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Well, I finally did it!

I set up my own hosted space. I’ve been dreaming/thinking/weighing the pros and cons about this for so many years. I finally got it going!!! I’m so super excited about this next step in my photography/art career!

I am working on creating a new etsy shop (aprilbernphoto.etsy.com) where I will be selling more Fine Art Prints of my photography. I will be offering various sizes and matting options, as well as photos mounted on wood blocks. In the past I was just selling prints of cupcakes and robots. I would really like to expand and sell florals, ttv prints, and landscapes.

Don’t worry– I will still continue to sell my Photo Greeting Cards and my Original Paintings (and prints of my original paintings) on my creativeapples.etsy.com shop!

I am putting together a portfolio as well. I would like to venture out into pet photography, more product photography gigs, and even engagements/maternity/baby photo shoots and I need to have something fabulous to show potential clients!

I am still seriosuly commited to the Handmade movement and will continue to provide helpful tips/links in my Crafty Connections posts, and feature amazing etsy sellers in my Featured Handmade Artist series.  I love creating those posts, so that won’t change. One new exciting additon will be Photography Tutorials!  Look for the first one in June!

I can’t thank you enough for joinging me on this journey! I’m so thankful for all who read and leave me awesome, encouraging comments. I hope that you will continue this handmade and photographic journey with me on my brand new space–


aprilbern.com/blog – please be sure to adjust your bookmarks or feed readers to point to this new space!

Also, please let me know what you think!!! Do you love it? Hate it? (keep in mind, this is a slow-work-in-progress!) Thanks so very much! I look forward to hearing your feedback!!!!

-April

http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

Pincushion kit
pincushion kit, via Fix Design

Hello!
Since I didn’t have a chance to put together any blog posts this week due to my slight automobile mishap, and I wanted to leave you something fun, so I collected my most popular posts in the past 4.5 months.

Please check out the valuable resources in my Crafty Connections posts– I think you’ll find a ton of valuable resources to help with marketing your handmade art and craft products. If you happen to read anything that is particularly helpful, drop me a line and let me know!!! Also, if you’re looking for help in particular topics, let me know and I’ll do my best to find helpful resources for you. If you have a question or need help in a certain area, know that there are others that have the very same questions so please ask!!

Also included in this list is a fabulous round of of Granny Square tutorials and carefully curated collections of wonderful etsy items I found while doing (ahem!) research. Don’t miss these! There are A LOT of great handmade products to check out (Easter and Mother’s Day are just around the corner…)

Enjoy!

Did you happen to enjoy any of these posts? Please be sure to share them on Twitter or Facebook!! Share the love!!!

Have a wonderful day!

-April

http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

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

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

Hello! Welcome to this weeks 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. 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, if these links helpful to you please let me know! I appreciate the feedback!!!! Thanks!

Gourmet Holiday Flower Iced Sugar Cookies

Today’s inspiration is in honor of my good friend’s brand new baby girl (Welcome Siena Marie!) She gave birth to an absolutely beautiful, perfect little 10lb 3oz baby yesterday and I couldn’t be happier for them!!! I hope you enjoy these “blush” inspired finds from these wonderful etsy sellers!

Wednesday Inspiration- Blush

1. Soft Misty Rose Tea Pink Nostalgia Ballerina Whimsical Romantic Victorian Marie Antoinette Chiffon Peasant Quaint Romance Dress

2. Handmade Earrings – Pale Rose Pink Swarovski Crystal Wire Wrapped Baroque Briolette Drops on Handmade Sterling Silver Earwires

3. Pale Pink Coffee Mug Cozy, Valentine Tea Cup Sleeve, Rose Raspberry Marshmallow Blush, Knitted Cabled, Eco-Friendly Vegan

4. Light Pink Chunky Knit Cowl with Large Brown Button

5. Newborn to 3 Months – Light Pink, Hot Pink, Sage, White Crochet Baby Earflap Beanie

6. Shakespeare For My Valentine Postcard

7. Puffy Heart Door Hanger. Bells so you know when someones a comin…

8. Mod Pink Baby Snoozy

9. Custom Order Valentines Day Wreath with HUGS and KISSES Hearts

Hello!!! This weeks inspiration is all about squirrels! Check out some of the cutest squirrel related items I found surfing (ahem! researching) etsy…

Wednesday Inspiration- SQUIRRELS!

1. In the Woodland Fabric (not vinyl) Wall Decals – large, by Jillian Phillips

2. Acorn Necklace Autumns Harvest

3. Squirrel print 5×7

4. sterling squirrel necklace

5. BOX OF TEN Holiday/Christmas Squirrel Cards

6. Red Squirrel – merino fingering

7. Its My Acorn… Its Mine…Its Mine – Squirrel and his Precious Acorn – Ice Age Inspired, Adorable, Whimsical

8. 6 Wool Acorns- Yellow and White Felted Acorns.

9. Belchik – The Mischievous Woodland Squirrel Plush – Made to order

Hi! Don’t forget that today is the last day of my Birthday BOGO sale!!!

Buy one print (any size!) and get one FREE!!!

creativeapples birthday bogo sale

To order:

http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com
Simply pick your print and in the “Message to Seller” let me know what other print you would like for FREE! (same size or smaller)

Looking for more photos to choose from?

Check out my flickr–all photos from my flickr account can be made into prints too!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rottnapples

If you don’t see the size you want, please convo or email (aprilbern@gmail.com) me and I’ll list a size just for you.

Hurry! Sale ends Sunday, September 26, 2010.

Hope you’re having a great weeked! Here’s some autumn inspiration from my etsy shop!

Jack O Latern Greeting Card by Creativeapples

In the hectic world of email and electronic communication, sending a hand-written note card through the mail is a perfect way to just say “hi” and let your friends and family know that you are thinking of them! You’ll receive
•One vertical 4.5″ x 6.25″ photo note card (with matching white envelope) featuring original photo a smiling jack-o-lantern– perfect for the autumn season!
•Original photo is 4×6, and professionally printed archival photo-paper.
•The photo is adhered to a sturdy white cardstock.
•Card is blank on the inside
•Comes individually wrapped in it’s own clear bag

You can find this fun greeting card, as well as other autumn themed cards and prints in my etsy shop! http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

Go out and be creative!!

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!!!

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