Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Featured Artist. Alexa Ritterhoff of The Swallow's Tale on Etsy

When Seattle’s grey days begin to wear on my spirit, and summer seems still far away, I crave sunlight and flowers and open light filled spaces.  What to do?  How fortunate that I discovered Alexa Ritterhoff's Etsy shop, The Swallow’s Tale.

I was recently delighted to learn that Alexa, a regular customer at Bumbershoot Supplies, also had a shop filled with her beautiful creations, and even more happy when she agreed I could share them with you.

Alexa strives : “…to create jewelry that is affordable, classic, but a bit different, something you would want to wear for a long time…”

Some of Alexa’s favorite vintage components include cameos in both resin and glass, rhinestones, brass lockets, and beautiful vintage glass beads, and these beautiful vintage components appear over and over again in her work.

Alexa’s jewelry designs reflect a strong appreciation of the beauty, timelessness and rejuvenating power of nature. Her nature-inspired designs include flowers, bees, butterflies and of course, many, many birds. The colors are feminine and romantic, frequently enhanced by antiqued metal finishes, and are designs that are eminently wearable.

If  summertime still seems distant, or if you are already wearing sundresses and hosting garden parties, I hope you will enjoy a visit to Alexa’s shop, The Swallow’s Tale. You will surely find inspiration and who knows? You may even find the perfect piece for that garden party.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday in Seattle. Picture and Quote for the Week. We Remember.

WWII post cards to support the troops, from 1942

In war: resolution.
In defeat: defiance.
In victory: magnanimity.
In peace: goodwill.
~Winston Churchill

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Featured Artist. Fiona Carson of Baba-dee Productions on Etsy

I have recently become very interested in the art of hana tsumami kanzashi, traditional Japanese fabric flowers. These flowers were worn by maiko (geisha in training) and geisha as hair pieces, and there are many customs associated with their use as adornment. 
Just as I was beginning to learn about this ancient art form, I was excited to discover Fiona Carson's kanzashi-style  flowers, available at her Etsy shop, Baba-dee Productions.

Fiona purchased some vintage glass buttons from Bumbershoot Supplies and with her feedback left a photo of a beautiful flower featuring one of the buttons (see the first photo above). Since I had just begun teaching myself how to make these beautiful flowers, I immediately asked her if I could feature her work.

Current kanzashi flowers have their design roots back in the 1600’s in the Edo period in Japan, when women shifted from wearing their hair long and straight to elaborate coiffures. There are currently only 5 tsumami kanzashi masters left in Japan, and one traditionally trained tsumami kanzashi artisan here in the United States.  

Fiona is passionate about her flowers and she has taken elements of the traditional tsumami kanzashi process and made it her own.  She uses beautiful silks, usually 2 layers to provide stability and enhancement of the main color.  She sews and individually glues each petal, often in the evening when her two young children are in bed.  Fiona also is passionate about vintage buttons, and her two loves come together beautifully in her flower pendants. With her design sense and her care and attention to detail, she is keeping alive the spirit of this ancient art form.

Fiona attends a local monthly market in Perth, Western Australia, so if you happen to be in the vicinity, you can see Fiona’s flowers in person – just contact her for details.  Otherwise, I hope you will enjoy a visit to Fiona’s Etsy shop, Baba-dee Productions to see Fiona’s beautiful interpretation of the ancient art of hana tsumami kanzashi.

Friday, May 27, 2011

New at Bumbershoot Supplies. Vintage Czech Rhinestone Jewels in 9 Scrumptious Colors

Recently I was able to purchase some wonderful vintage rhinestone jewels for Bumbershoot Supplies and they are now available for you!

Not one, not two, but nine scrumptious colors!

All are 10x8mm glass octagons, from the 1950's. Such a great size for earrings, bracelets, making charms and connectors.  They are in fabulous condition, coming directly out of the original packages.

And we have 1 and two ring settings to match. Come on over to Bumbershoot Supplies and have a look-see!

Until next time, wishing you a great weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Featured Artist Update: Stacey Yacula of Stacey Yacula Studio

I'm so happy to see one of our past featured artists, Stacey Yacula of Stacey Yacula Studio featured in this recent issue of Art Doll Quarterly.
And guess what – her work is on the cover!

Stacey talks a bit more about this piece on her blog, here.

  I first blogged about Stacey's art here. Stacey’s success as a cover girl does not surprise me :)  I am a great admirer of Stacey’s ability to translate special moments in everyday life into 2- and 3-dimensions through her illustrations and sculptures.  I am so glad to see Stacey’s work being made available for so many people to enjoy.

In a new addition to her Etsy shop, Stacey is now offering custom cards, where you can choose the sentiment for the card, allowing you to personalize her cards to fit your occasion. I am watching the mailbox every day for my own cards and tags, which should arrive any time now. I can’t wait!

To keep up to date with her new sculptures, illustrations, cards and designs, you can visit Stacey’s blog and her Etsy shop.
Congratulations, Stacey!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Saturday, May 21, 2011

New at Bumbershoot Supplies. Vintage Cabochons Galore

Several new types and styles of vintage cabochons newly available at Bumbershoot Supplies this week.  See if anything here sparks your creativity...

All of these vintage cabochons and cameos are ready and waiting for your creating at Bumbershoot Supplies...
Until next time, wishing you a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Look What I Found. Inez Dawson's Edwardian Scrapbook

Isn't she a beauty?

This is a scrapbook crammed full to bursting with memorabilia collected by Inez Dawson, later Inez Barnes. I don't know if this photo is of Inez or someone she knew.

The book appears to be an abandoned nursing notebook, reused for this purpose.  It begins with nursing notes dated 1901, but quickly these notes end and then the materials are pasted into the book in lots, with the dates skipping around a bit, from 1898 through 1906, as if Inez decided one day to finally collect together in one place all those mementos she had stashed away over the years. 

There are several treasures within this scrapbook, and I have barely dipped into it.  There is so much to discover, it's like an archaeological dig. 

 I'll share some of my finds here, and we will also make digital versions of some of the ephemera available to our newsletter subscribers.

Inez's scrapbook and a cup of tea - perfect to curl up with on a rainy Seattle day.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Spring Babies and Cupcakes

I am getting ready to celebrate a very important day for me, the anniversary of the day I became a mother.  My darling daughter Emma turns 17 tomorrow. We knew Emma was special right from the beginning, there were all kinds of unusual events associated with her coming into this world. On top of everything, she was a breech baby that could not be turned (oh yes, they tried, they really tried!) and was born by C-section on the date of our choice, a date we thought was entirely suitable to all the rarities we had experienced with her, Friday May 13, 1994.  Needless to say, 13 is a favorite number for us :)

With Eric, camping out. Yes, her hair is still that curly.

Emma is spending most of her birthday in tech rehearsal for a play in which she is performing,  so Jim made dozens of cupcakes today for Emma's cast and crew. I had fun sprinkling all kinds of candies on top.  I love the colors against the vanilla buttercream frosting, so joyful and fresh, the essence of spring and of children and of many happy memories. I will make her favorite cheesecake this afternoon, and we will be busy wrappng and decorating later today. During all these preparations, I hold in my awareness an appreciation of just how blessed I am.