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Love is in the air


Over the last 6 months I’ve started listing more of my work on Etsy . As a frustrated eBay veteran, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the Etsy community. I’ve met some of the coolest customers there, and I’ve been very impressed by the way that the sellers seem to support one another.

I’ve often wished that I could find that kind of creative community in real life… So I was delighted to learned about a “team” of local artists called Team EtsyRain. It’s a Seattle based group of Etsy sellers that aims to support each other locally and virtually. I recently joined, and I’m excited to be a part of it.

This treasury showcases the work of this talented and diverse group of artists.  Check out the  hip, eco-friendly clothing at RevivalInk, and the original upcycled cuffs at TrilbyMade. If it weren’t for this treasury I might not have discovered Nikki Wheeler’s gorgeous fiber art, or SilentGoddess‘ original jewelry designs.

I encourage you to explore the featured artists’ shops. Maybe you’ll find the perfect Valentine’s day gift – or even something special for yourself. Many thanks to onawhimm , who curated this fabulous collection!

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Cobalt Holiday Treasury

I’m a little behind in posting about this treasury (forgive me, it was posted while I was working on my finals!). It’s expired now, but I at least wanted to post this screenshot so you can see how lovely it was.

This shade of blue is such a dramatic color, and so perfect for the season. All of the selections are wonderful, too – my favorites include the goose feather headband and that striking cobalt brooch sitting just to the left of my mask.

It was curated by Paleodeux, who obviously has a great eye for color and texture. Please take a moment to visit her Etsy shop, which features beautiful repurposed vintage jewelry.

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More Treasuries!


With Halloween around the corner (this Saturday!) more and more people have been including my masks in their treasuries. Last night I was notified of two more. I’m so appreciative, and I wanted to mention them here…
Masquerade, Paper Faces on Parade…

This treasury features a stunning collection of masks and costume wear. I’m always amazed by the way that artists working with the same theme or medium can still produce such diverse works. Among my favorites here include the Grackle mask by Effigymasks (it looks like a character from the Dark Crystal!) and the mermaid mask by Faerywhere.

The curator of this treasury was Spiderlegz . Please take a moment to check out her pottery, which ranges from whimsical to earthy and elegant.
Found using the search term “Wicked”…

This treasury collection is particularly clever -it features items found using the search term wicked. The end result is a truly eclectic collection of strangely cool and unusual things. I typically find at least one or two favorites in every treasury … this time, it’s hard to find anything that I DONT love. Broomchick’s handmade brooms are now on my favorite’s list, along with Mantawave’s shop (responsible for the carraige house photo).

Many thanks to Cindylouwho2 for including my crone mask! Please visit her Etsy shop, which specializes in wirework jewelry featuring natural elements…

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Masquerade Party Treasury

GoodLookinTreasures was kind enough to include my black and white faerie mask in this gorgeous masquerade treasury (thanks, GoodLookin! ;o) This one features another gorgeous birch bark mask by ladyinthetower and these precious masquerade nesting dolls. Lots of other cool stuff there, so be sure to stop by & take a peek before it’s gone!

It bears mention that I do realize that my last few posts have simply been Etsy treasuries. I hope my readers (if I even have readers?) don’t feel like I’m “copping out” by posting these instead of bigger, wordier posts. I post them because I really do appreciate them, and I want to promote the kind curators and talented artists involved. I also do it to remind myself. It’s a wonderful ego-boo to be included in these, and sometimes I need that. In a way, I’m collecting these treasuries as a reminder, or encouragement to keep on doing what I love.

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MASKerade Party Treasury on Etsy

I’m always honored when someone includes my work in an Etsy treasury … and I’m especially thrilled with this one. The curator ( folkartbydonna ) has such a great eye!

All of the choices are whimsical, wonderful and inspiring. Check out that awesome birch bark mask, or the adorable Buho mask by ccaspia. I also fell in love with this Black Crow Farm print by the curator, Donna Atkins.

Once again, some really great stuff. I’m grateful to have my work included alongside these other artists. I say this every time, but it’s true — these treasuries always brighten my day 🙂


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Green Vert Treasury on Etsy

Many thanks to SilverCollection for including my Spriteling mask in your beautiful treasury today!

There’s lots to love in this treasury — that gorgeous photo of the light through the trees, the dish with the lotus on it (this artist, yogagoat, makes awesome mugs, too!), the wallhanging, and green apple soap that I can practically smell.

Such a wonderful treat to wake up to 🙂

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Mask Ball Treasury on Etsy :)

I opened an Etsy account a while back, hoping it would be a positive place to share my artwork … but between going back to school, and trying to get my bead business situated, I was never able to devote much energy to that shop. Instead, I found myself focused on family, school, and selling beads.

I was able to direct a little bit of energy into my Etsy supply shop , which was enough to give me a sense of the Etsy community. It’s so much more affordable and enjoyable than that other place! There are some incredibly talented artists, and people are generally supportive and friendly. I love being able to see the beautiful things that people create with the beads that I sell, and I really wanted to showcase some of my own work there, too.

Since summer rolled around, I’ve managed to carve out a bit more studio time (go me!). Over the weekend I photographed and listed a few things in my long neglected art shop. Lo and behold, someone spotted one of my masks and included it in their treasury, “A Mask Ball

Thank you, Ametista! I’m so flattered, and it really encourages me to complete and list more pieces. You made my day 🙂

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Still alive!

Fall was a flurry of activity. Somewhere between going back to school for the first time in many (many!) years, and mask making, and family stuff … things got SO busy that blogging fell to the wayside.

I’d like to try to pick it back up again, but I predict that it may be slow going. Winter quarter started today (more business classes, marketing & writing) and Mardi Gras is around the corner. And of course, I’m still trying to get all my beads & cabs photo’d so I can premiere the beautiful site that Julia has designed for me.

That said, I’m still hanging in and doing well (just a little frayed around the edges from so many projects ;o). I’ll try to post a bit more frequently when I can, but it may stay quiet around here till spring-ish.

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Mask photography question

I’ve been trying to figure out how best to photograph my masks. Generally speaking, I prefer mask pictures *without* a model as I feel they’re distracting (my eye is always drawn to the person’s face, and the mask becomes less of a focus). However, I’m not sure this glass head is doing me any favors. It is not quite true to size — or shape — so the mask does not fit exactly as it does on a real person. In addition, the glass gets all kind of flashes and glare, which makes photographing it rather challenging.

What do you think? Is the mask better showcased with or without a model?

And for what it’s worth, I realize that there are other facets of my photography that could stand improvement … hopefully, some of those issues will be addressed in the photography class that I’m starting this week!

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Formative work

When I was little, I dreamed of being a professional artist like my father. I had this vision of myself as an artist (ahhtist?) — hair blowing in the wind, heart brimming with inspired, mystical energy that would move me create exclusive masterpieces in my large, brightly lit studio.

While that’s a lovely vision, it really doesn’t jive with my reality as a working artist. Putting food on the table via my craft means working as efficiently as possible. It means being disciplined and working every day (even when I’m not particularly “inspired”). It means balancing creative time with administrative time — and it means doing some degree of production work.

When I started selling my handwork, the mere mention of production work bothered me. I dislike repetition and the idea of assembly line art. “Producing” seemed counter to “creating”.

My dad had a different take. Rather than production work, he viewed it as formative work. He saw value in those little projects, and the way that repetition hones your skills.
As I grow older, I realize how much I agree with him.

Many of my simple designs remain popular — but I still enjoy (and learn from) creating them. Each time I make one, it calls me to focus on shape, color and detail. It challenges me to improve my existing ideas, and to explore new lines that are more graceful or expressive. This study, these skills become the building blocks (and often the inspiration) for my larger/more involved work.

I’d love to tell you that every time I sit down to my workbench, a brand new design masterpiece just leaps off the table — but that’s not how it works. For me, “inspiration” is most often a gradual process that evolves from simple (and consistent) work.

When I was a kid, I imagined that this lifestyle would be far more glamorous than it is. What I could not have imagined, is how much satisfaction I would find in the ‘boring’ parts ;o)

This is a sample of what my worktable looks like right now:

(okay — my worktable isn’t really this tidy, but it *is* piled with masks!).

At any given time, I usually have several masks & crowns in various stages of completion. The ones shown have been sculpted & painted with a base coat; they’re now awaiting finishing details like accent colors, glitter, beadwork & feathers.