Sunday, November 4, 2012

Shopping for Charity - Hurricane Sandy Donations

Today I got a message from Jaimie Ngo from KawaiiiDeco asking if I could share the following items that are for sale in her shop with 100% of profits going to the Red Cross with a total donation amount of $57 if all 4 items sell!!

Beautiful items and a worthy cause! Thank you so much Jaimie for asking me to share this with my readers! I hope it helps! Be sure to check out KawaiiiDeco for these and other gorgeous items and don't forget to shop for the cause!! =)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Ultimate Animal Lovers Auction

You are cordially invited to a community auction event The Ultimate Animal Lovers on Saturday, November 10 at 4pm CST on TopHatter. You'll get exclusive access to bid on and buy some of my most popular items not to mention some awesome items from a variety of awesome sellers!! See everything that's up for auction, submit your items and RSVP here:

Preview of some of the items I'll be auctioning!

Handmade Spark - Promote Your Shop For Free

Handmade Spark
Great site! Check it out! =)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Spotlight On Under The Root

Today I am very excited to share with you an amazing shop called Under The Root! Beautiful handmade clothes, under garments that make me think of a woodland faerie! If I were a wood sprite this is exactly what I would wear every day!! Please enjoy this wonderful interview from a wonderful lady!

About the Artist:

My name is Jennifer M Brown and I am the designer and maker of things for Under The Root.  Each design and the entire process utilizes upcycled, reclaimed, sustainable, and many times vintage materials.  This seems to be the most natural foundation for us in the construction of loungerie, lingerie and boudoir accessories.  My wish is for people to whirl around in their days and nights, storytelling their own fables and becoming their own stories.. where the playful, demure and even the most modest bodies are awake.  Our name comes from a juvenile fiction trilogy by Zilpha Keatley Snyder and has grown to have meaning in many facets of the works here with the intimate apparel.

What inspired you to start your business?
While sitting among friends and drinking licorice tea, I made a decision to take all my scribbles of thoughts, desire to turn my life around, designs of underthings, and treasure troves of findings from out of the bird nest.  Also vital, my will to put cards on the table toward a sincere contribution to satisfying human desire in a conscious, wakeful manner.  I began with a black lacquer Singer and the support of many, many loves around me at the time. The closer each design came to its end, the closer I had grown to the root of what came before me.

What inspires your creative process?
It seems the process, itself, is a continuous inspiration every step of the way.  I think some of the most valuable kicks in the behind begin with human connection, freedom of expression in our cultures around the world,
passionate individuals to share love with all its many shapes and sizes, and the understanding that we are here for only a blink.  When the sun is bright, it is blinding and borderline overwhelming to the process.  When the moon drifts to dark, it is scary sometimes but always welcomed by an undertow of its presents.

What is your favorite thing you’ve made and why?
Thank you for asking and if there was a top of the heap design or piece, I will have shared it here with you.  It is possible to have a deep connection with every single design and damn near every piece made in the studio, each for different reasons.  I will say that there are 4 pieces, in the beginning, which were quite unique to wear because they were made without elastic or stretch fabric.  It was a secret, but now seems alright to share, that I truly had no idea how to create undergarments in the beginning.  I was a novice seamstress and simply did not have the skills required to fasten together all the elements for undergear.  That was almost 13 years ago now and I still have the 4 pieces to remind me of this journey.

What advice do you have for other people who want to start or grow their Etsy shop?
There is a yin and yang with every step.  The rewards in each decision feed the growth of further ones, so make a decision and do not waste time.  Many times I have been thwarted by unseen obstacles which then have led me to challenges in the mastering of my dreams.  Marketing and promotion begins with knowledge of the niche for your works.  After an initial leap into your industry, my best advice is to remain true to your work and have a balance within your personal versus business life.  Do what you say, follow through, and be sure to be the best at what you do.

Under The Root now has a quarterly newsletter where I share the undergrowth of new collections, a tinge of elven lore, and coupon codes for discount with the purchases.  You can sign up with the newsletter inside this link:
We are on facebook for more immediate connection here:
The website is loaded with news, lookbooks and contact:

I hope you enjoyed this wonderful shop and will go check it out!

These are my absolute favorites!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Spotlight on Kawaiiideco

In an effort of not being selfish and inviting in the good karma I share with you Kawaiiideco. I say this because once you see her hand-painted acrylic nails you will understand why I would want to keep her a closely guarded secret, lol! 
Lets meet Jaimie Ngo of Kawaiiideco!

These are my absolute favorites!!

Let’s hear from Jaimie:
Kawaiiideco is all about cute & quirky decorations that describe my own personality! Growing up I always had a passion for for art… I loved the feeling of letting my creativity run wild. A couple years ago I ran across Etsy & I had so much admiration for people on there… to come across a group of people so much creativity boggled my mind! From then on, I decided I wanted to be a part of that… I wanted to push my creativity further & be just like them. It’s the people on Etsy who had inspired me to push the envelope of my own creativity; I wanted to be a part of that world.

I don’t consider Etsy to my ‘business’ though, to me it’s a place where I can share all the things I love with other people, it’s a hobby. I often find myself spending 6+ hours sometimes creating this crazy nail set, but I don’t mind because I truly love it. LOVE is essential to my creative process. I also think I have a tad of OCD because everything has to be perfect & the TLC I put into it is tremendous (that’s probably why it takes so darn long haha).

(I bet these had to have taken at least that long! Crazy awesome detail!)

I would have to say that my favorite item that I’ve created is my anatomically correct heart pendant; it’s actually the item that started it all. My first polymer creation was actually made while I was at home studying for my anatomy test! I was learning about the heart & I had my anatomy book open… next thing I knew I had this little heart polymer heart sitting in front of me & I was studying off of it & memorizing the parts on it for my test haha. 

(That’s actually really good advice for anyone taking anatomy!)

The advice I would give to anyone who wants to start an Etsy is… just do it(: creating your Etsy is the first step. Make sure you love what you’re doing & give really good customer service! I feel that it’s important to create a connection with the people who purchase my items. Since Etsy items are handmade, you want the person purchasing to know that the item you’re creating is in good hands. If the item is a ‘custom’, you want to include them in the creation process as much as possible, it gives them a piece of mind that everything is turning out alright & that you really put some TLC into that creation(:

Thanks so much for sharing with us Jaimie!! It’s been such a pleasure getting to know you and hear about your creative process! The love, the fun and your OCD tendencies definitely show in your work!

Please visit Kawaiiideco to see more of Jaimies incredible creations or to request your own set of Superhero nails!

If you ask nicely she might even make you an Alliance cell phone charm! ;)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Spotlight On Rich Neeley Designs

Today we turn the spotlight on a piece of technology turned into a statement piece that sure to make your friends jealous! If you’re like me, you don’t like the uniformity and the artlessness of the cell phone charger. I hate things that are blasé, I’m a creative gal and I like for my possessions to be as fun and creative as I try to be.
Today we meet Rich Neeley, a man who has taken one of the things I love most, books, and turned them into IPhone and IPad chargers! New and vintage, classics and recently popular, bright and simple. Whatever your looking for there’s a book charger for you!
Wonderful gift for the bibliophile in your life! I’d flip my lid if I got one of these as a present!
But enough of my ramblings and hinting to my family what I want for Christmas... ;)

I want to Hobbit one so bad! It’s my favorite book of all time! But I love these other as well! Winnie the Pooh is always a favorite!

I love this one! The dinosaur is eating the phone, hee hee!)

Lets hear from the creator of these incredible creations:
I'm Rich Neeley, I live in Southern CA, and I run my Etsy shop full time as of last year. I've been blessed to be able to get my product out there, and making the decision to move to this shop full-time was not easy, but pretty rewarding. 

(I grew up with The Wind in the Willows, makes my heart smile!)

Our wedding inspired me to start this business, as my wife had used books from our wedding decoration (I'll admit I am not the bibliophile, that's definitely her) and I wanted to get involved with her crafting and make something for fun. The booksi™ idea came to life, and now I make all sorts of docks from vintage and new books.

(Yes, he did!)   =D

We find books that are in odd places, and the books themselves inspire my creative process. I find books in used stores, thrift stores, library discard bins, craigslist, yard sales, etc, etc. Anywhere a book is no longer wanted or needed! I'm also constantly trying to come up with a better way to hide the dock, something else to build from books, how to add speakers - with the few minutes I have not spent building orders. :) I've thought of a lot of things, but just haven't had the time to flush them out - YET!

-I don't have a favorite, but my favorite author is Hemingway, so this vintage dock was one of my favorites. I also loved this iPad dock, it was our very first iPad dock ever built!

My current favorite up in the shop is this one, made with vintage music instruction books for youth and children. It's crazy to think how many music students owned them and practiced with them.

My advice for people who want to build their Etsy shop is to have great photos, which is all the customer has to go on before purchasing. You can take your own (I do), but make sure they are well-cropped and well-lit.

The other huge thing is: customer service!! If someone sends you a convo, send back a professional friendly response as soon as possible! 

Thanks so much Rich for giving us a look at the man who creates these gorgeous and functional pieces! Please visit his shop and see all of the wonderful repurposed books, you’re sure to find one you love!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Making Lemonade

So my last shipment of glass covers for my photo pendants were all badly damaged. Cracks, chips, scuffs, basically unusable for their originally intended purpose. They refunded me my money (excluding shipping, which was the expensive part) but I didn't want to throw them out. I hate to waste. So I decided to break them more! Here's a what I wound up with

Would love to hear what you all think! I'm pretty jazzed about it!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Congratulations To Our Blog Giveaway Winner!!

Congrats to Brooke on winning the wire swirl bracelet in the colors of her choosing! 

Thank you so much for your entries everyone, I really appreciate your wonderful support and participation!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Spotlight on Kitty Kitty Crafts

We have today, another small business on Etsy that definitely needs some love! Karissa Jo Kloss is a bit of a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to sewing! From making her own clothes to make the most adorable stuffed hippos (which are kind of a big thing for me, I LOVE hippos!). In hopes of getting her some more exposure and hopefully help her happy hippos find good homes I asked her to share a little bit about herself and her shop with me so I could share it with you! (We cat people have to stick together, you know! *wink*) 
I would like to introduce you to:

As you can see, Karissa is not afraid to use a lot of color, which is what I LOVE to see!

Here’s a little bit about the beautiful artist herself!

“I moved to Boston 9 years ago for grad school, and have stayed ever since! By day I work for an independent publishing house, printing books, and by night I'm usually hand-stitching my Dear Jane quilt, a Civil War–replica I've been working on for years. On the weekends I'm glued to Gloria, my sewing machine, working on quilts, dresses, and softies! I definitely keep busy! I sew a lot of different things, but softies are definitely my favorite; getting to sew them always feels like a treat.”
(I was thrilled to learn I wasn’t the only one who had named my sewing machine.. I love my Daisy!)
What inspired you to start your business and what inspires your creative process?

“I was inspired to start my business because people had been telling me to do so for years, but I finally felt equipped to branch out on my own. I had mainly been holding back because all of the crafts I were making were based on others' patterns. Then I decided to draft my own plush hippo, and things just took off from there! I took a class on selling online (Etsy 101, if you will), then did all the paperwork to become a legit business. It was definitely a LOT of work, but well worth it!”

“As far as my creative process, it really varies. I usually have more ideas and things that I want to make than time to actually make them! For softies, I'll get an idea in my head, and then spend a lot of time thinking about how to actually put the pieces together before I even start sketching. I'm very process-oriented, and I tend to let my subconscious work through things first.”
What would you say is your favorite item?

“Isn't the most recent thing we've made always a crafter's favorite? I'm loving sewing my own clothes (, mainly because I find it empowering and, frankly, a little selfish. Most of my crafting is for gifts or my shop, so it's nice to make something I get to keep myself! As for softies, I'm still super proud of my hippos, my very first original pattern, and so seeing a pile of them ( always makes me smile! :) “

(They make me smile too! I LOVE hippos! I typed in a search for hippos on Etsy and found these!)

“As for starting or growing one's own business on Etsy, I'm afraid I don't have a lot of advice. In fact, I could definitely benefit from some! There are a lot of books out there on selling handmade and selling online, so I'd definitely recommend those resources to start. I've found that it can be a bit overwhelming, so making checklists and addressing tasks one at a time definitely helped me get through all the setup work. I definitely have a lot more to do, and learn, marketing-wise, so I'll be interested to see what kind of advice your other interviewees have to offer!” 

That’s what we’re here for girl! It’s why I post these, helping each other is the key to success! Thanks so much for playing along with me (I consider blogging playing, lol!)

Be sure to visit Kitty Kitty Crafts on Etsy and check out more of her fabulous hippos, like my favorite below! I hope you enjoyed getting to know Karissa! Have a blessed day!