Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Featured Artist: Makena Lei Creations

I found this great etsy artist the other day while browsing and decided to feature her shop on my blog. The artist is Shelley and her shop is Makena Lei Creations. (Shelley has another etsy shop called HanaSakura Designs). I love Shelley's colorful, simple, crisp designs. Enjoy!

Chili Pepper Fused Glass Earrings

Tell me a bit about yourself
Well, how do I start. I absolutely LOVE being creative. Creative is good and it keeps my mind busy. I always have about 10 artistic projects going on at all times, so it's good to have an outlet. I enjoy painting, drawing, bead making, gardening, fusing, making stained glass, boating, traveling, horseback riding and spending time with my wonderful Hubby, Dan. :) We got married in Maui, Hawai'i, on a very large lava cliff overlooking the gorgeous turquoise blue Pacific. "Ah...Paradise". We went back to Hawai'i for our Anniversary a few years back. It's just as gorgeous the 2nd time around. Hawai'i has inspired most of the items in both shops.

How long have you been making glass jewelry?
I've been making glass jewelry for about 2-3 years now. I started by making my own beads but it somehow evolved into fusing. I got bit by the fusing "bug" and haven't looked back. I just recently started playing around with the colorful and whimsical "Bullseye" glass that I use in my "Makena'lei Creations" jewelry. It's SO much fun and I love getting peoples' reactions to it! :)

Are you self-taught or did you study glass design?
I'm pretty much self-taught. I took a 2 hour class on how to use a kiln. (safety-kind of thing). I didn't want to mess with a kiln that can go up to 2400 degrees without first learning how to use it! I just came home with some scrap glass and started melting. That's how this all came about. I just played around with colors and learned what to do and what NOT to do. Lots of cuts and glass slivers later, I've created both of my Etsy jewelry shops. And I'm having an absolute BLAST!!

Which three pieces in your etsy shop(s)are your favorite?
Not sure if I can choose favorites. I love all the pieces that come out of the kiln. (I'm always wrestling with myself on keeping everything or selling some of it.) I guess if I had to choose....

Purple dichroic iris pendant (From my Hana Sakura Designs shop)

My "Anime Cat" pendant (Makena'lei Creations)

"Watermelon" pendant (Makena'lei Creations)

What's great about working with glass?
The best part of working with glass is watching the faces of people who see the pieces when they are finished. That's the best part. Glass makes people happy and smile when they get to see it and touch it. That's probably why I love working with it. There's just something magical about creating little works of art from different pieces of glass and melting them. They just feel good to touch and they make you feel good when you wear them. Glass is a wonderful medium!!

Name two of your favorite etsy shops
Two of my favorite etsy shops are probably "Gypsy Rose Handbags" and "Sarah Lynne Designs", but I have SO many favorites! So many incredibly talented people on Etsy, I just feel honored to be among them. :)
Thanks Shelley!

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I'm having my third giveaway!
Some of you may wonder why?

Why would I just give away a cashmere necklet
with handknitted wool brooch?

There are many reasons that I like to do giveaways.
Firstly, and most obviously, it increases traffic to
my blog (let's be honest!).
Secondly, if you're wearing one of my creations someone
may like it and ask where you bought it (exposure).
Third, I really love the thought that one of
my creations is keeping someone cozy and chic!
I have so many handmade creations that I can afford
to give away one every few weeks for free!

This necklet is handknitted from 100% cashmere
from a Scottish cashmere mill. The detachable brooch
has handknitted leaves from all types of wool and other
yarns. The necklet is made to fit a smallish neck -
probably one between 10 and 12 inches.

All you have to do to enter my giveaway is:

1) Be a follower and leave a comment below
2) If you have a blog, include a link to my shop
in your blog.

That's all! Good luck. I will draw the winner from
a hat next Friday October 9th).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fingerless Gloves

Even though items knit up much faster with big yarn and big needles, I'll always prefer the feel of little needles and fine yarn. When I first started seriously knitting at about age 13 or 14 I knitted lots of fine lace and intarsia patterns with 4 ply/fingering weight yarn. Of course it would take much too long to knit a big article for selling on 4 or 5mm needles so that's why I've been making so many fingerless gloves lately. I especially love using luxury yarns such as cashmere and silk. I also love being able to add cute ribbons and buttons to my gloves - the icing on the cake!
I have about 14 pairs of fingerless gloves listed on Etsy and have more still to list. Here are my top three favorites.
I knitted these last month in Scotland - I think I might be a femme Vampiress wannabe because I picture myself as a sexy Elvira in a black dress wearing these to some dark ball (while drinking Pernod and Blackcurrant). Purrrrrrrr.......

I think I'm also a bit of a goth wannabe because I imagine myself sporting dark lipstick, pale foundation, and black doc martins, listening to the Cure in some trendy NYC bar while wearing these:
And I also really want to be very feminine and chic. I actually had my nails polished (for the 2nd time ever) to take pics of my hands in these gloves. It took me forever to get the dye stains off my fingers! I would probably wear these with jeans and a leather jacket so as not to overdo the whole feminine ruffle look. Just a touch would be perfect!

Back to Blogging!

I've been very neglectful of my blog lately. Shame on me! When I was in Scotland in August I did post one blog but my mum's computer is so painfully slow I just couldn't bear to wait 2 minutes for each photo to download (I brought my laptop but couldn't get online).

Since I returned I've been so busy - school clothes and supplies, shopping, cleaning, etc., and work has been totally hectic. I somehow decided to completely re-do my kitchen in the middle of all this busyness too and worked non-stop painting, shopping for doodads at Ikea, and laying lino tile - for 4 days straight. My Etsy business has picked up so I've been quite busily knitting custom orders. BUT....I'm going to get back into the blogging again. I decided to post a few
photos of my trip to Scotland. Here's one of me carrying my mum's old (though adorable)
Scotty dog up the Mound in Edinburgh. She was too tired to walk any more - she's a heavy
lump and it was exhausting.

We did a lot of walking - up hills, along the cobbled streets in Edinburgh (it was the festival - lots of fun!), along beaches, and through woods.

Here's one of my daughter and Scotty dog Meg walking very companionably along one of the beaches.

We took the 'Harry Potter Train' - the Jacobite Express - from Fort William to Mallaig. The kids loved it, especially the part where we crossed Glennfinnan Viaduct, which is shown in a couple of
the Harry Potter movies. Here's my son on the train trying to see past all the steam.

Of course we saw a few castles - there are so many in Scotland!
Here's a picture of Urquhart Castle which we stopped off at on the way to Fort William.

Here's a night time picture of Edinburgh Castle during the Edinburgh Military Tattoo (marching bands from all over the world and other performances)

Will blog again soon. Promise!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My 2nd Blog Giveaway!

I've decided to have another giveaway. This necklet is handknitted from a lovely thick, soft wool blend yarn that I hand-dyed a soft, pale gray. It has been embellished with a kid silk and mohair ruffle with tiny raindrop sequins and has been finished with a shabby chic hand-dyed silk ribbon. It attaches at the back with a cute button. This is a lovely accessory to wear somewhere nice on a cold night.

All you have to do to win the necklet is:

1. Be a follower/follow me.
2. Leave a brief comment telling me which item in my etsy shop is your favorite and why.

That's all you have to do! I will draw the winner's name out of a hat on Thursday September 10th.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Wilma's Beautiful Garden

I've been in Scotland since Thursday
and have been busy every day.
Today we're taking it easy and I decided
to take some photos of my
mum's cute country garden.

It's the perfect place to sit and knit!
I'm off to do that right now.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Bonnie Scotland

Only 5 days to go! I leave Wednesday 10pm from Newark Airport. I can't wait, and my kids are so excited to be visiting gran and her adorable wee scottie, Meg.

The first thing we do when we arrive at my mum's cottage is have a big fry-up in her beautiful country kitchen; scottish sausages, black pudding, bacon, eggs, tatty scones, mushrooms, and lots of cups of tea. My mum always has a big glass jar full of home-made fairycakes for afterwards. My mouth is watering just thinking of the feast! My diet will definitely have to go out the window.

After my nap we usually go for a walk. My mum lives in a rural area with fantastic hikes and great views right outside her door. I love all the sheep and their constant m-a-a-a-a-ba-a-a-ing (although you have to watch where you put your feet!)

My favorite part of going to Scotland is the peaceful walks every day. My kids love it too. Walks usually include a wee seat with our knitting while the kids play in a field.

I can't wait!