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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!

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 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?




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

Etsy, and believe it or not, 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!

Hi! Welcome to this weeks Featured Handmade Artist! I am thrilled to introduce you Marilyn from beadpod8! Marilyn makes the prettiest and most romantic pieces of jewelry…

Handmade Featured Artist-beadpod

I love that necklace! (I am a sucker for anything green…) Take a look at some of her other beautiful pieces!!!

Featured Handmade Artist- Beadpod

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

My name is Marilyn and I am from Singapore. I’m a stay at home mom and I enjoy making jewellery during my spare time.

How long have you been creating?

I started out making jewelery for friends and relatives and it has been almost 6 years since. They have encouraged me to sell online so I signed up for etsy.

What is some of the inspiration behind your pieces?

I am inspired by all the things I see and feel around me, nature, colors, pictures, scenery. Sometimes even a particular scent can inspire me.

What item would you be secretly heartbroken if it sold?

I love it when I am able to sell any of my jewelery so I would actually be heartbroken if I don’t sell!

What are some of the ways you promote your work?

I promote through etsy, blogshops, and facebook.

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

If I could have one super power, I want to be in two places at the same time so I can be with my family and at the same time be sitting and creating jewelery.

Thank you sooooooo much Marilyn!!! I hope you all have a chance to check out all the unique and beautiful pieces form beanpod8!

Hello! Wow! What a busy week!!! So busy, in fact, that this is the first chance I had to write about this weeks Featured handmade Artist! (better late than never, right?)

Without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to Lacy and her shop, xPeppyandBellex! Lacy has some super fun and trendy hemp jewelry and supplies. Check out a small sample of her pieces:

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

My name is Lacy, I’m 22 years old From O’Fallon, MO. I make hemp jewelry at the moment, but hope to expand to other jewelry making soon 🙂

How long have you been creating?

I’ve been making hemp necklaces off and on since I was 17.

What is the inspiration behind your jewelry?

The random beads I find

What is your dream job?

I hope to work in a library one day. It just seems like it would be so peaceful.

Can you tell us a little about your creative process?

When I get bored I go through my beads and decide what I want to make at the moment. Its mostly just random, not really thought out.

What item would you be secretly heartbroken about if it sold?

There’s a few, but I wont tell 🙂

How do you promote you and your work?

I post anywhere I can find really. Mostly Facebook and Blogspot at the moment.

What are a few of your favorite books, movies, musicians, and websites that you’d like to share?

My favorite books are Star Girl by Jerrk Spinelli and Perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chobosky. My favorite musical artist is Hanson, but other than that I mostly listen to rock, alternative, industrial and 90’s pop.

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

To read peoples minds, so then I can tell when they are lying. Haha.

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Publish my books and pursue my writing career.

Thanks so much Lacy!!!!! I hope you all take a moment and check out the xPeppyandBellex shop!!!!!

Hello! Happy Thursday! Today I’d like to introduce you to another fabulous etsy artist, Megan, and her shop meganluvsjewels. I have to be honest, I’m not much of a jewelry wearer, (you would never know by all the fabulous jewelry artists I’ve been featuring!) but I would absolutely wear her pieces. I love them because they are simple and elegant. I love the Chic Green Agate Pendant and Chain— it’s *so* my style.

Megan has a wonderful simple philosophy for her jewelry– “from natural flaws…to design perfection.” Each of her pieces celebrates the natural flaws of Earth’s treasures. Take a look at just a few of the lovely pieces from her shop.


Hi Megan! Thanks for your time! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Megan Reynolds and I was born and raised in San Diego, CA. Not only do I have my jewelry business, but I work at my church and attend California State University San Marcos with a major in business, with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship.

How long have you been creating?

I have been beading since I was 10 years-old, but more seriously since I was 16. I have always loved sketching designs though.

What is your inspiration for making your jewelry?

I’m inspired by nature–ocean, trees, and flowers. Although I consider my work to be modern, I do feel that I’m inspired by the past, especially the Regency Era.

What would be your dream job?

My dream job is running a very successful jewelry company where I get to design each piece and be the face of the company. I want to the person who gets to share the designs, vision, and story with the public.

Can you describe your creative process for us?

My creative process involves playing with stone combinations until I find the perfect look. Sometimes I sketch first, but I often times my process is very organic. Once I find the right combination of stones, I simply start making the piece and refine my design as needed.

What would be the one piece that you would be secretly heartbroken if it sold?

I would secretly be heartbroken if I sold my one-of-a-kind necklace called Secret Garden Necklace. It is so pretty and unique and I’ve come to think of it as an essential part of my brand.

Where do you promote your work?

I promote my work through my Facebook fan page, Twitter account, and through advertising, mostly on blogs. I have also gained local exposure through craft shows and by being in local stores.

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

My favorite book of all time is Pride and Prejudice. I also love the 2005 movie of Pride and Prejudice. Harry Potter books and movies also top my favorites list. I like different kinds of music, but I’m a sucker for show tunes and oldies!

Tell us a little secret about you?

One of my secrets–I’m addicted to history, especially the story of America. (It’s not a big secret, but most people don’t realize this about me.) If I didn’t want to work in business, I would want to work in a history museum to teach people about the past.

Thank you so much Megan!!! You can find more of her gorgeous jewelry in her etsy shop
and check out her website too!

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!!!

I am going to start up my weekly series where I scour the interwebs for amazing and super cool handmade items and share them with you!

This week, I am happy to feature Julie from bellerosedesigns.  I really like  her unique style. Julie mixes modern hardware pieces and feminine qualities of ribbons and fabric flowers to make one of a kind pieces of jewelry and accessories. She is also inspired by her children and hand paints super cute onesies/bodysuits.

Hi Julie! Tell us a little about yourself–who are you, and where are you from and what do you do?

I am first and foremost a mother to two small and energetic children. My little girl is three and my baby boy is a little over a year. I work as a full time children’s librarian in Pittsburgh. I started my blog, Singing Three Little Birds, at the beginning of this year to document my crafts, books and my children. I decided to open my Etsy store, Belle Rose Designs, a little over a month ago.

How long have you been creating?

I took a drawing class in college and after college took a painting class. I needed a creative outlet because I worked in a cubicle all day! Eventually, I found a job were being creative is a necessity. I started beading a few years back and loved it but when I became a Mom I found beading wasn’t very practical but I loved making my own jewelry. I recently learned how to sew and love sitting behind my sewing machine creating.

What is your inspiration for making your pieces?

My children. When my beaded creations where being pulled on by little hands I began to experiment with fabric and ribbons. I found that using these materials held up better when tugged on. I can actually be a mom and wear great accessories! My hand painted onesies were inspired by my children as well and my love of painting.

What is your dream job?

I actually love my job but I would like to one day work part time so I can spend more time with my children and work on my shop. I probably would have a cleaner house too!

Please describe your creative process.

I don’t have a lot of time to create. Once my kids are in bed I bring out some supplies. Sometimes I just stare at my ribbons and fabric scraps and see what happens. I also keep a notebook of designs and ideas for later when I get the chance to create!

How/where do you promote your work?

You can find me on Twitter at and my Blog is

Thank you so much Julie!!!

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

Hi! Happy Wednesday! (and happy last day of 2008) I don’t know about you, I am so ready for this year to be done. I’m looking forward to the new year– new year, new resolutions that I won’t keep… I hope you all have a wonderful (and safe!) New Years celebration. I plan to keep it quiet and simple. A good dinner (pizza!) Maybe some wine? Perhaps a rousing game of scrabble or othello…
Anyway, today’s i {heart} feature is gemmafactrix!



I know! I know! More jewelry! I can’t help it– I looooooooooooove everything in gemmafactrix’s shop. I love that her jewelry is so simple and elegant. I love the tiny thin stackable rings. One day, I’m actually going to buy them for myself. And wear them. (shocking!) She has such a wonderful and distinct style (not only in her jewelry designs, but in her photography as well!) Love it. So… yeah.. my birthday is coming up if any of you are looking for a gift idea for me…
To find more of gemmafactrix’s jewelry designs, check out her etsy shop. To find about about her adventures in the studio, classes she teaches, etc., check out her blog

See ya next year!!!

I love getting into that mindset, the creative problem solving– the flow if you will.

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