she makes time for it every day. Watercolors are her favorite medium and she works magic with every stroke of her brush, capturing not just an image, but a window in time. She;s has been painting all her life, but has concentrated on watercolors the last 10 years after graduating from college. Much of her inspiration comes from the beauty and culture of her homeland and is expertly showcased in her work. A Buddhist, she says painting is good for her meditation. She was recently forced to quit her job due to serious health problems, but is enjoying all the time she has for her art. I wish you a speedy recovery and much happiness. Please check out her shop: http://sirikul.etsy.com/ and the blog detailing her recovery through art: http://www.pseudohaiku.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: joanschaumburg49

Joan may have started as a painter 30 years ago, but her latest endeavors into fused glass caught my eye. Working with fellow Etsian HendersonWoodCraft, she has created a beautiful zen furniture line including an end table and matching shoji screen. Each piece showcases her gorgeous hand painted bamboo glass panels - and would make a perfect addition to any home. In fact, she sells many of her creations at a local Asian import store. She also makes glass jewelry and is an exceptional painter and muralist. Please check out her shop: http://joanschaumburg49.etsy.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com/

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Meet Etsy Artist: Igziabeher

Michelle Rachels describes her home as "out here in the woods, 3 miles to the closest stop sign down a gravel road; wildlife abounds, and my only contact with the world is dial up." She jokes, "I can't even get DSL." After 25 years in the manufacturing business - 7 of which were 80 hour weeks -

she "(came) to a point in life of realizing your mortality and ask yourself what have I done with it?" A bit melancholy she explains that "back in the mid '70's I could have marketed my paintings." Although her art is now a successful business, it is also her life. Some of her work can be seen in galleries in Coeur d Alene, ID and she has also been selling on Ebay for several years under the user name artistforwildlife - although Etsy is her preference. Her favorite medium is a large scale canvas - 3'x4' or more. "It's too bad shipping is so costly," she jokes. "Music is my carrier," she says of her inspiration, "especially reggae music. I have been a rasta at heart since the mid 70's." She has traveled far and wide to exotic locales - and even lived in Iran for a year during the reign of the Shah. "I truly embrace the motto 'the world is my country, all mankind is my brethren, and to do good is my religion,' by Thomas Paine." Please check out her shop: http://igziabeher.etsy.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs