Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Introducing the New D&L Studio Space!

As many of you know, Dot&Line first started in a spare bedroom. From there we moved to our first public studio, a small "upstairs" space of another office. Bursting at the seams, we now find ourselves faced with the need to move yet again.

I present to you the soon to be home of Dot & Line Home Accessories. This new space will allow us to expand our line, take on larger custom orders and hire more employees. Additionally, this space is more accessible to local clients who may be interested in custom or "in stock" home accessory items.

Though it may look "home-y" the space has been zoned for commercial use and has lived a previous life as an office. While it may need a little curb appeal (flowers, landscaping and signage), this building has about everything we could want in terms of location and space.

Starting next week you can come visit us on 10th Ave. S. in the downtown Twin Falls area. We will be posting updates, including a tour of the space and pics of our own personal touches as they become available.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Artist Profile: Laura Zielinski

From the simple beauty of her paintings and mixed media art to the embraced elegance of her vintage pieces, the description that comes to mind when I think of Laura Zielenksi is "simply eclectic". I hope you enjoy reading about her as much as I do!

1. Where is your business based out of?

Lake Orion, Michigan

2. Where are you from originally?

Lake Orion, Michigan

3. How long have you been an artist and/or business owner?

I suppose I've been an artist since I was a little girl; my "all about me" book I wrote in kindergarten states that I thought myself to be very good at art. The pictures I drew speak otherwise. But since then, I've been fine tuning what I've learned throughout the years. I went to college for graphic design. Several years of graphic designing and just semesters away from graduation, I switched to an English major, as I felt graphic design wasn't my passion after all. Thankfully, I was schooled in all mediums, and though it didn't stand out to me at the time I took it, painting has taken over my love.

4. Where do you get your creative inspiration?

Much of my inspiration comes from my experiences. I hate trying to force out ideas just for the sake of creating something new; I find those to end up Poor Half-Formed Things that clearly show themselves as Poor Half-Formed Things, which are quite unslightly to gaze upon. Instead, I have a book where I jot ideas and sketches as they come to me, where they can sit and lounge about until I need them. When I read a phrase I like or hear something that pleases me, I write that down; these are either reworked into piece titles or are turned into paintings.

5. What does your creative process entail?

Usually, when it comes time to start a new painting, if I don't have something right on my mind I want to work on, I pull out my book and to see what speaks to me the most. I decide a layout and a canvas size, then sketch out what I am thinking. Lots of times I cut my sketch elements out and play with placement and size on the canvas. When I can't decide on specifics, I take a picture of the layouts I'm debating between, and that helps me step back and see it with a new objectivity. I sketch my design roughly on the canvas, then start painting.

6. Would you say your environment (where you live, work, play) influences your creative process? If so, how?

I recently moved to South Carolina for a year and then back, and I had the most gorgeous place to live (by happenstance). It made painting and my other love, refurbishing furniture, a dream since it was an old mill turned into lofts. I didn't have to worry about spilling paint on my cement floors and the 12 foot windows helped keep all my "painting smells" to a minimum, much to the joy of my neighbors, I'm sure. :)

7. Who are your creative mentors?

Any artist who doesn't have the natural talents some are so lucky to have, but perseveres anyway. I feel somewhat in that boat, I've had to work hard and will continue to work hard to make up for this. It helped greatly to switch to a medium I really loved, rather than plod along in graphic design because that's just what I initially signed up for. I love Etsy and the vast array of artists and crafters found there, all have such creativity and spark.

8. Tell us about the one project you would say you are most proud of.

I can't say I have a specific one I am the most proud of, but I am proud when I finish a piece that I have struggled to find a solution for. You hit all these dead ends, then all of a sudden, there it is (the solution). I also like pieces like my "Prison Door- Chapter 1" that I have in my shop right now, because it's made of all recycled and repurposed elements. It's nice to not let those go to a landfill.

9. What do you enjoy doing when you're not creating?

Thrifting! I adore hunting and rummaging about for furniture and odds and ends I can use in my art. I recently posted on my blog about a rusty heating vent I found in the store. I'm probably the only one who would have bought that silly thing, but to me it was a great find. I love reading, especially biographies; currently I'm on an American presidents and historical figures kick. Franklin was last; Washington, just started today. And Jeeps. I love my Jeeps. I have a vintage one that's like a child to me.

10. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

A dream of mine is having my own store one day of found furniture, restored for some new owner to enjoy. A local business downtown, Chic Antiques, has done that with great success. That would be so fun for me, and it'd be wonderful to also include art from local artists and such. I'm a big fan of helping other artists and the handmade movement. I'd be overjoyed to attain that in 10 years, but either way, these will be ten years working towards that goal.

Friday, April 24, 2009

2 Feet of Wonder

Happy Friday everyone!

I will leave you this week with this picture of a recent custom order. The shade measures 2 feet wide and 11 inches tall. This is the largest shade I've ever made, I even had to order custom fittings. I am very happy with the results and hopefully the shade will arrive safely and my client will be happy as well.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Where in the World: Sweden

Ex Patriot, Kate Jaggard Tyo now lives in Sweden with her hubbie and we just received news that there's a little Tyo on the way! Kate sent us this picture of her with her custom set of Dot&Line Love Birds that she received as a Christmas present.

Feel free to check out Kate's blog too. I'm sure you will love reading about her Swedish adventures as much as I do.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dot&Line Has Been Featured!!!!

Just wanted to let you know that Amanda of Epic Trinkets has featured Dot&Line on her blog. You can check it out by clicking HERE.

Poll: Cowboy Boot Lamp

Those of you who have been reading my blog from the start may recall a couple of my first posts expressing my frustration with local craft fairs. You may also recall my conclusion that the only way I would be successful in my rural market would be by making lamps out of stinky old cowboy boots. I will gladly admit that even I considered this conclusion to be an over dramatization...I mean who HONESTLY would REALLY have an old boot with a light sticking out of it?????? HONESTLY????

Having pushed these things out of my mind, believing in all sincerity that nobody would really go so far as to own something like this, I was completely sideswiped to run across this sad sad piece of lighting in person:

Of course, after regaining composure from the initial shock of this sighting, I whipped out my ever-present camera to document the event.

I realize that I should probably be more objective as this post is officially a poll. Please don't let my strong opinion and personal taste dissuade you from leaving your own remarks. Even though I have ranted about this I really do want to hear what you have to say.

Please share your opinion of this piece by leaving a comment below.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Artist Profile: Marie Wyatt

Marie not only designs jewelry but lovely pieces of art too. I was initially drawn to her pieces containing birds, I can't seem to get enough of birds these days! For a fanciful piece of your own visit her etsy site.

Without any further ado, Marie Wyatt of Frost Collections:

1. Where is your business based out of?

Beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia

2. Where are you from originally?

A little Scottish town called Fergus, Ontario. About an hour west of Toronto.

3. How long have you been an artist and/or business owner?

My business partner and I have been running Frost Collections for 2.5 years, but I've been an artist my entire life. I think I was born with a pencil in my hand. Since I was a kid I've been drawing non-stop. For the last ten years I've been working professionally as an animator.

4. Where do you get your creative inspiration?

Nature. I've always been a very outdoorsy person and living in BC I never have to look very far to be inspired. I also take much of my inspiration from the places I've traveled to. Europe was an amazing experience - it's so steeped in culture and art history, it was impossible not to come away from that inspired.

5. What does your creative process entail?

Much of the time, my creative process begins with a photograph. Sometimes I use that photo as reference for a drawing, inspiration for a color palette or the photo itself becomes the framework for the piece. In our fine silver jewelry and encaustic art, it all starts with the photograph.

6. Would you say your environment (where you live, work, play) influences your creative process? If so, how?

Where I live and work has a huge impact on my creative process. It affects my mood, it affects my inspiration, my motivation, my time and's all intertwined. What it comes down to is that I have to be happy with where I am (physically and mentally) in order to create. I know some artists who feed off depression and sadness to create amazing work, but the tortured artist syndrome doesn't work for me.

7. Who are your creative mentors?

I'm lucky to have been surrounded by so many talented and creative people, it's really hard to choose. But if I'm going to, I'd say my first mentor was my grandfather. Papa, like my father and like my great grandfather, was a potter and an artist. He taught me how to draw and nurtured my love for art from a very young age. I wouldn't be where I am without him. My other mentor has to be my friend, Linda. She's a modern day renaissance woman, a whirlwind of talent and a constant inspiration to me. She introduced me to the art of jewelry making and has been a great source of advice and support through the years.

8. Tell us about the one project you would say you are most proud of.

I'm most proud of my business as a whole. What it took for my business partner and I to put this together while both juggling full time careers has been a huge effort and I'm really happy with the direction it's taking.

9. What do you enjoy doing when you're not creating?

I love spending time with my friends. I'm equally content to enjoy a good vegetation session at home with my husband and two cats.

10. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I'd like to plant myself on a beach in the Greek Islands, maybe run a little B&B while my husband and I work on our respective art projects. I'd be just as satisfied with a cabin on the BC coast, out of the rat race and surrounded by nature. Whatever I end up doing, I hope by that time I'll be happy as I am now.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Where in the World?

I got an e-mail a couple of weeks ago from Jacque, a high school friend of mine, who recently bought a few coffee sleeves while she was home for a visit. (For those of you who don't know, in addition to my primary biz of selling handmade home accessories, I also recently started selling reusable coffee sleeves.) Jacque surprised me by sending along a great little note and pictures of her and her friend Hannah modeling coffee sleeves in front of the Sydney Opera House.

Not that I would equate my ingenuity with that of Jørn Utzon but it was fun seeing my design in the same picture as his beautiful building.

This got me thinking about how fun it would be to see where more of my handmade pieces have ended up. If you want to show off where your Dot&Line original is or has been, just send along a picture and a quick note!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hullabaloo on Heyburn Street

Hullabaloo: agitation: disturbance usually in protest.

A few weeks ago our little Toyota's final death. Fortunately the hubs and I just took this as an opportunity to pull out the bicycles and use them as our main form of transportation. In addition to good exercise, riding my bike the 3 miles to work also saves the environment and mula.

Just in case you don't remember my bike, it's the green vintage Schwinn that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago. Our friend Norbs referred to it yesterday as "like the first bike ever made". I have to admit that the sentiment didn't bother me one bit. It was, after all, my grandma's bike. It has it's original pieces, including the light on the front and the chain guard to keep girls in the early 60's from getting their dresses and flair cut jeans caught in the chains. I have, in fact, taken lots of pride in the chain guard...especially since the hubs has to put rubber bands around his ankles to keep his pants from getting caught. My bike may be old and rickety and "like the first bike ever made" but it'll be a cold day in hell before my jeans get caught in the chains!

Yesterday, though, my bike was in a bad mood. This probably came from the frustrating combination of not being ridden for a few dozen years followed by being ridden a lot in a short period of time. Somehow the chain on my bike managed to swallow my jeans. After the hilarity of attempting to pull my jeans out on my own and push the petals forward to move the chain with only one foot because my other foot was being held captive, I called for help. While I was waiting for my rescue I managed to remember that I had my camera with me!

Here are some fun little picks of the hullabaloo on Heyburn St.:

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Artist Profile: Lidia K. Anderson

Today's artist profile comes to us from L.A. Glass. I love how Lidia's designs capture and transform light. Her pieces are truly unique! To browse or buy, please visit her etsy site:

1. Where is your business based out of?

Powell, Ohio

2. Where are you from originally?

Sydney, Australia

3. How long have you been an artist and/or business owner?

I have been an artist for 35 years. I started my business, L.A. Glass Studio, about 27 years ago.

4. Where do you get your creative inspiration?

Creative inspiration comes from daily meditation and also from young children.

5. What does your creative process entail?

My creative process entails observing the energy around me as well as watching, and listening to children and their conversations with each other.

6. Would you say your environment (where you live, work, play) influences your creative process? If so, how?

I believe my environment has everything to do with the creative process. I find inspiration in listening to classical and new age music. I am also with young children every day in an afternoon kindergarten class and find they are the teachers. They have very simple thoughts which reminds me to stop being complicated when I'm designing.

7. Who are your creative mentors?

My creative mentors are other artist friends whose talent is in a different medium, e.g. metal sculptors, traditional oil painters, jewelers, and many other wonderful talented people. I admire all that they create and I am appreciative of their talent.

8. Tell us about the one project you would say you are most proud of.

I believe that it would be a restoration of 18 leaded windows at a chapel in Ohio. This was a massive project that I just wasn't sure at first if I could actually do it and after completion, which was about 18 months, I felt I could do anything. 7 of these windows had to be constructed from scratch which was very challenging. This project allowed me to work in the leaded and glazed technique of stained glass construction which was different from the copper foil method which I was more comfortable with making.

As a result of this project I was able to design and fabricate another church window during the past couple of years utilizing the same leaded technique. This one was very exciting because it allowed me to design in a contemporary style which I love the most.

9. What do you enjoy doing when you're not creating?

I don't know that I ever stop creating. Seems non stop. I would have to say thought, that having fun with friends and reading are my other passions.

10. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

10 years older and even more accomplished with my art. I don't see myself doing anything else except for what I love, creating my art, for me, and for the enjoyment of others.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Vintage Instead

Alas I didn't get any further on my dress, which I was hoping to wear today. Turns out that making clothes is just not my thing...especially when it's involves patterns. For some reason all the instructions zap the fun out of the experience for me. Ah well.

Instead, I found this lovely little vintage number:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Today was one of the rare and cherished days where we had a massive rain and thunderstorm here in Twin Falls. On days like this downtown usually floods a little, leaving the streets and sidewalks looking like this outside the studio:

I was upstairs working away when I heard something stirring below. I went downstairs to see what was going on and our dear Norbs (or Norberto for all you prim and proper folk) had made a paper boat to send down river. I was so enchanted by his little boat that I quickly requested another one:

Of course we had to see if it would work as well as the first one:

There it goes!

Proof that design doesn't have to be over-worked or utilize costly materials to be effective.

It was a happy storm.

Making Progress

Look everyone! My dress is all cut out!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Artist Profile: Jeanette Forney Van Wicklen

Today's artist profile comes to us from Austin, Texas. I first met Jeanette when she ordered a custom lampshade for a floor lamp for her biz. She has been great to work with and, I gotta say, I love love love her coastal style! Without further ado, Jeanette Forney Van Wicklen.

1. Where is your business based out of?

"jvw beach" & "jvw home" are both based out of Austin, Texas , from a "barn" garage!
We currently sell online only but are looking into other retail "avenues" .
Van Wicklen Design operates from my home office.

2. Where are you from originally?

San Antonio, Tx.

3. How long have you been a designer and/or business owner?

I have been decorating for others, since 1999. Van Wicklen Design started in 2001, as a freelance decorator. Later, I became Certified in 2002. "jvw beach" and "jvw home" started in 2008.

4. Where do you get your creative inspiration?

Hard question to answer because I get inspiration from so many things!....alot of times I get inspiration from my favorite magazines such as Coastal Living, Cottage Living, Country Living, etc., visiting Showhomes, visiting home decor stores & eyeing the vignettes, new fabrics, Round Top/Warrenton/Marburger Farms, etc. "antique week" in Texas (so many creative people there!!), or through my fave blogs.

5. What does your creative process entail?

If it's decorating rooms: Usually starts with fabrics or it could be starting with something special a client wants to keep in the room or the style of the house....... then the room details such as unique patinas on furniture, different buttons, trims, accessories, art, architectural pieces, come into's not always in a specific order.
For furniture & accessories on the site: I research alot of magazines and trade articles for the going trends on furniture finishing/paint colors. I LOVE to hunt for unique hardware to update antiques & to make them different.
For custom pillows/bedding: just going into a fabric store or eyeing my own library of fabric books gives me inspiration for a start.... then I add in fun buttons/trims or monogramming.

6. Would you say your environment (where you live, work, play) influences your creative process? If so, how?

Absolutely, because I live in an older home from the 1800's. My husband and I both are constantly discussing & collaborating new ideas of what we'd love to do next with this old house....if money were NO object, right?? Also, being in Austin, Texas is a mecca of creative people, so you find inspiration around every corner. I love to spend a lot of time at the beach and this gives me the inspiration for the coastal website.

7. Who are your creative mentors?

Dana______, a designer that used to design at Cowgirls & Lace, in Dripping Springs, Texas. (can't remember her last name!) I learned a lot about designing/creating from her. Dana was also a GREAT support to me when I was just starting out . I'm not sure where she is now because she retired from decorating at Cowgirls & Lace.

8. Tell us about the one project you would say you are most proud of.

This is a hard choice.... but I would have to say decorating my sisters' antebellum historical home in Mississippi. (We always have a lot of fun decorating her different homes but this one involved a lot of custom window treatments/bedding/pillows and antique hunts.)

9. What do you enjoy doing when you're not creating?

Being with my husband and family, traveling, Pilates, blogging, water sports, all kinds of fishing, hiking, and just being at the beach!

10. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Hopefully moving to the beach, after our youngest son graduates!

For more info on Jeanette and her awesome products please visit her website:

Monday, April 6, 2009

Dress Update

Well, I had hoped to at least have all the pieces for my dress cut out by now. Unfortunately I've only pre-washed the fabric. Currently my dress looks like this:

I had better get a move on or I will be wearing a toga for Easter!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Worthy Cause

There are many worthy causes out there but few as alarming as the issue of human trafficking. While statistics vary, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) estimated in that an alarming 1.2 million children are sold into slavery annually (2006). Fortunately several organizations have formed to promote the abolition of this epidemic and tragic problem. One such organization is Love146.

From April 2nd to May 2nd Love146 is hosting Tread on Trafficking, an event that brings runners and sponsors together to raise money for this worthy worthy cause. In an effort to get involved, Dot&Line will be supporting runner, Kate Jaggard Tyo.

From April 2nd - May 2nd half of all reusable coffee sleeve sales will go toward sponsoring Kate in her endeavors to raise $2000 dollars. Click here to play a role in supporting this cause by buying your own reusable coffee sleeve.

To read more about Kate or to sponsor her directly, please visit her blog: