Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Wreath Making Classes

Silk flower front door wreath $49.00

 I'm about ready for spring!  This hasn't been a bad winter compared to last winter when we got buried in snow. We've had some warmer days also, but regardless, by the beginning of February, we want longer days, warm sunshine, and visits to the beach. We are tired of our heavy winter coats, scarves, and gloves.  Spring can't come soon enough!  I have started to work on my spring wreaths in my etsy shop. You can check out my Etsy shop at my Angels and Everlastings Etsy shop.  I'd also like to introduce my wreath making classes.  This wreath sells for $49.00 plus postage in my Etsy shop. Would you like to create your own beautiful spring wreath at a fraction of the cost?  If you are in the Boston, Massachusetts area and are interested in hosting a wreath making night, I will bring everything needed.  I will carefully select flowers in coordinating colors and shapes so that you can create a beautiful piece that you will be proud to display on you front door.  The cost is $20.00 per person - 5 person minimum.   I can do home craft nights, women's groups, church fellowships, or senior center activities.  E-mail me at judyrussi@gmail.com if you are interested.  References are available upon request. 

The key to making a harmonious design is in picking the right elements, color and a variety of shapes that coordinate well. 
Large focal flower

For a pleasing wreath design you need a focal point - either a ribbon bow or a few (1 to 3) large flowers.  This wreath has a pretty purple plaid ribbon as the focal point. 

Ashland Bunches from Michael's

Smaller detail flowers
Long shaped silk flowers
I used a spring bush by Ashland for the medium sized accent flowers.   The bunch I chose was a nice combination of pink, purple and greenish yellow flowers. Michael's craft stores have these great bunches that include plenty of coordinating flowers and greenery. 

I chose to add a bright yellow flower in a more elongated shape along with a few smaller lavender flowers to brighten and add detail. 

Tall and thin shaped eucalyptus and silk grass

You should also include some  long and thin shaped pieces.  This will add some length to your design and create a eye pleasing design.   Any long thin greenery, or long thin silk flowers work well.  Along with the long silk leaves that came with the bunches, I used a long thin fuzzy purple silk flower and eucaluptus to add length and structure.

Fill in any holes or spaces between the flowers with any leaves from your silk flowers and bunches and you are done. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Felt flowers anyone?

Here is my new listing in my Etsy shop for Valentine's day.

A twig heart wreath embellished with red and white handcrafted felt flowers.

I had no interest in using felt for anything. I said I wasn't going to do it.  I'd seen the wreaths with the felt flowers for sale on Etsy and still wasn't interested.  But then I came across this web page - 20 Valentine's wreaths to DIY.  Each of these handmade flower wreaths use different fibers.  One was this beauty by

Sand and Sisal. Sand and Sisal also had detailed instructions for DIY felt flowers that were so easy to follow that I just had to give it a try.  Sometimes learning something new is threatening - you know what they say about teaching an old dog new tricks.  The older you get the more you stick to what you know.  That can get very boring. So it turns out it is really easy but might need some practice to get the hang of it.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Shop Feature - Monika of Myeuropeantouch on ARTFIRE

Recently, Etsy and the CAST team lost one of my favorite sellers and shops.  Because of some unfortunate circumstances, Monika has closed her Etsy shop and now is selling on Artfire.  The Etsy CAST team is such a close group of Etsy Sellers and we hate to see anyone go.  In the CASTteam (Christian Artists Street Team) thread, we share our lives, share our burdens, laugh together,  pray for one another and yes, sometimes take care of business.   Monika of My European Touch was a regular in the CAST discussion thread and was always one that we could count on to make us laugh.  Those of us who have been regulars in the CAST threads will miss Monika and her witty posts. 

Here's one of her Mosaic creations that I just love.:

This is a handmade mosaic made from cut vintage fine bone china plates and is a precious piece of art.
Window Pane Mosaic
Here is what Monika says about her mosaic art process -
"I hand cut each piece of fine Bone china plates, stained glass and mirror. I do not break it by stomping on them or hitting them with a hammer. I use special nippers and glass cutters for cutting the bone china plates/stained glass into precise small pieces."

Ha!  I guess I would imagine that she threw the china off the balcony of her apartment to break into pieces or used the stomping or hammer routine.    

She has been busy - here's a few of her new listings on Artfire:

Wash Board Wall Art Wall Hanging

Here is what Monika says about this piece:
"Primed and painted, distressed - I covered this wash board with a cut china plate rim Mosaic, also using the center piece focal from another china pattern.
Grouted in an Antique White grout, finished edges with a gimp boarder and pink pearls, gives it this charming look of times gone by. Handmade clay roses tucked in the upper left corner to give this wall art hanging the special touch."

Violin Mosaic Wall Hanging

                                                                          And this one is beautiful!  "This violin is meticulously mosaic-ed with the most beautiful, hand cut china plate rim mosaic tiles. Cascading lush blooms and roses on some of my favorite vintage bone china/porcelain dinner and breakfast plates were cut into a very beautiful mosaic tesserae to cover this violin; mosaic tiles from Royal Albert and more.
The hour glass "waist line" on this violin is embellished with stained glass tile. The violin is filled in with white, pink and pale pink stained Glass tiles.
All china plates used here are in very subtle shades. The strings on this beautiful art piece are a set of pink pearls. The tail piece is accented with handmade clay roses and light green leafs. A vintage rhinestone brooch, usually found on sweaters accents the tail. A pink and white cameo sits at the scroll
This is a gift that everyone likes to receive, music lover and others alike."

So if you have been wondering where to find Monika and would like to contact her - you will have to do so through her Artfire shop  Visit http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/studio/Myeuropeantouch to see her other beautiful creations and while there take a look at her Artfire blog post that shows the process that goes into creating her masterpieces.   It's very interesting.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Highlights from 2011 sales

I thought I would review my sales from 2011 as I prepare for new things in 2012.  I'm wondering if I should repeat any of my items that sold.  I suppose I should but I find that I don't have interest in repeating something.  Very often my pieces as one of a kind. Here are some of my favorite creations that sold from my Angelsneverlastings Etsy shop in 2011.

In January I sold this dried flower wall topiary. I had two and both were sold to the same person.

This dried topiary was flat backed and hung flat against a wall.  This unique grapevine base was carefully decorated with soft green tone emerald king and accented with velvety pink celosa, soft pink globe amaranth, burgundy nigella, and soft white larkspur.

Here's another unique wreath that sold in March.
A heart shaped twig wreath beautifully decorated with white shells, soft green emerald king, fragrant lavender, pink celosa and white larkspur. This wreath measured approximately 20" across. It was so soft looking and much more beautiful than the picture showed.

One of my mini-wreaths sold in April.
Dried flowers and sea shells decorated a 6" grapevine.  These are perfect if you have a small spot to fill.

This grapevine wall hanging sold in June.  This was a  beautiful grapevine twig background with a handmade cloth angel. The angel was accented with silver king, deep blue larkspur, velvety pink celosa, pink globe amaranth, and fragrant eucalyptus.  Here was the feedback from the customer:
"Love this! It is perfect for what I had in mind. And it arrived in very good shape - good packaging on a fragile item. Thank you. Highly recommended seller"

In October this beautiful dried flower gathering was sold:

A dried flower mix of fragrant lavender, velvety pink celosia, white larkspur and globe amaranth beautifully decorate a bow shaped twig base.

Feedback from customer:  "Very beautiful and fragrant display. Nicely packaged for shipment."

 This unique angel shaped grapevine decorated with mixed dried florals sold in November. 
Customer feedback:  "Super quick shipping - so cute!"

Here is one of my seashell photo frames that sold in December.  This 4" by 6" photo frame is decorated with assorted seashells and sea glass


And lastly, this Christmas wreath sold in December. 

Customer feedback:  "JUST BEAUTIFUL!!! Very fast delivery! Packaged very well."

So here I am looking for inspiration and ideas.   What should I do in 2012?  Should I continue my dried flowers?  Should I do more silks?  Photo frames? Angels?  More holiday wreaths?  I would appreciate any comments or ideas you might have.  I'll be here but I'm taking a few months off to recharge and renew my creative energies.  In March I should have some new creations to list in my etsy store. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Post Christmas and New Years Thoughts

Christmas and New Years is over.  This is always a time to reflect on our past and also look ahead to the new year.  My Etsy shop, Angels n Everlastings turned two.  In those two years I have learned a lot but not nearly enough.  I need to step up my photography along with my on-line social marketing skills in the new year.  This year, my favorite Etsy team, The CASTteam hosted a secret Santa exchange.  If you are a Christian, and are looking for a Etsy team I highly recommend this team.  Each person who wished to participate was given a shop owner to send a secret santa gift to.
My secret Santa gift came from Becky of Good Neighbors Candle.  In Becky's shop is an incredible selection of soy based candles in all sorts of yummy fragrances.  Her business is really taking off - click here and take a moment and see what she has to offer in her shop - you'll be glad you did.

Here is the photo of my SS gift.  A beautiful hand crochet scarf in just the right colors for me of blue green.  A stuffed snowman and a much loved balsam scented candle from her shop. 

Here is one of my Christmas angel tree-top upon my Christmas tree.  This is a second as the dye from the red bleed onto the white.  Of course, I get to enjoy this one as my own. 

A favorite ornament.
This winter I am taking a break, to recharge my batteries and renew my creative energy.  I will take some time to reflect on what has and hasn't worked.  In the spring, I will have some new creations to list in my Etsy shop.  Till then I hope to blog here and there and hope for no SNOW!