12 Countries Spotlight in Austria : Valerie Tonus

Today I'm happy to begin sharing a new series of creative spotlights featuring the many talented artists, crafters, and designers I met while traveling through Europe on my 12 Countries in 12 Months tour.

Every day from now until Christmas, I'll be sharing fresh artist portraits from Europe with you!

Some of you might remember the artists who blog interview I posted with American artist Valerie Tonus after meeting her in person at the Hundertwasser Haus in Vienna last year.

In the meantime, Valerie has been busy creating lots of colorful, new work including these lovely Viennese Market Basket Bags which are available in her Square Circle Works Etsy shop.

Valerie tells us about her process: "These baskets require over 100 feet of rope, which I hand wrap with new and upcycled fabrics.  It can take a couple of days just to complete the wrapping process!  I use a zigzag stitch to sew the wrapped rope into the large basket form. It takes over 500 yards of thread just to make the basket body!"

A lot of work, but the results are gorgeous!

Valerie also creates lovely upcycled bowls from fabrics

in a variety of colors, patterns,

shapes and sizes. See more of her handmade collections here.

Be sure to have a peek at Valerie's delicious blog from Vienna too! Valerie recently shared how to make yummy Austrian style mulled wine for the holidays, and she has blogged many delightful Austrian inspired recipes for breads, salads, and other treats as well. 

Valerie also shares fun and crafty tutorials on her blog

and photos from her favorite places in Vienna

I'd love to be visiting an Austrian Christmas market right now, wouldn't you?

Learn more about Valerie's interesting, international life story here and connect with her on Pinterest, Facebook, Etsy, and Twitter.

Happy December and much more to come!