Sunday, March 28, 2010

Artist Spotlight: Part Thirteen

For lucky thirteen, and I really do find thirteens to be lucky, I'm honored to introduce you to the wonderful and talented fellow New Jersey resident Kimberly, of Makin' the Best of It.  Make the best of things, she absolutely does, whether it's a piece of glassware, a bit of plain silver wire, or your own wedding invitation!

Huh? you wonder.  I've confused you, I know.  The problem is, this is another one of those talented artists who makes me jealous by being able to do a zillion different things and do them well.  No joke.

Well then, get to the pictures!  Yeah, yeah, gimme a second, I'm getting to it.  First, the glassware.  Kimberly takes the plain, adds a bit of herself, and makes it beautiful.  Check out, for instance, these gorgeous toasting flutes.

These were custom-painted to match the theme of a wedding, as commissioned by the bride.  Would that I had known Kimberly a year ago!  Coincidentally, today is  my one year wedding anniversary to Eric.  No kidding, it's today!  During our eight-month engagement, I was a member of a wedding planning site and all I heard were brides looking for something new, different, unique, and good for their themes.  What's better than this?!  Not much, unless it's the handpainted, custom-designed wedding invitation memory boxes that Kimberly also does.

Is that not a terrific way to display your wedding invitation?  Is that not a terrific gift for the bride and groom you love?  The invitation doesn't have to be previously embellished either.  Look what she can do with a plainer one.

Not a fan of the flowers?  How about this.

And on that one, she had to work with a design already printed on the invitation and make it still look right!  Not an easy feat, my friends, and she pulled it off wonderfully.

It's not just about weddings, either.  This artist, and I do mean artist, does the most creative things with old books!  Check this out.
Gorgeous.  Gorgeous, I say!  And it's all sculpted from an old book, cut, formed, and then framed.  Want a funkier one?  She can do it!

That, my friends, is not just an altered book (appropriately, A Clockwork Orange), but also an old clock face, and gears and workings from an old clock.  Awesome, just awesome.

Speaking of awesome, I need to step back to the glassware for a second, because that's not all wedding-related either.  Look at this terrific handpainted "Four Seasons" candle cube.

Or what about more casual glassware, like these funky tropical mugs?

Having a backyard BBQ?  Personally, I think these sunflower salt & pepper shakers are a must.

In light of the chilly greyness currently lurking outside my windows, I just love looking at those.  They fool me into thinking it's warm and sunny out there.  It's a lie, I guess, but I like lies like that.  They make me happier.

What about that silver wire you mentioned?  Yeah, yeah, I'm getting to that too.  It's not my fault Kimberly gives me so much to talk about!

So... the silver wire.  Well, that has many incarnations as well, so bear with me.  First, I'll show you what she can do with plain silver wire.

I'm not kidding when I say that this piece had me awestruck.  The one that literally made my mouth hang open, though was one that involved her chainmaille.

The way that pendant just glows with the read center bead had me staring at that photo for several minutes the first time I saw it.  Now that I'm looking at it again, I'm staring again.  I can't help it.

One caged bead not impressing you?  OK, how 'bout a bracelet full of them?

Enough of the maille, how about going back to wire wrapping?  What about these pendants?

Or these more delicate ones?

You can also get the sea glass earrings to go with them.

And then there are these amazing wire wrappings with sea glass, to form birds' nests.

By the way, you're not allowed to buy those!  I think I want at least one of 'em.  So there!  Of course, if you did want to buy them despite my admonition, you could find them and other wonderful things at Kimberly's Handmade Artist's Shop.

Then, there's the chainmaille/wire wrap combo.

What a statement piece that is!  That necklace, a little black dress - or red one, for that matter - and maybe a small pair of silver earrings, and you would get noticed.  That's one of those pieces everyone who comes near you is compelled to comment on.

And now for something completely different, check out this handwoven Swarovski crystal heart pendant.

Basically, when you're looking at Kimberly's work, you're going to be seeing things you can't find anywhere else.  She's got a talent and sense of style so varied and unique, it's just amazing.  Look, even when it comes to Christmas ornaments!

Seriously, I've never seen anything like this.  To learn more about Kimberly, Makin' the Best of It, and the other artists she spotlights and supports, great person that she is, check out her blog.  It's a worthy read.


Handmade Artists' Forum said...

WOW! I didn't know my wife was that talented!
Watch out her head may explode from this post. I'm just glad someone else said to Kimberly what I've been saying to her for years. She is very, very talented.
Signed a proud and lucky Husband :D

MakinTheBestOfIt said...

You made tears come to my eyes...and I needed it today! Thanks so much for the wonderful post and showing off all my little creations. By the way; Happy Anniversary!

Joan said...

Happy anniversary, Larissa & Eric! And thanks for this wonderful post. I've been a part of the Handmade Artists Forum for a little while, and I just love it there — Andrew and Kimberly do such a great job with it. But I had NO idea that Kimberly created all this incredible art. I'm drooling!

Larissa said...

Aw, thanks, guys! As for Kimberly, she's easy to write about, she does so much!

jewelry by NaLa said...

Larissa, you've done a beautiful job of showcasing Kim's many wonderful talents ... and Happy 1st Anniversary!

DreamBubbles said...

Holy cow! I'm starsturck! hehe, a fantastic post that highlights so many creative outlets of such a phenominal woman. :) Great read!

trusk4u said...

Holy cow indeed! Makes my head spin reading about all that stuff and seeing all the pictures. But you know, when you've got it, FLAUNT IT! And Kim surely has it!

Happy anniversary too!!

jewelrybyjanelle50 said...

Makes ya wonder when Kim makes time for herself! LOL! Nice post about a multi talented artist!

Haffina said...

Kim is a wonderful person, and incredibly talented. ((hugs))

mooaany said...

I absolutely love Kim's style! beautifully talented A great big Wow!

Mewes Mountain Arts said...

Okay - I HAVE to have the frame with the leaves...I'm on a mission now!! Thanks for the awesome post on a fantastic artist!!

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