Eva Buchala, the woman behind the Etsy shop LadyArtisan, works with polymer clay to create a variety of items, primarily blank journals with sculpted covers. She also makes art dolls and smaller items. Her favorite items to create are the journals, as she enjoys every aspect of the process of making a book. The books she creates are works of art in and of themselves, and allow the recipient to fill the interior pages with art of their own, whether in the form of drawings or words.
Eva is glad to make custom journals for her customers, and can make these in a variety of sizes. She also maintains two blogs: one for bookbinding and one for sculpting. In addition to her Etsy site, you can also see her work at her website.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Heather Donahue of ErinLillies creates one of a kind and limited edition jewelry items. She uses a variety of techniques and styles in her jewelry making, including many chainmail pieces, and a number of more simple designs.
Whether you are looking for a bracelet, a necklace, a pair of earrings, or an anklet, ErinLillies has a number of options to fit what you want. Heather's husband does woodworking, and her shop offers a few of his pieces alongside her jewelry.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Bird Apparel is the creation of Toronto-based seller Anita Condron. Anita makes women's clothing in knit fabrics. While many of the colors and styles are simple and understated, she also uses bright fabrics and interesting lines for a number of her pieces. Anita learned her love of sewing and fabric from her grandparents, who were a tailor and a seamstress. She also studied fashion design, and is certainly a seamstress in her own right.
In addition to Anita's Etsy shop, her clothing is also available in several brick & mortar stores in Canada. Her favorite items to make are dresses, but she is willing to make items from her shop in different sizes or colors, depending on your preferences. You can also see her work at www.birdapparel.ca
Thursday, December 6, 2007
(Author's note: Due to my own hectic schedule, I haven't been able to write the article-length pieces that I had been writing previously. However, I still have time to write brief features about Etsy shops, so here is the first of those. Enjoy!)
AurynDesign, the Etsy shop of Heather Hyatt, offers jewelry with a modern and Asian flair. Heather uses Japanese washi and chiyogami papers to create some of her beautiful pendants and earrings. She also uses sumi-e painting techniques for other pieces.
This Washi Geometry Pendant is just one of the pieces in her shop that really appeals to me, with the bright colors and bold lines. Other pieces may have a more subtle design to them, and are gorgeous in their simplicity. AurynDesign offers items that will appeal to nearly any aesthetic sensibility.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Though I'm a little bit late in suggesting this, you should definitely check out Buy Handmade. This site is a partnership between Etsy and several other sites, and encourages people to pledge that they will buy as many handmade items as possible to give as their holiday gifts, and also encourage people who are giving them gifts to also buy handmade items! It's a wonderful idea, especially as it ensures that everyone on your list can get something unique and tailored towards them, rather than the same mass produced stuff that everyone else gets.
So obviously, Etsy has tens of thousands of sellers offering handmade stuff to choose from. But if you don't want to search through the entire set, why not take a chance with one of the EtsyRain mystery gift bags?
Each of these bags contains five items which would normally sell for $10 each. We're offering these gift bags for $25, so basically at half their normal price! And let me assure you, this is some amazing stuff. I was involved in the preparation of the general gift bags, and I'd pretty much love to receive any of the items in one of these gift bags. There are also gift bags filled with kid and baby items, and knowing who contributed to those, I am sure that they are similarly wonderful!
And of course, feel free to search through Etsy for something more specific! :) I'm only offering these gift bags as a neat idea for a quick way to knock out a portion of your shopping list! :)
Monday, November 5, 2007
Many artists and crafters are not satisfied to learn and master a single technique. They prefer to continually learn new crafts or art forms, ever expanding the repetoire of their skills. Etsy seller Catherine Lawrence of Urban Fictions (reqbat on Etsy) is one such artist. The artwork available in her Etsy shop covers multiple media, and often combines these media into unique mixed media plaques, apparel, and artwork. All of the items at Urban Fictions are truly one of a kind works of art.
Catherine Lawrence resides in Montreal, and is a writer as well as a visual artist. Her mother helped to foster her sense of creativity from an early age, which is how Catherine fell into writing. Currently, she chooses new art forms to learn by what catches her interest, and lists some of these interests as including knitting, sewing, and painting: "anything that looks interesting, I try!" She has been creating artwork nearly her entire life, though Urban Fictions has only been a part of Etsy for about a year, and only truly active in the past month or so.
Although the items that Catherine creates for her Etsy shop do vary widely, quite a few of the items are painted. Many of the painted items also incorporate other media as well, however, like her door knob hangers and other plaques, which feature images decoupaged onto painted wood. One of the themes that emerges in a number of her paintings is crows, offering a strong continuity between pieces that would otherwise appear to be unrelated to each other. Aside from paintings, Catherine also makes small felt pill shapes, designed to be Christmas ornaments, though they could be used for decoration any time of the year. All of Catherine Lawrence's pieces at Urban Fictions are unusual and quirky, sure to appeal to those with their own unique outlooks on life.
Catherine Lawrence is happy to offer custom work as well, and does not limit herself to items similar to the artwork available at Urban Fictions. She can recreate many of the items available there in different colors, but also says she is willing to do other, one of a kind work: "everything from custom paintings to designing tattoos for people!" Like many of the artists who sell on Etsy, Catherine's work appeals highly to the indie sensibility, but can also be enjoyed by anyone with an appreciation of unique works of art.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
All crafters and artists need to get their supplies from somewhere, and Etsy offers many opportunities for crafters to purchase both commercial and handmade supplies. Etsy seller Valerie Moore, the artist behind the Etsy shop ValerieBeads, is one such artist who creates handmade supplies. In her case, she creates handmade polymer clay beads and focal pieces, as well as offering some of her drawn artwork on artisan beads and in other formats.
ValerieBeads has been a shop on Etsy for nearly a year and a half, but Valerie Moore has been making handmade polymer clay beads for around seven years. Prior to that, even as early as childhood, she was interested in artwork--crayon drawings and Play-doh sculptures as a child, graduating to drawing and beads later in life. Aside from her artistic endeavors, she has worked as a vet tech, and has two dogs of her own. She loves animals, and enjoys featuring them in some of her artwork, including as a part of her Drawn Sketched pendant line.
Valerie's handcrafted polymer clay beads at ValerieBeads take much of their inspiration from natural themes. Some of the beads feature flowers or insects, while others are shaped like small leaves, complete with vein lines. Her focal point beads and pendants are considerably more detailed, particularly the Drawn Sketched pendant line. These pendants are made of polymer clay, but feature Valerie's drawings rather than patterns created with the polymer clay. She says that she very much enjoys making the Drawn Sketched pendants, because they combine two of her favorite things: drawing and polymer clay. Valerie is also happy to do custom work, and has fulfilled a number of requests for artisan beads similar to those she had already made, but in different color schemes or patterns. In addition to her handcrafted beads, Valerie also sells some of her artwork in other formats, though the focus of her shop is most certainly her handcrafted polymer clay beads.
Whether you are a crafter looking for a new supplier of artisan beads, or someone who is interested in picking out a few choice beads or a pendant for a necklace, ValerieBeads offers a wide selection of options. She also has a webpage where she offers free tutorials for those who are interested in making their own polymer clay beads, choosing to relinquish some of the rights to her designs so that other may benefit from her experience.
Friday, November 2, 2007
Geeks and nerds have never been known for their fashion sense, but with the help of Etsy seller Liz Staley, this fact has a chance to change. Liz calls her shop "Liz Staley's Realm of Nerdiness," and the name of the shop does not disappoint. Here, geeks and nerds (and the people who love them) can find all sorts of accessories, from fishnet gloves, to witty buttons, to repurposed computer keyboard pieces.
Liz Staley had the traditional early start in the crafty world. In her case, her mother painted ceramics, and Liz wanted to join in the fun. Her mother gave her a rubber duck, water, and a paintbrush, to let Liz think she was painting too. However, she quickly realized that things should change color when you painted them, and wanted more. More ultimately came in the form of a degree in Fine Arts, after Liz decided that she wanted to pursue a career in animation. Japanese animation is her preferred style, and she has written up story ideas for television shows and movies that she hopes to someday make.
For her shop on Etsy, however, Liz creates an entirely different variety of artwork. Her most popular items are the buttons. Some of these are made from the pages of manga comics. Though the quotes on these may not be funny in their original context, many of them are hilarious when taken out of context. She also makes sets of buttons that appeal to role-players and fans of sci-fi television shows, including Firefly and Farscape, among others. She particularly enjoys making the fishnet gloves, some of which are beaded, while others are more simple affairs. Finally, she makes several different items from old computer keyboards--the interior circuit boards become wallets, while the keys become a part of chokers, bracelets, and earrings.
Of course, since no two geeks or nerds are exactly alike, Liz is happy to do custom work. She acknowledges that there is a limit to just how much text can fit onto a button ("no Kevin Smith monologues") and how many computer keys can fit on a choker (about eight), but within the constraints of available space, she loves to work with customers to make them their own special geeky accessories. And for the slightly less geeky among us, the fishnet gloves and Liz's other crocheted items have an undeniable beauty about them, making Liz Staley's shop a great place to shop for geeks, nerds, and normal people.
Liz's Deviant Art page
Thursday, November 1, 2007
The cultures and images of Asian countries have long held great appeal throughout the rest of the world. The mystery and exotic aspects of these cultures is imitated in the work of many artists, giving credence to the idea that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Etsy seller Wendy Bayliss, the creative hands behind the Etsy shop DharmaDesigns, has taken her love of Asian themed items and created a beautiful collection of handcrafted jewelry pieces. While Wendy's diverse interests suggest that she will ultimately expand the offerings of DharmaDesigns far outside of jewelry (she already has photographs in her shop as well), for now her selection is centered on Asian themed pieces of jewelry.
Based out of Portland, Oregon, Wendy has been creating things for as long as she can remember. She says that as children, she and her sister made their own books and toys, and, as they got older, reproduced entire bases for their Star Wars action figures. In addition to working on the pieces she offers in her Etsy shop, Wendy also is a writer. She is currently writing a novel based in fact about helicopter medical evacuation crews during the Vietnam War. With this interesting mix of creativity in several formats, it is no surprise that DharmaDesigns was born. Wendy began selling on Etsy just over a month ago, shortly after being asked about a necklace she was wearing. When she told the woman who asked that she had made the necklace herself, the woman suggested that Wendy start selling her handcrafted jewelry through some venue.
Wendy uses a variety of different jewelry making techniques for the pieces in her DharmaDesigns shop. Some of her necklaces are strands of different sized and shaped beads, often with a large focal point in the center. Other necklaces are predominantly chain, with only a few carefully selected beads. Still others are strung on satin cord, allowing the beauty of the beads and the colored cord to meld together in a one of a kind necklace. In addition to her necklaces, which make up the bulk of her offerings, Wendy also offers bracelets and earrings along an Asian theme. Though the pieces may not match one another, the theme that runs throughout Wendy's creations is constant and distinctive.
Wendy also delights in making custom pieces, though these do not necessarily have to be handcrafted jewelry pieces. She has made intricate cards for friends in the past, and welcomes the opportunity to work with buyers on the items of their dreams. Wendy also plans to expand the offerings of DharmaDesigns into more non-jewelry items, including the possibility of adding her own blend of chai tea.
This article was originally published here.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Stuffed animals are popular with children, to be sure, but some adults also take enjoyment in having a plush animal, whether it is as a part of their office décor or home décor. Etsy seller Jessica Pierce, the creator of the plush bunnies available at the Etsy shop Spidercamp, has created a line of stuffed animals that people of all ages will enjoy--though based on what these bunnies have stitched on their torsos, they may be much better suited for the adult world.
In her day job, Jessica bakes what she calls "tremendous" cakes for a local restaurant. She has been interested in baking and otherwise creating things for as long as she can remember, but she only began making the plush bunnies available at Spidercamp about three years ago. She has sold these plush bunnies on Etsy for about 2 years, and they have been incredibly popular with her customers.
The plush bunnies are made from fleece and use all vegan materials for their construction. Most of the bunnies have button eyes, but there are also bunnies that are safe for babies and small children, with fleece and thread features. While some of the bunnies have a felt heart or another sort of embellishment on them, the majority of the bunnies have a word or phrase stitched across their torso. The words range all over the place, but Jessica admits that quite a few of them are "very foul indeed." In her Spidercamp shop, you can find "bunnies of purity," "bunnies what swear," and "bunnies with diseases," along with the "unpopular bunnies," which are on sale.
In addition to the plush bunnies, Spidercamp does offer other assorted items, including a selection of craft supplies and cat toys. One of the curiously popular items is pocket bacon-crocheted strips that look remarkably like uncooked bacon. Nearly everything that Jessica offers through Spidercamp is a little bit odd and quirky, so perhaps it is not too much of a surprise that the people who browse her shop end up buying pocket bacon.
In addition to the pre-made bunnies, Jessica also enjoys working with customers to create custom bunnies. She is willing to sew pretty much any word onto the torso of one of her bunnies, with the only constraint being the space available. She has made bunnies with scars that match the scars of their owner, as well as bunnies with made-up words stitched on them. Nearly anything is possible when it comes to the bunnies from Spidercamp, making them a wonderful unique gift idea.
This article was originally published here.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Jewelry is such a common accessory that it never hurts to have just a little bit more. For Etsy seller Anandi, of the shop Anandi's Laboratory, jewelry making is a recent interest. This recent start, combined with technical knowledge and experimental ideas, have all combined beautifully to create one of a kind jewelry creations.
Anandi's background is relatively far from traditional crafting backgrounds--she studied Molecular Biology and has worked in the field of computers and software project management prior to beginning her jewelry making. This highly scientific background is likely part of the reason why learning about the details of jewelry making appealed so strongly to Anandi--she has taken multiple classes on jewelry making techniques, and reads up on other techniques in her spare time. She has only been creating jewelry pieces for about 6 months, and has been selling on Etsy for less than a month. In spite of this, or perhaps because of it, all of Anandi's designs are fresh and unique--just the sort of thing that a jewelry lover would look for in a new piece to add to their collection.
Anandi's jewelry creations combine sterling silver with a wide variety of beads in different shapes, sizes, and colors. In fact, one of the most appealing thing about Anandi's jewelry is her use of color. She combines bright flashes of color with more sedate surroundings, giving the wearer a piece that can be worn with many different outfits and for many different occasions. The majority of her jewelry pieces could move seamlessly from the board room to the bar, or from a cocktail party to a club. Some of Anandi's favorite pieces actually began their life as a piece of storebought jewelry--like a coral necklace that her mother purchased more than 30 years ago, but recently gave to Anandi to make something new with. For sentimental reasons, she opted to keep the resulting piece, but found the process of creating something new from something old enjoyable.
In addition to the items already available at Anandi's Laboratory, Anandi also enjoys making custom pieces of jewelry. She recently completed two sets of mother-daughter necklaces for a family friend. She says that she enjoys the more mathematical and scientific goals behind custom pieces--after being given constraints and variables to work with, she can then apply creative solutions to the "problem." Regardless of what the "problem" may be, Anandi is sure to come up with a beautiful jewelry solution!
Spike, Peanut, and Me
This article was originally published here.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Every parent learns quickly that their children will need a winter hat, and also that their children will be prone to losing their hat--thus necessitating many winter hats. However, there is a good chance that if your child has one of Finny's Funny Hats, from the Etsy shop GlitzConcepts, their winter hat will quickly become a treasured possession, and it may remain with them for more than just a short period of time. Whether your child likes monkeys, bears, or another animal, chances are good that you can find one of Finny's Funny Hats to match their preferences.
Etsy seller Carrie, the talented hands behind GlitzConcepts, has been doing arts and crafts for nearly her entire life, or "since my parents bought us [her sister and herself] our first Crayola Scissors (that my sister cut my hair with when my parents weren't looking! Awww older sisters...)" She started making Finny's Funny Hats when her son, Finn, was just a baby. Finn needed a winter hat, and Carrie had the skills to make him one. From there, the idea of Finny's Funny Hats was born. Carrie wants to give her son a fun childhood, and her business helps her to be a stay at home mom who gets to spend lots of time with Finn.
Finny's Funny Hats depict a wide variety of animals, and are available in three different sizes for children. Carrie has made a few adult sized hats, but she prefers sticking with hats for children at present. Her most popular sellers in her Etsy shop have been the monkey-related items, but she also has bears, giraffes, foxes, and even bugs. In addition to the hats, Carrie also makes animal coats, which combine a hood that resembles one of Finny's Funny Hats and a coat body in the same color. Carrie says that the coats are particularly fun for her to make. All of the hats and coats are made of fleece, which makes them both warm and easy to clean--important features for childrens' winter wear. In addition, the cute animal themes would make these hats or coats a wonderful option for a Halloween costume in colder climates.
Carrie has been selling Finny's Funny Hats on Etsy since March of 2007, and has had a considerable amount of success with her shop GlitzConcepts. Between the absolutely adorable fleece hats and coats, and her too-cute-for-words model, Finn, the Etsy shop GlitzConcepts is a definite attention-getter. When you combine this with the quality construction of Finny's Funny Hats, it is understandable why these hats and coats are such hot sellers. These items are sure to look adorable on any child, and keep them nice and warm all winter long.
This article was originally published here.
Friday, October 5, 2007
For those of us who wish we could celebrate Halloween year round, Etsy seller Paige Cornelius, the crafter behind the Etsy shop HandmadeHorrors, has a wide selection of horror themed jewelry available no matter what season it is. Whether you prefer skulls and zombies, black cats and bats, or notorious historical figures, Paige probably has just what you are looking for, and several other items that you will realize you can't live without.
Paige has been crafting since a young age, inspired in part by her grandparents. Her grandfather was a painter and a woodworker, and her grandmother did cross-stitch, ceramics, and other crafts when she was younger. Paige herself experimented with a wide variety of crafts prior to starting HandmadeHorrors: collage art, altered art, and sewing being just a few of the crafts she dabbled in. In addition to her grandparents, Paige's brother, husband, and 10-year-old son are all also talented artists. Some of her husband's artwork appears on the jewelry that Paige creates for Handmade Horrors.
The artwork used in HandmadeHorrors designs comes from several sources. Paige creates some of the artwork herself, but she also works with two talented artists for many of the designs. Her husband, Chris Cornelius, is one of the other artists, as mentioned above. The other artist who contributes some of his artwork to HandmadeHorrors jewelry is Justin Terrell of ZMB Graphics. Paige enjoys collaborating with both of these artists, and is proud to offer their artwork combined with her handiwork.
Handmade Horrors offers a wide array of jewelry options, including earrings, necklaces, bracelets, pins, and rings, as well as accessories like hair pins and cell phone charms. Many of these pieces of jewelry involve simple shapes in dark colors, often accented with glitter. Bats and stars are common shapes used for these pieces. Other pieces feature a more detailed drawing of a creature or character, like a pink-haired witch perched on a broom. Still other pieces are taken from reproductions of paintings or photographs--for example, Handmade Horrors offers pieces of jewerly featuring a portrait of Vlad Dracula or Morticia Addams. Paige has also begun integrating chainmaille into some of her designs, and finds that she enjoys creating these pieces, even though they are more difficult to make than her older designs.
In addition to the standard fare found at HandmadeHorrors, Paige is also more than willing to take on custom orders. While she specializes in horror or Halloween themed images, she can work with any sort of artwork or photograph to create one-of-a-kind pieces for her customers. So whether you want something with a bit of flair for Halloween, or you want to immortalize a favorite pet in a pair of earrings, Paige of HandmadeHorrors is sure to be able to create something that you will be sure to love.
Justin Terrell's page
This article was originally published here.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
The irony of carrying around an iPod in a pouch emblazoned with a cassette tape is just the sort of quirky thing that appeals to those of us who remember the days when everything was released on cassette, and CDs and MP3s were only a glimmer on the horizon. For those who enjoy nostalgia of this variety, Etsy seller Priscilla Ziller, the creator of the nostalgic goods at MoxieMadness, has a wide array of screen printed items to remind us of the way things used to be.
Priscilla is a late-comer to the crafting world. Unlike many Etsy sellers, who have been making artistic things for as long as they can remember, Priscilla only began crafting about a year and a half ago. Her grandmother had tried to teach her how to craft as a child, but Priscilla says that her short attention span prevented any of these lessons from taking root. When she inherited her grandmother's crafting supplies, however, it was just the impetus necessary to get Priscilla started with crafting the items that would become the products of MoxieMadness. These nostalgic goods have been available on Etsy for just over a year, and have been very popular with shoppers there.
Most of the items that are available at the Etsy shop MoxieMadness are pre-made items which Priscilla screen prints with a variety of different images. In addition to these embellished items, she also makes some sewn goods, which are frequently dressed up with a screen printed image as well. The mix tape items are particularly big sellers at MoxieMadness, whether the mix tape is screen printed onto clothing, a sewn iPod pouch, or simply on a felt patch. Priscilla enjoys the screen printing process, saying "each time I press a design it's like magic, it blows me away each and every time. Especially with the baby gear, handling something so small overwhelms me with the cuteness factor." Whether her designs are screen printed on something for a child or for an adult, however, they are all beautiful in their simplicity, while still being practical items that can be used on a daily or regular basis.
For those who like Priscilla's designs, but can't find the exact combination that they want at MoxieMadness, Priscilla is happy to take custom orders as well. She says that some of the custom orders she has made have been for some amazing color combinations that she had not thought of previously. She can also screen print her existing designs and color combinations onto different sizes or items of clothing, so the possibilities are truly endless when it comes to what you might find at MoxieMadness.
This article was originally published here.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Many people who go to school for an art degree end up working in a completely different field than that which they studied. Others make the decision to stick with art, even though it can be a difficult field in which to work. Etsy seller Kim VanDerHoek, who paints the original oil paintings found in her Etsy shop, VanDerHoekArt, has finally found herself in the latter category, while enjoying her other career as a full-time mom.
Kim has been an artist since she was very young, winning her first award for her artwork in first grade. She remembers being disappointed that she had won first place, because she wanted a trophy. The second place prize was the coveted trophy, but as the first place winner, she instead received boxes of oil pastels and watercolors. After continuing to create art as she got older, Kim earned a degree in illustration, and then worked in graphic design and as an art director--art related careers, to be sure, but not precisely what she studied. Her painting allows her to get closer to what she studied, while still allowing her to be a stay at home mom. She balances the demands of motherhood with her painting career through the help of an understanding husband, who makes sure that she can have some time to paint every Saturday morning.
Kim paints original Impressionist-style oil paintings, and uses a wide variety of settings as the inspiration for her work; beaches, mountains, and urban scenes are among some of those she has painted. She does most of her paintings "en plein air," outside of her studio. Though she can paint from photographs, she definitely prefers painting on location, so that the lighting and composition of the piece can be just right for what she wants to create. She does not take on much custom work for VanDerHoekArt, due to issues of logistics and her preference to work on location.
One of Kim's personal favorite pieces is "Spring in Peter's Canyon." She sees that painting as a personal milestone for her, a marked improvement in the quality of her work. She enjoys painting with bold brush strokes and utilizing thick paint, creating memorable paintings regardless of their subject matter. Since she paints outdoors, she often has passers-by who admire her nearly complete pieces of artwork, like "Swaying Palms," a painting of palm trees and a bluff that juts out into the ocean in Laguna Beach, California. The original "Swaying Palms" is available at her Etsy shop, VanDerHoekArt, as of this writing.
In addition to her original oil paintings, she also has photographic-quality prints of her paintings, which she offers as prints or on the outside of blank greeting cards. Offering both originals and prints at VanDerHoekArt allows Kim to sell items in her shop that will fit into several price ranges. She has been very pleased thus far to see that her original oil paintings have sold well on Etsy.
This article was originally published here.
Monday, September 17, 2007
My roommate last year, Jesi, was totally into makeup, particularly eyeshadow. She has more eyeshadow than I thought it was possible for any human being to own. She is also REALLY good at using eyeshadow in creative ways, to get some truly amazing looks.
Now I've never been much into girly things, but Jesi rubbed off on me a little. I've started collecting all sorts of crazy colored eyeshadow, and I'm learning, little by little, on how to make it look pretty good on me. I definitely pale in comparison to her skills, but I'm learning.
The biggest problems that I've run into with eyeshadow, however, are justifying the expense, and getting it to stay on my eyelids for any length of time. However, I have found a solution to both of these issues: Coffin Color. I think Jesi would approve.
I ordered a sample pack of eyeshadows from these lovely ladies, and didn't ask for any specific colors, but told them a little about my own coloration: darkish hair, darkish eyes, and really pale skin. They sent me four colors in my sample pack, when I was only anticipating three, and all of them are wonderful for my coloration! I got Blackened Rose (a dark pink), Tequila (a bright yellow), Dead Flesh (a really bold green), and Gangrene (a subtle greenish-gold). Now granted, those don't all sound like the most appealing of colors, but I have a morbid sense of humor--I love the names!
Once I tried the eyeshadow samples, I was even more in love. Normal eyeshadow seriously just slides off of my eyelids within a matter of hours. This past Saturday, I put my makeup on at about 8 a.m. I got home from one event around 5, and the Coffin Color shades that I had used (Dead Flesh and Gangrene) were still as bright and vivid as they had been when I put them on. The other two colors I had used, which were mid-range priced name brands, had faded almost into oblivion. We then went over to our friends' house, and when we got home from there, around midnight, I could still see the Coffin Color shades, while the name brand eyeshadows were long gone. For those keeping track, that's 16 hours of bright and vivid color!
The prices for Coffin Color eyeshadow are also totally reasonable. I know I will definitely be heading back for more, probably even before I run out of these initial samples. There's so many more colors that I want to check out, and I think I need to send a sample pack to Jesi, too.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
When decorating a young child's room, one of the more popular pieces to include in the room is some representation of the child's name. For those children with common names, there is a huge market for personalized store bought items. Whether your child has a more unusual name or a different spelling of their name, or you would rather find something handmade to display in their room, Etsy seller RosieMade can accommodate your needs!
Rosie Roberson, the artist behind the custom name paintings of RosieMade, is the mother of three children, and says that her children come first and her art comes second. However, she acknowledges that the two often get intermixed, with her children creating artistic things and with her taking inspiration for her artwork from her children. She herself has been making artistic things since she was a child, starting with handmade greeting cards. She eventually received a degree in studio art and has done commissioned portraits, landscapes, and now name paintings.
RosieMade is a relatively new endeavor, with Rosie's Etsy shop only having been open since August of 2007. Even in that short time, however, people have taken notice of the unique offerings of her shop, and Rosie has already done several custom name paintings. Nearly everything that she does is custom work, and she says that she enjoys doing the custom name paintings and using whatever tidbits of information she has to personalize the painting for the person for whom it was ordered. Sometimes she has only vague information to work with, but she still tries to use this to create a memorable piece of artwork for each of her customers.
While the custom name paintings are probably the most popular items in Rosie's Etsy shop, she also offers other paintings at RosieMade. Many of her other offerings also involve letters; there are "word search" paintings, which involve a jumble of letters, some of which spell out words. She will also do custom word paintings, with the letters spelling out a chosen word rather than a person's name. If your tastes lean towards non-word paintings, RosieMade also has Color Spots and Creature Paintings, both of which share the bright and vivid colors of her name and word paintings. Any of the items in her store can be custom ordered, so if you have a particular color scheme you want to use or avoid, Rosie can easily tailor her work to fit with your wishes.
This article was originally published here.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Some crafters truly have an eye for the unique and special. Etsy Seller Ambika, of (Into) the Fray, is one of those people. Regardless of whether she is working with repurposed vintage items or brand new materials, she can combine the elements she has to work with into beautiful one of a kind jewelry items and, as she calls them, "fabric sundries."
Ambika is a Seattle native, who enjoys crafting for (Into) the Fray as a way to escape the mundane. Although her day job subjects her to "cubicle world," she spends her spare time creating items for her Etsy shop. She has learned a variety of different crafts over the course of her life, from knitting and beading, to altering furniture and machine sewing. She began selling her jewelry and sewn items on Etsy about six months ago.
Ambika says that her earrings are among some of her best sellers in her Etsy shop, (Into) the Fray, and it is not surprising that they are. Her designs are elegant in their simplicity, while her wide array of colors and bead materials will appeal to an extensive range of tastes. Whether you prefer subtle, understated colors or bright, flashy hues, Ambika is certain to have earrings to fit your taste. In addition to earrings, she also creates beaded bracelets and necklaces, and braided ribbon bracelets. A number of her necklaces feature vintage pieces as the focal point, like her "Dolores" necklace, with its large, vividly colored flower, which was once a brooch. Some of the necklaces are elaborately beaded, while others are more simple affairs. As with Ambika's earrings, the bracelets and necklaces at (Into) the Fray are also sure to appeal to a variety of tastes.
If you're looking for something made of fabric, Ambika also has this area well covered with diverse choices. Most of the "fabric sundries" are purses or bags of one sort or another. Quite a few of these items are made from repurposed materials--sweaters turned into small purses, or a piece of bright orange vintage fabric sewn into a larger tote bag--the "Autumn Luau Tote." Ambika also makes embellished hoodies, starting with a plain hooded sweatshirt and dressing it up with fabric patches and eyelet lace. In a city like Seattle, where hoodies are widely worn, Ambika's embellished hoodies would allow you to stand out from the crowd.
Whether you are looking for personal decoration or a beautifully crafted practical item, Ambika's Etsy shop, (Into) the Fray, has plenty to offer. If you don't see exactly what you're looking for, Ambika is willing to take on custom orders, searching out the perfect fabric or beads to make the item you imagine.
This article was originally published here.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Like many women, I have far more bath and body products than I could use in any reasonable amount of time. I love sampling all kinds of good smelling soaps and other shower products. I've been trying to cut back on my spending in this area, but there is one kind of soap that I simply can't get enough of--LoteTree soap. Etsy seller Jessica Booth is someone I met while I lived in Illinois, and I was pleased to discover that she had opened up shop on Etsy. So now, even though I'm many states away from her, I can still order some of my favorite soaps that I've ever used.
Jessica, who also calls herself "The Soap Mogul," tells a common story among crafters--her mother was a crafty person, so she grew up surrounded by supplies for arts and crafts. She remembers that while her mother was taking college art classes, she needed to spend some time in the studio, and took Jessica with her. Jessica was thrilled to get to play with the clay, and thinks that was probably the point at which the crafting bug really bit her. She began making and selling her own creations about 7 years ago, and started with making and selling soap 4 years ago. Her Etsy shop has been in business for only a couple of months, but already others are catching on to how wonderful her products are.
LoteTree soap is cold processed olive oil soap, and it comes in a wide variety of amazing scents. While my personal favorite at the moment is Almond Royale, there are so many other scents and mixtures that I want to try. There are plenty of scents which would appeal to women, as well as a number of more "earthy" scents that are suited to women or men. "Calcutta," for example, is one of these earthy scents with hints of both sweet and sharp. In addition, LoteTree offers salt glows, which are a recent obsession of mine. Their Dead Sea salt glow similarly combines a mix of sweet and sharp scents, sure to invigorate as it exfoliates.
For those who are less interested in bath and body products, LoteTree also offers natural vegan laundry soap. Jessica says that this product has been a popular one, which she attributes to more people becoming conscious of the need for natural cleaning products. The powdered laundry soap is lightly scented, so as to not make your clothing smell heavily of laundry detergent, and is made of natural products, safe for septic systems and regular water systems.
If you are in the Carbondale, Illinois, area, Jessica and her husband often sell at local craft fairs. They recently had their second child, so they may not be at as many craft fairs this fall as they have been at in the past, but those local to the area and all over the world can still find their wonderful soaps, bath and body products, and laundry soaps at their Etsy shop, LoteTree.
The Lote Tree
This article was originally published here.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
As many crafters know, those of us who have the crafty bug often can't help but alter the things we buy to our liking. In some cases, a crafter makes this his or her primary craft form--finding pre-made objects that can then be modified to make them more beautiful. Etsy seller Jodi Hughes of AkHotDoggies (Ak being short for Alaska) is one such crafter. Jodi finds pre-made textile items which she then hand-dyes or marbles, turning something ordinary into something truly extraordinary.
Jodi is originally from Chugiak, Alaska, but currently resides in Anchorage. She works from home in a very structured field, and uses crafting as an escape from the logic and order of her day job. Bringing creativity and originality into her world helps her to de-stress and calm herself while she works. Jodi has long enjoyed taking apart and re-creating purchased items, discovering that it allowed her to create what she was looking for out of reasonably priced components, rather than having to purchase expensive items. She began dyeing everything she could get her hands on, and eventually found a marbling kit. Though it took her some time to find the niche into which she best fit, she has found it now, and offers the results in her Etsy shop, AkHotDoggies.
AkHotDoggies offers a wide array of hand-dyed and marbled items. Some of the most common items are silk scarves, but Jodi has also dyed and marbled clothing for both men and women, and even a pair of sandals. These cloth-covered platform sandals have subtle coloring, but even that bit of marbled coloring makes them stand out from the ordinary. Jodi has also dyed and marbled other fabric accessories, particularly purses. One of these purses, a silk charmeuse bag, is particularly stunning in pink with purple and blue marbled swirls. Due to the nature of hand-dyeing and marbling, everything that Jodi offers at AkHotDoggies is one of a kind, so you can be sure that you will be the only person in the world to have the exact piece you choose from her Etsy shop.
Jodi is a very new seller on Etsy, but she has many plans to expand the offerings of AkHotDoggies. While she primarily has worked with textiles thus far, she plans to expand to other materials as well. She will be adding marbled paper in the near future, and hopes to have some success with non-textile items, though this is still in an experimental phase.
This article was originally published here.
Monday, September 10, 2007
When I was a kid, we had a dress-up box that we kept in the basement. It was mostly "hand-me-downs" and garage sale findings from our parents and one of our grandmothers, but it was a great box to have when we needed a costume, whether for Halloween or just dressing up for fun. Kids love getting all dressed up in their costumes, and Etsy seller Kayce Quevedo, the talented hands behind WorldOfWhimm, offers plenty of imaginative costumes and costume pieces, as well as plenty of items for babies--burp rags, bib sets, and blankets, among other things.
Kayce has two children of her own, so she knows just how much kids love to play imaginative games, often fueled by the costumes they have available. Her mother was also very crafty, so Kayce has had craft supplies around for as long as she can remember. Since the time that she and her husband arrived in Washington, and he bought her a sewing machine, Kayce has been creating baby items for her own family and for friends with babies. She opened her shop, WorldOfWhimm, on Etsy in July, and has been offering her baby items and costumes to a much wider audience since that time.
The bulk of the items at WorldOfWhimm are items for babies or very young children. Kayce creates well-coordinated sets of quilts, bibs, and burp rags, and she offers these in enough colors to appeal to nearly any tastes. Whether you or a friend are expecting a boy, a girl, or have opted to not learn the gender of the child until he or she is born, Kayce will likely have one of these sets that will work. In her "Sailing Away" quilt set, for example, shades of blue and red predominate, but the nautical theme could be used for a baby of either gender. Other sets are more gender specific, but the array of colors and themes available offers plenty of choices. The sizes of the sets also ranges from a quilt set, including all of the above mentioned items, to the bib sets and burp rag sets, which only include one or two of these items.
Of course, the things most likely to catch your attention at WorldOfWhimm are the costumes. Whether you are just looking for a crown for a simple dress-up item or a birthday child hat, or would prefer to find something that can be used for a full Halloween costume or dress-up costume, Kayce has a number of choices to fill your needs. The crowns are soft and flexible, made of fabric, and can fit children within a range of head circumferences. The costumes are adorable, with tiaras and tutus for little girls, or animal costumes for children of either gender. Each of the costumes Kayce makes is one of a kind, as she does not use patterns when she sews. The costumes are also sized in such a way that they can fit a range of children's sizes and ages, making them great for a family with more than one child who will want to wear the costume.
World of Whimm
Kayce's World of Whimm Blog
This article was originally published here.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
When you see a shop name like UglyBaby, you are almost compelled to look, to see why on earth someone would use a name like that. When you discover that this shop sells something called "Shower Art," few people can resist the urge to take a look. Etsy seller Rosalie capitalizes upon unique naming and product in her Etsy shop, UglyBaby.
Rosalie is a Seattle-area crafter who is involved in all sorts of interesting endeavors and projects. In addition to her Etsy shop Ugly Baby, she also runs a "trading experiment" called bARTer Sauce, where she takes unusual objects, which are sometimes artwork and sometimes just unusual, and offers them on her website to see what people will trade her for them. She started out with an old laptop, and currently has, among other things, a tombstone from 1867. She is also a comedian, and rides a folding bike. On the artistic side of things, she and her husband Doug create small pieces of artwork meant to be displayed in your shower.
The Shower Art at UglyBaby is waterproof art mounted to a suction cup, so that the art can really be displayed on any surface where a suction cup will stay stuck. All of the listings for UglyBaby Shower Art point out "we're not dictators," and say that you don't have to display your Shower Art in the shower. But the waterproof nature of Shower Art means that it is among the limited spectrum of art that you could enjoy while in the shower. Particularly for those of us who live in apartments, and don't get our choice of bathroom colors, shower art can be just the thing to liven up the bathroom.
Depending upon the specific piece of Shower Art you choose at UglyBaby, you may discover all sorts of interesting and funny objects embedded in the piece. Some of the pieces, like "Asian Pearl," simply have beautiful bits of shell, beads, and faux diamonds. Other pieces, like "Funny Kitty Cat," take a more whimsical approach and feature cartoon cats or other cute things. Some of the pieces are of a sort that you would display for all the world to see, while others might be the sort that you would take down when your mother is coming over--though that does depend entirely on your mother's sense of humor. Rosalie says that she really enjoys making Shower Art because she can create the artwork in layers, and then has to wait a few days before she can see the end result.
In addition to Shower Art, the UglyBaby shop also offers knitted brooches with skulls in the middle and Anarchy envelopes, which are made from magazine pages and then stamped with an anarchy symbol. She has plans to offer a line of tatertot cards soon. If you simply must have Shower Art, but want something very different, feel free to ask Rosalie. She once made a custom piece of Shower Art for a friend who had gotten his braces off--she put the braces into the Shower Art.
I Like Pretty
This article was originally published here.
Friday, September 7, 2007
Most adults have moments when they long for the innocence of childhood. With Etsy Seller ArtByNorm's paintings, children of all ages can enjoy the whimsy and innocence of youth through once again. The brilliant colors and recurring themes of ArtByNorm's paintings are a delight to look at, and they can be shared through ArtByNorm's prints on greeting cards.
Perhaps the best explanation of Norm is in ArtByNorm's own words: "Norm is trapped somewhere between the innocence of childhood and the seriousness of adulthood. Norm always remains the same while the world revolves around him. Norm is a smirk in a world of sighs..." In the case of this Etsy shop, Norm is both the artist and the purported subject of the artwork. The artist Norm has been creating art for quite some time, but has only been selling this artwork for about a year. ArtByNorm has been selling on Etsy for the last three months of that time, and also has artwork featured in other online and brick and mortar venues.
The character Norm, the subject of ArtByNorm's artwork, is a featureless figure, looking very much like a small sphere atop an oblong shape. The interest of each of the paintings, then, is more in the details of Norm's clothing or the setting. "Pretend" evokes the fun of childhood dress-up games, when a child can become anything or anyone he or she desires, at least with the right costuming. Norm's crown and cape, atop otherwise normal clothing, turn him into a prince or king, at least in the world of make-believe. In other paintings, he is dressed as a gypsy, a clown, or a superhero. In those paintings where the setting becomes the focus of the painting, Norm might be depicted at the beach or many other settings.
Though the original Norm paintings may be out of the price range of some art lovers, ArtByNorm also offers prints and printed greeting cards featuring the same artwork. The greeting cards, in particular, would be a lovely way to both enjoy depictions of Norm and also to share him with your friends and family--after all, no one says that you can't keep one of the cards for yourself!
If you're in the Seattle area, and would like to see ArtByNorm's prints in person, they can be found at the ArtsWest Theater & Gallery, 4711 California Ave SW, in West Seattle, through September of 2007.
ArtByNorm on Trunkt
This article was originally published here.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
I am always a fan of Etsy shops that showcase a wide variety of craft types. I myself dabble in a lot of different types of crafts, and it is always nice to see that I am not the only one. Etsy Seller DancingMooney is one of these Etsy sellers who I admire, particularly for the diversity of types of crafts that she sells in her shop. In her shop, you can find beaded jewelry items, sewn handbags, collage art, and more.
Janell, the crafter behind the Etsy shop DancingMooney, has been dabbling with various crafts for as long as she can remember, and has even been interested in selling her crafts since childhood. She says that as a child, she used to make paper coasters, colored with markers, and try to sell them to her grandmother's neighbors. As an young adult, however, she originally sold on eBay before moving to selling exclusively on Etsy a few months ago. She has a wide array of items available in her DancingMooney Etsy shop, which allows her to offer a wide array of prices to fit any budget.
The majority of the items in Janell's DancingMooney Etsy shop are jewelry pieces of one sort or another, though these are predominantly earrings. Janell is fond of making earrings, but has also branched out to necklaces and memory bracelets. Some of her earrings are very simple, with just a charm or a few beads dangling from the hook, but she also has a few more elaborate pairs of earrings. Her bracelets continue in the simple theme of her earrings, while the necklaces are typically elaborate pieces with charms or pendants surrounded by a strand of varied beads. DancingMooney also makes wine glass charms which use similar beads to those found in her jewelry offerings.
In addition to the jewelry offerings at DancingMooney, Janell also makes sewn handbags in bright and funky fabrics. Several of her handbags are large enough to use as a market bag or a bookbag, offering considerable versatility for those who purchase these handbags. For those looking for a small piece of artwork to adorn their home, Janell has this covered in her DancingMooney shop in the form of collage art. Whether you are looking for an ACEO to add to your collection, or a small framed collage to hang on the wall, Janell has several cute and colorful options to choose from.
This article was originally published here.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Many pet owners claim that they don't own their pets, but rather their pets own them. Most pets would generally agree with this sentiment, if they could speak. If you are looking for an item for your pet that lets everyone know who is the boss in your household, the Etsy shop Ethelcat, featuring items designed by Donn, offers a variety of hand-crafted pet feeders for both dogs and cats.
Donn is currently based in the Seattle area, but grew up in the Midwest, prior to becoming a traveling actor. While growing up on a farm, and also while traveling with theater companies, he learned how to use many carpentry tools and how to make interesting things with these tools. He later moved on to retail management, but retained his love for creating things. When he decided that he was in a rut, he reevaluated his life and decided to take some time off from the "real" world to focus on starting his own business. He has been selling online for a few months, and has been selling in his Etsy shop, Ethelcat, for just a bit less time.
Many of the pet feeders available in the Etsy shop Ethelcat feature mosaics of one variety or another. The "Retro Cat" collection involves brightly colored mosaic pieces, in shapes reminiscent of the 1950s and early 1960s. Donn also makes feeders inspired by the Art Deco style, and these are rendered in shades of black and white. His mosaics typically are constructed of pieces of granite, along with other stone pieces or ceramic pieces. All of the pet feeders available in the Etsy shop Ethelcat are both functional and stunning pieces of artwork in their own right. They would allow the discerning pet owner to have a feeding station for their pet or pets that can be a showpiece in their home as well.
Donn's latest project has been a series of pet feeders designed to look as though they were humans holding the bowl out for a pet. These "humans" are shown from a top down view, so the bowls still sit near the ground. The "characters" of this series include a waiter, a baker, and a maid. Though less elaborate than the mosiac pet feeders, this collection has an undeniable charm that is common to all of the collections available in the Etsy shop Ethelcat. Donn is also willing to work with a pet owner to create a custom pet feeder, whether the owner prefers a different color scheme or a likeness of their particular pet.
At Their Service
This article originally published here.
Monday, September 3, 2007
For those who have been anxiously awaiting the next Etsy Seller Profile, I thought I'd let you know how things are going on my end.
I'm actually completely caught up on the articles right now. I'm waiting on a response from one person before I submit the article on her shop, but I've finished all of the articles for people who have already submitted their answers. I've also submitted all but the above mentioned one to AC. Two of the articles have been approved and are awaiting publication, six more are awaiting approval.
In other words, I've got stuff lined up, just not quite ready to post here yet. So stay tuned, I'm hoping that things are going to get moving here very soon. I'm sure that Labor Day is the bulk of the reason why things have slowed down at AC.
In the meantime, if you've been thinking about sending in your answers, and haven't done so yet, now is the time to do it! I'm actually not backlogged at the moment!
And if you're interested in getting the questions in the first place, drop me a line at scarywhitegirl (at) gmail (dot) com, and I'll get those to you as soon as I can! Seeing as I usually have a window open for my E-mail at all times, except when I'm sleeping, it shouldn't take too long for me to get back to you! :)
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
(a.k.a. No, I did not buy glittery brown sugar...)
Since becoming a seller on Etsy, I've also been a regular buyer there as well. Most of what I've bought has been things that I can't make myself, or things that I think will make good gifts for my friends and family members. I've always been really pleased with the items that I bought for myself, and those I have sent things from Etsy have told me they were pleased as well.
Yesterday, though, I think I got the yummiest smelling package ever. I used to buy a lot of homemade soaps and lotions and things from people who were local to Carbondale (or nearby), but since I moved, and they don't sell online (!), I've had to look for other options. I also discovered not too long ago that I'm very fond of salt scrubs, and so I'm always looking for new ones to try.
So yeah, yummy smelling package! The package was from Bradli, and it included some soap samples and a salt scrub that I had ordered from her. Well, I opened that package up right away, and dove immediately for the salt scrub. I opened it, and realized that although it wasn't what I had been smelling, oh my goodness it smelled even BETTER than yummy smelling soap!
I don't know enough about soap making, scents, or essential oils to pinpoint exactly what smell I've fallen in love with, but I don't really care. This stuff smells amazing, and I can't wait to use it! (Unfortunately, I got a stupid paper cut on my finger last night, and thus didn't want to stick my hand into salt this morning. Sometimes, I am awake enough to make coherent decisions at 6 a.m. :) )
The soaps all smell delicious as well, I should point out. I got a sample pack, and didn't request any special scents. So far, I've tried kiwi (really nice and subtle, but still fruity smelling) and peppermint grapefruit (surprisingly good combination... I was leery at first on this one). I've got four more to try, which I'll probably save until the first two samples run out. One of them smells like pumpkin pie, so that one will definitely get used this fall! :)
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
While you can find plenty of shops on Etsy where the seller is very good at one specific art or craft, you can also find a good number where the seller has two or more distinct arts or crafts, and is very talented at both forms. Etsy Seller WireTree, also known as Beth Goss, is one of the latter category. While I was first drawn in to her Etsy shop by her gorgeous photography, I soon found myself looking at her jewelry selection as well. I almost never switch the pairs of earrings that I wear each day, but looking at some of the earrings available at WireTree is beginning to make me think differently about that choice.
Beth originally hails from New York, though she has lived in other parts of the United States before choosing to settle down in the Seattle area. Like many Etsy sellers, she has many other obligations and interests outside of her crafts. In her case, she had been interested in jewelry making for quite a while, but that hobby had fallen by the wayside as the rest of life got in the way. As Beth accumulated a large number of pieces of jewelry that she had made, she found Etsy and was delighted with the ease of setting up a shop there. Photography was another hobby, which she also discovered had a potential to sell well on Etsy, so she has been adding more of her photography to the shop as well.
My favorite thing about Beth's jewelry is the way in which she shapes the wire into little spirals and curlicues. Many of her earrings are very simple affairs, with just a single bead on each earring, but the spirals and curlicues draw your attention to the painstaking precision and elegance of each earring. She also uses this style on some of her necklaces, while others are more traditionally beaded strands. I also like the abstract designs of her pendants, again echoing the simplicity and elegance of the earrings--just a few beads sprinkled into the design, while the wire does most of the "talking."
Beth's photography similarly shares the simple elegance of her jewelry. Nearly all of her photographs are of natural scenes--trees, flowers, and beautiful sunsets are among her most common subjects. There is nothing elaborate to the scenes that she photographs, but the pictures come across beautifully. Matted and framed, these photographs would make an amazing addition to any room of the house.
If you fall in love with Beth's work, but want something just a little different from what she has available in her Etsy shop, she is happy to accept custom orders for jewelry. She is currently experimenting with some new sterling silver earring designs, so there will certainly be more new things to see at WireTree in the near future.