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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Malibu Arts Festival

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Last Saturday I had the pleasure of attending a fantastic arts festival in Malibu, California right next to the Pacific Ocean. The location was not the only inspiring beauty situated at the Malibu Civic Center that day. Artists from near and far were gathered around displaying their work with pride and excitement! I was so giddy to walk through each stall and meet the artists who created such amazing and heartfelt creations. Every artist had a deep passion and love of their life and what they were doing and it made me that much more inspired to create my own work.

From suitcase installations to pollock like explosions on canvas each artist was a pleasure to meet and so very passionate about their creations and being in Malibu on that day!

I even made a wonderful purchase of this handmade GOURD purse! A purse crafted from a small gourd the size of a canteen. The husband/wife duo who created this and other purses made from gourd were a happy pair who shared that they work out of their garage in their PJS and enjoy every second of it! The husband does all the cutting and tough work and the wife paints the outside and lines the inside with silk! They were ecstatic to sell this purse to me and you could just tell they were proud of every creation in their stall!

This chess set was another one of my favorite creations of the day. The artist who handcrafts this epic African jungle themed set was a wonderful older man who had a stall filled with iron and metal polished chess sets and figurines! We only wish we could drop the $15,000 for this set! Maybe after a few more sales of our own jewelry will we get this eye-catching creation!

All in all, it was a fantastic day filled with friends, great art and the Malibu nature that is so very iconic and inspiring in itself!  Cant wait for next year!




Featured Handmade Artist Thursday: Serantoni Designs

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As a true adventurer, this week’s artist has a unique gift for capturing fantastic and stunning places and spaces throughout the world with her camera. Mary Serantoni of Serantoni Designs is in love with telling stories by capturing mystical landscapes and city streets with her lens. We spoke with Mary and asked her a few questions about her magical journeys that lead to these wonderful photos:

How did you get started shooting?

I have been involved in Fine Art and performing arts throughout my life. My interest in Photography emerged while at the American Academy of Art, and as Photographers Assistant at a Chicago performing arts company. It was on Honeymoon in Italy with daily lessons by Dr. Dez, when my obsession became apparent.

What equipment do you use?

I use a NIKON D700, and occasionally borrow the NIKON D3. Fave Lens: NIKON 24-70mm f/2.8. Post-processing tools are my beloved Mac, Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.

Where does your inspiration come from?

It comes from various sources:
Music – from Classical to Jazz and everything in-between.
Urban cityscapes, streetscenes, and the poetry of Nature.
Prolific Artists such as Edward Hopper, Cezanne, Matisse, Modigliani, Monet, Miro, Klimt, John Singer Sargent, Toulouse Lautrec, O’Keefe, Picasso’s line drawings and David Hockney’s set designs.

What is your favorite piece of work? 

I don’t have a favorite piece, as each image brings me back to that original Aha! moment in time. I do love to track what pieces speak to people, and cherish their little notes of gratitude.

Any other cool facts about yourself as an artist?

As a photographer, I am constantly studying Light and striving to balance the Science with the Art. I create Stories via Fine art photography for Dreamers and lovers of great escapism, Travelogue romanticists, and connoisseurs of the painterly approach by Old World Masters.

For more on Mary and Serantoni Designs visit:

Featured Handmade Artist Thursday: Emerald Snow

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Paulina is todays featured handmade artist and there is good reason for that. As an artist Paulina pours her soul into each creation she makes for Emerald Snow, her online etsy shop. Each piece of her art reflects an inner flame of creativity influenced by central Europe, where she lives, and what looks to be a wildly rich inner self! Enjoy getting to know this truly wonderful artist:

How did you get started?

My name’s Paulina, I come from central Europe, Slovaka. I started with printmaking when I was 17, but with art I started when I was five. Now I’m graduading the Academy of Fine Arts in your capital, where is a well formed tradition of printmaking. So I can tell, that I was influenced my slovak world known illustrators, because when I was child I used to read a lot of books with them illustrations.

I love the physical-ness of printmaking techniques: painting, drawing, scratching, scraping, incising, gouging, sanding, polishing, rolling and wiping ink on the plates and then cranking them through a press.
I love the graphic print quality and the ability to make multiples of a single image; printmaking helps to make collecting original art more accessible to all.

The second part of my work is focused on painting. I prefer acrylic, last time I’m experimenting with a new polygonal shapes of frames, it shifted my work to the another dimension

What materials do you use?

Most of my artworks are focused on printmaking- there I use paper and printing colors, but I love the sketch with markers and pencils as well.
Regarding to painting I prefer painting with acrylics on canvas.

What inspires you?

Random things around me. I love details.
Last time I was strongly inspired by the book of Clarissa Pinkola Estés- Women who run with the wolves.

What are your favorite pieces?

Honestly, I have a deep relationship to all of my works. because all of them was made with love and deep passion. I really enjoy my the very last cycle of paintings which I made on polygonal canvas frames.

Any other cool facts about your shop and you as an artist?

Yes. 🙂 Maybe someone could be interested about my other interests and passions. I love healthy lifestyle; I’m raw foodist, training the martial arts and love travelling!

To learn more about Paulina and Emerald Snow visit these links:

Sunset = design inspiration

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Last night Los Angeles experienced one of the best sunsets I have ever seen! The colors so rich and other world like I couldn’t help but be inspired to use more color in my designs.

Now we know where crayola got its colors from!

So inspired by color I ran home and created a few pieces that would pop! Like this:

And many more to come! Enjoy the colors of your surroundings!

Featured Handmade Artist Thursday: SariBlue

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After taking a break from last week to celebrate the holiday we are back with this week’s Boston-based, handmade artist, Sari of SariBlue. As a fellow Artisan Group member ( I have been fascinated with her use of the symbolic Turkish symbol, the”evil eye” in such a stylish and fantastic way. Sari bases her collection around this protective symbol and infuses an earthy, bohemian, causal vibe using handmade eco-friendly glass beads she collects from her trips to Turkey! Sari’s pieces are alive with spirit, positivity and peace and as she points out “There’s nothing evil about it…”

We spoke with Sari to gain insight into her gorgeous collection:

How did you get started creating your fantastic collection?

I have always been someone who simply falls in love with design, of all kinds. Even as a child I was a bit obsessed with shoes, jewelry, buildings, clothing, basically all art forms. I had a relentless curiosity about music and film as well as a tendency to romanticize history. All of these things still hold true today and add to the core of my personality. I am a seeker! I crave gorgeous notions and ideas. In truth, if a day goes by without discovering something of fantastic design value I feel unfulfilled. So how does this relate to me starting my shop and jewelry collection SariBlue? I am also someone who is a pleaser; I want to make those that are important to me happy, my parents, my babies, my sister, my man. Being a pleaser, you tend to “do the right thing” or listen to the advice of others, or elders, to make sure you make everyone else happy…. So I never paid attention to the voice of art in my head, just the voice of reason.

Cutting to 2011 when I had been through the wringer for years, in start-up high-tech organizations, working really hard for others when the roller coaster of the economy finally caught up with me. I was also in the middle of a pretty deep rooted divorce battle, which would wear anyone to the bone.

Being faced with a much scaled back job, which would not be enough to satisfy or support me and now off with my two girls I was a bit of a disaster. My daughters, who at the time were 6 and 7, were so supportive and amazingly intuitive about what I should do. I had told them how much art meant to me and how I would love to have it be a real part of my life. The girls really pushed me to start my own shop, so here I am. My love for Turkish culture and specifically Evil Eye beads, made the decision easy about what the medium should be for my artisan jumping off point.

What materials do you use mainly?

My materials are essential to my shop, they are what make SariBlue. I take the handmade oath seriously and try to use things from small shops when I need to purchase them and work as eco-consciously as I can. SariBlue is a hip, earthy, bohemian wear-it-everyday jewelry collection centered on the power and theory of the universally recognizable symbol the Evil Eye.

I use Turkish handmade glass beads which are made using centuries old traditional methods. Turkish artisans collect recycled glass pieces, mix them with special dyes and melt in their primitive adobe furnaces that burn naturally clean-burning pine logs. They shape the red hot molten glass, fuse colors together and create these amazing beads using only simple hand tools. Every bead fashioned has its own identity, lending every SariBlue piece its own distinctive nature.

I have many friends in Turkey and have been there so often it feels like home. Either I travel to gather the beads directly from the artisans or I have my close friends stop over and get the beads made for me. This personal connection is important. The artisans are an important link to what I do in my shop. Once I have these authentic beads, I create my collection in my shop outside of Boston, MA. I use various findings including Sterling Silver ball chains, Bali Beads, Sterling Earring Hooks and Sterling wire which I use to create my own connections and links. I also added leather components, crystals and various accents beads to help add a bit of pizzazz to some of the pieces.

Most of the nazar boncuğu (Evil Eye Beads) that are well known in the U.S. are not authentically made boncuğu. The most common beads you see are either plastic, machine made, or clearly not a true representation of the Nazar Boncuk. I love the story and history of the beads and how it can bond family and culture together. For me the boncuğu are not something cheap to be purchased from a reseller who purchased them in China or as a low end grab at a counter… Nazar Boncuk are very special adornments. They hold power and protection as well as a symbol for many cultures throughout history. Not to mention these beads are gorgeous works of art. Creating pieces for people that will appreciate the art form is very satisfying and joyful. To love what you do is a gift and creating the SariBlue Collection is a great gift.

What inspires you? 

I often answer this question with: “Everything”…. If you are really looking and content it is true, you can find inspiration in everything and anything. As I mentioned, I adore design, fashion, music, film. Often I will find inspiration for my work in these art forms. Music is critical to me; I need it to be in my creative head space. Also, inspiration for me lately has come very directly from the fantastic artisans I meet. Of course by their lovely work, moreover by their success and ability to be so open with others. So I guess kindness and willingness to share your gift is what is most inspiring to me these days, it is a rare thing and I am lucky to have a great circle filled with people who have this attribute.

Cool facts about your shop and you as an artist?

Sari is pronounced “sutter” in Turkish meaning blonde/blondie/yellow and this is my nickname. My partner Big was the one who gave me this nickname. I have written before that in Turkish culture Blondes are not very common and when I first met Big he would call me Sari or any number of variations of the word in Turkish. It was really funny for him, but was somewhat lost on me until I learned more about the culture and what was so funny about being blonde. It since became the perfect name for the shop. I love the shop name because it is a bit of me, my story and Big’s and how we got here along with “Blue” being the traditional colour of the nazar boncuğu.

I am readying a few exciting things for my shop: Shortly I will have my own online store-front in addition to my Etsy store, I cannot WAIT for this to be completed!

I will also be rolling out a number of new items that include my beloved beads. The items are accessories and I think will round out the collection very nicely!

Get to know Sari and her shop SariBlue even more by visiting these links:!/bigandsari

Are you a handmade artist and want to be featured here? Email us :

Handmade Wedding Creations!

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Recently I was contacted to create a set of six personalized wedding bracelets for a bride’s upcoming wedding and I happily said yes! It was very exciting to create these bracelets, the chance to be part of her special day was beyond cool!

The bride opted for the initials of each of her bridesmaids, a heart  (and the date of her wedding on the back) to be hammered into these blonde leather and gold bracelets.

It took over four hours to cut, hammer and cut leather to create these six bracelets but I’m sure happy with the final results and hope the bride will be too!

If you are interested in custom handmade jewelry for your wedding please contact me @ I’d love to help your day be even more special!

We offer a 10% wedding discount on orders of 6 pieces and over.

Also visit our wedding listings on etsy (all can be adjusted to meet your wedding needs!)

Congrats to Anne and all the future brides to be!

Hometown Paper features my work!

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Super Excited today to be featured in my hometown paper, The Patch. I have grown a lot since I moved away from home in 2007 to LA and it warms my heart to see know this article will reach all those I haven’t seen in years and truly miss! It is great to know that I can share in my dreams with the place that helped build them! Here is the article: