Monday, July 9, 2012

Where did I go?!?

I am flattered by the emails I have recently received from my Etsy friends. Where have you been? Why aren't you doing any featured posts? Are you alive? 

To answer your questions, yes I am alive. (But just barely) 

I have been busy with my philanthropic efforts at my local animal shelter as well as getting ready for my upcoming move. Because of these two major time commitments, I haven't been blogging or featuring or even crafting for that matter. But I am still alive! 

What is new and exciting?!? Well, first I started an amazing committee of volunteers to help with our 17th Annual Wag N' Walk. I am really looking forward to a successful event! Despite having tons more help than last year, its still a large time commitment. I won't actually be here for the day of the event (hence the moving part) so I have to get all my ducks in a row now. 

My garage or "work station" has turned into a storage room. Yes I still have chalk boards, but everything that I have is made.... no more custom orders for this girl! (I am a little disappointed in myself just typing it... but there isn't enough time for it all!) On a brighter side for my customers, because I REALLY need the room, I have lowered my prices for a quick sale. Check them out!


I have also been pinteresting like crazy. My cousin is getting married next May and I won't be around the help her with all that fun planning stuff. So I have been doing what I can, wedding dress shopping, bridesmaid dress shopping etc. It's been a whole lot more fun that I anticipated. Partly because it's a nice excuse to spend some time with my family before I take off. 

And finally, I have been busy designing my new blog! WHAT!?! Yep, that's right... something new and exciting for these next few months in my life. It is still really rough, but check it out. Let me know what you think, and any changes I should make! 

I'll do my best to keep up my craft while I am on the move. And I will even try and fit a few more blog posts in before I go. Until then, I promise I am still alive and I do want to continue to hear from you! If you would like to be featured, well... honestly I have no time for that. HOWEVER, I would be happy to post any guest blogs if anyone is feeling adventurous! 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wedding Season with Petal Gem

I never paid much attention to this so called "wedding season". Probably because it never directly affected me. I haven't attended many weddings in my 25 years of life. 

And then 2012 happened and it feels that everyone I know is getting married. It is so fun to hear all the different plans -from backyard to courtyard, wedding planners must be busy! 

There are many Etsy stores who sell wedding related items. Myself included. However, it isn't every day that a Etsy seller can say she gets her inspiration from planning her own upcoming wedding. 

Meet Mandy from Petal Gem! Congratulations on your engagement Mandy and I wish you lots of happiness for your future! 

Where are you from?

Hi my name is Mandy and my shop on Etsy is called PetalGem. I’m from Peace River Alberta. I enjoy creating, especially for weddings and I’m actually getting married this summer! In my Etsy shop I sell silk wedding flowers, brooch wedding bouquets and vintage jewelry.

When did you first discover Etsy? 

I found out about Etsy a couple years ago from a friend who was telling me about all the neat items you could find. I decided to start a shop after making my own silk flower bouquets and it gradually evolved from that.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?

My day job is working with children. In my spare time I enjoy being outdoors, camping, movies and walking my puppy.

Is Etsy your full time or part time business? 

This is a part time business. My ambitions would be that in a few years if I have children that I could have an income from my shop so that I could work from home and be with my kids.

What other avenues, if any do you share your work with the world? 

facebook page:

What steps do you take in your creative process? 

I usually have a bit of a plan when I go to make something, sometimes it changes partway through!

What is your favorite item in your shop and why? 

My favorite item in my shop is my pearl and rhinestone brooch teardrop bouquet. I like the shape of it and the brooches all look very pretty together. 

Where does your inspiration come from?

My inspiration comes from the materials I have, flowers or brooches and putting them together as a finished product. I try to create something that I would love if it were for my own wedding.

What is your favorite part of being a part of the Etsy community?
The diversity, there’s so many creative people, I love browsing and finding something unique.

Who or what has been most influential in being where you are today? 

My family and my finance are very important to me and have played a big part in my life!

When did you know you were an artist/maker?

Just recently but I’ve always enjoyed art classes and crafts since I was young.

How do you get out of your creative ruts?

Sometimes I will take a break from creating and do something else, then come back later and try it again.

Where would you like to be in ten years?

I’d like to own my first home, be happily married with two children. I’d like my shop to be bringing in a decent income if I’m lucky!

If you could share one tip with a new Etsy seller, what is the most important thing to learn and why?

It’s important to have good photos and descriptions of your products. Something I’m still working on although I’ve improved since I first started. 

Favorite recipe?
Honey Curry Chicken

Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday Meets: Mandys Charms!

I love Etsy. 

No big surprise there. I buy and sell mostly from Etsy and I wouldn't have it any other way. This morning I came across one more reason why being a part of the Etsy community truly is the best. 

Meet my new friend Amanda from MandysCharms. Not only is she from England (I love meeting fellow Etsian from different countries) but she is a young entrepreneur who creates some fantastic jewelry. Check out her story: 

What makes you unique? 

Hi, I'm Amanda and I'm based in Milton Keynes, in England :) I make cute and quirky jewelry ranging from clay charm jewelry, to potion necklaces and leather wrap bracelets. I fell in love with crafting when I was young, and have been making ever since! I think that my shop is a burst of fun color, and that makes it unique.

When did you first discover Etsy? 

I first started on Etsy after hearing about it from a friend in passing. Before I'd never really thought about selling my jewelry online; I would just stick to family and friends. I looked around Etsy and thought,"Hey, if these people can do it, so can I!" So that was how my interest in Etsy was sparked.

I opened shop to sell the things I make, so that I can make more! I'm always trying out new ideas, and Etsy is a great way to support new ventures. I've been interested recently in trying out metal stamping to make jewelry for my family.

Is Etsy your full time or part time business?  

Etsy is a part-time business as I haven't come far enough to make it into something bigger. I do hope to one day to own a successful shop to be very proud of, and I hope that my work will inspire others to take up crafting or sell online!

Where does your inspiration come from?

I'm very inspired by color, and different color palettes and shades. I could browse colour palettes all day if I could! Sometimes I see a color scheme I adore, and take inspiration from it, for example my peacock themed leather wrap bracelet!

What is your favorite item in your shop and why? 

Oh, I really like my creations and it's hard to choose, but I love this honey jar necklace. I just love the idea!

What is your favorite part of being a part of the Etsy community? 

My favorite part of being in the Etsy community is the friendly atmosphere and support in the forums, teams and more! No one is looked down upon for being new or for not knowing much about Etsy. Everyone helps each other to the best of their ability, and there isn't a sort of 'Pecking order' among members.

Who or what has been most influential in being where you are today? 

Hm....I think that all the wonderful sellers on Etsy have inspired me to be here, with supportive comments, help and inspiration. Without them, I may have given up long ago!

When did you know you were an artist/maker?

When I started out selling to friends, and started receiving compliments and people telling me that I should sell more- It gave me a huge confidence boost for people to tell me that they would buy my items.

Where would you like to be in ten years?

I would love to still be making and selling, as this is what I enjoy most.

If you could share one tip with a new Etsy seller, what is the most important thing to learn and why? 

Don't be afraid to ask questions! There is no such thing as a 'stupid question'. Don't feel nervous asking for help or support on the forums or teams, everyone as to start out somewhere and there is a steep learning curve.

Accept criticism and learn from it, stay optimistic, learn a little more every day and have fun!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Fabulous Friday with Meadowland Designs

I have to admit, I have been on a bit of a spending spree recently. Booking flights here, committing to long (and expensive) weekends. Its been all about fun recently and there is more fun to be had! I just hope my pocket book doesn't dry up before the end of summer. 

(hint hint Etsy store... start rockin and rollin!) Ok, I guess I am the one that needs a kick in the butt, not Etsy..... whatever 

Anyways, with all the fun to be had, I am searching for all the best deals because I simply can't spend enough! 

When I met Catherine from Meadowland Designs, and saw all her fabulous jewelry, I knew that I could look stellar at all my upcoming functions without spending the last bit of my pathetic savings. 

Tell us a bit about yourself

 I’m Catherine and I create just outside of the Kansas City Metro Area. I make unique jewelry that usually is very feminine and sweet although some of my designs come out on the whimsical and fun side. 

When did you first discover etsy? 

 Truth be told, I can’t positively say how I found Etsy. I think that it was either in a book or possibly a link to someone’s shop on Etsy. I wanted to sell on Etsy because it has lots of viewers {even though jewelry is saturated with sellers} and is simple and easy to use. 

Apart from creating things, what do you do? 

I am a college student who loves to be making things whether it’s singing and piano playing, knitting, cooking or just a mess! Oh, and books & chocolate go great together!

What other avenues, if any do you share your work with the world?

Aside from selling at the occasional craft /art show and by word of mouth in my area, Etsy is the only place I can be found online. 

What steps do you take in your creative process? 

My designs come in several different ways: 
Sometimes I start with a handful beads or a certain technique and go from there  I’ve been doing more adventurous combinations by using a color scheme or colors taken from one of my photographs. Others are planned out before I even have all the materials on hand and then I make any necessary changes along the way. 

What is your favorite item in your shop? 

Frost Flower in Blue would have to be my favorite. I love the wirework flower, it’s just so simple & sweet!

Where does your inspiration come from? 

Often the materials themselves start a design idea, color schemes from pictures or fabric and I do designs based on a particular friend or relative’s style. 

Who or what has been most influential in being where you are today?

My family and a close friend have been so helpful with giving me feedback and tips on whatever I’m been experimenting with lately. 

Who is your most influential Etsian?

 I would say Kelly of LilStuff. She doesn’t sell jewelry, but is a friend of mine who had been on Etsy for awhile & has been a great help with questions and lots of encouragement. 

How do you get out of your creative ruts?

 I don’t have them very often, when it does happen I go do something else like play the piano, read or go for a walk. My brain continues to work on the problem and usually I have a couple possible solutions by that time. 

If you could share one tip with a new Etsy seller, what is the most important thing to learn and why? 

Do your absolute best in all the parts of selling, from making your product to getting it out there. Learn how to manage all the technical parts of the Etsy system {like good photography, writing and customer service} or else find excellent help for those areas. Join a team! Having people to bounce ideas off of and ask for input {bias free} is great.

Everyone who signs up for my monthly email newsletter gets 15% off in my Etsy Shop: Send me an email asking to be signed up!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fantastic Friday: Ang's Devin Designs

I seem to have lost my brain today. First, I get lost on my way to work (yes, that happened to me) and THEN... I forget it's Friday! 

What is going on with me today? 

Thanks to Angie from Ang's Devin Products, I won't be going in to work tomorrow. (Can you imagine showing up to work on your day off... talk about awful!?!) 

Tell us about yourself 

I am from Indianapolis, IN. I work full time as a program coordinator for a cell phone supply chain solutions company, but my passion is to create jewelry! I would love to be able to some day just be my own boss. 

When did you discover Etsy? 

I first discovered Etsy from a lady I worked with a couple of years ago. She said it was all the rage. I was already making jewelry and looking for a place to sell, other than setting a board at my work. 

What do you do besides Etsy? 

I love spending time with my family and walking trails. My daughter and I also love to play Just Dance on the Wii and Sing It. 

Where can we find you? 

I am also on Facebook: and

Where does your creativity come from? 

My creativeness usually comes to me once I have relaxed my mind and body and even after meditation. I love when ideas strike me, that's when I am most productive. Since I have so much in my shop already, when I create now I try to just stick with the ideas I have at the time or special requests I have to fulfill. 

Favorite item in your store? 

This is one of my favorite pieces. It took a very long time to make, but I love how it turned out!

Favorite part of Etsy? 

I love to see all the diversity here on Etsy! I love to see other artists' jewelry and I love fantasy art as well! One of my favorite shops on Etsy is CandyBead, I love her work! I also love Stangeling 

When did you first start creating? 

These are my favs! 
started making earrings several years ago when I found out that my daughter could not wear anything that was not nickel free. Any time metal is in contact with her skin, she'll break out in a rash and itch. At the time she wanted to start wearing jewelry we couldn't really find much she could wear; so I started making earrings for her with nickel free hooks. When I started making jewelry I knew I found my creative outlet! I loved it! I started showing people I worked with what I had made and started getting requests. I have enjoyed it ever since. 

Favorite Recipe? 

Ranch Chicken Fettuccine from Hidden Valley Ranch

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Welcome Wednesday: Don't Panic Design

In college I took a desktop publishing class and loved it! I spent countless hours in front of a computer screen designing anything from business cards to brochures to wedding invitations. I can't tell you just how many headaches I had sitting in front of that computer screen. 

The headaches alone are the reason I didn't pursue a career in graphic design.... only kidding. I didn't pursue a career in graphic design because I am nowhere near as talented as Amy at Don't Panic Design.

I love Amy's design style; simple, crisp, bright and bold. A girl after my own heart... and she is self taught too!  

Tell us a bit about yourself

I am a word loving, Montana loving, self taught designer with a minimalist sensibility. I love MT, and that informs both my personality and my style. I also love to travel; I have been to 13 states and 30 countries. I love nature walking and garage-sales and get a lot of ideas from both those activities.

When did you first discover etsy?

After setting up cards, programs, and wedding invitations for years, my sister told me about etsy and said I should try it out. I put my site up and sold an invitation the first day. It's been slowly building since then and very fun, and I continue to learn everyday.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?

I love to read, recycle, walk, eat, cook, knit, paint (walls), spray paint old stuff to make it like new again, build (walls) and use power tools, and sew. I love making my own stuff, and I am always trying to find ways to reduce waste and make my own things. I like to feel helpful and strive to help those in my life in small ways everyday.

Is Etsy your full time or part time business? 

My Etsy shop is my part time job that I spend full time working. Since I opened I have averaged one sale a week, and my current ambition is to get to one sale a day. I have a long way to go, but I love what I do so much, I'll keep trying until I get there!

What other avenues, if any do you share your work with the world?

I only sell on but I do have a blog. I post new listings there, feature other etsians of all kinds, and talk about DIY design and print, and a few other things like my constant attempts to become more green.

What steps do you take in your creative process? 

It's a nerve wracking process, but it requires trust of self and communication with customer through proofing. It's fun to see what you started with become just the thing someone didn't know they wanted. 

What is your favorite part of being a part of the Etsy community? 

I love the handmade community and the focus on real people doing and creating what they love. I am also a buyer and two this year's birthday presents came off of my favorites list, which was awesome!

How do you get out of your creative ruts? 

Take a break. Do something else, think about something else, look around, and pay attention. One of my most recent designs was inspired by an ad I saw on the side of a van while I was driving to the bank.

Where would you like to be in ten years?

Living in the south of France and doing invitation design full time.

If you could share one tip with a new Etsy seller, what is the most important thing to learn and why? 

To read as much as you can and take one thing from each article. Use your community, ask for help, and seek support. If you don't find it right away, keep looking. It's out there. 

Favorite recipe

I love to cook, and while I enjoy reading cook books, I don't usually cook with a recipe. I read them for ideas and use what I have or what I can easily get. So, my favorite recipe is for deodorant: 2 tablespoons baking soda, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons coconut oil, and 2 tablespoons shea butter. Slowly heat them up and stir together. Once melted, add any essential oil for scent (some essential oils can cause sensitivities, so test it first). Transfer to a small wide mouthed jar. Stir well then refrigerate to firm it up. Remove and keep room temperature, it should be the consistency of a thick cream. It will melt as you use it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday Treasury: Turn My Grey Skies Blue

I'll admit.... I'm feelings slightly blue and very uninspired today. 

Perhaps it's because I'm exhausted..... perhaps its because I haven't done any crafting in a while. Whatever the case may be, I'm just feeling a bit blue. 

A treasury for today's grey skies.... (okay, in So Cal today its really hot and sunny... but you get the idea!)


  Check out the full version Here 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fabulous Friday: We are Bound Together

If you couldn't tell, I'll spell out the obvious. 

I love to write. 

I love putting my ideas on paper and seeing others reactions as they read my work. I think it has something to do with the fact that, when I am not writing, I am talking. No one can call me a silent person. 

Often times, in the middle of a conversation, I get an idea for a blog post, a poem or a short story. Try as I might to focus on the person in front of me, my mind races onto the scene I am living in my head. It's in those times, I wish I had a notebook. 

How can a writer not have a notebook? That's really a good question. Every time I go to purchase one, it just doesn't feel right. I leave a disappointed procrastinator. 

That was until I met Andrea from We are Bound Together. Her leather bound and duct tape bound notebooks are beautiful and inspiring! 

Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Andrea Davis of “We Are Bound Together”. Ever since I was a small child I've been artsy. I loved doing any sort of craft. Then a few years ago I discovered bookbinding. At that time I was looking for an alternative to buying things made unethically. I discovered that bookbinding was something I could really get into. I make handbound books currently out of duct tape or leather, but soon to include fabric covers as well. I also make RFID blocking credit card sleeves covered with funky duct tape.

What is your Etsy store all about? 
The purpose of my shop is to raise funds for persecuted Christians around the world. By persecuted, I mean people dying, or who's fathers/mother are in prison, etc. Bookbinding is my way to help out.

I first heard of Etsy a few years ago from a friend. I was told it was “dangerous” because there are so many neat things on it. I didn't open a store until just recently though, in February of this year, so I'm still starting out. We had been out of the country for a few years, but when we moved back (to Winnipeg, Canada) I was then given the chance to fulfil my dream of opening a store to support my charity. 

Favorite item in your shop? 

My favourite items in my shop are the diamond stitch, leather journals. I love working with leather in general. I like the soft leather and they way the books turn out. The diamond stitch gives the book a particularly pleasing look.  

Apart from creating, what do you do?

Apart from bookbinding, I also occasionally paint, play the piano and write. I love gardening and watching things grow and baking delicious meals and treats. I guess it's like my craft, I enjoy anything that transforms into something beautiful.

Is Etsy full or part time? 

It's hard to say if I work “full time” or “part time” at my Etsy business. I have severe endometriosis, which makes it impossible to get a job. So I am at home all the time. Right now bookbinding is the main thing that I do, but it doesn't really classify as full time – I'm too laid back right now – maybe half time. When I build up my tools and supplies then it will be easier to get into full time mode.

Where can we find you? 

I promote my items and work processes on my There I also focus on the organizations I support as well as a special spotlight on others who also support charities through various means.

You can find me at

Tips for other Etsians? 

For those of you wanting be open your own store on Etsy, I would recommend joining a team. Etsy teams are great, and they are a place to get useful advice. You can ask people your specific questions and they have a lot of helpful input from their own experience.

It is a lot of work setting up your own store. Etsy does make it a bit easier, since it is a common marketplace. You also can work at your own pace, which I really like. You never know what might happen unless you go for it, and that's what I'm doing!

Favorite Recipe? 

My favourite recipe is kind of an interesting one. Several years ago, my husband and I discovered a lot of health issues cleared up when we stopped including wheat, dairy and refined sugar in our diets. So one of the first things I did was try to find how I could make myself some chocolate. 

It's one of those recipes that you really need to taste as you go.

Over low heat, combine equal amounts of almond or peanut butter and coconut milk/cream (usually about 1/2 cup). When smooth add an equal ratio of cocoa powder. Add a splash of vanilla, tablespoon or so of coconut oil, and sweetener to taste. The amount of sweetener you use will depend on the type. My favourite choice is coconut sugar, or maple syrup. Honey tends to be too overwhelming for chocolate. Adjust the cocoa and sweetener to your liking. (I prefer dark chocolate).

Enjoy guilt free!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Welcome Wednesday: Piccolina Jewelry

Sometimes, I just hate being a girl! (it's not like I want to be a boy.... I just want to complain, give me a second!) 

Do you have find that when your on a "diet" you crave more sweets and fried foods than when your not working on loosing the lbs? 

I am telling you, my self control gets really tested. 

I am putting forth my best efforts to save some money for all the fun summer trips I would like to take this year. Should be easy enough, right? 

GEEZE! I am terrible at all of this! Of course now that I am being conscious of my pocket book, I want EVERYTHING! I seriously convince myself that I need things that I clearly can live without. 

When I met Lana Davis from Piccolina Jewelry, I knew I was doomed. How can any girl resist such cute jewelry? 

Tell us a bit about yourself

 I'm from Bothell, WA where I'm a stay at home mom. I create wire wrapped jewelry on the side as a form of relaxation. I also love jewelry, so that's a plus. I believe what makes me unique is that I always try to use colors that stand out. I like my jewelry to make a statement and hope that the person whose wearing it feels good.

When did you first discover etsy? 

I had "mom" friends who were shopping on there quite often for their kids. I started giving my jewelry as gifts and my friends suggested that I opened up a shop.

What is your favorite item in your shop and why? 

It would have to be the Gold Crystal Rivoli Earrings. I love to use mixed metal and for these earrings I twisted together silver plated wire and gold plated wire for the netting around the crystal.

Where does your inspiration come from?

I would have to say my daughter. She is at the age where her imagination is just booming! She reminds me to always be creative no matter what mood I'm in.

What is your favorite part of being a part of the Etsy community? 

I'm just amazed at how supportive everyone in the Etsy community is.

Where can we find you? 

Favorite Recipe? 

Now you've done it! I'm officially craving fried chicken too! What is a girl to do?!? 

My Favorite items from Piccolina Jewelry 

Love, love, love pink! (Can I be anymore girly!?!)