Handmade is imperfect, uneven, individual and full of soul.. Like a home made bread taken out from the oven. Nothing compares with that. 
Handmade also connects people from all over the world that share the same vision, it is so nice to know someone from far far away made an unique object just for you, with passion and skills.
Anca the Bookbinder

I don’t really know when my first interaction with crafting took place – maybe it was when I realised lead can be melted at home – I created some killer jewelry from lead back then :)
All the schools I’ve been to had art profiles, from piano to sculpture, to painting and photography.
I’ve always kept in my heart the nostalgia of working with clay so when I found out about this fabulous medium, polymer clay, I quickly bought a lot of supplies from overseas (in Romania, where I live, shops didn’t sell it yet). I bought hand-blown glass eyes and wool to make dolls. I love making them in a Victorian style, as I have a sweet tooth for past eras, especial for the Victorian one - you can see three of them in my  Forgottendolls  shop.

The bookbinding adventure started in a similar way, emerging from my need of creating 3D objects, that one can look at from different angles. My sister (teostudio) and I have always kept diaries, which made us hunt each other’s diaries when we were kids. So when I saw her actually creating journals from scratch, I had to make my own too. Then, I couldn’t stop; I made a travel notebook for my best friend, a sketchbook for my dad and so on. Now I am hooked, hopelessly addicted to bookbinding.
I am passionate of all crafty things, I tried everything, from crocheting to jewelry making – my secret hunch is that each new hobby is an excuse to buy more supplies! Yes, I am a handmade supplies hoarder. I know I have to part with some of the goodies I’ve been stashing so I opened a vintage shop (artstock) to let them go… it’s so hard! I can only take comfort in the thought that I am making room for new supplies!

But I think I found the perfect passion for me – bookbinding. I love the process - dying the paper – if it’s a vintage style leather journal for my MedievalJourney shop, adding a vintage beauty on it… or, making a polymer clay button for my journals at Baghy, engraving or painting the design. It is a complete craft that kind of puts all my hobbies to a good use. When I create a journal, I usually have a good idea of it in my mind, sometimes I draw sketches of the design… then I chose the leather (from my big stash of leather) torn large sheets of paper, decide for the color of the thread, the closing style… sometimes I add vintage stamps on some of the pages (did I mentioned my vintage stamps collection?), or a page of vintage ephemera… or add a design that matches the concept of the leather cover.

I love making journals and always think I am very lucky to be able to earn my living out of it – I am not rich, but when I think of my supplies, I think I am the king of the world! Making a hobby into a profession is tricky. Yes, it feels like I am in vacation each day, as I do what I love to do, but that doesn’t mean I don’t work non stop. This is very important when you are your own boss – you gotta be a demanding boss, and always try to improve all aspects of your craft. I do hope I will be able to continue doing this for a long time, as I truly enjoy making each journal from the concept to the book, from the sketch to an useful artsy object, that someone will cherish and entrust it with his/her dreams, creative ideas or secrets.

* * *

I love to read stories of passionate people, don't you?
And I love to see what they are creating using their skills and talents.
Especially when they are creating such unusual things as Anca's journals and dolls. I just adore the dolls...

You are welcome to visit Anca's blog (and I strongly suggest that you do, there are quite some awesome things to be found on there) and check out her Facebook profile.

You are also very welcome to come back here next Tuesday, for more of Anca's pieces.



Eliptic - black and copper abstract oval sculpture

Gotham - clay architectural sculpture

Cluster - silver wooden box

Thoughtful - Matisse inspired home decor

Intangible - conceptual clay rock zen box

Infiltrate - black and white miniature vase with roses

These pieces are looking quite different from the jewelry you could see in my previous posts on Shelley Koscielniak, don't they?
They are the result of a collaboration between Shelley and another very talented jewelry artist, April Wind.
Together they are coming up with remarkable conceptual pieces of sculpture, decor and jewelry.

You can see more pieces from Shelley and April in their two etsy shops: mkwSALON and mkwATELIER.




Ring by Shelley Koscielniak
'Cascade' - Bronze and aqua resin riveted ring

Ring by Shelley Koscielniak
'Invigoration' - Silver and brass riveted shield ring

Ring by Shelley Koscielniak
'Poise' - Copper & black recycled resin hexagon ring


Earrings by Shelley Koscielniak
'Succulent' - Silver and copper riveted organic earwear

Earrings by Shelley Koscielniak
'Compliant' - Silver and brass riveted organic earwear


Brooch by Shelley Koscielniak
'Congruity' - Silver, copper and black resin riveted brooch

Brooch by Shelley Koscielniak
'Fluid' - Silver, copper and black resin riveted brooch

Today I have picked some of the smaller pieces from Shelley.
They are absolutely fabulous, yes?
I love all those tiny details and the texture Shelley gives to the metal.... To tell the truth, I love everything about these pieces.

If you are interested in Shelley's story, you will find it in this post, and in this one you can see her necklaces and necklaces.
More of her jewelry can be seen on her website, you can also buy Shelley's pieces in her Etsy shop
And in a week you are welcome to pass by to see Shelley's pieces that are a little bit different.



After the past few weeks that have been completely mad for me, it's time to calm down.
For today I have picked some of my favorites in olive green - to me it is a perfect color to have around when you need to calm down and relax.
Now I only hope my next few weeks are going to be more quiet...
1. Cotton crocheted earrings by Aliquid
2. Small leather journal from Conduit Press
3. Soap sticks from Prunella Soap
4. Bracelet from Vera Creations
5. Necklace by Pia Barile
6. Glass ring from Color Fiesta
7. Leather bag from Jenny N. Design
8. Scarf from Sea & Stone



'Finesse' - silver and copper riveted pendant neckware

'Instigate - 'sterling silver and black resin riveted pendant

'Obscure' - sterling silver and rosewood riveted pendant neckware

'Explicit' - silver, bronze and black resin riveted pendant neckware


'Indulge' - sterling silver architectural wrist cuff

'Intrinsic' - sterling silver and black resin riveted bangle

'Intuition' - sterling silver organic link armwear

'Implicate' - sterling silver, brass and leather bracelet

After an unplanned brake I had to take from the blog it is great to be back with some outstanding pieces.
Like the necklaces and bracelets from Shelley, for instance.

If you are interested in Shelley's story, you will find it in this post.
More of her jewelry can be seen on her website, you can also buy Shelley's pieces in her Etsy shop.



Handmade embodies the soul - creating and sharing is the quintessential experience for an artist.
Shelley Koscielniak (MK Wind)

My name is Shelley, I live in Los Angeles, California.  The journey of MK Wind began with my passion for body adornment. The concept of my work is minimalism … artistry in subtle form … less is more.  My designs are bold and graphic thriving on the juxtaposition of harmonious and incongruous materials. Embracing my many art influences, my colour palettes and interpretation of form are inspired by the spontaneity and mysticism of abstract expressionism. Meticulously crafted sculptures reflect the aesthetic of minimalism, modern architecture and Asian calligraphy.

My creative process is heavily influenced by metal which my favorite medium.  From the initial sketches to the finished piece, the inherit structure of the metal leads me to create designs exhibiting rigidity and flexibility with a Zen influence.  Drawing on the colours of the metals, woods and resins, each piece exhibits a melding of the qualities of materials adding their own unique character to the work.
I am intrigued by the aesthetic of how a culture implements ornamentation, using embellishments to change a look, an appearance, a perception. My ever-changing designs are timeless in structure and form, each piece is created to appeal to the eye as well as the soul. From the precious metals to the individually selected reclaimed resin and exotic wood, the essence of my jewelry captivates the mind and spirit. With expressive subtle colours and clean sharp lines, these designs harness energy and artistry. 

I graduated with honors from Columbia College Chicago with a BFA in Fine Arts and furthered my studies at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  My years as a fine art curator have also played a large role in the evolution of my work.

... choose your body embellishment as you would a companion, find comfort and harmony in wearing these pieces ...

To me Shelley's artwork is simply fascinating.
I love the forms, the materials and the textures - and the precision with which each of  the pieces is put together and finished. 
And - having my background in architecture - I always enjoy minimalist architectural and industrial styles. After all, it was an architect who first said that 'less is more'.

Each of Shelley's pieces is hand fabricated in her Los Angeles studio.
You can see more of her jewelry on her website, you can also buy it in her Etsy shop.



Today I am not going to show much - I am going to ask you a question instead:

What do you understand by handmade and what does it mean to you?

I am going to provoke you a bit.

Pretty much everything can be considered handmade, it all depends on the point of view.
Sometimes the point of view can be such that it puts artists and crafters into a very small niche of ridiculous people who can't really be taken seriously, leaving all the rest of the 'handmade selling space' to manufacturers and resellers who claim their products have been made by hand. Who's hand? It does not seem to matter...

Now, to me it certainly does matter who's hand has been involved into making a piece I believe is handmade.

Like this one:

Do you like these hair sticks?
I like them very much myself.
Now, let me present you the hand that has made them:

It's the artist's or the crafter's hand that makes the difference between the handmade and the rest of the world.
Or, at least, it should be...
Wooden hair forks by The Ancient Muse
The photo of  The Muse's hand is borrowed from her blog.




Sandra Maria Rosa
artist of the month - Sandra Maria Rosaartist of the month - Sandra Maria Rosa

artist of the month - Sandra Maria Rosa

artist of the month - Sandra Maria Rosa

It's not only jewelry that Sandra makes, her home decor pieces are astonishing as well.
I adore the simple shapes and the beautiful vibrant glazes.

If you would like to read Sandra's story, you will find it here .
Here you will find few of her necklaces, and here are her beautiful rings.

You can also see (and buy) Sandra's artwork in several design shops in Portugal, on the internet you can a find her on Etsy and Luulla.

This is the last post in this column this month, but I am sure there will be other occasions to see Sandra's works on my blog.

Next Tuesday you are welcome to pass by and meet the Artist Of The Month for May.



Permanent green



This is my kind of stuff.
I love these paintings.
I'm not going to discuss them, I am going to enjoy looking at them instead.
I suggest you do exactly the same.
Oil paintings by Lolita Bronzini of Color Mind



pattern language - peacock feathers

Everybody knows what a peacock is all about, yes? 
A huge fan of feathers in iridescent blue-green colors, a fancy crest atop the head and a shrieking scream are the most important things that make up a peacock.

It seems that peacock feathers are being fashionable this year, so here are few of my favorite picks featuring the peacock feather pattern.

I haven't heard anything about peacock scream becoming fashionable, but just in case,  here is a sample.
1. Throw pillow from Artistic Textiles
2. Hand painted silk wrap from Silk Siren
3. Stemless wine glasses from Mary Elizabeth Arts
4. Bracelet from Studio Tambria
5. Cake topper from Scattered Stardust
6. Clutch from Mermaids Dream
7. Neckties from Cyberoptix
8. Pocket mirror from Colors by Liza




Sandra's rings are made to be loved, yes?
Not much more needs to be said here, I guess.

If you would like to read Sandra's story, you will find it here .
Here you will find few of her necklaces.
And make sure to come back here next Tuesday to see even more pieces from Sandra.



I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.

It was Audrey Hepburn who said that.
I love the quote even though personally I am not such a big pink believer (pink does not go with my hair too well, you know).
But not wearing the color myself is one thing and liking to look at nice pinks is another matter.

So, here are some of my favorite picks in pink. Dusty pink, to be precise.
1. Fedora hat from Marcia Lacher's Millinery
2. Fabric flower brooch from nurichant
3. Cotton fabric clutch from lolos
4. Vegan mineral blush from Simplicity Cosmetics (photo by Heather Mount Photography)
5. Mens necktie from TieObsessed
6. Jewelry box from fireanna
7. Silk scarf from HEraMade
8. Leather belt from Birdhouse Designs