Welcome to my blog. Here's where I write about ~

~ my favourite items made by other artists and crafters from all over the world

~ things that inspire me

~ thoughts of the day

~ general ramblings and ... my own creations. enjoy...

Monday, June 30, 2014

Miss Elany .. seller of beautiful Liberty fabrics on Etsy ... my featured seller ...

One of my favourite shops to pop into on Etsy is Miss Elany's ... I used to 'chat' with Margaret {store owner} WAY back when Etsy had the 'online chatting feature', so I feel like I've known her forever !  

Her store is always full of lovely little pieces of gorgeous Liberty fabric which I've purchased a number of over the years to put into my creations!  I'm very pleased to be featuring her tonight on my blog ... enjoy!

I am so excited to be invited to write a piece for my etsy friend Deborah. It’s the first time I have been asked to do something about me and my etsy shop MissElany, so after taking a deep breath here goes dear reader ...

My mum was a great crafter back in the 1950’s war torn Great Britain where shortages were the norm.  I was born in the late 1940’s and 'pretty' girls' clothes were non existent,  so
mum set to work and made me some beauties.  I suppose this is where I get my great love of fabrics and sewing from - mum taught me when I was very young to sew.  After marriage, family and work commitments I decided to start again and bought a simple Singer machine but woe was me looking around -  I could not find any fabrics worth a second look,  so onto the internet I went looking.  This is the start of my fabric supply business,  as I thought ... well,  if I can't get any,  most others are probably finding it difficult too.

I started MissElany eight years ago now and at that time there was not a lot around other than Ebay then I stumbled upon Etsy and have never looked back.  I don’t want to sound complacent, as getting anything started on the internet is a struggle and a lot of hard work but well worth all of the efforts involved, so if you are thinking of having a go I would certainly have a go.

My most favourite tip to anyone starting out is try and get to know your target market.
To my mind this is the most important factor to being successful.  Imagine what this person is searching for and make sure you supply it, like me, I could not find fabric so I found my own but if I had I found a supplier back then,  perhaps I would not be writing this now.

Besides sewing and running MissElany,  my greatest love is sailing. We own a little cabin cruiser and are often found sailing around the waterways of the East Midlands where I live.  We have been here along time now over 40 years and it’s a most beautiful part of the UK, with lots of connections to Robin Hood.

Thnks Margaret for sharing your tips and story - I love hearing how other people work on Etsy ... I hope you have a wonderful few days away ... 

Find MissElany ...

~ inspirational women on Etsy ~


Sunday, June 29, 2014

cold snap ...

Wahoo !  it's school holidays ... {finally} and so I'm looking forward to 2 weeks off homeschooling ... catching up with 2 sets of visitors ... as well as getting my office work up to date and some ART done over my holidays.

It's a bit nippy here at the moment {by my standards} only 13 degrees ... so my fingers are going slower than usual ... 

Here's a bit of what I've been making.  If anything catches your eye, just give me a yell !  ♥  deborah@rgkeats.com   or visit my Etsy store ...

decorated wooden words

fabric embellishments

wooden words

wooden letters

fabric embellishments

and again ...

slim-line clutch

mosaic rings


mosaic pendants

more wooden letters ... i'm a bit obsessed at the moment ...

another slim-line clutch

and soon to come ... pillow cases !!

~  enjoy your week ~

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Saturday browsing on Etsy ...

it's been a MAD few weeks ... homeschooling ... away for a wedding {no, not mine...} ... more homeschooling ... office work ... and of course life in general when you have 4 children ... cooking, officework,  and unfortunately the house doesn't clean itself ... {wish} ... so i thought it was time i took a break and showed you some more of my favourite things on Etsy ...

happy Saturday !

find me

find me

find me

find me

find me

find me

find me

find me

find me

find me

find me

~  I love to find gorgeous things ! ~

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Marjorie Lord - Artist Extraordinaire ... and Blah Blah Doll feature

When I was in Mt Isa a few weeks ago for a school function, I popped in for my yearly "catch up" with my good friend Marjorie.   She's been a great inspiration and encouraged me in regards to getting back into and continuing with art.

Marjorie has a huge talent in many areas of art and lately has been making  "Blah Blah" Dolls ...
Curious ? ... I was ... so I sent her some questions to shed light on her fantastically creative life and most recent projects ...  enjoy ...

When did you know you were an artist ?
I grew up in the  remote North West Queensland town called Julia Creek, where by chance Deborah Keats now lives close to.  I grew up in the days of no TV,  so you had to make your own fun and be creative. My earliest memories of being creative are before I went to school. From early childhood I have always been making, crafting, drawing, crocheting, knitting,  whatever I could find I  would do.
Unfortunately LIFE gets in the way of ART,  so for most of my adult life I have been a frustrated artist  ... but now with 4 happy, sound, grown children , it’s my time to follow my passions.


What is your favourite medium to work with ?
Hmmm I haven’t really found a favourite medium as I love doing everything. I use acrylics for painting as I have no patience for oils. I love pastel work, but Charcoal and ink even more. I like to getting really dirty so I often paint and draw with unconventional objects, my hands etc. I also like using unconventional materials like white spirits, acrylic paint, bitumen tar with acrylic paints to give you an idea. I am not a realism artist, I like to experiment and my art is more about trying to express and idea story or feeling on a subject.
I have always been computer orientated as well. I use photoshop all the time as my main software but also use many others that do different jobs.  Photography has always been with me throughout the years but more as a point and shoot person and using photography for referencing ideas. However this has changed and over the last few years I have become more educated in the use of manual camera settings and very much use the camera as an art form.
I forgot to mention I do photo restorations as well – Love doing old photo work.

Awesome photo restoration work

Who or what inspires you ?
My slogan is “ Creatively Amazed Everyday”  so everyone inspires me. I am always astounded by the talent of everyone.
I am not inspired by anybody – but I am inspired by  everyone.

How do you fit art into your lifestyle? {eg married with kids etc}  
Not very well over the past years rearing children. Pretty much I didn’t do any art {seriously} for a long time while I had four children and a very busy business. It would all go in the  ‘TOO HARD BASKET!!’ But now that I have reared my children, I am being quite selfish about my life and time. It’s my time follow my artistic passions before I leave this wonderful life on earth which I have miraculously been given the chance of experiencing.
My mother was offered thalidomide for her morning sickness so I am forever grateful she made the choice not to take drugs with her pregnancy. It would have been a different life journey for me if she had!

samples of Marjorie's work which can be found on her website

How did the Blah Blah dolls come to you as an idea and can you describe them ?
Firstly I should say that usually ALL my art is story based. I nearly always create work in which I am trying to tell a story of some sort.
The Blah Blah Art Externalising dolls have developed out of the little girl who loved dolls. She has never grown up.  But I was reading a psychology book and talking to my friend ‘Google’ and one of the topics that was of interest to me was the use of ‘Externalisation’ I was also wanting to at the same time make a unique art doll. Not just any doll, one that had a purpose and meaning to the viewer.  It was also of interest to me to use only recycled materials or post-consumer materials. The Blah Blah’s are about NEW LIFE and NEW MEANING. So I eventually combined all three ideas to come up with the idea of a very unique tribal fantasy doll to whom its owners could speak to and externalise, problems, ideas, thoughts, worries, and so forth with.
I can’t sew for the life of me, so I had to come up with a way to make a doll that did not involve sewing. I don’t go in with any preconceived ideas of how the dolls will look, I know it will sound silly but after initial binding the dolls themselves start to dictate how they look and that direction I don’t consciously have control over. Each doll has a unique name and meaning to them. Personally for me the dolls are very much an ART FORM ,a piece of ARTWORK. Their creation comes from an unconscious knowing.  I make the dolls so they are unique and grow from their own little binding seed. For me the real birth of the Blah Blah doll is when they find their lifetime owners. I would love to think they were a heirloom to be handed down through generations – how incredibly cool would that be !



I am finding adult women buy them for themselves, and mothers buy them for their teenage daughters.  Which is really exciting for me to know how loved the dolls are in these peoples' hearts and from what some of the mothers have expressed to me are making a difference. Some comments back from mothers have been simply, ‘ my daughter loves her doll’, “ Blah Blah makes her smile every day”, “ When she gets lonely at boarding school she her doll  a good ear chewing” etc.   Other adult ladies just tell me they love theirs and talk every day to it.  That is incredibly inspiring to me.

Where do you see your art going in the next few years - more dolls? photography?
I don’t really know. I love making the dolls  - it's very tactile , but they do take forever!! I love doing digital art and photography so there will be more of that as well.
I would like to do a Blah Blah doll exhibition in the very near future with life size dolls, which I have started making. I aim to make the exhibition audible with sounds of people talking their concerns or thoughts along with a multitude of other ideas I have. I want the exhibition to be an experience not just a viewing.  So if anyone out there would like to send me their written thoughts or concerns or even an audio file with your own voice recording. I would aim to include it in my exhibition.

Please contact Marjorie here  for any queries on her work

Marjorie's website and online store

... the perfect way to spend Sunday ... thanks Marjorie. ♥

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