International Seasons: ZenCatPottery – #CIJSeasons

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

Summer Is The Favorite Season Of Margie From ZenCatPottery


1. What is your favorite season and why?

Summer! I grew up in S. California and love the beach and warm weather. Flip flops are my favorite footwear. I dislike wearing a lot of clothing and being cold!

2. What season is it now where you live? Have you seen a visible sign of the season changing?

It is still summer, but things are beginning to move into Fall. The nights are getting colder and the days are getting shorter. The other day, I saw a tree whose leaves were beginning to change! It made me sad, but the person I was with was very happy (she loves Fall)!

3. What item in your shop represents your favorite season and the story behind it?

The Lemon Yellow Fruit Juicer in my shop represents summer. It is bright and cheerful. It can be used to make lemonade in the summer. Growing up we had a lemon tree in our back yard. During the summer, it was always full of lemons. My mom used to make pitchers of lemonade for us to drink on hot Los Angeles summer days!

This juicer can be used all year round to squeeze lemons, oranges and limes.

4. What seasonal traditions are celebrated in your part of the world? 

I live in the mountains of northern New Mexico. Summer here is filled with outdoor activities: hiking, camping,swimming,biking etc. But I sure do miss the beach!

5. What are your social media sites?



Daily Inspirations

Contributor post by Julie from EveryoneLovesGifts0

We at Etsy Christmas In July love to see pictures and know what is your Daily Inspiration? Why do you make the items you make? What gives you the inspiration to make it? Your inspiration can be anything that gives you the creative bug and we want to know.

Pam Colangelo from PearlsVintagebyPam says; Sunshine brings me happiness and inspiration. Unfortunately we don’t have a lot of sun in Syracuse. That’s why we spend time in Cape Cod. This is a happy plate! Sunshine and rainbows inspire me to push through life!


Hand Blown Glass Dish, Sun and Rainbow

Aparticle Zwolle from JHFWBeadsAndFindings says; Raindrops falling from the rooftops.


Aqua Blue Rhinestone Choker

Corkycrafts from Corkycrafts says; Inspiration from your senses come to mind. Sense of smell, sight fragrant flowers colors comes to my mind. How can anybody not see inspiration in crafting from colorful flowers? I love to share things that can bring smiles to others. Especially with flowers. I like to share them with my friends.


Mixed variety of sunflower seeds

Cindy Blakeslee from AllThatCraftyJazz says; This pattern is for a cute crochet fox phone cozy/case. It’s perfect to keep your cell phone in or to make as a gift for someone special. He has button eyes and a big button nose for the closure.


Crochet Fox Phone Tablet Cozy Case

Christine from heartfeltgiver says;  About two years ago we moved from NJ to a small farm town in IL with a lot of German influence.


Biergarten Distressed Sign Wood

Cindy Humphrey from Cynhumphry says; I like to use color palettes as my inspiration or take a photo from nature and turn into something elegant using the same colors in the photo.


Floating Teacup

Sherri from ButterflyFeetDigital says; A lot of my inspiration comes from seeing color combinations while watching TV or leafing through a magazine. Sometimes a new color combination will stick in my head and I will start to see it more – in a commercial even, on the new! I don’t remember exactly where I first saw this color combo but I began to see it more and more, so I had to make a new paper pack.

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Pink Blush Digital Paper

Nancy Duncan from EponasCrystals says; Inspiration to wear! The word “Soul” in fancy script on a turquoise blue background is set under round glass domes. The glass dome magnifies the words underneath.


Soul Inspiration Round Earrings

Annie from DesignedbyAnneliese says; I love finding new pretty papers to use in my creations! My inspiration comes from the designs on the paper as well as my surroundings like the garden. These gift tags are made with gorgeous Japanese papers that I love!


Japanese Gift Tags

Dorota from YORNAMENTS says; My garden is my inspiration. It is not huge but it is VERY full. It is full of trees, evergreen shrubs, perennial plants, tall grasses and colorful flowers. The garden is full of rabbits, chipmunks, squirrels and of course birds. They are my favorite, as they sing beautifully and visit me often on my patio. I keep watching these birds from my kitchen window, while I wash the dishes. It is truly better then TV for me. It makes me really happy creating imaginary birds. I love when they come to life in my hands. I have so many bird ornament plans to create for my shop. Here is just the beginning – Birds Gift for Her`


Ornaments Woodland Christmas Decorations

Przemila K from CanisArtStudio says; Inspiration is very important to me. I’m a painter and a great lover of animals and nature. I have two beautiful English Setters and daily I walk with my dogs in the meadows. Sometimes I meet wild animals and it is a wonderful experience. I also love to ride a horse. Horses are my great love and that is why they are important for my creativity. Every day I bring to my house a new bouquet of wild flowers that I then sketch or paint on canvas. I also love watching how my dogs play. I have many friends who have dogs and sometimes I go to the dog shows to meet them and share our passion. It inspired me to paint their portraits and capture our pets. We would love to have them always with us …

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Custom Dog Portrait

Thank you for all of you who took part in Daily Inspirations.


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.


Leadership Spotlight – ApronStringsOwlLady

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Leaders are an essential part of any team or organization. Leaders help other members succeed and grow as well as help the Captain achieve their objectives. Here at Christmas in July we have some wonderful Leaders and we want to honor your accomplishments in what we are calling Leadership Spotlight.


Jerry and Opal from ApronStringsOwlLady is our next honoree!

1. What made you decide to join the CIJ team and what do you love about the team?

I didn’t know about the CIJ team until this year when one of my other teams, Picking Paradise, ran a CIJ post and I saw this team for the first time.

I love that this team is so upbeat and enthusiastic! It’s great. I decided to join and see what it was all about – I love Christmas!

2. What made you decide to become a CIJ team leader and what do you enjoy most about being a team leader?

I decided to become a leader because it sounded like total fun and an unexpected blessing coming my way!I haven’t been a leader very long – but I’m enjoying learning all about it and having access to the leader realms, and getting to know everyone.

3. What is your style of leadership?

I like to give other’s room to expand, grow, express and be creative. I am not an authoritarian yet can be, but have always loved being around people and seeing all their creativity and learning from them.

4. Tell us about yourself and your shop.

My shop is the Apron Strings Owl Lady Shop. The name was chosen because years ago I ran a brick and mortar store and a in-home party plan craft and floral business with my mom, Lilly – thus, Apron Strings.
We were very successful and it was a lot of fun.

5. What are your social media sites?

DeeDeeDeesigns – #CIJJewelryTrunkShow

Contributor post by Catherine of DesignsByCnC

Virtual Jewelry Trunk Show – Dawn from DeeDeeDeesigns



1. Please introduce yourself! What is the name of your shop? What city and country do you live in?

Hello, my name is Dawn Whitehand, and my shop is DeeDeeDeesigns. I live on a ten-acre property in a semi rural town in regional Victoria, Australia. It is a beautiful spot and inspires me everyday.

2. Tell us the story of your work – what inspires you?

I began making jewellery after an injury to my hand in 2011. The injury meant I couldn’t make larger sculptural works or go on the potter’s wheel for quite some time. So I began making pendants and beads from clay, mostly inspired by the textures and organic colours within my environment..
Since then my jewellery design has expanded to include recycled materials, such as buttons, paper and discontinued beads.

I like the idea of repurposing as it fits within my overall ethical principles – recycling is something I do in every aspect of my life, from gardening to art!

3. What is your creative process?

My creative process varies. Sometimes I have a specific idea in mind an other times I sit down as my jewellery bench and just let the design flow freely – this can sometimes result in some beautiful designs, or at the least can inform future design ideas.



4. Where do your materials come from?

My ceramic pendants and beads come from the Earth – this is one of the aspects I love about clay! My recycled components come from anywhere I come across something I think would make a jewellery contribution.

5. Do you take custom orders?

Yes, I enjoy custom orders, although sometimes they can be scary … there is always that nagging “what if” feeling, but so far my custom orders have all worked out in happy customers.

6. What do you want us to know about you that is unique and innovative?

I have never taken any formal training in jewellery making…. While I have a strong formal design background I have learnt the ‘technicalities’ of jewellery making from tutorials on YouTube and Pinterest and various other channels.

7. What are your social media sites?

You can follow me at:


QuiddityGifts – #CIJJewelryTrunkShow

Contributor post by Dawn from DeeDeeDeesigns

Virtual Jewelry Trunk Show – Anisa from  QuiddityGifts



1. Please introduce yourself! What is the name of your shop? What city and country do you live in?


Anisa here…the creative magic behind QuiddityGifts, an online handmade jewellery shop with my studio based in Wistaston, Cheshire, England. Mustn’t forget my miniature dachshund Maya…lap warmer and model for the QuiddityGifts’ logo!

2. Tell us the story of your work – what inspires you?

This is a hard question as I’m inspired by everything!

My passion for jewellery was born from my love of travelling as jewellery souvenirs are small, lightweight, and guaranteed to remind me of trips with family, friends, or even solo adventures. My goal is to make jewellery that holds special memories for those who wear it.

I’m lucky to have lived all over the world, so I’ve been influenced by Arabic architecture, bright colours of Mexican traditional clothing, abstract images of nature from Native Canadian tribes, and the nature of the English countryside.

My bestselling line of Morse Code jewellery was inspired by the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, Canada. It is a striking building with the outside covered in Morse Code. It reminded me of passing secret messages on notes in school and I love the idea of wearing messages hidden in jewellery. It brings out the kid in me, I guess!

3. What is your creative process?

My first lines of motivational jewellery started with the feeling that I wanted people to have when they wore it, and I worked backwards from that.

People may say that I’m a wee bit messy…I have a tendency of starting lots of projects at once and maybe not finishing them until weeks later when I’ve finally tracked down the perfect bead or charm.

4. Where do your materials come from?

I use a variety of different materials, most of which are sourced locally in England; however, some of my beads have come from markets in South America and Spain.

My most prized material is the vintage lace made by my great-grandmother which I use to texture paper-clay pendants for extra-special 1st anniversary gifts.

Although the wood used in my pendants is sustain-ably grown, plans for future projects include recycling and up cycling metals and woods to create more environmentally friendly collections.

5. Do you take custom orders?

The definition of “Quiddity” is the essence of what makes someone or something unique, the ‘je ne sais quoi’ that makes it special. I chose this as the name for my business as I believe that giving a handmade gift that has been created as a custom, personalized, or one-of-a-kind piece turns it into a treasured possession.

Most of my sales are custom orders, and I especially enjoy working with clients to create something that is personal and unique to them. I love wedding jewellery…but anniversary gifts are my favourite!

6. What do you want us to know about you that is unique and innovative?

Quiddity Gifts was created after an unexpected change in my life caused me to end a 13 year long career in education, and my initial focus was on motivational pieces to remind me that “every cloud has a silver lining” and I should “turn over a new leaf”. You might be able to tell…I was an English teacher and love my idioms!

7. What are your social media sites?








Leadership Spotlight – LilFoxDesigns

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Leaders are an essential part of any team or organization. Leaders help other members succeed and grow as well as help the Captain achieve their objectives. Here at Christmas in July we have some wonderful Leaders and we want to honor your accomplishments in what we are calling Leadership Spotlight.


Mary Avelis from LilFoxDesigns is our next honoree!

1. What made you decide to join the CIJ team and what do you love about the team?

Wanting to expand my knowledge of running a successful shop on Etsy.

2. What made you decide to become a CIJ team leader and what do you enjoy most about being a team leader?

I was asked by Michelle, It sounds like something that I can get into, and share ideas!

3. What is your style of leadership?

Listening to all opinions, every one has good ideas, why not use them all!

4. Tell us about yourself and your shop.

I’m Mary. I am recently married and a home owner. My husband and I spend our days off working to improve out 116 year old home. As well as working together to build a better business. He is my moral support, and I could send him to the quilt store any time, and know he would come back alive! I love my little shop! Li’l Fox Designs. I have been attending craft shows for about 8 years. I have been working on my Etsy shop for 2 years, last year has been picking up and I have over come obstacles and hit the goals I have set for myself. I will soon be expanding my cotton line to clothing, and hopefully go to part time, at my day job. And start a family in August.

5. What are your social media sites?