When creating something, no matter what it is (a piece of jewelery or painting on canvas) remember to create it from your heart.
Don`t worry about the rules and what others say it should look like. Just follow your own instinct. Listen to your inner voice, that is the only rule you should follow.
When something is created with love, others will recognize it and reward it.
And even if they don`t ----it is a great way to fight stress in your life.--- And a great way of expressing your feelings and letting go of the past.
My name is Ana and I'm an artist who lives in Croatia and sells her art on Etsy called Moon Through The Fog. I create my art with both my heart and my mind and I do not limit myself with technical guidelines. Each piece of mine is a little story, and each story has a message.
I find inspirations in visual art, music, psychology, history etc...
Beside painting and photography, I also design handmade jewelry.
My story started 26 years ago when God sent me a beautiful gift --a son I named Chafic. He was diagnosed with very rare health condition called "Lipodistrophy syndrom". After 2 years God sent me another gift I named Nadia a sweet smart girl now she's 24 years old and we just found out she also has a very rare blood disease called Porphyria. I have 2 very special kids.
I worry about them all the time to point I start taking pills for depression. And also from too much stress I became diabetic. I prayed to God everyday to give me the health and strength to stay beside my kids helping them and supporting them and enjoy every moment with them. God heard me and by chance I found out I have the gift in designing and making necklaces. When I crafted necklaces I felt so happy--- a feeling I never felt before. I got hooked and I start making more and more necklaces.
Then it started to be an expensive hobby and end up with a lot of necklaces. That was when I decided to find a way to sell my necklaces so I can buy more beads to make more necklaces. I start getting involved in many arts and crafts show and I met a lot of nice people. My customers appreciated my works and they asked me to build a website so they could check my latest designs so I did.
Getting involved in shows made my life easier helping to shift my mind from worrying about my kids health all the time. I thank God everyday for this talent he gave me.
My name is Fatmeh Itani and I live in Jacksonville, Florida and you can see my work at www.Fatmehjewelry.com
My craft of paper cutting helped me through the challenge of being laid off in 2008. Now I'm so happy that I can be creative everyday and earn a living from it. It's a dream really. Because of the lay-off, this changed the path of my creative career. I began making paper cuts as one-off gifts for friends, and realised they were hugely popular. Although I am now very busy, the time spent at the actual cutting mat however is very relaxing. The precision required and the repetitive nature helps me to focus and unwind. Not only from the stress of this new venture but also from the other things in life that weigh you down. It's a time for me to think and plan rather than the running about like a headless chicken which I now seem to do the rest of the time.
Shortly after my job loss, I started getting commissions for my designs. Since then I have set up a website and blog (madebyjulene.com) to deal with demand, and have since created hand-made paper cuts for people all over the world. I haven't done any advertising myself, I really have the online design community to thank. None of this would have been possible without the internet and the encouragement of others.
My name is Julene Harrison and I love how my art of paper cutting helps me to relax.
I love working with my hands whether it is pouring a candle, sculpting a figure, designing blooms in a garden, cutting paper collages for a card, or painting a children’s book illustration. For me, crafting is my way of escaping from our fast paced, digital world, to relax and to make something new. The creative process can be as energizing as it can be demanding, but I think it is a great way to reset your mind and see things in a different light. There is such a wonderful world out there to engage when you are not tied down to your computer! The process of crafting allows that exploratory adventure while looking for new possibilities.
While I was growing up, my parents adopted 2 babies in addition to us 4 biological kids. Their big hearts led them to also take care of about 7 more special needs foster children for several years at a time. These precious children suffered from all types of medical challenges including autism, cardiac and pulmonary conditions, cerebral palsy, fetal alcohol syndrome, and a liver transplant. Since I was the eldest, I took on a lot of responsibility to help out. From a young age creating art and crafting was my way to share creativity as well as express my individuality within our large fun-loving family.
I loved being a big sister to so many unique siblings and fondly remember spending time teaching my little sisters and brothers how to use their hands to make things. All forms of crafting were a joyful part of my childhood passed on to me from my great-grandmother, grandmother and mother. I even had a little store out of my bedroom called "Bluebird’s Hideout" where I sold for a penny or two my prized creations to supportive family members. I was a creative entrepreneur even back then!
Today, I am a classically trained illustrator and designer, but I am always looking outside of the box to find something that is unique, fun and meets a need. As I was developing my most recent style, I made a conscious decision to incorporate hand crafting into my art to embrace the texture and colors of the mixed materials. Currently, I create my illustrations with watercolor and with hand embroidered accents. I call this style or technique "Something To Cherish".
I am capable of making many of these my images 100% digitally. However, it is important to the quality of the work and for my health, to implement the maximum amount of hand crafting possible. I am far too aware of health risks and how working at a computer for extended periods could cause irreparable damage to my back, wrists and eyes. I designed this style of art purposefully to get me away from the computer to use my hands and eyes in a different way.
Now, that I have my own art and design studio, Cherished Solutions LLC , crafting is a great stress relief for me. Crafting allows me to do something on my own which is very therapeutic and centering. It also helps me feel emotionally connected with and honor the memory of my great-grandmother and grandmother who were avid crafters in their day.
I often use crafting to decompress during a break in a stressful day or to unwind at night. The skills I have developed by crafting over the years have given me the ability to create almost anything visually that I can imagine for myself, my family, my friends and my clients. I am hoping that continuing to celebrate crafting in my business and art will bring joy and health into my life and the lives of others.
Cherish Flieder is a visionary artist that works with publishers, manufacturers and other niche businesses, assisting them to achieve their goals by creating designs and illustrations in sight of thoughtful marketing objectives. Projects often include the creation and production of conceptual and cohesive licensing collections, product development, books (especially children’s books), packaging, and other marketing materials.
When you aren’t living the dreams God has for your life, it can seem futile, empty, and often hopeless. I was born creative but left it behind to be “responsible” in the corporate world. It was an okay existence but not filled with regular joy or a feeling of real purpose.
Was I was really making a difference in this world or the lives of others?
Did my life really matter?
I went back to college in my 40’s and was getting the itch to do something more with life. After college, I started classes at a local arts council and at first was embarrassed. In class two, I could see something finally emerging. I started to paint scenery in my mind and imagined the brush strokes as I drove down the road. Oh, those clouds…I’d use a light wash of blue, with a touch of brown…then pull of a bit to bring in the clouds. Those greens…add a touch of red here and yellow there. I would sit in meetings and imagine portraits of those around the table. I was starting to find the real person underneath; I was discovering who I really was created to be and it felt amazing. I went from watercolors, to sketching, then oil painting. I was discovering more possibilities lying under the surface.
Soon after this, I was invited to go to Haiti to help with a women’s art co-op. They were thinking I'd be helpful with my business and product development background but it was even more fuel for my creative self.
Our presence brought a message of hope as we worked our “Business as Mission ” with Haitian Artisans for Peace International (HAPI). I spent six weeks that first trip then returned home to my job. I started painting more and would be in awe that these creations were really coming out of me.
Six months later, God said to leave my job (I know that sounds bizarre but facts is facts). I thought it would be for further missions in Haiti or Guatemala, but instead felt God saying to pursue ART. ME?? You have to be kidding!! How often do we doubt ourselves and God to just stay in a place that does not feel right, maybe shape our lives to look good or please others, yet we know we aren’t where we truly belong?
I still do short term trips and work from my home on HAPI business. It is through my paintings that I have found such a spiritual healing for myself. I work to share that hope and encourage others locally and internationally to do the same. I have been restored through creativity and life now seems very natural, not forced; filled with a purpose and benefiting others. I’m at a place of really loving who I am because I can be who God intended me to be. Created in His image…a creator…a reflection of Him.
Judi Kruis works at home in Holland, MI , painting in oils, weaving rugs and shawls, and sharing her journey through speaking, writing and creativity classes. You can connect with her through www.WeaveOrKnot.com , www.HaitianArtisans.com , or www.facebook.com/jkruis
The art of crochet has been an excellent way for me to connect not only to myself, but to the world around me in ways that I never thought possible.
In 1990, I had just graduated from the university of Michigan and began my adult life away from the enriching life of a student which I had always known. Entering the work force was exciting and challenging, but I felt the need to learn something new that I could continually expand and enjoy.
Being someone who has always loved crafts, I was drawn to a colorful crochet kit in a catalog that provided everything I needed to make a beautiful granny square afghan. The colors and textures of the yarn along with the fascination of turning a single string into a woven fabric with a hook soon turned into a passion.
I always feel happy when I am crocheting, and I quickly realized that it was a wonderful way not only to help me process things in my own life, but to have a piece of art when I was done to share with someone else. The rise of the internet and Yahoo Groups was a perfect way to meet new friends and trade squares with people all across the country. From that positive experience, I decided to reach out and share my crochet with less fortunate children all over the world. Through some research, I found two incredible charities, The Mother Bear Project and Knit-A-Square.
They both work tirelessly to collect and gift knitted or crocheted teddy bears and squares to children to keep them warm and comforted in what can sometimes be a harsh world. It is an uplifting feeling to create something for someone I do not know, but who I can visualize enjoying something I made with love.
Each package I send, I wish it a safe journey and give it to the post person with a big smile. Imagine my joy and excitement when I recently received photographs from both charities showing me the teddy bears and squares in their new homes!
What a wonderful reminder that even the smallest things we do can make a difference in the lives of others.
My name is Melissa Langer. I am an artist whose passion is to create happiness through my art for people to deeply connect to and enjoy. Please share in on the fun by seeing what my pug, Emmitt, and I are doing daily on my blog, Life is Art...Art is Life.
The act of crafting offers a multitude of health benefits for people of all ages and walks of life. Besides being a fun way to pass the time, crafting can have a tremendous positive impact on your mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing! Keep reading to find out how!
Physical Health Benefits
We’ve all heard the saying, “Use It or Lose It!” Doing crafts keeps the body moving and exercises the brain. Crafting enhances hand-eye coordination in children, and can be physically therapeutic for people with special needs or mobility issues due to aging or injury. Keeping the body and mind active in adulthood and old age is the key to retaining muscle tone, physical dexterity and mental clarity!
Mental Health Benefits
Crafting positively benefits mental health, while promoting self-confidence and providing a sense of accomplishment no matter what your age. It keeps the mind sharp by building technical and problem solving skills. Being self sufficient causes us to develop a positive “I Can Do It!” attitude and gives us the confidence to face up to life’s challenges. Many people are using crafts as a way to relieve stress, or temporarily escape from the travails of life in a positive and constructive manner. Psychologically, crafting can pull you out of a depressive slump, rather than turning to drugs or alcohol. In fact, many smokers have found success in kicking the habit by picking up knitting! When faced with particularly trying times, expressing and processing your emotions through your crafts can help with healing emotional pain and releasing anger, grief or anxiety. Next time you feel like screaming into or beating up your pillow, try picking up a hot glue gun instead! You’ll be glad you did!
Spiritual Health Benefits
Bonding with friends, family and loved ones is one of life’s greatest pleasures. What better way to bond than through crafts? Lovingly hand-made gifts show “you care” about the person you made them for. Scrapbooks and memory-keeping crafts honor meaningful relationships and experiences. Vision boards are becoming a popular craft project to assist visualizing your life’s dreams and desires. People looking to discover their true identity can facilitate the journey of self discovery through crafts. Free yourself, find yourself and express that which is within you by building on your ideas, and identifying the themes that resonate with your soul. Engage in the creative craft community and empower others by sharing techniques and ideas! It builds good karma!
Marisa Pawelko, winner of the Craft & Hobby Association's 2009 Indie Craft Contest. She is the founder of Modern Surrealist LLC, Marisa enjoys inspiring crafters with her thrifty project ideas for "upcycling" ordinary household objects, into extraordinary custom creations!
This story is from Em who used crocheting to cope with her job loss.
Dec 9 of each year is a day of celebration for my family; it’s my twin brothers’ birthday. On that same day in 2008 I was laid off from work. While the company was experiencing some difficulties we had been assured by management that all was well and that the company would whether the storm and come through it better for it. At 5 PM that day I got a phone call telling me that my position had been eliminated and that my services were no longer needed. I was devastated. I had worked there for 5 years and had been a loyal employee. I went to my family’s dinner celebration with a heavy heart and didn’t say anything for fear of ruining everyone’s evening.
The next day I informed them of my situation and just cried. I didn’t understand why I had been so carelessly cast aside. For the last 6 months I’ve looked for work and I have yet to find anything, and finances have been difficult. The stress at times has been unbelievable. The one thing that keeps me going though is my crocheting and tapestry beading.
When I crochet or bead I find a solace that brings peace to my soul and allows me to relax. I get lost counting the stitches or beads and all the days troubles just fall off my shoulders for at least a short period of time.
Crocheting also brings back memories of my Italian grandmother. She taught me how to crochet when I was 7 years old, and I always get a warm feeling when I pick up a crochet hook. I can feel her love wash over me as if she were sitting right beside me. It’s at those times that I know that she’s watching over me and that everything will be alright.
In the mean time I continue to crochet and bead, and create what I love best. You can find some of my creations at www.nothingbutstring.etsy.com and as the name of my Etsy shop implies, it’s the thread of life that holds us all together.
Let’s turn the chaos into harmony.