Friday, July 31, 2009

August Featured Members and Giveaways!

This month, please give a warm welcome to Eliza from Elvenhair and Sharlene from Sharlzndollz, as they give us a sneak peak into their fabulous worlds of crafty goodness, and give away some of their wonderful handmade items to two lucky readers. To enter is simple - just leave us a comment at the bottom of this post. For more info (and to find out how to score an extra entry) read The Rules at the bottom of the post. Good luck everyone :)

Introducing BrisStyle member...

NAME: Eliza Leahy

1. Can you please describe the items you are giving away to one of our readers?

This Seirra ball point pen is made with Spanish Cedar. It is a lovely pen to write with, the natural timber is so much nicer to hold then plastic. It uses Parker refills, easy to get at newsagencies or pen shops. The gold is 24karat, and the metal has a dark gunmetal finish - it's just lovely!

2. How would you describe your work?

I love timber! I use to turn (turn - that's the shorthand term we use for using a lathe to make things) when I had a small farm at Mooloolah. Then I had my lathe in my goat shed! Now I live in the middle of Brisbane, in a town house, and the only place for it is a corner of the yard, protected from the elements by the eves of the house.

I make any small items out of wood - hair sticks (for holding up hair do's), pens, small bowls, ring holders, lidded boxes, spinning tops - and I have just started designing some toys for little boys, that I will have available before Christmas.

3. How did your Etsy shop come into being?

When I first started Etsy I was doing fine art. But when I got my lathe at the beginning of this year I was having so much fun that I had to start selling the things I was turning or run out of room!

4. Who or What inspires you?

Other woodworkers inspire me. I'm on a woodworking forum that is full of wonderful people who give freely of their experience to help others. A great bunch of people!

Also, the timber inspires me! I pick up a piece and look at it. Will it be a hair stick? A bowl? A lidded box? The pattern and shape of the timber helps to direct the end result.

5. Do you 'reduce, reuse, recycle' as part of your creative process?

Much of my timber comes from reclaimed sources. Sometimes I get bits that have come from old furniture. Sometimes it's timber that has been picked up from the forest floor. Some of the timber, such as Huon Pine (which isn't a pine) is so rare that they aren't allowed to cut trees, but it's available once it has died, and fallen naturally.

6. Can you describe your studio / work area?

I wish I had a huge shed with lots of work benches and room! What I do have is a corner of the yard, and when it's windy I can't work, because the sawdust gets blown around too much! And I love turning so much I really hate windy days!

I have my lathe, a scroll saw and a drill press.

And lots of pieces of timber waiting to be turning into things!

7. What is your favourite thing in the shop at the moment?

Spinning tops! I've just started to make the ones with handles, and the tops spin for so long! I love making them too. My sister in law said "Once you spin a top, you can't stop!"

I've also returned to doing custom portraits in oil paint.

8. Do you have any other places that people can view your work?

I have my websites - and as well as my poor neglected blog,


Introducing BrisStyle member...

NAME: Sharlene Jones-Martin
ETSY SHOP NAME: Sharlzndollz

1. Can you please describe the items you are giving away to one of our readers?

This is one of my paper doll sets – The FairyTale Images Set. Paper Gals Paper Dolls are an original collage design created by myself. This set is fantastic fun for those young at heart (it’s really too complex for young children).

I have designed a paper doll you join together with brads. The clothes are all created from collaged images sources from retro childhood images and decorative papers. The paper doll faces are hand drawn and coloured by me and as such are unique.

This set contains parts to make one doll body with two different heads, and three gorgeous Art Nouveau inspired dresses! The ones in this set are collaged from children’s fairytale images.

You also receive brads, as well as a fabulous vellum envelope to store your paper doll pieces that has been created again in the Art Nouveau style. The dolls have been varnished by me to aid longevity.

2. How would you describe your work?

I would describe my work as all about me having fun and re-connecting with my childhood. The paper dolls were a favourite of mine as a child. I loved getting new doll books, cutting them out and making new outfits of my own for the sets. I also loved puppets and made many from all sorts of things. So the paper dolls that I make now are a mixture of these influences. I have also been drawn artistically to collage as a medium.

Taking minute bits of paper and other items and mixing them together to form something new has always given me great joy. You can combine ephemera with your work and make it 3-D and symbolic.

3. How did your Etsy shop come into being?

Etsy for me was about being able to connect artistically with many people at once. Like many artisans who create at home and give work as gifts to family and friends, whatever pleasure you give to others comes in the giving of the gift and after a while your family becomes very ho hum about another handmade thing for them. You lose your source of recognition and then slowly wind down to not doing anything creatively anymore. That is where Etsy steps in. People can see your work, they can admire your work (through hearting it etc) and then they can even pay you the ultimate compliment of using their money to buy your work. This, as an artisan, gives you encouragement to keep creating and growing. Plus you become involved in a community of like minded people.

So for me Etsy was a wonderful find mentioned in a craft magazine that allowed me to pursue the creating dream but at my pace.

4. Who or What inspires you?

I have to say that all the other fantastic crafters working online inspire me, especially the talented team of Brisstyle. I mean that genuinely. I get inspired by the little wins and seeing the fresh new work and all in people I have come to know. This gives me new creative energy all the time.

5. Do you 'reduce, reuse, recycle' as part of your creative process?

I do like to use “pre-loved” in my art process. I am a big fan of books and the skill and imagination that goes into the images in children’s books is amazing. To see them sitting in op-shops or even worse going to landfill is such a waste. In my collages I like to re-connect these old images with others in a new way. For example I have used the image of a fish from Pinnochio to make a dress in this Paper doll set.

Now the detail and work of the original is not lost forever but combined to form something new.

6. Can you describe your studio / work area?

Scary, frightening, not for the faint of heart. I really don’t know how I work in it at all. I do have a dream of one day cleaning up – but then that means losing creative time so probably it’s just best to keep adding to the piles instead.

7. What is your favourite thing in the shop at the moment?

I have to say I am loving the bookmarks I am making at the moment. Making a bookmark and using it in what I am reading everyday is a way to have my art with me all the time. And if they look like my paper dolls all the better.

8. Do you have any other places that people can view your work?

MadeIt Shop:


Thank-you Eliza and Sharlene!

The rules:

Simply leave a comment on this post to be in the running to win one of these two fabulous giveaways. Be sure to leave a way for us to contact you. If you don't have a blog, please include your email address. Only one entry per person. You may enter twice if you mention this giveaway on your blog. If you choose to do this, please pop back after posting to your blog and include the url address to the post it was mentioned on here in the comments. This will count as your second entry. International folk are welcome to enter. BrisStyle members and their immediate families (ie: husbands/partners, dependent children, and their computer savvy pets) are excluded from entering all BrisStyle giveaways. A name will be randomly drawn on the 25th of this month and the winner will be announced on the blog on that same day.

Once again, the very best of luck to you all!


SquiggleMum said...

I just love Eliza's work a the pen is gorgeous! The writer in me would love to win that...

Your Cheeky Monkey said...

Its so much fun to hear about all the local talent in SE Qld, thank you! I agree with Cath that pen is amazing! Off to check out more of the 2 artists work now :)

Jacquie said...

Both shops are great. Thanks for the introduction1

Angular_gurl said...

Love the monthly introductions. This is such an excellent way to promote both the blog and the artist!

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Hip Brown said...

Love both your shops!

My husband collects pens (seriously!)... that is a beautiful one, must keep it in mind for a gift!

Those dolls are such works of art!

K said...

Wow, so much work is put into you crafts, well done, you are fantastic at what you do!

Karen said...

Gorgeous! Some talented women out there. How lucky are we to have them in Brissie? : )

Stick 'n' Giggle said...

i love love love those cute paper dolls! how cool are they!

Anonymous said...

Those beautiful dolls have just reminded me of my own paper dolls and books of fairy tales enjoyed when I was tiny... some years ago.
My dad would love the pen!
Can't wait to see the spinning tops one day.
Margi Macdonald

Ammieloris said...

Wow. Both of these pieces are so lovely. The craftsmanship is delightful to see (and read about), and the pen and dolls are classy and charming. Thanks for the fabulous giveaway and inspiration!

joeycat said...

Gorgeous work! Now I wish I had a lathe, though I bet it would take me a good while to catch on. ;)