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!?!) 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday Meets: I'm not feeling social today

I have to be honest. I am a little burnt out on my features. It isn't because I don't enjoy them. I love to write, I love to meet new people, and I love to see what awesome stuff is on Etsy. 

But sometimes, a girl just needs a break! So this is me, taking a break. 

Besides, I have a weekend to share with you! 

Remember the cupcakes I told you about? The ones I planned on making for my neighbor's 4-year-old daughter? 

Cute and simple right? Shouldn't be too hard to make.... right? WRONG! 

These "simple and cute" cupcakes were a huge pain in the butt! And of course, I wanted my cupcakes to look as adorable as possible. 

I started this production on Wednesday night making 2 types of fondant. THANK GOD I did. One fondant I made was out of marshmallows. (Talk about a sticky mess!) The other fondant was out of all that really bad stuff... Crisco shortening and corn syrup. 

After making each. I figured the corn syrup mixture would be the easiest to work with. After all, it was much easier to mix together and it was pink. Clearly my favorite choice. 

On Thursday I did the ultimate test. I let Mia (the birthday girl) choose which fondant taste best. She liked them both. Of course she did. What was I thinking? She was turning 4 after all. 

After searching the Internet, I finally found a cookie cutter shaped princess crown from Tin Works on Etsy. Larry from Tin Works was so great! I was worried I wouldn't get it in time. I asked if I could pay extra for expedited shipping. He assured me that my cookie cutter would get to me without delay. AND he was so right! 2 days later I received a package in the mail from South Carolina. Larry, your fantastic! And so was your cookie cutter! 

See how cute the crown is standing up on the cupcake? Ya, that was look I was going for. 

Let me tell you, this isn't easy. Perhaps if your a cake extraordinaire, but this was my first attempt at cupcake decorating. I think my expectations were a little higher than they should have  been. 

I stayed up until midnight on Friday making my cupcakes and praying I could get the fondant to stand, I only slept 5 short hours worrying about the outcome. Finally on Saturday I woke up with a new idea in mind, my cupcake design was going to have to change. 

Pink fondant using corn syrup wasn't going to make the cake. Pun intended. I ended up using the marshmallow fondant. 

I still think they came out pretty cute. 

The theme of the party was princesses and pirates. In case you were wondering! 

The cupcake toppers I used are from Below Blink. They did not disappoint! Super cute! 
And I was so grateful I bought these, because I was not enjoying rolling out and cutting out fondant for hours! 

Moral of the story: I won't be quitting my day job to start a cupcake decorating business. But I did enjoy it, and both kids and adults loved these. So, ultimately I was pretty proud of myself. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fabulous Friday with Toy Box Flame of Silver

Here is an embarrassing secret for you. 

I had stuffed animals far into my teen years. No, no.... it really was embarrassing.  

Oh, and I use to suck my thumb until I was at least 7. Wait, no I didn't want to tell you that. 

I had stuffed animals in bed with me every night, until I met Ron who was a little disturbed by my horse ginger and Stitch (from Lilo and Stitch) taking up half the bed. 

I love stuffed animals. Cuddly, cute, and always ready to show you some love. Being 25 years old now, I don't get away with having them as much as I would like. I do still have a stuffed horse or two around my room, but they are no longer invited on the bed. (The nerve! Sorry guys!) 

When I met Korinne Wiese and her adorable stuffed creations, I secretly wished that stuffed animals were invited on my bed. 

Coupon Code FEATURE for 20% off. US shipping on toys is included. 

Tell us a bit about yourself

I live in Augusta, Wisconsin and I am a stay at home mom that knits and crochets to bribe myself to keep the houseclean. Clean for 10 minutes during the commercials (Thank you DVR!) and I can work on projects while my show is on!

When did you first discover Etsy? 

I discover Etsy in 2008 when I was looking for an amigurumi tea set pattern. I wanted to make it for my daughter’s 2nd birthday.
Our family of 5 was living in my parents’ basement due to this wonderful economy and my husband’s company wasn’t paying well and there were literally no jobs in the community we were living in. Okay there was 3: a nursing job (I don’t have the requirements), a pyramid scam, and the topless bar. I wasn’t interested in any of them.
I had 2 totes full of yarn, a box of patterns, every size and type of knitting and crochet needle available to man (Thank you yard sales and Michael’s moving sale!), and our laptop. I figured I had all I needed to attempt to bring in extra cash to get us our own place.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?

I chase after our rather mischievous 2 year old girl and play with our older kids, 7 and 5. I love to be outside and walk and swim. I love baking, games, and reading.

 Is Etsy your full time or part time business?

Etsy is more part time than full time. I do my internet stuff while the kids watch their shows and create while I watch mine. I would love to be full time as I would really love to keep busy when all 3 kids are in school, but ABSOLUTELY DETEST the idea of a part time job outside the house.

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

I have my Etsy shop and a lot of social media which are my main outlets. If I can get my inventory up, I would really love to do a couple of craft shows this fall and Christmas.


What steps do you take in your creative process? 

It is rather simple for me. I see a pattern and think “I want to make that!” or “That is the coolest yarn! What can I use that for?” Then I gather the supplies I want to do and sit in my corner of the couch and start right in!

What is your favorite item in your shop and why?

My favorite item is my Jemima Puddleduck. The basic pattern was fun and simple and then dressing her up was wonderful! I just love the softness of the yellow yarn on her body!

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


I love how helpful the teams are and the only time you find negative comments are in threads that usually have a complaint in the title so you can easily steer away from them!

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

At first I didn't have support, no discouragement, just no cheerleaders in the background. Then I made my first sale and my husband was very excited for me and would run through a check list with me on things that could possibly bring my customer back. After a few more sales, my mother in law is bringing me yarn that her mother never got around to using. She has also sent over a beautiful doll with a crochet dress that Grandma used to make and sell in hopes that I can copy it.

Who is your most influential Etsian? 

The most influential Etsian for me is Michelle and Dave from EviesToolEmporium and the thread they are faithful about participating in Drive You Etsy Business. They are always encouraging and usually have the right questions to get my thinking.

When did you know you were an artist/maker?

I have been crocheting since I was 10 and taught myself how to knit about 4 years ago, but I didn't realize I was any good until I made an elephant for my nephew and my macho man brother :P told me that he didn't realize I was talented. I was just enjoying what I was doing and needed something to do with my hands while I was watching TV or movies.

How do you get out of your creative ruts?

Where would you like to be in ten years?

I am just starting out and would love to do this full time when the kids are all in school. I did it because I had to, but I never really liked working in a "real" job and having to wake up early or deciding if I really was "that sick" to call in and use a vacation day and all that nonsense. My Etsy shop I love to work on and I don’t mind spending time on, though I occasionally burn out on all the computer “chores”. I want our family to have our own house with enough room to have my own office/craft closet. Yes, I said closet. I like to create my projects in the same room as my family, but supplies need a better home than under foot.

If you could share one tip with a new Etsy seller, what is the most important thing to learn and why? 
Always use all 5 picture slots. It was 1 of my first mistakes and I see it time and again when newbies ask for a shop critique.

Favorite Recipe? 

My favorite recipe is Grandma’s Chicken Casserole

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Welcome Wednesday: Hair Brained Boutique

I did it again. I woke up late this morning and rushed out the front door to head to the gym, only to find out I got stood up by my workout partner!


On mornings like these I have to rush from my shortened workout (I'm not complaining about that!) to the shower, to work. Usually, my hair is the last thing on my mind as I sprint from shower to closet to car. I'm lucky if I get to my mascara before my carpool arrives. 

I don't mind my thrown together look. Most days, customers don't actually see me but hear from me. The only plus of having a desk job with a phone tied to my ear is that I never have to look into a the eyes of a well put together client after a self inflicted rushed morning. 

It sure would be nice, instead of avoiding the bathroom mirror on days like today to have something that gives me a little pizzazz. Simple, quick and cute. I am still a girl after all, I do like compliments! 

And that is when I found Erin from Hair Brained Boutiques. You're on my page now aren't you? Perfect! I did have a point! ;) 

Tell us a bit about yourself 

I'm a stay at home mom with a wonderful, almost three year old daughter. I've always been crafty and really enjoy doing it. I live in Maryland with my daughter, husband and our two dogs. I'm the baby of seven kids and my daughter is the 20th grandchild!

When did you first discover Etsy? 

I discovered Etsy a few years ago on the recommendation of a friend. I never bought anything but loved growing the unique items. I thought to myself - these people are so professional, I could never do that. Then I bought my daughter a headband at a craft fair and figured out that I could make them. I started working with fabric and beads and I made a few things for her. I got tons of compliments so I decided to try my hand at an Etsy shop. The community here has been my driving force to make my shop what it is.

Apart from creating, what do you do? 

Apart from crafting I like to exercise, read, and play with my daughter. I love a good margarita on a warm summer night and the company of my family and friends.

Is Etsy part time or full time? 

Etsy is a part-time thing for me, but I would love to make it full time. Right now I'm still learning, but one day I hope to be able to make a significant contribution to my family income with my Etsy shop. Maybe even one day open a retail shop.

Where else can we find you? 

Right now I share my wares on Etsy, Facebook, Twitter and lots of local craft shows. I also have some items in a local upscale boutique called The Lipstick Lounge.

What or who inspires you?

Lots of things inspire me - nature, other crafters, my daughter, and people. I'll see someone wearing a great coat and think - that color would look great in her hair!

Favorite part of the Etsy community? 

My favorite part of the Etsy community are the teams. People are so willing to help each other out. I love reading tips and getting advice. It really makes you feel like you're a part of something.

Who is the most influential person in your life? 

The most influential person to me has been my mother. Long ago my mother told me "Find something you love to do and do it!" I have found that in making and selling my accessories. At my first craft fair last week I thought to myself - this is it - this is what I was meant to do. I loved it! My mother passed away about three years ago in a sudden and tragic accident. I dedicate my shop and all my creative works to her.

What is your favorite item in your shop? 
The creations I have in my shop are handcrafted fabric flowers made into headbands, clips, bobby pins, and even pins. They are pretty, feminine and bright. They are for both women and girls and are meant to add a fun and flirty touch to any outfit.

Favorite recipe? 

 My favorite recipe is Chicken and Peppers. 

And in case you were wonder (don't lie, I know you are!) Here are my favorite items from 

Isn't she a cutie? I don't know that I could pull this off as good as she can. But I sure would try! 

Erin is doing a giveaway! Make sure you check it out!