Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Meet Etsy Jewelry Artist: carrieWdesigns

"'Having patience along this journey' is the line I would use to describe myself these days," Carrie jokes. By day she is a teacher - and by night, a creative jewelry artist. At 30, she has a wonderful husband who is supportive of both her career and her art. Her jewelry making began two years ago when she had custom pieces created for her bridesmaids. "The artist who did the work, now a friend, led me to the right resources to begin," she explains. "I work with sterling silver, copper, pearls (my favorite) and semi-precious stones for the most part." Like many of us, she has a "serious addiction to beads." She has even gotten her mother into the craft. "When we shop for stones and findings, it is a marathon event." Her mother has always been an inspiration. "She is a true artist, teaching me everything I know about color and texture." One day she hopes to turn her passion into a full time career, but in the meantime she's enjoying the creative Etsy community. "I get great tips from the forums and always work on my photos. I relist items almost everyday, sometimes several times during the course of the day. I think relisting is one inexpensive way to get noticed and make sales." Please check out her shop: http://carriewdesigns.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Meet Etsy Artist: rivermoonblossom

The talent behind Etsy shop rivermoonblossom is artist Strawberry Curls. She grew up in a bohemian artist household, "moving all over the place like traveling gypsies." They finally settled in Santa Fe, New Mexico where they found a thriving community of artists. "Because my parents are artists, I have been creating and making art as far back as I remember," she explains. "One of My earliest memories is drawing and collaging in my play area, which was under my mama's sewing machine. We used to sing folk songs together as she sewed her soft sculpture dolls." At the tender age of 10 that she made her first ceramic tile, but it was not love at first sight. "I was taking a children's artist workshop from a famous New Mexican artist, but the class was in an old, drafty warehouse and had no heat, so my hands were like ice on the clay..it was no fun...it took me another 16 years to find my way back to ceramics, but once I did, I was hooked." She draws and paints mystical designs with glazes on her handmade red clay tiles, firing them at a low heat, which brings out the vibrant colors she is known for. Much of her inspiration comes from her passion for world goddess traditions and women empowerment stories, although they are usually tempered with southwest culture and color. While Etsy is currently her hobby, she is working to make it a full time job, although she admits that she would feel compelled to create even if she made no money at all. She hopes to begin 2009 with the addition of prints of her fantastic tiles, paintings, and collages. "Treat Etsy like the friendly community that it is," she reminds. "Look at other shops, not just related to your medium. Mark favorites, chat in the forums and chat rooms, make treasuries, look at the most 'successful' Etsy shops to see what they are selling...make yourself visible and accessible." Please check out her shop: http://rivermoonblossom.etsy.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com/

Friday, December 19, 2008

Meet Etsy Artist: Starbourne

Starbourne describes herself as "a retired Grandma (Bubbe to those that love me) living bliss in sunny south FL, visiting my children and grandchildren all over the country, and creating through my crafting passions (which, thankfully, I can take with me when and wherever I travel)." After many years in executive management, she made a life change in her "senior wisdom years" and became a licensed esthetician. "This gave me great joy, not only in working in the healing field (which I had done many years doing aura photography), but working with other healers. It gave me the opportunity to use so many healing modalities; color energy, infra red energy, Reiki, aroma therapy, and so much more." Although she is now following her artistic passions, she still keeps in touch with the holistic community. Her fist love is cross-stitch, although she is also interested in (and may I say an expert at) 3 dimensional art, which she learned from her daughter who is a Graphic Designer and fellow Etsian as well (you may see her work at AshraJudaica.etsy.com). She also works on what she calls "'Mindful Bracelets' - A Tool for Change." She admits that she is "always in learning mode, so am open to learning anything new that piques my interest." Her inspiration comes from "all things beautiful, mystical, magical and spiritual." Etsy has been an excellent gateway for her to connect with people and she looks forward to networking with like-minded artists. Please check out her shop: http://starbourne.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Monday, December 15, 2008

Living the Good Life On A Budget: Trader Joe's

I've always loved Trader Joe's, but as prices rise even at bargain places like Winco, I'm appreciating TJ's even more. All of their products are organic, healthy, fair trade - and delicious. They have a new product called a "Take Home Thali For Two," which is basically an Indian dinner for $3.99! It includes rice, yellow lentils, and a potato & pea curry. Pair it with their classic or masala style naan (flat bread) and tomato chutney and you'd swear it came from a restaurant. I never have high hopes from Indian food in a box, but I was totally impressed! It cooked up so well in the microwave it seemed like it came off the stove top. Their multi grain vegetable lasagna is absolutely fabulous, as are their fish tacos with cilantro sauce (both found in the freezer section). Their breaded eggplant cutlets are perfect for making your own Eggplant Parmesan (just bake the cutlets as directed, add cheese and marinara sauce - I love Paul Newman's, but I'm willing to bet TJ's makes a good one, too). Their artisan cheeses are top notch and nearly half what you'd pay elsewhere. My three favorites are their blue cheese, brie, and cambrazola - which is like brie and blue cheese in one. They also happen to make the best tortillas and salsa verde. This salsa is so good it's hard to believe it's fat free, low calorie, and good for you. I use it for salad dressing, too - and it would be great with eggs (juevos rancheros). They also carry a huge selection of reasonably priced beer and wine, so you can really make dinner in feel like dinner out. If you haven't checked out Trader Joe's yet, put it on your To Do list. I guarantee you'll love it...
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Living the Good Life On A Budget: The Grocery Outlet; My New Favorite Store...

OK - I admit it - I'm a bit of a wine snob and "gourmand," but my pay and hours have been cut by almost 1/3 due to the struggling economy. I have to have my wine and brie. What to do, what to do??? Fret no more - Grocery Outlet to the rescue! First of all, they carry wine and beer. How cool is that? I just had a glass of Glory Days Voignier that I picked up there for a mere $3.99 a bottle. I bought a few other brands for $2.99! Some of my other recent finds have been an Oreo cheesecake for $1.99 with real name-brand Oreos, not the cheap knock-off stuff, frozen Indian food microwave dinners for $1.99 (the same brand others carry for a whopping $5), and the most Delicious Greek yogurt with honey for .50! I even got a HUGE bag of fresh red and yellow bell peppers for $1.99 that I cut up in slices and threw in the freezer for fajitas later in the week. This place is freaking AWESOME!!! You simply have to check it out - especially as prices are even rising at bargain grocers such as Winco. And remember - the items are always changing, giving you a great variety. Hopefully there's one near you. If so - what are your favorite finds?
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com/

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Living the good life - on a budget: series coming soon...

Let's face it - most of us have been hit by the struggling economy. Stocks are down, work hours are being cut - and worse yet - lay-offs and unemployment abound. As if that isn't bad enough, there doesn't seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel. So - how can we cut costs but still enjoy the good life? I have come up with a few ideas, tips, and tricks - and will post them soon in a series of features. I may even have a contest for the best submitted suggestion with a yet-to-be-determined prize. See you soon...
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Meet Etsy Artist: gerebdesign

Izabela Gereb studied furniture design and graduated with a Master's Degree in Art Nouveau furniture from a University in Brasov in Romania. "I never had a chance to actually use my knowledge of Art Nouveau, but 'C’est la vie,'" she jokes. She spent much of her adolescence in museums and galleries - and considers this the most important part of her education. She later studied drawing and painting techniques in galleries in Montreal, Canada. Truly a unique artist, she even made her own clothing. "When I lived in Paris many times women actually wanted to buy whatever I was wearing on the spot." Her real joy comes from "making fun staff out of useless objects." She explains, "Basically most of my home accessories and furniture I developed primary from discarded materials. For example the series of portraits on MDF blocks was born because my neighbours furniture makers had lots of MDF pieces going straight to the garbage. I sold tons of these prints on canvas on unwanted MDF frames." She has designed and built thousands of "unique and crazy" furniture pieces and painted literally hundreds of paintings, selling every single one. "I am a product of split heritage and background," she says, "Polish and Canadian, artist and designer rolled into one." A part of many cultures, she speaks eight languages and "feel(s) at home in many places on this planet." Currently she lives on Vancouver Island where she continues her interested and exploration of human nature. You can view more of her work at http://www.gerebdesign.com./ check out her shop: http://gerebdesign.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mumbai: In ugliness there is beauty...

Having just returned from India a week ago I was saddened to hear of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. My heart is broken knowing so many innocent Indians and foreign tourists were hurt or killed in the 60 hour siege. In my recent travels I met many wonderful Indian people who were generous and welcoming - and supportive of the US. In the wake of this tragedy I hope the entire world comes together in peace and healing and forges an understanding and acceptance of all cultures and faiths. This Reuters photo brought me to tears in the wake of this tragic event - and I think it is important people remember that not all Muslims are extremists or terrorists. With more people like this beautiful child we WILL persevere in world peace. What ever the religion of the victims, I hope their God/s or Goddess/es bless them and carry their souls to their hearts. Join me in working for world peace - and please put it into effect through tolerance, acceptance, and love. Best wishes...

-Wendy Baylis

Meet Etsy Artist: elsiee

Elsie Echevarria is the talent behind Etsy shop "Namaste Designs" via her user ID elsiee. "My daughter is an amazing artist and beautiful soul, who has been my biggest source of joy and inspiration for the past 20 years," she gushes. And her mother is "a super independent, strong, fashionable, jewelry collecting, travel crazy woman." When her daughter left for art school in Vancouver her mother asked her to join her on yearly trips and "two big amazing changes in my life came together – I started attending jewelry making classes to fill my achingly empty nest and my mom and I started traveling to exotic places together." In the last two years they've been to exotic locales such as Egypt, South Africa, India, and Nepal. It was the latter that captured her heart. "My Etsy shop Namaste Designs opened when we returned from Nepal in June 08," she explains. "It was the trip of a lifetime (happily my daughter and husband joined Mom and I on this trip)." With her long time love of Buddha and goddess imagery - and "never )having) met a chunky stone or bead (she) didn’t love – Nepalese and Tibetan crafts struck a chord and inspired her to share her jewelry via Etsy. "I’ve never thought of myself as crafty or much less artistic, I’m the stereotypical 'can’t draw a straight line' girl, but sometimes, when I look at beads and stones, they become images of fantastical jewelry pieces in my mind," she admits. "Sometimes the entire design comes together in my head while they’re still on their original strands...sometimes the beads put up a valiant fight, but making bold beautiful pieces brings me so much joy, it keeps me up late many, many nights." As dedicated as she is to her new joy, by day she is a Marriage & Family Therapist with her own private practice. While she doesn't have any immediate plans for her Etsy shop, she hopes to "continue to befriend and be inspired by all of the crazy amazing local Etsy women that I’m so blessed to be surrounded by." Please check out her shop: http://elsiee.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Monday, November 24, 2008

Meet Etsy Photographer: Photopia

Vanessa grew up in Hong Kong, but later moved to Vancouver, BC for high school. She moved yet again t0 Berkeley, California for college and has been there ever since. "My full time job is in a field that is completely unrelated to creativity," she explains. "I am a health care finance consultant working for corporate America. Despite my career choice, I feel that deep down inside I am a creative soul." Aside from photography, she is an avid knitter (knitopia.etsy.com), but it is her ethereal photos that caught my eye. "I think because I have lived in different places and have been exposed to different cultures and the fact that I love traveling really open(ed) up my mind to new ideas and new perspectives. When I travel to new places is when my creative juices start flowing - unstoppable," she jokes. "There is so much beauty in this world. In the traditional sense, we have sunsets, natural landscapes, amazing architecture, all of which I love to photograph. But I also find beauty in the mundane, be it (the) flicker of a candle, a single rose, or even a cup. A good photographer can also turn something ugly in the traditional sense into a meaningful beautiful image capture." Photography has always fascinated her. "As a kid, without proper guidance and exposure, there were more disappointments than success," she remembers. "A big part of it was also that in the old days good quality photographic equipment was much less accessible to the general public because of price and technology; nowadays with the advent of digital photography and falling prices, it is relatively easy to get hold of reasonably good equipment, which in turns enables me to improve at a really fast pace." Surprisingly she took a break from her first love - and has only rekindled it fairly recently. "I have had my Etsy store since February of this year," she is proud to say. "Since it has not been that long, I honestly am still trying to find my own style and niche." While she experiments with a wide range f subjects, she admits she tends to gravitate toward "minimalism and simple geometry and lines within each frame." The peace and serenity of zen-like natural motifs also show up in her work. "Have confidence in your art and don't ever give up," she reminds her fellow Etsians. Please check out her shop: http://photopia.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis

Dharma Designs

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Meet Etsy Artist: margotbianca

While finishing up her printmaking studies Margot created a functional line of batik "to take my mind off of my thesis on the weekends." After graduating she discovered selling her beautiful wares was a great addition to her income. "Making pieces that are small, inexpensive, useful and appeal to a wide audience is key to a production line," she explains of her creations. She definitely focuses on her eccentric artist side, too; "I like to keep my schedule flexible, to avoid having to take a job that gets in the way of me making new work, traveling for shows and residencies, and the other schedule-disrupting activities that are inherent to life as an artist." She enjoys the fact that making functional art is a nice break from fine art. "I can learn a lot about color interaction and the nature of different fibers when I'm not being uptight about creating work with content. The repetitive nature of creating a functional line frees my mind up to consider solutions to dead ends or visual problems in my drawings, prints, project proposals or plans for installations. It also helps me practice not getting offended and frozen by negative responses to my work. If someone doesn't like a batik dishtowel, who cares?" She finds inspiration everywhere - from ambient light, color, lines, and good food." Even a few of her dreams and a cup of coffee or two has influenced her colorful work. Each batik is made with antique Indonesian stamps "that were themselves created by hand." She explains, "the stamps were made to help crafters create less expensive textiles for the European market at the turn of the century. So the designs have this strange mix of Asian aesthetic, made for a European audience. I've collected these beautiful objects from auctions, estate sales, junk stores and collectors." She has painstakingly cleaned and repaired them, learned how to use them, and now creates her earthy, functional art with them. "Figuring out how to use each one is like a little puzzle: some of them were designed to interlock, others are smaller parts of a larger intricate design, and some are still mysteries. It's a great challenge for me to find out how to to give them a new life." Please check out her shop: http://margotbianca.etsy.com
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Monday, November 17, 2008

Meet Etsy Jewelry Artist: SkylarkStudio

Karen lives in the "heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country...It's pretty wild (seriously!)." She's been a textbook example of a librarian for an Art History department at her local college for the last several years. "I spent my days looking at thousands of pictures of art. It was inspiring if not overwhelming at times," she explains. In contrast, she has also commuted to New York to work with several design firms. "(I'd) wake up with the cows, then (be) on the subway by 9:00 am. It was too much." She finds inspiration in "classic timeless patterns, motifs, subjects - things that don't go out of style...I love looking at design magazines from years past to see what was a fad and what was a classic." Living in a rural area, she is also inspired by a group of fellow artists. "We're determined to be successful even though we live on the outskirts of where it's all 'happening.'" she jokes. "We all really believe in trying to stay true to yourself and your talents without being part of the elite style machine." Working primarily with sterling silver, she creates chic contemporary designs that often have an ethnic feel. "I really want my pieces to last and be worn for years...I like things that look stark and tough but a little fancy at the same time." She started metalwork in high school, but didn't really focus on her craft until last year. "I'm giving this a go as my job right now, we'll see if it takes off," she laughs. "I really love Etsy, the whole concept of it is really amazing. I'd like to get more involved in the forums, talking to other crafters and getting advice and moral support. I love doing location searches for my area, there are so many crafters hiding out in the country!" Currently she's working on a cohesive theme for her shop, which includes complementary packaging, banners, business cards, etc. "I think (B&M) stores might be more willing to sell your product if they see you've really thought it through," she advises. Please check out her shop: http://skylarkstudio.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Monday, November 10, 2008

Meet Etsy Jewelry Artist: chendric

Cheryl Hendric is a "chronic wanderer, settled for the meantime in Boston with my boyfriend and two cats." She's originally from the Midwest, but studied abroad in Denmark and has even worked and volunteered in Thailand and Nepal. Her current work will lead her to Africa later this year. "These places I’ve been and the people met along the way continue to inspire me and my designs," she explains of her fascination with exotic landscapes and cultures. Her interest in science and nature can also be seen in some of her metalwork. "I love the versatility of silver, but I also need color in my life - bright color." She aims to keep her designs simple enough for every day wear, but still unique, "whether that be through the use of an unusual stone, intriguing texture, or bold color." A lifelong crafter and artist, she recalls the unfortunate incidents where she played a role in her second grade teacher having her lamination privileges revoked. "I had her laminate so much of my artwork," she jokingly admits. She has "experimented with pottery, pastels, candle making, soap making, and bookbinding, but my love for silver and gemstones has kept drawing me back to jewelry." In regards to her photographs, she has always admired her fellow Etsy artists, but "it wasn’t until my trip to Nepal that I decided to share my photographs with others; the country and the culture were so amazing that I felt guilty not sharing some of the images that I had captured during my time there." Etsy started out as a hobby, but she soon realized how satisfying it was to create for others. "Although I consider this a business, I do have a day-job working on malnutrition research and interventions in Africa as part of a large international development project," she says. She hopes to share her work with the world through Etsy - "and it would be nice to sell more than I buy on Etsy." Please check out her shop: http://chendric.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Meet Etsy Jewelry Artist: Hint

Beth is "drawn to images of the natural world and universal myths." She studied Art History and has worked as a curator of ancient art, and admits most of her "imagery comes from looking at Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Asian art." She is also interested in patterns found in nature that are artistically integrated into textiles. She describes her craft as "creating universal stories in metal." She doesn't just make jewelry, but keepsakes she hopes are cherished like precious mementos. "People have described my artistic style as the Wild West meets the Far East," she laughs. "I try to infuse my jewelry with the rustic atmosphere of the American West and the simplicity of Asian design." She's been a sculptor for over 20 years and only recently began creating jewelry. "I had been looking for a media that would allow me to work in miniature and create objects that were intimately connected to the body and sensuality. I wanted people to be able to touch and hold my sculptures." Etsy provides her with a way "to connect with kindred spirits and celebrate creativity." She recommends fellow artists "create what you love not what you think people will like, and allow others an opportunity to gravitate towards that beauty. Continue to define and refine your vision based on your internal voice." Please check out her shop: http://hint.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Friday, October 31, 2008

Meet Etsy Artist: annyschoo

Anny (shu hua) grew up in Taiwan, "a beautiful island." Not surprisingly, a lot of her pieces display an Asian flair. She studied sewing in high school and worked as a teacher for 10 years before becoming a stay at home Mom. "I started to make fabric toys for my daughter to play with," she explains. Last year she moved to Colorado with her family, which inspired her to bring her creativity into fruition. "I love to make cute things," she admits, "practical items for homes and my daughter. But I really LOVE making Asian inspired things." She is fascinated with ancient history and folk art. Her Etsy shop is still just a hobby for now, as she's chosen to devote her time to raising her daughter. "I am grateful to have Etsy as a place to expose my handmade ideas and see what that will lead to." She says Etsy is a great place to meet like minded artists and believes everyone should try their hand at making something. "(When) we create something the process and value is just amazing. We make the world beautiful with handmade." Please check out her shop: http://annyschoo.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis

Dharma Designs

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Casting Call: Need new artists to profile...

Namaste! As I get ready for my trip to India and Nepal I want to prewrite artist features to cover the days I'm away. If you make something by hand - be it art, jewelry, or even every day items - let me know. I just may feature you and your art. Please note that due to the number of submissions I may not be able to feature everyone...Please send submissions to dharmadesigns@yahoo.com.
Thanks,
Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Monday, October 20, 2008

Meet Etsy Artist: RayofCreation

Tandi is part of the nonprofit art collective known as RayofCreation. This talented group of artists from New Mexico make a wide range of crafts in hopes of spreading peace and love. "I've always been involved in arts and crafts, starting at home with a 'crafty' Mom and an 'always-building-something' Dad," Tandi admits, "then in college I found myself drawn to design and majored in architecture." Like many of us, she wasn't particularly interested in the "9-5 business life." Instead, she travelled around the world, visiting India, Thailand, Nepal, and Europe. She found herself drawn to spirituality. "I found that meditation and a Buddhist perspective seemed to fit me the best, and spent some time practicing Vipassana." Originally from the Northwest, after years of travelling she eventually found herself in the Southwest. "I came here for the sunshine and found a really great community quite unexpectedly." She finds inspiration in "textures and colors, how the material feels in my hand, it's qualities in light. With papers, I love to spend time just laying different pieces next to each other to see how they interact and blend. With gemstones, there is the vibe of each stone, plus how the light passes through...Each piece I work on is really about creating a feel that will give the intended impression...often I find myself going for qualities like being harmonious, beautiful, calming, balanced, and subtle." All of these aspects are beautifully showcased in her earthy, natural style - from her cards to her jewelry. "For me crafting is a way to take a break from everything, enjoy the moment, and just practice seeing and creating without any pressure. It's a pleasure." Please check out her shop: http://rayofcreation.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Monday, October 13, 2008

Meet Etsy Artist: Nguyen Van Gio courtessy of his niece Alicia

The other day I stumbled across some amazingly heartfelt renditions and portraits of real life in Vietnam. Each piece is not just a portrait or still life, but a window to another world, another time. "My uncle is the real artist," Alicia says of the Etsy shop she created to showcase her uncle's work. "I am just posting his art on Etsy because I admire his art." Nguyen Van Gio lives in Vietnam and often creates his beautiful works on rice paper. He graduated from the Ecole National Superior des Beaux Arts (Superior National School of Fine Arts) in 1968 and his work can be seen in many galleries in homeland as well as the Etsy shop his niece created for him. Please check out his work: http://alicianguyen.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Meet Etsy Artist: Inor


I was lucky enough to stumble upon another fantastic artist on her first day on Etsy. She has been creating in one form or another her entire life, but has recently been inspired by Buddha's teachings and "felt inspired to express (her) gratitude through drawing." She "look(s) forward to sharing more images and (has) hopes for some prosperity." Please check out her shop: http://inor.etsy.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Monday, September 15, 2008

Meet Etsy Artist: toenailgallery



OK - I must admit that most of us don't think of pretty thoughts when we hear the words toe nail, but this next artist will definitely change your mind...
Jason runs toenailgallery on Etsy and calls himself a "living artist, meaning that I make about half of my income from my art." He focuses his talents on making function things - like furniture, appliances, and bicycles - look better. "I feel I do well at that," he says, and after seeing his Geisha dresser I'd have to agree. "I'm happy with every piece I've done," he admits, but goes on to say that "I'm pretty anal when it comes to my stuff. It has to be the very best I can do." If he isn't happy with it, he'll primer over the entire thing and start again. He describes his inspiration as a "beautiful dance between me and the person I'm creating for. It could be a color preference, theme, favorite animal or just an intuitive feeling I have at the moment." He appreciates that his clients tend to trust him and let him work his magic. "Almost all of them blindly let loose with their things without a clue exactly what I had in mind. It's a awesome feeling to share the finished piece with them. I really love that part!" Etsy has helped his unique work get seen by over 1000 people all over the world. "That number at times has been humbling in the fact that I've had 3 sales," he says. "The people I've had the pleasure of connecting with have been very friendly. You guys rock!" Please check out his shop: http://toenailgallery.etsy.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com/

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Yet another great blog to bookmark

I just stumbled upon another great style and party blog - Lotus Haus by Joanna Dyckoff. Like Celebrate With Style, it features stories on chicparties, fashion, home decor, and more. Every photo is gorgeously photographed, every tip a do-it-yourselfers dream. Please check it out: http://lotushaus.typepad.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Discovered another great blog...

For all those out there that love hand made - and are style oriented - there's a great blog called Celebrate With Style. It details parties, food, weddings, fashion - you name it, and this blog has a beautifully photographed and expertly written story on it - and it's all handmade by artists from around the world (or illustrates how you can make your own). Please check it out: http://www.celebratewithstyle.com/site/DisplayIndex

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Friday, August 29, 2008

Meet Etsy Glass Artist: panyizsuzsi

Zsuzsi is a Hungarian architect and a talented glass artist. "It is all started in my preschool years," she explains. "My father was a glass industry engineer...he invented and patented a technology for researching glass ingredients." If you gave him a sample he could recreate it for you. She was fascinated with his viscosity tests, where the glass was melted. "It ended up with little amorf glass 'creations.' I used to play with that when I went to his office." She is influenced by her love of modern mid-century era and contemporary art - and her eclectic pieces showcase her unique retro-modern style. "Bold colors and simple, geometric shapes are the trademark for my unique and quality glass pieces." Although she's been interested in glass her whole life, she's only been creating her glass jewelry and pieces for a year and a half. Please check out her shop: http://panyizsuzsi.etsy.com

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Meet Etsy Artist: madmaxxdesignn

His name might be Spencer, but he goes by Mad Maxx. "I am originally from England, but have been here in Arizona for 15 years." He's been interested in art his entire life. "It is the one thing that makes me complete," he explains. He works in all mediums, but prefers pencil for portraits. Please check out his shop: http://madmaxxdesignn.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Meet Etsy Doll Artist: umaiyer

Originally from India, Uma/Rama has been an artist for over 30 years, although she has only been marketing her work for the last three. I was lucky enough to stumble across her beautifully detailed dolls on Etsy the other day while searching for East Indian art. I am fascinated by the culture, food, and art of this wonderful country - and now one of it's Etsy artists. Uma's inspiration comes from "the vibrant colors of flowers, the splash of colors on the sky while the sun is setting, and any art work." She admits that she can admire a landscape for hours on end. "Right now I am in Switzerland, the cows grazing in the field, the mountains, and the beautiful houses with flowers in their windows inspire me," she explains. Although she currently focuses her Etsy shop on the traditional handmade dolls of her homeland, she dabbles in a wide range of arts and crafts - including many forms of painting. She hopes to "carve a niche for (her)self in the art world" via Etsy. Please check out her shop: http://umaiyer.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Monday, August 25, 2008

Meet Etsy Tea Artist: TeaNoir

Kate is a "recent transplant to Vermont, migrating up from southern New York." She admits she is "extraordinarily caffeinated and sort of obsessed with flavours and cooking - I daydream about different taste combinations and things I can do with tea. It's probably just a wee bit unhealthy, really!" As with her MarTeani blend (pictured), she gets a lot of inspiration from classic cocktails. She also pulls ideas from candy and baked goods. "I love experimenting with flavours to come up with something new and different. I also get inspiration from the names of my favourite noir movies - Maltese Falcon started out with the name, and I challenged myself to come up with a tea that involved black and gold." Just like Kate, TeaNoir is "all about mixing retro and modern. It's all about modernising the ancient flavour of tea, and the retro associations tea often has. English Breakfast is all well and good, but there's so much more that can be done. Tea doesn't need to be stodgy, and there's no reason having a cup of tea can't be as fun as having a triple-mocha-iced-frappa-whatever from the coffee bar." She's been blending her own teas for five years - and selling them with great success for two. "I definitely spend 40+ hours a week with Tea Noir, between blending, listing, keeping up on email, etc., but it's not my day job," she explains, however she hopes to turn it into one. For now, her goal with Etsy is to "keep my customers happy and to make enough sales to allow me to turn around and buy lots of nifty stuff from other Etsians." Her success is due mostly to the quality of her ingredients - and the diligence she spends on the details. "If you have a quality product, it'll speak for itself." Please check out her shop: http://teanoir.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Meet Etsy Jewelry Artist: Damselle

27 year old artist Melanie Crowe "started Damselle Jewelry after losing (her) well-paying job due the changing economic climate." She explains, "In the midst of the panic, I realized I hadn't been living life on my terms, and my husband and I decided to take more risks in order to do what we love." With a lot of hard work Damselle is now her full time job. "I tend to try to allow myself to be inspired by my materials rather than the other way around. I choose something I find to be beautiful and then design around that material." Often her designs have a dash of vintage elegance. "When I see something very old and very well made, I think, "how amazing that someone cherished this enough to keep it around and care for it, so that future generations can enjoy it.'" Her style was recently described as "Anthropologie meets Ladies who Lunch," and she admits that she likes that description. When creating her pieces she likes to "imagine (her) customer as a beautiful, unusual, and highly intelligent woman, who gets things done." She hopes to use Etsy to bring her closer to the things she cares about and to make a positive impact. "I'd like to get to the point where my husband is able to work less and we can spend more time together and more time on causes that are important to us," she says. "The road to success is different for everyone, and sometimes the road isn't what you expect it to be." Please check out her shop: http://damselle.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Meet Etsy Metalsmith and Jewelry Artist: WearableByDesign

Bay area artist Jennifer Smith-Righter is a jewelry designer, who formally trained in Art and Architecture. She primarily works in Fine Silver, Sterling Silver, and Gemstones to create her modern pieces. "I have a strong desire to work in an ethically responsible way," she says. "I use reclaimed silver and lab manufactured stones or stones whose provenance I know well, so that to the degree I can, I am not supporting mining operations or human suffering." Not surprisingly, she is influenced by organic beauty. "I like to 'build' my jewelry and tend to conceive of them in components that are pieced together." She has been building her creations for six years now, but acknowledges that Etsy has helped her grow as an artist. "I love the forums because I can freely share my knowledge and experience with others - and I learn a great deal, too." She recommends her fellow artists be critical about their own work. "Try to separate your emotions and passions about what you do from the product. Don’t make a commodity, make art." Please check out her shop: http://wearablebydesign.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Friday, August 22, 2008

Meet Etsy Metalsmith and Jewelry Artist: jenkahn

Jennifer Kahn "always thought (she) was born in the wrong time. Then PMC (Precious Metal Clay) came along and (she) knew (she) was right where (she) belonged." She graduated from the University of Vermont with a BA in Art and English in 2001. During her senior year she worked at Frog Hollow Gallery, where she met renowned artist Celie Fago. "I took one of her classes, then became her apprentice and by the time I graduated, I knew that I was serious about PMC. I moved to Celie’s, as a live-in apprentice, learning PMC and metalsmithing. I’m also her teaching assistant and I get to accompany her in her travels around the country and abroad." She has sold her work at craft shows and galleries across Vermont and has also been featured in National and International exhibits. "I love what I do and I no longer feel like I’m in the wrong time," she admits. "I feel so lucky to be here, now." She has been creating her tribal designs for seven years. "I try to put a contemporary spin on ancient designs, as I’m influenced by both ethnic artifacts and current fashion trends. I’m fascinated by the way things are put together: patched, hinged, riveted, stitched and often incorporate such connections in my pieces...I’m constantly trying to fuse old and new, industrial and natural, urban and ethnic." Aside from design, she also focuses on the craftsmanship of her pieces. "The back must be as compelling as the front. For that reason most of my pendants and necklaces are reversible." Comfort is also key. "Rings must be smooth inside and earrings must not be too heavy." Please check out her shop: http://jenkahn.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Meet Etsy Jewelry Artist: EricaBapst

Aside from creating her classic jewelry designs, Erica Bapst owns a boutique in the Finger Lakes region of New York State that she's operated for the last four years. She recently discovered Etsy and is excited to open her sales to the rest of the world. "I have been making jewelry for about 9 years now with the start being at Syracuse University where I received my BFA in metalsmithing," she explains. "Since then I was bitten by the bead bug." Her goal is to offer affordable jewelry with style. Her earrings start at $6 and are "the #1 selling item at the store hands down." Modest prices and free gift wrapping make her boutique a favorite stop in town. "My inspirations are my customers as well as the raw materials. Usually one or the other is what prompts the beginning of any jewelry piece I make," she says. "Often it is the custom orders that spawn the greatest ideas because my thoughts become infused with the ideas of others and take me in directions I would have never gone on my own." Please check out her shop: http://ericabapst.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Meet Etsy Artist and Stationer: lilribbers

Laura Remes is a professional graphic designer with a BFA in Visual Communications from the University of Kansas. "I've spent the last few years in the corporate world doing print, identity and multimedia work for a downtown St. Louis marketing agency, but have always had a love for hand made paper crafts," she says. "A year and a half ago I got engaged, as did many of my friends, and decided together that most of the wedding invitations out there were bland and uninspired. A wedding is about expressing what makes you and your fiance a unique and loving couple and many pre-made invitations from large print-house vendors did not seem to have much, if any personality. So, I decided to draw upon my own knowledge of printing and my hobby of paper crafting to make my own." Soon, her friends began commissioning her to do the same for them - and her business grew by word of mouth. Her classy, modern designs speak for themselves. "I discovered Etsy about the same time I became engaged and promptly ordered many custom items from talented Etsy vendors," she admits. "EVERYONE took notice of these custom items and complimented me on my attention to detail. Details I couldn't have achieved without those talented vendors. I was so impressed by the kindness, hands-on help, and creativity of other sellers that I decided to start my own shop in order to reach more brides." She plans on creating her own website in the near future, but has been too busy with the wedding and relocating to Chicago for her husband's job. After leaving work she discovered that she could actually make a living doing what she loves, making cards and invitations. "I'm proud to say that I am now self employed," she gushes. "Stay true to your style," she recommends. Please check out her shop: http://lilribbers.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Meet Etsy Jewelry Artist: jensjewelry

"I've certainly come along way since I began over a year ago," Jen admits. A full-time stay at home Mom of 3, she is often exhausted - but always inspired to create her imaginative and classy jewelry designs. Natural colors and textures seem to ignite her creative side - and she always keeps a notebook handy for ideas and sketches. "Sometimes it turns out just like what I imagine and other times, it morphs into something else." she explains. "I often put some things off center because I just love the surprise and think accessories should be fun." Right now Etsy is her hobby since her "first passion and job is raising (her) kids." Of course, like the rest of us, she hopes to turn into more some day. "I'm currently networking to establish jewelry parties instead of having to do craft shows. I like the intimacy of the audience in someone's home and people tend to buy more." Aside from her jewelry, she has also mentored a few new Etsians. "It is all a learning process," she says. "I think we should all learn from each other and use the forums to gain knowledge. It helped me become an international shop and for that I'm so grateful. I pay that forward as much as I can." Please check out her shop: http://jensjewelry.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fibromyalgia Success - When Danskos Just Won't Do...


I LOVE my Dansko Margretes! I have them in black, brown, and denim - and wear them every day. They are the only shoes I can wear with my Fibromyalgia. In fact, I can even go on 12 mile hikes in them (I reserve a special pair for hikes that are in not-so-new condition). But - when Danskos just won't do, what's a girl to wear? Fear not - I have found the perfect heels: Born's Charisma. Yes - I said heels! Can you believe it? They are so comfortable it's almost like walking on air. I LOVED them so much I bought two pairs - one in black, one in brown. The best price I've found is on http://shoepeddlers.com/ -- $84.00 with FREE shipping. WOW! Fibromyalgiacs can finally have sexy heels that are comfortable, too. THANKS Born!
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Meet Etsy Spice Master: ohmasala

Alex has travelled throughout Asia over the last 10 years "in search of anything good to eat." He definitely found a few treasures and recreated them in a traditional style back home in Montreal, Canada. "Unsatisfied with store bought spices and tired of restaurant food that is loaded with fat, sugar and salt, I had to do something," he explains. "After years of culinary research throughout Asia, and years of creating and testing on friends and family, I am now ready to share with all who dare. My goal is to provide excellent quality spice blends and easy to follow recipes to allow the average person to cook tasty and healthy food at home." In his spare time he treats his friends and co-workers to his exotic home-cooked meals. "I am constantly modifying and improving recipes that I've created over the years, and have very loyal customers who answer 'yes!' when I ask them if they want one of my meals, before I even have a chance to tell them what I'm cooking." His spice blends and original recipes are a "great way for me to share my discoveries with everyone." His recipes can be found at http://ohmasala.com/. Please check out his shop: http://ohmasala.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Meet Etsy Artist: KathyMartinStudio

Aside from being an artist, Kathy Martin is also a professional saxophone player, singer, composer, and "3rd grade teacher, who has a passion for creating." She has lived in 10 different states, but currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she plans to pursue her music career. As a composer she writes New Age piano ballads. "I then layer different ambient sounds and melodies over the top of my piano compositions to create a Yanni or Enya type of piece," she explains. "As an elementary school teacher I plan to begin writing a series of songs that will encourage students to learn and acquire long-term retention of important facts. I have begun research on the brain in regards to how music effects and enhances the long-term retention of knowledge....think 'School House Rock' and 'Conjunction junction, what's your function?'" Aside from music she loves creating visual works of art. "Painting beautiful, unique works of art is very fun and exciting to me. I use a variety of acrylic paints, 18 karat gold leaf, silver leaf, and copper leaf in my pieces. Most of my paintings are base coated with 24 karat gold paint, painted in 3D, and then treated to appear to be antiqued metal." Nature and music are her inspiration. "My favorite subjects to paint are cherry blossoms (and) dragonflies," she says. Currently she focuses on metallic earth tones, but plans to experiment with a bolder palette. "I am afraid of color's beyond shades of gold, copper, and silver for some reason," she admits. "It's time to start branching out." Although she's been composing songs since she was 13, she's only been painting since 2003 when her "EXTREMELY talented sister, who is a gifted visual artist, moved in with (her) for 2 years." To encourage her sister's talent, she purchased an excess of supplies - and one day picked up a brush and started painting herself. "My first painting was so ugly that I threw it away," she jokes. "It took a while to figure out what medium to use and how to get the three dimensional aspect of my paintings how I wanted them...Luckily, as a teacher, I get 3 paid months off a year and can use that time to really focus on my painting." Please check out her shop: http://kathymartinstudio.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Monday, July 28, 2008

Spontaneous Bliss, Sahajananda Nritya Gita


Namaste! There is a new Buddhist temple in Portland - the first of its kind outside of Nepal - which is also the new home of Dance Mandal. Prajwal Ratna Vajracharya, a Newar Buddhist priest, has built a traditional temple right off 40th and Hawthorne. All of the carvings were handcrafted in Nepal by skilled artisans and it has been built in the time-honored way, including the traditional paint. It is astonishingly beautiful and I hope you have a chance to check it out...
On Saturday and Sunday August 2-3 there will be a few celebrations to commemorate the opening, titled "Spontaneous Bliss." The weekend includes a sacred dance performance on Saturday evening by Prajwal and his Dance Mandal troupe and a dance workshop Sunday afternoon. The weekend concludes on Sunday night with a Charya Nritya (sacred dance) lecture & slide presentation by Miranda Shaw. Please check out the Dance Mandal website for more info. http://dhancemandal.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Meet Etsy Artist: williamhessian

William Hessian is inspired by "creativity & living forever." He prefers small scale artwork to larger pieces. "Drawing and painting at a miniature scale is the most rewarding for me," he explains. "I enjoy picking a theme and working diligently within the theme." He has been creating his unique designs since since he was 3 years old, "which makes me a 23 year veteran at age 26." He has turned his passion into his profession, although he "explore(s) many more avenues than simply drawing." He also airbrushes motorcycles, paints larger oil works, and draws graphic novels. "Right now, Etsy is helping me survive my 5 week art tour across America," he jokes. "Everything I create I am selling on Etsy and trying to afford these astronomical gas prices." He recommends fellow artists don't "just wait for people to stumble on your work....Go out and promote your work, hand out business cards, send emails...its the only way to make money." Please check out his shop: http://williamhessian.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Meet Etsy Potter & Artist: sumiko

Sumiko has "had a love affair with all art forms since (she) was a teenager." Born in Kumamoto, Japan, she began studying fine arts while in High School. In 1958 she traveled to Italy and studied under local artists. She got married while in Naples and "put (her) artistic endeavors on hold while (she) raised (her) family." She eventually made her way to the US and lived in Washington, D.C. and Honolulu before settling in San Diego, CA. "I became serious with art as a student at Miramar College where I received an AA degree in Fine Art," she explains. Later she attended a class at Mesa College and "found (her) calling." She studied ceramics, sculpting, and glaze technology under Dr. John Conrad, a world famous author and a Master Potter. Please check out her shop: http://
sumiko.etsy.com

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Meet Etsy Artist: robinwagar

Painter Robin Wagar has created some of the most ethereally beautiful landscape paintings I have ever seen. She masterfully captures her images in vibrant watercolor, representing a window in time. "I currently am being inspired by a desire to draw attention to world heritage sites that I have visited from my travels," she explains. Each one seems to be a study in color, setting a mood. She has been painting since the '60s and hopes to turn her passion into a full time career. "Turn off the T.V and the media," she recommends, "(and) concentrate on YOUR life and your art." Please check out her shop: http://robinwagar.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Meet Etsy Potter & Artist: MAKUstudio

Marianne Kasparian (aka MAK) is of Armenian heritage and grew up on the East coast near Washington, DC. Her love of travel has led her on many cross-country drives through the US - and she has lived in many states. "Different cultures intrigue me in their ways of life and especially their food," she admits. "I’m particularly fond of Japanese (sushi), Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian, and Thai food. Of course, stuffed grape leaves (dolmas) and many other Mediterranean foods are always on the top of the list." She worked most of her life as a bartender, but found her passion in raku beads and jewelry 7 years ago. "Raku pottery was made long ago for Japanese tea ceremonies," she explains. "It was modernized later in the Western world into the process you see today. This involves taking a piece of pottery that has been bisque fired in a kiln, then glazed and then firing it in a raku kiln (which my husband and I built ourselves). The piece is then fired to about 1800 degrees F, depending on environmental conditions, and pulled out of the kiln while still red hot. Then it is placed in a reduction chamber (a metal can) containing organic materials such as newspaper, sawdust, leaves, etc. Smoke is created and reacts with the pot leaving the unglazed portion black (a very unique characteristic of raku). It's so exciting and creates one of kind colors which are very hard to duplicate." Her quirky style is often "down to earth and funky." She opened her Etsy shop about a year ago and has cultivated it into a full time job. "(Etsy) has been a great environment for me to grow even further with my art, as well as share my passion with so many other people and artists," she says. "Follow your heart and live your passion!" Please check out her shop: http://makustudio.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Meet Etsy Art Collective: huajilla

Etsy shop Huajilla is run by a Thai American couple living in Chaing Mai, Thailand. Wife Huajilla is the "tech side of things for now, but just as much a artist." Not only does she run the shop, but is also the designer and creator of the beautiful Jewelry on their site. She, like her husband Pichet Sibonreung, is also a painter and hopes to have her work posted soon. Pichet has finally gotten back to painting after a 2 yer hiatus. "In coming back to painting Pichet has decided to follow his bliss," she explains. "No matter how painstaking the detail." This is what led them to Etsy. "To relax he creates the small water color sketches . His inspiration is simply his roots. He was raised in rural Thailand were Buddhist and Hindu beliefs meld with animist practices. He is creating the current collection with the hopes of giving joy. Ganesha is the remover of Obstacles, appropriate for a new beginning." Pichet's preferred medium is acrylic and water color and has been painting for 6 years. "Painting has always been his way to make a living," Huajilla says. "We are hoping with Etsy to branch out." They would both like to thank the Etsy community for their tremendous welcome and all of their help. Please check out their shop: http://huajilla.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Meet Etsy Artist: mbush1us

When Michelle Bush is in create mode, she tends to "look at the world through a mental view finder of sorts." Her artistic eye is always on the lookout for vibrant colors and great composition. "I moved to New Mexico a few years back from Washington State in order to be closer to the art culture of Santa Fe with all the wonderful galleries. Nothing kills a creative funk like a stroll down Canyon Road," she jokes. Her works are often a unique fusion of photography, watercolor, and digital art. "While the image may start as a photograph (taken by me) the process to produce the finished image is pretty time consuming and involves lots of various techniques," she explains. "I also paint in watercolors (though I don't yet sell them on Etsy) so my digital art tends to take on the same kind of look and feel." She has been a graphic designer for over thirty years and "made the change from a board artist to a digital one when computers first became available for design work." She has always been creative and admits to being "one of those kids who doodled on everything." In fact, her mother had to constantly carry paper and pencils just to keep her quiet. Right now Etsy is just a hobby, but she hopes to turn it into a job. As a designer, she realizes that Etsy buyers are generally "visually sophisticated and artsy. They are likely to be influenced (positively or negatively) by the look of your site (banner, avatar, etc). Give it the attention it deserves," she recommends. Please check out her shop: http://mbush1us.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Friday, June 20, 2008

Meet Etsy Jewelry Artist: SkyDreams

Hee Soon is the amazing designer and artist behind SkyDreams. She and her husband are proud parents to a beautiful daughter, Sky, who is her shop's namesake. "I make jewelry while Sky sleeps, so my husband named my business 'Sky Dreams.'" A Korean American, I she feels neither American nor Korean. "I like middle path anyway," she admits. Her evocative designs are always beautiful and often represent the inspiration she finds in nature. "Stones and colors speak to me," she explains. "I rarely sit down and design. I let colors and stones guide my eyes." Her pieces represent a range of style, from classic to romantic - to bold. Surprisingly, she has only been making jewelry for three years. "I am very lucky to call this a full time job," she says. She recommends fellow artists remember to always "respect other Etsy members - both sellers and customers. Please check out her shop: http://skydreams.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Recycled Ecofriendly birth announcements with a twist from RecycledIdeas...

RecycledIdeas is a fellow Etsian I respect and admire very much. She is dedicated to preserving animals and their habitats and - of course - recycling. She has found ways to reuse every day objects that many people throw away. They are not only functional, but beautiful as well. This next find is so cool and so ingenious on so many levels I don't even know where to begin. It's a birth announcement made of recycled paper and embedded with seeds, so the recipient can cultivate a variety of seedlings. It's symbolic of the whole birth and growth process and while it announces a new footprint onto this planet, it helps reduce our current carbon footprint. I am just astounded by her depth of creativity that I am truly at a loss for words. Please check out her shop: http://recycledideas.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My latest local find...




Greetings! I was perusing the Portland Saturday Market on Sunday and stumbled across this gorgeous ring from South American artist Edwin G, who runs Bella Vista. It's completely hand forged of sterling silver with blue Peruvian opal. I usually go for smaller rings, but this one was so stunning I HAD to have it. I wear it everywhere now - even just bumming around the house in my PJs. Next time you're in the Portland area please check him out - as well as many of fine, talented artists - at the Portland Saturday Market...
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Top Ten List for Beating the Etsy Blues (courtessy of AlliB)

**Please note the following article was written by fellow Etsian AllieB and used with her permission.**
-Wendy Baylis :-)

Have you got the Etsy Blues? Lots of stock , but no sales?
Top Ten List for Beating the Etsy Blues:
10. Hold an empty brown paper bag over your mouth, bend your head back and yell into it as loud as you can. Now twist it fast to catch all your 'hot air' and BOOM...pop it with your fist! Now don't you feel better?
9. Force your family to collect all the tiny bits of lint off their clothes and from the dryer. Make a gigantic lint pumpkin and spray paint it bright orange. Now list it on Etsy. SOMEONE will buy it! 8. Take a walk around your block BACKWARDS while repeating the Etsy Creed, 'Your Place to Buy and Sell All Things Handmade' over and over and over again at the top f your voice. Sure you MIGHT get hauled off to the loony bin but maybe, just maybe, you will get a new customer for your shop!
7. Go to your Etsy shop at least once a day and visit the people who have 'hearted' you in their shops. Once their banner comes up repeat this phrase thrice...."Thank you for loving me and for not putting a value on our Etsy love by …NOT BUYING ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!"
6. Just for fun post a picture of yourself as a new item in your shop! Sell yourself off for a few dollars and see who buys you! And if no one does, than you’ve now got an EXCELLENT excuse to stay depressed!!
5. Hide under the covers with all your craft supplies and ponder on the meaning of life and most importantly on the meaning of.... marketing techniques to drive sales with search engine optimized wording!
4. While someone you love is sleeping, glue sparkles and sequins on their foreheads and dangle a few beads from their toes...when they wake up shout, "Yay, you TOTALLY look like an Etsy project!!!!!!!"
3. Find a new hobby in addition to Etsy...perhaps sword-fighting or wrangling alligators. What a better way to vent out zero sales instead of just sitting at your computer crying about it!
2. Send a note to “Admin’ at least once a week and ask them WHY OH WHY they never feature your shop on the front page but rather focus on mundane and boring seller items like hand-carved wood art or hand-crafted pottery. I mean, REALLY glittery jellybean pants are super HOT items these days!!!!!!!!!
And the number one way to beat off the Etsy Blues is...drum roll please...tata...tata...tata....
1. When you wake up each morning, take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror and affirm this aloud to yourself, "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and dog-gone it...someone will BUY something from me today!"
-AllieB
http://allieb.etsy.com/

Monday, June 16, 2008

Meet Etsy Jewelry Artist: becomeinspired

Robin Bonnell lives in Scottsdale, Arizona and Durango, Colorado with her husband, 4 horses, 1 burro, 3 dogs, and "one very beautiful Ocicat." Creating and designing her inspirational jewelry is not only her full time profession, but also her passion. "After spending 20 years in corporate America as a search firm owner and worldwide executive search consultant, I took some forced personal time and began exploring my creative side that had been dormant for those 20 years," she explains. Like me, she was diagnosed with severe fibromyalgia - but also has damage to her central nervous system due to a brain injury from a motorcycle accident 15 years ago. "I had always been an overachiever and was very driven. I did not know what to do with myself," she says of her lack of energy. "Even though I felt terrible physically, my mind would not stop. I never slept. Partially because the brain injury affects my sleep mechanism and partly because I felt so lost. Frankly, I got very depressed. Then I discovered metal clay." It was then that she realized her calling, and fell in love with it right away. "I felt a new sense of purpose." She has always been very spiritual and often finds inspiration from within as well as in nature. "I started transforming feelings into jewelry," she says. Lately she has even made a few memorial pieces, "something special that...makes them feel their loved one is there with them all the time." Often times her designs are asymmetrical and she admits, "my thought is that beauty is not in a perfection of form, but how it makes you feel. If it feels good, it is beautiful." Passionate and soulful, she is, as a friend once described, a “drinker of life." Despite - or perhaps in spite of - her illness, she has led a full and happy life and feels blessed. "Etsy has been a great thing for me," she says. "I have met fantastic people all over the world and even joined the local Phoenix Etsy Street Team, The Crafty Burritos. They are a special group of people that are devoted to Etsy, art, and to each other." She joined Etsy on my Birthday - Oct 7 (2007) and as of June 15 has amassed 100 sales. "I have loyal customers that come back again and again to have custom jewelry made. I am slowly getting to know them and they all have such great stories of life." She recommends her fellow artists think outside the box. "I think having a great title for the listing makes people curious and want to look at the item." Please check out her shop: http://becomeinspired.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Meet Etsy Graphic Designer: AllieB

The artist behind AllieB is an American, who moved to Kuwait 11 years ago. She is a busy mom to 4 kids - the youngest of which was born on May 8 of this year. She finds inspiration in the surrounding desert. "The lack of color is my catalyst for creating colorful graphic designs and offering other colorful items in my shop," she explains. In order for her to create her eclectic custom designs, she familiarizes herself with the style of their Etsy shops. "I wait for the items to speak to me (no joke!) and then an idea for a banner pops into my head." She's been doing freelance work for 10 years - and even created a series of Kuwaiti postcards that sell in local souvenir shops. She is also a professional writer for publications in 5 countries: USA, UK, Kuwait, Dubai, and Egypt. "I always have a deadline. My graphic design work helps me to refocus and is a breath of fresh air in my hectic day." She hopes to "enrich (her) life with Etsy friendships and make a few sales along the way." Please check out her shop: http://allieb.etsy.com/

-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Friday, June 13, 2008

Meet Etsy Felter: dolittledesign

OK - I admit it - I have a thing for fortune cookies lately, but when you see this next find, you'll understand why...

The felter and toy maker behind dolittledesign is a graphic designer and busy mother of two, ages 5 and 2. "I started making playthings for my kids when I couldn't find what I like," she explains of her creative toys. She has an affinity for food, wine, and traveling - and not surprisingly they are often sources of inspiration as with her whimsical fortune cookie and egg roll pieces. She spends a lot of time playing with her kids, so story books have also been known to influence her work. "I am glad to have found Etsy as my creative outlet," she admits. "Through Etsy, I found so many talented artists from all over the world." The flexibility fits perfectly with motherhood, too. "I can work on my projects a little at a time," she says. And the best part? "Receiving feedback from people who say they enjoy my creations is the best reward!" Please check out her shop: http://dolittledesign.etsy.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Meet Etsy Fortune Cookie Maker: worthafortune

I'm a sucker for all things Asian - and what's better than a fortune cookie, right? How about a really BIG one! I saw this on Etsy the other day and fell in love with it. You can even customize your own fortune! How cool is that?!

The creative candy maker behind worthafortune is a Utah native and mother to two boys, ages 8 and 5. "I grew up watching my Mom make dinner and desert every night, and...I knew I wanted to cook for a living" she explains. "That led me to working at restaurants, for caterers, and finally my own candy store." She soon discovered Etsy and has been up and running ever since. "I have a very supportive husband and kids, which allows me to experiment with recipes. They are my inspirations, (be)cause they are willing to try everything I come up with," she jokes. First and foremost to her are taste and presentation. "It tastes wonderful, but the packaging is very different and fun, (just like me)." She's been playing with candy her whole life, melting chocolate chips and peanut butter together, then freezing them. "It started as a hobby and still is. No matter how much I am producing, I will never consider it a job." Please check out her shop: http://worthafortune.etsy.com/
-Wendy Baylis
Dharma Designs
http://dharmadesigns.etsy.com

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Phase I (Paint) Complete...


Yippeeeee! I finally finished painting the bathroom, but now I'm so tired I'm afraid I'll have to wait until this weekend to decorate. OMG - I forgot how much I HATE painting, unless it's artistically, of course. I absolutely refused to tape this time, since it usually bleeds anyway. Instead I painted as close to the moulding and ceiling as I possibly could and then took an artists brush to the edges. Sadly, it took about the same time as taping. Oh well. At least it was a tad less abhorrent than taping. Anyway, check out the cool celadon green. It's leftover paint from my downstairs. I can't wait to add the bamboo to the cabinets. Stay tuned...

-Wendy Baylis

Dharma Designs