Items Of The Week: Sweet

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium


Fabulous Flowers

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Fall is officially here, and it’s the time I plant some of my favorite bulbs so I can get that thrill of colorful flowers in the spring. It reminds me of all the joy planting, growing, viewing and displaying flowers brings to me. It makes me wonder about your flowery favorites. Our Christmas in July team members shared these items and stories.

Judy Merashoff from JAMsCraftCloset says:

I don’t like to plant or grow flowers, but I do love anything that is floral. I believe flowers brighten every day and anything that holds flowers or has flowers on it.

I found several vintage bottles at an estate sale. I kept looking at them and wondered what to do with them. I decided instead of selling them as is, I would paint flowers on them. This is what I came up with.



Richard and Tatiana from DesignstheLimit says:

We pick fresh flowers from our yard throughout the year and use them in our photography for our bridal party and couple’s monogrammed gifts in our shop. We love the addition of the flowers in the images and love including a little part of our home in our work.


willowvalleyvintage from WillowValleyVintage says:

We enjoy finding vintage items like vases or decor with a floral theme. I took the photo of this toothpick holder earlier in the year. The Forget-me-knot flowers grew in our garden.


Cindy Humphrey from Cynhumphrey says:

I definitely do not have a green thumb when it comes to flowers. However, that doesn’t stop me from enjoying them. I especially love the blooming flowers!

On the other hand, I also love faux flowers but I don’t want them to look like a cheap plastic floral decoration.

Allergies also run in the family so sometimes it’s a challenge to find just the right bouquet for our table.

That’s what inspired this neat item! It’s a combination floral and upcycled item all rolled up into one truly amazing conversation piece! The flower is made from pistachio nut shells! The finished bouquet is perfect for the table (if nobody in the family is allergic to nut trees)! The best part is, it can be custom made to match any decor theme!


Lia Russo from Ghirlandiamo says:

I’m really fond of bulbs, particularly l do love irises. I liked the American Iris Society’s Facebook page, where I can see these wonderful flowers. And this is my homage to them.


pam colangelo from PearlsVintagebyPam says:

I love flowers! Spring is my best display. I have many perennial flower beds but they are a lot of back breaking work. If only it wasn’t for weeds! These tin canisters are bright and flowery!


Ilda Pereira from lililapt says:

Flowers are one of the favourite motifs I use when I embroider. I love them!


Astrid Stenerud Prayag from RedNeedleQuilts says:

I love pansies. We always had pansies on the farm in Norway where I grew up. Every year, at the end of the cold and snowy winter, my late Mom bought seeds to grow for the garden. Among the several sachets with seeds, there was the pansies. I couldn’t wait for the seeds to grow, for the tiny plants to get big and strong enough to be planted in pots outside as well as in some of the flower beds. I love all the color variations the pansies have, so colorful and eye catching.


JO from alustrousjewellery says:

Love flowers! I remember picking daisies as a child and making daisy chains, these daisy earrings remind me of that time.


Kristen from KestrelCollection says:

I love fairy flower earrings. I make them in all different colors and styles and they are where most of the color resides on my shop.


Connie Lee from Bungalow42 says:

It’s hard to imagine anyone that doesn’t love flowers. Hmmm… maybe those unfortunate folks with allergies. Well here’s a handful of flowers guaranteed to be pollen free!

Vintage lucite teal blue moonglow rounds and light blue Peruvian flowers – so pretty together. The clay fired hand painted flowers vary slightly from one to another adding a unique element to this sweet bracelet. These Peruvian beads have a folk art vibe that is a pleasing contrast to the luminescent vintage lucite moonglow.


Gillian Haqqani from Gillisflowers says:

I have a shop full of flowers! Here though is a piece made from recycled paper and featuring two roses. Here I’ve used paper from an old copy of Pride and Prejudice but as a custom order you can scan me a page from your favourite book, the sheet music from a special song or even a section of a map showing a favourite place and I can turn into a truly meaningful piece of jewellery.


Nancy Duncan from EponasCrystals says:

Roses are my favorite! Especially the fragrant varieties. This is a real rose bud encased in resin.


Susan Fowler from SSFDesigns says:

Flowers!!I love flowers and used to be a florist till I retired this year. I usually try to incorporate flowers of some kind in my designs . Here I created a poinsettia pin for the holidays with just a touch of sparkle and holiday magic!


Karen Hafel from timetalentjewels says

How about a hand knitted and felted bag with a flower on it? Recently I purchased a book on how to make real flowers other than this one and knitting and felting them has been a real treat. My last purse that I sold was my cover photo of a red purse with pansies. There are lots of flowers to knit and felt, it just takes time and patience.


Barbara from MermaidsHatbox says:

No hat without flowers. Flowers determine the style of a hat. Depending on material and design. This hat from jeans fabric with crochet flowers and embroidered with pearls is reminiscent of the 70’s.


Christine from cwagenblass9 says:

I love making paper cut out flowers for diy creators. Tropical florals are a great way to decorate weddings and showers.


Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio says:

I love the idea of digital paper because once you purchase the file, you can keep it on hand and printout as many or few as you like. You don’t having to rush back to the store for more of the same when you run out.

This floral stationery is cheerful with beautiful autumn tones of warm reds and oranges. I captured the background photograph of straw flowers while shopping at a market in Montreal, Canada.


Heather Youngblood from youngbloodMADE says:

A lot of my artwork focuses on flowers. I have recently become enamored with the the language of flowers. I am fascinated with the symbolic meanings attributed to flowers and love the lore of the Victorian age when flowers were purposefully and thoughtfully arranged so as to convey secret messages and nuanced thoughts.


Cerena Levene from CerenaLevene says:

I truly enjoy flowering trees, with the branches being just as extravagant to me as the floral explosions erupting along those limbs. I enjoy the light streaming throughout, showcasing shadowy depths and highlighted blossoms!


Przemila K from CanisArtStudio says:

Autumn is the last moment when I can paint flowers by nature. I like the colors of autumn flowers. They create strong accents and add joy when days are cloudy. I sketched pastel by nature. This is a classic still life.


Patricia from TheOldBarnDoor says:

I planted a special garden in the fall of 2016 so that I could show my Canadian pride in the spring of 2017 for Canada’s 150th birthday celebration. This was a lavish display of red and white tulips. I couldn’t help but smile every time I walked past this part of the garden in the spring.


Member Feature: LilacHouseFlorals

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming Stacey of LilacHouseFlorals, our featured member!



Tell us about yourself.

My name is Stacey and I have been a crafter since my grandmother taught me to cross stitch as a child. I was an avid sewer for a long time but found floral design eight years ago and I have never looked back! Initially, I took a beginner class and have since completed a professional program to learn the art. I continue to work every week to learn new methods and to grow as a designer. I am also a wife and a proud mother of three!

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

I opened my business in April of 2016. I had made as many silk floral arrangements as I could for myself and others so I decided to give my designs a try on Etsy. I love creating pieces that add beauty to a home on a daily basis.

Tell us a bit about your products.

I create original, good quality silk floral arrangements, wreaths and faux succulents. I can do any style arrangement from traditional to modern. Regardless of the style, I try to design arrangements that have a lot of texture and visual interest while incorporating beautiful blooms of flowers. All of my pieces are meant to add that “special touch” to a room or space in one’s home.

What inspires your work

I am mostly inspired by combinations of fresh flowers that I have worked with or see in gardens, nature etc. I work to create that “fresh flower” feel into a silk floral arrangement that can be displayed at home. I love the texture and interest of succulents so I like to work with those a lot too.

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

My goal for this year is to become more established on Etsy and to continue to grow my customer base. My dream has always been to own my own business so I will keep working on it!

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

I offer many different styles of arrangements and wreaths as well as color combinations while providing the best quality and customer service possible. Also, I work hard to meet the requests of customers and give them exactly what they want when working with them on custom orders.

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

I am in the process of clearing out a room to serve as a studio for Lilac House. In the meantime, I have a small space in the kitchen.

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

I wish that I had more knowledge about SEO and how to take good product pictures. I have spent a lot of time trying to improve in these areas!

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Yes, give it a try if you are passionate about something that you create. Also, give a lot of thought to what you want to communicate about your product to your customers.

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

I love to take walks with my two dogs and I always look forward to spending time with the family.

What is your favorite quote?

“Success is never final and failure never fatal. It’s courage that counts.” – Unknown

Where can people find out more about your business?

Etsy – LilacHouseFlorals
Instagram – lilachouseflorals
Facebook – lilachouseflorals


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.

Items Of The Week: Romance

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Fall’s Must-Have Home Decor Trends: Etsy

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

I am fascinated by trends. Are you? There are weather trends, work place trends, business trends, job trends, food trends, real estate trends, hair trends, fashion trends color trends and so on.

The definition of a trend is a general direction in which something is developing or changing. In college I took several classes on trends. I remember distinctly studying pre peak – peak – post peak timelines. I find trends intriguing. They pique my curiosity.

Trends unite us. Give us a common ground. A connecting point.

This article is inspired by the Fall’s Must-Have Home Decor Trends article on the Etsy blog.

The trends are: Old-School Glassware, Statement Wallpaper, Stained Glass, Asymmetrical Wreaths, Stylized Seating, Cabin Fever and 2018 Prediction: Wabi-Sabi. Here are a few trend inspired items from members of the Etsy Christmas In July team.

Stained Glass

Marjorie Scenna from mscenna says:

Fall is the perfect time to feed the birds and decorate your garden and yard! Repurposed vintage glassware make unique bird feeders. This emerald green glass vintage cup and saucer is a colorful bird feeder and decorative accent, use it indoors to hold potpourri or a flame less candle too!


Mairi from mairidesign says:

Harvest time simply must have pumpkins and this one doesn’t need carving. Being made of stained glass, this pumpkin candle holder, fits perfectly into this season’s home decor trends and, with its autumnal theme and colours, is perfect for Cabin Fever to add a warm glow to a cozy, log cabin, weekend getaway. Snuggle up with some mulled wine, an open fire and enjoy doing nothing but being thankful for what you have.


Cabin Fever

Arlene from ThisandThatCrafter says:

I started making fabric pumpkins with the 3rd thru 5th graders last year as a sewing project in the after school kids club I volunteer for. The group has ages 4 years to 5th grade and the older kids asked for something that they could craft that wasn’t just a little kids craft. So I thought I would teach them some sewing. This was their 1st sewing project last year and was a big hit. Then I decided to make them for sale. Starting with ones for Halloween then some for Fall / Thanksgiving. They have been popular and seem to be a big hit. I feel his would fall under cabin fever. Something nice to have in your cabin to make you feel at home when you are stuck in a storm.


Diana from joliefemmebydiana says:

Pumpkins are always a symbol of Autumn and it’s great to see them around everywhere you look. They are great for the entire season from September all the way to November and this little pillow is great to put in a favorite chair to remind everyone that Fall is here to enjoy!


If you’re on Pinterest here is the Fall’s Must-Have Home Decor Trends board!

While you’re on Pinterest please follow the Etsy Christmas In July team!

Member Feature: zouzousbasement

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming Susannah of zouzousbasement, and ZouZousBasementToo our featured member!



Tell us about yourself.

I am a mom of two boys, wife, art instructor, artist, animal lover, sister, daughter — who lives in a 100+year old house in Richmond, Virginia. I love the history of my family (French Huguenot) and the history of my neighborhood (Ginter Park), as well as what the future holds for my boys and my family. I live with a chronic illness that I do not let define me. I teach art to Dementia patients and am very aware of the cycle of life and not wasting a minute of it.

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

I have been creative and making things my entire life, largely self-taught, but had never really thought of myself as an artist, my creativity has always just been me. About twenty five years ago I discovered hundreds of terra cotta flower pots in my grandmother’s basement and was encouraged to take a bunch home. I started painting on them and giving them as gifts. Soon people were asking where they could buy them, and that was the beginning of my business. I have explored different media but always return to the same subject matter: gardens, desserts, animals, and ancestors; and color is always my first artistic decision. I now have a large studio in my home (in the attic, not the basement) where I focus on paintings, collages, note cards, and other paper/paint related products.

Tell us a bit about your products.

I make a lot of original paintings and collages, some of which I have scanned. The scanned pieces become limited edition prints after I sell the original piece, as well as note cards. I also make other note cards using paper, photos, and letters from books, all of which I cut and paste by hand, and then have printed.

What inspires your work

Color, first and foremost. I wrote my senior thesis on the effect of color on our psyches, and the moods derived from certain colors have always been magical for me. I use bright and happy combinations of colors, often on grey which makes them pop even more. I am constantly inspired by the life around me: flowers and nature, desserts and sweets, and animals of all kinds although I’m partial to dogs, and have been for my entire life.

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

I just held my first opening at my home for my paintings — removing all of the pieces on our walls and putting my pieces up. I was stepping out of my comfort zone and had no expectations, but it far exceeded anything I could have imagined, with close to 100 people showing up and about 27 paintings sold. I hope to make this an annual event. I would love to do more wholesale business on the national level. I hope to be mentioned or introduced by a few bloggers to get my name out there and get more traffic to my sites. I would love to tip the scales to spend more time creating and less time marketing. I hope to continue to grow my business each year and continue to find new venues for my work.

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

My animal collages have been really popular and one of the best things I did was to make prints of some of them, to offer a big range of price points — there is something for everyone. The addition of paper and unusual color combinations have also made them stand out. As humans we all seem to relate to animals so matter how different we are from one another, and I believe I have been able, in some cases, to capture that feeling of connection.

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

My studio is in the walk up attic — the largest and messiest place in our house. Friend and visitors love to go up there. It’s chock full of paper and paint, ribbon, tape, glue, scissors, prints, and cards. But also walls painted by various art students, funny and inspirational quotes, old hats and ephemera from my grandmother, candy, music, and tons of half finished projects.

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

I started a Daily Painting habit about a year and a half ago and it has helped in so many ways — I get ideas out or started that I’ve been thinking about, I practice more, I’m less detail oriented and thus a faster painter. It also gives me a sense of accomplishment at the beginning of the day — by 7 am I have already made a painting, and sort of gets rid of that urge for a few hours. I have also learned to reduce the
quantity of items I am having printed. I am still learning new things every day, even after all of these years in this business. Variables change all the time and I know I have to change too, to keep up.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Post each day. Join teams. Like other people’s stuff. Blog mentions help a lot.

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

Any hobbies? Too many. Yoga, cooking, reading, gardening, writing, walking, hanging with my family-friends-dog, reading magazines, napping, hanging out at bookstores, skimming Pinterest, illustration, house DIY projects, drinking wine, buying shoes. Truthfully, owning a business that is open 24/7 makes it hard to unwind. I am trying to take one day a week away from the computer and any work things to get a fresh perspective.

What is your favorite quote?

Cultivate your garden — (Voltaire)
Color is my daylong obsession, joy, and torment — (Monet)

Where can people find out more about your business?

Etsy: zouzousbasement
Website: zouzousbasement
Blog: susannah-zouzousbasement
Facebook: zouzousbasement
Instagram: zouzousbasement
Pinterest: zoub

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I’ve taught children, especially teenagers, for a long time. My advice to them, or anyone, is:

Find your passion, nurture it, and keep practicing. Practice is really the only way to get better at anything. Malcolm Gladwell said that you have to practice something for 10,000 hours before you become an expert at 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.

Items Of The Week: Coffee Or Tea

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium