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Hi! I am so happy to be able to introduce you to a super nice and talented jewelry designer, Amy from amyholtondesigns.

I love Amy’s natural, easy, and feminine style. Her love of nature is imbued in each and every piece. And the COLOR! I’m just so in love with the turquoise and the different color sapphires. (really? I had no idea that sapphires came in anything other than blue!)

Featured Handmade Artist- AmyholtondesignsLOVE this piece.

Here are a few other pieces from Amy’s shop that I love
Featured Handmade Artist- Amyholtondesigns

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

I’m Amy Holton, a tried and true Texas girl born in San Antonio. I lived for a few years in the Philippines, returned to the U.S. (Virginia), then lived most of my life in and just outside of Houston. I now live in Austin (hands-down the best city in Texas) with my husband. I inherited four amazing stepchildren, two here in Austin and two in England (my husband’s English).

Despite a long artistic background, I actually studied finance at the University of Texas and was a research analyst for Enron in my former life. After I was laid off with 4500 of my closest friends in December 2001, making jewelry became a bit of an obsession for me. When we moved to Austin in 2007, I was able to focus on building my business full-time.

What is the first craft project you remember making?

One Christmas, when we lived in Virginia, I remember sitting around the table as a family painting wooden Christmas ornaments. My mom is very crafty too! I was probably about 4 years old.

Where does your inspiration come from?

Countless places! Sometimes I surprise myself with what gives me an idea for a new piece. Fashion obviously, a beautiful neckline that just has to have the perfect necklace. Also books I’ve read, period films, architecture, artwork and nature (I know…everyone says that, but it’s true). Colors translate into gemstones for me and can therefore find inspiration in just about anything. Just checking Pantone’s color trends for each season can give me countless ideas!

Can you please describe a little of your creative process?

Call me strange, but I really enjoy fiddly, tedious projects, so this is right up my alley. Not to mention, what a beautiful medium to work in! I really enjoy the creative process, which for me is sometimes very structured, but more often very organic. Designs emerge and change as I work. I often purchase gemstones just because they appeal to me, not always because I have a design in mind for them. This can be very dangerous (and expensive!) but they eventually find their way into one of my designs.

What is your most prized handmade possession?

A quilt made by my paternal grandmother. I never saw her sew and she never seemed the type to, but I know she made this and one other small quilt. I this quilt was my favorite when we would stay with my grandparents as kids. It’s made up of white blocks with pale yellow borders. Each block has a large gingham butterfly in the center, outlined in black embroidery. When my parents went to help prepare my grandparents house to put on the market after my grandmother’s death, they asked me if there was any particular item I wanted. Immediately…the butterfly quilt was my answer. Despite our contemporary décor, the butterfly quilt lives in the window seat of our bedroom.

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

Be persistent and take advantage of the wealth of advice on Etsy, not only from the staff, but also from the community. Etsy sellers are so supportive of each other. Also, be patient. Success isn’t simply a matter of posting some items and the orders start rolling in. As with anything worth doing, it takes work. Utilize social networking and get your name out wherever you can.

What are some of the ways you promote your work?

Do you have enough room in your blog for this answer ?! Promotion alone can be a full-time undertaking!

My main website is my own at

Of course, I also have my Etsy shop and I’m also on Zibbet and ArtFire.

Flickr is a great place to keep a profile of new designs as well as an archive of retired pieces.

I have my wholesale line sheet on Trunkt.

I think a Facebook Business Page is essential for keeping customers and potential customers informed as well as for networking with other designers, suppliers, etc.

I’ve made some really good friends and connections through Twitter. From other artists and Etsy sellers to fashion designers, photographers and people in the know in the fashion world, it’s a great place to connect. I love my tweeps and I love interacting with my followers! You can find me at (You have to drop the ‘S’ in Designs. Twitter doesn’t allow quite enough characters to fit my entire name).

I use my blog in lieu of an e-mail marketing campaign and also to connect on a more personal level. I think when you’re buying from an independent artist, it’s nice to know a bit about them personally as well. My blog is currently divided into three parts. One highlighting new designs, and some creative struggles under the section “In the Works at AHD” and another as an avenue to share the works of other artists in “Etsy Love.” I also include a bit about me under “In the Life Of…

I know people often ask to be added to mailing lists and then regret it (I’m guilty as well). This way, they can follow my blog in a number of ways as they choose, whether it’s through Facebook, Google Reader, Twitter, or RRS feeds. Plus, I find it’s a bit more personal way to keep in touch.

What are three websites you couldn’t live without.

Only three?! I’m starting to think my laptop is permanently attached to my body…
Facebook (because it’s just so great for networking)
Google Analytics (It’s that corporate background! I like data )
I have to say Flickr because it’s such a great portfolio and archive.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

In ten years, I hope to expand the brand and be represented in many more boutiques both stateside and internationally. While I’ll never go mass-produced, I’d certainly take on a small staff to help fulfill orders and
keep things going. Of course, the designs will remain my own. I don’t think I could ever step away from

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

The shallow answer is to complete tasks simply by wishing them done.

The deeper answer is to have the power to bring back loved ones I’ve lost in my life, if just for a day…or to know for sure they see me as I am today, happy with my husband and stepchildren, content in my lifestyle
and doing something I love. I’m very close to my family. I regret that my husband never met three of my grandparents (though he did ask my paternal grandfather for permission to marry me) and many other family
members he’s heard so much of, but never had the opportunity to meet. Same with my stepkids. They’re as close to my family as they are their biological family and there are so many people I wish they could have met.

(Wow! Thank you so much Amy! I should have asked how you find all the time to promote your creations! I am impressed and inspired to check out venues such as zibbet and trunkt now…)

I hope you have a chance to visit Amy’s shop on etsy and stop by her blog and some of her other social media outlets!

Hello! I have another drool-worthy Featured Handmade Artist for you today–courtneyreckord. I love Courtney’s organic sense of shape and style. She’s got some really really beautiful pieces (I really like the Mermaid necklace featured below) LOVE the color, love the beads…

Featured Handmade Artist- courtneyreckord

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

My name is Courtney, I grew up in Baltimore Maryland and have been living in Vermont for a dozen years. I have two boys- 9 and 10 and work full time as an art teacher at Milton High School. I teach digital art and am bringing jewelry to the school next year.

How long have you been creating?

For as long as I can remember I have loved making things. I love painting- I remember the first watercolor painting that I did that I was really proud of- two dogs. I have done almost every kind of art and currently and immersed in jewelry making and knitting.

What is your inspiration for making your pieces?

Wow, good question. For jewelry I would have to say that I am interested in the stones that I choose to use- their colors and I am often drawn to stones before I know what I am going to do with them.

What is your dream job?

My dream job would be to create all the time- whatever it is. I really love fashion and would love to be a clothing designer. I am lucky to have a job where creating is a huge part of it- and I learn from my students- they are so creative and give me ideas that I would have thought of. It is a give and take.

Please describe your creative process.

I can really get into being creative and spend hours creating, when time goes by in a flash. Usually when I sit down to create I am not sure what is going to come out of it- and that process of discovery is what keeps me interested.

What item would you be secretly heartbroken if it sold?

Well- the ruby ring that I just made- but I listed it anyway because it doesn’t really fit me all that well. I think for me the joy is more in making than wearing an item, except for my knitwear which takes so many hours that I am invested in it.

How do you promote your work?

Currently I am promoting on etsy forums, I have a facebook fan page and I am a part of several etsy groups- the vermont team, cafe mom street team and it’s better handmade group. I just got some business cards made. I haven’t really figured out what the best way to market is, yet.

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

I love to read- my favorite recent books are anything my Marian Keyes, Steig Larsson and Alexander McCall smith.
Movies- well I don’t watch too many movies but I do love mythbusters and mad men, which are TV shows.
Websites- etsy, of course,, and I just discovered the tate museum website which has all sorts of interactive stuff and resources!
My website is– that is where student work is posted!

Tell us a secret about you.

I am a marksman!

Thank you so much Courtney! Please stop by her shop and take check out her beautiful one of a kind jewelry!

I got one word to describe Alison from AMIdesigns jewelry– WOW.

She creates handmade beaded jewelery, especially bracelets, to accessorize any outfit or as a bridesmaid pieces. Her work is simply stunning! What? You don’t believe me? Take a look at a few examples of her jewelry designs. I may have to buy the Teal and Brown Memory Wire Bracelet for myself…


Hi Alison! Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Alison and I live in a small village about 10 miles outside Belfast in Northern Ireland. I make beaded jewelery and sell mainly bracelets online.

How long have you been creating?

I’ve been making jewelery for about 3 years following a holiday in Cornwall in England. It’s full of craft workshops and shops and I was desperate to find an outlet for my creativity after visiting it.

What is your inspiration for making your gorgeous jewelry?

I love finding new colours of pearls and making up custom orders using colours I’d never have dreamed would work well together.

What is your dream job?

I work part time as a physiotherapist in my ‘real job’ and as I love working with people the mix of part time physio and part time jeweler is really my dream set up.

Can you tell us a little about your creative process?

I love finding new beads and sitting down to work out a pattern. I’m not one of these people that sit down and sketch out designs and plan them in detail. I much prefer to play with the designs and change it as I go along.

What item would you be secretly heartbroken if it sold?

I made a very simple necklace that I fell in love with and decided to keep for myself. It’s had loads of compliments so it was worth holding onto.

How do you promote your work?

I don’t place ads but I do twitter, flickr and have a blog –

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

My favourite book is The Pillers of the Earth by Ken Follett, favourite film is Chariots of Fire and favourite website is ClosedThreads on twitter 🙂

Thank you so much Alison!!!

Hello! Happy Friday!!!!
I think I’m going to reinstate my i{heart} series!!! (I’ve got sooooooo many shops and awesome products that I’ve bookmarked…)
So today i {heart} FairyMade!
FairyMade is a jewelry company that was started by my friend Hilary. Not only is she one of the most awesome people I know, she’s a wonderful artist as well!!! FairyMade makes every piece of jewelry by hand, chooses rich stones, gems, and glass that emulate the beauty within in you.  FairyMade strives to create jewelry that’s in style now, and will stay that way and refers to these pieces as the “new classics.”

I can attest to the beauty and craftmanship of these pieces. I just received this gorgeous bracelet from FairyMade and I absolutely LOVE it.  Look how awesome it is:
Check out her website and her product catalog here:

To inquire how to have a custom bracelet made just for you, please email Hilary at

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