28 February 2011

Featured Artist - emelephotography

I was approached by Emily to feature her work on my blog a few weeks ago.  To be honest, I was originally hesitant about even thinking about it because I want the work of my featured artists to be something I absolutely love and would want to purchase myself, not just any artist who wants their work to be promoted.

But as soon as I saw her etsy shop, I just HAD to feature her.  If I were able to take stunningly beautiful pictures, I would hope to take similar pictures as she does.  But since I'm not gifted in that way, I will just drool over her photos!

Here is a little about Emily in her own words:

I'm Emily, I'm 27 and English. I spend my time between the Greek island of Crete and Wiltshire, England. At the moment i'm in Greece soaking up some sun with my Dad and our Greek cats who live here... I'll be returning to England and my boyfriend  in April... Once the UK has warmed up a little!

I kind of fell into photography after I bought my first digital camera which I was using to photo the cards and gifts that I made and sold online. I just needed the camera to take the product pics - But somehow photography took over my life! I realized I could make money from my photos... and eventually decided to stop doing the craft side of things and step into fine art photography and microstock photography full time.

I'll photo anything that captures my eye really, but lean towards nature and flower photography with some travel beach, wildlife and landscape photography thrown in too! I like capturing bright colors, details, and the "Beauty in Nature".

A typical day will find me at the computer, sorry to disapoint if you thought I'd say behind the camera! My days go something like this....

Edit photos
Upload stock photography to Shutterstock. (http://www.shutterstock.com/g/emcharl)
Add new prints and relist items on Etsy. (http://emelephotography.etsy.com)
Blog, Tweet and update social media sites.
Add new photos to home decor and gift items at Zazzle (http://www.zazzle.com/emele1)
Do a spot of SEO either on my Zazzle or Etsy stores
Promote - Promote - Promote

Thursday mornings I pre-write and schedule all of the blog posts for the Creative Artists Blog that I run. (http://creative-artists-blog.com)

I guess I'm pretty organized... I like to have a schedule of sorts, with everything I need to do written in my day planner. Of course some days I might not feel like doing something so I mix it up a bit or grab the camera and go out shooting. When I'm in Greece, if it's sunny out and I've lost my mojo I can usually be found sitting in the sun reading or pottering around the garden.

I've just introduced digital collage sheets to my Etsy shop so more of those will be on the way. I plan on introducing a range of cards, small matted prints, and 2012 calendars later in the year as well. I'm working on building a website for Emele Photography at the moment which will hopefully connect all the places I can be found online plus have a wholesale section - I really want to get my prints into shops this year.


Facebook - http://facebook.com/emelephotography
Blog - http://www.emele-blog.emelegifts.com
Twitter - http://twitter.com/emele

I totally envy her - living half the year in the Mediterranean!!  Warmth all year long!  Personally, I would love to have that opportunity!  However, having two small children put a dent in most dreams of that nature...  mmm... sun... warmth... ahhh... anyway, I digress.

Here are just a few of my favourites from her shop:

Aren't they gorgeous?!?  Emily's photos make me feel like I'm in Crete (even if those pictures aren't from Crete)!!  The balance and colours I see in her photos are so appealing to me - I think they are beautiful!

I would like to someday purchase the last picture (of the beach) because it reminds me of Prince Edward Island and the years Jeffery and I lived there - we miss it so much, and this picture would do it justice (even if the sand isn't more red).

Take a gander at her etsy shop and let me know which photograph you like best!

25 February 2011

Hand-cut... Never Again!

I'm finding that every week I get a little more time to create. Now, whether that's me shifting priorities, or Isabel is cooperating a bit more, I'm not sure - but I'm not going to question it, either; I'm just going to enjoy it!

I applied to be a vendor at seven shows so far this year, and that's only up until June! The goal I set myself was to do three, so I think I'm good. :) I'll keep you updated as to when the shows are, so that you can pop by and see me and my work in person!

Now, to talk about what I did this week:  I made a card with the punched elephant I made a few weeks ago. Well, I punched a new elephant and made a card with him. Here he is:

I played on the phrase "elephants never forget" to make an "I forgot" card. Jeff didn't get it, but he hadn't heard that phrase before. What about you? Do you get it?

I also made the HUGE mistake of making a listing for 50 flower embellishments. HAND-CUT. I stamped the flowers, then I cut each of them by hand. It took me about an hour to do just the cutting. This will be a one-time listing, I think. Unless I go crazy again and decide to do more... I can't see that happening. Here they are:

That picture really doesn't do it justice, since they're all bunched up. But I cut out 25 large flowers and 25 small flowers. Anyways, they're up on my etsy shop now if you want to see more pictures.

I also made some tags this past week, but I don't have the proper sized hole punch to complete the project, so you will just have to wait to see them. I'm also thinking about creating some cupcake toppers, but that will have to wait.

Now I'm busy replenishing my stock of cards for the shows I'm going to be in this year. More specifically, I'm making baby cards for the mom-to-mom sales I'm going to be in this spring. Again, I will let you know when later, closer to the date of.

Have a great weekend! Cheerio!

24 February 2011


Morning, peeps!

I know that I don't usually blog anything on Thursdays, but I love giveaways, and guess what?!?  There is a giveaway here!  Two Stamping Sisters are giving away a set of any 3 cards you want!  There are four requirements:

1. Comment on the blog and let them know what kind of card you want (birthday, thanks, etc)
2. Follow the blog
3. Post it on your blog
4. Post it on your facebook

And for each requirement, comment and let them know that you have done each of those things, and you have 4 entries to win!  If they receive over 100 comments, they will pick two winners!

I know, I know I could just make the cards they are giving away myself, since I use mostly the same products as they, but I'm not about to say 'no' to another artists' style of making cards - I always enjoy seeing what other people can make!  And since they make really cute cards, so I thought I would give it a try!

23 February 2011

Focus on Family - February 23

Sunday was the highlight of this past week, for sure.  Isabel was dedicated at church, and all of my family came!  It was bliss to be able to see all of my family together - I love it!  I'm like my dad in that way; just put our family together, and it makes my day!  It was also wonderful to see some friends there who we haven't seen for a while.

I didn't mention last week that on Valentine's Day (something we don't really 'celebrate'), Jeffery made me a delicious cannelloni for dinner.  The meat was immersed in a creamy cheese sauce (with no cream in it, go figure), and there were so many spices and herbs added, it was a plethora of food fabulousness!  I'm just sorry that I didn't get a picture of it! :(

Isabel is getting better and better at being on her own.  She will sit in the swing and fall asleep, like babies are supposed to.  She will also sit on the couch and look around.  She especially likes being able to watch Alexander fool around.

Isabel loves watching Alexander

Last night Jeffery went to the annual meeting for approving the budget and new vision team members (like elders).  Since there was child care available for toddlers, he also took Alexander with him, which is great because that's one less child for me to watch!  Alexander seemed to have had fun while he was there - he was still hopping when we got home at 10:00 p.m.! ... maybe it was sugar? 

My sisters and I got together last night at Anne's place while Jeff was at the church meeting.  We had dinner (pesto pasta, chicken, salad, garlic bread, and fruit for dessert), and then we sat and chatted.  When Jeff came to pick me up, I was sorry to go - I always love getting together with my sisters.  I can't wait to do it again!

From time to time, Alexander will actually sit for a picture

Tuesday morning proved to be interesting for me.  Alexander coloured all over a listing for etsy that I had just finished the night before.  He took one look at my face and he started bawling - I didn't have to yell or anything!  Thankfully it wasn't a large listing, and I was able to make it again in the afternoon while the kids were sleeping.

Not being held, and still not crying!  yay!

Jeff's work is picking up, believe it or not - he had 14 appointments in January, and he's going to appointment 15 this morning.  No sales yet, but we're praying over this issue.  At the dedication we received money from family and friends, and that was a HUGE blessing for us.  Surprisingly, I have no worries or anxious thoughts this week, a huge difference, compared to last week - I'm fully confident that God will provide for us.  Praying about it everyday with thankfulness is a large contributor to the peace that I am experiencing, I believe.

Isabel flaps her arms like this - trying to fly?

I found a link to a website that takes the most common words in your blog and forms them into a shape.  The more common the word in your blog, the larger the word in the shape.  I chose a dove (just in case you thought it was just a bird).  I found it interesting that the most often used word is share!

Until next week, be blessed!

21 February 2011

Featured Artisan - acrookedsixpence

Today's featured artisan hails from England.  Her name is Karen and I first saw her work in a picture of a hot water bottle cover she had knitted.  When I was younger, and got growing pains in my legs, my dad would make up a hot water bottle and put it in bed with me, and he would wrap it up in a towel.  And by the morning, the water bottle would be at the foot of the bed, and the towel would be wrapped around my legs!  

So when I first saw her work, I thought, "That is a much better idea than wrapping the hot water bottle in a towel!"  And the pictures are also very well done.  As I was unable to reach her to ask a few questions, here is a bit about Karen from her profile on etsy.  

Hi, my name is Karen. I live and work in County Durham in the northeast of England U.K.with my husband Dave.  I have been knitting since I was a child, which is more years than I care to admit. I enjoy working with Aran patterns and I am looking into the history of these designs. At the moment I am working with pure wool which I have recently sourced in Scotland, a beautiful traditional yarn in a variety of interesting colours.

Apart from hot water bottle covers, she also creates cushion covers (that could match a hot water bottle cover), scarves, fingerless gloves, and other accessories.  Here are some of my favourites from her shop:

I plan to purchase a hot water bottle cover for sure, and I am also interested in her fingerless gloves - I love that concept!  Take a look at her shop and let me know what you like best!

18 February 2011


This past week, I've been busy punching.  Last week I punched a few characters, and they can be found here.  This past week, I've punched a pig, a lion, and two babies.  Not literally, of course!  I used punches I own to create those characters.  Here they are:

They are so much fun to make!  The only problem is that I get ideas for them while I'm doing the most mundane chores - like the dishes or folding the laundry.  Which is really unfortunate, since I truly dislike those things; but now I find I'm doing them more often to let my mind wander creatively.

With the babies (I made another one with a pink soother), I made cards, and they are posted on my shop.  The pig and the lion are being sold as scrapbook embellishments - they would make great accents on a "going to the zoo" or "learning your animals" or even a "dress-up day" page!  I think I will want to eventually get into creating pre-made scrapbook pages, but that may be a while.


16 February 2011

Focus on Family - Revelations and Dedication

This past week has brought us a few revelations:  We always thought that Alexander got his clumsiness from me.  Due to what happened this week, however, Alexander may have inherited his clumsiness from his daddy as well!  Just because I can't walk on a perfectly flat surface without tripping or losing my step in some way, Jeffery has fallen down the stairs in our house three times now, while I've only done it once - and that was in the middle of the night, and I couldn't see where I was going.  Each time Jeff has fallen, it was light and he could see perfectly fine.  He fell again on Saturday morning when he was coming down the stairs from our bedroom.  He now has two humongous bruises, one on his butt and one on his arm, and he's still really stiff and sore.  He's even finding it difficult to lift Alexander.

The second revelation is that Isabel behaves much better when she's in public.  She's a bit of a grump when she's at home, but the second we're somewhere else, she cries less and is more interested in her surroundings.    We went to a dessert party hosted by my dear friend Niki on Saturday, and Isabel was much better behaved, she only cried when she got hungry!  And on Sunday we were invited to dinner at the Young's, and again, she only fussed when she was hungry.  Maybe we should go out more often...  does anyone want a family of four over for dinner?

Isabel standing up on her own - Jeff is only holding her straight!

Saturday was the first time I clothed Isabel in something other than a sleeper - I felt ambitious, I guess!

This onesie was bought by great-gramma Eleveld.

On Sunday, Jeff stayed home from church, since he could barely move from being so stiff and sore, so I braved going by myself and the kids.  It didn't go so badly.  Other than the fact that my nose bled in the middle of church and I wasn't sure if Isabel would need to be fed while I was trying to stop the bleeding, everything went very smoothly - she didn't need me at all!  After church we went to my parents' place and spent some quality time with mom.  My sister Laura and her husband Scott came to mom and dad's too, to see the kids.  It was really great seeing them; I love my family.

I also discovered that I get really grumpy when there are things that I want to accomplish but can't because Isabel won't cooperate with me.  Take yesterday, for example.  I wanted to list my new card on etsy, but since Isabel wouldn't go to sleep, I couldn't, and I was really frustrated.  But when I thought to myself, "Well, Jeff has an appointment tonight after dinner; I'll just list it then," my frustration slowly seeped away.  And when I thought about it some more, I found out that I get frustrated when I want to get something done, but can't.  What does that say about me, I wonder?

This coming Sunday, Isabel is getting dedicated!  The service starts at 9:30 a.m. at Church on the Rock (we meet at Calvin Christian School in the gym), and lunch will be provided for family and friends.

Well, February is proving to follow through on it's promise to not give Jeff any sales.  To put it bluntly, we are not receiving a pay cheque this Friday.  This part of the month is when we have the majority of our bills coming out (mortgage, car payment, insurance, gas, etc), and that's not including any food we need to buy either!  And, to be honest, we are both getting a bit anxious about it.  As I said before, I trust that God will provide for us, but I wonder how He's going to do it this time.  Please pray!

14 February 2011

Featured Artistan - offcutstudio

While I was browsing through etsy (which I do far too much of), I stumbled across the work of Canadian seller, offcutstudio.  Here's a little about Cam in his own words:

Located in downtown Toronto, Offcutstudio is the workshop of craftsman, Cameron MacLean.  Working with local and exotic offcut woods, sourced from a local woodshop, I create one of a kind, custom and limited edition items.

After finishing up an internship as a plant ecologist about four years I moved to Toronto. Unlike any other city I had lived in before the streets of Toronto were littered with abandoned furniture. I began collecting these discarded pieces and repairing/altering or just salvaging wood from them. After that I decided to go into furniture making, became certified and now work for in a furniture studio in Toronto's distillery district. 

While I enjoy making furniture, what I really have come to love is finding ways to use up the offcuts that normally get thrown out. My most recent project was a collaboration with my girlfriend(also on etsy, touchthedutch) on a series of found chairs that incorporated her pierced metal work. I hope one day to work full time making things from offcuts and salvaging discarded furniture.

Here are some items from his shop:

I have a growing fetish for clocks - I want to have one in every room of my house, and as soon as I saw his work, I wanted this one in my house.  I'm not sure where I'm going to put it yet, but eventually I will have one in my house... somewhere.

11 February 2011

Thanks and Punches

Good morning!  I've spent a bit more time this week with creating (yay!).  I made 12 cards for clients of Jeff's (I send thank you cards to all his clients), which took a lot more time than I thought they were going to, as you will see in the picture:

I stamped the illustration onto the cardstock, and then I coloured the buildings.  Since I'm only using blender pens as opposed to markers, it takes a long time because I have to re-fill the blender pens with more ink every square centimeter or so.  It wasn't that bad, it just wasn't done in one sitting, so it feels like it took longer than it probably actually did.

Whenever we ask Alexander what movie he wants to watch, his answer is almost always Tarzan, and so I was inspired to create Tantor.  Do you notice the resemblance?  I don't, but at least he's an elephant!

And I wanted to make a Valentine's Day card that wasn't so obviously valentine-y, so I thought to make these cuties:

If you can't figure them out, they are eskimo-kissing Eskimos.  I have put them on a card, and you can see it here.

I have completely fallen in love with punch-art, so I think I will be making a few more punch-people...

09 February 2011

Focus on Family - February 9

This week has been fairly busy; not with goings-on, it was just busy trying to get things accomplished.  On the plus side of things, Isabel is a little happier.  She's quicker to smile, especially when she hears Alexander laugh.  I've tried to get a picture, but it's harder than I thought with one hand!

I also tried to get a picture with both Alexander and Isabel, and I was reminded again of how hard it is to get Alexander to sit for a picture - he would rather see what's happening with the camera.  However, I managed to get a few pictures, and you can see the progression from "okay" to "upset" (with both of them!)

This picture looks like they're singing - Alexander with a bit more gusto than Isabel!

After that set of pictures, I gave up.

Yesterday was a bit of a nightmare for me, but I was very glad that Jeff was home for most of it - he's such a great help during the day when I'm grumpy from lack of sleep and frustrated with a not-sleeping, grumpy baby!

It's wonderful for me that Jeffery is home a lot of the time, but that also means that he is not working - February is the slowest month of the year.  But God has brought us through this far through this very long slow period (since mid-November), and I have faith that He will supply our needs this month as well.

There are a few culinary delights (and no-so-delightful-delights) this week I would like to share.  We had friends over on Saturday night for dinner and Jeffery made cheeseburger soup.  It was very good!

And there was a spinach dip that Jeffery made from scratch that he put into a pumpernickel loaf - very fancy!  But our guests didn't seem interested, so we ate it ourselves another day. :)  There was also a summer salad consisting of field greens, strawberries, pecans, goat cheese, and raspberry vinaigrette, but I didn't get a picture of that.  It was fabulous, though!

On the other hand, this is my fabulous (not) attempt at making lasagna:

In my defense, I was breastfeeding Isabel when the timer went off, and I thought, I'll just get it in a few minutes, since she's still feeding.  Well, that few minutes turned out to be almost an hour!  Honestly, though, it's no surprise to me that I forgot - I forget about grilled cheese!  I can usually multi-task really well, but when it comes to cooking, I'm absolutely hopeless.  But Jeff still loves me, despite this, and that's all that matters!

On a side note, this is another reason why I want a robot.  Robots won't forget about dinner cooking on the stove.  AND they don't need to sleep!  Does anyone know where I can get one on sale?

07 February 2011

Featured Artisan - greenatheart

I found this AMAZING artist during a browse through etsy products.  Her name is Laurine, she lives in Otisville, NY, and she runs greenatheart on etsy.  Not only do I love her handmade rugs, but I found out that they are made of repurposed t-shirts!  What a fabulous way to reuse something to create something else that is functional and looks BEAUTIFUL!!!

Here is a little about Laurine in her own words:

I have been sewing for over 20 years. I have been looking for an avenue to sell my craft for a long time and I'm hoping Etsy is going to be a great fit. I enjoy using recyled materials and making new items. I also paint and embroider. I have added wool to my list of fun stuff to do and felting. Mittens, cell phone holders and wool purses are now available.  
I'm SWAMPED, I have custom orders into June now! The rugs have taken off like a rocket, I am just trying to hold on. I have upgraded to a wonderful industrial machine which is fast and awesome to work on. I have also enlisted my neice to help a few hours every week, so I can breathe a little. Having this business has been a process, I just keep taking steps forward as I need to. I try to always make decisions that are good for the environment, my family and my customers. By the way I love Etsy and my customers!!! The positive feedback I get from my customers is awesome!
I will also be featured in Country Living Mag for March (next month), which is very exciting. The downside is, what am I going to do with all these orders?? Thankfully, I used to have a small sample shop/factory, and understand what it takes to become more efficient. All this being said, I love what I do and I am challenged daily to artfully produce a product that matches my values!

Here are a few of my favourites from her shop:

I had to stop at three - I would have added every item!  These are absolutely fabulous!  And if you like braiding rugs and other items yourself, she has listings for the yarn as well:  

Take a look at her shop for all of the different designs Laurine has made - LOVE the colours!  I plan to have the sun braided rug in my house someday!

04 February 2011


This week I was busy filling in a custom order for birthday cards!  I wish I had more time to create, but I'm sure that time will come when Isabel gets older.  Here are some of the cards:

I hope you like them!

I have a few ideas in the works, but that will have to wait until next week, since they have to go from idea to item!

02 February 2011

Focus on Family - February 2

This week has been full of goings-on!  On Thursday, I brought Alexander and Isabel to the Early Years centre at Memorial School, which was an adventure.  Alexander loves it there, and he had a lot of fun; but I didn't!  It wasn't as difficult as I had imagined it would be, but I still won't want to do it again until Isabel is a bit older - even though I probably will do it again before then because Alexander loves it there too much.  But it was nice to connect with the moms again.

Alexander certainly loves balloons - he will even sleep with them!

On Friday (and the rest of the weekend) Jeffery was really sick.  We think he got it from one of his customers.  He was vomiting and dry heaving and having other nasty stuff come out; he couldn't even drink a few sips of ginger ale before he brought it back up!  Saturday night I threw up my dinner, but after that was done, I felt much better, though I was drained of any energy the next day too.  Alexander certainly was bored that day!  I'm glad none of the kids have had it yet, and I'm assuming they won't get it.  Needless to say, we didn't go anywhere or do anything this past weekend; we didn't want to give it to anyone else.

Isabel has been a bit cantankerous this past week.  She's been going down at around 7:00-8:00 p.m. and sleeping until 2:00 a.m., but then needing to feed for an hour minimum!  Then she wakes up at around 4:00 or 5:00 a.m. wanting to eat more.  Then she wakes me up at around 7:30 a.m. to be up for the morning.  I've been getting around 4-5 hours of sleep a night, which is not conducive to a grumpy-free day on my part.  It's partly my fault because the only time Jeff and I have to spend together is in the evening after the kids are sleeping, and we stay up until around midnight.  I'm aware that if I went to bed at around 10:00 p.m., I would get more sleep.  But for me, merely 2 hours with my fabulous husband is not enough time.  So I stay up a bit later and pay for it the next day.

We were supposed to get this huge blizzard last night and today, and where we are in Hamilton, we got maybe a few inches!  Jeffery and I are disappointed, as we were hoping for a huge amount of snow, it would make us feel like we're back in PEI; the wind did blow a bit last night and early this morning.

This is a picture of outside our living room window this morning.  Not as much snow as we were hoping for!

Alexander has had a few big bumps this past week.  He was playing on the couch, and fell off and hit his forehead on the floor, and then the next day he whacked his head on a corner of the wall, and now has a huge scrape on his temple.

It's worse in real life, the picture doesn't do it justice.

Alexander now has a booster seat for the table - no more high chair for this big boy!  And he loves it!

eating his breakfast of yogurt and cheerios

Today was supposed to be the last midwife appointment for Isabel, since she is now 6 weeks old.  However, due to the storm, they rescheduled the appointment for next Thursday.

I certainly need prayer this week.  Isabel has been a big trial for me.  When she is not eating or sleeping, she wants to be held by me.  She won't sit in her chair or swing, she's not happy when Jeff holds her, she just wants me to hold her.  And, as any mother knows, this is very frustrating.  In any case, I'm getting annoyed.  So please pray that I have an extra measure of patience, and that Isabel will get over whatever this is, and will be okay if I put her down for a few minutes to, oh, let's say, go to the bathroom.

I stated on my facebook status the other day that I wish for two things:  a detachable boob and a robot - both for Isabel in the middle of the night so I can sleep.  When she wakes up wanting to be fed, the robot would come to my room, detach my boob, and feed Isabel until she sleeps again, and then comes back to my room and re-attaches said boob.  All the while, I sleep peacefully!  *sigh*