Looking for Outlander-inspired gifts for this holiday season? Or are you trying to make up your own Wish List? This series of articles will highlight some of the very talented craftspeople who make beautiful items, inspired by the Outlander series. Today, we have 2 great artists for you to check out.
Sandie Russo, Knitzy Blonde
KnitzyBlonde has been my knitting business for over 10 years now. I design knitwear (accessories & knitting patterns) that I’ve sold in my Etsy shop (knitting patterns are sold on Ravelry.com, a web site for knitters). I’ve been a huge fan of the Outlander books since 1992. I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting Diana back in 1994 at our local highland games when she signed my first 2 books, and several other times since at various book events.
When I first heard about the TV series (2013) via social media, I became very involved with the Outlander online community (going to Comic Con, & show premieres, etc., to meet the show professionals, and other Outlander fans). Once the TV show began airing I got a huge outpouring of requests to replicate the gorgeous knitwear on the show. Most of the knitted items from Outlander can be ordered via my Etsy shop in a variety of custom colors. I’ve had so much fun making the Outlander knit items and helping people realize their own Outlander fantasies!
I work in many fibers. I have vegan (completely non-animal) for those that are allergic to something in the animal kingdom. Many people also think they are sensitive to wool, because they have only experienced wools of the past that were probably itchy or not better quality wools. A lot of the wools used today are super high quality and treated wools that make them a delight to wear. I have treated superwash wools that are not only machine washable, but super soft and even used frequently for baby things. So yes, I have a wide variety of yarns/fibers that can be used. Customers are welcome to drop me a note, and I’m always happy to sort out the perfect options for their custom purchase.
At this point it’s really crunch time for me on the custom orders for the holidays and I won’t be accepting too many more orders for this this year (probably cut off by October 31st at the latest). I will still have some lovely things that are also made up and ready to ship, but the Outlander items are all things that have to be knit up custom. I’m also happy to do gift certificates, and Etsy sells gift cards that I honor in my store.
To view and order items from Knitzy Blonde:
Nina Wozniak, Creations by Nina Wozniak
What about Outlander has inspired me? The Standing Stones – they have stood the test of time! Last year, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Battling cancer takes a great deal of courage, strength and determination to be able to see the bright side to everything. My battle with cancer coincided with my husband being laid off, so we were face down in the mud, both emotionally, physically and financially.
After my last chemo, I took to making jewelry, as a means of helping my family out of hardship. I made a single necklace, with a hand painted dragonfly on amber glass and a friend (avid Outlander fan) mentioned how it reminder her of a book she had read, Dragonfly in Amber. I posted the necklace online and it sold within 5 minutes.
This one necklace drew so much attention to my Etsy shop, I just had to know what all the fuss was about. I am not a big reader, so I would never have known of Outlander, had it not been for my friend’s remarks. I was overjoyed to learn that there was a TV series. Unfortunately, I missed the first half of the season, as I was nearing the end of my treatments. As soon as I was able to watch the show, I became an instant fan.
Outlander has helped my family to regain footing and has seen us through some very difficult moments. I have created a few pieces with the Standing Stones, but very few know the true story behind them. As I wrote earlier, the Standing Stones have stood the test of time. A lot like my family. In the 10 years I have been with my husband, we have seen our share of unfortunate events and no matter what we may go through, we remain strong, we remain united and we shall stand the test of time.
It started with me – the center standing stone. The middle stone is me. To the right, you have my husband. To the left, you have my oldest son. The three smaller stones, at my feet – those are my three youngest children. What you see here, is my entire family standing strong, together, forever united. Nothing will bring us down. I made another piece, the oval one. It represents my family standing strong from outside influences — those who have tried for years to destroy us, as a family.
Aside from Outlander, I absolutely love love love working with Swarovski crystals, antique silver and gemstones. You might notice, I have a thing for dragonflies.
As far as how long have I been doing this? I have always been a creative person. I’ve never had it easy, so everything I ever owned was found either in the trash or goodwill. I would bring pieces home and simply refurbish them. If you visited my home right now, not a single piece matches, but everything has its own meaning and story.
I took to making jewelry after the birth of my 4th child, again as a means of helping my family remain above water, but stopped. Cancer is an ugly disease, but I owe a great deal of thanks to it, as if it would not have knocked at my door, we would not have struggled. Had we not struggled, I would never have thought about making jewelry again. Had I not started making jewelry again, I would never have discovered Outlander. Had I not discovered Outlander, I wouldn’t have seen us through yet another uphill battle.
Everything happens for a reason, this is why I am glad cancer chose me.
To view and order items from Creations by Nina:
If you know of a business that should be featured in this series, please contact me on Twitter or Facebook!
Follow me on Twitter: @OutlanderTIBS, @ErinConrad2 and @threeifbyspace
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