Tag Archives: collaboration

Graffiti necklace – a giveaway!!!

and about time too, huh?

sorry for the delays friends, life is tripping me up a bit with all the newness&change with baby bird arriving this fall, plus my computer gets very angry in the summer heat so she needs a nice siesta in the afternoons.. just like I do! lol.

this fun piece is available to someone special…could it be you???

a collaboration of my sketchy & painty skills along with tomate d’epingles’ words & jewelry design came up with a delightful, fun and surprising project for all of us. I primed and painted about 40+ wooden circles with poetry and quotes in a not-too-serious kind of way..once dry, I sent them all out to the girls in Quebec for them to create unique pieces to wear. & out came a whole series of necklaces for their customers & clients!!

this is a really fun and whimsical trinket packed up in all signature eco-friendly packaging to adorn your neck! (psst….I’m throwing in a wee arty secret treat made from my 2 hands for you to enjoy with your necklace also-double the fun! )

all that is required for the special someone to recieve this in their letter box, is to go to both tomate d’epingles blog, to read some of the fabulous things they’ve published and to make a comment in the comments section of one of their articles. easy peasy, done & done!

 then come back here and make a comment, with your email, on this very post.

I’ll throw everyone into the random.org generator, shake it to mix thoroughly & see who comes up!!

lucky lucky for somebody!!

this offer will go until end of this month. and I will contact the special someone by email for mailing details and announce it here when I can!


best summery wishes everyone!

July 30th update: With this heat wave we’re having, and my holidays coming up any day now, I’ve decided to extend the deadline of this giveaway until August 15th. More chances for you to enter and win!! big summer loves to you! xo!



Filed under etsy finds, giveaway, inspirations, tanisalexis news

the good people – Guylaine & Isabelle Martineau

Long overdue but well worth the wait in my opinion, the next artists’ in this feature include the fab sister duo working together as .tomate d’epingles.

Please read on to learn more about these amazing ladies.  

  tomate header 1

Tell me what you do, who you are, and the area you are located
.tomate d’épingles. is a sister act, featuring Guylaine and Isabelle. We live in Québec city, Canada. We are self-taught jewelers, who share a love for all things shiny, and fashion!  Combining recycled, vintage, retro and natural materials into unique creations, our quirky handmade jewellery and accessories will surprise you!

  watch parts 2

-What lights your creative fire?
Guylaine loves to scavenges all sorts of bits and baubles, in thrift stores, dumpsters, garage sales… that’s what inspires her : the random shiny object she found, doesn’t know what she should do with but that she just CANT leave there and has to bring it back home with her.

For Isabelle, it’s mostly textures who talk to her. She often gets ideas just before falling asleep and sometimes when creating a model, she gets new ideas. She loves to jot them down in a pad, draw them, exaggerate them and then try to see if it can actually become something.

When we both use the same materials, the final result is never the same. We inspire each other that way.
fashion show eco-friendly 3 

-Do you collect/hoard anything?
Oh yes! we collect tons of stuff, from vintage buttons to beads, sewing notions, vintage patterns… Our appartment is chock-full of goodies! Guylaine sorts all our treasures by shape, color, size – she’s an organized pack rat!

recycled pearls and feathers 4

-List some of the things that make you happy:
music, birds, family, kisses, dancing, sunlight, shinny objects, friends, cats that purr, green…

the workroom 5

-What is one of your pet peeves?
Disorganized stuff! :o) Angry people. Cars that honk for no good reason.

recycled pencil earrings 6
-Describe your (almost) perfect day.
imagine there are no guns, no bombs and no disease, no hungry mouths to feed
that would be the perfect day
an almost perfect day is sunny, on vacation, drinking a very strong coffee or a glass of red wine somewhere in Italy
or a sunny day, with friends, chilling out to good music and reinventing the world on our huge patio
you know, we just try to have fun every day! its not easy.

PHOTO - Québec Scope 8

Do you have a current project that is exciting you? Would you like to share a little bit of it?
our jewelry was featured in an eco-oriented fashion show at the Capitole de Québec, in Québec City, on April 19th. We had 50 models to adorn with our jewelry! Its a huge task, but we had SO much fun! Pictures are posted on our blog www.tomatedepingles.blogspot.com


Thank you so much ladies! Keep up the amazing work! 


You can see more of Guylaine and Isabelle’s photos and work here: http://tomatedepingles.ca

We’ll also be holding a wee giveaway of a poetry pendant I mentioned awhile back next week. These ladies have even gone to the lengths of wrapping it all up in awesome eco-friendly tomate signature wrapping paper just for you…plus, just for kicks, I’ve thrown in some extra fun little things for you too!

so stay tuned!



Filed under inspirations, the good people - artists spotlight

‘the good people’ – Lori Sandstedt

Greetings friends. Here is another installment to our ‘Good People’ series. Happy reading and happy easter!

 lori marsha

Tell me what you do, who you are, and the area you are located:

Hi- I’m Lori Sandstedt and I live in a 100 year old house in a small town
in southern California. The name of my business is Lorimarsha and I make
new things from old things. Yeah, I find perfectly good stuff that other
people have discarded and attempt to give it a fresh spin.


What lights your creative fire?

I’m inspired by color, pattern, texture, unexpected combinations, street
art, vintage clothing…well the list goes on and on.


Do you collect/hoard anything?

I collect Bakelite buttons, vintage souvenir scarves, and handmade art and

List some of the things that make you happy:

Vintage Mexicana, music, good food, traveling with my husband, spending
time with my family, making new friends, taking photographs, supporting
other artists.

laughter, the hum of my Bernina, chirps from my backyard squirrel,
tradewinds, Ethan’s lisp created by two missing top teeth, the nearby
train during the night.

I enjoy combinations like chartreuse and maroon, tangerine and turquoise,
navy blue and mustard yellow, cream and ivory.

Swedish rye bread fresh from the oven, brewing coffee, lavender linen
spray, orange blossoms,

bravo, juxtaposition, sat nam, quixotic, rotunda, verbose, magnanimous,

things behind windows, street art, rusty metal, signs, red poppies


Describe your (almost) perfect day:

Because I have never traveled alone, I have this fantasy where I awake in
a place I’ve never been before. I find a little cafe and have a cup of
coffee. Then I walk the streets looking into shop windows, watching people
while taking surreptitious photos of how they’re dressed. I jump on a bus
and listen in on conversations, writing down little snippets that I find
interesting. I hop off somewhere- anywhere- and look for a little market
where I buy something for lunch. I find a park bench, eat my lunch while
watching children running and playing. The sun is shining and feels warm
on my face and makes me a little sleepy. I find my way back to my room for
a nap. I awake in time to find a place for dinner and enjoy a glass of
wine with a light meal. I buy a ticket to a concert or film and after it’s
over, I head back to my room. I read a book until I fall asleep.


Do you have a current project that is exciting you?  Would you like to share a little bit of it?

I’m involved in a couple of book projects that will be out in the Fall of
2009.  One is titled “Creative Time and Space- Making Room for Art”
written by Rice Freeman-Zachary and published by North Light Books. The
other is “Alchemy Arts- Recycling is Chic” published by Marion Boyars
Both books will include images of my work and insight into the process of


Thank you so much Lori! It’s was real fun to pick out the photos for this piece, you have so many great photos to see.

See more of Lori & her work on flickr (click on the photos)

her blog can be seen here: lorimarsha.com or on etsy lorimarsha.etsy.com

Stay tuned for more artist spotlights in the good people series in the coming few weeks. Cheers!


Filed under inspirations, the good people - artists spotlight

‘the good people’ – Ele Willoughby

Happy April everyone! Here’s our first artist up in our new series. Happy viewing!


 Tell me what you do, who you are, and the area you are located:

My name is Ele Willoughby. I am a Renaissance woman, I hope. That’s
the goal. By day, I work as a scientist, a marine geophysicist; I build things to image what is below the seafloor, go to sea, gather data and come home to analyze it. By night, I’m an artist – particularly a printmaker. Primarily, I make lino block relief prints on paper and on textiles.

I live in Toronto, Ontario. Though this is the biggest city in Canada,
I live in High Park, so I have the pleasure of getting up in the
morning and seeing a forest – part of a huge park which includes some
old growth trees and is home to a lot of wildlife. We have hawks,
falcons, raccoons, squirrels, possums, foxes, the odd coyote, finches,
woodpeckers, jays, frogs, turtles, ducks, herons, geese, swans, snakes
and more, all of which I’ve seen a short walk from my home.
The neighbourhood is very vibrant. It has traditionally been Polish,
but more recently there has been a lot of immigration from Somalia
just to the North (new Canadians who appreciated living in the dry
neighbourhood of Chelsea), Korea and all over the world. Recently, as
well as all the Polish bakeries, a lot of small businesses have opened
on Roncevalles, selling delightful things like indie fashion, used
books and clothes, beads, and organic food.

bus stop, toronto

What lights your creative fire?

I’m a very visual person. I love a wide variety of visual arts and am inspired by the work of many different people. I love colour. I think
a major theme, lurking behind a lot of things I create is the old
fashioned cross between aesthetics and natural history: the
Wunderkammer, or cabinet of curiosity. Something that appeals to me is
that the amateur gentleman or lady collector was laying some
groundwork for a lot of descriptive science, and yet this was a world
still open for myth and magic. Taxonomy of lifeforms and natural
objects (birds, reptiles, shells, eggs, rocks and minerals, what have
you) co-existed with legendary creatures like mermaids and unicorns. I
find fairytales, folklore and legend, from a variety of cultures, a
source of inspiration. I think I throw all these things together, with
a hint of history of science and a hint of whimsy.

gnome in Norway

 Do you collect/hoard anything?

Is that a trick question!?

I am a total pack-rat. Like many artists and craftspeople, I have a
stash; the trick is to hide the copious amounts of paper and fabric.
That is was the trunk collection is for!

Also, I have a book problem. I fear I will end up like most university
libraries – one day, my home with begin to sink under the weight.

I also collect masks, from around the world. This makes my loved-ones
happy, since they know what souvenir to buy me when they travel. I
collect turtle items. I have an inordinate number of small sculptures
of birds… but it’s not my fault – they were all gifts.

And prints! Printmakers are big on print exchanges, which are a
excellent way to get a lot of art.


List some of the things that make you happy:

objects? paper (particularly handmade or hand decorated paper), my thumb
pianos, the quilts made for me by my female ancestors, the Canadian
Shield, the oceans, perfect snowflakes


sounds? I like a wide array of music, of many genres. My cat purring. The ice
cream truck theme song. Birdsong. Frogs singing, so long as I was
already awake.
colours? YES!

smells? chocolate chip cookies baking, my Italian uncle’s cooking, saltwater,
rain, evergreen trees

words? I like it when someone comes up with an unexpected yet apt work like


What is one of your pet peeves?

things which really make me mad: ignorance, bullying, intolerance,
sexism, bureaucracy
things I could do with out: celery string between my teeth, traffic,
smog, being treated like guilty-until-proven-innocent at the airport,

blossoms and butterflies pillow

Describe your (almost) perfect day?

Sunshine, fresh air, brunch with friends, doing something inspiring
like checking all my favorite shops and a gallery show, feeding the
paper and fabric stash, finding random arts of street art, maybe a
nifty find at a thrift or antique shop, dinner at one of the fabulous
restaurants around town (maybe sushi, or Thai), cozying up on the
couch with a good movie.

seahorse lino print and block

Do you have a current project that is exciting you? Would you like to share a little bit of it?

Um… I am a bit cagey about sharing work-in-progress, but I’ll give
you a hint. I’ve been thinking about combining the legendary creatures
with the science. So the next series is about d(a)emons of science.


So intriguing!! Thank you Ele! 

See much more of Ele’s work here at minouette.etsy.com


Filed under inspirations, the good people - artists spotlight

new blog series – ‘the good people’

Hahaha! For lack of a better phrasing I have come up with the above as the title of a new blog post series I plan on executing for the next few weeks.

Let’s introduce the new series here at Tanis Alexis’ blog;

The Good People”

I am often inspired by many a creative person online. The internet and particularily places like flickr.com are dreams for me to swim through as I vicariously live through hundreds of thousands of creative people who are so bold as to post their works online. I get to be witness to collaborations in art and lifestyles in so many inspiring lives. it is golden. I am grateful.

So to return my gratitude and to share with the world, I’ve contacted the first of many friends, acquaintances and strangers to see if they would be interested in answering a couple of my weird questions for your reading pleasure, right here, on this very blog. I’ve also asked permissions to borrow their photos off their flickr photostreams.

So be prepared to be inspired (i hope.)!!!!! These people are unique in their own right, and have such treasured qualities within them. I hope you feel the same way I do and I am sure we all look forward to reading your feedback.

So, let’s start with my promise to those who have taken the time to send me their thoughts, and try my own hand at this little questionaire I wrote up for the good people:

Tell me what you do, who you are, and the area you are located: I am a woman. I am a mixed media artist. I am in Vancouver, Canada. I live, love, laugh and create things with my 2 hands.  

What lights your creative fire?  Music! a moving beat, poetic lyrics, something I can sing to.  A new perspective or idea. Seeing creative people do what they love. Sunshine. New materials. An idea I must execute. 


Do you collect/hoard anything? Recycled materials – objects that I hope will have a renewed life. Paper. Wool & fibres. Recipes. Old department store catalogues. (from 1900’s to 1970’s) Art! I’ve amassed a collection of little things without really trying.


List some of the things that make you happy:

The love of my life, my friends..

objects? good food. white objects. bowls. pots. baskets. vessels. secret street art. brickwalls. old houses & buildings. things most people don’t notice.


sounds? brown paper being crinkled. the soothing or scratchy voices of singers. a catchy bass line. cats purring rhythmically. rain on a tent or metal roof. drum beats that make you want to move.


colours? all of them! the deep ones. burgundy, reds, purples, the entire blue / green spectrum.


smells? mown grass. ocean tides. any citrus. sandalwood. bacon & onion. rain on hot pavement. my mum’s basement.


words? archipelago. omnivore. certainly. (I’m sure there are many more)


images? laugh lines when someone laughs or smiles. little toes. the sky – cloud formations, colours at sunrise/sunset, nighttime stars & aurora borealis, stormy clouds. freckles. eyes. 


we shall live here #7

we shall live here #7

What is one of your pet peeves?

simply put: disrespect. in any form.

Describe your (almost) perfect day. With or without the “traveling around the world” bit?!?!


…wake up next to my love. smiles and sunshine. a morning walk to the farmers market. lots of laughs. healthy breakfast. good converstation. lunch out with some good old friends. more laughs. lots of hugs. an afternoon full of creative drive. giving gifts I made. reading a book or people watching or sketching on the beach or on a patio. meeting someone beautifully unique. a romantic dinner with my love. a night of live music. dancing. more laughs..

Do you have a current project that is exciting you? Would you like to share a little bit of it?  I always have quite a few projects on the go at once, either in reality or still floating around in my brain. I’m finding ways of using up all of my ‘hoarded’ materials creatively before letting myself buy a huge amount of wool for more felting projects this summer.


Thanks kindly for reading everyone. I’ll be posting the 1st of this “the good people” series very soon. stay tuned.


Filed under the good people - artists spotlight