This week we are featuring artist, Emily Keating Snyder! We love her playful approach to her artwork and how she lets her pieces reflect the imperfections of the human hand. Katie was kind enough to tell us a little more about herself, her artistic journey and her pieces. She also made an awesome video to teach you some of the techniques she uses in her watercolor paintings! You have to check it out, especially if you’ve been wanting to get into watercolors, but haven’t been sure how to approach them. Emily will give you the confidence to give it a try and experiment – what artists do best!
“I’m a colorful artist, designer, and art party hostess in Los Angeles. Playfulness and a good sense of humor are huge in my life. My favorite materials to work with are paper, paint, watercolor, collage, and embroidery. I believe strongly in the importance of working with our hands and not being too precious with art. After studying art and art history as part of my custom concentration at NYU, I had a few different art world jobs then made the leap to independent creative (and doggie caregiver) a few years ago. I’ve been grateful to show my work in New York, LA, and other major cities and to be featured by Saatchi Art and The Etsy Blog… and here on Castle Foundations!
I’ve been making art my entire life and to this day the best creative advice I’ve ever gotten was from my kindergarten art teacher. Whenever we were working on a project and wanted to rip it up and start all over after one misplaced tempera paint mark, she would say, “Turn your mistakes into something else.” I don’t think it was purely out of encouragement or necessarily kindness. It probably had more to do with needing to ration an entire school’s paper supply, but it has always stayed in my head and helped curb perfectionism in my art for 25 years.
This week we are featuring Hollie Graze of Mollycat Mosaics! Her mosaic pieces range from small accent decor to large artwork that’s bound to be the focal point of the room! Although many of us have seen a mosaic in our life or remember pasting little pieces of tile on a popsicle stick frame, there are so many factors that can make working with this medium a challenge. Hollie has definitely risen to meet that challenge and we love how her social media gives us a peak into her process. It truly shows how much Hollie and fellow makers pour into their work to give you a unique piece of art. Read on to learn more about Mollycat Mosaics!
: Tell us a little about yourself. What are a few silly things that make you, you?
: What makes me, me? hmmm. I like new projects, the ideas and planning and problem solving are invigorating. I love my balcony and watching birds. I trained my cat to sit and do paw. I have not figured out how to make him not meow for food at 5:00 in the morning. I create part-time and also work as school-based occupational therapist supporting students with disabilities. I have a deep need to contribute, whether by helping others or creating beautiful mosaics that make people happy every time they see it on their wall.
: How did your shop Mollycat Mosaics get started?
: It’s funny, people ask me this all the time. I have no real definitive memory of when I started making mosaics or even what my first mosaic was! I dabbled in so many mediums, basketry, painting, ceramics, stone sculpting, etching. I was always starting something, trying something new. One day I just started mosaicking and never stopped!
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!.
Today we’re featuring Olivia of AubbieRoe who creates the most fun ankle cuffs! We think they’re perfect for a summer festival or just to add a cool touch to your outfit to create an effortless boho look. We’re all about fringe and unique fabrics and AubbieRoe’s cuffs give you both! We love Olivia’s business journey and can’t wait for you to learn more about her. Keep reading!
: Tell us a little about yourself.
: My name is Olivia Broom and I live in a little beach town on the East Coast of Florida. I work full time as a graphics designer, and my entire life revolves around being creative. I love to play guitar, paint, travel in my tiny camper and come up with new designs for my AubbieRoe ankle cuffs and leather bracelets.
: You make beautiful ankle cuffs and bracelets through your business Aubbie Roe. How did you get started?
: I am a big fan of Emonk Ibiza’s boots and sandals. I saw them on Instagram, and instantly wanted a pair, but they were way out of my price range. I thought I could probably make something similar myself, so I went out and bought a sewing machine and made a couple pair of what has become the AubbieRoe ankle cuffs. I really enjoyed making them, and everyone loved them, so I started selling them at local markets, craft fairs and online through Etsy, Facebook and Instagram.
For the month of December we are extending our Feature Friday segment, where we highlight amazing creatives, so that you can meet some amazing makers in time for holiday shopping! We’re starting off the first Monday of December with Joanna of Jo’s Handmade Friends! Her toys are completely adorable and they give back! As you know, we LOVE businesses that use their talents to create positive change. 15% of profits from your cute Jo’s friend will help children battling serious illnesses. So awesome! Being big fans of stuffed animals ourselves (as Joanna mentions in her interview, we too cannot pass a cute plush toy without giving it a hug) we think the idea of having a handmade friend is such a special gift for kids and adults alike. We were really inspired by Joanna’s journey of starting her business and we hope you are too! Read on to see some of Joanna’s creations and to learn more about her story.
: Tell us a little bit of yourself.
: I am from Gdansk, a beautiful city in the North of Poland by the Baltic. I have lived in London for 13 years now. To most people it might seem crazy to move thousands of miles across Europe to a country where I didn’t speak the language or know anyone but I was young, in my twenties, and looking for a better, more inspiring sort of life.
I am very happy I made the move, I have a richer more interesting life with friends from all over the world and best of all I met my husband here in London, he is also Polish though and we got married back home in Poland last year. Currently I am lucky to live near Notting Hill Gate, across the street from the gate into Kensington Gardens which is where I go almost every day to get inspiration for my ‘friends’ and to enjoy the beautiful park. Thanks to my friend Diana, a very talented retired sculptor and potter who shares her beautiful house with me and my husband, I live in a very creative environment. I love Pilates and fitness, the park is great for a run, reading, photography, laughing, smiling faces and obviously I LOVE handmade.
This week we are featuring fashion illustrator, Joanna Baker! Joanna is a testament to taking the leap from the corporate world and becoming your own boss. Joanna took that initial risk and started her very own illustration business. Since then she has garnered recognition from some of the fashion industry’s top names and we can definitely see why. We love her illustration style in all its pretty details and chic accents! Read on to learn more about Joanna’s story.
: Tell us about yourself.
: Hi, I’m Joanna! I currently live in Manhattan with my husband and our cat, Junebug. Originally from Maryland, we’ve lived in NYC for a little over eight years now. (Junebug is born and bred a New York City girl, though)
This week we are featuring Mo Milligan of Destiny City Threads! We just love her fun, unique and quirky embroidery art. Among her embroidery hoops you can find bright colors, pretty botanicals and sassy sayings. Mo is currently getting her Etsy store up and running and after you guys see her work you’ll be happy she’s setting up shop. We can see all her pieces being the perfect little accents to brighten up your space. To learn more about how Mo started Destiny City Threads read on!
: Tell us about yourself.
: I’m a Pacific Northwest native, but I love to travel and have had the opportunity to go on some amazing adventures stateside and abroad. I have always been an avid reader, but have found that since having two young children my attention span has been reduced to that of a gnat and I don’t read as much as I used to. I love music and try to see a few live shows every year, although a lot of my favorites aren’t around any longer. I have a sweet tooth, I’m a coffee addict and I love pickled foods.
Today we’re featuring our first poet ever, (!!!) Nash Consing! We love to share different talents with you guys and think you’ll love what Nash writes. His poems, although short, have so much emotion packed into them! You can see more of his writing on Instagram where you’ll get lost reading all of his amazing stuff. On top of that, we love how he handwrites his poetry to give it that authentic vibe. Keep reading to hear about Nash’s creative background and get a peek at his very own poems. He also has a book out that’s a compilation of his work which you can find here!
: Tell us a little about yourself and how you got your start in poetry.
: My name is Nash Consing. I am sixteen years old and a junior in high school. I live in North Carolina, but my parents are from the Philippines. Things I do include being a drum major and marching band playing the saxophone on a regular basis, along with listening to various types of music, mostly rap and alternative rock.
I think the reason I started writing poetry is how you would expect a fifteen year old boy beginning to write poetry. There was a girl I liked, and unfortunately she was going to move away from my city at the end of the year. At this point I had never really openly expressed my emotions from the romantic side of my heart to anyone, But I followed this account on Instagram, @emolabs, and he wrote these super short and sweet romance poems and photographed them with beautiful sceneries in the background, and it seemed that even the vague ones seemed to had impacted my heart in an unexplainable way. And so then, with two weeks left in the school year, I decided that I would write a notebook full of poems like @emolabs did on his Instagram account. I didn’t do it in time, so then I just made an Instagram account and eventually she saw them.
We absolutely love today’s feature with the amazing baker, Vickie Liu. We can’t get enough of her creative, adorable, and often funny cookies amongst other treats! She gives cookies such personality and her Instagram filled with cookie characters and shapes is sure to keep you looking and “wowing” for hours! We talked to her to find out more about how she found her baking talent as well as how she creates epic baked goods and a picture perfect Instagram feed.
: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got your start in baking.
: Baking has been an interest of mine since high school, but back then I just made (un-appetizing looking) cupcakes for friends or family when I had the chance! After graduating university from courses I wasn’t passionate about and no full time job – I decided not to do my Masters in Architecture, and instead rekindled my love for baking and have been addicted ever since.
I’m currently working a part time job unrelated to my field of study, and baking part time. This includes taking custom orders, working with small businesses and brands, collaborating with other creatives, guest blogging and a little bit of styling.
Hey everyone! We are so excited to announce that the tables have turned and we have been featured on DIYdesign.org! Becky, the website’s founder, was kind enough to give us this interview opportunity which you can check out by clicking the photo!
We hope you like it and if you do please feel free to share! Also check out all the cool things happening on DIYdesign. It’s a great resource for bloggers and entrepreneurs to learn new things and take their sites to new levels.