Saturday, February 28, 2009

Blog Interview #10 ~ Deryn Mentock, Something Sublime

Today we have the ever-lovely Deryn Mentock of Something Sublime with us. Deryn, briefly tell us a little about yourself.
I'm originally from the Portland, Oregon area. I grew up creating and had my fingers in many different mediums: photography, stained glass, sewing, jewelry, calligraphy, painting and all types of crafts. I live in the South now and, while it took me ten years to get used to the climate; the people are incredible.

Why did you name your blog Something Sublime?
When I decided to set up my blog, [in] October 2005, I did some research and word play in the process of creating my artist's statement and several bios as well as a name. I wanted something with an elegant feel but something that would reflect my work as well. When I looked up the definition for "sublime" I knew I wanted that word in my blog's name:
Sublime: 1. Characterized by nobility; majestic. 2. a. Of high spiritual, moral or intellectual worth. b. Not to be excelled; supreme. 3. Inspiring awe; impressive. 4. to convert (something inferior) into something of higher worth." It's a word that describes the most important thing in my life -- God. The last part of the definition especially spoke to me. It describes my jewelry creations but, more importantly, it describes what God has done for me, in my life. He took my broken, inferior life and transformed it, and me, into something of higher worth.

What did you talk about on your very first post?
This might sound crazy but, I'm in love with my blog! I love blogging and the personal connections it's brought into my life. I love that I can exhibit my jewelry and artwork in my own private gallery. More important than these things, my blog is a way for me to share my faith.

Do you prefer to blog with words or pictures or both?
Oh, by far, pictures. The fewer words the better. I think that readers don't have a lot of time for windy descriptions and long dissertations. My training as a legal assistant doesn't allow for too much wordiness! I like to keep it as short and sweet as possible and let the photos do the talking. I think it's also extremely important to keep the discussion interesting but positive.

Have you met people through blogging?
I've met a lot of wonderful people through blogging and developed some good friendships that mean a lot to me. I'm blessed by readers who are very kind and good about leaving me comments, which I really appreciate. They are also very generous and are constantly gifting me with treasures that I use in my work.
I adore my readers!


Describe a special friendship you've developed through blogging.
The first friendship I developed through blogging was with my good friend Deb Trotter. She already had a beautiful blog called Cowboy's Sweetheart and really encouraged me to create one. She was instrumental in helping me get it set up and in supporting me with my new endeavor.
Did you design your blog or did you have it professionally done?
I designed my blog, including my banners. It's important to me that I can have control of it and change things around when I need to.

I know you've been published numerous times over the years, have you ever been featured in Artful Blogging?
I'm honored to say, yes! I was featured in the Summer 2008 issue. They did a fabulous job with my article and it was very exciting to be featured. It was thrilling to see my own photos in the article.

What does your "About Me" read on your blog?
My about page also features a picture of a collage that I did that features a xerography print of my great grandmother. It's a collage that is a sort of combination muse/brand for me.
My about page also has various links to other sites my artwork can be found such as my Etsy site and another blog I've set up for a jewelry challenge I'm working on.

What feature do you like the most about your blog?
I love my banners. At first I had a lot of frustration creating custom banners but now that I have it down, I enjoy creating them.
I'd like to have enough computer knowledge to really customize the sidebars but that may be something that has to wait.

What adjectives or themes would best describe your blog?
My blog has a pretty obvious Christian theme. It's not always blatant but it surfaces fairly often. Writing about my faith is something I do with intention. It's been one of my purposes for my blog from the start.

What inspires you?
God, my faith, scriptures, music and nature all inspire me. Also, the human factor inspires me greatly...why people behave the way they do; what their belief systems and worldviews are; emotions and words.

What is your blogger count at, at this precise moment?
If you mean the number of visitors I get daily, well...I can't divulge that information! I try very hard to mind my own blogging business where statistics are concerned and try not to get too caught up in how many hits or visitors I, or anyone else, have. I'm grateful to have a healthy following and fantastic readers and that's really all that matters to me!

What directions would you like to take Something Sublime in?
When I first started my blog, I wanted to keep it very impersonal ... strictly photos and writing about artwork. As the years have passed, I've discovered that, for some reason, people seem to want a more intimate view of my little world. I'm a very private person and I don't enjoy talking about myself much so that's a direction I'm working on, a little bit at a time. My real hope is to have some small amount of influence for good and that my blog would be an inspiration to those who visit.

Do you sell your artwork through your blog?
I have an Etsy site.

Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers?
Once again, I'm really grateful to have such wonderful readers. I'm astounded at the kind and generous comments and support I've received from them. Blogging has been a great, creative outlet for me but, the encouragement and positive feedback I've had has far outweighed anything I expected. If you don't have a blog but have been thinking about setting one up, I highly encourage it. The networking is invaluable, as are the new friendships you'll develop.
Thanks for having me, Dawn!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Blog Interview #9 ~ Laura Youngren, all about Pretty!



I am thrilled to have Laura Youngren, the lovely and affable creator of all about Pretty! with us today. Good morning Laura ~ please tell us a little about yourself.
I'm a young at heart forty-something single lady with 2 cats and 2 dogs. No, as lovely as I am, no man yet, but I know my prince is on his way, he's just a bit lost. I moved a couple years ago from the love of my life, Vancouver, British Columbia to a teeny tiny town in southern Alberta to live close to my parents and sister for awhile. I miss the beauty, the culture, my garden Zone 8a, the mild weather, even the rain and my fave place to antique shop, Washington, only a hop skip away! But for now, I'm enjoying my cute little cottage sitting on a big yard with way too much lawn. I'm slowly digging it up and filling in with lots of pretty, pretty flowers! I've just finished building my little backyard boutique and hope to have my first opening this spring. I've always dreamt of being a shop owner and filling it with decor, my art and all the vintage pretties I find in my travels. It's a scary thing to quit your day job and jump into opening a business so I decided to just start small and do it in my backyard. I work from home for my day job so that is a blessing but I dream of the day that I can say adios and work full time at creating and shop keeping.

Why did you decided to blog?
At first I was a mad blog hopper staying up till 3 a.m. loving all the pictures (I am very visual) and was in awe of all the prettiness out there. I especially love the Scandinavian blogs. I have always felt like a black sheep, a bit weird, not one of the gang because all my friends and family could not understand my taste, my art, my decor ~ you get the picture. They couldn't understand why I would want to spend a weekend running around Washington state shopping in all the dusty musty antique shops when I could go whale watching or sailing with them. When I discovered blogs and found "the others" who had the same taste and ideas I finally felt like I was home, like I belonged. That's when I decided I just had to start my own blog.

How did all about Pretty! get its name?
The name I started using in Vancouver was Voila "delightful whatnots" but when I moved here I wanted a fresh start. I was chatting with a girlfriend about my little shop. I mentioned I didn't want my name to trap me into a specific style or look because I love to change all the time. I told her to sum it up, my stuff is really just all about pretty. She said, "Wow, that's a good name" and I said, "What?" I didn't get it until she explained, "All about pretty, you just said all about pretty." Did I mention I'm blonde? Anyway, I finally got it and thought, that's it.

So you started all about Pretty in November 2007, what did you talk about in your first post?
My first post was "Yippeee my first blog!" I introduced myself and talked a bit about my dreams and passions.

Have you met people through blogging?
Yes, I've met many, many like-minded gals and that has been such a blessing to me. I finally realized I'm normal and my tastes are not unusual as I was led to believe. My very first friend was Karla from Sugar Bear Designs. She really took me under her wings and introduced me to the blog world. She helped me with any questions I had on blogging and we've kept in touch ever since. She truly impressed me with her kindness. Of course, my other blog friends, Dawn Supina and Arlene Travnik have been a great blessing, always so encouraging. However, with working full time and creating the rest of my free time, I don't have as much time to blog and communicate with all the amazing people that I meet as I would like. I hope one day when I'm not sitting 8 hours a day at the computer for my day job that I can spend more time with my blog friends.

Did you design your blog or did you have it professionally done?

I'm not technically savvy at all, so I had Sara from Sadie Olive design my blog. She's so patient and helped me so much since I was really lost on how to use Typepade when I started. I'm a fast learner though and think I have it down now.

Have you ever been featured in Artful Blogging?
Well kind of. I was asked to submit some photos for an article on OWOH 2008 but they didn't make it in. Then when I was reading the article I noticed they used my comments on participating in OWOH.

What does your "About Me" say on your blog?
"I'm a true girlie girl and love all things pretty. I'm a self taught artist/designer and I am passionate about creating and using my imagination. I believe this passion is a gift from God and I give Him all the glory. I love to treasure hunt in my travels, combing the antique shops and flea markets. My work starts there then God gives me ideas for whatever I stumble upon. So I never really know what I'll be coming up with next and this mystery is what motivates and inspires me. I love many different styles, cottage glam, rustic country, pretty primitive or shabby chic, so my designs vary but to sum it up my love is creating art with an antique look. I love the patina of old things, rich sepia tones, worn, torn, tattered, plenty of flowers, pearls, rhinestones, just all things pretty. Each piece is handcrafted or restyled and often I have a result that I call a "happy accident" but I know it's just another way God influences my creations. After all He's the #1 Creator. My hope is that my creations bring you joy and inspire you to add a little pretty to your home and life!


Do you ever blog when you "don't feel like it"?
No I don't think so. I don't blog as often as most and I sometimes feel guilty but I decided to only blog if I have something I'd like to share whether it's a new creation or the latest pic of my fur-babies.

Let's talk about the future of all about Pretty! Are there any new directions you would like to take it?
I'm a very distracted person and have to continually work on my focus so I try not to think too far into the future; it just gives me even more to distract me. I try to just do one day at a time in my life, so I'll do the same with my blog.

Please do venture over for a little visit with Laura at all about Pretty! and check out her LolliShop and Etsy shop. Just savour the prettiness of it all!



Thursday, February 26, 2009

Blog Interview #8 ~ Nicolette Anderson, Nickieblog

Nicolette Anderson is a lovely person and an artist/illustrator who I am lucky enough to know personally ~ she lives just 5 minutes down the road from me! However, we met through an online art-based site originally. She joins us for our interview this afternoon. So Nicolette please tell our readers a little bit about yourself ...
I am a 43 year old mother of 3 teenagers, happily married to my best pal for almost 23 years now. After spending 13 years of being a stay at home mom, I returned to working out in the world 4 years ago. I WORK as an executive secretary at the University of Alberta, but I AM an artist in real life.

Why did you decide to blog?
After discovering art journaling and the online community, I thought it would be easier to post my work in just one spot, instead of spreading it all over. Blogs had just started to take off, and I thought it might be kind of fun!

What is the name of your blog?
Nickieblog
. Nickie is the name that my family has called me since I was small.

If I'm not mistaken, you've been blogging since 2004. What date did Nickieblog start and what did you talk about on your first post?
I introduced myself to the world
September 27, 2004, and told everyone that I was going to share with them the people, places and things that made my life so wonderful.

Do you prefer to blog with words or pictures or both?
I prefer to post my art, almost exclusively.

Please describe a friendship you’ve established through blogging.
I have made many friends throughout the world, with my blog.
There have been so many; it is hard to choose just one. A special one to mention would be Vickie Enkoff, a wonderful inspiring woman who always was very positive and upbeat. Vickie had a rubber stamp company, and loved art journaling and altered art. She took all of my online classes, and was one of my best cheerleaders! Vickie was wheelchair bound, and suffered from chronic pain, although she never mentioned her struggles. She passed away in August of 2007. Many of her friends made memorial posts for her on our blogs at that time.

What does your "About Me" read on your blog?
Oh gosh, how BORING! I realize it just says Nicolette Anderson, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada…..I guess I should jazz that up!

What feature do you like the most about your blog?
I love doing challenges for Illustration Friday, and posting them….they always force me to stretch my imagination!

Is there anything you’d like to change on Nickieblog?
I have been thinking of redoing the whole layout, and adding more of my own art. I just have to find the time for this major project. When I see other blogs, I see how far the design elements on blogs have come since I started! Everything is much more personalized.

Do you ever blog when you don’t "feel like it" ~ and if so, why?
Sometimes I do, and it is because I know that I have so many subscribers. I don’t want to let
them down!

What themes would best describe your blog?
Whimsical, light hearted, fun….I hope it makes people smile.

What is your blogger count at, at this precise moment?
128,226

Do you have any interesting directions you want to take your blog in, in the future?
I would like to post more art journal pages, and feature more art involving the everyday. That is where my heart lies, showing the beauty in the everyday.

Do you sell your artwork through your blog?
I sell my online lettering and doodle classes from Nickieblog.
I sell a little artwork, as I do have some greeting cards online.

You were published recently --
Yes! It was in Portals Zine, in Issue 6 which was about Art Journals.

Have you ever been featured in Arful Blogging?
No, but it would be a dream of mine!

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Blogging and the online art community opened up a whole world to me, and let me realize myself as an artist. It allowed me to make life-long friendships, like the one I have with you, Dawn, and lets me share with the world the things that feed my soul.
I highly recommend it!

Visit Nicolette at www.nickieblog.blogspot.com


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Blog Interview #7 ~ Jeanette Janson

Today we have the multi-talented Jeanette Janson
with us. I met Jeanette years ago through ATC swaps, and always loved her use of
layering and vintage images and the overall rustic quality to her work.
Good morning Jeanette, and thank you for agreeing to this interview. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a mixed media artist specializing in assemblage art. I collect items from the past and give them new life by recreating them into whimsical dolls, birds and other objects of art.
I do this full time from my home studio in South Carolina. I have a cockapoo dog, 2 lazy cats and a husband that helps me with a lot of my prep work. I have 2 sons, one in college and one is in the Army, currently serving in Iraq.

Why did you decide to blog?

I think buying art is an emotional experience and people want to know a little bit about the person who created it. Blogging is a way to bridge that gap.

When did you start blogging and do you remember what you talked about on your first post?
I think it was about 2 years ago -- I don't remember, to be honest. I don't think it was anything too earth-shattering, just a 'hello" and welcome to my blog.

What themes would best describe your blog?
Vintage, collectible, recycled artwork. I think my artwork and blog falls into those categories.

Do you prefer to blog with words or pictures or both?
Both, I think content is important ... the pictures should support what you are trying to say.

Do you ever blog when you don’t "feel like it"?
No, if my blogging ever turns into an "obligation" for me, I will stop. I've just programmed myself to share a little something every 2 or 3 days and that's what I do.

Did you have your blog professionally done and what are your plans for the future of your blog?
I did it myself, it's always a work in progress. My photo albums could use a little updating, but it seems to always be at the end of my to-do list. I would love to do more tutorials and of course continue to share more of my home renovation perils in the future.

What does your "About Me" read on your blog?
Thank you for stopping by today! I am a mixed media artist residing in South Carolina. I create assemblages, collages, art dolls and typewriter key jewelry. I have as much fun collecting my supplies as I do creating my artwork. I can be found at collectible fairs, auctions and estate sales up and down the coastline. Eventually I gather up everything in my studio and let my imagination run wild. I love to create whimsical little dolls and hangings out of seemingly useless items. I see the history and energy in these items and love to recreate them into things that can be enjoyed everyday!

What feature do you like the most about your blog?
My list of favourite books. I am a picky reader and have a hard time finding books I really love. But reading is an important part of my life, so I am always on the hunt for a good book. I love sharing this ever- growing list with my readers.

What is your blogger count at, at this precise moment?
About 60,000, but who's counting?

Do you sell your artwork on Etsy?
Yes, I sell my artwork on Etsy. Etsy has been a wonderful outlet for me.
I also have a vintage supply store.

Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers?
I would like to say "thank you" for taking the time to read this. Please stop by my blog when you have a moment and say "hello." I would love to hear from you. And thank you, Dawn. I appreciate you contacting me.
Jeanette's blog can be found at:
www.jeanettejanson.typepad.com

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Blog Interview #6 ~ Brenda Wampler, Memories & Treasures


Today we have Brenda from the blog Memories and Treasures with us. Thank you for joining us and agreeing to this interview. Let's start by asking you to tell us a little about yourself in a way of an introduction.
I am married to my soul-mate and we have been together for 18 years now. I have one daughter, Elizabeth who will be 21 in March. Incidentally, she was born on her due date. Does that tell you what kind of person I am? If it's on the list, it's gonna get done that day! [laughs]

How about art? What kind of art do you like to do?
As far as art is concerned, I have finally reached the time in my life that I am able to create on a daily basis, though sometimes chores and life get in the way. I am in several groups and participate in many swaps, as I am known to be a jewellery hound! I sew, solder, paint, collage, felt, crochet, alter; you name it, I've either done it or am trying to figure out how to do it! I [also] adore teaching classes. This year I really want to start dabbling in photography, and finding what I really, really want to do! [laughs] I do love all that I currently create, but I am still looking for that art form that just makes my heart skip a beat.

An art form that makes your heart skip a beat. I like that. Now let's move on and talk specifically about your blogging experience. First, when did you begin your blog, and why did you decide to blog?
I drug my feet for a very long time. Just wasn't sure how personal, and how arty I wanted to be. I finally just bit the bullet and started April 27, 2008. It has come along quite well. I do enjoy it, though at times I am just buried. I look at it as my form of a journal, though I do try to keep most of the personal out of it, but not all.

You named your blog Memories and Treasures. Where does the name come from?
I started my little business many, many years ago and selected that name because I adore using pictures in my work, and using those old treasures and memories to create new art. I firmly believe in creating with our hands, and all those creations should become a treasure.

So you say you like to use pictures in your work. Do you use them more in blogging, or do you use more words, or is it a combination?
I love using both. Especially the pictures, I think no story is complete without the pictures. I try to keep my words a bit short because I could really talk!

Tell us about meeting people through your blog.
I have met some simply amazing friends through blogging. It is a wonderful way to connect with like minds. I live in a small town, so it has really helped open the world up to me. One of the ladies I have met is Deb Taylor of Deb Did It. She is an amazing spirit. She live a little over an hour away, and I have had the pleasure of meeting her and spending some art play days with her. Because of her, I am trying to become a freer spirit myself. When I'm with her, I can't shut up! I just share everything when I talk to her. There is such a comfort level there.

What does your "About Me" read on Memories and Treasures?
"Self taught artist and teacher of many mediums. Lover of Life. Treading Lightly."

Have you ever been featured in Artful Blogging?
I so wish! But no, no one has elected me. But I have had the pleasure of being in many other publications. That has been absolutely wonderful.

Is there anything you would like to change on your blog and what directions would you like to take your blog in the future?
I want to create a new header/picture, but just have not taken the time. I want it to show more of my work, and what I am about. But, I spend too much time on the computer already, so I just haven't done it yet. I also need to add more blogs that I love to my links, but that also takes so much time. The future? I really want to get more into photography and digital alterations. I have been wanting to do that for many years, and some of the pictures I am seeing on other blogs makes me want to grab the camera and head out the door. I really want to be more "me" and what I love in the future. Of course that is more about my work, but I see my blog as a journal of my work. I do want to share more techniques, and how-tos. I just love to be able to teach others.

What words would best describe your blog?
That's a hard question. It really is hard to talk about myself. I would hope my blog makes others feel warm and welcome. And inspired! That is the most important thing.

What's your blog counter at at this moment?
I don't have a counter, thought about it, but decided not to. I do use the map tool, love to see where people are that are visiting me.

Do you sell your artwork through your blog?
No, I sell my work at shows, shops and in my Etsy shop. Though I do have a comment on my blog, that I am happy to recreate anything for anyone, just have to ask. I love to share.

Thank you for your time today, Brenda ~ any final thoughts?
As far as blogging, just do it! It is truly very simple, and I love the people that I have met through the blogging world. I have made some amazing friends. Ones that encourage and support my work. Plus each and every comment that I receive is like a little present wrapped in beautiful words. It places people from all over the world right at your door step. You just never know who you will meet, or what opportunity will present itself to you.
As far as creating, you must. You will be amazed at the peace that it gives you. It truly does help you find out who you are and it helps you get in touch to the real you lost in the daily grind of working and living.
Lastly, I want to thank you Dawn for this wonderful opportunity and interview. This is my first, and it has been amazing, so a big THANK YOU!

Visit Brenda at www.memoriesandtreasures.blogspot.com

Photos courtesy of Brenda Seaholm-Wampler, Memories & Treasures

Monday, February 23, 2009

Blog Interview #5 ~ Bessie & Bea, Creative Sandwich

Now from the realm of the completely unfathomable we present an interview with the ever-young, the ever-lovely, the ever-charming, Bessie & Bea of Creative Sandwich. Good morning ladies. How are you both doing today?
Bessie: Couldn't be better if I was a bee suckin' on some honey.
Bea:
I'm enjoying the sunshine and looking forward to spring. It's been a busy winter and I've been one busy Bea!

So tell us a little bit about yourselves.
Bea: Well, I'm Bea and I like to think big. Sometimes a bit too big, I'm afraid, as my reality never quite reaches the heights of my imagination. But that just means I always have something to aim for and it does keep things interesting as anything around my home. Mr. Bea never quite knows what to expect when he comes home from work ... there might be a new pile of Junque that needs a little TLC, or there might be a troupe of visiting Russian actors who have taken up residence in the Art Barn! Sometimes I feel it would be safer for all concerned if I just wrapped tinfoil around my head to stop the bombardment of "great" ideas from infiltrating my imagination. Bessie: Well that's alright Bea, dear. You're a genius, and a lot of folks just don't understand that. Now let me talk for a spell.
Bea:
Of course, Bessie dear.

Bessie:
I'm Bessie, but you already knew that. I am older than Bea, but no wiser. I enjoy altering and re-purposing stuff, garage sale-ing, blog hopping, promoting and encouraging the life artist --

Bea:
Oh Bessie, that sounds too too fancy-
schmancy!
Bessie: Oh alright. Bea and I love to wear hats and gloves, relishing the good old days. We also love glitter too, did I mention that?
How did you two start blogging together?
Bessie:
Bea and I decided that we needed to engage a larger group of like-minded, creative folks who love Art, Life and Food -- not necessarily in that order.
Bea:
Having a blessed life overflowing with fun and creativity is too much to keep to oneself. Blogging is a natural overflow of a life too full to contain!


So tell us about Creative Sandwich and how you came up with its name? Bessie: We officially started blogging last August (2008); Bea came up with the name. I think it's perfect because we take a little of this and a little of that to create a tasty bit of delicious creativity which we happily and wholeheartedly serve up to our adoring public.
Bea:
Also, having a little Art-House/Diner is a long time dream. Who wouldn't want to put on a fancy hat, dress up a little and jot down to the neighbourhood diner for some good old-fashioned home cooking --

Bessie:
Yeah, can Bea ever cook. She's a cooking genius!

Bea:
Why thank you Bessie.
Now where was I? Oh yes -- and while you're at the diner, having a scrumptious meal and a nice cuppa tea, wouldn't it be icing on the three layer cake; to meet up with the resident eccentrics and brilliant artists who add spark and love and joy to your day? Creative Sandwich embodies all that and our aim is a safe, quirky place to come and let your true colours light up the world!
Bessie:
I do adore your new blue hair colour, by the way Bea.

Bea:
Oh Bessie, I was wondering if you would notice. Bless your heart!


So, take me back on your very first post. What did you talk about?

Bea:
Why, I talked about what is nearest and dearest to my heart ... that we are all creative, beings that we have let ourselves forget that, and that we can all get in touch with our inner artist and make the world a more beautiful, expressive place. Today!

Do you prefer to blog with words, photos or both?
Bessie:
Bea uses lots of words. She has a real way with them. I like to mix it up a bit with plenty of photos. I must admit I do tend to ramble a bit once I get going, but I dearly love photos and simply cannot imagine a blog without them.

Have you met people through blogging?
Bessie: Absolutely!
Bea:
Many.


Can you describe a friendship you've established?
Bessie: I met Bea through the Internet, but we were blessed to live very close to one another; about 20-some minutes down the road, in fact. Bea is one of my dearest friends --
Bea:
Aww!
Bessie:
We really have so much in common. We both love spending time in the Art Barn during the warmer months. She likes to come up with grandiose art project ideas that "we" should do, that I usually end up doing. That Bea! She's quite the little motivator!
Bea:
Guilty as charged! Bessie and I have formed a life-long tie that I know will carry us through the ups and downs of life. We have both experienced heart-ache and loss since we've met, but the knowledge that "life is beautiful" and "a cheerful heart is good medicine" has helped us help one another through those rough spots. I should also add that it's also true that I often come up with ideas that are bigger than my abilities and Bessie dons her super hero cape -- or would that be apron -- and flies in to the rescue!

Your blog is certainly a pretty site. Did the two of you design it yourselves?
Bessie:
We worked on it together and have made a couple changes. Bea cooked up the spectacular sandwich that we're using on the blog's homepage right now.
Looks delicious, doesn't it?
Have you ever been featured in Artful Blogging?
Bessie:
Goodness gracious no. But we would thrilled beyond words it if that ever happened.

Bea:
Artful Blogging is such a wonderful, magical window into the lives of so many generous, talented and brilliant artists! Bessie and I LOVE the new connections and inspiration we get from perusing its pages and experiencing new blogs. It offers true epiphanies! We have not pursued the possibility of being featured, because it seems that living this creative life often gets in the way of blogging about it. In other words, we're a little too undisciplined; at this time anyway.


Bessie:
Besides, we keep a rather low profile -- don't we Bea?

Bea:
True, true.


What does your "About Me" read on your blog?
"Bessie and Bea met on the Internet (don't tell their kids) ... but they're starting to think they were sisters separated at birth .. just too much amazingness of fun and funk for one family."

What do you like the most about your blog?
Bessie:
Our charm of course! Oh, and our down home love and affection we share with our lovely readers.
Bea:
Yes Bessie, and the fact that we can encourage others to take little baby steps to fulfilling their artistic cravings, without being too serious or self-critical. We blog without guilt, without deadlines -- horrid word, horrid concept --
[Bessie chuckles]
Bea:
And we adore our lives as they are right now! We want others to have a place to come where they can feel free to do the same. There is no need to compete for artistic ability. Being published, purchased or pursued by the world is not our aim. Being free to express our creativity in a way that fits our lives and schedules is the point.

Bessie:
We should also mention Ruby --

Bea: Of course. Ruby!
Bessie:
We also have a special feature. Ruby Wednesday shows up unannounced on occasion. Ruby provides some scrumptious filling for our Creative Sandwich on Wednesdays--

Bea:
Or whatever day she decides to turn up.

Bessie:
Yes, whatever day she shows up, she comes with her wonderfully entertaining reviews of books that should have been. Our readers just eat it up!

Bea:
Oh a pun! Good one Bessie!


Your blog is fun and colourful now. Is there anything you would like to change at this point?
Bea:
I would like to have more time to blog, but life is what it is, and so I have to accept that. Seasons come and go. Winter is more structured than summer and after all, I'm solar powered.
Bessie:
I admit I get get on poor Bea's case about not posting, but dear that she is, she just ignores me. You may have to wait a while for one of her lovely posts, but she's such a Wordmeister, that it's worth the wait.

Bea:
Wordmeister?

Bessie:
Just made that up on the spot, Bea. You can use it if you like.

Bea:
Why thank you Bess, darling.

Bessie:
I'd like to mention that we do adore getting comments on our blog --

Bea:
And followers!

Bessie:
Yes, and we do enjoy seeing people follow our blog. There's a thing on our blog that you can click on and you'll be notified when anything happens on Creative Sandwich.


What words would you use to describe Creative Sandwich?
Bessie: Quirky, Humourous, Delicious and Tasty ... or is that Tasteful --
Bea:
Nah, probably not tasteful per se. [Both ladies laugh]
Bea:
The words I would choose would be Free, Encouraging, Accepting and all of the above!

Out of curiosity, what is your blog counter at?

Bea:
Earlier this morning it was 1,208. We consider ourselves an undiscovered gem in the Blogosphere.
Bessie:
Well put, Bea!

Bea:
Why thank you Bessie.


Do you sell your artwork through your blog?
Bessie:
No. Do you want to buy something? [laughs]
Bea:
I know that if you want a one-of-a-kind Faux Gogh chair, we can hook you up with an artist who does that!

Is there anything else you would like to say to everyone out there?
Bea:
We hope everyone will reject the ordinary bologna and Velveeta of life and add that special something that makes a truly original and delicious Creative Sandwich. Life is Sweet! Bessie: Enjoy it!

One last question --
Bea:
Oh dear, it's over already?
Bessie:
That went fast, didn't it dear?

Bea:
Yes dear -- uh, what were you asking us?


Who exactly are Bessie and Bea?
Bessie:
That is our little secret. Bessie and Bea are our alter egos.
Bea:
We chose the names Bessie and Bea from our family trees and our profile photo is of the actual Bessie and Bea. Bea is at the top and Bessie is at the bottom, if you care to take a look.

Thank you ladies for a most enjoyable, charming interview. Please visit Bessie and Bea at Creative Sandwich, according to the ladies, it's open 24/7!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Blog Interview #4 ~ Ruth Rae, Let the Beauty we Love be What we Do

Good afternoon all! Today we are talking to the lovely, the talented Ruth Rae about her blog. Hello Ruth, tell our readers a little bit about yourself ...
I've been married 21 years to a wonderful husband who brings me breakfast in bed on the weekends! For the last 19 years I have been afforded the luxury of being able to devote my days as a full time mother to my now teenage children. Over the last few years I have been busy much of my time creating art and writing books and articles for art publications about my jewelry and fabric art.

Wow. You certainly sound like a busy lady. So when did you start blogging?
When I first started to blog, (November 6, 2005), I had been doing a lot of art trades. I wanted to keep track of my artwork that I was giving away and a blog seemed like the perfect format.

You have a rather lengthy blog name: "Let the beauty we love be what we do" ~ How did you arrive at that name?
It's a part of a poem from my favourite poet Rumi. It encapsulates how I feel about life and art.

Do you blog with words, pictures or both?
My early blog posts were all about photos as I never considered myself very good with words but somehow over the course of 5 years of blogging I have found my voice and share both images of my work along with words.

I imagine you've met many people through blogging.
I have been blessed and have met many amazing people through my blog. My first book, A Charming Exchange came through an online charm swap and was a direct result of my creating a blog. Kelly Snelling was one of the participants in the swap and we became fast friends. One day Kelly called me and told me that she really thought that the swap could be a great book. I agreed and we proposed the idea to F&W Publications and happily our idea for the book was accepted.

Is there anyone else in particular you have really clicked with?
I would have to say the deepest friendship that I made through blogging is the one that I share with fellow blogger/artist Kristen Robinson. It was through blogger/artist Judy Wilkenfeld who happens to live in Australia. Judy was coming to visit California and was going to at long last meet up in person and she said to me in an email ... "You know I think that Kristen lives close by you" and low and behold Kristen lived about 15 minutes down the road! Kristen and I met for lunch one day and have been the best of friends there after. Blogging allows us to be able to make friends around the globe but it's a gift to be able to really connect and be able to spend time with kindred spirits over lunch and have great real life art adventures with!

Ruth, when do you think your art really started taking off?
In some way I feel that my art is just now really starting to take off as I have found my true v
oice in fiber art. However when I started my blog it was a way for me to keep track of art swaps that I was taking part in. I was very fortunate, around 2005 I was surrounded by many up and coming artists. Some how most of these girls have gone on to make strong statements with their art and have all become very recognized as art bloggers and most have been very privileged to have much of their work published. January 2006 [was the beginning of] an amazing Calendar Art Round Robin project that I was part of. Kathy Wasilewski organized this project. Twenty-four artists made up two groups. Each month in the mail we received a different calendar to work in. This project came to a close [at the end of] 2007. Those of us involved got to know one another through our art. I grew so much as an artist as each month came; I stretched a little each time just trying to keep up with the amazing artist whose art came before me in these altered calendar art journals. Through working in these books I wanted to create more with the group. This is how the Charm swap came to be that turned into A Charming Exchange book.

Do you ever blog when you don't "feel like it"?

When I first stared to blog I would post at least once a week any time I had something to share. But nowadays its hard as so much of my work is used in publications so it has to remain private until its been published but I make sure to blog at least a few times a month. It's important that we remain connected to our inspirations and that is what I try to remain focused on. I will share all aspects of my art but if I do not want to blog, I just don't do it.

Could you give us three words to describe your blog?
Sharing, Kindness and Inspiration.

Have you ever been featured in the Artful Blogging magazine?
Yes, i was featured in the second issue.

We're asking in these interviews about blogger counts. What's yours right now?
95,446

Plan on taking any interesting directions with your blog in the future?
I actually would like to do some video blogging in the future and also share more tips and how-to projects.

Is there anything else you would like to add about blogging in general, Ruth?
I have found that the blogging community is an extraordinarily supportive group. My art and I have both grown as a result of this interaction. Blogging is a great way to share your passion for whatever it may be. When you do what you are passionate about great things always seem to follow! It's amazing what a great social network blogs have turned out to be.
As artists, we spend a great deal of time alone so having a blog is a great way to share what we are doing. Fellow bloggers offer words of encouragement along with vital feedback at the same time. So if you ever wanted to start a blog, I would definitely encourage you to take the plunge!

Thanks Ruth for talking to us today.
To look at Ruth's books, check the following:

A Charming Exchange
Layered, Tattered and Stitched: A Fabric Art Workshop
and stop by her website too: www.ruthrae.com