December 31, 2011

Happy New Year from Creative Chicks Cafe

                             Many thanks for your continued trust, inspiration and friendship
click to enlarge

December 21, 2011

December 12, 2011

The Christmas Lady.... "Nancy Malay"

Creative Chicks Vicki and Nancy
at the Creative Connection
 Dear Friends,
One of the things I love most about working with Creative Chicks Cafe is that I have the opportunity to meet so many wonderful artists.  Two years ago while attending the Creative Connection in Mpls.  I meet an amazing lady.  Her name is Nancy Malay. She creates some of the most beautiful vintage-inspired pieces I have ever seen.  Each piece is meticulously hand-crafted, using paperclay, papier mache and cloth.  She embellishes with mica, antique trimmings, German glass glitter and tinsel.  Giving each figure a personality of its own.  Not only can you find her work on her web site... she has been published in the following national magazines:  Studios, Prims, Holiday Crafts, Early American Life, Create & Decorate, Get Creative, Country Sampler, Country Woman and more.  

Nancy, has been married to her best friend Rick for 32 years.  They have three handsome sons with wonderful wives and wife to be.  Nancy's studio is located in her cozy home in Faribault, Mn.  There she creates her vintage pieces.  Nancy says she loves to work with fabric, buttons, old lace and "lots of sparkle".  As a licensed designer for Midwest-CBK, Nancy has to spend long hours creating in her studio.  So, during the Spring and Summer months when not working she just loves to garden. Winter's are long in Minnesota, so when Spring finally arrives, Nancy makes the most of it!  And, she loves to share those moments with us on her blog while enjoying a cup of coffee.
Now, you know if you have spent any time in Minnesota how long those winter days can get. Nancy, while growing up, would spend those days making many a snowman in the freshly fallen snow.  She would roll the balls of  snow until they were "just the right size" and then make them "come to life" by adding a carrot, coal eyes, a scarf and top hat.  Nancy has recreated that memory by creating "Chilly Chester", standing 6", this whimsical little man is made of Creative Paperclay, Styrofoam balls and other creative products.  And is chock full of "glitter and cheer".  If you would like to make one of these "Chilly Chesters" of your own.  Nancy is offering him at a half off the tutorial.  Simply use code "CREATIVECHICKS50OFF" at checkout.

Nancy has many other tutorials available on her web site.   This cute little bird, paperclay rabbits, Victorian Cones and more.  All of these can be seen and purchased at Nancy's Etsy Shop.
 
.Tutorial for creating a paperclay birdTutorial for creating Victorian Cones, or Tussie Mussies-two different conesTutorial for creating a paperclay rabbit
I am honored to know Nancy! She is a delightful lady with so much encouragement and enthusiasm.  I'm sure you will find her website http://www.nancymalay.com/ and blog http://www.nancymalay.blogspot.com/  as enjoyable I do.
 So get to work, and create!
-KATE




Nancy Malay

Email:  nancymalay@gmail.com
http://www.nancymalay.com/
http://www.nancymalay.blogspot.com/

December 6, 2011

Meet Tawny Dalton Bell, Owner and Creator of ThePrimitive Nook

Tawny Dalton Bell
Tawny Dalton Bell lives in McKenzie, TN., I was born in Pennsylvania and grew up in Florida. The daughter of a well known singer and musician, Robert Dalton. Whose music reached the national charts in the early 70's with hits such as "Mama Call Me Home" and "Papa's Home"
At the age of 13, our family (My Dad, Mom, myself and 2 brother's) left Florida living in an RV. We traveled for over 2 years singing gospel music in various churches and missions all over the United States. My Dad was very talented. He sang and played many instruments, painted and wrote books. He always told me that I could achieve whatever I wanted to if I set my mind to it. Also, to make sure if I was doing something, "Do it right, or don't do it at all." I still abide by those words to this day.
My first creation at 14 years old
God has given me many talents and I have been creative ever since I can remember.  While visiting my Grandmother in West Virginia, she found me digging and sculpting the clay soil in her yard. At the age of 14, I had made my first real piece of art and painted it with my nail polish. LOL! I still have that bear and will treasure it always.
Sannod
In my early 20's I was hired as a seamstress at OshKosh-B'Gosh. I was quickly promoted to the position of training instructor having to learn 50 different jobs in order to teach new employees. Several years later, I was employed by another well known factory called Quality Auditor. Unfortunately, the company laid it's employees off in 1999. Shorty after my job loss, I went shopping one day with my sister-in-law to a adorable Primitive Shoppe, where she purchased a very expensive doll. I knew at that moment I could create primitive dolls. I was inspired to start my own business and the inception of "The Primitive Nook" turned from a dream into reality.
I began making and selling my creations to family and friends in my home town. Later, I sold my work at a flea market, but it was so far to travel. I decided a website would be better. In 2001 my website was built and in 2003 I began designing my own unique line of Primitive Patterns.
January of 2009, is when I lost my Dad to cancer. After that is seemed my creativity was lost... no matter how long I sat and tried to come up with something new, it just didn't seem to be working.
I am now back in full swing and very determined. I love to design and create to make others happy and to help them succeed. I write my patterns in printed and PDF email form with the beginner in mind... thinking back to my training instructor days at OshKosh.
Emily
My husband is very supportive of my business. I have a step daughter that is 22, two son's 19 and 16. Four months ago I became a Grandmother of a precious little girl named "Emily." She is the new light of my life and has helped fill that void from the loss of my Dad. She keeps me inspired all of the time with that big sweet smile of hers.
My goal is to keep sharing my talent of designing and bring smiles to my customer's faces. I love to help other people whenever I can and know that giving of myself makes me happier than anything. I am blessed to use my talent to help support my family and better yet, I get to play with dolls all the time.
Please visit my website to see all of my dolls at www.primitivenook.net you can also visit me on ETSY www.primitivenook.etsy.com
If you have any questions about my patterns, or dolls my email is primitivenook@yahoo.com


 My artist style is Primitive folkart and my favorite art media is fabric. I work 12 to 14 hours a day 5 days a week currently.  My favorite foods are Spaghetti, tacos and smoked pit barbcue.
If I won a million dollars I would pay all of my families bills off and then become the next secret Santa
If I could give someone advice who is just starting out I would tell them to never ever give up! Set goals and reach them....Market, market, market and just have fun!

November 23, 2011

Turkey cookies

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Here is my first vid cast. Now, don't laugh, just enjoy - How to make turkey shaped cookies...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fp6B2YUs7KE

November 21, 2011

November 12, 2011

The Season of Giving!

"Women of Today" information table
To greet this season of giving I am putting a more artful outlook to the gifts I give.  So I am on a quest to stop at every art and craft boutique I see.  There are literally hundreds of crafting boutique signs all throughout the St. Paul / Mpls. area.  I'm sorry to say I can't write about each and everyone of them but I'll try to give you some idea of what's hot this Holiday season. Below I have found two unique items that I thought would be of interest.  Last weekend I attended the ChamplinWoman of TodayWomen's Buisness Expo Arts & Craft Show, held at the Champlin High School.  The show is sponsored by the Champlin Woman of Today.  A non-profit volunteer organization that believes very strongly in service to others.  The show consisted of over a hundred and fifty crafters from many area communities.  Proceeds from the show are to benefit Champlin Park High School. Upon arriving it was evident the show was a success.  The only available parking spaces were on the outer edge of the parking lot.  Since it was a beautiful afternoon  the walk to and from the building was pleasant. This was my first time attending the show and I was very pleased at the variety of  art available and a wide variety of prices, very reasonable prices.

Fishing Rods by Dave Saukkola

Dave
 One booth that stood right out was was Dave Saukkola's" Finnlander Hand Crafted Custom Rods".  Yes, you read that right, custom fishing rods.  The most beautiful fishing rods I have ever seen.  Sure to make everyone a successful fisherman (woman).  If you would like to own your own custom rod or you know of someone that would love to have one, you can give Dave a call at 612-812-6879. 

Tracy with "Little Louie"
The most creative marketing booth goes to Little Louie's Crafts, LLC.  Tracy and her partner create hand made gift items for your kitchen, such as microwave pot holders and potato bags for cooking.  You can get your very own at their Esty Shop. http://www.littlelouiecrafts.etsy.com/  Now you ask, who is Little Louie?  Little Louie is a handsome English Springer with an artistic flair.  Louie actually picks out the fabric that Tracy uses in each item.  Louie not only produces kitchen items, he, with the help of his person (Tracy) make dog toys.  Not those squeaky kind with the stuffing that can get lodged in your dogs throat.  They are made with fleece and are very strong.  Even my two German Shepard's can't tear these apart.  And, what's really cool is profits from the sale of the toys go to Vest'NP.D.P. A non-profit organization that provides bulletproof and stab-proof vests for police dogs.  To learn more about them go to www.vestnpdp.com
Patty, Dale and I
So that wraps up my review of the Champlin Women of Today's Art & Craft Show Business Expo.  I hope this inspires all of you into supporting your crafters, artists and entrepreneurs by buying handmade this Christmas.

Saturday, November 12  I will be attending the mother load of craft shows..... Cantabury Park Art &; Craft Show in Mpls.  Check back next week for my review and some unique items that I find in CCC's "Blog Post".

November 7, 2011

What happens when.... Halloween is over, there is a winter chill in the air and daylight savings time begins?
You got it! It"s the Holiday Crafting Season!  And let me tell you, the artists/crafters were out in full force this past weekend.  Boutiques and craft sale signs everywhere.  Churches, schools, community centers, golf courses and homes all held their annual craft sales.  The home craft show is one of my favorite places to shop for handmade items.  I find I enjoy the friendly and personnel customer service you receive in someones home.   So, where to begin.  One of the first signs that caught my eye was ... "Desperate Housewives Boutique". And for me, that was a good place to start. (wink, wink)

Kim's Gourmet foods
 This Boutique was held in the home of Kimberly Warner, owner of http://www.in-stylecatering.com/ .  Kim invited several women to join in her sale.  Each with a wide variety of  craft items. Available at the sale was an assortment of jams, cake mixes, drink mixes, cookies and treats, beautiful hand crafted gifts, jewelry, crocheted apparel, home furnishings and much more. 

Megan of "Bead Bling"
 
Mary Bluth Designs

Edie Paulson
 Megan Malmquist of  "Bead Bling" created an awesome display of beaded wine glasses, serving dishes, serving utensils, you name she had it!  As I meandered through Kim's home I was treated to a beautiful display of hand crafted jewelry. Mary of  http://www.marybluthdesign.com/ had an array of unique hand crafted pieces for sale. Necklaces, bracelets and rings galore!  She even created one of a kind key chains.  They were awesome!  But you couldn't stop there, pottery, laser engraving, and small gift giving items were everywhere.  Also, a whole long table of uniquely crocheted hats, headbands and mittens for women and children created by Edie Paulson of Hook & Yarn Apparel.  Edie is a delightful lady and my hat and headband I purchased will be worn for years to come! 

I suggest the next time you see a sign for a home craft sale don't hesitate to stop in, you will not only find great hand made items you will leave with new friends too!


Next Review.......Champlin Women of Today "Women's Business Expo"

If you are hosting a craft sale or know of one we should be aware of just simply e mail us at kate@creativechickscafe. and we will post the event on our site.  Thanks  -Kate



October 23, 2011

Talent Search in Progress

Kate taking a break from yard work and wondering who or what to feature next
Patty is thinking about who to feature next?

Fall is here and boy it seems everyone has been busy. We want to take a moment and thank everyone in helping us keep our Blog going. We started getting serious in March of 2010, we were at 3,000 blog hits at the time. Now, we are about to turn 22,000. We have met so many wonderful people along our journey. I think the greatest mystery of all is that everyone has a story. We know people through their work, but we really never knew about the artist at all. We have featured very unique and talented women, who believe in making handmade creations handed down from generations.  Our featured artists are all from referrals. We always ask them to "Pay It Forward" by referring another person of talent to us so we can put them in the "Spot Light."
If you or someone you know would like to be featured on CCC, please contact us on our Facebook page. It seems that more people are using Facebook then blogging lately.
Happy Creating,
Kate and Patty

Remember those days

October 1, 2011

Margo Willoughby from "Choose Moose"- Primitive Treasures from Years Gone By

Margo Willoughby- Creator of Choose Moose

Meet Margo Willoughby, artist and creator of “Choose Moose” from Laurel, Delaware.  Sewing with fabric is definitely her first passion and loves to create bowl fillers and ornies.  Margo also enjoys graphic arts, creating primitive hand tags, embroidery and just started assembling bottle caps for necklaces, magnets and hair bows which is a great diversion for her.

How does Margo describe her artist style? “I like the old and vintage look, antique art is my style. I guess that is why I began making primitive ornies and bowl fillers. Making something from new material and then getting them to look old.”

Margo was born and raised in Sussex County, DE and a graduate of Woodbridge High School in Bridgeville, Delaware Class of 1979.  She says her favorite high school memory is “Friday night football games, loved watching the boys you know at that age!”

She discovered the artist in herself in 6Th grade. “I loved art class and there was a contest to paint the glass doors in the front of my school to celebrate Christmas.”  She had to submit their ideas to the teacher and Margo was chosen to paint a scene of The Three Wise Men.  Margo says: “I still can’t believe the art teacher chose me and from that moment I found the creative edge to my being.”

Margo has never had any formal training, no classes, nothing! She learned to sew basically from reading tips on the internet. “I have “Googled” most everything I have learned. Yes, the internet and I have only been sewing for 5 years.” Are you kidding me Margo? Your creations are wonderful.

I have a few questions for Margo to help us learn more about our Delaware artist.

Q:  What is the most significant decision you ever made?

A:  I decided to retire from my job at the age of 44. I had worked in a public school field since graduating at the age of 17. The time arose in my life that I knew it was the right thing and I never looked back. It allowed me to truly explore the creative side that I knew I had and the time in my life to explore it.

Q:  Where do you draw your inspiration from?

A:  Definitely from my grandparents. They made items and they recycled/re- purposed items. They hardly threw anything away. My grandparents instilled in me that old things can be good things. I think that is why I have such a passion about antique and vintage items.

Q:  How often do you work?

A:  I try to sew every day. Even when I sneak away to watch the soaps in the afternoon, I tote my sewing with me and hand stuff or hand sew while I’m watching TV. I’m still working!!

Q:  What skills have you found essential in your work?

A:  Organization is such a huge factor. My studio can get very messy and cluttered; I clean it several times a week.  It’s imperative to have a neat and organized work space. I have a lot of bins and storage cabinets to house my fabric, notions and miscellaneous supplies.

Q:  Where do you come up with your ideas for your work?

A:  I create what I like and not the hot item that is currently “In.”  Sure, I will do a special order for customers on occasion, but I make things I enjoy seeing. I love looking through “Create and Decorate” magazine and I am constantly searching the world wide web for inspiration. I work around the seasons... that is, I am currently offering fall items and will soon begin the Christmas season with trees, snowmen, Santa’s, snowflakes and such.

Q:  Where are you currently showing your art pieces?

A:  Ebay and Etsy are the 2 sites I use for selling my wares. I also have my own website www.choosemoose.com that my husband created for me.  I do not travel to shows, working at home truly suits me the best.

Q:  What makes you laugh the most?

A:  Actually, myself. I can be a “Goof” sometimes and I laugh at the smallest things. Laughter is good for the soul. I laugh daily.

Q:  What are your favorite foods to eat?

A:  Pizza, soft pretzels and chicken

Q:  If you won a million dollars, what would you do with it?

A; First, I would create a very large studio for all of my fabric, sewing machines and supplies with lots of cabinets. Then take my family on a weeklong cruise and have lots of fun with no regrets. Finally, I would donate money to people in need to make their lives a little more pleasant.

Q:  What words of advice would you have for someone starting out?

A:  First, believe in yourself! I researched so much on the internet, especially at first getting my business started. Go to the library and get books about your passion whether it’s sewing, embroidery, knitting etc. Read, read, read and find out what works for others who are starting a business in the art of selling their crafts.  Secondly,practice, practice, practice. I remember when I started my business I thought “Are my things nice enough that someone would want to purchase them.” After that first sale you kind of have that addiction. It feels good to know someone has taken an interest in something you have made with your own hands. I’ve met so many wonderful people out there, some even in other countries.

Margo,  we thank you for sharing your story. Your hard work and dedication is inspiring with in itself.

Patty Sullivan




September 27, 2011

A day at the Afton, Art in the Park

Fall in Minnesota means 'Fall Festival" time.  And that is exactly what I, and a couple of family members did this past weekend.  The City of Afton held its 33rd annual "Art in the Park".  Afton is a quaint little turn of the century town, composed of shops, restaurants, a marina and a museum.  Located on the St. Croix River and just minutes from interstate 94 in St. Paul/Mpls.  The town has a nostalgic feeling of having just "stepped back in time."  The festival is held in the park, and features over 70 craft vendors, showcasing fine art, jewelry, photography, ceramics, traditional crafts and more.  After a quick stop for mini donuts we headed into the Art Fair.  Artist and Crafters were out in full force with some totally amazing pieces.

Customers, Helen Knoedl and daughter
Tricia, Debra's in the back
  One artist, Debra Caserotti's displayed the most beautiful wall art quilts I have ever seen. Debra started "Quilt the Walls" in 1997.  Rather than make traditional quilts she creates landscape art quilts for your walls.  The landscapes are created with unusual batiks, hand-dyed fabrics, screen prints & painted with color crayon skies.  You can see more of her work at http://www.quiltthewallsetc.com/  

Julie and her jewelry creations

Julie's object...a darling turtle
 Then we met Julie Johnson from "Feat of Clay"  Julie creates Jewelry and Objects in Polymer Clay.  About 80 percent of her creations are art jewelry, but her kaleidoscope's, bottle stoppers and the array of sculptural pieces were most impressive.  Each piece is individually made with a unique design and composition.  It was so exciting spending time with Julie as she shared her processes and techniques with onlookers.  She is an artist of passion and it really comes out in her work. If you would like to read more she has a wonderful web site at http://www.feat-of-clay.com/ 

 Strolling on, out of the corner of my eye,  glistening in the sun, was some of the most incredible beaded jewelry pieces I have ever seen.  Marti Johnson of MLJ Designs displayed a wide variety of gems, art glass, silver and gold, roman glass, African, antique buttons, Italian glass, and beautifully beaded flowers.  Marti  has been a full-time artist  for 18 years.  She travels all over to present her work, and you won't want to miss her next month in Stillwater, Mn.
Laura Christensen
Captain Kevin
I can't review an Art Fair without a visit with a "Potter" And I did just that.  Laura Christensen creates functional and decorative pottery in her studio in St. Paul Mn  She is a thoughtful potter and creates thoughtful pieces.  You can reach her on her web site http://www.mindfulmud.com/  And if you're really into pottery, don't forget to stop by Mudslingers Pottery just north of town.  Captain Kevin has an inviting tent just outside his studio where you can purchase functional ware, such as, cups, bowls, plates, serving dishes and other useful items.  And, if you would like to create your own piece, he holds classes and private workshops at his studio on the corner of Stgecoach Trail and St. Croix Tr.  Look him up http://www.mudslingers.net/  for more information.
Ed & Eileen Kohn
There were so many great artists at this event that I could go on and on and on.  I don't want to end this blog without telling you about a couple of artists that we are highlighting in our artist interviews in October.  Ed & Eileen Kohn are local crafters that live right in Afton.  Each November they hold a craft fair in their home.  What a delightful couple and you won't want to miss out on this, so I will update you in October as to what to expect at their sale.  Also I met the Monya, she creates original velvet pumpkin decorations. Each one is hand-crafted and comes complete with a real stem from a pumpkin, gouard or squash.  I have my very own one sitting right here next to my computer and I love it!  Monya and her pumpkins have been published in several magazines, and is working on something with our dear friend The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. So watch for that interview sometime before Halloween. 
All in all I had a wonderful time with new friends and family over the weekend.  Check out some of these artists, you won't be disappointed!
Now, go create something,
-Kate

http://www.plushpumpkins.com/

Andrew, at the Beer Garden Awesome Guy!

My "sister-from-another-motter" Cindy
Brett and Gail
Skip, from Afton I am making applesauce right now
with his apples
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