Monday, December 31, 2007

Another "Red" Piece

Here's my other entry for the "Red" challenge. I decided to do two smaller, simpler pieces as I've been busy with so many other things and I didn't want to miss out on the challenge. It also gives more variety in that it's not all jewelry in the challenge. We've decided there are as many styles and types of entries as there are beadweavers!

Cut off for entries is Jan. 5th at midnight and the voting will begin shortly thereafter. So, if you want to enter or to vote, be sure to see our blog at Etsy Beadweavers Blog.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Etsy Beadweavers' "Red" Challenge

This is one of my entries for this challenge. I've used three different red seed beads and three different beading techniques (peyote, right-angle weave and picot). The challenge deadline is less than a week away (Jan. 5th). Check out all the entries by entering "EBWC" into the search box on Etsy. Please come and vote at our blog and pick your favorite "Red" piece! There are already many gorgeous pieces to choose from!

Oh and here are the earrings I made to go with the "Colors in the Shadows" necklace. I keep forgetting to post them!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

What Are You Worth?

There is much debate in the Etsy forums (as there usually is) about pricing and whether or not you should raise prices as one person puts it "for ego reasons". Well, I've been doing a lot of thinking about pricing and have actually had several people tell me that my beadwoven pieces are priced too low and that I don't value my time or talent. At this point, I have only been "paying myself" less than minimum wage for my time. Beadweaving is time intensive and since my pieces are original, there is also the time it takes to create the pattern. There is a fine line. I don't want to raise my prices to the point that people will pass them by as too expensive, but what is too much and what is it worth? The pat answer is that you should price to what the market will bear. Since beadweaving is a small segment of jewelry making, who's to know what the market will bear? This is my debate at the moment. What is your time and talent worth? Will someone be willing to pay it or are you pricing yourself out of sales? What are you worth? What are you willing to pay?

Zaja Natural Handmade Confections

We make:

Whipped Shea Butters
Cold Processed Handmade Soaps
Hot Processed Body Washes
Body Butters
Perfumes and Colognes
Skin Care Products that promote clear healthy skin!

And so much more. Be sure to bookmark my Etsy store, and visit for more updates and information.

If there is a fragrance on the market that you are looking for but I do not have listed, I can order it in for you on any request of $30 or more for that fragrance. I can also list multiple items for you in one quick item.

You can reach my 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at I ship anywhere in the world. I ask for 7 working days to create, pack and ship your order. This also gives you time to have the opportunity to add to your order and for me to combine shipping on your items.

I go to school full time (senior in college.) I am a mother of 2, married to a wonderful heartthrob of a man who puts up with my 8 hours of whipping, slicing and dicing up everything except food (he's the cook in this house, thank goodness or we would all go hungry or attempt to eat whipped shea butter and slices of soap on crackers.)

I sell on 4 different venues online, which equates to over a hundred packages or more a week that need to go out the door. Its a lot of juggling trying to keep everyone happy, but I promise to always try. I pack all orders during the weekend and make one day a week my shipping day. Otherwise everything else including school, family, and other business aspects etc get neglected and I crash and nothing gets accomplished.

As much as I wish I could have an assembly line of robots packing orders and printing shipping labels 24 hours a day, that just is not possible. These 2 hands of mine do it all, right from the beginning, I do not use bases, melt and pour soap bases, or lotions and body washes that come in huge 50 pound buckets. I am not knocking those who do, but I personally choose not to. There is just a certain level of joy in being able to take basic ingredients and turning them into something totally different. I guess its the chemist in me. I make it all from scratch, which takes time and a lot of patience, but I love being able to provide you with quality products made with my love and carefully thought out, tried, and tested recipes, because you deserve only the best for your skin.

Due to the nature of my products, I do not accept returns as items do have to be thrown away since they cannot be resold. If you have a problem with something that you receive, please let me know so that we can work something out.

I am not all about pretty packaging or cute pink boxes with polka dots, etc etc. I try to recycle supplies as best I can to help the environment. My labeling is simple, elegant, and attractive. The color cartridge on my printer is not my friend, so I try to not use it often. Who wants to spend $50 a week to spend on ink cartridges and toners?! I do not often send business cards, rather I prefer to print out a small note on recycled paper. I would much rather put the money I could be spending on super cute packaging into more ingredients for my products, and in turn be able to offer you more items.

I am addicted to smelling good, which is why I have so many fragrances in stock. There is an entire room here devoted to just my fragrance and essential oils, and we are looking to expand soon to make room for more. My family has been in the fragrance industry for over 20 years, so I have access to so many fragrances and so many sources, so if you are looking for something in particular, you have come to the right place.

Enjoy your stay here at ZAJA, and please feel free to ask any questions that you may have. I am so happy that you have discovered my shop, and I hope that you find great products here that you will want to try out!

Etsy Shop: Zaja Natural Handmade Confections
Blog: Zaja Natural Blog

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Shannon Saylor - SDS Designs

I'm just a country gal that beading. Just as jewelry should flow with the person. Beads are my way of expressing my creativity and I love both the designing process and the making of the jewelry itself. It flows from me when the creativity starts and I hope like my creations.

I'm a crafter from my family. It runs in the genes. I love to work with glass beads and wire. Toggle latches are my favorite as they are easier to clasp.

My Blog on Blogger is

I'm in my mid 3-'s, living in SW VA in the mountain's with my husband, 4 cats and 1 dog. I am an animal lover as you might can tell (husband included LOL).

Etsy Shop: Shannon Saylor SDS Designs
Blog: Shannon Saylor Blog

Sunday, December 23, 2007


I'm an engineering student in Missouri. I like to use tools, to make things, and to play with beautiful colors. I also love to procrastinate my studies, and I've found that making jewelry is a great way to relieve stress while putting off my homework just a little while longer!

If you would like something in my shop in a different color or length, please contact me. I can also split up sets on request. Check out my sold items for more things that I can make for a custom order.

All earrings are pristine (never been worn).

If you are disappointed by an item you buy, let me know and we'll work something out. I want my customers to be satisfied.

I have a cute little spoiled parrot (green cheek conure) so I'm particularly interested in parrot artwork and crafts as well as bird toys. If you have anything cute and parrot-y, let me know!

Etsy Shop: Scorpienna
MySpace: Scorpienna on MySpace
Blog: Scorpienna Blog

Friday, December 21, 2007

Colors in the Shadows Necklace

Here is the latest piece I've been working on for a while now. I finally finished it last night. There are 108 beadwoven links. 54 links are 4 rows across and of those, there are 18 each of blue iris-washed, green iris-washed and purple iris-washed black Delicas. The alternate links are 3 rows across and are all in opaque black Delicas. There are over 5,800 beads in this piece and it measures approximately 29"(73.5cm) in length. Now I have to get to my challenge piece and writing an article! No rest for me!
This necklace along with a set of matching earrings will be for sale in my Etsy shop within the next few days, so check it out: A Rose By Name.

DAM Designs

Welcome, and thank you for visiting. I put a lot of time and heart into my work, and I hope you will enjoy them.

I have grown up living on art. I have always been a crafty person and my mom always tells this story from back when I was 3 -- I used to get up in the morning and watch the art programs that used to play on T.V. One day I was watching and I brought to my sleeping mom a basket I made all by myself. She said it was cut, there was glue, and it was woven together...and I was only 3. She always tells me that she wishes she had kept it. Well the passion for art and crafty things has been with me my entire life, and I finally decided that it was time to sell my art. I put a lot of time and heart into the pieces of art I create, and I love doing it.
Etsy Shop: DAM Designs Art
Blog: DAM Designs Blog
MySpace: DAM Designs MySpace
Flickr: DAM Designs Flickr Photos

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Purple Snowpeas

Kathryn Short, a photographer and all-around artist, attended the Maryland Institute College of Art. She was a photography major, but also enjoys bookmaking and knitting. Kathryn now teaches art and photography at the high school level.

Kathryn loves to knit and crochet, take photographs while walking outdoors, craft small books for collecting thoughts, and anything else that keeps her hands busy.

Visit my blog where I talk about knitting and ETSY artists!
Purple Snowpeas Blog

I have a variety of colors and styles of handknit winter hats. Buy a hat along with a pair of wristwarmers and receive 10% off the pair. Thanks for buying handmade!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Regal Beads

Kim from Regal Beads is a fellow Etsy Beadweaver and she's amazing! I just love her Russian Royalty necklace. Be sure to check out all her work in her Etsy shop and you can see what else she's up to by reading her blog Regal Beads Blog. And be sure to check out all the beautiful beadwoven pieces created by Etsy Beadweavers by typing "EBW" into the tags and title search on Etsy!

I have loved doing crafts for most of my life (in fact, my dad loves to tell an embarrassing childhood story on me about this passion ;)) Both of my parents are quite creative, and passed this down to me!

I started beading over five years ago and took to it like a fish to water. I love the feel of the beads in my hands, the challenge of a new pattern, and the joy of a completed piece!

For years this has been one of my hobbies, with my personal collection growing quite large, and with many family members and friends also benefiting. I have now decided to share these treasures with the world.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Deabus Amor

A college student fallen in love with crafting. I am also a photographer and on-again off-again digital painter.

I'm usually friendly (chances increase with presence of chocolate or coffee) and a little too loud, sometimes hyper and mostly crazy.

I don't bite, so don't be scared to say Hi.

Find me at:
My blog! (( ))
My deviantArt! (( ))
And at Dea's Etsy Shop Deabus Amor:
Here you'll find kitshy, crafty, dorky, sometimes cool always fresh fun stuff for you and everyone you know. (Share the funky!)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

CSerpent Designs Artisan Jewelry

Hi my name is Susan and I'm the creator of cserpentDesigns! My husband nicknamed me Sea Serpent during our scuba diving days (picture a tall person in a purple and black drysuit with a pink flotation vest coming out of the water with big black fins on her feet ... yep sea serpent fits!). He even got me a sea serpent stamp to use for my "signature" on my hand made cards.

I got started in jewelry making when one of my soccer teammates got me to go to a wirewrapping class with her. I made my first bracelet in that class (and as I look at it now I want to take it apart and redo it to look a lot nicer!). I then saw a beaded watch band in a magazine and figured I could expand on that idea and make myself a cool beaded watch band in PURPLE! (my favorite color). I started the watch band using gold plated findings, finished it up at another wire wrapping class and got interest from many of my friends and family in having jewelry made for them. I still was just dabbling and got really mad when the gold plated findings started to tarnish in a very short amount of time. From that I learned my lesson about making things that last - don't make them with gold or silver plated parts if you want them to last a long time and remain beautiful!

That 2nd wire wrapping class really drove my interest in making jewelry with beads. I took more classes in basic jewelry making (stringing, knotting, ...) and have been making jewelry for family and friends and other customers for 4 years now. My jewelry designs are also for sale at a gallery in La Jolla, CA - Art in 18K - so I'm starting to expand my sales base.

I have a great time buying the parts needed to make my jewelry. I REALLY like the gorgeous artisan lampwork beads that are available through etsy as well as other online sites. My "inventory" is quite large so I really have to get designing more so I can share these beautiful beads with others. Sometimes I'll find one interesting bead or gemstone and that will be the kick start for a piece of jewelry. I really enjoy the creation process and get excited when I finish a piece and can share it with folks I know and with Etsy I can now share my creations with a much larger family.

I'm a member of several Etsy street teams. I'm a member of CCCOE (California Crafters Club on Etsy), JET (Jewelry on Etsy), etsyBEAD (bead lovers of all sorts), BeadHive (started on Ebay and has now joined Etsy a group of jewelry artisans who all use high quality components to create artisan quality jewelry) and TBO (Tranquil Beading Oasis). In these groups we share ideas, provide support to one other, teach and learn all in the name of continuing are respective handmade crafts.

My mom enjoys buying beads as well, a little too well if you ask me. Since she won't stop buying them I told her she'll have to start making jewelry for sale with some of the many beads she's purchased (and which I "store"). She has made many jewelry pieces for herself, family and friends but she buys way more beads than she has used in these designs. So my bead bins overfloweth and mom has to help clear them out by making designs to sell.

At cserpentDesigns you'll find high quality artisan jewelry and more. I hope you enjoy browsing through the jewelry and other things that I make (and sometimes my mom makes things too!). I use high quality components in my designs such as sterling silver and gold-filled findings, artisan lampwork beads and semi-precious gemstones. I will gladly do a custom order if you don't see just what you're looking for. I also resize any design for free if the size isn't quite right for you. Check out my gallery page ( to see examples of my work. ENJOY!
To see more cserpent, go to:

To read more about the artist and her activities, see her blog:
CSerpent Designs

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Witty Workshop

Valérie Parizeault is a Canadian Illustrator & designer from Montreal. She is the owner of Rose Flash, Playfully spirited Jewelry ( and the creative mind behind the Witty workshop (, a place to buy and enjoy her Illustrations and prints. Inspired by whimsical moments, children’s universe and storytelling, she is living her dream life as an artist with her husband by her side and her black cat Tokyo. Tree hugger and business connoisseur, she blogs both in French and English about Eco-friendly causes, Indie designers and her daily life trough her creative blog Pot aux Roses ( and about the ups and downs of entrepreneurship through her business tip blog Bite ( Valerie speaks of herself in the third person, well, because she is so darn shy!

***I accept commissioned work and freelance work; please e-mail me at vparizeault[at]***

***Please e-mail me if you have special request or questions, I'm always open to ideas and I just love collaborations of all sorts. Je parle aussi Français :)***
For great gifts, see her Etsy shop:
Witty Workshop

If you’re specifically looking for jewelry:

Read more about the artist’s activities on her blog:
Pot Aux Roses

And read her business tips blog here:
Bite the Business

Friday, December 14, 2007


Welcome to my cardmaking business. I'm a writer who worked with computer-based graphic design at newspapers for years. I love papercrafts, and the process of making things by hand -- no computer. I started making cards for friends several years ago, who encouraged me to sell them, too. In December, 2004, I sold holiday cards to the florist down the street and have sold over 800 unique designs since then. Almost all of my cards are one of a kind.

Love paper. Love color. Love Berkeley. Love Etsy.

Beyond that, my style is eclectic and I love to experiment. I get completely absorbed in engineering my varied creations for hours. Each one is a new and unique production, made of treasures from my collection of paper and ephemera, transfigured into a single piece held together by a little glue, a lot of ideas, practice and work, and most of all, a great amount of joy.

Some of my custom work can be viewed at Everything is made in a smoke free environment.

I use recycled shipping materials whenever possible.
Visit my other shop, for DESTASHING and OUTLET.
See more of her work at:

To see custom samples, go to:
QuirkynBerkeley at Picturetrail

Read her blog at:
QuirkynBerkeley Blog

Thursday, December 13, 2007

From the Studio of George McKim

I was born and grew up in Wilmington, NC, USA. For the past 15 years I have lived in Raleigh, NC with my wife Betty, my two adult children Edward and Devin who are twins, our golden retriever Sophie and our cat with a 'tude, Woodstock.

I studied art in college and have a Masters Degree in Painting and Drawing. My artwork has been shown in galleries and museums in my region. My day job is working as a pre-press graphic artist for a printing company and I make my art in my "spare time".

Since I was a kid I have always drawn pictures and painted. I like the freedom of expression of art and have always enjoyed painting.

My shop features paintings and collages that are mostly abstract, which I have been doing for the past two years and I also have some realism in the form of Linoleum Cut Prints. If you want something at a really affordable price I have note cards. I accept commissions also.

I will make Note Cards of any of my images (you can mix and match) including images from my website, just request the images via the Contact GeorgeMcKim link on the right side of this page. Note Cards are $3 each or a set of 5 for $12. I will be happy to make custom Sunflower prints in any color combinations (2 colors) of your choice.

If you want to see a more complete listing of my all my recent artwork please visit my website at -
To see and purchase great gifts:
George McKim

To read more about the artist, see his blog:
George McKim Blog

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Cats Paw Artifacts

From Judy Richards' Bio:
B.A. University of Minnesota Magna Cum Laude in Technical Theatre
Coursework in Graphic Design at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, CA
Coursework in lampworking - Portland, OR
Member of the International Society of Glass Beadmakers
seller on ebay for 5 years - over 500-100% positive feedback

Judy Richards resides in Portland, Oregon where it rains this time of year. A well kept secret is that it doesn't rain all year around.

Judy is a member of the Portland Bead Society, the ORBS (Oregon Regional Beadmakers Society) and the ISGB (International Society of Glass Beadmakers).

Judy makes lampwork beads and designs jewelry - unique and hopefully artful jewelry. She is always striving for new ideas, new shapes in glass.

Judy is inspired by nature (flowers, birds) depicted in glass. She loves abstract lampwork most of all with layers of glass and complexity. She is always striving to that goal.

She has done the work of reasonably exact glass beads - but yearns to break out of that toward something more complex and deep in an artistic sense. She also has a sense of humor and doesn't take herself too seriously - she is the owner of 2 cats, hence the cat beads. Judy likes to laugh and make others smile with her work.

Judy's dream buyer is the Sundance catalog.

Probably the best things she has made are jewelry with her own lampwork beads and semi precious stones that have sold thare are really pushing the envelope of what we think of as jewelry and adornment.

To see what else this artist has available be sure to keep checking her Etsy shop:
Cats Paw Artifacts
And to learn more about her, see her blog:
Catldy99's Weblog

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Signature Sterling

Though closed for the holidays, you can still check out Sue's jewelry. She'll be back January 4th.
Welcome! SignatureSterling specializes in designing sterling silver beaded jewelry - bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. I use primarily sterling silver - not silverplated unless noted - for all silver beads, spacers, charms, findings, toggles, etc. I also use color and texture with genuine Swarovski crystals/pearls, lampwork beads, Czech glass, and semiprecious stones. My line of Buckeye (Ohio State) jewelry also features life-like lampwork buckeye beads.

Committed to high quality in supplies and design, I am a SRAJD (#1111), Self-Representing Artist Jewelry Designer.

You'll also find me at

To purchase her work, see her Etsy Shop:
Signature Sterling

What she says about herself in her blog:
Hi! Welcome to my "lil'" spot in blogland ~ Since my first trek into a Toronto bead shop two years ago, I've been an avid beader. I enjoy designing, creating, and just plain playing with a variety of beads - but mainly sterling silver, semiprecious, lampwork, Czech glass, and Swarovski crystals/pearls. And yes, I AM a Buckeye fan - GO BUCKS! When I'm not beading, I love being a soccer mom - can you tell? Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out my links to some other terrific, creative "Etsians" - especially the TBO, the Bead Hive, JET, EtsyMom, and etsyBead groups. Need help finding these talented artists? Go to the Etsy home site and search for TBO, BHV, JETT, EtsyMom, and etsyBead in tags,titles. You'll get a great list to choose from! Peace, Sue

To learn more about the artist, see her blog:
Signature Sterling Blog

Monday, December 10, 2007


My name is Amanda, I'm 21 years old and I grew up in the middle of nowhere - Northern Ontario. I'm currently a fifth year Honours Biology and Pharmacology co-op student at McMaster University and I'm working in the Janssen lab on my thesis. I do real-time videomicroscopy of smooth muscle cell migration.

I've been crafty my whole life, and enjoy making a variety of things. When I was younger, it was drawing, then wreathes, dolls and beading. Now, my focus has switched to notebooks and jewelry. I also enjoy cooking, reading, writing and problem solving.

Please check out my blog, where I'll be posting regularly on personal tid-bits, inspirations and featuring other Canadian / Etsy sellers!!

Also, I'm currently working on my website, Check back soon!
Check out her creations in her Etsy shop:

And read her blog:
Ulixis Blog

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Dream ON!

I always loved to cut, paste, paint and draw from my earliest memories. Creating art is what I do, it's built-in by my creator, He enables me, and I love it.

My college degree is in art. In addition I have taken workshops and classes from some fine national and regionally-known artists. Some of my most important lessons came from not so well-known, but wonderful artists who now paint in the sky, and local artists who teach the basics, as well as the artists I paint with. I belong to several art groups in Florida and one in Colorado.

I value the presence of a recognizable subject in my paintings. I love it when the center of interest appears in the midst of background objects that aren’t so well-defined. I want watercolor to look like watercolor, and I want my paintings to have a painterly look, not a photographic copy. Therefore I am an impressionist, because I don’t want to over-control the media.

I love to paint using a variety of techniques. Having taken an experimental art class for the last 4-5 years, I am likely to paint anything, and I'm always "playing."

All of my items are produced in a smoke-free, allergy-friendly no-pets atmosphere.

If you see a print you like that isn't the size you would like, please convo me, and I can usually have it for you in a few days just your size!

Also, if there is an original painting in my shop you would like a print of, I will be happy to have one made. I can even have something printed on canvas. Giclee prints also available, but more expensive to have made, but I will be happy to discuss how you would like your print to come to you.

Thanks for looking! I hope you enjoy my shop.
Daydreaming welcomed.

To purchase these beautiful works of art as originals or prints, go to:
Dream ON
To learn more about the artist, see her blog:
Dreams About Art

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Lazy Cat Gifts

Lazy Cat Gifts was created by three friends in Ann Arbor, MI. Two of them were in medical school at the University of Michigan and the third worked in a laboratory there. All of us had grandmothers who crocheted, however Kelly had the most experience.

After honing our skills for several years making many gifts for many family members and friends, we decided to try to sell some of our creations! We had a good start at a local craft show and found while searching for a gentle way to beginning selling online. (Plus, Etsy comes with the bonus of a great community of artists!) Etsy is also great for us, because Kelly has moved to Philadelphia, while Allison and Stasia still live in Ann Arbor. However, we keep in touch every day! And, we are all so excited Kelly is moving back to Ann Arbor in June!

We enjoy using the skills from our grandmothers to create wonderfully hip and modern pieces. We crochet in both yarn and wire, creating artisan bead crochet jewelry, scarves, hats, etc. We are constantly looking for ways to expand crochet, and we love making custom items!

We are updating our store all the time, so please check back often to see what new goodies have appeared!

Additionally, our Boutique line of jewelry is currently available at Suwanee Springs at 306 S. Main St. in Ann Arbor, MI. Please stop in to see these exclusive pieces!

In the past, we have featured Kelly's mom's items in "Ruth Ellen's Creations" as she is unable to make her own website. Hopefully her beautiful quilts and tasty dog treats will return soon.

Read more about our store and the cats who inspire it on our blog:

And be sure to go to their Etsy store to see what’s new and exciting for the holidays:
Lazy Cat

To keep up with what’s going on with their lives and activities, see their blog:
Lazy Cat Gifts Blog

Friday, December 07, 2007

New Items

Please check out my shop. There's new items being added daily and there's sure to be something to fit in your holiday budget!
A Rose By Name


I have been crafting for as long as I can remember. I am self-taught and have enjoyed painting, needlework, quilting, polymer clay and jewelry making. Most recently, I have found myself drawn to beads and have returned to the art of french beaded flowers. I enjoy making original, one-of-a-kind butterflies & dragonflies. I am also introducing a new line of one-of-a-kind beaded art dolls and suncatchers. Custom requests are welcome.

All my items are lovingly created in a smoke-free, pet-free environment.

The name CraftyMoose came about because of my love of crafts and my husband's love of moose. My avatar is the head of a 4'+ tall moose I made him one Christmas!

See anything else you wish was on sale? Send me a convo & I just might be able to help you out!

Keep checking back because I am always adding new things, and you never know what you'll find in this forest!
To see more by this artist go to:
Crafty Moose

To read more about her and her activities, see her blog:
Crafty Moose Crafts Blog

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Vanessa Kimball

I'm a graphic designer for a design company called Ekcetera Productions.

My stationary can also be purchased at our new store called Ekcetera in Inver Grove Heights, MN.

5719 Blaine Ave.
Inver Grove Heights, MN

I'm glued to my computer. I wonder if there's such thing as a design addiction. Oh and I'm also addicted to Lipsmackers lip gloss. Strawberry Kiwi to be exact. Don't judge. :)

I also enjoy interior decorating, tennis, music, painting, vintage, IKEa, listening to The Current,coffee table books and art.

You can also check out my blog. It's pretty random stuff.

If you need any custom work done please contact me. I'd be happy to work with you.

I'm gearing up for this holiday season and starting off with Holiday Stationery. Have a Happy Christmas shopping season.

Check out my Holiday Special! Mix and Match Cards.

Plan ahead this season. To make sure you have orders in time for Christmas, order by December 15. Orders after the 15th are not guaranteed.

To order your gift cards, invitations and/or holiday tags go to:
Vanessa Kimball

To read up more on the artist, see her blog:
Vanessa Kimball Blog

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Darjeeling Paper, Ltd

My name is Michael Gresh, and I am a man of many trades. Designer of hotels by day, craft inventor and schemer by night. I am a self-proclaimed "paper nut", and my work hopefully shows just that.

I am co-founder of DemiGod Studio, an ecclectic duo of craft & art show afficionados. When I'm not working on plans for our own shop & workshop, I bide my time coming up with new and inventive ways to use up the stockpile of paper I've accumulated over the years.

I started Darjeeling Paper, Ltd. as a way to showcase my paper goods, and to distinguish my works as a new product division of DemiGod.

Viva La Independante!

Every book you see here is one of a kind; no two are exactly the same. Think of them as snowflakes. But instead of geometrical patterns made of ice, they're books.
For more beautifully crafted paper products go to:
Darjeeling Paper, Ltd.
Darjeeling Paper
DemiGod Studio

To learn more about the artist, see his blog:
Darjeeling Paper Blog

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Backwoods Creations

MaryAnn Anderson of Backwoodscreations, a former Medicaid policy writer for the state of Maine's Department of Health and Human Services creates absolutely gorgeous animal figures made from fabric and stuffing sculpted, and shaped around an armature!

What struck me immediately about her work was just how well she is able to capture the animal’s expression, (especially in her cats), and I was blown away by how low her prices are for the product she offers. With items easily worth $150 apiece, the artist seems somewhat shy when asked about her most expensive sale, particularly humble about her sculptures.

“Most of my work is moderately priced because I want it to be accessible to a wide range of people. I have had several paintings that have been commissioned and sold for decent prices by an unknown artist (me). I sold a couple of commissioned paintings for $200-$250. It was work very different than what I sell on Etsy. More traditional portraiture (corgis) done in acrylics on canvas.”

This downplaying of her profitability of these pieces could very likely be because she feels, as many artists do; that the work chooses her rather than the other way around, although these may be where her biggest potential lies in terms of financial viability.

“I currently do some pickup consulting work here and there but most of my money comes from making and selling the product of my creativity. The fabric animal sculptures are what have given me a precarious toe hold into the possibility of making a decent livelihood out of doing what thrills me. But I also create work that has meaning to me in many different forms. I think of it as listening to the everyday sacred. I am a steward of this earth. It is up to me to protect it, love it and take care of it. I make the animals that talk to me. Some talk more than others. The materials used sometimes just lend themselves to being what they are. The basic shapes are a jumping off point.”

When asked how she captures the cats' expressions so realistically, she answers, “Honestly I don't know.” Notice the cat at the top which seems to be staring longingly at you to take him home. Not only expressions are captured, but if you notice some of the other cats you'll see that body language is also expressed quite realistically! Perhaps work like this is divinely guided. It has often been theorized that artists enter a type of meditative state while working which gives them (us) an exceptional receptiveness on a metaphysical level. I know what she means when she says these animals “talk” to her. This is an experience of being that seems etched upon the “collective unconscious” for artists since the beginning of time, unique in the form in which it comes, yet Universal.

How did she learn to make these sculptures? By learning the basics, and then with lots of experimentation.

“No one taught me directly, “here, this is how you do it”. They are an accumulation of skills gathered over the years. Knowing how to sew and what a dart does as well as how to be forgiving to oneself during the process is important. Working with fabric and embellishment was not a far stretch from what I learned as a child from my mother. Many of the hand skills that I use today I learned from her. She was a lot more traditional in their usage than I am, but she gave me a firm foundation in "just do it". Mastery comes with doing. So I keep doing to get that mastery of my medium and techniques; always ongoing and never will stop.”

About a year ago after having worked in the Medicaid system for some time, she decided life was too short to wait any longer to start living her dream. The answer for her was not only to change what she was doing for a living, but to change her whole sense of priorities, and to re-evaluate what was really important in her life underneath all the window-dressing.

“I needed to use my creative energies or perish. I also had a dear friend get diagnosed with cancer and live six more months. He had always said "I will do it when I retire." That was a really big wake up call for me. So I quit (the) security and ran open-armed into the future. I needed to use those skills I had put myself through college 25 years ago to get. I had gotten a degree in painting from Maine College of Art after deciding RISD was too expensive. I had been denying my creative needs for years and it was time to STOP!

When I was working a “socially acceptable” job and was making decent money with benefits and all the trappings that went along with it I was miserable for the most part and didn't really grok to (realize/acknowledge) that fact. When I made the decision to quit that, a sense of peace came over me. I knew I was making the right decision. I figured I would try it until my bank account got to a certain figure. That was over a year ago and the figure hasn't been hit. Part of the reason for that is my life has become much, much simpler in needs and desires. I don't have to buy things to work (clothes, shoes, lunches), nor am I on the road commuting two hours a day. The less "things" I have or buy the happier I am, and the more I am able to stop and appreciate what I do have and the natural beauty in the environment around me. When I worked (in a traditional job), buying things is what I did to make me happy. Now I don't do that because I am happy with how I am living and what I am doing.”

MaryAnn currently sells her work at Spiralworks Artisans Gallery (soon to be known as River Roads Artisans Gallery) in Skowhegan Maine. She also does custom work through her own website and her Etsy store. The artist is working on getting together her portfolio to go show her work to other brick and mortar stores. “It is hard to sell oneself I think. But if I want to stay doing this I have to invest that time in myself.”She has had the most success locally through word-of-mouth.

“I have learned tons on Etsy from people on the forums, usually people much younger then myself” says MaryAnn. “I have picked up tips on how to use the internet to help get exposure for my work. I knew I wanted to be successful but there is also a realistic side to me so I am just finishing up a class on writing a business plan. That has been very helpful in looking at short and long-term goals, pricing, recordkeeping etc. It was free and reinforced some of the things I already knew and is also giving me an opportunity to network with other creative women in central Maine as well as learning good business practices. Even mistakes are valuable tools. I can kick myself for making bad choices but in the end they work to my advantage because I learn from them. Plus I have found some helpful blogs such as Luann Udell’s blog . She has great business tips for many things.”

The artist reflects on what her most important take-home message might be. “My best lesson, I don't know who taught me; maybe it was learned over time, is that I can't and won't be everything to everybody. Some people absolutely do not like my work. I on the other hand don't like everybody’s either. But I have to have respect for it, their process and their voice. Hopefully they will have the same for mine.”

Books that have been particularly helpful to MaryAnn that she can recommend are The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron, and she is currently reading Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland.

“I have just started that but it looks like it will help with distancing myself from my inner and outer critics. There is also a book similar to the Artist's Way which looks like it might be good to work through and that is Fearless Creating by Eric Maisel. I have a list! and not enough hours in the days.”

As far as new techniques she would like to tackle, MaryAnn is interested in learning Lampwork someday.

Her plans for selling to holiday shoppers are to continue to keep a wide range of price points, package nicely, and ship promptly. “I also stick in a thank you card to everyone who buys” says MaryAnn, “and for those people who are frequent buyers I slip in a little extra perk here and there.

Future work, like the birds, will be more embellished, I think. These ones currently are about shape and line. Now I need to “ice the cake” so to speak.”

When asked what her long-term goals are for her business, MaryAnn had this to say. “To make my living from my work and have it speak to those around me, well also those in the rest of the world too.”

I can hardly wait to see what she does with dogs!

For more of these lovely creations or to place a custom order, go to:
Backwoods Creations Etsy or

To learn more about the artist and activities she’s involved in, read her blog:
Backwoods Creations Blog

Article written by Pippit

Monday, December 03, 2007

New Items

Take a minute to stop in my Etsy shop and check out the newest items! I've even started adding earrings! Check them out...they match some of my bracelets and would make great gifts this holiday!

Knuckle Toes/Revinylized

Katie in her own words:
Hi there, I'm Katie, thanks for stopping by.
I'm a smalltime, jewelry, clothing and purse maker who wants to share her style with the world!

I'm from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, and every year I try to make it out to the surrounding Folk Festivals to sell my product. I've gone the last two years and really hope to make it out again in 2008!

I try to make my clothing and purses out of recycled materials. Anything from tablecloths, to pillowcases, to reused LP record covers. This not only gives my items a vintage feel, but it helps the environment, and what more do you need?

If you see anything you like, don't hesitate to contact me and ask me any questions you like about it. If you're in the area, I may be able to cut down on your shipping, so let me know!

And this is Katie talking about "Revinylized":
I was born in the late 80's, to a pretty normal family, and have been having fun ever since.

I started making wire and bead jewelry in late 2005 and expanded into purses and clothing.

I liked to use recycled materials, be it a tablecloth, set of curtains, or even the beads off of a discarded bracelet, and I wanted to find something new.

I bought a stack of old, unusable, LPs and melted the records into bowls, and after some thinking, bound some blank paper to the insides of the covers and called it a sketchbook.

Recently I started using the covers for different things, laminating them and sewing them into jumbo tote bags, and taking the sketchbooks further, into CD books. Somehow my small side project expanded larger than I thought, and now I've opened this, my second etsy shop.

To find more handmade vintage items go to:
Knuckle Toes

To learn more about the artist, see her blog:
Knuckle Toes Blog
Or her 90/90 features on:
Revinylized Blog

Sunday, December 02, 2007


Catherine Marche of Kalicat Designs has am extensive background in graphic arts and graduated from the University of Orléans (FRANCE) in 1990 in Mathematics and Physics, Beaux-Arts d'Orléans, Conservatoire National de Musique, from 1990-91 the University of Vermillion (USA), graduated in Computer Sciences and Music, 98-2000 Central St Martins College of Art and Design, Etching - Photoshop and web design.

In the year 2000 she went on to study at Putney School of Arts, Screenprinting, then in 2001 at Artichoke Studios - Lithography, Bankside Gallery – Linocut, in 2003 learned Book Illustration at the Chelsea School of Arts, then learned Adobe Illustrator in 2003, and studied Fashion Illustration at the London College of Fashion in 2005.

She worked for 10 years as an IT consultant, and then went on to become a Fashion Illustrator, putting to work a lot of the skills she had previously learned.

Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris, in 1967, then growing up in several countries, Catherine learned to speak several languages. She often changed schools as often as 3 times a year. Her ability to adapt to many different environments came in handy later in life.

"I grew up in several countries as my Dad was in the airforce. I went to kindergarten in Germany, then Primary school in Germany, Africa and back to France. I love the fact it made me bilingual and have a real easiness learning new foreign languages. I also speak English, Spanish, a bit of Dutch and Creole and am learning Japanese. I stil have a love of travelling and discovering new cultures. I studied in the USA and noe live in London UK."

Catherine has a love of colors, feels she may be influenced by Die Brucke artists like Otto Mueller. "I also love Dali, Picasso and am crazy for Nikki de St Phalle and Louise Bourgois, "she remarks. "I have also collected a few African artefacts and sculptures made of wood which are a delight to my senses."

Her parents were very permissive and went further than most to nurture the artistic qualities in their child. "As a child, my parents "gave me" free expression on my walls, which still have some murals to these days and my brothers and I also had a few notebooks where we could write and draw everything we wanted. My parents always encouraged all artistic expression and allowed me to learn music. I have a degree in music and still paint, illustrated, play the pianio, and the saxophone."

In addition to having worked as an IT consultant she has worked as an interpreter, a model, a translator, a math teacher, a private tutor, an arts teacher at various times during her life.

Now she doesn't exhibit as much as she used to since her children have been born but in addition to making jewelry she currently paints, does Fashion design, and designs wedding invitations.

Some of her work is still on display in a museum in Tayali (Zambia).

She sites among the disadvantages of being a jewelry artist in the UK; the cost of living being so high there making it hard to compete with US prices, and the advantages being that she lives in a hub of creative people and that people there have very eclectic tastes in art.

"I really like The Penland book of Jewelry which showcases unusual jewelry and techniques.Visits to the Victoria and Albert Museum and estate auctions are also very inspirational."

She recommends to other artists to make what they feel like making and not necessarily what they think will sell or what others do.

If you look at her site gallery you will see just how varied her work is and how many ways she’s been able to put it to use!

Catherine has had a number of corporate clients for her illustrations, and her work has been in private museum collections in France, UK, USA, West Indies, Netherlands, and Spain and represented in galleries in France and in the US (Pennsylvania, and Florida).

Her work has appeared in magazines, on TV, and she has retained high-profile clients such as L’Oreal.

Her jewelry includes anything from simple beaded designs to traditional precision metal fabrication.

"I've Always been crazy for jewelry, always will be" says Catherine. "I had about 60 pairs of earrings as a teenager, which was when I started making my own jewels. I have designed and commissioned several pieces in sterling silver, 18K gold, and platinum, including my engagement ring and wedding ring. Becoming a jeweller was just a normal extension of my artistic expression. (Catherine is going 3D)." It is quite interesting that so many jewelry artists started out in 2 dimensional art and feel compelled to translate their work into 3-D form although they may continue drawing and painting or alternate between both artforms. I have heard this from a number of people and I myself have always felt a need to have things be 3-dimensional. There is a sense of completeness you just don't quite get from a flat canvas or paper.

Catherine once was looking through a fashion magazine after one of her children was born and her husband asked her what she'd like as a present to celebrate the birth. She came across the picture of a gorgeous emerald-cut Rubellite ring by the exclusive Boucheron Jewellers. Not having any idea how much it cost, her husband took her over there, they got it out of the vault and when it came time to pay for it the clerk informed them it would be $440,000. Her husband looked as though he might faint any minute, and she told the man showing it to them that this was "a bit over" their "budget," returning the ring to it's secure fortress behind thick steel doors.

Surprisingly, Catherine says that her most successful venue has been on Etsy, then shows and Open Studios second and third.

Look for more of her work at VIX Emporium in Philadelphia.

Techniques she would like to learn are Pave', Repousse, and Chasing.

When asked what her plans are to present her work to holiday shoppers she said, "I have already done 1 Christmas market, did an open studio today, and will do another one next week; Hidden Art London

Her plans long-term for her business are to create new collections, be commissioned by fashion houses to design their collections, and she would like her jewelry to be liked by many, and to adorn many more.

For more beautiful work available, or to place a custom order, go to:
Catherine Marche
and in the UK:
Tuggle UK
and in Europe:

To learn more about the artist, read her blog:
Kalicat Designs Blog

and her reviews on other artists:
Honey and Sweets

Article written by Pippit

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Berry Patch Designs

Steph Strain of Berry Patch Designs:
I love to combine the varying colors and textures of the natural world. There are so many feelings and places to love about our world!

Handmade jewelry, using high quality stones, glass and components, suitable for a wide range of styles, using high quality stones, pearls, glass, crystal and metal beads.

Sterling silver and copper join in the visual symphony; they have their own brightness and feelings to contribute. Gold filled or vermeil will sometimes "drop in".

Hearing and seeing that people enjoy wearing my jewelry is one of the best things about designing jewelry.

See my "alter-ego" and "alternate reality" shop:

If you would like a custom piece made, please convo me with your desires and I'll make a piece for your consideration.

New designs are always in the works. I love designing handmade jewelry and work constantly to develop new skills and improve existing ones.

Working with a new batch of stones and tools (whoot!!!) and should have new pieces soon! Rich, bold moukaite, lovely patterned ocean jasper, red agate and deep blue lapis lazuli, among others.
To see new designs as they become available or to place a custom order, go to her several stores on Etsy:
Berry Patch Designs
Under Current
Silver Shadow

To learn more about the artist see her blog:
Strain's Asylum

Friday, November 30, 2007

Alternate Bliss

I'm a mixed media artist. Right now I'm focusing on making fine silver jewelry, watercolors and Art Charms featuring my artwork images. Currently I have two Etsy Shops. One for my art and one for my charms. Feel free to stop by my etsy shop if you see something here you like. On occassion I post some of my art on Ebay, but my primary shop for my independent artwork is my ETSY shop.

See her Etsy store for even more great gift items:
Alternate Bliss
and her blog to learn more about the artist:
Alternate Bliss Blog

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Etsy Beadweaver's November Challenge

The voting time has been extended so, please take a moment and look at these beautiful pieces that these ladies have put their hearts and souls into and vote for your favorite! They are truly gorgeous creations! Just head over to the Etsy Beadweaver's blog at and you can view each piece up close and then cast your vote by clicking the button next to your favorite then click the "Vote" button at the bottom!

Simply Said By Sarah

"Sarah Orton is a graphic design student in North Carolina. Her flair for design stems from a lifelong interest in crafts and her pieces demonstrate a fun spin on a contemporary sense of style. Encouraged by the requests she’d begun to receive from fellow employees and friends, Sarah decided to combine her creativity with her business sense, and Simply Said by Sarah was born. Each piece is handcrafted and unique, and is sure to add a tasteful touch of originality to your home!"

And as stated in her shop:
NEDA is dedicated to expanding public understanding and prevention of eating disorders and promoting access to quality treatment for those affected along with support for their families through education, advocacy and research

Millions of women, men, girls and boys suffer from eating disorders. Eating disorders are illnesses with a biological basis. They are very serious, life-threatening illnesses and currently there is no cure. Help is available and recovery is possible for these sufferers. Every donation counts.

To purchase just go to:
Simply Said By Sarah
And learn more about the artist at her blog:
Simply Said By Sarah Blog

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Celtic Goddess Jewelry

Celtic Goddess Jewelry was started in early 2001. My name is Andee Harston. Art has always been prevalent in my life. I love to draw, paint, sculpt, make jewelry and most recently, photography. I am influenced by spiritual learning, nature and goddess and celtic imagery. I identify very strongly with my celtic heritage. I am a Buddhist pagan living in the Orlando area. Please feel free to contact me for further information or custom inquiries.

Specialties include:
*Goddess jewelry, Pagan, Gothic, chakra, dragonfly, butterfly
*Buddhist and Zen Jewelry
*Artwork and photography
*Custom and Unique Pendulums and Divination (all pendulums come with free instructions!)
*Headpieces and tiara's
*and more!

~~~Member of Earth Path Artisans street team~~~
~~~Member of FAE : Fantasy Art of Etsy~~~

Sacred Waters
Celtic Goddess Gallery
Celtic Goddess Jewelry
Buy Indie Blog

Andee in her own words.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Indigo Luna

My name is Rachel Kitterman and I am an art addict. My primary passion is fabric and I have been making art quilts and dolls for over a decade now. I also love paper, altered art, mixed-media, knitting, crocheting, jewelry, artist books, photography...pretty much, if it will hold still, I'll make art out of it. Here (in her shop) you will find an ecclectic sampling of all the creative things I love to make.

I also write and I'd love it if you'd come by to check out my blog at Indigo Luna Blog

Proud member of EarthPath Artisans Street Team E.A.S.T. Search for "east" to see other amazing goodies made by this talented team.

I have always been an artist. I have always drawn, cut, pasted, painted, collected, sewn, written and dreamed. I have been driven by the question, “What if?” (and fighting against its archenemy, “That won’t work!”)

I also wear many other hats. Among other things, I am a sign language interpreter, an energy worker, a minister, a blogger, a wife to a wonderful and creative man and a mother to two wild and amazing little girls. All of these roles shape and change and inform my art.

I am a 5th generation Oregonian. This lush and verdant environment is in my blood. I grew up in a valley surrounded by tree-covered hills and blessed with a great deal of rain. I memorized the names of flowers as a child. I picked basketsful of mushrooms in the damp woods and studied moss and built forts inside of blackberry thickets. After traveling the United States, I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

My work has appeared on the cover of the 2005 Quilting Arts Calender, in Artella Magazine, Art/Quilt Magazine, Fiberarts Design Book 6, as well as many juried shows.
See her Etsy store here: Indigo Luna
and her blog here: Indigo Luna Blog

This is Rachel in her own words.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Etsy Beadweavers' November Challenge: Let The Voting Begin

Please, please, please go over to the Etsy Beadweavers' Blog and vote for your favorite piece in the monthly challenge. This month's challenge was "Caught in a Net" and there are 31 gorgeous entries to choose from! Check them all out and vote for your favorite!
Etsy Beadweavers

Earth Charms

Kirsten of earthcharms makes jewelry intended to have a positive effect upon the wearer. When you peruse her Etsy store you will notice that each piece in her shop has a little statement underneath about the metaphysical properties of the stones used in the design; even the numerology behind them.

Her specialty is macramé using waxed linen cord, incorporating natural gemstone beads, and she uses a lot of Hematite, Prehnite, and Fluorite, each of these gemstones having a special meaning.

My favorite pieces of hers are the elaborately knotted chokers which have a lovely, lacy style and very polished and elegant upscale look yet without any hint of pretentiousness. One can look at the work and sense the path each hand has taken from beginning to end of the making imprinted upon the finished piece. Unlike a lot of the macramé you see out there her ends are nice and neat and inconspicuous, and they have a svelte braided taper as they transition from the body of the piece to the beaded closure, graceful as the neck of a swan.

I have always had a special place in my heart for buds on branches, and the way she places her beads on the cord reminds me of the way a bud nestles ever so gently to its stalk. It looks deceptively fragile, yet is quite firmly attached. Many of her descriptions touch on the concept of centeredness and staying or becoming grounded, and this is a recurrent theme in her work. Perhaps the symbolism of the beads perched seemingly precariously on their stem is a metaphor for the delicate balancing act between reaching out to take a risk for positive change while at the same time being cautious not to lose her footing in the process of her forays out into an uncertain world. We are sometimes stronger than we know. Should catastrophe befall us and we are tested, we often discover that another day passes and we wake up intact the following morning, surprised maybe, but relieved and a little proud for not having “fallen off our tree” so to speak, despite the killing frost.

For a gift your loved ones will really appreciate, go to her online store:
Earth Charms

and to read more about the artist and her current news, take a look through her blog:
Earth Charms Blog

article written by Pippit

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Summersea Herbs

It has been said that most all of today's medicines are derived from natural sources before being processed, treated, and translated into something synthetic. It never made logical sense to me that the good natural ingredients be seperated out, watered down, then put back in the form of lab created substitutes, when the "real thing" in its full strength is there for the taking and it's as accessible as your back yard.

Tracy "W", owner of SummerSea Herbs is a certified medical herbalist with 10 years’ experience, and a practicing Green Witch. She handcrafts her herbal products with the finest organically grown and ethically wild-crafted ingredients available, in a pet-free/smoke-free environment separate from her home.

All her ingredients are organic because she believes products that are not irradiated or treated with pesticides or sprays are better for your body a well as your spirit. Taking this extra care to provide you with pristine, unadulterated products costs a little more, but Tracy believes it's worth it! As a sole proprietor, she personally makes each concoction in small batches the old fashioned way in order to maintain high quality control standards and to achieve maximum effectiveness.

Her love of nature clearly shows in her reverent preparation of natural growing things to be of benefit to her customers. She has a healthy respect for the herbs that come out of the ground, and all of her medicinal and magickal preparations were developed as a direct response to those she serves in her community. Tracy takes great pride and satisfaction in knowing that her herbal products are helping others and doing so as naturally as possible.

In today’s lacking healthcare system such funding can be hard to find and when it is available it gets tied up in agencies’ red tape, is extremely limited, and many who become seriously ill are blindsided by the astronomical costs, insurance claim denials, and limits and ultimately find themselves out of luck, but here the solution is so simple and direct! What a caring and proactive thing to do! I hope more people take Tracy's example and follow suit to do something like this for someone close to them when a catastrophic problem arises. It would be a much more compassionate world if everyone took this kind of initiative! I have always been a believer that one must put love into action rather than merely passing on distant and removed well-wishes, and feeling helpless to do anything, as so often happens when one is stricken by illness. Most every problem has a solution if each one of us determines to think outside the box and takes stewardship of a piece of it. Those who receive this blend benefit as well, so it’s a win/win for everybody involved.

Tracy is the founder of EarthPaths Artisans Street Team (E.A.S.T.)

To partake in these unique and beneficial items for you or as a gift for friend or relative, go to her Etsy store:
Summersea Herbs
Read more about her and informational material she offers in her blog:
Summersea Herb Blog

article written by Pippit

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Kreative Mindz

KreativeMindz located in Wordsville, Ohio is the brainchild of Aly and Beau Stacy. It includes a variety of sewn items and woodwork.

Interestingly the couple has both been in lines of work that involved making things with their hands. Aly used to work in the in set building and design for commercials (and sometimes still does), but mostly stays home now with her children. Beau is a carpenter who builds Timber Frame homes.

Aly’s style was first influenced at age 15 when she was planning to go see the Grateful Dead. She admired the gypsy style shirts and skirts she saw on other concert-goers, so she decided to sew a patchwork skirt so she’d have something “cool” to wear. At the time not many of these types of clothes were available commercially or at least they weren’t readily available, so this got her thinking about beautiful fabrics and what she could do with them. Her husband grew up learning woodworking from his father, so the handmade wooden boxes were natural for him to make. The skills both brought with them complemented each other and were probably what brought them together and what makes them a good fit to this day.

The work of the two has a decidedly spiritual feel to it drawing from African symbolism and a natural, earthy quality, almost pioneer-like.

This husband and wife team belongs to Etsy EarthPath Artisans Street Team.

When asked how her spirituality impacts on her art, Aly responded, “I do not practice any set "religion", but I am a VERY spiritual person and feel very connected to the earth and the universe. When I am creating a piece, I will only do it if I'm in the right "space". NEVER do I sew if I am unhappy or angry, or any "negative" emotion. When I sew I am thinking good things and putting good intentions into what I am making. If it is a custom piece I think of that person and what the item will be for them. I believe that my intentions go into the piece. May sound fruity, but this is what I believe and have even been told that others could "feel" these intentions.”

Having her son at the tender age of 20 all naturally was a life-changing experience for her and an opportunity for personal growth. It was empowering and enlightening and quite a learning experience.

They are not currently selling their work in any stores but plan to start doing so in the New Year.

Aly used to sell her clothing at shows and festivals many years ago and she has found that her handmade pants seem to sell the best; lined patchwork pants back then, and her Capri pants with appliqué on Etsy.

Aly would like to expand her skills to include felting and batik, and Beau would like to start making bowls and cooking utensils.

When asked about their goals for their business Aly says “Honestly, I would like our business to be our main source of income. It is our dream and our be able to work at home and raise our children...all at the same time. The kids really get in to our projects now.”

Be on the lookout for more hotpacks, keepsake boxes, and some stockings for the holidays. Buy a special gift for a loved one.

Go to their online store for more great gifts:
Kreative Mindz

and to their blog to keep up with what’s going on with the artists: Kreative Mindz Threadz

article written by Pippit

Friday, November 23, 2007

Contas Brasil

Contasbrasil, a multi-pronged network of online stores and a more recently added boutique is owned by two sisters from the city of Curbita, capital of the state of PARANÁ, in the south of Brazil. Suzy Wortberg and Bebê de Soares and a third artist, Suzy’s best friend Ana Paula Vilas Boas (creator of The Waterfall Necklaces) make jewelry for the enterprise. The most recent addition to the close-knit group was Sandra Fukelmann with her unique doll bags after Suzy shared a stand with her at the fair CPD in Düsseldorf.

On November 15th, 2007 Suzy opened their new brick and mortar store in Cologne. While she was taking care of the renovation of the shop, her sister Bebê was busily promoting it on the web. To make her new shop a "must visit" when tourists come to Cologne, Suzy decorated the walls with coconut shells and the fabric that they use as a bag for their necklaces (called chita). Now that the majority of the preliminary work is completed Suzy hopes to have more time to network.

Currently the new store sells only ContasBrasil jewelry and Doll bags and until now has been the only store in Germany to carry them.

It all happened a bit more than two years ago” says Suzy. “I was already living in Germany for 13 years with my husband and daughter and had finished my ballet Dancing career. As a Christmas present, I got a beautiful necklace from my best friend Ana Vilas Boas, who lives in Brazil. She is an Architect and we’d danced ballet together. It was a piece made by her. She had never done jewelry before, but just for fun, started to make some and give them to her friends. I was fascinated by her talent! I asked her to make 4 other pieces so maybe I could show them to my friends in Germany.”

Back home in Germany Suzy looked at her jewelry box, took some pieces that were broken and some others that she was a bit tired of wearing, carefully chose some of the beads, and decided to give it a try herself. She created her first necklace and once she started she was captivated by this new excitement she felt as the beads were strung onto the nylon thread (the only thread she knew to use at that time.That very first necklace she made was similar to the necklace Beads Allerei and the very first one she ever sold! After that, she began selling Ana Paula's work with hers.

Then came the name of the shop, Contas, which is an old Portuguese name for all kinds of beads and the logo. She described how she wanted it to look and her husband drew it. Bebê was then an actress, living in Sao Paulo at that time (actually she was in Germany before Suzy moved there, and then moved with her German husband and kids for 6 years in Brazil). After 4 months of selling very well but mostly to friends and family, someone told Suzy she should try a fashion fair.

“Bebê, who was then moving back to Cologne helped me a lot” said Suzy, “ because she could buy beads and Brazilian stones for the collection in Brazil and also look for someone that could make our folders, banners, etc for the fair. Here in Germany it can be immensely expensive!” Bebê got so involved with everything that even she began to make some necklaces. A bit embarrassed, she told Suzy she would like to send some pictures of her work. “I couldn't believe my eyes” Suzy exclaimed, “especially when I saw them (come to) life! And that's how everything happened...”

Bebê and Suzy currently live in Cologne but they fly once or twice a year to Brazil where their large family lives.

ContasBrasil became a full time job for Suzy. Bebê started rehearsing for a new theater play a month ago, but still manages to make wonderful pieces for the new shop. She is continuing to promote the shop on the web, and plans to keep making jewelry for Contas.

Ana Paula still works as an Architect in Brazil but never stopped creating her beauties for the business.

After the fair, Bebê’ and Suzy placed work in 15 shops in Germany. After that Suzy set her sights on opening her own shop. “Four shops are still selling our work and now that my big dream became reality, I can plan the fairs again.”

Suzy remembers an early experience with a particularly promising and interested customer.

“My very first client at the fair was someone from Japan. I was very impressed by that. In the end we never managed to make big business with them because we make everything ourselves and the pieces are unique. So it became impossible to fulfill the expectations of the Japanese...but this shop now is my big success! I have to say thanks to Bebê’s perseverance; whenever some technical problem would appear, she was immediately looking on (the) internet for a solution, better material, new methods; our work improved a lot!

I think my mother's perfectionism in her work (she has a ballet school in Brazil) and my father's great communication talent to people (he is an Ophthalmologist) were somehow a big influence to the quality of work we are delivering. We experience a great amount of positive feedback not only because of the beauty of our jewelry, but also the way we transmit what is behind this work; our Brazilian identity.”

The most expensive piece they’ve sold was one of Bebê's necklaces, a very exquisite design, with a big yellow Agate, Brazilian seeds, Lapis Lazuli, and Swarovski crystal. The buyer was so enchanted by the piece that price was no object!

Although up until now ContasBrasil has only produced beaded jewelry, Suzy and Bebê plan to learn soldering to expand their repertoire of techniques.

In preparation for the coming holiday season Bebê is making X-Large necklaces, Ana Paula, the Pernambuco Collection (Pernambuco is a State in Northeast Brazil, very warm and colorful, where she spent her last Holidays) and Suzy is busy working with metals and stones.

ContasBrasil has done a great job of selling its exotic cultual image, a growing practice in business once frowned-upon but now recognized as a very savvy and effective marketing practice. It is a beautiful example of how diversity can be an assett rather than a liability, a perfect way to celebrate a heritage and a means through which to educate the public on the value of preserving culture in modern society.

Be sure to check out their online Etsy store:
Contas Brasil Shop

Their other website:
Contas Brasil

and to learn more about what they’re doing, take a look at her blog:
Contas Koeln

article written by Pippit

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Liz Staley's Realm of Nerdiness

This is Liz in her own words:
I grew up in Baltimore, but am now living in Greenville, NC. My mom got me into arts and crafts when I was really little (I wanted to help her paint ceramics when I was a baby, so she'd give me a paintbrush, a cup of water, and a rubber ducky. Took me awhile to figure out that it's supposed to change colors when you paint it though!). Ever since then I've loved to draw and create things.

Now, I love doing art, crocheting, and am getting into making ACEO cards and sewing. I've been crocheting and drawing for years. I also love to make button pins. I tend to go on what I like to call "craft binges", where I'll make a whole bunch of a certain thing, so if you see long stretches of buttons or crocheted items in my listings, you'll know I've been on one!

My hobbies when I'm not creating things are watching anime, playing tabletop role-playing games (Dungeons and Dragons; Big Eyes, Small Mouth; D20 Modern, West End Games' D6 System, etc), building web-pages, and playing on GaiaOnline[dot]com. I also have a gallery on DeviantArt and Flickr, both of which you can find with the user name lizstaley as well.

I find that I really enjoy blogging about my crafts as well! You can visit my blog at

In addition, I also write and illustrate a story that I publish to the web, and have been working on since I was a senior in high school. It's gone through many, many versions and updates, and I'm eventually thinking about having it published. You can check that out at

Oh, and I'm an emote junkie, so... BE WARNED!

And when you visit her Etsy shop, this is the first thing you'll read!
Welcome to the Realm of Nerdiness, where you'll find all sorts of nerdy creations! We love custom orders- please contact us if you'd like something in a different size and/or color and we will work with you!

Our buttons make great stocking stuffers! Give a little bit of nerdiness this holiday season!

Please don't hesitate to ask me any questions about my creations-- I don't bite... unless you steal my role-playing dice.

Proud member of EarthPath Artisans Street Team.

Etsy shop: Liz Staley's Realm of Nerdiness
Blog: Live Wire Chick

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thursday Thirteen BlogRoll

Banana Showcase

Kelly VanVoltenburg is the owner of Banana Showcase which is located in Duncanville, Texas. She offers lively floral prints and repeating patterns in her cloth items which include her specialties - handbags, Kleenex holders and keychains. Some of the fabrics she uses are vintage and others are contemporary. All items are made in a pet-free and smoke-free environment.

You can tell by her descriptions that the bags she makes are built to last. Many have multiple layers and are triple-stitched. And if that's not enough to convince you to snap one up as her prices are fabulous!

A little about Kelly and her craft in her own words:

Just one girl and a very loved sewing machine -- that is all there is to Banana Showcase. I have been a crafter since I was a very little girl. I love to make things with my hands and now having people use the things I make is so exciting. I have sewn since I was a teen but recently discovered that purses are so fun to create. I also love visiting thrift stores so you will find that some of my bags are created from vintage fabrics or other vintage clothing items that have been repurposed to become purses.

I will do custom orders, so feel free to contact me and we'll talk!!

See her Etsy store to get one for yourself or to give as a gift:
Banana Showcase

Or to learn more about the artist go to her blog:
Kelly Van Voltenburg