torsdag 27. november 2008

I love this weather!

Welcome to my little photosafari,

according to the weather forecast it was 8 C and 15m/s, so it was rather windy...
this is a crowded beach in the summer, but today I was all alone....

I walked to the end of the pier, feeling a bit was really hard to stand upright,

when I was standing on the top of the stairs and turned back towards the wind.

A bit later when I was about to leave, one sporty guy came along. Just note that the sea temperature is about 0.0 C. I'm impressed:

Finally: Home, dear home.....

I live close to the sea, but I can not see it from my home, only hear it. On days like this the windows of our house and car usually gets covered with a white layer of salt from the ocean.

mandag 24. november 2008


In the weekly challenge of the European Street Team on Etsy we had 'Vikings with a hint of upcycling' as the theme.

Nine creative europeans delivered an entry to the challenge, and here is the winner:

Please welcome.........

Chichiboulie with 'Dalla':


torsdag 20. november 2008

The Vikings are back!

This week I won the weekly challenge of the European Street Team on Etsy with my "Aqua et ignis". As the winner I got to choose the new theme, and I ended up with 'Vikings with a hint of upcycling'.

The European Street Team has, as usual, accepted the challenge and I will, in this blogpost, present the entries as they are presented to me.

Please welcome the Vikings of EST:

Chichiboulie with 'Dalla':
Kreativlink with 'The Vikings, Suede Journal':

BonnieBoon with Baby Viking HAT:

GiftsandStars with Feeling Like a Viking Key/ Bag Ring:AleciaV with Return of the Vikings:
kraplap with Erik the Discoverer Brooch:

toosis with Silver Cuff Viking Bracelet: dinafragola with Viking Shield Pendant:

paperfection with The Harald the Viking Journal:

The challenge started this monday and will end a week later (monday 24th Nov. 21:00). If you would like to be a part of this challenge, please convo me once you have completed your entry.

onsdag 19. november 2008

Designed by RJ and RJ Charms

Today I’ll let you meet the Nicole, the woman behind two great shops:

1. Tell me about your store (name, products, etc)?
I sell fun, costume jewelry at Designed by RJ. I love adding a vibrant pop of colour to my outfits, and you'll see that come through in a lot of my designs. I also have a line of charm accessories that have ended up in their very own shop, called RJ Charms.

2. What made you start selling your products and show your designs to the rest of the world?
I started out like many people, making gifts for friends and family - I slowly moved onto doing craft shows and opened an online shop 6 or so years ago, when Etsy came around it looked like a great place to sell! I've since closed my own online shop and now sell only via Etsy, as well as some consignment and wholesale.

3. How do you let the world know about your products?
I love blogging, and enjoy some of the more popular network sites. I also do some online advertising, and of course - word of mouth!

4. Do you adjust you crafting to the different seasons? And how?
I do adjust somewhat. For example, this fall I introduced my "Victorian" line of jewelry. And of course RJ Charms features some fabulous kitschy charms for specific holidays (right now it's all about Christmas and winter!).

5. How do you get inspired?
Mainly by playing with my beads. Sometimes I'll browse online supply shops, and get inspired by something I see. I also follow some colour trends - red and turquoise is still one of my favorites!

6. Do you ever get a creative block?
Sometimes I do, and when that happens I dig into my little pile of items waiting to be deconstructed and repurposed. Or I just take a break altogether!

7. What is a normal day like for you?
I have a part-time office job, so typically I'll get up and spend an hour or so online while having breakfast. Checking orders that came in over night, reading blogs, twittering. Usually I lose track of time and race to get dressed and out the door. I'm home again at lunch to pop online, maybe relist a few items in the shop, see what's going on online. Then when I get home in the afternoon I'll do more of the same, pack orders and get them to the mail box by pick-up time. Around 5:30 I head to the living room and catch a cooking show or two, waiting for my partner to get home - at which point I cook dinner (unless it's his turn, and then I relax and wait for the sushi delivery!). After dinner I get crafty - either making items for orders, or new items. I craft in my living room so I still get to spend time with my partner in the evenings. Then around 9pm it's back online for some late evening listings!

8. Do you do this for fun or for serious business?
It's a business for me, but it's only gotten to this level by being fun! If it wasn't fun it wouldn't be all that much different that a desk job.

9. How do you see yourself down the road?
I hope to keep on crafting! I've been making and selling jewelry for six years now, and I hope to keep on doing it for years to come. I also sell supplies so no matter what I'll be involved in the craft world somehow!

10. What else interests you besides your craft?
I love art, I majored in silkscreen printmaking in University, and miss it terribly! I recently received a membership to our local gallery and plan to make good use of it! And food and wine are big things at our house. We don't have kids (yet), so I have lots of time to prep yummy meals. Right now we get a bin of organic produce delivered every week, so cooking with that is always a new and exciting challenge!

11. Is there something you would like to say as the end of the talk?
As I've done the past few years, I'm having a handmade holiday this year - everything I give is either handmade by me, another crafter/artist or is a charitable donation. It's a great way to support the indie artists, and give something meaningful! I hope more and more people consider having handmade holidays too!

At the end of this interview I would like to offer the readers of this blog a discount: ~ 15% off at or with code "VK08" Code can be used at checkout in 'notes-to-seller' and a refund will be sent.
Thank you RJ for taking time to answer my questions and for your kind offer to my readers!

I'll be back next week with a new interview..........

mandag 17. november 2008

The challenge: Vikings

Thank you, AmandaYuDesign for choosing me as this weeks winner, my "Aqua et ignis" Pop Art on display won the last theme "Aqua". So I am the boss, or the queen as I may be called, for this Weekly Challenge for the European Street Team on Etsy which originated from Kreaktivlink.

I was thinking of a challenge that has a connetion to my corner of the world. Ok, I'm from Norway where we have a lot of water, some snow and ice, semi-high mountains and a 'ugly' history. Water (Aqua) has been used, snow/ice is just too cold and mountains have to wait till next time.......... cause I have choosen a part of our 'ugly' history for this weeks challenge: the VIKINGS!

I would like to see items that are somehow related to Vikings or to the time when vikings raided and colonized parts of Europe.

In addition to a Viking-connection, there has to be some recycling or upcycling involved when creating the item. It's up to you to decide how much recycling/upcycling as long as it is involved somehow.

Once you have done your entry please send the link to

Here is something for you inspiration:
Link to Osebergskipet, a famous viking ship

I have not been able to copy any photos of viking ships - so please take a look at one of the links for more details - some of the ships had the most amazing carvings.

Monday special: Upcycling finds Europe part II

Last monday I made my monday special based on upcycling finds from the European Street Team, and I found so many lovely items made by upcycling or recycling so I decided to follow up with a part II from Europe.

Have a wonderful week, and remember to think twice before you trow anything away - it may be turned into something loveable!

søndag 16. november 2008

Taking it a bit further....

Those of you that have seen my Etsy-shop, may remember my Pop Art Pendants made of soda pop cans and newspapers, maps and magazines. So far I have had 3 different lines of Pop Art Pendants:

* Windows of the Past, Pop Art Pendant (with vintage newspaper/magazine)

* Windows of the Sea, Pop Art Pendant (with lighthouses or other items related to the sea)

* Windows of the World, Pop Art Pendant (with a piece of a map)

This week I've been working on a way to improve my Pop Arts, and I've ended up with 3 changes to the product:

1. Making a mini-stand so the Pop Art can be displayed as any other piece of art
2. Stamping the frame, this makes me able to add a title or a statement directly on to the Pop Art.
3. Using a piece of fabric as the motife.

This is the first one I've made involving all three changes:

This item 'Aqua et Ignis' is inspired by the weekly challenge of the European Street Team. This week the theme is aqua (Take a look Amandas blog for more info and all the other entries).

I've have not added the little 'loop' on top of this item, so this can not be used as a pendant. It is ment to be on display, and I will call this line of product for 'Framed Fabrications, Pop Art on Display'

The three next photos shows the different shapes I've used on the mini-stands and how the backside looks:

The mini-stands can also be used with my pendants, and will look really great on any shelf. The mini-stand will soon be available as a separate product in my shop.

While I was shooting a lot of photos of my new product today, my two little girls (Marthe and Lilly) were having a great time climbing. Looks fun!

fredag 14. november 2008

Cool Temptations

It is time for a new presentation of a great Etsy seller. Today I'll let you all meet Maria João from Lisbon, the crafter behind Cool Temptations.

1. Tell me about your store (name, products, etc)?
My shop’s name is Cool Temptations and I design and create jewellery and accessories, mostly with lampwork and glass beads. I design and handcraft necklaces, bracelets, earrings, lariats, and smaller pieces like key chains, brooches, book markers, glasses holders and everything else which is doable with beads!!

My friends, and greatest fans, always said that my pieces were a temptation they could not resist, and that they would always come back for more! That showed me the way when it came to deciding the name!! Of course I took some precautions, as the word “temptations” can easily lead you to a very different kind of products, once you google it!!! And I added the word “Cool”, in its several significant, meaning fresh or refreshing, smart, updated, fashion, that’s everything I want my jewellery to be!

2. What made you start selling your products and show your designs to the rest of the world?
Well, the truth is that jewellery is a rather recent addiction. I didn’t use to pay that much attention to it and always wore a gold chain with a beautiful pendant, always the same, but from the first necklace I made in early 2004, I realized that there was something about making beaded jewellery that opened a new world of colourful options.

And one thing led to another: my friends started to ask me to make them something new to wear with this or that outfit, I started to buy more and more beads and spending more money on my new hobby, and I started to make one or two jewellery parties at home, and friends’ friends came in and bought my necklaces, and that was the best way to finance my addiction!!!

Last year I discovered Etsy and I loved the concept of creating a world wide shop supported by crafters from all over, so I decided to join in this fantastic community and share my jewellery with them!

3. How do you let the world know about your products?
It hasn’t been an easy task, I can tell you!
I’m an architect and I have been working in my own office for the last 20 years. Being my own boss doesn’t allow me to always stick to time tables, as when a new project comes into the office, or deadlines for competitions arrive, I must drop everything else and concentrate entirely on my work and have no time for fun.

This means I’ve been trying to list frequently at my Etsy store, but it’s been difficult to keep up to an everyday routine. I also joined a wonderful team in there (, which allows me to communicate with a fantastic bunch of creative people, and I try to get some treasuries to promote the work of other crafters, I looked for a mentor that helps me and gives me useful advices on Etsy activities.

I also have my own site English written ( and a blog written in Portuguese ( where I show my jewellery and sell it too. I’ll be making it bilingual shortly!

And I still have one or two jewellery parties now and then, where I try to get as many friends as possible, and ask them to pass the word around their friends!
And I always wear my own creations, of course!

4. Do you adjust you crafting to the different seasons? And how?
Well no, not really! I know people think one doesn’t wear this or that colour in this or that season, but I always create with all the colours in every season! I just need to find a set of lampwork beads that I like, and that’s that!
Sometimes people come to me with a sweater or a dress asking me to make them something to wear with it, and then we both decide if it should be a long or medium necklace, a bracelet and earrings set or whatever she prefers.
When it comes to the small accessories I mentioned before, I generally make them mostly for Christmas Season, as they make unique and rather inexpensive gifts.

5. How do you get inspired?
Lampwork beads are my best source of inspiration! I buy some exquisite sets from several glass artists I’ve been coming across these last 4 years, through the internet, and then I look for other top quality glass beads, seed beads, semi-precious gemstones, silver beads and findings to keep them company!

Lampwork beads always fascinate me with their infinite combination of colours, shapes, transparencies and opacities and a large variety of designs that lead us from figurative to complete abstract landscapes.

Making a necklace or a bracelet with this or that bead depends on how it talks to me! I tend to visualize first where I would like to wear it, and then decide the design! 6. Do you ever get a creative block?
Oh yes! I have been sitting in front of my working table for hours with no idea what so ever! They’re my blank periods, where I look attentively at the beads, but don’t get any kind of message from them!
When this happens, I just go for a walk or do anything else! I stay out of the room for a few days and I only return when I feel like cleaning it and tidying everything up. It’s a wonderful exercise before starting again!

7. What is a normal day like for you?
I’m not a very early riser, so I wake up around 7.30 or 8.00 am, feed my cat, get breakfast, check my messages and my Etsy store, wait for my husband to be ready, then I get a shower and get to work.
My returning hour is never the same, but I try to get to the gym before 7pm. I need to get exercise at least 3 times a week, as I need to loose weight and I have a lazy thyroid that keeps stocking up everything I eat into my thighs!!! Sometimes I pick my teenager daughter at school and we go together to the gym, or we return home, she studies for a while and I sit at my table to play with beads. When I get too excited about some new beads, and I start making something, I tend to forget about dinner, which is a good thing, but I get reminded of it by my family and I‘ll just make something and get back to it!
At weekends I love to stay in and spend hours with my beads, making something different everyday! It really full fills me!! 8. Do you do this for fun or for serious business?
Well, I do this mostly for fun and as an anti-stress for my working life.
It began as a hobby and as something I could do with my daughter, but then it evolved both to an addiction and as an escape from a serious problem I had some years ago. My mother used to live with us and she had Alzheimer’s. She passed away in 2005, but her last two years were very demanding and difficult to deal with. I had to stay home for hours and hours to be with her, and beads and creating jewellery were the only things that prevented me to go insane!
Today I can say it’s a little bit of both, fun and serious business, as I love creating and I sell my pieces in order to support this beautiful addiction I have.

9. How do you see yourself down the road?
I would really love to be able to make a peaceful transition from my architecture office to making jewellery as my everyday work (=fun).
It hasn’t been easy to run an office here in Lisbon, with this entire international crisis around! And I would surely have a better life if I could find a way to be earning some money with my Etsy store. I would love to get the time to promote my jewellery and sell it both through the internet and in local shops.
Maybe I can get there in two or three years, who knows? I’ll keep trying that’s for sure!!!

10. What else interests you besides your craft?
I’m really fortunate to live in Lisbon and be able to go for walks along the river and go to the beach from May to October, but I also love to travel and visit new places.
I love to read and going to the cinema, theatre or a good art exhibition. Oh yes, and I also love some TV series like Grey’s Anatomy, Gilmore Girls and The Practice.
And most of all I love staying in with my family and friends, as they are the most solid part of my life and the ones I could never do without, and join them in a good meal, a great wine, a good laugh and a great conversation.

11. Is there something you would like to say as the end of the talk?
I always have a wonderful time while creating my jewellery, and I take special care in details, comfortable findings to wear, good quality materials, and one of a kind designs. I hope that you will enjoy looking at and wearing my work as much as I enjoy making it!!

Take good care of yourself and have a wonderful life!

If you would like to see more Maria João's products, please take a look at her shop: Cool Temptations.

.....and of course, I'll be back next week featuring anoter talented crafter!

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