Spotlight on a Creative – Lisa DiSciascio

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This week I am so happy to present the talented Lisa DiSciascio, the artist behind Starlight Woods – a line of “Eco-friendly jewelry & accessories made from fallen tree branches.” She collects her branches from walks in the woods near her home in Pennsylvania. Her pieces are bright, positive and lovely.
1. Who are you and what do you do?
I am a mother of 2 amazing girls, ages 19 and 13. I am a creative person in everything I do. Creating and being a mother is what gives me purpose.  Besides creating my pieces for my shop I also love being active, running, swimming, volleyball, basically anything active keeps me going.
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Starlight Woods – Mother Keychain
2. How has your Art changed over time?
Well I have always been creative, as a child building forts and hideouts in the bushes and along the creek side, always inventing…I loved sculpture for a while, I sculpted heads for a long time, I don’t know why heads but that is what i did, lol.  After I graduated highschool I went to college for photography where I mostly documented life and searched out the tiny beautiful things.  In all of my creative pursuits the one thing that remained constant was my need to find beauty in mundane objects.  The creekside as a child was a fortress with so many possibilities, the clay was nothing until I found the face hidden inside and a tree branch could be so many things, from showcasing it’s natural beauty to turning it into something altogether different.
3. What inspires you?
What doesn’t inspire me?? Absolutely everything sparks inspiration, colors, going for a run, changing of the seasons, a new outfit, a song, a feeling…it comes from everywhere!
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4. What’s your strongest memory of childhood?
Definitely our creekside worlds.  We spent hours there.
5. What was the first thing you ever made?
Like ever?? Hmmm, well probably something for my mom.  I was always making her things.  I made a pink clay alien in school once and droppped it on the way home so when i got home I put a couple bandaids on it and gave it to her, she said it was the most beautiful alien ever.
6. What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
I worked at a camera store for a long time, I learned everything technical about photography there, very helpful.  After I graduated college I waitressed, bartended, I was even a mortgage loan processor for a few years, that was kind of fun but not creative at all, lol.
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7. What is your dream project?
My dream project would be building an entire living room set out of pallets.  I have been obsessed with pallets lately, I built a coffee table and console table so far but I have bigger ideas in my head with more intricate designs that I really want to do, just need more hours in the day.
8. What is the one thing in your studio you could not live without?
Paint.
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9. Do you collect anything?
Not at the moment.  I used to collect typewriters and lugggage.  I used to write a lot and dreamed of traveling all over the country I guess that is where those two collections started. They ended up taking up too much room though…I need to find something smaller to collect, my daughter collects bouncy balls, they are small.
10. What is your favorite word and why?
oh geez…. well I say “seriously” alot.

11. What is your favorite recipe?

Sauteed shrimp with fresh tomatoes, roasted red peppers, jalepenos, onions and baby spinach over brown rice, yum.

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Fine Cooking – Stove Top Jambalaya
12. Do you “Give Back” to any organizations?
Not right now i don’t as I am still trying to get a handle on the business paperwork side of this business, creative people sometimes lack that skill as our minds are wandering.  I do plan on it though, I actually want to start a fund to help get get addicts into recovery. Sometimes just the simple dilemma of “how do I get to treatment?” is enough to stop an addict from getting help.
If you wish to see more of Lisa’s wonderful pieces please check out her Etsy Shop!
Cheers,
Jane

Jon and Mary – Spotlight on a Creative

The oldest piece of steel is approximately 4000 years old and there have been found treasures from Sparta, China, East Africa and more. What most see as a cold heavy ore, Jon and Mary, the husband and wife creative team behind WATTO have turned into an art. This talented duo has a studio in Tucson, Arizona and they kindly took time to answer some questions for me to share with you.

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1. Who are you and what do you do?

“Jon WATTO Watson & Mary Spencer- We are a husband and wife team and have several things going on. We started with “The Metal Gardener.” www.themetalgadener.com which is functional and custom metal sculptures. We then began WATTO Distinctive Metal Wear with metal accessories www.wattoonline.etsy.com. Outlaw Kritters www.outlawkritters.com developed due to the success of our animal icons. Mary also has an assembled jewelry line called WATTO’s Wife.”

2. How has your Art changed over time?

“The Metal Gardener began in 2007 with metal sculptures based on nature and organic shapes. In 2009 we started WATTO Distinctive Metal Wear with belt buckles based on the tattoo and music culture. We were doing a lot of art shows then and to make our items more accessible price wise we added key chains and money clips. We thought we were designing for guys, but woman liked the rugged look too and soon Mary was adding bling and making jewelry for WATTO as well. WATTO’s Wife developed as an outlet for Mary to have a little creativity on her own.”

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3. What inspires you?

“Nature, motorcycles (Jon), animals (our two dogs Nipper and Tucker), raw materials like metal and wood, tattoo imagery and fashion.”

4. What’s your strongest memory of childhood?

“Jon- Playing hide-and-seek in the cornfield.”

“Mary- spending hours reading, painting or drawing and making things. I enjoyed spent a lot of time alone.”

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Wattos Wife Jewelry

5.What was the first thing you ever made?

“Jon- Made his bicycle into a chopper by extending the forks and added a big sissy bar and whip flag. Even then he loved motorcycles.”

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“Mary- Can’t remember that far back as I was making things and drawing like most children from the time I was a toddler. I took private drawing and painting classes in high school and I made miniatures such as mini framed paintings and baked goods with tiny little grocery sacks which I sold at a local miniature store.”

6. What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

“Jon worked on helicopter weapon systems in the army for 4 years then worked as a Graphic designer for many years. Finally he apprenticed at a metal shop while working as an exhibit tech at the Children’s Museum before creating our own company.”

“Mary worked as a product planner for several social expression, puzzle and craft companies as well as a prop artist and floral designer.

7. What is your dream project?

“Jon-Working on custom Japanese sport bikes.”

“Mary-Not really any one project, but I would love to have indefinite time and funds to work more on developing my painting skills and other creations.”

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8. What is the one thing in your studio you could not live without?

“Jon- Angle grinder I use it for cutting grinding and sanding.”

“Mary- My computer as it has all of my files for the business.”

9. Do you collect anything?

“Jon- No”

“Mary- Mexican pottery- I love the decorative paint and the handmade nature.”

10. What is your favorite word and why?

“Jon- ‘Yes.’ Love it when people say yes to me.”

“Mary- chocolate! – Need I explain?!”

11. What is your favorite recipe?

“Jon-Pancakes we eat Pamela gluten-free with agave syrup.”

“Mary- chocolate chip cookies made with Garbanzo beans, nut butter, honey and “Enjoy” brand chocolate chips. I am gluten free so these are my indulgence.”

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Craving 4 More Chickpea Cookies

12. Do you “Give Back” to any organizations?

“We have several organizations that we give to annually including Seeing Eye Dogs and The Elephant Sanctuary. We have also donated many of our items to charity events over the years. We are particularly interested in animal welfare causes. Through our new website Outlawkritters.com we will be donating to a different animal welfare organization every quarter.”

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Tucker, Nipper, Mary and Jon

Jon and Mary have so much going on and I think it is all terrific! Please check out the links below to see more of their work!

Links:

Facebook WATTO: https://www.facebook.com/wattoonline

Facebook Outlaw Krtitters: https://www.facebook.com/OutlawKritters

Pinterest WATTO: http://www.pinterest.com/wattoonline/

Pinterest Outlaw Kritters: http://www.pinterest.com/outlawkritters/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wattoonline

Instagram: http://instagram.com/wattoonline

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Watto Apparel

Cheers!

Jane

www.petulapoppy.com 

Click It and Create It

 

 

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The seatbelt – one of those things you automatically use. At least, I HOPE you just “click it” without a thought!

One of the great things about looking at the world from a creative’s perspective is you see the other wonderful uses for the everyday.

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Cordura Nylon – Photo courtesy of .retool.

I first found .retool. on Etsy. I was instantly drawn to their fabulous line of “Durable. Stylish. Functional. Handmade. Vegan.” bags, wallets, laptop cases and more.

 

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They are handmade in San Francisco by the amazing design team of Jacob and Jamye in what they happily refer to as  the “.retool. galactic headquarters.”

While learning more about them I discovered some more Creative’s “clicking'” into the seatbelt’s potential. Please check out their work too.

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reclaimed seatbelt cushions from ting london

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Couch Guitar Strap’s Camera Strap

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Loved Again by Jane – seatbelt rose cuff

 

Stay Creative!

Jane

Jacob Fisher – Spotlight on a Creative

Welcome to my first Spotlight on a Creative! I am so thrilled to be launching this new series!

I will be introducing and showcasing one wonderfully creative, artistic soul each week for you to discover, be inspired by, share and learn more about.

Please meet my premier Creative – Jacob Fisher, of the amazing design team at .retool a terrific line of “simple, elegant and functional” vegan bags, cases and wallets. Jacob graciously answered my questions and provided some great photos for you!

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Jacob – one half of the design team at .retool.

1. Who are you and what do you do?

“I’m Jacob, one half of the .retool. team. We design and make vegan  accessories – wallets, bags, cases, and more!  We place an emphasis on function and style and we love using repurposed materials and factory remnants.  Our goal is to make it easy for vegans (and non-vegans) to find quality accessories with the features they need and the colors they want.”

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Jacob starts with these . . .

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and finishes with these Messenger Bags

“In my spare time I draw, paint, and make collages out of tiny pieces of magazine pages.  Here’s a photo of my most recent piece, based on a drawing by Paul Cadmus. This collage is made up of literally thousands of pieces.”

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Jacob Fisher Collage

2. How has your Art changed over time?

“Well, for one thing, my skills have improved.  There are things I can make now that I wouldn’t have been able to make four or five years ago.  As an artist, I have always loved working in series and my work with .retool. has certainly followed that trend.”

“We started off making wallets and we have now expanded into bags, cases, and even belts.  We work primarily with seatbelt webbing and the more we work with it, the more different ideas we have about about how to use it.”

“In the beginning, we had one billfold wallet design and one card holder design.  We’ve been tweaking the designs ever since and adding a bunch of variations with different features and carrying capacities. For example, we now have six different credit card wallet styles and seven different billfold styles with various features including ID wallets, coin pocket wallets, and grommet holes for adding a chain.”

3. What inspires you?

“Our customers actually provide a great deal of inspiration.  We get a lot of custom requests and on more than one occasion we’ve turned a custom request into a standard .retool. offering. The latest example of that is our minimalist credit card holder with center cash slot.  We added the center slot for folks who wanted a separate compartment dedicated to cash.”

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4.     What’s your strongest memory of childhood?

“I read a lot as a kid and one of my favorite books was The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster.  I think I must have gotten it for Christmas because I have a vivid memory of reading the book while sipping hot chocolate and eating candy canes.  For some reason, I thought it would be a great idea to dip the candy cane into the hot chocolate. This led to sticky, chocolatey fingers as evidenced by this photo:”

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5. What was the first thing you ever made?

“That’s a tough one.  I remember taking burned out lightbulbs and adding clay to them to make hair and faces.  I didn’t break any bulbs, but it probably wasn’t the safest thing…”

6. What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

“Before starting .retool., I worked primarily in technical training and instructional design.”

7. What is your dream project?

“I have so many dream projects!

One of my current favorites is to start a cult brand of awesome vegan bags. The idea would be to have a very small production run of high-end bags with pockets in all the right places.”

8. What is the one thing in your studio you could not live without?

“Natural light.”

9. Do you collect anything?

“Sewing machines! So far the .retool. fleet includes 2 Kenmores (each over 20 years old), a beautiful vintage Husqvarna Viking, a newer Husqvarna, an industrial zigzag machine, and the pride of the fleet, an industrial straight stitch Adler sewing machine.  The next addition will likely be a serger.”

10. What is your favorite word and why?

“I love words. I like how they sound and even how they look. Staphylococcus is pretty high on the list, mostly because of how the ‘dictionary lady’ says it:”

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/staphylococcus

11.   What is your favorite recipe?

“My favorite recipe is for homemade cranberry sauce.  I love fresh ginger and I’m not a big fan of sweets, so my version is spicy and extra tart.  The flavors get stronger overnight. [Note: the maple syrup and ginger can be adjusted to taste.]”

4 Cups fresh cranberries

1/3 Cup maple syrup

1/2 Cup orange juice

1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger (most people might find this an excessive amount of ginger, feel free to use less… or more!)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

Wash and drain the cranberries. Toss everything together in a medium saucepan and cook on medium heat.  Stir often.  It’s finished when the cranberries have popped and the sauce is thick, usually around 10 – 15 minutes.

12. Do you “Give Back” to any organizations?

“I support a number of non-profits mostly focussed on social justice and environmental issues.”

Jacob Fisher – .retool.

Thank you Jacob for being here!

If you want to see more fabulous items from .retool. please check out the following:

Blog:     http://retoolsf.com/

Shop:    https://www.etsy.com/shop/retoolsf

facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/retoolsf

twitter:    https://twitter.com/retoolsf

pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/retoolsf/

instagram: http://instagram.com/retool

Cheers!

Jane

www.petulapoppy.com

Sunday DIY

Happy Sunday!

I am trying to do a 3000 piece puzzle but my kitten, Charlie enjoys it more than I do! I am fairly sure there will be pieces missing in the end. I found this fun way to use some random pieces for cute magnets.

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Petula Poppy Pinterest 

Enjoy!

Petula

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!

Petula loves artists who recycle and repurpose creating new from old.

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This is a new line coming soon! A created using vintage chains.

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Cool passport/wallet created from repurposed seat belt fabric.

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Vintage Bedoin fabric and antique Mexican finding come together to create this AMAZING one of a kind cuff.

Stay creative!

Petula