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160/365, originally uploaded by rottnapples.

Hello!! Welcome to another edition of Featured Handmade Artist! This week, I am pleased to introduce you to Judy from Toastory! She’s a relatively new seller to Etsy and she’s got some really unique pieces. I love the Cubism Printed Chiffon Scarf. (For those of you who know me, this does not come as a surprise!) Her scarves are beautiful and her bow necklaces are fun and unique. Here is a small sample of her lovely pieces:

Featured Handmade Artist- Toastory

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

I am Judy. I live in San Francisco, California. I am a fashion design student and studying in Academy of Art University, and I am now entering the last year of school. I am passionate about sewing because I believe there are many possibilities with playing with different textures of fabrics.

How long have you been creating?

Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve loved drawing, painting, and crafting. I loved creating things for my family and me. I always adjusted some designs with my whimsical thoughts. With all my creations, I started with hand-stitching. I remember the first bag I made was a small little jeans handbag with a little patchwork. Soon thereafter, I learned the most practical skills which was sewing. I tried to make decorations, bags, accessories, anything that can be created by a sewing machine. After I entered my fashion design life, I bought a Juki Industrial sewing machine for my home, and I just can’t stop sewing and creating new things.

What is your inspiration for your pieces?

My inspiration comes from everywhere of my life, such as visual objects and garment components. I love deconstructed pieces, and apply them to accessories to try to make them wearable.

What would be your dream job?

I have dreamed of being a small business owner since I was small because I can do and sell things that I like and am interested in. And now, I am still striving for this dream to come true.

Please describe a little bit of your creative process.

When I get inspired, I will draw it and record it in my sketchbook. Then I will start thinking of the construction of the accessory. What materials do I have to make? What finishing do I have to do? Then, I start making the pattern and make a sample by toile. If I am satisfied with the outcome, then I start sourcing the materials.

Thank you Judy!!!
I hope that you’ll check out the beautiful scarves and unique jewelry in her shop!!! You won’t be disappointed!!!

Do you know of any fabulous handmade artists that I should feature (maybe you)? Please do not hesitate to drop me a line and let me know!!! You can email me at aprilbern (at) gmail dot com.

Oh it’s been so long since I’ve had a big shop update! I’m pleased to announce several brand new products in my etsy store!

I am soooo excited to introduce you to prints of my latest coffee paintings. They look amazing.  When I got the prints back from the lab, I was astounded to see the level of detail– you can totally see the texture of the canvas and the strokes of paint. Simply Amazing.  (don’t they look fabulous framed and grouped together?)

Coffee Love- Original Oil Painting Prints by Creativeapples

Close up of Coffee Love Painting(look at the texture! **swoon!**) Really, these prints are amazing!

Top Row: Coffee Love 01 and Coffee Love 04

Bottom Row: Coffee Love 02 and Coffee Love 03

These prints  are a reproduction of my original oil paintings.

Images measures 8×8 inches (20.32 cm x 20.32 cm) with a white border for easy framing.

The prints are professionally printed on premium quality Fujicolor Crystal Archive photograph paper which provides excellent resistance to light fade. They would look amazing grouped together in a frame on your walls, desk, or shelf.

Prints are signed and dated.

They are also available in 5″x5″ or 6″x6″. Please email/contact me if you are interested!

I also listed new prints of my photos– two of my favorite shots from when I was in Oregon:

Tree of Life 8x10 Fine Art Print and Cannon Beach 8x10 Fine Art Print
Tree of Life – 8×10 Fine Art Print (click to see a larger image)

Cannon Beach- 8×10 Fine Art Print (click to see a larger image)

These prints are also professionally printed on premium quality Fujicolor Crystal Archive photograph paper. They can also me made into into greeting cards, 4″x6″, 5″x7″, 8″x10″, 11″x14″ prints and larger! Please contact me and I will be happy to customize your order to provide you what you need!

The last new arrival in my shop is a cupcake greeting card set:

Cupcake Greeting Card or Invitation Set- Make a Wish
Cupcake Greeting Card or Invitation Set (5)- Make a Wish

This set of cupcake greeting cards would be perfect for birthday party invitations, or just to have on hand when the unexpected (or forgotten!) birthday pops up. This set also makes a great hostess gift, or teacher gift too! You will receive:
•Five vertical 4.5″ x 6.25″ photo greeting cards featuring an original photo of a fun and brightly colored cupcake with a lit candle that’s ready to be wished upon! The card also comes with a matching white envelope. You’ll receive five of the same card.
•Photos are 4×6, professionally printed on acid-free archival photo-paper.
•The photos are adhered to sturdy white cardstock.
•Cards are blank on the inside, ready for your personal message.
•Each card is individually wrapped in its own clear bag.

Hi! Welcome to my weekly Crafty Connections! Every week I scour the interwebs and gather tutorials, tips, other helpful links in order to help with your handmade craft business. In addition, I’ll post links to cool crafts I’ve seen, and blogs I think are worth following.

Do 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! Thanks!

hello! Happy Monday!
Man, the weekends always seem so unbelievably short! I can’t believe it’s Monday already. This weekend was good– not as adventure packed as I had planned, but still good. Saturday morning I went to Friendship Park Conservatory in Mt. Prospect for my Digital Photography Field Trip Class. (what? you still didn’t know that I teach Photography Classes? Here’s some info about it) It actually turned out to be the perfect morning to shoot. It rained the night before and most of the morning, but stopped shortly before class so everything still had raindrops clinging to it. It was a little cloudy so there was no harsh shadows and it wasn’t crazy hot and humid (yet.)

Here are a few shots I took during class:
Digital Photography Field Trip Class- July 2010

Digital Photography Field Trip Class- July 2010

Digital Photography Field Trip Class- July 2010


You can see the rest of the photos from both Digital Photography Field Trip Classes on my flickr stream.

Also, here’s a really sweet testimonal/review of this class from my student:

I went to the Friendship Park Conservatory for the photography field trip yesterday and had a GREAT time. This session was valuable because I was really conscious of what was around the subject of my photos. Watching April helped because I noticed her taking time before she took her pictures. As a result, I became more thoughtful before I started snapping away!

You don’t need to have a fancy camera to benefit from these sessions. I realized that many of the photos I took can be taken with pretty much any type of camera.

I’m looking forward to the next session and can’t wait to find out where we’ll be going.


(you can also read the review of both my Digital Photography Field Trip Classes here.)

I also watched “The Men Who Stare at Goats” Saturday night. Interesting movie. I really like Jeff Bridges as an actor, but couldn’t help but wonder when he was going to call himself “The Dude”. It was funny movie, and preposterous in some parts. I’m glad I waited to see it, as it was a great movie to rent. I think I would have been disappointed to have paid $$ to see it in the theater.

Sunday I did some damage at Blicks again… **sigh** I can, however, justify the purchases. I bought a whole bunch of stuff for my etsy shop. I bought some Art Boards to mount photos on to (Can’t wait to play with these!!) and some mat boards to add to my shop. Exciting stuff is happening!!

Speaking of exciting stuff– I am one of the exhibitors the Papernstitch website!!! Stop by and check this site out! Papernstitch is an online exhibition space that was created to promote talented artists, designers, and makers selling handmade goods. the exhibition space is curated monthly and showcases the best of the best on an international level. I’m so excited to be a part of it this month!!!! Here’s my shop at Papernstitch!

creativeapples photography at papernstitch

I’d love it if you stopped by and checked it out!

I’ll be back tomorrow with a whole new list of helpful links for your handmade craft business!


087/365, originally uploaded by rottnapples.

Hello! Happy Thursday! Today I’d like to introduce you to another fabulous etsy artist, Megan, and her shop meganluvsjewels. I have to be honest, I’m not much of a jewelry wearer, (you would never know by all the fabulous jewelry artists I’ve been featuring!) but I would absolutely wear her pieces. I love them because they are simple and elegant. I love the Chic Green Agate Pendant and Chain— it’s *so* my style.

Megan has a wonderful simple philosophy for her jewelry– “from natural flaws…to design perfection.” Each of her pieces celebrates the natural flaws of Earth’s treasures. Take a look at just a few of the lovely pieces from her shop.


Hi Megan! Thanks for your time! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Megan Reynolds and I was born and raised in San Diego, CA. Not only do I have my jewelry business, but I work at my church and attend California State University San Marcos with a major in business, with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship.

How long have you been creating?

I have been beading since I was 10 years-old, but more seriously since I was 16. I have always loved sketching designs though.

What is your inspiration for making your jewelry?

I’m inspired by nature–ocean, trees, and flowers. Although I consider my work to be modern, I do feel that I’m inspired by the past, especially the Regency Era.

What would be your dream job?

My dream job is running a very successful jewelry company where I get to design each piece and be the face of the company. I want to the person who gets to share the designs, vision, and story with the public.

Can you describe your creative process for us?

My creative process involves playing with stone combinations until I find the perfect look. Sometimes I sketch first, but I often times my process is very organic. Once I find the right combination of stones, I simply start making the piece and refine my design as needed.

What would be the one piece that you would be secretly heartbroken if it sold?

I would secretly be heartbroken if I sold my one-of-a-kind necklace called Secret Garden Necklace. It is so pretty and unique and I’ve come to think of it as an essential part of my brand.

Where do you promote your work?

I promote my work through my Facebook fan page, Twitter account, and through advertising, mostly on blogs. I have also gained local exposure through craft shows and by being in local stores.

What are some of your favorite books, movies, musicians, and websites?

My favorite book of all time is Pride and Prejudice. I also love the 2005 movie of Pride and Prejudice. Harry Potter books and movies also top my favorites list. I like different kinds of music, but I’m a sucker for show tunes and oldies!

Tell us a little secret about you?

One of my secrets–I’m addicted to history, especially the story of America. (It’s not a big secret, but most people don’t realize this about me.) If I didn’t want to work in business, I would want to work in a history museum to teach people about the past.

Thank you so much Megan!!! You can find more of her gorgeous jewelry in her etsy shop
and check out her website too!

I want a tattoo. I’ve wanted one forever, but I am soooooo afraid of the pain. Oh, I know, everyone tells me it feels like a nasty sunburn. You know what? I don’t like sunburns. I’ve gone with a few ex’s to the tattoo parlor and watched as they were getting tats. I’ve seen the grimaces on their faces, the biting of lips (I thought I saw tears once…) That’s totally not for me. However, that doesn’t stop me from dreaming about what I would get. Here are a few tattoos that I would love to have, but for now, I’m perfectly content on admiring them on others…)


Bird and Cage Tattoo

Future Tattoo

Hello! Welcome to my weekly Crafty Connections! Every week I scour the interwebs and gather tutorials, tips, other helpful links in order to help with your handmade craft business. In addition, I’ll post links to cool crafts I’ve seen, and blogs I think are worth following.

166/365, originally uploaded by rottnapples.

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