Sunday, April 27, 2008

Pretty Things Spotlight: * Madelaine *

The winner of the Madelaine print give-a-way is BEBEMIQUI...Congratulations!

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If you were to visit Madelaine in her home in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, she would probably be painting, sleeping in a pile of leaves, making a blood red cherry pie or off taking photographs of some obscure images with the camera that never leaves her person.

The photographic images of Madelaine are hauntingly beautiful. Unforgettable and sometimes disturbing imagery that stays with you, remaining in your consciousness and touching your very soul with the quiet story that each tells, if only by way of a whisper, a memory....

"I am very fond of red leaves, old suitcases and a boy named Critter. I like to walk in circles around people, find buried treasure and refer to myself in the third person."

Spotlight: Madelaine

Tell us about you... My name is Madelaine and I am 17 years old. I was born in Edmonton, Alberta (Canada), but now reside in the very small town of Thomas, in West Virginia. I have three brothers and one sister - I'm in the middle. I have bright red (dyed) hair and have for almost two years. I have a messy bedroom and I collect matchbooks (and matchboxes). I am very passionate about bread making, and my latest hobby is sewing dresses that actually fit me. I have been attending college part-time for two years, and will likely officially start college full-time this fall. My boyfriend's name is Christopher (often shortened to Critter) and our one-year anniversary is today (the 27th)!

What inspires you? I am inspired by words. In
songs, poetry, conversations, stories, or written on walls. Words inspire me immensely and once a particularly strong word or sentence grabs a hold of me, I can't stop thinking about it and writing it on margins of paper or on stick notes until I am able to express it somehow (photography, collage, painting or digital art). My favourite band is easily the Avett Brothers (their newer work is the best). Almost every other photograph was inspired by something from their songs. I like to look at books, websites and magazines, too (I subscribe to Domino and Martha Stewart Living). My favourite book is actually 13 books: The Series of Unfortunate Events.

Apart from creating things, what do you do for fun? I do cook a lot. I like to go on adventures in the woods, resulting in a lot of leaves/flowers or photographs. Pretty much everything I do results in a new creation on some level. Oh, I do watch TV....not productive at all.

What has been your most memorable moment selling your art? I'm not sure if there is a precise moment, but I really enjoy selling custom sizes to people, because I get to hear about their plans for it. Plus, after they order such a large size, I get to see it printed out larger than I would ever print on my own. I also really enjoy getting photos of my prints in people's homes. It's very exciting.

Any advice for fellow artists... Yes, my dear photographers, always carry your camera with you. You'll keep regretting it if you don't. Always trust your heart - if it tells you to trip the shutter, then trip the shutter!

If you were a super heroine, who would you be and why? I sometimes dress up a super hero(ine). I've adopted the name Captain Obvious because my brother calls me that a lot. My costume includes just-past-the-knee leggings (brown with orange polka dots), a black shirt and and a black cape. Plus a black mask that covers around the eyes.

Tell us more… Although my Etsy shop has a good bit of my work (mostly my most popular work), there are a lot of images that are simply not there. You can check out my other work on deviantART.

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Enter this week's give-a-way!

Oh my! Madelaine is graciously giving away one of her stunning photographic images...This week's give-a-way is 5" x 7" print of YOUR choice from her shoppe!

How to enter:
Take a peek into Madelaine's shoppe and comment here on what your 2 most favourite images are from all of her stunning photography. If you should be the winner of this week's drawing, Miss Madelaine will send you your first pick... or 2nd fave should your first pick be currently out of stock.

Most Important Details: If your favourite images are not part of your comment or some sort of viable contact information is not included, your entry will be disqualified. This contest is open to everyone. Winner has 3 days to contact me with their address. Give-a-way is shipped out via the artist. The winner's name will be drawn from a hat...the good ole' fashioned way to do things. One entry per person. All entries must be received by midnight of Saturday, May 3rd, 2008, PST.

Best of luck to you, my Pretties!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Freaky Friday...Michael Jackson is Back Again

I had to look twice when I came across this photo...Looks like another case of Michael Jackson and his kids on a balcony....right?

But, after reading the photo caption, I realised that it's actually Heidi Klum. Scary resemblance, huh?

Photo: People

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Free Advertising...

Have you heard?

...You can finally advertise here with Dirty Pretty Things to Ponder! And, right now, advertising is FREE!

Just scroll down the side of this page to see where your sweet little ad could be.

You'll always be in sight with the latest art, artist features, give-a-ways, celebrity gossip and more!

...Ahhh, the possibilities!


Image: Dunne & Raby

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Dirty Pretty Things to Ponder : THE BIG GIVE!


Lucky You!
What a wunderful surprise you've just happened upon!
This is the first time I've ever featured more than one ultra-talented artist and it just so happens that each artist this week is giving away one of their pretties in separate random drawings, meaning you have not only one, but SIX chances to win!

Enter each of the 6 features & give-a-ways!

And, here are most important details:
Each give-a-way must be entered separately for you to qualify for that give-a-way. All entries must be received by midnight, Saturday, April 26th, 2008, PST. This contest is open to everyone around the globe, but please leave a viable way for us to contact you. Duplicate entries will be deleted. Entries with no contact info and lacking the information requested will also be disqualified. Winner has 3 days to contact me with their address. Give-a-way is shipped out via the artist. Each winner's name for the 6 separate give-a-ways will be selected via a random number generator.

Best of luck to you, my Pretties!

Pretty Things Big Give: Element Clay Studio

Update: The winner of the Urchin Bowl by Element Clay Studio is PETRA!

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No, you're not seeing things, Heather Knight's Element Clay Studio WAS previously featured on Dirty Pretty Things to Ponder, but unfortunately, at that time, her give-a-way was not. So, as a special treat to you, we are now offering one of her Urchin bowls, inspired by some of the most quirky, magical aspects of nature now! YAY!
To see the original feature on Element Clay Studio, please visit here.

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Enter this Give-a-way!

How to enter: Look at the wunderful things in the Element Clay Studio Shoppe and comment here stating your most favourite piece from all the wunderfully quirky pieces and let us know why you love it! YOU MUST COMMENT ON THIS POST TO QUALIFY, not on the original!

Pretty Things Big Give: Across the Pond

Update: The winner of the sterling silver ring from Across the Pond is IRMA'S ROSE COTTAGE!


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Casey from Across the Pond always loved crafting, but never seemed to find time to make her creations a reality until recently. Lucky for us! ...And, if you were wondering about the name of her shoppe, she says that even though she was raised in the South, a little piece of her heart lies "across the pond" London.

What inspires you?
I'm mostly inspired by the materials I work with. I'm obsessed with beads, findings, gemstones, paper, fabric, and ribbon. When I get my hands on them, I love imagining what they could be, planning things out, and manipulating them into something beautiful.

What has been your most memorable moment selling your art?
Opening my Etsy shop was the first step on this journey, so I'd say that was the most memorable. I've only been open since this past November, but I've learned so much. I've improved dramatically at making my products, photographing and presenting them, and communicating with buyers. On Etsy, I feel like I'm a part of a community as well as a movement, which is just a great feeling.

Any advice for fellow artists...
Keep creating! It can get frustrating, but just find inspiration somewhere and keep at it.

Etsy Shoppe:

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Enter this Give-a-way!

Casey of Across the Pond is sweetly giving away one of her gorgeous rings, made entirely of sterling silver. It is intricate in design, but simple as it will go with everything, making it so easy to wear. The bead measures approx. 15 mm. It will be made in the lucky winner's size! Sweet!

How to enter: Look at the pretties in the Across the Pond Shoppe and comment here stating your most favourite as well as why you love it!

Pretty Things Big Give: Jared May

Update: The winner of the Jared May print is JEN {LazyCrazyJen}!

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Jared May is a photographer who believes in learning by trial and error. Through his ups and downs, his experience has evolved into the most beautiful and breath taking images. His mother taught him at an early age to embrace his imagination, and that has framed his idea-making in a large way. Therefore, he's always willing to try an odd idea with his camera, even if he's 99% sure it won't work. Lucky for us, because sometimes those ideas actually do work and make for some cool images.

Jared May
What inspires you?
In my work, I try to capture those things that I feel intensely. I like to capture feelings I'll want to revisit later. In a way, it's a diary of sorts for me, reminding me where I've been and who I was. I look for things I find beautiful or magical or just plain interesting. I like to try to develop themes.
As I look back on my work later, I begin to notice that I go through stages, and a lot of my work can be grouped into a few different time periods.

What has been your most memorable moment selling your art?
This one is easy. It would my first sale on Etsy. I had never sold a photograph before, and it was tremendously validating. I went for days with a giant smile on my face telling anyone who would listen, as many times as they would listen, "Hey, did I tell you I sold one of my photographs?" I still get a smile when I think of it. If my involvement with Etsy were to shut down tomorrow, I will have gotten more than I could have asked just from that one experience.

Any advice for fellow artists...
Do what is meaningful to you. Find like-minded people who appreciate and love your work - you can find them by looking for people whose work you love. Pay your bills some other way. Not that I know everything. :)

Etsy Shoppe:

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Enter this Give-a-way!

Jared is giving away a 5 x 7 print of his original image "Good Morning Kansas". This image will definitely inspire you as it envisions peace, hope and the power of solitude.

How to enter: Look in the JaredKS Shoppe and comment here stating your most favourite photograph from all of his eyecandy and let us know why you love it!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Pretty Things Big Give: Little Pieces of Art

Update: The winner of the sweet little ACEO by Little pieces of Art is MATILDA SUE!

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Brandy of Little Pieces of Art creates original artwork inspired by and created with vintage photographs discovered at estate sales and antique stores. Not given the privilege of learning their history, she creates a fictional story through layers of paint, ephemera, and many mediums... in order to breath life back into these individuals whose photographic records have been misplaced or forgotten. Visit her shoppe now for 10% off your entire purchase when you purchase 2 or more pieces {excluding the print section and custom work}.

What inspires you?
My inspiration comes from snapshots, with my favorite photos from eras that cover the1920’s -1950’s and 60’s. These years seemed to produce some the best candid shots, lovely family snapshots which captured a time when life seemed a little simpler. And… well, okay, I admit it, I love the 70’s they were a lot of fun (I was there) with the Polaroid camera and seemingly endless sunshine. Basically if you present to me a photo of an individual or group from any day in time, possibly posed or caught in a captivating moment. There is a very good chance that I will be inspired to build a collage telling a story around this person or group of people.

What has been your most memorable moment selling your art?
I did some commission work for a lady I work with, whose husband has ALS. She wanted to give him a special an
niversary present. I did 4- 5 x 7 pieces on clay board using numerous wonderful photos she provided. I was very moved by her story and very inspired.

Any advice for fellow artists... I have a favorite quote:
"Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work." -Stephen King
So, my advice would be to just keep on long as you don't give up, in time you will be successful.

Etsy Shoppe:

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Enter this Give-a-way!

Brandy of Little Pieces of Art is graciously offering one of her original ACEO cards created on 140 lb. Arches water colour paper. This gorgeous ACEO incorporates a copy of a vintage photo showing group of young people, acrylic paint, graphite and ephemera. It's size is 3.5" x 2.5". Sweet!

How to enter:

Take a peek into the Little Pieces of Art shoppe and
comment here stating your most favourite item from all of the pretties and why you love it!

Pretty Things Big Give: * Burgandy *

Update: The winner of the stunning earrings from Burgandy is AMANDA!


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Inspired by things ranging from the combination of paint colours on an old Victorian house to the beauty of the natural world, Burgandy creates stunning and elegant jewelry to be loved and treasured. Each wearable piece of her art is lovingly made by hand with gemstones that shimmer with brilliance and light.

What inspires you?
I have spent a lot of my time scuba diving and sailing, so the beauty of the sea is probably the most dominant force of influence in my work. My ideas are often largely inspired by my moods. I often just open my treasure trove of beads and just move things around until the colors almost come together themselves. I notice that when I am in a particularly positive mood my pieces emerge with no real rhyme or reason, they are simply colors woven together with no restriction, wild, colorful and fun. My peyote stitch pieces are more rigid and a result of the need to focus on something precise to take my mind off of whatever may be causing me stress…they show my more serious side, which is rarely seen, …therefore these pieces are far and few between.

What has been your most memorable moment selling your art?
This was a hard lesson learned. A woman was interested in one of my favorite pieces that took me hours to make...and the materials were quite expensive. Unfortunately, I had the piece for over a year and it had not yet sold, so I was desperate to sell it. Afraid to lose the sale, I told her I would take $20 if she paid cash, which she did. I still regre
t my haste, because the necklace was actually more than reasonably priced. I should have waited and sold it for full price. I'll never make that mistake again.

Any advice for fellow artists...
My advice is one of the things I struggle with… do not undervalue the time you spend creating something. If something takes 10 hours to make you need to charge for all of that time along with your materials.

Etsy Shoppe:

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Enter this Give-a-way!

Burgandy is graciously giving away a pair of her stunningly gorgeous earrings. The earrings shown are made with faceted red glass beads peeking out of filigree cones with faux brass lever backs.

How to enter:
Take a peek into
Burgandy's shoppe and comment here stating your most favourite item from all of her pretties and why you love it!

Pretty Things Big Give: Pepper Dog Designs

Update: The winner of the Pepper Dog Designs Mary Poppins clutch is This Old Henhouse!


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Lindsay of Pepper Dog Designs creates one of a kind, funky & vintage handmade handbags, aprons and pillows that you’ll want to check out. AND, she’s having a spring sale just in time to make room for all of her new products! Yay!

What inspires you?
98% of the time I am inspired by fabric. I go to estate sales looking for vintage fabric and love
combining vintage with everyday life. As far as the other 2%, it's a combination of the big city life and everything that comes with that (style, culture, creativity, etc.) as well as art. …And I am extremely passionate about finding beauty in things that typically aren't thought of as "beautiful".

What has been your most memorable moment selling your art?
I’ll never forget the first time I took my bags into the design office where I work. I was extremely worried that they wouldn't like them and, in reality, everyone went crazy for them. That really gave me the boost of confidence I needed to start running with what I

Any advice for fellow artists...
Make what you love and don’t care if people don't like it. Ultimately, everyone needs to do what makes him or her happy.

Etsy Shoppe: http://

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Enter this Give-a-way!

Lindsay of Pepper Dog Designs is graciously giving away her Mary Poppins Clutch, made of a killer laminated fabric. The clutch has a magnetic snap closure and lime green ribbon for your wrist. Miss Mary Poppins is 11 x 6"...what a perfect size for your lip gloss, celly and, yes, that Platinum American Express card! Ohh la la!

How to enter:
Take a peek into the Pepper Dog Designs shoppe and comment here stating your most favourite item from all of her pretties and why you love it!

Friday, April 18, 2008

The Sewing Room... In Silhouette

A new series now in my shop...

These pieces feature simple silhouettes of all of those things we designers and crafters can absolutely NOT live without. Each silhouette is hand cut of the finest paper and then adhered to a wooden frame with beveled edges. You can also personalise the colours to suit your room, studio or shoppe! ...Sweet!

Each piece available to purchase individually or as a set of 4 at a discounted rate in limited editions of 250.
Super Sweet!

Choose from these silhouette shapes:

Celebrities Without Makeup

We get programmed time and time again by the media to think that we have to be perfect like celebrities, models, ect... after they have been primped, prodded and dressed by stylists, makeup artists, hair dressers, etc...and their flaws "adjusted and fixed" by Photoshop editors. Really, celebrities ARE just like the rest of us.
We've all seen them WITH make up on, but let's take a look at what stars like Jessica Alba, Madonna, Beyonce, Eva Longoria, Pam Anderson, etc...look like with
the make up OFF!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pretty Things: More Shoe Porn

I have to say ...we're again all a*titter about some of the new shoes we've been seeing, even if they are reminiscent of shoes we've seen before.

The YSL-Rive Gauche platform stilettos look like a modern out-take on chopines worn by Renaissance folk in Venice
or the Japanese Geta sans the slatted wooden base...and so you know I'd love to try them out! See here.
If you were in the know of avant-garde fashion in the late 9o's, then you KNOW without my telling you that the Zanotti and Armani shoes shown have indeed been done before and are almost a blatant rip-off of the killer shoes that SKYE did back then.

But, anyway...I'm just so very happy that gravity-defying platforms and wedges are back in "fashion" along with some breath-takingly sweet stilettos...although I'll admit that I never gave any of them up anyway. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Pretty Things Spotlight: * Kat Roman *

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Congratulations! Mrs. Kwitty is the winner of the beautiful heart-shaped lock & key necklace by Kat Roman! Thanks so much to everyone who entered...and be sure to check out this week's super BIG give-a-way for 6 chances to win!

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Kat Roman ROCKS!

Really, she does...but, I have to admit that I'm biased when it comes to her and her cool, kick ass clothing, accessories, crosses and rock/punk jewelry.

See, we go waaaay back as friends, meeting during our fashion design days in New York City at the Fashion Institute of Technology {FIT}. We used to hang
together and I was always so inspired by the art that both she and her husband Freddie would create. They are such a sweet and talented couple and their space reflects all their love and talent.

"I like to think of myself as, rocker housewife / PTA mom extraordinaire... That's what makes things so fun and exciting."

Kat's work is indicative of someone who looks deep inside herself, her family, her surroundings and her culture for inspiration. Kat's love and expression of life is fully visible in her work too...and if you knew her like I do, you'd know exactly what I mean.

Spotlight: Kat Roman

*Tell us a bit about yourself… My name is Kat Roman. I was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, raised in Brooklyn and now live in Joysey. I’m married to a wonderful and inspirational man, Fred, and we have a 7-year old son named Alex. We also have a dog named Bloomer, a guinea pig named Little Whistle, Aquarium fish and a Koi Pond.
We’ve been in New Jerseyfor about 8 years. Fred and I decided to move here from New York when I was ready to hatch with Alex, because we wante
d our little one to have the picket fence suburban upbringing we never had.
I worked as a clothing designer in New York and after trekking back and forth to New York City, I decided to become a stay at home mom. Seven years later, here we are, living the life.

I have always had fashion running through my veins. Destined to create, it was no wonder that both my mother and grandmother are seamstresses. Before entering the realm of motherhood, I studied and received my degree from F.I.T. in New York City. I like to think of myself as a rocker housewife / PTA mom extraordinaire.

*What inspires you? Most of my inspiration comes from people, my surroundings, religion and things that remind me of when I was growing up in Brooklyn. I have always loved to watch people - I sound like a stalker. When I was younger I would sit on a bench or lean against a wall and just take it all in. It’s amazing how much you can get from your surroundings – colors, textures and smells. It enables all your senses to come alive.

*Apart from creating things, what do you do for fun?
I love to go on hiking trails with my son. We like to both rent and go to movies. I like to see art in any shape or form, street, parks, galleries or museums. Getting together with friends and family for a good laugh. But, most of all I love seeing the way my son enjoys makin
g art and appreciates it…this is just bliss for me.

advice for fellow artists… The only advice I can give a fellow artist is just enjoy this moment and make the most of it. Follow your dreams and just have fun! Create, Create, and Create.

*Anything else you’d like to add about yourself or your work…
I really enjoy doing all sorts of stuff – sewing, painting, jewelry making and crochet. When that creative juice gets flowing there isn’t anything that can stop me
from trying something new or just having fun. I am well known for creating tantalizing clothes that I like to wear. I like to pick kick-ass fabrics and use different mediums. There is no limit as to what I can create and am willing to experiment with.
That's what makes my things so fun and exciting.

Etsy Shop:

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Enter this week's Give-a-way!!

Only you have the key to my heart!
This week's sweet little give-a-way is a necklace by Kat Roman. It has a heart-shaped lock and key with a rose quartz charm for... LOVE!

How to enter:
Take a peek into
Kat's Etsy shop and comment here on what your favourite item is from all of her pretties! If your favourite Kat Roman piece is not part of your comment or your contact information is not included, your entry will be disqualified. Sorry, but 'tis true.

Most Important Details: All entries must be received before next Sunday's feature, meaning the deadline is to the very last most littlest minute and second of Saturday, April 19th, 2008, PST. This contest is open to everyone around the globe, but please leave a viable way for us to contact you. Duplicate entries will be deleted. Entries with no contact info will also be disqualified. Winner has 3 days to contact me with their address. Give-a-way is shipped out via the artist. The winner's name will be drawn out of a hat...the good ole' fashioned way to do things.

Best of luck to you, my Pretty!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Last Chance Entry...

This is your last chance to win this hauntingly beautiful print by Mike Pedersen!

Mike has graciously offered to give away a printer's copy of his new work entitled "Seventeen" as a sincere "Thank you" to everyone who has shown support for his work.

What a sweetheart to give such a gift as this is a fine quality print ready for framing. We have ours framed and over the mantel in the living room right now and it's just absolutely stunning!

Entries MUST be received by midnight PST Sat., April 12th.

So, if you haven't entered yet, click here to go to the original post and enter right this very minute. Be sure to read over what entry entails, make sure you leave a viable way for me to contact you and then cross your pretty little fingers and toes that I draw your name out of a hat as the winner.