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Welcome to the first Featured Handmade Artist series of the New Year!!! I am so excited to introduce you to Nancy, from thePaintedSky. Nancy has some of the most amazing paintings I’ve seen on etsy. Not only is she a painter (I have a soft spot for painters) but she paints birds! (Those who know me know my recent love of birds since receiving my little parakeets.)

How cool is this? A custom painting. What a fantastic gift idea–Valentine’s day is right around the corner (wink, wink, nudge, nudge…)

Custom Love Nest from thePaintedSky

Not only are the names customizable, but so are the number of eggs in the nest!!

Here are a few other examples of the gorgeous paintings in her shop:

Featured Handmade Artist- thePaintedSky

Hi Nancy! Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

My name is Nancy Jean Tobin. I was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI. After college I moved to San Francisco where I met my wonderful husband and gave birth to two gorgeous daughters. We moved to Maplewood New Jersey about 10 years ago. After years of various art-related careers, I’m right where I’ve always wanted to be, working as a full-time fine artist.

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know I wanted to be an artist. I knew it was pretty serious, when at the age of 10 I convinced my parents to let me make the back room of our basement into a painting studio.

Since then I’ve always kept my hands and mind busy creating something, whether it was an illustration for a magazine, a toy design for Hasbro, logos or graphic design for Herman Miller, or illustrating children’s books for Holiday House.

I’m so happy to say that now, after years of chasing jobs, I am back in that place where I was when I was 10 years old, painting in my studio. I’ve never been happier!

When I don’t have a brush or scissors in my hand, I love to spend time with my incredible family; Matthew, my dear husband, whose support for my art career seems to have no boundaries (believe me, I’ve tested this) …

What is the first craft project you remember making?

There have been countless projects through the years, but probably my strongest memory is the time I talked my best friend into painting the old television that was sitting in my father’s workshop. I think I knew it was wrong, but I just couldn’t resist the urge to get my hands on that paint and brush — that feeling has never left me.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Not surprisingly, nature and the outside world are major sources of inspiration, but there is another inspiration that comes from wanting to reach out and connect with fellow human beings. I feel blessed to be able to do both.

Can you please describe some of your creative processes?

What started as a way to capture the world outside has become more and more an internal vision. I rely less on photos and resource material and more on my memory. By trusting my gut, I find the work becomes more of an internal and uniquely personal expression.

What is your most prized handmade possession?

Oh, this is a tough one! I’m the youngest of seven children and four of us are girls. I grew up around the sewing machine, watching the older ones craft their way through life. So, as you can imagine I’ve gathered quite a collection of treasures along the way. But a rag doll that my oldest sister gave me is a strong contender. I was 10 or 11 when she gave me the doll, at the age when you’re teetering between childhood and the pressures and lures of becoming an adult. I was so happy to get the beautiful doll, and to know that it was ok to take my time growing up.

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

Work; work; and then after you’ve rested a bit, work some more! I honestly believe that talent is great, but if you really want to succeed in anything, the only way it’s going to happen is elbow grease… and while you’re working, make sure to read the tons of great material available on the Etsy blogs, and website for all the things you don’t know.

What are some of the ways you promote your work?

My shop hasn’t been around for very long (Opened in mid-June of this year), and at first the idea was to just put some work out there. I never realized that it would take off in the way it has. So, I’m kind of learning as I go. Really the most promoting I’ve done is just good old-fashioned relisting. I think it gets your work noticed, and until I can catch up and start doing other forms of promotion, it’s serves me well.

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

Gosh, pretty much all of my time in front of the computer these days is on Etsy or Etsy-related sites, so I’d have to say:
1. Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/thePaintedSky
2. Craftopolis: www.craftopolis.com
3. Craftcults Heartomatic: craftcult.com

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Making a decent living working as an artist!
Beyond that, with the way my life has flowed and surprised me in the directions that it’s gone, I hesitate to speculate that far ahead. In the next year, I’d like to get a blog up and running as support for my shop. I think about branching out to wholesaling and doing trade shows. But I’m still on the fence with that one; one of my missions is to make beautiful, original artwork available at a price that people (like me) can afford. I worry I may not be able to keep the prices affordable if I move into that realm. That’s the great thing about Etsy; cutting out the middleman means that you can keep your prices low!

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

To fly, of course!

Thank you so much Nancy!!! It was a pleasure to get to know the artist behind the beautiful art!!! I hope that everyone has a chance to check out thePaintedSky!
http://www.thePaintedSky.etsy.com

If you’re an etsy artist that would like to be featured on my blog, or if you know someone you think I should feature, please let me know! Simply leave a comment in the comment section, or email me aprilbern (at) gmail dot com.
Thanks so much! I look forward to your suggestions!!

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

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

Hello!! Happy Thanksgiving!!! I hope you’re having a wonderful day and if you do celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, that you’re spending it with family and friends!!!

Today, I would like to introduce you to Kit from Kitlane. I stumbled upon her shop one day when I was doing (ahem!) research and I fell in love with her cute and strange felted creations!

Featured Handmade Artist- Kitlane

Seriously? How cute are these guys!!! I especially like Devon the Pentapus (he’s pictured below!) So cute!!! Also, I think the stories Kit crafts are just as fun as her creatures!

Featured Handmade Artist- Kitlane

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

I’m Kit Lane. I live currently in West Central Minnesota which I jokingly call the Cultural Wastelands of the North. I’m in that little bump that connects North and South Dakota. When they made the state borders neither Dakotas wanted us and as you can see, Minnesota is still trying to squeeze us out the side like a bad pimple.
I make a humble living making wool felted creatures painting from time to time.

What is the first craft project you remember making?

I belonged to the Brownies as a child. Yes, I’m that old. One Christmas we crafted holiday trees from the Minneapolis phone book. Each page was folded twice, once down and then across and on to the next page. It took three sessions to fold the pages because after-all, Minneapolis is a huge city. The tome itself must have weighed a minimum of 20 pounds. After it was completely folded we rolled them into a circle and spray painted them green. When the paint was dry we glittered the heck out of them too. I gathered the tree up in my arms and walked home to present it to my mother who is a paragon of perfect tidiness. By the time I arrived I was covered head to toe in glitter and had developed the muscles of a WWF wrestler. She covered her complete horror with a smile. I’m sure you all know that telling smile if you’ve ever been a mother. 🙂

Where does your inspiration come from?

I haven’t a clue. Sometimes, in that not-quite-awake state before the coffee completely kicks in I get a ping of an idea. The little Jacabobs in my shop are usually inspired by an attempt to create happiness. My other work is often inspired by odd juxtapositions between nature and imaginative worlds.

Can you please describe some of your creative process?
I often wander. Sometimes down to the local taxidermist who is kind enough to let me dig around in his back shop. He’s never seen my work so he’s somewhat bemused with me. None the less he shoves a box at me with bits and pieces of what was at one time someones sister or aunt, little creatures who never had names. I simply try to make something of their lives instead of seeing them all muddled in a heap, forever forgotten.
Here are two. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kitgraphics/4693872429/ and the back of another http://www.flickr.com/photos/kitgraphics/3687152173/

What is your most prized handmade possession?

I can’t quite say one thing really. I have a folder drawings made by my child through the years. She’s 17 now and away for her second year at Uni. Each drawing is special to me and the collection as a whole would be it.

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

Don’t be a weenie! Buck up and put yourself out there. If you love what you do, then there will be others who’ll love it too. Oh, and take great photos.

What are some of the ways you promote your work?

http://www.etsy.com/shop/KitLane
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kitgraphics/
http://twitter.com/kitlane

What are three websites you couldn’t live without?

Those mentioned above…lol

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I love felting. I really mean that. But, in ten years I’d like to be drawing and painting a lot more than today…in a much warmer climate.

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

Teleportation. There are so many places and things I’d like to see. It’s 90 miles to the airport from here and the hassle of buying a ticket, lodging etc…Oh, and the bonus grope and pat-down and the xray topper that I’d like to be able to just FOOM!! and be there in an instant.

Thanks so much Kit!!!!

I hope you all have an opprotunity to check out Kitlane and get to know these strange little creations!!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/KitLane

Hello!!! I am so excited to introduce you to an amazing and super talented painter today! Meet Julie from juliebcreative.etsy.com! Seriously. Her paintings are awesome. I am sooo in love with this painting, called A Thousand Words

Featured Handmade Artist- Juliebcreative

I love that this guy is holding an old fashioned camera! Actually, I love everything about this painting– it’s so good! I am a huge fan of her photo realistic style. Check out a few of her other incredible paintings:

Featured Handmade Artist- Juliebcreative

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

My name is Julie Beck, I live in Arlington MA, and I am a painter.

What is the first craft project you remember making?

My mother always kept a giant roll of newsprint in the house and whenever she wanted to occupy me and my sister for more than 2 minutes, she would roll that out and give us crayons.

Where does your inspiration come from?

My past, the place I grew up (Rochester, NY), cultural icons, ideals, stories, people… a lot of nostalgia.

Can you please describe some of your creative process?

Most of the time it starts with an idea. Once the idea takes shape, I hunt down or take reference photos, then use photoshop to crop and compose how I want the painting. Then I take a painstaking long time to draw the image, paint it, varnish and then hardware. The title’s are usually lyrics from the super fantastic singer/songwriter Mike Doughty… his use of language is more poetic than I could ever achieve.

What is your most prized handmade possession?

Is it lame that it’s one of my own paintings? Obsolete Beast is the largest and more detailed painting I’ve ever completed. Not sure I can ever part with it.

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

You have to commit time and effort to your shop. You can’t just set it up and assume the shoppers will find you… oh and obviously take fantastic photos.

What are some of the ways you promote your work?

anywhere and everywhere!
http://twitter.com/juliebcreative
http://juliebeck.blogspot.com (Paintings in Progress blog)
http://juliebcreative.com
http://www.facebook.com/juliebcreative

What are three websites you couldn’t live without?
http://wimp.com – they showcase 5 or 6 of the best videos from the web… im an internet junkie
http://www.etsy.com – obviously!
google analytics – i like to see where my customers are coming from

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Painting and creating art full time. I currently also rely on motion graphics and video editing freelance income, but I am in the process of making my art more of a priority.

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

The power of patience… I have none.

Thank you so much Julie!!!

Please be sure to stop by juliebcreative and check out her fabulous original printings and prints!!!
http://www.juliebcreative.etsy.com

For those of you who know me, you know that I have a weakness for handmade bath and body products. I’m super excited to introduce you to this weeks Featured Handmade Artist and fellow Chicagoan, Amanda from VevesHandmade!

Featured Handmade Artist VevesHandmade

Amanda makes handmade, natural soaps, sugar scrubs, and other yummy treats for your body and they look absolutely scrumptious! I bet they smell and feel better than they look!!! I’ve got my eye on the Pumpkin Raw Sugar Body Scrub and the Oatmeal, Milk and Honey Ultra Moisturizing Bar…. Check out some of her other amazingly yummy looking products:

Featured Handmade Artist- VevesHandmade

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

My name is Amanda and I live in the suburbs of Chicago. I make cold-process soap, lotion, body scrub and other toiletries.

What is the first craft project you remember making?

Shrinky Dinks? I’m not really sure, I’ve always liked to make stuff, when I was little I remember making simple beaded bracelets and doing those children’s embroidery kits.

Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration for scents comes from food, mostly, most of my line smells like dessert! I love to cook and bake and that has carried over into my love for making soap. When I’m formulating products I just think of youth, of soft skin.

Can you please describe some of your creative processes?

Usually what I want my soaps to be like just pops in my head and stays there until I make it. Sometimes I have a specific person in mind and make bars that they would like, or think about techniques I’ve read about. My friend is having a baby soon and has been encouraging me to do a baby line, so I’m planning on doing that for her soon.

What is your most prized handmade possession?
Right now it’s a necklace I bought at a fair I was working too. It’s silver and has a crystal from an old chandelier on it, and I love reusing/upcycling even though I can’t do that in my work.

If you could give one piece of advice to a new etsy seller, what would it be?
Have a great product. Have beautiful photos. Relist often. Read all the advice out there, take what works for you, but trust yourself to find your own way.

What are some of the ways you promote your shop and your products?

I hustle it! Over the summer I did 2 weekly farmer’s markets and other events, I can not even tell you how much getting out there helped my brand. If people don’t know about you, they can’t buy from you. Just this week a colleague of my mom’s asked her if she knows me, apparently he’s a customer and just made the connection because of our last names! Online, I facebook, tweet (occasionally!) and blog.
http://www.facebook.com/veveshandmade
http://www.twitter.com/veveshandmade
http://www.veveshandmade.com/blog

Name three websites you couldn’t live without.

Facebook, soapcalc.net, dlisted.com

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Making soap and growing a large organic garden.

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

The ability to teleport. There are so many places I’d like to go, things to see, people to visit. Being able to just be there would make it all an easier reality.

Thanks so much Amanda!!! I hope you all have a chance to check out VevesHandmade! Handmade soaps, lotions and scrubs are a perfect stocking stuffer!!!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/VevesHandmade

Hi! I am super excited to introduce you to this weeks Featured Handmade Artist- Alyssa from JaneJoss! Alyssa and Joslyn, the duo behind JaneJoss, create all of their floral stems, plants, and wreaths by hand. Their fabric leaves are really iconic, and easily recognizable. I don’t think you’ll find another artist who makes fabric leaves that look this wonderful.

Featured Handmade Artist- JaneJoss

Don’t you just love them? Seriously, these are the best sorts of plants– they don’t need watering or sunlight. They look perfect all the time. Check out some of the rest of JaneJoss’ plant life!
Featured Handmade Artist- JaneJoss

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

Hi! We’re Joslyn and Alyssa Krismer. We are former college roomates turned sisters-in-law (married to twins). We both live in Arlington, TX and have two kids each. We make branches, plants, and wreaths out of fabric leaves.

What is the first craft project you remember making?

That would have to be potholders made on a mini loom.

What is your inspiration behind your pieces?

Plants are a huge inspiration for us (obviously!). Now that we have our basic designs down, fabric and home decor trends are our biggest inspiration.

What is your most prized handmade possession?

The leaves I made from my great-grandmother’s quilt. It had too many holes in it to be displayed in any other way. My mom thought her grandmother would love the finished product! I’ve also collected a few goodies from Etsy. I am a sucker for art prints.

What would your dream job be?

TV reviewer. So random but I have a weird love of all things television!

Can you please describe some of your creative process?

We like to start with a season or event in mind. It sets the tone for the fabric we want to find. I am extremely picky about my fabric choices and it can be frustrating at times. I spend hours looking for the perfect fabric and I know instantly when it’s the right one.

What are some of the ways you promote your work?

We promote our work online through Etsy (http://www.janejoss.etsy.com) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/janejoss). Our work can also be found online via Chalkydoodles.com. We rent a space at The Shoppes of Brownstone Village in Arlington, TX and display our work at our local post office (it seemed like a place with good foot traffic!). We also get help from our rockin’ Etsy Dallas Team.

What are three websites you couldn’t live without?

Etsy.com, Eonline.com, BHG.com

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I would like spend my time creating in my super-cool loft space while my happy, successful, well-adjusted boys are at school. All the while maintaining a fantastically decorated and clean house. A girl can dream, right?

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

I would be able to manipulate time. It’s my biggest enemy for many reasons, one of which is it goes by too fast!

Thank you so much Alyssa!!!

Please be sure to check out the other fabulous fabric leaf and plant creations from JaneJoss!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/janejoss

Hello!! I am sooooo excited to introduce you to this week’s Featured Handmade Artist– BeckyM! Becky’s shop has some of the cutest and most creative felt food creations I’ve seen yet. So fun and so yummy looking!

Featured Handmade Artist BeckyM
Some of the fun creations that Becky has created include a banana that you can peel and pumpkin pie! Becky’s food creations and photography also have been published in “DDN Cucine International Kitchen” How awesome is that?! Here are a few more examples of the wonderful felt food creations in Becky’s shop:

Featured Handmade Artist Becky M

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

My name is Becky. I currently live in Florida even though my husband is military so we move every few years. My main job is to stay at home with my two daughters (who are 9 months and 4 years old).

What is the first craft project you remember making?

It’s either going to be hair scrunchies (I’m definitely grew up in the 80s) or little dollhouse blankets.

Where does your inspiration come from?

I get a lot of inspiration from nature. For my foods, it usually starts with the things I bake at home but also my customers help with ideas.

Can you please describe some of your creative process?

I usually come up with my best ideas as I lay in bed right before I’m about to fall asleep. After that, I just wing it when it comes to new patterns for the food. Sometimes I perfect it the first time (like pear) other foods (like garlic and sweet potato) have taken a number of tries. This process is the most fun for me. I like the challenge.

What is your most prized handmade possession?

My mom did a lot of quilting when I was growing up. She became really sick from cancer and passed away when I was 13. All of her quilt tops and fabric went to her best friend. As a wedding present, her best friend had HAND quilted one of the tops my mom had made years ago. I am still so touched by the thought and time that she took to finish it. It was a complete surprise. It was the best gift I have ever received. And I cried like a baby after opening it. : )

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

Take great pictures of your product.

What are some of the ways you promote your work?

I have a blog www.allinonedaystime.blogspot.com but really that’s about it. Quite honestly, I don’t advertise because I can’t keep up with all the orders I currently working on along with keeping stock in the store. Every once in awhile I will do giveaways on other crafter’s blogs.

What are three websites you couldn’t live without?

Etsy (of course), Google Reader (talk about a time saver!), and Flickr (the photographs people take are just amazing)

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

A mother of teenagers! Yikes!

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

Flying. I hate driving in traffic.

Thank you so much Becky! Your shop, and your felt creations are amazing! I hope you all have a chance to check out Becky’s shop!!!!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/BeckyM

Hi! Welcome to this weeks Featured Handmade Artist! I am thrilled to introduce you Marilyn from beadpod8! Marilyn makes the prettiest and most romantic pieces of jewelry…

Handmade Featured Artist-beadpod

I love that necklace! (I am a sucker for anything green…) Take a look at some of her other beautiful pieces!!!

Featured Handmade Artist- Beadpod

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

My name is Marilyn and I am from Singapore. I’m a stay at home mom and I enjoy making jewellery during my spare time.

How long have you been creating?

I started out making jewelery for friends and relatives and it has been almost 6 years since. They have encouraged me to sell online so I signed up for etsy.

What is some of the inspiration behind your pieces?

I am inspired by all the things I see and feel around me, nature, colors, pictures, scenery. Sometimes even a particular scent can inspire me.

What item would you be secretly heartbroken if it sold?

I love it when I am able to sell any of my jewelery so I would actually be heartbroken if I don’t sell!

What are some of the ways you promote your work?

I promote through etsy, blogshops, and facebook.
Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/beadpod
Etsy: http://beadpod8.etsy.com
Blog: http://beadpod.blogspot.com

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

If I could have one super power, I want to be in two places at the same time so I can be with my family and at the same time be sitting and creating jewelery.

Thank you sooooooo much Marilyn!!! I hope you all have a chance to check out all the unique and beautiful pieces form beanpod8!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/beadpod8

Hello!!! This week, I have yet another amazing etsy artist! I’d like to introduce you to Mae from Maechevrette. I simply love the combination of text and images and her paintings are sooo beautiful and inspiring…

Just take a look at this lovely, lovely print? It really speaks to me…

Featured Handmade Artist-maechevrette

Love, love, love it!
Here are a few more beautiful creations from her shop:

Featured Handmade Artist-maechevrette

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

Hi, my name is Mae. I grew up in Seattle and moved to Massachusetts for college, where I still live and work. My passion (and part-time job) is making art– I love to paint, draw, write, photograph and make just about anything, as well as travel and explore new places. I spend most of my free time creating artwork for my shop.

How long have you been creating?

I have been selling my work for almost a year, but creating art for as long as I can remember. My first memories are of watching my mother build or sew beautiful things for our house, and as a teenager, all my creative interests were supported. Pablo Picasso said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” I am lucky and eternally thankful to have a mother who encouraged me to grow up creative, weird and artistic.

What is the inspiration behind your pieces?

As you can probably tell, I am really inspired by the words of others– it is incredible how the right words can completely capture a feeling or moment, and I try to make that feeling come alive visually. Travel, especially road tripping, is also a huge inspiration and influence on my artwork and I try to incorporate it whenever possible. By the end of college I had made 3 solo cross-country drives and a dozen other shorter road trips, totaling 44 states and thousands of miles. There is nothing like being on the open road and finding a new place that speaks to you and freezes that moment in your mind, and that feeling has inspired a lot of my work.

What is your most prized possession?

I love my car and am so attached to the amazing memories I’ve made traveling in it. I also love my cameras– a Canon Elph, a Rebel DSLR, a Polaroid One-Step and Lomo Holga.

What would your dream job be?

As far as dream jobs go, if someone would pay me to travel and make art and photograph where I travel, that would be great!

Please describe a little bit of your creative process

I work in fits and starts, feeling overwhelmingly inspired one day and out of it the next. I try to capitalize on the inspired moments by throwing myself into my art, and working obsessively on a piece while the inspiration lasts. If I’m in the mood but unsure of what to paint, browsing photographs I’ve taken while listening to music helps, and I often print out photographs, draw on them, sketch out words to see if they fit. Each piece gets layers of paint, ink, paper, photographs, thread, etc. until it feels done. There is a lot of coffee, wine and music in this process.

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

I am secretly a little sad to say goodbye to any original painting, however it makes me really happy to know that someone liked something I made enough to spend their hard-earned money on it and give it a place in their home.

How do you promote your work?

I have a Facebook Fan page (http://www.facebook.com/MaeChevretteArt) which is great to hear what past and future customers and fans think about new work, and I try to do giveaways and sales occasionally to thank them for their support. I have a blog (http://togointotheworld.blogspot.com) that I need to update more consistently. I also make a point of carrying business cards and giving them to anyone and everyone. Lastly, I have several friends and family who have gone above and beyond for me, spreading the word about my art and shop to anyone they can, and I’m so grateful for that.

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

I love Sabrina Ward Harrison’s art journals and anything written by Dave Sedaris. I love apocalypse movies and documentaries but don’t really have any favorite movies and don’t watch much television. My favorite musicians are Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews Band, B.O.B., Wyclef Jean, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley, and I have recently discovered Lucero, Reckless Kelly, and Matt Kearney. I love browsing Flickr.com, Society6.com, ApartmentTherapy.com, and Etsy for inspiration and eye candy.

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

efinitely the power to live on one hour of sleep a night! There is just so much I want to do and so little time to do it. I have had to make big sacrifices in my social life in order to finish paintings, shipments, or work when inspiration strikes, and it is also difficult to balance my day job and my art job. It would be great to be able to see all my friends more often, relax with my boyfriend, go to work, finish paintings, and still explore for inspiration without feeling like anything is being neglected. However, I am definitely grateful that having too much in my life is my biggest concern.

Thanks so much Mae!!!! I hope you have a chance to check out Maechevrette— you’ll fall in love with her paintings just as I have!!!
http://www.maechevrette.etsy.com

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