Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Handmade Baby Shower Part 2: Pennant Banner

You know what I absolutely love about handmade? You can customize whatever you make to match any theme/colors etc.,
so when the more than eager mommy-to-be picked out her own invitations here, it was no problem to create decorations to match perfectly.
Here is a work-in-progress pic of the
"It's a Boy" pennant banner. My girl likes things with a modern flair, so I have to try and keep it simple and fresh!
I didn't feel like going out to look for polka dot paper,
so I made my own for the accordion fold flowers.
I punched 1-inch circles from different colored cardstock and adhered them to the white cardstock. To make the flowers, I followed the tutorial here.
Next, I think I'll be adding some animal friends to the solid pennants...will post more pics soon!

NCTriangle Thursday ~ Spotlight on Joanna Kapica

This is the first in a series of interviews featuring artists in and around the North Carolina Triangle Area, as part of NCTriangle Thursday here on the blog! Each month I will highlight one or two artists, so stop in often and enjoy getting to know more about Triangle talent!

This month, I had the pleasure of interviewing Joanna Kapica, owner of Joanna's FOTO, and oh, what a delight! Her photography is so captivating, you can't help wanting to know more about who's behind such artistry.

Joanna currently resides and works in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is a wife, photographer, knitter and book reader. Growing up on a tiny farm her parents owned, she was always close to nature, and always curious about it. This was the beginning of her way of seeing beauty in flowers and plants, that she is now capturing through the photographic process.

Most of her work consists of fine art pieces featuring the nature of North Carolina as well as some industrial pieces shot at local junk yards. The Hennen’s Observer - a local journal -recently featured her work and the Visual Art Exchange gallery in Downtown Raleigh displayed one of her pieces as part of their Imagine exhibition.

Now, let's find out more about Joanna!

1). Tell us one thing about you readers might be surprised to know.

When I was a small child, 2 or maybe 3 years old, I panicked when anyone pointed a camera in my direction. It wasn't for fear of not looking good on the picture, but somehow- the camera itself seemed to me very very scary. It is a good thing I somehow overcame that fear!

2). When did you take your 1st picture and did you immediately fall in love?

I have to admit I don’t remember the first picture I took. My parents had a very basic film camera that jammed film way too often to enjoy using it. And so I wasn’t really playing with it too much. After I got my first digital camera, I seemed to discover much more about how amazing photography can be. And this is when I started taking more and more photos.

3). What inspired you to pursue this for more than just a hobby?

My friend was my main inspiration. He encouraged me to do more, to not be afraid to go public with my work. And so soon after that I had set up my etsy store.

4). What sources of inspiration do you draw on for your work?

For me inspiration is easily found in objects around me. I tend to take many of my flora shots while walking through a park or garden. I am attracted by shapes and forms found in nature as well as in human-made items. Even though most of my work is set on photographing flowers and plants I also find pleasure in capturing pieces of scrap metal or old mechanic parts- that’s my Industrial Series. To me it seems that everyone has different way of seeing things and even though you will see plenty of photographs of roses for example, every photographer will try to capture a little bit different angle.

5). I noticed many of your photographs are close-ups, how do you achieve such beautiful close-in shots?

My main and favorite lens is my macro lens. Allowing me to get really close to the subject and reproducing it with beautiful sharpness, at the same time leaving the background soft. I use a few other lenses and accessories, which let me control the depth of field, control the focus by allowing me to point it to the specific area I want to show in my work.

6). Any tips for aspiring photogs?

Shoot, shoot, shoot and don’t be afraid to play with your camera. I think it’s really hard to learn photography by only reading instructions. I think this is the type of knowledge, where you have to know your equipment; it should be like the extension of your eye and hand. And as you are doing that, definitely don’t stop learning, don’t stop challenging yourself and discovering different techniques.

7). Are there any upcoming venues where our readers can experience your work up close and personal?

The closest event I am planning to take part in is the Durham Art Walk, April 17th-18th, 2010. For anything else I would like you to visit my blog and check the Events section- that’s where I post all current and future events.

Joanna's main portfolio is located on the web. All pieces are available for purchase through this site listed or through her etsy store.

You can also find Joanna on twitter and Facebook.

Monday, February 22, 2010

EtsyMom Monday ~ Handmade for Baby

In keeping with the handmade babyshower theme, I searched Etsy to find out what my EtsyMoms have handcrafted to shower baby with love. These baby-boy inspired gifts take you from play, to meal, to bath and sleeptime:

You know I'm a sucker for a good hat...isn't zbelle's crocheted newsboy hat the cutest?

Won't baby be stylin at snacktime with this "Spa Lolli Polka Dot" bib by paisleybaby???

NewEnglandGifts created the perfect hooded towel for snuggling baby after bathtime!

Have this noahbabyboutique's cozy mini blanket ready to the yummy chocolate and blue colors!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Handmade Baby Shower: Part 1

It's A Boy!!!!!

One of my closest girls in Maryland is having a baby, so I have the pleasure
of helping plan her shower!

So you know that means it's gonna be a HaNdMaDe affair...
over the next couple of weeks

I'll be showing you what I'm working on and how it all comes together...
hopefully you'll enjoy the ride!

In lieu of a traditional guestbook, we plan to let the guests
decorate mini "birthday" cards for the baby

and give them to mommy-to-be. I loved this idea so much I thought
it would be nice to have a place for mama to
store the cards and a few pics.

So, when I saw this Maya Road chipboard binder

I thought it would be perfect! Here's a work-in-progress pic: I'm covering the pages with Bazzill

cardstock in colors to match her "King of the Jungle" theme and sanding the edges with my

Basic Grey precision file set (no scrapbooker should be without these!)

Lovin' the envelopes for her to tuck the cards into. Next, I'll be finishing the book,

making about 30 mini cardstock cards and a pennant banner. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

NCTriangle Thursday ~ Fruity Finds!

Today's finds were inspired by my sweet tooth...don't worry, for those that follow Lent, these fruity finds are all non-edible goodies crafted by my NCTriangle Etsy team-members!

Wouldn't you love to smell the tart blend of Blackberry, Goji Berry, Sweet Valencia, Pomegranate, Loganberry, Gooseberry, Vanilla Cream, Sugar Musk, and Musk that
karenssoaps has used to create her Goji Berry soap?

and what baby doesn't need a soakproof bib,
especially this juicy-colored one from Koolbeenz!

Can't you hear the soothing sounds from this Lemondrop Wind Chime by DinnerTimeChimes? Visit to hear a sampling!
Dress up those jeans with this "Trailing Cherry" Reversible Fabric Belt by the imcomparable megrnc.

and this all natural Lemon Cream bar looks too divine to be soap! tgurleybathandbody, are you sure this isn't edible?

Don't forget a Pink Lemonade coffee cuff for those who love a good cup of joe! I've heard jenngee's customers crave these cuffs as much as they do their mocha!

Monday, February 15, 2010

EtsyMom Monday ~ Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle

I love seeing the many different ways my mamas are crafting eco-friendly finds on Etsy!

I love the way GemmaBeads turned this vintage
typewriter button into a pendant!

if you're looking for a unique gift for that special tot, look no further than these fantastically fun sweater balls from handmadepretties!

for anyone who loves denim, clairebabydesigns created this
fun and funky cuff from leftover denim

baby shower season is fast-approaching and this super-soft giraffe hat is perfect for a wee one! Whimsiedots ensures the highest quality in upcycled apparel by using cotton blend clothing.

and these candylicious apple green and brown
Mary Jane's would look cute on any baby's feet!

Tired of all the bows and frills? Adorn your daughter's hair (or yours!) with seedandsprout's lovely layered hair clip fashioned from bits of left-over designer fabric and eco-spun felt (made from recycled plastic bottles!)

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Easy Peasy Valentine Card/Mini Album from Cardstock Scraps!

First off, let me apologize for these less than stellar pics...I've been experimenting with the settings on my camera and somehow changed something and can't figure out what! Anyhoo, I fell in LoVe with this eco-friendly Kenner Road tutorial , which uses cardstock scraps to create a quick mini album, and you will too!
I adored it so much that I adapted it for Valentine's cards this year. All you need to do is cut your cardstock cover to the size that you desire...My card books are 6 x 6 and 5 x 8 inches.
Then gather your cardstock scraps, cut them into rectangles (different sizes work well!) and fold them in half. Stitch the spine of your book to hold it all together and it's ready for you to add pictures, journaling and embellishments!
Gabrielle Pollaco's beautiful blog, Such a Pretty Mess, inspired this flowered heart. I found this scrapbooking goddess on my beloved 2 Peas in a Bucket Gallery. To make the heart, I hot glued prima paper flowers to a heart I cut from pink adhesive-backed felt.
The different-size pages make the layout fun!
For this cover I tore strips of paper and cardstock and stitched them to the front.
I love tall, skinny cards!
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Monday, February 8, 2010

Etsymom Monday ~ Splash of Spring Color

It's EtSyMoM MoNdAy! This week we're taking a peek at
what the lovely mamas have created for SPRING...
who needs CaNdY when you have
all this SWEETNESS!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

NCTriangle Thursday ~ I Heart You

It's NCTriangle Thursday and today I'm showcasing
some of this Etsy team's beautiful handcrafted jewelry designs
that I would love to have for Sweetheart's Day...
hope hubby reads this post and buys me some!!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Etsymom Monday! All You Need is Love

Changes are coming to my blog! The 1st is a weekly Etsymom Monday spotlight on the wonderfully talented Etsymoms, talented artisans who handcraft their unique items with love! Check back on Thursdays for a feature on the NC Triangle team's beautiful designs!