Sunday, March 28, 2010

Treasury EFA March Challenge plus The Animals Magic Shop and The Faerie Cupboard

TEAM EFA (Etsy for Animals) has a monthly challenge for its members... based on a theme, this month was called March Mixture and our challenge was to highlight the use of "a mixture of materials, techniques and media".

Here's a treasury of the first twelve entries... created by Team EFA's Challenge leader Lynn, etsy store owner of Thanks so much for a wonderful treasury :)


I decided to submit one of Brizel's apple wood Brigit Crosses because they are made of fruit wood which i grow & prune myself... dry over the course of a year and then sew the pieces together into a Brigit / Brigid Cross. Brizel's apple wood Brigit Crosses can be found for sale either in my animal fundraising store: and/or in my handcraft shop:

Pictured below is one of my favorite March Mixture entries... submitted by Sky & Karen Lisa from theanimalsmagicstore... an awesome handmade studio button called 'SHY WOLF IN HIDING'...

The description reads: "This button is made of wood with a hand painted ceramic wolf set in the center and words written around the entire outside of the button in ink. The words read: "I'm hiding Vacancy - no one lives here Just keep walking Ignore that face in the doorway It's just a statue No tresspassing Keep out Beware of lions, tigers, and bears Stop Halt I would run away if I were you".

The button is vintage, the bead is new, it's been coated with a protective finish but cannot be laundered. Signed and dated on the back by my person. I bet you've never seen a button like this before, have you ?"

NO, i haven't seen anything like that before... and I think it's simply marvelous !

I adore theanimalsmagicshop... "It's all about animals"... Sky so excitingly reports... He continues by confiding that... "My person has given me permission to pick whatever I think you'd like from her ~secret stash~ !"

Meet Sky... he's a VERY handsome 'hubba hubba' 8 year old Siberian husky...

"Do you know that all animals are magical and can help you and teach you things? It's true !! That's our purpose in life and our greatest wish. But sadly, many animals can't realize their dreams because they're endangered, sick, hungry, homeless, or abused.... I'm just a little speck in the universe, but I know even the smallest of us can make a big difference !"

Opening The Animals Magic Shop was Sky's idea... because he wanted to do what he could to raise money for animals... so... 25% of the shop proceeds, minus shipping and Etsy fees, is donated to Patriot Siberian Husky Rescue and another 25% is donated to the Etsy For Animals Charity of the Month.

Karen Lisa is Sky's person and she does all the administrative work on his behalf. She is also the button artist in this partnership...

Pictured above is a gorgeous scrimshaw button of a wolf... "This button was listed to help raise money for animals in memory of Siberian husky, Lobo, and of all the members of the Wolf tribe who have lost their lives. It is a scrimshaw on snow white polymer with a drilled in silver metal loop shank. Measures 1 1/2" across... it was my person's very first scrimshaw project 8 years ago and is signed by her on the front."

Above is a delightful set of Alpine Rose florals... hand painted by K. Lisa on antique mother or pearl buttons... These buttons are listed & currently available in K. Lisa's own etsy store: thefaeriecupboard which specializes in "Sewing Buttons... Antique, Vintage and New; Costume Jewelry and Antiques".

Her profile reads: "Want to know a little about me ? I'm Karen Lisa and I live with the Faeries part time because I want to and they let me. The rest of the time I live with my wonderful husband, 12 Siberian husky sled dog fur-children... my coyote pack buddies and all the other animals and beings who grace the magical crossroads here on Nestles Lane. Aside from running and playing with sled dogs, I'm an antiques dealer, Reiki Master-Teacher, and animal telepathic communicator. I also practice shamanism but my clients are all animals and they're the only ones who can tell you if I'm any good or not :>) If I could have one wish come true, I would wish that all people would be kind to animals."

Karen Lisa works diligently to help animals & is a valued member of the EFA team... her favorite charities are:
Patriot Siberian Husky Rescue
Defenders of Wildlife
Habitat for Cats

Tune in for more features on these fabulous stores... they are two of my favorite Etsy shops ! Apart from visiting them... you can also browse thru their web sites: and

Images, text, content
remain the copyright of the artists !

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Treasury Thanks... Brydferth

I'm very thrilled to have one of my Silk Tapestry Hip Pouches featured in an Etsy Treasury and even more so because the theme is one close to my heart, the Mediterranean.

Having ancestral origins from this part of the world... and having lived in the South of France in my teens, and later on in the Canaries (Lanzarote)... I feel that my work has been deeply influenced by the Mediterranean. The expansiveness of azure blue of skies & waters... the incredible bright hot sun and stunning moon risings... the rich contrasting colors... the intricate patterns and motifs... the aromas and artistic layouts of culinary dishes... its distinct architectural lifestyle... synthesizing outdoor elements into the home... the beauty of the landscape and its colorful agricultural crops... well... the list could go on forever... lol

Hailey Rose, Etsy shop owner: Brydferth, is hungering to visit the Mediterranean... she dreams of it and in celebration of her future voyage... created this lovely Treasury:


There you will see one of Brizel Handcrafts' beautiful Silk Tapestry bags: Lagoon Tweed ... "This delicious green toned ooak Brizel Silk Tapestry Hip Pouch, made of hand spun teal green & light multicolored chocolate silk sari yarns, is just perfect for your special occasion needs !"

"Lagoon Tweed has been embellished with a delicious complimentary vintage button, which secures the front closure flap... Synthesized on a hand woven Guatemalan ikat cotton sash of deep sea green with whispering white 'clouds', my unique (one of a kind) silk tapestry hip pouch has my special Brizel logo: a lilac faux swede label with the Brigit cross, rising sun and full moon, to assure you that this pouch is handmade by me."

I love how the design worked out on this pouch... I had just acquired some gorgeous multicolored brown silk sari yarn... it was so soft and so fine that when I paired it up with the teal green silk sari yarn... and then with the vintage button and hand woven sash... it just sang !

And now a little about Hailey Rose and her wonderful Etsy shop: Brydferth. Her profile reads: "I am a farm girl, a fashionista, a soon to be bride, a lover of life and nature. I find my inspiration on a daily basis from the farm, people, the mountains, the seasons. Life is beautiful and that is why I chose to name my shop Brydferth. Brydferth is the Welsh word for Beautiful. I am half Welsh and so I decided to bring a bit of the old world roots into my life by choosing a Welsh word."

Brydferth is indeed well named as the shop is filled with gorgeous accessories and jewelry that focus on highlighting the rose into beautiful wearable floral arrangements. There you will find many wondrous creations including headbands, necklaces, brooches, earrings, bracelets, rings, and bobby pins & clips.

Here are some of my favorites...

Pictured above... Bright rosette headband, featuring fuchsia pink cotton rosettes, violet cotton rosette, baby pink cotton rosette and another pink cotton blend rosette.

Pictured below... Rosette Necklace Chocolate Linen, Romantic Silk and pretty Tan Trio.

Hailey has "a constant burning desire to make things. I have a little studio in my home where I try to make most of my creations happen but the kitchen table tends to be a popular place as well for these creative moments."

Well... that is indeed a Mediterranean concept right there... creative moments happening in the kitchen. lol. Below... Winter Ice Blue and White Rosette Bib Necklace, Silk and Cotton.

Please click on the title of the pieces to get to the product listings which will also take you to our Etsy shops.

Wishing this Treasury every success and the best of luck on future voyages to the Mediterranean !

Copyrights remain with the artists & writers !

Thursday, March 18, 2010

MAD HATTERS THURSDAY cerublu stocking caps

Mad Hatter's March
continues with its third installment
featuring one of my favorite Etsy stores:
Cerublu and its creatrix, Lisa Wiseman.

Click HERE to tune in to the first installment
and HERE for the second feature.

Cerublu, aka Lisa Wiseman, lives in rural NSW Australia, near Barrington Tops a national park in the Hunter Valley region. "It is a very beautiful and unique area with World Heritage listed areas nearby. My home high on a ridge looks out over the most incredible view- at times I watch eagles flying below me- I can't help but be inspired by what I see every moment. The forest around my house is of two main classifications, rainforest and sclerophyll, so there's a great amount of diversity in the flora and fauna."

Lisa's home is deep in the wilderness where she lives with her equine and canine family in an alternative way, off grid and powered by solar energy. Living in a mindful and respectful manner of this environment, Lisa incorporates her values and articulates the joy she finds there in all her creative work. Color, shape, texture... all find a new pallet of expression in Cerublu's fine crocheted accessories.

'Bush Orchid', above, is a fine example of this concept and lifestyle... here's what the artist's original introductory description of this gorgeous hat shared: "Now is the time of year when bush orchids bloom in the forest while my potted Australian orchids adorn the house and tiny ground-growing orchids pop out all over the paddocks ! Beautiful mauves, muted Australian bush greens, deepest burgundy, warm golds and delicate creams make a bold yet subtle statement in this super warm stocking cap tribute to these gorgeous plants ! Tiny amounts of sparkling yarn evoke the natural, miniature glitz of morning dew on petals."

'Ravishing Reds", pictured below... "Unashamedly vivid reds, from scarlet to burgundy are spiced by accents of purple and orange in this elegant and fun long stocking cap. Accents of glitzy red yarns touched with orange and purple edge and enliven this hat."


Continuing in Cerublu's finest tradition of unique one of a kind art wear... Stocking caps incorporate one of Lisa's favorite hat elements... a tail. "I adore making tails for hats and what could be more fun than extra long stocking caps ?" she says gleefully.

The climate where she lives sees cold winters and in that respect the tail's existence is purely practical as it can be wrapped around one's neck for warmth. Not only does it double as a scarf but it also secures the hat to the body and saves having to stow it away should one want to remove the cap momentarily. Lisa has misplaced many a hat... until she found this creative solution.

For me, as well as for Cerublu, the tail is also a tremendous opportunity to celebrate and expand the canvas of expression...

Spring Spectacular, above, is one of my favorite Cerublu Stocking Caps to date. "This beautifully soft, fuzzy stocking cap boasts a veritable rainbow of tones- teal and sky blues, hot pink, vivid orange, sunny yellow and delectable fuchsia- with the strong spring greens and royal purples which predominate in the spring forest also making a bold showing in this lovely crochet hat." Shifts in the seasons and how the natural environment changes is another big theme in Lisa's artistic work.

Icy Blue, below, is hot off the press features deep indigo, mysterious blue-gray and clear azure tones and accented by soft snowy whites. yum !

"I adore colour, especially pure, bright colour and texture. My freeform style crochet work very much reflects that in areas of colour with regularly placed, widely varying textures. In the freeform style work, I do use regular stitches including some which I haven't found in books yet. I don't believe that I'm the first to use some of these, because crochet has been around so long, but my favourite "personal" stitch is the high relief bobbles I make so much use of. These are not crocheted traditional "bobbles"... mine actually stand out a lot more than those."

Saucy Sarsparilla, above, is a mighty example of these bubbly bobbles erupting on the surface of this hat's crown. Inspired by Lisa's favourite native plant... the purple native sarsparilla... this stocking cap features shades from lilac and pale pinks at the tail tip.... up to deeper pinks and mauves... and finally to rich, warm purples. Simply divine for those of us who adore those colors !

Lisa explains that Australian "Native Sarsparilla is a fabulous, climbing vine with tiny purple flowers. It is delicate looking, but is actually quite a robust climber and one I love to see as it is capable of battling introduced weeds sucessfully. In fact, native sarsparilla always strikes me as a rather cheeky plant. If ever a plant was "saucy", this is it ! So its namesake hat includes stunning color, bold style and robust construction."

Wild Woodland above, features a more traditional design usage of the bobbles that can be found on so many of Lisa's hats. The simplicity of those shown here are celebrated through contrasting colors.

"Clear blue skies peep through the forest canopy. Rich brown tones, warm golds and burgundies in textured, variegated and single-coloured yarns echo the ever-changing movement of the forest canopy across the winter sky. Accents of spicy red reflect the cheeky highlights of woodland fungi and flowers in the branches while palest, delicate blue-teals add a soft impression of green leaves wafting gently against the sky."

And now... for a viewing of my favorite stocking cap... The Rainbow Serpent, pictured below, is currently part of my own Cerublu collection. This gorgeous hat is absolutely marvelous... the array and festival of colors and textures rendered by 'mere' yarn and stitches... its softness and perfect fit with its extra long undulating tail, which even my dogs delight in, is a true testament of this artist's ability to 'grok' a fine design into a unique one of a kind art wear piece.

Earth based spiritual traditions and myths are usually very much informed by the natural environment that surrounds its people... so for mythology lovers such as Lisa and myself... we very much enjoyed discussing the Rainbow Serpent.

In a book that I own, Dreamtime Heritage: Australian Aboriginal Myths in Paintings by Ainslie Roberts... the author wrote the following about the Rainbow Serpent: "Most myths describe a huge snake that spent the dry season resting in a deep waterhole. In the wet season, it went up into the sky as a rainbow. It was immense in size, brilliant in colouring, and often had a mane and a beard". " In some myths, Rainbow-serpents appear as Ancestral Creators. Their bodies contained not only the first Aborigines, but all the natural features of the land in which in that remote time was flat and featureless. In others, the appearance of a rainbow meant that the serpent was traveling from one waterhole to another. Sometimes it was linked with the rainbow colors of quarts crystals, which the medecine-men of many tribes used as objects of magic."

The aspect of the Rainbow Serpent that most fascinates Lisa are weather related because for those of us who live close to the land understand what an enormous impact the weather has in our day to day lives.

In our discussion, Lisa sent me this quote from Journey In Time by Reed: "The belief in the Rainbow Snake, a personification of fertility, increase (richness in propagation of plants and animals) and rain, is common throughout Australia. It is a creator of human beings, having life-giving powers that send conception spirits to all the waterholes. It is responsible for regenerating rains, and also for storms and floods when it acts as an agent of punishment against those who transgress the law or upset it in any way. It swallows people in great floods and regurgitates their bones, which turn into stone, thus documenting such events. Rainbow snakes can also enter a man and endow him with magical powers, or leave 'little rainbows', their progeny, within his body which will make him ail and die. As the regenerative and reproductive power in nature and human beings, it is the main character in the region's major rituals."

It is such an enormous treat for me to have met Lisa
and to enjoy a long distance friendship with her.
Although we are continents apart,
it is a pleasure to be privy to Lisa's artistic processes
and laugh at our life experiences.

To behold, wear and enjoy one of Cerublu's creations
is an experience not to be missed !


1. Bush Orchid
2. Ravishing Reds (available for purchase HERE)
3. Spring Spectacular
4. Icy Blue (available for purchase HERE)
5. Saucy Sarsparilla (available for purchase HERE)
6. Wild Woodland
7. Rainbow Serpent
8. Rose Tinted
9. Ribbon Gum (below)

Artist statement:
"While each of my items is unique,
if you would like a variation on anything you see here
or have a new idea you'd like me to realize, just ask,
I love making original creations for individuals !"

CLiCK HERE to visit CERUBLU's Etsy store

image DESiGN content copyright
ownership remains with the artist
Lisa Wiseman from Cerublu Studio

Saturday, March 13, 2010

NiMUE crosses over

Nimue's Song

Part I: Mama calling

Nimue dog...
Golden white...
Chestnut brown eyes...
Snow nosed canine...
Gorgeous eyelashes

Bouncy one...
Joyful heart...
Cookie Monster...
Cuddle bunny girl...
Loving companion

Part II: Nimue's ballad

Duty calls...
On patrol...
Gopher watching...
Chasing rabbits...
Stealing Zippy's catch

Life is good...
I'm the boss...
Mama loves me...
Rubs my tummy...
I'm your dog for life

All is dark...
Out of my body...
Try to get back in...
All systems shut off

'I Love You'...
I'm so sorry...
Please don't worry...
I am here with you...
until you're okay

Got to go...
Stepping through that door...
But... i'll be back for sure...
Always be your dog


My Nimue girl passed away suddenly
on Monday March 8th...
I found her peacefully 'asleep' in the orchard
She is greatly missed.

Thanks so much for your kind sympathies...
& your letters, emails & phone calls of concern.
Extra-special gratitude goes to my friend (Karen) Lisa
for her gifted work in animal communication.

Monday, March 8, 2010


I'm thrilled to be presenting
the second installment of Mad Hatters March...
featuring one of my favorite Etsy Shops:
Cerublu and store owner Lisa Wiseman.

Click HERE to read installment one.

Lisa, aka Cerublu, is a woman of many talents... upon further investigation one can discover that admist those many gifts... she is an artist that works in a multitude of medias... is a musician in a variety of styles... an accomplished horse woman: rider, teacher & trainer... a motorcycle maniac... and a wilderness girl !

Brizel Handcrafts' feature series will be focusing on Cerublu's fantastic freeform crochet work... Lisa explains that "Freeform is a very broad description for a huge range of methods and techniques and can be defined in a lot of ways. One is "a technique that allows the crocheter to explore the creative and artistic possibilities of the craft in unexpected ways."

When I asked Lisa how she had gotten started on her hat making adventures... she replied: "Some years ago, a neighbour and friend told me about a "cool" beanie she'd seen, so I surprised her on her birthday with an even cooler one. A friend of hers saw that hat and wanted one too... and since then I've been selling hats."

Lisa exhibits and sells her crochet work in several galleries. She has sold her work privately and in a variety of venues... then she found and spearheaded the Cerublu shop there. She has recently opened another store on which she feels is "looking to be a great site for buyers and sellers of handmade items".

"Doctor Seuss was my favourite childhood author and there's always a Seussian influence in my hats ! A sense of the ridiculous and a love of whimsy are two of my strong character traits and I have a deep admiration for the landscape, flora and fauna of the amazing and unique wilderness in the area where I live in Australia. This has all come together in my crochet work."

The hat below is called The Playful Parrot... "Parrots of many types abound here and I love to see them frolicking about, chattering and shrieking. They are so beautiful, and can be such clowns. From the tiny, strutting grass parrots to the darting, swooping rainbow lorikeets and the large, exquisitely-colored king parrots, all seem to have a real sense of fun. Inspired by the colors and patterns... this hat is a wearable art tribute to some of my favourite birds."

"Juxtaposing strongly contrasting colours and textures is just plain fun ! Doing it in a way which draws on my experiences and inspirations is what makes me keep crocheting. That and coming up with new ideas, variations and improvements on designs, giving homage or acknowledgement to influences all comes out in my work."


Scarts are a combination of hat and scarf, hence its creative name.

Lisa explains the origin of her widly innovative design: "I had been making and selling various types of hats as well as other garments when I came up with the idea for the scarts. I love making things which are different and being able to solve a problem in a non traditional way..."

Whilst Cerublu's creatrix enjoys wearing hats and scarves... "my problem is that I have a tendency to take them off and lose them... and... wide scarves always seem to let in the draughts somewhere. "What if the scarf was attached to a hat ?" I thought."

"So I combined an earflap hat with two narrow scarves which dangle from where the earflaps of an earflap hat would be. They keep the ears warm, hold the hat on in high winds, wrap elegantly around the neck... duel scarves provide better coverage of the neck than a single traditional scarf would. Voila! the scart hat was born... a wonderful solution to one of "life's little problems".

The hat above is one that I personally commissioned Lisa to make for me. It is called Winter Solstice... and is a hat that was especially designed for me to wear during the longest coldest night of the year.

Since I keep an all night vigil celebrating & waiting for the sunrise... I wanted a hat that would keep me extra warm. Lisa extended the hat's rim at the back of the hat and choose extra soft yarn to keep my face & neck warm. I also wanted a hat that would exude the symbology of the winter solstice, so we discussed ways that she could integrate the qualities of the sun and the night. The result, as you can see is absolutely superb, and it is now one of my most prized hats !

Berry Mosaic above is a scart hat, shaped like one of Cerublu's stocking hats (these will be featured next)... a gorgeous medley of purples and violets and is a true testament to Lisa's ability to combine a vast amount of different yarns, colors, and textures to create a marvel one of a kind art hat.

The crown section of scarts may be domed, like the Winter Solstice hat, or shaped like that marvelous stocking hat above... but most of Cerublu's scarts are of the 'pointed' variety... usually twin peaked and sometimes with tri-corns.

The Icicle Princess above is a tri-corn scart... the listing description reads: "exotic and elegant three-cornered and triple-tailed... this hat boasts multiple-color entarsia crochet "icicles" interspersed with bobble "droplets" in the crown section and scarf ends of symmetrical length with abstract, asymmetrical, blue and teal "icicle" stripes. The hat's back section has blue and teal icicles on a white background. Three luxuriant, fuzzy tassels complete the hat's three tails. The front tails are blue while the rear, longer tail is white. Lots of soft, fuzzy yarns frame the face and edge the scart, making it a most luxurious bit of wearable art headgear indeed !"

And just when you didn't think it could get more exciting... Homage to Iris is an example of a stunning Cerublu twin-peaked scart !

"Iris, personification of the rainbow and a messenger of the gods, is often represented either as a rainbow, or as a young maiden with wings on her shoulders. She is associated with communication, messages, new endeavors, the sea and of course the rainbow. This exotic and fluffy scart's vivid crown shades from violet around the face up through deep ocean blues to paler sky-teal blues, vibrant green, golden yellow, warm oranges and vivid hot pinks."

"Vividly colored, festive helium balloons soar into a clear blue sky !

... The forehead section of this scart, called Balloon Skies, features a definite, deep point or widow's peak, drawing attention to the wearer’s eyes and excluding draughts. The entire hat is edged in a row of sky blue moda vera "medley" yarn with its own pink, yellow, blue and purple bobbles. With this lovely edging and its feathers and eyelash feature yarns this hat is very soft..."

Oh my goodness... my head is spinning, where's my Cerublu hat ? lol

So we'll take a break from bright colors for a moment and feast our eyes on Confection of Gloom. The artist literally used every gloomy-coloured yarn she could lay her hands on. lol.

"This fantastically dismal and slightly ragged stocking cap and scart is designed- from his sketches- for Gloamstur to 'remain hidden within the foggy, murky depths and waltz to the wearisome vibes and the vapid drones. All cut and comfy in my stocking cap.' As well as being a comfortable and head-turning garment to wear, the Confection of Gloom, with it's deep folds, should also be very handy for carrying small belongings in; pens and pencils, a notebook, a spare pair of socks, (a cat, maybe ? lol) you name it !"

That's right... the fun thing about scarts is that they can also double as a bag... yep, turn them upside down... knot the two scarf ends together and shazam! you got a tote ready to throw over your shoulder.

Seriously though... Many of Cerublu's scarts, especially the horned varieties and for example the one above named Homage to Selene and the one below called Dreamsicle Moon... have such theatrical &/or tribal qualities that these hats evoke ceremonial usage. They are at the very least hats to be worn on very special occasions !

Selene, after all, "is the personification of the moon... She influences all the lunar cycles and is traditionally worshipped on the full and new moons..." Lisa choose to create a hat full of strong black and white contrasting tones with bobbles to represent lunar shapes.

Dreamsicle Moon is another lunar hat, one especially custom made for me. I asked for a hat that could be worn outdoors in the winter to moon gaze as She wandered across the open skies at Twilight. We talked about colours: purples, violets, and silver... softness & warmth... we discussed the different phases of the moon, which motifs were to be designed into the hat... full moon on the forehead, crescent moons dangle from the twin peaks and at the tips of each scarf quarter moons !

I am, and continue to be, Over the Moon with all of my Cerublu hats... which collection, I might add, continues to grow exponentially. Lisa brings a divine consciousness and life into her creations... the care and skill that goes into the many details of these hats is what's most special about them.


1. Brainsucker
2. The Playful Parrot (available for purchase HERE)
3. Winter Solstice, front view
4. Winter Solstice, side view
5. Berry Mosaic
6. Icicle Princess
7. Homage to Iris
8. Balloon Skies (available for purchase HERE)
9. Confection of Gloom
10. Homage to Selene (available for purchase HERE)
11. Dreamsicle Moon
12. Wildfire (below)

Artist statement:
"While each of my items is unique,
if you would like a variation on anything you see here
or have a new idea you'd like me to realize, just ask,
I love making original creations for individuals !"

CLiCK HERE to visit CERUBLU's Etsy store

image DESiGN content copyright
ownership remains with the artist
Lisa Wiseman from Cerublu Studio !
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...