Orange. Orange? Hm.

We had a poll. We decided we'd work with a color, we voted on it ... and orange it was. Orange is not my favorite color, probably because I feel it makes me look sick. Then again I think the same about yellow, and I have always loved yellow. When I was a kid, my yellow crayon was the shortest one by far because I loved to draw suns with lots of long and short rays and smiling faces.

You don't know it yet, but this was a very clever bridge to this month's JAC blog carnival. Not just mentioning the challenge - make something with the color orange - but also mentioning suns.
By the way, even if it has no bearing at all on this post, Buster just had a carrot for his afternoon snack. Carrots are orange. Just saying.
Back to the suns.

I had the choice of different orange beads. Delicas and seed beads in an overpowering silver lined orange variety, irregular carnelian beads, and sweet, tiny carnelian rounds.
As so often when I have no plan at all, I started putting orange beads on my wire, made the first loop, a few chain stitches and then stared at it for a while. That's the part when Mabel is taking over and makes things happen. At first the idea was probably to make an edge from the orange beads, but after a few rows only of silver they wanted to take up more space. After even a few more rows I began to see the sun, and that's when I cut off the wire and added red carnelian to give it just a touch of that color graduated look.
In the end there just had to be something dangling in the center. I chose the bead with the most beautiful color pattern.
An orange neckwire matching the beads perfectly makes the necklace complete.

Voilà, it wasn't as difficult as I had thought after all. Here you go. Orange.

Here are the links to the other posts, more will be added as they follow.
N Valentine Studio
Jewelry Art by Dawn 
Ponder the Cat


Kiss me ...

Black wire, bugles, a crochet hook ... and Mabel, the muse,  running wild. I'll need more bugles.


Interview with the artist - Jenny from Jenny Karlsson Design

One of the first people I met when I started my online selling adventure was Jenny. I can't believe how long it took for me to convince her to do this interview.
I own two of Jenny's purses myself, what I like is the unusual combination of materials, stamps on little sachets, a picture of a 20s beauty on a bag, Jenny's muse takes her along interesting paths.
Let's give the word to her now.

Handwoven purse with fish

Tell us a little about who you are and where you come from.

I'm Jenny, I live and work in a town called Linköping, Sweden. Um ... yes. Brought up in the countryside, but living in town now - a lot of trees here though, so it'll do for a while.

What's your craft/art and how did you get to do it in the first place?

I work with textiles, using mainly techniques like sewing, embroidery, weaving and crochet. I make bags, accessories and things for the home. I think that I have always liked to create things with my hands. When I was younger, I always wanted to make things and then play shop and sell them. Later, after academic studies, I realised that I really need to use my hands more and my head less. Well, a combination is to prefer ...

I think this is one of the most asked questions - where does your inspiration come from?

There are some things that I seem to return to when it comes to inspiration. Magazines like Selvedge & Country Living (UK), books with lovely illustrations like the ones in The Country Diaries of an Edwardian Lady.  Costume dramas - Downton Abbey, Mr Selfridge, House of Eliott, Elizabeth ... Then there is nature, with its swirly ivys, trees and chirping birds. So genuine handicrafts, nature and times past are the general things ... Methinks ...

Flowery blue bird with linen wings

Tell us a fun thing about yourself.

I was in a youth circus when I was younger, doing a bit of acrobatics dressed up as a Native American. My Mom made me a costume out of brown flannel with fringes at the sides.

Do you do other crafts, if yes, what?

I seem to do a lot of textile thingies at the moment. But other than that I like to do wire crafts, simple jewellery, drawing, weaving ...

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

I don't know, I think I like the ones that have more intricate work where I have done a lot of embroidery for example. Maybe it's just that I want to do that more. I do have a few pillows that I have woven, and one is embroidered, too. I like those - and I have kept them on the top of my sofa, I don't keep that many things for myself. Um, ask me this again in a few years' time :)

Shoulder bag with Anita Page

Is there someone whom you admire and who inspires you?

I often feel inspired by people who are who they are and do their thing and don't care about what other people think. I don't always agree with them or want to do the same, but their strength is something to take in and get inspired by. I do seem to have a thing for Tasha Tudor - her lifestyle and wonderful garden and crafts. Beatrix Potter (who was over 30 when she published her first book). Poppy Treffry and other creative women who started their own business, believing in their creativity.

If you had free choice of just one suppy you can use for your craft, what would you be dreaming of, no matter how expensive?

Harris tweed!

Hand embroidered and sewn lavender sachet

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

Well, indeed I do! Jenny Karlsson Design on Etsy is my main shop at the moment - trying to stop spreading myself too thin ...
I have a website as well where you can have a peek at things that I have made in the past and now. 

Is there anything you feel you need or want to tell the world outside now?

Follow your dreams and passions. Rethink your stand now and then, try and see where you are heading and aim somewhere. I am easily distracted and tend to forget where I am heading now and then, so I have to force myself to focus sometimes. Be in the company of other creative people (whatever kind of work they do) with positive energy - they see things in a different light and make you see the roads ahead that might've been clouded by your own feelings and thoughts. And you get a real energy boost!
There, I think that was all for now.
So you just take care now and laugh a lot!

Best wishes, sincerely yours etc.
Jenny :)

Like so often I learned something new which makes these interviews just as interesting for me as they are for you, I hope.
Please also hop by Jenny's blog and have fun browsing through her pages!


Saturday night ramblings

I have just been sitting here eating little pieces of "meat" (vegetarian) with horseradish. I love horseradish. It makes almost everything better. Except chocolate pudding. I'd really like to have some chocolate pudding right now. Close to midnight is probably not the right time for preparing it, though. Pity.

Today has been one of those days you know. One of those weird days when you end up eating horseradish in the middle of the night because you didn't know what else you wanted to eat during the day. And of course you have a purring black cat next to you who keeps lifting one of her paws hoping you'll share your food with her, but who would be very disappointed if she had to taste fake meat (ok, that killed my own appetite now). One of those days when you keep looking into the fridge hoping your favorite food has materialized in there and only needs to be warmed up. Now I want potato pancakes. Tomorrow maybe?

At least my mind was not all that confused about what else to do today. I did a little spring cleaning in my shops and more items will be on sale eventually, stay tuned. I moved some items from one shop to the other (because I'll close my VonDir shop soon), I took some pictures, and when I really didn't know how to sit straight at the computer anymore, I indulged in a creative break and made this bangle. I wanted to list it today, but then again I wanted to list the agate earrings yesterday and haven't done it yet. I need more time, more arms or the cats will have to learn how to take good photos when it's rainy and grey outside.

Still the day was not unproductive. I did move some things to the cellar - with help - something that has been planned for a long time, too. Life tends to get in the way.

Do you wonder what kind of post that is? Well, I really wanted to share with you how my days go sometimes. It's so much easier if I can fully concentrate on my creative ventures instead of having to deal with real life, too. Oh. I forgot that I wanted to send off a few laters today.
Tomorrow is going to be really full. Maybe I should start the Sunday with a creative break? ;-)

I bet you have days like this as well. Please tell me I'm not alone!
And no, I didn't have anything to drink, believe it or not.


Random thoughts - creative moods

You remember Mabel, my muse? The voice in my head, the feeling in my fingers, the lady poking into my brain with a stick to cause sudden deviations?
Mabel who sometimes is a simple girl with a simple taste, then changes to an elegant lady who demands gemstones and silver, and makes a seamless transition to a dark soul or a geek afterwards.

What I'm talking about? Well, I often say that I like to explore and it's true. I like to experiment, go down new paths, change patterns in the middle of a project. When I look at the work I have done, I wonder if someone who hasn't known me for a while yet would be able to tell it's all mine.
What does it say about me? Is Mabel a bit crazy, and does that make me a bit crazy? ;-)
If I make, say a bowl, and suddenly it wants to be an octopus, should I really give in? Or should I finish the bowl, and then start an octopus? Would I even still want to make the octopus after I have finished the bowl, though?
Is it wrong that I rather follow the giggle sometimes? Yes, I actually do giggle while making some things, and honestly, it's a good feeling.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on that. Are you always serious about your projects? Do you start something and end up with something else? Do your creative moods jump wildly about the place or are you trying to contain them and keep them in order to always take the one you need out of its "mind drawer"?

Let me show you some randomly picked pieces I have made lately to explain what I mean.
These all come from the same muse and the same hands over the course of a few months.

Don't worry, Cara IS wearing a wire crochet body underneath, even if you may not see it at first sight.

Know now what I mean?