Monday, February 14, 2011

Wandering the World for Handmade and More - Scottsdale, AZ

I selected today to share my hometown of Scottsdale, AZ because today marks the 99th anniversary of Arizona's statehood and I wanted you all to know about "The West's most Western Town." I've lived in Scottsdale for just about 7 years now, but it was one of the first places I wanted to visit when I moved to Arizona (the first time) back in 1982.

Back then I couldn't wait to see Old Town Scottsdale, part of the Scottsdale Arts District, a touristy area located in the south central part of the city and home to Stetson Drive, 5th Avenue and Marshall Way... streets filled with numerous art galleries and boutiques featuring the works of Native American artists like Gilbert Ortega as well as up and coming new artists, artisans, and fashion designers. And no description of Old Town Scottsdale would be complete without mentioning the Sugar Bowl Ice Cream Parlor and Restaurant. It's bright pink exterior and old time saloon style facade create a contrast to the surrounding wood and stucco shops, and when you step inside you'll immediately notice the friendly family atmosphere and 1950's feel that have been a mainstay since 1958 when the owners first opened its doors. Those of you who are familiar with the Family Circus cartoon series by Arizona resident Bill Keane may recognize this ice cream parlor that was a recurring favorite in the comic strip!

The Scottsdale Arts District isn't the only claim to fame for this great city. You can visit Taliesin West - Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home and the site of his architectural school. Today it is the main campus of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and houses the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. There are numerous museums, over 120 art galleries, nearly 200 golf courses, world renowned resorts, and one of my favorite places to take the grandkids, McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park.

Scottsdale is also home to a premiere academic medical center in the southwestern United States - the Mayo Clinic Arizona Campus. The Samuel C. Johnson Research Center, a 75,000-square-foot research building on the campus, houses scientists, trainees and students focused on molecular genetics, molecular immunology, molecular and cell biology, molecular chemistry and surgical research. Nearby in North Phoenix, the Mayo Clinic Hospital provides inpatient care for those patients requiring it. 

If you were to ask me what I loved most about living in Scottsdale, I'd have to say the weather. And if you were to ask me what I hated most about living Scottsdale, I'd have to say the weather! I know... there's just no pleasing some people ;) Winters (or what most of you would consider summer in your part of the world) are mild with a couple weeks of rainy weather in January. Summers (which I refer to as hell) are hot - and you can forget the "dry heat" thing... 115 is flippin' hot... and with a monsoon season that begins in May and ends in September, it's not always so dry. The difference is that shoveling sunshine beats shoveling snow any day! (And it's much easier on the back!)

Now that you know a bit about my hometown, I'll tell you just a little about my shop, MysticWynd. In a word, it's eclectic. I've never exactly had a set style in anything I've ever undertaken, and that reflects in the items I offer in this shop. I love color and texture, and I love working with natural elements. My inspiration comes from bits and pieces of my life, as well as my love of all the wonders of the world around me! I would probably be bored just slipping charms onto jumprings and then slipping those onto chains, if that were all I did! You'll see me dabbling in everything from wirewrapping to bead weaving - if I could only get everything listed that I actually have on hand!  One of my personal favorites is my Lovelines Mother's Bracelet, part of a series of heirloom quality
LoveLines Mothers Bracelet - 4 Generations
family heritage jewelry. The example pictured to the left shows my family line represented by Swarovski crystals in the appropriate birthstone colors for each member of my family. I'm represented by the large round rose crystal - with my parents' represented by the two medium sized crystals to the left in the photo, while my children and their children are represented by medium and small crystals to the right in the appropriate birth order. The beauty of these bracelets is that the design can be easily adjusted for families of any size and numbers of generations - and I'll be happy to update the bracelets as your family grows for just the cost of the additional crystals plus any applicable shipping!

Eyeglass Holder Necklace
with Tiger Eye and Mother of Pearl
I love working with gemstones too. For those of you who are interested in the metaphysical side of gemstones, you'll find information about the properties of gemstones included in the description of these items. You're likely to see everything from wire wrapped rough cut stones to highly polished gems in a variety of items from rings to eyeglass lanyards like this Eyeglass Holder Necklace featuring Tiger Eye and Mother of Pearl. Of course I'm happy to work with you to design something unique. I also design jewelry for people with special needs - like older people with arthritis who need a larger front clasp, or people who are frustrated because one size doesn't really fit all. I also offer layaway on request and love doing bridal jewelry! I hope you'll stop by and check out all of my listings - and if you don't find what you want... just ask and I'll be happy to see what I can do!

Now, let's take a peek at some of the other shops that call Scottsdale home!

The first shop I selected because I love the name - LadySneezewood - and because she's got some wonderful vintage items!  Check out this awesome Coca-cola tray...

Circa 1950s original tin coca-cola tray from LadySneezewood

Arizona is known for its spectacular sunsets and its native saguaros. Jack Schaar of ArtworksbyJES masterfully renders an interpretation both in this depiction of towering saguaro cacti against a backdrop of blazing red and gold skies.
Red Sky Saguaros by Jack Schaar

Your little darling will be too cute for words in a tutu from Cutay143! This one is perfect for that St Patrick's day celebration!
GOING GREEN TUTU size NB to 6 years old by Cutay143

Looking for a inspirational and fun art prints, posters or gifts? Stop by Colorbee for a great selection of professionally printed items. I absolutely love the saying on this one!

The Road Ahead Lies Within

My last featured shop is small with just a few selections, but wow... If you like miniatures, you'll love antongifts. Specializing in miniature wild animals, the detail on these pieces is astounding. I love this miniature lion sculpture!
OOAK Handmade 1:12 Miniature Lion sculpture dollhouse scale

If you'd like to see your shop and hometown featured here, please be sure to drop me a note via the "contact me" link at the top of the page. Include a link to your shop(s) as well as the name of your hometown and anything you'd like me to know. If you're the first one to suggest your hometown, you'll be the star of the feature! I'm happy to promote any shop as long as the goods you offer are handmade, vintage, or crafting supplies or services! I'll be posting my upcoming schedule of features on monthly calendars on the "Be Featured" page which can be accessed through the link in the right sidebar.

I'm waiting... tell me about YOUR hometown!


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