Reflective Seamless Backgrounds

Read this snazzy, detailed post on photographing your work with a reflective white background. Whether using a reflective or matte surface, white makes your work really look great.
This post has 5 parts (on 5 pages), and goes on to talk about dark backgrounds, so grab a cup of tea… there’s lots to read. You might be inspired to try something like this on a scale that fits your space and the size of your work.

Artist Interview – Yoshi Stokes of Prefectly Random Designs

October 2012 Show Interview:

Wow! Well, our 2012 October event is just a few short days away and we have a few more artists to introduce you to…

Today we are really excited to bring you another new addition to our group, Yoshi Stokes of Prefectly Random Designs ( Yoshi is a young printmaker and jewelry artist who uses a recycled material in her jewelry that at least a few folks out there might be familiar with.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a part time art student attempting to avoid ‘real’ employment by selling my handmade jewelry and prints.

What kind of artist are you? And what first drew you to that particular medium?
I can’t really pin myself down as any particular sort of artist. I dabble a bit in everything, but I’m focused on printmaking and jewelry at the moment.  I was first drawn to printmaking as a way of making greeting cards, but after making and printing my first plate I quickly forgot that plan and just fell in love with the process. Jewelry has always been an interest for me. I finally got serious about it after taking a class at College of Marin. The use of vinyl first came along when I wanted to make a silhouette to match some earrings I had just bought, while looking for a material to cut it out of I found a broken record on my garage floor and thought, “I bet I could cut that!” Vinyl is cheaper than any type of metal so I can produce and sell my work affordably.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
Not much else. If I’m not doing jewelry or printing, I’m doing something else like sewing or painting. Other than that I love restoring old furniture and I spend a lot of time watching TV or reading.

Who is your greatest creative influence?
I can’t think of anyone specifically- there are too many to list. However, in both my jewelry and my printmaking I am inspired by what I describe as, “the contents of a Victorian adventurer’s parlor.”

Please describe your creative process.
My mind does things and my hands follow.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
In my first jewelry class I made myself a pair of simple silver rings, I’ve worn them almost everyday since. They mean a lot to me.

What is it about living in the North Bay that most inspires your creativity?
Good weather, the trees, the water and the sunsets.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Pretty much where I am now, but in a small live-in studio.

Thank you Yoshi!

After you’ve checked out Yoshi’s work, click over to check out her mom, Sally’s interview here on the blog.

Artist Interview – Karen Giles of Karen Designs

October 2012 Show Interview:

As you may know, Marin Handmade is very excited to be returning to Art Works Downtown again this year with another Evening of Art and Craft in 2012. The event is next Friday, October 12 from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and while we have many artists returning from last year’s event, we are please to welcome a few new faces this Fall.

Today we start with an interview from Karen Giles Designs ( Karen knits and sews the most luxurious scarves from both new and upcycled yarns and fabrics. We think you will find her to be a truly inspiring addition to our group.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I first learned to knit in high school. I took a long, long hiatus, then learned to crochet. After another long hiatus while raising kids, I am now addicted to yarn and knitting…just can’t get enough.  In addition, I sell the leftover fabrics of a Bay Area art-to-wear clothing designer and sometimes rescue her scraps and fashion them into something unique and wearable.  My sewing skills are less than I would like them to be, but I’m learning!


What kind of artist are you? And what first drew you to that particular medium?
Textile artist. I LOVE color, texture, fabric and fibers. Could just roll around in them all day!

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I work as a personal assistant/business manager for a woman who is a philanthropist.  I’m also very fitness oriented and teach both Pilates & Yoga, as well as taking Zumba classes and weight training several times a week.

Who is your greatest creative influence?
Right now, I’m loving Jane Thornley’s free range style of knitting – it speaks to my inner rebel who yearns to break the rules and I love the idea that there “are no mistakes.”  I’m trying to learn to make my “mistakes” work for me as part of the design process.  I also love Gina Wilde’s shibori-style knitting.  Catherine Bacon, the clothing designer, is always a source of inspiration with her creativity and unique way of putting fabric and colors together.

Please describe your creative process.
I just get ideas. I am inspired by seeing other people’s creations. Nature, colors, etc. all inspire me. My favorite thing to do is start a new project!

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
What I cherished the most is no longer with me, unfortunately.  My first crocheted afghan…took me over a year to make…and “disappeared” just before I moved from Hawaii to the Bay Area.  So sad.

What is it about living in the North Bay that most inspires your creativity?
Ahh…our beautiful open spaces, the colors – the green hills against brilliant blue sky in the early Spring; the burnished gold hills in late summer; the misty foggy mornings, with the shadows of our hills peeking through…and there are so many other wonderful artists here in the North Bay.  It’s like living among many kindred spirits, even though you might not have yet met them.


Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Retired from my day job, living in a beautiful remote area, spending all my time creating, doing yoga and whatever I want!

Thank you Karen!

Out and About this Summer

Visit some of our members at local shows and markets this season:

Creek Van Houten:

“Our jewelry designs for women and men range from elegant to industrial, combining delicate and mechanical sensibilities of the Victorian era.”

35th Annual Fairfax Festival
June 9-10, 2012 in Fairfax, Ca.

San Anselmo Art & Wine Festival
June 23 & 24, 2012 in San Anselmo, Ca.

Rivertown Revival
July 21 , 2012 in Petaluma, Ca.

Urban Air Market
September 16, 2012 in San Francisco, Ca.

Heather Graef:

Handcrafted bags and accessories, one of a kind and limited collections.

Petaluma Farmers Market
Wednesdays, June 6 – August 29, 4:30pm-8:00pm in Petaluma, Ca.
2nd Street between B & D Streets (parking garage on C Street)

Glen Ellen Farmers Market
Sunday, June 10, 2012 at Jack London Village in Glen Ellen, Ca.
Future dates for Heather at this market will be posted as they become available. 

Rivertown Revival
July 21 , 2012 in Petaluma, Ca.

Tisha Thompson:

Maker of Cati Cat, Monster, Fox, Owl, and the rest of the gang.

Glen Ellen Farmers MarketSunday, June 10, 2012 at Jack London Village in Glen Ellen, Ca.
Future dates for Tisha at this market will be posted as they become available.

The Bazaar Fête

Marin Handmade artists are happy to attend a new local event, “The Bazaar Fête.” Come say hello to some of our members, who are participating in this event on April 28:

Carol Lancor, Mosaics, Novato, CA
   Etsy Shop / Interview 
Creek Van Houton, Steampunk/Vintage Jewelry, San Anselmo, CA
  Etsy Shop / Interview 
Heather Graef, Bags & Accessories, Sausalito, CA
   Etsy Shop / Interview
• Location: Fairfax Pavillion, Fairfax (West Marin) 

• Admission: $5 Adults, $3 Seniors & teens, Free under 12 years old 

• RSVP: Visit the Event Page on Facebook, and then click “Join” on the event page: 

• More information:

Artist Interview – Kaelen van Cura of Kaelen Rose Paper Works

October 2011 Show Interview:

Well, the interviews just keep on coming!  Kaelen was one of our guest vendors for our 2011 October show. After meeting her for the first time Friday and seeing her work in person, I can assure you that if you didn’t come to the show, you should check out her shop on Etsy right away.

Kaelen Van Cura of Kaelen Rose Paper Works ( brings not only humor and charming illustration to her cards, but she combines those with stitchery for truly unique collage works functioning as both gift cards and tiny works of art.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am an artist originally from the Midwest, and moved here two years ago. I got my Bachelor’s in Fine Art from the Kansas City Art Institute, where I majored in Painting. I primarily create colorful, pop-influenced abstract paintings, but for the past several years, I’d been making sewn greeting cards for my friends and family. About last November, I decided I’d try to sell the cards, so I entered a one-day show in San Francisco and did really well, and then opened my Etsy shop a month or so afterwards.


What kind of artist are you, and what first drew you to that particular medium?
Besides painting and creating my greeting cards, I also have begun making fascinators and clothing. I actually made my dress for my wedding, which took place a couple weeks ago (September 24). I enjoy creating in general, so I have a hard time keeping to a single medium. I guess I first began sewing cards because I got a sewing machine and wanted to learn to sew clothes, but I was a bit intimidated, as I didn’t have any training. I was comfortable, however, making works on paper, so I just started experimenting with the cards I made for friends and family. Once I collaged fabric onto the cards, sewing them seemed like a logical next step.

Please describe your creative process.
To make my cards, first I think of an idea for a card. I can’t really explain it, I usually just sit down and think of a few ideas, either one that would be good for a specific occasion, or a concept I think is funny. I try to make cards that I wish already existed, that I could go to the store and buy.

Once I come up with an idea to try, I make a test card to work out the kinks. I usually draw the image on tracing paper, and cut it out. Then I use the paper as a template to trace from onto the fabric. Once the pieces are cut out, I glue them onto the cardstock with acid-free glue and wait for it to dry. Then, I sew the card, and finally I stamp it with any messages included as well as my logo on the back.  Once a test card is done, and I’ve decided on changes, I go through the same process again, but I do it assembly-line style, with all of the tracing first, then cutting, sewing, etc.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
In ten years, I hope to be working on my artworks on a full-time basis in a profitable manner. (I currently work full-time in an unrelated field). I am just at the beginning stages, but I am aiming to be able support myself with my creative endeavors.

Thank you Kaelen!