I've picked a few of my favorite items from LouAnn's shop and have pictured them here. She is such a talented artist and works in a variety of mediums, but I have to say that her gourds are probably my favorites. There is just something earthy and unique about gourd art and the thing LouAnn can do with a gourd is amazing. She is definitely one of my favorite artists on etsy.
Recently, I asked if I could ask her a few questions about her and her work to feature on this blog. She honored my request and so I am pleased to feature such a talented person on my blog site.
Here is LouAnn in her own words:
I AM A MARRIED TO A WONDERFUL MAN AND RETIRED. MOVED TO NORTH CAROLINA ABOUT 9 YEARS AGO FROM NEW YORK. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN INTERESTED IN CRAFTING. AT ONE TIME I OWNED AND OPERATED A BOUTIQUE AND CRAFT SHOP IN MY HOMETOWN OF OSSINING NEW YORK. WHEN I MOVED TO NORTH CAROLINA, I WAS INTRODUCED TO GOURDS.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU IN YOUR ARTWORK?
I AM INSPIRED BY JUST THE FASCINATION OF WHAT CAN BE DONE WITH A GOURD, OF WHAT CAN BE MADE FROM A GOURD. I JUST LET MY IMAGINATION RUN WITH THIS FRUIT. I'VE BOUGHT EVERY GOURD BOOK THAT HAS BEEN PRINTED AND I GET LOTS OF IDEAS FROM THEM.
HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN THIS TYPE OF CRAFT?
MY HUSBAND AND I WENT TO A FESTIVAL IN A NEARBY TOWN. LOW AND BEHOLD, I STUMBLED ONTO A LADY SELLING BEAUTIFUL GOURDS THAT SHE PAINTED ON. I TOLD MY HUSBAND I AM GOING TO BUY ONE OF HER PIECES AND I DID. I WAS HOOKED AND TOTALY FASCINATED WITH THESE GOURDS. THEY ARE FASCINATING. NO TWO ARE EXACTLY ALIKE. WE HAD A STUDIO BUILT BECAUSE THEY WERE TAKING OVER OUR GUEST ROOM. NOW THEY ARE TAKING OVER THE STUDIO. THESE ARE GOD'S CREATIONS AND HE IS LETTING ME CREATE. THEY GIVE ME PEACE AND RELAXATION IN MY SENIOR YEARS.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING IN YOUR CRAFT?
I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A CRAFTER OF SOME SORT. I HAVE BEEN WORKING WITH GOURDS FOR ABOUT 10 YEARS. THEY ARE VERY CUMBERSOME IN MANY WAYS. THEY COME TO ME ALL DIRTY. THEY HAVE TO BE WASHED AND CLEANED. I DO NOT GROW THEM. THEY COME FROM CALIFORNIA MOSTLY; PEOPLE HAVE BEEN GIVING ME A LOT TOO. WITH GOURDS, WHEN YOU FIGURE OUT WHAT IT IS YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE, IT BECOMES QUITE INVOLVED, TIME WISE.
DO YOU SELL LOCALLY?
I DO TRY TO SELL LOCALLY, AT DIFFERENT CRAFT SHOWS, BUT I AM GETTING OLDER AND THE PACKING, SETTING UP AND UNPACKING IS QUITE TIRESOME, SO I DUE VERY FEW SHOWS NOW. I DO BELONG TO A COUPLE OF GALLERIES. FALLING RIVERS GALLERY 119 W. MAIN STREET ALBEMARLE NC. THE OLD MILL GALLERY 514 N WASHINGTON STREET WADESBORO NC 28170 www.oldemillgallery.org. THESE ARE THE ONLY TWO FOR NOW. I HAVE SHOP ON ETSY.COM
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD?
I WOULD JUST LIKE TO SAY THAT I AM A CHRISTIAN AND PROUD OF IT. JESUS HAS BEEN GOOD TO ME FOR 68 YEARS. I LOVE TO SERVE HIM; I GIVE HIM ALL THE PRAISE BECAUSE HE IS THE LORD OF MY LIFE. GOD GAVE ME MY GIFT OF CREATING BEAUTIFUL THINGS IN MY SENIOR YEARS. HE SAID "I WANT YOU TO HAVE SOMETHING TO DO THAT WILL BRING MORE JOY IN YOUR LIFE." HE ALREADY KNEW THAT HE WAS THE JOY IN MY LIFE BUT HE WANTED ME TO HAVE MORE, SO THAT IS WHY HE GAVE ME MY CRAFT. WITH GOD I AM EVERYTHING. WITHOUT HIM I AM NOTHING. I AM TRULY BLESSED; I GIVE THANKS TO HIM EVERYDAY.
Thanks, LouAnn, for sharing your precious gift that God has given you. It brings all of us joy too!
Be sure to visit LouAnn's shop at
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Posted by Trish's Soapy Blessings at 9:04 PM
Friday, September 12, 2008
I love October for a variety of different reasons. It is a lovely month full of color, there is an air about the whole time that signifies change...leaves turning color, blustery days and warm days all at once as if it can't seem to make up its mind which way to go. It is also the month in which I was born. It is also my wedding anniversary and I've been married a long time to a wonderful man. So, you can see that I am quite partial to the month of October.
I've also just recently made several soaps that will be ready for October too. In addition to ones I've mentioned previously, here a few new ones.
The soap above is Frankincense and Myrrh. A bit eclectic looking, it has a lovely spicy sweet fragrance that is perfect for the fall season. It also has a slight touch of Sandlewood mixed in which gives it a pleasant sweet clean touch too.
This next soap pictured is Mountain Blackberry. I took this picture barely 48 hours after making the soap, and haven't added my "topping" yet which is a layer of dried calendula blossoms on top. This is similar to one of my best selling soaps, Blackberry Kumquat but I've removed the Kumquat and added a sweet grass fragrance to the blackberry...a lovely combo. If you love the berry kind of fragrance, this soap is for you.
This soap pictured above is a remake of one of the first soaps I ever made and the fragrance is still my hubby's favorite. Seeing as how this month is our anniversary, I thought I would re-introduce this revised version of my Tropical Escape soap because he loves it so much.
Although my previous Tropical Escape was a great cleansing soap, it was a bit dull and boring looking, so I "spiced" it up a bit by adding some pinky orange color to the mix and swirled it in. It has the lovely combo fragrances of mango, lime, and ginger. My daughter suggested that I should've added coconut because "dad loves coconut you know." She suggested this the day after I made it so it was a bit too late to change my mind, but I think she is right. Coconut would've been a great addition! Maybe next time around...I'll add the revised revised edition :D
So come and enjoy what's coming up in October. It is a time for change and expectation. I'm looking forward to this month, how about you?
Posted by Trish's Soapy Blessings at 5:25 AM
Sunday, September 7, 2008
A dessert soap that looks like it was made to go with coffee. Please don't eat it even if it smells and looks like you should!
This is Raspberry Mocha Soap. A hint of raspberries combined with the warm heady scent of mocha. A white chocolate scented drizzle to top the whole thing off.
Available end of September, this one will feel so decadent! Superfatted with coconut oil, palm oil, olive oil and vitamin E.
Posted by Trish's Soapy Blessings at 2:56 PM
Unique, eclectic, sophisticated and earthy all at the same time! That's Nag Champa. This soap has the spicy-sweet-mystique fragrance of Nag Champa along with unique splash design that you see in the above picture. This was just as fun to make as it looks.
Actually, Nag Champa will be availabe the end of September. Check it out on my site at SoapyBlessings.etsy.com
Posted by Trish's Soapy Blessings at 2:51 PM