Sunday, December 30, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Other creative people inspire Jennifer in her craft. "Their ideas are so amazing. I think about the details of their work, and often new, lovely thoughts come into my head for items I can make," she confesses. "Their creativity fuels my creativity."
Etsy is a hobby for the busy homemaker - she makes her family her priority. "MonsterBug Blankets is a creative outlet for me." She hopes to make enough sales through Etsy and craft shows to afford an embroidery machine. She realizes that in order for Etsy to be lucrative it takes a lot of time, effort, money, and hard work - often more than expected. "Promote on AND OFF Etsy," she advises.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
Sherryl Day is the prolific knitter behind Newdaycrochet. She began sewing at the tender age of six, using scraps of cloth from her grandmother, and progressed to quilting and embroidery. "I really enjoyed mymother's quilts when I began to sew. In each quilt there was a piece of me and my life." In highschool she moved on to crochet. "It started one morning when a neighbor and myself caught the bus to school. She taught me (to crochet) and I've been at it off and on ever since." When she's not persuing her love of sewing, she's crocheting. "Got to do something to keep the hands and brain active," she jokes. She gives her mother credit for allowing her to persue her creative talents. "Even though she is no longerwith us, she is still alive in the work I do." Although she admits the younger generation may think her craft is somewhat "old school," she brings a modern element to her designs, "doing more than a traditional afghan or doilies."
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Meghan's classic jewelry reflects her love of colors and textures. "I love all things beautiful and delicate, AND I love a big chunky (things) put together correctly." She also admires other artists - and feels very strongly about the handmade movement. "When I sell (one of my pieces) I know that someone out there is wearing something I put so much thought into - and that's kinda cool." She began making jewelry in college when she "was too poor to buy any" and soon realized she could make her own.
Dan and Jodi are a husband and wife artistic duo, who "dreamed of creating together while working from home." They started their endeavor in 2005 and named it "This Is IT" becuase "it’s how we felt about each other from the moment we met." Dan is currently in the middle of graduate school for creative writing, so Jodi is focussing on the business until he graduates next year. "My mom also helps us with the journals, which we so appreciate!" Their eclectic handmade gifts range from photo albums, journals, greeting cards, and jewelry. "We are both huge animal lovers and vegan, and we donate 5% of our profits to animal-welfare groups. The charities that we currently support are: Best Friends Animal Society, Humane Farming Association, The Jane Goodall Institute, and The Anti-Vivisection Society." They also share a love of the environment. "I really feel that the world consciousness is changing with regard to the environment and sustainable living –and it’s very exciting to be a part of this change. Dan and I use recycled boards for our journals and cardstock. All of our journal paper is handmade and environmentally friendly. We will continue to move more and more in this direction because I feel that it’s so important for our planet.We cherish mindful living, Buddhist philosophies, and contributing creatively to the world, but leaving as small a mark while doing so." Often times inspiration strikes them just before bed or when they first wake up, so they keep an "idea book" close at hand. "I just sketch it out and then the idea gets put into fruition. I love anything that has Asian influences. I love Jackson Pollock and many other abstract artists. I love Buddhist art and statues. I love the colors of India. I feel like there are so many ideas in my mind—and I just need to find the time to sit down and create them all." Their art definitely shows an open-minded, worldly influence. In some form or another they have always been creative. "When I was small I was the one making cards for anyone I could think of for any holiday I could invent," Jodi explains. "A friend of mine made jewelry, which I thought looked like a lot of fun…she taught me and here I am." Dan and Jodi feel blessed that their artistic passion has turned into a full time job. "(We) will never take that for granted." Fairly new to Etsy, they plan to learn more about the site and the community every day - and "keep making products that (we are)proud of." They advise their fellow Etsy sellers to list often. "I notice on days when I am busy with other things and don’t list frequently, the sales go down. I think it’s so important to have good customer service—follow through with what you say you are going to do. Make as many treasuries as you can. Post often in the forums. Network as much as you can. This is such a great community, and I am so proud to be a part of it!" Please check out her shop: http://thisisit.etsy.com/
The artist behind AJsCountryCottage finds her inspiration in nature. A simple walk in the country could spark the idea for a new scent. "Somehow the combination of fresh air, nature, exercise, and solitude gets my creative juices flowing," she explains. Her earthy products are fun, yet practical - and wonderfully arommatic. "I don't just want functional; I want my fragrant creations to look nice, to be interesting and colorful, and most of all, to help create a comforting ambience -- a haven of rest in our often busy and stressful world." Ever since she can remember she's been experimenting with all sorts of creative mediums. She poured her first candles when she was 13 and has been working to perfect the technique ever since. She makes all of her soaps from scratch and "loves coming up with new ideas for scents, for color combinations, for textures, and for new techniques that make my soaps not only functional, but aesthetically pleasing as well." Being a creator and an entrepreneur, Etsy is both her job and her hobby. "I create so I can sell; I sell so I can create more. But even if I couldn't have this as my job, I'd still be creating. It's in my genes." She hopes to meet new friends through Etsy and to "find some great handcrafted items for myself and my friends & family." She's worked very hard to establish herself as a trustworthy artisan and seller. "Do your homework and research thoroughly," she advises. "Then practice, practice, and practice some more. Most learning comes through experience. Persevere and be patient. It takes time to make great things and to establish yourself in business; there really are no shortcuts. Be friendly, kind, and helpful to others. Network!" Please visit her shop: http://ajscountrycottage.etsy.com/
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Jewelry designer and metalsmith Sherry Truitt lives in a 1918 craftsman bungalow with her husband, son, and jack russell terrier Zorro. They have painstakingly restored the house to it's original stature - and, being a vegetarian, she has also planted an extensive garden. Sherry finds inspiration in the art of Thomas Mann, the writings of Alice Hoffman, the concept of wabi-sabi, and the love and support of her family. She works expertly in sterling silver, copper, enamel, and aluminum, creating jewelry in her modern yet classic style. "I also love fine silver, PMC," she admits. "It's an excellent medium for small sculpture." She has also recently tried her hand at felting and plans to incorporate the two mediums in future pieces. "Some of my earliest memories are of making things," she recalls. "But I always mixed sets together, like tinker toys and erector sets. I was destined to be an artist." Although Sherry works at her craft full time, she doesn't think of it as a job - it's her passion. "I think the concept of a site for just handmade (products) is inspiring, but as Etsy grows I hope they can stay true to that mission." She enjoys the community of fellow artists, but cautions, "it's important for an artist in business to never put all your eggs in one basket." Sherry currently sells her work on three on-line sites, a gallery, and two seasonal resort shops. Please check out her Etsy shop: http://sherrytruitt.etsy.com/
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Aside from creating beautiful jewelry for her Etsy shop, Emmy Lou Helmuth is a full time volunteer with the Immigration Resource Center in San Luis Valley, Colorado (her husband also offers his services full time for Habitat For Humanity). She has always been creative, but her current loves are knitting and cooking. She finds her inspiration in nature. "I love the colors, textures, and the intricate simplicity." Sometimes it is even pure necessity that drives her artistic vision. "It is so great to see a need for something and figure out how (to) create what is needed." Emmy Lou's husband describes her as "a closest hippie," but she also enjoys elements of classic beauty. The unique combination comes across very well in her jewelry designs, and can be dressed up for a night on the town - or dressed down with Danskos and jeans (my personal favorite). For now Etsy is her hobby and she plans to enjoy her shop and "make enough sales to fund (her) continued crafting and Etsy purchases." She advises her fellow artists to "take the time to learn something new. I recently started working with a sewing machine and the old beast is rather inspiring." Please check out her shop: http://emmylouhelmuth.etsy.com/
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Ainsley Yeager, the young talent behind Ainsmar, is currently a sophomore in college, majoring in art design, "which is basically graphic design and illustration combined." She is only 19, "making (her) a fairly young person to be selling." At the moment she feels that her age and schooling are a disadvantage. "Since I'm in school I have little to no money, I can't afford a bigger place where I have room for crafting and I certainly do not have the following other people do." Her hard work and innovative designs will more than likely pay off in the near future. "I don't know why, but after I hear a really good story I normally want to draw and make stuff," she says of her inspiration. "Normally it isn't even related to the story, but I just get more creative energy after it." She's been developing her unique style her entire life. "When I was younger I liked drawing in the Disney style, then I got tired of that and tried to draw more of a superhero DC kind of style." But that didn't fulfill her inner creativity. "When I was around 14 I started making my own style and I threw in inspiration from a lot of other alternative comic artists. I've played with it for a good five years now and I think that I'm getting my own unique 'flavor'." She admits her craft is continuously evolving, encompasing her drawing and painting skills. Currently she specializes in minicomics, cards, and ACEOs, but hopes to explore the fields of sculpting and block printing. Although she has always been creative, she's only been serious about her craft in the last year. "Right now I'd call it a hobby. I hardly spend enough time on crafting to call this a job, but in the future I hope it will be." Still, she plans to promote herself seriously and make her pressence known. "If you want to make money off of what you love then you have to be a part of the Etsy community. Post in the forums, buy from others and go in the chat room," she advises.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Friday, December 7, 2007
The young talent behind Bonzie feels most at home working in her "quaint wooden studio in the sunny South East of Ireland." Aside from Etsy she also does custum work through private commissions, creating some of the most beautiful handmade and upcycled clothing with a victorian vibe. "I am always attracted to things of an antique nature," she admits. "I love deconstructed, frayed, textiles; I always feel like it has more character. If I have to work on a piece of new fabric, I usually end up manipulating it to look like something out of the famine!" She describes her style as "a blend of steampunk, romantic, vintage, gothic, baroque, venetian -basically anything which will allow me to indulge in my love of old!" A stickler for details, she is "allergic to anything of a plain nature." She has been a creative soul from the very beginning. "I can remember my nan entertaining me with an old cornflake box and some crayons. (Creating) was all I wanted to do when I was young (and funnily now that I'm older too!) Creating for me is not a luxury, its part of who I am and I must do it for sanity." Her art is her passion, and although she's managed to make a success of her Etsy shop, she also works in other art related jobs "as a means of subsidising (her) ability to continue with (her) craft." For Bonzie Etsy is a means to indulge in her passion and reach a wider audience. "It is a real high to know that somebody in Canada, America, Australia, etc., is wandering around in one of my pieces." She attributes her success to her involvement in the Etsy community. "Most of my successes have been as a direct result of making many fabulous friends on Etsy. They are my support group, from pimping me in the forums to adding me in there treasurys, we all look out for each other." Please check out her shop: http://Bonzie.etsy.com
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
DontWorryBeHippie is a "creative, earthy soul just looking for a way to share (her) wares with others." She learned how to macrame "way back in the 70's." Today she uses what she learned to create "beautiful, earthy jewelry." Every piece she creates is one of a kind. "If you open your mailbox and find a piece of my jewelry, you know that it's unique." She also enjoys needlepoint. "It's a very satisfying, relaxing hobby. I enjoy stitching a piece of canvas and making it into something pretty." Don't Worry Be Hippie is an expression "of life that embraces nature and peace. When I design a piece of jewelry, it reflects this philosophy of peace and harmony by using earthy stones and pendants and natural elements of clay, bone, horn and glass. I love creating something with the colors of nature in mind." To further reflect the earthiness of her pieces she takes most of her pictures outside. "I began making jewelry using macrame knots that I remembered from my childhood," she recalls. Soon after she into the art shows circuit and selling her work in local shops. "Nothing is more satisfying to me than seeing someone walk away from a show wearing something that I made," she confesses. While she enjoys her work in a school library, she persues her other love through Etsy. "I would love to be able to support myself with my hobby," she admits. "Etsy is a wonderful way to connect with crafters all over the world. It's very satisfying to have this format where we can relate to others' joys and successes here on Etsy. Boy when I get a new "heart", it really makes my day. Creating things can be a very solitary experience, but with Etsy it allows you to share your love of creating with others." She advises her fellow Etsians, "Just to keep on doing what you love by creating things for the people out there and not to get discouraged. I just read a forum post where a fellow Etsian was going to quit making jewelry because of the high rate of competition and lack of sales, but I say if jewelry making is what you love, then don't give up!! Tell others about Etsy!!" Please visit her shop: http://dontworrybehippie.etsy.com/
California artist GinPins is a phenomenal potter and artist, who "highly values a humorous perspective on life." She feels her upbringing has influenced her whimsical art. "My Grandmother taught me so much, even before I started kindergarten---basic sewing skills, knitting, crochet, various crafty pursuits involving lots of felt, sequins and glitter (my Barbies tended to dress like they had jobs as showgirls in Vegas), rudementary baking and some gardening. My Dad also shares a love of making things (although things of a different type) and passed on to me his affection for careful craftsmanship---thanks Dad." It wasn't until nine years ago that GinPins fell in love with clay when she took a required 3-D art class in college. It was love at first sight. "Me and the mud, we've been inseparable ever since!" Believe it or not, the picture for this post is not just a mug, but a teapot - the "spoon" is the spout. Her eclectic style is often "exacting (and) sometimes funny." She is interested in so many artistic endeavors that they often influence one another. "My love of knitting often shows up on ceramic ware as texture from stamps I make from swatches I knit for just that purpose. My love of ceramics shows up as buttons for my knitted and sewn items, or as jars to store my knitting needles. And, since I am also a painter, my felt pincushions get a bit of painting to enhance their realism." She's a self-admitted "goofball," who loves to amuse people with her work. "I think that careful attention to craftsmanship works to keep the humorous edge from becoming trite. I do produce more serious pieces from time to time, I just don't take myself too seriously." Although she works in a college ceramics & art department, she manages to find time to earn an edequate income from selling her work on Etsy and in local galleries. She plans to offer more functional pieces on Etsy. "I've been selling for almost 6 months on Etsy and started out a bit frightened of the shipping issues related to the fragility of ceramics, so have held off on listing that type of item. Eventually, I'd love to be selling 5 or so items per week." She suggests ne Etsians join a street team that reflects their craft. "I'm a member of the Etsy Mud Team and being on the team has enhanced my Etsy experience in ways I could not have imagined when I joined. Team membership has brought more visibility to my shop by allowing me to collaborate on group projects, as well as participate in challenges and promotions. However, it's the comraderie among the team members that really makes my Etsy experience so special. Our team's forum thread is a perfect blend of encouragement, advice and laughs. Yay mudders!" Please check out her shop: http://ginpins.etsy.com/
Ever since she was three years old Kate E. Austin, the talent behind Aephemera, has aspired to be an artist. "I went to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Mendon, Vermont with my mother - I saw the art for sale and wanted to sell mine!" She grew up in Killington, Vermont, where she didn't feel like she fit in. "I graduated in 1999 and went to Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York for two years for art, then dropped out (what do you do with an art degree, anyway!) and joined AmeriCorps for two years, working with at-risk youth in Rutland, Vermont." She now resides in Glens Falls, New York, where she has a studio in The Shirt Factory, an artists' community. She also maintains her own website, http://www.aephemera.net/.
PamperingBeki is a "fun loving mom, wife, and jewelry designer." Her style ranges from "whimsical and fun, trendy, to classically elegant." She designs pieces that can be both dressed up or dressed down. "I always think 'Can this be worn with a tee and jeans? Can it be worn with a fabulous black dress?' And I try to have the item work with both." She's been designing jewelry for five years as a hobby - and a job. "It's a hobby that's taken on a life of it's own," she explains. "And I love every minute of it as my job." While she'd like to see more consistant sales, she doesn't expect Etsy to bring her customers. "Don't rely on Etsy to provide your buyers. You have to do your own marketing outside of Etsy to drive buyers to you. If you see a seller who is very successful, email them and ask for their tips or advice! Most are thrilled to offer what works for them." Please visit her shop: http://pamperingbeki.etsy.com/
The artist Etsians know as ScaryWhiteGirl was born and raised in the Midwest, "and recently made the exodus to Seattle, WA." Her mother was an avid crafter, "and she taught me how to make a lot of the things I do now. I learned to crochet almost four years ago, and became obsessed with that quickly." She aims to make "practical but attractive crocheted items," but admits to making some just for fun. "My theory is that if you need to have cold weather gear, it might as well look nice as well as being practical." She's been selling her unique wares for three years. "This is most definitely a hobby for me. I do most of my crafting while I watch TV or movies, because I have a hard time just watching a movie and doing nothing else--to me, it seems like a waste of perfectly good time." In her first year with Etsy she's made just over 80 sales. "I'm hoping to hit 100 by the end of the year, and I'd love to hit 200 or 250 by the end of next year. In the short term, however, I'm working on a new line of items which will launch in January (hopefully), and I'm always working on improving my photos." She advises her fellow sellers, "Be sure to keep yourself seen, one way or another. List regularly, participate in the forums, talk about your shop in your blog. Just make sure that anyone who stumbles across your online presence will know about your shop and what you sell. But most importantly, do what works for you, and don't let your shop make you miserable. If you need a break for a few days, take it." Check out her shop: http://scarywhitegirl.etsy.com/
Pennsylvania natives Emily and Ray are the artists and "partners in crime" behind May of Teck Club, a "purveyor of distinctive drawings and paintings, fine handmade sketchbooks and journals, and other charming and unique novelties." Their love of ephemera comes across in their nostalgic style. "I am one of those people who longs for the simplicity and beauty of ages passed," Emily admits. She often incorporates old-time photos and antique frames in her pieces.