You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2011.

Hello! Hello!!! Are you ready for some cuteness? Great! I can’t wait to introduce you to Sorcha, from OhMaFelt. Sorcha makes the cutest stuffed creations with custom dyed wool felt, and lots of love and imagination.

Featured Handmade Artist- OhMaFeltno rain, no rainbows by OhMa Felt

Featured Handmade Artist-OhMaFeltSee! I told you they were super cute!!! I’m totally loving the little party deer…

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

Hello! OhMa Felt is a small family run business operated from our home on the Central Coast of California. We purchase wool felt from a mill on the Eastern Coast, it comes to us an off white color and thin like most store bought felts. We cut it, dye it, re-felt it, and press it. Each sheet is handled about 12 different times till completely processed. The result is a studier fabric in a custom color palette which is designed to fit our products. I am a potter by trade, but found it difficult getting into the studio when my daughter was very young. Sewing and making dolls has been something that I have done all of my life, and became more of a focus during those early years of her childhood.

What is the first craft project you remember making?

I could not begin to recall the first craft project because making things has always been part of my life.

Where does your inspiration come from?

Everything, my child, my Grandmother. The interest in living a creative, art filled life.

Can you please describe some of your creative process?

I love routine so the normal route is to wake up early, make tea, check the computer, print orders and answer correspondence. Feed all the animals, and get the child off to school, a long walk with the dog, putz in the garden, then into the sewing room or the pottery shed. I like to work till school is over. The rest of the day is spent on family and household. I must always have something in my hands to work on, and have been know to bring sewing to parties.

What is your most prized handmade possession?

Just one?! A handmade Valentine from my husband given to me on our first Valentines Day, 27 years ago. My daughter’s drawings, I know, but they are really quite superb. A quilt from my Grandmother.

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

Read all of the How To information, that is an incredible resource. Take great photos.

What are some of the ways you promote your work?

We do a few shows a year, and will add more this year. I like to have fabulous postcards and stickers available, and hand out tons. Stores and publications have found us on Etsy. Word of mouth has worked wonderfully, that includes all of the fantastic treasuries on Etsy, thanks to all the curators!

What are three websites you couldn’t live without.

Etsy, Pandora, OhMa Felt(a shameless promotion, I know, but its my job!)

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Well, at 57 I would like to be surrounded by good books, good friends and family, and an amazing garden. Like now. And orders for plushies, because I do not plan to retire, ever.

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

The power to disperse balance, calmness and tolerance. Liberally.

Thank you so much Sorcha!!! It was a pleasure interviewing you and getting to check out your wonderful whimsical creations!!! http://www.etsy.com/shop/OhMafelt

If you would like to be featured on my blog in a Featured Artist series, or you would like to recommend an artist to me, please leave a comment or send me an email at aprilbern at gmail dot com. A few lovely folks contacted me last week and I’m in the process of scheduling them in! (so contact me! it makes my job a little easier 😉 )

Thanks so much!!!
-April
http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

“April showers”
“April, where’s May and June?”
“April, it’s your month!”
Those were some of the things I heard in grade school. I used to hate the month of April (and my name!) because that’s all I would hear (boy, kids are cruel…) That, in addition to not paying attention in class and hearing my name (which was in context of a date), would startle me and make me think I was being called on ALL THE TIME… Nowadays, I find that people don’t tease me as much so when someone calls me “April Showers” I say, “if you’re lucky!” or when they ask me where May and June are, I tell them I don’t know about May, but June (my sister!) is doing well. And yes, April IS my month!! 🙂
(And because I know what you were thinking, no, my birthday is not in April either…)

This week’s inspiration is April Showers, in honor of the month of April that’s right around the corner! I hope you enjoy these lovely,lovely etsy finds!

april showers paper rosettes bouquet
april showers paper rosettes bouquet

Wednesday Inspiration- April Showers

1. April Showers 8×10

2. April Showers Cloud Handmade pendant with tiny blue Swarovski crystals raindrops rain clouds blue

3. April Showers Half Apron

4. April Showers– Duck in the Rain Embellishments — Set of 2

5. You Make Me Happy 5 x 5

6. Spring Whimsical rain Cloud Mobile for nursery

7. cloud mug

8. Yaroma – Morning Rain – Lace Weight

9. Wool Felt Umbrella Brooch – Lemon Yellow

Hope you have a wonderful day!
-April
http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

Hi!!! Thanks for stopping by! I’m really excited to bring you this week’s Crafty Connections!

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. Enjoy!

     

    7 Dazzling Ways to Ignite Your Creative Spark
    "breathe" recycled wooden sign
    If you currently feel like you’re sitting in a dark cave and the fire of creativity refuses to be ignited, you’ll find seven ways to ignite your creative spark.

     

    Learn How: Using Hoot Suite
    strawberry jelly owl
    What do I love about Hoot Suite? So many things. Here’s how it makes my online life so much easier…

     

    Improving Your Etsy Listings: Item Descriptions
    When customers are searching sites like Google for something specific, the first 160 characters of your item description shows in the results. It’s important to utilize that small amount of text to grab potential customers attention.

     

    Marketing that Speaks without the Slimy Ways + 40 Ideas to Get You Started
    Weddings, notecards, globes - oh my!
    It seems sometimes in conversation the word “marketing” feels like a four-letter word. Beyond the fear, confusion and overwhelming feelings it can instill into the heart of many-a business owner, marketing seems to also just feel so icky sometimes.

     

    DIY- Six Paper Flowers
    DIY- Six Paper FlowersHere you’ll find 6 of the best DIY flower tutorials. If spring hasn’t sprung where you are, you can make your own flowers instead of waiting for them to grow!

     

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!!!! Thank you so much!

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

daffodils
Photo Friday theme- Mother Nature

Stop by and check out the other participants in this week’s Photo Friday Challenge!

Do you participate? Add your link in my comments section– I’d love to check it out!!!

Don’t forget, if you want to make sure you don’t miss any posts, click here to subscribe and you’ll see my posts in your blog reader automatically!

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

Hello! I’m super excited to introduce you to Sue from SweetStitchShop! Sue is relatively new to etsy, having only started her shop in January of this year, but you’d never know it by looking at her shop!

Featured Handmade Artist- SweetStitchShop
I LOVE this little fabric bucket! (I’m imagining having several of them on my shelved storing all my little sewing and scrapbook bits…)

Featured Handmade Artist- SweetStitchShop

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

My name is Sue Redekop and I live in the capital of Canada- Ottawa, Ontario. I sew and design items for children and the home. I love creating items that are cute to look at but functional at the same time.

What is the first craft project you remember making?

My first craft project takes me back to grade school days where I made a jewelery box out of popsicle sticks and glue. It was “fancied” up a bit with gold spray paint (what can I say – it was the 70’s!) I think my mother still has it to this day.

Where does your inspiration come from?

I am inspired by sweet, whimsical fabrics and modern design. I love to stay on top of worldwide design trends and colors by reading blogs and magazines.

Can you please describe some of your creative process?

My creative process usually begins by sourcing fabrics and thinking “that would make such a cute peasant top…fabric bin…etc.” or saying to myself ” I MUST use this fabric in some project…it’s too sweet to pass up!” Fabric is definitely my starting point.

What is your most prized handmade possession?

My most prized handmade possessions are stuffed Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls made by my aunt who is a wonderfulseamstress and a little stitched sampler my mother made for my son.

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

Being new to Etsy myself my best advice would be to believe in yourself everyday and just keep doing what you love despite slow or hard times.

What are some of the ways you promote yourself and shop?

I try to promote my work through my blog, twitter, flickr, word of mouth, local craft fairs, and local boutiques.
Shop: www.etsy.com/shop/sweetstitchshop
Blog: www.finehandstudio.blogspot.com/
Twitter: twitter.com/shopsweetstitch
Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/35966835@N02/
Local Shops: Flock Boutique – www.flockboutique.ca/
Workshop Boutique – www.workshopboutique.ca/
Boutique Le Local – www.boutiquelelocal.com/

What are three website that you cannot live without?

The three websites I couldn’t live without are:
Etsy
Twitter
New York Times online…(I am a newspaper junkie!)

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

In ten years I see myself in a smaller house with a dedicated sewing/music studio space and hopefully growing my brand.

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

I would love to have some type of magical superpower that would clean my house, do the dishes and all the mundane things that take time away from the creative process!

Thanks so much Sue! I really enjoyed this interview!!!

Please be sure to stop by Sue’s shop and check out all the wonderful homewares and gifts!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/sweetstitchshop

If you would like to be featured on my blog in a Featured Artist series, or you would like to recommend an artist to me, please leave a comment or send me an email at aprilbern at gmail dot com.

Thanks so much!!!
-April
http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

Hi! I’m always really excited this time of year when I start to see things (finally!)begin to grow. It’s a definite sign that our long and cold winter is loosening its grips in our area. (I’m really jealous of those folks in California who have been posting spring blossom pictures on flickr for the past month…)

I noticed that my parents neighbors tulips and daffodils were beginning to grow and that made me really happy. Soooo happy, in fact, that when I arrived back home, I planned out when I was going back to the Botanic Garden to begin my annual stalking of the tulips and other spring blooms (next weekend!) and I shopped for Spring Green related items on etsy. These are my fabulous Spring Green inspired finds– I hope you enjoy!

Green Tea Bunny - Hand Knit Organic Cotton Toy Rabbit
Green Tea Bunny – Hand Knit Organic Cotton Toy Rabbit
isn’t that bunny the cutest thing ever?

Wednesday Inspiration- Spring Green

1. lime green baby chick

2. Handmade Vitrail Light Green Crystal Octagon Briolette Drop Sterling Silver Earrings

3. Sock Weight Superwash Merino Wool Yarn, Hand Dyed – Moss Tonal

4. Colorful Decorator Suzani Pillow

5. 2 For 1 Sale – Little Hooves – 8 x 10 Archival Fine Art Print

6. Asian Pear Lip Balm

7. Six Felted Acorns – Lemon and Lime – Natural and Eco Friendly.

8. knit toddler earflap hat and photo prop, size 18 months to 4T, fern green with stripes

9. A Kiss of Spring

Thanks so much! I’ll be back tomorrow with an fabulous interview from an etsy artist! Don’t miss it– Click here to subscribe today and you’ll see my posts in your blog reader automatically!

Hope you have a wonderful day!
-April
http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

Hello!! I’m super excited to bring you this weeks Crafty Connections! I think you’ll find this weeks links especially helpful…

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. Enjoy!

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!!!! Thank you so much!

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

Hello! I hope you had a fantastic weekend!
I am super excited to present some new prints in my etsy shop. These prints are from a series of oil painting that I finished over the past few months. I am so in love with them! (I’m deciding if I want to add the originals to my shop– I think I would be really sad if they sold…)

Polaroid Love 8x8 Print

Polaroid Love 8x8 Print of Original Oil Painting


The prints are scanned from the original paintings and the detail in the print is amazing– you can see all the brushstrokes and the texture of the canvas. The colors are rich and vibrant and are a near perfect match to the original.

Let's Run Away Fine Art Print from original Oil Painting

Lets Run Away 8x8 Print of Original Oil Painting

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

First Cup 8x8 Print of Original Oil Painting

First Cup 8x8 Print of Original Oil Painting

Red Coffee Cup 8x8 Print

Red Coffee Cup 8x8 Print of Original Oil Painting

new prints at creativeapples.etsy.com
Love them? You can purchase them (and more!) from my etsy shop!
Don’t forget to check out some of my other prints and original oil paintings!

Hope you have a fantastic Monday!
-April
http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com


Photo Friday- Polished

Check out the other entries for this week’s Photo Friday Challenges.

Do you participate in Photo Friday? Let me know! Leave a link to your entry in the comment section!!!

Have a wonderful weekend!
-april
http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

Hello!!! Welcome to this week’s Featured Handmade Artist– Shayna from SteelPetalPress! Shayna is a fellow Chicagoan (almost a neighbor!) and I’m thrilled to feature her today. I’ve seen her letterpress cards at the Renegade Craft fair and I can attest to how cool and how well made they are. This is my current favorite card…

Featured Handmade Artist- SteelPetalPress
Seriously? How fun is that? Check out a sample of some of her other products that are for sale. She creates custom wedding invites (how cool!), bound journals and really fun letterpress cards…

Featured Handmade Artist- SteelPetalPress

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

My name is Shayna and I currently live in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago by way of San Francisco, New Orleans, Los Angeles, St Louis and Washington DC. I print handmade letterpress greeting cards, custom wedding invitations and make hand bound journals.

What is the first craft project you remember making?

I remember drawing birthday cards for my all my family members starting a very young age, 4 or 5 maybe? I also remember writing stories, illustrating them and turning them into books around the same age.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I’m inspired by old mechanical tools, vintage objects, collectables and type. The Vandercook and Chandler price presses that i print are from the midcentury and have fascinating cranks and levers and gears. I love the tactility of it all.

Can you describe some of your creative process?

First I have to think up a new idea. This can come at any time and is usually out of the blue: riding the train, while jogging, on a Sunday morning reading the paper, running errands, riding my bike. Then I need to transform the idea into an image or object. This takes some time tinkering with the materials and the images and seeing what looks best. Then there’s production mode, in which I just crank out a bunch of work. The last part is much less creative.

What is your most prized handmade possession?

The fingerless mittens a friend knit for me in exchange for a mix CD many years ago. I love them and have managed to not loose them.

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

Do what you love and keep working at it. There will be slow times and busy times. Put care into what you do, make beautiful things, stay true to yourself and don’t give up.

What are some of the ways you promote your shop?

Word of mouth has been really great for finding people looking for custom work. I also have a facebook page, twitter account, flickr and blog.
http://www.steelpetalpress.com/news/
http://www.twitter.com/shaynakatherine
http://www.facebook.com/steelpetalpress
http://www.flickr.com/photos/steelpetalpress/
http://www.etsy.com/shop/SteelPetalPress

Also, I try to renew an item at least once a day. And I sell at local and regional craft fairs. I am a member of the EtsyBRC street team and Ladies of Letterpress on ning.com:
http://www.ladiesofletterpress.ning.com/

I’ve also spent some time going door to door presenting my work to stores that might be interested in wholesale.

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

Etsy.com – naturally
Facebook.com – is a love hate relationship, but because I’ve moved around quite a bit, it helps me keep it touch with friends in other states
Lastfm.com – is great for discovering new music

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I would really love to be living in a house with a large studio where I could keep my own press and store stacks of type and survive entirely off my work.

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

I wish I was the type of person that could survive with little to no sleep. Then I would have time to both work and play and I wouldn’t have to cut corners in any area of my life.

Thanks so much Shayna!!! I hope to see you at the Renegade Craft Fair this year!

Please be sure you stop by the SteelPetalPress shop and check out all Shayna has to offer!!!
SteelPetalPress.etsy.com

Is there any shop that you think should be featured? Would you like me to feature your shop? Please feel free to send me an email aprilbern at gmail dot com!

Have a great day!
-April
http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

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