Friday, June 25, 2010

Favourite Etsy Shop Friday

Favourite Etsy Shop Feature


1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I live with my wife in a small, old house in St. Paul where we both spend a lot of our spare time making stuff. My day job, though, is as a graphic designer. When I'm not working or making felted friends, I also like to spin, knit, bake and garden.

2. What made you open your shop and why Etsy?
It's fun and satisfying to be able to have, what I like to call, "a self-supporting hobby." I don't see myself quitting my day job, but if I didn't have an outlet like Etsy, our house would be overrun with little felted creatures.

3. Do you sell your needle felted fellas anywhere else?
I don't sell them anywhere else, but I have, on occasion, sold bigger batches to people who I think resell them in B&M stores. Once they leave the house, I can't say for sure what happens to them.

4. How did you choose your shop name?
ScratchCraft is actually the name of the blog I keep ( I decided to share the projects and things that we make/bake/knit/spin/felt/grow with friends and family. As the name says, we like making stuff, and most of the stuff we make is from scratch.

5. What are your favourite things to do?
I like spending time outside, and generally enjoying life. This is particularly important to me, as last year I was diagnosed and underwent treatment for leukemia. Cancer certainly made me reevaluate the priorities in my life.

6. What inspires you?
Nature is probably my biggest inspiration.

7. Which animal do you enjoy needle felting the most and why?
I think I enjoy making bears the most. They've evolved over the last year and each one seems to develop its own personality as I put the finishing touches on them.

8. Which is your most popular item?
Hard to say. Most of the felted friends that I make seem to sell eventually, but I have made quite a few bears, so I would probably say they are the most popular, followed by the owls.

9. Which handmade possession given to you do you most cherish?
My wife crocheted me a giant afghan last Valentine's Day. She made it specifically for my size (I'm 6'2"), so it's quite long. Truly a labor of love.

10. Name 3 other Etsy shops you love to visit.
This is a hard one. There are so many great vendors out there, and picking just three would be impossible. But, I have revisited these shops:

Moontsy And Floontsy
j. Nic Designs

Thank you to ScratchCraft for being my featured Etsy shop this week. I know why the bears are the most popular thing in this shop because they are just the cutest. One bear that is not pictured is the Super Bear. You have to go to this shop and check them out. They have little cape with bees on them and they look like they are flying to save the day. I think I need to own at least one of them. I also love all the characters that are made from Alice In Wonderland. Have a look at this shop and you are sure to find a favourite or two for yourself.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hamilton Went To His New Home

The pink pig Hamilton that was listed in my shop not to long ago just arrived at his new home. His new Mummy loves him so much that she had to do a blog post about him.

Here it is if you would like to see what adventures Hamilton has been on since his arrival.

It fills my heart with joy knowing something that I made can bring so much happiness. This is why I knit, this is what makes it so worthwhile.

Victoria fell in love with Hamilton while he was here. She has her own pig that looks just like him except Hamilton's tail seems to be a little more curly. Her pig is named Pinky. Apparently Hamilton and Pinky were boyfriend and girlfriend. Pinky had to come and check out where he went to and how he is doing. I think she was happy to see he is having fun.

Good luck Hamilton on all your coming adventures and thank you Bird On Wire Studio for all your kind words.

Monday, June 21, 2010

My Baby Turned 7 Today!

Its June 21st so that means not only is it the first day of Summer but its my baby's birthday. Victoria Rose is now 7 which she tells me its awesome. Apparently 7 rocks as was mentioned in the song we were making up last night about turning 7 hehe.

Victoria is very much into Pokemon at the moment. She talks about Pokemon every chance she can get. She is a bit off the mark as Pokemon was everywhere about 10 years ago when Megan was into it so its not so easy to find stuff with Pokemon on it. So when she wanted this as her party theme we had to create our own stuff. Megan has a friend who is a really good artist especially when it comes to Anime so I asked her if she would put Pikachu on a cake for me. She loved that idea. Didnt she do a great job? We decided to use chocolate this year for anything black because the black icing on last years cake dyed the children a new colour hehe. The chocolate worked out great and tasted good too, I highly recommend it.

Last year I got all this great cupcake making stuff for my birthday and Victoria is a big fan of cupcakes so we had to make some of those. I did the Poke Balls which are apparently awesome. The red looked just right but again pink fingers and tongues were had all around.

Here is the big crowd around watching Victoria open cards and gifts. Its funny how they get so excited just watching someone open presents and that the birthday girl was so rich every time she opened a card with money in it. Do you remember when $5 seemed like sooooo much money? hehehe

Victoria asked me a couple of weeks ago when I finished the green and blue robot could I please, please, please make her one just like it for her birthday. So in between projects and while she was sleeping I have been making her robot. She really likes him and as soon as she unwrapped him decided to name him Reggie Gegus. She is wacky but she makes me giggle. She also got her very own Star Wars Light Saber which is prompting many action poses and talks of saving the planet hehe. A good time was had by all at the party. It was a hot day and apparently all you need is a playground and lots of water balloons. It kept them amused the whole time. We have learned that its way better to use regular balloons as water balloons as they come out huge, get you wetter and dont pop so easily. The children also like to call them their baby eggs and carry them around. We had a very fun day.

Now today being her actual birthday we will spend the afternoon playing whatever the birthday girl wants and giving her lots of hugs. I cant believe my baby is already 7, where does the time go?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Favourite Etsy Shop Friday

Favourite Etsy Shop Feature

Jadite Kate

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Kate Smith. I live near Allentown, Pennsylvania with my wonderful husband, Aaron. Other than being an Etsy shop owner, I am a homemaker, graphic designer and office manager at my husband’s business.

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

I have always wanted to open my own antique store, but I wanted a global market, not just a local shop. I stumbled across Etsy and decided this was the place for me. I love the easy format and simplicity of the shops.

3. Do you sell your vintage items anywhere else?
Nope. I am 100% dedicated to Etsy.

4. How did you choose your shop name?

I wanted something catchy and self-explanatory, so “Jadite Kate” stuck.

5. What are your favourite things to do?
I love searching for glassware! It’s like treasure hunting for me. I also love to bake, knit, and watch movies with my husband.

6. If you could learn one new craft what would it be?

Well, I am in the process of learning how to knit. Right now I can only make scarves and cowls. I would love to find someone in my area who would teach me how to make other things (hint, hint).

7. While antiquing what has been your favourite find?
I found a pair of Mckee square canisters for $60. One is jadite and one is custard colored. They are each worth about $250 each, so I was beyond thrilled to find them at such a great price.

8. Which type of item is the most popular that you sell?

I’ve found that I sell quite a bit of teacups and saucers. They make great gifts, but are also fun to collect.

9. Which handmade possession given to you do you most cherish?
My maternal grandmother used to be an avid sewer, so she made me a quilt that I love. It’s a simple block quilt, made of fabric from vintage dresses. It’s worn and torn in a few places, but it is so comfortable. I know it sounds silly, but I sleep with it every night.

10. Name 3 other Etsy shops you love to visit.

Spinning Wheel Studio
Petit Oiseau

Thank you so much to Jadite Kate for being my favourite Etsy shop this week. How can you not love these vintage pieces. The colours are so beautiful and vibrant. The glassware in this shop would be wonderful even if you just displayed them but how could you resist not using it as well. Looking at this shop brings back many memories of visiting antique shops when I was little. So many times the brakes were applied when the new discovery of an antique shop was found and we just had to stop and take a look. So many treasures can be found doing this. Take a look in this shop, take a stroll down memory lane and hopefully you will find some treasures of your own. You dont even have to leave the comforts of home.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lace Socks

I just mailed off these custom made knitted socks to a customer. I really hope she likes how they turned out. The customer picked the yarn which is 80% merino, 10% cashmere and 10% nylon. It came from a lovely shop on Etsy called Have You Any Wool

The customer wanted me to pick the pattern that the socks were knitted in. I searched and searched for a pattern that I thought would look great with this yarn and colour. I really hope she likes what I have chosen. The funny thing about this pattern is these socks are suppose to be knitted from the toe up but I knitted mine from the top down. I have yet to learn the toe up method. Somebody else had knitted these socks from the top down and I liked how theirs turned out. By doing it from the other direction the lace pattern is flipped upside down and I liked how this lace pattern looked upside down as well as the right side up. It gives it a totally different look.

I have only knitted a few lace pattern socks before and each time I learn something new. I like it because its a challenge and I love the end result. The satisfying feeling when they are all done and look just right is wonderful. Bring on the next lace project and fingers crossed my customer loves her new socks.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Belated Introduction

About a month and a half ago we got a new kitty. We finally convinced my husband that we needed a second kitty. So here is my kitty Dexter. He was 10 months old when we got him so now he is 11 months old. We set out to get a female that was at least a year old and came home with Dexter hehe. We had held so many cats and we kept saying this is not the one. Well when we were in this one kitty room at the Humane Society Victoria refused to pat any of the kitties. We thought this was unusual for her as she loves all kitties. We decided to look at Dexter because he kept pawing through the cage at us. When we got him out Victoria said this was the only one she wanted to pat and was waiting for him. I think it was love at first sight with those two. He just seemed so sweet and he had such a big grin when we were all patting him. This poor little guy had been declawed on all four paws so they were worried people wouldnt want to adopt him. Joe liked the fact that he didnt have claws and we all loved his personality.

We brought him home and he acted like he had lived here all his life. The random hissing from our other cat Ringo didnt phase him and he just wanted to snuggle with everyone. He spent the first 2 weeks being the most mellow cat you've ever seen. Well I guess he got comfortable because now he just plays and plays. He will play at the drop of a hat. He just loves Victoria and the feeling is mutual. He follows her around the house and even sits on the bathtub when she is taking a bath. She calls him her bath buddy. He loves kids and is in heaven when friends are over. He is extremely quirky though. I think he could have his own blog with all of his silly things he does. Before he came to us his papers say that he lived with a 5 year old, a 4 year old, a cat and a dog. The reason he was given up for adoption is the new baby was allergic to cats. This explains alot about his personality you see he kind of thinks he is a dog. He will carry cat toys in his mouth, bring them to you and drop them at your feet. If you throw it he will go get it play with it and bring it back for you to throw it again. Its so funny to watch.

With him having no claws we are discovering all the things that cats use their claws for. He cant grip onto the string when he is playing. He slides off things when he goes to jump up and when he scratches he has this look like he cant quite itch the way he wants. There are many silly things he does but a couple more are he is obsessed with people food and it doesnt matter what kind. He will even climb into the fridge when you open the door. When you have something to eat he needs to see what it is and he doesnt just sniff. He needs to try and taste as well. He tries but we dont let him. He did drink some of my coffee one day. I put it down to eat my food thinking cats dont drink coffee well I dont know if he would do it again but he definitely gave it a few licks hehe. He also suckles on things that a fluffy. He sucks on it like he is drinking from his mama kitty and kneads while he is doing it. He does it for quite a while and when he is finished the blanket or whatever he is doing it to is very soggy. He is quite noisy when he does it too. Its so funny to watch. He is definitely better than television hehe.

So that is my baby. Dont you just want to give him a big snuggle?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Favourite Etsy Shop Friday

Favourite Etsy Shop Feature

Beauty Spot

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Well, we are Polina and Sergey. We live in a beautiful city Kiev, Ukraine. Jewelry-making is our job, small business, life and a big passion :)
Earlier Polina was a movie director and Sergey was a graphic designer.

At some point we decided to leave all we have had before and became what we are now, and it worked :)

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

We worked at a local market for some time and received numerous
questions 'bout when would we begin selling our jewelry to other countries. And with some time and effort we opened our Etsy.

3. Do you sell your jewelry anywhere else?

Yes, as we mentioned before, we sell our jewelry locally. For individuals and for some shops. We love craft fairs too:)

4. How did you choose your shop name?

BeautySpot is wordplay for our surname =) It's hard to translate but it's really so. It took some time to come up with such a simple shop name, but here we are =)

5. What are your favourite things to do?

Oh, we love sleep :) It's awesome!
But excluding this... well, it's hard to say. We love everything about our job.
Some moments when you finish your new item. Or when you take photos and see that they are really good. Or making sketches. Polina especially loves to pack our orders. Write something on the tag, gift wrap it. It's lovely:)

6. What inspires you?

It's hard to say so clear but it's all about observation and stuff.
When you begin to see things that many people don't notice although definitely see, you find inspiration in them.

7. If you could learn one new craft, what would it be?

Well for Sergey it would be wood working and Polina wants to learn metal smiths. But it's in future :)

8. What is your most popular piece of jewelry?

It varies seasonally.
For now it's bright summer necklaces like Color's Swirl or Catbeads.

9. Which handmade possession given to you do you cherish?

We have a blue whale with a pot of petunias and a big red "42" on him. Its a present from our friend, Lia Dostleva, a toy maker. Sometimes we take him in bed with us =)

10. Name 3 other Etsy shops you love to visit

It's so hard to choose but for today here is our list:

La Cravatte Du Chien
miles of light

Thank you so much to Beauty Spot for being my favourite Etsy shop feature this week. I could just drool over this jewelry all day long. I love how their pieces have a vintage feel about them with the added beauty and sometimes cuteness of nature. You can tell that care and love is taken in each little detail of the pieces right down to the beautiful pictures to display them. These pictures are just the tip of the iceberg. You absolutely need to take a look at the rest of their designs and maybe even peek into the sold items. Im sure you will fall in love just as much as I have.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Robbie The Robot

Just listed in my shop is Robbie The Robot. This is a fun pattern to knit. I have made this robot 3 times now and each one has been a different colour. Its funny how changing the colour can make each one look so different.

Once this little guy was all finished the other day, Victoria was asking me would I please make one the same for her birthday which is on the 21st of June. She gave him a little play test and reluctantly handed him back. I see another robot being made in the near future.

My favourite things about this pattern is the face and the way the antennae is done. There is actually a pipe cleaner inside it so it stands up straight just like a real robot.

When I seam him up I like to use a different method than I normally use. I crochet the pieces together so as to define the edges more and give him more of a box shape. It is hard to get a box shape with knitting as it tends to bulge out when you stuff it. With the crocheted edges this helps this to not happen so much.

Hopefully he will find his forever home soon because Victoria is very tempted to snatch him up and make him a part of her toy family.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Favourite Etsy Shop Friday

Favourite Etsy Shop Feature

The Fabric Farm

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi, I'm Kristin (Krissy to my nearest and dearest). I have 2 lovely little girls Ada (4) and Lucy (2) and a wonderfully supportive husband Nate. We live on Cape Cod in the house I grew up in with a coop full of chickens out back and workshops scattered throughout the house and yard for each of our countless hobbies and interests.

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

Ready for a big roundabout story? Here we go...In my pre-kids life I was a Potter and had a small shop on Etsy but mostly sold my work locally. I have always been a big shopper on Etsy though, it's always the first place I look for a great gift or something to make life just that much sweeter. After I had Ada I started up to sell my handmade items. If you know Cape Cod at all we are a bit isolated here, there is 1 fabric store in town and one chain store about 20 minutes away, neither of which have any fabric I wanted. So... I figured if I am having trouble finding the good stuff locally than other people probably feel the same way, and voila The Fabric Farm was born. My main goal was to find a way to be a stay at home mom and work from home. Thank you Etsy!!

3. Do you sell your fabric anywhere else?

Nope. I hope to open up my own website in the nearish future but I think I will always stick to Etsy as well, I love the sense of community that I get there. It rarely feels like "business" and I have met a lot of great people through convos.

4. How did you choose your shop name?

I'm a wannabe farmer. I live on 1/2 acre of land but try to use every square inch of it to grow something useful. We have our chickens for eggs but I desperately want some goats, maybe a sheep for wool but we're not zoned for it. I feel like my house really is a Fabric Farm as I sit in my living room that is lined with bolts of fabric on shelves! Plus I like the alliteration.

5. What are you favourite things to do?

Sewing, pottery, knitting, crocheting, fishing, gardening, camping, cooking, brewing beer and mead, canning, reading, watching movies, drawing, creating anything really, being outside but mostly I'm just happy being at home with my family.

6. Do you do anything with your wonderful fabrics in your own crafting?

YES! How could I not? Aside from my other shop, SillyGoat where I sell my handmade items, I do most of my sewing for myself and friends. It's practically torture that there are only 24 hours in a day! I just made the cutest tab top curtains for my kitchen the other day from Amy Butler's Sun Spots in Turquoise (I can't stop staring at them I love them sooo much!) and I have made about 5 of Amy Butler's Barcelona skirts for myself in the last few weeks (I have the pattern in my shop and I highly recommend it). My daughter's both have way WAY too many dresses and tops and nightgowns and I rarely buy Christmas or baby gifts for anyone as I think homemade shows so much more thought.

7. Which is your most popular fabric?

It's hard to say....Today it's Anna Maria Horner's Small Gathering in Azalea but Amy Butler's Trumpet Flowers in Pink and Tumble Roses in Pink are right up there as well.

8. If you could learn one new craft what would it be?

Screenprinting for sure. I'm an artsy type so I would love to add some hand printed fabrics to my shop. I'm busily searching for a class that will work with my schedule but it's not looking promising for me until the girls get a bit bigger. I will be taking a workshop at the end of this month on natural dyeing so that could turn into something interesting as well...

9. Which handmade possession given to you do you cherish?

I still have my baby quilt that my Dad made for me before I was born. It's green and yellow and wonderfully 70's looking. My Mom was the quilter but I think he just wanted in on the action. As far as I know he never had sewn before and hasn't since. The edges are all frayed and it shows it's age (30 in September!) but I just love the thought of him putting it all together for me.

10. Name 3 other Etsy shops you love to visit.

Yavaglass (ooh yeah, want to learn how to do that too!)
Spreadthelove (wonderfully designed and inspiring prints)

JaneRichmond (the most gorgeous and current knitting patterns)

Thank you so much to The Fabric Farm for the great interview and being my featured favourite for this week. I am a big fan of Amy Butler and Anna Maria Horner fabric. I have wanted to get into quilting for a very long time and all this wonderful fabric just inspires me so much to just jump in and do it. Not only is there fabric but lovely patterns you can buy so that you make something from your purchase. Everything in one location what a convenience. I think its so great that she makes alot of items from the fabric she sells and I agree, how could you not. So go over and check out this shop and I am sure you will feel inspired to purchase some fabric and start creating.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hamilton The Pig

A new critter has been added to my shop. He is Hamilton The Pig, named after Hamilton from Maggie & The Ferocious Beast show. This piggy was knitted from some soft cotton from a child's cardigan that I unraveled. This is the third pig that I have knitted from that cardigan so its proving to be quite useful.

If you look at the picture above you can see that this piggy has a very curly tail. Its funny because each of these pigs I have made, their tails have turned out different. Victoria's was kind of envious of this pigs tail as her pigs tail isnt as curly.

I love making this pattern because there arent many pieces to it. Seaming the under body to the top can be a little tricky but once you get that part done he is pretty much finished. This piggy is just the right size to tuck under your arm and snuggle with. I know this because my girls have done it many times with their pigs. Actually apparently they are big enough to gallop through the house with because Victoria will tuck Pinky The Pig between her knees and gallop through the house shouting Im riding my piggy and giggling like crazy. They are also good flyers because when Megan went on her first by herself plane trip last year at 14 she asked me to get something out of her carry on bag and low and behold, Wilbur The Pig, was in the bag hehe. That was so cute that she had to take him with her. I think everyone needs one of them in their household.

Here you can see his little curly tail and the trickiest part of seaming. Around his backside the under side is shorter than the body so you kind of have to evenly pleat the top to fit in with the bottom. It took me a few goes the first time but I think I have the technique down now.

So there you have Hamilton The Pig. Hopefully he will find his permanent home soon because he really wants to start having some fun.