23 Mar 2008

Artisan of the Week, Charmaine of High Desert Diva

Today we have one of my favourite bloggers as our featured artisan. This lady has much talent and a very kind heart. I know this from reading her blog, browsing her shop and from seeing her encouraging heart warming comments on my and other peoples blogs. Charmaine has a the great ability and style that enables her to see how colour, form and texture work together. Her love affair with the past seem to have lead her to sell vintage, but her great eye is what's lead her to be selling the highest quality vintage I've seen in ages.

1.Could you please introduce us to who you are and what you do?

My name is Charmaine Manley. I’m an interior decorator as well as a seller of antiques/ vintage/ found objects.

2. What led you to take up your craft?
I’ve always loved old items, their history, the workmanship involved in creating each piece, the elegance of patina, the look of a well-loved piece. I started selling antiques in 1994, mainly due to my love of flea marketing and the abundance of merchandise I was finding. I wanted to share my treasures, so I produced a show and have been selling ever since. The interior decorating came about as a result of these sales. One of my customers admired my sales display so much she asked if I would help her decorate her home. The design work quickly became a favorite, and is now the largest part of my business.

3. Which part of your work do you most enjoy?
Spending someone else’s money. Having said that, I actually specialize in bargain hunting. I love finding a good deal, or making something new out of something old to save some pennies. We’re calling it up-cycling or re-purposing now, but it’s something I’ve always done, and encourage others to do so.

4. Which part do you find hardest?
Definitely marketing myself. I’m a bit of an introvert and find it very difficult to say, “Look at me!”

5. Where do you hope to be in 1 year’s time?
Comfortably ensconced in my design niche in my new home town. Name recognition is high on my list.

6. What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Less is More. My graphic design teacher, Mike Jones, drilled this into my head 20+ years ago. I still follow this advice…

7. Name other artisans sites/shops would you recommend are worth a visit?
On Etsy:
Star of the East: specifically their brilliant use of found sea urchins in jewelry design.
Ice Kubi: the surreal mixed media images are so amazing.
Crank Bunny: unbelievable pop-up cards.
Cicada Studio: she’s designed her own line of fabric….
Truly, the Etsy list is incredibly long.

A couple extremely talented artists who aren’t Etsians:
Datamancer: makes Steampunk computer keyboards that I covet.
Su Blackwell’s paper cut art is absolutely astonishing.

8. What is your favourite sandwich filling?
Currently I’m obsessed with herbed goat cheese, usually I’ll add sliced turkey and

So as you can see from the photos Charmaine's work is of such a high quality that she gets full double page spread articles about her featured in magazines! Someone with such passion about her craft deserves to succeed. Go and have a look around her shop and see for yourself the fabulous items she has found for you.


  1. High Desert Diva is a real gem! I'm so happy to have met her and she's totally deserving of the recognition she's been getting. Thanks for featuring her!

  2. Great feature. High Desert Diva is a super fantastic person. She has personality that shines in her forum and blog posts. So happy to read her interview.

  3. wonderful feature. that silver set is absolutely beautiful.

  4. What a wonderful feature! She is a great blogger--great to learn more about her.

  5. Great interview! I am a big fan of Charmine's blog and etsy shop.

  6. Great feature, thanks for sharing.

  7. Great interview! High Desert Diva's blog is always a great read.


  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP