Monday, March 30, 2009

My studio!

Life is a funny thang.. ;)

One day a couple of months ago, we were sitting at one of the window tables of Gypsy Den Cafe in downtown Santa Ana with my husband, drinking coffee.. As I look out the window towards one of the Santora Building's windows with the most beautiful architectural details, I told him; 'I wish I had a studio space there.'... He offered me to check the building for available spaces and I told him that even if there was any, rent would be too much for me to afford..

Anyway, we still went there after finishing our coffees, to look around a little bit, and saw an empty space available. He was calling the number on the window to ask about the rent etc., I looked around and saw an artist working on a reproduction of a Rembrandt painting at the back part of a store, behind some vintage clothing and accessory displays..

My husband couldn't reach the person on the phone, so I decided to talk to that artist to see if I could get any info about the space. Long story short, the artist guy (named Moises) tells me that it'd be great if I would be interested in moving in with them to share their space! I go yayy, and now I'm there! ;)

This is my studio on the left corner, on the right side where Moises paints,
and the front on the store has really cool vintage clothing and accessories
handpicked by Gretel..

Inside of the Santora Building, I'm on the second floor! The building
was built in 1929 in Spanish Colonial Revival Style..

The painting on the left is by Moises Camacho, and on the right is
a work of Joseph Hawa (another artist I share the building with)

There are many many other artist's studios and galleries in the Santora Building/ Artist Village. Every first Saturday of the month those studios and galleries open to the public, so you can come in and get inspired maybe purchase something you fall in love it by also supporting the local artists.

I'd also love it if you can stop by to meet me in person there, anytime! Just let me know beforehand so I make sure that I'm there when you come in! :)

Santora Arts Building

207 North Broadway
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Meeting at the 'eggz neighbourhood' with Faulty Carpenter

The weird thing is, in my previous post my goal was to introduce you a new Etsy artist I've recently discovered "faultycarpenter"..
I started talking about people are like gift boxes and you never know what you will find in the box blah blah blah, and right after that intro, I was meaning to tell you that I met this new cool artist on Etsy.. And somehow I found myself writing more and more, even about cabbages!! haha. It was way too much of an intro, it became a post itself and I just decided to leave it that way.. *sighs*

I had a pleasure learning more about Adam Grath of "faultycarpenter" after I added his very personable 'eggz neighbourhood' to my favorites. Chatting him a little bit, I immediately decided to feature him here in my blog, because I'm sure you will like to hear his story as well..

Adam is a 48 years old artist who grew up in Kalamazoo Michigan, currently lives and works in Bloomington Minnesota with his wife Anne and their two dogs Moby and Mabel. He says; 'I found etsy via a co-workers girlfriend. Her shop has had some success, so I thought it would be fun to start my own store.' And adds: 'I'm digging the etsy community and find it has been very helpful and encouraging to see the wonderful array of objet that comes from the minds and hands of others.'

Although Adam opened his shop in Feb, 2009 , he has always been in art & crafts world. He says 'My dad David Grath is a fine artist (painter) and my mom Donna Grath is a spectacular quilter so I've been around art/crafts since I was a wee tot.' He has also studied ceramics at the Kalamazoo Institute of Art.. 'under a super cool artist named Tom Lollar' he adds.. One of his other passions is music; ' I sell guitars for a living and have played for (gulp) 43 years. another story'..

Adam's Etsy shop name is coming from his illustrated short story book "The Faulty Carpenter". He actually has a video of the story on youtube which you can watch by clicking here. Although I love that story (and the music, which is also his own), my favorite one is 'Emmet The Flying Chair' which is another illustrated story by him! (click here to watch)

Going back to our conversation starter, the 'eggz neighbourhood' , he says: ' I started making "neighbourhoods" of smashed heads in 1971 and selling them in the divided coke crates that hold 24. It's getting almost impossible to find the old crates anymore and when you do some antique shop wants 20$ for one, so I started making my "eggz neighbourhoods" using recycled egg cartons instead.' and adds 'I love to look at objects and consider what other uses and personalities they might have. '

Adam says he also paints with acrylics mostly on large canvas, and planing to list them in his Etsy shop very soon! He also has a blog 'click here' which he tries to post a chapter and a drawing everyday..

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Adam as much as me.. Add him to your faves , and keep an eye on his shop for soon to be filled with many other cool artwork! His book 'The Faulty Carpenter' is currently available for purchase in his shop for only $7.. *wink wink*

Much love,



Sunday, March 22, 2009

We are gift boxes and cabbages..

.. Every person is like a gift box waiting to be given to you, not just in special days, but mostly totally random, when the most unexpected. And you never know what's been hiding in that box unless you open it. Those boxes also contain other boxes inside (in different sizes), like those 'joke' ones people give to each other. The smallest is the hardest to open, because it is the most sacred and secret one. That's the one most of us prefer to keep to ourselves, the one that is a mystery to most , and complicated, and honest, and pure.. The ones who opens most of our boxes and get closest to the smallest ones, are our true friends. They are called 'gift' boxes, because we are all gifts to each other..

I also consider humans like cabbages, we have our layers. Many many layers! To truly get to know someone, we need to carefully peel and eat (also enjoy while eating) and digest the layers starting from outside, and slowly reach to the root (or core?). And you know what? you get the most nutrition from the root of the cabbage, that's where all the good stuff is! Personally I find that part the most delicious, mmm crispy and filling..

Don't be afraid of opening boxes, you never know what you will find in it, or what you will be surprised with! They are not presented to you already open, you need to take the packaging wrap off first, and untie the ribbon!

And eat your cabbages! It is good for you, it even makes you lose weight! ;)

Much love,

P.S. Cabbage chair (the photos above) are by nendo , click here to read more.. Isn't it the perfect design to pair with my post??


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Looking for pen pals..

Facebook is such a blessing.. Especially if you are living in another country than your own, like me! I've found many many of my friends from past otherwise I'd have no idea how to reach them. I recently chatted with my high school English teacher through facebook, after 10 years! She mentioned me that it is a great way for her students to improve their English by being pen pals with other kids of their age, from other countries. So she asked me to let her know if I can find anybody around me who is willing to do that with her current students. I'm originally from Turkey by the way, so the students are Turkish!

Do you know any high school student who might be interested in doing something like that? I think it'd also be a great chance for them to experience such a thing, learn about Turkish culture, appreciate another culture, have a new friend, enjoy helping someone, and last but not least to HAVE FUN! So please let me know if you or someone you know would be interested in it by leaving a comment to this post, then I can contact you in private to exchange address details etc. If you are from Etsy, send me a convo!

much love,


Sunday, March 15, 2009

My Mini Treasury

While drinking my warm mint tea, I'm going through my latest pretty and cool finds in Etsy, so I decided to make a little treasury for you, yes only for my blog here at this very moment.. Enjoy!

Here it goes;

The first time I took a look into TreeandKimball shop, the overall ambiance reminded me one of my favorite shops Anthropologie. And reading their profile confirmed that they were actually designing for Anthropologie! I especially love their collection of hair bands with lovely vintage embellishments in pastel tones, and couldn't pass the gorgeous vintage shoes for $26. (Any way to grow my feet about 2 size larger?)

These cool little inspirational vintage bottles are from AlphabetCocktail , which I discovered through 'pounce undiscovered'. Each one is priced around $18.

Breagha is a 'fairly new to Etsy' shop from Scotland. First the 'Pink Heart' clutch caught my eyes, then I had to take a look at the whole shop. I love their feminine details with a definite flirty flair and warm & cozy feel that comes across the screen!

I love it when I see jewelry designs with a new technique or materials, and that's how I felt when I find these 'ear pillows' from waywardradish . They are tiny puffy pillows, intricately hand embroidered onto silk , and turned into earrings. How cool!

Hope you enjoyed taking a little peek at my new favorites on Etsy!

See you soon,



Monday, March 9, 2009

New discoveries around the town.. Toolgrrl

Well, Etsy town I mean! More and more great artists are moving into the town and making me drool! Actually the ones I came across lately are not very new, but I thought I'd share them with you , because they are a 'must know', and all have very unique items!!

Today I wanna share Rachel Wright from Toolgrrl with you! Her clothing line is truly unique and one (or two) of the same kind. I particularly loved her 'dream anatomy series'. You can either wear her dresses or hang them on your wall as an art piece.. Her designs reminded me of a character in the book 'The Memory Keeper's Daughter', the doctor who takes photographs of human internal organs mirroring real life images, like how veins in our heart look like trees..

In her shop profile she says; "I love to transform garments that I find in the thrift stores or surplus outlets. I never buy retail! Repurpose/Recycle/Renew is my mantra. I choose high quality garments and then add my own layer of embellishment onto them, either through applique or screenprinting. Most of the sewing I do is by hand, so it is time-intensive."

She also have a website (click here) , which you can read more about her and see more of her extraordinary work! (below the photos, I'm adding more quotes from her artist statement)

"Everybody’s got a body, but few of us take the time to contemplate what is beneath the surface of our skin. For centuries, physicians and artists have attempted to make sense of the complexities hidden inside. Early anatomical illustrations are often a mixture of correct and incorrect assumptions. Some artists rely on metaphor rather than verisimilitude. "

"The Dream Anatomy series explore these imagined realms inside the body. Because these garments are meant to be worn, the boundary between the internal and the external is blurred. The invisible is made visible: wear your inside on the outside. By using women’s slips and nighties, articles that were not originally intended for public life, I am playiing with the line between the public and the private arenas."



Thursday, March 5, 2009

Breath in and out..

Having a balcony is very important for me when I'm living in an apartment.. I want to be able to step outside and get the fresh air into my lungs, feeling refreshed! We live on the 3rd floor and have a nice size of balcony (not too big, not tiny either) looking to a beautiful big tall tree which is covered with gorgeous red flowers blooming in the late summer! I didn't know what kind of tree it was when we first moved in here, then I looked it up on the net and found out it is 'gum tree'..

Last few days, whenever I step out to the balcony, there is this divine flowery smell in the air, I can't figure the source.. Isn't it amazing when you think about all the things nature gives you emotionally and physically? It feeds our body, our soul, our spirit, our eyes... Fascinating really..

I was having my Turkish coffee on the balcony today while waiting for my old laptop to get itself together.. I used to love that thing until it started having problems due to being worn out (hmmm I wonder why? :P)! Then I got my new laptop and because I was lazy, I didn't transfer all my photos to the new one.. Recently I got an order for my mini art vintage frames with my naughty prints in them (yayy), and needed to get the images from the old computer and it just got stuck giving me headache! Finally I got it to work again and were able to get the images *relief*..

Have you seen my mini art frames before? They are so cute and original too I think! But somehow they weren't sold as I expected. I honestly thought they'd sell like hot cakes, I was so confident too! =D It is weird, you never know these things.. And sometimes you create something and think 'it is OK' and even doubt about listing it or not, then it becomes one of the most popular things in your shop! ;)

Anyway.. This person wants to buy a lot of 7 of these frames and hang them all together to the wall, as just one art piece! I love it, because that was what I initially pictured in my had!

I also got a request through my Etsy shop, for my 'bonjour necklace', the wallpaper one! Although I didn't have the exact pieces/shapes to make another one, I'll create a similar but still unique one for my client! Gotta go and finish it, then take the photos now!

I'll be back,


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I'm back...

Hello HELLO to everyone who has been waiting for me to post for about 2 months (hi Elsie), and thanks to the ones who's been constantly-shamelessly kicking me to do it (hi again Elsie!)..

Sorry I've been neglecting my little sweet corner here for no good reason, but just being me on the "downy :s-worn out-not wanting to do anything for a while except hiding under the blanket" mood a little ( tiny bit really!).. Let's get real here, don't you ever have a time frame in your life like that?? And it doesn't have to have a big particular reason you know, it just happens! I hope you don't, but if you ever do; remember that you are not alone and it won't last forever, and loving honest friends come very handy too !! (Feel free to contact me if you feel like chatting with someone about it, only 3 bucks a minute! (*just being silly about the last part*) =D

Anyway.. Although I've been trying my best to stay under the blanket all that time, somehow I still managed to get some stuff done on the rocky road; like finding an awesome little studio space (yayy) , moving my artsy mess there, and shopping for new metalsmithing tools (yayy, more toys!). Also, I managed to go to Hawaii for week of vacation , AND having a trip to Appleton/WI for 4-5 days to see my oldy but goody friends there! That last trip was actually the one which pumped my motivation and brought my 'happy happy joy joy' side back to me, because of the precious therapeutic times I got to spend with my friends! Let's see... Am I forgeting anything between? Umm.. If I remember more, I'll add later! ;)

Sooooo....... That's the story.. Hopefully from now on, I'll get back on track and try to post more.. I will update you with the photos of my studio soon!


P.S. The photo was taken by me in Kohler/WI, the city I've visited the very first time during my last Wisconsin trip. My friend Amber took me there and she is the one in the photo looking up to the beautiful umbreallas! I'll post about Amber and our friendship in the near future..
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