FEATURE FRIDAY

Maker Monday: Charest Studios

Happy Maker Monday!

This Monday we are featuring Dave Charest of Charest Studios! We love his eclectic and varied work. You can find everything from amazing wire baskets to folk art on his shop! We love that Dave continually experiments with different types of art and pursues his creative wanderings. It has lead him to produce an array of interesting artwork and the ability to turn his creating into a full-time career!  Charest Studios also has functional items that can bring artistic flair to any space. We can’t help but think all produce was meant to sit in one of Charest Studio’s hanging wire baskets! To see more of Dave’s work and learn more about his journey keep reading!

: Tell us a little about yourself.
: I live in Bantam, Ct. with my wonderful wife, two chihuahuas Brody and Chica and our cat Bella. I am a full time artist who is fortunate enough to have a separate studio on my property that is even bigger than my house. I love making and designing things and doing many various types of art work.

: You have been making art for over 20 years, but started selling your work on Etsy after hearing about it from a friend. Can you let us in on how CharestStudios started, its early days, and how you got to where you are today?

: After several years of making and accumulating art for my own pleasure, I was encouraged by family and friends to try and sell my work. In 2008, one of these friends told me about Etsy. As soon as I heard about Etsy, I became excited to check it out, and i opened my own shop that night. I started out with mainly mobiles and small wire sculptures. I was very excited with my first sales and became interested in offering other items. As I was working with wire and making the mobiles, I became familiar with wire and became interested in vintage baskets from the depression era. I started experimenting with various basket making techniques with wire. One of these baskets was a large table bowl type basket. I liked the basket, however I felt that it needed something. I remember picking up the basket and looking at it from all different angles.. It was then that I got the idea that if I could make the shape more round, put an opening in the front and make it a hanging basket, that it would be something that I would really like. And thus the sphere basket was born and it was a great success. It still remains the most popular item. This also encouraged me to work on other basket designs, which led to the whole Charest Studios basket line. As well as the basket line, I continued to add mobiles, folk art, lighting, abstract art or whatever comes to me.

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Feature Friday: LK Custom Creations

Happy Feature Friday!

headshotToday we’re excited to feature Lizz Klaras of LK Custom Creations! We love how she took her love of painting and turned it into a career — making her work stand out by using glass as her canvas! Her pieces are not only unique works of art, but are also completely usable! She’s truly inspired by her surroundings, creating glassware that has amazing depictions of nature and animals — they’re sure to make a statement in your own collection! Her brand’s story will definitely inspire you in your own creative pursuits, so keep reading to hear more about how she got her start, and to see the gorgeous transformations she gives these glasses and plates!

Castle Logo: Tell us a little about yourself.
lk: I am a freelance artist from a very small town in Illinois. My husband is in the military so we are currently stationed in Chesapeake, VA and we love it!  I have a five year old daughter who is very interested in art and is often found in my studio acting as my assistant.

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Castle Logo: How did you get started with LK Custom Creations and hand painting glassware?
lk: For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to be a freelance artist but it took a while to figure out exactly what I could create that would be unique. LKCC originally started out as a custom invitation business.  I thought that combining my illustration skills with custom invitations would be a great fit.  I loved the design process but assembling them became a very daunting task for me.  I missed painting so much and I wasn’t about to hand paint hundreds of invitations!  I began to look for anything I could produce that could still be custom, yet outside the world of traditional 2D artwork.  Once I learned to paint on glass I was hooked!  It was usable art and that is what I loved most about it.  I started adding glassware designs to my Etsy site and instantly the glass art began to attract customers.

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Maker Monday: Bear Co.

Happy Maker Monday! 

This week we are featuring Sara Sparks of Bear Co., a shop of cultural and bohemian wonders for all the free spirits out there! You will find products from bootcuffs and necklaces, to home decor and bags all in her shop. We love that Sara celebrates different cultures through her art! We think it is awesome when an artist can speak towards the environment they are most familiar with and at the same time expand their viewpoint to the beauty found in other’s perspectives. Many of the pieces found on Bear Co. are a thoughtful expression of the cultures that have directly inspired Sara through her travels or dream destinations, and each piece is always handmade. Something we think is pretty special in and of itself. Read on to learn more about Sara and her shop!

: Tell us a little about yourself.

: Oh boy! Where to start! Well, I’m 25, engaged to my middle school sweetheart, and a registered Occupational Therapist (OT… that just so happens to love making jewelry and all other crafts that I seem to run into! I am a complete animal lover, outdoor adventurer, world traveler, and a total introverted extrovert. I am also biracial – Iranian American – and complete enjoy celebrating my Iranian culture. My heritage and fascination with all things culture have a huge influence on my Bear Co designs.

: How did your shop, Bear Co., get started?

: It all started while I was in Occupational Therapy (OT) school. I was living the broke grad student and needed a creative outlet to relieve some stress. My fiance actually brought up the idea that I start an Etsy shop, because he recognized my situation and stressors. At first I was super hesitant, due to all the responsibility that would come with starting a business venture, but now I am so glad that I did! Starting Bear Co. has definitely helped me with my initial motivators – stress and money – but it has also helped me meet new people, venture to new stores and locations, and even enabled me with a new sense of creativity!.

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Feature Friday: Everduring Designs

Happy Feature Friday!

We’re so inspired by today’s feature with Becka from Everduring Designs. We love how much meaning goes behind all of her products and even into the name of her brand itself! Her custom journals and handlettered wood signs all focus on some of life’s most important things and are perfect pieces to celebrate your marriage, new baby, or faith! Becka loves to use her pieces to connect with others, and we think it’s amazing that she really thinks about the person or family that will be enjoying one of her creations. Keep reading to hear about her artistic process, why she loves to create, and some advice she has for anyone looking to start journaling or even pursue a creative endeavor or their own!

: Tell us a few things about yourself!

 : Hi, there! My name is Becka and I am from the Houston area. Currently I am a master’s student studying health promotion and nutrition. I opened up my Etsy shop as a creative outlet and a much-needed break from staring at computer screens. I have always loved writing names, scripture, and quotes in an aesthetically appealing style. Now I feel so privileged to be able to create personalized journals and wooden signs for homes, weddings, nursery rooms, etc.

: We love your shop name, Everduring Designs. We know how tough it is to create a brand name! Explain the meaning behind it, how it came to you, and how you think it fits in with what you create.

 : In college I had a professor that shared something that impacted my perspective on the meaning of words. He said that every soul was eternal. So then when we speak to another person, our words do not have a temporary effect but rather an eternally significant impact. This helped me realize the weight of words and the necessity for compassionate thoughts and intentions behind our words. With this everlasting significance of words on my mind, I sought out the find a meaningful name for my shop. I knew I wanted to hand-letter words onto products that would exist as keepsakes or a meaningful piece in the home. I wanted the shop name to reflect the importance of those words. I took a chance and searched for some synonyms of “everlasting”. I found the word “everduring” which is an archaic form of everlasting. It is obsolete and we no longer use the word “everduring”, which I found to be ironic. I actually loved the irony that word which was meant to signify “never-ending, everlasting, and enduring” was not enduring in our modern language. I loved that it was rare and unique, so it was definitely a keeper!

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Spring Ready Button Down

BY TARA BURKE

Loose button downs are my favorite thing to wear for a casual weekend look. This one I actually took from my Mom’s closet. I’ve talked about my Mom’s wardrobe before and all the 90’s treasures it holds. This top was definitely one of those treasures. I love the vibrant magenta color it has and the embroidered flower detailing makes it even more perfect to wear during the first days of spring.

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Maker Monday: Kate Tangney Studio

Happy Maker Monday! 

This week we are featuring Kate Tangney, a letterer and abstract artist! We love how her art expresses the ups and downs of life and how they connect. There’s a lot of heart and meaning behind her pieces and we think that is something that is often overlooked with abstract art. Kate also finds a way to make it happen when it comes to creating. The general responsibilities of life can make little time for many artist’s creative process, but Kate has found a way to work together with her busy schedule to be an even more productive artist. Her creative journey tells a similar story to her paintings as they both reflect creating beauty out of difficulty and finding space for your passion to flourish. Read on to learn more about Kate’s story and work!

: Tell us a few things about yourself!

: Hi there! I’m Kate, and I am an abstract artist and hand letterer, living just south of Boston, MA. I was born and raised in the Boston area, and I have the accent to prove it! I’m married to a wonderful guy and we have two little kids (my daughter is 5 going on 15, and my son is one). I’m also the middle of three sisters, and I live next door to both of them, as well as my mom. So it’s usually very busy around our house! Other than that, I am pretty much a big dork, and love classic rock, watching cheesy action movies with my husband, and buying houseplants that I will never remember to water.

: We absolutely love your hand lettering and abstract art. How would you describe your style and the theme behind all of your artwork?

: Thank you so much! My inspiration generally stems from the idea that life is raw and it’s hard, but there’s also a lot of beauty and resilience there. That juxtaposition tends to be reflected in both the texture and composition of my work. Each piece is a combination of raw, unrefined marks, and some sort of graceful lines – either using detail work or lettering.

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Feature Friday: LoveClayFlowers

Happy Feature Friday!

We are amazed by today’s feature as Olga Mironova creates the most unique and beautiful bouquets for her shop, LoveClayFlowers. As the name suggests, these bouquets, boutonnieres, and other wedding accessories are made completely of clay! We have never seen clay flower arrangements before and are completely mesmerized with them. We love how realistic her creations are and really enjoyed hearing about how much pride Olga has in making her products. She truly works to make her bouquets the best they can be for that special wedding day and is always perfecting her craft. Read on to see the crazy amazing things Olga can do with clay, and hear about how LoveClayFlowers got to where it is today.

: Tell us a few things about yourself!

: I live in Russia and I’m 33. 🙂 I’m married and have a daughter Sonya – she’s 7.  I used to work in a bank, but then decided to start my floristic career and I love my life now!

: Your clay bouquets and accessories are so beautiful! What made you decide you wanted to create these products?

: Thank you! I’ve always been a creative soul. Since my childhood I used to make flowers from beads, from silk, etc. Some years ago I saw clay bouquets and was stunned! They looked so delicate and realistic. Even more surprisingly, they were very lightweight and not fragile! I really wanted to learn how to make them and I found a school where I learned how to make clay flowers, and now I create clay bouquets! 🙂 That is what I love and I’m glad I can express myself through my work and bring more beauty into this world.

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Maker Monday: Dog Color

Happy Maker Monday! 

This week we are happy to feature Masako Roberts, a pet portrait artist! We love how she captures the spirit of your fur baby and turns it into a piece of art you can showcase in your home forever. We also love Masako’s overall passion for having your pets turned into works of art. Just like we have photos on the wall of our family, Masako makes sure your pet isn’t left out and gets their rightful place among the frames of family members. To check out more of Masako’s work or to get your four-legged best friend’s portrait visit her shop, Dog Color, and to learn more about her creative journey, read on!

: Tell us a little about yourself.

: My name is Masako Roberts. I was born Japanese and did my undergraduate at Missouri Western University. I graduated from Maine College of Art with an M.F. A in 2001. I met my husband in school in 1999. My husband and I moved to NJ for opportunities and possibilities. I was attracted to the New York art scene and had a dream of making art. I worked in Chelsea as a gallery assistant, an artist assistant, retail sales, a translator in NYC etc. We currently live in Newark, NJ.

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Feature Friday: LHE Bakes

Happy Feature Friday!

20170225_143618We are incredibly excited about today’s feature, because Lisa He of LHE Bakes creates the most beautiful baked goods! We love how her business has grown since the start, now creating dog treats, custom cookies for clients, and even cookie subscription boxes! She isn’t afraid to try new techniques or experiment, and we think that’s what makes her creations stand out and be so well executed! She’s gotten to where she is through practice and balance — and has some great advice to give through her own creative journey. Keep reading and get ready to seriously crave some cookies!

Castle Logo: Tell us a few fun facts about yourself!

lhe logo 3: Am a software/medical device project manager by trade, but love to use my hands after my “day job” is over.  I am slightly obsessed with my dogs. I know I’m going to have dogs for the rest of my life. My husband and I are pretty dedicated to fitness! We eat a “if it fits your macros” lifestyle and lift weights 4x a week– we were feeling really out of shape after getting our first jobs out of college, and realized that it was time for a change so we can live better, longer. We also LOVE doing obstacle races (for fun, not competition).

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Castle Logo: How did you discover you had a passion for baking and wanted to pursue it to start your own home bakery?
lhe logo 3: This was a complete accident! One day in college (this was in like 2008) I came across a photo of a French Macaron. They were SO ADORABLE that I became instantly obsessed and spent YEARS trying to perfect them. These beautiful little treats definitely sparked my passion for baking. Over the years, I’ve always maintained some form of creative outlet aside from my day job– because I need a well rounded life to be truly happy. I finally took the plunge last year and started this little gig on the side– haven’t looked back since!

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Maker Monday: Illustrator Beth Briggs

Happy Maker Monday! 

This week we’re featuring illustrator, Beth Briggs, as part of a new expansion of our Feature Fridays! We love her fun and expressive illustrations. Her pieces portray a lifestyle, capture a client’s style or even show off the personality of your beloved pet! Beth’s story to becoming a full-time illustrator is so inspiring and is a testament to not giving up on your dreams and taking the leap to pursue them wherever life has landed you. It’s never too late or too early to dream chase. Beth has always identified as an artist and we think that’s a big part of recognizing your passion. Find something that makes you feel more like yourself, as Beth did, the world will take notice! Keep reading to learn more about Beth’s creative journey!

: Tell us a little about yourself.

: My story is best summed up as reinventing myself at 50, I guess! I began my custom illustration business in 2014 when I found myself stuck in a non-creative day job and longing to illustrate again. My kids were just about grown up and I realized it was now or never to see if I could turn my dream into a reality. On my 50th bday I began to post daily fashion stories (illustrated collages featuring a fashionable character) on IG. I am very excited to finally be quitting my day job to pursue my illustration career full time thanks to the renewed popularity of fashion illustration and the wonders of self promotion through social media! I didn’t even have a Facebook account prior to 2014 lol. I will be moving to sunny Sarasota in May 2017 where I will continue to grow my online business which includes custom pet, bridal and fashion portraits along with live fashion and party sketching. I hope to pursue my love for teaching watercolor technique as well. I’m adding digital products as well such as Clip Art Collections to encourage the artist in everyone!

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