Think Art Loud

Inspiring, Encouraging, and Promoting the Handmade Arts and Artists

Archive for the ‘That’s Cool! Thursday’ Category

Daisy Photograph - LMR Photography 2

The artist behind LMR Photography 2 is Lynne Rowe from Alamogordo, New Mexico. Lynne has a passion for flowers and a passion for photography, this has, of course, led to her combining her two passions spending countless hours photographing the flowers she loves.

Lynne was 12 when her father taught her how to use his camera. She has had a love for photography ever since and, in 1999, was thrilled to get her first digital camera.

Yellow Gerbera Daisy Photograph - LMR Photography 2

As mentioned earlier, Lynne absolutely loves flowers. Sometimes, she will buy flowers just so that she can go home and photograph them! She photographs them from all manner of angles. Lynne shows a beautiful understanding of how to compose a truly successful and artistic photograph!

Red Gerbera Photo Tile Necklace - LMR Photography 2

In addition to Lynne’s photo prints, LMR Photography 2 also creates beautiful photo glass tile necklaces.

If you would like to see more work by LMR Photography 2 here is where you can find her:

Etsy Store

Nature Beauty (pressed flower art)- Pabitra Shrestha

Pabrita Shrestha is a pressed flower artist creating beautiful and unique pieces (landscapes, figurals, etc.) out of, not just pressed flowers, but also pieces of bark, leaves, branches, roots, etc. Originally from Nepal, he now resides in Irving, Texas, and is passionate about his art and about furthering his chosen medium within the art world. Although pressed flower art has been around for over 400 years, it still remains a fairly uncommon and little known art form. Pabitra Shrestha, who has been exploring this artform since he was 19, would like to change this.

Imagination (pressed flower art) - Pabitra Shrestha

Pabitra Shrestha is a member of International Pressed Flower Art Society, as well as, World Wide Pressed Flower Guild. He studied pressed flower art in Japan and also been certified as a pressed flower art instructor. Pabitra Shrestha has exhibited his work worldwide.

If you would like to learn more about Pabitra Shrestha and his artwork, here is his website:


Whether vintage or handmade, a lot of people just love signs. They can make you laugh, make you think, and maybe even make you cry; Signs can also be a really fun way to bring interest into a room’s decor. So, if you are one of those people that love signs, I hope you’ll take a moment to check out the handmade, wooden signs by Country Folks Creation!

Anne Tyler quote wooden sign - Country Folks Creation

The artists behind Country Folks Creation are Angie Folks and her husband. He hand-makes the framework, and she does the painting. They offer a wide range of signs: some humorous, some thoughtful; some quotes, and some ‘rules.’ Country Folks Creation also loves to take custom orders!

Joshua 1:9 Scripture sign - Country Folks Creation

Country Folks Creations is based in Newton, Kansas. If you’d like to see more of their signs, here’s where you can find them!:


Traveler - Angel Reyes

Angel Reyes is self-taught painter and digital artist from Hormigueros, Puerto Rico. He works with both acrylic on canvas, as well as, creating digital paintings. Stylistically, Angel Reyes tends towards abstraction and surrealism. His work focuses on playing with form, colour, and light.

Meet Me Under the Flamboyant Tree - Angel Reyes

Angel Reyes has a beautiful sense of colour, using a vibrant and (most often) warm colour palette. While he does do some portrait/figure painting, as well as, some still life paintings, most of what he creates are various interpretations on landscapes.

If you would like to see more of his work, you can find him on Facebook and on Fine Art America., Here are the links:

Fine Art America

Molly McCurdy is a different kind of artist. She is the owner of Light of the Moon Dulcimers, and, as you can guess from her business name, she creates handcrafted mountain dulcimers.

Humming Bird mountain dulcimer - Light of the Moon Dulcimers

Light of the Moon Dulcimers is based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, but Molly’s love the dulcimer began early on with her uncle, another dulcimer maker. Her business is so named because while balancing raising her children and going to school, Molly would work on her dulcimers into the early hours of the morning. All of the dulcimers she creates are signed, numbered, and one-of-a-kind pieces often embellished with beautiful woodburning and carving.

Handcrafted mountain dulcimer - Light of the Moon Dulcimers

Molly’s love of the dulcimer has been passed on to her granddaughter, Arianna, whom she has recently taken on as an apprentice. It is Molly’s hope that one-day she and Arianna can open up a dulcimer shop.

Not long ago, Light of the Moon Dulcimers, had a very exciting custom order. ’80s pop icon , Cydni Lauper, recently custom ordered a dulcimer from them with orchids wood burned on the top.

If you would like to learn more about Light of the Moon Dulcimers, her’s where you can find them:


K.T. Metal Design is the product of the creativity and imagination of Irish artist Ken Greene from Leixlip, Co. Kildare.

Handcrafted sculpture with small fruit/salad bowl - K.T. Metal Design

Ken Greene specializes in creating beautiful and unique handcrafted metal decor/designs for both inside and outside the home. He has over 30 years in the welding/fabrication industry and has achieved both the Junior and Senior Trade Certificates. On his website, Ken had this to say about his work:

“My passion lies in turning steel, copper and brass into decorative art. I enjoy being able to envision concepts and then creating and bringing that concept to life. Even as an adolescent I enjoyed sketching, drawing cartoons and painting. My inspiration comes from nature and our surroundings and this is expressed in many ways through my pieces.” ~ Ken, Artist

metal calla lilies - K.T. Metal Design

The beautiful sculptures of K.T. Metal Design’s are made from copper, brass, and/or steel and have been MIG welded; many of which are both functional as well as decorative. K.T. Metal Design is a registered member of the Crafts Council of Ireland.

You can find out more about K.t. Metal Design at the following links:


Sometimes I think photography is an under-appreciated art form. With all the various social networks out there you see so much snapshot photography and not a lot of actual art photography. So, here’s some art photography by Hena Tayeb Photography for everyone to enjoy!

Unknown by Hena tayeb Photography

The face behind the camera, is Chicago born Pakistani artist Hena Tayeb who now is based out of New Jersey with her husband and their young son. Hena Tayeb enjoys travel, and her adventures often provide the subject matter of her photography. However, her travel photographs are not like the photographs that your or I would likely take.

Take a Spin With Me by Hena Tayeb Photography

Instead, what attracts the photographic eye of Hena Tayeb Photography is abstraction, angles, and small details that only macro photography can show. She loves to bring to life the world of texture, pattern, and colour that surrounds us, but often goes overlooked, and shows that art can be found in the everyday.

Knock Knock by Hena Tayeb Photography

Often, her photography gives you a more intimate look at the architecture, landscape, and seemingly ordinary that might otherwise go unnoticed and unappreciated, but, through the eyes of a photographer, they become beautiful.

Hena Tayeb Photography is a proud member of The Artisan Group. To see more by Hena Tayeb Photography, here is where you can find her:


Green and turquoise felted scarf - Kentucky Blue Fiber

Kentucky Blue Fiber is owned by fiber artist Annette Browning. Annette began her business shortly after purchasing some alpacas and finding that breeding/selling them was just not for her. They had become her friends, and she just could not not sell her friends. But, since, in her own words, she came from “a long line of knitters and crocheters,” her original business venture would not be in vain as she instead took the jump to become a fiber artist.

Nuno felted shawl wrap - Kentucky Blue Fiber

Annette shawls, scarves, and wraps are truly beautiful and it is clear that a lot of time (and love!) have gone into them! Not only does she do all the knitting, crocheting, and felting, but remember those alpacas she bought? That’s right, Kentucky Blue Fiber also spins and dyes their own yarn.

Hand dyed lamb wool locks - Kentucky Blue Fiber

Kentucky Blue Fiber offers more than just handmade creations using their handmade yarn, but they also offer for sale the yarn itself so that other fiber artists/crafters can enjoy it. In addition to the already made up yarn, the raw materials are also available for purchase. You can find both dyed and natural wool locks just waiting to be spun into beautiful yarn.

You can visit Kentucky Blue Fiber at the following links!:


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Artichoke Tones - Design Seeds

Looking for colour inspiration? If you’re like me, you love to use colour in your artwork. Colour can really bring a design to life and each colour combination can evoke a different reaction from your audience. But sometimes, it can be difficult to come up with just the right colour combination, and you find you need a little bit of colour inspiration help. Let me introduce you to a site you may, or may not, have heard of: Design Seeds.

Nature Brights - Design Seeds

If you’re on Pinterest, you’ve likely seen a ton of pins that look rather like the picture above (in fact, you may have even seen this one!). Many of those pins came from Design Seeds’ website. Design Seeds are a type of colour journal; they are based on the concept of design notebook sketches that any artist/designer may make when planning out a new project only modernized. I love Design Seeds. I have a whole Pinterest board devoted to colour inspiration and most of the pins come from Design Seeds.

I love looking at Design Seeds for colour inspiration, not just becasue they show such gorgeous colours, but because of how they show colours. They first give you an image and then they break that image down for you to show you what colours are behind it. This can be really helpful when it comes to planning colour combos because you can get a better idea of how they look together. Plus, often times you find colour combinations you might not have though of otherwise but Design Seeds has given you proof that those colours really can look great together.

So, whether you struggle with how best to combine colours or just need some fresh ideas, give Design Seeds a look and see if they can’t help get your creative mind working again!

Right now, pretty much all you hear about is the Olympics. So, in the spirit of the Olympics, I thought it might be fun to do a blog post about art competitions. Did you know that art competitions used to be held as part of the Olympics? I didn’t until I started doing some research for this blog post. Apparently, from 1912 to 1948, they used to give out medals at the Olympics for architecture, music sculpture, painting, and literature that was inspired by sports. However, in 1949 art competitions were removed from the Olympics after the International Olympic Committee decided that it was not fair to allow professional artists to compete in the art competitions when only amateurs were allowed to compete in the sports, and so the art competitions became an art exhibition instead. But although art competitions are no longer a part of the Olympics, there are still plenty of other art competitions out there.

Here’s a list by category of just some of the art competitions out there:


International Photo Awards
Communication Arts Photography Competition
PDN Photo Annual Competition
The Curator

Graphic Design:

Print: Regional Design Annual

Communication Arts Design Competition
Creativity International Awards

Traditional Media 2D (drawing, painting, collage, mixed media,…)

The Artist’s Magazine Annual Art Competition
AcrylicWorks: The Best of Acrylic Painting


WJA Diva Design Competition
Seed Beads Contest
Jewelry Design Challenge
Bead Star
Saul Bell Design Award
The Halstead Grant Application


Wearable Arts and Fine Crafts Competition
SC Palmetto Hands Fine Craft Competition & Exhibition
RDS National Crafts Award (Ireland)
A’ Arts, Crafts and Ready-Made Design Competition
Sydney Royal Arts and Crafts Competition (Australia)(2014 entries now closed)
Designer Bookbinders (UK but they do occasionally have an international competition also)
ADGA Body Products Competition (Entries must contain goat milk)
The Handmade Contest (sewing/fashion)
Piecework – 2014 This I Have Wrought: Words in Needlework Contest
The Niche Awards (U.S. and Canada; annual event)

I’ve also compiled a list of some of the places you can go to to look for art competitions:

All Art Competitions
Lark Books (No current Call for Artists, but keep checking!)
The Art List
EntryThingy (lists both competitions and shows/festivals)

Sorry! I know I’ve missed a lot of different crafts, but I’m certain with some more searching that competitions can be found for just about any craft. And, of course, if you can’t find one, why not consider starting one!

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