kristen neveu mixed media: let’s chat!

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There is something about the perspective in the collection of the talented Kristen Neveu that makes me so inspired. I don’t mean necessarily the perspective within a specific piece; I am talking about the big picture here. Besides using deliciously tactile materials in the textural pieces she creates, there is so much that is inviting in Kristen’s beautiful work. There is a deeper mystery and emotion that is silently hidden away, waiting patiently to be discovered. It intrigues me. And I also find the fact that she works in both large and small scale to be equally fascinating. She doesn’t necessarily limit her imagination to a standard size, which makes me wonder why should you or I do it either? It unfolds before my eyes in each piece, that liberation. Let’s have a chat with Kristen and find out more.

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Q: Where do you live, and where do you create your art?
A: Los Angeles (Studio City/North Hollywood).  I’ve been here a year after living in Chicago for 14 years. I work out of one of the bedrooms in our apartment.

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Q: Did you study art formally? How did you get from that genesis point to making assemblages?
A: I didn’t study art formally. In college I had a communications major and an anthropology minor. I didn’t start working on art until about 6 years after college. I started making collages only from old magazines, and then started adding the paint and found materials… I worked with found wood from alleys in Chicago instead of canvas at first. In the last couple of years I’ve started adding my own photography to the mix as well – slicing up photos I’ve taken into the collages.

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Q: On your website, you say that your work is heavily influenced by time passages. Can you tell us a little more about how this provides inspiration and why its interpretation is meaningful to you?
A: I have a taste for nostalgia, and also I’m fascinated by the patterns that time creates. The future has a way of repeating itself again from past experiences. A sort of step-forward-and-then-a-step-backward type of momentum.

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Q: You moved from Chicago to Los Angeles recently. Have you noticed any difference in that way you approach your work, now that you have changed your surroundings?
A: My work has become more colorful out here, and more influenced by nature – I’ve been inspired by blooming plants and flowers, and also the beaches. In Chicago, I was really influenced by the details of the city and there were more rustic and worn textures in my work, and also more muted tones.

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Q: One of the things that intrigues me so much about your work is the way that you seamlessly blend masculine and feminine elements into one piece, e.g., a vintage car cut-out pressed against lace trimmings. Do you have a balanced attraction to both?
A: Yes; I hadn’t really thought about the masculine and feminine qualities, but you’re right… I do have a balanced attraction to the kinds of textures and meanings behind these types of elements. I think it’s also about the material icons (classy cars for example) of the past and relationships between women and men too.

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Q: What is your favorite part of the process when you create a new piece for your collection?
A: The late beginning part of the process where I’m past the blank canvas, and into the layering and patterns. I tend to work more intuitively, and this stage is when I reach that “aha” moment where I figure out where I’m going.

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Q: Where can we go to see your collection?
A: My Etsy shop and website. I also have some work available at Hazel in Chicago. I am happy to arrange visits to my studio in Los Angeles too! I’m applying for the Beverly Hills outdoor art show this spring, and hope to be in that!

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Thank you Kristen!


erica sanders fabric collage

I am enjoying these fabric collages by Australian artist Erica Sanders for her line, little birdie. She uses vintage fabrics to tell personal childhood narratives by combining them on canvas. The bright colors and little stitching details remind me of my own childhood sewing projects, though they never were as nice as these.

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Purchase these pieces and more at the kindergallery where you can see more fun artwork from high quality artists.


cathy cullis paintings and mixed media

i love these loose and darkly colored watercolor stylings from the prolific uk poet, writer and artist cathy cullis. these beautiful pieces are actually sketches for the a new collection of handmade dolls cathy will make. they are dripping with abundant energy and possibility, that is for sure.

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see cathy’s website to see her broad collection of work and to contact her, see her flickr stream for inspiration and visit her two etsy shops to see what fabulosity is for sale (really GREAT work, see for yourself below)!

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cool necklace round up

gather round kids, it’s time for the weekly round up, and today we’re having a fun look at some clever and unique contemporary necklaces…

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fine tune metal pendant from antlitz design

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english summer necklace from mixko

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elizabeth scott’s shallow water necklace; moskow necklace from charlotte tollstén

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sherry truitt’s bull’s eye blue spirit necklace

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catherine chandler’s pod necklace

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branch necklace from sharma designs; hedgehog button necklace by the magpie’s nest

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zipper necklace from frans van nieuwenborg and martijn wegman

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small petals necklace from yoko izawa

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nesting box necklace by ruth baillie for her birdland creations

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gold knit collar necklace with semi precious stones by barbara silverstein

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silicone star planeta necklace

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know yourself pendant from melanie favreau; small glasses necklace by small things designs

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third time’s a charm necklace

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18k gold vermeil adage necklace from kimberly baker


rebecca cornish handbags: miniview

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i enjoy looking at vintage goodness especially when it is upcycled into something different so i am pleased to show you the lovely handmade purses and bags by local artist becca cornish, aka etsy seller rebeccabags. becca uses all kinds of different fabrics, and lots of vintage fabric to create her collection, which has thoughtful details like embroidery and contrasty linings. i also appreciate the fact that her change purses are roomy enough to substitute as a bag if circumstances call for something cute and little. ever curious to know just a little bit more about the brains behind the operation, i asked three quick questions…

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q: where do you create your collection?
a:
i create my collection in a smoke free, pet free home, in a dining room/workroom nestled in the fabulous logan square neighborhood in chicago. (ed.note: with a fabulous fabric wall!)

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q: how did you get into designing handbags?
a:
i have always enjoyed sewing and crafting. i started making bags about six years ago. i was embroidering a skirt pocket and realized what a cool bag it would make. i created my first tote and the rest is history. friends and family wanted bags for themselves which led to their friends and family and so on. it has now evolved from hobby to business and love. even my four year old gets into it by “helping” mommy sew. although not very helpful, it’s really cute.

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q: what is your inspiration?
a:
i am a textile junkie. i can’t go anywhere without looking for fabric options. i have to touch and visualize what i can do with it. i have even smelled fabric… you heard me. my inspiration for my creations comes from the world around me — flora and fauna, my kid, food, fabric patterns, colors, word associations, the need for certain containers, and of course special requests. there isn’t a day that goes by without me sketching something out. the world is a beautiful place, might as well have accessories to match.

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see becca’s current collection at her etsy shop. you can also see more samplings on her website. contact her in either place to collaborate on custom work too – her specialty!

thank you becca!


robot stationery by moonmum

please enjoy the talents of bendigo, australia crafter belinda, aka etsy seller moonmum. she makes these sweet and funny little robot cards with a combination of machine and hand stitching. some of them even come with bonus robot doll! i love how some of them look like their mouths are open – they’re greeting cards after all, and have something to say!

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if you have a girl or guy friend who likes the geekery, science or electronics, these might be a great gift for her or him. i do believe they are guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

purchase these cards and see more delightful samplings here.


jardin chair from crate and barrel

hear me now and believe me later: my dream house would be nestled in the midst of abundant trees, have multiple outdoor spaces and 360 degree views of nature, be made of wood, slate, metal and glass, and have this jardin chair from crate and barrel somewhere inside of it. the painterly fabric was inspired by an original artist’s pastel drawing and reinterpreted into a lushly textured vintage style landscape, and the curvy feet and wings just enhance the effect.

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this chair is not just good looking either; it’s eco-friendly. look under the hood and you’ll find a sustainable kiln-dried hardwood frame and a cushion and back made from multiple layers of soy or plant-based polyfoam. all these things contribute to a wholly (feel) good experience.

$799 right here.


carmel killin textile design: miniview

i enjoy the work of sydney artist carmel killin, aka etsy seller feedthedog. there is something hopeful and inviting in the appealing limited edition and one-off screenprinted cushion covers and wall hangings she creates. i like her textures and earthy colors and simple art styles, and i like the natural fabric she uses. ever curious to know a little bit more about the brains behind the operation, i asked two quick questions…

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q: how did you get into designing?
a: the truth of it is, i’ve been “seeing” and visually “re-imagining” the world around me since the dawn of time, or at least since the age of 12 when my parents (who have no taste whatsoever, god bless ’em) moved the family to a hideous new brick house in a freshly created suburb with no trees. the unbelievable ugliness of my interior and exterior surroundings at such an impressionable age had me begging my parents for years to follow my fabulously detailed design suggestions. to no avail. at the same time i was writing short stories and had a spurt of published fiction in my 20s. at university i dabbled in photography and film making, which led to many years working in the film industry. i’ve had no formal training as a designer, i have just always been attracted to the visual world and the desire to interpret what i see, give a common object a new visual story. as a devotee of DIY philosophy, i love doing short courses. knitting, sewing, screen prining, felting, welding, dyeing… done it. with a few non-design-related degrees under my belt i fell into tertiary teaching, but after learning the basics of computer design applications started teaching graphic design to university students. i still teach design, though these days it’s all studio-based and hand-crafted projects. which of course i adore.

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q: what inspires you?
a: i think my love of story telling informs a lot of my visual work, though not in any obvious way. i’m also really captivated by the wonderful skewed shapes and lines of children’s drawings and their rough, scribbly colouring-in technique. i love odd creatures, plain creatures and silhouetted shapes. old national geographic magazines from the 60s and 70s have fabulous animals with wonderful personalities. a blank piece of highly textured fabric excites me with all the possibilities and challenges it presents. i love shapes and lines in the landscape, shapes and lines in common, plain objects. details, like stitching, shading, trims, buttons, are delicious to me. so too, unexpected combinations of pattern and texture, objects and things. oddness, whimsy, humour are very attractive to me.

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well, after reading her answers doesn’t it all makes sense now!? two thumbs up!

if you’re a local, you can frequently find carmel at the paddington market in sydney. if not, see and purchase the available collection at carmel’s etsy shop, and be sure to check out her humorous, well-written blog too!

thank you carmel!


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