Monday Modern Nature: White Earth Studio

This week the modern nature feature is incredibly elegant and stunning in design and form. The artist, Nancy Monsebroten, is a veteran porcelain artist who hails surprisingly from Wisconsin. Though, she has an impressive and extensive education that has led her through numerous locales and countries. Online you can find Nancy’s work under the shop name “White Earth Studio“. I believe the following images should be all the impetus you need to visit her shop to view more of her gorgeous, organic porcelain. I myself will be filling my piggy bank and putting several items on my own personal wishlist.


It’s my anniversary! Win FREE advertising!

The contest is NOW OVER…I will be notifying the winners shortly and will post the results in a day or so. Good luck!

It’s almost the 3rd birthday of this blog.

From February 1, 2007I spent hours getting my jewelry web-site together. In doing so, I decided I’d really like to put up an art/fashion blog too. So here you go….a blog!

It’s grown a lot since 2007, but my original purpose has mostly remained the same. Though it has changed colors, layout and even names somewhat I still try to showcase great handmade art, share some of my studio spotlights, and write about what I find interesting in music, nature, fashion, design and sustainability with the hopes that it is interest and relevant to you too. For years, I’ve tried to offer Cleveland as well as international artists some exposure, and now I’m upping that exposure to another level.

For the first time ever I am giving away some FREE advertising.
3 winners will randomly be chosen to win free ad space for their etsy shop, or online web-site.
I will also choose a 4th winner based on my favorite idea for for this blog (which I may incorporate)
Winners will be contacted to send me 150X150 (.jpeg format please, and no animations) along with the URL they would like it linked with. It may look something like the following

The ad will begin February 1 and run for 3 MONTHS!!! (That’s a long time!)

Here’s the details on how you can win.

Leave a comment after this post and tell me:
1. What is your favorite thing about this blog? (Your favorite post, your favorite feature, etc..)
2. What would you like to see more of, if anything?

Be sure that you are able to leave your e-mail address, or shop address so I can contact you. The contest ends January 27th so be sure to get your entries in before the deadline.

**I will also give you an extra entry if you tweet or blog about this contest so just enter the link in the comment as well.

Friday Favorites: It’s a Snow Day!

If you don’t happen to see your favorite activity, by all means leave it in the comments…I’d love to see it.

Here’s a few items perfect for this snowy day. Today I’m all the Friday favorites are from Cleveland Handmade members.

SNOW pillow, $12.50 from Daydream Designs

Sterling Snowflake Pendant, $28.00 from Metalworks Jewelry

Snow covered slate roof photograph, $8.00 from Photohale

Swarovski Crystal Snowflake Necklace, $19.00 by Brittany Chavers

Snow Lovers Beanie, $30.00 by LazyTCrochet

Pointed Snowflake Original ACEO, $11.50 by LifeNeedsArt

No Trash Talking about Green Goods

If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you’ll know that I recently moved, and am a fan of green living.  Of course, I’m not the best at this green living stuff.   I’ve been reading up in my recycled paper book of “green” ideas of course, stocked up on vinegar and baking soda, and purchased my very first recycling bins (hooray!).  Of course, I still couldn’t resist spraying the ever living-you-know-what out of the poison ivy all over our property. (If you saw my poor hubby, you might understand, as we’re both HIGHLY allergic to the stuff)  Oh well, slowly learning is better than not learning at all I suppose.

So due to this interest in “green” stuff I pause at any items that come across my radar that are earth friendly.  When I saw  “Don’t be Trashy” necklace by Cat, artist behind Uncorked, I did a double-pause.  First there was the recycling symbol on her necklace and an accompanying humorous command.  What a fun little reminder to treat the Earth well there.  Second, to quote her own product listing her cork is “grown in managed forests in Portugal and Spain where the bark is carefully harvested, once every nine years, in a centuries-old tradition with hand tools and without fertilizers or pesticides; a process that ensures the forests will remain undamaged!” Now that’s just really cool.

Intrigued?  Visit her shop Uncorked, there’s a lot more to discover!

Don’t Be Trashy Necklace, $15.00 by Uncorked

Cute big ol’ birdy bag

Sometimes I stumble across something so cute I just have to write about it. It’s probably no secret if you’ve read this blog for awhile that I love things that are black and white. Year round, middle of summer, I still love black and white.  So when I saw this Bird and Branch Messenger Bag  by Cut Out and Collect I knew I wanted to share it.  It’s no average messenger bag, as the designer customizes them according to the owners preferred way of wearing it.  It’s made of a nice heavy canvas and even has six extra pockets!  Not to mention it’s simply darling and sleek looking.

Bird and Branch Messenger Bag, $50.00

A Most Elegant Handbag

I wish I had discovered Leigh-Ann Klein before I was married. I micro-managed every last stylish detail, except for my boring plain white satin bag. Of course, who needs a special occasion to buy a piece of art. Her collection includes bags that can work from day into evening, and for numerous other occasions as well. Leigh-Ann makes exquisitely detailed handbags. Her work is hand-embellished with details such as feathers, satin, lace and other trims.

My favorite of her elegant clutches was the Brooke-Gold Minaudiere. The applique’ on the front of the bag is so elegant and detailed. ($105.00)

Brooke, $105.00

I also loved the simplicity of form and design in her Silver Dawn bag. It is silver satin with white woven jacquard and a round pearl and crystal focal piece. ($95.00)

Dawn, $95.00

You can see more of her lovely bags and clutches at her shop.

Papercuts and Gluesticks, the friendly art gallery

Last night we went to Papercuts and Gluesticks located in Rocky River for a Gallery Night. I have to say, I was  impressed. The owner Kari, has quite an eye for art and has collected a very cohesive collection that looked simply lovely together. Each artist represented however brought something unique and different to the gallery. There was a vintage, whimsical feel with muted colors and dreamy artwork. Everything was placed almost meticulously, from the way paintings were displayed on the walls, to the way supplies were artistically shelved in the back of the gallery.



Artfully displayed supplies and projects

The owner herself is simply charming. She’s instantly likable with her big smile and approachable personality. This is an art gallery where you can explore, experience and even participate in the artistic process. Kari mentioned that there is an entire listing of “offerings” that visitors can participate in. The booklet of these includes such things as soldering for newbies, and exploration making art journals, altered books and assemblage as just a few examples. Don’t expect to stand around stroking your chin or feeling snooty, as this just isn’t the place. If you want to see some lovely art in a relaxed environment though and maybe even learn something new I highly suggest you visit Papercuts and Gluesticks for yourself.

Guests at the Papercuts and Gluesticks Gallery opening

(There were fabulous treats and wine on the table behind!)


See how friendly they look?


Gorgeous artwork!

Papercuts and Gluesticks is located at 20119 Lake Road in Rocky River.


Tools of the Jewelry Trade: What I use to make my jewelry

There’s literally hundreds of different tools designers use to make their jewelry(and for that matter so many different methods and types of jewelry) I figured I’d share some of the tools I personally use and give a little insight into the process I go through to design jewelry for Valerie Tyler Designs.

It begins with an idea, or a sketch. They can start off as rough scribbles and then get more developed.


One of my favorite tools is my German jewelers saw. I actually love sawing (though it can be tough on the arms at times!) Of course, a lubricant for the laser saw blades (I use laser gold) keeps the blades lasting longer and makes sawing easier.


This is the drill I use to add various size holes to my pieces:


So the beginning of the process entails imagining and sketching my ideas, then getting the raw materials in order by sawing and drilling them. I’ll post more tomorrow on the detailing and finishing aspects. (By the way, don’t you love how I photograph from creative angles so you don’t see all the scrap metal pieces, dust, wax, metal shavings, tools and bits of sandpaper that are all over the table!)

These Mandalas Are So Cool They’re Hot!

“Their stock is rising three times faster than inflation!”

Thus says Rob, the artist behind Playnature Productions. While such wit and humor may not seem the mark of a serious artist, Play Nature is proof that a sense of humor and a serious sense of style and artistic intelligence can actually go hand in hand. Rob, creates Mandalas that are deeply connected and rooted to nature. The artist himself emphasizes how nature moves him, and such emotion is evident in his work. Subjects he has focused on have included many natural elements from pine needles to even mold. (Yes mold, but believe me, in the eyes of this artist it’s beautiful!)

But wait, you may ask, what is a mandala?

According to the artist, mandala is “derived from the root-word manda, which means essence, and the suffix la, meaning container. Mandalas should be thought to hold an essence of both the microcosms in nature and the macrocosms of life.” Additionally he states, “The pattern is meant to be soothing; invigorating; intoxicating.”

Consider the following example-
How wonderful to go from this inspiration:


To this lovely finished work of art:

Super Go Green Mandala
$38.00 from Play Nature Studios

They remind me of looking through the most amazing kaleidoscope ever. I personally love when art is sometimes based off of design and pattern, especially plays on the natural world. You can lose yourself in the intricacies of Mandalas from Play Nature Productions. They take you off into the realm of imagination, away to someplace dreamy and new.

For you math buffs
Birds of a Feather Tessellate Together
$29.00 by Playnature Productions

Visit Playnature Productions, based out of Greater Cleveland, Ohio area for many more lovely and imaginative Mandalas!
Don’t forget though, these are so cool, they’re going to be a pretty hot item!

Valerie Tyler Designs featured on Styledash

It’s been an exciting last few days, as I found out I’ve landed in the press again. My indie designer interview with Mallory (a.k.a Miss Malaprop) appeared in Styledash on March 3rd. If you want to hear a little more about me, go check it out.

Valerie Tyler Designs on Styledash