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 http://lepetitmonstre.typepad.com/ "

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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