Monday, April 13, 2009

Artist Spotlight on Suz from Solar Flare Creations

This weeks spotlight is on a woman who not only creates work that I love, but is also a dear friend of mine.  An Australian native, Suz is a teacher, lampwork artist, jewelry artist, and a medieval recreationist.  How she finds time for all of that plus juggling a husband and a dog I don't know, maybe days in Australia are longer or something :)
It is a cold and dreary day here on my side of the world so I chose this pair of earrings out of her ArtFire shop.  I love the bright, sunny colors, they remind me that Summer will come again, even if it doesn't feel like it at the moment.
Aren't they yummy!
And now, here's Suz in her own words.
1) Name, Location Suzanne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
2) Where can you be found online?  3) What do you do? I am a secondary Art & Photography teacher who makes glass beads as a hobby. 4) How long have you done it? About 6 years. 5) How did you start? An American Ex-pat living in Melbourne told me about Lampworking, and pointed out the course in the Adult Education guide for the local TAFE college. I took a beginner’s course with Kathryn Wardill, and a few months later, an Intermediate Course. 6) Why did you choose this and not something else? I’ve dabbled in many arts and crafts over the years. As an Art/Tech teacher, I had covered about 15 studio areas in my training, but for my own personal expression it has been painting, photography, singing and now glass. There is something very addictive about working with an open flame and molten glass, which tends to take over my other artistic interests. Except singing – I still perform in musical theatre regularly. 7) How did you learn your craft? As I mentioned, I took some lessons to begin with, but I have also found the interaction with other beadmakers on various forums invaluable for expanding my skills and raising the bar. 8) Is this a full time profession for you or do you have another job? I teach secondary school full time, so it is only a hobby at the moment. 9) If this isn’t your full time profession, would you do it full time if you could? Probably not. My husband has always been concerned that if sales became the imperative driving my glass work, the fun would be gone, so he has encouraged me to make it a ‘self funding hobby’. On the other hand, regular sales help keep up the momentum, make me torch more regularly and more productively to replace sold inventory. 10) Anything you want to share with others in your craft or who may be considering your craft? Be warned – it’s addictive!! It’s hard to dabble and not get sucked in. ☺ 11) Anything that I didn’t ask that you would like to talk about? I am also involved in medieval re-enactment, and I research and recreate historical beads. There are various articles and a ‘bead timeline’ I have created under ‘SCA” on my webpage.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Artist Spotlight on Jenn of Jennuine Candles

This weeks Artist spotlight is on Jenn Holliday of Jennuine Candles.  I love candles and burn tons of them at my home so I had a very hard time choosing a favorite item out of her various shops.  I finally chose this candle because the fragrance is called Day Spa and I happen to work at a Spa :)
Isn't it beautiful?  Not only is it called Day Spa, but its also in one of my favorite colors, purple :)
Now, here is Jenn, in her own words.
1) Name, Location - My name is Jenn Holliday of jennuinecandles and I live in the Phoenix Metro area of Arizona.  
2) Where can you be found online? I can be found in numerous places. I have a shop on Etsy (, ArtFire (, and on 1000 Markets ( I also have a website (, a blog ( a Twitter account ( and a Plurk account ( If I had one to choose from for someone to follow it would definitely be my blog because my shops and all my latest news is updated in one place.
3) What do you do? I make 100% Palm Wax Candles. It is a natural and sustainable wax produced from palm oil, which comes from the fruit of the oil palm tree. More importantly, the palm wax used in every one of my candles is obtained from suppliers that are partnered with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil to prevent deforestation. Palm wax is also cleaner burning than paraffin wax, resulting in less soot production and a significantly reduced potential for harmful emissions. They also burn longer, have a superior ability to "hold" fragrance and have a whiter flame than paraffin candles. And, it cleans up easily with soap and water.
4) How long have you done it? I’ve only been making them for 6 months now, but didn’t start selling them until I had done plenty of testing and research to make sure that I had a product that was worthy of putting on the “market”.  
5) How did you start? How did you learn your craft? By day, I am an Occupational Therapist. I work with the older adult population and have the opportunity to maximize their quality of life everyday. Rewarding? Definitely. Stressful? Unfortunately. Over my career, I have experienced countless moments of joy and sorrow; it's in the moments of sorrow that I have identified a need for an escape. I am lucky enough to have found two fabulous hobbies to escape...candlemaking and photography. I had always had an interest in homemade hobbies, but never put my finger on "the one" that I could make my own until I was introduced to palm candles by a good friend. Amazed at the appearance and scent throw, I did some research and experimenting. I had finally found "my hobby"; one that I could enjoy, one that I could find pleasure in, one that I could use to escape and one that others could enjoy as well. I initially started out with the idea of making candles for my home and as gifts for family and friends - after all, who doesn't like candles, especially candles that have a scent that lasts from first light to the last light? But, as co-workers and friends became aware of my new hobby...jennuinecandles was born.
6) Why did you choose this and not something else? Quite simply, it allows me an escape from the rigors of my normal life. I love looking through my fragrance oils or researching my preferred suppliers for newly added fragrance oils and imagining the scent and the beauty that each candle will produce. I am also a people pleaser of sorts and I love the reactions that people have to my candles and it brings me joy to know that I can bring enjoyment to somebody else.
  7) Is this a full time profession for you or do you have another job? As mentioned earlier, by day I am an Occupational Therapist; I work with the older adult population in three assisted living/memory care communities in the northwest area of Phoenix.
8) If this isn’t your full time profession, would you do it full time if you could? I would totally do this and my other hobby, photography, ( as my full-time “work” if they were able to pay my bills. ☺
9) Anything you want to share with others in your craft or who may be considering your craft? With anything, it takes patience, research and a lot of testing to get the right combination that works. The plus side to the testing is a great smelling house! ☺
10) Anything that I didn’t ask that you would like to talk about? I do make and sell my palm wax candles on my sites, but I am very much willing and wanting to do more custom orders; they are more fun because they become unique to that one person. I currently have over 40 scents and 5 different sized containers (glass jars and travel tins) and am always looking to expand to new scents and containers. My scents and their full descriptions can be found on my website ( Thank you for the opportunity to feature myself, my shops and my blog! Jenn
And Thank You Jenn for taking part in my Artist Spotlight!
If you would like to get your own spotlight on my blog email me at and I will send you the questionnaire.  Thank you.

Friday, April 03, 2009

No more Starving Artists - The Stone Soup Challenge

This week I became aware of something called The Stone Soup Challenge.  This challenge is based on the story of Stone Soup, where a weary traveler cannot find anyone to spare him some dinner so he decides to make stone soup.  The villagers are intrigued and start to bring out various items to add to the soup and by sharing create a meal that has plenty for all. 
Times are tough for everyone right now and for artists whose products aren't considered to be necessities times are even tougher.  This is where the Stone Soup Challenge comes in.  If artists band together and support each other we can all get thru these tough times.  
The premise is simple.  Go to the link I included in the first paragraph and comment on the post with your pledge to support fellow artists.  Then spread the word wherever you can, blogs, forums, etc...  Finally, decide on a percentage of your monthly profits you can afford to spend and spend them on items from your fellow artists.
I personally will be spending 15% of  my profits with my fellow artists.  Won't you join me in supporting our fellow artists? 

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Alexia from Arrrt

This weeks creative blogger is Alexia of Arrrt.  She has a really cute blog about her hand made journals and various things happening in her life.  Be sure to check her out here.