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Happy Tuesday! 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.

  • a blog you need to check outThe Notebook Doodles
    The Notebook Doodles
    I love love love her doodles! So fun, so inspirational!

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! Also, are these links helpful to you? Let me know! I appreciate the feedback!!!! Thanks!
-cheers!

Hello! For the past two weeks, I’ve been participating in a super fun digital scavenger hunt sponsored by Pink Dandy. We were challenged to take photos of things that portrayed the following words…Love, Crime, Heat, Organic, Nature, Broken, Colorful and Tall.  Here are my entries:

LoveThis is Aine and she belongs to my friend, Nan.  Dogs are the perfect example of unconditional LOVE.  (I *so* wanted to take her home with me! She’s the cutest puppy ever!)

crimeThis is my entry for CRIME. I know, it’s a little lame. I was hoping to spot a police cruiser, but surprisingly, I didn’t see any all weekend. So I took this shot, reminding people that at this particular intersection it’s a crime to turn on red when pedestrians are present. There, that’s my public service announcement for the day!

heatThis is my entry for HEAT. Say hello to my genuine 1970’s GE electric oven! I can’t cook anything in here to save my life. Everything either comes out too burnt, or too raw in the middle. And, sometime, as a bonus, they will turn out burnt AND raw in the middle!! This is why I don’t cook… (well, it’s the excuse I tell myself, anyway…)

organicmmm… ORGANIC yogurt from Trader Joe’s. A favorite of mine!

natureI came across this stunning example of NATURE this weekend when I went to the Chicago Botanic Garden!

brokenThis is my BROKEN first generation ipod. Yeah, you know, those big chunky bricks with spinning hard drives? Yeah, this one bit the dust a few years ago. After the second time it broke, I decided it was time to invest in something with a non-spinning flash drive (hello ipod nano!) Sure, the nan is slightly smaller–went from 20+ gigs to 4– that was quite an adjustment, but at least it hasn’t broken!

colorfulThis COLORFUL butterfly photo was taken last week at the Peggy Notabaert Nature Museum! Read about my adventure (and see more butterfly pics) here.

TallI absolutely love the prairie section at the Chicago Botanic Garden. I especially love how TALL the grasses and the sunflowers get!

Here are some other blog links that are also participating in the Digital Scavenger Hunt!!! Please stop by and check them out!!!


156/365, originally uploaded by rottnapples.

Hello! Happy Thursday! Today I’d like to introduce you to another amazingly talented etsy artist–fantasian.  Her one of a kind jewelry is carefully designed and handcrafted  using sterling silver and gold-filled wire.  I am in LOVE with her jewelry. I think my favorite has to be the Elegant Wire Wrapped Green Abalone Shell Pendant. I love the green color abalone and the wire wrapping is so intricate!!!
Check out some other pieces from her shop:

Featured Handmade Artist- fantasian

Who are you, and where are you from and what do you do?

Hello! I’m a 25 year old mechanical engineer living in Palo Alto, CA. I also happen to be doing graduate school part time getting my masters degree, which makes my life quite hectic and busy! I decided to open up an Etsy shop about a month ago just after my summer vacation started, since I wanted to further pursue a hobby that didn’t involve staring at screens.

How long have you been creating?

I first started making jewelry about 5 years ago back when I was in college. During my senior year I was finally starting to get into fashion and beginning to notice what people were wearing around me. But I didn’t have much money back then, being a student and all, so I decided it would be more fun and a lot cheaper to design and make my own jewelry. I’ve also dabbled in quite a lot of other crafts as well, from lamp working and glass blowing to sewing, graphic design and laser cutting.

What is behind your inspiration for making your pieces?

All kinds of things! Sometimes I get inspired from more typical sources like looking at other artists and sellers out there, but some are completely random. For example, a couple weeks ago I went scuba diving and totally fell in love with the kelp forest I saw, so I made a pair of earrings loosely based on it. Other fun, but often unusual, places I get inspiration from are video games and movies. I’ll sometimes stop and wonder, “what kind of jewelry piece would <fantasy character> want to wear?” and just go from there. I pretty much never plan out my designs in advance, so whatever I’ve been exposed to most recently often has a huge influence on the stuff I make.

What is your dream job?

My current job is pretty awesome, but someday I think I’d want to work in a job that gave me more creative freedom and involved more hands-on work. Unfortunately as an engineer, you generally move away from that as you climb the ladder, so I may need to find alternative career paths. Who knows, maybe someday I’ll dedicate myself to being a crafts person and artist full time instead.

Please describe your creative process

The only bit of planning I really do when it comes to creating is looking at what I currently have in my Etsy shop and thinking about what additional variety I can add to it. Then I’ll go through my inventory and see what colors, beads and other items I have. Once I’ve picked out a couple stones and figured out what type of jewelry I want to make, I just kind of start improvising and seeing what comes out. Often this works wonders and I get really lovely pieces that can trace their inspiration to things I’ve done or seen recently, and others are completely new and unexpected. And sometime it just totally doesn’t work and I end up wasting some materials, but I recycle and reuse what I can and often these failures are the stepping stones towards later pieces.

What item would you be secretly heartbroken if it sold?

To be honest, I don’t think there are any! I’ve been making jewelry for a while now, often as gifts, so I don’t get very attached to the things I make. And I’ll always have the pictures to look back on if I do get a little nostalgic for something.

Where do you promote your work?

Most of my friends actually don’t know yet that I have an Etsy store. I mainly do my promotion online on Twitter, Facebook and my blog. Here are the links in case you want to check them out:
Twitter: http://twitter.com/fantasian_angel
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile/fantasianjewelry
Blog: http://fantasianangel.blogspot.com/

Thanks so much!!! I hope you all have an opprotunity to check out fantasian’s etsy shop!!!

I have a small confession– I like working retail. To be fair, my part time job is at a scrapbooking store–Craft Fancy in Arlington Heights, IL. If you had asked me a decade or so ago when I worked at the department stores in the mall, I would have vehemently denied liking retail. It’s so much different now that I get to help people be creative and not clean up fitting rooms after them…

Did you know that I teach a digital photography class at Craft Fancy? No? Well, now you do! In fact, I’m teaching a Digital Photography Field Trip class this Saturday (August 28th). It’s going to be fabulous! It combines my Digital Photography 101 class with practical application. The auto settings as well as basic picture composition will be covered. This is perfect for those of us who learn better actually doing rather than just being talked to. This month, we’re going to the Chicago Botanic Garden. For details, please check out this link:

Digital Photography Field Trip Class- August 28th

Call the store to sign up! I hope to see you there!!!

Speaking of photography, this weekend was a good weekend for photo ops!!! Saturday I went, quite spontaneously, to New Glarus, WI. It’s only a two hour drive– not too bad at all! (And yes, I used my new GPS!!! I love it! )

America’s “Little Switzerland” New Glarus is located in the heart of Green County in Southern Wisconsin. Its rolling hills dotted with small towns, farms, and woodland pastures are much like the alpine farmlands of Glarus, Switzerland. When you arrive at the village entrance, you will quickly understand its popularity as a destination. New Glarus is America’s “Little Switzerland.”

It was a cute little town. Unfortunately, I got there a little late– most of the town was closed with the exception of bars and restaurants. I did manage to get a few cool shots though…

202/365


Sunday was a little more low-key. I went to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum to photograph the butterflies. Seriously, it was super cool. Way better than the butterfly garden I went to a few weeks ago. There were so many varieties of butterflies and moths–And TONS of them! Here’s an excerpt from their website:

Get up close to more than 75 species of exotic butterflies and stunning bird species from the Southern hemisphere in a 2,700 square-foot greenhouse filled with pools of water, flowers, tropical trees and 1,000 butterflies, including those never-before-seen in our region.

The release new butterflies daily at 2:00 p.m. How cool is that?
I also checked out the Sanctuary: Flight of the Majestic Monarch exhibit. Way cool. Did you know Monarch Butterflies will migrate through Chicago to Mexico coming up in September? Neither did I! The Majestic Monarch exhibit features facts, amazing murals from Hector Duarte and kids art from local schools.

Here are some shots from the Butterfly exhibit:
203/365

(I think some of these will be hitting my etsy shop soon…)

It was so worth the trip! It’s really a cool museum. I will definitely be visiting again in the wintertime when I need a little bit of warmth and greenery!!!!

Happy Tuesday! 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! Also, are these links helpful to you? Let me know! I appreciate the feedback!!!! Thanks!
-cheers!

Hello! Wow! What a busy week!!! So busy, in fact, that this is the first chance I had to write about this weeks Featured handmade Artist! (better late than never, right?)

Without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to Lacy and her shop, xPeppyandBellex! Lacy has some super fun and trendy hemp jewelry and supplies. Check out a small sample of her pieces:

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

My name is Lacy, I’m 22 years old From O’Fallon, MO. I make hemp jewelry at the moment, but hope to expand to other jewelry making soon 🙂

How long have you been creating?

I’ve been making hemp necklaces off and on since I was 17.

What is the inspiration behind your jewelry?

The random beads I find

What is your dream job?

I hope to work in a library one day. It just seems like it would be so peaceful.

Can you tell us a little about your creative process?

When I get bored I go through my beads and decide what I want to make at the moment. Its mostly just random, not really thought out.

What item would you be secretly heartbroken about if it sold?

There’s a few, but I wont tell 🙂

How do you promote you and your work?

I post anywhere I can find really. Mostly Facebook and Blogspot at the moment.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/xpeppyandbellex
Twitter: www.twitter.com/xcreepiegirlx
Blogspot: www.xpeppyandbellex.blogspot.com
Myspace: www.myspace.com/xpeppyandbellex

What are a few of your favorite books, movies, musicians, and websites that you’d like to share?

My favorite books are Star Girl by Jerrk Spinelli and Perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chobosky. My favorite musical artist is Hanson, but other than that I mostly listen to rock, alternative, industrial and 90’s pop.

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

To read peoples minds, so then I can tell when they are lying. Haha.

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Publish my books and pursue my writing career.

Thanks so much Lacy!!!!! I hope you all take a moment and check out the xPeppyandBellex shop!!!!!



, originally uploaded by rottnapples.

Happy Wednesday! Well, it’s halfway through the work week and I thought that a little Nerd inspiration would make you smile!

Go ahead–Let your inner nerd out! (I can’t be the only one who covets all this awesome nerd-goodness?)

Wednesday Inspiration- Nerds!

1. Carbon Glass Period Table Tile Necklace – Tan and Gray

2. Nerdy Baby 1 2 3 Flash Cards

3. Black 20 Sided Dice Cufflinks 20d

4. Helvetica for Typography Nerds

5. 4 Geekery Drinking Glasses

6. Nerd Notecards/Postcards

7. Nerd Girl Magnet

8. I would call him WOODROW – Toy Windup Robot Fine Art Photography

9. Sci-Fi Blue Police Phone Booth Gadget Case

Happy Tuesday! 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.

  • a blog you should totally follow
    hulaseventy
    http://hulaseventy.blogspot.com
    Love love love her photography. Go Andreas blog and make sure you add her blog to your daily must-read list!

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!
-cheers!

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