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!


Friday, September 21, 2012

Quick and Simple DIY for Keeping Your Boots

I love boots and have a lot of them! My mom told me about this great thing she found somewhere on the internet, she couldn't remember where. But I love it so I'm going to share it with all of you! =D

First take a simple pool noodle cut it to the length of your boots, stick it in and voila! It stands up and keeps your closet nice and organized! =)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Spotlight on Sharon Mooradian Designs

For all of you fellow creative types who love to decorate your home with pieces as colorful as your souls, have a got a shop for you! =)
From big pieces to the small every item in Sharon Mooradians’ shop is sure to make your other furniture jealous! Beautiful blues and pinks, oranges and purples everywhere! Hand-painted pieces and mosaics. Beautiful upcycled pieces to brighten your home.
No need to guild this lilly, it’s beautiful enough on its own. =)


My path to becoming a decorative painter was a wiggly piggly road which I could only travel on at night, when I came home from a high pressure 9-5 office job. After cooking and cleaning up from dinner I could escape to my workroom. When there is love and passion about what you do, the energy is always there and so you take whatever time there is to do what makes you feel alive. When I couldn’t be painting a piece of furniture, I would be planning, designing and dreaming about it so there would be no wasted time sitting in front of a piece and wondering where to begin. Slowly but surely I created a few pieces and approached a local gallery that was willing to accept my work on a commission basis. That was fourteen years ago, the beginning of my wiggly piggly road where Sharon Mooradian Designs started. It’s a nice little road and hope to keep moving along this path, enjoying the trip and seeing how far I can go.


When I find a great piece of furniture or old frame, I sand, prep and base coat it. It’s what I call the “getting to know you stage”. While base coating all the nooks and crannies and curves, I get to know the piece very intimately! Then something I see in my daily travels will appeal to me – a piece of fabric, a color chip at Home Depot, flowers, dragon flies, music – it can be anything. Sometimes it’s looking through my kaleidoscope where I can see a myriad of luscious color combinations that I would never dream of putting together! Instead of counting sheep at night, I put myself to sleep imagining how the piece could look – visualize the colors and then the next morning, the fun work begins.

I really enjoy transforming an unloved piece of furniture. It’s very magical to me. The added bonus is when someone connects with the piece and loves it so much they want to take it home.


My business advice is to go through every door that opens for you because you never know where it will take you. And yes, sometimes you have to knock on those doors to make them open. No one likes rejection, especially creative people. Just keep moving on to the next door. Never force anything, if it is supposed to happen, it will happen. My creative advice is to keep your eyes open - ideas are all around us, all of the time, pay attention and you will see them.


The Blue Willow Plate and Teacup Table is one of my favorite pieces. The table comes from fond memories of my grandmother. It’s a combination of faux painting and decoupage. The inspiration came from seeing blue willow china in an antique shop which reminded me of her. A few weeks later, I saw the same pattern in a magazine, beautifully photographed, like a gift. The proverbial light bulb went off in my head and the table was created. 

(My favorite piece too!)


Well, she said it! =)
You can visit her shop, here:

(Closer pic of that GORGEOUS table)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I Hearts My Kitties

They look like a heart, don't they! Had to share!! =)

I'm planning on getting them Halloween costumes this year but I can't decide which one! Check out the treasury I made of some of my favorite kitty costumes on Etsy, can you guys check it out and give me your opinion? =D

Thanks you!! =)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Spotlight on Delicious HoBo

Today I turn the spotlight onto an incredibly creative jewelry artist whose work I find incredibly inspiring! It is truly one of a kind! Handmade from clay and chain each piece is a work of art worthy of being hung in a gallery.
But pictures are worth 1,000 words so no more from me, I give you:

(Don’t you just LOVE that name?!)

These are my absolute favorites! I want the sloth, he makes me smile!!

Short Bio:
I am a 25 year old who lives in a tiny apartment with my boyfriend of 9 years, Scott, and my very stinky dog, Rosie. There's no room for a studio, much less a dining room table, so every nook has become a storage compartment and every surface a workspace. Thankfully, I am completely addicted to crafting and can clay around anywhere!

What Inspired You to Start Your Business? 
Unfortunately, there wasn't an epic moment when I realized I should do this for a living. It was more like I was poor and loved new accessories, so I decided to try my hand at sculpting. Once I started wearing my pieces out, people seemed to respond positively, so I decided that I should try opening a shop.

What Inspires Your Creative Process? 
I definitely draw my inspiration from nature. I love to hike. I consider any excursion accomplished when I see an adorable animal or an awesome bird. It was only natural that my pieces would be filled with all sorts of creatures.

What is Your Favorite Thing You’ve Made and Why? 
I suppose it would have to be the “Birds and the Tree Necklace”. My boyfriend's mother always used to say we were “twitterpated” when we first started dating, and this necklace reminds me of that.  (Awww....!!)

What Advice Do You Have For Other People Who Want to Start or Grow Their Etsy Shop? It seems cliché, but I have to say it... Don't give up! There will always be times when you're stressed out or having a low week, but it's totally worth it if you love what you're doing.

Thank you so much for sharing! To see more unique and incredible pieces like these be sure to visit the Delicious Hobo on Etsy!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Men & Women

In pop culture, girls who crush hopelessly on guys they can’t have are painted as just that – hopeless. Over and over again, we’re taught that girls who openly express sexual or romantic interest in guys who don’t want them are pitiable, stalkerish, desperate, crazy bitches. More often than not, they’re also portrayed as ugly – whether physically, emotionally or both – in order to further establish their undesirability as an objective fact. Both narratively and, as a consequence, in real life, men are given free reign to snub, abuse, mislead and talk down to such women: we’re raised to believe that female desire is unseemly, so that any consequent shaming is therefore deserved. There is no female-equivalent Friend Zone terminology because, in the language of our culture, a man’s romantic choices are considered sacrosanct and inviolable. If a girl has been told no, then she has only herself to blame for anything that happens next – but if a woman says no, then she must not really mean it. Or, if she does, she shouldn’t: the rejected man is a universally sympathetic figure, and everyone from moviegoers to platonic onlookers will scream at her to just give him a chance, as though her rejection must always be unfounded rather than based on the fact that he had a chance, and blew it. And even then, give him another one! The pathos of Single Nice Guys can only be eased by pity-sex with unwilling women that blossoms into romance!
— Lamenting the Friendzone, or: The Nice Guy Approach to Perpetuating Sexist

This is so true. I couldn't have put it better myself! Ever since I first learned about boys it was basically burned into my brain that women with a sex drive are whores and should be ashamed but men are programed that way so it's perfectly normal and they shouldn't be demonized for it. I just thought I'd share this.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Spotlight on Art Runs Deep

Todays artisan is a new seller on Etsy. While the art of origami and paper flowers isn’t a new concept I have never seen someone do what this woman does with paper! Centerpieces that are bright and eye-catching and sure to brighten any table and add a splash of color to any holiday meal or family dinner!

For those of you who have never tried paper-folding, trust me when I say it’s much harder than it looks!! I have attempted it and can honesty say, I have no idea how someone could have so much talent as to turn something so ordinary as colored paper into a brilliant work of art!

I asked Sophie to share with me a little about herself and her centerpieces:

My name is Sophie, I'm new to Etsy and only have 1 sale but because what I make is so different from what others make I'm hopeful for the future. 
I make origami balls out of post it's. I made them a lot in my free time and wanted to share them with the world so I started an Etsy account.
I love coming up with new color combinations and patterns which inspires me to keep creating. This is my favorite so far:

The only advice I have is work hard and dream big. Good luck!

(This is my personal favorite!)

Thanks again Sophie for sharing with me and my readers! I hope you all will check out her shop and lend your support to a woman with a dream!