Leadership Spotlight – CaffeinatedPapercuts

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.

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Jennifer Loftfield from CaffeinatedPapercuts is our first honoree

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

Oh my, I think originally it was to find out more about the CIJ sale each year and then I stayed for the business tips and constructive chatter. I like that we’re a judgement-free zone that works towards helping our members, not just pushing promotion after promotion.

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

I believe my promotion happened when the CIJ blog was in its infancy; regular contributors were needed and it sounded like fun. I enjoy interacting with our members and seeing what talents they have. One of my favorite series so far was Christmas Around the World, remember that one? So many beautiful places to visit and experience through our members. My fellow leaders are so easy to work with as well; we all understand that sometime ‘real life’ gets in the way and then everyone moves in to pick up the slack. It’s a true team around here.

3. What is your style of leadership?

Is passive-aggressive a style? LOL I’ll passively put out a topic that requires member input, then aggressively demand answers when the deadline gets close. Hand me a task and I’ll run with it, and I’m always happy to help out the team.

4. Tell us about yourself and your shop.

I’m an engineer, mom, wife, and coffee-drinker by day and a crafter by night. Yes, with more coffee; it is my blood type. My shop is a paper lover’s paradise filled with handmade goodies – greeting cards, coasters, gift tags, invitations…anything I can create with paper and ink.

5. What are your social media sites?

Oh, there’s a bunch, because I do love social media!

Blog – www.caffeinatedpapercuts.com

Facebook – www.facebook.com/caffeinatedpapercuts

Twitter – www.twitter.com/caffpapercuts

Instagram – www.instagram.com/caffeinatedpapercuts

YouTube – www.youtube.com/user/caffeinatedpapercuts

Pinterest – www.pinterest.com/caffpapercuts

Periscope – www.periscope.tv/caffpapercuts

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DIY Kits and Tutorials

Contributor blog post by Jennifer  from CaffeinatedPapercuts

Good morning everyone – Jennifer here from CaffeinatedPapercuts to talk all about DIY Kits and tutorials. I know I love browsing Etsy shops for new crafts to try or for a quick and easy way to create what I need. DIY kits are wonderful for beginners or for someone who just wants a quality product without having to buy all the supplies themselves. I even enjoy giving them as gifts!

I reached out to our CIJ team for their thoughts on kits and tutorials, both why they use/offer them and why they don’t. Definitely food for thought when you’re shopping or considering offering them in your shop!

I had to chuckle; both Christine from cwagenblass9 and I offer DIY card kits, and her gingerbread house card is adorable!

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I created a gingerbread card that kids could decorate – the kit comes complete with icing, gingerbread man and wife, and wreath and candy. I had several requests from people for gingerbread templates and thought this might be a fun project.

Me, I love scrapbooking, but don’t always have the time or supplies I want. Enter scrapbook page kits; paper and embellishments to make two 12″x12″ layouts, but you can easily redesign it any way you wish.

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Savannah from RareRusticCrafts formulated her own clay masks for DIY facials to follow the trend of pampering yourself at home. After all, just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself!

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I do sell 2 clay masks that are used for DIY facials. Both masks are a great way to give yourself the spa facial treatment in the comfort of your own home. The masks range from $12 – $14; the last facial I got was upwards of $80. It was also about 2 hours of my evening; I can use my clay mask at home while I’m doing the laundry. My target market thinks along the same lines, and the clay mask has been a great option to carry in my store.

Who doesn’t love quick, easy, and quality results while you wander around the house chasing stray socks? LOL Savannah also had some insights on DIY kits:

The last DIY kit I bought was a latch hook rug about 10-12 years ago. I like to buy supplies for DIY projects, but I guess I don’t really like to buy kits. If I take a second to think about that, I guess it’s because I like to really personalize my projects. It’s fun to get instructions on how to do something, but then do it with your own flare. The last bunch of supplies I bought for a DIY project was a ton of polymer clays, a clay roller, tools for shaping it, and paper for mokume gane polymer projects. So, it was a DIY project that I had watched a ton of videos on, but I didn’t spring for the DIY starter kits; I went for the specific colors and tools that I wanted.

I’d hate to say that the DIY kits I reject are “bad”. But I suppose when you’re putting together a DIY kit, you should consider that you may have those people who need a simple starter kit to learn the craft, but that you may also have seasoned crafters who need a kit with options or more than one use.

Variety is definitely the spice of life when it comes to DIY kits; having something for beginners and something to keep seasoned crafters interested is key. In this day and age of video tutorials, don’t be afraid to browse for good how-to videos, and shop owners, don’t be afraid to jump in and create them!

Kosmosa from GiftyTreasures enjoys tutorials and, like many artists, sometimes uses them to get over a creative block:

I love DIY tutorials, although I do not buy DIY kits. I know my art supplies and what to expect from them, but DIY kits usually don’t seem to offer enough information on what’s included. So tutorials are a great alternative and you can improvise if you don’t have all the materials, it makes you more creative.

This is also a good way to overcome creative block perhaps. Too much artistic freedom can make you indecisive, you want to paint too many things at once and just end up not doing anything. Tutorials provide some direction, it’s kind of like homework, but in a good way. I like the ones where you don’t have to copy everything exactly, so you still end up with something original.

Some days though, when looking for inspiration, I end up watching YouTube videos all day on how other artists paint. Well it may be just my thing, I like watching the paint dry. ;P

We’ve featured some great tutorials here on the Etsy CIJ blog – just check out our Tutorials category and find something new to try!

How about you; do you love to DIY? What are some great places for tutorials?

10 Years of Trends – Owls

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

This month Etsy celebrates 10 years as a global community of makers, inventors, and collectors.Today, we’re turning our attention to 5 memorable trends that have made their mark over the years.

http://blog.etsy.com/en/2015/10-years-of-etsy-trends/

“Since most owls are active at night, they have a mysterious quality that we associate with the elusive.”

We wanted to know if any of our CIJ members had any Owl items in their shop and the story behind the item.

Gari Anne from beadloverskorner  says:

I carry a wonderful line of pewter beads and findings by Green Girl Studios in my shop, and this is one of my favorites of their owl beads! Bubo was the owl that Athena sent to help Perseus in The Clash of the Titans movie. Bubo is also a genus made up of Horned owls and Eagle owls.

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Ina from InaSudjana states: 

There was a time when Owls dominated most girls nursery decorations. Truly. I think it’s because they appear in many children books, they’re whimsical, and they mostly live in children’s imaginary world as we don’t see owls very often especially if we live in suburban streets and we’re not nocturnal…With their popularity comes many requests for them in my shop. Here is one

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Melissa R from missy69 explains:

Owls are fascinating, and some people find them creepy, and maybe even scary. As a new, and constantly learning artist, I find abstract art sometimes creepy, and fascinating, much like owls. As part of an Art challenge to create Abstract Art, I created this beautiful doodle owl. Her eyes are a little creepy, lol.

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Carola Bartz  discusses:

I think I have the love for owls in my genes! My mom loved owls and collected little owl trinkets. Ever since my family and I witnessed the upbringing of two owlets in one of our regional parks I have created little owls as well. This particular print of my original mixed media painting is my favorite since I combined it with my love for the American Southwest. The original painting is not for sale as it is so close to my heart.

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Christina Paul from lebeauchaton said:

I frequently feature owls in my shop – and have a blog with an owl logo I love how expressive their faces can be – they seem always to be thinking and feeling thoughts.

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Annie from DesignedbyAnneliese states:

I love little cute owls like the ones on these cards. Actually I really like any fluffy animal and the little white fluffy owls are so cute. I have been fortunate to see an owl in the wild one night when visiting a friend’s house. It was a lovely moment!

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Sue from SuesAkornShop says:

I love owls and enjoyed seeing a big one in our back yard years ago. I have quite a few owl items in my shop because I really like them.

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Lorraine from EyeGloArts said:

A wise old owl lived in an oak The more he saw the less he spoke The less he spoke the more he heard.
Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird?The origins and history of ‘A wise old owl’ are vague, however its meaning isn’t, basically it would be told to children in an attempt to teach the child the virtue of being quiet! The lyrics of ‘A wise old owl’ poem are derived from the saying ‘a wise old owl’ based on an owl’s behavior of watching and patiently waiting when hunting its prey. Legends concerning the owl are recorded in Greek, Celtic, Native American and Aborigine mythology. The owl is especially associated with wisdom in Greek mythology being linked with Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom. Athens is named from the Goddess Athena and its emblem is the owl. The owl was, for many years, viewed as a sinister bird only hunting at night when only evil spirits and witches were abroad – hence the connection with as a Witches Familiar! A wise old owl – “Children should be seen and not heard!

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Sara Wyatt from CustomCrayonsbySara stated:

I love owls – they peek out here and there in various decor in my home, including my girls’ room. Until now, I have never really thought about why I like them. Owls make me think of a forest, and forests make me thing of Autumn. I LOVE autumn. The year could be composed of 11 months of fall and the other seasons could cram into the other 1 month and I would be perfectly happy. So I added these little cuties to my shop!

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Lucy Clasen from LuDesignsCreations says:

Owls were my Mom’s favorite so now I love them too! They are so neat with their large eyes and the ability to swivel their head. Wonderful birds.

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Jennifer Loftfield from CaffeinatedPapercuts states:

I find owls so cute and adorable. I had so many people asking me at craft shows if I had anything owl I simply *had* to add something! The magnets I created are such a big hit that this year I added key chains to the mix as well.

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This is one of my most popular items in my shop, the Owl Mug Cozy. I started crocheting these when a friend requested one after seeing the crochet pattern online. It was one of the first crochet patterns I actually spent money on and I am glad I did. It is very intricate with a lot of weaving of ends and I did not like making these at first. But, after many orders of them I have become quite proficient at creating them and actually enjoy it! And they are oh so cute with so much personality. I’ve even branched out from this pattern to create a panda bear and a penguin and will soon offer a duck model so keep an eye out. Thanks for letting me share this here.
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Personally I love owls and visit the “Audubon Center for Birds of Prey” whenever I can. I wanted to design an owl that was unique and whimsical for a hand embroidered pillow. I infused a nature theme within my owl design, by making his wings “leaves” and placing flowers on his chest. I wanted to offer a handmade item that would bring joy to an owl lover.
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I think my true love of owls started from growing up reading Harry Potter and being in love with his pet, Hedwig. Snowy owls are definitely my favorite, and one of my favorite of all birds.
One of my favorite ‘owl facts’ is that a historical favorite of mine, Florence Nightingale, kept an owl she named Athena as a pet.
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I loved Owls since I was a child. They always seemed so wise, gracious and mysterious at the same time. Owls to me associate with school, books and Winnie Pooh story. I remember how my teacher put the wooden Owl statue on her desk at the beginning of the class.

Now with Fall season coming I made these honey mustard color boot cuffs and attached the wise Owl from the 1970’s as accessory.

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Ginny C from GRCTreasures discussed:
I too am drawn to owls when I am out “hunting”, in fact this Saturday I bought another one at a yard sale. I said to my husband I may have to keep this one for myself. The vintage owl is from the 70’s and I took the picture outside on my back patio to show how it would look in its proper environment so to speak.
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The Owl fabric in this listing is what I bought to create my very 1st Nappy Wallet for my first-born son. 4 years ago. I now make many Nappy/Diaper wallets & am happy to present one of my newest creations!
This Owl design will find its new owner soon enough.
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I find owls somewhat mysterious – often heard and seldom seen. We have many types here around our farm and frankly my chickens could do without them but I quite like their single steady focus on things – although a bit aloof.

I managed to capture this handsome fellow one nasty winter day. He was actually perched on the deck railing right outside my bedroom window hunkered down against the elements.

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Owls are found in legends among many cultures, as well as many other reasons are why the Owl is one of the 10 Year of Trends for Etsy.

Happy Christmas In July 2015 To All, And To All a Good Night!

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight, Happy Christmas In July 2015 to all and to all a good night.

Thank you to all the Etsy shop owners who participated this year.

The Christmas In July team leaders spent the past year working hard behind the scenes for the Christmas In July 2015 event!

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

Alicia from AliciasFindings

Amy from BeadsandThreadsbyAmy

Angie from CraftyMom75

Ashley from FrenchSoulKnittery

Barbara from MermaidsHatbox

Betty from LadySnooks

Candy from TrueEarthDesigns

Dawn from DeeDeeDeesigns

Elizabeth from CottageCraftsOnline

Jennifer from CaffeinatedPapercuts

Kristy Jo from KrystalKlarityBeads

Lia from Ghirlandiamo

Lin from rhodyart

Megha from byTheArtBug

Nancy from EponasCrystals

Patricia and Rebecca from northandsouthshabby

Sandra from Ankletknits

Tracy from LittleShopOfColor

The blog contributors wrote great blog articles during CIJ!

We had many fun opportunities for you to be involved!

Thank you for joining us on Friday July 10th for the #CIJParty!

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Please continue to use the hashtag #EtsyCIJ on social media!

We are ready with social media for a fantastic holiday 2015 season!

Facebook
www.facebook.com/EtsyChristmasInJuly

Twitter
twitter.com/EtsyCIJ 

Pinterest
pinterest.com/etsycij/

Happy Christmas In July to all, and to all a good night!

#CIJ Party 2015 – CIJ Member Blogs

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Christmas in July Team is celebrating Christmas In July 2015 and we want to celebrate our members who have their own blogs!

We wanted to know what our team members blog about,what started them blogging and so much more.

Megha Silvano of byTheArtBug states:

I have a blog: theartbug

Here

is a glimpse about my blog

Make it Monday (Weekly) – DIYs- Sewing, Crafts, Art, Recycling, Recipes

Trendy Tuesday (Weekly) – Home, Fashion and Gifting Trends

What’s Up Wednesday (Weekly) – Find out what I have been Up to Lately

Thursday Talk-Fest (Monthly) – Get to know wonderful Etsy Sellers/ Bloggers. You could be next one featured! Just fill up this simple form: theartbug.blogspot.sg/p/get-featured-on-art-bug-blog.html

Freebie Friday (Weekly)- Lots of Freebies Every Week!

Weekend – Snapshot/ Cartoon of the Week

ALSO EXPLORE…

Globetrotting Diaries: Having lived in three Countries and traveled to 8 (So Far), I have tons of travel adventures to share. Read my “Globetrotting Diaries” to know more about the places we have Explored.

Check out the Downloads to Grab all the “Freebies” till date.

Sign Up for the Monthly Newsletter for the latest action and freebies.

I would love to hear from you, feel free to send me a message through the “Contact Form”.

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Ildi Garay of PitzicatVintage says:

I have a blog: Ildi Garay

That is my blog I started it after my cancer operation. It made the days easier as my mind was focused on something else.

After I felt better I stopped the blog and started on Etsy!

Still on Etsy and I love it .

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Dawn Whitehand of DeeDeeDeesigns explains:

I have a blog: DawnWhitehead

My blog has been going since September 2011, and includes lots of different stuff about me

– my general art practice

– work in progress

– exhibitions

– different making processes

– my Etsy shop

– my travel and photography

I began the blog as a means to have a solid base to refer people to – potential collectors, customers, curators – so that they could see a broad and diverse collection of my work and what I am “about”.

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Carolyn Eady of SproutsPressDesigns said:

I have a blog: SproutsPress

I’m in the midst of a 365 blogging project. It’s all about bookbinding, paper arts, being a creative entrepreneur and me sharing tips on using your hand bound journals!!

While I have a couple of posts that always run on certain days of the week (ie. Studio Sunday, Wordless Wednesday) I fill the rest of the week with goings-on in the studio, my inspirations, upcoming shows and workshops, etc.

I’m still fairly new to blogging and it’s always so fantastic when people leave a comment and start a discussion about book arts – so awesome!!

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Jennifer Loftfield of CaffeinatedPapercuts states:

I have a blog: CaffeinatedPaperCuts

I can honestly say that I don’t blog to the schedule others do around here (which I’m greatly impressed by!) but I do love sharing my card creations, tutorials, and video tutorials over on my blog: www.caffeinatedpapercuts.com

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Have you thought about starting a blog?

You could learn a thing or two from these Christmas In July team member blogs!

Enjoy!

For the next #CIJParty post please see main party post.

#CIJPopUpMarket – CaffeinatedPapercuts

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Virtual PopUpMarket – Jennifer from CaffeinatedPapercuts

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1. What is name of your shop and what is unique about your shop?

CaffeinatedPapercuts, where everything is created by my two hands. If it involves paper, it’s probably in the shop!

2. Where do you live and how does where you live influence your creativity?

I live in Upstate New York where we just moved to a small village (yes, they still exist!). Kids playing outside, lots of trees and flowers, sun streaming in through all the windows…I’m surrounded by nature.

3. What is it about having your own business that you love?

Well, obviously there’s the whole being my own boss thing, but I love creating. So seeing someone pick up one of my pieces and have just the reaction I was going for is priceless.

4 What is your greatest business achievement?

For me, it was finally having the guts to just go for it and open up shop. Now I sell online, at craft shows, and some of my work will now be available at a shop in New Mexico. It’s crazy and wonderful.

5. How would you like to see your business evolve?

I would love to have more repeat customers and a more structured release schedule. The holidays should be awesome this year as I started on the new line of cards last January!

6. What are your social media sites?

Facebookwww.facebook.com/caffeinatedpapercuts

Twitter – www.twitter.com/caffpapercuts

Pinterest – www.pinterest.com/caffpapercuts

Instagram – www.instagram.com/caffeinatedpapercuts

YouTube – www.youtube.com/user/caffeinatedpapercuts

Blog – www.caffeinatedpapercuts.com/

CIJ Pop Up Market – #CIJPopUpMarket #1

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

We are thrilled about our first #CIJPopUpMarket #1 – a party in the streets of our blog! The streets are shut down and your tents are up and ready to showcase your unique items for you.

We have a fantastic line up of Christmas In July team member shops for you to get to know. These shops are here for you and they are looking to interact with you here on our blog!

Each shop at our #CIJPopUpMarket #1 will be individually introduced so please check in through day to look in their tent, get to know them and shop!CIJFacebookAviGood

Now let’s shop!

1. Kate / BlueQuailCrafts / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

2. Lia / Ghirlandiamo / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

3. Amanda / AlphabetArtPrints / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

4. Jen / CaffeinatedPaperCuts / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

5. NuttierThanASquirrel / NuttierThanASquirrel / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

6. Joshua / UruzMetals / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

7. Lin / rhodyart / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

8. CartoCreative / CartoCreative / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

9. NeatoKeen / NeatoKeen / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

10. Dawn / DeeDeeDeesigns / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

11.  Annie / DesignedbyAnneliese / #CIJPopUpMarketTent

12. Patricia And Rebecca / northandsouthshabby / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

13. C. Annie / CAnnieDesigns / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

14. Carrie / madcapz / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

15. Connie / Bungalow42 / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

Please use #CIJPopUpMarket on social media as you visit all the fabulous shops today!

Thank you so much for joining us at our first #CIJPopUpMarket #1!