Saturday, November 18, 2006

Say it With Photos

letters sign photo
I know I'm not the only one who has spent time on eBay looking at old sign letters, just because they're cool, even though I'm not sure what I'd spell if I had them. This is another one of those things -- cool, but not sure what I'd say.

The good thing is, if you DO have something to say, the fine folks at will spell it out for you, using black and white photos of architectural and natural elements that resemble letters of the alphabet. The image above spells out "Einstein."

Prices range from $160 to $220 (US). More details can be had by checking out Uncommon Goods.

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Lampwork Beads - My Favorite Lampwork Bead Artists

If you're new to lampwork beads, the following artists will not only provide you with a great introduction to the art form, they'll set your standards so high that you'll never look at other beads the same.

And if you already love lampwork beads, then you will definitely want to check out the work of these artists -- trust me, you'll be glad you did.

Patti Walton
In all my days of obsessing over lampwork beads, I don't know if I've ever seen anyquite as elaborately detailed as Patti Walton's. Really - you have to check them out. Her gallery contains lots of beads, and each one looks like a tiny little glass fairyland - butterflies, flowers, entire scenes. Truly incredible. This site also features the cool and contemporary beads of John Olsen. A master of pattern and color, his beads are brilliant, and definitely worth a look as well.

Kim Miles
Without a doubt, some of the most gorgeous floral lampwork beads you'll ever see - stunning!

Selsey Designs
Gorgeous with a capital "G," Sheryl's beads offer beautiful color combinations and range from whimsical to breathtaking. Lots of florals, all of her beads are worth looking at, but the dimensional beads should definitely not be missed.

CC Design Bead Gallery
Breathaking dimensional floral beads and pendants. This artist also sells her beads and jewelry on eBay. You can find the link to her auctions on the site.

Air and Earth Designs
Pretty, pretty, pretty. Kandice Seeber's lampwork bead site features an array of lampwork beads, from holiday themes to funky florals. Here color combinations are great!

With beads including florals, geometric designs and more, "wow!" is all I can say about this lampwork bead artist. Corina's gallery is a must-see, but she also has a some great information for lampwork artists just starting out. Don't miss this site.

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Handmade Art & Crafts - A Cool Place to Buy & Sell

Having practically attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for launch of the world wide web, I had kind of gotten to a place recently where I wasn't all that impressed with most sites I came across. But tonight I found a site that is really cool and noteworthy.

Nothing about the site is particularly revolutionary, but good cheesecake is still good cheesecake no matter how long the recipe has been around. The site is, and simply, it is a place to buy and sell handmade stuff.

Handmade art and crafts like jewelry, paintings, clothing, bags, pins .. just about anything you can imagine that can be handmade, has been handmade, and is available for sale on this site.

Since it's a catalog of independent artists and crafters, there is quite a varied selection, with items ranging from funky to edgy, and cute to cuter. Everyone can find something -- on my first trip, I purchased 3 very cool cat drawings done in india ink. Very simple, very cool, and very inexpensive, as each one only set me back three dollars. Happily, I was able to pay with paypal.

If you're interested in selling your handmade stuff, you should definitely check them out too, as their fees are really reasonable, and since word of mouth has attracted so many artists, I'm assuming buyers can't be far behind.

For more info, visit

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Artist Trading Card Supplies - ATC Stuff

European Papers
This site has some really cool stuff for making artist trading cards, including precut card stock, storage sleeves and boxes, and coolest of all, rubber stamps to provide artist information for use on the back of your cards.

B Muse

Precut card stocks in varying weights and colors (including metallics), plastic baggies that are the perfect size for storing your individual cards, and very cool folded cards for making mini alters or atcs with windows.

Scrapbook Junction
Not a ton of stuff here, but a couple really cool things, including cardboard sleeves for your cards (kraft or white), and artist trading card blanks with pre-printed forms on the back. Unfortunately for those of us who are in the States, shipping charges to the US are a little steep - but not as bad as they look, since the prices are Australian (which converts to lower US rates). Australians, go stock up!

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What are Artist Trading Cards?

Artist Trading Cards, or ATCs, as they're known, are quite simply trading cards made by artists, instead of being mass produced by companies like sports and other trading cards are. Since they are handmade, they are typically one of a kind, although some artists will make prints.

Initially, it seems that artists would make tiny, original works of art for the purpose of trading them with other artists, and that they should never be sold -- only traded. But as with most great ideas, this one has spread and now ATCs are sold, reproduced, and collected by non-artists as well.

Again, as with most great things, this has created some controversy. Some people still believe that the cards should only be traded and not sold, as was the original idea. While I get this concept, I of course, believe that people should do whatever the hell they want, and let others do the same. But, this is just all my opinion, and I digress.

Back to the point - Artist Trading Cards are big news, and they're very cool. Whether they are originals or reproductions; traded or sold; paintings or collages - they are great fun to make, and even greater to collect. There is a big market for trading cards, and ATCs are the ultimate.

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Glass Ornaments - Fabulous Handmade Glass Ornaments

With a dozen or so cats roaming around our digs at any given time, glass ornaments on our Christmas tree are pretty much a no-go. But, as one who adores glass art, I am crazy about these blown glass ornaments from Ralph Mossman and Mary Mullaney. The murrini flowers rock, and I'm off to look for a way to display such baubles so that they are safe from my feline friends. In the meantime, feel free to check out a whole slew of art glass ornaments available at

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Mosaic Artists - A Few of My Favorite Mosaic Artists

The world is full of fabulous mosaic artists, but here are a few of my favorites. They also happen to be some of the best around -- you'll love their stuff.

Laurel True
In addition to being a brilliant artist, Laurel True is the founder of the Institute of Mosaic Art, and owns the super-cool supply store called Mosaic Studio Supply. I love her work, but I'm also insanely jealous of how cute her store looks - so organized and neat. Check out her stuff, you'll love it.

Laurel Skye
Unbelievably enough, it's another Laurel who just happens to also be a fabulous mosaic artist. She also teaches classes, and you absolutely must see her 3D pieces, including clocks, violins, and boxes. Colorful and unique, her stuff totally rocks.

Laurie Mika
Apparently if your name starts with the letters "L A U," you have an excellent shot at becoming a great mosaic artist. Laurie's work is so unique and awesome, you have to see it to believe it. In addition to just kicking ass, I love that she uses her own polymer clay tiles. Back in the 90s, I worked with polymer clay before I began making mosaics, so this is something I experimented with back then ... she's taken it to a whole different level. Check out her stuff.

Ellen Blakeley
Using a technique she developed and perfected, Ellen Blakeley's shattered glass mosaics are phenomenally cool. She'll put anything flat under her webbed safety glass, for results you just couldn't imagine.

Mosaic Tiles & Supplies

When I first starting creating mosaics, buying supplies meant bidding for them on eBay. Now, there are tons of great sites out there for mosaic tiles, nippers, surfaces, and grouts. Here are a few of my favorites.
One of my favorite mosaic supply shops, Mosaic Art Supply carries a large line of mosaic tiles, and has really good prices. Their usual inventory includes tiles of ceramic porcelain, stone marble, and millefiori; as well as metallic iridescent and vitreous glass. This site also carried tumbled beach glass, smalti, grouts, glues, tools and unfinished tables that are ideal for mosaics.

This site has some really cool and unique stuff. Instead of just the usual selection of glass tiles, offers handmade tiles such as cats, fish, hearts and more, all of which are glazed and kiln-fired. My absolute favorite thing they offer are Signature Tiles - for $30, you can get 30 custom tiles with your own signature to incorporate into your artwork. Fantastic.

The tiles on this site rock. Glitter, pearl, metallic and transparent glass tiles are just the tip of the iceburg, you can also order custom blends, and accessories like layout grids. Very cool.

With a huge selection of mosaic supplies, Mosaic Tile Supply also has some of the most unique and coolest stuff around. One of my particular faves is the Iridescent Vitreous Mosaic Tiles. Offered in black gold, or Indigo (I've ordered both), these tiles are gorgeous. Also of interest is the polished abalone and vintage italian tiles.

Most notable here are the Prism glass mosaic tiles - in 4 sizes, and five colors, these tiles are awesome. Mosaic Tile Supplies also moonstone iridescent glass and stainless steel tiles - both of which are very cool and unique.

Monster Mosaics offers a large selection of mosaic tiles, including glass shapes and round tiles. Among my favorites is their metallic Venetian glass tiles. This site also carries a lot of mosaic surfaces, such as picture frames and tables, as well as the usual mosaic supplies.