Friday, October 28, 2011

Favourite Etsy Shop Friday

Favourite Etsy Shop Feature

Treacher Creatures

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a plush artist and an artist and love nothing better than to create little creatures and paint. I have painted all my life and studied illustration at art school. My love for making creatures began with a passion for traditional mohair bears but in the last few years I discovered socks as a creative medium and since making creatures from socks has become a passion and an obsession. I have now also started exploring other plush materials and Amigurumi too.

2. What made you open your shop and why Etsy?
I had made over 40 sock creatures and was rapidly running out of room to store them so my mother, who had been reading about Etsy suggested I give it a try. It is a fabulous outlet for my creatures and I have not looked back since.

3. How did you choose your shop name?
As my surname is Treacher it seemed the logical choice of allows me to make creatures from all kinds of materials and gives me scope to expand.

4. Do you sell your items anywhere else?
I also have an online shop on the Uk based and I supply 3 retail outlets in the UK: Threadbear in Barnard Castle, Me and Mrs Fisher in York and Drift in Seahouses..all of which are shops that specialise in handmade items.

5. What are your favourite things to do?
I love sewing, painting, making jewellery and crocheting.

6. What inspires you?
Colour, nature, and all things cute and whimsical.

7. What is your most popular item?
My most popular item are my white sock mice, whether that be in jumpers, sitting on pumpkins or propped up on Christmas puddings.

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

I would love to learn to do needle felting and make lots of little creatures.

9. Which handmade possession given to you do you cherish?
A ragdoll, made when I was little by my grandmother.

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

Sweet Poppy Cat
The Felt Menagerie

Thank you to Treacher Creatures for being my favourite Etsy shop feature this week. Her critters are just so cute and I still cant believe they are made from socks. I just want to give them a big squeezy hug. Check out this shop and see which creature you simply cant live without.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Favourite Etsy Shop Feature

Favourite Etsy Shop Feature

slash Knots

1-Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a stay home mom to two adventurous, adorable little boys ages 3 & 5! Although I was born & raised into country living, I feel I am a California beach girl living a country-girl life!! I moved to CA when I was old enough to be on my own, but after my beloved mother passed I moved back to be with my family. I am happily married and we live in a very rural area, so I kinda came full circle :) It is not uncommon to look out the kitchen window on any given day and see deer, coyotes, and even the neighboring farms' cows in our yard. We even have a pair of bald eagles who nest on our property. I love to travel, shop, and create jewelry! I very much keep up with current fashion trends and am a bit- fashion obsessed! Creating jewelry that I like to wear, any hopefully others will love, is my passion!

2- What made you open your shop and why Etsy?
I was creating pieces for myself and my friends wanted what I was wearing and it just grew from there. Next thing you know my friends co-workers would want a piece and then people they knew..... and word just began to spread! I outfitted a few bridal parties and last winter a girl suggested that I sell my things on Etsy. Until that point I never heard of Etsy! Once I checked it out I KNEW Etsy was the place for me :)

3- How did you choose your shop name?
I chose my shop name by going the Hollywood route and meshing my two son's names -- Slade and Cash -- into 'slash', and the 'Knots' is one aspect of the jewelry I create! Hence the name 'slashKnots' was born!

4- Do you sell your items anywhere else?
Through Etsy I have been fortunate enough to have a couple of shops in Maryland and Virginia carry a few of my pieces. And I did three craft shows last summer that were wildly successful for me! I found it a bit challenging to have a huge quantity of items for the shows, as well as maintain my busy Etsy shop, AND keep a watchful eye on my kids all day. I can only really create after my kids go to bed so time-management has been an issue for me! I would love to do more shows when my kids are school-aged and I would have the time to commit. The positive feedback I received from people was so rewarding!

5- What are your favourite things to do?
My favorite thing to do is to create jewelry that I like to wear! I absolutely LOVE to bead shop -- My adrenaline gets pumping and I get all frenzied over the colors and the ideas just start spinning around in my mind! I'm definitely a beadaholic! My mind is churning with new ideas 24/7 and there are just not enough hours in the day for me to make them tangible so I keep a journal.

6- What inspires you?
I am inspired by the beach & nature. I love bohemian style jewelry and so I try to combine the colors and textures from the beach and incorporate them into my jewelry. And all of my pieces are named by what inspired me to create it. For instance, my 'Malibu' crochet wrap is totally inspired by the colors and feel of my time spent in Malibu. Everything there is soft and muted and very natural... well, except for the celebrities!

7- What is your most popular item?
My most popular items right now are my 'slashKnots Stackers' and leather wraps! slashKnots Stackers are beaded crocheted bracelets meant to stack & layer. I love layering my jewelry and with SO MANY gorgeous beads to show off I like to wear a couple of leather bracelets and 2 to 3 Stackers at all times! I never want to look too matchy-matchy but I like to tie in my accessories with the feel of my wardrobe. They are just so fun & easy to wear :)

8- If you could learn one new craft what would it be?
If I could learn a new craft I would LOVE to learn how to work with sterling silver to create rustic, organic silver beads and charms to incorporate into my pieces. I have bought several hand-stamped personalized pieces from fellow Etsy artists and I would love to be able to create charms to personalize my work.

9- Which handmade possession given to you do you most cherish?
My mother was and forever will be the most talented, artistic, creative person I have ever known. We did so many different projects together ranging from ceramics, sewing, drawing, woodworking... you name it we did it! She embroidered a floral picture that is timeless and absolutely beautiful. She had an amazing eye for color and combining colors in a unique way that just clicked. I know she would be so proud of me and the success of my Etsy shop :)

10- Name 3 other Etsy shops you love to visit.
My favorite Etsy shops are:

Simple Daisy for her unique rustic silver jewelry
Happiknits for her cool bohemian cowls (which I own 4!)
Doloris Petunia for her beyond gorgeous cuff bracelets. One of those cuffs is on my Christmas wish list!

Thank you so much to slash Knots for being my featured favourite Etsy shop this week. I am so excited to feature this shop because I absolutely looooooooove this jewelry. I could favourite every piece. I love the colours, the designs, the simple elegance and the beads in this jewelry. Take a look at this shop and you will surely fall in love with it as well.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Favourite Etsy Shop Friday

Favourite Etsy Shop Feature

plucky kid

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

When I was 8, I fell hopelessly in love with Poppin’ Fresh, the mascot for Pillsbury. I wished that he was real so I could take him with me to school and poke his tummy and snuggle with him at bedtime. I grew up in a big family, and we never had much money, but we made up for it with creativity. I decided to make my own Pillsbury Doughboy, and raided my mom’s sewing room for scraps. I had never sewn anything before, so I guess it just came naturally to me. I figured out how to fashion the traditional baker’s cap Poppin’ Fresh wears even though I’m not very good at math. Which shows that if you want something badly enough, like your own bashful hunk of talking dough in a bandanna, you CAN be good at math.

After I proved to myself that I could make a Doughboy without instructions, I figured the sky was the limit and I kept on going. I made puppets, Halloween costumes, doll clothes, clothes for myself. At art school, studying illustration, I incorporated sewing into a lot of my assignments with soft sculpture, trapunto, and literally “sewn” drawings.

Sewing a drawing takes a lot more time than using a brush or pencil, but it just felt right to me. It was my medium. I was aware of the anti-craft sentiment that existed at the time, though—this was the dawning of the computer graphics age, and traditional methods were unhip. I studied fabric design and silkscreening, and felt most drawn to those classes, but couldn’t see how I’d be able to make a living. After college, I worked as a graphic designer for years, trading my art supplies for software. I’m not sorry about it at all, because technology figures in to a lot of what I do now even though I’ve gone back to my sewing machine and printing press.

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

My memory of it is hazy. Last summer I decided to take my camera along to the county fair, because I’d really enjoyed the chickens I saw the previous year. I had no clear plan at that point. The next thing I knew, I was silkscreening roosters onto linen. It just seemed like the right idea. I started with pillows and wasn’t sure what else I could do with my prints. Then I came across a collection of vintage flash cards in the attic, and thought the baby animals on them would make cute designs for baby clothes. I love early 20th century illustration because it was still done all by hand; typography in particular was drawn by hand, and it’s very beautiful to me.

After “retiring” from NYC, I was vaguely searching for some way to get back into sewing and handcrafted art, and found Kari Chapin’s great book, “Handmade Marketplace”. That’s how I discovered Etsy. It sounded almost too good to be true. I wasn’t aware that the craft movement had taken off the way it had. I still find it hard to believe that so many people actually care about handmade things. For me, it really says something profound and hopeful about humanity, especially since Etsy is global. I feel a connection to Etsy people that is rare for me in my daily life.

3. How did you choose your shop name?

Going back to the flash card art, I was struck by one in particular, of a baby goat, who had a frisky way about him. I showed the goat to my husband, saying I wanted to silkscreen it onto something, maybe for kids, since baby goats are called “kids”, and he said, “You could call it Plucky Kid.” The name sums up the spirit of what I’m doing, which is hanging in there and persevering until it starts to feel right, and staying young at heart. It also sums up my husband, who coincidentally grew up on a goat farm.

4. Do you sell your items anywhere else?

Not at the moment. I’m not sure I want to, either. Etsy is just right for me.

5. What are your favourite things to do?

I truly love what I do with Plucky Kid—I have trouble setting it aside at night. It consumes me, in the best possible way. It’s extremely satisfying. Silkscreening—all kinds of printing—I find very satisfying. I don’t really understand it. An image I create on screen, once squeegeed onto fabric, is just BETTER. I imagine, had I been born earlier, I would have been a lithographer if I hadn’t been artistic. Anything to leave that stamp.

6. What inspires you?

I’m inspired by old things, mostly. I like digging through old books and magazines, junk shops, old-school fabric and notion shops, which are hard to come by these days, even in New York. And I love art supply stores, of course. I am especially interested in nature, obviously—in animals—and I’m lucky to live where I need only stick my head out the window to be inspired. I think inspiration comes from just paying attention. It’s all right there, you just have to tune in.

7. What is your most popular item?

This is relative, of course, because the shop is new, but I would say the canvas mini-mason bag with Sheep No. 26 is the most popular.

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

Knitting!! I am such a terrible knitter. And I love yarn, and chunky sweaters, and all the great new knitted things that are coming out nowadays. But I just can’t knit. I don’t have the patience. Same with quilting, I would love to be a quilter, and fill my house with Civil War quilt patterns. But I’m just not cut out for it. (There’s a joke in there somewhere.)

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

I have an old needlepoint that was given to me by one of my sisters. It’s a portrait of my first cat. It’s especially cherished because it was a complete surprise—she’s not a crafts-y type, and made it for my birthday. It’s so sweet.

I have to say, though, that I cherish every handmade thing I have been given. When somebody takes the time to make a homemade card, it *is* the gift.

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

I love the freshness and simplicity of this shop’s jewelry designs:

f1nneran jewelry

This artist is so creative. I love her point of view:

Soft Cuddles

I’m CRAZY about these super-cute and witty faux animal “stoles”:

bee's knees knitting

A big thank you to Plucky Kid for being my favourite Etsy shop feature this week. Its been a while since I have had one and I think this was a great shop to interview and get back into the swing of it. Actually finding this shop not long ago inspired me to get back to doing features. I just had to share this shop and show off my discovery. I just looooooove this shop. I love everything in it but my absolute favourite has be to the Mason bag. Whenever there is a new one I cant decide which one I like better. I love the natural fabrics and the vintage look of the silkscreened pictures and the colours that are used all just work together. Check out this shop and see if you love it as much as I do.