Sunday, August 29, 2010

Enjoy a visit to Azie Designs etsy shop where you will find fabulous photography,paintings,graphics and more.
by Azie Designs
My name is Ashley Ziemianski; I'm a 23 year old recent graduate living in Metro Detroit, Michigan. My entire life, I've never known what I've wanted to do "when I grew up." It would change all the time, and I never knew how to even go about doing most of the things I thought of (glad I didn't stick with the "Scientist" route - sorry about the bleached carpet, Dad!)

I only recently realized what the things I loved to do most were! I never even thought twice about the time I spend making graphics or taking photos; and I definitely never thought about selling my paintings.

I currently live with my boyfriend in his parents' old home. We have spent the last year modifying the entire home into something that we both enjoy. Neither of us consider it even close to "being there," but at least -we- know how much hard work has gone in so far.

The biggest bonus to this transition is my office! I've been a design student for over three years, and only after I graduated did I finally get a solid workspace. While I still do all of my messy painting outside (on the front porch), everything else happens right here in my orange-walled room! I probably spend 90% of my day there now that I'm unemployed and trying to make my hobbies into my day job...

As photographed, I have lots of storage (but it's actually still not enough). The space is constantly evolving - even though this photo was taken July 15, the room is already a little different. I have lots of "containers" for markers, pens, scissors, paper, pencils, blades, etc.

One tip: don't go with solid lime green curtains. I really want pink ones instead.

As a new Etisian, I'm still learning all the tips and tricks... However, I must say that I'm in love with Google Analytics,, and! I am also constantly blogging, which through things like and NetworkedBlogs, are automatically published to my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I have also set up the ability to post from my Flickr to my blog and Twitter. It's a giant loop, but you have to CONSTANTLY promote your shop!

All of my sites:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

My Plants Inspire Me to Create

Be sure to visit Chicweeds amazing Etsy shop where you will find Air Plants and Succulent Arrangements for the urban dweller. Each piece is individually handcrafted by Chicweed.

by Chicweed
"The first time I learned about succulents and air plants was back when I was working in Los Angeles for a staging company called Meridith Baer and Associates. We had purchased a couple of succulents and air plants from Rolling Greens Nursery, and I remember asking the lady in charge of the plants what they were and how easy it was to care for them.

That day was the beginning of my love affair with succulents, air plants and cactus. I haven't stopped since. I now live in San Diego with my husband and my collection just keeps on growing. My plants actually inspire me to create. I can look at a particular plant and decide instantly what I want to do with it. My husband keeps teasing me about the number of plants I bring home each day from trips to nurseries.

It's not easy having to work with plants without a garden! We only have a balcony in our 2 BR condo. However, the challenge lies in being able to propagate plants and beauty despite the lack of space.

I believe everyone, whether they live in a huge mansion with an enormous garden, or whether they live in a tiny studio with a sunny window, should be able to enjoy a little green in their life. This is why I create: to impart some of that beauty and joy to the world.

My favorite quote comes from Paulo Coelho: "When you want something bad enough, the whole universe conspires to help you get it."

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fun and Fresh Ideas

Be sure to visit Zemphira's lovely Etsy shop
where you are sure to find a variety of handcrafted pieces including one of a kind art dolls, aprons, zipper pouches, owls, art quilts, coffee sleeves, snappy purses and other fabric art.
I just love her creative space! Enjoy.

by Zemphira
I am lucky to have a space in my house just for creating. I have 4 kids, and every time I was pregnant people would say "So, does this mean you are going to have to loose your craft room?." The answer, every time, "No! I need that room." And I do need that room. I now have it set up so my kids can come in and create too, its a fun place to be.

When I get stuck, and I'm not really sure what to make next I just go in The Craft Room and pace, clean up a little and before I know it I have 20 ideas floating around in my head that need to get out. I have a few items in my Etsy shop I designed just for a studio. I have "wall pockets" I have one that I just to keep my scissors in. I also just started creating fabric storage bins. I wrap each of my packages with a strand of scrap fabric, and I keep those in a hanging storage bin! They are just fun ways to decorate my space with some of my favorite fabrics!

I have several objects in my studio that I cherish to keep me going. I love to work standing up (or crouched down on the floor like a monkey) and I had my grandfather put together a table - just the right height. My dad crafted up a storage space for some of my rubber stamps. I have a lot of special items from my sister's travels around the world. And now the room is being flooded with my kids' art - which I love. Their ideas are so fun a fresh, I might be the only one to get it and appreciate it, but that is what makes it special.

"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." ~ Picasso

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Creating Things With History

 Beth's Etsy Shop, Ringaling by Beth  is featuring handmade, one-of-a-kind rings from vintage buttons, sea glass or anything else that strikes her. She is giving new life to vintage materials. Have fun visiting her lovely Etsy Shop.

My shoppe name is ringalingbybeth. I started my Etsy endeavor in the Fall of 2009. My daughter was going into first grade and I was thinking.... what am I going to do with myself?

I really wanted to do something creative. I had seen an article in a magazine years ago about vintage button rings. I thought it was the coolest idea, so I decided to start a business creating rings for young and old with buttons, vintage earrings, seaglass or anything else that strikes me.

I love the idea of repurposing things. Creating things with a history that have a story behind them is fun - handmade items with a vintage twist. I have lived in Massachusetts all my life. I married my husband who also has lived in the same town. We actually bought the house that he grew up in, so we really have not gone far at all. It is nice to raise our daughter where our roots began. It is a house with a lot of history.

 The house is over a hundred years old......and has only ever been in his family. The downside to this house is that there is no real space for my rings and things. I end up at my dining room table to make my creations which is not ideal but I am not complaining. My dining room workspace is filled with black and white toile and loads of black and white photos which are inspiring to me.

 I keep all my buttons and vintage findings in old muffin tins which is just prettier then a regular plastic bin. I work on a table that was once part of a barn so the idea of repurposing is constantly around me. My favorite part of my work process is finding the materials....I love the thrill of the hunt. Check out my store often, things change never know what you are going to find.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Fun Little Creatures

Be sure to visit this quaint little Etsy creature shop  to find wonderful handcrafted one of a kind stuffed toy animals made from socks.
These are collectable items combining Dawn's love of animals and her passion for designing plush art.

by Treacher  Creatures
My name is Dawn and I love creating little creatures of all kinds. Most of my creatures are made from new socks of all colours and design that I lovingly hand sew into creatures with their own cute personalities.

I have been sewing for years and started making traditional teddy bears and other soft toys. I did have my own craft room until our daughter was born but now all my materials and sewing equipment is stacked in boxes in the corner of the sitting room and my arm chair and daylight lamp are surrounded by stray socks and fabrics.

I spend my evenings sewing whilst my husband watches TV or listens to music. I am always shopping for new exciting socks and thinking of new designs.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Small Shiny Objects

Be sure to visit Sarah's lovely etsy shop
where you will find a bounty of beautiful jewelry, gifts and home decor abound.

by Small Shiny Objects
Small Shiny Objects is a shop full of ever-changing beaded gifts and jewelry. Like the shop name suggests, "small shiny objects" have always been a weakness of mine, so if it sparkles, I'm adding it in there somehow - be it natural gemstones, fancy glass, crystal, or other fascinating piece to work into the mix. My favorite things to make as of late are the beaded vases and fishbowls - I make the top ring elastic, to make the covers easily removable (and the glass washable), but use nymo thread for the rest of the netting, to keep it fluid.

The same goes into making Christmas ornaments during the holidays (they take awhile and I sold out quickly last year, so I'm actually working on some already for next winter).

For those just starting out on Etsy, I'd say this - good photos are SO important! I can't even stress how much better my shop began to look (and how much more it was being noticed) after investing in a decent digital camera and a photo box to get those items pictured "just right".

 If you can't swing the dough for a photo box, though, try natural (but not glaring) daylight to get the truest colors in your pics. Really, it does a world of good. And last but not least, don't get so wrapped up in the selling end of your craft if it starts to take away from the joy of the crafting itself. I've made that mistake more than once, only to realize that beading is nothing if not fun - and if I'm having fun, well then - that's always something. ( :

Sincerely, Sarah
Small Shiny Objects

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fall in Love and Bring Joy & Fun Into Your Life!

Be sure to visit Jo's Studio to
"fall in love, and bring joy & fun into your life ♥".

by Jo's Studio
Hiya, my name is Kara Joann and I am the creator of jo's studio. I am a creative by heart and love anything that is fun and unique. I went to school for graphic design and then I started jo's to share my passion. At jo's I can make just about anything that involves paper and design, like calendars, crafts circles, business cards, invites and art prints.

With my design background, I also love to make logos web banners and badges. A new thing that I am starting to get involved in is fabric covered buttons, I think they are so darling. Soon to arrive in my shop are fabric covered button hair ties, earrings, id badges, magnets, cufflinks and more.

I make all of my creations on my laptop in my little corner of the house or on the dining room table. Since, I am always moving where I am creating I keep things organized by having a bookshelf and file cabinet full of labeled boxes and folders.
It really helps me find things fast and keeps me from losing stuff. I draw my inspiration from many things, but I spend most of my time surfing the web or walking around craft stores. There are so many great ideas out there that give me the drive to want to create.

Kara loves animals, thunder storms, the smell of rain & fresh cut grass, shoes, canvas shopping bags, finding new music, flip flops, mascara, clean sheets, strawberries & bananas.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

He's Green, Hairy, and a Pretty Laid Back Dude

Have fun stopping by Minty Fresh Monster Apparel where you will find original screen printed graphic t-shirt designs from the minds of a creative duo Saman & Erica.
They are brought to you with love on 100% cotton, sweatshop free American Apparel tees. "We have organic and standard shirts for men, women and kids!"

by Minty Fresh Monster Apparel
"Hi! My name is Erica. My boyfriend Saman and I run Minty Fresh Monster Apparel. Saman designs our shirts, I run the business side of things, and the Minty Fresh Monster plays video games and reads comics while we work.

 Although we are both from Minneapolis, we now live a short drive from the city in the town of Northfield, MN. I'm there finishing my fine art degree at St. Olaf college, and Saman is completing a year apprenticeship with the school's art department. The following pictures are Saman's desk, one of our storage space, and one looking out the windows on Division Street in Northfield. Northfield is a small college town of 20,000. We live in a one-room apartment above a pet shop. It's kinda cute.

Saman draws all the time. Robots and monsters are definitely favorites, but he draws pretty much everything. We decide together which of these drawings will become vector art and then eventually make it on a t-shirt. He either uses Inkscape or Adobe Illustrator.

 Once the shirts are printed and ready to ship, they become my responsibility. Next year we hope to get a separate studio, but for now shirts are folded on the kitchen table and stored on shelves running down the wall of our apartment. It will be great to get some more space so we have room for a few more designs!"

He's green, hairy, and a pretty laid back dude.

Follow the Minty Fresh Monster!

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