Sunday, September 21, 2008

Weekly Featured Artist 9/21-9/27

Q: Tell us a little about yourself...
I'm a stay at home mom with two AMAZING daughters who make me laugh every day, a supportive husband of almost 6 years, and I've been diagnosed with bipolar disorder since 2002. I started making jewelry as a form of therapy about 3 years ago, after having worked in the commercial jewelry industry for a couple of years. This "therapy" has become a passion in my life, and now, even a business venture. When I'm not wrapped up in family life or making jewelry, I magically find time to teach flute lessons, which is my other passion. I hope to be an example that individuals with bipolar can in fact lead functional lives full of hope and excitement, and accomplish more than they think is possible.

Q: How long have you been doing this?
Almost 3 years.

Q: Who/What inspires you?
My outstanding husband, who supports me in everything I do, and always catches me when I fall.

Q: What's your favorite piece?
It's actually a necklace I made for myself, after having a crazy, spontaneous vision of what I'd like to create. I don't yet have pictures of it up because it's not for sale, but I will be making one like it to sell in my shop. Its centerpiece is a black onyx donut with tassels of silver chain hanging from it, all adorned with 4mm and 6mm red Swarovski Crystals. On either side of the donut, large round white jades and smaller round black onyx are alternated about four inches up, where each side ends with ONLY the round side of a silver toggle, and threaded through each side is a red satin ribbon, which ties in the back. GORGEOUS!

Q: If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be & why?
I would like to meet my grandfather. I'm told he was much like my husband in life, in the way that everyone liked him, there was nothing he couldn't build or fix, and he had the most contagious laugh. Sounded like a great guy.

Q: If Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter dueled, who would win? Why?
I don't think I could pick! That's a really good question! I'd like to see that duel.

Sparkly Things By Bonnie Shop

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Weekly Featured Artist 9/14-9/20

Q: Tell us a little about yourself…
Oh my, what a can of worms you are opening - ha ha - let me see - I'm the nice round # 10 in a family of 13 kids. I met my husband at 15, married him at 18, had kids at 20 and 21 and have been happily married to him for 27 years. I have two grown daughters, both artistic, 25 and 24. I'm also a new grammy of a 6 week old granddaughter, Fiona, which is my pride and joy. I love animals, boating and snowmobiling!

Q: How long have you been doing this?
About two years - it all started when my daughter said "Mom I'm having a medieval wedding" and I'm like "What? I don't know anything about that!" and the story unfolds from there. After the wedding, I needed something to occupy my time. I love the thought of recycling so I started making things from old typewriters, dictionaries and here I am today!

Q: Who/What inspires you?
Actually junk inspires me - bolts, screws, old things - things that people throw away. It may take me awhile but I usually stare at something and then voila, the idea pops in my head.

Q: What's your favorite piece?
I think my favorite piece is my dictionary definition bracelet. The first one I made was actually for myself, the words all describe me as a Mom - strength, care, courage, devotion, love and family. I wore it to the store and a lady bought it right off of my wrist - that is when I thought "hey, I could do these for other people".

Q: If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be & why?
Anne Frank - I would love to hear her stories - I admire her strength and courage.

Q: If Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter dueled, who would win? Why?
Harry Potter - he would throw a spell on Luke and poof he'd be gone!

Luv4Sams Shop

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Weekly Featured Artist 9/7-9/13

Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm a thirty-something single mom of one. A while ago I made the decision that I would be a stay at home mom despite the challenges being the sole breadwinner made that. It's been a bumpy ride but my professional field (web development, general computer geekery) made it possible. Everyone needs a geek.
From there it wasn't too much of a stretch to get back into the artwork I loved so much on a part-time basis and that's just what I've done!

Q: How long have you been doing this?
I've been working with clay steadily for 10 years - what got me started was jewelry making and general bead love, about 15 years ago.

Q: Who/What inspires you?
I'm an easily inspired person! Nature is probably my dominant theme. I love fairy tales and myths and sometimes I try to make little scenes from them in individual, tiny beads.
As far as people, my family are pretty much all devoted fans and that really helps.

Q: What's your favorite piece?
I have two, neither of which I kept! Shame on me. One is a small artdoll who is done as a sunflower with a little face. I haven't made more of those, though I keep intending to. The other is a bowl done in Delft blue patterns, thousands of little slices of flowers. I gave this to my grandmother.

Q: If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be & why?
I am such an anti-celebrity person that I have no idea! I'd probably say I'd like to meet some of the friends I've made working online these last years. So far the ones I've met have all been fabulous and the adventures and friendships that resulted are valued parts of my life now.

Q: If Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter dueled, who would win? Why?
I'll go with Luke since that's my favourite story [in the] universe. And his name is cooler sounding.

tooaquarius' Shop

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Weekly Featured Artist 8/31-9/6

Q: Tell us a little about yourself…
I am a mother of a 28 year old son, have a 7 year old grandson and have been with my partner for 30 years! After working for a long time as a laborer I returned to college and became a correctional officer. I love to sew and quilt ...this has led to my opening my shop on Etsy...I do a lot of custom work and have my crafts in a number of craft shops on consignment. In the future, my dream is to have a shop of my own and craft full time!

Q: How long have you been doing this?

I started quilting when I became a correctional officer 13 years ago and that lead to sewing other items.

Q: Who/What inspires you?
Fabrics inspire me...I see something and right away I know what I want to do with it...I have so many projects lined up that I am sure I will never get done...but I am working on it!

Q: What's your favorite piece?
My favorite would be the blue sampler quilt I made for myself but never finished in time to use...I changed my room decor before I was done hand quilting. There is a picture of it on Flickr:

Q: If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be & why?
I am a country and western fan...I would love to meet Reba McEntire....”Is there life out there” was our theme song when I graduated from college!!

Q: If Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter dueled, who would win? Why?
No idea not watch tv or time ...I sew and chat on line to my Etsy friends!

Sewing Granny's Shop

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Weekly Featured Artist 8/24-8/30

Q: Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Kelly and I’m a craftaholic. Ok, maybe not so much a craftaholic, but I’m most certainly a paper addict. I’m a full-time stay-at-home mom to my gorgeous (and slightly nutty) 2-year-old daughter, Natalie. I also provide part-time childcare for my niece in my home, do a substantial amount of volunteer work for a political action committee, along with running Macaroni and Glue. So, yeah, I’ve got a bit on my plate. I grew up in Indiana, graduated from Indiana University with a degree in theatre & drama, and moved to Seattle immediately thereafter to act professionally for a while. Once I realized, inevitably, that in order to make acting cover my living expenses, I was going to be forced compromise my “artistic standards” a bit, I determined that I’d be happier with a real job. And I’ve pretty much been looking for a creative outlet ever since. My pre-child life included stints as a film/TV production assistant, an event planner, an editor, a model (bizarre experience…), and a variety of other fun-filled joblets before I finally settled into an 8-year career in the medical ethics field. About a year after leaving my corporate job to do the mommy thing, my family relocated to a suburb of Dallas, where housing prices are much more reasonable and there are an astonishing number of things for preschoolers to do.

Q: How long have you been doing this?

Macaroni and Glue was born out of a desire to save money in the card/gift category of our budget. I’ve been selling my designs for about a year now.

Q: Who/What inspires you?

I’m inspired by all things retro and girly. I love imagery that evokes a sense of nostalgia and the innocence of a time gone by. I adore simple, clean designs and love to blend modern design elements with vintage and vintage-inspired graphics.

Q: What's your favorite piece?

My favorite piece is probably my “Call Me” notecard. For whatever reason, I feel like I hit the nail on the head with that one. I love everything about it – the font, the cool retro text box, and that great vintage telephone graphic. And I love the idea of sending a card that says “call me” rather than just picking up the phone myself. Passive aggressive, you say? Nah, not me!

Q: If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be & why?

Hmmmmm….. Gosh, there are so many actors I admire, but I’m going to go with Robert Downey Jr. I think he’s possibly the most talented actor of our time, and such a complicated, intelligent guy. I’d love to just meet for coffee and try to figure out what makes him tick.

Q: If Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter dueled, who would win? Why?

Harry Potter. Hands down. Luke’s pathetic.

Macaroni & Glue Store

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Weekly Featured Artist 8/17-8/23

Q: Tell us a little about yourself.
A: I am a self-[taught] bag maker. I like a mix between retro and contemporary style and design, and my favorite fabrics to use are those I bought from Japan and Kauffman's. I am a mother of 2 (4.5 years and 2 years old), my home is in the beautiful Alp's ski resort, Crans-Montana, Switzerland. I approach my life as passionately as I do [my] work. I tried to balance the demands of my passion in bag making and my duty as mom and wife.

Q: How long have you been doing this?
A: I started to make bags about 7 months ago.

Q: Who/What inspires you?
A: I got most of my inspiration from the Japanese Street Fashion. I always [been] in love with the Japanese fabric design, and their street fashion design is just so unique. That's, what I always believe, makes my bags different from the others, most of the time.

Q: What's your favorite piece?
A: my favorite piece is my Fidela Bag. It's very retro style, and so different. I like the way people looking up on my Fidela Bag when I walking around with it.

Q: If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be & why?
A: I would like to meet my grandfather from my dad's side. I miss the way he always supported me during my rough times. I really missed cuddling around him like I used to before.

Q: If Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter dueled, who would win? Why?
A: Harry Potter, cause everything could be done by magic :)

NovitaJulien's Shop

Saturday, August 16, 2008

New in Store!!

Just in time for fall and cute to boot! We have candy corn, caramel apples and back to school. The latest accessory addition to our store is the glue-less korker bow pony-o's. All the cuteness of the originals, but now on a ponytail holder!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Weekly Featured Artist 8/3-8/9

Melanie's Crafts

Q: Tell us a little about yourself…
My name is Melanie. I am a stay at home mother of 2 children, ages 7 and 18m. This summer I have been married for 10 years. My family keeps me very busy. I have loved doing anything artistic since I can remember. I love to paint, draw, scrapbook, and to do many other crafty projects. I just recently painted prints to go with my friend's nursery bedding for a baby shower gift. My favorite items to make are my whimsical creations out of polymer clay.

Q: How long have you been doing this?
I started out making ornaments out of salt dough with my mom as a child. It was either my mom or my sister that suggested that I start using polymer clay. I loved it. I have been making ornaments & magnets for about 15 years now and started making beads a few months ago. I made daisies as favors for my wedding and have given many ornaments for years to all of my friends and family. I just started selling my products a few months ago.

Q: Who/What inspires you?
My family & friends are a big inspiration. Every time there is a new milestone I seem to create something new. I love creating things for weddings, birthdays, showers & holidays.

Q: What's your favorite piece?
I don't seem to have just one. I love them all for different reasons.

Q: If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be & why?
That's a tough one. I think I would like to meet my great grandmother on my father's side. She passed away the year I was born. My father grew up in her home and I would love to hear stories about my how my father and grandmother were as children. She was also a pioneer of her time, she received a degree Analytical Chemistry in 1920 from the University of Buffalo. She wanted to be an engineer, but in that day and age, they did not allow women into the engineering program.

Q: If Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter dueled, who would win? Why?
Ok, my husband says definitely Luke Skywalker. I personally don't like the fact that they are dueling, it makes me very uncomfortable. I really like them both. It's too hard to choose a winner, I think it's a tie. BTW, my husband thinks I am pathetic. :-)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Weekly Featured Artist 7/20-7/26

Q: Tell us a little about yourself…
I am a 23 year old wife (of almost 3 years) and mother to a one year old girl. I am a southern girl from North Carolina, and still live there today. I have been into crafts ever since I could pick up a glue stick and a crayon. As a child I entered many art contests and won some national ones. Now that I'm a mom drawing has since went out the window (because when do I have the time to draw). Now I concentrate on crafts that I can pick up here and there during nap times.

Q: How long have you been doing this?
I first learned to crochet at age 7. I quit for a long time and picked it back up at the age of 19. Needless to say, I had a lot of refreshing to do. I didn't have a lot of luck with craft shows so I started on Etsy. I have been an Etsy addict since September 2007. I've since been exploring all sorts of crafts depending on what mood I'm in that day.

Q: Who/What inspires you?
I can find inspiration from anywhere. But, I guess my main inspiration is my daughter. I try to make girly stuff that she will one day enjoy, which is odd because I'm definitely NOT a girly girl.

Q: What's your favorite piece?
My favorite item right now is my Blooms and Stripes Blanket. I worked on it off and on for 3 1/2 years so it's been a part of me for a while. I love the felt flower on it. I think it is beautiful yet hip. (See Image Below)

Q: If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be & why?
I would have to say Walt Disney. I just admire his imagination and his courage to follow his dreams. I go to Disney World a good bit, and it just leaves me in awe. To think one man started all that. He started a wonderful place where we all can be kids, where we all can believe in our dreams, and skip down Main Street hand in hand. I just love it.

Q: If Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter dueled, who would win? Why?
Harry Potter, just because I know more about him than any Star Wars character, haha.

EBSpider's Shop

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Big Business (Part 3)

What's the Plan, Stan?
Business plan, that is.

You've heard how important it is to come up with a business plan in the early stages, right? But why is it so important and what is it?
A business plan is a plan of action. Where you are, where you want to be and how you'll get there. Here are some tips and pointers in writing one...
  1. In once sentence describe what you do. Be as specific as possible so that when you tell someone, they aren't confused. "I sell clothing" isn't near as specific as "I hand paint clothing for adults and children."
  2. In detail, describe what you sell and what makes it special, or sets you apart from your competition. Is it more of a luxury, less expensive, custom, etc? Why buy from you?
  3. Who are your customers? It's important to really think about this one. Be very specific. Everyone can't be your customer, so who are you selling to? Senior citizens? Teenagers? Moms of twins? Where does your ideal customer usually shop/frequent? If you don't know where to find them, how will you market to them?
  4. Realistically look at your start up costs. Do you need a loan or are you fronting all of the money yourself? All of the little things can add up quickly, make sure you know what you're getting into before heading unknowingly into debt.
  5. Make sure to include copies of your Fictitious Name Statement and publication documentation.
Leave room for growth. It's a good idea to revisit your plan in a year to see if you're still on track or if you need to make any adjustments.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Weekly Featured Artist 7/13-7/19

Q: Tell us a little about yourself…
I'm a stay at home mum of two - my six month old Milla and my 7 year old step daughter Felicity; and couldn't think of anything better in the world.
My week is a full one - I have Felicity 4 days of the week running her play-based therapy for her autism and the rest of the week I juggle Milla and Giggleberry. I love to be busy and get in and get things done.
I have a store on Etsy, selling pre made or custom ordered bunting sets for kids room, nurseries, cubbies, play rooms, parties, baby gifts, craft show tents… anything really!
Q: How long have you been doing this?
I have always loved creating things, and love the 'handmade factor' of gifts, so I started Giggleberry Creations in April 2008 and have loved every minute.

Q: Who/What inspires you?
Forever. I have longed to be a mum - a fun mum - just like my mum was, and still is - I hope I've still got the spark for life she manages to ooze day in and day out for her husband, children, grandchildren, extended family and friends - definitely an inspiration.
In regards to my Giggleberry products - anything unique and different has my full attention and I love to create one-of-a-kind items for that very reason!

Q: What's your favorite piece?
My favorite item is a little bit biased. My mum handmade all her grandchildren a cot quilt - unique for them, so when she made one for my daughter I requested the leftover fabric and created a set of pennant strings with the fabric. They hang above the very cot that the quilt is in!

Q: If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be & why?
I'd love to meet Julie Andrews. I LOVED Mary Poppins as a girl and was a nanny for 4 years from that love. I'm sure she would have many amazing stories to tell.

Q: If Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter dueled, who would win? Why?
Much to my hubby's amazement, and disappointment, I have never seen any Star Wars movies so I'd have to vote for Harry Potter in this one - fingers crossed - I have heard Luke is pretty clever! LOL.

Giggleberry's Shop

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Weekly Featured Artist 7/6-7/12

Q: Tell us a little about yourself…
My name is Marisa Hopkins and I'm an at home mom who loves to dabble in illustration with the dream of becoming a children's book writer and illustrator. I have a deeply rooted love for colored pencils, which goes back to my childhood packs upon packs of crayolas. While my colored pencils are all grown up, my illustrations remain young and fun, and are filled with bold and bright colors. I'm an Aquarius who loves Italian food (especially pastas slathered in cream sauces), British films and novels, and long walks on the beach.

Q: How long have you been doing this?
I have wanted to be a professional illustrator since my mom used to tuck me in bed at night with my favorite children's books. As for selling my work, I began doing that about six years ago, but took a break while I finished college, got married and had two children. I opened my shop on Etsy in mid-January of this year, and I have been having a great time selling ever since.

Q: Who/What inspires you?
The person who inspires me the most is my friend and fantastic watercolor artist, Brian Nishimoto. I had the pleasure of discovering his artwork at a local show several years ago. When he invited me to join him as his painting companion, I was over the moon. We painted together for a year and I learned so much from him. We no longer live in the same state, but we keep in touch through emails and continue to critique and inspire each other. I don't think I would have had the courage to open up Elegant Snobbery if it wasn't for him.

Q: What's your favorite piece?
Every piece I work on is my new favorite. When my current illustration is done, I'll put it in my portfolio and begin my next favorite.

Q: If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be & why?
If I could meet anyone, living or dead, I'd choose Jane Austen. I am a huge Austen fan and a lover of Regency England in general, so meeting her would fulfill several dreams of mine (providing that I travel back in time to meet her, rather than have her pop round my apartment). I wouldn't feel the need to ask her anything or pick her brain... I'd just love to spend an afternoon chatting over tea and finger sandwiches.

Q: If Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter dueled, who would win? Why?
I love stories featuring witches, wizards, and magic. Not a big fan of science fiction or outer space. Naturally, I'll be rooting for young Harry. However, the protection that Harry's mother gave him when she died was supposed to protect him from Lord Voldemort, not Luke Skywalker. With the force on Luke's side, it might be inevitable that he would win. I'd still root for Harry though. I thought Luke had a wimpy personality.

Elegant Snobbery's Shop
Elegant Snobbery's Blog

Big Business (Part 2)

What the heck is a trademark?
and other legalities...

Ah yes, the boring side of business, otherwise known as "the I'll get to it later" stuff. However, the longer you procrastinate, the more likely you'll end up hurting yourself. For instance, did you know that once you come up with your oh-s0-brilliant company name, it's up for grabs to anyone until you file a "Fictitious Name Statement" otherwise known to the government, as a DBA (Doing Business As)? After you've selected your name, you need to head on down to the county clerk's office and search through their list of names on record. Once you're in the clear, go ahead and register the name for $10-$15. Then, you still need to have your dba name published in a recognized periodical. Go with a local newspaper for cost effectiveness.

When do I need the following?...
Trademark: you need one for your logo. This prohibits others from using any likeness to it, including colors, style and verbiage.
Copyright: for use if you're an author of literature, music, drama or other works that can be published.
Patent: for use if you've invented something tangible or a process. These can take YEARS to secure. Once the paperwork is filed, you can label as "patent pending."

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Weekly Featured Artist 6/29-7/5

Q: Tell us a little about yourself…
We’re Dinner Time Chimes (a.k.a. Gavin & Erin) from eastern North Carolina. We've been married for almost two years and enjoy helping on his family farm. He loves hunt and fish. I enjoy gardening, crafting, and joining him on fishing trips to his grandparents’ pond. We absolutely love living a simple life in this rural area of the state.

Q: How long have you been doing this?
I (Erin) started making the windchimes with my dad when I was in high school to have extra spending money and to have a reason to spend more time together with dad. It also gave me something else to search for at flea markets, yard sales, & estate auctions. The chimes sold like crazy since they made a unique, inexpensive gift. However, once I went to college & started my career I didn’t have any way to make the chimes. Recently I convinced my husband to buy a drill press for his shop. He was quickly introduced into the crazy world of silverplate silverware searches & making chimes--& the rest is history! We opened the Etsy shop in July of 2007 on a whim, as another way to market the chimes.

Q: Who/What inspires you?

We love making things for the garden, and enjoy spending time outside in ours. Most of the inspiration probably comes from a friend or family member holding something up at a thrift store and asking "What could you make out of this!?" Even though they find our creations unusual, they will admit that it’s neat how we’ve transformed one person’s trash into something even they would like to receive as a gift!

Q: What's your favorite piece?
Our bird house created from work boots continues to generate the most views in our Etsy shop and turn heads at craft shows. The bird houses have been created from old boots collected from friends and purchased at thrift stores. Even the wood is recycled, since the lumber is from demolished barns. The bird houses are a unique and instantly create a feeling of excitement with shoppers, and we love seeing that happen.

Q: If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be & why?
I (Erin) would choose President Franklin D. Roosevelt. I would love to be able to listen to all the stories that he must have about his life and works.

Q: If Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter dueled, who would win? Why?
We'd put our money on Harry Potter--he has a lot more magical powers, but even so it wouldn't be a quick duel.

Dinnertime Chimes Etsy Shop

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Weekly Featured Artist 6/22-6/28

Q: Tell us a little about yourself…
I am an artist, working in multiple disciplines such as theater as an actress-director-playwright-choreographer, as a sculptor and a glass artist, costume and mask designer and model maker. I am involved in every facet of production for my theater company “TeatroNuestro” of which I am President.
I studied acting in my native Chile, Photography in Munich, Germany, Music Theater and Dance at “Steps” in New York and Jazz at Broadway Dance Center.
As a playwright my work has been performed in Pappenheim, Germany, at Florida International University in Miami as well as at the Digital Worlds Institute at the University of Florida, Gainesville, where I wrote, choreographed and acted in an international collaborative piece with Chile.
My unique designs reflect my multicultural background, attention to detail and the craftsmanship derived from my costume and theater work.

Q: How long have you been doing this?
I have been involved in art as far as I can remember. We used to live in the most remote area of the continent, the southernmost tip of Chile, facing the South Pole! So we had long winter nights and I think that drove me to explore inside of me and express all my dreams through art.

Q: Who/What inspires you?
Everything that it is and I have around me. Nature, dreams, my lovely husband and daughter who are incredibly patient with my craziness, good and bad moments (which I chose to turn into art instead of depressionJ), music, magazines, books, stories I hear, etc, etc.

Q: What’s your favorite piece?
The one I am working on of course, all the time. I get very excited about new discoveries, techniques and materials as I create. Of the current purses on the shop I really like Rosebud [featured below] for its elegance and vintage feel. I also love my lapis lazuli pieces [featured below] and my casual, happy floppy bags!

Q: If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be & why?
Kandinsky for sure. He had an incredibly beautiful vision working in the hardest of times. I would love to have one of his paintings! LOL! I used to stare for hours at his work when I lived in Germany or went to visit the Pompidou.

Q: If Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter dueled, who would win? Why?
Harry of course, Lukewarm had some potential but then it just fizzled out and became plain boring, losing focus. Harry has the passion.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Big Business

"You're not the boss of me!!!"

Aside from loving the movie from the 80's (Bette Midler is fabulous!), I'm starting a series of posts as I start reading a book about becoming my own boss and taking an online course for starting my own business. I'm hoping it will not only be educational for me, but you may take something away from it too. Knowledge is power, so let's go power trippin'! :o)

The book I am reading is called "The Boss of You" by Lauren Bacon and Emira Mears. Throughout the book are small exercises that will help you formulate a business plan (where you want to go, how to get there, measures of success, etc). It's geared toward the female entrepreneur and it focuses on starting and running a small business as opposed to a large scale operation. This is me and if it's you, you may find this book helpful also. I borrowed it from the library (hello, I'm not making any money yet. :oP ) so you may want to check your local library as a resource. Unless you live in Washington County, OR, because I want to keep my copy for a while. :oP

First Chapter Exercises... (you may want to answer these for yourself)

"What's my business goal?"
I would like to be able to work from home and make a small income so I feel like I'm contributing to our household income and enjoy what I'm doing at the same time. No more micro-managing accounting biotches or catty co-workers who have nothing better to do that talk smack on everyone else. Imagine how much more work they'd get done if they shut their yappers for five minutes? But I digress..... :oP I want to love my boss and look forward to work every day. Life's too short to do something you hate for someone you like even less.

"Personal Measures of Success..."
I enjoy what I do and the workload is manageable. One sale a day would be ideal. I look forward to work and the things I create are enjoyed by my customers who will hopefully be back.

"Skills, Strengths and Passions..."
I'm best at designing and creating. I don't enjoy it, but I can manage the books (lots of experience there). I'm really bad at promoting and marketing. I'm not a big phone person either and prefer all correspondence through email, so it looks like I need a secretary.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Weekly Featured Artist 6/15-6/21

Q: Tell us a little about yourself…
I always end up back in to the art world! I am mostly a self taught artist. I attended college for art and took many art classes. For what I am doing I have learned greatly on my own. So I look at the whole thing as a constant learning experience. I am married now for 20 years with no children. However we have a dog (we rent the house from her)! who may as well be our child! Sadly she has a better life than some people. I am an avid gardener when there is time. I like to think of it as a reflection of my art and good therapy. I was lucky enough to put the "corporate" world behind and devote my time to my mosaics. Sometimes I get obsessed with it but I can honestly say that I am truly happy with what I do. How many people are lucky enough to say that?

Q: How long have you been doing this?
4 years- 3 years officially as a business. I started making mosaic gazing balls out of bowling balls when my sister asked if I could put tile on a mirror. EUREKA 1 A light bulb appears from above and here I am!

Q: Who/What inspires you?
My mom and dad. My dad because even though he died at a young age he taught me a strong work ethic. My mom had 2 strokes and even through all of that she had a great attitude and woke up every day and was thankful for what she had and the world around her. To me, it truly was a gift to be given such inspirational parents -- each in their own way. Q: What's your favorite piece?
Hard question- 2 answers. Quite possibly that might have to be my tea light swirl. That piece looks so nice when the candles are lit and the light reflects off of the tiles. It doesn't matter what colors I create it in but it just seems to turn out just right. My other answer is any custom piece. Nothing brings me more joy than to see the expression on someone's face when I show them what they ordered. It's nice to bring some happiness into someone's life.

Q: If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be & why?
If I were to meet someone from the art world my first gut reaction would be Monet. I have studied him so much that I feel that I already know him. I would [also] go with Picasso his work is so off the wall, so I would love to know what went on in his mind.

Q: If Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter dueled, who would win? Why?
Not to be too diplomatic - I would have to say it would be a draw. Both are such iconic characters from this century, in their own way, they both were on a quest to fight evil and overcome adversity. Basically the world depended on them. So my hope is that they both survive.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Weekly Featured Artist 6/8-6/14

Q: Tell us a little about yourself…
I'm Jen Ell, the creator of Jen Ell's Revenge. I've been cutting, sewing, destroying, creating and painting my own clothing and jewelry for years. I don't necessarily have one particular style since I tend to just create whatever comes to mind, so you never really know what you're going to get. I have fairly decent art, photography and graphic design background so all of that typically comes to play in my work. I am always up for a challenge, so custom orders are welcome. Don't be afraid to contact me and see what I can whip up!

Q: How long have you been doing this?
I've been creating stuff for myself and friends for over 10 years, but I just started selling a few months ago.

Q: Who/What inspires you?
I'm not inspired by any one thing. I love pin-up, rockabilly, punk, retro, vintage, Middle Eastern inspired designs and art work (Buddha & other gods) and anything else that I just find interesting or pretty. I also am a big fan of anything funny, sarcastic, scandalous or controversial.

Q: If Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter dueled, who would win? Why?
Harry Potter...Magic...Duh!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Weekly Featured Artist 6/1-6/7

Q: Tell us a little about yourself…
My name is Jamie. I'm an illustrator/artist and jewelry maker. I love anything miniature and I also LOVE food. So I think it was onlynatural that I would combine the two. My favorite medium to work with is polymer clay. It's so versatile and great for making teeny tiny things. I graduated from Rowan University in 2006 and have been looking looking looking for a job since. But I've found that I have a lot more fun working on my jewelry and little art pieces. I started by selling my things on Etsy, but I hope to one day get my own website up and running. If anything, to at least showcase my portfolio.

Q: How long have you been doing this?
I've been selling my jewelry on Etsy since February 2006, but I've been creating forever! If I wasn't making something for homework or class during high school and college I was using my spare time to make other crafty things and brainstorm new ideas. I feel kind of guilty when I'm not in the midst of creating something. Like I'm wasting precious time!

Q: Who/What inspires you?
So much inspires me. I have to try to keep a sketchbook and pencil at arm's reach at all times in case something flies through my head out of nowhere. Bright colors, art deco, bold patterns, Japanese culture and foods are all inspiring to me. But everyday things are inspiring too. Like right now I'm looking at my roommate's bangs and the shape they're making is perfect for one of my Lil Dumplin creations. I have to remember that for later…

Q: What's your favorite piece?
Right now my favorite piece (…or pieces) are my Lil Dumplin line. I've been brainstorming for a while now a really cute line of little figurines. They're made of polymer clay that I sand smooth and hand paint. They kind of resemble Russian stacking dolls. And of course they feature miniature food on top of their heads. It's great because they're so customizable and also fun to make. They put a smile on my face.

Q: If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be & why?
This might sound silly, but I wish I could meet my cat Anais I used to have when I was in high school. She had thyroid disease and I had to give her medicine every day. The selfish teenager I was, I treated it like a burden, but it kept her healthy. One day she disappeared and a week later my mom found her under a bush at the edge of the road. She must have gotten hit by a car. I feel like I never got any closure. I want her to know I'm sorry for being so insensitive and that I love her.

Q: If Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter dueled, who would win? Why?
My boyfriend will yell at me for this, but I'd have to say Harry Potter. While I do believe it would be a formidable match, I kind of like the Harry Potter movies more, so that's what sways me. Again, shh, my boyfriend can't know.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Weekly Featured Artist 5/25 - 5/31

Q: Tell us a little about yourself…
My name is Jenny Lee, and I love what I do. I wake up every day excited to go to work. My studio is at home with my two boys, and yes, they like to help their mom. My earliest memories of dabbling in jewelry was with my cousin Tanya, we were about eight. Stumbling upon her jewelry box of vintage treasures, we layered on every last piece. Looking desperately for earrings, we managed to stick chandelier crystals threw our ears...ouch! Feeling our prettiest we took her wine goblets out of the china hutch and filled them with water (fine wine in our minds). You would think my grandma would be upset, but she just smiled.

Q: How long have you been doing this?
I have been designing jewelry for almost eight years now, wow!

Q: Who/What inspires you?
I'm inspired mostly by the gemstones, I go to bed dreaming of new ways to arrange them.
Nature also inspires me, I remember just floating in the Caribbean and feeling like I was surrounded by a million gems; that was heavenly.

Q: What's your favorite piece?
My favorite piece is currently the "Chloe hoop earring" I wear mine almost every day.

Q: If Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter dueled, who would win? Why?
Luke Skywalker would win, because he used to be my boyfriend. I carried a picture of him around with me in my purse everywhere I went, when I was five.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

National Treasure or How to Snag an Etsy Treasury :o)

I can't break with my movie title theme. :o)
Anyway, I created a thread on Etsy for how to snag a treasury, and included the three links you'll need to do it....
Etsy Forum Thread for Snagging a Treasury

Here is a synopsis...
  1. Find out when the treasuries will open again. You do this by sorting by expiration and counting backward until you find treasury number 333. (Main Treasury Link) When this one expires, they will open. There are 20 treasuries per page, so if the total number of treasuries is 433, count back five pages, and once the last treasury on that page expires, they will open again.
  2. Create a poster sketch. Here's the link (Poster Sketch Link). Pick a theme, find your items, and copy and paste the listing id into the poster sketch. You can arrange listings by clicking and dragging. You have 12 main listings and 4 alternates (you're the only one who can see these).
  3. A half hour before the treasuries open, it's best to watch the screen. People will expire theirs early in order to snag another one. So there may be less time than you think before they open again. A box will appear at the bottom of the screen for entering your treasury title. It's best to already have your title copied so that all you have to do is (control v) paste it and click the "create" button. You have to be fast, you're not the only one who's waiting to snag one.
  4. Now that you have one, open your poster sketch in a separate tab and copy and paste the listing ids into your live treasury.
  5. Voila, you are now an addict. :o)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Weekly Featured Artist 5/18 - 5/24

Q: Tell us a little about yourself…
My name is Maartje, but I usually go by Tizz. I'm a 25 years old crafty girl from Holland. I love all kinds of crafts (sewing, making jewelry, paper crafts,...), but concentrate on making jewelry & accessories most. I am a Blythe addict, and a Hanson (yes!) fan, and aside from crafting I love: photography, shopping, web design, reading, movies, cooking,... I'm also dying to learn how to knit and crochet, but I can't say I'm very successful yet!

Q: How long have you been doing this? My mom taught me how to sew when I was very little (I have a very cute picture of this in my blog!), I must have been around 7 or 8. I wasn't allowed to use the pedal though, I could only turn the wheel! As for making jewelry, I have done that basically all my life too. I remember making earrings out of water balloons when I was little! (Without water, mind you ;)) But I started making things in the style I do now about 4 years ago.

Q: Who/What inspires you?
I love anything from the 50s and 60s, so I could say that has an influence on my work. Aside from that: Anything! When I see something in a shop I automatically wonder if I could turn it into something nice. Being on Etsy also inspired me to try out more different crafts.

Q: What's your favorite piece?
I really love [my “Trouble at the Casino”] necklace, and I started a whole new thing yesterday, which I'm pretty excited about! It's this little piece of art collage [OOAK Miniature Doll House Wall Art for Blythe, Barbie, Pullip, etc].

Q: If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be & why?
Taylor Hanson! This isn't a very artsy answer, but I can't help the Hanson obsession!

Q: If Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter dueled, who would win? Why?
Harry Potter! He must have more energy, because he managed to entertain me through 7 books and 5 movies, while Luke Skywalker was an instant sleep inducer when I watched Star Wars with my ex one day.

For more information on Tizzalicious, please visit...
Etsy Shop

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Crying Game

After I had my first child, I brought her home and realized I'd forgotten to pick up the how-to instruction manual from the hospital. Ack! What the heck am I supposed to do with this "thing?" Especially when it's crying and can't tell me what's wrong! Am I allowed to muzzle it? Do they make those dog barker things for baby cries?
Some days, I was at my wits end and just had to walk away for a moment to keep my sanity. So I decided to write down an A-Z list to baby cries. It's too hard to think clearly when you're listening to the wailing screams of a banshee, so here is a list that may help you determine what's "wrong" when you can't seem to pinpoint the problem. These are just some reasons/solutions. Hopefully you'll find some of them useful. Just remember, attitude is everything. Your baby can sense stress, so try to stay positive. :o)

(stay positive)
burp the baby
constipated, colic
diaper change
(create a calmer setting)
feed the baby
heartburn, headache
(change activity)
just needs to be held
keep calm
(baby can sense stress)
lay on tummy
needs attention
(feels alone)
position change
quiet, too noisy
(check for diaper and heat rashes)
verify diaper is not too tight
(baby may be cold)
eXamine for scratches/redness
(may be hurt)
you've tried everything...
zilch, baby may need to cry and that's okay

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Stick It

Quite the unassuming box. It just sits on the top of the toilet in my bathroom. Those handy dandy daily lightday pads.
While I was in the shower today, my three year old ventured into the bathroom to say "Hi." She played around with some things on the counter and then left to continue watching Elmo. No big deal.

My daughter is not fully potty trained yet, so she still sleeps with a pull-up at nighttime and bedtime. As I was getting her ready for her nap, I noticed what looked like tissue between her legs. Uh oh. She had taken one of Mommy's lightdays and stuck it on... backwards. I had a good giggle, but my daughter wasn't too thrilled with the ouch factor. Good thing baby oil is such a life saver in sticky situations.

While this isn't my kid (thank goodness, can't imagine the ouch factor there), I was reminded of this picture and of the silly things that kids do. I'm willing to bet, she doesn't do it again. :oP

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Weekly Featured Artist 5/11 - 5/17

Q: Tell us a little about yourself…
I design and create jewelry, which I'm primarily selling o
n Etsy right now. I also do some other art/craft-work, such as photography, painting, knitting, but jewelry is my main focus. My alter ego is currently a graduate student studying geoscience, and is interested in planetary geomorphology (studying landforms on planets). Recently moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky a few months ago, and before that I grew up in lived in Indiana.

Q: How long have you been doing
Since I was a child I've been experimenting and learning different forms of art. I tried
making prints with ink, I taught myself how to use oil paints, and fell in love with pastels. Then I stumbled upon beadwork at a Native American art market, and I've been making jewelry ever since!

Q: Who/What inspires you?
Many things, though I suppose I get a lot of my inspiration from nature. I've always been one who was m
ore intuned with the natural world even as a child, and I think that has carried over into my work. Learning about geology has only enhanced this and made my appreciation of the natural world greater.

Q: What's your favorite piece?
My favorite piece is a choker that I made with a piece of coral from my
mother, which I wire wrapped pearls on. She's collected a lot of shells and coral her whole life, and I found this little piece in the bottom of a box. So I 'snuck' it away and created that necklace. Once I was done I found I couldn't part with it and kept it in my personal collection.

Q: If you could meet any
one living or dead, who would it be & why?
Da Vinci, because he was simply brilliant in art, science, engineering
- I don't think there has really be anyone else like him in our recorded history. Plus, he was a true renaissance man, and often I've felt like a 'renaissance woman' that has been somewhat misplaced.

Q: If Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter dueled, who would win? Why?
Alas, neither. Snape would come in and stun them both silly ;)

Friday, May 9, 2008

Bring It On

Spring that is. I realize spring officially sprung back in March, however, my dogwood doesn't "come to life" until May. It's my reason for springin'. When we moved in, our lawn used to go all the way down to the sidewalk, and our grafted dogwood sat in the middle of it. My husband kept trying to convince me to get rid of the tree because it looked funny in the lawn, but come on now, how many grafted dogwoods are there?! You either get pink or white blossoms and we have both.
We put in a retaining wall and cut back the lawn, now the tree is a focal point. I just wanted to share my lovely before the blooms are gone again until next year.
It's also a gorgeous day today, so I'm sharing the sunshine too! :o)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Weekly Featured Artist 5/4 - 5/10

Q: Tell us a little about yourself…

My name is Brigette, and I'm a college student studying zoology. I've always been fascinated by the "creepy crawly" type creatures that most people are afraid of. On warm summer days you can find me in my backyard with my butterfly net poking around at nature. I've also always been artistic, playing around with any medium I can get my hands on. I go through phases, meaning my apartment is cluttered with so many supplies that I'll never get bored.

Q: How long have you been doing this?

My grandma taught me how to sew when I was quite young. I was fascinated with it (secretly though, since I was a tomboy and sewing was a girly thing to do). One I reached my teens, she gave me her 1947 Singer, and I love that machine to pieces. I started fooling around by making little purses and altering my clothes. I didn't start seriously making plushies until last year, and I haven't been able to stop.

Q: Who/What inspires you?

My grandparents were my initial inspiration to start sewing. As a child I would always get clothing made by them, and my grandpa still helps me with clothing repairs I can't handle on my own. As far as my plushies, my monsters were inspired by the ugliest toy in the world. I've had it since I was a baby, it's a giant "couch potato" with a pocket for tv remotes. I liked the idea, and started making some monsters with pockets in my own style. I prefer making smaller ones because they're quicker. And the other animals are inspired by classes I take, or simply creatures I find interesting.

Q: What's your favorite piece?

It's nearly impossible to choose! I'd say my favorite pieces are my three insect plushies so far, the mosquito larvae, adult mosquito, and dragonfly nymph. For all of them I've really had to push my limits and creativity. I'm hoping to make many more insects in the future!

Q: If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be & why?

Freddie Mercury. I would have him sing for me, his voice was so lovely, I wish I could hear it in person!

Q: If Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter dueled, who would win? Why?

Hmmm. The force vs. magic. While I'm a huge Star Wars fan, Luke always struck me as a bit of a whiney boy (I much prefer Hans Solo). I think Harry Potter would win, because he always wins, he's tough.

To see more of Weird Bug Lady's work, click on the links below...


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