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Hello!!! Welcome to this week’s Featured Handmade Artist!! Please allow me to introduce you to Ryan, from TheBloomingThread!
I just love the hand-stitched items in her shop! I have a real appreciation for all things stitched and sewn since I’ve tried to sew, and failed miserably…
One of my most favorite items in Ryan’s shop atually not sewn– it’s this lovely little necklace:

Featured Handmade Artist- TheBloomingThread

Violet Garden - Tiny Botanical Bottle Necklace w/ Sage Green Vintage Rhinestone

Don’t you just love it? I love that there is this teeny tiny dried violet blossom in there. So feminine and pretty… Here are a few other favorites from her shop:

Featured Handmade Artist- TheBloomingThread

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

Hi there! My name is Ryan and I’m in love with hand stitching! live next to a small town, in a smaller town that’s surrounded by rolling green hills, farm life & vineyards, sunshine and the ocean just north of Santa Barbara, Ca. (Tough, I know!) I’m fortunate to also be surrounded by a creative circle of family and friends. I work for an Energy Resource company doing accounting and date entry reporting that monitors our resource usage. So you can only image how happy I am when 4 o’clock rolls around and I get to scoot home and use the more creative side of my brain!

What is the first craft project you remember making?

Haha, oh man…this is such a great question! Those shoe box dioramas were the first thing that popped into my head! My kindergarten teacher (Mrs. Jarvey!) was so awesome. She always gave us great craft projects and really encouraged us at a very young age to explore being creative. I’ll never forget her. She helped us enter our elementary art shows, and really gave us a sense of freedom to express ourselves in ways past Crayola. We did clay projects and visited a studio space of one of the kids who’s dad was a professional sculpture, created paintings, paper-mache. I remember even making our own crayons! And let me say, this was no art school, or private school by any means! Just a public school teacher with a heart of gold.

Where does your inspiration come from?

Inspiration is everywhere! I’m inspired by the mood of a song, a scene from a movie, the brick detail on local coffee shop around the corner. Really, I know that sounds cliché but it’s so true. Most of my inspiration comes from being outside. There is just something so spectacular about rich color and texture that keeps my creative mind going.

Can you describe some of your creative process?

If it’s forced, it usually doesn’t get far off the ground. I try to keep an open eye and mind for new designs and projects. When something strikes me, I jot it down, sketch it, imagine it…give it the chance to evolve and take root. Then execute! It’s not always a clean, organized process but it translates my ideas pretty well.

What is your most prized handmade possession?

My boyfriend painted me a 3 piece canvas set of flowers from an Arizona Tea can. I know that probably sounds so dorky but they have the most beautiful scenes on their cans! He painted me the “Georgia Peach” design close up. So the flowers fill the frame of each canvas and continue onto the next as they are mounted aligned. This shop actually makes some super cute things from the AZ cans too! www.etsy.com/people/FunkyRecycling

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

I’m still very new so the best advice I can give it to stay plugged in with the updates and features happening on Etsy. Etsy always has “Featured Seller” and “Quit your day job” interviews loaded with great artist and creative minds that can give solid pointers on what helped them along the way. I like that old saying of “not having to reinvent the wheel again”. Also, join a team. I’m on ETTEAM and its awesome! They’re so fun and excited about Etsy, it helps really become a part of the “Etsy Community”. It also doesn’t hurt to have the extra promotion and traffic to your store.

What are some of the ways you promote your work?

I try to use and wear my own creations. I have a messenger bag with lots of detailed stitching that’s become my favorite go-to carryall..and I always get asked about it. I also:
Blog: TheBloomingThread.blogspot.com
Facebook: facebook.com/TheBloomingThreadFanpage
Twitter: @BloomingThread
Store: TheBloomingThread.etsy.com

What are three websites you couldn’t live without?

Etsy (duh!), Ebay, and Pandora. The rest are far too many to name.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Time goes by way to fast, so I really try to focus on the where I am in my life at the moment and absorb as much as I can. So to answer the question, in 10 years I hope I’m happy, healthy and have a sweet little home with little ones dancing at my feet and absorbing all the blessings I have then too.

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

Haha, that’s an easy one. To have a better memory! So, brain power I guess!

Thanks so much Ryan!!! It was a pleasure doing this interview with you!

Please be sure to stop by www.TheBloomingThread.etsy.com and check out the rest of Ryan’s awesome designs!!!

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!

Hope you have a wonderful day! Hang in there– only one more day until the weekend!
-April
http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

Hello! Welcome to this week’s edition of Featured Handmade Artist! I am so happy to introduce you to Brooke from graceandLight.etsy.com. I am in so love with Brooke’s simple and clean graphic style embroidery!

Featured Handmade Artist- Graceandlight

Can you image a little collection of these beauties hanging on your wall in your hallway or bedroom? LOVE it!

Featured Handmade Artist- graceandlight

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

My name is Brooke Petermann. I am a born and raised Nebraska girl. I currently live in Lincoln, Nebraska which is a wonderful small, big town. If you see me around, don’t be surprised if I am cross stitching. I am a bit impatient about seeing my designs coming to life, so I often carry my projects with me and fit in a few stitches whenever I have a spare thirty seconds.

What is the first craft project you remember making?

My parents used to buy my sister and me those big end rolls of paper from the local newspaper. We spent hours making giant pictures on the kitchen or basement floor.

Where does your inspiration come from?

My biggest inspiration is color. I often choose a color scheme before I decide what it is that I am going to create. I think that part of this is still holding on from my former painting days. I was an abstract painter and color was always the defining element in my work.

I am also inspired by words. I am a voracious reader and absolutely love words. I think it is amazing that words can both place a picture in your head and also create an emotion within your heart.

I am very good at “finding the pretty” in any situation. I carry my camera around with me, everywhere I go and am constantly snapping photos of the little details of life that are too often forgotten. This means, that any and every tiny bit of the world can inspire me.

Can you please describe some of your creative process?

I have a notebook that is overflowing with cross stitching ideas. Some of these ideas are written out in words and others are doodled. When I am ready to get down to business, I flip through the notebook until I find something that resonates with my current mood.

I draw my designs out on blank paper and then transfer them to graph paper. I sit down in my chair and get to work with the needle and thread.

What is your most prized handmade possession?

In my dining room, I have a small wooden stand that was built by my great-grandmother and her father more than 100 years ago. Despite its age, it fits in beautifully with my modern décor. I love that this is something that has been in my family for so many years and I think it is so sweet to think of my great-grandma spending time building something with her father.

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

It is important to realize that you can’t force anyone to purchase your products, but you are in control of a lot of things that may influence someone toward purchasing your product.

You are in control of the quality of your work, the service that you provide to your customers, the aesthetics of your shop, the quality of your photographs, the number of treasuries that you make, the way that you tag your items, the relationships that you make in the crafting community, etc.

There is an abundant amount of material available on each of these topics. You need to spend some time improving wherever you can.

What are some of the ways you promote your work?

www.graceandlight.etsy.com
www.graceandlightblog.blogspot.com
www.facebook.com/pages/Grace-and-Light/135784283147980

What the three websites you couldn’t live without?

www.blacksburgbelle.com/blog/
www.thesimpledollar.com
www.younghouselove.com/

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I would like to be right here in my cozy home creating something. I have already switched from painting to cross stitching, so I’m not sure that cross stitching is the end of the crafting line for me (although, it is definitely where I want to be right now).

I would like to help more people to appreciate the beauty in life and to be doing something for others that will help them appreciate their own surroundings…perhaps this means an interior design business??

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

I would like the power to go back and relive the good moments in life, at my will. I would gladly relive:
• the few hours before and after my husband asked me to be his wife
• the day that I adopted my puppy
• the hours playing cards with my best friend and sister on my last vacation
• and about a million other things

Thank you so much Brooke!!! It was a pleasure to get to know you a little bit! I wish you much success!!!!

I hope you have enjoyed this little interview with Brooke, and that you have a moment to stop by her shop and check out her other lovely embroidery designs!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/graceandlight

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