Cadan Imrak is playing with fire | Handmade in Europe

Candan Imrak is playing with fire

Candan Imrak is playing with fire! And it gets hot, as she needs to melt glass and silver, which happens somewhere between 700 and 1300°C. She makes glass, silver and enamel beads & jewellery, and sells these in her shop on Handmade in Europe  She makes the beads using the lampwork bead techniques, believed to Read more about Candan Imrak is playing with fire[…]

Kristina Secinski of 5Plus | Handmade In Europe

MEET AN ARTIST: KRISTINA SECINSKI OF 5PLUS

 

Kristina Secinski of 5Plus | Handmade In Europe

Kristina Secinski lives and works in Bulgaria, where she makes high quality handbags and fashion accessories using leather, cotton, linen and wool, all by her own design, under the name 5PLUS. She was educated and worked for years in graphic design. But then something happened:

“A couple of years ago I was searching for a unique present for a dear friends’ wedding and I came up with the idea of making her a wedding quilt. Myself! “It couldn’t be so difficult” I thought, though I never made a single stitch in my life. That day was the first day I sat in front of the sewing machine. You can imagine I had hard times with such an ambitious first project but I did it. Now I wouldn’t be so proud with the final result, but back then I thought I could make everything.
And what’s more important: I loved the process!
That was the start. I used every minute for practicing. And one day I made my first bag and felt that that‘s what I want to do every day. I started making bags and sell them at a local store and little by little the thought that I could do this for living was not so absurd.”


5plus Beige and brown leather handbag

Elegant handbag in beige and brown leather | 5plus


This may seem strange, never having sewn anything, and then suddenly getting the urge to make something, but there is a bit of a history of sewing in the family, which stopped when Capitalism caught up, and western products started coming in:

“I was raised in a communist society where buying nice, fashionable goods was impossible. I remember my mother leaning over the sewing machine trying to make nice skirts, dresses and coats for us. At that time everything was home-made and we dreamed of birthday cakes from the store. Handmade things had no value at all.
When I was grown up, and the communism was over, for a long time nobody wanted to make something for themselves as we could find everything at the store, which we were missing for so long… My mother’s sewing machine stopped “singing”.. […]

Eva Baricz, BHB Kidstyle | Handmade in Europe

MEET AN ARTIST: EVA BARICZ OF BHB KIDSTYLE

Eva Baricz, BHB Kidstyle | Handmade in Europe

Eva Baricz is a Hungarian crafter, living in Portugal where she designs and makes costumes and costume accessories, mostly for children, and sells these online at BHBkidstyle.com. She is inspired by nature, children’s stories, and the unlimited imagination that children have.

“Nature, children’s story and kids unruly imagination are what inspires me. There are so many animals out there that one can make a mask or costume of. Even if a particular animal might not be popular in general, if it happens to be a character in a story, I think it is worth making at least a mask of. Reading, acting out and re-telling stories for children and/or with children is not just educational but great fun as well, not to mention the endless imaginative plays. And if there is no story about an animal, I am sure there will be created one soon by a child.”

Her business was not really planned, but just happened:

“I never planned to have a business and the fact that now I own my online shop has happened by chance. I used to hand-paint t-shirts for my children and it was  my friend Kerrin from Sigmosaics who encouraged me so that I opened my online shop on Etsy six years ago.
However, what appealed to some did not grab the attention of the wide audience and my shop was not doing very well.
The fate of my business has changed by the coincidence of receiving my first sewing machine and the need for a lion costume for my daughter. The costume was a success and I really enjoyed making it. More to the point, my little market research has proved that there was a need for masks and dress up costume accessories for children. So I took the plunge, abandoned my not very successful t-shirt business, and started making costume accessories for kids. My research has paid off and now I am a proud owner of my own web-shop where I sell masks and costume accessories for children which are designed and made by me.

In short, becoming a business owner has happened by chance but becoming a fairly successful business owner was the result of some conscious decisions.”


Tiger mask and tail costume for kids, BHBKidstyle on Handmade in Europe

Tiger mask and tail from BHB Kidstyle


We asked Eva about her early years, where did her crafting or designing come from, and were told that it is ‘nothing special, anyone was doing this’.

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MEET AN UNIQUE ARTIST: ALINA TYRO-NIEZGODA OF TENDER DECEMBER

MEET AN ARTIST: ALINA TYRO-NIEZGODA OF TENDER DECEMBER

MEET AN UNIQUE ARTIST: ALINA TYRO-NIEZGODA OF TENDER DECEMBER

Alina Tyro-Niezgoda is a Polish artist living and working in Warsaw. Alina finds inspiration everywhere, from the curiosities of the natural world to industrial designs and everything in between. Soutache echinoderms, colorful felted bags, metal clay dragons and soft woven shawls all find their way into her repertoire. She never stays focused on one medium nor one style, but there is one thing all Alina’s creations have in common: they are all results of the artist’s immense passion for creating.

“There is only one reason for my activities: I love to create. It doesn’t matter if it is a new business, a building, a hat or a bracelet. What really matters is the idea that is being born and then has to be executed in the best possible way.”


bag

Beaded evening purse embellished with soutache


We asked Alina some questions about her experiences with art, especially as a child, and her response really got us intrigued.

“Ever since I remember I was always most happy when my hands were busy. Most of all I loved to draw, knit and sew.

I remember one of my early projects, a really crazy one. I got my colleagues to help me out with collecting all the ties their fathers, brothers and uncles were not using anymore (I still hope the owners did agree to donating their ties to me, though…) and then I used the ties to make a grandiose skirt… It weighted a ton, but who cared!

Anyway, I am a daughter of an engineer and an economist, but there always has been a creative factor hanging in the air. My Mom was not very good at using her hands, but my Dad enjoyed tinkering a lot. I always tried to combine creativity with the technical knowledge (I have a Master degree in architecture), but then both my children decided to follow artistic paths, one in music, the other one in visual arts.”

We would love to see that skirt, wouldn’t you?


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40 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR CREATIVITY

40 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR CREATIVITY

 

 

It is creativity that produces invention and innovation.

It is creativity that makes our lives more fun, more interesting and more full of achievement.

It is creativity that is so often expected of us at home and – especially – at work.

Everybody wants to be creative but many people believe they can’t, just because they were not born that way. Many others believe that creativity is all about those aha! moments which sometimes happen to other people and never to them.

Here is a great news: creativity does not come from nothing. New creative ideas are grounded in ideas and knowledge you already have. Another great news is: creative thinking can be enhanced by external forces, and it’s not necessarily reliant on “good genes” or natural ability, as many people believe.

Here you can find 40 great ways to give your creativity some boost, just try some of them and see what is working for you.


 1. Relax

Relaxing and ‘doing nothing’ can be extremely beneficial for your creativity. States of being and inactivity allow the creative potentials of your mind to manifest themselves. They allow your insights and inspirations to flow.


2. Sleep

Sleep is quite essential for the growth of creativity. Our sleeping brains continue to work on ideas that we are struggling with during the day and it is very much likely that after 8 hours of rest we will think about our experiences in a whole new way which will lead us to finding solutions more easily. Sleep helps to consolidate memories and sharpen thoughts: our memories are restructured before they are stored and creativity appears to be enhanced in the process.


 3. Listen to classical music

The brain functions better and is more creative when listening to certain songs and compositions. For instance, Albert Einstein found listening to Mozart compositions helped his thinking, though he never understood why. Now it has been scientifically proven that the brain’s performance and creativity increases from the positive effects of certain frequencies which are characteristic for classical music.


4. Play piano

Apparently piano playing reduces stress more than other creative art activities. Since stress is one of the most common factors that can block creative thinking playing piano will help to ease and clear your mind so that it can be freer and more creative.


5. Exercise

Going for a walk or doing other physical exercise on a regular basis can really get your creative juices flowing. When we are physically active the body loosens up and our mind becomes freer which makes it easier to come up with new ideas and solutions. However, the effects of exercising are not everlasting and they drop when we are completely at rest.


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