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Hello!!! I know, I got off to a late start today, but don’t worry– this week’s featured artist is definitely worth the wait! I am so happy to introduce you to Grace from Andwabisabi. Grace sells the cutest, fun and simple-to-make counted cross stitch patterns!

Featured Handmade Artist-Andwabisabi

Seriously, how fun is that? These look easy enough that even I could make them. I’m so not a cross-stitch (or counted-cross stitch) person, but I’m so in love with these fun designs that I’m thinking about trying one…

Check out some of her other cool designs:

Featured Handmade Artist- Andwabisabi

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

My name is Grace Kim and I’m the girl behind Andwabisabi Cross Stitch. I live in Southern California with my family and puppy, (my bundle of joy) Mochi! During the day, I work as a Graphic Designer and Product Developer in Wall Decor. Once I’m off the clock I love to cross-stitch, cook and bake. I do love to pick up a random craft during the weekend or spend hours upon hours at craft stores.

What is the first craft project you remember making?

I used to make paper dolls and cut out colorful little outfits and wigs for them. The possibilities were endless and I would churn out little outfits for them all day long!

What inspires you?

My inspiration comes from nature and anything I come across during the day. I am definitely drawn to textures and patterns and love to take snapshots of anything that interests me. Inspiration comes from a color that I’ve become enamored with, or a conversation I shared with my close friend, or even from the dinner menu. I carry around a little notebook where I jot down these ideas and sketches, which comes in very handy when I’m ready to start designing.

Can you please describe some of your creative process?

I refer to my handy little notebooks. I like to spend some time picking a topic that strikes my chord before I jump into the design aspect. Sometimes I will do a little research on the topic, other times I’ll jump right in. I start out with a rough shape in mind and move around the pixels until I settle on the design. After the design is set, it’s time to play with color! Often times, I will start out with a certain finish in mind, only to end up with something completely different- I love this process, because it is when I come out with the best designs.

Featured Handmade Artist- Andwabisabi

What is your most prized handmade possession?

I love the hand-knit scarf my grandmother made me some 15 years ago. It’s made out of really itchy pink yarn, but it makes me laugh every time I wrap myself in it.

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

I would have to say, keep doing what you love. Perseverance is key, keep developing your craft, continuously learn, and soon you will discover your niche.

What are some of the ways you promote your work?

Word of mouth, I’m fortunate to have lovely customers who refer their friends and family to my shop.
I also have a flickr and twitter account, as well as a FB page and blog. I spend a lot of time developing new items for the shop and try to upload new product every week.
Etsy – andwabisabi.etsy.com
Flickr – flickr.com/applepieorder
Twitter – twitter.com/andwabisabi
Facebook – www.facebook.com/pages/Andwabisabi-Cross-Stitch/439023620472
Blog – apple-pie-order.blogspot.com

What are three websites you couldn’t live without?

Etsy.com, Craftcult.com, Pandora.com

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I’d love to be happy and healthy, with some extra wrinkles, surrounded by family and crafty friends! I’d also love to own a little cross-stitch boutique and share the love of cross-stitch with a lot of people.

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

I’d love to fly, that way I’d be able to travel all over the world and have the experience of my life.

Thank you so much Grace!!! It was a pleasure to get to know a little bit more about the super creative force behind Andwabisabi. I urge everyone to take some time and check out her shop. There are so many wonderful cross stitch items to chose from (hey! Mother’s Day is coming up!!!)
http://www.etsy.com/shop/andwabisabi

If you would like to be considered for my weekly features, please send me an email or convo– I’d love to hear from you!!!!

Hang in there! It’s almost Friday!

-April
http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

“April showers”
“April, where’s May and June?”
“April, it’s your month!”
Those were some of the things I heard in grade school. I used to hate the month of April (and my name!) because that’s all I would hear (boy, kids are cruel…) That, in addition to not paying attention in class and hearing my name (which was in context of a date), would startle me and make me think I was being called on ALL THE TIME… Nowadays, I find that people don’t tease me as much so when someone calls me “April Showers” I say, “if you’re lucky!” or when they ask me where May and June are, I tell them I don’t know about May, but June (my sister!) is doing well. And yes, April IS my month!! 🙂
(And because I know what you were thinking, no, my birthday is not in April either…)

This week’s inspiration is April Showers, in honor of the month of April that’s right around the corner! I hope you enjoy these lovely,lovely etsy finds!

april showers paper rosettes bouquet
april showers paper rosettes bouquet

Wednesday Inspiration- April Showers

1. April Showers 8×10

2. April Showers Cloud Handmade pendant with tiny blue Swarovski crystals raindrops rain clouds blue

3. April Showers Half Apron

4. April Showers– Duck in the Rain Embellishments — Set of 2

5. You Make Me Happy 5 x 5

6. Spring Whimsical rain Cloud Mobile for nursery

7. cloud mug

8. Yaroma – Morning Rain – Lace Weight

9. Wool Felt Umbrella Brooch – Lemon Yellow

Hope you have a wonderful day!
-April
http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

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

I am beginning to feel like a broken record (and here it is again) I am so ready for winter to be over. We’re teased with sunshine today and it looks deceptively nice out, but it’s still really really cold… I am really looking forward to longer days, warmer weather, and many consecutive days of sunshine! In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these bright and sunny finds from etsy!

Felted Wool Acorns in Lemon YellowFelted Wool Acorns in Yellow Lemon

Wednesday Inspiration- Sunshine

1. Pettiskirt Bubble Romper – Sunshine Yellow

2. Bit of Sunshine- Sterling silver and golden yellow chalcedony necklace

3. sunshine gingham – yellow check fabric button post earrings

4. Vintage Pear Stone Coasters – Set of 6

5. THINK HAPPY. BE HAPPY – Inspiring 8×10 inch Print

6. Sunshine – 5×7 Fine Art Print – BOGO Sale

7. Sunshine Party Thank You Tags (PRINTABLE)

8. Lemongrass Poppy Seed – Handcrafted Exfoliating Shea Butter Soap

9. Lemon Sugar Cookie-Wiches -1/2 Dozen

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a great day!
-April
http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

Hello! Happy Wednesday! Oh man, I am so ready for spring. Last week we were teased with near 60degree weather. That was so awesome! The mountains of snow were finally starting to melt… Fast forward one week– more snow. Okay, so yesterday was a mere dusting compared to the nearly two feet we received a few weeks ago, but seriously? I am so so so tired of the snow and cold weather. I did see a little robin outside my apartment last week so that gives me hope that spring is just around the corner…. I hope you enjoy some of the awesome robin-themed finds from across etsy! I hope spring is starting in your neck of the woods!

Little Robin Zipper PouchLittle Robin Zipper Pouch

Wednesday Inspiration- Robin

1. French Script Pillow Cover “Robin” from Gathered Comforts

2. Mod Bird and Silver Nest with Turquoise Eggs

3. Robins on a Branch Brass Filigree Bird Necklace Vintage Style Altered Art

4. Our Nest – The Perfect Little Sign to Help You Feather Your Nest in Robins Egg Blue

5. Round Robin – 8×10 Art Print of my Original Watercolor Painting

6. Fine Art Print. Nesting In Numbers. Sepia Photograph

7. Red Robin Bird Felt Clippie

8. Gray Autumn- rustic fall inspired soft gray and burgundy with a pop of crimson red photograph of a robin in the woodlands of Chicago- Fine Art Nature Photograph- 8×8

9. Robin Birds Garland Handmade of Muslin Fabric

Thanks for checking out all these great etsy shops!!! Have a great day!
-April
http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

Hi! Welcome you 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, are these links helpful to you? Let me know! I appreciate the feedback!!!! Thanks!

Oh, you can tell it’s getting close to the Holidays! Work has been absolutely crazy this week and I totally didn’t have a chance to post this weeks Featured Handmade Artist. Better late than never, right?

This week I am happy to introduce you to Jenny Kim from Jennykim.etsy.com. I love the organic feel and shape of her handmade jewelry. (I’m a sucker for flowers!) Not only does she have these gorgeous flower rings and earrings in her shop, she has these amazing key pendants!

Featured Handmade Artist- Jennykim

Here are a few more of her lovely lovely pieces:

Featired Handmade Artist- Jennykim

Hi Jenny!!! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Jenny Sueyoun Kim, and I’m originally from Los Angeles. I have been living in the San Francisco Bay area for about 15 years, and after having worked in both Silicon valley and the public sector, I am currently a metalsmith and jewelry artist on a full-time basis.

What is the first craft project you remember making?

In pre-school, I had a hard time sitting still, and instead of learning how to tie my shoelaces, I insisted that Velcro straps would always be in style – and that I must make myself a castle out of milk-crates. While the other kids learned to tie their shoes, I collected milk-crates from outside the school’s kitchen and built a fortress “fit for a queen.”

Where does your inspiration come from?

My work is inspired by natural and organic forms – the human body, flora and fauna. As an artist, I was most inspired by my grandfather, who somehow raised four children selling paintings and teaching art. I always enjoyed watching him paint and sketch, and really looked up to him as a small child.

Can you describe some of your creative processes?

Each of my pieces is created using the ancient Lost-Wax Casting method, made from a one-of-a-kind, original model, which I first sculpt from wax. My creative process starts with a lot of introversion in a quiet environment and a virtually solitary state, sculpting my wax models from my home in San Mateo, CA. After anywhere from one to three days per week working from home, I will then do all the dirty work at a shared metalshop in San Francisco. First, I will create a temporary, plaster-like mold called an “investment” around the model. After allowing the investment to set for a day or two, I will burn out the wax, heat the investment in a kiln, and then (the fun part), with the use of an oxy-propane torch, I hand-pour molten metal from a crucible into the investment. Finally, there is the cleanup and finishing work, which may take almost as much time as the initial sculpting. This multi-step process occurs over several days even for a single piece. I genuinely enjoy the entire casting process, but I love the sculpting part most of all, and therefore, I do not have any re-usable molds to copy the same piece multiple times – so, each of my pieces is a true original.

What is your most prized handmade possession?

After a few minutes of thought, it came down to my small collection of silver Touareg jewelry. The nomadic Touareg people of northern Africa use minimal modern technology to create some of the most beautiful and unique jewelry in the world. They are also among the most impoverished people in the world, and I find it so incredible that they are such great survivors in the African desert, as well as amazing craftspeople and silversmiths.

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

Communication and customer service are crucial. You want to maintain your customers’ trust and always us honest business practices. Many of us consider ourselves artists first and foremost – but in terms of turning your hobby into a business, customer service should be the top priority.

What are some of the places you promote your work?

Etsy: www.etsy.com/jennykim

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Artist-Jenny-Sueyoun-Kim/189035903091

Website: http://www.jennykim.org/

What are the three websites you couldn’t live without?

Etsy, and believe it or not, NHL.com and Fear the Fin (hockey sites).

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Hopefully, I’ll be miraculously sustaining a living making jewelry and trinkets for people who love handmade things! I would also like to be traveling; there are so many places around the world that I’d love to visit – Peru, India, the list goes on and on.

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

This one also took a few minutes of thought! I’m not sure that I want to be able to see through objects or clothing, nor do I want to zap anyone with a laser beam from my finger. I would probably want to be a healer of some kind – perhaps be able to magically heal the sick and dying. That would be very cool.

Thank you soooo much Jenny!!!!
Please be sure to stop by Jenny’s shop and check out the rest of her beautiful jewelry designs!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/jennykim

Hi! I’d like to welcome you to the last Craft Connection for October! (seriously? it’s the end of October? Where did this month go?) Each and every week I scour the interwebs and gather the best tutorials, tips, and other helpful links to help with your handmade craft business. In addition, I’ll post links to cool crafts I’ve seen, and blogs I think are worth following. I hope you enjoy!

  • 7 Ways to Help Your Customers Feel Ownership
    Although you can’t provide the exact same experience for your customers online as you would in real life, there are certain things that you can still do to help them make their purchasing decision easier and help them claim ownership
  • A blog you NEED to follow!
    Time with Tascha
    Time with Tascha
    I am so totally in LOVE with Tascha’s bright colorful illustrations!

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, are these links helpful to you? Let me know! I appreciate the feedback!!!! Thank you!!!

Hello there! Welcome to this week’s Crafty Connections! Every week I scour the interwebs and gather tutorials, tips, other helpful links in order to help with your handmade craft business. In addition, I’ll post links to cool crafts I’ve seen, and blogs I think are worth following.

  • a blog you need to follow
    jacqueline low so cute it hurts
    So Cute It Hurts
    I love Jacqueline’s blog. It’s filled with so much pretty eye candy!

Do 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, are these links helpful to you? Let me know! I appreciate the feedback!!!! Thanks!
-cheers!

Renegade Craft Fair- Chicago
This weekend was the long anticipated (by me, at least) Renegade Craft Fair. Division Street, between Damen and Paulina, was filled with some of the most incredible handmade goods made by over 300 craftspeople from all over the nation. Oh, I wanted to take home everything!!!! It was **so** hard not to whip out the credit card at every booth. Here are just a few of my favorite shops…

Renegade Craft Fair

  • Orangyporangy
  • handmade ladyware from orangeporangy

    I loved these skirts. I don’t even wear skirts, and I wanted them all. They featured a great cut, and awesome awesome patterns and colors!

  • Steff BombSteffBomb

    Loved the cute plush creations! They also had super cute sad hamburgers. Don’t believe me? Go check it out!

  • Squeaky Queensqueakyqueen

    I’m a sucker for a good handmade soap. These soaps smelled amazing. And, they were cool too. It’s not everyday that you a prep soap complete with syringe

  • There were soooooooooooooooooooooo many other vendors that I loved and would love to show you and write about, but that would be nearly impossible as I need to get back to work.  Here’s a complete list of crafters that participated in the Renegade Craft Fair– please be sure to stop by and check them out!
    To see more of my photos from the Renegade Craft Fair, check out my flickr slideshow.
    To see a ton more photos, check out the photos from the Renegade Craft Fair Group on Flickr!

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