Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fun with Clay: Fluttering Flowers - A BESTeam Feature

    Do you really dig crazy clay doo-dads that sparkle with life and laughter? Do you enjoy surrounding yourself with handmade things that make you giggle or go “Oo-o-o?” Well, have I got the artist for you! Take peek at Fluttering Flowers and the amazing array of cute, colorful polymer clay items she has in stock.
     Fluttering Flowers became obsessed with clay early in life. “One summer when I was quite young, my grandmother visited and took me to a craft store,” recalls our artist. “While there she purchased these small squares of extremely hard clay called FIMO. Then we went home and she taught me how to make a basic candy cane. Wow! Magic!”
     But time passes, and this talented creature creator grew up and got married. “Life got busy and I stopped playing with clay,” she says. “A few years into marriage and my husband surprised me with all kinds of clay, tools, cutters, molds, glitter, etc. I was thrilled.”
     So once again she gets to play with clay and share the results with all of us. Fluttering Flowers boasts an impressive catalog of tiny, whimsical colorful sculptures. My favorite is this cute Rainbow Terrarium Set. I love plants and I can just see a miniature world of color peeking out between green leaves.

  And here's the cutest little octopus wrapped around a teeny tiny bottle. This Tiny Lavender Octopus needs a good home!

     These little Snail Earrings are just adorable! The colors are just right for spring!

     Oo-o-o yum, Kiwi Pie! Don't you want to take a big bite?


     And  for something just a little different, see yourself in this Small Mirror with Many Faces. Just awesome!

     You can catch all of Fluttering Flowers tiny masterpieces on her Etsy site. Also, visit her blog and learn about her life with pheasants, turkeys and a pool (you can see what inspires her!) And you can follow her on Twitter @PicassosTears.
      Enter the magical, whimsical world of Fluttering Flowers and you may never go home again!
      All the best!


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Product Review: Crystal Crafter Hot Fix Crystal Setter

Hi There,

     I know there are a lot of crafters and jewelry makers who use hot fix crystals for embellishments. Here's a thorough review on a tool designed to make that job quick and easy! Found this one on!


Monday, March 28, 2011

How to Make A Polymer Clay Mold

Hi There!

     I'm back once again! Went home to see my Mom and it's taken a little time for me to get back in the swing of things. The trip was a little disheartening for me but seems to have done Mom a world of good. At 93 years old, it's good to hear a smile in her voice!
     I've heard that you guys really like the tutorials I've put up, so here's another one you might like. This is a tutorial on how to make a mold of a bead using polymer clay. I thought it was a pretty cool way to recreate a button or bead you like. I found this little gem on Hope you like it! (By the way, I love comments so leave one, okay?)


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Salvaged History from Danizabeth: Another BESTeam Feature

     Danielle Elizabeth is a talented photographer with a vintage eye and a passion for the look of all things retro and nostalgic.  Her collection of photographs on Etsy at Danizabeth is an assemblage of images from yesteryear frozen in present day. Her pictures evoke beloved memories and provide an escape from the hustle and bustle of life.
     As a young girl, Danielle would accompany her father to salvage yards to search for keys that had fallen out of the cars. The ultimate prize was if the keychain was still attached. “That small collection I accumulated is probably still at my parent's house, hidden away somewhere,” she says. “What remains with me is the love I have for these pieces of a past I wasn't around to live in.”
     A graphic designer by trade, Danielle still hungers for artistic expression in other mediums. She dabbled in painting and then began designing announcements and invitations, “but I started finding myself seeing this as more of an extension of work rather than an opportunity to be artistic in other mediums,” she recalls.
     But inspiration returned on another salvage yard trip with Dad. “I was anxious with anticipation,” she says, “and walked away with 330-some pictures that day. I had finally found it...I had the excitement I had been missing in my other artistic experimentations!” The rest, as they say, is history. The Danizabeth photo collection harks back to the days of the muscle car and beyond.
     Here we have one of her retro memory shots... anybody remember "fish tails?" This is an 8x10 matte print of an old pink and ivory classic Mercury called "Pink and Pearls." Can't you just see the "Pink Ladies" riding in this old classic?

     Below is one "Happy Car!" This one reminds me of Sundays when I was very little. Our family used to go riding through the fancy neighborhoods in my uncle's Olds, dreaming of owning one of those big houses one day.

       Do you remember those big, old tow trucks that would rescue snow-bound travelers no matter how bad the weather or how deeply you were stuck? Where did they all go? Well, here's one. This 8x10 matte print is part of her "Red Truck Series" featuring this Ford truck


       Talk about the nostalgia season, here's a snowy blast from the past called "Classic Car Christmas!" Perfect to decorate for the holiday season, this vintage image speaks of holidays of yesteryear!

     An artist with a lot of interests, you can visit with Danielle on her blog, become a fan of hers (and the Cubs) on Facebook and follow her on Twitter! Be sure to grab some memories at her shop!

All the best!


Saturday, March 19, 2011

From Desert Sands on Mystic Wynd: A BESTeam Feature

     When you own a business, there’s nothing like having a grip on who your customers are “In my case, it was obvious,” says Mystic Wynd owner/operator, Karen, “everyone!” Indeed, Mystic Wynd sports a large and eclectic mix of handmade jewelry and gift items designed to appeal to just about everyone.
     An artist and poet Karen has one basic philosophy, "An awareness of peace and love rose anew, As the spirit found truth and the Mystic Wynd blew..." a line from a poem she wrote, Karen embraces the idea of being true to oneself and not worrying about the opinions of others.
     Currently based in Scottsdale, AZ, this transplanted Chicagoan’s creations “are designed in the hopes of igniting that special spark of uniqueness that lies within us all," she says. "Some things are elegant, some are fun, some are outlandish, some are colorful, some are calming - but the great thing is that I know there is someone out there who will recognize something that just makes them feel good about themselves!”
     Karen’s designs take in other factors besides style. She’s designed a number of necklaces with easy to close clasps and front closure that are fashionable and unique to meet the needs of customers who have trouble with clasps. She also creates earring designs that easily convert to non-pierced style. Rings at Mystic Wynd are either adjustable or can be created to size.
     Whether your style is simple or bold, classic or trendy, elegant or glitzy, Mystic Wynd has something for you at a price you can afford. And speaking of mystic, hear's one of my favorite stones, Botswana Agate, in Mystic Wynd's Gemstone Necklace Botswana Agate, Onyx, Mookaite - Earth Expressions. Did you know Botswana agate is said to bestow insight, wisdom and guidance to the wearer?


     Here's another lovely classic retro piece just right for evening. Karen created this stunning Black Czech Glass Necklace and Earrings Set - Ebony Brilliance with Black AB bicones and tiny gold seed beads.

     I'm a bit of a nut for purple so this purple floral piece really caught my eye. Purple Rose Necklace w Pearl, and Glass Beads - Reverie in Indigo is a lovely vintage style necklace with glass pearls and purple glass foil beads.

      Karen also maintains a dynamic blog so stop by and see what she has to share. Or become a fan on Facebook or follow her on Twitter. Please be sure to see her shop on Etsy and check out her fabulous array of handcrafted goodies at prices you can afford!

     All the best!


Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Passion for Purity: Vegan Skin Care at just the goods (A BESTeam Feature)

     “I started making natural skin care items for myself and my immediate circle of friends at the end of 2007,” says Milena, owner/operator of justthegoods. “The feedback I received was very positive and I was encouraged to make my products more widely available.”
      justthegoods is a Winnipeg-based producer of handmade, vegan skin care products at affordable prices. The company is a fully compliant member of the Compact for Safe Cosmetics. Just the Goods products are made without petrochemicals, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and artificial fragrances, dyes, and flavors.
      As a natural skin care specialist, Milena has a passion for her products. A curator of contemporary art, writer, and researcher in her “other” life, she focuses on socially and politically motivated art, audience engagement, and progressive cultural policy. Milena’s professional value system concentrates on making alternative options accessible.
      “In other words,” she says, “my curatorial work seeks to encourage thoughtfulness about society and just the goods aims to do the same. just the goods is also concerned with supporting positive body image and equity for all genders.”

     This is  a shot of just the goods' Vegan Peppermint Ginger Foot Butter. A penetrating blend of cocoa and shea butter, grapeseed and sweet almond oil, apply this rich butter generously and feel it turn into a luxurious and invigorating treatment for tired sore feet!

     Here we have some of just the goods amazing Fizzing Vegan Bath Melts. Made with essential oils, cocoa butter and water softening baking soda these little heart-shaped treasures are just what you need to soak the days stresses away and give your skin the healthy moisture it needs! They come in Calm: chamomile, lavender, and vetiver; Romantic: rosewood, patchouli, and ylang ylang; Sleepy: bergamot, chamomile, and clary sage; Energizer I (citrus): basil, cypress, and lemon; Energizer II (mint): bergamot, lavender, juniper, peppermint and NEW Unscented!

     Here's something for the shavers in the house, just the goods' NEW solid Spearmint and Eucalyptus Vegan Shaving Cream. Designed to reduce and eliminate shaving bumps and razor burn. Made from vegetable-based stearic acid and kaolin, essential oils and shea butter  this cream gives a satisfying, clean shave and helps skin feel great!

     You can find Milena's fabulous products on her site at justthegoods, she also has a lovely blog. Follow her on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook! Milena loves feedback so be sure to leave some comments!
      I'm going right now to order some of that Vegan foot butter myself!

All the best!