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.”

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Taking a short break

Hey guys! As you've no doubt noticed, I've been late on the updates. Instead of stressing out over it, I'm going to take a break until the end of the month. I've got a show the last weekend in May that I've been killing myself to get ready for, and my blogs have been suffering. Once the show is over, I'll be writing updates for this blog in advance and we'll have scheduled updates (the new blogger tool is so cool!) You'll never have to miss out because I'm too busy to write again, and you'll always have new great Etsy sellers to read about.

Thanks for your patience :)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Art 2 the Extreme

Eclectic is the name of the game for Art 2 the Extreme. Ceramics, art, clothes, you never know what incredible finds will be waiting for you!

Nicole has dedicated her life to art. By day, she is an elementary school art teacher, and by night, artist extraordinaire. She focuses on her projects late at night, as her days are dedicated to teaching. Watch out for the summer though, that’s when Nicole plans to work on her large projects.

Nicole’s advice for other crafters: “Make friends and network… Do not be afraid to ask for help because there are so many wonderful artists and crafts men and women who are willing to reach out and lend a hand or an ear!”

If you would like to find out more about this incredible crafter, you can always visit her blog! Or, of course, browse through her lovely shop.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Dvora Schleffer Designs

Dvora Schleffer Designs features beautiful silver jewelry, crocheted silver wire, and semi-precious gems. Each piece is delicate and airy, with attention paid to the finest detail.

Dvora finds her inspiration in nature, textiles, architecture, and the beautiful gemstones that she uses to create her subtle jewelry. “My favourite material is silver, I feel it holds endless possibilities and goes great with gemstones, resins and any other material that I like using.”

Dvora is a full time crafter. At one time, her jewelry was a side project, but she felt that her full time job limited her ability to create, so she made the decision to quit and create full time. Now, several years later, she has her own brick and mortar jewelry store in Israel, as well as her virtual storefront.

“Be patient and believe in yourself and in your designs.”

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Spiderbite Boutique

Spiderbite Boutique is a story of success on the Etsy scene. Her fuzzy hand bound monster journals, “Nightmare Snatchers” are instantly recognizable. Each one is colorful, expressive, and has personality. Who wouldn’t love to write in a book like this?

Sarah went to school to become an illustrator, but found it difficult to hold down a full time job and find time to paint. She decided to start creating and selling her Nightmare Snatchers so that she could devote more time to her art. “I am a full time crafter at this point. Hopefully I can stay away from getting a “real” job indefinitely.”

Spiderbite seems like a perfect name for a shop featuring monsters that eat nightmares, but there’s a story behind the name. Growing up, little Sarah had several trips to the emergency room, breaking out in hives and other uncomfortable maladies. They finally discovered that she was allergic to spider venom, and unfortunate little Sarah was always stumbling upon them. Her father jokingly called her Spiderbite, and years later when she was searching for a shop name, the creepy-cute Spiderbite Boutique fit the bill.

“I like to use all kinds of materials to make things. Part of the fun is finding something new to work with. Working in a new and alien material can bring about a childlike wonder that you forgot you could have.” For her books, Sarah likes to find fluffy, fun faux furs. Sarah is also an illustrator, and paints with acrylics and watercolor.

Sarah is working on another project with writer friend Thomas Evans (who write the Nightmare Snatcher poem). The two are working together on a children’s book, so keep your eyes open for it in the future!

“I find that some of the best advice I have ever gotten was to not be influenced by contemporary art. Instead if you find someone you like in the modern day, find out who influenced them, and get your inspiration from there.”

Sarah had some great advice for fellow shop owners:
“Just keep plugging away. If you do something you love and you do it well, people will eventually come around. Also be sure to diversify your venues. Owning 1 little online shop works for some people, but most of us have to spread the work around.

And when things are slow, make stuff. I’ve been trying to make myself listen to this advice and not obsess over my little shop. Don’t get too caught up on the selling part and forget that you started this venture so you could create.”

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


J. Earles of Bijoutery Designs brings her professional knowledge of geology into her craft. “I'm currently a graduate student studying geoscience. It is my love of geology that has lead to an evolution of my jewelry design from primarily beadwork to working with stones and pearls.” J’s designs are elegant, and as you could imagine full of beautiful stones.

Probably one of my favorite parts of J’s store are the Firefly inspired jewelry designs. The fun sci-fi space cowboy TV series is written in a futuristic world that blends the culture from the East and West. It’s this mix of culture that J reflects in her Firefly jewelry line, and each piece would look at home on any of the female crew.

As a full time graduate student, J is only able to create part time. As with anyone who has full time commitments, J has to schedule time in for her craft as well. “It really gives me a break from school and I just love it too much not to find time to do it!”

J met Sara of skrhoades a year ago, and this fellow crafter encouraged her to start selling her jewelry at art shows, and introduced her to Etsy. Having the support of another crafter is what really got J going, and the two remain close friends despite living far away from one another.

“Do what you can when you can – don’t fret if you don’t have the time or funds to do everything at once! Just work with what you can now, and strive to improve your art and your shop little by little.”

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Luxury, elegance, charm… all words that come to mind every time I come to the shop of Lori Patton. Aside from being a fun and friendly person to chat with, Lori has an exceptional eye for beauty and art. HeartworksbyLori features beautiful artwork designed to be displayed around your neck.

Lori is currently using a lot of brass, due to the versatility and vintage look that it gives her work. “I'm prone to switching back and forth from Sterling Silver, to faceted gemstones like Labradorite and Chalcedony, but brass is so versatile and the possibilities are endless.” She designs jewelry that she would love to wear, and is inspired by clothing, colors, and her personal mood. Since her personal style is so versatile, this is reflected in the jewelry she creates. “I like to create fun and flirty jewelry as well as classic and elegant styles with an added flair, all with the underlining tone of beauty. Sometimes I just glance at the colorful array of my materials and elements all spread out and a design just calls out to me to be made!”

Lori works on her jewelry part time, spending her days raising her three young boys. She does most of her creating once everyone’s tucked into bed. “My creative juices get flowing after dark, since I'm a total night owl, so it works out perfectly.” She finds encouragement from her husband, who tells her how beautiful her work is. Of course, she encourages herself to create and has a drive to perfect techniques and learn new skills.

Lori opened her shop around Christmas, and has experienced incredible success. Take a look at what’s making her such a big hit.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Unique Charm

Leslie Nichole of UniqueCharm makes the most delectable finger candy (not to mention ear candy, neck candy… well, you get the idea.) With little clay charms cleverly sculpted to resemble your favorite desserts, these designs look good enough to eat!

Like many crafters, Leslie is always looking for inspiration in the world around her. She brings her ideas home and interprets them in her polymer clay sculptures. “It’s so versatile, you can do anything with it.” For the time being, Leslie crafts in her spare time, though she has plans to expand her business and craft full time.

Working in your spare time is never easy, but Leslie’s got a wonderfully supportive boyfriend who encourages her to create. “He gives me advice & will tell me when something looks bad.”

Leslie rewards her shoppers by always running a contest in her shop. Check her out to see the current contest, who knows, you may walk away with a fun freebie!

Friday, March 7, 2008

A review of Etsy

I wrote an article about Etsy and published it online:

Etsy: A Great Place to Buy and Sell All Things Handmade

It explains the site to potential buyers and sellers. The more viewers that visit it, the higher it will rise in the ranks, and the better chance it has of getting on the front page of the site!

Have articles you've written about Etsy? Comment here and I'll feature a few of them here at a later date.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Paper Girl Productions

Precious plushies, funky jewelry, custom shop banners and more await you in Paper Girl Production’s shop. Belle Perez brings her own vision to the cute and cuddly things she creates.

Belle’s favorite material is the felt that she uses to make her little plushies. Her inspiration comes from materials she comes in contact with, 80’s toys, and bright colors. You can definitely see this reflected in her work. These soft little dolls really stand out in their design and execution. “I think some of my plushies look like they are the results of a childlike doodle.”

Plushies aren’t the only thing you’ll find in this talented crafter’s shop – she’s got a selection of cute hand crafted jewelry as well.

Belle creates her crafts full time. She runs her store on Etsy, as well as her personal website where you can find her Gothic Kitty Cat plushies. Her advice to other sellers: “Be passionate about your work. Don't feel like you have to conform to what everyone else around you is doing or selling well. Start your own trend.” Belle has definitely done that, and become very successful with it. Watch for her new line of goodies for Mother’s Day!

Visit Belle’s online shop here:

Monday, February 25, 2008

Knit, Crochet and Macrame Hemp Creations

Diana at Knit, Crochet and Macrame Hemp Creations makes beautiful pieces that have a high visual impact, while leaving a low impact on the environment. “I chose to work with hemp because it has a low impact on the environment. It can be harvested in as little as 100 days, and does not need to be sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals, in fact it even fertilizes the soil for future crops. Hemp can grow in near drought conditions therefore it is not a huge drain on precious water resources.” To find out more on why she chooses this particular material, view her profile.

Any natural material has an appeal to Diana. “I don’t know if I could pick just one, it changes all the time. I love any natural fiber! I just started a project using a bamboo / wool blend yarn and it is beautiful – very soft and silky.” She doesn’t use patterns, but is inspired by the materials themselves.

Diana’s full time job is home schooling her three children, and she uses her crafting as a creative outlet. “It can be hard to find the time, but I have to create, it makes me feel whole. I find it help me cope with the day to day stresses of life.” She finds encouragement from her husband. “I remember one time I had asked him to pick me up some more natural colourred hemp on his errands. Now, my hubby is not the craftiest guy, and does not particularly like craft stores – but he went anyway. Much to my surprise, he bought many different colours of hemp, tons of different beads and containers to organize my supplies. He was so happy to show me his finds! He even found some mood beads which have turned out to be some of my best sellers.”

Monday, February 18, 2008

What's going on

For those that have started to watch this blog, I just wanted to apologize for not posting much recently. I've got a big show this weekend, and am scrambling to get as much painted as possible in time. After this weekend I'll make up for my absence with a post every day next week.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Alchemille's Garden

Body scrubs, incense, candles, teas, herbs and more can be found in the naturalist’s haven: Alchemille’s Garden. Alchemille is a well studied herbalist whose products are inspired by folk medicine.

Naturally, Alchemille’s favorite material to use are herbs. “I blend them in my teas, I infused them in oil for my body care items and I put them together as incense. I also make candles and accessories from time to time.”

Alchemille follows an Earth-based spiritual path, and this is a central part to all of the goods that she creates. All of her creations are completely natural with no artificial scents, and she uses recycled goods whenever it is possible.

“I started Alchemille's Garden about 2 years ago, when I realized that my first love was herbalism.” Before becoming a full time herbalist, Alchemille went to University and got a degree in Applied Arts, and another in Fashion/Textile Design. Aside from the herbs that she works with, she also finds inspiration from art, literature, and music.

When asked if she had any advice for fellow crafters, she said “Be true to yourself, follow your inspiration/dreams & be creative!”

Monday, February 11, 2008

Baby Anne Quilts

When I was young, I loved to burrow under piles of quilts that I would pull from my mom’s heirloom chest. There were quilts pieced by my great grandmother, and my grandmother, and each one had a story. Heather of Baby Anne Quilts makes memories with her beautiful heirloom quilts. Her baby and doll quilts will definitely be cherished by your small ones, and would make great gifts for moms to be.

Heather started quilting when her husband urged her to find a hobby to relieve job stress. She finds inspiration everywhere in her world, “I've been inspired by the pattern of a cobblestoned sidewalk, the ceiling vaulting on a chapel ceiling, certain color combinations or just some great fabric that gets my imagination going!”

Heather’s degree in art history eventually led her to quilting. The history of quilting fascinated her and drew her into creating them. She has also written articles on the history of quilting, which Etsy published in the Storque. You can read the article here.

Heather is an American who has moved to Germany. To read more about her live in Europe and her craft, visit her blog.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Washi by Maoiliosa

Washi is a type of decorative paper made in Japan. Melissa Rogers has found several of different uses for Washi paper, and you can find her tiny creations on her Etsy shop, Washi by Maoiliosa.

Melissa’s unique shop name comes from a moniker she created several years ago. There was a period of her life where she was interested in Celtic things, and she found that “Maoiliosa” is the Gaelic equivalent to Melissa. So, she’s been going by Maoiliosa online ever since.

Melissa stumbled on to Etsy while Google searching for more Washi paper. “I immediately began thinking about opening a shop, and in mid-January, I became an Etsy seller. it has been the most rewarding experience I’ve ever had!”

It is obvious by glancing into her shop that Melissa’s favorite material is the great Washi paper that she collects. “I LOVE finding the precise little spot on the huge sheet of paper that I will feature on a pendant!” Her other great inspiration is music, and she listens to music that conveys the same feelings that her pieces do, such as Bjork, Ellen Allien, and Kitaro.

Melissa finds encouragement from her supportive fiancé, and her best friend Sarah.

Monday, February 4, 2008


Bridget Farmer of Bridbird has a healthy obsession with, you guessed it, birds. You can find her scribble gesture etchings of birds, as well as vibrant Gocco screen prints, and brooches in her store, and be sure to check out her blog to keep up with what Bridget is working on.

All of Bridget’s etchings are based off of her life drawings. “All my work is drawn from life, birds, people (I like drawing musicians) buildings, and other everyday things I see around me.” She uses copper plate acid etching, which gives very fine lines. Every print off of a copper plate etching has to be inked, which gives slight variations in each print.

Bridget has moved around quite a bit in her life. She was born in England, but moved to Belfast, Northern Ireland when she was four. She went to college in Edinburgh, Scotland, and now lives in Melbourne, Australia. “I first came here to visit friends just over 2 years ago. I've always been a bit of a bird lover so when I arrived in this new country I was blown away by all the birds I had never seen before. New species, new variations, new bird song, I loved it. I then met my boyfriend, who is Australian, and a visit, initially going to last 5 months, has turn into 2 1/2 years and me applying for permanent residency!”

In Edinburgh, she got her degree for jewelry and silver smithing. In Melbourne she completed her Masters of Fine Art, and Printmaking, which is where she focuses now. Bridget sells her work in shops and galleries in Melbourne, and has stalls in several markets. “I find going to the market of great benefit for, apart from selling, promotional work. I have got most of my shop and gallery contacts from being seen at art and craft markets.”

Her Etsy site gives Bridget an internet base which allows her to show people all of the different things that she offers. “I found the promotional side of etsy daunting to start with, I still consider myself a bit of a newbie, although I've been on since October. It was a bit slow to start with, but my advice is keep going with it. Give out business cards at markets, have your etsy name on your packaging, and do lots of talking in the forums. It can be exhausting, but fun and rewarding when finally your work starts to take off and be noticed.”

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Sparkling Stars

Etsy is full of jewelry makers, and each has their own take on the usual adornments. Ishi of Sparkling Stars has a wonderful selection of unique, funky, head turning jewelry that really stands out from the norm. You can see her love of dark and antiqued chain and high contrast colors in all of her designs.

Ishi is a part time crafter who spends evenings and weekends designing. “Sometimes my laundry and dishes pile up, but it always feels worth it.” She finds encouragement from her boyfriend and family, as well as the friends that she has found while networking. “It's great to find fellow artists and create your own supportive networks.”

Making creative jewelry isn’t the only talent Ishi has, she grew up playing piano, and taught herself flute and violin. She has played in a disco band while in Austin. She also majored in Math in college and works as a financial analyst. “I think doing such different things keeps me balanced and keeps me from going crazy on both sides. It’s good to come up for air sometimes, step away and then come back to what you're doing for a new perspective.”

You can check out Ishi’s blog here:

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Christina Hill

I love receiving hand written letters from friends and family. It is an art that is slowly dieing out with the convenience of the internet, E-mail, and text messaging. Nothing really replaces a beautiful card with a hand written note inside though. Drug stores are packed full of cookie cutter cards, mass produced with pre-conceived sentiments that you need only sign your name to, but if you’re looking for something more personal for that special someone for the same price, why not buy a card that has been professionally and lovingly handmade? Christina Hill offers cards made with beautiful papers, ribbons, and fun accessories.

Christina’s favorite material is quite obviously the beautiful papers that she uses in her designs. “I am greatly inspired by the papers themselves. They set the tone for the piece you are working on.” She keeps her papers right next to her dinner table for easy access after supper crafting.

Friends and customers are Christina’s constant encouragement. “When somebody buys something, that is the greatest feeling and compliment I can receive. It makes me want to do more and more.” This wonderful desire to create was seeded in Christina at a young age by her mother. “I learned such a great foundation of crafting from her that I often have a hard time deciding on one type of craft. Between us, we are the department stores of crafting.” They crafts that they did together include sewing, batik, book making, macramé… the list goes on. They are definitely a crafty pair!

Card making isn’t the only outlet for this crafty girl. Christina’s crafting room overflows with supplies, ranging from glass, jewelry making, sewing, cross stitching, and more card making supplies. “I am the queen of trying out different crafts.”

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Furkid Fever

Today’s hottest accessories are the tiny four legged and furry ones. You can’t be seen out with your little dog in the nude, so trust Fern of FurkidFever to send your canine out in style. You can find Pooch flannel PJs or stylish dresses in custom sizes and fabrics.

Fern loves working with fabric. She does what she loves full time, “I'm a stay home wife and a furkid mom who is doing what she loves and loves what she’s doing.” She is a new seller on Etsy, having joined in November of ’07, but has already made a big splash with her canine couture. Fern finds encouragement to create from her husband, family and friends.

“Experiment and see what works best for you, don't get discouraged. Just do what you love and of course, promote, promote, promote.”

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Karin Grow

Karin Grow first caught my eye with her striking retro paintings. I love monochrome art, and Karin’s execution is flawless. Paintings aren’t the only thing you’ll find in this talented artisan’s store however. There is a good deal of beautifully assembled beaded jewelry, candles, purses and more.

Karen’s brick and mortar shop, “Vintage Blues” is located in a little beach town in San Diego, California. “I love working with just about anything, paint,fabric,wax,gems etc…” She is a full-time artist and part-time crafter inspired by vintage Tropicana and nature. “My only advise for other shop owners or artists is to stay true to your style and you will attract the kind of people you'd like to be surrounded with. When your focus is on money and what others are doing, you work really suffers.”

She and her husband bought and moved into the house that she grew up in, as sixth in a line of ten siblings. “It was a wild and crazy house all the time… It has so many great memories for me.” Karen is the parent to three cats and the dogs. “I love my little creatures more than I can ever show them.”

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Le Petit Monstre

If you love monsters and fun off the wall art, you have to check out Le Petit Monstre. Ashley Dowdy is a self taught artist who uses bright colors and fun themes in her various creations. From shadowboxes to prints and lavender scented Monster Repellant spray, you will find all different kinds of fun surprises when you visit Ashley’s store.

Ashley is a full time mother and crafter. "My husband is a great man and I am truly blessed. He has given me the opportunity to stay home and raise our son, and he finances my expensive hobbies!" Some of her diverse talents that you may not find in her shop include culinary arts, and tattoo. She is currently focusing her energy on collage work, and enjoys cutting and assembling paper. "My favorite things to work with are paper, glitter, paint, buttons, little odds and ends."

"In the beginning, I was inspired by necessity. If I needed something but couldn't find it, I just learned how to make it. Now I am more inspired by other great artists." She lists some of her influences as Brian Andreas, Claudine Hellmuth, Keri Smith, as well as the other talented Etsy artists that she has on her favorite list.

"My shop will grow with me as I grow as an artist." As with all stay at home moms, Ashley juggles the task of spending time with her two year old son and crafting, finding time to work when her little one is in bed.

"I am so excited to have found the land of Etsy. If you would like to get to know me better, check out my blog at "

Peta Pledger

If you like the rockabilly influence of the 1950’s, you will love the unique styles of Peta Pledger. Peta is a designer and dressmaker of 18 years from Melbourne, Australia. She is heavily inspired by 1950’s housewives, the Rockabilly scene and women that are comfortable in their own skin, and it shows in the head turning clothing and jewelry she creates.

Peta uses every spare minute that she can find in her sewing room. “I am a full time crafter, however I have a toddler, so that makes me a part time crafter!” She collects vintage sewing patterns and haberdashery. “I am obsessive about sewing perfection and I like to sew 1950's style clothing, while listening to late 1980's hard rock (think, Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Poison etc)!”

Peta surrounds herself with crafty people. She is married to artist Marc Burstall, and many of her friends are artists and crafters. Peta even has a collaborative project with Melbourne pop art painter Gemma Jones, offering screen printed T-shirts featuring Gemma’s artwork. “When Gemma agreed to do this I was both excited and a little star struck!” The pair are a great match.

If you love classic 1950’s style, or just want to stand out in a crowd, Peta’s designs are for you.


“Loving what you do is reflected in the work that you do. It is seen in the care and detail that you put into your products. It is seen in the creativity of your designs. Your products are like your fingerprints your leave behind-----they are unique only to you and they reflect who you are as a person, a crafter, and an artist.”
~Rowena Saenz of Papersilly

When you visit Papersilly, you’ll be swept away immediately by the fun and vibrant paper selections that are used in each hand assembled piece. Journals, note cards, photo albums and more can be found in an array of decorative, feminine papers. Rowena has tried her hands at many different crafts, but her favorite is working with papers, and it shows. She loves to work with papers that come in collections because of the cohesive nature of the designs. “I love beautiful paper designs and color combinations that just catch your eye and draw you to the paper.”

While Rowena works a full time job at a law office, she’s always creating in her mind. “I can only craft part time because I work during the day. No matter where I am or what I am doing, I am constantly thinking about new products and implementing ideas.” She tries to spend every moment she can crafting, before and after work as well as on weekends.

Rowena’s supportive husband encourages her to create and devote her time for the crafts that she loves. She is also a member of the Etsypaper street team.

When asked if she has any advice for other Etsy shop owners, she urged people to act like a business if they expect to be treated like one. “You must have a strong work ethic and responsible and ethical business practices. Good customer service must be your top priority. You must be proud of every item you list for sale and anything less than your best is a disservice to your shop, your reputation, and most of all, your customer.”

Click to visit Papersilly

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