Monday, July 26, 2010

Blog Feature

Hello Everyone!

I apologize for no updates recently. I have come short on those wanting to be featured and able to return the interview before I needed to post it! BUT the good news is I will have one more for this month before it is over! month will be featuring Canada! Know any etsy sellers from Canada that would like a blog feature? Send them my way!

On the other hand, my Road Trip Album was featured in a blog today! Head on over here and check it out.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

DottyMonkey - The UK

I want to start out by apologizing for such a late-in-the-day post today! I had a day filled with doctor appointments and many errands to run. Now on to the fun stuff:

Today I'd like to introduce you to a mom & daughter duo, DottyMonkey. Their Etsy store features funky fabric stuffed monkeys for young children as well as bags, aprons and much more! Their store is definitely unique and a one-of-a-kind place that your children are bound to love. Here is some more information about the lovely artists:

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
Dotty Monkey is Emily (daughter - artist,designer,sewing) and Julia (mum - pattern maker, sewing). We share a passion for beautiful and quirky fabric designs, and this gives us an excuse to indulge it, and homemade presents for children are a bit of a tradition in our family - Emily's gran used to make wonderful dolls and doll's clothes which are now being played with by the great grandchildren. Emily's day job is illustration (apart from being mother of two beautiful daughters, that is! - check out her new website at, and Julia is retired but fills in the time by running a holiday cottage, trying to grow vegetables, and pestering Emily for new designs.

What is something that makes you and where you come from stand out:
Emily - It's friends that make places special. I was brought up in a tiny village in Derbyshire (in the middle of England) and I love to go back there to visit, but I've been living in Scotland for about 15 years, mostly in Glasgow, which is a wonderful city for artists, and I've just been lucky enough to have two years at the Glasgow School of Art. Julia - I'm still living in Derbyshire and still can't believe my luck, as it was my childhood dream to live in these amazingly beautiful northern hills, and now I do!

What is it that you create?
We make soft creatures - monkeys, kittens and monsters, as well as aprons and bags featuring our colourful characters. Everything we make is safe for children and meant to be loved and played with, but we're delighted that grown ups love them too, especially the monkeys.

What inspired you to start creating?
Emily: I started out making sock monkeys for my daughters and my friends' children. Everyone loved them and my mum, Julia, was keen to sew things that I designed, so we looked for fabrics that we could use to create our own monkey designs. When we discovered the Liberty jersey fabrics we were hooked, so it was really my children, and Liberty, that inspired me! Julia: It was Emily who inspired me - so I still leave all the designing to her - it's the craft of sewing that fascinates me.

What is your most favorite item you have created?
We always love the monkeys and each one is unique so we wouldn't want to hurt any of their feelings by singling one out as a favourite.

Any inspirations you would like to mention?
The Moomins, Mary Blair, and Beatrix Potter - we suddenly realised this the other day when we found a battered copy of "The Story of Miss Moppet" in the attic - the pram kittens must come from Emily's childhood memories of this!

Please share with us any blunders you have encountered as a seller, if any, and how you resolved the issue.
Worst so far is underestimating the time the post can take around Christmas from UK to USA, next Christmas we’ll only use tracked mail, even though this is actually sometimes slower than ordinary mail - at least we won't spend weeks worrying where the parcel can be!

Any tips or advice you would like to share with the readers?
The Storque is a really good read – inspiring and helpful! Have faith in what you're doing, and keep on trying to improve photos - we don't feel we've quite got there yet, but it's fun trying.

Please be sure to check out their store as well as other locations you are able to find them on the web:


Monday, July 12, 2010

Max and Molly's Designs: The Dog House - The U.K.

I would like to introduce you to my third UK featured Etsy artist here on my blog: TheDogHouse. She makes clothing, dog bandannas, bags, stationery and so much more. Her inspiration? Her rescued greyhounds! How awesome is that?! Even better, she donates 5% of her profits to Gracehounds, a Midlothian based charity. Founded in 2007 & run entirely by volunteers, this charity is dedicated to finding permanent homes & a better life for greyhounds.

Here is a brief interview with the artist:

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I live in the beautiful city of Edinburgh with my fiancé & 2 rescue greyhounds. When I'm not getting creative with ink & screens, I operate my own dog walking business, spending my days outdoors in the wonderful Scottish countryside in the company of my favourite animals!

What is something that makes you and where you come from stand out?

People travel from all over the world to experience Scotland's amazing scenery & culture & I feel privileged to have it right on my doorstep!

What is it that you create?
I create & hand screenprint my designs onto ethically sourced clothing, homewares & accessories. My designs are inspired by my own dogs, Max & Molly, as well as greyhound rescue in general, & (hopefully!) convey what wonderful pets these animals make. I sell my products under the name Max and Molly Designs in my online shops & as well as at local craft fairs & events.

What inspired you to start creating?

It was just after we adopted our second greyhound, Molly, from our local greyhound re-homing charity, Gracehounds, that I started creating my designs. I found the sleek silhouettes & graceful (& at times not so graceful!) poses that greyhounds adopt made striking prints.

What is your most favorite item you have created?

My favourite design is my 'Chasing squirrels' one, which I have printed onto tea towels, tote bags, T-shirts & lots of doggy bandannas! It features a hand printed image of a squirrel & the caption 'Squirrel Patrol'. The image is derived from a photograph of a squirrel in my Mum-in-law's garden in Lancashire, England. (We don't get to see many squirrels in our own garden on account of our 2 greyhounds who are on constant patrol for any small furry critters!) I love this design because I think all dog owners can identify with it to some extent, not just those with sighthounds!

Any inspirations you would like to mention?

My passion for greyhound rescue is what inspires me to keep creating. Bred in large numbers for racing, greyhounds are often abandoned or destroyed after their short running careers, & yet these gentle & beautiful dogs make wonderful pets. I hope to spread the word about greyhound adoption through my products & also donate a portion of my profits to our local greyhound re-homing charity, Gracehounds.

Please share with us any blunders you have encountered as a seller, if any, and how you resolved the issue.
I don't think(!) I've made any major blunders as a seller. When I first started selling online I think I undervalued my own work & failed to take into account listing / transaction / Paypal fees & the time that goes into each product when I priced my items. It does take time to get the balance right though.

Any tips or advice you would like to share with the readers? Find something you are passionate about & create that - if YOU don't love your products then how can you expect anyone else to?

I just love her shop! Maybe I'm biased because I am a greyhound fan! Every time I'd fly in/out of O'hare airport in Chicago I'd see all the advertisements to rescue one and have fallen in love. I would LOVE to rescue one someday when I own a home or at least have a legit backyard!

Make sure to check out her shop and all the lovely items she has for sale!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Edgeinspired - The UK

My next Etsy artist from the UK to feature is Edgeinspired. They have been on Etsy for only a few months. I absolutely love the originality and beauty of every item they sell. "Edge Inspired is the place to find hanging gifts, original art collages, personalized Wedding Favors, handmade gift tags. Beautiful curiosities inspired by the sea."

Here is a brief interview with the artist(s):

Tell us a little bit about yourself:My name is Charlotte. I live in Hampshire in the New Forest in England. My partner and I are lucky enough to also live very close to the sea. We love to take an evening walk along the shore. It's so relaxing after a busy day at the office. We often spend hours searching for treasures and gaining inspiration for our new pieces.
What is something that makes you and where you come from stand out:

We come from a beautiful part of England and find it so inspiring to walk along the beach or take a picnic to the woods. Summer in the New forest is a wonderful time of year, the cool blues of the ocean and the fresh calming greens of the forest. We love incorporating the treasures that we find into our pieces, so you may well find tiny shells or a piece of beautiful sea glass in your picture. The whole process of selecting 'just the right combination' of treasures for our pictures is so much fun!

We love the products we make and get so much pleasure creating every single item. We use allot of recycled items in our pieces. Be it paper remnants, forgotten jewels and so much more! we love taking abandoned things out of their original context and transforming them into something beautiful.

What is it that you create?

We create a selection of handmade gift tags, original mixed media collages and gorgeous wooden hanging gifts. Beautiful curiosities inspired by the sea. We are in the process of adding a selection of personalized wedding favors to our range. Our heads are bursting with new ideas so stay tuned.

What inspired you to start creating?

Ever since I was a small girl I have always loved to create things. I spent some time at art collage when I was younger which inspired me to combine my love of different
medias. My partner and I discovered Etsy a couple of months ago. He is very creative as well. We decided to combine our creativity and open our Etsy shop.

What is your most favourite item you have created?

That's a hard one as we love all the items we create.

Any inspirations you would like to mention?

I am influenced by so many different things every single day!! I can't pinpoint any particular person, but I love seeing beautiful photos, interesting natural forms, the reflections of light across the ocean, a collection of random items..... so many things!

Please share with us any blunders you have encountered as a seller, if any, and how you resolved the issue.

Our biggest blunder would be not calculating our postage correctly. On our first couple of sales we made a small loss as we totally underestimated our postage costs.

Any tips or advice you would like to share with the readers?

Love what you do and believe in yourself.

Make sure you check out there shop here. Stay tuned: Next Monday will be another UK Etsy artist feature!

Monday, July 5, 2010

MrsGibson - The UK

For my first featured UK Etsy Artist, I would like to introduce you to MrsGibson. She has been a seller on Etsy now for over 2 years and has such a lovely shop featuring "Delicious handmade accessories, button bracelets, silver jewellery and vintage curiosities."

Here is a brief interview:

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Sam Gibson and I design and make jewelery under the name 'Mrs Gibson' from my Northamptonshire home in the UK. I have just turned 40 but still feel like an excited 20 something. I have a fabulously supportive family and two sons who are very proud that I make a living from my passion. I can't really imagine doing anything else and feel very lucky that I am 'living the dream'.

What is something that makes you and where you come from stand out?

I have a good eye for vintage trinkets, treasures and colour, luckily there are many old shops and flea markets where I live to indulge my passion for antiquing.

What is it that you create?

I create one of a kind jewelery pieces and handcrafted handbags. I do have a range of fun button jewelery which is ever popular and also sell my hand stitched illustrated art.

What inspired you to start creating?

I have always made things. Since I was very small I drew a lot, cooked and sewed. I had my first sewing machine when I was about 6, I don't remember a time when I didn't have something creative on the boil, when I take time off work I usually end up spending it making other stuff. Inspiration to continue creating comes from all around me, film, books, where I live, the fields and countryside that I see everyday. I love history, the Victorians, Edwardians and family tales of eccentric ancestors.

What is your most favorite item you have created?

See listing here.

See listing here.

I love the silver spoon charm necklaces I have made, I like combining lovely old objects with shiny crystals and old glass buttons. Also anything with pearls, I absolutely adore pearls and love working with them.

Any inspirations you would like to mention?

I love the potter Grayson Perry and artist Tracey Emin, looking at their work always gets me fired up. Day trips to galleries are very important to me as are walks around the town where I live and surrounding villages.Glossy magazines are great for trend news and lovely photographs to pour over.

Please share with us any blunders you have encountered as a seller, if any, and how you resolved the issue.

I have never encountered any real blunders, I make sure my descriptions and pictures are clear and concise, this will avoid most problems. Also outlining your policies, terms and conditions helps the customer make an informed purchase. I have only had one parcel go missing and one turn up opened and slightly damaged. I sent the customer another item and replaced the missing item. It's just good customer service. Make sure you have a little money put aside to cover any eventuality. Also never over reach yourself only promise what you know you can deliver.

Any tips or advice you would like to share with the readers?

I would say to anyone who wants to make a living from crafting to give it a go. Research your market, know you customer. Listen to advise from people with experience but trust in what you know. Make what you love. Don't under sell yourself, I think underpricing is a terrible thing, it devalues your own work and the craft movement as a whole. Have pride in your work and strive to keep being original and developing your talents.

I hope you all love her store and pieces just as much as I do! Go over to her shop (here) and make sure to check out everything!

The UK And All It Has To Offer Pt 1

I'm starting with the United Kingdom for my first country to feature here on my blog. (I love the irony of featuring the United Kingdom the day after my own country celebrated their Independence from them!) I visited London, myself, in October of 2008 and fell in love. The architecture, the art, the people, everything. My fascination has only grown since.

Here is a few facts about the U.K. (source: CIA - The World Fact Book)

* What's in a name:
conventional long form: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; note - Great Britain includes England, Scotland, and Wales
conventional short form: United Kingdom
abbreviation: UK

* Location: Western Europe, islands including the northern one-sixth of the island of Ireland between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea, northwest of France

* Area Comparative: slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Oregon

* Population: 61,284,806

* Languages: English, Welsh (about 26% of the population of Wales), Scottish form of Gaelic (about 60,000 in Scotland)

* Government Types: constitutional monarchy and Commonwealth realm

Make sure to stay tuned for more information about the U.K. as well as featured Etsy artists from this country!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mini Vaca

My husband, Scott, and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary on June 20th. However, my husband had received free passes to the Profusion Video Expo in Toronto, that happened to be the same weekend as our anniversary. I was not about to spend our first anniversary in separate countries, so I tagged along. He spend Friday and Saturday in workshops all day and I spent them in downtown Toronto being a tourist! I thought I'd share a *few* images I have from the weekend! Enjoy!

A side note: In Oct. '08 my husband and I were able to take a weekend trip to London, England, in June '09 we went to the Domincan Republic for our honeymoon, and then this year we went to Toronto, Canada. We figured we need to find somewhere *cheap* to go next year (we are fresh college grads...ouch.). We are crossing our fingers that our tax refund is just as good, if not better, than this past one. If so, we plan on going to Copenhagen, Demark and take a day trip to Malmo, Sweden!

Anyone been to Denmark or Sweden? Where was your favorite international vacation to? Where would you LOVE to go more than anywhere else in the world?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Lovely Treasury to Share

I have recently become addicted to making treasuries on Etsy ever since they've made them more available. I especially enjoy making them when I work 4pm-12am on Sunday nights!!!

Check out my most recent one! Please comment and click each image!

Orange 'n' Teal

All Around The World

I am going to start featuring artists from all around the world on my blog. Every month will be a different country and I will feature 8 artists from those respective countries each month!! Being in America, I don't get to travel to many other countries as often as I'd like due to cost of transit and such...Etsy is a great way to still enjoy goods from another country AND support the locals!

July: England
August: Canada
September: Australia
October: Brazil
November: Germany
December: Italy

Do you sell on Etsy and live in one of those countries? Contact me, send me a short paragraph letting me know who you are, what you sell on etsy and why you'd love to be featured. Also, please follow the blog to keep up to date on other random features that may take place as well as possible give aways, etc.

contact me:

Sunday, June 13, 2010

My Etsy Favorites!

I want to try and feature amazing Etsy artists once a week! Interested in being featured? Feel free to contact me!!!!

Onto some of my favorite Etsy items:


Definately check out the other items that these great sellers have in their shop! Interested in seeing what else I like?? Check out my Etsy Favorites!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Oh Canada!

I have decided to add more of my personal life into this blog along with my craft allowing you to get to know me better!!

In two weeks my husband, Scott, and I will be celebrating our 1 year wedding anniversary! Woo hoo! That weekend there is a film/lighting expo in Toronto, ON that we are going to. Well, he is going to and I'm tagging along to be a tourist! I booked a hotel room for us using Priceline's name your own price, got a great deal at $50/night. I called the hotel and found out that we were put in a smoking room and were unable to move us. Not good. I called Priceline and they canceled/refunded our money without hesitation. I then was able to book at another hotel that is 100% smoke free and get us a room with a fridge, micro and free hot breakfast every morning for $59.25/night! Not bad! I'm pretty excited to spend the weekend in Toronto. I hope to check out as many of the museums as I possibly can...being an Art history student, it's a must. I also can't wait to see, study and photograph some amazing architecture!

Anyone been to Toronto? Have any tips?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Going to the chapel...

I love weddings...what they symbolize...the decor...the atmosphere. They are beautiful. Now that we're in wedding season I found it very appropriate to showcase a few of my 'wedding themed' favorites on Etsy. I am currently making invitations for my best friend's wedding and will be doing the invitations for my brother's wedding as well. So, since weddings are on my mind, I thought I'd share it with you!


Make sure to check out these great shops on Etsy as well as many others for a unique, one of a kind wedding!