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It’s supposed to be in the 60’s this weekend– yay! Hopefully, if the weather holds out, I’ll head out to the Chicago Botanic Garden for my first trip of the year. I’m so excited. I can’t wait to see (and photograph) growing things!

I hope you enjoy the lovely handmade Garden themed items I found on etsy! (I’m loving this paper lotus...)

Origami Lotus Flower
Origami Lotus Flower Decoration or Favor // Papaya and Moss Green

Who am I kidding? I love everything here!

Wednesday Inspiration- Garden

1. Kerribeads Lampwork Little Bird Focal Bead

2. Garden Salsa lot of 6 hand dyed 42″ silk ribbons by Flame kissed Art Glass

3. Red Veined Sorrel No. 2 original watercolor painting

4. Bulbosa and Echinops Terrarium

5. Butterfly Embellishments Pumpkin Spice Monarch

6. Custom Herb Flower Pots (Set of 4)

7. Garden-Original miniature flower garden oil painting 3×3 by Marina Petro

8. Modern Herb or Succulent Planter Box from Reclaimed Cedar

9. Gnomeo & Juliet Concrete Garden Gnome Couple

Hope you have a great day and hopefully you get to enjoy a garden wherever you are!!!
-April
http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

Hi! I’m always really excited this time of year when I start to see things (finally!)begin to grow. It’s a definite sign that our long and cold winter is loosening its grips in our area. (I’m really jealous of those folks in California who have been posting spring blossom pictures on flickr for the past month…)

I noticed that my parents neighbors tulips and daffodils were beginning to grow and that made me really happy. Soooo happy, in fact, that when I arrived back home, I planned out when I was going back to the Botanic Garden to begin my annual stalking of the tulips and other spring blooms (next weekend!) and I shopped for Spring Green related items on etsy. These are my fabulous Spring Green inspired finds– I hope you enjoy!

Green Tea Bunny - Hand Knit Organic Cotton Toy Rabbit
Green Tea Bunny – Hand Knit Organic Cotton Toy Rabbit
isn’t that bunny the cutest thing ever?

Wednesday Inspiration- Spring Green

1. lime green baby chick

2. Handmade Vitrail Light Green Crystal Octagon Briolette Drop Sterling Silver Earrings

3. Sock Weight Superwash Merino Wool Yarn, Hand Dyed – Moss Tonal

4. Colorful Decorator Suzani Pillow

5. 2 For 1 Sale – Little Hooves – 8 x 10 Archival Fine Art Print

6. Asian Pear Lip Balm

7. Six Felted Acorns – Lemon and Lime – Natural and Eco Friendly.

8. knit toddler earflap hat and photo prop, size 18 months to 4T, fern green with stripes

9. A Kiss of Spring

Thanks so much! I’ll be back tomorrow with an fabulous interview from an etsy artist! Don’t miss it– Click here to subscribe today and you’ll see my posts in your blog reader automatically!

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

OMG! I think it’s really happening. I think spring may finally be starting to arrive in the Chicago-land area. Tom Skilling is predicting temperatures in the middle 60’s in the next couple of days. And sunshine! (I’m a little excited, if you couldn’t tell…) I am so looking forward to my first Botanic Garden trip of the Spring season–I have some super cute gnomes to take pictures of…

In the meantime, I hope you get to enjoy your day and enjoy the Spring themed etsy finds!

Pincushion - Felted Cupcake in Vanilla Mint
Pincushion – Felted Cupcake in Vanilla Mint

Wednesday Inspiration- Spring

1. Butterflies, 20 Carnation Pink Butterfly Silhouettes for Girls Room, Nursery, and Home Art Decor

2. SALE 20% OFF Threads. 8×12 Fine Art Photograph.

3. The Little Ethereal Fairy Necklace- Spring 2011

4. bunting fabric bin. toy storage bin. easter bucket. Handmade by sweetstitchshop on Etsy.

5. Spring Summer Bride Bouquet Cotton Candy Pink Ranunculus With Diamond Rhinestone Accents

6. Dotty Fabric Booches – Set of Three

7. Linden Green Elsebeth Lavold Cotton Patine Yarn (110m/50g) – 9 Skeins in Color 18

8. Eggs-tra Special Colored Vegan Egg Soaps

9. Edible Sugar Butterflies Pale Yellow and Turquoise 10

Happy Spring!
-April
http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

Hello!!!! St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner (March 17th) Yay!!! I always get a little reminiscent around this time– it was the day after St. Patrick’s Day (1998) that I went on my trip to Ireland. What an amazingly beautiful country! I would LOVE to go back, this time with my trusty camera instead of a jerky boyfriend (who ended the relationship while we were there) and have the opportunity to capture the countries beauty on film…

In the meantime, I hope you have a wonderful and safe St. Patrick’s Day celebration and enjoy the St. Patrick’s Day themed gems that I found!

spring green heart felts ornaments set of 4 / eco friendly upcycled love decorations spring green heart felts ornaments set of 4 / eco friendly upcycled love decorations

Wednesday Inspiration- St. Patrick's Day

1. Sterling Silver Necklace – Shamrock Clover

2. 7 Crochet Shamrocks by SJ and Joe

3. Saint Patrick’s Day Baby Booties / Slippers – Green Shamrock

4. Warm Cable Scarf – Grass Green

5. IRISH Hearts – St. Patricks Day BOGO SALE – Two gorgeous wave-turned beach-stone hearts decorated with beautiful green shamrocks.

6. Summer Greens Batik Cathedral Window Pillow Cover – 18 Inches

7. Real Four Leaf Clover Inlaid

8. 12 St Patrick’s Day Edible Glitter Shamrock Fondant Cupcake Topper for St Patty’s Day

9. Green Rosette Headband

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

Hello!!! I’m super excited to introduce you to Allison from LoveTheBaby. I love her shop! Now that my good friend has a baby that I get to play auntie to, I’ve been shopping for quality handmade baby goods. I feel so much better about buying baby Siena something handmade. Allison sells handmade vintage inspired quilts, bibs, blankets and more!

Featured Handmade Artist- LoveTheBabLove these handmade crocheted washcloths!
Check out some of her other super cute handmade baby items:
Featured Handmade Artist- LoveTheBaby

Hi Allison!! Can you start out by telling us a little about yourself?

Hi. I’m Allison. I’m a native Houstonian and now make my home in the Texas Forest Country of East Texas. I was trained as an archaeologist at Texas A&M University, but for the past 13 years, since marrying my wonderful husband Roger, I have been a homemaker and more recently, office manager of Roger’s law practice. So, my days are mostly filled with answering phones, typing letters and keeping the office running smoothly. Evenings I so love to relax before a blazing fire in the fireplace and squeeze in some sewing when I’m not trying to keep up with everything else that needs to be taken care of at home.

What is the first craft project you remember making?

What comes to mind is my sister and I at the local five-and-dime sorting through bolt after bolt of fabric laid out on huge tables. With our finds we made patchwork pillows. Oh, and then there were the Barbie clothes. Our Barbies had all kinds of unique dresses with sashes made from a medley of fabric scraps.

Where does your inspiration come from?

My inspiration seems to come from what came before. When I was trying to come up with a quilt pattern recently, I found myself excitedly looking through a book of traditional quilt block patterns, searching for one calling out to me. I was so happy to find in that book, also, quilt patterns that I admire, but had no idea that they were traditional patterns. We are very fortunate to have several quilts made by my husband’s grandmother in the early 1900s. They are tattered and torn from years of use, but the fabrics and the simple patchwork patterns keep bringing me back to them. I cannot wait to reproduce them for my Etsy shop and larger ones for us to keep, too.

Can you please describe some of your creative process?

I haven’t ever considered myself to be especially creative, rather that I follow instructions well. But I do find designs popping into my head occasionally. I try to jot them down, stew about them, sort through my fabric stash, buy new fabric, take measurements, refine the pattern a bit, then make an attempt at cutting and sewing. It seems like a long process from idea to finished product, really. I probably spend way too much time on that “stewing” part.

What is your most prized handmade possession?

Now that I think about it, our house is full of handmade. And there are a number of things that come to mind. But there is only one that is the most special. For our 10-year anniversary my husband asked my brother, who is an artist, to paint a portrait of me based on a photo than he had taken of me. I had no idea this was going on. When it arrived in the mail and my husband showed it to me, I was speechless. Not only had he done such a loving and generous thing for me, but he asked my brother, whom I love dearly, to paint it. It is a treasure that I hold close to my heart.

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

Have an identity. I spent a long time floundering after opening my shop and being deeply disappointed in the lack of enthusiasm from the buying public. I had no cohesive look, no identity, no “brand”, as they say, and I really didn’t know that I needed one. But, after spending lots of time on Etsy reading the blog, looking at other shops, and perusing the forums, I finally found a direction for my shop and that look that pleased me. Once I arrived in that place, creating for the shop became so much easier. The fabrics began flowing and the sewing machine humming. There are not enough hours in the day!

What are some of the ways you promote your work?

My shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/LoveTheBaby

I must admit that I do not facebook, twitter, blog, etc. Blogging does seem fun to me. I like the idea of a blog and I certainly enjoy reading them, but I fear that all those things will take up vast amounts of my time and energy.

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

The New York Times online: http://www.nytimes.com/pages/index.html

I’m always learning something new here

Craftopolis: http://www.craftopolis.com

It’s addicting, but a useful tool

http://www.trueup.net/

For the fabric obsessed

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I just want to be happy and healthy.

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

Time travel. I have always been interested in people who came before us and what their lives were like. Historically speaking, there are writings that give insight into their lives. Even prehistoric peoples have left us something for speculation. But, usually it is only enough to tantalize us. How thrilling it would be to travel back in time to discover what their lives were really like, their daily lives, and how the bits and pieces they have left behind contributed to their greater culture.

Thank you so much Allison!!!! You’ve got a fabulous shop!

I hope you all have a chance to stop by Allison’s shop and check out her beautiful quality handmade baby items!
http://www.LoveTheBaby.etsy.com

I hope you have a wonderful and WARM day!
Take Care!
-April
http://www.creativeapples.etsy.com

Wow! What a snow storm! So far, we’ve received a little over 20 inches of snow in the Chicago area. Some suburbs have received up to 23 inches. It’s officially the third largest blizzard since Chicago began keeping records more than 120 years ago. And it isn’t quite over yet. There’s still a chance of lake effect snow. It was so crazy last night– not only was it snowing sideways and complete white-out conditions, there was thunder and lightning too. Winds were fierce at 50-70 mph at times and people were stuck in their cars for hours on Lake Shore Drive last night.

Today, my poor car is completely buried and there are snow drifts up to the windows… Yeah, I’m not going anywhere for a while. Chicago is essentially shut down. So today I’m working from home (and shopping!) I hope you are someplace warm and safe and enjoy today’s blizzard inspired finds from etsy!

BOGO SALE Cardinal in the Snow

Wednesday Inspiration- Blizzard

1. White winter hymnal – An ethereal winter fine art photograph – Winter wonderland

2. SALE ONE WHOPPIN COWL In NEUTRAL CREAM

3. 8×10 Winter Ice Cream Photograph

4. nor’easter no. 4 / original painting on canvas

5. BLIZZARD SALE: 60% OFF ORIGINAL PRICE Fingerless Gloves with Black Eyelash Cuffs – Hand Knit

6. A BEST SELLER Wool Felted Acorn Ornaments – Set of 12 in Winter White

7. Blizzard – White Rose Ring

8 Massive Pom Pom Hat in Dark Grey

9. blizzard a 8×10 fine art winter scene nature photograph

Hope you have a warm day!
-april
www.creativeapples.etsy.com

Hello! Valentine’s Day is on everyone’s minds over here at work. We’re planning special Valentine’s Day themed emails to send to our customers and folks are talking about what they’re buying for their significant other. Someone even brought in cute heart shaped marshmallows (they are pretty tasty!)

If you haven’t picked up anything for your significant other or yourself (hey– you’re allowed!) check out this weeks heart shaped inspiration from all over etsy!

Valentine's Day Monkey Amigurumi
Valentine’s Day Monkey Amigurumi

Wednesday Inspiration- Heart

1. Sweet Little Valentine Dachshund

2. Love paperie a garland of handcut hearts

3. ITTY BITTY Bite Size VALENTINE Heart Sugar Cookies, 8 Dozen

4. Love Birds Applique Onesie or tshirt

5. 40 Valentine RED Cardstock Hearts . 1.5 inch

6. Dopamine Molecule Heart Pin

7. BOGO Made With Love 8×10 Photography Print

8. Sushi Dish Set with Hearts (KISS – Linen White)

9. DESIGNER Hand Knit Baby Valentine Hat ORIGINAL Pixie Cap Red Hearts

Nature Calendar 2011 from siskastudio

Hello Happy first Wednesday of the New Year and the first Wednesday Inspiration of 2011. This week my inspiration is “January” (how original!) I’m inspired by January’s winter whites, warm & cozy knits, deep garnet colors, clean and organized spaces. I would love to know what is inspiring you this week. Please post a comment with the link and/image and show me!

I hope you enjoy these January inspired finds from across etsy!

Wednesday Inspiration- January

1. Red Berry Valentine Heart Wreath

2. Genevieve Cowl – Kid Mohair and Silk Knit Neckwarmer / Scarf

3. L’amour- Crimson Silk and Velvet Brooch Flower Pin Fascinator Clip with Vintage rhinestone center

4. JANUARY SALE Wedding Song, a vintage bouquet for your wrist

5. Burgundy Bordeaux Wool Fingerless Gloves Mittens

6. Hydrangea, the Delicate – fine pastel petals against the winter white snow of January – a romantic photograph – a fine art flower print (8×8)

7. Calendar Cards (January thru June), Birthstone Colors

8. JANUARY SALE Summer Solace, shabby chic vintage assemblage necklace FREE Shipping

9. SALE NOW ON – Red poppy bowl trio

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