Friday, January 28, 2011

Favourite Etsy Shop Friday

Favourite Etsy Shop Feature

Maisey Handmade

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Karen. I live in a small prairie community in Southern Alberta, Canada with my husband, son, cat, two Chihuahuas, and three rabbits.

I have been a crafty person for as long as I can remember. I fact, I come from a long line of crafters. My Mom
would sew clothes for my Cabbage Patch Dolls and Barbies, my Grandparents always made their own gifts and cards and I even have a set of pillowcases my Great Grandma made from her old flour sacks.

I studied Archaeology and Art in college and university for several years, but was never really satisfied with settling for a “real job” and gave up on my desire to become Indiana Jones. I dreamed of creating in a studio one day but thought it was unrealistic. Now, I’m lucky enough to be able to stay at home and work on my creative endeavors. Every day I spend working away in my studio feels like a guilty pleasure.

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

I was drawn to Etsy because it is such an amazing resource for artists, crafters and buyers. I opened my shop, after a little trepidation, two and a half years ago. I was worried that I would be lost in a sea of such talented, experienced artists, but instead the inspiration and support from the community has allowed me to grow, develop and succeed.

3. Do you sell your items anywhere else?

Right now I just have my Etsy shop and do the occasional local craft sale.

4. How did you choose your shop name?

My shop is named after my 17 year old cat Maisey.

5. What are your favourite things to do?

My crafting really consumes me for the most part. When I’m not making stuff I’m thinking of making stuff. But I also enjoy traveling, knitting (oops that’s a craft too), cooking with my husband, and gardening (very domestic, I know).

6. What inspires you?

Everything. More specifically, I love browsing Japanese craft books and magazines, vintage children’s books, blogs, thrift stores. Special requests from customers have been great in forcing me to go into new directions.

7. Of all the different items in your shop which do you enjoy making the most?

I really enjoy making the stuffed animals because I love to see their little personalities develop as I am creating them.

8. What is your most popular item?

Without question it would have to be the Pocket Hippo - but all the little animals in the Miniature Menagerie seem to find homes rather quickly.

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

One of my most loved childhood toys was a black cat my Mom made as a young girl. His head flopped around and his eyes were a little uneven but he had a special personality that made him a favourite.

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

1. Stitchface – Some wonderful plush toys from Toronto

2. for my darling – Brilliant upcycled wool items from Finland

3. Chat Noir Jewelry – Enchanting pieces from a lovely seller

Thank you to Maisey Handmade for being my featured Etsy shop this week. How can there be so much cuteness in one shop? I think my favourite is the Cuddly Friends section. I just want to give all those little critters a hug. I love their names and little profiles. There is a little something for everyone in this shop and would be great for those times when your looking for a gift that has a little special touch of love in it.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Favourite Etsy Shop Friday

Favourite Etsy Shop Feature

Roxana Illuminated Perfume

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Right out of high school I attended Otis Art Institute in downtown Los Angeles and felt as if the world had opened up. While there I studied a variety of arts but focused mainly on illustration and letterpress printing. After graduating I started teaching, moved to Brooklyn in NY, purchased a letterpress and began getting freelance illustration work immediately.

Six years later I moved back to Los Angeles, birthed my daughter naturally and studied Aromatherapy professionally. After discovering the wonders of healing with nature I stopped teaching illustration and became a tutor for an aromatherapy school.

Now I live in the Santa Monica Mountains, surrounded by native oaks and run a natural perfume business titled Illuminated Perfume. The name was inspired by illuminated manuscripts.

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

I was invited to be a speaker at a large perfume event in NYC called Sniffapalooza. For the event I choose to launch a series of solid perfumes. At the time I didn't have the funds to redo my website. I decided to open an Etsy shop in order to have a place to sell my solid perfumes. It's been about three years and the success on Etsy has been so great that I still haven't re-done the website!

3. Do you sell your perfume anywhere else?

On my website and when I do events.

4. How did you choose your shop name?

As mentioned above I choose my company name based on a play of words. The word illuminated refers to manuscripts painted in the 1600s and light. I am working with the plant materials to make my perfume instead of synthetic petro chemicals. I feel like I am illuminating a path back to our own essential nature.

5. What are your favourite things to do?

Make art and follow my creative muse are my very favorite things in the world. I also love spending time with husband and daughter, especially when we travel together, thus travel is on the list to.

6. What inspires you?

Inspiration is an interesting thing with me, I find it everywhere. This morning driving my daughter to school she was going over some things for a test and I got massively inspired from the topic. Other times I am inspired by nature, history and great art. Sometimes it's just a little whisper of an aroma that gently wonders into my smell scape. I keep my artistic radar tuned and prepared for inspiration, it may strike at any moment.

Unlike the premise of an artist needing to "starve" to produce great work, I am the opposite, the more vital my life is the more inspired I am.

7. What is your favourite scent you create?

This question is really hard to answer, it's like picking a favorite child or color. The fragrances I most often wear are Cimbalom and Chaparral solid perfumes. I like the creamy quality in the solids and they are so great to throw into ones purse.

8. Which is the most popular item in your shop?

The solid minis are my best selling item, people just love those little pink pots with the iconic bee wax seal. My best selling perfume at the moment is GreenWitch, named after Susan Coopers book.

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

Gosh, I have so many! My husband creates beautiful little painted cards, he created one for me when he proposed on bended knee. I also adore all the knitted and crochet items my mother makes and even have some from my grandmother that I cherish.

10. Name 3 other Etsy shops you love to visit.
and I've been yearning for something from Treehouse28 ever since finding Etsy:

Thank you to Roxana Illuminated Perfume for being my favourite Etsy shop feature this week. I am a big fan of solid perfume and have been learning about aromatherapy for many years. I love the idea of the solid perfume locket. Its such a genius idea to have a pretty piece of jewelry to wear and be able to have your perfume with you whenever you want a touch up. If your after a unique gift or something for yourself then you should check out this wonderful shop.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Favourite Etsy Shop Friday

Favourite Etsy Shop Feature

Williamsburg Bears

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a 49 yr. old mother of 3 wonderful children, all grown and on their own, and Grammy to two adorable boys. My father put a pencil in my hand as soon as possible which began my love of all things handmade. My mother taught me knitting, crocheting, embroidery, and sewing. My father taught me carving, wood working, drawing, painting, mechanics, and fishing. He wanted a boy and the poor man got stuck with 3 girls so I was his tomboy. My Grandmother began my interest in quilting.

My daily goal in life has always been to learn something new every day and to get someone to smile.

2. What made you open your shop and why Etsy?
Opening the shop was actually my daughter’s idea. Amy found Etsy and was so impressed with the sight she urged me to put my bears on.

3. Do you sell your bears anywhere else?
Etsy is the only place to find my bears.

4. How did you choose your shop name?
Williamsburg, Ohio is the small town where we lived when my children were growing up. I started making my bears at that time and wanted to honor the town I had come to love.

5. What are your favourite things to do?
I love being with the people I love more than anything in the world. Having everyone together and cooking a huge meal for them is my heart’s desire. When I’m alone my favorite thing to do is sit outside on a clear summer’s night and gaze up at the stars. As a child I would lay in the cool grass with my arms spread wide and stare at the stars for hours. Of course I’m too old to lay in the grass now and the chiggers would eat me up but it is still my favorite thing to do.
But if you mean my favorite craft it is definitely making bears. When they begin to take shape and their little personalities begin to emerge, I fall in love with each and every one of them.

6. What inspires you?
Nature. I’m not sure how to explain it. Something stirs in me.

7. Which of your bears is your favourite to make?
My favorite is the one I’m working on at the time whether it’s a 2inch miniature or a 3 foot hairy brute.

8. If you could learn one new craft what would it be?
I am learning how to do woodturning. I love the smell of the wood.

9. Which handmade possession given to you do you cherish?
My Grandmother and Great Aunt both made quilts for me when I first got married. Grandma’s is made from old dresses, slacks and shirts I remember seeing her wear as I grew up. They are most cherished because both of these special ladies are gone now.

10. Name 3 other Etsy shops you love to visit.
A Little Character - I could look at their amazing faces all day. So much personality.

Spirit Faces - I love the spirit faces. Something about wise looking old man faces in trees...

And lastly, Pieces of Pine.

A big thank you to Williamsburg Bears for being my featured Etsy shop this week. I am just in love with all of her bears. I wish all of them could come and live at my house and join my other handmade bears. So much character, so much cuteness, oh my goodness how could you not love them. If you've never owned a handmade bear then you need to have at least one. There is something about them that makes you believe they come to life when no one is looking. I think its the love and care that is taken when they are created. A Williamsburg Bear would be a great start to your collection as each one is very special.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Favourite Etsy Shop Friday

Favourite Etsy Shop Feature

Morning Glory Workshop

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a self taught needle felter from Colorado. I happened upon needle felting at a quilt show in 2006 and knew it was the art for me. I am married and am owned by two pugs and one cat. Anything in nature is my passion along with needle felting of course!

2. What made you open your shop and why Etsy?
I love Etsy as it is very user friendly and a nice group of people who buy and sell there.

3. Do you sell your needle felted critters and kits anywhere else?
Yes, I sell my needle felted creations, kits and needle felting classes on eBay also.

4. What are your favourite things to do?
I love gardening, music, again walking in nature, but most of all needle felting.
A day does not go by without my wool and needle in hand.

5. What inspires you?
Great artists that I admire, a beautiful sunrise, soothing music, being with things in nature.

6. Which of your critters do you enjoy making the most?
The mice! No doubt about it.

7. What is the most popular item in your shop?
The mice on eBay and mouse classes on Etsy.

8. If you could learn one new craft what would it be?
I would love to be an expert in knitting.

9. Which handmade possession given to you do you cherish?
Oh I have so many I cherish! I will speak about artist's items on this question. Helen Priem from the Netherlands made me several creations to be pals with my mice. Her owls, crow, squirrel and a wonderful wool doll are sheer perfection. I adore her work and use her creations as props in my eBay auctions to help tell their stories. I would NEVER ever sell one though!

10. Name 3 other Etsy shops you love to visit.
Two Left Hands

Thank you so much to Morning Glory Workshops or otherwise known as barby303 for being my first featured favourite Etsy shop for 2011. This shop is a new discovery for me. So much oooohing and aaahing when I saw her cute critters. I just had to show Victoria because she is a big fan of super cute things. I love the fact that you learn how to make your own critters and there is an opportunity to just buy the critters already made. The pictures just make these little guys come alive. The mice are so cute but I think my favourite are the bunnies. You'll have to hop on over and see them, oh my goodness such cuteness. I love the props that are used in the pictures. She should make a calendar with these pictures? Well enough gushing from me, check this shop out so you can start admiring this wonderful work as well.