Monday, March 31, 2008

Featured Artists: Artisan Look









One of my favorite shop's is "ArtisanImpact" not only for the beautiful craftsmanship they use in creating their jewelry, but for their warm spirit and friendliness. The credit for the beautiful pieces go to Oded, Ilan and Ev, who individually hand-craft their own metals by their unique blending of silver and gold with various gemstones, the "Oded and Ilan Collection."
In between all their creativeness, in February they managed to put together a catalogue called, "Artisan World" which featured many artists of Etsy, and distributed over 80,000 copies worldwide. They are currently working on their next catalogue.
"Out of a stone comes a gem": expanding their own unique visions of art, comes their newest shop "ArtisanLook". Although the craftsmanship will be the same, and the artisans behind Artisanimpact will remain the same, they have now opened this newest "sister" shop to be able to expand their many designs. With so many of the unique pieces of jewelry that they have created, they were beginning to outgrow their own shop. This will also give the buyer a better chance to see more of the designs from these very talent "artisans."
The pictures shown are just a few of the pieces of jewelry from "ArtisanLook."

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Not Just Another Quilt Square!















Our next two blocks come all the way from Alaska. Both squares shown were done by Pat Tiffin, whose shop is "AlaskaSews2.etsy.com". In case you were wondering why she choose for her "Triumph" square, Heart Value Surgery, because she herself has undergone Heart Valve Surgery. Pat received a new Mirtal Valve on Nov.21, 2005; a date she refers to as her "new life birthday." Within two weeks of the surgery, Pat received a pacemaker also. As she recovered in the "heart wing", she met others who had undergone the same type surgery. Unfortunately, not everyone was as lucky as she was - other's were placed in the hands of God. I love how she portrays her heart within God's hands while the doctors are operating.
Pat's second quilt block will be for our "Tragedy" quilt. It honors all those women who have fought for their rights. Although many contribute the beginning of Women's Suffrage to Susan B. Anthony during the 19th Century, it actually started as far back as 1792 when women began to demand equal rights. Once the Women's Suffrage Movement began, through many hardships and suffering, the 19th Amendment was passed on August 26, 1920, finally giving women the right to vote.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Continuing Journey:Salamenca - Part II























I can't believe it has been almost a month since I returned from my "pilgrimage" to Portugal, Spain and France. In my earlier blog, I wrote about my journey through Portugal, where we visited the sites of Fatima; where miraculously Our Lady appeared to three small shepherd children.
Back on the bus, our next stop was Spain. Although I loved the peacefulness of Fatima, our visit to Spain, was even more amazing. We arrived in Salamenca, Spain, which is one of the oldest cities in the World. The center of all the activity is in the main square which was originally just Government Offices, (pic #2)but now the Government ownes the center section of the buildings, and the rest have been turn into shops and apartments (very expensive apartments, I might add!) Right outside of the square is the Salamenca University. As we walked along the tiny, narrow cobbled streets, I was amazed at the architecture which dates back almost to the 2nd Century. In the some of photos, I shot pictures just of the buildings whose outsides are completed tiled, these building are from the 2nd Century!
Along the way, I met some students who attended the University - as my group continued on, I stayed back and talked to them a while. Only one spoke English, but they were just as interested in meeting Americans (especially ones from New York) as I was of meeting them.
We talked about the art that surrounds the city, and being that they were about the same age as my sons, we talked about their interests in music, design, life. Thousands of miles from home, but I felt like I was with my boys and their friends. Yes, I did finally catch up to our group where we visited "Alba de Tormes" the Basilica where St. Theresa of Avila is buried. (photo #1). She was the first woman ever to be named a Doctor of the Church. Again, the beauty within these Bascilia's with their gold domes, stone carved arches, golden altars and beautiful statues were a sight to behold. As you walk around and look at all these artifacts, one feels as if there are living back in the 5th Century. Since our guide, Javier comes from Salamenca, that night he treated us to dinner in one of his favorite restaurants. After consuming a few glasses of wine, and a shot of a traditional Spanish after dinner drink, we called it a day ( or should I say night).
From there, the next morning we departed for Burgos, Spain. We stopped in Loyola, the birthplace of St. Ignatius, who founded the Jesuits. His story is quite interesting. He originally found in the Battle of Pamplona where he was wounded. Although quite a rebel in his younger days, it was at this time, when being wounded that his conversion began. The Basilica of St. Ignatius was built in front of his family home which still stands. (3rd photo). I could say so much more of the journey, but I think some of the pictures will give you an idea of the beauty that we experienced. (The last pic is our group in Salamenca Square - I am the one on the right with the dark glasses).
Part III - will be my visit to Lourdes.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Let's Stop Shootings on Campus













I just finished my second square. Most definitely it will have to go onto the "Tragedy" quilt. The theme revolves around all the campus shootings and killings. It seems you can't pick up a paper today or turn on the news, that something tragic hasn't happened on school grounds.
Remember when we all thought Kent State was the worst kind of massacre. For those of you who are too young to remember, a group of students were protesting the Vietnam War, and armed guards were sent in to disperse the crowds. Instead they opened fire on the students, many who were peacefully sitting while demonstrating. What we have today seems to be must worse. This is students killing students. It really is a scary thought that you are sending your child off to school, not knowing whether or not they will return.
After the killings when everyone is trying to figure out "how could this have happened" - in most instances, there are so many warning signs that the killers have been showing for weeks before they finally decide "Today is the Day!" I have no answers, but only hope when their friends or other students notice another student suddenly distancing himself or becoming completely withdrawn that they speak up. It may help stop some of these senseless killings at our children's schools. Pam



Since I last posted all those contributing to our "Tragedy and Triumph" Quilting Project. we have had a few more "etsians" join our group. Some that have signed up already, are now working on a second square. So these are our latest additions:
Pat of "Alaskasews2.etsy."- (She is doing two sqaures) Triumph: Heart Valve Surgery; and Woman's Suffrage since 1920 to today.
Heather of "babyannequilts.etsy.com" is contributing to our Triumph Quilt
Betsy of "spongetta.etsy.com" - has already finished her second square which was just posted "The Triumph of Women"
Marion of "mademarion.etsy.com" did a beautiful square on Breast Cancer Awareness, which also was just posted recently.
"Serenstitches.etsy.com" - just signed on last night. I will let you all know what her idea will be.
Many have asked if they can do a second square, please feel free to do as many as you wish!
They are all coming out great.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Triumph of Beauty












This block was contributed by Ev and her daughter Elle, who is 9 1.2 years old. They worked together sewing the block as a family project. Ev, is part of the team that makes up "artisanimpact.etsy.com".
The square is made with denim, a fabric that is one of the most natural of materials used today. In the 60's, denim symbolized the revolt against the "establishment" and all that it stood for. Today it is the symbol of the America's culture. Placed neatly upon the denim is a small olive green pocket, which has hidden inside a small stone of Jade. Jade, called the "Royal Gem" by the Chinese, is one of the most precious of stones. It is symbolic of a unique energy and strength; a symbol of all things good, beautiful and precious. You will note in one of the pictures the small Jade stone out of its pocket.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Women's Rights











This block was made by

Betsy of Spongetta.etsy.com. The vivid colors of reds, maroon and purple depict the boldness of women of today. Her block is dedicated to women's rights; beginning with the Woman's Suffrage Movement to the choices many women have today. We have a life full of options and choices through education, various careers, abortion rights, etc. Who would have thought about 100 years ago that we would be having a woman running for President! Betsy has titled her block "The Triumph of Women."
This is Betsy's second contribution to our Quilting Project. Her other block can be found in the "older posts". She did a block dedicated to the Tragedy of Katrina.