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.”