February 20, 2009

Friday February 20th Gift Guide: Spring Growth

I can't beleive it's already Friday!
What a week it's been; there seems to be a little bit more sunshine every day here in Alberta- we're that much closer to spring, and my, am I looking forward to planting all the seeds I've collected!

I'm getting quite the collection of favorites on Etsy lately too; I've found lots of extremely talented people, the other day I tried the Pounce feature, with some amazing results, Here are just a few of the artists I've hearted in recent:

downinthemeadow creates adorable little animals & creatures using handspun merino wool. I just about melted when I saw these geese:

Then I scrolled down the page and found these citrus gnomes:

I was a huge fan of stuffed animals when I was young (as my "archive" of animals still sitting at my parents house, waiting for my own future little ones) and I guess I still am! Handmade stuffies? even better. Especially when they are made with love, as they obviously are in this case.

Next I found Uniqueartglass and was instantly fascinated. Artist Havazelet lives in Israel and turns simple clear glass into a creation full of light, color and joy. I especially enjoyed her little painted faces, such as this Dichroic Fused Glass Romantic Lady:

This is all original hand painted; the painting is drawn freehand directly on the glass and fired, creating a permanent and scratch resistant finish. She certainly has talent, and knows her medium well!

I've been eyeing rainbowrevolution's shop for a while now. Being a dye-er myself, I can certainly see the joy that experienced while creating these lovely scarves, shawls, and wraps; it shows in the vibrant, beautiful results. She uses some awesome materials like hemp, cotton and bamboo- what a joy it would be to wrap up in one of these dreamy, colorful scarves! Here is one of my favorites, the Earthy Warm Rainbow Hemp Blend Loop Scarf Neckwarmer:

This beautiful piece has been made from a hemp cotton blended stretch knit tubular fabric and has been left unedged to allow for stretch and a natural rolled edge effect. It's amazing in the different ways you can use it. Try it looped a few times as a neck warmer on a cold day,as a head wrap or a cowl. I'm a big fan of the loop scarf too. I've been experimenting with the form in my own work lately, and I really appreciate multifunctional items such as this, and when they are handmade with love, it really shows!

And finally, I discovered a new project called Thursday Sweet Treat: I connected with Natasha aka DoodleStar, from the project on the Etsy forums, and she tells me "Thursday Sweet Treat is a theme is posted every Friday and then the people who choose to showcase their work post their new creations on the following Thursday!". Sounds like a great idea to me! I am always looking for new inspiration, and somehow knowing that many people are creating together around a common theme makes it that much more fun.

This week's theme is Let Beauty Rain Down Upon... I immediately think of the coming spring rains that will melt away all our yucky, salty snow here in Edmonton to reveal the faithful, budding plants below. One of my favorite musicians, Bruce Cockburn, has a song I really like called "The Coming Rains"

"And the time for planting's coming soon
and the thought of you comes on like the feel
of the coming rains"

Perhaps I will get to spinning some rain-inspired yarn this weekend.


Leanne Lonergan said...

Hi Ashley.The loop scarf is one of my favourites too...to make and to wear! Glad you like it and thanks for featuring it here in your blog..I love the other items you have included here..those gnomes are so cut!

Leanne Lonergan said...

that should be 'cute'!

ezuz said...

Hi Ashley,Thank you very much !!!!I really appreciate you(¯`v´¯)(¯`v´¯)
I am sending you big hug from Israel.

Natasha said...

Ashley!!! What a wonderful blog you have here...YAY!!! I LOVE the items you chose to display...it helped me find a few new favorites...and thank you SO much for writing about the Thursday Sweet Treat...I really hope you will play because I can't wait to see what you create and I hope anyone you know who is looking for a little challenge and a little fun will join too...so glad to have met you and looking forward to sharing more! Thanks again for this!!