Grandparents Gifts

Contributor post by Opal from Apron Strings Owl Lady 

What do you give to established persons such as grand parents for a special gift, birthday or holiday? They seem to have everything they want already – or maybe you’ve sent a little spy to ask them what they want this year, or perhaps need?

Tell us your stories, we want to hear, about the special grand parents and what you have for them this year! I’d love to hear about the – lovely, useful, whimsical or other – grandparent gifts you have in your shop, those you’ve given in the past, and why you think they are the best!

Sue and Misty from shabbyshopgirls says

 Grandparents usually do an extraordinary amount of hosting family gatherings during the Holiday season! Drinks and food galore, there are usually accidents! Take along a set of fun tartan plaid cocktail napkins, as a hostess gift, so everyone has a place to set their beverage down without ruining the furniture!
Tartan Plaid Holiday Cocktail Napkins - Set of 6 - Red Green Gold Barware Coasters - Christmas Entertaining - Gift - Vintage Table Linens

Tartan Plaid Holiday Napkins

pam colangelo from PearlsVintagebyPam says


I had a Grandfather when I was very small(under 5). He was mostly in the hospital so I barely remember him.
But who I consider Grandparents Are My Children’s Grandparents! MY PARENTS. Pearlsvintagebypam began as a TRIBUTE to MY Mother PEARL.
Pearl Was a Master Cook and Everything to Anyone Who Knew Her!!
THIS IS HER VINTAGE WOODEN BOWL. IT Can Replace Grandma’s Cracked Bowl. This One is Pristine.

Munising Chopping Bowl Dough Bowl Maple Hardwood Signed 11 Inch Rustic Primitive Decor Farmhouse Cottage Chic HOLIDAY GIFT

Vintage Dough Bowl

Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio says

 This is a great topic and dear to my heart. Our family has traveled around a lot and our children have missed out on so many Christmases and Birthdays with grandparents that it breaks my heart. But we have relied heavily on video and old-fashioned cards in the mail.

I’ve designed a printable DIY gift from grandkids to grandma that even the youngest ones can contribute to. Our signs read: ‘Some of my favorite people call me Grandma’ and look great as is with a black chalkboard-style background with white and blue text and border. But it looks even better when grandkids add their special touch of coloring magic. Then grandma will know her grandchild really put her heart and soul into that gift. Our printable package includes a 5×7 file for creating a coloring postcard, an 8×10 sign, or a 14×18 inch poster that all the grandkids can help color.

We also have this sign for Grandpa, and soon to come: Grandmother, Grandfather, Oma, Opa, Abuela, Abuelo, Nana, Papa, Mamie, Papie, and more!

Christmas Gift for Grandma, Printable DIY Poster, Children's coloring card for grandmother, Favorite People Call me Grandma 5x7 8x10 14x18

Printable DIY project for Grandma

Linda from LazyYVintage says

Is Grandpa a railroad collector? This is a Rock Island Railroad red globe lantern from the 1920s. In very good condition and sure to please those that love the stories and memorabilia of railroads.

Jim’s great-grandfather Pappy Grote was an engineer on the Chicago, Elgin, Aurora line in the late 20s and 30s. His grandfather Grote worked at the Elgin Watch Factory, so Jimmy would spend his time with Grandpa Grote walking to Lord’s Park in Elgin listening to him tell stories of the railroads. One of Jim’s favorite stories was during the depression, Grandma Ruby and Great Grandma Lizzie would bring soup and bread to the rail lines to feed the men who traveled the rails looking for work. And how Pappy would try to talk them out of doing it for their own safety, but they refused. Pappy ended up adding Lizzie’s homemade cookies to the food stuffs and walked down there every evening to keep them safe. Ends up, that Pappy would end up staying and talking to the men while Lizzie and Ruby made their way back home.

Jim always drifts towards anything doing with railroads or watches. He loved his grandparents and misses them. He does his very best to be a good grandpa to his 13 grandbabies. He knows that they will also remember the stories and their life with Papa.

Rock Island Railroad Lantern Railroad Relic Memorabilia Red Globe Fixed Globe Lantern Adlake Kero 1921 to 1923 Americana

Rock Island Lantern

Corkycrafts from Corkycrafts says

Stock lane – me too yes on the ice cream machine, my siblings and I would fight on who could crank the fastest.

I was raised by my grandparents and parents in a wonderful large extended family. I learned all about birds from my grandmother. This would make a wonderful gift to a grandparent who appreciates handmade items and one of a kind gifts.

Wine Cork bird house - gifts for gardeners, housewarming, Christmas gifts

Wine Cork Bird House

Melissa R from missy69 says

 Grandparents are so special in our lives. My Grandma loved to watch the birds, then my Mom did, and now so do I love Humming-birds. I love to watch them all, but these little creatures are so delicate and beautiful. Maybe Grandma, or Grandpa can’t see the birds outside so well anymore. Why not give them a beautiful painting?
Ruby-Throated Humming Bird Painting Acrylic Art Wrapped Canvas Home Decor Nature Signed Dated Original Gift for Him or Her Hostess Housewarm

Hummingbird Painting

Mariya Mukha from MariyaMukhaembroeder says

 Granny deserves an exclusive embroidery on soft eco-fabric made especially for her! These colorful and reach embroidery threads would delight your beloved grandmom for sure…All her friends would ask where did she get this. And she will be proud her grandchildren gave her such a unique gift with lots of love and care!)

Ukrainian ethnic embroidery is a traditional way to show love, to protect relatives from negative things and just to feel that someone cares much for you!

Thread Embroidered Women's Shirt White Blouse Ukrainian Vyshyvanka Folk embroidery Ethnic Bogo dress Long sleeve

Embroidered Women’s Shirt

Robyn from BigTRanchSoap says

 Grandparents in our family are the ones who take the time to play games with the younger ones. The time spent together over a board game or a game of Yahtzee is always very special with lots of laughs. What better way to remember these times than a set of dice soaps?
DICE SOAP - Bunco - Gambling - Vegas - Bunco Gifts - Set of 6 - Bunco Party Favors - Gift Under 10 - You Choose Scent and Color

Dice Shaped Soap

Vaishali Chudasama from NVillustration says

 I guess they like something customize here I am sharing customize gift this is fridge magnet you can get their portrait fridge magnet
Customized Character Fridge magnet / Wall Frame - Handmade - Hand painted - Laser cut - nvillustration

Customized Fridge Magnet

Edna from AddaSplashofColour says

 I think this pillow cover will be a perfect gift for a grandmother who loves roses. Most grandparents like gardening and roses happen to be their favourite flower so this I believe would be a fitting gift this Christmas or Birthday. What’s also great about this pillow cover is that these roses will never wilt. It is also padded and quilted hence extra comfort. It is a pillow cover for colour, charm and comfort.
Red Roses Patchwork Pillow Cover Size 16" by 16" Roses Cushion Cover, Cushion Covers Australia, Red Decorative pillow cover, Christmas Gifts

Red Roses Patchwork Pillow

Gizmos and Gadgets

Contributor post by Opal from Apron Strings Owl Lady 

There’s gizmo’s and gadgets and who=zits and what-cha-ma-callits – and oh how people love them! They can range from small to large, techy to nerdy,
vintage to new – do you have any in your shop?

We’d love to hear your item’s story – and see your listing.

pam colangelo from PearlsVintagebyPam says

I just love this Wooden Masher, Reamer as it is my own personal antique. I bought it when I got my first house and had a strawberry patch and tomato plants. It was time to learn how to can so I could give family and friends some homemade tomato sauce and strawberry jelly. What can I say about my success? First of all no matter what I did the birds ate the strawberries even with netting on top and around. The tomato crop was better but the process of using the masher was VERY MESSY. More got around the kitchen than in the jars. I saved the tool all these years for the memories but now it is time to move on.

Wooden Cone Masher Rustic Canning Tool Tomato Sauce Jam Vtg 1940's Country Farmhouse Kitchen Display Primitive Decor Collectible Tool Gift

Vintage Wooden Masher

Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio says

I love to use our zippered gadget holders for storing all our little things. I have one in my purse for pens and paper and another that I use for all my electronic chargers and cords when traveling.

This zippered pouch is sturdy and very easy to wash, and I have washed mine many times over the years. It still looks good as new.

This zippered gadget bag has an urban street art design. We photographed the art in Berlin. Remnants of the Berlin Wall still stand and are now splashed with political and hopeful art statements such as this Berlin Peace Flower.

Flower pencil case for her, zipper cosmetic gadget pouch, gift for teen Graffiti make up bag, street art supply storage Berlin bag

Flower Pencil Case

I’ve got gadgets and gizmos of plenty
I’ve got whose-its and whats-its galore
You want thingamabobs?
I got twenty
But who cares?
No big deal
I want more

Sorry, but now I can’t get this Disney’s Little Mermaid song out of my head!

This is a rusty steel spindled dampener. I just have to have some old-time rust to feel nostalgic and at home……

Griswold American Steel Spindle Damper Rustic Home Decor Farmhouse Decor

Rusty Steel Splintered Dampener


willowvalleyvintage from WillowValleyVintage says

 This is a fun little find–an oil change reminder pin to attach to the car visor!

Cute attendant with a clever sign and a real thermometer–lots to admire!

A unique gift for a vintage car enthusiast!

Oil Change Reminder Promo Pin Thermometer En-Ar-Co 30s Art Penn Motor Oil Attendant Sign "Heated Arguments Cause Much Coolness" Gift

Oil Change Reminder Promo

Sue and Misty from shabbyshopgirls says

 No vintage kitchen is complete without a set of Tupperware measuring cups! We love these Tupperware gadgets for its lifetime warranty and virtual indestructibility.
Tupperware Measuring Cups - Set of 5 - Harvest Orange - Retro Vintage Tupperware - Baking Master Chef - Kitchen Prep Tools - Molded Plastic

Vintage Tupperware Orange Measuring Cup Set

NeatoKeen from NeatoKeen says

 “I’ve got gadgets and gizmos aplenty. Whozits and whatzits galore!”


I can’t pass up these quirky vintage magnetic figures with “heavy metal” guitar bottle openers. These novelty gadgets look great on a bar and are practical too. They make a great gift for that hard-to-buy-for guy!

TWO Vintage Bottle Openers Musicians Guitars

Two Vintage Musician Bottle Openers

Richard and Tatiana from DesignstheLimit says

 Our Design’s the Limit Personalized Manicure Kit is a wonderful gift idea, perfect as a stocking stuffer, and available with gift wrap and a gift card for shipping direct to your recipient. The kit includes all of the tools you need to manicure with ease conveniently stored in a personalized case in your choice of five colors.
Personalized Manicure Kit Engraved with Choice of Monogram Design & Font from Our Selection (Each - Seven Piece Set)

Personalized Manicure Set

Make every gift a personalized gift giving experience and put an end to the word gift card from your vocabulary! Go Etsy and Get Personal!

Secret Pal or Secret Santa Gift Ideas

Contributor post by Opal from Apron Strings Owl Lady 

They are used as a fun way to honor co-workers, to surprise other’s at holidays, birthdays and other events – even secretly sent in the mail – have you ever participated in a secret pal gift give-a-way?

Most are conducted by just leaving the gift on the person’s desk or workplace. Some of my friends call these Amigo Secreto (secret friend) or Amigo Invisible (invisible friend). What is this called in your country?

With Etsy, it’d be very simple to send secret gifts to special people in our lives. Thank you Alicia of AliciasFindings for thinking of this topic. Do you have items in your shop that would be perfect for this type of small gift giving? We’d love to see them and hear your story.

Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio says

 I love Secret Santa gift exchanges at work! And trying to guess who the gift-giver was. The game often helps break the ice, solidify friendships and spark new ones!

Here’s a fun Secret Santa Gift great for the office – a mousepad adorned with Love Locks that used to adorn bridges that spanned the Seine River in Paris. The topic of the love locks will certainly bring out conversations and it’s perfect for a traveling buddy or to send a subtle romantic message. . . .

Computer Mousepad christmas gift, Gold Paris Love office Mouse pad, Mousepad Teacher Present desk accessory Romantic Holiday Geek Nerd Gift

Computer Mouse Pad Gift

Diana from joliefemmebydiana says

This is a fun and decorative gift for a secret santa. It’s fun to draw names and then see what cute little thing or funny thing you can find to make someone else smile. It’s always a fun surprise!

Winter Mittens Mini Sac Tote with Snowman Plushie

Winter Mittens Mini Sack Tote

Suzi TC from Oldewoods says

In my last office we had a Kris Kringle where all of our names were written down and went into a bucket. We each chose a slip (keeping it secret of course!) then bought a gift with a value up to $20 for our special colleague. All the pressies went into the Santa Sack and were given out at our Christmas Party. The Banksia Bomb was especially created with affordable festive giving in mind🙂

Gift Pack - Natural Essential Oil Diffuser with Banksia Bomb Festive Oil Blend

Gift Pak – Banksia Bomb

Melissa R from missy69 says

Secret Santa is always so much fun! Most gift items are given a price of 25 dollars or less, or it used to be when I was in the working force. This leather wrap bracelet, is perfect as a friend or Secret Santa gift. Versatile, and affordable, in neutral colors for Fall and Winter wear. Free shipping, right now, until Jan 1, 2017 on all orders of 35 dollars or more.

Boho Chic Brown Glass Beads and White Glow Beads Single Leather Wrap Bracelet Fall Neutral Tones Handmade Jewelry Gift for Her

Boho Chic Brown Glass Beads

Jerry and Opal from ApronStringsOwlLady says

 I always loved being the giver or the recipient on these Santa and secret pal gifting days. So much fun!

I would probably just make them something like this if it was for a church friend, or even a co worker that I knew what she liked. It’s a take on a country bird bath theme, a little rustic then turned into an inspirational white Dove gift.

Give God The Praise Inspirational Dove Gift, Secret Pal Secret Santa Gift, Country Bird Bath, Rustic haybale gift, Thank you Friendship gift

Inspirational White Dove Gift

Heather Barber from MooseintheMint says

 At work when we did Secret Santa, it tended to be the secretary who organised who got their exchange – I think it involved lots of sealed envelopes!

I think this would be a lovely gift for a dog loving colleague, especially those who often have their pet photos on their desk. Or alternatively, it is suitable if you are in a group who posts their gift to their exchange partner

Dog lover gift, Dogaholic sign, Wooden hanging plaque, Humorous birthday gift, Animal lover present, Funny family sign

Dog Lover Sign

Carola Bartz from CarolaBartz says

 I love Secret Santas, they are fun and just create joy. We did it back in college and my daughter did it with her friends while they were still in school. It was always very enjoyable to find a little gift. I have chosen a little holiday ornament on a 3×3 canvas that is not necessarily specific for Christmas but is perfect for any lover of nature, wild animals like moose and wolves, and just for winter in general. It can be hung in a tree, on a mantelpiece or wherever is space.
Mixed Media Christmas Ornament, Winter Landscape with Trees, Moose and Wolf, Full Moon Scene, Holiday Decoration, Original Canvas Artwork

Mixed Media Christmas Ornament

Circular Sarah Coventry Fire and Ice Lapel Pin Winter Holiday Wreath Gold and Silver Brooch Vintage Jewelry Stocking Stuffers Gift for Her

Circular Fire & Ice Brooch

For the co-worker or friend who loves holiday jewelry this Sarah Coventry fire and ice brooch is a perfect secret Santa gift; small, beautiful, and thoughtful.
If I didn’t already have one from a secret Santa friend, I might not of shared this one.

In college, we did a Secret Santa and it was loads of fun. It was a great way to get to know the other girls in my dorm and to relieve some of the stress from final exams.

One of the gifts that I received was an adorable stuffed hippo wearing a stocking cap nestled inside a small Christmas stocking. I still have him today and each year we place him under our Christmas tree.

For a sweet and easy gift for a Secret Santa gift exchange, this Christmas Cocoa Holder is perfect. Just add a packet of cocoa and a peppermint stick and your gift is ready to go.

Christmas Cocoa Holder - Hot Chocolate Favor - Stocking Stuffer - Gift For Coworker - Secret Santa Gift

Christmas Cocoa Holder

ay from DaffodilLaneStudio says

Secret Santa is especially fun when it’s HARD to figure out who gave what!! I like the Secret Santa game that involves SWAPPING! A gift is opened and the next person can choose to “keep or swap” for someone else’s already opened gift! It keeps the game going just a little bit longer! ( A favorite for my family – but then I have some ruthless swappers living at my house! )

Wouldn’t it be fun to choose a “vintage” Secret Santa gift for your next office exchange? This little cutie is a great choice because it works with any holiday décor. Perfect on your desk too! Vintage reindeer NEVER get thrown away! They just keep delighting young and old for years to come!

Plastic Christmas Deer Vintage Rudolph Reindeer Kitsch Retro 50s Christmas Holiday Decoration

Vintage Plastic Christmas Deer

Sue and Misty from shabbyshopgirls says

 We love secret Santa gifts that are both fun and functionable! These adorable Christmas carolers candles will sing their way into your hearts and decorate your home at the same time!
Christmas Carolers Candles Figurines - Set of 2 - Merry Christmas Carols - New Unused - Christmas Holiday Decor - Gift Idea

Christmas Carolers Candle Figurines

Richard and Tatiana from DesignstheLimit says

 Most of the gifts in our shop are individually personalized for the recipient, but we have the perfect gift for the stressed out coworker or anyone who needs to drink to their good health and for wellness. Available in Red or White stemless wine glasses or on any product in our shop.
Now "LOADING" Design Personalized Stemless Wine Glasses with Option to Include a Monogram in Choice of Font from Our Selection (Each)

Personalized Stemless Wine Glass

We originally created this design for the Net Neutrality movement, but decided to keep it around for love of the good fight and the humor of the double meaning which it invokes when engraved on a wine, whiskey, or coffee mug!

Artsy Lady from WeirdVanity says

 I love Secret Santa! Its a tradition i have been part of since my days in grad school. In school we were on a limited budget, so most of the presents were handmade, which was even more amazing! One of the gifts i received was a handmade Ganesha statue , another time i got a pencil sketch (which was super cool!). at work the budget was higher so that meant store bought presents like scented candles or mugs.

A really cool Secret Santa present would be this handmade custom pet portrait for that colleague or friend who loves his/ her pet!

Custom Pet Portrait Necklace - holiday gift - watercolor handmade- pet memorial -Custom Pet jewelry - Gift dog lovers- personalized gift

Custom Pet Portrait Necklace

Corkycrafts from Corkycrafts says

 Secret Santa brings back many fun memories of grammar school. Our teacher would ask us to bring ornaments into school handmade and give them to her in a brown lunch bag and she would distribute to students by hiding them in your locker or in your desk while you were at lunch or recess, which means you never know who got your ornament until they opened it. Secret was you couldn’t tell who got yours or who had you unless somebody squealed. One year in 4th grade I got a handmade wood bell ornament and many decades later its still displayed on my tree.

This would make a great Secret Santa gift for work or school or even for your child’s teacher.

Crochet angel, Christmas ornament, small tree topper, baptism gift, door prize

Crochet Christmas Angel Ornament

toysfrom70s from toysfrom70s says

 A Secret Santa gift exchange is all about the mystery and fun plus sharing the Christmas spirit. This small bear could sit on somebody’s desk at work and its festive and fun decor throughout the holidays.
Teddy bear figurine collectible/ Secret Santa gift, gifts for coworkers

Collectible Teddy Bear Figurine

Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeSupplies says

 These Christmas coloured beads would make the ideal secret santa gift for the craft lover in your life! They are ideal for adding sparkle, bling and pizzazz to clothing, accessories handbags, quilts, wedding favours, table decorations and an array of craft projects.
Faceted Tear Drop Acrylic Sew on Beads Available in Blue, Lime Green and Red Jewellery and Craft Supplies 1.8 cm x 1.1cm - quantity 20

Faceted Tear Drop Acrylic Beads

Sue from SuesAkornShop says
 Secret Santa’s are so much fun and it’s always a fun time trying to guess who the Santa is!

This vase is great for a co workers desk or for their home. Change the flowers with the seasons or occasions or keep your favorites in this gorgeous mercury glass vase.

Silver Mercury Glass Vase, Lined Glass Vase, Wedding , Anniversary, Silver Vase, Rounded Vase, Table Centerpiece, Flower Holder

Silver Mercury Glass Vase

Sue and Misty from shabbyshopgirls says

 We love Secret Santa gift exchanges! Whether it’s for a man or woman, just about everyone would love a great deck of Christmas playing cards! Host an office party or family gathering with a friendly game bridge or poker! A great way to kick start the Holiday season!
Vintage Hallmark Double Deck Christmas Playing Cards - Red Poinsettias - Holiday Poker Bridge Card Games - Card Party - Stocking Stuffer

Vintage Christmas Playing Cards

Julia from Fabpatterns1015 says

 A perfect Secret Santa gift; especially, for that favorite teacher! Stuffed, fabric apple, for ornament, shelf, curio, or where ever you wish to use it. Customizable, too!
Apple Fabric Smiles Handmade

Apple Fabric Smiles Ornament

Christa from WintergreenDesign says

 Secret Santa exchanges have always been a great holiday tradition. Most of the secret Santa exchanges I have been apart of have included the exchanging of Christmas Ornaments… I think they are a thoughtful gift and whether you know someone well or not you are likely to find an ornament that will fit the person and your budget.

For a Secret Santa exchange I would definitely go with an ornament. In my shop I have dozen of designs that can be customized by color or hair style making an ornament perfect for your recipient.

Bearded Elf Ornament, Elf Decoration, Striped Elf Christmas Paper Quilled Ornament in Crimson Red, Customizable Beard, Stocking Stuffer

Bearded Elf Ornament

Cristal Hughes from DesignsbyCristal says

 I loved being apart of the Secret Santa type parties they were so much fun!!!. As the bag was being passed around for you to choose a name you could tell everyone was hoping somebody who was a great gift giver pulled their name. So, I think getting something the person has listed on their wish list would be a pleasant surprise especially if this were there only gift.
Horses lanyard, badge holder or keychain

Horses Lanyard

Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns says

 These colourful earrings would make a gorgeous secret santa gift for the jewelery lover. Imprinted with a flower decoration, these handmade earrings are lightweight and an easy transition from day wear to night attire.
Ceramic Earrings Handmade Jewellery Matte Light Blue Purple Oval with Flower design Imprint Comes in Handmade Gift Pouch

Handmade Ceramic Jewelry

Roses Workshop from RosesWorkshop says

 I have had several customers recently saying their purchase was for a Secret Santa gift. Since I already wrap all my items in tissue tied up with a simple satin ribbon, they are ready for giving. Here’s an idea that is even useful around the office:
British wool mug cosy / cup cover hand knitted in lichen green wool with wooden button

British Wool Mug Cosy

Esther-Nicole Designs from TheENDboutique says

 Perfectly Unique Holiday or Christmas Gift idea for your Secret Santa, or Holiday Christmas Party 35+ COLOR CHOICES

3pc Rose Pen Holiday Gift Set

3pc Rose Pen CHRISTMAS GIFT SET Holiday Christmas Party Gift Idea~Office Christmas Party Secret Santa Gift Mom Christmas gift idea Set Mom

Rose Pen Set

Pen Flower Bouquet Gift Set Perfect Gift to Co-worker, Best Friend or Floral bouquet/Flower Alternative for your Girlfriend, Wife or Mom.
Create a Custom Centerpiece for Home or Office Desk Décor.

Mary Steed from MaryJaneCreations says

 I think secret santa is a lovely idea. Here is one for the ladies… If not your choice, I’ve other charmed items too.
Moon Charm Pendant, Christmas Present, Crystal and Bead Pendant, Ladies Pendant Gift, Gifts for Her, Moon Pendant, Blue Bead Pendant, Et 153

Moon Charm Pendant

Member Feature: ShortworkPhotography

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming Justin of ShortworkPhotography, our featured member!



Tell us about yourself.       

I’m a commercial photographer working with Google shooting street view tours inside businesses around the UK.

I love shooting more creative/artistic work when I get the chance. My fantastic girlfriend helps me with all the back office and if she doesn’t like a photo it doesn’t make it into the shop!shortwork1

When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?

I started full-time as a commercial photographer in 2002, but I’ve been taking photographs for over 30 years, and I’ve been selling on Etsy since 2010.

I was selling prints around the UK to hotels, pubs and private clients and found Etsy the perfect place to reach further afield and now sell my prints all over the world.shortwork2

Tell us a bit about your products.           

I sell prints and canvases, using my own photographs from around the world.

There are a wide selection of images from African wildlife, European architecture and other travel images to Highland cattle, Crumpet(that’s my dog) and other nature photography. There are some abstract images in there as well…shortwork3

What inspires your work?           

I’m an outdoors sort of person, so there’s nothing I love more than walking early mornings across the fields and through the woods nearby.

I’ve been lucky enough to travel quite a bit, and always have a camera to hand where practical – whenever I’m unable to take it with me, I spend my time looking for “visual opportunities” for when I return.shortwork4

What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?         

I’m taking photographs every day, as I work with Google and others shooting virtual tours for hotels and venues around the UK.

Some of my commercial work is not creatively fulfilling, though I prefer it to “really working for a living”. As a result I’m keen on abstract work and wildlife as it’s far removed from most of my corporate work.shortwork5

What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?

I tend to look at things differently in everyday life, and this transposes to the photographs I create.

To illustrate: I’ve spent some time travelling around Africa, and the tendency with wildlife images especially, is to attempt to recreate the photographs you’ve seen countless times before: roaring lions, ear-flapping elephants and yawning hippos. I try to capture a different viewpoint, concentrating on the textures and light, rather than the animal’s form itself, and bring this to bear on all forms of photography.

Don’t look to replicate the picture postcard photos you’ve seen before – though it’s difficult not to press the shutter when that bull elephant “flaps away” in front of you!shortwork6

Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?

I have a studio for product and portrait shoots, but most of my work is on location.

All the post-production is done by me, with as little alteration as possible from the original image. I get it right “in camera”, rather than relying on Photoshop!shortwork7

What have you learned since opening your business that you wish you had known before hand?

Keep going, believe in your own work, take advice but don’t take it as gospel, and stick to your “creative guns”.

Check your pricing – is it realistic compared to your competition, and will it keep you alive if you’re relying on the work. I see so many businesses with products priced too cheaply.shortwork8

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

It takes time to build up a head of steam – the more you sell, and get involved in the community, the more visibility you get.

Ask your customers what they love about your work – and what they don’t – and listen.

Do your research, check shipping times/costs to all countries you intend to supply, and do what you say!shortwork9

When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?

I love walking my dog – Crumpet – and play boules for a local pub team in the Cotswolds.

Friends and family take up the rest of my time, and some golf when my back allows it!shortwork11

What is your favorite quote?

The purpose of art is to wash the dust of daily life off our souls – Pablo Picassoshortwork12

Where can people find out more about your business?  

It’s all on Etsy, though you can follow me on twitter – @shortwork – where I show off recent commercial work and interesting images/ideas I come across.shortwork13

  Is there anything else you’d like to share?         

Trust yourself, create what you love, enjoy it.

If you would like to be featured, please go to the CIJ Etsy Forum and fill out the questionnaire. Please note you must be a member of the CIJ Etsy team to be featured.

International Volunteer Day

Contributor Post by Sheila and Shannon from BeadyEyedBird

International Volunteer Day is an international observance designated by the United Nations (since 1985). It is focused on economic and social development and offers an opportunity for volunteer organizations and individual volunteers to make visible their contributions – at local, national and international levels. The day is observed by many non-governmental organizations, including Red Cross, scouts and others.

The main focus of International Volunteer Day (IVD) in 2016 is not only to celebrate volunteerism in all its facets but also to pay special tribute to people’s participation that leads to stronger governance, social cohesion, peace and sustainable development. International volunteer day is a unique opportunity for people and volunteer organizations to work with Government agencies, non-profit institutions, community group, academia and the private sector.

We inquired about our team members’ engagement in volunteer work — because what better time could there be? As we go into the holiday season, we want to acknowledge and highlight the best at the core of our human nature, and work together to make the world a better place. Here’s what our friends had to say:

Diana from joliefemmebydiana said:

I have served as a volunteer for 6 years in my local 4h club. I have helped with service projects of picking fruit and vegetables for donation to a food pantry. I have also helped the 4h clubs in my area to host events and contests for the personal development of each member. It’s fun to help and great to spend time with the kids!

Wrist Cuff Rainbow Butterflies Hand Embroidery and Button Embellished Toggle Button

Wrist Cuff Rainbow Butterflies Hand Embroidery and Button Embellished Toggle Button

Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio said:

We are a family that volunteers year round in many different forms. One interesting (and fun!) way my daughter volunteers is through dance. Her dance company partners with the Norman Rockwell Museum to bring dance, art and history to life in local elementary schools. A museum curator presents scenes from Rockwell’s many illustrations and explains the history behind it, but also life of Norman Rockwell. Many of the children in the audience grew up in the same areas in which the scenes from the illustrations took place, so they can relate. Then, the dancers bring each illustration and the history behind it to life.

For some children, this is the first time they have seen ballet, or any dance, live, so after the performance, dancers hold a question and answer session in which students ask all kids of questions about the life of a dancer, and about Rockwell’s paintings/illustrations. Their interesting questions show that they were really paying attention to the performance and really liked it.

sing in Shower dance in Kitchen PRINTABLE

Sing in Shower Dance in Kitchen PRINTABLE


Etsy #DifferenceMakesUs Campaign – Week 6

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

The Christmas In July team received an Etsy fellowship in 2015 which focused on Instagram. Team leaders Dawn, of DeeDeeDeesigns and Alicia, of AliciasFindings joined me for this fellowship. That is when we launched our Christmas In July Instagram account.

As team leaders we are always looking for creative, innovative ideas to be active on social media. In September it was announced that Etsy Success was hosting a #DifferenceMakesUs campaign.

The #EtsyCIJ team is going to bolster our marketing efforts by coordinating a Difference Makes Us campaign with our team members. Here’s how:

We will share the weekly hashtag challenges with our members and ask you to post using #DifferenceMakesUs and our team hashtag (#EtsyCIJ). Follow @EtsySuccess on Instagram for reminders.

As our members start sharing, we will highlight your posts on our team’s social accounts to encourage participation and show the world the creativity of our team’s work.

We are looking for handmade, vintage and supply items!

Important information:
CIJ Team Instagram –
Etsy Success Instagram –
Tag your photo with #DiffernceMakesUs, #EtsySuccess, #EtsyCIJ, @EtsySuccess and @EtsyChristmasInJuly
How to Participate in Etsy’s Global Brand Campaign –…

This week, share your unique gifts for coworkers, friends (and furry friends too) products with #DifferenceMakesUs#EtsySuccess and #EtsyCIJ for a chance to be featured by @Etsy. Pro tip: Try styling your item as it would be displayed or used. (Check the link in bio for more tips!)

Here are a few unique budget items that were featured by #EtsyCIJ team members during week 5!



We look forward to seeing you on social media! #EtsyCIJ!differencemakesus

Aviation History Month

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

This topic is all about the history of mechanical flight, which includes kites, gliders and more.

Here at CIJ we want to know what do you have that is about aviation, flight or something along that vein.

Heather Barber from MooseintheMint says this is a fun aeroplane decoration, ideal for child’s bedroom or playroom.

Great for those youngsters who are interested in transport, flight or mechanics.


FLY hanging letter decoration

Linda from LazyYVintage said a little different take on aviation. A holiday ornament Hot Air Balloon handcrafted Silvestri. Hot air balloons do require some mechanisms for flight. This always reminds us of the Hot Air Balloon festival each year in Harvard IL. I’ve never been up in one yet, but we are thinking of giving it a try next summer. Well, Jim will definitely give it a try…..I’d be a little bit skittish about it.


Hot Air Balloon Christmas Ornament Handcrafted Silvestri