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Meet the Artist

 
 
 

Welcome to my website and shop. I’m Michelle.

To me landscape photography is about capturing experience and emotion. The experience of witnessing creation at its most dramatic, beautiful or serene moments and the emotions evoked it is what started a passion in me along with capturing images in different styles and techniques.

Two essential ingredients in capturing that emotion are vision and light. Vision draws me out at the most inconvenient of hours and the quest for that fleeting, golden light is what keeps drawing me back. Together, these two elements keep pulling me out on the edge – be it the edge of night and day when the ray’s of the sun are sweetest and most fleeting, or the edge of an incoming or passing storm when seemingly heaven sent beams shimmer down to the landscape. For it is in these special but brief moments that emotions can be evoked. 

My hope and desire is that my photographs not only capture your attention but also evoke an emotional response – possibly wonder and awe, mystery or curiosity, peace and tranquility or maybe a reminder of a special place visited but most of all I hope it evokes and gives happiness
My interest in photography took root with my first camera, a canon, at age 16 years old. I’m trying to learn more about photography as the years go by. I started this business as a means to take the place of not be able to work on my first passion, my Etsy shop making beach crafts and sea kelp baskets. Here is the story behind it down below.

I was born and raised in Southern Oregon almost my entire life. I helped my family build a ranch, home, and pastures on the 50 acres of undeveloped land we bought. My parents especially my mom made sure we had a well-rounded life. From having after school sports, crafting all kinds of things, and taught us how to live with things we could make on our own with the natural resources offered to us at the time. I excelled in sports and playing the flute even went as far as to qualify for the Junior Olympics in track. I had a daughter at a young age who means the world to me as I worked and still graduated from college with my BA degree in science. I have very talented mother who is wonderful at anything she does along with sisters and brothers that have a knack for certain crafts and arts.My real dad had a hobby for taking pictures which he taught mw.

Read about my handmade beach crafts and baskets

“I find Michelle’s sea kelp baskets to be one of the most unique and fascinating art forms. Her rustic approach to her designs really appeals to me. Thank you for introducing to your world of Coastal Art Designs, Beautiful work Michelle.” ~Barb Nelson Artgalstudio
 

“These are some of my reviews click here to see more


Since I had experience in crafting one day my mom showed me how to make a sea kelp basket from the lady she took a class on it. I loved it so much I tried to think of a way to start making them to sell. Just by luck I read an article about lady started on Etsy and that’s where it all started. In August of 2011 I opened my Etsy shop with only 4 baskets to list. Meanwhile, I was invited to share a booth at the huge Christmas Bazaar in December. So my online Etsy shop and learning how to do a business online was put on hold. I made 24 baskets for the event and sold 22 baskets that day. WHAT AN AWESOME WAY TO START! I still have it open and I’ve always done craft shows but this past two years I had no sea kelp to use for materials. Sea kelp is seasonal and not to mention you can’t predict how much will be on the shoreline each year.

My blog

HOW I MAKE BASKETS

Every baskets is handmade and stitched from sea kelp that is found along the shoreline of the Oregon coast. Each one comes out to have various colors between desert sand to cream beige and various shapes, textures, and the way it's decorate, if it even needs an extra touch. Whatever inspires me on the different and various ways I can design each one to have an unlikeness in each one. Some have handles that are made from the smaller ends of the kelp while others have none or a different type of handle. Some you can hang it from the handle but I put hooks on the ones that even with a handle would rather look and lay better. The texture of each one feels almost leather-like or a rough texture of some barks found on some trees. They are very durable and sturdy usually but some parts of the kelp is thinner than others so it make not be as strong. Also in every piece of sea kelp there are natural flaws that might be part of the basket but it's part of the uniqueness of natural sea kelp. Some customers have thought of putting it outside on a covered porch to use as a planter which I think is a wonderful idea but too much moister and water will make the kelp swell and then it will lose it's form. So I suggest that it be in the spring and summer times if you really want to use it for decoration on your porch If you were to get it a little wet it would not ruin it but, however, don't keep it in the rain. I found from many of my customers that purchased them different ways to use them besides what I thought so here are some great ideas:
plants
wall decorations 
bath amenities
gift baskets
potpourri
mail holder
towel holders
dried flower
and whatever your imagination inspires you.

I love coming up with new and different ways to show off its unusual style that can bring a wonderful home decoration made the center of conversations. I want you to enjoy them as much as I've had making each one and I try to make everyone with some kind of flare that stands out from any kind of basket made like this and hope you will enjoy it as well. This is eco friendly.

Featured artist of the week on working crafters on fire 2014

 
“Unique and well made looks great hanging on my white bead board cottage wall. A real pleasure doing business. Would highly recommend”
5 stars Dfemandes2531 on Oct. 11, 2014
 

My goal is to focus on basketry and photography but not just taking pictures. I’m in the process of learning how to take better pictures, learning lLightroom and photoshop to expand the beauty of my images and learn design. My Etsy shop is still doing well as can be expended. Visit my shop and see the many other crafts I do.

Latest work

 

My creative process