Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Feature of the Day #58: Nathalie Van

Love Bird Art Orange Painting Cherry Blossom Tree Cream Flowers Asian Style Art Japanese Delicate Branches Custom 47x37
Safe With You
Today's feature goes to Nathalie Van and her amazing and creative mosaic paintings.
Van's paintings are often described as, "calming, emotional, simple and elegant. Her art makes the viewer feel a sense of relaxation and centeredness, bringing a sense of peace and rest to the area where it is displayed." Her art has been highly revered and she is quickly becoming one of Canada's top artists. With paintings being sold to almost every part of the world, it's not wonder that her art made it on the wall of the CBC show Michael: Tuesdays and Thursday. The series on display is a set of 22 paintings that were crafted to create ambiance for the show. Van is often requested to create paintings to fit in a specific space. Many of her customers will go as far as e-mailing pictures of their home to help Van visualize the space and craft something special for it.
Van also has a book published with 172 of her early paintings. The book includes paintings from the very start of her career up to her 551st painting. A variety of her art styles are covered from cubism to abstract to Asian infused. Her paintings are both shown alone and in furnished settings.
Black and White Tree Branches Painting Large Art Modern Abstract HUGE Elegant Original Monochrome Custom 60x36
Tree Branches
The paintings themselves may vary in size, colors and content, but there is a sense of unity throughout her work. Most of her paintings are made up of several to many smaller paintings. What makes them special is they seem as though they could be viewed individually or as a whole. By themselves, each section is compositionally strong, but as a unit it becomes magical. For example, look at Safe With You (shown above) as a whole first. Notice the smooth circle of light glowing from the middle and pulsating to the edges. The hourglass shape of the twin branches as they come together, move apart, then return to each other only to repeat the cycle. Feel how they eyes are constantly drawn up and to the left by the lines and always end up back on the love birds. Now, cover up three panels and look at each section by itself. For instance, the upper right panel alone is beautiful painting of soft, warm colors and a deep cutting branch. The little flowers pull the eye out from the branch to the edges where the swirl of paint gently pulls them back in. If a portion of the painting wasn't compositionally sound, it would hurt the piece as a whole. But because each section has been carefully planned and painted, it becomes visually dynamic from corner to corner.
Large Tree Painting Red Gold Huge Art Custom Modern Abstract Original Peaceful 56x40 Hills Asian Chinese Japanese
Fall Leaves 1
Nathalie Van's Asian influences can be found in images such as Fall Leaves 1 (right). The simplistic hill forms are reminiscient of ancient paintings while the deep reds echo hues used in times long passed. Again, the strong form of a tree cuts through the painting as a whole, but it's partially obscured by the leaves. Just as in Safe With You, each panel can be pulled away to be enjoyed by itself but the painting is strongest as a whole.
To see many more examples of Nathalie's beautiful paintings, visit her Etsy store here:
Like her on Facebook here:
And check out her website here:

Be Creative today!
~Squirrel Creek Creations
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Large Red and White Abstract Art Textured Painting Palette Knife Impasto Triptych on Canvas 45x30 HUGE Customize the Colors
Fire and Ice

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Feature of the Day #57: The North Way Studio

Today's feature goes to The North Way Studio, aka, Maria and her fine jewelry. 
All of the jewelry Maria makes is inspired by nature, from designs to materials and colors; all with a little whimsy thrown in. Every piece has been hand crafted with the focus on simplicity and adding a bit of beauty into someone's life. As Maria says, "all the products in The North Way Studio are the results of too much coffee and a never-ending, compulsive drive to hoard fondle everything soft or shiny." She finds inspiration from staring out the passenger window at her beloved Upper Peninsula (Michigan), a place she describes as stunning but desolate.
Maria and her fiance live right on the shores of the vast fresh-water lake: Lake Superior. A lot of the jewelry she creates is a reflection of the North woods and life there, such as, "apple blossoms, the ruggedness of the area, and the rich history of the mining towns." Having personally spent many summers in the U.P. (Upper Peninsula), I can also attest to the muse of nature everywhere you look in the North Woods. From the agates hidden on the beaches to the long abandoned copper mines, or the overwhelming power of a storm brewing over the lake or the skies filled with the ethereal Northern Lights. Even the scent of unpolluted air and the sound of waves has been enough to inspire many artists in the past, and will surely do so for untold years to come. 
Sapphire Cluster Earrings with 14k Gold, Lemon Quartz and Pearls. Yellow Gemstone Earrings. Nautical Something Blue. Free Shipping,
The Elle Earrings
When Maria creates her jewelry, she treads the line between extravagance and everyday wear. As she says, "You can do a lot of amazing things with wire, but at some point, it just becomes too extravagant to wear and enjoy on a daily basis. So I wanted to keep it simple, really trying to highlight the beauty of the stones rather than bury it." 
Each stone is carefully hand picked through the process of hours spent online searching for the perfect piece, and the separation between the right gem and nearly perfect gem makes all the difference in the world. For example, in The Cora Earrings (pictured top right of page), a "delicious bouquet of honey hues, golden amber and gilded caramel," dangle together in perfect unity. Their colors enhance each other without taking away. The gentle hues of the amber make the deep purples and light pinks stand out all the more. Tiny gold beads here and there are reminiscent of shimmering dew sitting lightly on a surface. The cluster itself echoes a handful of Lake Superior pebbles freshly plucked from the lake; they shine as though water is still dripping off them. They're elegant without being over-the-top and fun while maintaining an air of dignity. The piece is, "complete with an extravagant 32 Carats of faceted Citrine covered in tendrils of raspberry Garnets, pink Tourmaline, Hessonite Garnite, 14k Gold, bronze Keshi Pearls, and Champagne Citrine rondelles. A lovely hive of honey, all tucked under stunning 24k Gold vermeil rose ear hooks."
London Blue Topaz Necklace with Champagne Quartz. Cluster Necklace with 14k Gold, Spinel and Garnet. Statement Necklace. Free Shipping.
The Serafina Necklace
Each beautiful piece of jewelry Maria makes is as unique as the North Woods from which they were inspired. Some are more lavish and some are quite simple, but it's clear to see that Maria has put a bit of herself into every single one.

What inspires you?

Make sure to stop by Maria's Etsy store here:

Be Creative today!
~Squirrel Creek Creations
Our Etsy store:
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Bridesmaid Jewelry Gifts. Black Diamond Bracelets with 14k Gold. Set of 3. Free Shipping. Diamond Wedding Jewelry.
The Alette Bracelet

Monday, May 21, 2012

Feature of the Day #56: Over the Rainbow

Tulip photograph, fine art, spring macro photo, delicate, dew drops, red and yellow, nature, 8x6, Giclée - titled: Spring dew
Spring Dew
Today's feature goes to Over the Rainbow fine art photography, aka, Katerina and her lovely photographs.
Katerina's photography is inspired by the beauty of nature, flowers, landscapes and her travels. She has had the love of photography every since she can remember. About 5 years ago she purchased her first DSLR and took a course on how to properly use all the manual settings. Along with photography, her passions also include flamenco, work with textiles, screen printing, reading, music and chocolate. 
This is how Katerina describes her creative process:
Candles, in the dark, fine art photo, still life, black, yellow, red, giclee print, 12x9  - titled: Candles
Usually when I plan on going for a walk and taking my camera with me with the intention to make some photos, I come home without any. But on other days I bring lots of photos. But the repeating pattern is, that I have to go photographing alone. When I go with someone else, I always have a feeling that they have to wait for me while I am playing with my camera. (For full interview, go here:
Katerina covers a wide variety of subjects in her photographs; from sweeping landscapes to fine details. She also has a beautiful talent for capturing light in darkness such as in her picture, Candles (shown left). The dramatic contrast between the small flames and the vast darkness is intense. To make it even more eye-catching mirrors were employed to enhance the space.
The photo was, "taken during Earth Hour, when it is recommended to switch off all lights and electricity for one hour and try to live like the old days. The reason is to point out the necessity of sustainable living, saving natural resources and our planet Earth." Knowing this, the image takes on deeper meaning as it stands as a reminder of humanity's tenuous relationship with fire; it is necessary and deadly, providing heat, light and comfort in the depth of night.
Woodland photograph, sunbeams, sunrays in the forest, whimsical, dreamy wood, 12x8, Giclee print - titled: Magic Forest
Magic Forest
Seeing these five small candles sitting together shows how overwhelmingly bright the modern night is in comparison. With the flick of a switch our rooms are as flooded with light, as brilliant if not brighter than day. Yet during a power outage that privilege is taken from us and the overwhelming feeling of powerlessness sets in. If it's during the day, the streets suddenly become flooded with those who were content with being indoors only a moment earlier. At night, families make frantic searches for flashlights and candles, anything that can fight against the night as our ancestors did; we wait in the dark for the familiar hum of electricity: the signal that everything is as it should be once more. The simplicity of 5 gently glowing candles, and the weight of all they symbolize captured beautifully for everyone to share.

To see much more of Katerina's work, visit her Etsy store here:
To see her textile creations, visit her other store here:
She regularly updates her photo-gallery here:
Like her on Facebook here:
And follow her Flickr here:

Be Creative today!
~Squirrel Creek Creations
Our Etsy store:
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Follow us on Twitter:!/SquirrelsCreek

Still life photo, origami, paper boat, sparkling, love, original engagement gift, bokeh, 7x7 - titled: Will You Marry Me
Will You Marry Me?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Feature of the Day #55: Hughes Pottery

Teapot ceramic serving tea, hostess entertaining, glazed in caramel brown blue cream, handmade by hughes pottery
Ceramic Teapot
Today's features goes to Hughes Pottery, aka, Charles and Rowan Hughes and their wonderful pottery.
Charles and Rowan met 13 years ago while selling their individual art forms; he, a potter and she a stained glass artist. They quickly became friends, and over the years a, "long and strange romance ensued" which resulted in their marriage in the summer of 2008. Charles taught Rowan the "way of the clay" and they've been, "happily covered in mud together ever since."
The Hughes' main focus is on creating functional stoneware pottery. Every piece is handmade without the use of molds or forms. As they say, "we don't make the kind of art that you put behind glass and never touch; we want our work to get covered in oatmeal, filled with your favorite wine and used to serve your grandmother's famous sage and cornbread stuffing." Why do they do it? Here's their wonderful response:
Wine goblet ceramic, oak leaf acorn chalice, wedding toasting set, caramel brown and green, handmade by hughes pottery
Wine Goblet
We honestly love what we do, and are blessed to be able to make a living doing what we love. And our business isn't just about selling people some mugs; it's about making beautiful things that become a small part of our customer's lives. Rarely can we wait for our kilns to cool competely before we're opening them up for a peek; often we are racing each other down to the studio like kids on Christmas morning! We are, quite frankly, addicted to clay! And we love hearing that our customers have to use "our special mug" for coffee each morning, or that our teapot graces the table at every family gathering...We're happy to be living our dream of being full time artists, and are thrilled to share our art with you!
Hughes Pottery is the home of a variety of functional table ware including: coffee mugs, tea cups, beer tankards, plates, pitchers, teapots, wine goblets, bowls, pie plates, butter keepers, berry bowls, serving bowls, prep bowls, yarn bowls and more. All of their pottery is completely handmade, "from ball of clay to finished piece." Their work is thrown one piece at a time on the wheel and finished by hand. All decorative elements such as oak leaves and acorns, are hand painted, carved/molded from their originals. They've worked for years perfecting the forms of their creations, such as the goblets that are the perfect mixture of strong and lightweight. The form is lovely and the glazes stunning.
SALE Yarn bowl knitting crochet, spiral ceramic, glazed in black, handmade porcelain by hughes pottery
Yarn Bowl
Their pottery's functionality isn't limited to dinnerware either. For example, they also create Yarn Bowls (pictured right), "at the request of (their) many fans who are also fiber artists." The bowl keeps yarn corraled, protected from rolling away and kept tangle free.
Whether you're looking for a simple bowl or an elegant teapot, Hughes Pottery is certainly the shop to stop by. They also take custom orders and create gifts for weddings favors and registries!
Stop by their Etsy shop here:
Check out their website here:
Like them on Facebook:
And have the opportunity to watch them live here! 

Be Creative today!
~Squirrel Creek Creations
Our Etsy store:
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Follow us on Twitter:!/SquirrelsCreek

Bowl ceramic cereal, soup dessert, stoneware tableware, glazed in caramel blue, handmade by hughes pottery
Ceramic Bowl

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Feature of the Day #54: Ronsick Originals

Red Lampwork  Focal Bead   SALE
Red Lampwork Focal Bead
Today's feature goes to Ronsick Orginals, aka, Richard and Linda Ronsick and their beautiful lampwork beads.
The Ronsicks are a self-taught father/daughter team who specialize in lampwork. They've been creating for nearly 9 years and have sold their glass at trade shows and bead stores across the U.S. They've gained customers in over 25 countries, and well as every state in the United States. As they say about their designs, "Every piece of lampwork is unique by nature, but we strive to create truly "original" designs." Although their store currently contains only beads, they also make glass pens, pendants, rings and wine stoppers. Each piece is properly annealed in a digitally controlled kiln. To photograph their work, they utilize full spectrum lighting to get the best results.

I've covered lampworking twice in the past, but here's a refresher for those who don't know what it is: Lampworking, also known as flameworking or torchworking, is the process of making glasswork by using a gas fueled torch to melt rods and tubes of clear and colored glass. The molten glass is molded and formed by blowing and shaping with tools and hand movements. Lampworking manipulates glass by the use of tools, gravity, and by blowing directly into the end of a glass tube. Whereas glassblowing uses a blowpipe to inflate a glass blob. Lampworking can be used to create trinkets, figurines, ornaments and in the Ronsick's case, beads. (See full lampworking article here)
handblown pen lampwork boro glass Ronsick Originals
Handblown Pen
Borosilicate glass, the type of glass the Ronsicks use, is also known as "hard glass" and is made from silica and boron oxide. It's more resistant to thermal stress so it's commonly used for creating reagent bottles. It can also be found in fish tank thermometers, telescope and high-quality flashlight lenses, glass cookware, and many other items, including the Ronsick's works.
As for the beads, they're wonderfully intricate and mesmerizing to behold. Most of the beads have a similar twisting form, topped with dozens of small glass droplets. I couldn't help but to think of a snake coiling in on itself, covered in dew or perhaps sea foam. The colors are brilliant and the glass is a wonderful mixture of transparent, translucent, and opaque. Even though the piece is solid, the shimmer and glean of the glass gives the air of being on the verge of changing into liquid at any moment. Overall, the glass work is beautiful and thoroughly pleasing the eye.
What do you think of lampworking? What would you put a bead on? Would you use a glass pen? Answer in the comment section below!
Blue Lampwork  Focal Bead   Tab SALE
Blue Lampwork Focal Bead
Make sure to check out the Ronsick's shop on Etsy, though there are only a few examples currently available.

Be Creative today!
~Squirrel Creek Creations
Our Etsy store:
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Multicolor Lampwork  Focal Bead    SALE
Mulitcolor Lampwork Focal Bead

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Feature of the Day #53: Shelly Porter Artworks

Watercolor Print, Wall Art, Wall Decor, Nature, Dragonfly, Turquoise Blue, Green
Dragonfly Chatter
Today's feature goes to Shelly Porter Artworks and her vibrant and lively watercolors.
Porter received her Bachelor of Science in Interior Design at the University of Texas at Austin in 1983. However even before graduating she knew she didn't want to be an interior designer, but economic turmoil put a hold on her artistic dreams. It wasn't until 1992, when she was diagnosed with cancer that she changed her perspective from when she wanted wanted to be, to what she was going to be. 
Porter's work started off more traditional and evolved to contemporary and abstract as of 2007. She began to focus on, "shape, pattern & color and its symbolic, literal & psychological effects." Her work is so personal to her, she calls it "soul speak" because it "emanates from my subconscious and innate spiritual being, my soul." For her, "working in watercolor and seeing the infinite ways it reacts to and dries on the paper feels clean and pure to me and is a perfect way to let my own soul vibrate and to let it's own inner form take shape. All of these things give ma  voice to express the gratitude that I have for each day of my life as well as to express the spiritual connections that I sense and feel." 
Original Art, Watercolor Painting, Retro Home Decor, Abstract Watercolor, Geometric, Lime Green, Orange, Black, Mustard Yellow
Open to Truth
Porter's abstract watercolors are a captivating swirl of color and motion. In her piece, Dragonfly Chatter (above right), the smooth blend of cool colors glide across the page. One can tell the fun and playful way Porter allows the water to interact and take control of her work. Instead of fighting the water, the colors are allowed to flow and blend together more freely. This gives the whole piece a sense of movement and unity. The colors join and separate, blend and stand alone. It's a wonderful example of how, even without recognizable shapes, an abstract painting can still carry emotion and the sense that there's a story just waiting to be told.
Porter has a connection the circle and its various symbolic and spiritual meanings. This is what she has to say about it:
Abstract Digital Print, Unique Wall Art, Fun Colorful, Chocolate Brown, Fuchia
Tastes of Raspberry and Chocolate
While my work is not strictly limited to abstraction, I find it interesting to explore the circular form in a non-objective format because to me, the circle has so many varied meanings of a symbolic and spiritual nature. At one end of the spectrum the circle can represent spirituality, eternity and wholeness, while the opposite extreme can be interpreted to mean emptiness, isolation, containment and closed-mindedness. My current work represents the reconciliation of thoughts, feelings and events in my life on a more subliminal and cellular level.
Between color and the sublime level of free-flowing forms and shapes, Porter's paintings are hard to ignore. Make sure to stop by her Etsy store to see many more examples of her eye-catching and swooning colors.
What does abstract art mean to you? Do you see images in the shapes, or do you just enjoy the colors? What is your favorite abstract work? Answer in the comments below!

Like her on Facebook:
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Be Creative today!
~Squirrel Creek Creations
Our Etsy store:
Like us on Facebook:
Follow us on Twitter:!/SquirrelsCreek

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Feature of the Day #52: Charmed Design

Luck and Protection Charm Necklace,yoga jewelry
Luck and Protection Charm Necklace
Today's feature goes to Charmed Design, aka, Lori and her beautiful silk wrap bracelets.
Lori has always had a passion for design and creating, even during her career as a lawyer. After a series of life changing events, she decided that life is too short to not take the risk of putting her art into the world. Through this, she shares her love for life and joy of creations with every one of her customers. Her first bracelets came into being during the recovery from a sudden and life threatening illness. As she says, "Although I lost my job, home, and life as I knew it, surviving such a near death experience has made me feel and believe that I am indeed - CHARMED." Lori's silk wrap bracelets have been gifted to the cream of the crop in Hollywood, including the nominees and presenters at the Screen Actor's Guild Awards, the Oscar's, and the Kid's Choice Awards nominees.
One of the most popular charms Lori uses is called the 'Hamsa Hand' (seen on the far left of the charm, pictured above right). The origins and meaning of this symbol is deep and fascinating. This is what Lori says about it:
One of the most popular charms I use in my wrap bracelet designs is the 'Hamsa Hand'. This simple yet powerful symbol has roots all across the Middle East, and its symbolism is rich with meaning, power, and memory.
Silk Wrap Bracelet with Om Charms, Peace Sign, and Jade, yoga jewelry, wrapped wrapping bracelet, wrap around,wrist wrap
Silk Wrap Bracelet
One of the most ancient forms of the Hamsa Hand, called 'Khamsa' for 'five' in Arabic, is its presence in North Africa and Tunisia. In this area, the palm of the right hand symbolizes protection from on High, and it is worn and drawn to invoke protection wherever it is needed most. From jewelry and wall hangings to tattoos and drawings, the Khamsa Hand charm is embraced by peoples across the North Africa area as a reassurance that things will always remain under the hand of the Divine. 
Throughout the Islamic and Hebrew world, this same symbol is known as either the Hand of Miriam (sister of Moses) or the Hand of Fatima (daughter of Muhammed). In that area, it is worn as a symbol of protection, guidance, and providence. One of the most beautiful aspects to the Hamsa Hand symbol is that in a part of the world where cultures and the ideas are clashing in sometimes hurtful ways, a single symbol quietly unites and exists between them. 
Purple Braided Leather Wrap Bracelet with Lotus Flower and Amethyst Briolette,yoga jewelry, wrapped wrapping,wrist wrap
Purple Braided Leather Bracelet
Throughout all of the Middle East and parts of Africa, the Hamsa Hand is known for protecting against the 'evil eye'. The evil eye happens when another person sees your happiness, success, health, or wealth and sends negativity towards you in the from of jealousy or anger. the evil eye may seem like an archaic superstition - but is it really? Many people believe that when other people hold negative space and you allow it to effect you, it really can cause problems. I think that having a symbol around you that reminds you to rise above the judgment, negativity, and anger that may come from other people really works!
For Lori, the Hamsa Hand speaks deeply about life, and just looking at it serves as a reminder that she is always protected and guided. She also loves how the symbol reminds her to rise about the 'evil eye' no matter what form it may take.
Wrap Bracelet with Japanese Chirimen Cord and Om Charm,yoga jewelry,wrapped, wrapping, wrap around,wrist wrap
Wrap Bracelet with Japanese Chirimen Cord
Lori's bracelets vary greatly in colors and pattern. You can find muted earth tones, or vibrant patterns. The silk ribbons she uses are hand painted and are truly stunning. There is enough variety in her store to have a bracelet (or anklet, or necklace) for any event in any season. She also offers braided leather bracelets, and charm necklaces, plus a few other surprises.
What do sacred symbols mean to you? Do you have any symbols you believe in? Have you had experiences in your life dealing with the 'evil eye'? Leave your comments below!

Make sure to visit Lori's Etsy shop here:
Follow her on Facebook:
Follow on Twitter:
Check up on her blog:
And check out her website here:

Be Creative today!
~Squirrel Creek Creations
Our Etsy store:
Like us on Facebook:
Follow us on Twitter:!/SquirrelsCreek

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Feature of the Day #51: Decoylab

Modern Decorative Wall Clock - Kirie 02
Kirie 02
Today continues our special "Mother's Day gift week", and have we got a shop for you! Today's feature goes to Decoylab Shop, aka, Maiko Kuzunishi and her laser cut bamboo clocks, housewares and accessories.
Kuzunishi is the founder of Decoylab Design studio, and has over 10 years of experience in the graphic design field. Kuzunishi lives to be creative through her work and her interactions with her daughter, Leela. Being with her family and being creative are two of the most important things to her. She loves to experiment with new products in order to keep everything fresh and new. Because the operation at Decoylab is so small, they're able to bring personal attention and care to every customer and product. Decoylab also offers custom projects for websites, posters, invitations, catalogs, brochures, fliers, packaging, and illustrations.
Birds and branches bamboo clock
Birds and Branches Bamboo Clock
Her work has been featured in a number of magazines including Country Living, Parents, Lucky, Nylon, Pregnancy and Newborn, and online blogs such as Design Sponge, Real Simple, Josh Spear, Dooce, Oh Joy, Fred Flare, NEET and many more.
One of the ways Decoylab stands out, is the waste conscious way they go about creating. This is what Kuzunishi has to say about it:
Let's face it. Our world is full of stuff. When you look around, it doesn't take much to see that there is a lot of waste of our valuable natural resources and energy. We care greatly about our planet and the future of our children. Which is why we only make our products "on demand" basis - only what is requested. This also motivates us to create products that are special so they will not go to waste. We've carefully designed each of our products to minimize waste through manufacturing process as well as selected materials that are sustainable. We also took our time to choose our packaging materials so they can be reused or recycled.
Fawn Pin
Fawn Pin
This same level of care and conscious effort can be found in every creation that comes from Decoylab. From intricately carved clocks to adorable pins, each product is crafted with care. Kuzunishi has even gone the extra step in her clocks by placing a silent, non-"ticking" motor in each one. In Kuzunishi's piece, Kirie 02 (top right of page) the style of Kirie is mixed with the functionality of a clock. Kirie is the Japanese art of paper cutting and served as the inspiration for this piece. As Kuzunishi says, "the design is inspired from it (kirie) since all images have to be connected in order for laser cutting to curve out the image in one piece." The white of the clock is ivory acrylic backed with bamboo to, "bring out its elegant and intricate design."
If you're looking for a unique and beautiful gift for Mother's Day, then look no further than the elaborate, delicate, and exquisite wood carvings of Decoylab.
You can visit Decoy's Etsy store here:
Visit Kuzunishi's website here:
And follow her on Facebook here:

Be Creative today!
~Squirrel Creek Creations
Our Etsy store:
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Modern Whale Bamboo Wall Clock
Modern Whale Bamboo Wall Clock

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Feature of the Day #50: Scenic Surroundings

A Stunning Lightning Display Lights up an Oklahoma Sky
Oklahoma Sky Lightning
Today's feature goes to Scenic Surroundings, aka Mike Krzywonski and his unbelievable photography.
Krzywonski has been capturing nature's grandest moments since the early 90s when he first acquired a film camera. His first subjects were waves and sunset, but his portfolio has expanded greatly since then. His lens captures stormy skies and gorgeous sunsets, monsterous waves and urban landscapes, and so much in between it would be nearly impossible to cover it all here. This feature will focus mainly on his nature photography, with examples of a variety of his work at the end. Krzywonski does not like to change or enhance his images of the sky, but lets it speak for itself in all its wonder and dazzling colors.
Incredible Tornado Touches Down in Campo, CO
Tornado Touchdown in Campo, CO
A Hawaiian based photographer, Krzywonski's annual highlights include taking a trip to Tornado Alley to capture nature's raw fury unleashed across the plains. Through these trips, Krzywonski is able to take breathtaking images of stormy skies, tornadoes and lightning that are so intense they're almost unreal. Atmospheric effects are crisp and powerful, bringing to light the beauty within the terror of a storm. Krzywonski has a real gift for capturing clouds and the light that reflects off them, whether it's man-made or natural. For example, in his image Oklahoma Sky Lightning (above), an intense release of lightning is crawling through and out of the cloud. The strange, almost haunting purple tint produced by the pure bolt of energy highlights the contours of the cloud. From sky to ground, the image holds itself together with twisting, snapping, intensity that triggers deep elemental fears within our minds. Yet the physical distance of the storm created by the open spaces of the Great Plains, allows the viewer to experience without becoming a part of it. Just like the comfort of watching a fiercesome beast through the safety of a cage, so too does Krzywonski provide the viewer with something dangerous yet tamed.
This is what Krzywonski has to say about what nature means to him:
Looking Out of a Sea Cave at Waimea Bay on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii
Waimea Bay Sea Cave
Not only do I enjoy the beauty and power of the natural world, but it reinforces my belief in the Creator. The Bible says, "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made..." (Rom. 1:20). This means that one of the ways God has revealed Himself to mankind is through His creation.
Krzywonski captures the wonder of all of creation through the use of stunning clarity, dynamic movement, immense landscapes, and by being in the path of nature itself in its most raw form. I normally only have 3-4 examples of the featured artist's work, but felt that 3-4 wouldn't do his endlessly impressive work justice. Please take a moment to look through the small selection I picked out below, and make sure to stop by his Etsy store to see over 200 more examples of his work.
You can also view his entire collection on these two sites:

Be Creative today!
~Squirrel Creek Creations
Our Etsy store:
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Big Hollow Wave Breaking at Waimea Bay Shorebreak on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii
Oahu Wave
Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle
Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle
View of Beautiful Napali Coast on Kauai in Hawaii
Napali Coast, Hawaii
Photo of Busy H-1 Freeway at Night in Honolulu, Hawaii
H-1 Freeway, Hawaii
Street Kids Playing Banjo While Panhandling at a Truck Stop in Missouri
Street Kids Playing Banjo while Panhandling

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Feature of the Day #49: Flower Art Painting

Original Modern Abstract Large Abstract  Painting 24x48 - Textured Impasto Flower Tree Painting by Helen
Heart Seasons
Continuing with this week's Mother's Day gift ideas theme, today's features goes to Flower Art Painting, aka, Helen, and her original paintings.
Helen is a full time artist who was born in Europe and is currently working in Canada. Her paintings can be found in an impressive array of private and corporate collections in the United States, Europe, Canada, and Australia. Her art has also been used by home staging professionals, designers, art consultants, galleries and boutique shops. Though she has dabbled in many mediums, she is always drawn back to painting.
Helen's paintings are created with the best quality oil and acrylic paints. A thickly loaded canvas gives some of her paintings an almost 3 dimensional quality. For example, in Heart Sesasons and Heart Seasons Close-Up (above and right), the leaves and flowers from the tree have been placed on with a heavily loaded paintbrush. This allows the paint to stand out metaphorically and literally. It's a very bold and time-tested way to paint. The colors of the piece itself are as stunning as if a rainbow had caught on fire. The brilliant yellow and hint of white in the middle draw the eye in, while the gentle blue on the right ripples the viewer's focus back into the painting, and the red on the left forces it back in.
Original Modern Abstract Large Abstract  Painting 24x48 - Textured Impasto Flower Tree Painting by Helen
Heart Seasons Close-Up
There are blues in the red to avoid the warm colors from becoming overpowering. On the other side, the blue is spattered with hints of red and pink to contrast and enhance the cool colors. All the while, the thick and strong black lines of the tree cuts through the colors like a knife. The only colors that are placed on top are the brilliant lime green of the leaves, the warm colors of the berries, and the pure white of the flowers. All together, it creates a strong image that's a treat for the eye in many ways. The painting itself is 24"x48"x1" and made of four panels of 24"x12", and unlike most artists, Helen is selling her originals, not prints.
Free Shipping - Original Modern Abstract Flowers Large Painting 48x24 by Helen
Abstract Flowers
Another one of Helen's paintings that's gripping not only visually but emotionally is her painting, Abstract Flowers (right). The title implies that the painting is of flowers, perhaps purple irises, yet when I first viewed this piece I was given the overwhelming impression of birds in flight. The movement of a purple flock and dozens of fluttering wings, all contrasted against a yellow and brown background reminiscent of sunset over a field of wheat. The curve of the flower/birds pulls the eye from the top left corner down under the golden light, then back up to the right corner. It's a fluid movement as quick as the dazzlingly coordinated efforts of a flock of small birds. Helen utilizes thick paint once more, but it doesn't make the image feel weighed down. Instead, it gives a more lifelike sensation that changes it from just a painting to something special.
If you want a beautiful and eye-catching one-of-a-kind original painting, look no further than Flower Art Painting. A wonderful gift for Mother's Day, or any day!
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Original Modern Abstract Forest Large Impasto Painting 48x24 by Helen