Saturday, December 20, 2008

Holiday Time Is Here

Holiday Time Is Here
It's hard to believe that it is so close to Christmas. Excitement surrounds me. There are children to surprise, packages to wrap, cookies to bake and art to create. I was all snuggled and cozy resting in my bed with visions of creations dancing in my head.

Inspired by the freshly fallen snow I head to my studio with hot chocolate in hand.
I love the feeling of Peace as I enter my studio, it's been too long. My eyes wide with Joy I enter the space that embraces me back with open arms. When what do my wondering eyes should appear but new paints and supplies... it must be St. Nick!

I sigh in my Happiness and remember how I Love to be here.

As I sit and begin I exclaim as I paint- happy creating to all and to all a good time!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Schedule Some Time In Your Studio

Tips For Busy People
(From A Busy Person!)

Well... I finally got around to cleaning my studio (kind of). I've started at least. Why is it that the things we love to do the most are the things that seem to be put on the back burner until we "find" more time.
I recently read a tip in the new Somerset "Studios" magazine to schedule time in your studio every day. I think that it is a great idea! I can manage 30 minutes a day!
Some might say that takes away the spontaneity of creating but I say it gives me time back in my studio where I haven't been for too long.
I really do plan to start this daily scheduled time in the studio, and so... cleaning and organizing was a good first start. My studio was definitely a reflection of the busyness of my life. It actually looked a bit chaotic. The first session definitely took more than 30 mins. (actually 4 hours) but I loved every minute of it, rediscovering old friends and rekindling my passion.
Now I feel better about entering my studio, a place to take back time for myself each day, a mini getaway from the busyness and stress of every day life and routines.

Gotta go. It's Studio time.
Here are some recent creations!
Post studio clean-up...scheduled
studio time!
Patterned paper birds sit on top of a ribbon wire .
Burlap background is adorned with coloured beaded stars.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Meet Michelle

Meet Michelle

Hi! My name is Michelle Ciarlo-Hayes and I’m a photographer. I work mainly in black and white…no matter how hard I try to shoot color images, I never really stray from my love for strong contrast and the stunning simplicity of pure black and white. I’ll photograph anything that doesn’t move! I love to capture architecture, light, small details: the beauty in every-day things that we often overlook. I always have my batteries charged for my digital camera…there’s nothing worse that seeing something lovely and finding out you can’t shoot it! I have two young boys and I try to see from their point of view – they love to investigate things, so I find myself shooting in macro, picking up the small details, rather than standing back and taking a longer view. Recently I’ve started experimenting with an old Kodak Duaflex viewfinder – I love the grainy quality it gives my pictures! Everything inspires me – I just have to be sure I don’t rush through my day – when I’m taking in my surroundings, the photographs tend to find me, rather than the other way around. I also love to do commissioned work - making someone happy with a piece of art that I created just for them is a fantastic feeling.I’ve just started a blog: “The Stories Behind the Pictures.” There are so many funny things going on when I work, I just had to share them! I post a different image and story every week – I enjoy sharing the process with everyone just as much as I love sharing my artistic point of view.
Visit Michelle and her extraordinary work at

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

When The Snow Flies

A Time To Reflect

Well the snow has officially landed in Northern Ontario. We are very fortunate to experience the four seasons and each is magnificent. I love the first snow, so clean and white. It glistens in the sun and blankets the ground signalling the beginning of a season of hibernation. I think the snow often forces me to slow down and savour the time inside. That is when I love to create the most. When it is cold and chilly outside, I am wrapped snugly in a warm robe complete with fuzzy slippers. My girls love to spend time in the art room creating with me which adds to the warmth I feel. I am glad that nature gives me the time to reflect and rejuvenate at such a busy time.

"Snow Much Fun" ~ one of my wintertime snow creations

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fatally Cute

by kmwatkins

I am Karen Watkins and I am a artist who mostly does paintings that lean towards the illustrative side. I paint exclusively with acrylic on illustration board, canvas, and wood. I also love to hand sew and have started needle felting recently. Much of my subjects are cute animals, imaginary creatures, living environments, and young women.

Color is also important to my work. My art besides being cute, a lot of times has a sense of humor and is also at times creepy. In my studio area I try to keep everything I use everyday very accessible like my paints, brushes, palette sheet, etc. Things like extra canvases and bare wood plaques I keep together so I can grab whatever I need when I need it. I also have my little muses on my desk (little toys) on my desk for extra inspiration.

Check out Karen's blog

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Studio That Sparkles

Sparkles By Design

Well, I finally got my studio organized...what a job. I started making jewelry about 7 years ago because I needed a necklace to match an outfit I was going to wear to a special occasion & since I've always done crafts, gift baskets, etc. since I was young, I thought...why not try making jewelry and it's been a learning process since then. I love designing & creating jewelry. It's relaxing and, also, rewarding when I see the finished pieces. I get ideas for a piece of jewelry any time of the day & anywhere.
Then, I try to sketch a picture of what's in my mind & list the materials & colors I want to use & then I start making it when I'm ready to create.
Sometimes I like the original idea, but other times, I make several changes along the way of working on a piece. I love to use some item that gives a little sparkle such as Swarovski crystals, metals, glass beads, & pearls. I have a good friend that I've known for almost 30 years & every time she would see me she would comment that I always had to have a little sparkle on me in the jewelry I would wear, so I guess that's where I came up with the name for my shop. I enjoy making jewelry because it seems that it makes customers smile & happy when they look at it, try it on, or purchase it. I especially love making jewelry for weddings, which I have done several. It's fun to get together with a customer & create a design customized especially for them and it's even more satisfying to see the appreciation on the customer's face when they are given their finished purchase. A little info about me is that I love gardening & crossword puzzles (when I have time). I always take the time to admire & cherish the beauty that nature gives us. The colors, the sparkle, & the uniqueness. Too often people are rushed and don't realize that they don't even notice the many beautiful things around us that nature has provided us with. When I need a few moments to relax, I sit out at our beautiful fish pond & waterfall. Family is very important to me, too. I have my husband, 2 adult daughters, 2 step-daughters, 2 son-in-laws, & 4 grandchildren. I, also, work 10 hours a week in a local child care program working with the pre kindergarten age. I've been there for almost 14 years. I would like to thank anyone that visits my Etsy shop and to thank you for this great opportunity to introduce myself & my Sparklesbydesign shop through Etsy. Thank you very much for your time.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Studios, Studios, Studios

Cloth .Paper.Scissors
One of my most favourite magazines is Coth, Paper, Scissors. I discovered it this summer and fell in love with the articles and the creativity of the artists featured in this magazine. It is how I found my new passion for mixed media. Many types of artists are featured. Usually the artist submits their art piece and writes an article describing their piece and how it was created. It's a great way to discover new techniques, tools and products and give them a try yourself.

They have special editions as well. Check out the new Fall/Winter edition of Cloth, Paper, Scissors Studios. This edition features artists and their creative spaces. Their spaces are as unique as the art they create. So inspirational! If you click on the title it will bring you right to this edition. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Long Weekend

Hello everyone. I hope you had a great long weekend ( if you are in Canada). It was Thanksgiving here in Canada this past Monday. The fall colours are amazing. My family and I took a long ride North to a place called Agawa Provincial Park. We hiked on an ancient trail which led us to rock bluffs along Lake Superior. When you reach this spot you can actually stand right next to ancient Native Pictographs over 700 years old. Some scientists believe they are maybe even 1000 years old. The ride through the Canadian Shield is breath taking. Amazing!

Thanksgiving is a perfect time to reflect on the many blessings in our lives and take gratitude in all of our gifts. I am grateful for many wonderful things in my life.

Click on the title to read more about the Pictographs!
Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Craig's List

Well I joined Craig's list the other day and posted my first add. It was quite easy and relatively painless. I was expecting something more spectacular with all of the hipe but it was straight forward with no bells or whistles. After you sign up with a user name and password, you simply choose a city to list your add in. Next you fill in the title for Craig's list for your add and a description of what you are selling. I basically did a general description and listed my websites to connect my Etsy shops and blog. I'm not sure if there is anything else I can do to make it work in a better way for me. Maybe someone knows a trick. When I reasearched Craig's list there were a few cautions about what people are selling and scams . All in all it seems like a pretty harmless venture. If you click on the title "Craig's List" above it will bring you directly to the site.

Have a look and check it out for yourself!

Here is my new ad. I just realized that you can add pictures too.

Have a peek.

Here is a picture and little bio about Craig.

Craigslist is a central network of online communities, featuring free online classified advertisements (with jobs, internships, housing, personals, erotic services, for sale/barter/wanted, services, community, gigs, resume, and pets categories) and forums on various topics. (From Wikipedia).

Craigslist Inc.

1995 (Incorporated 1999)
Craig Newmark
San Francisco Bay Area, USA[1]
Area served
450 cities in 50 countries
Key people
Jim Buckmaster (CEO)
not published
Craig Newmark
Type of site
classifieds, forums
Available in
English, French, German, Spanish
Current status

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Flower Bed Head's Studio Tour

(Click on the title above to see her video)

Flower Bed Head

I love Flower Bed Head's shop. Her shop is so unique and whimsical.
I especially liked her "Time Flys Necklace" (see below).
It seems very fitting to my life right now~see yesterday's blog!

FlowerBedHead's Shop

Welcome to the FlowerBedHead Garden of suprizes!!!In this Shop you never know what is going to pop up ~ In my shop you will find my artwork- in various forms. I also have quite a collection of vintage items that you will find from time to time.Thank you for checking it out...hope you fall in love with the things I love.

Check out her Etsy shop at

Here is a video of her studio- Have a look!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Time Sure Flies!

Well...what a week. I am soooo zonked! I think that everything has just kind of caught up with me this week. I started a new job, which I love! It is very time consuming and I find that I am doing a lot of extra work and professional reading at home to stay afloat...just while I'm starting out. I've been trying to keep up with my Etsy shop but that takes time as well. I love being on Etsy. I also have two little ones that now have homework and are involved in activities in the evening so needless to say there hasn't been a lot of time for blogging.

I will try my best to keep up with Etsy Studios. I'm waiting for some other studios to send me their information to feature them. Oh! I also had a show this weekend- lots of fun and great sales. Slowly but surely things are starting to move along! Ask me a year from now how things are going and I hope to say "couldn't be better, all the hard work has paid off"!

Come and visit for new fall and Halloween items

Hope to be back sooner than later .
Best wishes~ Kerry.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Check out Amanda's gorgeous designs and her wonderfully, amazingly organized studio space!
It looks like a great place to create.

by BellaRhysDesigns
My name is Amanda-or BellaRhysDesigns on I have always been involved in the arts one way or another. From painting scenery at our community theater and earning a few awards for watercolors in my school days to my last 16 years dedicated to being a hairstylist and salon owner, each day has seemed to carry an artistic outlet for me in some form. Besides acrylics and watercolors I’ve also enjoyed creating w/ oil pastels, black and white photography, mixed media altered art, pottery and scrapbooking.

In 2002 I started making jewelry after being inspired by pieces I had seen in Greece on vacation and was frustrated and bored with the components I was finding locally. I started shopping around on Ebay and ran across some very cool glass beads by Cassie Donlen called lampwork. I immediately started researching them and was excited to incorporate them in my work. I found a local class and dove right in, completely mesmerized by the colors, styles and techniques used to create these little works of art! I found that they totally changed an ordinary piece of jewelry into an endless array of possibilities.

I have since taken metalsmithing classes to enhance my work by making my own forged or custom stamped pieces.I find inspiration in my children’s books, fun material, change of seasons, pictures in magazines,some of the treasuries on Etsy or even let my 6 year old daughter to come up with a fun color combo.I hope you enjoy the tour of my studio! If anyone would like to look at my blog for ideas of pieces I make that haven't been listed on etsy please feel free to come by for a visit! (An amazing blog! I love it ~Kerry).

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Crow Haven Farm

Check out Michelle's whimsical creations. Each one seems to have a unique personality with a fantastical story to tell.
Hello, my name is Michelle and I live in a very magical place in Pennsylvania. My studio is located in our 1800’s stone farm house which is surrounded by fields of wheat, corn and soy. It is a wonderful place to live and be creative. However, I do cry every morning when I have to leave my safe haven and go to my day gig in the city, but when the clock strikes 5:00 p.m., my legs are already running to my jeep to get me back home and into my studio.
My husband and I have converted a room on our second floor into my studio. Our Summer Kitchen that is attached to our house has been transformed into his studio (he is a drummer). As you can see by the pictures, I have to be very organized in order to keep things from finding their way into the hallway! I love clear tub containers. I try to get these when they go on sale or I ask friends and family members to donate their old ones to me because I can always use a clear container for found objects from my hunts at the garage sales, thrift markets and the DOLLAR STORE! Love the dollar store. If you are an artist, you will love the dollar store!
My medium that I am currently working on is polymer clay, otherwise known as Super Sculpey. I have tried numerous brands of doll making clay and have found that this works best for me. I also love Creative Paper Clay and Papier Mache. I am currently working on a line that I have entitled Ebs, meaning “Eclectic Beings.” I took a class with Wendy and Toby Froud back in May of 2008 in New York City and I learned a bunch of new techniques and how to use certain tools. This course was a wonderful start to my development of sculpting art dolls. However, my art dolls have taken on such a whimsical feel that sometimes it’s extremely hard to part with them!
My studio is set up so that I can easily get to everything. In one corner I have a table that I use as my painting station. I also adopted a an 8x8 table from Staples that is used as my main table. As you can see the table is being occupied by stackables all the way across it! All of my containers have been marked with what is exactly in them. I have an attic up on the 3rd floor which is being totally refurbished and designed for extra storage. This will help in getting some of my containers out of the studio to give me more space and be able to spread my materials out, instead of using the mat floor! LOL. I do like the feel of closeness. I need to have all of my little bits and bobs around me. I use a lot of mason jars because when you are in a groove you want to be able to see your bits and bobs instead of spending hours on end searching for the exact piece you need.

I love working in mixed-media. I can incorporate everything I love doing, such as, sewing, painting, assemblage, sculpting and needle felting into all of my art dolls. I have recently been playing with canvas boards and cigar boxes using bees wax and oil pastels. I love Bees Wax!
I will be opening a new shop at Etsy in early November. My new shop name is ShodeeHonee.

In the meantime, look me up at

I have not added new items lately, but hopefully CrowHavenFarm will be updated with more primitive treasures and ShodeeHonee will be up and running with my new whimsical line of original painting, original drawings and of course my Eclectic Beings, Ebs in November of 2008. Just in time for the Holidays!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Generation of Artists and Crafters~ A Before & After Studio Tour

Here is a great before and after studio tour. Check out Giggling Goldfish and her new studio and more pictures of the gorgeous transformation.



Check out Giggling Goldfish Etsy Shop

Giggling Goldfish

I come from a family of artists and crafters and have been creating ever since I can remember. I grew up working and playing in my father's wood working shop and knew early on I loved to work with my hands. So of course when I had children of my own I hoped they (two beautiful girls and a 15 month old boy) would love and appreciate art and creating as I do.

Fortunately both of my girls are creative in many ways and do appreciate the concept of handmade and my son has a little space all his own in my studio. My youngest daughter and I have been creating together for a while now and I am enjoying it immensely. It is so awesome to see things thru a child’s eyes. She and now my little son bring so much color and life to our creations. I am inspired by so many things especially color and try to reflect our fun personalities into the things we create.

This is our studio in the making. I had tons of fun collecting little things here and there to create our space and even more fun building my little tables. I am a flea market and salvage yard junky and have been hording my little finds for years and now was able to put some of them to good use. I try to work on it here and there when I have time, but nonetheless I am so thankful to have a place to bring our thoughts to life.

Haha, that doesn’t mean I still don’t take over little parts of the house though. I am like a whirlwind when I am in the middle of a project with little bits and pieces everywhere, but as soon as I’m done I have to clean it all up and reorganize for the next time. For me it is much more relaxing and allows me to focus on what I am doing when I have a clean space.

Good luck on your art space…I look forward to stopping by and taking a peek where you create.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Two Heads Are Better Than One!

Dragon Rags

I live and work in what is called a “visionary environment,” to borrow a term. What that means is that the home and studio in which I live and work reflect who I am. I am fortunate to share my home and studio with my boyfriend, also an artist (a musician ). We often work side by side in a studio that is comfortable (if a little small,) visually stimulating, peaceful, and very functional.

There are books everywhere, and we have cats (though we do not share the studio with them!) We both also enjoy and collect art.The house is an end unit, so we have 2 large windows that look out onto our neighborhood and onto a green space. As I sit at my desk, I look out on pine trees and grass and sky. It's quiet. When I am in the studio, I lose track of time and very easily fall into flow.When I really need to spread out, I do so on the floor of the studio.

My desk is suitable for some smaller projects, and that is where I take most of my product photos, edit and upload my photography, etc., but when I'm playing with my glues and paints, I do so away from the equipment. Ideally, I would like to have a work table, but the studio is too small. We have made the arrangement work for us.There is nothing like sharing space and a life with another artist!

We spend many a night giving one another feedback. He on my art and photography, I on his music. It is a lot of fun, and it keeps my creative juices flowing.When I first moved into my house, the studio was the master bedroom. When he moved in, we realized that it was the perfect room for a studio. Though we both would like to have a bigger work space some day, everything fits. We love this room, and we think others do, too: It doubles as our guest room. You'd have to spend time in this room to really get how nice it is.

I tend to organize by using containers that are either multi-functional or modular. I like to categorize my supplies. My papers are in a multi-drawer unit, sorted by category. My fabrics go into plastic tubs that can be tucked away into the corners and used as end tables. The shelves in the studio closet are fully utilized. That's where I keep my batting and the bulk of my office and art supplies. For me, organizing is all about not disturbing visual flow. Another way I like to keep organized is to clean up as I go. If I am working on multple projects, I tend to put each project's components into their own container and store the items toghether but not put away. That way, I can bounce back and forth between things but not end up with chaos when I am finished. Good organization is very, very important when working in a small space. I believe that is how my boyfriend and I manage to share without getting on each other's nerves!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Piccoladonna's "Crocheted Little Things"

Check out Piccoladonna's Lovely Crochet Shop!

I came from Italy! :) and I live in the States (legally!) for a year. I'm a 26 year old busy mom of 2 wonderful kids and I have this big passion for crochet, that I'm trying to use to raise some money selling my "crocheted little thing" as I like to call my works.
I learned how to crochet when I was 9-10 from my mom who is a "doilie maker". It was something I liked to do during summer breaks, but never thought I could use it like I'm doing now!
I started crocheting during my second pregnancy.I got sick and I had to rest a lot for my little girl's sake so I needed something to keep my hands and mind busy while resting.
Most of the works I did during that time are now for sale in my etsy shop. So far I never thought about selling anything, I was just having a lot of fun!
Last year my hubby was out of job and we needed to buy clothes for my children...somehow I had a couple of skeins of yarn and I created warm sweaters for them (I think I have a pic of my daughter wearing it). When we went out everybody was asking me where I found those sweaters....and orders came to me.
I used to crochet gifts for family and friends and other orders arrived....then I tried to crochet some jewelry pieces and decided to try a craft went pretty well and that's why I finally decided to seriously sell my works, even on line. I do not consider this like a job simply because I really enjoy crocheting each and every piece! My inspiration comes from little daily things....the necessity of a warm garment, a way to embellish my house...and so on.

Here is her workspace! Check out her shop!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Wow ! What a busy week! Phew!

I can't believe I haven't posted since Monday! I had been missing creating and went to my studio instead of the computer this week in the evening. The saying time flies when you are having fun is so true! Look for a lot of new items, a new banner and avatar for The Red Door. I am decorating for the holiday season.

Lots and lots of new people expressed interest in being featured in Etsy Studios so keep checking back for new shops and new studios. It will be an exciting couple of weeks.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Montage Studio's Creative Space

Montage studio has a fabulous space to create in . She has a beautiful and serene view to inspire her and great organizational tips. Check out her studio.
Montage Studio
I am a photographer and painter and do both in my home studio.

The space has a beautiful view, with mature trees and whatever wildlife my dogs haven’t scared away. My desk is where I alter my photographs and scan ephemera and painting to make digital collages. Although I shoot both film and digitally, most of my latest work is mainly digital.There is a large wooden table that I use for painting. It is wonderful to have such a big workspace, where I can leave several projects out at once. When I lived in Paris I always had several projects going at once and found that this really took the pressure off of one piece having to be utterly brilliant.

On the table I have a sweet little cubby to hold my paint; the larger bottles are housed in a lovely Salvation Army find behind glass doors.By nature I am a packrat and love being surrounded by “stuff”…BUT it can also get to me when there is no order to things and I spend half the day looking for a particular paintbrush!

I have been slowly tackling my piles, and am trying to keep “like with like” as they say: papers in plastic storage drawers; paintbrushes in earthen pots; books, journals and magazines on the new shelves that my brother-in-law put up recently (three 8 foot shelves: pure joy). I do TRY to keep my desk area tidy and free of clutter, but I am still working on that one!Having lived in apartments for most of my adult life, I feel so lucky to have a house with such an amazing studio space. I often work late at night and love the peaceful setting and the fact that the refrigerator is just a few feet away!!!

Check out Montage Studio's blog

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Super Storage Tips

Would you describe your studio space as cluttered? If so you are not alone.
In the Studios issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors only 13.3 % "called their space "clean", inviting , and "well organized", while nearly 43% described their creative space as "cluttered but livable", and 30% called it "somewhat organized".

Here are a few tips sent in by readers to help store, stash, separate and sort.

An over -the-door-shoe holder holds yarn and fibers.
Linda Johansen in Corvallis, OR

I file emphera in clear,
resealable bags.
Quinn McDonald in Alexandria, VA

Millinery, sparkly bits and bobs,
and ribbons and trims of all sorts:
Because of their beauty I love to
store them in glass apothecary
and candy jars!
Lauren Mumford in Vacaville,CA

What are your coolest organizational tips and tricks?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Top 10 Excuses For Spending Time In Your Studio

Coming Soon to The Red Door

From Cloth Paper Scissors STUDIO
1. It's cheaper than therapy (the overwhelming "winner").
2. I don't need an excuse.
3. It's less fattening than chocolate.
4. The muses (fabric,paint,etc.) are calling me.
5. I bought all these (fabric, stamps, paints etc.), now I have to
use them or it will be a waste.
6. If I don't do it you'll be sorry.
7. I have a DEADLINE.
8. I have to "clean" the art room.
9. You have your (bowling, golf ) time, I have my stusio time.
10. I'm saving money by making gifts.

What is your favourite excuse. Send me a comment and I will add them!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Calling All Studios!

I need you! Etsy Studios!

Hello everyone! I have had an amazing response to Etsy Studios. Guess what? I am all caught up with featuring everyone who sent in their information. Over 100 people responded to be included, so now I'm just waiting for them to send in their paragraphs and pics!
If you want to be featured it's easy as pie! All you have to do is write up a couple of paragraphs about what you do, where you create, your organization, any tips or inspiration. With this send a couple of pics. I like the pictures that have you working in your space and so do others.

When you send your information...I feature you! The blog links back to your shop~which means a free promo and traffic for you!

Hope to hear from you soon!

Here is a photo of a window display featuring my art from my other etsy shop
My work is featured here for the month of September in our downtown core.

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