Monday, August 22, 2011

Moving the party to facebook

Hello friends, we have decided to move the East Valley Artisans party over to our facebook group page. Since we are on facebook sharing blog posts, pictures, works in progress and upcoming events we decided to focus our efforts on our group page. We are a bunch of busy artists and think this will be the best way to communicate in real time with you. We hope you will join the fun over on our facebook group page!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Grateful, oh yes, I'm Grateful

Sometimes you need a prompt for journaling.
Consider this:

Reasons why you are grateful

Yolanda Nussdorfer is a member is East Valley Artisans. She is an artist and an creative journaling mentor.  Her website is

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Daughters grown in a garden of love

I was delightfully commissioned to do a painting for a baby girl's nursery. The mother doesn't have a specific theme or color palette for the nursery so, I focused on creating something girly and filled with beauty and of course flowers came to my mind but, I didn't want to stop there - I added some loving words about daughters, I think it adds just the right about of sweetness to the painting.

Want to commission me to create a special painting for you?  Please feel free to email me to discuss your project. To see more of my work visit my artwork page.

Guest blogger Kristen Fagan of Creative Stash. Graphic Designer by day. Mother, wife, painter, jewelry artist, bookworm, cook and all around crafty gal by night. Contact her at krisfagan [at] cox [dot] com.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Celebrating my birthday with a sale!

 August is my birthday month and I am celebrating my 33rd birthday by offering you a coupon to save 33% off anything in my shop. Simply enter code BDAY33 at checkout.

Guest blogger Kristen Fagan of Creative Stash. Graphic Designer by day. Mother, wife, painter, jewelry artist, bookworm, cook and all around crafty gal by night. Contact her at krisfagan [at] cox [dot] com.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Creative Journaling, for Beginners

Creative Journaling is a process which allows for relaxation, stress relief and creative flow.  If you are unfamiliar with this form of art journaling, I have outlined some key points for the workshops I teach below.

First you will be given a prompt and then guided through the process of creating a page. The process of journaling is naturally stress- relieving, which releases endorphins, which makes you feel good.  

Start your page off by writing down some words or painting color on a page. During a workshop you will be continuously guided through the creation process but if you are on your own you can  listen to music, read a poem, or reflect on your day; you can use anything for inspiration.  Continue creating on your page, anything that comes to mind, follow what the page is trying to say to you.  Highlight any words that stand out from your writing, doodle around the page.  Add shadows with a charcoal pencil or outline with a black pen.  Above all, have fun.

Yolanda Nussdorfer is an artist and creative journaling mentor. She is also a member of East Valley Artisans.
Her website is

Sunday, July 17, 2011

5 word Art Journal Prompt

Today I played a little in the journal.  I took the first five words that popped into my head. Then, created a poem using the words or variations of those words.
The words were rollingcreatecoldfallshine.  Here is what I wrote.

Falling from water
Rolling, creating waves
There it shined
in the coldness.
It was a fun little exercise and I enjoyed how 5 simple words led me to this piece.  I can't wait to try this one with students!
Yolanda Nussdorfer is a member of East Valley Artisans.  She is an artist and creative journaling instructor.  Her website is

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Exploring Watercolors

I have wanted to play with watercolor paints for awhile so, when Alisa Burke (one of my favorite artists) recommended the Koi Watercolor Field Sketch Set on her blog I placed it on my wish list and last month I finally bought it! I don't have any watercolor paper yet so, I made do with my current sketchbook for now just to play.

Watercolors have always intimidated me a bit because I love to work up lots of layers of paint and watercolor doesn't quite work that way. After my first session I am a little more comfortable. I feel like I used the paints in a very "acrylic" way but, part of that is probably do to my paper. So, the next time I am art supply shopping I will have to pick up some watercolor paper to further explore. For me, trying something new is always a welcome challenge.

Have you tried any new materials or techniques lately? Please share your experience or a link in the comments, I'd love to hear about your explorations!

Guest blogger Kristen Fagan of Creative Stash. Graphic Designer by day. Mother, wife, painter, jewelry artist, bookworm, cook and all around crafty gal by night. Contact her at krisfagan [at] cox [dot] com.

Monday, June 27, 2011

How is Everyone Handling the Heat?

It's been very hot over in our house recently, so I have not been able to torch (which is driving me nuts!).  Since torching is not an option right now, I have been trying to keep myself busy with other things, like sorting beads, organizing my findings and such, and trying to keep up with blogging, etc. (at least in the evenings when it's cool enough in the area where my computer is located.)  I have also been playing a lot of Wii games with my son during the day.  He has a window air conditioner in his tiny room and it's fairly cool in there.  It is fun to play but I am getting really tired of not "working:".  Ideas are still filling my head daily and there are so many things I want to try, want to perfect and want to experiment with.  I can't wait to get back to it!
What has everyone else been up to?  I hope everyone is staying cool!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day

I have completed my Dad's Cubby bead.  I think I will call him Jerry.  He turned out pretty well, even if his smile is a little like the Joker's from the old Batman cartoons!  Hee, hee!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Father's Day with their family and friends.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Special Requests?

Do you accept special requests for your art?  Time, equipment and experience permitting, I always try to.  Since I am not bogged down with constant orders, I usually have free time in which I can fit a request or 2 in.
Also, being as versatile as possible, I consider some requests to be a real challenge and helps my art develop into realms which I never thought I would go.  There are even several designs for new pendants and beads which came out of requests from family and friends and are now some of my best sellers.

Ideas can also just come from "suggestions" from customers or just chatting in general.  If something sounds interesting enough to me, I will give it a try.

Just recently, I came up with a new design by just chatting with my hubby.  I called him Jeremy, a big toothy grin with a baseball cap.  I am thinking now of doing a whole set, calling them the "J Team", naming them all with "J" names - - should be cute.  My mother also saw this bead and now I have the "challenge" of making one wearing a Cubbies cap for my Dad.  Being a life-long Chicagoan until his retirement to Arizona, he's always been a fan of the Cubs.  I now have to study their logo and figure out how to transfer that image into glass.  I hope all comes out well with it and I will post a picture of it when it's done.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

What stone is that anyway?

I’ll give you a hint. They have incredible bands and patterns, come in a wide variety of beautiful colors, found all over the world, and each one is completely unique. Give up? The answer is Agate. Agates are semi-precious gemstones that form layer-by-layer within a hollow cavity of a host rock. Although any old host rock will do, most agates are formed inside lava rocks. The colors and patterns of Agate are directly influenced by environmental changes (i.e. temperature or pressure). Agates can be found in every color of the rainbow; however blues and greens are rare to find.

For thousands of years people have touted Agate for having a wide range of metaphysical properties. Some of the reported capabilities include stabilization and cleansing of the aura, prevention of insomnia, promotes positive dreams, improves concentration, memory and stamina, relieves allergies, enhances creativity, makes you more persuasive, and protects against danger. Because Agate is the birth stone for Gemini, it is said to have the most positive effect of those born into this zodiac sign.

In ancient times, Agate was used as weapons, tools, mortars and pestles, as well as carved into bowls because of its hardness. We may not use Agate to create weapons and tools these days, but they do create beautiful pins, marbles, beads, brooches, and more.

-By Guest Blogger: Bead Girl Jewelry

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Earth Laughs in Flowers

My dear friend and long time coworker, Sara, is marrying to her love Josh later this year and I am working on their wedding invitations (yay!).  They are planning a beautiful wedding in their garden so, I thought a good place to start would be with, well, their garden! Lucky for me Sara has shared loads of flower pictures from their yard on their blog so, that's where I went for inspiration. 

Above are Sara's pictures and below are my first round of digital illustrations.

These flowers were truly a joy to draw! I have a few favorites for sure. It has been so nice to have a reason to illustrate. They have lots of orange trees and rose bushes which should be in bloom for the wedding so, we have decided to focus on those two plants in particular. Stay tuned for round two of sketches. I love weddings and flowers so this project is a win-win as Sara & I would say ;)

 Earth laughs in flowers.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Hamatreya"

Guest blogger Kristen Fagan of Creative Stash. Graphic Designer by day. Mother, wife, painter, jewelry artist, bookworm, cook and all around crafty gal by night. Contact her at krisfagan [at] cox [dot] com.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Expanding our Horizons

   My hubby was watching the Sharks show the other day.  If you don't know the show, it's about ordinary people who have small businesses or patents and they try to sell their idea to 4 or 5 rich business people to gain investments and/or partners.  It could be pretty brutal!
   I am not sure of the product in this case, but one of the "sharks" said, "Don't you know that people are not buying jewelry these days?"  (I am assuming it was a jewelry-type item).
   That got me thinking that maybe it's time to expand my horizons.  I have been mostly sticking to beads as my main venue, but now it's probably time to incorporate some other items besides "jewelry".
   In these hard economic times, we cannot have "all our eggs in one basket", so they say.  It's time to expand, innovate, and think of new ideas to boost our businesses as well as our artistic talent.
   In my case, being a lampworker, I have decided to make murrini (little chips of glass with designs or pictures in them) as a item to sell to other glass workers who use them.  On top of that, I would also like to place more focus on creating little figurines (animals, faeries, dragons, etc.) that are stand-alone art pieces (not beads), as well as paperweights (mini ones) and/or marbles.
   To kick off my "new outlook", I am working on the eye murrini which I made to make little glass doll eyes.  I will probably still try and make those (they are pretty tough, being so small - some as little as 2mm round!), but also, they could be cut into murrini to sell to anyone who wants some cool eyes in their beads or glass art pieces.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ahoy Painting


I just shipped this sweet little sailboat to Colorado. This was a commissioned 8x10 painting made for a baby boy's nursery based on this Ahoy Mate NoJo bedding set.

Here is the progress from start to finish.

At first I was thinking about a border and using the words ahoy! but quickly decided I would simply paint the sweet little sailboat without cluttering it up.

I love to take commissions. Working together to produce something you will love and that will have personal meaning to you is very fulfilling!  

Want to commission me to create a special painting for you?Please feel free to email me to discuss your project and receive an estimate.

Guest blogger Kristen Fagan of Creative Stash. Graphic Designer by day. Mother, wife, painter, jewelry artist, bookworm, cook and all around crafty gal by night. Contact her at krisfagan [at] cox [dot] com.

Friday, May 20, 2011

What a GREAT Week!

Been a really good week for me so far (except for that little Copyright Infringement issue). My alien head bead went up in space on the shuttle Endeavor and I am back up and running with my new studio. It's not totally completed yet, still have ventilation issues, but at least it's workable (for me, anyway).

So since Sunday, I got my purple bubble heart beads done for a Beads of Courage order and I started making some doll eyes (which I hope may be a little niche of good sales - wish me luck!)

I am excited to get back to melting glass and am hoping to do some experimenting and "playing" to see if I come up with any new designs.

All the best!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Love your Art Journal- Tongue Twisters

I just started an art journal and I am already loving it. It is a great way for me to spend just a couple of minutes doodling, painting or revisiting the day. I am not a huge writer, just a few words works for me. So this journal is the perfect thing for me to just scratch down a few words.
Today my kids were working on their tongue twisters. We had a great laugh, one of those moments you want to store in your memory bank. So, I took a few moments to create an entry.

Yolanda Nussdorfer is a mixed media artist and member of East Valley Artisans.

Friday, January 28, 2011

EVA wins Etsy grant!!!

Hooray for EVA! Etsy announced the January team grant winners and the East Valley Artisans were awarded a grant for marketing materials, fees and items related to setting up a booth at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market! Goooooo team! AND a big THANK YOU to Etsy for making it possible. Now we are entering the planning phases and will be back with reports on our progress!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New EVA Logo!

As we gear up for an exciting new year, with new goals, hopes and dreams we are also starting the year off with a new group logo designed by me! If you have not yet checked out the East Valley Artisans on Facebook please take a look! We share sales, works in progress, new items for our individual shops, EVA group events and we can communicate personally with you. Please stop by and "like us".

Guest blogger Kristen Fagan of Creative Stash. Graphic Designer by day. Mother, wife, painter, jewelry artist, bookworm, cook and all around crafty gal by night. Contact her at krisfagan [at] cox [dot] com.

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