You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2010.

Thank you for making 2010 a fabulous year! This year, I made a conscious effort to blog more and it’s been a ton of fun! Thank you to all my readers and followers– I really enjoy reading your thoughts and comments! Please keep them coming.

Here’s a recap of the years top ten blog posts.
cut, crinkle proper

Enjoy!

portland japanese garden

Photo Friday-Best of 2010

btw, this print is available in my etsy shop!
http://www.etsy.com/listing/51993712/tree-of-life-fine-art-print-8×10

I hope you and your family have a truly wonderful Christmas holiday!

Merry Christmas!

I’m a sucker for candy canes and peppermint (especially the peppermint mocha from Starbucks) during the Christmas season! This week, I’m inspired by the delicious and festive Candy Cane (I may have had one too many peppermint mochas this week…) Please be sure to check out these great candy cane inspired finds from all around etsy!

Wednesday Inspiration- Candy Cane

1. A Peppermint Wonderland Limited Edition Print

2. Penguin Gift Tags

3. Candy Cane Hearts 8×8 photo print

4. Cinnamon Red Mint Candy Lampwork Earrings

5. 12 Letterpress Coasters

6. Holiday Peppermint Bark

7. Candy Cane Wrist Warmers arm wristlets red and white Christmas Holiday

8. ORIGINAL Cake Bunting FROSTY

9. Peppermint Candy Christmas Paper Star Urchin Ornament Red and White Holiday Home Decor – 4 inch

Hello again! I’d like to welcome you to this weeks Crafty Connections! Each and every week I scour the interwebs and gather the best tutorials, tips, and other helpful links 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. I hope you enjoy this weeks links!

  • Craft Blogging What Should You Write About?
    hoo hoo hoo!
    A fabulous podcast to help you learn why your blog is not really about you, and what it should be about instead. Really, you should be subscribing to this podcast anyway.
  • 3 Ways to Increase Every Sale

    Three simple methods of marketing and selling to add value to your customers’ purchases and increase your own profits.

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

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photo friday- Gathering

Things have been really scary and hectic on the homestead front. Last Thursday my grandma fell and hit her head really bad and we rushed her to the hospital. Fortunately, nothing was broken. She did have a ginormous bump on her head and the doctors were worried about her getting a subdural hematoma so they kept her for observation and ran a whole bunch of tests to see if they could find the cause of her dizziness and falling. Friday night she had a really really scary reaction to a drug they gave her that was supposed to sedate her a bit (think: bad acid trip, or, more accurate, Linda Blair from The Exorcist) It was truly frightening and unbelievable.

After four days in the hospital, the doctors found nothing wrong and sent her home Sunday afternoon. She seemed fine Sunday. She was walking around, ate dinner, stayed up and chatted and watched some TV with us. Yesterday, however, she was way worse. We almost took her back to the hospital….She’s slightly better today (as of this morning when I called home) We’ll see how the rest of the day pans out. I would appreciate any prayers, thoughts, good vibes, or positive energy you could send her way.

Grandma in the hospital

I just wanted to let you know that I may be taking a few days (weeks?) away from the blog, or not blogging as frequently, while we figure out what’s up with grandma and what sort of care she’ll need and how we’ll get it. I appreciate your understanding. Again– thoughts, prayers, good vibes and positive energy is much much needed, and appreciated. Thank you!

Hello! I’m super excited to introduce you to a fellow Chicagoland artist- Melissa from Milarosedesigns. Melissa has some super fun hair accessories. I LOVE the huge floral headbands. They would definitely be something I would wear… (hint, hint– Christmas is coming up, you know…)

I’m loving this crocheted green cowl. I could so use it in my office (it’s positively arctic in my office!)
Featured Handmade Artist- milarosedesigns
and, this super fun headband!
Featured Handmade Artist- milarosedesigns

Check out a few more of her designs:
Featured Handmade Artist- milarosedesigns

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

My name is Melissa and I’m a girly- girl from Illinois who makes pretty hair accessories. My amazing little sister Laura is adding some fab crocheted hats and scarves for the fall/winter season as well.

How long have you been creating?

I’ve always been creating something, but started hair accessories in the past year. I made a headband for myself to wear to a friend’s wedding and everyone loved it. My friends kept bugging me to sell online so I started my etsy shop in February and it’s been going great. Thank you bff’s:)

What is some of the inspiration behind your pieces?

I find inspiration in my everyday surroundings. Our motto is “be pretty” so I definitely strive to make every piece express that. My favorite is when I can find a fabric or color that at first glance isn’t too pleasing to the eye and then turn it into something beautiful. It’s the best!

What would your dream job be?

My dream job would involve making others feel their very best. Hopefully my hair accessories help them accomplish that. If I can put a smile on someone’s face, then I think I’m doing alright! I also wouldn’t mind something combining my other two loves…shoes and cupcakes…like a shoe boutique/cupcake café! Yum!

Can you please describe a little bit of your creative process?

It’s definitely organized chaos! My ideas come at the most random times and then I just go headband crazy! There really is no making sense of it lol. My poor boyfriend is forced to live in a sea of fabrics, ribbon, and shiny things, but I work my best when I’m surrounded by materials and embellishments. A lot of my best creations come from making a mistake and then realizing that was the best thing I could have done.

What item would you be secretly heartbroken if it sold?

I put my everything into each piece so while secretly I would love to keep them all to myself, it makes me feel good to know that someone else gets to feel pretty in a mila rose!

What are some of the ways you promote yourself?

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/milarosedesigns
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/milarosedesigns
Blog: http://milarosedesigns.blogspot.com
mila rose designs is also sold at Bella Caley in Naperville and soon to be sold at Henri Bendel in NY!

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

I love to read girly fluff books. My sister totally makes fun of me for that! Some of my fave movies are Breakfast at Tiffany’s, I love you, Man (I want to marry Paul Rudd), and Empire Records. I love all music especially if I can sing along and I’m obsessed with perezhilton.com.

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

To make new shoes appear with the click of my heels. Isn’t that every girls dream;)

Thanks Melissa! I hope you get an opportunity to check out her shop— she’s got a birthday this week, and is celebrating with a sale (yay! we like sales!!!) Use code CELEBRATE28, dec 6th-dec 12th and receive 20% off your purchase!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/milarosedesigns

Hi! Since the holiday shopping season is in full swing, marketing tips and ideas are even more important. That’s why each and every week I scour the interwebs and gather the best tutorials, tips, and other helpful links to help market your handmade arts and craft business. In addition, I’ll post links to cool crafts I’ve seen, and blogs I think are worth following. I hope you enjoy this weeks links!

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

Oh, you can tell it’s getting close to the Holidays! Work has been absolutely crazy this week and I totally didn’t have a chance to post this weeks Featured Handmade Artist. Better late than never, right?

This week I am happy to introduce you to Jenny Kim from Jennykim.etsy.com. I love the organic feel and shape of her handmade jewelry. (I’m a sucker for flowers!) Not only does she have these gorgeous flower rings and earrings in her shop, she has these amazing key pendants!

Featured Handmade Artist- Jennykim

Here are a few more of her lovely lovely pieces:

Featired Handmade Artist- Jennykim

Hi Jenny!!! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Jenny Sueyoun Kim, and I’m originally from Los Angeles. I have been living in the San Francisco Bay area for about 15 years, and after having worked in both Silicon valley and the public sector, I am currently a metalsmith and jewelry artist on a full-time basis.

What is the first craft project you remember making?

In pre-school, I had a hard time sitting still, and instead of learning how to tie my shoelaces, I insisted that Velcro straps would always be in style – and that I must make myself a castle out of milk-crates. While the other kids learned to tie their shoes, I collected milk-crates from outside the school’s kitchen and built a fortress “fit for a queen.”

Where does your inspiration come from?

My work is inspired by natural and organic forms – the human body, flora and fauna. As an artist, I was most inspired by my grandfather, who somehow raised four children selling paintings and teaching art. I always enjoyed watching him paint and sketch, and really looked up to him as a small child.

Can you describe some of your creative processes?

Each of my pieces is created using the ancient Lost-Wax Casting method, made from a one-of-a-kind, original model, which I first sculpt from wax. My creative process starts with a lot of introversion in a quiet environment and a virtually solitary state, sculpting my wax models from my home in San Mateo, CA. After anywhere from one to three days per week working from home, I will then do all the dirty work at a shared metalshop in San Francisco. First, I will create a temporary, plaster-like mold called an “investment” around the model. After allowing the investment to set for a day or two, I will burn out the wax, heat the investment in a kiln, and then (the fun part), with the use of an oxy-propane torch, I hand-pour molten metal from a crucible into the investment. Finally, there is the cleanup and finishing work, which may take almost as much time as the initial sculpting. This multi-step process occurs over several days even for a single piece. I genuinely enjoy the entire casting process, but I love the sculpting part most of all, and therefore, I do not have any re-usable molds to copy the same piece multiple times – so, each of my pieces is a true original.

What is your most prized handmade possession?

After a few minutes of thought, it came down to my small collection of silver Touareg jewelry. The nomadic Touareg people of northern Africa use minimal modern technology to create some of the most beautiful and unique jewelry in the world. They are also among the most impoverished people in the world, and I find it so incredible that they are such great survivors in the African desert, as well as amazing craftspeople and silversmiths.

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

Communication and customer service are crucial. You want to maintain your customers’ trust and always us honest business practices. Many of us consider ourselves artists first and foremost – but in terms of turning your hobby into a business, customer service should be the top priority.

What are some of the places you promote your work?

Etsy: www.etsy.com/jennykim

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Artist-Jenny-Sueyoun-Kim/189035903091

Website: http://www.jennykim.org/

What are the three websites you couldn’t live without?

Etsy, and believe it or not, NHL.com and Fear the Fin (hockey sites).

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Hopefully, I’ll be miraculously sustaining a living making jewelry and trinkets for people who love handmade things! I would also like to be traveling; there are so many places around the world that I’d love to visit – Peru, India, the list goes on and on.

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

This one also took a few minutes of thought! I’m not sure that I want to be able to see through objects or clothing, nor do I want to zap anyone with a laser beam from my finger. I would probably want to be a healer of some kind – perhaps be able to magically heal the sick and dying. That would be very cool.

Thank you soooo much Jenny!!!!
Please be sure to stop by Jenny’s shop and check out the rest of her beautiful jewelry designs!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/jennykim

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