Monday, June 29, 2009

Knitted For Ewe Is In An Etsy Treasury!

I just got a message on Etsy telling me that my green felted bag with the little birdie was put into a treasury. Its always so exciting when one of my items is chosen. Not to mention the treasury it was put into is sooo cute.

Check it out.

Aren't they Tweet?!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Favourite Etsy Shop Friday!!!!

Favourite Etsy Shop Feature

Buttons by Robin

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I think this may be the hardest question to answer since I would like to be able to answer in a way that makes me sound exciting and intriguing. In reality I’m not really either of those so I guess I will just have to stick to the facts. I live in Toronto, Ontario Canada with my husband who is my best friend. I also have a grown son who I am also very lucky to say is one of my best friends. I am very lucky that way.

I have a day job as a policy analyst for the government. My day job is pretty much the complete opposite of my creative side so I really enjoy letting my creative side out. I can’t imagine what it would be like not to be able to create.

I have a full spare bedroom and most of my basement full of my crafting supplies (pretty much organized into bins) and the garage is full of all sorts of power tools (saws of various kinds, sanders, drill press etc.). I try to keep it somewhat organized but the spare bedroom which I call my “studio” in an effort to sound like an authentic artist is “off limits” to my husband who is a neat freak and gets upset at my creative clutter. It’s just better that he stays away from that part of the house altogether.

2. What made you decide to open your shop and why Etsy?

I think my story is fairly typical. I started out making items and brought some in to work one day to show a friend. Co-workers saw them, wanted to buy them and I started a small “at my day job” business. This was well before Etsy even existed. I moved to a new city where I didn’t know anyone so that “at work” business dried up. I found E-bay and started there and eventually heard about Etsy. Now Etsy is my main store and I love it.

3. Do you sell your items anywhere else other than Etsy?

Etsy is my greatest love and I have two stores here:

Buttons By Robin:
I still sell a little bit on E-bay: primitive_pursuits
And I just started a store on Artfire within the last couple of weeks:
Buttons By Robin

You will see different button designs in each of these locations and the Robin42 store is for my jewelry. I mainly sell on venues other than Etsy to get my name out there and then eventually direct them to my Etsy store which, as I said, is my main love.

4. How long have you been creating/crafting?
I’ve been crafting and creating as far back as I can remember but I would say I really got into it about 15 years ago when I took a folk art or primitive painting class at a community college. From there it just sort of exploded and I started exploring all types of creative endeavours over the years.

Besides making buttons for my Etsy shop which takes up most of my spare time I dabble in all kinds of things. I bought a kiln a few years ago so love working with fused glass and ceramics. I also continue to paint and I dabble in creating computer graphics. I recently bought a screen printing book and supplies so am hoping to get started in that and I have dabbled in metal work. I’d love to get into making more jewelry which I sell at a second Etsy store I have called Robin42 (the name was chosen before I realized it would also be your store name) With jewelry being such a saturated market on Etsy and elsewhere I’m waiting until I come up with some sort of unique idea before I put a lot of effort into this store.

5. What are your other favourite things to do?

Honestly other than spending time with my family I live and breathe my art. I read about it and think about it all the time when I’m not actually able to work on it. Even the television shows I watch for the most part are shows I have recorded that relate to crafts. I’ve even started carrying a camera around with me so that I can capture any and all “artistic” moments I stumble across.

6. What inspires you?

My inspiration comes from many sources and is constantly changing. I started out with a very “primitive” or “country” aesthetic when I first started creating. Over the years I have become drawn more to collage and mixed media. Looking at the wonderful pieces of art out there often trigger a direction or a thought or a mood. Most recently I am enjoying nature and photographic images and trying to incorporate those into my art. I love browsing Etsy and seeing all the talented artists here. I have incorporated a lot of images and graphics into my buttons that have been purchased here on Etsy. Of course I make sure the artist has given permission for them to be used commercially and I always try to credit the artist with the images when I make my Etsy listings. I think it’s very important for those of us on Etsy to support each other.

7. Of all the items you make for your shop, what do you enjoy making the most?
I don’t make a lot of images over and over. That’s why you never know what you will find in my shop. I get bored easily so having my own Etsy shop gives me the opportunity to move from design to design as the mood strikes me. This means my buttons are very limited in number so you won’t see them all over. I do enjoy making my buttons and designing or purchasing new images always gets me excited to get working on new designs.

When I feel the need to take a bit of a break from button making I get out the glass or the clay and just create something beautiful just for the sake of making it without any end result such as “will it sell?” in mind. After a few days I get anxious to getting back to my buttons.

8. What are your most popular items?

I would have to say my buttons with bird images are very popular and they have been for quite some time. I know birds have been a popular image on Etsy and for me they continue to be very popular.

9. Do you use any of your fabulous buttons for any other projects?

The funny thing is I don’t sew. I would love to sew and aspire to sew but currently I do not so I rarely use my own buttons in anything that I make except perhaps sewing a button or two on a simple t-shirt to add a special touch. I have been spending some time lately thinking about using my handmade buttons in a line of jewelry. That idea is just starting to gel so we’ll see where that heads.

10. Name 3 other Etsy shops you love to visit
That’s a really tough question because I love love love so many of the Etsy shops but here are three from my favourites list on Etsy:

Bayin at

This seller sells images that are in what I call a Japanese or Asian style which I am currently drawn to. She’s a fairly new seller and she’s just so darn nice.
Piddix is one of the top sellers of images on Etsy and besides having wonderful images she has some of the best customer service I have ever seen.

Figs and Ginger:
I love the simplicity of their jewelry designs. Just beautiful!

I literally have a few hundred marked as favourites and my favourites grow every day. I really do wish there was a way to organize them better.

I would like to thank Buttons by Robin for taking part in my Favourite Etsy Shop Friday Feature this week. This is a shop that I discovered recently. I love to use unusual buttons on my bags and I love to collect buttons as well so this shop really appeals to me. Dont you just love the colourful wonderful images she uses. This was a great interview. I hope you all enjoyed reading it and check out this beautiful Etsy shop.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My Baby Girl Is Now 6

On Sunday my baby girl Victoria turned 6 years old. It also happened to be the same day as Fathers Day. We had a party at the park crossing our fingers and hoping the rain would stop as it had been raining for about 4 days straight. Well I think the finger crossing helped because it didnt rain on Sunday and the sun came out half way through the day. They kids had a great time just playing on the playground equipment. We were prepared with all sorts of under the pavilion games and only ended playing one. The old classic pass the parcel never fails. Although the funny thing was all the adults thought that I had invented this great new game. We played pass the parcel at every birthday party that I remember as a kid. Is this an Australian thing? Maybe it is.

Can you see these fabulous cakes that we made. Victoria was the ideas girl, Megan and I just made it happen. Thank goodness for my mum sending the very cute cupcake stand for my birthday in the mail last week. If fit in perfectly. Victoria is my little hippy chick. She loves smiley faces, peace signs and everything rainbow. She just discovered tie dyed shirts last month and is in love hehe. She was born at the wrong time I think.

The icing was very bright as you can see and the kids just loved the fact that is changed their whole mouth a new colour. Thankfully it didnt last long. I was wondering what parents would think.

Here is the birthday girl blowing out the number 6 candle. She was very anxious to blow the candle out. I had to put my hand up in front of it so she wouldnt blow it out before we sang Happy Birthday. Oh one thing about the blowing out of the candle, it almost didnt happen. Silly me brought everything but the kitchen sink to the park but had forgotten something to light the candle. Luckily someone who was playing basketball nearby saved the day. I couldnt believe it. The only other thing that was missing was the butterscotch popcorn. I simply ran out of hours. It all worked out in the end.

Here is Victoria and her big cheesy grin. She had just finished off a cupcake and you can see some lovely black icing on her lips hehe. She is also wearing one of her favourite shirts. She saw this shirt and she just had to have it. Note the fact that it matches the cake. You cant see them but it has more smiley faces and peace signs all over it. Oh and hair done by big sister Megan. They were getting along this day. Actually they have been getting along since Victoria asked me the day before her birthday if she was acting 6 yet and I told her not quite. You see when you are 6 you are nice to your sister, you dont say mean things and by the time you are 6 you should be done arguing. She pondered this for a while and ever since about a half an hour after that they have been getting along wonderfully. How long will it last?

Here she is enjoying the see saw. A newly discovered favourite at the park. As tradition would have it, its hilarious when her butt bangs on the ground on these things hehe.
I have to give a shout out to my husband and older daughter Megan for all their help in getting this all together. Everything was a success and everyone had a good time. It wasnt bad for only a week of planning and on a holiday.

Now for the next 33rd birthday is tomorrow on the 24th.
Happy Birthday to me!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Favourite Etsy Shop Friday!!!!

Favourite Etsy Shop Feature

Chet and Dot

1. Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Jenn Hill. I live in Portland OR on what is slowly becoming an urban homestead, we just got 5 chickens! I live with my partner, daughter and sweet kitty Fifi.

2. What made you decide to open your shop and why Etsy?

In 2005, I had a small store space and when I decided to close, I knew I wanted a way to continue making and selling, luckily, just then, along came Etsy. I signed up right away and had my first sale within a few days and I was hooked. Etsy is amazing, it lets me reach my target market on a world wide scale. I love that I'm able to work from home doing what I love. Etsy has made that possible.

3. How did you choose your shop name?

I happened upon a stack of vintage Christmas cards, several years ago and inside one particularly precious one, was written "Best Wishes, Chet and Dot" I didn't know what I wanted to do with the name then but I kept it in mind and then one day I thought it would be the perfect name for my little shop.

4. How long have you been creating/crafting?
I have been crafting and creating for as long as I can remember. Never, of course, on such big scale as I do now, but I remember always having some little project going on.

5. What are your other favourite things to do?

I love baking, cooking, gardening and chicken watching

6. What inspires you? I am inspired by so many things, Japanese style and design, vintage magazines and books, modern design.

7. Of all the items you make for you your shop, what do you enjoy making the most?

Hmmm...I think that depends, sometimes I really love making something or working with a particular medium and then I'll move on to something else. I really like stamp carving and printing the most. It's the most versatile, I can print on paper or fabric to use for sewing. I do adore needle felting too.

8. What are your most popular items?

My stuffed animals are the most popular thing in my shop.

9. Name 3 other Etsy shops you love to visit?
There are so many great Etsy shops, it's hard to narrow it down. I usually shop for Japanese fabrics at
cottonblue, karaku and fabricsgalore.

10. What handmade possession do you cherish?

My baby quilt made by my great grandmother

I would just like to thank Chet and Dot for a wonderful interview. It was fun learning more about you and your Etsy shop. I have been a fan for a long time and just love all your items. I especially like the sewing kits.

I hope you have enjoyed another Favourite Etsy Shop Feature.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Oh My Gosh Its Going To Be A Crazy Week!

Just jumping on here to say Aaaaaaahhhhhhh!
This week is going to be crazy. Tomorrow Victoria and I are off to the zoo for her Kindergarten class trip. I just looked up the weather and it says rain so I have my fingers crossed they are wrong which wouldnt be unusual. Victoria just went to the zoo on Saturday with her Grandpa and cousins, the same zoo so I hope she wont be bored. They were suppose to got a while ago and the trip kept getting put off so they ended up going close to when we are going. When we get back from the zoo we are suppose to go to a Girl Scout meeting which is suppose to be the last one, its a special ceremony so we kinda have to go. Victoria will be pooped that day.

This Sunday the 21st is Victoria's 6th birthday. I cant believe my baby will be 6. She is very excited. Well this year we were slow to get organized. Today I have to go and check we can get the park for Sunday and then start calling everyone I can think of and invite them. It just so happens that Father's Day is on the 21st this year so we have Victoria's birthday and Father's Day on the same day. Joe has already decided it wont be possible to make the day special for him and Victoria but I am out to prove him wrong. I have a present idea that I think he will like and I am getting Victoria to start making him something special. It should be a crazy fun day. To top it all off she wants a cake that I will have to make. These are the times when I wish she had her grandma here. She is the cake maker not me. I am also at the mercy of Victoria's imagination so it will be very interesting. You will have to wait and see what it will be. Let me tell you there will be no other cake like it hehe.

I also have a Summer Reading meeting on Thursday and I am painting trim in Megan's room and getting the house clean for the visitors we will probably have this weekend.

An exciting thing that will be happening this week is we are probably getting packages from Australia this week from my family. This is always exciting. The anticipation is crazy. Not only is it Victoria's birthday on the 21st but my birthday is on the 24th so presents galore. Yay!

June is always so busy but it always sneaks up on me and it feels like a mad rush. It just occured to me that the girls will be done with school next week and summer holidays will be upon us. I better get the boxing gloves out for Victoria and Megan hehe.

Stay tuned this week because I will be adding another felted bag to my shop. I just took photos yesterday and hope to add it tonight. I love this bag. Its one of my favourites.

I have also selected the shop that I hope to be featuring this Friday. This shop has been a favourite for a long time. Stay tuned for that one.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Favourite Etsy Shop Friday!!!!

Favourite Etsy Shop Feature

Heathen's Hearth

1. Tell us a bit about yourself?
Heathen's Hearth is actually owned and run by two heathens….myself (Misty) and Amy. I (Misty) am a full-time HR Manager, mother of one and Amy is a SAHM mom to one who spends half of her time in Virginia and half of her time in Missouri.

2. What made you decide to open your shop and why Etsy?
We started out in the summer of 2007 making melt and pour soap just as a hobby. After a few months, and many, MANY pounds of soap began overtaking our house, we decided we needed to not only get rid of some of it, but find a way to make money to support our soaping habit. We heard about Etsy from a friend and thought we’d try our luck there…almost 1 year later, it’s the best decision we could have made!

3. How did you choose your shop name?
Honestly…it’s kind of a hodgepodge of ideas/beliefs/nicknames, lol. When we began throwing around the idea of a business, we originally planned on making primarily pagan products and Heathen came up. Of course, almost all of what we make is done in our kitchen, which is my favorite place to be…the Hearth. Throw in the fact that I call my 6 year old son a little heathen, then, well…you got our name…Heathen’s Hearth!

4. How long have you been creating/crafting?
Crafting/creating bath and body? A little over 2 years. Crafting in general? Almost my entire life…Amy as well. I think we both found our calling with soaping. It’s something that we are not only good at, but enjoy. We enjoy pushing ourselves, coming up with newer and newer things. We have gone from just making melt and pour, to sugar scrubs, scrub cubes, salt scrubs, whipped body frostings, lip balms, salves and balms, and now are starting to make cold and hot process soaps. I absolutely love the creating part of the business…coming up with new designs, new soaps, new fragrance combinations.

5. What are your other favourite things to do?
You mean there are other things to do aside from creating smell goods and running Heathen’s Hearth?!

6. What inspires you?
Misty: Everything. The possibilities with soaping are endless. I even find myself inspired in the produce section of the supermarket, looking at a coconut and thinking to myself, “Hmmmm…coconut….I bet some of that coconut fragrance and chocolate fragrance I have at home would go so well together!”

Amy: Misty does actually. My creativity has always sort of ebbed and flowed, hers just runs continuously. I go back and forth with my creative talents – when I need a break from creating new scents or new products because I’m in a creative ebb, I play in spreadsheets and do accounting – creative math and the hands on aspect of science has always been a fun thing for me, so while its not the “interesting” part of what we do, playing and creating new recipes in a spreadsheet before actually turning them into real products, is part of what keeps me motivated and inspired to get back in the kitchen.

7. Of all the items you make for your shop, what do you enjoy making the most?
Misty: I am in love with Cold Process soap making. I just love it. There is nothing like taking raw, natural ingredients, combining just the right amount, in just the right way and then….voila! You have made beautiful soap…from scratch. To me, it’s like baking bread…I get such a feeling of accomplishment from it, and people love it!

Amy: I think some of my favorite things to create and make are still the glycerin soaps. I have a short attention span, and they meet my creative need for instant gratification. I’m slowly but surely becoming addicted to HP soap making for the same reason – I can make a batch of soap and its ready to go into my shower that same day. They don’t have the artistic license that CP soaps have, because of the short set up time, so things like swirling and designs are harder to incorporate, but I’m determined that one day I’ll make bars as beautiful as they are good for your skin.

8. What is your favourite scent?
This is easy (and probably well known to quite a few Etsians, lol)
Misty’s favorite scent is Pink Sugar. Amy’s favorite scent is Sandalwood.

9. What are your most popular items?
Well…we sell more soap than any other item. But when it comes to scents, some of our top sellers are Sandalwood, Pink Sugar, CafĂ© Mocha, Lemon Cream, Oatmeal Milk & Honey. We came up with the idea of our Etsy Inspiration soaps and those have been big sellers …and popular with other shops who have started Etsy Inspired lines in their products, also!

10. Name 3 Etsy shops you love to visit.

I would love to thank Misty and Amy for taking part in my first Favourite Etsy Shop Friday. It was so great to learn about your shop and the wonderful people behind it. I love all your products. My daughters and I drool over them all the time. I have been dying to purchase something for a long time and havent had the chance yet. Perhaps Im afraid that once I start I wont be able to stop hehe.

I hope you have enjoyed this interview and will keep coming back to see what other shops are featured. You just never know what wonderful Etsy shop you'll see next.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

He's A Small Bear With A Big Problem

I finished the bear for Victoria's teacher last night. I cant believe that he is finally done. His name is Christopher. This is the bear that I hope will be off to his new home soon because all I see when I look at him is the big ol' mistake that I made when seaming him together. His nose is where his neck is and his neck is where his nose is. This is not a good look for him. It also makes him a little bit stuck up, a little bit snobby. Now I feel the need to remake him and redeem myself. I have some wonderful Elite yarn that is 50% wool and 50% cotton that would be perfect for the job. You may be seeing another bear like this in the future.

I took these photos outside today because it was such a nice sunny day and we got a our first flowers of the season blooming. These cute little orange flowers. I have no idea what sort they are but they are cute and we are excited that they bloomed. At the end of last Summer I thought I had dug up all the flowers so we could start planting a fresh new set of different flowers this year. Well apparently our garden had other plans and is here to stay. We have flowers that all ready to pop open with pretty flowers that are from the original seeds we planted 2 years ago. Its lucky that were determined because I didnt really get a chance to get any new seeds and our garden would be bare. I will definitely be taking more flower photos with each new flowers we have show up. I just love to take nature pictures. We have alot of poppies that will be blooming soon which is wonderful because I was kind of feeling sad that I was digging them up last year. We loved our poppies.

In this naked photo of Christopher you can see the back of his head. You can see how it narrows and comes to a point. That would be where his nose is hehe. Oh well, definitely wont make that mistake again and it gives him character.

Victoria got off the school bus today while I was taking bear photos and just had to get her picture taken with him.

I have started seaming up the fancy alpaca yarn bear. I can see this is going to take a while. I am working on putting her body together which is the biggest part. Hopefully the other pieces wont take as long or maybe its just me taking my time so I dont get it wrong.

Today I have been putting together my first Featured Etsy Seller for Friday. I am really excited about showing it off. You will have to stay tuned to find out who it is. I decided it would be more interesting to hear straight from the shop itself so I put together ten questions and sent them to my shop of choice. Its interesting to me to find out how other Etsy sellers got started and how they go about doing things especially when its a shop that I love. So dont forget to check back in on Friday to read my interview with this fabulous shop.

Oh another thing I did yesterday was sign up for an Etsy group. They have all sorts of Etsy groups you can join for the craft of your choice. I am now a proud member of the EtsyKnitters. I am excited to learn more about the group and be able to connect with other knitters.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A New Idea Coming

I was thinking the other day that I have so many favourite shops on Etsy that I would love to tell the world about them. So from now on each Friday, starting with next Friday, I am going to be showing and talking about a different favourite Etsy shop. I always finding new Etsy shops with great products in them so why not share my favourites with the world. I am going to contact the shop before talking about them on this blog and giving them a heads up. Sooooo stay tuned for that one.

For a while today the weather was kind of warm and spring like so I sat outside with some coffee and a magazine sitting in our comfy feet up fold out chair. It felt very decadent. That is why I added some pretty flower pictures that I took a couple of weeks ago to signify the spring day we had. While sitting out in our backyard I became very aware of the very many critters who seemed to be enjoying our backyard as well. I discovered a very chattery squirrel was spying on me and many different bird calls were going on. It seems I was the talk of the town. Somewhere off in the distant a kitty was meowing and it seemed like everything was a buzz. It kind of made me chuckle. Im looking forward to more warm days outside. Now we just need one of those hammocks with the stands and it would be perfect.

I mentioned in my last post about seaming together the fancy alpaca yarn bear that I have knit. Well the weekend came and I thought I would start seaming it together. Then it occured to me that that wouldnt be fair to start seaming this bear when there was this other poor bear who has been sitting around waiting to be put together since before Christmas. So I am finishing off this bear first. This bear is suppose to be a present for Victoria's teacher because the end of the school year is fast approaching at the end of this month. I had started seaming this bear together and then stopped because I had seamed the head wrong. I started to undo the head part and had put it down. Well when I came back to it, it had been so long I thought I was done undoing it and had been putting it back together. I finish seaming the head add the eyes because they were safety eyes and then realised that it was indeed never fixed. So now this bear has some head issures. The part where the nose should be is now the back of the neck and the back of the neck is the nose. Its all very weird and annoying. I am trying to just get him done and out of here so I dont have to look at his odd head anymore hehe. I now feel like I need to do this pattern again to redeem myself. He just needs his overalls seamed up and then he will be finished. I will definitely have to show you pictures of this poor little bear when he is completed. I guess I will just have to chalk it up to character hehe.