Friday, July 29, 2011

Interview With A Quiet Mind ~ Fine Art ~ Jewelry

Nothing feels better than the weight of jewelry made with real gems and minerals; I have an obsession with handcrafted jewelry.  It has an energy about it that can not found in manufactured pieces.   Often I find people admiring my jewelry and wondering where I was able to find such a piece beauty.  I love being original and setting the trends; especial when I know that my jewelry has been handcrafted by a true artist. 

I have had the pleasure to interview Brian Harrison, owner of Quiet Mind, who creates such beautiful pieces of art.  He has graciously offered a 20% off coupon code: BUTTERFLY.  Please stop by Brian's shop and take a look at his exquisit inventory.
Tell me a bit about yourself……
I am a self-representing artist living in Phoenix, AZ. I have been driven to create all my life working with different material and techniques over the years. These days I am making a lot of jewelry. From prayer beads in the Buddhist tradition, a line of Day of the Dead skull and skeleton jewelry and other jewelry from precious and semi precious stones and minerals. I do all my artwork with intention for the benefit of all living beings.
Apart from creating, what do you do?
I love to garden and pond, I have a few 100 gallon pond with koi and goldfish and a jungle like garden on my patio. I have 3 pet birds 2 conures and a lovebird. I love to take road trips into the deserts of AZ finding remote peaceful places to contemplate.

What first made you want to create?
I’ve made stuff all my life, it is an innate desire for me. I don’t know where it first began.

Describe your creative process?
Much of my work is spontaneous and intuitive. Painting, working in mixed media and making jewelry most ideas are spontaneous with a little conscious thought here and there. When I am making a piece I try to flow with the energy.

What handmade possession do you cherish most?
I have some very old hand hammered Tibetan singing bowls, I’d have to say those.

What one piece of information would you like to know from experienced etsy sellers?
How to generate more sales!

How are you promoting your work?
I list some of my work to Etsy and use a lot of social media. I post to Facebook, use Twitter and Flickr, write a blog and have just started using Tumblr. Locally I am a member of a new art cooperative - Indie ArtHouse, and have my Day of the Dead jewelry represented by Galeria de los Muertos in downtown Phoenix.

Where do you want to be in ten years?
Doing what I am doing now. If I can still be making a living off my art work in 10 years I will be very happy!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Friend of A Friend

This morning before I had a chance to have my coffee I met a new friend of a friend.  Apparently on the way to work my coworker crossed paths with a wonderful little creature.  The funny thing was, just like many other Californians, he was an actor. 

"I really don't see the resemblance though"

Stuck in his part he was convinced that he was, indeed, a lobster.  No matter how much I tried to reason with him he insisted and even though I knew that he was a crayfish I finally conceded that yes he did resemble the Red Lobster . 

A wonderful souvenir pin found on ETSY Shop Haywood Creektures at

He could hold a lovely note and recited a rich Shakespearean poem but alas he was still just a crayfish. 

This wonderful book was found on ETSY Shop The Retro Cookbook Shop at
This sweet, funny little town was found on ETSY Shop A Bit A Creativity at

After a bit my lovely new friend waved good bye promising to keep in touch.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Meeting Dolly Madison An Amazing Young Artist

I found Dolly Madison while surfing ETSY and fell in love with her sweet little buttons and characters.  She is a very talented young lady and has been very kind to do an interview for us. 
Her lovely little shop is also featuring a special discount, 5% off with coupon code BIRRCASTLE.  Please check out the interview and Dolly's wonderful creations.
Tell me a bit about yourself……
I'm sixteen years old, and I love to work with my hands, writing, reading, and crafting. My main focus of crafting is my Etsy shop, where I sell polymer clay items, mostly buttons, but also little decorative bears (mostly custom orders for those). :) I began working with polymer clay when I was eleven, and I opened my Etsy shop in May of 2010.

Apart from creating, what do you do?
Dear me, it depends on the day! I love to read, and I have several subjects that I pay most attention to, one of which is history. I'm a genealogist, and I love to find out about my ancestors! I found lots of Irish way back there, and so I now have what you could almost call a 'hobby', finding old Irish songs and artists. I love to buy books (that's mainly what I spend my Etsy profit on) that I can feel satisfied handing down to my children and grandchildren. I desire to glorify God, and as my motto says "To enlarge the glory of the gospel!" (quote from Richard Hakluyt, puritan).

What first made you want to create?
I'm just a creative person, I suppose. :) I've been crafting as long as I can remember, and when my grandparents gave me some polymer clay one time, I immediately latched on to it and began making rather crude figures. It wasn't till April that I found my Etsy niche, which is specialty buttons. I had one set that had been custom ordered, and didn't sell, so I listed them anyway. Then I began attending BNRs and BNSs on Etsy (a selling spree system, Buy and Replace and Buy and Stay, where someone buys your item in a treasury and then they in turn get featured in your spot), and my buttons sold, and re-sold, and sold again........ Ever since then, my button making has taken off, which is really nice. But it's funny that the thing that sells best for me is the thing that I never meant to make in the first place.

Describe your creative process?
It depends on the situation. Sometimes I just sit down with my clay and start making buttons without a goal in mind or even a conceived notion as to how I want them to be---I just pick out a few colors that all the sudden stand out to me and run with it. That is always a fun process. Other times I know exactly what I want, and I fall to making them......or they turn out completely different from what I wanted. It's an adventure, and it's a very fun one. :)

How are you promoting your work?
I don't have many ways of promoting yet. Mostly I attend BNRs and that really gets the word out because it's always a great crowd and great publicity. Otherwise just getting to know folks on Etsy is a great way to get business. :) Hearting other folks' items and shops have brought me several sales, not to mention hearts and circles (Now I have switched to Etsy lingo, haven't I? ;)

Where do you want to be in ten years?
The problem to me is getting too busy. Etsy is the only source of income I have right now, and I'm not really able to devote all of my time to it. So to answer your question, I don't know if I shall be around on Etsy in ten years. :) Since I am just beginning to get sales, I will have to see if it turns out to be something I want to pursue in earnest, and if the profit is worth the effort. But I intend to have a steady income by then from some sort of home business. :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer Ravens

This Lovely Print was found in ETSY shop Montana Black at
This afternoon I noticed a large black bird in a vacant lot nearby clearing his throat with his raspy crow. While many look at the Raven with a foreboding, I have found comfort in their silky black feathers. I love Ravens; they are the sign of the season in full bloom, their call reminds me of the long country walks I have taken in the high summer sun. The bright light reflects purples and blues from their iridescent backs as they sit together and crow about their morning adventures.
This wonderful Painting was found in ETSY Shop JTJ1227 at
Their familiar sound would fill the air as my children would rush through an ice cold geyser shooting up from the sprinkler. Screaming and giggling, they would grab a "Push-Up" and flop down on a large bath towel to dry in the heat of the day. 
This unique card was found in ETSY Shop Jessica Alpern at
 The summer season was filled with so many wonderful activities that I was always disappointed when it would come to an end and the kids would have to return to school.  But even after they left in their big yellow bus and I would walk back to the house I would hear the comforting crows of the busy Ravens in the field promising me future summer fun.
This Sweet Print was found int ETSY shop Carmbatack Desgn at

Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 17 Listings

I have officially branched out into the photography world by listing a few of my favorite photos.  Two are 10 x 8 and the rest 5 x 7 or 7 x 5's.  I am really excited about my new features since this has been something I wanted to start for years; my favorite are of course the squirrels and the blossoms.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wonderful Treasuries and New Listing

I hope everyone is having the best week ever. I have been working many hours but I am so happy to be back in Fresno, it is well worth it. But unfortunately you will have to put up with some brief blogs for a few weeks until I am back to my normal schedule. Fortunately for me the wonderful folks at ETSY have featured my items in their beautiful treasuries. A very grateful thank you.

Some new listings and a coupon code for Free Domestic (USA) Shipping...  PITAFREESH  ...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Grizzlies Game, A Coke and The Fourth of July

Even though I had to work the Fourth it was one of the best I have had in a long time. After spending a year in an area that had very little to do and very little celebrations I was like a kid in a candy store here in Fresno. There were so many choices: BBQ's with the traditional summer fun, fireworks at the park, and a plethora of get-togethers. Terry and I chose our traditional Fourth the Grizzlies' Baseball game.

We were not disappointed...Sacramento River cats vs. Fresno Grizzlies...8th inning and Grizzlies tie it up. It continues through to the 9th then the bottom of the 10th ... at the top....Whop!!!!Homerun for the Grizzlies!!!! The roar of the crowd and the satisfaction of a difficult win under our belt set the stage for the upcoming firework show.

My pal Parker all dressed up for the Fourth

We settled in our seats as the first smaller fireworks lit the sky; red, then blue, white, then was a beautiful show. They did a wonderful job and the chorography couldn't have been better. The colors popped out in 3D sparks and beams of light drawing closer and amazing display. I am truly blessed to be an American and to be in such a beautiful city.

This is the life a Diet Coke, Nachos, a winning game and fireworks. . . What more could I ask for . . . oh yeah I live in the USA!
Go Fresno...Go Grizzlies...we <3 you!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day!!! Memories of Fireworks and Fourth of July Celebrations

This beautiful 4th of July decoration was found in ETSY Shop Slippin'Southern at
Happy Independence Day!!! Oh how I love the holidays; I was blessed to have had holiday traditions growing up and to create new family traditions with my children. Each July 4th started with a wonderful daytime picnic including a barbeque, watermelon and lemonade. Then At night a home firework show, some sparklers, and chasing fireflies.
This amazing photograph was found in ETSY shop Beth Berg at
Another beautiful print found in ETSY shop Steve's Photo at
We would make handmade lanterns and decorations to add to the festivities and build the excitement for the upcoming events.
These amazing upcycled vintage jars are made into whimsical solar lights.  Found in ETSY shop Used and Abused at
As a child it was so exhilarating to feel the hot summer night air and know that you were staying up way past your normal bedtime.  I passed this on to my children when they were little and as I listen to their happy giggles I would reminisce. Some nights it would be so dark that you would only see their shadow as they ran by chasing the little lightening bugs up and down the hill.
This beautiful picture is from ETSY shop Shine A Light at
Another beautiful picture with an unusual medium found in ETSY shop Original Fabric on Wood Art by Shellie Mitchell at
Our family's celebrations were always small and often at home, but they were the best any child or mother could ask for. They were full of love and the genuine simple pleasures of life. I hope your holiday is as happy and as full of special memories as are mine.
These wonderfully fun holiday decorations were found in ETSY shop 12LegsCuriousities at