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Hello again!!! Welcome to another Featured Handmade Artist!!! I’d like to introduce you to Lynn from LynnMinneyDesigns. I am a huge fan of recycled and re-purposed products and Lynn creates lovely bags and accessories from vintage recycled sweaters, jeans, vintage fabrics, ties and buttons!


Check out some of her other wonderful designs:

Featured Handmade Artist-LynnMinneyDesigns

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

My name is Lynn Minney and I grew up in cow country, Lowville, New York. Honestly there are more cows than people, which I think is a good thing! After going to Syracuse University to study Communications Design, I went back to cow country and then eventually migrated back to the Syracuse area where I met my handsome hubby. We have a 4 year old little girl. Currently, I am a Digital Image Designer. So I’m a wife and mom, designer by day and a crafter by night. I’m sure there is some other things I could throw in there too!

I just got back into sewing about 3 years years ago. I had a pretty wool sweater that no longer fit me and I found a magazine article on making sweater bags. I made one for my sister and I was hooked. It helped me get back into sewing again and I was able to give handmade gifts.

What is the first craft project you remember making?

I started sewing with my Grandma Jennie as a little girl. I don’t remember what we sewed, maybe doll pillows? I remember her letting me use her machine all by myself! She would check in on me when she was cooking and occasionally yell at me to not sew over my fingers 🙂

Where does your inspiration come from?

My mom is an amazing sewer and crocheter. I think she can do both with her eyes closed (but not at the same time… wink, wink). She sewed when sewing wasn’t cool. She made my sister & I beautiful clothes and continues to do so.

My daughter influenced me to live a more eco-friendly life. She is sensitive to so many things, so that it forced me to find products that were safer for her. That has really driven me to live green and open my eyes to the wold of upcycling.

My flower garden is another source of inspiration. I love the colors and textures and I try to bring that into everything I make. I love the dense wool and denim in contrast with the soft cotton lining.

Can you please describe some of your creative process?

Process, what process?! It usually begins with me going to the thift store. I let the sweater or denim dictate the style of bag that it will make. Then I bring my treasures home and felt them. After that I shop for lining fabric or use vintage I’m lucky enough to find something. Here’s where my phobia comes in. You see, I HATE cutting fabric! So I have tons of sweaters and denim with the lining fabric all ready to go, but I’m a little chicken to get them started. I guess I’m afraid I’ll mess up and you can’t go back!

What is your most prized handmade possession?

I have a beautiful hand-sewn blue quilt that my grandmother made me. It was on my big antique brass bed as a little girl.

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

Be a sponge. If most etsy sellers are like me, they are good at their craft, but new to marketing. Read books, blogs, subscribe to newsletters and post on the etsy discussion boards. I’ve learned a boat-load of things in the past year because of them. Don’t be afraid to ask for others help!

What are some of the ways that you promote your work?

I think word of mouth has been my biggest promoter so far. I make accessories, so I carry one of my own bags (and business cards). When someone asks about it, I ask them if they’d like a card. No one has said no yet!

I just started up a facebook page which I use to keep people updated on my latest designs and contests.

I’ve been blogging for about a year, but I’m really working hard at taking it to the next level. I have a purpose and a schedule now. I feel so grownup!

And of course there is my etsy store!

What are three websites you couldn’t live without?

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

If you asked this question a few years ago you would’ve gotten a completely different answer. I’m so thankful that life isn’t a straight line! I don’t plan that far ahead because it can be a little overwhelming. I dream of sewing more and spending more time with my family. Some of my goals this year are to do my first craft show and develop some new products.

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

Since I always joke about using my magic wand (not the one in Photoshop). I think it would be a good choice. A nice all-purpose super power ’cause that’s me, so practical!

Thanks so much Lynn!!!!

I hope you enjoyed this interview and getting to know Lynn a bit better– please stop by her shop, her blog, and her facebook page and give her some love!!!

Hello!!! I am super excited to introduce you to Elizabeth from Betsyandbess. Elizabeth creates eco friendly purses, handbags, and accessories, made from repurposed, upcycled, and recycled materials, down to the zippers, buttons, and pockets. Nothing goes to waste!

Featured Handmade Artist- BetsyandbessI love this Red Floral Shoulder Bag!

Check out some of her other great bags and accesories:
Featured Handmade Artist- Bestyandbess
Hi Elizabeth! Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m Elizabeth, I live in Murfreesboro, TN, just south of Nashville with my husband, a cat, a chameleon, and two fabulous Dobermans. By day I am a teacher, but I would LOVE to spend all hours sewing, making upcycled bags for my shop and presents for my friends.

What is the first craft project you remember making?

It is absolutely impossible for me to answer this question. I grew up in a house where being artistic and creative was encouraged and expected. We had an art cabinet with every material and tool any child could ask for. We made the stars for our Christmas trees, painted portraits, you name it. And we did it all right on the kitchen table. My childhood was filled with crafts.

Where does your inspiration come from?

I love browsing the web looking at vintage bags. I am inspired by their details.

Can you please describe some of your creative process?

I go fabric hunting nearly every weekend. I sometimes come home with three giant garbage bags full of clothes, belts, or other nifty things to use.
Once I decide what kind of bag to make, I have to pick the perfect fabric. Especially with larger bags, I am sometimes limited as to which items of clothing I can use. I can’t simply just start cutting, but have to make sure all of the seams and other details of the clothing are laid out in an attractive way.
Finally, I always try to add a few details to the bags, some stripes, or rosettes, or other accent.

What is your most prized handmade possession?

A quilt that my great-grandmother made.

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

My biggest piece of advice is READ. There is so much knowledge out there! Read, read, and read some more! If you have a question, it’s probably already been answered somewhere by someone.

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

I have a Facebook Fan Page –
And of course, my shop –

Name three websites you couldn’t live without.

Of all the questions, for some reason this one makes me think the hardest.
I read the headlines on our local newspaper’s website several times a day. I don’t know why, but I love reading local news. (in case anyone is curious what’s going on my random city!)
I’m also hooked on I love the healthy recipes and the food news.
Lately I’ve also been hooked on the updates from this blog – There is absolutely no way I have the patience or stamina for quilting, but her quilts are so beautiful it makes me wish I did.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Ten years? I would say, a mom to several beautiful children, and happy wife, and a success story. In ten years I would like to have my goods in every local shop, and a prominent online presence.
In my dream world, I live on a farm in an old house, my children spend their days running barefoot in the mud, I have an apron that I wipe my hands on constantly, and wear it 24/7. I fall asleep with all the windows open and the doors unlocked in the summer. But I don’t milk cows.

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

I’m not sure if this is a super power or more like a fairy godmother kind of thing. I would like to bestow on people the ability to communicate. To talk without fear of being judged, to listen without getting defensive, and above all, to just be honest with each other. So many confrontations and tarnished relationships could be avoided if we could all be open and honest and embrace each other and our differences. Who knows, maybe we could even have world peace.

Thank you so much Elizabeth!!! Thanks for letting us get to know you and your shop!

Please be sure to stop by Betsyandbess and check out all of Elizabeth’s fabulous eco-friendly creations!

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