Items Of The Week: Thank You Gifts

Contributor post by Mairi from mairidesign

1. Thanksgiving Quilted Fabric Postcard by zizzybob from zizzybob

2. Pearl Wine Charms by Mary from CharmedByWine

3. Red Heart Beaded Bookmark by Elisabeth Perez from LizPOriginals

4. Hot and Cool Eye Pillow by YOKO from WAYOKO

5. Floral Thank You Cards by Judy from PiecesOfMePaperCraft

#CIJPopUpMarket #2 2017 – USA Focus: BellaBoutique23

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

#CIJPopUpMarket #2 Shop – Sarah from BellaBoutique23


1. What is the name of your shop and where do you look for inspiration?

The name of my shop is BellaBoutique23. I look for inspiration from customers as I am always trying to listen to what they love and want, sometimes friends will ask me to create something special for them so I am always loving custom orders. I also get inspiration from other artists and crafters from crafting groups.

2. How has your shop evolved over time?

My shop has evolved over time by adding new and fresh ideas to my inventory. I think when I started out I just had scrapbooks and greeting cards but slowing have added more items and also I now do more in the area of weddings which I am loving. I still love making items for celebrating new babies though too!

3. What do you love most about your work?

What I love most about my work is bringing people joy with the items I create for them, being part of special celebrations like the weddings and birth of babies..creating beautiful scrapbooks that showcase their joyful moments or a unique greeting card that is given to a special person to tell them they are loved. I just love being a part of helping someone give someone a lovely handmade item that can be cherished.

4. What motivating music do you listen to? Share your playlist that gets and keeps you going!        

I love uplifting music such as Selah, Hillsong, worship music gets me motivated and lifts my spirits. I also enjoy Josh Groban.

5. What book are you reading right now and where is your favorite place to read?

My husband is very supportive and ordered a book for me to read to help me in my business, called Business Boutique. I just started and only on chapter two so don’t have too much to report yet. Another gift was the book “A Dog’s Journey” which I just started as well.

6. What are your social media sites?

Facebook: sarahsbellaboutique23

Instagram: sarahsbellaboutique23

Pinterest: bellaboutique23

Twitter: 23bellaboutique

#EtsyCIJ Small Business Spotlight – StockLaneStudio

Contributor post by Dawn from DeeDeeDeesigns

Small Business Spotlight – Stock Lane Studio From StockLaneStudio



1. What made you start your small business?

I started for 2 reasons. My family and I move around a lot and I needed a job that I could take with me from country to country and state to state. With an Etsy business, I don’t have to start at the bottom of the employment ladder every time I move. My daughters and I also had a wonderful photographic collection of our wanderlust lifestyle and that is what I used to kickstart our business. Many of our photography art and cards are now in our second shop: stocklanephotography. But I do incorporate photography in the graphic designs of wall art and cards in our main shop: stocklanestudio.
OK, make that THREE reasons! I also had a driving need to express myself creatively and share my love of travel and nature with others. I love the interaction I get from the Etsy community!

2.  What do you feel is your greatest obstacle facing your small business?

Conquering SEO, getting those tags and titles just right. And keeping up with Social Media posting!!

3. What is the greatest strength you personally bring to your small business?

Custom art makes up a good portion of my online orders. I really love to contribute to someone’s special moment in life. I gather lots of details from customers so I can design just what they have in mind. I feel my greatest strength is the personal care I put into every package I send off.

4. What is your small business strategy? How have you set up your business in terms of goals, marketing, business planning, etc?

a).Design appealing products that are in demand; b). share my story and market my product; c). use a variety of methods to describe my products
a). Have products that people really want to buy.
This has involved a lot of trial and error for me. I create from my heart and then see which designs catch on. And the market is always evolving so my designs have to keep up.
b). I have to go get my customers, they won’t all come to me on their own. I have to work to draw customers to my shop.
Shoppers will not just magically appear, I have to work work work to get the word out, let them know I have awesome cards, prints and printables and convince them that they need them!
•Once they are in my shop, try to keep them there as long as possible. The longer a shopper is browsing my shop, the more likely they are to become buyers. I do this by trying to maintain a visually appealing home page and first listing page, by adding links to other similar listings in my shop, adding a little humor or interesting background to the listing description, and using up all 5 photos. I only have my social media links in one spot on my Etsy website. Once shoppers on in my Etsy store, I don’t want them leaving, even to visit my SM sites.
c). I use a variety of methods to describe my products. I never know how a shopper is finding my show or how they are viewing my shop. But more and more shoppers are using smartphones to shop. Which is a completely different way of seeing the shop than on a desktop. So I make sure my store looks good from both perspectives. And as a former teacher, I know that different people learn and interact with the world in different ways. So I have may ways to experience my shop: Detailed information is in the listing description, the materials section, one of the photo spots, in my shop about section, policies and FAQ’s and then also in back and forth conversations if need be.

5. What social media sites do you interact on?

and more!

Secret Pal or Secret Santa Gift Ideas

Contributor post by Opal from Apron Strings Owl Lady 

They are used as a fun way to honor co-workers, to surprise other’s at holidays, birthdays and other events – even secretly sent in the mail – have you ever participated in a secret pal gift give-a-way?

Most are conducted by just leaving the gift on the person’s desk or workplace. Some of my friends call these Amigo Secreto (secret friend) or Amigo Invisible (invisible friend). What is this called in your country?

With Etsy, it’d be very simple to send secret gifts to special people in our lives. Thank you Alicia of AliciasFindings for thinking of this topic. Do you have items in your shop that would be perfect for this type of small gift giving? We’d love to see them and hear your story.

Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio says

 I love Secret Santa gift exchanges at work! And trying to guess who the gift-giver was. The game often helps break the ice, solidify friendships and spark new ones!

Here’s a fun Secret Santa Gift great for the office – a mousepad adorned with Love Locks that used to adorn bridges that spanned the Seine River in Paris. The topic of the love locks will certainly bring out conversations and it’s perfect for a traveling buddy or to send a subtle romantic message. . . .

Computer Mousepad christmas gift, Gold Paris Love office Mouse pad, Mousepad Teacher Present desk accessory Romantic Holiday Geek Nerd Gift

Computer Mouse Pad Gift

Diana from joliefemmebydiana says

This is a fun and decorative gift for a secret santa. It’s fun to draw names and then see what cute little thing or funny thing you can find to make someone else smile. It’s always a fun surprise!

Winter Mittens Mini Sac Tote with Snowman Plushie

Winter Mittens Mini Sack Tote

Suzi TC from Oldewoods says

In my last office we had a Kris Kringle where all of our names were written down and went into a bucket. We each chose a slip (keeping it secret of course!) then bought a gift with a value up to $20 for our special colleague. All the pressies went into the Santa Sack and were given out at our Christmas Party. The Banksia Bomb was especially created with affordable festive giving in mind 🙂

Gift Pack - Natural Essential Oil Diffuser with Banksia Bomb Festive Oil Blend

Gift Pak – Banksia Bomb

Melissa R from missy69 says

Secret Santa is always so much fun! Most gift items are given a price of 25 dollars or less, or it used to be when I was in the working force. This leather wrap bracelet, is perfect as a friend or Secret Santa gift. Versatile, and affordable, in neutral colors for Fall and Winter wear. Free shipping, right now, until Jan 1, 2017 on all orders of 35 dollars or more.

Boho Chic Brown Glass Beads and White Glow Beads Single Leather Wrap Bracelet Fall Neutral Tones Handmade Jewelry Gift for Her

Boho Chic Brown Glass Beads

Jerry and Opal from ApronStringsOwlLady says

 I always loved being the giver or the recipient on these Santa and secret pal gifting days. So much fun!

I would probably just make them something like this if it was for a church friend, or even a co worker that I knew what she liked. It’s a take on a country bird bath theme, a little rustic then turned into an inspirational white Dove gift.

Give God The Praise Inspirational Dove Gift, Secret Pal Secret Santa Gift, Country Bird Bath, Rustic haybale gift, Thank you Friendship gift

Inspirational White Dove Gift

Heather Barber from MooseintheMint says

 At work when we did Secret Santa, it tended to be the secretary who organised who got their exchange – I think it involved lots of sealed envelopes!

I think this would be a lovely gift for a dog loving colleague, especially those who often have their pet photos on their desk. Or alternatively, it is suitable if you are in a group who posts their gift to their exchange partner

Dog lover gift, Dogaholic sign, Wooden hanging plaque, Humorous birthday gift, Animal lover present, Funny family sign

Dog Lover Sign

Carola Bartz from CarolaBartz says

 I love Secret Santas, they are fun and just create joy. We did it back in college and my daughter did it with her friends while they were still in school. It was always very enjoyable to find a little gift. I have chosen a little holiday ornament on a 3×3 canvas that is not necessarily specific for Christmas but is perfect for any lover of nature, wild animals like moose and wolves, and just for winter in general. It can be hung in a tree, on a mantelpiece or wherever is space.
Mixed Media Christmas Ornament, Winter Landscape with Trees, Moose and Wolf, Full Moon Scene, Holiday Decoration, Original Canvas Artwork

Mixed Media Christmas Ornament

Circular Sarah Coventry Fire and Ice Lapel Pin Winter Holiday Wreath Gold and Silver Brooch Vintage Jewelry Stocking Stuffers Gift for Her

Circular Fire & Ice Brooch

For the co-worker or friend who loves holiday jewelry this Sarah Coventry fire and ice brooch is a perfect secret Santa gift; small, beautiful, and thoughtful.
If I didn’t already have one from a secret Santa friend, I might not of shared this one.

In college, we did a Secret Santa and it was loads of fun. It was a great way to get to know the other girls in my dorm and to relieve some of the stress from final exams.

One of the gifts that I received was an adorable stuffed hippo wearing a stocking cap nestled inside a small Christmas stocking. I still have him today and each year we place him under our Christmas tree.

For a sweet and easy gift for a Secret Santa gift exchange, this Christmas Cocoa Holder is perfect. Just add a packet of cocoa and a peppermint stick and your gift is ready to go.

Christmas Cocoa Holder - Hot Chocolate Favor - Stocking Stuffer - Gift For Coworker - Secret Santa Gift

Christmas Cocoa Holder

ay from DaffodilLaneStudio says

Secret Santa is especially fun when it’s HARD to figure out who gave what!! I like the Secret Santa game that involves SWAPPING! A gift is opened and the next person can choose to “keep or swap” for someone else’s already opened gift! It keeps the game going just a little bit longer! ( A favorite for my family – but then I have some ruthless swappers living at my house! )

Wouldn’t it be fun to choose a “vintage” Secret Santa gift for your next office exchange? This little cutie is a great choice because it works with any holiday décor. Perfect on your desk too! Vintage reindeer NEVER get thrown away! They just keep delighting young and old for years to come!

Plastic Christmas Deer Vintage Rudolph Reindeer Kitsch Retro 50s Christmas Holiday Decoration

Vintage Plastic Christmas Deer

Sue and Misty from shabbyshopgirls says

 We love secret Santa gifts that are both fun and functionable! These adorable Christmas carolers candles will sing their way into your hearts and decorate your home at the same time!
Christmas Carolers Candles Figurines - Set of 2 - Merry Christmas Carols - New Unused - Christmas Holiday Decor - Gift Idea

Christmas Carolers Candle Figurines

Richard and Tatiana from DesignstheLimit says

 Most of the gifts in our shop are individually personalized for the recipient, but we have the perfect gift for the stressed out coworker or anyone who needs to drink to their good health and for wellness. Available in Red or White stemless wine glasses or on any product in our shop.
Now "LOADING" Design Personalized Stemless Wine Glasses with Option to Include a Monogram in Choice of Font from Our Selection (Each)

Personalized Stemless Wine Glass

We originally created this design for the Net Neutrality movement, but decided to keep it around for love of the good fight and the humor of the double meaning which it invokes when engraved on a wine, whiskey, or coffee mug!

Artsy Lady from WeirdVanity says

 I love Secret Santa! Its a tradition i have been part of since my days in grad school. In school we were on a limited budget, so most of the presents were handmade, which was even more amazing! One of the gifts i received was a handmade Ganesha statue , another time i got a pencil sketch (which was super cool!). at work the budget was higher so that meant store bought presents like scented candles or mugs.

A really cool Secret Santa present would be this handmade custom pet portrait for that colleague or friend who loves his/ her pet!

Custom Pet Portrait Necklace - holiday gift - watercolor handmade- pet memorial -Custom Pet jewelry - Gift dog lovers- personalized gift

Custom Pet Portrait Necklace

Corkycrafts from Corkycrafts says

 Secret Santa brings back many fun memories of grammar school. Our teacher would ask us to bring ornaments into school handmade and give them to her in a brown lunch bag and she would distribute to students by hiding them in your locker or in your desk while you were at lunch or recess, which means you never know who got your ornament until they opened it. Secret was you couldn’t tell who got yours or who had you unless somebody squealed. One year in 4th grade I got a handmade wood bell ornament and many decades later its still displayed on my tree.

This would make a great Secret Santa gift for work or school or even for your child’s teacher.

Crochet angel, Christmas ornament, small tree topper, baptism gift, door prize

Crochet Christmas Angel Ornament

toysfrom70s from toysfrom70s says

 A Secret Santa gift exchange is all about the mystery and fun plus sharing the Christmas spirit. This small bear could sit on somebody’s desk at work and its festive and fun decor throughout the holidays.
Teddy bear figurine collectible/ Secret Santa gift, gifts for coworkers

Collectible Teddy Bear Figurine

Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeSupplies says

 These Christmas coloured beads would make the ideal secret santa gift for the craft lover in your life! They are ideal for adding sparkle, bling and pizzazz to clothing, accessories handbags, quilts, wedding favours, table decorations and an array of craft projects.
Faceted Tear Drop Acrylic Sew on Beads Available in Blue, Lime Green and Red Jewellery and Craft Supplies 1.8 cm x 1.1cm - quantity 20

Faceted Tear Drop Acrylic Beads

Sue from SuesAkornShop says
 Secret Santa’s are so much fun and it’s always a fun time trying to guess who the Santa is!

This vase is great for a co workers desk or for their home. Change the flowers with the seasons or occasions or keep your favorites in this gorgeous mercury glass vase.

Silver Mercury Glass Vase, Lined Glass Vase, Wedding , Anniversary, Silver Vase, Rounded Vase, Table Centerpiece, Flower Holder

Silver Mercury Glass Vase

Sue and Misty from shabbyshopgirls says

 We love Secret Santa gift exchanges! Whether it’s for a man or woman, just about everyone would love a great deck of Christmas playing cards! Host an office party or family gathering with a friendly game bridge or poker! A great way to kick start the Holiday season!
Vintage Hallmark Double Deck Christmas Playing Cards - Red Poinsettias - Holiday Poker Bridge Card Games - Card Party - Stocking Stuffer

Vintage Christmas Playing Cards

Julia from Fabpatterns1015 says

 A perfect Secret Santa gift; especially, for that favorite teacher! Stuffed, fabric apple, for ornament, shelf, curio, or where ever you wish to use it. Customizable, too!
Apple Fabric Smiles Handmade

Apple Fabric Smiles Ornament

Christa from WintergreenDesign says

 Secret Santa exchanges have always been a great holiday tradition. Most of the secret Santa exchanges I have been apart of have included the exchanging of Christmas Ornaments… I think they are a thoughtful gift and whether you know someone well or not you are likely to find an ornament that will fit the person and your budget.

For a Secret Santa exchange I would definitely go with an ornament. In my shop I have dozen of designs that can be customized by color or hair style making an ornament perfect for your recipient.

Bearded Elf Ornament, Elf Decoration, Striped Elf Christmas Paper Quilled Ornament in Crimson Red, Customizable Beard, Stocking Stuffer

Bearded Elf Ornament

Cristal Hughes from DesignsbyCristal says

 I loved being apart of the Secret Santa type parties they were so much fun!!!. As the bag was being passed around for you to choose a name you could tell everyone was hoping somebody who was a great gift giver pulled their name. So, I think getting something the person has listed on their wish list would be a pleasant surprise especially if this were there only gift.
Horses lanyard, badge holder or keychain

Horses Lanyard

Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns says

 These colourful earrings would make a gorgeous secret santa gift for the jewelery lover. Imprinted with a flower decoration, these handmade earrings are lightweight and an easy transition from day wear to night attire.
Ceramic Earrings Handmade Jewellery Matte Light Blue Purple Oval with Flower design Imprint Comes in Handmade Gift Pouch

Handmade Ceramic Jewelry

Roses Workshop from RosesWorkshop says

 I have had several customers recently saying their purchase was for a Secret Santa gift. Since I already wrap all my items in tissue tied up with a simple satin ribbon, they are ready for giving. Here’s an idea that is even useful around the office:
British wool mug cosy / cup cover hand knitted in lichen green wool with wooden button

British Wool Mug Cosy

Esther-Nicole Designs from TheENDboutique says

 Perfectly Unique Holiday or Christmas Gift idea for your Secret Santa, or Holiday Christmas Party 35+ COLOR CHOICES

3pc Rose Pen Holiday Gift Set

3pc Rose Pen CHRISTMAS GIFT SET Holiday Christmas Party Gift Idea~Office Christmas Party Secret Santa Gift Mom Christmas gift idea Set Mom

Rose Pen Set

Pen Flower Bouquet Gift Set Perfect Gift to Co-worker, Best Friend or Floral bouquet/Flower Alternative for your Girlfriend, Wife or Mom.
Create a Custom Centerpiece for Home or Office Desk Décor.

Mary Steed from MaryJaneCreations says

 I think secret santa is a lovely idea. Here is one for the ladies… If not your choice, I’ve other charmed items too.
Moon Charm Pendant, Christmas Present, Crystal and Bead Pendant, Ladies Pendant Gift, Gifts for Her, Moon Pendant, Blue Bead Pendant, Et 153

Moon Charm Pendant

#CIJPopUpMarket #1 – StockLaneStudio

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

#CIJPopUpMarket #1 Shop – StockLaneStudio from StockLaneStudio



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

Stock Lane Studio gives shoppers a chance to travel the world through our photography, prints and cards. We are a mother-daughter team of three and we have traveled the world together. With different ages, tastes and talents, we can offer three different perspectives and styles. All three of us have a need to share our stories in one way or another. This includes our travel photography, but we also other artistic, quirky and poetic sides that show up in our funny, insightful and romantic cards and prints.

2. What is your favorite July activity where you live?

Our home is now in Upstate New York and I am really enjoying getting to know my new home state. July is a hot month in New York, so my favorite activity involves getting away from the heat, canoeing on a lake or sneaking away to a quiet cool spot in the woods or along the Atlantic.

3. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

If I could travel anywhere I would go to Oregon. I was raised in Oregon and the beautiful state has defined me. I miss the natural beauty and I miss my family. I would spend long weekends camping and hiking and canoeing with close friends and family. We would swim from shore to shore in pristine lakes that are so precious their names and whereabouts must be kept secret. We would stop off in the Columbia River Gorge and buy fresh salmon just caught minutes ago from local Native fishermen selling along the side of the road. We would look for our names etched in the bricks of Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square and then have a hard time choosing which food cart to pick for lunch. There are too many wonderful things do to in Oregon to name here – these are just a few.

4. Who do you most admire in life?

There is no one person I admire. I have several people I look up to, and most are not famous. I admire my husband for how he’s made his way through a tough life and ended up on the bright side. I admire my daughters being compassionate and for knowing things and having abilities that I don’t. I admire my recently deceased mother for the love and happiness she was able to give others despite the challenges she was facing in her own life. She is also my entrepreneurial role model – able to run two thriving small businesses while raising a large family as a single mother.

5. What is a skill you’d like to learn and why?

My mother tried her darnedest to teach me to sew, and my father sewed his own sails for his sailboat. I do remember a nice (uneven) summer dress that I sewed in 7th grade, but I just didn’t have the patience to sew as a child. Now that I’m (much) older and more patient, I would like to welcome a sewing machine into my life again. I have so many ideas to express in fabric. Most importantly, I have bins of t-shirts and sentimental blankets and other fabric remnants that I’d like to sew into memory quilts for my children.

6. What are your social media sites?

Find Stock lane Studio on
Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook @stocklanestudio

We’re also on
We Heart It:

Member Feature: 19Designs

Contributor post by Alexandra of EyeLoveKnots

Please join us in welcoming Jodi of 19Designs, our featured member!


Tell us about yourself.       

I am a mom, wife, and a paralegal by trade. I have been married for 29 years to my best friend and together we have three beautiful, smart, and creative children. I retired when our youngest was three so that I could stay home and raise them. We also have three rescue doggies who are a huge source of joy in our lives.

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

I started my shop in June of 2010. I had no intention of opening a shop, but my eldest had just left for college and I found I needed something to help keep my mind occupied. I had been scrapbooking as a hobby for years creating albums for both family and friends. So, I decided to use that creative outlook and started selling cards, albums, and other handmade items on Etsy.

Tell us a bit about your products.           

My cards, mini albums, and bookmarks are all handmade by me. I choose every piece of card stock, sentiment, ribbon, and embellishment that I use in or on each item to make it as personal a piece as possible for each buyer.

What inspires your work?           

My work is inspired by the prints, textiles, and patterns that I see in the world around me, whether it is from the latest trends on-line to the flowers in my garden. There are so many color schemes everywhere and it makes me think about using color combinations in my work that I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.

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

My future goals for my shop are to implement new techniques and mediums in my products to expand my creations even further. For instance, I was recently introduced to copic markers and the artists Sherri Baldy and Stamping Bella. I am addicted to this medium. I have now begun creating reading bookmarks using both of these artists images. They are so cute….they make me happy!


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

I think my shop stands out because I pay a lot of attention to details that can be easily seen through my distinct trademarks such as my finishing ribbons, delicate embellishments, and unique pattern combinations.


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

I actually have two work spaces; my home and on our family boat. The contrasting environments help to change-up my creativity, especially when I feel a bit of artistic block.


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

Before opening my Etsy shop, I wish I knew how important the role of social media would be to help promote my work. I now know the ins and outs of Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest which greatly affects my sales. I wish I had jumped on the social media train sooner!

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

PATIENCE! You must have patience if you are going to have an Etsy shop. It takes time and patience to build your shop and for people to find you. Etsy is a huge umbrella of shops and you need to do something that stands out. You need to know who your target audience is and promote directly to them. Promoting does not have to be expensive; it does not even have to cost a dime. Social media is a great way to get your name and products out there.

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

When I am not working on my shop, I am usually down at our boat in the marina with the family. I love to read, scrapbook, cross-stitch, garden, and take photographs of my kids and doggies. I am a die-hard hockey fan of the Los Angeles Kings (Drew Doughty is my favorite player) and can be found in front of the t.v. watching every Kings game if I am not at the Staples Center watching it live.

What is your favorite quote?

I actually have two favorite quotes:

1. Everything happens for a reason; and,

2. What’s meant to be, will be.

Where can people find out more about your business?  

You can find out more about my business by following me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I post both new and current listings regularly. I also had a blog on WordPress called “Paper and Pucks” (my nod to hockey), but due to the exorbitant amount of time I spend on my shop, I had to put that aside for the time being. I hope to one day go back to it.

You can find the links to my shop on these sites below:




  Is there anything else you’d like to share?         

I think if you are truly passionate about your work, it will show and you will do well on Etsy. It does take a lot of time and hard work, but you can make it what you want it to be with drive and determination. Getting another sale and making new friends on Etsy never gets old. It’s what keeps me driven to do better and offer my customers cards and albums that they wouldn’t otherwise find in a regular store.


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.


Valentine’s Day

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

Valentine’s Day is all about love, lovers, cards and so much more…

Here at Christmas in July we want to know what offerings you have to Cupid and a little about the item.

Roses Workshop from RosesWorkshop  says I love roses, but they don’t bloom naturally in February in the UK. I have created one that will last all year long, and packaged it in a perfect little heart-shaped gift box.

Felted red rose brooch

Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio  said To me, chocolate is a big part of Valentine’s day. It’s a must-have all year long, every day!! (in my dreams). Dangle a good piece of chocolate in front of me and I have been known to change my mind.

Chocolate Valentine Card

Marjorie Scenna from mscenna states red hearts are symbolic of Valentine’s Day and a heart shaped gift is perfect. This red one of a kind glass beaded key chain is a great gift idea!

Red Heart Key chain

Lia Russo from Ghirlandiamo discusses how On Valentine’s Day people generally buy gifts or flowers: that’s very nice, but l think there are also other ways to celebrate this romantic day.

l prepared these tiny wreaths with hearts thinking of an intimate romantic dinner and a smart table set with little, particular accents, like napkin holders.

Felted red rose brooch

Carola Bartz from CarolaBartz says I love to remember my daughter when she still went to elementary school and each child brought little Valentines for the classroom Valentine party. I always made mini cards and then my daughter would sit at the table and write the names of her classmates on the cards. She was so concentrated on the job, the tip of her tongue wandered from one corner of her mouth to the other. She was happy when she was done and hadn’t messed up.

Classroom Valentines with Giraffes

Tanya Hardman from TheWoollyTangle states I love this since it’s one of the first items I made that looked how I saw it in my head! Hangs on a lovely quirky angle and moves wonderfully with you.

Beaded wire heart necklace

Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns  discussed how I have lots of Valentine gift ideas in my shop for him and her….necklaces, rings… and even tableware for that romantic dinner!!

I especially have lots of ‘heart’ jewellery

Ceramic heart necklace

Annie from DesignedbyAnneliese says I had fun putting together these Valentines day themed mini cards.

Heart mini cards

Ina from InaSudjana states that Love should be celebrated So we should really have valentines day every day! Appreciating our loved ones daily, appreciating our friends and appreciating everything that we have really.
Here’s one wall hanging that can help us remember to celebrate love!

Pure wool Cloud Mobile with hearts and elephant

Melissa R from missy69 says I am still very new to wood burning, but I wanted to make a few things for Valentines Day. This is just a simple wooden picture block, with Calla Lilies, Roses, and hearts wood burned to the block. There is a spot for personalizing, too.

Wood burned spring flowers/hearts spinning block picture frame

Wendy CN from CardNotions discusses that this is a humorous Valentine’s Day card inspired by a Fushia and Chartruse sea anemone photo I took years ago. Just a little Photoshopping created a lovely anemone heart for the front of the card! (Did you notice the little hermit crab in the front photo?)

Next, I thought about how other sea creatures might say “I Love You”. Surely, they would need to spell it out with their bodies. So, when the card is opened, a jelly fish in the shape of an “I”, an octopus holding a red heart, and an eel in the shape of an “U” pop forth in bright colors to say “I love you”.

3D I heart you card

Evelyn and Lucy from artsyEve states I think this quilt would be perfect for Valentine’s day–perhaps for a February baby or for an older friend to use as a lap quilt. It’s beautifully made with appliqued hearts–perfect for Valentine’s Day!

Pink and white baby quilt appliqued with hearts

Mandi Leighs from leighswiccanboutique says Love is in the air and valentines day is just around the corner fast approaching. Why not go out of the normal and get her something that not only smells fantastic but is equally beautiful as well. This candle holder was created from found materials to create this unique piece adorn with crystal Quartz, Emerald, Black Onyx and Agate. Filled with a unique of Dragons Blood and Wine. The best part is once this candle is gone the holder is reusable with your favorite tealights or votive candles. A gift that can be used over and over again.

Dragons Blood and Wine Candle,Protection Candle


Woolly Momo from WoollyMomo  states that I think giving your loved one the gift of warmth and comfort is once of the nicest things you can give them.

Valentine’s Day is always so cold here in London and so, in keeping with the red theme of Valentine’s Day, I knit this lovely red hat in a soft and cozy wool to keep a lover warm as the go out and about to celebrate with their much loved other half!

Red side cable Beanie Hat


Sue and Misty from shabbyshopgirls state we love vintage Valentine’s Day cards and postcards! The sayings/greetings are so sweet and creative from years past. This is one of our favorites featuring a huge heart with a lid! Hope she finds some LOVE in there!

Antique Valentine Greeting Postcard


Top Ten Easter Gifts for Kids

Contributor post by Amy of BeadsAndThreadsbyAmy

Hello, and welcome to Easter!  The bunnies are hopping, the eggs are popping, and the flowers are blooming!  Read on to find out the Top Ten Gifts on the Easter Bunny’s List this year, all from the Christmas in July Team on Etsy.

10) Cookie Cutters

The kids will love making Easter Cookies with these fun Easter Cookie Cutters! Decorate them up with all sorts of fun colors and embellishments for a sweet little treat, AND/OR, use them for fun creative arts & crafts projects for Easter decorating!  –Sue and Misty from shabbyshopgirls 
Adorable cookie cutters give the kids something yummy and create warm family memories.

Adorable cookie cutters give the kids something yummy and create warm family memories.

9) Easter Bunny Plush Animals

Hello, I have a bunny softie sewing pattern that comes with a lop-eared version too.  These make a great, memorable and lasting Easter gift for kids. –Lucy from MyFunnyBuddy

Adorable, easy to sew pattern for Easter Bunny Plush Animals.

Adorable, easy to sew pattern for Easter Bunny Plush Animals.

8) Tote Bags

This delightful little tote can be used for more than just a tote–it can be a reusuable Easter “basket.” Just add colorful “green grass” and lots of Easter eggs!  –Evelyn and Lucy from artsyEVE

Soft, lovely tote made with Easter in mind.

Soft, lovely tote made with Easter in mind.

7) Pillows

What little girl, or boy for that matter, doesn’t want their very own bunny.

Well, with this bunny soft velveteen pillow cover they can have their own cuddly soft snuggly bunny with no clean up required, vet bills, feeding or mess. –Patricia from TheOldBarnDoor

Soft, cuddly bunny without the mess!

Soft, cuddly bunny without the mess!

6) Baskets

If you want to give an Easter basket to a kid or a kid at heart, this floral Easter basket is just the ticket. It will last longer and will welcome Spring without adding calories or sugar. Inspired by old fashioned Easter baskets, faux flowers add a special twist and bring back memories to adults who haven’t been given an Easter basket for a long time. It includes a bunny and a couple of butterflies for a special touch. –Nautico Creations from NauticoCreations

Adorable bunny on a basket!

Adorable bunny on a basket!

5) Artwork

He’s a cute Schnauzer Easter bunny & he has plenty of colorful Easter eggs in a basket. For the kid who shares a home with a schnauzer or any adorable four legged friend! Inspired by my love of dogs and Easter. –Angie Ketelhut from petartbyangie

Original artwork...the gift that becomes a family heirloom.

Original artwork…the gift that becomes a family heirloom.

4) Choco-bunny

A chocolate bunny for people who can’t have (or hate-do they exist?) chocolate! This cute bunny also comes in many other colors (pink, blue, yellow) in my store.

A felt bunny pin ready for adoption with hand embroidered embellishments. A welcome addition to any Easter basket or spring outfit. –Noel from MinkCouture

Adorable chocolate bunny even if you're watching those calories!!!

Adorable chocolate bunny pin…works even if you’re watching those calories!!!

3) Personalized Candy Gifts

Check out our Easter personalized candy bar wrappers.

These make great favors for any Easter event. Great chocolate gifts for handing out at school or sticking in your child’s Easter basket. They can also be used as cards. Why send a regular card when you can send chocolate!

The Wrapper Press from TheWrapperPress

Add an Easter theme to regular candy bars…adorable!

Add an Easter theme to regular candy bars…adorable!


2) A bunny and an egg

Bunnies are a great addition to any Easter Basket! Or hide them for an Egg Hunt! Put goodies inside a plastic egg and put the plastic egg inside the tummy of the bunny (instead of an ice cube)! Boo-boo bunnies are great fun!
These are great for teenagers, too. I sent my kids on a scavenger hunt for the bunnies, each giving a clue to the next bunny. The final bunny had money inside. What a great surprise!

Have fun with Lots of Colored Easter Bunnies! –Jul from JulsSewCrazy

Adorable egg hidden inside a bunny...what says Easter more than this adorable little gift?

Adorable egg hidden inside a bunny…what says Easter more than this adorable little gift?

1) Cards

Here’s an Easter idea for a child that will bridge the distance; it folds into an envelop, can be mailed anywhere, and when opened to 180 degrees displays a 3D Green and Yellow Easter basket with two cute bunnies. I think adults would love this also! –Wendy CN from CardNotions

For the kiddos far away, the Easter Bunny uses the USPS!

For the kiddos far away, the Easter Bunny uses the USPS!

A final little poem to light up your Easter this year:

Even as the Earth turns into Spring,
Angling its torso towards the sun,
So like birds our hearts begin to sing,
Touched by time as tides by moonlight run,
Ebbing as faith faces the long night,
Returning with the laughter and the light.

-By Dimitri Shostakovich.

#CIJRoadTrip – Netherlands (Holland) : Zoetermeer

Contributor post by Megha of byTheArtBug

Let’s travel all the way to Zoetermeer Netherlands (Holland) with Annelies Knijnenburg from LizKnijnenburg

1. What city do you live in? What makes it special? 

Zoetermeer in the Netherlands.
Zoetermeer, which means Sweet Lake, is a town with about 120.000 inhabitants, not so far from the coast of the North Sea. It’s a place with some forests, much “green”spots, leasure companies like “Snowworld” (for skiing) and Dutch Waterdreams (for rafting). I love to ride my bike and walk in my beautiful neighbourhood.

Zoetermeer, my "green" hometown, it is taken near by where I live. I usually walk in this park 2 times a week.

Zoetermeer, my “green” hometown, it is taken near by where I live. I usually walk in this park 2 times a week.

2. What are several places everyone visiting your country should see?

Of course our capital Amsterdam is a great place to visit: the museums with the famous paintings of Van Gogh and Rembrandt, the canals and canal houses and red light district.

But don’t forget to see Delft, a lovely little town with its Delfts blue pottery and our biggest harbour city Rotterdam with a superb skyline!

Amsterdam by night - a photo from

Amsterdam by night – a photo from

3. How have the customs, traditions, geography, nature etc. inspired the items you create?

I am selling vintage french postcards and since I live in Europe I sometimes go to French flea markets and I trade with French sellers.

French flea market

French flea market

4. What are you doing this fall to drive your business in your community? Are you doing a festival or show? How do you reach out to your community?

In the Netherlands Etsy is not that known yet, my buyers are most Americans. I purchase many vintage Christmas cards now with angels, trees, snow, etc. to try to get more buyers this fall and winter. I don’t have a Facebookpage yet, but will start with it soon.

Antique Angel Postcard From LizKnijnenburg

Antique Angel Postcard From LizKnijnenburg

Romantic Couple Christmas Card -From LizKnijnenburg

Romantic Couple Christmas Card -From LizKnijnenburg

Antique Angel Photo Postcard From LizKnijnenburg

Antique Angel Photo Postcard From LizKnijnenburg

5. What are your social media sites?
I have a Pinterest page:
And an Instagram page:
and will start a Facebook page for my shop soon.

#CIJRoadTrip – France: Lannilis

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Let’s travel to France – Lannilis with Sandra from SandraOvono

1. What city do you live in? What makes it special?

I live in Lannilis, a small village of approximately 6000 inhabitants, nestled in the Pays des Abers aka the Coast of Legends. This is an area of Brittany, France’s westernmost region, known for its fjord-like rocky inlets. The «Abers» (a Celtic word meaning estuary) are in fact old coastal valleys submerged by the sea at high tide. The Abers have a strong cultural identity and their environment, totally unspoilt and preserved, is the home for unique species of birds and flora. They are a fabulous destination to discover.

The Old Customs Officers’ Path Passes Along The Abers’ Coast And Offers You Outstanding Views - France - Photo By Sandra Ovono

The Old Customs Officers’ Path Passes Along The Abers’ Coast And Offers You Outstanding Views – France – Photo By Sandra Ovono

The Phare de l’ile Vierge (Virgin Island Lighthouse) Is The Highest European Dressed-Stone Lighthouse, The Sentinel Of the Abers Coast - France - Photo By Sandra Ovono

The Phare de l’ile Vierge (Virgin Island Lighthouse) Is The Highest European Dressed-Stone Lighthouse, The Sentinel Of the Abers Coast – France – Photo By Sandra Ovono

The Dunes Of Sainte Maguerite Overlook An Ocean Dotted With Rocky Islets - France - Photo By Sandra Ovono

The Dunes Of Sainte Maguerite Overlook An Ocean Dotted With Rocky Islets – France – Photo By Sandra Ovono

2. What are several places everyone visiting your country should see?

There are so many amazing places to visit! You will be charmed no matter which part of France you select.

Here are my favorite destinations:

– If you plan a romantic getaway, Paris, the City of Love, is the perfect destination
– If you are a nature lover, Brittany’s unique natural splendours are guaranteed to take your breath away
– If you’re a gourmet, you can escape to the Wine Routes or discover the full range of flavors of Provencal cuisine in the French Riviera
– If you like cultural visits, you will be enchanted by the Châteaux of the Loire Valley







3.  How have the customs, traditions, geography, nature etc. inspired the items you create?

The subjects I find inspirational are the sea and the natural world. Brittany is a land of inspiration. I draw inspiration from the beautiful seascapes, the dramatic light of ocean storms, the myriad of tiny treasures found along the seashores. My paintings and illustrations include boats, beaches, misty islands, seaweeds, as well as fauna and flora.

Boat Painting - Original Watercolor - From SandraOvono

Boat Painting – Original Watercolor – From SandraOvono

Watercolor Seascape Card From SandraOvono

Watercolor Seascape Card From SandraOvono

4. What are you doing this fall to drive your business in your community? Are you doing a festival or show? How do you reach out to your community?

As a watercolorist, I’m a member of the “Brittany Watercolor Society”. This fall, we will exhibit our watercolor paintings in the Château de Pont l’Abbé.

As a mother of 3 (my main job!), this fall I would like to learn sewing, because I want to take part on a collective project: with other mothers of my community, we will sew a reading rug for the kids of the nursery!

I’m also a leader of the Etsy Team Bretagne, a community of Etsy sellers based in Brittany. I wish we could see each other more often, but it’s hard to find a time when we can all meet up.

Home Is Where The Heart Is - Printable Wall Art From SandraOvono

Home Is Where The Heart Is – Printable Wall Art From SandraOvono

ACEO - Set Of 3 Original Mini Watercolor Painting From SandraOvono

ACEO – Set Of 3 Original Mini Watercolor Painting From SandraOvono

5. What are your social media sites?