Mar 122011

Welcome to the newest participants of the 52 Weeks Challenge who joined us this 10th week of the activity.

Abigail Gutting, who is an artist by day and an art teacher by night, when she works with children and teens, learns something new every day. “A painting takes me on a journey from start to finish,” writes Abi in her new blog, The Power of an Image. “That journey is never the same and with each new effort; there is something new to be gained and understood.” As a child, Abi worked alongside her artist mother in her studio, and in her teens and early 20s, she worked with her veterinarian father in the American West, which inspires much of her painting today. In Two Cowboys and a Bronc below, you can feel the sweat and dust of the cowboys as they chase a saddle bronc.  “My goal is to tell a story that lingers in the mind of the viewer and to grow as an artist with each new painting,” says Abi of her work, which she sells in her Etsy shop, Abi Gutting Fine Arts.

Two Cowboys and a Bronc, by Abigail Gutting

Karina Wetzel introduces us to her love of crafts through a fabric flower tutorial in her blog, Karina’s Challenge. Karina, who lives in Utah, is a relatively new mother who somehow finds time to sell vinyl art lettering, handmade home decor crafts and onesies in her Etsy shop, Crafts by Karina. I especially enjoy her whimsical wall decals, such as the one shown below.

Vinyl Wall Art Decal - Faith and Trust, and a little bit of Pixie Dust, by Karina Wetzel

So, what did I get done this 10th week of the Challenge? During a week when I felt overrun by paperwork I’m shuffling on my father’s behalf, I finished this earflap hat and matching scarflette.

Crochet Earflap Hat & Scarflette, by JN Originals

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

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.

Feb 182011

I’m not sure where this week went, but with spring-like temperatures and snow that has melted away, it is a challenge not to be distracted by the weather. However, I am committed to working through the 52 Weeks Challenge, so in this 7th week of the challenge, I designed an adjustable head warmer that can also be worn as a neck warmer.  In fact, I finished four of them, but only one is pictured below. I am happy to report that—though I have not imposed this requirement upon  myself—I managed to complete this project without making a trip to the store for materials!


Crochet Headwarmer - Neckwarmer in Purple

I also finished one other project, the evidence of which you’ll see at the top of this window. Thanks to Chauncey of emhGraphics. who designs my Etsy shop banners as well as the seasonal banners for this Web site, I shortened the name of my Web site to This Creative Journey. You can now get to my site by entering either or in your address bar.

My co-participants this week were busy, too. Kym of Fabric Fascination, who started the 52 Weeks Challenge, sewed a cute, personalized iPod touch pouch for her granddaughter. You can check it out here, as well as look at thumbnail photos from the other challenge participants.

Before I forget, I’d like to introduce you to three more members of our group, all of whom blog and/or sell handmade items somewhere on the Web.

Meet Melissa Lopez from North Carolina who is a fantastic paper crafter specializing in what she calls “shabby collage” and altered art. Melissa began scrapbooking in 2004 before she even knew she was scrapbooking, when her son was born prematurely and had to stay in the hospital for 2 months before coming home. While she waited for Ethan’s homecoming, she began making little books for friends and family, announcing her son’s arrival. Six years later, this stay-at-home mother of two finds herself selling beautiful paper crafted products in her Etsy shop, Whimsy Pics.  Melissa, who enjoys working with papers from My Mind’s Eye and Tim Holtz’ Lost & Found line, as well as 7 Gypsies printer trays, writes about her passion for paper crafting at her blog, My Whimsy Life.

Altered Altoids Tin - Dreams 2011 Calendar

Amy Willoughby, a jewelry artisan from my home state of Wisconsin, makes finely handcrafted wire-wrapped pieces that take my breath away. She works primarily with pure copper and sterling silver, fashioning intricate necklaces, rings, earrings and ear cuffs. Amy sells her work in her Etsy shop, Crafty Willows. She admits, however, that jewelry is not her only love. “I have always been incredibly excited about crafting in general,” she says, pointing out that she also enjoys sketching, painting, stained glass, beading, glass etching, ceramics, and knitting. You can follow her creative process at her blog, Little Bit Crafting, where she shares her completed projects, as well as her crafting experiments.

Sandy Shore - Sea Sediment Jasper and Copper Necklace

Vicki Dobbins is a quilter from Oklahoma whose love of color and texture are evident in her fabric creations. “I love to sew and quilt,” she says. “Vibrant color and textured fabrics are my weakness.” Vicki’s favorite working materials are cotton, chenille, ribbon and threads. This mother of five credits her own mother for inspiring her to become a skilled quilter.” She is the one who always supported me in all my creative endeavors,” she points out. “When I started quilting, [she was] the one I could turn to with all my questions. It is from her that I have had the courage to allow my creativity to flourish.” Vicki sells pillows and pillow covers in her Etsy shop, Quilted 2 Pieces. She writes about her works in progress, what inspires her, and moments of decision at her blog, Memories Through Quilting.

Victorian Garden Pinwheel Pillow Cover in Cherry Red

If you are still thinking about joining the 52 Weeks Challenge, please do. It is never too late!

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