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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.
Local Shops: Flock Boutique –
Workshop Boutique –
Boutique Le Local –

What are three website that you cannot live without?

The three websites I couldn’t live without are:
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!

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!!!

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:
2. Craftopolis:
3. Craftcults Heartomatic:

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!

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!!

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 ( and Facebook ( Our work can also be found online via 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?,,

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!

Photo Friday: Self Portrait, originally uploaded by rottnapples.

030/365, originally uploaded by rottnapples.

yes, they are. even the crazy ones.

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