Sunday, August 15, 2010

I Followed My Bliss...Now What? Curated Collection

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tickled Pink ~ A New Artfire Collection

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Choosing Your Favorite...

Choosing your favorite creation is LIKE picking your favorite kid! But just for fun, I asked the artists of ArtFire what their personal favorite is of all of their creations... what a gorgeous collection of treasures!

 Above you see my "Black Dahlia Peacock Menagerie" One of my all time favorite creations... and my first sale on Artfire! Below you will find personal faves of some of MY personal fave Indie Artists!

ENJOY! ~~~
Jenn Kos
of Metal Petalz~ A Unique Boutique ~

Like you said it´s like picking a favorite child, but right now, and because it's Summer, here's mine:
White Dotted Ruffle Necklace

The first time I saw this kind of necklace was on a neck..... and fell in love with it. But it was very simple, it only had the ruffles on the metal chain. When I got home I went to my little fabric pieces and got started. After the ruffle I sewed the synthetic pearls and the rose, and it was sooooo beautiful (a least in my opinion!!), it looked awesome in my neck. Then I made another for my other shop, and it's very beautiful also, in USA colors, or if you prefer, in navy colors.

Thank's for this great idea!


My favorite sculpture is one I made a few years ago.  It's quite large compared to the little ones in my studio.  Santa Stands 14 inches tall.  I wanted to capture what for me, is the true meaning of Christmas combined with the wonderful tradition of Santa Claus.   In my mind I could just imagine what it would have been like if Santa were there in the stable where Jesus was born.  When he saw baby Jesus, he felt such love for Him that he just couldn't resist....He very humbly asked Mary and Joseph if he could hold him.  They kindly agreed and Santa reached down to pick up the Christ child.  (When I was sculpting Santa's face, I wanted him to look as though he was giving thanks for the greatest gift of all.) I don't know if I acomplished that, but, that's what my intent was.  It was an emotional experience creating this piece and will probably always be my favorite.
It was completely sculpted in polymer clay from my imagination. (except for Sant's mustache and beard which are lambs wool)  No molds were used.  I actually made three of these.  Posed slightly differently, but, with the same composition.  The other two had actual fabric clothing.  I used red velvet.  On this one the entire piece, including Santa's clothes,  is polimer clay.  The figures are nestled in pine brances.  This piece is not for sale.  Many, many hours invested.  I may make some on a smaller scale (6 to 8 inches tall), but, haven't decieded yet. 


Oh this is so easy for me :)  When I started my jewelry business, I started it with $100 and went to a wholesale bead show. I'd had my other business(soap) for years but didn't want to use that money to invest in buying beads. So off I went to the bead clue what to expect.. I saw rows and rows of glittery gemstones..$200-300 a strand. I just looked at them and knew thats what I wanted someday. I wanted to make OOAK genuine gemstone jewelry that nobody else would ever have. But of course, I went over to the $3 bargain bins and spent my $100. And made some seriously awesome jewelry. But every bead show, I'd lust over those briolette and rondelle strands.
About 2 years later of selling my jewelry..I walked into that same bead show and walked out with myglittery gemstones. And this necklace is the very first one I made. It has 594 views. I've since been able to buy even higher quality gemstones but this necklace is dear to me.

My  favorite creation that I am surprised I didn't sell yet is the Personalize Birthday Hats for Dogs. I think they are really cute. How can you say no to this.
I create durable dog toys,cat toys,pet head wear,and upcycled pet feed mats. Pet items links are:



I have so many favorites that it is hard to choose but this new piece really has a place in my heart. It is a 5in by 5in wall hanging in earth tones. This was one piece I feel I came up with on my own. After being at a convention, that squished feeling was really strong. I just wanted to express that. Since I'm from an urban area, this feeling is all to familiar in subways, malls , streets, everywhere.
I feel like sometimes it feels like there isn't enough room, we are all looking to find our place and be different somehow but too often everything seems to squeeze in, people, stress, everything.
On a side note, I made this thinking of the whole and then doing the faces, I saw the overall crowd. My husband thinks looks absolutely creepy, he focuses on each face. I wonder it this means something.

I just recently posted this favorite item of mine, I love turquoise and the southwest with all its beautiful cactus flowers and Native American designs. I went to Arizona this past April and bought a Turquoise stone from bead store in an Indian Reservation. The stone is mined from Kingman, Arizona is known for its beautiful golden matrix. I then constructed a sterling silver bezel and pendant for mounting the stone, and added sterling cactus flowers on the bottom of the pendant. I was not going to put it up for sale, but I probably will be going back out to AZ next year and get more stones. Here is a pic.  
Natural Kingman Blue Turquoise Oval Sterling Pendant

Okay, I don't really have a favorite.  I think that my favorite is whatever my newest creation happens to be.  But there is one thing that stands out in recent memory.  I made a pair of earrings and a bracelet for an attorney at work who got married in May.  The pieces were a gift for her bridal shower, and although I didn't expect her to wear the pieces at her wedding, I did make them with white pearls and clear Swarovski crystals.

At the bridal shower the earrings were a big hit.  Another attorney commissioned me to make a pair for her but a different color.  I really wasn't looking forward to it because these earrings take 4 hours per earring.  I can make 5 necklaces and a couple of bracelets in the time it takes to make these earrings.

But, she liked them so much that she wanted another pair using a different color crystal.  I have to say that although I hate making these earrings, I do like the final product (sort of like giving birth).image

I will be making more in the future, but I will be make them between other projects, in 30 minute increments.  Here they are...


For me, I would have to say my froggy is my favourite. Years ago my mother had made me a long legged frog stuffy and he went everywhere with me. I was about 7 years old or so at the time I believe. Anyways, I still think about that froggy at the oddest moments and it is one reason why I kept trying to come up with a cute pattern that a cat would enjoy playing with when I started making catnip toys  This is what I have come up with. Each one is slightly different and has quite the personality I think LOL
Froggy Long Legs Handmade Organic catnip toy
There is a picture of another one I made in my gallery, and I even did a blog post about my prototypes last spring LOL.

OAK Charm bracelet handmade 28 charms Antique brass swirl clasp
I put a lot of work into this charm bracelet. I love blue and green colors. My inspiration behind this piece was a vintage garden. I love the Antique brass. I wanted to make something that expressed Vintage romance.

This is my favorite piece. I love my polymer clay beads and I was able to find matching silk strands- so colorful! It was alot of work, and I may have paid too much for the it too expensive?
Colie Necklace, silk and polymer clay floral beads

My favorite creation? This glass pendant featuring a "bird" with a cartoon beating heart. I believe it captures my vision to create one of a kind pieces - lol.
Glass Pendant Wacky Bird with Cartoon Beating Heart

this one has always been my favorite.


it was one of the first items i listed here. one of the first tries i did at wire wrapping.  it's a piece that makes me happy when i see it.  maybe i'm blocking it mentally -- no one has bought it yet! LOL

I do a lot of designs that are detailed and floral. People like them, and so do I, but as far as the creative process is concerned this is my current favorite piece.
It's detailed, but randomly done which is what I really enjoy doing. My favorite pieces to work on are the ones that contain surprises for ME, and that create their own little universes. These are the pieces that suck me into an alternative reality while I am doing them-- This one in particular. With floral designs, you are depicting. A design like this is a totally right-brain piece: while I was working on it I lost all sense of time and reacted spontaneously without having to follow nature.
If this makes sense......

My favorites are always the ones that are the most labor intensive.  Like this gold mega Egyptian swirl coil necklace and King Tut pendant.  Gold mega Egyptian swirl coil necklace and King Tut pendant   N19 

Since we are in a gifty mood, this is my favorite and the newest!

Perfect Gift Argentium Silver Copper Ribbon Artisan Pendant NecklacePerfect Gift Argentium Silver Copper Ribbon Artisan Pendant Necklace

It's inspired by my love to gift wrapping art. Ribbons and all :3 


favorite of my own? This one, the bright color of green trees in lamplight, like if you lay on your back in the grass at the park:

 my favorite item.  It's hard I have two of them but I'm going with the one I haven't posted in a thread. 

This was the first photograph that I took that was worthy of selling.  After hearing how much people would love to have it on their wall I opened my studio here.  It hasn't sold though and I have it in three sizes

Summer time tree at the beach
I was taking a stroll on a nearby beach where I live in New Zealand when I came accross this wonderful tree. It was as if it was beckoning me to come sit beneath it stop a while to contemplate. I am in the middle of winter now and dream of those warm sunny days. Hope you like it.

Here is one of my favorite pieces this week anyways. I just love the vibrant colors.
The colors in this necklace are so vibrant and bold.

Amazing right?
THANK YOU to all of the artists who have shared their favorites... now to go look at their other goodies :)
Happy Day!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Featured ArtFire Shop! VALMADE


This week the Featured Studio on The Fire Stalkers is Valmade. Valerie is English and lives in Hong Kong. She has knitted and cross stitched since she was a young girl and now she makes cards. She loves to make things and always has numerous projects on the go. Valerie has a wide variety of beautiful items in her shop. Be sure to take a look at this studio!

You can find VALMADE at:

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Start Of Bliss Following...

How did you begin creating in your chosen art(s) / crafts(s)? Indie artists share their genesis…

     I started in Jr High... does anyone remember making the braided embroidery floss friendship bracelets? I loved making them.... my friends wanted them, and I couldnt afford to keep buying the floss so they would pay me for them! From there it went on to vintage clothes. The movie "Pretty in Pink" made me never want to buy clothes off of a mannequin again LOL .... fast forward 15 years after college, grad school & a baby... My dad died suddenly and as sort of a way to occupy myself I made bracelets and sold them to give the money to the the Heart Association... I have never stopped in the last 11 years! My self-sustaining hobby I guess you could say :) 
Jenn Kos of:

***I started sewing as a young child because mom and dad could not afford to keep my doll babies in clothes so I learned to make them. I have branched off from there. My next big love was crazy quilting after I saw a beautiful one at the quilt museum in Lowell Massachusetts. I worked with beads on my CQ pieces then somehow got hooked into making some bead weaved jewelry because I took a class with my daughter so she could find something that interested her. My next thing I would like to learn is bobbin lace because I saw a woman in AZ making comtemporary wall hangings and jewelry and said I need to learn this! I love to learn new things. Can you tell?

*** I was at work and someone that worked there brought in a handmade handbag tote.  I looked it over inside and out and said wow I could do that.  I went home cleared out a room and went to work and that week made 50 or so and the following week I quit my job.  That was over 10 years ago and I have sold THOUSANDS since.  I have 3 online stores plus have things in other stores and I do a Saturday market when I have the time. 
I just love working with fabrics as each and every bag I make is different.  So you don't get bored. 
I love what I do!
Designs by Keri 4 U

*** Well, there's more than one answer, since I create in different categories - fine art, quilting, and a marriage of the two: fiber art. I've been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember, but it wasn't until college that I really focused on developing those skills. (And, I'll admit, working in the world of abstract art isn't everyone's cup of tea!) 

As for quilting, I came about it the old fashioned way - I had my daughter, and wanted to make her a quilt. (I guess you could say quilting found me.) Over a dozen years, and several dozen quilted projects later, here I am. There are so many angles to quilting, from design to completion, I never get bored with it. 

Recently, I've decided to focus on what I call "practical art pieces", which is a combination of both fine art and quilting/sewing, such as OOAK quilted bags, etc.. I've found it an inspirational way to combine my enjoyment of painting and working with needle and thread.

 *** I have been crafting all of my life as I have always watched my mother doing crafts. I became interested in jewelry about 2 years ago when I came across some gemstone beads and thought of different ways to put them together. I love to do so many different types of crafts (machine embroidery, leatherworking, jewelry, scrapbooking, etc.) and am constantly switching what I am doing at the time since I do not have the space to do more that one thing at a time.

*** All i wanted was my own set of goddess prayer beads. Now  I have a roomful of beads :-)

*** My love of crafts came from my mother who is quite a seamstress and is a crochet and knitting teacher. My favorite crafts did not follow her strengths though. 
    I got into jewelry I think because I love making things for other people. One of my younger sisters is my best customer! I do paintings and photography for therapy I think more than anything. I am most at peace behind the lens of a camera.
I love polymer clay because it challenges me. Most crafts have come relatively easy for me. Polymer clay is by far the most difficult medium I've ever personally worked with but it's worth the outcome when you get it right.

*** I got started when i was seven im 14 now. I was inspired by my friend erin. I went to her house and she was making jewelry so i joined in and i thought it was so much fun. I went home and saved my pennies and i bought what i thought was a ton of beads lol, and i started making stuff (well very primitive stuff) my work has greatly improved since then and im now here 
blue green and pink

*** I went through a short-lived jewelry making phase when I was a teenager, but once that phase was over, I moved on to something else.  Fast forward almost forty years.... 

About five years ago, I I kept noticing the beautiful jewelry that one of my co-workers always wore.  I complimented her on her pieces and she told me that she made all her jewelry herself.  I couldn't believe it, the jewelry was so nice.  I was very intrigued.  I told her that I would like to learn how to make my own jewelry.  Fortunately for me, she was very willing to help get me started.  She helped me order all the tools I would need and I also ordered some beads and findings.

Once everything arrived, she gave me a few quick lessons, and I was on my way.  For the first couple of months, everytime I made something new, I would bring it to work to show her.  It wasn't long before my skills and craftsmanship matched her's and shortly thereafter surpassed her's.  She would tell me that if she didn't know any better, she would think that I had been making jewelry for years.

Once I started wearing my pieces, other friends admired them and told me that I should start making jewelry to sell.  Needless to say, they were some of my first customers.  A star was born.:)

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

*** I started to crochet when I was a teenager. My teenage daughter was into art and craft, so I decided to teach her how to crochet. She seem to enjoy working on different projects. I enjoy making blankets and other big projects. My daughter loves fashion and jewelry, so she decided to crochet jewelry and hats. We both decided to turn our passion for crochet into a family business".

About us
Founded in June of 2009, Mother and Daughter work hand in hand producing high quality fashion, using just a needle and yarn.
Mother, Cheryl started crocheting in her teenage years. Daughter, Rayann following her foot steps was very interested in arts and crafts at a young age as well. As the two journeyed along with a strong passion for art, there was a strong desire for a "family business". Crafting ideas were being discussed as well as a website, but the company name had not been sought out just yet. In June of 2009 mother and daughter sat down together and established what is now known as Youngs Crochet and Fashion, better known for the acronym YCAF. As the founders of Youngs Crochet and Fashion the two wish to not only satisfy their customers with just crochet items but fashion as well.

***Like many other artists, I love to express myself in various media! Creativity, arts and crafts have been a part of my life for so long that I don't know if I can put my finger on exactly what it was that got me started on this. I think the credit goes to my parents, who were extremely creative, and also encouraged the kids. My Dad made all my clothes until I learned to sew in my preteens and started to do it myself. I learned to hand sew and embroider from my Mom. Music, painting and drawing were an integral part of my childhood, and my main focus throughout my teen years. In college, it was tatting and embroidery. Later on, scrapbooking and paper crafts became more important, as I started taking pictures of the babies. I always liked jewelry, but I only started making it in the last few years. I started making spa products, so that I could have all natural, gentle products for my family and friends. I love every single craft I tried so far!! Who knows what other joys the future will bring!

So there you have it... just a few of the many stories about what draws us into our diverse passions for creating. 

What got YOU started?

Jenn Kos of:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

About Me