Well, I finally did it!

I set up my own hosted space. I’ve been dreaming/thinking/weighing the pros and cons about this for so many years. I finally got it going!!! I’m so super excited about this next step in my photography/art career!

I am working on creating a new etsy shop (aprilbernphoto.etsy.com) where I will be selling more Fine Art Prints of my photography. I will be offering various sizes and matting options, as well as photos mounted on wood blocks. In the past I was just selling prints of cupcakes and robots. I would really like to expand and sell florals, ttv prints, and landscapes.

Don’t worry– I will still continue to sell my Photo Greeting Cards and my Original Paintings (and prints of my original paintings) on my creativeapples.etsy.com shop!

I am putting together a portfolio as well. I would like to venture out into pet photography, more product photography gigs, and even engagements/maternity/baby photo shoots and I need to have something fabulous to show potential clients!

I am still seriosuly commited to the Handmade movement and will continue to provide helpful tips/links in my Crafty Connections posts, and feature amazing etsy sellers in my Featured Handmade Artist series.  I love creating those posts, so that won’t change. One new exciting additon will be Photography Tutorials!  Look for the first one in June!

I can’t thank you enough for joinging me on this journey! I’m so thankful for all who read and leave me awesome, encouraging comments. I hope that you will continue this handmade and photographic journey with me on my brand new space–


aprilbern.com/blog – please be sure to adjust your bookmarks or feed readers to point to this new space!

Also, please let me know what you think!!! Do you love it? Hate it? (keep in mind, this is a slow-work-in-progress!) Thanks so very much! I look forward to hearing your feedback!!!!

-April

http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

Hello! I’m back! A little late, I know… Its been a crazy busy week between work and Easter preparations. I’m also working on two additional projects. The first one is for the ARTreprenuer site. I’m creating new tutorials (so far, I’ve made a DIY lightbox, gave my all time top five photography tips, and explained the benefits of the Macro setting…) and have been answering all sorts of photography questions. If you’d like to get in on these posts, be sure to stop by ARTreprenuer and sign up. You won’t regret it!

The second project…well… that’s a really big surprise! More details will be made available in the next week or so. All I can say is that things are gonna look a little different ’round here in a few weeks…

So this week I’m very happy to introduce you to our Featured Handmade Artist, Holly, from LarkandLillie. I am in love with her fun sewn creations! This one is definitely a favorite…

Featured Handmade Artist- LarkandLillie

Truthfully, I love all of them…

Featured Handmade Artist- LarkandLillie

Hi Holly!! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Holly Anderson shop owner of Lark and Lillie on etsy. I live in Denver Colorado with my wonderful and also artistic husband. I am an art teacher by trade, but my true passion is creating. I love to sew , paint, draw, decorate, and would get a lot more of this done if it wasn’t for my obsessive blog reading.

What is the first craft project you remember making?

I remember my mom cut up a ton of old crayons, and my sister and I created a mosaic type image with them.

Where do you get your inspiration?
As I’ve mentioned I love reading and looking at blogs. I am always inspired by the color palettes that I see, and love to glean ideas from other creative people. I also adore Scandinavian design, with it’s use of bold colors and stylized images. I love the idea of beauty through simplicity, and think Scandinavians do it the best!

Can you please describe some of your creative process?

I would say that my creative process starts with color combinations that I enjoy. I love mixing different patterns , colors, and textures, that aren’t always the most obvious choices. I also love to implement hand sewn details into almost all of my pieces, weather it’s stitched lettering, or an embroidered border.

What is your most prized handmade possession?

I have two handmade quilts that were made by my grandfather…my grandfather! He used to be a doctor, so I guess he traded stitching people up, for stitching quilts.

Featured Handmade Artist- Lark and Lillie

If you could give one piece of advice to a new etsy seller, what would it be?

Try to solidify your style and look, so that your product is distinctive and recognizable. And don’t be afraid to experiment, make mistakes, and keep trying new things…

What are some of the ways you promote your work?

I am in the process of getting better at this. I have my etsy shop, and a link on my facebook. I also involved in local craft shows.

What are three websites you couldn’t live without?

Just three?
Design Sponge
Decor 8
Sfgirlbybay

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

My husband and I are planning on selling our house in the burbs and moving into the city. I would love to have a place with a little more space to create. Also I love all of the opportunities for inspiration in the city.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

This may not sound very chivalrous, but I would love to have the super power of flying….I have always wanted to fly…when I was little I always wanted to jump off of our back deck with a sheet (for a parachute) And see if it would break my landing. I always chickened out …To see the world from up above would be wonderful

Thanks so much, Holly!!!
Please be sure to stop by her shop and check out all of her fabulous sewn creations: LarkandLillie.etsy.com

If you would like to be considered for my weekly features, please send me an email or convo– I’d love to hear from you!!!!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

-April
http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

Hello! I’m back! Thankfully, I am having a much better week (so far!) than last week!!! I’m super excited to bring you this weeks Crafty Connections. I think you’ll find the following links helpful and inspirational!

Each and every week I scour the interwebs and gather the best tutorials, tips, and informative links to help with your handmade craft business. In addition, I’ll post links to cool crafty DIY projects, and blogs I think are worth following. I hope you find something useful and helpful! If so, please let me know. I would LOVE your feedback!

20 Ways to Skyrocket Your Motivation
Cardboard rocket
by Matt Biddulph, via flickr
One of the reasons why people don’t follow through on their goals is because they lose their motivation along the way.

15 Things an Artist Should Never Say
Paint Your Rainbow
by shewatchedthesky, via flickr
Oh, I’ve been guilty of saying almost every one of these…

20 Personal Brand Building and Monitoring Tools You Don’t Want to Miss
Mabel
by SaraCarr66, via flickr
With the social media realm being at our fingertips and larger each and every day, there are a plethora of tools to assist in building our personal brands, monitoring them and promoting them.

Writing a Business Plan
Do you have the feeling it might be time for the next step but you’re not sure what that next step is? Are you getting comfortable with your art/craft/thing but a little part of you wonders if you’re missing the opportunity to stretch a little?

Handling Copyright Issues
Gingerbread Biscuit Bunny in blue tea cup
by florenceforrest, via flickr
How to handle when you discover someone ripping off your work.

DIY-Paper-Craft Sugar Posy Cake
DIY- Paper-Craft Sugar Posy Cakeby Rosie from Sweetapolita, via Paper*Cakes Finds
Gorgeous eye candy, and seems really easy to do! What a simple and fun addition to add to your next plain birthday cake or cupcakes!

If you know of any good handmade craft marketing resources I should include in the next Crafty Connections post please don’t hesitate to email me, or leave the link(s) in the comments section! I would love to be able to share these great resources with everyone! Thank you so much!

-April
http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

Pincushion kit
pincushion kit, via Fix Design

Hello!
Since I didn’t have a chance to put together any blog posts this week due to my slight automobile mishap, and I wanted to leave you something fun, so I collected my most popular posts in the past 4.5 months.

Please check out the valuable resources in my Crafty Connections posts– I think you’ll find a ton of valuable resources to help with marketing your handmade art and craft products. If you happen to read anything that is particularly helpful, drop me a line and let me know!!! Also, if you’re looking for help in particular topics, let me know and I’ll do my best to find helpful resources for you. If you have a question or need help in a certain area, know that there are others that have the very same questions so please ask!!

Also included in this list is a fabulous round of of Granny Square tutorials and carefully curated collections of wonderful etsy items I found while doing (ahem!) research. Don’t miss these! There are A LOT of great handmade products to check out (Easter and Mother’s Day are just around the corner…)

Enjoy!

Did you happen to enjoy any of these posts? Please be sure to share them on Twitter or Facebook!! Share the love!!!

Have a wonderful day!

-April

http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

You know, as far as Monday’s go, I’ve had better. Actually, yesterday started out really well. I was having a fabulous morning– getting lots of stuff done at work and I was excited about a new project I was going to start in the afternoon. I was heading home for lunch to pick up my tax info (I had a tax appt. in the afternoon.) That’s when the afternoon took a turn for the worse…

I was stopped on East River Road waiting to turn left into my parking lot when I was hit from behind, and then I was hit again. I think the babe in the Mercury Van hit me, and then a third little blue car hit the van which in turn hit me again. I have no idea– i didn’t see it coming. The impact was so much that it caused my glasses to fly off!

my poor car...

I felt pretty jarred up and my neck was hurting afterwards so I went to the ER. Thankfully, it was nothing more than an acute neck strain. I’m really sore and stiff today– my head, neck and upper back hurts, and my arms hurt like I had been lifting weights. I’m fortunate that it wasn’t more serious, and I’m glad my car did what it was supposed to– keep me safe– but now I have to go thru the drama and hassle of getting it fixed and dealing with insurance companies.

my poor car :(
(if you look close, you can see the Mercury emblem on my bumper!)

I might be taking it easy with posting this week while I rest up a bit and catch up with work and take care of my car/insurance issues. Thanks for your well wishes and your understanding!

Take care!
-April
http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

This week’s Photo Friday theme is “Ride.”

I took this shot at Septemberfest in Schaumburg, IL. this past year. It totally reminds me of going to carnivals with my sister when I was young and how I was afraid of the rides (especially the fun slide…) Fast forward 20+ years and I can’t get enough of carnival rides and roller coasters– the scarier, the better!!!

This image is available for sale in 4×6, 5×7, 8×12, 11×14 and larger! Email me (aprilbern at gmail dot com) or leave a comment if you’re interested in a print of this!

Check out some of the other Photo Friday participants (and maybe participate yourself?)

Just a reminder– you can sign up to get automatic notifications when I post so you don’t miss anything!
Subscribe here.

You can also keep up with me on twitter
http://twitter.com/creativeapples

“Like” me on Facebook too!
http://www.facebook.com/creativeapples

 

Hope you have a fabulous weekend!!!!
-April
http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

Hello!!! I know, I got off to a late start today, but don’t worry– this week’s featured artist is definitely worth the wait! I am so happy to introduce you to Grace from Andwabisabi. Grace sells the cutest, fun and simple-to-make counted cross stitch patterns!

Featured Handmade Artist-Andwabisabi

Seriously, how fun is that? These look easy enough that even I could make them. I’m so not a cross-stitch (or counted-cross stitch) person, but I’m so in love with these fun designs that I’m thinking about trying one…

Check out some of her other cool designs:

Featured Handmade Artist- Andwabisabi

Hi Grace! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Grace Kim and I’m the girl behind Andwabisabi Cross Stitch. I live in Southern California with my family and puppy, (my bundle of joy) Mochi! During the day, I work as a Graphic Designer and Product Developer in Wall Decor. Once I’m off the clock I love to cross-stitch, cook and bake. I do love to pick up a random craft during the weekend or spend hours upon hours at craft stores.

What is the first craft project you remember making?

I used to make paper dolls and cut out colorful little outfits and wigs for them. The possibilities were endless and I would churn out little outfits for them all day long!

What inspires you?

My inspiration comes from nature and anything I come across during the day. I am definitely drawn to textures and patterns and love to take snapshots of anything that interests me. Inspiration comes from a color that I’ve become enamored with, or a conversation I shared with my close friend, or even from the dinner menu. I carry around a little notebook where I jot down these ideas and sketches, which comes in very handy when I’m ready to start designing.

Can you please describe some of your creative process?

I refer to my handy little notebooks. I like to spend some time picking a topic that strikes my chord before I jump into the design aspect. Sometimes I will do a little research on the topic, other times I’ll jump right in. I start out with a rough shape in mind and move around the pixels until I settle on the design. After the design is set, it’s time to play with color! Often times, I will start out with a certain finish in mind, only to end up with something completely different- I love this process, because it is when I come out with the best designs.

Featured Handmade Artist- Andwabisabi

What is your most prized handmade possession?

I love the hand-knit scarf my grandmother made me some 15 years ago. It’s made out of really itchy pink yarn, but it makes me laugh every time I wrap myself in it.

If you could give one piece of advice to a new etsy seller, what would it be?

I would have to say, keep doing what you love. Perseverance is key, keep developing your craft, continuously learn, and soon you will discover your niche.

What are some of the ways you promote your work?

Word of mouth, I’m fortunate to have lovely customers who refer their friends and family to my shop.
I also have a flickr and twitter account, as well as a FB page and blog. I spend a lot of time developing new items for the shop and try to upload new product every week.
Etsy – andwabisabi.etsy.com
Flickr – flickr.com/applepieorder
Twitter – twitter.com/andwabisabi
Facebook – www.facebook.com/pages/Andwabisabi-Cross-Stitch/439023620472
Blog – apple-pie-order.blogspot.com

What are three websites you couldn’t live without?

Etsy.com, Craftcult.com, Pandora.com

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I’d love to be happy and healthy, with some extra wrinkles, surrounded by family and crafty friends! I’d also love to own a little cross-stitch boutique and share the love of cross-stitch with a lot of people.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

I’d love to fly, that way I’d be able to travel all over the world and have the experience of my life.

Thank you so much Grace!!! It was a pleasure to get to know a little bit more about the super creative force behind Andwabisabi. I urge everyone to take some time and check out her shop. There are so many wonderful cross stitch items to chose from (hey! Mother’s Day is coming up!!!)
http://www.etsy.com/shop/andwabisabi

If you would like to be considered for my weekly features, please send me an email or convo– I’d love to hear from you!!!!

Hang in there! It’s almost Friday!

-April
http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

It’s supposed to be in the 60’s this weekend– yay! Hopefully, if the weather holds out, I’ll head out to the Chicago Botanic Garden for my first trip of the year. I’m so excited. I can’t wait to see (and photograph) growing things!

I hope you enjoy the lovely handmade Garden themed items I found on etsy! (I’m loving this paper lotus...)

Origami Lotus Flower
Origami Lotus Flower Decoration or Favor // Papaya and Moss Green

Who am I kidding? I love everything here!

Wednesday Inspiration- Garden

1. Kerribeads Lampwork Little Bird Focal Bead

2. Garden Salsa lot of 6 hand dyed 42″ silk ribbons by Flame kissed Art Glass

3. Red Veined Sorrel No. 2 original watercolor painting

4. Bulbosa and Echinops Terrarium

5. Butterfly Embellishments Pumpkin Spice Monarch

6. Custom Herb Flower Pots (Set of 4)

7. Garden-Original miniature flower garden oil painting 3×3 by Marina Petro

8. Modern Herb or Succulent Planter Box from Reclaimed Cedar

9. Gnomeo & Juliet Concrete Garden Gnome Couple

Hope you have a great day and hopefully you get to enjoy a garden wherever you are!!!
-April
http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

Hello!!! Wow– time flies, doesn’t it? I can’t believe it’s Tuesday already!

Each and every week I scour the interwebs and gather the best tutorials, tips, and informative links to help with your handmade craft business. In addition, I’ll post links to cool crafty DIY projects, and blogs I think are worth following. I hope you find something useful and helpful! If so, please let me know. I would LOVE your feedback!

If you know of any good handmade craft marketing resources I should include in the next Crafty Connections post please don’t hesitate to email me, or leave the link(s) in the comments section! I would love to be able to share these great resources with everyone! Thank you so much!

-April
http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

Colorful Felt Flag Toppers by Mayi Carles
Colorful Flag Toppers, via mayicarles’ shop

As you know, I’m passionate about handmade. I’m also really passionate about helping other creative entrepreneurs achieve their goals, which is why I feature Etsy artists and post links/tips to help with marketing their handmade goods every week.

This is why I’m so incredibly excited tell you about a new website I’m involved with. April Bowles-Olin from Blacksburg Belle. has created an amazing website that is the one place to find all the information that you need to build a successful creative business. It’s called ARTreprenuer: The Art of Turning Creative Dreams Into Reality.

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Some of the fabulous resources and features you’ll find each and every month are:

  • Expert Interviews– Learn from people who’ve already done it. Get yourself some mentors who’ll share all of their juiciest secrets and tips.
  • Awesome Classes-two classes every month that range anywhere from 15 minutes to 60 minutes and each class will have a workbook to accompany it
  • Expert Photography Tips and Instruction– (this is where I come in!) every month you’ll get easy-to-follow tips or tutorials each month to help you improve your photos and answer specific questions from members.
  • Online Shop Critiques– Every month two lucky members will be having their shop critiques by an incredibly successful entreprenuer. You can learn so much from seeing how these critiques help someone improve their product titles, SEO, item descriptions, pricing, and more.
  • Technical Tutorials-You’ll receive step-by-step basic, intermediate, and advanced technical techniques, so you can take your creative business to the next level.
  • Creative Tutorials and Tasks-These creative tutorials will range from right-brained activities like blind contour drawings to instructions on creating mixed media backgrounds for your creative business journal to learning a new art skill.
  • Book Club-weekly discussions on the books that we read and facilitators that will talk about how you can apply the concepts you read about to your creative biz.
  • You’ll also find resources that deal with accounting, and legal issues with running your creative business.
    PLUS. SO. MUCH. MORE.

    Seriously, go check out the ARTrepreneur site for more details:
    ARTrepreneur: The Art of Turning Creative Dreams Into Reality

    I’d love to be a part in helping you make your creative dreams a reality!
    See you there!
    -April
    http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

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