Archive | December, 2011

Tuesday Tutorial: Needlefelt Heart Garland

27 Dec

Welcome to Tuesday Tutorials – where I find awesome easy tutorials for you – now go get crafty 😉

This crafty tutorial comes from: mypoppet

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always

J

Motivational Monday: AWESOME!

26 Dec

Happy Holidays To You!

25 Dec

Saturday’s Special Guest!

24 Dec

Saturday’s Special Guest Presents: 

CreatedbyLaurie!

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It has been a year now since I started teaching myself how to sew… and I have enjoyed every minute of it! I learned of Etsy from a friend and that inspired me to find new ways to reach out and get my creations discovered. I made a fan page on Facebook, and created a twitter account, and finally started a blog this year in late June- which I enjoy the most! I try not to make it all about my shop, but a fun and friendly site that also helps other Etsy shops get discovered. I have a schedule; Fun Mondays, Chatty Tuesdays, Crafts At Home (Wednesday), Giveaways (Thursday), and Picture This (Friday).
I have always found it relaxing to be creative with my hands- the kind of person who buys used furniture to take home, to paint and fix up, or spend an afternoon baking and decorating baked goods. I love to rotate what I do also so that I never feel like I am stuck or burnt out.
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I can recall some memories growing up where I would be creative – such as making a catalog while in elementary school of items I owned for my brother, just incase he wanted to buy something 🙂 and even in highschool- there was an assignment of writing a short story… I bought large poster board sheets for each page, creating bright colorful pages with my story written out, I even recruited friends to help record a tape of the reading- along with sound effects to turn the page.
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Any chance I see of being hands on creative, I will go for it. After becoming a mother I found many opportunities to learn new ways to be creative. When I see smiles and hear laughter, all it can do is make me wonder… “What else can I make?”
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Thanks for stopping by!
Love Always,
J

Feature Friday: GinisBoutique

23 Dec

Feature Friday Presents

GinisBoutique

“My name is Gini and I run Gini’s Boutique on Etsy. I’m 38 and I live in Yorkshire, England with my partner and my 2-year-old daughter. I’m currently a stay at home mum and enjoying having the time to run my Etsy shop along side this. I create a wide range of items which will hopefully give you a feel of browsing a little boutique shop. I specialise in Dorset buttons, which is an old craft of weaving buttons from rings and thread.”

blue circles necklace -- Dorset button necklace in blue tones on sterling silver belcher chain OOAK        Christmas tree decoration set -  six white hearts in matching tray with glitter snowflake design

blue circles necklace — D…            Christmas tree decoration …

GinisBouti…                                      GinisBouti…

$40.24 USD                                      $19.31 USD

red crystal earrings -- Antiqued bronze circles of siam red swarovski crystal drop earings        ring pink rose -- Sweet dark pink english rose sterling silver adjustable ring

red crystal earrings — An…           ring pink rose — Sweet da…

GinisBouti…                                      GinisBouti…

$20.92 USD                                      $8.85 USD

letter badge brooch -- Felt initial letter brooch - CUSTOM ORDER alphabet a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z        yellow green brooch -- Dorset button brooch in yellow with green beads, badge hand woven

letter badge brooch — Fel…           yellow green brooch — Dor…

GinisBouti…                                      GinisBouti…

$12.07 USD                                      $11.27 USD

earrings pink swarovski crystal -- Elegant light pink swarovski crystal drop chain earrings in oxidized brass/antiqued gold finish        bag purse charm -- Dorset button charm  for bag, purse or key, in hot pink and silver

earrings pink swarovski cr…          bag purse charm — Dorset …

GinisBouti…                                      GinisBouti…

$16.10 USD                                      $27.36 USD

What got you interested in crafting?

I was born to craft! It’s always been a passion of mine since I was young enough to pick up a pencil. It’s in my blood too I think, both my mother and father were artists and my partner is too. Now my daughter is following the tradition, she can already draw faces and she’s only two, we spend many hours together painting and making collages.

What has been your favorite project to make and why?

I particularly like making my felt letter brooches. The customers which order these usually want something as a keepsake which is personal to them. I made one for a lovely lady in the Netherlands recently. She told me it was for her soon to be born first son. I was so touched that I was asked to make something for her baby to be. I felt honoured that she thought my brooches would be a lovely gift for him to keep for many years to come.

What’s the secret behind your etsy name? 

Gini is my nickname that all my family and friends call me by. It’s just short for ginger, the colour of my hair. It stuck when someone called me it at college and I’ve been know by it ever since. I like it, it’s more interesting and individual than my own name, which is Louise.

If you could open up a shop in your town what would you call it and what would it be like?

Ah now I have this dream of my perfect career, it would be to open a little boutique in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, which is far more inspiring than my home town I’m afraid! So my Etsy shop is based on that idea, a cute quirky little shop which has all manner of gifts, decorations, jewellery and accessories which is fun to browse around. I always wanted to call it Gini’s Boutique, I can imagine the sign above the door and gorgeous view out of the window, if only it was true!

What is the most challenging thing you have made?

From my shop I would probably say my felt name plaques. They took a long time to develop. I made a few versions before I was happy with the final product. The dowling idea came to me after lots of pondering and frowning! It was all worth it when I get the lovely comments from happy customers telling me where they have hung them.
Another thing which I have developed over many years of practice and designing are my Dorset buttons. I would call these my ‘speciality’ as I’ve become quite skilled at them and they’re quite unique on Etsy, not many people have heard of them and other people certainly don’t make them into what I do. I really enjoy making them and if I had to pick only one thing to make for the rest of my life it would be these.

What are some of your goals you hope to achieve within the next year?

More sales, ha ha, I’m sure that would be everyone’s answer, but seriously my aim this year is to make make make. I’m trying to fill up my shop with as many things as I can, pass that golden milestone of 100 items for sale. I’m also trying to promote myself more to gain more sales. I have a facebook fan page which I update every day with new products, sneak previews, my creative processes and generally what’s going on in the world of Gini’s Boutique. 

I’m also have my first Christmas craft fair stall this year which should be fun, I’m trying to make lots more of my gingerbread men decorations to sell and hopefully more swarovski jewellery.

What inspires you to be crafty?

Everything and anything. It’s in my nature to make and I can’t imagine life any other way. I look around me and see colour, objects, people etc which inspire me and send ideas running around my head. I have a huge amount of scrapbooks, notepads, post-it notes all over my desk containing my ideas which I add to on an almost daily basis. My trouble is that I have so many ideas it difficult to find the time to make everything that I want to. 

What is your best quality when it comes to your crafts?

I would say putting myself in other people’s places, I tend to do this in life too. I like to come up with items I think my customers would like, not just what I like. When creating a custom item I like to ask questions about the person it is for to get an idea of their personality ‘type’. I give them options to choose from, I generally show them or send photos of colours etc so they can be involved in the creative process. It’s more personal to them that way. I think as a crafter you can end up becoming very set in your ways if you only create what you would be happy to own or wear yourself. 

If you could have one thing to help your store what would it be?

I guess more exposure, it’s hard to stand out from the all the thousands of sellers on etsy and get noticed. I actively promote my shop and products as much as I can but there’s only so much you can do in the time that you have. I’m really loving doing interviews because it keeps me on my toes and makes me really think about where my shop is heading (in the right direction I hope!)

If you haven’t already checked out GinisBoutique – click on the link!

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always,

J

Motivational Monday: Try

19 Dec

Just a little note!

8 Dec

Just wanted to say hey and that this week is going to be a bit quiet on the blog. I’m prepping for the craft show this weekend and have my hands full! I’ll update Sunday with hopefully some pictures 😀

LOVE YOU ALL!

Jennifer

Feature Friday: Fairyshadow

2 Dec

Feature Friday Presents:

Fairyshadow!!

“I am raised by a family of makers. My mother sewed for her children and my father is a professional sculptor. I have made and created things as far back as I can remember. I get so much pleasure from working with my hands and finding homes for those creations. I also paint and garden and enjoy life with my husband and two daughters. I am fortunate to live on our sheep farm and see the birth of lambs and enjoy the beauty of the pasture. The world has so much to teach.”

Ponytail holder  pink flower, fabric blossom Red fairy baby ornament

Ponytail holder pink flow… Red fairy baby ornament

fairyshadow fairyshadow

$6.00 USD $6.00 USD

Pink purple flower headband floral head band Hair tie striped yellow and white flower of reclaimed tshirt

Pink purple flower headban… Hair tie striped yellow an…

fairyshadow fairyshadow

$24.00 USD $6.00 USD

Ponytail tie party favor bouquet Headband with big turquoise flower, floral head band

Ponytail tie party favor b… Headband with big turquois…

fairyshadow fairyshadow

$44.00 USD $14.00 USD

Head band hatband orange fabric flowered headband Barrette of blue jacquard vintage ribbon, handmade hair clip

Head band hatband orange f… Barrette of blue jacquard …

fairyshadow fairyshadow

$14.00 USD $15.00 USD

What got you interested in crafting?

Crafting is just something I have always done. My mother sewed my clothes when I was a little girl and my father was a professional sculptor so there was always something being made in our house. I remember buying embroidery thread in fifth grade to make a table runner and hand stitching a quilt as a high school student. I am happiest when my hands are busy.

What has been your favorite project to make and why?


I loved making dolls for my girls. Dollhouse dolls are especially fun because it doesn’t take much time to embellish them with trims, beads and embroidery. I could make a collection of fairies and rogues, princesses and gnomes and the children so loved to “do talking” with them. I am now making flowers for my hair accessories and really enjoying playing with all the colors I find in the fabrics I use.

What’s the secret behind your etsy name?

I opened my etsy account long before I opened a shop and chose my named based upon a series of paintings I did with my own children. The girls and I would spill watercolor and scribble and draw to fill a big piece of watercolor paper with color and pattern. I had them lay down on the paper and traced around them and we gave the figures wings and created a silhouette (or a “fairyshadow”) by painting out everything but the figure with white paint. I always found the paintings endearing and the memory of the time I spent being creative with my children one I want to keep strong.

What is the most challenging thing you have made?


I made my own wedding gown. I had my grandmother’s nightgown from her wedding night that had some really beautiful lace that I wanted to incorporate into my own dress. The lace was very delicate so I needed to carefully hand stitch each piece into place. It was very gratifying to complete and to wear. I carried a bit of my family history into my future and still treasure the dress.

What are some of your goals you hope to achieve within the next year?


I want to find homes for my flowered hair accessories by increasing traffic to my esty shop and establishing some wholesale accounts with small boutiques. I plan to vend at local crafts fairs and farmers markets and make lots more pretty things.


What inspires you to be crafty?


Most often it the materials I find when shopping at secondhand stores. I recently found a brilliantly bright red wool lap blanket already felted by an overeager washing. I first made some dryer balls (you use these to fluff the clothes in your dryer to make drying time shorter) but then thought to check for color fastness. The dye bled but I so loved the fabric and still wanted to use it so I decided to make a garland. It came out beautifully. I love looking at something and thinking, now what can I make with this.


What is your best quality when it comes to your crafting?

I am persistent. I will fiddle with a design until I like it and then I work at making the production as efficient as possible. I enjoy handwork and the repetitious nature of it. After making one type of item a hundred times I usually have all the kinks worked out and the quality of craftsmanship is where I want it to be.



If you could have one thing to help your store what would it be?


I would become more internet savvy. I see lots of suggestions for using the social media from promotion but I have been a shy person most of my life and reaching out to people outside my immediate circle is challenging. I am trying to better educate myself about how to build a community beyond my own physical space and be comfortable doing it.

Thanks for stopping by! If you haven’t already – check out her shop here: Fairyshadow

Love Always,

J

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