Friday, May 30, 2014

Artist Spotlight – Daryoush Ababaf (2)

We bought our first piece of 3D wood inlay (my terminology) from Daryoush Ababaf almost a year and a half ago. I featured that piece, a lioness resting her head on a branch, in a blog post shortly after we purchased it. We saw his work again this past December at the Christkindl Market in Arlington and found another piece that we decided needed to come home with us. It is a kingfisher sitting on a branch. I love the way this artisan combines found pieces of wood such as the beautiful branch he used in this piece with his 3D inlay.

If you get a chance to see Daryoush in person when he is selling his creations, ask him how they are made. Every time I have seen him, he has had examples of the various stages of a piece of work along with the tools of his trade with him and he is happy to show and explain how his pieces are created. The level of detail Daryoush captures using thin sections of wood is amazing. You should be able to find out about upcoming events on his facebook page. Treat yourself to some stunning artwork by viewing photos of his work in his facebook photo albums and on his website.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Must Have Mulch

With increasing water restrictions due to the worsening drought in many parts of the U.S., it is becoming even more important to conserve water. You can help you plants conserve water by adding a thick layer of mulch to your garden beds.

I prefer an organic mulch that adds nutrients to the soil as it breaks down, such as wood chips. You can often purchase wood chips or composted organic mulch at rock yards by the yard, home and garden centers by the bag and sometimes even free from local tree services.

If you beds contain no mulch, before putting any down, I recommend grubbing out any weeds that might be in there and giving the area a good watering, in accordance with whatever water conservation plan you find yourself under, if the soil is dry. Then apply approximately 4 inches of mulch (tapering off somewhat up against existing plants) to your bed. Once a bed has been mulched, you should periodically redress it by adding an inch or so on top of the old mulch as it decomposes.

When adding plants to mulched areas, pull back the mulch where you want to put in your new plant(s), transplant your new additions, water them in and spread the mulch back around them. Keeping your plants mulched will help them survive by retaining moisture in the soil and keeping it cooler than it would be without a good layer of mulch.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Design This – Earrings to Match Black & Gold Beaded Necklace

I have another opportunity to introduce you to a wonderful artisan who was able to make a custom item for me that I had been hoping to trip across but had had no luck finding. Several years ago I purchased a mostly black and gold seed bead necklace. There were no matching earrings available at the time from that artisan. I have been on the lookout since then for some black and gold seed bead earrings that would complement the necklace.

Late last year a fellow Etsian purchased one of my items from my EDCCollective shop. I noticed her shop was filled with lovely seed bead jewelry, most importantly several earring styles I thought might look good with my black and gold necklace. When I had the chance earlier this year, I took some photos of my necklace, including close ups of the detail along with a ruler for scale and sent them off to see if this artisan would be interested in giving me a bid on some custom earrings to go with my necklace. She said that she would be happy to, so I shipped my necklace off to her to make it easier for her to match bead colors and the pattern on the necklace.

After receiving the necklace, this artisan asked me for some more input regarding dimensions. Soon I received some photos of my completed matching earrings. I was totally pleased with what she had done. I was also impressed with the level of detail that she put into the earrings. She noticed that my necklace was made with a square stitch instead of the native beading peyote stitch that she was accustomed to. Instead of making something similar using the more familiar peyote stitch, she experimented a bit so she could make my earrings with a square stitch to more perfectly match my necklace.

I had the opportunity to wear my necklace and new earrings at a reception last weekend. I loved the way the lightweight earrings moved as I moved my head. I received many compliments from others at the event. If you are in the market for some lovely beaded earrings, I strongly encourage you to check out her shop, Lakota Charm, on Etsy. Whether you fall in love with some ready to ship earrings in her shop or want some custom work done, I am certain you will be very pleased with your purchase from this artisan.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Thanks for the Treasuries - April 2014

Four different Etsians let me know that they had featured one of my items in a treasury during April. Four April Etsy treasuries, that treasury makers let me know about, included one of my creations. You can see a collage below of my items from EDCCollective and EclecticSkeptic that were featured during April. (Click on the collage to see a larger view.)

I really appreciate being featured by the treasury makers. To thank them, I have listed below (in alphabetical order) links to the 4 Etsy sellers that let me know that they featured one of my items, as well as an item from their shop that I like.

Enjoy window shopping and please click on the shop links of anything that catches your eye.

This shop carries vintage ephemera such as books, magazines and advertisements.

Girlie Gals offers you sparkle and shine (jewelry) at affordable prices.

Fun graphics and quotes earrings, necklaces and more.

This shop has a great assortment of rag dolls, stuffed animals and mosaics.