Mar 292011

When it comes to jewelry, Karen of Mystic Wynd is likely the queen of eclectic styles. This grandmother of seven, now retired from the health insurance industry, is a self-taught jewelry artisan. Like a “wynd” that changes direction, Karen designs with diversity in mind: the fun and trendy, the bold and powerful, the simple and understated, and the one-of-a-kind. You can also find her elegant wedding jewelry at MW Elegance.  “I guess it would be safe to say,” she says, “that my life has forever been about learning and evolving. I believe life is about balance and respect and—while it may sound corny, “being one with the universe.”

Karen’s work space reflects her wide-ranging interests and her love of natural stones, crystals, vintage-look metals, colorful beads and—in general—unique materials. She stores her materials in plastic boxes with divided compartments, and has one of the most organized work spaces I have ever seen. Some of her overflow supplies can be found at The Crafters’ Cabinet on Etsy.

Karen's Supplies and Work Space

Karen, who grew up on the south side of Chicago, now resides in Arizona, whose southwestern influence is evident in some of her designs, such as the one below.

Pewter Bear Claw Necklace with Wooden Beads

My favorite two items from her Mystic Wynd shop, however, are the necklace and bracelet shown below.

Pink Rose Floral Glass with Pearl Necklace

Gardener's Copper Charm Bracelet with Flowers

To learn more about Karen, visit her blog. You can also read about her in the excellent interview posted on the EtsyBloggers blog.

Feb 202011

Magic and whimsy meet at Faerie Garden Fancies, the shop of Diana Bukowski. Diana, who is February’s Featured EtsyBlogger, is an artist and teacher. Although she does not limit herself to these items, she enjoys working with paper, paint, glitter, glue, scissors, polymer clay, pencils, watercolors, and her camera and computer.  Like many artists, she finds it is a balancing act to “reconcile my passions with making a living.”

Diana’s sense of humor, as well as her understanding of the appeal of story, are evident in her art. Most recently, she blogs about Melusinia, a mermaid-and-treasure chest sculpture that is available for sale in her Etsy shop. (Click on photo to see the listing.) “Melusinia came into being more than a year and a half ago,” writes Diana, “destined for warmer climes, but after a brief vacation in the south, she decided to return to the cooler waters of Lake Ontario. However, this winter has been the last straw for her. She has packed her favorite box with memories and dreams and is requesting a new location; she doesn’t care where. (I suspect a merman is involved in her decision, but she won’t confirm or deny the allegations.)”

Magical Mermaid Art Doll and Treasure Box

Melusinia’s world is likely surrounded by other items you will find in Diana’s shop, which you can see below. Visit Faerie Garden Fancies today.


Faerie Garden Fancies

© 2011 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved. Please note that the images in this post are owned by the artist and may not be used without permission.

Jan 302011

Joy Charde exemplifies the balancing act that often characterizes parents who are artists.

During the daytime, this former elementary school teacher is a mother who works at her local public library. At night, however, when everyone else is sleeping, Joy doodles and generates vector art  for her custom illustrated goods shop on Etsy, The Art of Joy. Her whimsical designs are based on her love of all things Hawaiian. On her Web site, Creative Mama, she offers free “Kawaii” printables that anyone can download, such as thank you cards, mini calendars, gift tags, an organization kit for children, and more. Kawaii is Japanese for “cute”—and cute definitely describes her whimsical designs. This past October, Etsy liked her designs so well that she was featured in the site’s Twitter Artist Series for one of her downloadable Twitter backgrounds.

Joy’s work may also be found in her Etsy shop, The Art of Joy. Whether you’re looking for customizable pirate party invitations, baby shower announcements,  or personalized note cards, you’ll find something that appeals to you.

The Art of Joy on Etsy, by Joy Charde

How does she get it done? Perhaps the answer can be found in the podcasts to which Joy listens, which include Parents Journal, Pediacast, Mighty Mom, Momversation and New Moms, New Babies. In any event, you will lots of helpful information on her Web site, Creative Mama, which Joy describes as “a place to find resources, tips and tricks to help balance your family and your creative side.” 

Be sure to download Joy’s free Valentine’s Day gift, Kawaii Valentines Kit. You can follow Joy on Twitter at

© 2011 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.