Concluding The #EtsyCIJ Small Business Spotlight

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

Thank you for joining us for the #EtsyCIJ Small Business Spotlight here on the Christmas In July blog! It was a really fun time!

We had a fantastic line up of Christmas In July team member small businesses for you to get to know.

Each shop at our #EtsyCIJ Small Business Spotlight was individually introduced so please look in their store, get to know them and shop!

Here are the featured shops:

Kelly / ColourscapeStudios / #EtsyCIJ Small Business Spotlight

SLS / StockLaneStudio / #EtsyCIJ Small Business Spotlight

Richard and Tatiana / DesignstheLimit / #EtsyCIJ Small Business Spotlight

I would like to take a moment to thank the CIJ leaders who wrote the articles! Please take a moment to check out their shops!

Alicia from AliciasFindings

Dawn from DeeDeeDeesigns

Opal from ApronStringsOwlLadycijfacebookavigood3

Welcome New Members For June – Part Two

Contributor post by Dawn from DeeDeeDeesigns

The team had many new members join during June in anticipation of the annual Christmas in July event.Please join us in welcoming them to our fantastic team! Visit their shop, fave some items, maybe even share some shops/items on your social media channels!!
And here are some of our new members for June!

HI. I’m Rosalia. I found out about Christmas in July team last year but I was working full-time and just didn’t have the energy to join. This year I am not working and decided it is a perfect time to join and participate. Me and my best friend Linda are potters. We make functional earthenware pottery. I also make jewelry and Linda crochets.
This is a great opportunity to get to know and network with some wonderful shops. Merry Christmas In July everyone.

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Sea shell serving dish

Hi I am Madhura I am new to team and joined some days back. I opened my shop for handcrafted quilts and bags some months back. This is going to be my first Christmas in July, and I am very excited!
The unique part about my shop is the design patterns are my own creations. I have even listed some of my art quilts which have been selected and shown in international quilt competitions.

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Moon reflection quilt

Waving hi – just found this info and team. Thanks for putting it together! This sparkly necklace is one I’ll feature. Following all social media as well. I’m glad you put this together. I remember when Etsy promoted CIJ – glad to participate.

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Sparkly green crystal necklace

Crystal W from AtomicSeabassDesigns says

Hi! I’m Crystal and I’m totally excited for CIJ! I’ve seen it in past years, but have never participated. This this I definitely am!
Here’s my newest print:
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Digital Donut Worry Summers Here

I just joined the team and look forward to participating. I sell vintage clothing such as this.

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Vintage dress

So looking forward to CIJ. I’ve been crafting for over 40 years, I have sold my ornaments here in Chicago at most of the major shows. I love the ease of Etsy, no more lugging tables and large totes to and from craft shows.

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hand embroidered multi designs

Hi I’m kind of new to the team, I joined last week, but have been incredibly busy listing new items, and now editing many for the CIJ Event. New for me this year will be Christmas ornaments – I have ordered supplies but they haven’t come yet – I am hopeful that they arrive before the event kicks off.
I sell mostly supplies, but I am also a jeweler and a Lapidary. I cut most of my own stones in my studio, and have recently purchased a diamond drill press so that I can make beads from my cabochons.
Etsy is my “Full Time” job now for three years, and I’ll never go back to working the grind, I LOVE it!!!

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Opal ring size 7

Hi Just joined, I sell VINTAGE from Jewelry to Tools…something for everyone!

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Vintage cookie cutters

Hi Everyone!
I joined a few days ago and have been busy reading everything and getting my shop setup for this EtsyCIJ Sales Event.
I love going picking and finding neat treasures from our past than reselling them; well those that I can part with.

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Tiara Chantilly Green Sandwich Serving Platter

Mallori Packer from MGPCreations says

Hello! I joined a couple of weeks ago and am very excited about Christmas in July this year.
My favourite item in my shop is my made to order mermaid tail blankets. I love-making them and love that I can help make someone feel like they could be a mermaid, cos let’s admit it everyone at some stage in their life has thought about what it could be like to be a mermaid!
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Made to Order Mermaid Tail

Hello
I joined the team early in the month, but have been on holidays before I had a chance to introduce myself.
I opened my Etsy Shop 3 years ago. initially I only sold handmade jewellery, but over the years I have added original art and art prints to my shop.
Presently I have a great range of products available.
My latest additions are art prints from ink drawings. These black and white drawings are dynamic and capture the movement of the subject.
This drawing of two girls dancing is one of my favourites.

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Dancing Girls Modern Art Print

Hi all,
We’re so looking forward to taking part in our first ever Christmas In July (decking the halls as we type).
At Tread & Pedals we (Em and Ivan) handcraft fun and functional designs through re-purposing old bicycle parts. One of our favourite items would have to be our Cog & Chain Bottle Opener.
Our Bicycle Cog & Chain Bottle Opener is an essential for any bike or beer loving man’s pocket. The bike chain is silver soldered to the cog to form an extremely strong bottle opener. The bike chain is still movable so it easily fits inside your pocket, attach it to your key chain – so you are always ready to enjoy beer o’clock and pop open those ice-cold drinks.

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Bike Bottle Opener

Lukseh from Lukseh says

Hi, I’m a new member, and I’m from Italy. I’m very interested in the opportunity to promote my shop. I’m new in this universe of social marketing and I’ve so much to learn!!
I work with metals: lost wax castings in silver and bronze, fire enamels and a lot of new projects which are going to be realized…everything inspired by the Norse tradition and by Nature. This is one of my creation and my shop is Lukseh. Thank you!

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Plaque collar Fire enameled celtic collier pendant

Hi there, we have joined and will participate in this EtsyCIJ event for the first time. Our store specializes in girls clothing and accessories for ages 0-6. This upcycled strip skirt below is special to us because it represents a merging of our ideas. My design and my mother’s talented sewing and machine embroidery. We love working together to realize our creative ideas, with the aim of being just a little bit different.

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Girls floral skirt

Hello Everyone,
I just heard about the ChristmasinJuly event and decided it would be fun to participate. I grew up in an old farmhouse filled with antiques and have grown to love and appreciate these age-old items that have stood the test of time. Now that my husband and I own our farmhouse, we are busy filling it with all kinds of antique and vintage treasures! My love for collecting however is causing us to run out of room, and so I have opened my Etsy shop to share my lovely items with you!

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Antique Large Apple Butter Copper Kettle

Catherine Caramanica from BlkBttrflyDsgns says

Hi everybody, I’m new to the Team as well. I’ve gotten my Shop together for the CIJSale beginning tomorrow. I sell Handmade items and everything Vintage, i.e. Clothing, Home Decor and Jewelry. Still trying to do something Christmassy for my Banner. It either will or won’t happen. I definitely want to be involved in everything. I’m not the savviest when it comes to Social Media but I’ll do the best I can. Happy to be here with you. My best to all for an amazing CIJSALE.
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Reversible necklace from MOMA

Hello I just joined a few days ago, I’m really excited about this group And CIJ.
My shop is about finding old things and making them into something new. I make a little bit of everything, jewelry, home decor, wall art, stationary etc.

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Landscape Large print

Hi CIJ team! I just joined today and have my shop all ready for the sale starting tomorrow. Everything will be 25% off, no coupon code needed. This is my best-selling item on Etsy!

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Custom name necklace

Hi Everyone – We just joined and wanted to introduce ourselves.
My husband Jerry is the woodworker, I paint and do the wreaths and listings. I have joined because we are participating in the Christmas in July 2016 event.
Any advice for newbies, I’m all ears! – Opal
Our shop offers mostly owls, but a lot of beautiful wreaths, nautical decor items and fun, whimsy items also.

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Nautical decor

Tammie from Nashba says

Hello. My name is Tammie from the shop Nashba.
I’ve always been a lover of African fashion and this beauty is one that I am really proud of.

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Orange dashiki tote bag

Hi! I don’t know why I didn’t think to look for this sooner… MysticOaksPatches is a new shop for me. I wanted my patches separate from my other items. I’ll be joining from my main shop as well (CocoaDragonfly). All items in my shop are marked 20% off for CIJ.
I just love this patch. I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan anyway, but this just sums up motherhood for me. Protection and love all in one.

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Dragon embroidered felt patch

I’ll post my favorite Christmas ornament  I’m making everything 20% off for the CIJ sale. Some items are already marked down. I need to go back and add hashtags though.

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Bacon santa ornament

Joined today and I do horsehair fired ceramic clay art.

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Ceramic clay crosses

The Christmas Play – #CIJParty 2016

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

“Guest Blog Article: “The Christmas Play” by Opal of ApronStingsOwlLady

The Christmas Play

Opal

What is your Christmas Inspiration?

I lived a childhood filled with fun, fishing, family vacations and inspiration from a wonderful Christian family. This Christmas memory stands out as one of the best.

Introduction

Hello! My name is Opal Leasure, my husband Jerry and I run the Apron Strings Owl Lady Shop, and also Jerry’s Vintage Depot. I am grateful for this opportunity to share a Christmas memory with you today. Christmas in July is a wonderful Etsy experience and I hope all of you are enjoying it.

The Christmas Play

In the little Pentecostal church of my childhood, the sanctuary always felt just right, especially at Christmastime.

It was a place where you felt good when you walked in and inspired when you left. Looking back, I now realize the people emanated the warmth more than the radiator, and Christmas was alive in their hearts year round.

In second grade, it was with great pride and enthusiasm that I was accepted into the Christmas play to recite scripture in a white gown and gossamer angel wings.

Mother had meticulously glued every white feather with love and I was to look truly radiant as I pronounced God’s word with love and Christmas cheer.

The night of the Christmas play things weren’t going real smoothly at our home, where five children (angels and apostles), Jesus (my dad) and the song leader (mom) readied themselves for the service – all with parts in the Christmas play and wanting to look just right for their appearances.

We arrived and lo and behold, (church not the play), had begun without us.

By my 7 year old calculations we were not late enough for someone else to be already be wearing my gown and wings – but to my horror, upon entering the side door with mom, there stood someone else’s cousin from out of town – proudly wearing my iridescent, wonderfully made celestial wings.

To me they were not just pieces of cardboard covered with fluff. They were the very essence of every word in my condensed scripture reading, carefully memorized word for word to honor our Savior’s birth.

I saw my mother with the women in charge of the play, their voices grew louder then lower, as they pointed first to me, then to the delighted little newcomer in my wings.

“Which heart do you break?” was reflected in their faces.

And then the decision.

As the house lights were dimmed and Away In a Manger softly played by the organist, I was asked to say my piece.
Wingless and robeless, with a starched white blouse and red plaid Christmas skirt my only outfit, little Opal Kay was placed between the velvet drapes, spotlight shining, all eyes in the church upon her face.

Heartbroken, I remember blinking back the tears as best I could and with the bright lights shining on me, deep breath, I was resolved to do my very best.

Except for slight coughs, muffled chair shifting and babies babbling, I couldn’t see the audience but knew my family and church family watched in the darkness.

My folded card held in a sweaty palm, I began my recital. I did not realize that news of my costume misappropriation had already spread like wildfire through the tiny church filled with numerous elders and others who loved and called me “Phillips baby girl.”

There was no microphone, but you could hear a pin drop as hot tears streamed down rosy cheeks and my tiny voice sent the message to the people.

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise, when as His Mother, Mary, was espoused to Joseph, before they came together she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.”

As I spoke the tears began to leave and my voice grew louder and bolder with each word. “Behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying ‘Joseph, thou son of David, fear not! Mary shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins.”

As the house lights went up I saw a congregation of smiling, supportive faces, applauding in standing ovation for a wingless child standing alone on the stage.

After the play I was hugged unmercifully by every matriarch in the church, my curly top ruffled by all and felt God’s love that Christmas season like never before.

No matter how old I get – on winged or wingless days – one of the most important things my never-ending-childhood continues to show me is that Jesus is truly without a doubt, the greatest gift of all.

Remembering the reason for the season – Much love and Merry Christmas in July to all! – Opal

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