Indie Artist Spotlight: Rommy Kuperus of RommydeBommy

When it comes to Rommy Kuperus’s foodie fashion accessories, you can have your cake and wear it too.

Totally calorie free, her fanciful, over-the-top creations break all the rules, definitely turn heads, and are just too much fun.

Fancy a candy roll purse, a waffle clutch, a fried egg brooch? No need to cry over spilled coffee when you can wear a matching coffee bean necklace.

Did you know it’s totally de rigueur to accessorize with baked goods? How do you think baguette got its name?

And poor pasta, always getting such a bad carbo-rap. Why not stash all your guilt in Rommy’s farfalle bow clutch?

While you’re at it, deck out your male friends in babelicious bow ties. Is there anything cooler?

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Indie Artist Spotlight: Dawn Treacher of Treacher Creatures

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Recently, while I was innocently browsing online, this adorable crocheted teddy bear winked at me.

Never one to ignore a mischievous ursine smart enough to get my attention, I knew I had to investigate.

I discovered he was created by plush artist Dawn Treacher of York, England, who designs and makes other Amigurumi animals like the bear, in addition to a wide range of sock animals, fleece plushies, and soft sculptures. Some of Dawn’s creatures are inspired by real animals (foxes, bunnies, giraffes, elephants, badgers, birds), while others represent wild flights of the imagination — brightly colored alien one-eyed monsters in odd shapes with elongated ears and limbs.

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Clearly this is an artist with a kid’s heart who loves to play. 🙂

All of Dawn’s Treacher Creatures are lovingly hand-sewn and one-of-a-kind. Each has a distinct personality. Whether sweet, comical, serene, endearing, cunning or coy, they’re bound to make you smile and wonder what they’ve been up to. Not surprisingly, Dawn is also an aspiring children’s book author and illustrator (in addition to being a fine landscape painter) — so maybe someday soon some of her creatures will have their own books!

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I’m happy she agreed to join us today to tell us more. You’ll never look at your socks the same way again. Enjoy!

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Indie Artist Spotlight: Sylvia of Puffin Patchwork

While looking for handmade Christmas ornaments last Fall, I happily discovered Puffin Patchwork on Etsy and instantly fell in love.

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Who could resist the beautifully crafted felt owls, kitties, Airedales and poodles (all with charming names)? Or the quaint little houses and layered hearts? I could tell by the meticulous attention to detail — the lovely embroidery and appliqué work — that everything was made with a lot of love and pride. I like Sylvia’s color sense and how she incorporates vintage fabric scraps and buttons in her pieces. And I like her endearingly neat stitches that give each item a distinctive handmade look.

 

In addition to felt ornaments, Sylvia makes wonderful wallhangings, coin purses and phone cases. She does all the designing, cutting, sewing, and decorating in her seaside home in South-west Ireland, and draws inspiration from the dramatic landscapes and colorful fishing towns. Sounds like an idyllic setting for an artist, don’t you think?

 

I’m so pleased to welcome Sylvia (a fellow Beatrix Potter fan!) to Alphabet Soup today. She’s been making and selling handmade for 30 years, and I know you’ll like hearing more about her inspirations and process. Thanks for visiting, Sylvia! 🙂

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chalk it up to lily and val

#49 in an ongoing series of posts celebrating the alphabet

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All images © 2014 Lily and Val

There’s something wonderfully nostalgic and old school about chalk art. I remember being so excited when it was my turn to erase the blackboards in grade school. Before clapping the erasers outside, replacing stubs with brand new sticks of chalk, and wiping the boards clean with a wet rag, I liked to “play teacher” with my own little scribbles and drawings.

Now I have three chalkboards in my kitchen: one for the grocery list, one displaying an inspirational quote for the week, the third to advise guests: “Feel free to wait on me.” 🙂 There’s also another chalkboard in our dining room, where I post the menu when we have company for dinner (it’s fun to “play restaurant”).

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No surprise that I fell hard for Valerie McKeehan’s charming hand lettered chalk art, which she features on prints, note cards, stationery, gifts and accessories. Naturally I love her kitchen-themed designs best — tear-off placemats, illustrated recipes, menu boards, foodie sayings. Lily & Val products are quaintly whimsical with that undeniable handmade-heartmade quality I covet, and are available via LilyandVal.com or at the Lily & Val Chalk Art Boutique on Etsy.

I recently ordered some note cards which arrived lickety split — I kind of hate to part with them, but will enjoy sending them to special friends. 🙂

Enjoy this little Lily and Val sampler. How can you resist?

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Indie Artist Spotlight: Kendyll Hillegas

Not too long ago, I was innocently browsing online when a jar of Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserves spoke to me:

Don’t you love my beautiful lines and shading? Look at my luscious rosy watercolors, my checkered lid. Do I not stand out from the hundreds of food illustrations you see every day?

The jam was spreading it on thick, but it had a good point. There was something pure and serene about its singular beauty. Detailed and realistic, it had that charming handmade quality I always fall for.

“Bonne Maman” is by Boston-based artist, illustrator and graphic designer Kendyll Hillegas, whose work “focuses on capturing the emotional and narrative significance of food and everyday objects.” Using a combination of colored pencil, gouache, and ink, she creates a delectable world of ooey gooey cakes, cheery popsicles, tempting doughnuts, cupcakes, and reach-out-and-bite-me muffins, breads, and bagels.

She invites us to appreciate anew the pleasing design of a bottle of San Pellegrino or Heinz Ketchup, the rumpled comfort of a bag of King Arthur Unbleached Flour. A bowl of soup, a stack of pancakes, a double scoop ice cream cone — we all have emotional connections to these familiar foods and like to hear and share good stories about them.

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