24 February 2012

Indie Insider Interview with Ellen Mackler AKA Gma Ellen on Etsy

As part of my BESTeam commitment, I feature the fabulous shops and talented artisans who comprise our team. The goal of the Boosting Etsy Shops Team is to support to each other and to promote one anothers' Etsy shops through blogging and social media. If you are an interested in joining the BEST Team, please visit the team page on Etsy and join us. This year I'll be focusing on getting the inside scoop on my BESTies on Etsy!
Shop Banner for Gma Ellen Crochet Gifts

Ellen Mackler AKA Gma Ellen
Today we'll set a spell and chat with Ellen Mackler of Gma Ellen Crochet Gifts on Etsy. Ellen is an Alaska Native Indian living in Walla Walla Washington, she is married and a mother and a grandmother, she's part of a lineage of creative women who inspired her with their hard work and creativity. Her personal inspiration comes not only from her appreciation of her lineage and her research mostly. She has an extensive collection (over 35 yrs worth) of patterns, pattern books and magazines; yarn, thread and any other thing she can wrap around her crochet hook! Ellen says,  "I also have a growing collection of beads and buttons. It is rather cathartic to just dig through them sometimes. I also garner inspiration from the world wide web! I spend hours online just searching for inspiration."     
In her own words,  "I discovered I loved being crafty when I was in high school. I was very fortunate to have been given a good education at a 4-year Seventh-day Adventist Boarding Academy. I was given many opportunities which may not otherwise been available to me. I learned how to sew, decoupage, pottery among other things. These in particular stand out in my memory. And so it began. Also during this time I taught myself to crochet with the inspiration of both my grandmothers. I have fond memories of watching them spend countless hours at the age old handicraft. I just dabbled at crochet at first. That is until I married and had children! Other crafts/hobbies I have enjoyed . . . candle making, as well as making candle holders. I especially enjoyed learning Calligraphy. It takes a lot of dedication, and practice. I enjoyed painting with watercolors too. Although I am not very good at it, some day I would love to take a class."
Stunning view of Mt. Edgecombe

Ellen says, "If I could live anywhere, I think I would go back to a little island called Mt. Edgecombe on the Southeast Peninsula of Alaska where I grew up. If I could I would custom build my home with a panoramic view and a studio where I could while away the hours at whichever hobby or craft tickled my fancy! And my man would have a sea travelling vessel of some sort so we could travel about and explore. Stunning, isn't it? This is what I saw every day as well as all the other beautiful land and seascape that surrounds the area. I am so homesick right now!"
a traditional longhouse (known as Le Sha'as in the Tsimshian dialect)    
The Native Indian people of the Northwest Pacific coast lived in large houses (sometimes referred to as longhouses) which sheltered multiple families at times. The various different tribes had different styles of houses unique to their people. Ellen is proud to be an Alaska Native Indian. Her mother is full blooded Tsimshian from the Wolf Clan and her father was half Tlingit, half Norwegian. Her family originally hails from the Southeastern Peninsula of Alaska.    Ellen loves to read, but with her obsession with crochet and crafting (and etsy, and blogging, etc), she really doesn't have much time to read except as a sleep inducing activity at bedtime. Currently on her nightstand is a compilation of books called Mary Stewart's 'Merlin Trilogy' including The Crystal Cave; The Hollow Hills; and The Last Enchantment. The first paragraph just ropes you right in: "I am an old man now, but then I was already past my prime when Arthur was crowned King. The years since then seem to me now more dim and faded than the earlier years, as if my life were a growing tree which burst to flower and leaf with him, and now has nothing more to do than yellow to the grave." 
The family that plays together stays together!
With a big family such as hers I can see why her specialty dish is her self proclaimed "world famous" spaghetti. Ellen explains the tradition, ,"Not that any spaghetti is world famous, but mine is actually an event. It is very thick and 'chunky' with lots and lots of vegetables. Also, you have to understand, my children would not eat spaghetti at anyone else's house when they were growing up. We all decided long ago that I would only make spaghetti on special occasions. Birthday's, anniversary, and . . . Christmas. Anyway, for many years it really was an 'event'. I have been known to feed upwards of 50 people."

I do love Ellen's definition of "Spare Time" as follows, "My hobby/craft/obsession is my spare time. Otherwise, I love to watch movies and my favorite television shows (crochet). And, listening to music (crochet). Spend time with my family: 3 grown children and 7 grandchildren (crochet). One thing I do that does not involve crochet: I am the Vice President of a local organized Women's Pool League. This runs from autumn through spring and we play every Thursday evening. There are usually 12 - 14 teams of four women each and we play each other team twice, at home and away. This helps keep my sanity. Otherwise I would be a hermit were it not for my full-time job."

Beaded Crochet Cell Phone Charm
Ellen's handwork spans the reaches of imagination. I am personally infatuated with this delicate strand of grape colored frosted glass beads intermingled with pink crochet flowers. This versatile necklace can also be worn as a bracelet wrap, or choker. Also the teal cell phone charm is a great reminder that spring is just around the corner! 

21 February 2012

Spotlight on Joy Light

I am bubbling with pleasure to be in the spotlight on In Her Shoes Blog this week! In Her Shoes Blog is a dynamic website dedicated to recognizing women for their special and unique talents, jobs, careers and impacts they have on those around them.  Pati Lara features one woman each week by telling her unique story and why she is an extraordinary person for everyone to meet, catch a glimpse of and support. Nominate someone today!
“I am magnetized by color and inspired by silk, an amazingly soft, sensuous and durable fabric. I began painting silk in 1989 and have developed several lines that take their inspiration from my love of beauty and passion for creativity.” – Joy Light
Joy started out painting silk 20 years ago as a hobby. In 2002, she launched the Natura line. After attending the American Craft Retail Expo in 2009  in Las Vegas 2009 “the business really began to take off”.  During February 2012, Joy Hand Painted Silk's Spring Romance Collection is featured at circa. Urban Artisan Living,  an award winning lifestyle boutique in the Historic Fondren District in Jackson, Mississippi. She designed this vintage style featuring antique ribbon, lace and silk flowers to echo the season's fashionable wedding trends of feminine headbands in lieu of veils.
Joy Hand Painted Silk supports several charities; “We do what we can when we can.” Some of her favorite local charities are KS Wild, the Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center, and SOU Women's Center's annual V-Day productions. This month, Joy is mentoring three young women from the Jackson County Children's Advocacy Center. Joy actively funds micro-loans in Africa through KIVA.org.  All of the pink hand painted silks at Joyflower.etsy.com are earmarked for a percentage donation to www.cancer.org for breast cancer research. 
"Silk has a luxurious translucence that perfectly radiates the rich saturated colors I enjoy working with. Every item is made to order, hand painted and signed as an original work of art."
Earth Day heralds an exciting product launch for Joy. She's designed a brand-new accessory combining elements of jewelry with silk on Earth Day to an A-List of celebrities. This special limited edition high fashion accessory will soon be available from Joyflower on Etsy! The Santa Fe Opera gift store carries Joy Silks again this season, along with select boutiques in the US and Europe. Stay tuned, as Joy Silk accessories are soon to be featured on a new Luxury Lifestyle website. 

Joy’s classic ruana accessorizes your personal style with ease and beauty. Lightweight flowing chiffon is edged and trimmed with a satin to add just the right weight for perfect drape on all figures. A ruana is like a cape, but open on the sides. Versatile and lightweight, it is ideal for travel and any occasion.

There is nothing as soft as silk against your skin and no easier way to take your style up a notch as by tying on a stunning silk scarf! Joy Silk artisan accessories are individually hand crafted and made to order. From special occasions to everyday fashion, there are endless ways to effortlessly wear Joy Silk in style. With 26 color ways, a variety of weaves and classic cuts, Joy Silk stays in style season after season. Joy Silk keeps it simple with affordable, hand-made haute couture accessories. 

Joy is a member of the Rogue Art Gallery, the american craft council, The Artisan Group and several Etsy teams.

" May this painted light be an inspiration to you."

20 February 2012

Earth Day Official

Inspired by the book Earthsong by Bernhard Edmaier

In honor of Earth Day 2012, we're thrilled to announce Joy Hand Painted Silk AKA Joyflower on Etsy, in association with The Artisan Group, will participate in gifting a select group of high-profile, environmentally-conscious celebrities including Jeremy Piven, Tom Hanks, Bill Maher, Adrian Grenier, Kate Bosworth, P!nk, Leonardo DiCaprio, Dave Matthews, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Daryl Hannah, Drew Barrymore, Ellen DeGeneres, Orlando Bloom, Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Hartnett, Sting, Barbra Streisand, Alicia Silverstone, Courteney Cox, Cameron Diaz, KT Tunstall, Mark Ruffalo, and Edward Norton.

Each celebrity will receive Joy's new "Earthsong Scarflette" in their gift bag. The pattern is inspired by the book Earthsong by Bernhard Edmaier.  

Stay tuned as we share production and packaging for this exciting venture with The Artisan Group

15 February 2012

Bluebird Day on Mt. Ashland

blue bird day is a beautiful sunny day after an overnight snowfall. It's a perfect skiing day with a clear blue sky, bright sun, and fresh snow. I've been working long and hard hours in the studio painting silks for The Santa Fe Opera and once the I got the steamer loaded, we headed up for a little x-c ski excursion. 
20 minutes south on Interstate 5 to winter wonderland 

Blue skies and fresh snowfall
Rebecca's perfect form
Mt. Shasta is visible in the distance
Zoomed in you can see Mt. Shasta more clearly
After skiing - back to Planet Joy to find the steaming complete, now to prepare for shipping: washing and ironing, tagging, invoicing, packaging and posting the hand painted silk shawls and ruanas.
Driftwood Ruana
The Santa Fe Opera has a great season lining up this year, and Joy Hand Painted Silk is very happy to be stocked in store for the 2012 season! There are silks from every color series in the Natura Collection: Earth, Heather, Gem, Fire and Water.
Azul Shawl
Peridot Ruana
Its a beautiful thing when work and play come into balance. Today the sun is up above the clouds. I'm so glad to have gotten out into the snow while the sun was shining! Maybe we'll get another snowfall today or tonight - who knows!! 
Magic happens

14 February 2012

Living Vibrations & Ancient Oils: Women Artisans and their Shops

A thing of beauty is a joy forever; the beauty of this work is that it is for wearing. Treat yourself or a friend to a richly deserved gift, the comfort and luxury of an art to wear hand painted silk scarf.
Sedona Shawl
View 2 Sedona Shawl
Joy Hand Painted Silk Sedona Shawl is featured at Living Vibrations! Save 15% on all Joyflower Silks with coupon code ETSYXO through the month of February!
Joy Handpainted Silk presents seasonally inspired art to wear and accessories that offer an escape from global fashion with hand-crafted work that hopes to inspire through light and bring great joy to your life.

Infinite Love Forever

May Infinite Love be Yours 
Now and Forever

Vintage Valentines

Here are a few of my favorite valentines from days gone by ~Enjoy

13 February 2012

Snowy Day { FINALLY }

After October's early snowfall tease, followed by the driest winter ever, we  finally got some snow!
Snowfall at dawn
I was awakened from a long winter's nap by the sound of a snowplow heading up the street, as I peeked through the curtains I was surprised by the sight of tiny snowflakes fluttering down.
Yippee - snow on Planet Joy!
The best news is that overnight Mt. Ashland has reported ten inches of accumulated snow - that will definitely improve conditions for the rest of the ski season!
Heavy snow weighing down the branches of the Giant Sequoia
As the sun rose, the tiny snowflakes grew into big fluffy snowflakes - winter wonderland!
Accumulated snowfall - Winter 2011
I hope the snow continues, as the region really needs the moisture, it's been a very dry winter so far.
Woodland garden covered with snow
While I am always grateful for sunny weather, I am ecstatic to see this morning's blanket of snow!