Saturday, July 28, 2012

Local News Articles

My feature spots in some local papers this week. Very exciting!
I've been learning a lot from my fellow artists and business people in The Artisan Group, so I recently took the initiative to send some information about my work and my upcoming shows, to some of the local papers. I had three interviews in the last two weeks, which turned into three "feature" articles and one mention in the local papers!

I would like to thank the reporters who responded to my phone calls, and who wrote the articles:

Thank you to Tom Wilkinson for the article about my participation in "Art in the Village".
Thank you Katie Mueller for answering my plea for last-minute photos!

Read the article

Thank you to Amanda Moore for the great article with more mentions of Art in the Village. Many people who came to the show in Jordan today, mentioned that they saw the article and that was what made them come out! :)

Read the article here
Thank you, especially to Angela Scappatura. Angela returned my message, set up an interview and came to my house (twice! LOL) She was amazing. I was so nervous about doing the interview. She was so easy to talk to - - I really had nothing to be anxious about. Then  - whammo! I open the paper and find this fab BIG article, which I hope will get some more people coming to the Art by the Lighthouse Show on August 4th and 5th in Niagara-on-the-Lake!
She included a link to my on-line shop (Thank goodness!) and added info about The Artisan Group!

Read this article HERE

So - - here's what I've taken away from what's happened this week.

Self-promote by using the media to your advantage.

I've been working hard and have had these great opportunites, but haven't used the media to my advantage...until this week. I had a show today and have a show next week. I figured I could present my work appearing on CSI and a few of my Celebrity gifting opportunites and mention I had a couple of shows coming up. Perfect small story.

I don't know if I'm just an idiot, but I realized - - You need to take the stories to the reporters. How else are they going to know about you? You have to be your own cheerleader.

The worst thing that could happen is they don't call you back, right? Right.
3 out of 5 reporters did call back, and I received some great articles from those interviews.

Hard work pays off.

Most importantly, I am very blessed to have such supportive family and friends.
Thank you all so much!!!

The Art in the Village show was a success today. Beautiful weather, Gorgeous location, wonderful artists and great turnout. If you haven't made it to any of the Niagara Nights of Art events, I urge you to check out the next one. They are FREE. Show your local artists you support them, learn more about them and their work as they engage you in many different ways. You will be happy you did!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lampwork Beads and Glass Art by CW Design

A wonderful assortment of Lampwork beads

Christel Wille

I met Christel Wille a few years ago at my first Art by the Lighthouse show in Niagara-on-the-Lake.  A multi-talented Lampwork glass artist and Textiles artist - - Christel brings an interesting variety of quality goods to the show.

With a soft-spoken European accent, Christel is friendly and inviting and has a certain sense of whimsy about her.

She told me recently, at the Art in the Park show in Pelham, that she just stopped making beads completely and began making little insects and snakes and creatures. Just stopped.
It's evident that both have brought her much joy.

One of her lampwork creepy crawlies

A young fan who already purchased a little snake, but couldn't resist coming back for another look. :)

The detail and quality in her work is honest and refreshing. I had a fun time looking over everything in her tent and finding little treasures, everywhere!

Gorgeous necklaces and bracelets. How can you choose? 

Her woven scarves are breathtaking. Her jewelry is amazing. Every piece, every glass bead made by hand!

Hand-crafted lampwork bead bracelets 

Some cute creatures

Beads galore! Make your own necklace! 

OMG! Would you look at those beads?! Wicked!

So unique and gorgeous! 

So sweet. Christel and her love, enjoying some live music at Art in the Park 2012.

If you would like to meet Christel and see her amazing work, please join us at this year's Art by the Lighthouse Show in Niagara-on-the-Lake!

Art by the Lighthouse
The Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre
247 Ricardo Street

Saturday August 4th and Sunday August 5th 10am to 5pm

You can also contact Christel through e-mail at :

Glass Artist Angela Sirrs for Dragonfly Designs

A Gorgeous necklace by Angela Sirrs from the Art by the Lighthouse Show 2011
I had the great pleasure to have a tent beside Angela and Fred Sirrs, last year, at the Art by the Lighthouse show in Niagara-on-the-Lake. With luck, I will be near them again at the show this year on August 4th and 5th.

I am always amazed by artisans who use kilns or fire to create their craft. There's something dangerous and spellbinding about it. 

A picture of Dragonfly Designs' tent at ABTL show 2011.
 Note how close the Niagara River is.
Perfect for dipping one's feet on a hot day.
Believe me. We did.

Another necklace from the ABTL show 2011

I took part in Summerfest's "Art in the Park" this year, on July 19th, 20th, 21st and 22nd 2012. 
 I was quite happy to see Angela and Fred there, with some gorgeous new work. 

Chatting with some potential customers?

A gorgeous pendant Summer 2012

A selection of beautiful pendants
Summer 2012

Angela's new "GlassScapes" Made of layers upon layers of fired glass.
Like any landscape, they are colourful and ever-changing with the light. 

Some fab new "etched" dichroic glass pendants. So vibrant! 

Angela and Fred Sirrs

A new GlassScape Pendant Summer 2012

This pendant has texture and a hand painted tree for extra detail.

You have to see these dichroic glass pieces in person.
I was thinking about the name Dragonfly Designs, and how the glass is like one of those beautiful insects, darting and flickering and iridescent in the light. Each one is alive!

Tools of the trade.

What a beauty!
July 2012

If you are interested in seeing some of these pieces in person, please come by the Art by the Lighthouse show on August 5th and 6th in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. It's going to be another great show down by the river!

Art by the Lighthouse
The Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre
247 Ricardo Street

10am - 5pm

Or, you can e-mail Angela for more info at :

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Evening Insects in the Field

This little guy hopped onto the hood of the golf cart. 

After dinner tonight we went to visit Mike's parents. They live not far from us, along the "wine route" with lots of orchards surrounding the property. There's a field behind the greenhouse that "Opa" takes the kids through on his golf cart. It was a nice evening so we took the kids for a ride.

So many insects out tonight. Apparently, they do not mind the heat one bit. The long grass was teeming with fluttering, jumping, crawling things. It was great!

I love these "thistles"

There were tons of little moths and "cabbage" butterflies and monarchs and such flitting about, but then, I spotted a big Eastern Black Swallowtail down low in the long grasses, just, fluttering about. Mike, carefully tried to put his hand underneath it. ( I thought it must be "injured") Then, free of the tangle of long grasses, it fluttered away. Mike said it was hiding because of all of the swallows and purple martins and other birds, swooping around catching their dinner - - and really we just served up their dessert. I hope not.
Eastern Black Swallowtail

Back orchard

"Magic Hour"

Mike spotted this baby bird amongst the thistles. If you can identify him for me, please do!

LOVE this! 

While driving "off the beaten path" Mike found a hitchhiker on his ankle.
So, when I couldn't be feeling more fortunate that the sun came out from behind a cloud, just as it was setting (perfect for photos, Thank You!!) and we saw all of these amazing grasshoppers and birds and butterflies and the ever-elusive praying mantis - - a feather spiraled down out of a tree, right in front of me.

I'm not kidding.

We were walking back to the house, and just as I walked under this beautiful Purple Maple, a lovely black and white feather, slowly twirled down from the branches and I reached out and caught it. It was surreal.

Thank You, Mother Nature, for the wonderful evening!! :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Gifting Mila Kunis

Mila is finally back on the big screen with her new movie, "Ted". The film was written by Seth MacFarlane, of The Family Guy fame and stars Mark Wahlberg, Mila and a teddy bear voiced by Seth himself. Apparently, it's about Mark Wahlberg's character and his teddy, who, by some magical childhood wish, has come to life. Mila plays his girlfriend.

Definitely not for children, the movie likely has lots of crude humor and sexual innuendo - - wait, likely no innuendo at all. I figure it's full of sexual content and offensive jokes. After all - Seth will be able to get away with much more vulgarity with an R-rated movie, than he can with any television show.

Now, if a teddy bear with a potty mouth doesn't reel you into theatres, I'm sure the acting chops and eye candy alone of Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis could get you in!

Recently I was one of several members of The Artisan Group chosen to gift Mila! So exciting!!
I couldn't resist painting a few feather studies for her. I'm sure she's seen quite a few feathers since Black Swan, but I had an idea.

The Key to Great Acting

"...whether you are playing the antagonist or protagonist role, the key to great acting is ..." 

Well?! Can you guess what the key to great acting is?

While you're thinking about that, I'll give you a peek at some of the other things made exclusively for Mila!

My packaging. Will not get mistaken for anyone else's.

Anatomy Naturals

Oh, my goodness! The descriptions alone on these handmade, natural products makes me want them.
Listen to ingredients in the body oil: Contains grapeseed, rice bran, sweet almond oil, Vitamin E and grapefruit seed extract. Scented lightly with essential oils of citrus fruit and bergamot.

Mmmm!!! I want!
You should really check out their website. It's awesome. Also, the packaging design is so good. Love it!

Moisturizing Body Oil 

100% Natural Mint Lip Butter

Mercury's Glass Lampworking

"M" is for Mila.

This little "M" pendant is made of shimmering silver reactive glass and strung on a sterling silver snake chain. So unique! I bet it feels really nice against your skin.

Shanna's Tie Dye

It has already been quite the hot summer and I would love, love, LOVE one of these 100% cotton tie dye sarongs from Shanna's Tie Dye!

You could use them as a cover-up, sarong, cape(!!) or beach towel. Probably at the end of a day at the beach (or in my case, Splash Pad) I would tie up all the stuff I brought for the kids and use it as a makeshift bag as well. LOL. Definitely going to have to get a few made ;)

100% Cotton Tie Dye Sarong

Firefly Myst Artisan Jewelry

A one-of-a-kind piece, this bracelet features a sun/moon focal bead hand crafted and signed by the artist. Silver tube beads and toggle clasp complete the look.

Moon Face Bangle Bracelet

Squeaky Clean Soaps

Exfoliating and nourishing, this salt scrub has notes of Red Hibiscus and Acai berries.

Island Pearl Salt Scrub

Jewels of Saraswati

I am totally crushing on these stacking bracelets. Made with Pyrite, Lava Rock and Crystal Quartz beads - - she'll be able to rock these with any outfit. Awesome!

Mark Giarrusso Photography

These strong, classic images by Mark are timeless and beautiful, don't you think?

Time for a Mila Break

Did you know Mila has already filmed the movie Oz: The Great and Powerful, which is a pre-quel to the original story, explaining how the wizard came to Oz and became the ruler?
It was directed by Sam Raimi and features a stellar cast, including: James Franco, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz and Zach Braff amongst others. Mila's character is Theodora, the Wicked Witch of the West. Currently in Post-Production, I can't wait to learn more about the film. With Sam Raimi at the helm, the film is sure to be a box office smash!

Nature's Images by Design

Look at the beautiful, fresh photography used to embellish this mini pouch and matching compact!

Cherry Blossom Purse

Cherry Blossom Compact

Elegantly Eclectic

Mila can add a bit of flair to her morning coffee with this Stainless Steel Coffee Scoop that has been hand-beaded with jewelry grade copper wire, gemstones and beautiful glass beads.

Unique Coffee Scoop


Amazing detail in these Fine Silver Metal Clay earrings. Handcrafted using an antique button as a mold, painstakingly textured -- each tiny stud made by hand, these earrings are gorgeous! So much heart and soul and talent used to craft these lovelies!!

River Valley Jewelry

Here's a lovely little personalized charm necklace. I think that gold detail on the initial charm adds a little something special and the silver orchid is so sweet.

Garnished Girl

This is a romantic style headband made with satin fabric, braided ties and silky rosettes embellished with vintage style pearls and crystals.

Jewels for Hope

How awesome are these? Two bracelets, both sporting the colors of Maya's Hope.
Jewels for Hope creates unique, handmade jewelry, donating part of the proceeds of each sale to different major organizations.

Shaka Soap

Made on the Big Island of Hawaii, these treats for your body are made of natural ingredients and smell amazing! Can you believe the colors in that five layer Ombre Coconut soap bar? So cool!

Jasmine Bloom Lotion

Ombre Coconut Soap

Trinkets N Whatnots

Wowza! Look at this Mother of Pearl layered button necklace. Luxe, creamy, smooth buttons with swarovski crystal beads added for embellishment. So classy and regal. Can anyone say red carpet?!

Mother of pearl layered button necklace

Autumn Bradley

Not only does this necklace have an amazing style and energy about it, but it has wicked length as well. Everything going for it.
Each charm was created by hand. Featuring a horseshoe and coin for good luck, a Hamsa for protection and a tiny piece of turquoise to dispel any negative energy. This was personalized with Mila's birthstone.
I want one.
Husband? Take note. LOL.

Talisman Necklace

Diana Ferguson Jewelry

14K yellow gold filled. These are extra long Petal Dangle Earrings with a vintage botanic theme, they are gold and cream in color. I really want to see Mila wearing these! I think the movement and flash on them will be beautiful.

Ecru and Gold Long Dangle Earrings

Chloe & Maddie

Here's a pair of vintage - inspired silk and satin bloom hair combs. They are so romantic with a bit of netting, some French blue ribbon and swarovski pearls and crystals.

Silk and Satin Bloom Hair Combs

Soga Soap and Cupfakery

This is " Blissful Nectar  " Artisan Soap. The name alone makes me want to try it, then, I look at that beautiful soap and it reminds me of a landscape painting. That's soap?! Crazy! This is a vegan version of an Oatmeal, Milk and Honey Soap, but contains : Oatmeal, Coconut Milk, and Agave Nectar. Yum!

Blissful Nectoar Artisan Soap

Hoshii Designs

This fabulous clutch is made of reclaimed fabric and recycled leather! Isn't that amazing?! Recycled, fashionable, useful and sexy! Very cool!

Venicia Creations

Approximately 45 inches long, this necklace is made of wire-wrapped aquamarine and glass beads. With the matching bracelet, this is a gorgeous pair!


A Hand Stamped Sterling Silver necklace with a sterling silver key and Swarovski crystal
May I say we might be on the same wavelength here, with the key symbolizing the "key to great acting"
Either way, I think this is a real darling of a necklace!

Jolio Design

This stationery was designed exclusively for Mila. Classic black and white polka dots with a bright, cheerful contemporary floral motif, I'm sure she'll feel very special writing some heartfelt letters and notes on these. Now, she just needs to find the perfect pen!

Hopefully, when Mila gets finished promoting her movie, she has a chance to slow down and enjoy her summer!