Weyakin Designs, Visual Creation by Victoria Chapman

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year Wishes...

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic holiday with your friends, family and loved ones. It's hard to believe that the year is almost over already. Where did the time go?

As we approach 2010, I hope to have many new and wonderful things to share with you in the coming year. I hope you too have some great plans for what you hope to accomplish this next year.

Whether you make resolutions or not, I hope 2010 treats you all well and that you find many pleasant surprises and much happiness!

As a seasonal holiday card this year, I gave my friends and family a card which I created from a watercolor painting, titled "Winter Spirit". To pass on the good seasonal wishes to you all, here is a web version of the front of the card. The inside reads, "May the Spirit of the Season be With You... Happy Holidays!"

Winter Spirit by Victoria Chapman
Click to Enlarge

Don't forget also that I have a Facebook Fan Page. You can find more little tidbits there.

Thank you all for your support! Have a safe and happy new year!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Let it Snow!

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...
Photo. First Snow in Massachusetts 2009.

But the fire is so delightful...
Photo. Warm woodstove fire.

Today is the first real snow of the season here in western Massachusetts. Well, we did have a small snow in October, but it was short lived and doesn't really count. This is the first snow where it's lasting a while and sticking to the ground. Happily, it's on a day when I don't have to drive to work!

My husband and I got our errands done earlier before the snow picked up and before we headed home, we picked up a beautiful pine and cedar swag hanging from the local Emerson Family tree farm in Greenfield. They had some lovely wreaths, swags and lots of trees to choose from. Plus, they had a nice warm room with an antique wood stove and free hot cider and popcorn. If you're in the western MA area, I recommend stopping by. They are on Rt. 5 on the way to Bernardston.

It's getting chilly here and we've been using our wood stove (pictured above) every day. I'm sitting in my favorite spot next to the warm stove with my handy laptop cart.

Speaking of chilly, I've listed several more herbal heat packs on my Etsy shop and plan to add several more in the next few days. This is the perfect time of year to pick them up - for gifts or for yourself! They go in the microwave for a couple of minutes and ding! You have a nice, toasty pillow to snuggle with, which smells great too. Check out my herbal heat packs here.

I hope that wherever you are, you are keeping warm and happy!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday Weekend Sale!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday with your family and friends! I just got home not long ago from seeing my family in Connecticut and my husband's family in Massachusetts. It's a lot of driving, but well worth it to see the folks we love most.

Before I hit the hay, I just wanted to let you all know that I'm having a sale in my Etsy shop for Black Friday weekend! I'm offering 20% off everything in my shop from now through Sunday. I'll give you your discount as a PayPal refund, or if you are sending a money order, I'll give you the discounted total to send.

Visit my Etsy shop now to find mystical and unique jewelry, herbal hot/cold packs, original art prints and magnets and other fun gifts!

As always, thank you for your support! And remember this holiday season, Buy Local, Buy Handmade!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who celebrate it today! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with your families and/or friends. Reflect upon those things you are happy and thankful for. For me, it's a lot of things... my husband, my family, my friends, the many things in my life that make me happy.

And...I'm thankful for Tofurky and silly things found on the internet! Isn't it great that I found something that combines both? And it's even crafty as well. This website, Simulated Comic Product has instructions on how to disguise your faux-meat Thanksgiving dinner to look like a turkey...

Tofurky Disguised as a Turkey

I'm not sure I'll have time to dress up my Tofurky today, since I'll be driving all over creation to see our families, but if you do, why not give it a try? Let me know how it turns out. And have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Support Your Local Economy

In the group I'm a part of, Artisans of WMass, our slogan is "Buy Local, Buy Handmade". Buying local is an important part of our team's outlook and is also an important part of living in western Massachusetts. We live in a unique area where more people are aware of the importance of supporting the local economy and keeping money within the community. More and more communities around the country are starting to see things this way, but we are still plagued with big box stores and corporate take-overs.

Etsy recently posted an article called New Rules: Support Your Local Economy. This interview with Stacy Mitchell of the New Rules Project at the Institute for Local Self Reliance shows her insight into why people do and should shop locally.

Read this article and when you're done, remember to Buy Local, Buy Handmade.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Evolution of a Wedding Dress

Since I was away for so long all busy getting married, I figure it's only fair to show you what I was doing that whole time. I pretty much made almost everything I could for our wedding. The biggest task of all though, was the dress!

In this post, I'll show you the evolution of my dress, from start to finish. Granted, I missed a few photos in between, but you get the general idea!

Weyakin Designs Wedding Dress Sketch
This is a scan of one of my original sketches for the dress and ensemble. The final product is *almost* like the sketch, but I found myself making a few changes along the way. Sometimes, you're not quite sure how an idea will work until you actually do it.

Weyakin Designs Wedding Dress sketch book and marked up muslin
This is the floor of my work space as I worked out the pattern for the dress. I referred to my sketches and marked up cheap muslin fabric with dressmaker's chalk to come up with a pattern.

Weyakin Designs wedding dress progress, muslin on dress form
This is the muslin fabric draped over my dress form as I mark up where I think the seams should lay.

Weyakin Designs wedding dress, initial pattern on dress form
Here, I finally come up with a pattern that seems to work. It took me several tries and several times of poking myself with pins to get it right. This is the basic bodice and skirt mock-up in muslin, shown on the dress form with the petticoat under it.

Weyakin Designs wedding dress, sewn together before inserting the lining
Now, skip several steps of cutting fabric, sewing together fabric, etc... and here you see the outside shell of the dress, before adding the lining and extra trimmings.

Weyakin Designs wedding dress, sewn together with lining, before hemming
Here is the dress with the lining now inserted. It is not hemmed yet and the trim on the neck is only partially secured.

Weyakin Designs wedding dress, back of dress, almost complete
This is the back of the wedding dress, almost complete. The trim is now sewn on and the lacing is put through the eyelets on the back. The only thing left from this point was the hemming.

Weyakin Designs Wedding, Victoria and David at the wedding
And here is the final product! This is me with my husband, David. I made my dress, my head circlet, my veil, my jewelry and David's jacket as well. Phew! That was a lot of work, but well worth the effort. The dress and jacket are made with matching velvet and brocade fabrics, just in different colorways. Our color theme was purple, black, silver and green. This beautiful photo was taken by our friend, Steve Friedman.

I hope you enjoyed the evolution of a wedding dress!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Artisans of WMass

Hi Everyone! I know it's been a while since I've posted here. I got so busy with life, I didn't keep up with my blog. I know I know...bad! But hey, I'm married now! And now that all of the wedding hooplah is over, I'm back in action and ready for the holiday rush.

In other news, I'm part of an Etsy group, which we recently renamed as Artisans of WMass. We are a collective of artists and crafters from Western Massachusetts. I recently created a website for our team. We're still working on adding content, but, we're well on our way. Take a look!

Artisans of WMass

Check out our artisans listing to see some of the great artists and crafters who are a part of our group. Make sure you visit their shops and browse their sites. And remember, this holiday season, Buy Local, Buy Handmade!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Molly the Cat Goes On a Laser Frenzy

My housemates and I have been taking care of a friend's cat and dog for a while. Having two little furry critters around has definitely created many amusements. Olive and Molly have been nice companions, even if they do shed all over the place! I just make sure they don't go in my craft room. LOL.

One day, I decided to pick up a couple of toys for the fur balls. For Molly (the cat), I got a little mouse shaped laser pointer. I found that I think I'm even more amused by it than she is. Here is a short video clip of Molly chasing the laser beam on the floor of our den.

Maybe if I'm lucky, next I'll have a video of Olive and Molly beating each other up. I must admit that seeing the animal equivalent of a wrestling match is a highlight of the evenings.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My Elven Bridal Head Circlet

Continuing with my show and tell about the stuff I'm making for my wedding, today I'll show you the head piece I made to wear for the big day. Our theme is somewhat mystical and fantasy-like with a natural theme as well. I've been telling people, when they ask about what I'm going to wear that it is something you might find at a Renaissance Faire or in the Lord of the Rings.

My dress is almost done, but not quite, but I have completed my jewelry, including the elven style circlet for my head. I do not have a photo yet of the complete jewelry and circlet with veil ensemble yet, but for now, here is a photo of just the circlet:

Weyakin Designs Wedding Head Circlet

I created this head circlet in a style that would look somewhat elven and mystical. The dress is white with some purple trim and lacing. The main color for the wedding is purple. So, in the head circlet, I used purple amethyst oval stone beads. I also used white opalescent beads and silver seed beads. The front of the cirlet is made from hammered nickel wire and wrapped with smaller nickel wire. The rest is made from two different sizes of silver plated chain. The back closes with a lobster clasp.

What do you think? Should I offer this style of head circlet for sale in my Etsy shop?

Thanks for looking! I hope you all have a fantastic 4th of July weekend.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Send Us On Our Honeymoon Sale! 15% OFF!

Okay, two posts in one day, wow! How could I forget to mention that I'm having a big sale?? That's right - 15% off the entire shop! That includes everything, even things that are already on sale! I'm doing this to help raise money to send us on our honeymoon in September. We're headed to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland for our post-wedding adventure.

So, if there is something you've been eying and looking to get, now is the time to get it! I will refund you the discount via PayPal after purchase, or if you are sending a money order, I will send you a discounted total to send.


Thanks everyone!

What have I been up to?

I realize I haven't made a post in a while. And I really do have a good excuse! I've been busy making everything for my wedding in September. This past month I've focused mainly on making my wedding dress and jewelry. In May I was working on our invitations. Coming up in July I'll be working on my fiance's jacket as well. Since I'm making so many things for this (and how could I not?), I haven't had a lot of time to focus on posting here. But, to make up for it, I'll share with you the front of my invitations:

Weyakin Designs Wedding Invitation Front

I started off with sketches of the idea. I knew I wanted to incorporate two trees growing together and the image of a wolf and a bear. The wolf represents myself and the bear represents David, my fiance. I then turned the idea into a watercolor painting, on stretched hot press watercolor paper.

It took a few rounds of painting before I felt it was complete. When it was finished, I scanned it into the computer and then created a digital layout of the background and text that is around it. And there you have it - the front of the invite! The back has the same purple background that wraps around and the inside has all the wedding details. I had them printed with a great local digital printer, Curry Printing in West Springfield, MA.

I'll be sure to post up images of the other projects for this wedding when they are complete. Next up, the jewelry and the dress!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Oh yeah, I have a blog!

Hi Everyone! I got a bit busy the past month doing other things and kind of ignored my blog for a while. I'll be back with more fun things soon though!

In the mean time, my herbal hot/cold packs are currently on sale for 20% off!! Once you purchase, I will refund you your 20% via PayPay or give you a total with the discount if you are sending a money order.

Weyakin Designs Herbal Hot/Cold Packs on SALE!
View all Microwaveable Herbal Packs Here

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Spreading the Love : Tragic Adornments

Tragic Adornments Steampunk NecklaceIn one of my earliest blog posts, I had featured a seller called Tragic Stitches. Erina, the creator of Tragic Stitches, makes hand crafted folk art inspired, Gothic dolls, bunnies, demons and more. Now, Erina has come out with a new line of crafts called Tragic Adornments, which features steampunk, Gothic and vintage inspired jewelry.

Tragic Adornments sells a variety of earrings, necklaces, pendants and bracelets all with a dark and unique theme. She uses anything from old skeleton keys and clock gears to charms made with found objects.

Looking for a unique accessory with a dark twist? Look no further than Tragic Adornments!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earrings Marked Down on SALE!

Who doesn't like things on sale? I know I like things on sale!

Last night I put a bunch of my earrings into a new category because I marked them all down from their original prices. I want to move some of my stock and since I have so many earrings, I figured I should make room for some new ones.

So, if you like earrings at low prices, go take a peak: Weyakin Designs earrings on the cheap!

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! It's sunny and finally kind of warm here. The snow is almost melted and I'm ready for flowers!

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Day of Spring and Baby Fish!

One of the first signs of spring besides the melting snow is new growth and new babies! We received a fun pre-spring surprise over the past couple of weeks when we decided to add a few new fishies to our tank. I really liked the two black mollies that I saw at the pet store, so we picked them up, along with a couple of ottocat sucker fish. They went into the tank with the danios, cories, and one lone Chinese algea eater who hides in the castle all day.

Well, a couple of days later when I got up in the morning and fed the fish, I saw something tiny moving. Looking closely I discovered that it was a baby fish! Then I saw more. Six of them! One of those mollies was obviously a female and also very pregnant. So, we scrambled to the pet store to get them a net separator box so they wouldn't get eaten or beat on by the bigger fish.

But, it doesn't end there. A week later, looking again, there were more little fish in the tank. Turns out BOTH mollies are female and were pregnant. So, now we have 14 little molly fry.

Time for the fun part... pictures!

Baby Molly Fry from above
Baby molly fry, taken from above.

Baby Molly Fry, a close up side view
Baby molly fry, a close up side view in their net box.

Baby Molly Fry, another side view
Baby molly fry, another side view.

And now, the mommies:

Mommy Molly Number 1
Mommy Molly #1

Mommy Molly Number 2
Mommy Molly #2

The other fish:

Cory Catfish
The pleasant and peaceful cory catfish.

The quick-swimming danios.

And our other fish tank, which has fantail gold fish:

Fantail Gold Fish

And now look! There's a sale at the end of this post! To ring in the new Spring season, I'm having a sale this weekend in my Etsy shop. 15% off all herbal heat packs. Free shipping on all jewelry, art prints and magnets! Visit my shop!

Happy Spring Everyone!!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Think Green!

Today I was informed that my green velvte cloak has been featured in a lovely green St. Patick's day treasury on Etsy!

I Love to Dress Up for St. Patrick's Day by the lovely fleuriejewellery!

Thank you so much for featuring me in such a wonderful green collection.

Moss Faerie Unakite Necklace and Earring Set by Weyakin DesignsOn the topic of green, I've also added two new items this weekend, one of which is a green and pink Unakite necklace and earrings set. It's green and pink and full of spring! Made with copper accents and a beautiful copper leaf and twig toggle clasp, it's a great way to ring in the new season.

I don't know about you, but I'm ready to see some green now! I'm looking forward to melting snow and flowers coming out of the ground. I plan to start my seedlings indoors soon and can't wait to plant them outside in the coming months.

I hope you all have a fantastic start to your week!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Vegan Coconut Spice Rice Pudding

I made a new recipe tonight that I remembered to write down. I thought I would share! This is a vegan coconut spice rice pudding recipe. It's great for both a dessert and for breakfast!

Vegan Coconut Spice Rice Pudding

- 1 cup of dry brown rice, fully cooked (2 cups of water to 1 cup rice, usually cooks about 45 mins)
- 1 cup soymilk or ricemilk
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup real maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1/2 cup raisin (optional)

- Cook the brown rice according to the directions in a large pot. Usually it is 2 cups of water to 1 cup of brown rice, cooked for about 45 minutes.
- Add the soymilk, coconut milk and corn starch to the pot of cooked rice and stir well until corn starch is dissolved.
- Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.
- Continue stirring on medium heat until the mixture of hot and bubbly and thickens.
- Once thick, allow to cool for a few minutes and then you can enjoy it hot or refrigerate it to enjoy it cold! (I like it hot)


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Birthday dinner and a new pretty shiny!

I've been quite busy the past several days and of course yesterday, because it was my birthday. My fiancé and I went out for dinner at a great local restaurant called Butterfly last night, which has a wonderful vegetarian menu full of soy/mushroom/wheat "meats" and great veggie maki sushi rolls. If you're ever in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts, you should be sure to try it out. And don't worry, if you're not into the veggie stuff, they have a regular menu too!

So, between work and dinner and everything else, I did manage to get a new listing up on my Etsy store yesterday. I've had several people tell me I should make more of the head chain circlets. Well, I took their advice and made a new one the other day. I plan to make many more soon! Have a look:

Purple Moon Goddess Circlet by Weyakin Designs
Purple Moon Goddess Head Chain Circlet

Definitely let me know what you think and what other sorts of designs you'd like to see me make.

Thanks so much! Now it's time to get back to work. I hope you all have a fantastic Thursday!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Birthday Sale! 10% OFF the whole shop and FREE gifts!

Hi Everyone! I just got home a little while ago from visiting family down in Connecticut. This week is my aunt's birthday and my birthday, so we all got together for a nice dinner. Plus, during the Pisces period (end of February through end of March), I know tons of other wonderful people who have birthdays as well. In honor of that, I decided to make my whole shop 10% off during my birthday week (mine is on Wednesday)! So, from now through next Sunday, everything in my shop is 10% OFF!

Plus, for the first 3 buyers, I'll give you a FREE gift! Can't beat that.

I will apply your discount as a refund in your PayPal account. Or if you pay by money order, I'll give you the actual total with the sale price to send.

Thanks everyone! I hope you all have a wonderful week.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Morning Cup of Tea and New Items

I got up lazily around 10am this morning. Believe it or not, not too long ago 10am seemed early to me. Now it seems to be the time I naturally want to get up, sans annoying alarm clock. I started my day with a delicious tall mug of Chai Tea, which I got from Etsy's own Tea Man. I can't say enough good things about this man's tea! If you're into tea (like me), definitely go check out all the great flavors Tea Man has. I also have some of his Vanilla Black Tea, which one of my friends also tried and raved about!

Once waking up, I spent my morning taking photos, editing photos and listing new items on my Etsy store. I am now up to 92 items in my store, only 8 away from 100! I'm amazed that I've managed to make so many things. Of course, it wasn't all over night. I work full time and do many other things as well. All this crafting took place over the course of one and a half years. Some of it has sold in the process too, so I've really made well over 100 items, but seeing it shown on Etsy will be satisfying.

Now, on to some fun stuff... new items! Today I listed the following items:
Golden Goddess Earrings by Weyakin Designs
Thanks for looking everyone! I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Busy busy... but here's some more love!

Well, this week has been quite busy in terms of stuff not related to my Etsy and other creative projects. Work has been very busy (which is good in this economy)! I'm also in the process of planning a wedding and was taking care of some of that this week.

But, tonight I managed to get together 7 new items, which I plan on listing this weekend. Be on the lookout in my Etsy shop for new jewelry and art magnets...and possibly more!

Harvest Spice Candle by Miltons and MargiesNow, it's time to show you another talented and wonderful seller on Etsy! Tonight's featured seller is Milton and Margie's Candles. Milton and Margie's features wonderfully scented soy wax candles, which are clean burning and more pleasant than normal paraffin wax candles. Plus, they use recycled containers, so these candles are also friendly on the environment! How could you get any better? The variety of containers and heavenly scents make for some pretty unique candles. Great for gifts or for yourself! I loooove my "pumpkin pie" and "fresh baked pie crust" candles.

And hey! Now through March 6, 2009, all purchases from Milton and Margie's are 25% off! Don't miss out.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Spread the love some more...

Chainmaille Earrings with Red Crystal Beads by TheBeadedHeartWell, I wanted to do this yesterday, but my day got a bit crazy. So, here it is, a belated spread the love post! Today's featured artisan is The Beaded Heart!

The Beaded Heart features a wonderful assortment of beautiful jewelry items, ranging from beaded glass bracelets to chainmaille earrings. These creations are really unique by taking the elegance of modern beads and combining them with the old world craft of chainmaille.

Lampwork Beaded Bracelet by TheBeadedHeart

Visit TheBeadedHeart on Etsy : Visit TheBeadedHeart on Blogspot

Monday, February 23, 2009

New Pretty Shinies and Two Treasuries!

Today when I logged into Etsy, I had the pleasant surprise to see that I've been featured in two treasuries. The first one is by the lovely TheBeadedHeart. You can see her Treasury here: A Few of my Favorite Nuts Part 2

I was also informed by the wonderful blingforbowwow that I've been included in the treasury, Blues and Hues.

Go check out those treasuries and the wonderful people who made them! There are lots of great folks out there on Etsy.

New Jewelry:
This weekend, I also got around to making some new jewelry items, for your shopping or window shopping pleasure. And I had fun making them too!

Sea Faerie Earrings by Weyakin Deisgns
Sea Faerie, Dangle Silver Shell Cone Earrings with Shell Beads and Sun Charms

Shell Cameo Black Velvet and Lace Choker by Weyakin Designs
Lady of Grace, Black Velvet and Lace Victorian Choker with Shell Cameo and Gold Pearls

I've had these cameos hanging around for several years. I finally found some settings and I'm excited that I finally got to use one of them in this choker necklace!

Moon Faerie Dangle Australian Jasper Earrings by Weyakin Designs
Faerie Moon Cone Earrings with Green Australian Jasper, Dangle Hook Earrings

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Time to spread the love...

It's the middle of the night on Saturday and on these nights, I find myself most often slipping into the old habits of staying up late on the computer. I used to be a freelance contractor doing print and web design, so I found myself working all hours, including at 2 in the morning. Now, I work 9-5, still making websites, but with a more stable schedule. Even still, I can find myself slipping back into those old habits sometimes.

I have found a lot of really neat artisans and crafters by staying up late on the computer and I want to share some of them with you. Every day for at least the next week, I'd like to feature at least one seller I'm fond of.

Tonight, in the wee hours of Sunday morning, I will share with you one of my good online friends, who also was my very first Etsy purchase:

Tragic Stitches features horribly adorable hand crafted plush dolls and toys. Inspired by folk art and Gothic culture, Tragic Stitches' creator makes each doll lovingly by hand. I am the proud owner of a horribly cute Gothic Bunny Family, shown here:

Gothic Bunny Family by Tragic Stitches

You can find lots of horribly cute and wonderfully charming bunnies, bats, demons and dollies at www.tragicstitches.com

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Heat packs galore! For your eyes, neck, back and more...

Hey, I made a rhyme in my title... look at that!

Yesterday and today I've listed several more herbal heat packs. I decided to start making packs that are specifically for your eyes. I find the herbal mixture is very relaxing to have over your eyes, especially with the warmth of microwaving the packs. If you can't fall asleep at night, this is a fantastic way to relax yourself! They can also be very helpful for relieving tired eyes and head pain, especially if you spend your day staring at a computer screen like me.

Celestial Eye Pillow by Weyakin  Designs

Along with eye pillows, I listed another shoulder and lower back sized heat pack. These packs are larger and great for the large aching parts of your body. Had a hard day standing all day at work? Put one of these guys on your lower back to relax when you get home.

Victorian Filigree Lower Back and Shoulder Heat Pack by Weyakin Designs

Thanks for looking! And as always, if you have any questions or special requests, let me know.

Welcome to Weyakin Designs' Blog!

Hi Everyone! Thank you for coming to check out my brand new blog. I wasn't sure that I really wanted a blog at first, but I'm seeing so many great blogs out there that I thought I'd like to be part of it too. I'm certainly on the internet enough to warrant making time for a blog.

The purpose of this particular blog firstly, is to show you all of my projects. See what new things I'm making, what I've listed on my Etsy store, see what new things I've added to the gallery of my website, and find out about upcoming vending events, shows and special sales I'm having.

The second purpose for this blog is to share with you all of the other great people I've met who are artisans, crafters, artists, and other variety of creative people. I've met so many interesting and talented people along the way, they deserve a spot to be shared!

Lastly, this blog is also here for me to share other amusements of my days, including new recipes, silly antics and fun links.

I hope you enjoy what you see here! And remember also to sign up for my Weyakin Designs Newsletter. Thanks!