30 Apr 2009

Coriandr Finds

Whilst sorting out a few things in my Coriandr shop I had a bit of a look around and found some really great goods to share with you all on this yucky rainy Thursday morning. Coriandr is a UK based site that has an international group of artisans selling their handmade goods and supplies. If you haven't checked it out yet I'd urge to go and take a look because it is a really nicely laid out site. Simple, clean looking and easy to navigate. It makes shopping for handmade goods a breeze. From the other side of the coin, as a seller, I really like the one page listing process and the simplicity of getting your goods into a very easy to use shop.

I love these earrings from Cee Gee Jewellery. Something about the beads makes me think of sea urchins. I love being by the sea, the smell, the sounds and the feeling of the wind coming off the water just make me feel glad to be alive. How great to have a reminder of that feeling in a simple, stylish pair of earrings.

Creativesque works with card, paper, paints, and inks to make beautiful tags and bookmarks, like this blue floral one. Most people think of tags just as something to tie to a gift with the name of the person the gift is for on it, but I like to use tags for all sorts of things. My memory is so bad that tagging things with messages to myself is a great aide-mémoire.

It is a sort of tradition in my family to wrap gifts in newspaper or recycled paper as we all have a bit of a dislike of the waste that gift wrap represents. I have now found a fantastic alternative in myfuroshiki shop. These fantastic fabric wrappers are not only beautiful, but they can be used again and again. Such a brilliant idea!

I've seen Snapdragon Beads work being featured in a few places on-line and usually that would lead me to pick someone else's work to share, but this green, cream and gold pendant is just so gorgeous I couldn't resist having a photo of it on Autonomous Artisans.

All weekend Jon and I have had a house full of our lovable friends and yesterday the last of them left, so our house now feels very empty and I'm rattling around in it all day waiting for Jon to come home from work. This canvas from Strawberry Magpie made me remember just how much home sweet home is more about people rather than a building. I love our little house, but to get a feeling of true home has more to do with who I'm with in this building rather than the 4 walls themselves.

Take a look at Coriandr and see what you can find. I bet you that you will find something you adore.

Written by Lynne of PiratePixieCrew and Hyperloop Hoops

29 Apr 2009

Happy Koninginnedag

Tomorrow is the Queen of the Netherlands Birthday, so to celebrate their national holiday of Koninginnedag I've decided to feature some of the talented Dutch artisans I love the work of. All of these people are happy to post their goods internationally so you can all check out their shops and help them celebrate their national holiday with a sale.

Holland is well know for being a country of bicycle riders and Picture Penelope had snapped this beautifully colourful picture of a bike leaned up against some very yummy looking wall art. Healthy transport and healthy food!

I guess the Queen of the Netherlands will live in a very grand home and will, in all probability, have a few mounted hunting trophies on her walls. Squirrellicious has created an animal loving friendly version of the hunting trophy. As a vegetarian this is the only way I would have a head on my wall.

If you are looking for beautiful lampwork beads and jewellery Oggi is the shop for you. I love lampwork beads. They have a depth to them that makes them very special. Being made of glass gives them a luminous quality that looks different in different lights.

Look me in the eye and tell me you don't think this is the cutest tissue holder you have ever seen. Swiedebie has lots of other cuties in her shop too. I picked this monster tissue case purely because I have a love of monsters and this monster if fantastic!

How could I pass this little kitty by without featuring her. She looks so like our cat, Weapon X, that it would have been a sin to ignore her beauty. Cat Tingles created this gorgeous needle felted cat and bead necklace.

So all you artisans in the Netherlands I hope you have a fabulous day filled with sunshine, birthday cake and dancing as if no one is watching.

Written by Lynne of PiratePixieCrew and Hyperloop Hoops

28 Apr 2009

Orange is rad!

Errr hello!

This is Flynt, Lynne's visitor from Australia.

Today we went up to the Castle at Trapp, and there was LOTS of lovely greens and browns and greys (grass, stones, sky) so as a contrast I thought it'd be nice to have some lovely citrus colours as today's top five.

This is some scrummy handspun from an Aussie website made by Hand-crafted Gift. I simply adore handspun as its what I do back home for fun!! this one looks almost edible.

And a pretty sterling citrine and carnelian ring made by Ali Bali Jewellery. This would make a lovely noise while you were wearing it!

Some delicious hand made soap from the Savannah Soap Kitchen I bet it smells amazing! Orange Zest and cinnamon for feeling zingy!

Next up, who doesn't love a cute clutch? This sprightly offering comes from Daisy Hill Design. Good for keeping your pennies in!

And finally, I love Lilley's polymer clay button and think they would look rad on a sock puppet or a hand knitted neck wrap! Yum!

Anyhoo. hope its sunny and spring where you are!


27 Apr 2009


If you are anything like me you will be a moustache lover and will often stand, stare and marvel at men that have enormous handlebar moustaches. That gravity defying facial hair intrigues and astounds me. So in honour of my love of facial hair I thought I'd share some substitute 'taches with you, for all of us unable to grow our own.

Bull Fight has created these fantastic fridge magnets that allow you to not only have photos of your loved ones on the door of your fridgedaire, but you can give them a facial lift with their own hairy design. Pure genius!

Have you ever wished to make tea time more distinguished? Maid of Clay has produced just the mug for you. You can drink your morning cupper and look like a brigadier whilst doing it.

Are you a secret agent? Are you looking for that perfect disguise to where when you are sent to somewhere really cold? Jack Rabbit has the answer. This Moustached cowl will do just the job!

Molly Coddle Soap has made this 'tache soap on a stick for those emergency bathroom disguise moments. You know those moments when you are staying a hotel and room service comes in and catches you dancing naked in the shower... You can pretend you are someone else.

I am going to have to spend some money today because after finding this knitting pattern from Crafty Hedgehog I am despirate to make a frog with a mime disguise and a ballerina frog. I might have to make lots of them to use for Toy society drops.

Have a 'tachetastic day everyone. Make sure today that at some time you wear a moustache, even if it's just a bubble one in the bath tub. I now declare today to be Official Moustache Day!

Written by Lynne of PiratePixieCrew and Hyperloop Hoops

26 Apr 2009

Artisan of the week, Katerina of Small Bakery

So it's Sunday and time for a really special artisan. I have never seen anything like the items Katerina of the Small Bakery makes before. The detail astounds and thrills me and each and every one makes me feel utterly ravenous and as I have yet to have breakfast I think I'll pass you over to her now to explain, whilst I have some tea and toast.

1.Could you please introduce us to who you are and what you do?
Hello! My name is Katerina Anagnostou and I am the owner of SmallBakery. In my shop you will find handmade miniature clay cakes and pastries for dollhouses in 1:12 scale! 1:12 means that 1 inch/cm in miniature equals 12 inch/cm in reality. You will also find miniature food jewelry. Every item that I make is extremely detailed and realistic and this is the reason why every piece takes hours of work… Usually, if I want to eat the cake or pastry when it's ready to go into the oven, I know that it's finished.

2. What led you to take up your craft?
I have been using polymer clay for many years, since I was a child. I used to make everything that I could imagine or needed. Two years ago my best friend showed me her dollhouse. Everything was there, everything…except food…I decided to make her a miniature cake as a gift. I liked it so much that I never stopped!

3.Which part of your work do you most enjoy?
I love it when I make the texture of bread or piece of cake. I begin with something that looks like clay and when I finish there is a tiny piece of food in front of me. I also love it when I finally put my items into the oven because I know that many hours of hard and eye-tiring work are finally over.

4.Which part do you find hardest?
For me the hardest part is taking pictures of my pieces. I don’t seem to be very good at it and unfortunately my photos don’t show all the details of my items. I know that the photos of my work are very important and better pictures could bring more fans as well as more sales, so I am really trying to improve in that section.

5.Where do you hope to be in 1 year’s time?
I am always trying to improve my work and my dream would be to become an IGMA Artisan one day. IGMA (International guild of miniature artisans) was founded to promote fine miniatures as an art form, to increase awareness and appreciation of high-quality workmanship through public education and to recognize and honor qualified artisans. It would be such an honor

6.What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Never say never is something that everybody used to tell me…But it didn’t seem to be a good advice until I did almost everything that I had said I wouldn’t do… Suddenly, never say never seemed the most useful and real advise of all.

7.Could you name artisans sites/shops would you recommend are worth a visit?
I love Kim Saulter’s work (http://kimsminiatures.blogspot.com/) and I always read Debbie’s blog (http://debbiestinytreasures.blogspot.com/). You definitely have to visit Betsy Niederer’s shop. Betsy is an IGMA fellow and here work is just perfect (http://betsy-niederer-miniature-food-igma-fellow.com/shop)

8.What is your favourite sandwich filling?
Feta cheese, ham, tomato slices and olives …my grandmother used to make me this sandwich when I was little and visited her at her house at Kithira, a beautiful Greek island. For me it’s the most beautiful island in Greece. Every summer I stayed at her house for about 20 days. It seemed like paradise as I think about it now…Every day we would go to the beach, have swimming courses in the sea and go for long walks into the forest and the island’s castle with my cousins. In the afternoon my grandmother made me this sandwich. I would eat it and then go to play with my cousins…So sweet memories…

Thank you so much for sharing your exquisite craft with us Katerina. I am in awe of your skills. I'm sure all of our readers will be licking their lips after seeing your work and dashing off down to the local bakery in search of cakes and buns. If you are as wowed as me readers you can keep up with Katerina's world on her blog or on Twitter. She also has a Flickr account and you can see lots of her work in a video on you tube.

24 Apr 2009

The Photos say it all.

No words today. I'm going to let the photos speak for themselves. Click on the photos to be taken to the sites they are on and to find out more about each of them.

I hope you like my choices!

Written by Lynne of PiratePixieCrew and Hyperloop Hoops

23 Apr 2009

More Crazy Train Passengers

On Artfire right now there is a promotion campaign going on called the Crazy Train. The basic idea is that everyone that signs up gets to be a V.I.P. rider on the train for 2 days and in those 2 days all the other riders check out that persons shop and show off to the world through blog writing, networking sites, bookmark sites, email... well any which way they can the goods of the VIP rider. It is aimed at not only getting people to view the V.I.P.'s shop but also to take a look around Artfire and get to know the site a little bit more. Here are a few of the latest V.I.P.'s to be on the train.

3zArt creates switch plates and mouse mats in colourful designs for use around the home. The one above is a single switch giraffe print in orange. Great for a safari themed childs bedroom.

djstoreroom has a mixture of items, from decorated pegs to pretty handmade purses like the one pictured above. This close up shows clearly the attention to detail put into her work.

Shine Your Hiney Soap does exactly as the name suggests. She makes soaps and this cute little oatmeal raisin cookie sheep shaped soap looks like a fun bath time friend.

Silver River Jewelry has a shop full of varied styles of jewellery. The one above attracted me to feature it because of the distressed metal and the colours that process has created.

Creative Cove Jewelry Designs has lots of pretty beads in her shop. This pink mix of Agate and Adventurine on copper is an example of her eye catching work.

Wooley Creek creates tribal and ethnic jewellery. These lovely blue heart Cabachon earrings are such a vivid turquoise colour, are so fashionable right now. Get a pair and wear them with all the turquoise spring clothing on sale.

Being a V.I.P. Crazy Train passenger is so much fun. I was lucky enough to be the first passenger and you get to feel like royalty for the 2 days. So go and make these people feel special by visiting their shops.

22 Apr 2009

From yummy seeds...

This morning I logged onto Artfire and the first thing I saw on the front page was a giant sunflower. The bright orange colours made me smile a huge wide grin. Is there a happier, more heart lifting flower than a sunflower? I know they are big and brash, but for all that vibrant, in your face colour and size don't they just make you feel all summery and warm inside every time you see them? Add to that they have very yummy seeds to eat as Autumn arrives and I have to say I love you Sunflowers!

Deb Moran's photograph captures beautifully what I mean about sunflowers, their bright orange glow and their warm smiley face. I also love the reflection below the flower in the photo. It somehow shows the fragility of the flower and reminds us to enjoy it whilst it lasts as soon it will fade and be gone.

This sunflower from Anna Clifton Jewellery is just so beautiful, you would never realise it's petals was made from recycled aluminium cans would you? The patterned centre is sterling silver which contrasts beautifully with the delicate looking bronze like petals. Beautiful!

These beautiful baby ballet slipper from Pink Angel Wings Creations are just so adorable. Imagine a baby girl in a bright yellow dress wearing these little shoes and a pretty sunflower print summer hat. She'd look like a little princess fit to visit the Queen.

Kitty Linnington Art's sunflower card just shouts out "Yippee for the sunshine, long summer days and vibrant colours!" Do you know someone that's feeling a little bit down, or is having a hard time? Imagine the smile on their face if this card dropped though their letterbox with a personalised message from you written inside. Go on, send someone a smile in an envelope!

I have to be honest, I don't think I would want to poke pins into Sew Lucky Embroidery's pincushion, purely because it would obscure the beautifully embroidered sunflower. I guess I could put the pins in the back of the cushion. This little cushion would definitely make pinning those sewing patterns a much more jolly task.

So Sunflowers really are like balls of summer and joy to me. I hope you feel the same way about them and that today's article has given you a warm glow!

Written by Lynne of PiratePixieCrew and Hyperloop Hoops

21 Apr 2009

My first Sale on Coriandr

To celebrate my first sale in my shop on Coriandr I've decided to feature some fellow sellers from the site. If you have never heard of Coriandr I'd advise you to go and take a look at the site. It's easy to navigate, has lots of fabulous handmade goods and everyone I've had contact with from the site are friendly, helpful and very talented. Let me show you some of the goods on sale there.

Indie Café Lounge is the creator of this honey and almond soap. Due to it containing real honey it is bound to be very moisturising as well as smelling yummy. It has added oatmeal that acts as a gentle exfoliator. Handmade bath goods are definitely the best in my eyes!

I love the glamour of Kiss Curl shop. The hats, fascinators, and hair accessories are cute, sexy and fun. They have echoes of days gone by when style and romance went hand in hand. This feather fascinator is just gorgeous!

Dan Jackson's sense of humour is very similar to mine judging by his photographs. I think his ability to capture the essence of absurdity and put a new spin on everyday objects is fabulous. Check out his shop for "Death by Chocolate" and "Cereal Killer", hehehe!

I was so wowed by Frute Juce's fabulous baby vest I just had to share it with you. The skill Alison must have with a sewing machine to be able to freehand embroider this much detailed is amazing. It reminds me of the skilled etch-a-sketch pictures you see.

Now regular readers will know my love of the colour orange so they won't be surprised by the fact I have chosen to share this bracelet from Lilyja. Isn't the colour divine? Bright, cheerful and very pretty.

So that's just 5 of the gorgeous goodies you can find over on Coriandr. If you are looking for lovingly created handmade goods, talented crafts men & women and like the look of the items above, you'll love the site. Go along and take a look around. Just see how many fabulous items you can find.

Written by Lynne of PiratePixieCrew and Hyperloop Hoops

20 Apr 2009

Reminder- Aprils Monthly Creative Challenge

Meekiyu's April Creative Challenge entry- Favourite food

This is just a small reminder for the Monthly Creative Challenge. So far we have had only one entry to the Flickr Challenge Group (Thank you meekiyu) for the month of April, so either I've picked a topic that didn't inspire many of you, or Spring has been so busy none of you have had time. It would be great if we could get a few more entries before the end of the month.

19 Apr 2009

Artisan of the week, Daniel of Catherinette Rings

This week our Artisan of the week is a Canadian jewellery maker, Daniel of Catherinette Rings. The moment I saw Daniel's shop I had to feature him on the blog. His Jewellery is so perfectly formed. I'm a fan of the mixture of materials used and the overall balance of each piece. I look forward to seeing more designs in the future. Now I will hand over to Daniel to tell you more about himself and his craft.

1. Could you please introduce us to who you are and what you do?
My name is Daniel Proulx from Montal. I make Wire-wrapped Steampunk Jewellery with brass, copper and gemstones.

2. What led you to take up your craft?
In April of 2008 I started to make rings just for fun after Catherine (My better half) learned how to make simple wire rings during a 2 hour lesson. I just watched how she made it and tried. Since then I spent several hours every day perfecting and developing my own technique to create an original design. I quickly started to make very retro-futurist model of rings. At that time I decided to embarked into this adventure, quit my job and try to live on the sales of my jewellery full-time.

One day a friend told me what I was doing was Steampunk . I research the subject and fell in love with this culture. I always liked Steampunk style, but I didn't know there was a name for it. Recently I had the chance to have my steampunk jewellery featured in the fashion Magazine Clindoeil and an article about my art in the newspaper Le Voir.

3. Which part of your work do you most enjoy?
Part of my work is to order new material that inspires me to make new designs. One of the most enjoyable parts is when I receive them and can create a new design.

4. Which part do you find hardest?
One of the hardest parts is to work at home all day without co-workers to talk to or interact. I worked in the Travel agent industry for many years and used to talk all the time with my colleagues and customers. I miss working in a team. Its Hard but I got use to it, on the other hand I really enjoy the freedom of being an independent entrepreneur.

5. Where do you hope to be in 1 years time?
The 12 of April 2008 I started the business one year ago and here I am where I never expected to be. In one year I hope I can go on a trip to a Steampunk Convention and to meet other Steampunk Artist.

6. What is the best advice you have ever been given?
When I first quit my job and started to make jewellery full time many people thought it was crazy or that I was making the wrong choice (I don't blame them because its out of the norm). The best advice I've ever been given was by my mother when I was little. It was, always follow your dreams no matter what other people says. If You believe in yourself you can achieve anything.

7. Could you name artisans sites/shops would you recommend are worth a visit?
I accumulated so many links useful for artisan over my first year and in still finding more every day. I made a blog with a lot of these links.

Here are the links that I used the most:
Deviant Art: This is a very nice community where you can share your best deviations, I also have a portfolio there. I really love this site.
My Flickr account.
I also have a Twitter account.

8. What is your favourite sandwich filling?
My favourite is a sandwich with Espanola chorizo, grilled red peppers and cheese.

Thank you Daniel for sharing a bit more about yourself with us. It is a tribute to your great work that you have been featured in so many places after such a short period of time. You have come a long way in just one year. I'm sure your future will be filled with a lot more success. You can see more of Daniel's work on Artfire. I'm in love with the bee above.

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