Saturday, December 29, 2007

Daydreaming Welcomed at Dream ON

Dream On features a collection of watercolors & acrylics by artist, Mary Hamilton. One of the things people have said about Mary’s artwork is “that it tends to promote mental vacations.” What a lovely thought…especially during this hectic time of year!

For instance, “Let’s Take A Spin” (pictured above), transports us to a mountain lake in early Spring. Wouldn’t you just love to go on a road trip to this destination?

Or you could take a much needed cocktail break anytime, with “Martini of the Day.” I really like the simple lines and bold red and gold used in this painting. It would make a great addition to a modern professional’s office!

This Etsy artist states, “I always loved to cut, paste, paint and draw from my earliest memories. Creating art is what I do, it's built-in by my creator, He enables me, and I love it.”
I was also impressed by Mary’s definition of her work – “I value the presence of a recognizable subject in my paintings. I love it when the center of interest appears in the midst of background objects that aren’t so well-defined. I want watercolor to look like watercolor, and I want my paintings to have a painterly look, not a photographic copy. Therefore I am an impressionist, because I don’t want to over-control the media.”

Based in St. Petersburg, FL, you can find a lot of “local” inspiration in the paintings at DreamON.

“Egmont Surprise” is an original watercolor of the Egmont Key Lighthouse, which sits on the SW coast of Florida, on a lonely island in Tampa Bay. She takes license with the hibiscus flower in the corner (they don’t grow on the island!), to add a stunning splash of color.

This shop offers some lovely visions – escape to Dream ON!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Beauty of Winter

As I looked at this beautiful photograph I realized just how beautiful even the coldest of days can be. The things we see as nuisances can sometimes be some of the most perfect beauties. This featured artist, has caught one of God's perfect little masterpieces in this. This is the kind of picture that displayed in just the right place on a wall could cause anyone to stop and think of a quiet day or "the calm after the ice storm"

Berry Patch Designs

Berry Patch Designs offers lovely handmade jewelry featuring stones such as purple lepidolite; rich, bold moukaite; patterned ocean jasper; red agate and deep blue lapis lazuli, among others. Like Elle Belle, this shop carries jewelry designed by a small group of women in Central Florida. They promise lots of bargains, including some terrific stocking stuffers!!

This Etsy artist’s favorite thing about designing jewelry? Hearing and seeing that people enjoy wearing her designs. She writes, “I love to combine the varying colors and textures of the natural world. There are so many feelings and places to love about our world!”
Here are some featured items in their shop:

A Lovely purple crystal butterfly center has deep purple crystals dropping from a dark antiqued chain hanging below, like magical sparkles as the butterfly takes off into the air.

A large stone heart (variety uncertain) seems to beat, as veins of dark red streak the creamy pale surface.

Fine art paintings, Collage, Lino Prints, & Note Cards

I’ve already shared with you my appreciation for all things guitar related, so the item I picked from today’s featured artist, George McKim, won’t be a surprise. Not only is this a lovely piece of art, I really enjoyed George’s description of it. You can “hear” his passion for the art and this piece in particular.

Description: This collage is a homage to the great art movement known as Cubism, you know with that guy, what's his name? Umm, oh yeah, Picasso and that other guy named Braque. It's an abstract design based on the shape of a guitar. I think this is one of the best collages I've ever done, even if I do say so myself! It's a tip of the hat to the great Cubist painters, but it's light and lively yet subdued and classic. The paper size is 11" x 14" and it has some white border area. With a really nice framing job this collage will look stunning , don't you agree?

George also offers for sale in his shop note cards made from images of any of his work. It’s a wonderful way to own a bit of art inexpensively!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Featured Artist: Crafty Moose

Have you ever heard of Ikebana? I’m pretty sure I’ve heard the word before, but I didn’t know what it meant when I stumbled onto it in Crafty Moose’s Etsy shop. So, I did what any internet addict would do, and Wiki’d it. Check it out:

Ikebana (生け花 or いけばな? "arranged flower"),[1] is the Japanese art of flower arrangement, also known as kadō (華道 kadō?, the "way of flowers").
In contrast to the massing of blooms typical of flower arrangement in western countries, Japanese flower arrangement is based on the line of twigs and/or leaves, filled in with a small number of blooms. The container is also a key element of the composition. The structure of a Japanese flower arrangement is based on a scalene triangle delineated by three main points, usually twigs, considered in some schools to symbolize heaven, earth, and man.
I’m quite sure I’ve seen Ikebana in the past. The simple structure and clean lines achieved with something as boundless as nature is striking.

Crafty Moose’s interpretation is fun and whimsical but at the same time it is clearly evidence of skill and craftsmanship. It would be a wonderful adornment and sweet distraction on an office desk. Do you have a coworker who deserves a little something as a thank you for sitting so close to you every day? If so, look no further, this is it!

Germany Meets Brazil

Since 2006, Brazilian, Suzy Wortberg, has been designing custom jewelry where she resides in Cologne Germany. She collaborates from afar with 2 artists from her native country Brazil, Bebe and Ana. They’ve found that were cultures meet, ideas just natural spring up, and together they’re able to produce exciting new concepts. Inspired by her remembrance of Brazil, Suzy’s jewelry is rich in color and texture. She desires to create a reflection of life in Brazil in each piece and bring the wearer just a taste of Brazil’s light and many sided culture. You can see for yourself in her Etsy shop, Contas Brasil

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Knuckletoes is owned by Katie she a jewelry, clothing and purse maker who wants to share her style with the world! She is from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, and every year she tries to attend the surrounding Folk Festivals to sell her products. She's gone the last two years and really hope to make it again in 2008! She tries to make her clothing and purses out of recycled materials. Anything from tablecloths, to pillowcases, to reused LP record covers. This not only gives her items a vintage feel, but it helps the environment, and what more do you need? The picture above is my personal favorite in Katie's shop!!! It is a "PMS Apology card"...What a GREAT idea! LOL She will even use your own picture if you want! I may have to order these with a pic of me! My husband would get a HUGE kick out of it! Below is the description of this card from Katie's shop.

"Ever yelled at your family or significant other because you hurt so bad?Ever thrown the remote control or possibly the cat at their face when they offered you ice cream?Heres your way to say sorry!This one says: I could blame PMS, but I'm just a bitch!!"Each card is handmade with photos I or friends have taken, and glued onto colored card stock. The writing on the cards is hand stamped. Custom cards with your choice of words or picture can be ordered for $1 extra.Send us your pictures if you want!"

You can check out Katie's shop at

Prints, Art, and Paper Lovelies

Valérie Parizeault is a Canadian Illustrator & designer from Montreal. She is the owner of Rose Flash, Playfully spirited Jewelry ( and the creative mind behind the Witty workshop (, a place to buy and enjoy her Illustrations and prints. Inspired by whimsical moments, children’s universe and storytelling, she is living her dream life as an artist with her husband by her side and her black cat Tokyo. Tree hugger and business connoisseur, she blogs both in French and English about Eco-friendly causes, Indie designers and her daily life trough her creative blog Pot aux Roses ( and about the ups and downs of entrepreneurship through her business tip blog Bite (

This is my favorite little piece of Valerie’s art and I am forever in need of a good bookmark! I’m fundamentally opposed to defacing books (yes, even a dog ear qualifies in my… errr…book), and this bookmark would not only ensure that my books stay pristine but also that they’re adorned in quite a lovely way. This sweet little girl with hair just the tiniest bit awry and her best friend call to mind visions of care free Spring days.

Featured Etsy Artist - Earths Charms

The featured artist today is Earths Charms. Check out what she has to say about herself –

My name is: a title used to facilitate communication.

My home is: a little slice of paradise despite the paper-thin walls and windows.

My goal is: to make macrame fashionable.

My soul is: owned by a thieving kitty.

My dreams are: not all that unrealistic, and involve comfort instead of riches.

My life is: meant to be enjoyed to the fullest.

I find her comments about her dreams and life insightful ways to think about things, and I’m quite sure she’s already meeting her goal! And, although my home could be described as “a little slice of paradise despite the tiny space and lack of seating” I’m in full “let’s host a holiday party!” mode. So, I’m featuring her drink charms today:
They’d be a fun way to keep track of everyone’s glasses at your next party, I guarantee you’ll get comments on how clever you are for having them, and if you’re feeling particularly generous you could even let your partiers go home with theirs as a favor. Have fun!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Atomic Holiday Bazaar

I'm just now settling in after a long day at the Atomic Holiday Bazaar. I posted mention of it on this blog a few days ago, so check that out if you missed it. We had a great time, there were lots of customers, really great vendors to meet, and I was so super excited about how stinkin' cute our space looked! Lots of pictures to follow, and yes I'm even going to bore you with details about all the display ideas we implemented, but I think it was my favorite part of the day... selling tons of our lovingly made handmade items was definitely a close second!
Here's the over view of the booth. We were on a corner, so we had two accessible sides. We set up a table on one side and my dress form (a.k.a. Moi), the dress rack and the sling rack on the other side. Michael Miller disco dots fabric in pink and green (Christmasy but not over the top) fabric draped askew in the corner, and the cutest ever white feather Christmas tree decorated with pink and green plastic ornaments adorned the end of the table and set the tone for the space... still true to our boutique style, but so super fun!
So, I'm really embarrassed to admit that this is the debut of the bean bags that I posted about in this blog 3+ months ago. I finally... finally... finally... got motivated to make them, and they were totally worth the wait if I do say so myself (and I will). I'm super excited about posting them to Etsy tomorrow morning and will be sure to point out that they're sold as a set of 5 in my most popular sling fabric, pink/brown or aqua/brown. You can also order a set of Count and Spell bean bags with any numbers and letters you'd like embroidered on them (the child's name is a great place to start). Either set is packaged in a Chinese take out box tied with coordinating ribbon and cutesy label. Bean Bags are an amazing toy, I guarantee you'll be astounded by the imaginative play they encourage... all whirling, flashing, buzzing free!
Check out the way we displayed the tag blankets. Karie picked up this adorable push toy for Ava for Christmas and it was just too perfect to not break it in a bit for use in displaying the tag blankets. And you can catch a glimpse of the winner of the hottest Elle Belle item of the show to the left there. The chubbies were a huge hit, and were sold out within the first hour or so. They are the best stocking stuffer ever and that doesn't even address just how practical their design is. Get your own set of these chubby crayons for chubby hands here.

There's not quite as much opportunity for creative play with the display racks, but all the fun fabric and variety of choices made this side of the booth a popular spot. Here's your glimpse into the latest Elle Belle product soon to be listed in the Etsy shop. New slings, pillowcase dresses, and even a brand new take on the pillowcase dress in the form of a more tailored but just as versatile top were debuted and well received. Oh, and I can't forget our awesome banner displayed perfectly in the ingenious frame my uber handy, beyond supportive, hubby made for us.

Okay, that's as good as it gets for 11:35 at night after I've only had 4 hrs of sleep the night prior and have been up all day working hard. Definitely keep an eye on the Elle Belle Etsy shop in the next couple of days for all the new product!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Alternate Bliss

Alternate Bliss is a mixed media artist. Right now She is focusing on making fine silver jewelry, Watercolors, and Art Charms featuring her artwork images. Currently she has two Etsy Shops. One for her art, and one for her charms.

The painting above is one of her original miniature watercolor ACEO’s (Art Card Editions and Originals). It was painted using watercolors on 300 lb Arches Watercolor Paper. Inspired by the movie, “Le Ballon Rouge,” a short film directed by French film-maker Albert Lamorisse in 1956. This film follows the adventures of a young boy who finds a large, red balloon. He travel through the streets of Paris and encounters a gang of bullies. The film closes with a magically happy ending.

Isn't it lovely? You can check out Alertante Blisses other works at . You can see her beautiful jewelry at You can also check out her blog at!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Perfect Fall Day

Some artists have a way of transferring what's beautiful in their eyes to permanent pieces of art. This is definitely the case with this beautiful adaptation of "The Autumn Harvest". This shop can be found at it's a collaboration between husband, wife & friend. I look forward to checking back from time to time just to see what they've come up with next.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Knock Knock
Who’s there?
Interrupting Cow
Interrupting Cow W…

Okay, it’s a bad joke in person, let alone in type, but seriously you never know when a knock knock joke will come in handy!

Anyway, the point of this is, have you seen Moo cards? They are a really fun way to market and if I weren’t so anal retentive about everything having a place and a place for everything I would’ve gotten some Moo cards for Elle Belle ages ago. I just keep thinking “How do those things fit in the standard card spot in your wallet, or what about people who use business card albums (my husband is perhaps the only one, but still…), and what about business card scanners… would it work in one of those (feel free to comment here if you know… about the uses, not my psychosis)?” I suppose I could get some to use as hang tags, but I’m sort of partial to those garage sale style white tags with the white strings… honestly I don’t know why.
Well, if I ever do get some of those nifty little cards, Indigo Luna’s Etsy shop will be my next stop because her Pop up Moo card carrying case is just as clever as the cards themselves. Check it out:
This wonderful little carrying case is the perfect presentation for your Moo Cards. Moo Cards fit snugly down inside and when you pull the beaded ribbon, they pop up like magic! The surprise appearance of your cards gets delightful responses and makes a great conversation starter.

Cool right?! All you Mooers go get yourself one! And while you’re at it, take a look at Rachel’s profile for more info on who she is and what influences her creatively. It’s a nice read.

Back Wood Creations...

Back Wood Creations is a really unique shop on Etsy! This shop is full of fabric animal sculptures and mixed media pieces. She has been doing the arts and crafts thing since she was a wee child. Her mom always said "idle hands can make trouble". She loves keeping the creativity flowing and still finds time to get into trouble. Her creative endeavors are somewhat "eclectic", as she puts it. Currently she is making art dolls and painting. If you are interested in learning more about her and her artistic leanings check out my blog at

And this is one of my favorite things about this artist, as a member of Etsy for Animals (EFA) please look for items that will have a percentage listed in item description donated to the specified charity of the month. Their website can be found here

Monday, December 3, 2007

Featured Etsy Artist – Banana Showcase

Here’s what Banana Showcase has to say about her business - Just one girl and a very loved sewing machine -- that is all there is to Banana Showcase. I have been a crafter since I was a very little girl. I love to make things with my hands and now having people use the things I make is so exciting. I have sewn since I was a teen but recently discovered that purses are so fun to create. I also love visiting thrift stores so you will find that some of my bags are created from vintage fabrics or other vintage clothing items that have been repurposed to become purses.

I like how she refers to her sewing machine as “loved”… it’s funny how they almost take on a life of their own… I love my machine too J (note to self: add “How do I love thee – Let me count the stitches” to list of future blog posts).

I adore this messenger bag! I’ve actually had my eye on it for quite some time… prior to joining this challenge in fact. I have a great appreciation for Amy Butler fabric and this print is one of my favorites (as you can see by one of my currently listed slings. See below). It looks smashing paired with this small wale gray corduroy. All those pockets are sure to keep everything in its place and the little details like the magnetic closure and metal rings that hold the strap on give it a lovely finished look. Constructed with interfacing to give it stability and ensure that it hold its shape and triple stitching keeping the strap durable add up to a quality made bag. I’m totally sold on it…

and it’s just too much of a coincidence that this bag ended up in the 90 day challenge and I have a sling made of the same material, it’s a sign that if I sell my “matching” sling I’ll just have to buy it!

Quirky Things You Won't Find Just Anywhere

This little Etsy shop is not for the conservative at heart. If you're wanting a look that will be different than most & that will make most heads turn, this shop is for you. Why be just warm, why not be funky, while being warm - in these fingerless gloves. is truly an outlet for it's artsy designer that has loads of imagination. Who would have ever thought crocheting could be so out there?

100% Organic Gifts for Your Spirit – Summer Sea

Tracy of Summer Sea is a certified herbalist, loves nature, and has been helping people through the use of herbs for the past 10+ years. She uses organically grown ingredients and here’s why: “Because I believe that my products are truly better when I use ingredients which have NOT been irradiated, treated with pesticides or sprays. Your body and spirit needs good, clean energy! Making every product with only organic ingredients costs a little more, but it's worth it!”

This is just the season to put Tracy’s talents and experience to work for you with her Cold and Flu Care Organic Herbal Loose Tea. Read more about it by clicking on the picture including how much sweeter your purchase will be because the proceeds go to support 2 personal friends of Tracy who are living with Breast Cancer.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Handmade Holiday

I am so looking forward to a local event Elle Belle will be a part of next Sunday, the 9th. We'll be at the ultra hip Atomic Holiday Bazaar! Definitely take a look at their site and see what we'll be up to. It embodies the indie craft movement that's going on here locally and I just can't believe we're actually going to get to be a part of it! It shares it's values with another initiative going on for this gift giving season - Buy Handmade pledge. With the exception of a couple of digital picture frames that have been on my poor grandchild deprived out-of-state parents' list for a couple of years now, it'll be a handmade holiday for us! Click on the pledge graphic to the right of this post to find out more and take the pledge yourself.

Nerys Purchon...

Nerys is an Australian who lives with her husband and two dogs in a caravan travelling the roads, hills and beaches of the country. They call the Perth area home as they have childen living in this area so visit often.

She is proud to introduce you to my new range of essential oil blends. She has been working with essential oils for forty years. She has written several books about them and used these miraculous essences in countless ways. Their power and versatility never cease to amaze her and she's sure that you will benefit from their use. All of her bags are unique and once a bag has been made it is never repeated but if you like a particular style of bag but want different colour, handles, pockets or accessories she will make one for you.

You can visit her blog at , her Etsy site at and a website

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