Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Little Custom Faux Bois (for your enjoyment)

Pretend it's Friday, not Sunday. Pretend that I'm not at all late getting a picture of "this week's" custom order posted.

Faux bois has been really popular lately. The faux bois shade I have in stock wasn't quite the right size for the client. Yaaaay custom!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

D&L's First Ever Go Green Challenge!

This will hopefully be the first of many Go Green Challenges. A little creativity goes a long way in figuring out how to repurpose items and give them a new life. The goal of this challenge is to think up creative ways to reuse objects that would normally be discarded after their initial use and to share those ideas with the world.

All entries will be posted here throughout the challenge. In addition to winning the prize (see below), our winner will be interviewed and asked to write a short tutorial to help the rest of us implement their great idea.

Judging will be based on 3 criteria:

1. Creativity. Has your solution been done a million times before? What's your unique twist?

2. Accessibility. Is this something most people can make if given directions?

3. Green-ability. Are there other ways you can make your design green than just the use of the initial reused object?

Photos are also a MUST for this challenge. Entries will not be considered without photos!!!

How to enter:
E-mail a brief description and picture(s) of your completed item to
Entries will be received now through June 15. Only one entry per contestant will be allowed!

Now that all the messy logistics are out of the way you are probably wondering what normally discarded object will be the subject of the first ever D&L Go Green Challenge...

(drum roll please...)

FROSTING TUBS! (inspired by my LOVE of cake, cookies and just about anything else that requires cream cheese frosting)

And now for the prize!

(another drum roll please...)

This vintage cake tin!
(Also inspired by my LOVE of cake, cookies and just about anything else that requires cream cheese frosting.)

This tin is in GREAT shape and perfectly suited for your green use and enjoyment.

Remember: June 15 is the entry deadline!!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Shani Neal of SNEAL Made Woolen Creations

I love fiber arts! Knitting and felting are on my long list of things to learn. Until I master these skills, I will have to be content with admiring the beautiful work of people like Shani Neal of SNEAL Made Woolen Creations.

Enjoy reading about her!

1. Where is your business based out of?

My business is currently based out of my home in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.

2. Where are you from originally?

I am an Air Force brat so I am not originally from anywhere. I was born in New Jersey. My younger years were mostly spent in North Dakota, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania. I have lived nearly all of my adult life in and around Boulder Colorado. My husband, son and I just moved to Pittsburgh last year to be near my family.

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

I have been involved in art my whole life. One of my degrees is in Fine Art. I actually became a floral designer right after college and soon had my own floral design business. I left it behind when I became a mom about 4 years ago, and started full time selling my art. I have never looked back.

4. Where do you get your creative inspiration?

Mainly color. I am in love with bright colors and like to find new ways to marry them together. My other big love is nature in general and flowers. I am fairly obsessed with flowers and they always find their way into the things that I make.

5. What does your creative process entail?

The creative process for me is almost random. I get an idea for something that I want or something that I see and want to try and recreate, and then I just keep making and remaking until I get it right. The most difficult thing for me is remembering how I made something the
first time so that I can do it again. I am getting better with writing things down so I have at least a pattern for the next project. When it comes to needle felting onto something that I knit, I often will ponder over it for days. Looking at the piece and trying to picture what wants to be on it. ANd yet again I play with different colors to see what ones will make the piece pop.

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

Oh for sure. Again it is the plants and flowers that I surround myself with that influece me the most. Mother nature has the best imagination when it comes to color. Also I have alot of color in my home and I can easily be influenced my seeing how two colors play off of one another. Like with an afghan that my grandmother has knit next to a painting that I may have. Or by seeing a few pieces of pottery next to one another.

7. Who are your creative mentors?

I come from a long line of creative folks. So without really knowing it, I have been influenced my whole life. I am proud to say that a good chunk of the items that I use everyday has been made by a member of my family. So I think that the wole idea and need to create functional pieces of art has been handed down to me through my genes. But I do need to give credit to all of the wonderful teachers that I have had through my education. Unfortunately there have been too many to name.

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

Honestly any of them that work. I am so very proud to create sturdy pieces that hopefully will last a lifetime and then some. It has meant a lot to me to surround myself with things that have been in my family for generations. And I really hope to create things for others that will have that same affect on them.

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

Being with my family, cooking and baking, mountain biking, reading, traveling, caring for my orchids, getting some love from my kitties, and catching up on my long list of movies that I need to see.

10. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Hopefully happy, healthy, and still creating while living on a beach somewhere.

Friday, May 8, 2009

True Love = Orange Damask & Birds!!!

I could not be more thrilled about this week's featured custom order. I want to wrap myself in this orange damask fabric by Joel Dewberry and chassé down the street. It's even more fun and vibrant in person than it is in the picture and just perfect for my client's teal and orange nursery. She has agreed to send along pictures of the whole room once it's completed but until then, may these pictures whet your appetite.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Artist Profile: Barney BeGuhl

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone! Today's artist is a fellow etsian: the super talented Barney BeGuhl of Joyful Crow. For more info and to purchase, please check out his Etsy site by clicking here.

1. Where is your business based out of?

Eugene Oregon, The far left coast!

2. Where are you from originally?

A small town, now a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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

Well, all my life I suppose. I have been making jewelry since high school, in 72. I turned those more occasional pieces into a for sale type venture after moving to Oregon in 89. I have also been a business owner of a natural foods manufacturing company since 91.

4. Where do you get your creative inspiration?

Mostly from this beautiful Earth we live on. Nature and the way she displays her interacting parts. The natural world never ceases to amaze and inspire me.

5. What does your creative process entail?

I spend a great deal of time in the outdoors, hiking, climbing, just getting into the wilderness. Its there I get both ideas for pieces, and have time to be clear of thought to sketch items or work out fabrication problems in my head. I also design from the stone up. Meaning I will take gemstones and play around with them. See what they are displaying of their own needs in design to be represented well. What would serve them best. I used to think it was all the metalwork when I was younger, the technical proficiency that made the piece shout, but I realized later its just a supporting role to what the stone as to say. Surely they work together, but the stone, even in an accent role, puts the italics to the words of the piece, the emphasis on what the overall item states.

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

Absolutely. I get easily jangled in this worlds busyness and rapid fire way in which information and imagery comes at us. No way we can keep up with it all. It upsets the daily dance incredibly. I need the flowing effects that nature has to surround me often to soften the impact of our culture's onslaught. The day to day is way too much a jittery obstacle to my particular creative thought process.

7. Who are your creative mentors?

Well I have quite a few. I admire John Paul Millers work probably more than any other single Jeweler. Etruscan pieces as well, for their incredible detail and design application. Renee' Lalique and many of the art deco stylings in metalwork.

My immediate mentors in my own self taught journey, would have to be Larry Shapiro, and the late Marv Shapiro, of Milwaukee Wis. and Laine Goldman of Palm Springs Ca. These folks inspired me to challenge myself and push my envelope. They also taught me to be critical of my technical craftsmanship.

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

Well pride is a funny word to me in that it can be both a good and bad thing. I prefer to frame the question as a project I am most happy with in its ability to convey what I really meant.
And in that scope, of current works, I would say "Spring" for its use of stones together, both metaphysically and interactively, its uplifting and growth orientation as a design. Its as a little daffodil popping up in the early spring. I also like "Hollow Woman, Hollow Man". Its not an especially happy fun piece, but it isn't trying to be. Humans while capable of so much wonderful beauty and humanity can also spend so much energy at deception and facade that it decays us inside out and leaves these shells to confront and interact with. Two others are "Jacobs Ladder" which just nailed the feeling of our twisted climb from below, and "Lightening Shield" which I think is one of my best pieces to depict the stones statement on its own.

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

I like to be outdoors. Gardening, hiking, biking, climbing, backpacking, dancing.

10. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Well, retired from the day to day working world. And be able to not only have more time for my art pieces in jewelry and electroluminescent wire sculpture, but to expand into a line of lower cost fun daily wear jewelry.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Space Update: A Tour

Most of the biz stuff got moved into the new space this weekend. I took a few pics to post. Unfortunately the pictures didn't turn out as well as I had hoped...ah well. Once I get the space all set up I will definitely post better images.

This is the first room you see when you walk in. It will be our boutique space when all is up and running.

The break & consultation room:

Our fabrication space:

A closet that will be transformed into an office:

The sewing room & extra storage:

Friday, May 1, 2009

Black & White Fun!

Hard to believe it's Friday again. Here's this week's featured custom shade. It was so much fun finally working with this fabric!

Happy weekend everyone!