Interview with the artist - Gail from Stormy Designs

Today we will meet Gail who is the face behind Stormy Designs, a shop with lots of color as you will see soon.
Tell us a little about who you are and where you come from.

I'm a widow and I have 3 beautiful daughters who have blessed me with 10 wonderful grandchildren. I come from an artistic family. My father was a professional photographer who loved to paint and draw, and my mother hand colored the portraits for the studio with oil paint or colored pencil, back before color film was invented. She was always sewing or crocheting something. I guess I inherited their artistic abilities to some extent.
Triple fishtail bracelet

Have you always been creative?

I have always drawn, painted or made things with my hands even as a small child. I remember my father teaching me how to color properly and to shade with the crayon so that my coloring looked more dimensional. I've done wood work, cutting out different animals and such and painting them and years ago had a successful business of it in northern VA. I've worked with beading since I was a child, wire wrapping in my later years. About 8 years ago I started working with polymer clay and loved sculpting with it. I made my own beads and wire wrapped earrings, bracelets and necklaces and made ornaments and such for a couple years. The polymer clay items that are currently in my shop are the remains of my claying period. A few years ago I moved into a smaller living space and gave up crafting for a few years.
Ladybug leaves clay choker

What or who inspired you to do what you do now?

Last year my granddaughter Bella made me a rainbow loom bracelet and I was intrigued. I searched online, found the loom and bands, bought them and have been creating ever since.
Bird of Paradise bracelet

Where does your inspiration come from?

Color and nature inspire me. I love working with different colors, seeing which ones compliment each other.

Do you do other crafts, if yes, what?

I love creating web graphics. I use Paint Shop Pro to create with and have used it for many years. I make my own tiled backgrounds and banners for my blog http://stormysdesigns.blogspot.com/ and my own banners and buttons for my shops.

Does your crafting leave you time for other hobbies, too?

Yes, I love to read, have been a bookworm all of my life. I read books mostly on my phone now, it's easier than lugging a huge novel around and my phone is always with me.
Polymer clay fall leaf earrings

Is there something you would really like to try doing, anything from a new craft to bungee jumping?

LOL it wouldn't be bungee jumping because I have a terrible fear of heights and falling. I would love to try learning to crochet, it's pretty similar to working on the rainbow loom.

Which one of your pieces is your absolute favorite?

That's really hard to choose an absolute favorite. I love all of my creations, but if I really had to choose it would have to be my Black, Metallic Purple & Metallic Gold Cincofish bracelet.
Cincofish bracelet
I love those colors together, and the bracelet pattern, Cincofish, is one that I created myself.

Which one was the hardest to make and why?

That would have to be my Coral bracelet, it took hours and hours just to twist all of those "coral" bands.

Coral bracelet

If you had free choice of a supply you need for your craft, no matter how expensive, what would you pick?

An unlimited supply of bands in all of the colors available.

Do you sell online, if yes, where can we find you?

I sell online at Zibbet and at Handmade Artists.

Is there anything else you want to tell us?

I love custom orders! If you see something in my shop that you'd like in a different color or size, just let me know. I'd be glad to make something just for you.
Thank you for your time, Gail. I am sure you'll want to get to back to your loom now to make more lovely and colorful designs for us all to see!


Quote of the week

Today's post is in honor of my very own (I'm gonna pay for that) alien at work.
Have you ever wondered if the people you work with are aliens? No matter if you work at a post office, a hotel, a library or the local pool?
Maybe you are just completely clueless because you have been neuralized. Maybe you should check your wardrobe for a black suit. Whatever you do, take a close look ....

Agent J: "Why do you think you're so comfortable here? Just about everybody who works in a post office is an alien."

You have been warned.

Men in Black II, USA, 2002


A new HeatherCat or The moustache

I can almost hear you. "Wait. You told us HeatherCats don't have whiskers, and now what ... there's one with a whole moustache?"
Yup, there is, a very fine moustache even, obviously well cared for.
Heather was inspired by someone famous when she created this design for a stamp. Can you tell who it was?

****cat (no spoilers) in this silver and black version will be in my Zibbet shop soon, of course in the HeatherCats section.


Ride, boldly ride ...

... to the end of the rainbow, ride, boldly ride, till you find El Dorado.

From the first time I saw this cabochon online, I had the song in my head. I love that movie although I'm not really that big a Western movie fan. I always have to sing along, too.
Had this been a bigger cab, who knows, there might be a horse there now or tumbleweeds or John Wayne. As I didn't want to cover most of the cab, though, I had to do with the sun and a cactus that I worked on with my pliers to make it look prickly.

You can find the pendant in my DaWanda shop.
Now excuse me while I'll sing the El Dorado song to Ponder once again. His eyes go all big and I don't even want to know what he's thinking .........


Zibbet finds of the week - Archeology

Archeology fascinates many people. I remember the sticker book we had when I was a child. It was about all kinds of exciting adventures from travelling on the Silk Road to the discovery of Tutankhamun which was my favorite story of all. The book came from an oil company that I won't name, and every time my father went to tank up the car we got a few stickers. Of course we never had all the pictures.

So I went for a little trip on Zibbet to find what was inspired by the past.

Handpainted ceramic tile "Bast" by Enchanted Craft

Fine art architectural photograph by ThoreauFair LLC

Viking dragon mug by Mad Dragon Designs

Amphora with blue hearts by In The Shade Of The Sycamore Tree

Decorative tile "Bat god" by Michael Goard

Aztec ceramic owl vintage design by Ceramics by Lisa

I hope you enjoyed our little "archeological" adventure!


Quote of the week

I'm going to go the easy way today. First of all I like the movie and I always liked that particular scene and the quote.
It will not be very original, either, because so many people already paid their tribute with this quote, a tribute to a great actor. I'm talking about Robin Williams of course. He will be missed.

"O Captain! My Captain!"

Dead Poets Society, USA, 1989


Interview with the artist - Maria from Caribbean Dreams

Today I want you to welcome fellow Zibbeter Maria from Caribbean Dreams.
Most of Maria's pieces are one of a kind and there is such a variety that it was hard to pick something to start this interview!
Caged fluorite pendant
Tell us a little about who you are and where you come from.
I was born on the beautiful island of Cuba a few years before the revolution. We had to leave and ended up in Philadelphia, PA, well north of where most Cubans ended up at that time [Miami]. My hometown is Havana, but mom is from San Cristobal in Pinar del Rio, an absolutely gorgeous province just west of Havana. While I've never been back, after 50+ years I've very much looking forward to when Cuba opens back up and I can see my patria.

You crochet and make jewelry. Which one came first and what got you started?
Crochet came first in my life as I learned how as a girl, but then I wandered away from it doing plastic canvas, counted cross stitch, and then jewelry. Now that I'm older, my hands sometimes start to ache from working with wire, jump rings, and metal clay, so I slowly got back into crochet. Now, what I work on any given day is dictated by what orders I've received and their delivery requirements.
I think this is one of the most asked questions – where does your inspiration come from?
This one is easy for me. All I have to do is look around to be inspired. I'm also a voracious reader and I've found inspiration in books more than once. Shapes, colors, it's all out there...all you have to do is see.

Tell us a fun thing about yourself.
I can find "fun" in just about anything I do. Sitting here trying to think about what I do for fun and I'm drawing a total blank...did I mention I'm a voracious reader? Love the escape that reading provides.  Oh! Got it!! I love to travel [haven't done any in a while] with Mexico very high on my hit parade.
Do you do other crafts, if yes, what?
Every now and then I'll pull out some cross stitch. I like large, intricate designs, so when I start one I know it will be a work in progress for months. Teresa Wentzler is a favorite designer of mine.

Is there something you would really like to try doing, anything from a new craft to bungee jumping?

Ahhh, there's so much!! From a craft standpoint, I want to try polymer and glass clay work, as well as glass slumping. From a bucket list standpoint, I'd love to bring up the courage to sky dive [just once would be enough].

Which one of your pieces is your absolute favorite? Which one was the hardest to make and why?

My absolute favorite piece is a wrapped slab of Chinese turquoise. I do have it offered for sale in my shop, but it would kill me if it actually sold.

Chinese Turquoise set
As of this writing, the hardest piece to get perfect has been a glass, resin and charm piece I call Island Dreaming. Getting the crushed glass just right [and not having it drift from adding resin] was a bear.
Is there someone whom you admire and who inspires you, both in your work and life?

The Dalai Lama. I'd love to meet that man and have the opportunity to chat with him for a couple of hours.

If you had free choice of one supply you need for your work, no matter how expensive, what would it be?

Really, really, high quality [not wool!!] yarn in weights from lace to extra bulky. Bet you thought I'd say Precious Metal Clay [fine silver], but not now...

Do you sell online, if yes, where can we find you?

I only sell on Zibbet at Caribbean Dreams, also under my own URL Caribbean Dreams Jewelry. I do have a page Caribbean Dreams Jewelry on Facebook where I post works in progress and items I've finished as special orders.
Famous last words ;-) Is there anything else you want to tell us?

I love the challenge of getting a nebulous idea from a customer and turning that idea into a gorgeous reality just for them.
The harder, the better.

Thank you so much for being here, Maria, and for sharing a little of your passion with us! I hope everyone will have as much fun browsing your shop as I had.