Thursday, September 18, 2008


I love to write. I'm a collector of journals. Some I write in, some I draw in, and some I just look at because they're so pretty I'm afraid to mess them up. Beth's lovely hand-bound journals are pretty enough to fall into that last category, but I doubt I could resist doodling on those pristine white pages! She creates focal points on some of the journals with sculpted clay, and this detail is a perfect transition to the other focus of her shop: polymer clay pendants.

Beth started UberArt when she found Etsy, thanks to her husband spotting an article in a business magazine. Since she has an interest in a variety of crafts she was not sure what sorts of goods would fill the pages of her site as time passed. “My main inspiration comes from being with other artists. I love working alongside others, sharing a creative aura and seeing the things we all come up with.”

Beth juggles being a full time mom to a toddler, and a part time crafter. Like many parents, her crafting time is found during nap times and once the little one has been tucked in bed at night. She has the constant support of her friends and family, “ [They] are always interested in my latest creations, or at least pretend to be!”

“I think my “Sand and Sky Journal” has become my signature item. I grew up near the beach and really enjoy incorporating seaglass into my work.”

I encourage everyone to take a peek in her shop, the photos are stunning, and you'll no doubt find a lovely treasure to make your own.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dirty Sanchez

I put a call out on the Etsy forums a few days ago for suggestions on new shops to interview. DirtySanchez came highly reccomended because Rache was, apparently, a riot. Well, you folks don't tell any lies. I write these interviews so that we can get to know the sellers behind the great handcrafted items, and I just don't know what else to do with this than post it just as it is. Be sure you put your drinks down, we are not responsible for nasal soda burn caused by hystarical laughter. So, without further ado, my interview from soaper Rache of DirtySanchez, with only a tiny cut to make it PG:

Your Name:
Your Shop Name:
Is there a story behind your shop name?

the other day my mom was sitting on my couch, next to a pile of soaps ready to be shipped.

mom: is that for your friends?
me: no, that's the stuff i sell online.
mom, putting on old-lady glasses to get a better look: dirty...sanchez... clean that... oh, rachel.
me: what, it's doing pretty well.
mom: well, i'm glad, but that logo isn't very nice... what's "dirty sanchez?"
me, trying not to look at husband, because then we'll both become hysterical: it's something rude. you probably wouldn't appreciate it if i explained it.
mom: and the people that buy this? they know what it means?
me: uh... probably.

the dual morals of this story are a) it's funny to hear your mom say "dirty sanchez," and b) if you're going to start a business of questionable taste, it's probably better to work out of your bedroom, instead of your livingroom.

What made you decide to open your own shop?

pressure from the kremlin. the former soviet republics have some real hygiene issues.

What is your favorite material to use?


Talk briefly about your favorite item:

i'm a big fan of the 1969 corvette, as well as dry-roasted nuts, the pilot G-2 gel pen, and the zipper.

What are your creative inspirations?

dirt, poop, that sort of thing.

Are you a crafter full time or part time?
If part time, how do you find time to create?

it's hard to really qualify myself as full-time or part-time; my day is broken down into sections, generally. a typical schedule might looks something like this:

1:00pm - wake up
1:05pm - clear a path through empty beer cans to bathroom
1:57pm - nap
4:09pm - pour a glass of breakfast with a twist of lime, check replies to personal ad placed on craigslist
4:17pm - more breakfast, consider crafting something
4:45pm - lunch
4:83pm - trip over dog on the way to the soap supply closet, curse its lineage, attempt to have it claimed by animal control. dinner.
cat'n seee clokc anymre - why am i in thsi closet?
hey. therse booz in hre. rite on.

so as you can see, while i have a great deal going on in both my professional and personal life, by carefully balancing my day's activities, i can get it all done.

Do you have any advice for other shop owners?

quit now, you'll never be as hard-core awesome as i am so why waste your time! mwahahahaha.

Tell me any other interesting things about yourself you'd like for me to include in your article:

i have 28 teeth, i speak one language, i can fit 175 drinking straws in my mouth, and if you're anywhere near me when i burp, i'm totally gonna blame it on you.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Tante Mie

I'm always on the look out for new, precious baby clothes. One of my great Etsy finds is Tante Mie. The whimsical lines, colorful vintage fabric, and attention to detail make this vivacious Norwegian's shop really stand out in the crowd. I can really relate to Marie in one particular way, our children helped inspire us to take the leap and start our own business.

Marie is the mother of two young kiddos, yet she finds the time to hand craft these precious outfits to share with us. Her favorite material is natural fabric, cotton and wool. She spends a good deal of time oneline looking for the perfect fabric with personality, much imported from the US and Japan, and some really great vintage finds from the 60's and 70's.

“I think children should look like children with lot of colours, lot of figures and flowers to inspire the imagination! Watching childrens TV from the 70-ties really gets me inspired. Astrid Lindgrens classics such as Pippi Langstrømpe is just such a lovely film to watch. Apart from that, I can't help myself from making some princess-like hoodies, but I tell all the girls that wear it to be bad Pippi-princesses finding their own treasures and princes, not to just sit in their castle and wait for the prince! I'm not so sure my daughter fully understand what I mean, but I tell her again when she gets bigger :)”

Marie finds her time to create after the little ones have gone to bed. She spends 3-5 nights a week sewing, then wakes up early every morning for her part time job. “Why do I do this? I don't really know. I started when I got my first child, and I just find it more and more fun. Now I am totally addicted to my sewing machine and after getting a lot of positive feedback on a craft fair in December I got even more inspired to make and make and make.. Also I think it gives a meaning to life to make things by hand, you appreciate more the product whatever it is, and handle it with care.” I don't think I could have said it better than that!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Ocelot Eyes Art

Anyone can take a photograph. It's terribly easy to point a click that little button. It takes a good deal of talent, an eye for color, composition, cropping, and a quick trigger finger to be a good Photographer. One of the most difficult subjects to photograph are, no doubt, animals. You can't ask them to move, to smile, to do that pose again, etc... With these two things in mind, I bring you a truly talented photographer who's charming compositions are vibrant and exotic. Nadya, the Russian born artist of Ocelot Eyes Art isn't just a photographer though, she's an equally talented painter.

Nadya embraces an array of artistic media, oils, acrylic, digital painting, and photography. Her inspirations are no surprise, nature figures heavily in every aspect of her shop. “I love finding out stories about the animals of a land, from the native people of that land, who know them the best.” The beautiful wildlife of Australia currently bejewel her shop. “I was born in Moscow, Russia, but have also spent half my life in lovely Atlantic Canada, and now I find inspiration in Australian nature and wildlife
- due to this diverse cultural background, my shop will most likely be full of very different art pieces!”

10% of all of Nadya's sales go to the EtsyForAnimals charity of the month.

“Promote your work, and have faith in everything you create - it comes from your heart, so it is true.”