March is coming in like a grouchy old lion...Yes!

I didn't see any froliking lambs today..so thats supposed to be a good thing isn't it? Or am I mixing adages. Whatever the case may be, it's a chilly grey miserable wet day and I am venturing no where.. Stay warm.


Artisans to note..

It's great relaxation to take a little ramble around on Etsy, (a site for artisans and hand-crafted items) and ogle all of the talent that's out there. I very rarely manage to do that without actually shopping mind you... 'MarmeeCraft' is one of the shops that caught my eye the other day. Charming whimsical drawings full of colorful imagination, each printed on quality velvet matte Epson paper.The artists witty style is evident in each of her sweet drawings. The signature stretched necks of her characters are enchanting...seemingly to view the world from above the snarl of life and give us all a tasteful dose of old fashioned whimsey.
Thanks Marjorie for being part of 'Artisans to note'...

Tell us how you began as Marmee Craft?

I’ve always had a love for vintage and antique things….stories, literature, fashion, fairytales. When I was 15 or so I became enthralled with the Victorian era after reading Little Women….and I’ve come back to it again and again in my life since then…Snippets of lavender water, faded calico, corsets and crinolines creep into my daily life and my art. So when I found Etsy and decided to venture forth with my little cottage industry I took on the name Marmee Craft (after our sweet kitty, Marmee, who is named after the beloved character in Little Women).

Your whimsical creations are full of warm wit and humour. I think my favorite of your prints has to be 'the Precarious Uniwig' ! What or who inspires your work?

Thank You! : ) I’m very inspired by Victorian fashions (I reproduce them in my spare time….I’ve even got my own cage crinoline…but that’s another story) as well as 19th century folk art. I also love awkward beauty and surrealistic/symbolic portrayals of girls, animals and nature…I was infatuated with the Pre-Raphaelites when I was in school. Other things that inspire me to create are music and films as well as the odd little stories that my mind makes up throughout the day! Oh…and of course anything cute and furry….I love animals and I think I may, indeed, be that proverbial crazy cat lady!! ; )

What are your biggest obstacles regarding your art and what have you done/are you doing to overcome them (it).

I think one of the biggest obstacles that I struggle with is the feeling of being an “outsider” to the art world, so to speak. Though I took a year of art training in college, my actual degree is in Literature and Philosophy….one of those nice Liberal Arts affairs. Not knowing what to do, or rather the traditional/formal way to do things with my art has actually been more of asset than an obstacle…I can do things the way that I feel is the right way, and not do something just because “that is the way it is done”. It’s very freeing, I find. : )

What is it that you enjoy most about your work?

Colour, pattern, texture….the smell of the wool roving I use to felt, the sound of the birds twittering away outside my little studio window while I work, adding that little glint of light and life into the eyes of the girls and animals I paint, being able to be home when my husband comes home and have a nice homemade supper, knowing that a little piece of my heart is shipped out along with each creation I send to customers all over the world….to places I’ll probably never even go. It’s amazing to think that something I created and poured love and life into will spend it’s new life with a lovely person in Australia, or Singapore, or London, or Texas or Rome….it just makes me feel so warm and fuzzy!!

It can be difficult to work at home. Do you have a separate studio that you can go to or do you designate part of your home to your work.

We are very lucky…the house we are renting now has a spare room that has been designated as my little sewing room/ studio….I’m ever so thankful for that space! : )

How do you schedule your day?..whats a typical productive day like for you.

Hmmmm…..let’s see….well, early mornings are usually reserved for checking e-mail/Etsy convos, responding to questions, updating my little blog and catching up on other’s. Then I usually spend mid-morning to lunch working in the studio. After lunch I check back on e-mails, print postage, package orders, and relist prints that have sold (if it’s a particularly busy day) and then head back into the studio until it’s time to venture out to make supper. I usually do sketches and work out ideas for new paintings and dolls in the evening. Of course, I’m not a crafto-bot, so this changes to suit the day….that’s the beauty of working at home…if I need to change something (like do load of laundry, bake cupcakes, or take a day off with my husband), I can! : )

Is there anything else about yourself or your work that you feel you would like us to know?
Be Sweet and Happy…and enjoy your tea and cakes! And thank you so much for the opportunity to be featured on your lovely site!

To see more of Marjories work take a look at her site on Etsy at 'MarmeeCraft' or here on her blog, 'My Cosy Little Whimsey Nook' ..Trust me, it's worth the visit! Much more to see than prints and if you hurry, you might even catch her sale...

Are you interested in reading more features from 'Artisans to Note'? ... see more here


I think I smell Spring....maybe

I'm yearning for Spring and all the things that go with that...we've got lots of water running in the streets but that's the extent of it so far. Spring is a long time coming in this part of the country. We'll still be dreaming about it while some of you are out in your shirt sleeves smelling the crocuses.

I made this little egg set of handmade glass beads the other day...gorgeous glass! an opal glass that changes in the flame from a creamy pale yellow to a rich decadent caramel color.

Up for auction on Ebay from 2/18 through to the 23rd.


the color of Spring

So these are some of the colors for Spring and Summer 2008! so say Pantone, the leading authority on color trends in both the fashion industry and home decor.
I'm not sure how they arrive at these results but I do consult the site from time to time just for interest sake. Okay, I admit it.. I've purchased glass rods using their color charts before. But they were colors I loved anyway.
I did my living room walls in a blue-y shade of sage a couple of years ago and I still love the color. I don't know if that color was blessed by Pantone the year we painted those walls but I've been happy with them.
What do you think..do you think you choose your colors or does the media choose them for you?
'Daiquiri Green'... wasn't that 'Lime' in 2005?


We always go back to our roots..

Dad and Mom in the Fabulous '70's

When I began this all, several years ago now..I named my little business 'SweetWater' Designs as a tribute to my beloved Dad who we lost to cancer in 1995.
The year I turned 14 my father did something many people just think about doing. He left a secure 9-5 job and a house he'd built with his own sweat to follow his lifelong dream of becoming a rancher. He packed up his family of 8 and moved us from the lovely Vancouver Island to 2400 acres of pristine land on a remote northern corner of British Columbia. He promised us adventure and crunchy snow...and that's what we got. I never did take to the crunchy snow.
There was an underground stream of crystal clear water that bubbled up out of the earth year round and because of that Dad named his ranch 'SweetWater'. (He was an avid Louis L'Amour reader.)
My father was a constant encouragement to his children and I like to imagine that he continues to watch over and take pride in our accomplishments and adventures. I miss him still.

It's been a few years and a few changes since I first began flame work and I now sell my jewelry designs under my own name at www.deborahjlambson.com however, familial elements are core and you will always see my Sweetwater roots in some shape or form.


whew..well that was painful..

It's a lot of work getting a site up and running.
I'm exhausted.
..But here it is finally and I'm pretty happy with it.
Sweetwater Designs~Handmade glass beads