Show Us your Workspace: SewStephStudios

Contributor post by Dawn from DeeDeeDeesigns

Today we visit the workspace of Stephanie Howarth from SewStephStudios  who makes a range of quilts suitable for many aspects of your home. Please visit her shop and favourite some items, maybe even buy something!!

Here’s what Steph has to say about her workspace:

I have a wonderful sewing room with a large cutting table and design wall where I create my quilts! It is bright and sunny or at least as much as can be here in WA state. The room has a large closet where all of my fabrics are stored. Oh and the cutting table has storage for even more fabric!
My husband did most of the work setting up this fantastic room for me!

Member Feature: Hieropice

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming Dara of Hieropice, our featured member!

Hieropice

Hieropice

Tell us about yourself.

I’m a jewelry/home decor artist based just outside of Boston.  I’ve been enamored with all things nature since I was a child, and nature is the focus of my work. I’m also a foodie, and like exploring the creative intersections between the culinary and craft worlds.  When I’m not making things, I’m cuddling the furry creatures in my life, foraging for materials, and I may have seen a “Housewives” episode or two!

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

I started on Etsy full-time in 2010, and was a part-time maker before then.  I was laid-off during the recession, and struggled to find a full-time position in my field with comparable pay/benefits to what I’d had, so I decided it was time to try to make a go of my own business.2

Tell us a bit about your products.

I started out solely selling my jewelry online and in stores, but have since expanded my product line to offer a variety of home decor items, including etched glass vessels, wall-art, ornaments, magnets, etc.  The botanical theme is present in all of my products; I sculpt miniatures from polymer clay and combine them with preserved natural elements to create “miniature terrarium necklaces,” make ornaments, magnets and wall-art from preserved, foraged and created natural materials.  I etch glass vessels with my original botanical illustrations of culinary plants for use as decanters, oil pourers and diffusers.  I am always working on developing pieces that will be interesting and consistent with my brand.3

What inspires your work?           

There is plenty of inspiration in nature.  I think I am on an everlasting quest to try to capture it, in its most perfect form.

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

I aim to increase my sales outlets this year.  I will be looking into more brick-and-mortar venues, which I’ve generally avoided in the past because my jewelry was so time-consuming to make and the price of consignment/wholesale so steep. Some of my new items will work in for consignment/wholesale much more easily.  Ultimately, I could see running my own brick-and-mortar shop.

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

I try very hard to make original products.  Of course, when you come up with a good idea, someone is bound to try to do their own take on it.  I always strive to create items that are different from what’s currently in the marketplace, and hope my customers can distinguish the value of my handmade work from others trying to replicate it.  “Terrarium necklace” yields a lot more search results than it did when I began making them, and while I don’t see others identical to mine out there, a flooded marketplace means it’s time to move on to new things!5

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

I do have an in-home studio, as of 2015.  It’s small, but it really helps with production!6

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

The importance of meticulous record-keeping.  Tracking expenses for supplies, travel to purchase supplies, to craft shows, the profit you make on the sale of each item, etc., it’s all very tedious.  But it means the difference between a viable business and a potentially costly hobby.  I was really reluctant to break down the numbers initially, particularly since with jewelry you’re literally talking about the cost of a single bead sometimes… Had I not, I would’ve probably abandoned my business long ago, I would have had no understanding of how to actually profit in my business.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Do your homework!  There’s a wealth of information in the Seller Handbook.  Ask questions of seasoned sellers in the forums.  Etsy has changed a lot since its inception, the days of tossing up some listings and waiting for sales are gone.

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

I watch so much tv!  I hate to admit it, but having it on in the background helps me destress.  I love Zumba and sing in a community choir as well.  I love trying new restaurants and try to find a new one each week to test out.  And Netflix documentaries are the best!

What is your favorite quote?

I don’t have one, really.

Where can people find out more about your business?  

Facebook: Hieropice

 Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Thanks so much for including me in this feature!4

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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.

Cut It Out

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

There are so many items that have cut outs in them, some by accident and some by design.

Holes in jeans, paper snowflakes and so much more.

Here at EtsyCIJ we want to see all your items that are cut out. Please tell us something about your item.

Linda from LazyYVintage says a beautiful find! A cutout pottery bowl. It is a signed pottery bowl with a cutout and etched design glazed a wonderful blue green on the inside of the bowl. The bowl would look lovely on a shelf, or as a coffee table bowl. I keep moving it around the house to see how it looks here and there…..just so pretty.

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Brown cutout pottery bowl

Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio said here are hand punched paper hearts. Great for scrap booking, table scatter or party confetti. This would make a great present for a language teacher.

In a previous life I was an English teacher and had the opportunity to teach students from all over the world. Although I encouraged everyone to speak English most of the time for the sake of learning, my Japanese English dictionary came in handy when talking to brand new struggling students or visiting parents. I used it a lot when traveling to Japan as well.

Scrapbooking hearts

Kelly from ColourscapeStudios states I created these tags for last year’s Etsy/Plan Australia Make For Good fundraiser, which had the theme of “Making brighter futures”. My idea was to use bright coloured card and featured little cutout hearts to bring colour and love to those less fortunate. Collectively, the Australian and New Zealand sellers involved raised over $38,000 together to help young women in Sri Lanka build a better life for themselves.

Heart gift tags,set of 10

willowvalleyvintage from WillowValleyVintage says this is a unique vase in 3D carved relief.

I imagine the artist enjoyed creating this miniature scene inside.

Made in Japan in the 50’s or 60’s.

Blue Bud 3D relief vase

Marie-Antoinknit from 9ElizabethStreet said In knitting, we usually use a yarn-over (or yarn forward) to create holes & spaces. When done with very fine yarns, you get those ethereal cobweb shawls. When done with a thicker yarn, you get a lot more structure holding the “cut-outs” together – like this:

Pink fringe shawl

 

Floral Fantasy

Contributor Post by Opal from ApronStringsOwlLady

Don’t you just love flowers! This is a lovely topic with all the gorgeous great smelling flowers in the world.

Along with the flowers we grow in our gardens, those that get presented to us in beautiful bouquets and the flowers we admire in someone else’s garden – we also have the plentiful array of life-like faux flowers, from silks to succulents.

I’d love to hear your stories about the wonderful Floral Fantasy creations you’ve encountered throughout the years – and of course, see the corresponding items in your shops.

Connie Lee from Bungalow42 says

 Who doesn’t love flowers? The allergy prone aside…

I tend to be drawn to the minimalist approach in flower arrangements. A great example of this minimalist approach is Ikebana. This Japanese art of flower arranging has inspired many florists to create fresh, natural creations with an emphasis on balance and imbalance, as well as graceful lines.

These earrings composed of cascading three petal flowers hand-knotted on walnut waxed linen are an Ikebana inspired design.

The flowers sway softly as you move creating a graceful floating effect, particularly fun against a backdrop of tresses.

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Wasabi Flower Earrings

Sherri from ButterflyFeetDigital says

 I love flowers! This set of three premade scrapbook pages is meant to be a bit abstract and ethereal, with the flowers almost blending in to the background. I added swirls and I think the effect is rather elegant, yet rustic – a bit messy even! So fun to create like this!
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Floral Scrapbook Page Download

Lelia Valois from ValoisFelts says

 I love flowers, gardening and all that lovely nature has to offer. I’m always inspired by the colours and patterns of plants and flowers I see when I’m gardening or walking the dog.

My needle felted gnomes have all had green fingers and I love discovering their personalities and giving them flower stories too. This fella may look a little grumpy but a fresh bloom will always put a smile on his face.

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Needle Felted Gnome

Linda from LazyYVintage says

 I too love flowers. And, I also love florist ware. All those vases and planters that are full of flowers, and memories of the flowers that were once there. I’ve been truly blessed with a husband and sons who know how much I do love flowers. Now instead of sending me another vase from the florist shop (of which I have numerous colors, size, and styles of) they go out of their way to find me a unique vintage vase or planter. My personal collection of florist ware is growing with each birthday or Mothers’ Day.

This bowl is from FTD in 1979. Back in the day when unique, quality florist ware was used to create their beautiful bouquets.

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Vintage Milk Glass Bowl

Cristal Hughes from DesignsbyCristal says

 I love daisies!!

Daisies are so dainty and just flow in the wind with such grace. I picture myself standing in a field of them and thinking how nice it is to not have a care in the world.
I’d bet you have a fur child with the name daisy and she’d love this adorable dog collar.

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Daisy Dog Collar

Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns says

 Flowers are great – they are colourful and bring the bees into my vegetable garden!! I also love cutting them for inside the house!

This flower ring is handmade from clay and features an adjustable ring shank, so almost anyone can wear it!

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Ceramic Flower Ring

Cindy Humphrey from Cynhumphrey says

 Spring is here and summer is just around the corner! That means flowers will be popping up everywhere! Why not wrap these adorable (folk art) floral wine glass charms around your favorite glass of wine as you sit on the deck and enjoy the season?
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Beaded Wine Glass Charms

Robyn Campbell from RobynFayeDesigns says

 I love wearing floral dresses. Last week I wore a black dress with large yellow sunflowers to a school presentation opening. I noticed everyone wearing muted grey and blue office clothes and felt a little bit out there! I kinda wished I’d worn my plain navy dress but still I would have accessorised with a colourful tote abundant with flowers just like this one!
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Floral Tote Bag

Lia Russo from Ghirlandiamo says:

Is there anyone who does not love flowers? No, l cannot think so!

My love for flowers began when l was a child, as my mother was used to have a lot of flowered plants and l always took care of them together with her.

I love almost all flowers, but my preferred are the orange ones, as you can clearly see in my shop.

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Gorgeous Peony Wreath

Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns says

 Love flowers!! Especially the flowers on my vegetables that attract the bees for fertilizing so that I get great fruit and veggies in my garden!!
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Green Ceramic Earrings

Pam Maggio from PamsPawsJewelry says

Living in Massachusetts in the Northeast we have long, cold Winters, and I say every year how I cannot wait for Spring!

I love flowers, plants, and trees, planting them and watching them grow!

I plant indoors, outdoors, and also do experiments with pollinating them and attracting bees and butterflies with certain plants!

I am inspired by nature and enjoy adding flowers and items from nature into my item photos and some of my creations!

This handmade bracelet has lovely blue glass and lamp work beads with pretty flowers, birds, and is even accented with a Sterling Silver clasp with leaves!

Blue and White Flowered Brace

Jerry and Opal from ApronStringsOwlLady says

Lovely items everyone! I love how floral and flowers and all things flowery are being represented in many forms. Thank you

In my owl shop I tend to add a flower to everything, or find a colorful floral fabric to match whatever mood I’m in, and for that particular item.

Since I am owl oriented, we choose this pretty owl floral plush for my bulletin boards.

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Colorful Owl Plush Bulletin Board

Favourite Items You Have Made

Contributor post by Julie from EveryoneLovesGifts0.

Everyone has a favourite item that they have made, you pride yourself over it and customers love it.

We at CIJ love to see pictures and know what Favourite Items You Have Made? Why is it your favourite? Below are some favourite items.

Sherri from ButterflyFeetDigital says: This is a new design, and one of my favorites because I just love the way the little flowers and vase turned out. I used the same image in a birthday card as well but with dots for the background. I’m having fun with new design techniques and this is one example.

Printable Mother’s Day card

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richard and Tatiana’s from DesignstheLimit says: Most of the decanters in our shop are 100% lead-free crystal and safe for storage, but we have one flint glass or lead crystal decanter available. Originally discovered by Englishman George Ravenscroft in 1674, the technique of adding lead oxide improved the appearance of the glass and made it easier to melt. The use of the term lead crystal remains popular for historical and commercial reasons. Lead crystal glassware was formerly used to store and serve drinks, but due to the potential health risks of lead, this has become rare. They are still beautiful works of art to be appreciated for their beauty and we have only one available while supplies last. We specialize in sandcarved wine and spirit decanters and offer a selection of design and font choices accepting custom order requests.

If you are looking for the ultimate gift for the men and women in your life, give a personalized gift that will be treasured and can be put to good use! We have a number of lead-free decanters available and look forward to working with you to build the wet bar of your dreams. Ship direct to your gift recipient with gift wrap and gift cards available!

Deep Carved Crystal Decanter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lida Pereira from lililapt says: This towel set of three pieces (small, medium and big) is my favourite, although I love all the pieces I embroider and/or crochet.

In my opinion, they are beautiful, the colours are fantastic and the quality of the material is exceptional. They were made WITH lots of LOVE!!!

Bathroom towel sets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bevan Blackshaw from TimberDimensions says: Why is this stool my favourite? Probably because I am a fan of seemingly simplistic design. This stool operates like a finely tuned watch. The engineering involved to make the item work as intended is quite involved. I have, over time, evolved the making process to enable me to offer the item at a reasonable price with a high level of build quality. Soon to be available in three different height. Each change of height requires the reengineering of 4 elements to ensure that the item operates as intended. The devil is in the detail. I love it!!

Folding stool or side table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio says: I would have to say that my favorite part of being an Etsy seller is the chance I get to make custom art and signs. I really love helping make an event special. And I take pride in the fact that I work really closely with each customer to get their personalized print or printable just right.

Custom quote digital sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to all who has took part in this blog, it was lovely reading about your Favourite Items.

Julie

Minimalist Style

Contributor Post from Sheila and Shannon of BeadyEyedBird

Leonardo da Vinci said:

“Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.”

I define minimalist as a style that uses pared-down design elements. The artist strips everything down to its essential quality, to achieve simplicity.

We asked our CIJ Friends what they love and/or offer in the minimalist style; here’s what they sent in.

Donna Schindler from TreasuresFromTheLake said:

Finding a heart beach glass piece is rare.

So even though this beautiful brown piece is small, about dime sized,I decided to make a pendant from it

With as little wire as possible, I wrapped the piece so that the heart is the highlight.

TreasuresFromTheLake

Richard Darani from RichardDarani said:

These came from an idea I had to turn shapes into an illustration and was watching Robots with my kids at the time.

RichardDarani

Shilly Shally Jewelry from ShillyShallyjewelry said:

This simple chain necklace has a beautiful Tanzanite stone surrounded by a gold filled disc. This necklace looks great alone or paired with other chains!

ShillyShallyjewelry

Karen Hafel from timetalentjewels said:

When I begin to knit this purse it is very simple, just a plain minimal little purse with very little character. As I continue to build upon it with its flower and beading it grows into a sophisticated clutch handbag that is one-of-a-kind. People who have these purses always share their compliments with me that they receive.

Imagine – a red handbag with little pansies – how fun could that be! And yes, it has be made and sold. “Simplicity is the ultimate of the form of sophistication.”

timetalentjewels

Maryann from gojjell said:

Simplicity and beauty speak for themselves. This choker features a trio of beautiful beads….vintage German lucite and champagne tubes. Beauty that stands the test of time and can be worn effortlessly!

gojjell

Roses Workshop from RosesWorkshop said:

Many of the items in my shop are simple or minimalist, as that is my own favourite style. I have chosen to showcase this Harris tweed tea cosy.

Far from the bright colours and bold tartans of some tweeds, this cosy is made from two almost-plain weaves. A cosy made from just one of them might even look dull. By joining them with a straight horizontal line, together they bring out the best of both pieces.

RosesWorkshop

Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio said:

Simple message for a positive idea: help kids celebrate who they are – give them goals and help them achieve success, but let them know they don’t have to change who they are to get there.

StockLaneStudio

Suzi TC from Oldewoods said:

I chose this vintage piece for it’s simple lines and understated character, discovering later that it is an early 20th century cemetery / funeral vase.

A nice way to remember …

Oldewoods

Pam Maggio from PamsPawsJewelry says:

While I enjoy a lot of fancy, ornate, and unique items with pretty colors mostly, sometimes something simple with nice lines, unique simple shape, or something useful that will match or go with anything will touch my soul…..

This bracelet is pretty, simple, dainty, and yet it will go with most anything and white Pearls and black Onyx have a classic, timeless, and elegant appeal!

PamsPawsJewelry

I hope you enjoyed these wonderful treasures and stories as I did!

Until next time,

Sheila

Member Feature: MustHaveBeenTheCat

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming Cat of MustHaveBeenTheCat, our featured member!

MustHaveBeenTheCat

MustHaveBeenTheCat

Tell us about yourself.

I live in Tasmania, the beautiful island state of Australia. Surrounded by mountains, river and sea it’s truly a beautiful place to be.

I love all sorts of craft and I love to combine my love of sewing with my love of cats and so MustHaveBeenTheCat was born. I make all sorts of quirky cat creations but my most popular item is my cat shaped neck and shoulder therapy packs which can be used hot or cold.

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

I opened MustHaveBeenTheTheCat in 2011.

MustHaveBeenTheCat was the perfect chance to combine my love of cats and my love of sewing.

I chose MustHaveBeenTheCat as it’s often the cat that gets blamed for anything that goes wrong.

“Who knocked that expensive vase off the shelf?” “It must have been the cat!”tillie

Tell us a bit about your products.

My best selling items are my heat packs. I have cat, dog and fox shaped neck and shoulder wrap heat packs. Great for easing those sore and stiff necks.

I also have cat dolls,cat themed totes and phone covers, book covers, fleecy scarves and hand warmers.

My newest range are my cat shaped weighted shoulder wraps and lap pillows for those with sensory processing issues.2015-10-21-20-45-02

What inspires your work?           

I am inspired by my love of cats. They are so irresistible. Every cat has its own personality. Just like my own creations, no two are the same.

I have to admit to being a fabricholic or is it a curator of fabric? So much beautiful fabric and so little time and so little room.

Being able to sell my creations made with gorgeous fabrics gives me an excuse to buy more.fox6a

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

 I’d like to get a standalone website up and running and use up some more of my gorgeous fabric collection.c2387013154ca0cf52dd8f1de07ca540

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

I think I have a niche market ans no-one else creates the things I do but if I we are just talking about heat packs mine are unique as they are cat, fox and dog shaped made in gorgeous fabrics and no two are alike.

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

My work space is my kitchen table so it can be frustrating as I have to pack up everything at the end of the day and set it up again the next time.

My ultimate dream would be to have a dedicated work space …. my own studio.78fa376f2fd4c0060381c9fd90bbfb8d

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

I wish I had known how much work it would be and also how much fun it would be and that I would find such a wonderful support network on Etsy.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Make sure you join an active and supportive team it can make all the difference to your success.

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

When I’m not working I’m studying. I’m doing a second degree course as well as a certificate course. It keeps me busy and out of mischief.

I’ve also taken up quilting and love to use up all those scraps from my creations to make new fabric and exciting quilts. Well if I’m really honest I make lots of quilt tops but haven’t actually finished any yet. So many things to do and so little time.ab35b19e70093909eb4c16441222e4df

What is your favorite quote?

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Where can people find out more about your business?  

You can also find me on:
Instagram: http://instagram.com/musthavebeenthecat
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/musthavebeenthecat

And my Shopify store: https://must-have-been-the-cat.myshopify.com

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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.