Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Ground Breaking Style Is Always In Fashion......

And that is one of the reasons that I love Terrain! If you haven't already met, let me introduce you. Alex is a self-taught jewelry designer with a background in architecture and design. She lives way up there in Canada and has two bunnies to keep her warm.

Terrain is all about beautiful organic jewelry (or JEWELLERY if you are Canadian) inspired by nature and influenced by modernism.

Let's take a look!

This beautiful necklace is called "Bittersweet." It features pale green aquamarine stones and brilliant orange fire agate.

These earrings are absolutely stunning. They are made from lengths of ultra-light and delicate vermeil marquis chain that tumble dramatically from vermeil hooks. Perfect for an elegant night out on the town!

This is the New Leaf Necklace. This is one of my favorites right now and I am sure you can see why! Delicate shades of spring-green glow in playfully wavy serpentine beads, reminiscent of unfurling new leaves. The vermeil diamond-link chain is long enough to simply slip over the head. Which is perfect because you don't have to worry about a complicated clasp!

I just love these unique earrings here! Dark and modern squares of ebony wood surround a single pale blue aquamarine round. Geometry with a touch of softness. On sterling silver hooks. Gorgeous!

I can't believe this necklace is still available! It is fabulous! A winding sterling silver floating-ring chain leads to a smooth, river-washed turquoise nugget. This pendant is natural undyed turquoise with a beautiful rusty-red matrix and measures over an inch across.

Sadly, these beautiful Lucite earrings have sold out. Better hurry before that little something you have had your eye on sells out too!

And you can be confident that everything you buy from Terrain will arrive safely in beautiful Terrain packaging.

If I were you, I would hop right over to Terrain right now! Valentine's day is coming up and I guarantee you can find something beautiful for your sweetie or yourself!

You can also find out more about Terrain here.

*All photos used with permission from Terrain Designs.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

"Excuse me, but I think you left out an N...."

Um, no. No they didn't! Don't you love well-meaning people? I do too, but they are not always right when they are dishing out their helpful advice. So let me give you some advice as well. Go check out this great Etsy shop Organic Beginings. Oh no! Did I just leave an 'N' out of beginnings? No, I was spelling it the proper way for this shop. But thanks for playing. The owners did it on purpose as well! KTHXBYE! No, seriously, let's take a look at their shop!

Organic Beginings is full of wonderful, natural, eco-friendly products. They use natural unbleached fabrics, organic fabrics and yarns in many of their products.
These fibers are amazingly soft and gentle as no bleach or artificial dye is used ,and the long fibers in the fabric and yarns make them extremely soft and skin friendly. Perfect for baby!

They will even wrap your package in eco friendly wrapping with a pretty ribbon! You can't beat that! And they are more than willing to mix and match items to make a set just for you.

This is a set of 2 burp cloths . One is made from 100% cotton toile ,the other is made with 100% quilted organic cotton and both are backed with 100% organic cotton toweling.
This is giving you the best of both worlds: organic backing next to baby's skin paired with a chic pale green and cream cotton toile and organic quilted cotton.

I just love this little hat! If my upcoming IVF-ET is successful (most of you will need to Google that) and I have a girl, or 8 girls as my friends tease, then I will be getting this hat!

Or this hat if I have one or 13 boys!

But is Organic Beginings just about baby? No way! There are also some things for Mommy!

This scarf is made from Bamboo wool , which is extremely soft and cozy.It is in beautiful sage and vanilla tones and measures 30 inches long .With 3 large wooden buttons to keep it closed , it is worn around the neck like a very cozy sweater neckline.This is the latest European fashion in scarves,and looks very chic.This would make a great warm valentines gift.

This is a beautiful European style scarf/collar also, knitted in extra warm 70% merino and 30% soy wool mix. It is dyed with environmentally friendly warm winter colors and makes the perfect accessory for any of your outfits . It has hand knit flower buttons which have a wonderful depth . It would make a great valentines gift while showing love to a worthy cause.
Organic Beginings is offering this scarf at 50% off with free shipping. All proceeds will go to Dawn's sons .
For those of you who don't know, Dawn had an Etsy shop and was recently killed in a motorcycle accident. Two young boys were left behind.

So, like I said, go check out Organic Beginings and their other shop while you are at it, Cupcake 2 Create for some fabulous jewelry.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Get Stacked!!!

One of my very favorite trends out there right now is the stacking ring. I just love stacking rings! I am always wearing some and it is so much fun making new combinations of them!

I recently have added them to my shop, A Blond And A Torch, and I just love making them.

The above rings are my "Three Is Not A Crowd" rings. I really like my set! They are made of 14 gauge sterling silver and have been hammered for strength and texture. The middle ring has been oxidized to show detail.

These little dotted rings are made from 12 gauge sterling silver. They look really cool on their own, but I also like to mix and match them with others.

These are gold filled rope rings. They are gorgeous in their simplicity!

Here is an excellent example of mixing and matching! The middle ring is my "Carly" ring, surrounded by my "Two's Company" rings. The outside rings are the dotted rings.
I received so many compliments on these when I wore them that I decided to offer them as a set!

You can start having fun too! Come visit me at A Blond And A Torch and get some today!

These aren't your grandmother's knits!

I have said this in an earlier post, but it bears repeating. Etsy.com is a great site that allows those who make handmade goods to peddle their wares. Unfortunately it is overcrowded and can be hard to find quality items.

Fret no more! This blog will be your guide, your light in the store, er, I mean storm! As always, or at least since this past Wednesday, I am bringing you up-to-date on some of the wonderful and talented artists on Etsy - one blog post at a time!

Today I want to introduce you to a wonderful knitter, as well as a south paw, Sandra. She has recently started a new store showcasing her artisan hand knit accessories, Luxe Knits.

Looking at Sandra's shop announcement tickles me because she makes such a great point in one simple sentence: Why just be warm when you can be gorgeous at the same time?

Duh! I don't know why more people don't get this. Thankfully, Sandra makes it easy for us!

Starting from waaaaay back, Sandra has always appreciated the look and feel of hand knit sweaters. Then one day, in a knit shop, a customer took Sandra aside and taught her how to knit! Turns out the customer was also left handed, like Sandra, which was fortunate because it takes a lot more effort for those south paws to knit. It can take even longer to learn if the one doing the teaching is right handed. I am sure you can imagine.

Sandra's first project was a twisted-stitch scarf. As a second project, she took on a cardigan sweater with 7 different colors and textures of yarns and a variety of stitches. Sandra was determined to do this sweater, despite so many seasoned knitters telling her this was too lofty of a goal for a beginner.

Fifteen years later, Sandra still has and wears that sweater!

By the way, it can take a month or so of knitting to complete an adult sized sweater!

Sandra kept going with her knitting and has perfected it in my humble opinion. She loves to incorporate hand spun and hand dyed yarns in a highly unique and gorgeous design. All the yarns that she uses are of the highest quality which is reflected in her work.

The result of all of Sandra's hard work? Hand knit designs that are fun, flirty, and absolutely fabulous!

I have so many favorites from this shop, but one of my very favorites is pictured above, the Hugs and Kisses Valentine Scarf. I just love it! Scarves make great gifts because they are so luxurious and you don't have to worry about sizes! It will warm her heart! And the rest of her!
The Hugs and Kisses Valentine Scarf is blended from yarns of wool, acrylic and poly in a brilliant array of glowing red, dusty pink and vibrant oranges and yellows. What a beauty!

Let's take a look at some more!

This is my favorite cowl in her shop! It is so versatile that it can even be pulled over your shoulders as a capelet, or rolled up on your neck as a turtle neck!

This unisex scarf is wonderful with its gorgeous toasty Caramel Brown Sugar Natural Alpaca yarn. By the way, this yarn is not dyed. That is right, this is the color of the alpaca that grew the fiber!

I just love this neck cozy! It was lovingly hand knit in a soft and airy acrylic, wool, poly, and mohiar blended yarn in the sweetest shade of pale aqua-blue. Talk about fun and flirty!

Did you know that it can take weeks to complete a large wrap? Well, it does when it is not made on a production line. These are all made painstakingly by hand, and for that, it takes time and patience. Check out this wrap! I love them because wraps are so versatile. They can substitute for a coat in milder climiates, look great over a coat, suit jacket, or even a jean jacket.They are perfect in the office under the air conditioner or by drafty windows and are marvelous for cuddling under at the movies or on the sofa! They also look fabulous for a night out on the town.
This wrap is made with wool, mohair, silk, acrylic and rayon yarns and ribbons! It is just beautiful!

Sandra also knits hats. This one is her Confetti Cap. She first designed her confetti cap to take advantage of the luxurious yarns available, but that were somewhat expensive to have an entire garment knit from.

Cashmere, silk, alpaca, yak... lovely ribbon yarns.. all individually selected and are incorporated into the hat.

She was asked several times to produce a pattern for her Confetti Caps, but has not, as each is an individual creation that comes to life as she coordinates the yarns and selects the appropriate needle size.

Isn't that so cool?

Another design is the Confetti Should Bag. This is a spectacular alternative to all the commercially made bags that seem to be on everyone's shoulders these days. This is a way to really stand out!

Now that you have had a look at some of the original designs of Luxe Knits, please go take a look at the rest. You will be so glad you did!

Everything in the shop has been carefully hand knit and is original. If you are not the type who wants to look like everyone else then Luxe Knits is for you!

* All pictures used with permission from Luxe Knits.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hey, that is one Funky Quail!

Sorry, bird lovers, not that kind of quail! Well, what I am talking about is a fantabulous Etsy store by the name of Funky Quail™ (no, no relation to Dan)!

Who is Funky Quail™? Funky Quail is a label and art studio made up of Becky Dreistadt, the about-to-be-famous comic artist, and her step-mom Elizabeth. Becky provides the shirt artwork, Elizabeth and her sister provide the ideas for the shirt designs.

Hungry for a little background info on the artist? Well, you are in luck because it is feeding time!

Becky has been drawing since she held her first crayon. She is currently a sequential art student at SCAD (that's a major in comic art, for those of you who don't already know that) draws a weekly webcomic, has been published in "The Webcomic Hurricane Relief" book and will be featured the premiere issue of "Squid and Ink" this Spring. She won a Congressional Art Award in 2004. Her hand-painted shirts are all one-of-a-kind originals, currently featuring Pugs and Corgis.

Elizabeth and her sister, Marty, are knitters who cannot draw. Frustrated by the lack of groovy shirts for knitters, but fully aware of their stick drawing abilities, they brought their ideas to Becky, who brilliantly brought the ideas to life! Now they have fun and funky shirts to wear to their respective knitting groups in Atlanta and Chicago. And now so can you!

Elizabeth recently received a merit award from the Kwik Sew Company in their 2007 purse design competition. Her work in handbag design, wearable art, and knitted designs can be seen at various art and craft shows through-out the Atlanta area. She also writes all the promotional copy for her talented step-daughter, Becky.

Attention knitters: Funky Quail™ is where you can find fantabulous Needle Junkie™, Ninja Knitter™, and Knitting Nirvana™ Apparel! Check it out!

Who says kitties can't knit?

Tote bags to hold all your knitting gear can be found there as well!
Do you feel as if you are in knitting nirvana? Well, let the world know!

Currently, Funky Quail™ is offering a free gift with purchase! Everyone loves to get something for free, am I right? If you hurry, they will send you one "Mean Girls Don't Knit" youth tee with the purchase of any knitting-themed tee or hoodie! This is only while supplies last, so get off you rear!

So, if you are roaming around the Etsy fora and you run into Funky Quail, just who are you communicating with? Elizabeth, that's who! She just so happens to be a dear friend of mine, so I highly recommend that if you do run into her, that you say hi! And since I am handing out free recommendations today, I also highly recommend that you visit their shop, Funky Quail™, and check out their vintage wear at Funky Quail Vintage™ and Elizabeth's bags and such at Funky Quail Too™!

And you don't have to feel guilty about shopping with Funky Quail™! Ten percent of all purchases are donated to the American Cancer Society! So now you know that shopping can save lives!

*All artwork, designs, text, etc. from these items and within the shop are copyright 2005 - 2007 by Hei and Drei Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.

*Funky Quail™, Ninja Knitter™, Needle Junkie™ and all other marks listed in this shop are registered trademarks of Hei and Drei Enterprises, Inc.

*All photos used with express permission from Funky Quail™.