Supplies – All Things

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Supplies. Just say the word and all things supplies come to mind. Inspiring supply items from members of the EtsyChristmasInJuly Team and their stories fill my mind with ideas! Please enjoy!

Veronica Fritsch from AVAArtsSupplies shares that when she had her son she  spent a lot of time at home because he was sick. To fill that time she took a lot of pictures of their son. Veronica would then scrapbook them into a large scrapbook. It was a nice time filler. It was something she could pick up and put down easily. They had lots of stickers, paper, and ton of imagination. She drew a lot of their decorations and cut out random shapes. Friends and family would pick up stickers or supplies at yard sales or from friends who didn’t need them. She personally think it kept her sane for that first year!

1st Birthday Scrapbook Stickers From AVAArtsSupplies

1st Birthday Scrapbook Stickers From AVAArtsSupplies

Carolyn Eady from SproutPressDesigns has Journal Adventure Kits in her shop. This kit was designed originally as a way to use up her off cuts of fancy papers, but ended up being much more. Since there’s a hand bound notebook, tags and envelope with little surprises included, it’s more of a prompt or starting point of inspiration for crafty folk or those on the outskirts of creativity, wanting to join in.

Journal Adventure Kit From SproutsPressDesigns

Journal Adventure Kit From SproutsPressDesigns

Barb from barbsheartstrokes has a few stamping supplies. One of the crafts she thought “YES” I can do this! But for her it was a bit of a challenge getting the right colors, paper, stamps to look good together. It is harder then it looks and some out there make it look so easy! It is it’s own “talent”. She is  going to sell all the stamping supplies and try her hand at something different. Barb is not sure what it will be though! Maybe needle felting, knitting, or crocheting? So many options!

Stampin Up Two Step Stampin Flash Florals From barbsheartstrokes

Stampin Up Two Step Stampin Flash Florals From barbsheartstrokes

Jeanne from CedarwoodCreations a few years ago made up some DIY Kid’s Personalized Necklace Kits for a friend’s birthday party and they were a huge success! She decided to start selling them in her Etsy shop and she has been thrilled at the response she has received about them. Jeanne tries to find charms to suit any themed children’s party she can think of.

DIY Kids Party Favor Princess Crown Personalized Necklace From CedarwoodCreations

DIY Kids Party Favor Princess Crown Personalized Necklace From CedarwoodCreations

Sherri from ButterflyFeetDigital has been creating her own digital printable supplies for card making and scrap booking for several years now. It’s so fun to make backgrounds and clip art to match! Sherri has made birthday cards and even Christmas cards for friends and family for several years now. She absolutely love paper crafting, and being able to make her own printable papers makes it that much better!

Butterfly, Dragonfly, Flowers Clip Art From ButterflyFeetDigital

Butterfly, Dragonfly, Flowers Clip Art From ButterflyFeetDigital

Apryl from MaddieBsCreations inherited large quantities of this beautiful lace. Although she does a lot of sewing, she hasn”t found a good use for tons of lace. Apryl is still trying to come up with a “brilliant” craft that will utilize all this lace. In the mean time she is offering it in her shop in a variety of colors.

Purple Lace From MaddieBsCreations

Purple Lace From MaddieBsCreations

Tracy from LittleShopofColor has lots of digital papers in her store and she’s working on adding more alphabets, frames, and clip art. The brighter and bolder the colors the better. Tracy loves these pretty stars papers because of the variation in color and texture. She is always experimenting and learning new techniques! These papers were just one experiment that came out beautiful.

Bright Abstract Painted Stars Digital Paper Pack From LittleShopofColor

Bright Abstract Painted Stars Digital Paper Pack From LittleShopofColor

Bella Vida from Hope Printables shares the specifics on this digital download. This is a little bit product and a little bit kit. These are 4 digital download prints. They can be framed and hung anyway the buyer chooses. They can even be separated and put in various rooms of the house for more inspiration. They were originally inspired by the peaceful, hopeful and spiritual words of the advent season and the colors softened and adapted for the nursery.

Peace Love Hope Joy Inspirational Word Art HopePrintables

Peace Love Hope Joy Inspirational Word Art HopePrintables

Sarah from TheFeltCollector has been collecting felt for a long time, first for herself and then to share with others. Some printed felt is hard to find. She enjoys hand dying felt, especially animal printed felt sheets, to get really cool or pretty colors. The blue paisley was inspiration for her shop banner, it’s such a nice design.

Blue paisley Felt From TheFeltCollector

Blue paisley Felt From TheFeltCollector

Oksana from LaFiabaRussa really loves working with natural materials and making toys.

Extra Virgin Wool From LaFiabaRussa

Extra Virgin Wool From LaFiabaRussa

Elizabeth from ElizabethLovesGlass envisions flowers for you to incorporate into your crafts.

3D Felt  FlowersFrom ElizabethLovesGlass

3D Felt FlowersFrom ElizabethLovesGlass

Heike from Belambolo offers some easy to follow patterns for doll clothes – sewing, knitting, crocheting in her shop belambolo.

Pattern For Knitted Doll Sweater From Belambolo

Pattern For Knitted Doll Sweater From Belambolo

For Dad

Contributor post by Amy of BeadsAndThreadsbyAmy

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.  -Jim Valvano

I am not ashamed to say that no man I ever met was my father’s equal, and I never loved any other man as much.  -Hedy Lamarr

The greatest gift I ever had came from God; I call him Dad! — Author Unknown

Join our Christmas in July Team in celebrating dad this Father’s Day (June 15, 2014)!  Below, our artists share their favorite stories of their own fathers and items from their shop that would be perfect gifts.  What story will you share?

Veronica and Andy Fritsch from AVAArtsSupplies says

My dad taught me a lot. He taught me to catch a ball, fix a flat, build a birdhouse, and make mac and cheese (out of the box, but hey he tried!). I think the biggest and most important thing he taught me was that just because I’m girl doesn’t mean that it should limit me! I remember a couple of months ago a home improvement store employee (male) asked what I was doing. After looking puzzled for a minute, I told him I was looking for the right piece of wood for my project. He preceded to ask what I was building. I told him a bed frame. He laughed! He told me good luck and he hoped my husband was around to help. I told the manager who apologized, but I was angry. I called my Dad and he said with skills I’ve got I probably build any type of furniture around the guy while baking awesome cookies. He was super impressed when I sent the pictures later and told me how proud he was and how much he loved me. I’ll always be a daddy’s girl, and my dad made sure I was a well-prepared daddy’s girl!

My dad is a pretty down-to-earth guy who taught me everything I know about video games, comic books, and sci-fi novels. He’s one of those guys who doesn’t necessarily want ‘stuff’ when holidays roll around, he wants gift cards so he can fill up his Kindle! Seeing as it’s hard to wrap a gift card, I came up with these little pocket shirt cards – it’s a pretty, ah, manly card and gift card holder all in one! Now he can stock up on books and I can borrow them…hehehe…

My Dad was the kind of guy who woke in the morning either singing, humming or whistling. He was always happy, always had a smile on his face and always appreciated everything.

One day I came home from school and had to make a car as a homework project. My dad took me to his workshop in the basement. Using old cans, pieces of wood, screws and anything we could find, we worked for hours. Nailing, painting and sanding my new mini car I had a blast. I was only around 5 at the time, needless to say I had the best project in the class! Aldo my Dad passed away when I was younger I am glad that I can cherish this memory forever.

My dad is such an amazing man. He is gentle spirited, kind, loving, and a devoted father. One of my most special memories is him reading to me and my two brothers. We would cuddle up before bedtime and my dad would read us stories by Walt Morey, like Gentle Ben. He loved to read sweet stories about animals. My dad would pray with us as well before tucking us in bed. I am thankful for sweet childhood memories. Love my Dad!

My dad is one of those dad’s that didn’t have to be. I was five when I was adopted and lead a very troubled childhood. I am grateful for his support even when it was a challenge. Though I may not always love all of the choices he made along the way, especially after my mother passed away he is still my dad. If you were to ask me what the very definition of a father was it would be this…. A man who loves his child with all his heart, stands by and gives guidance but not judgement and supports you to the day he is no longer here on earth, blood has nothing to do with it. Sorry for the sappy story but I will proudly tell it til the day I die!

My dad was a quiet, easy going man, who worked hard, and was constantly remodeling our home-before it was trendy on the home and garden network! Being an only child I was definitely Daddy’s girl until the day he died.

My fondest memory was when his first grandchild was born. Being “Boston Irish” he loved St Patrick’s Day, but alas I couldn’t hold out and he received his first grandchild two days before St Paddy’s day. Mom gave him the task of ordering flowers to be sent to the hospital. To my surprise the nurses came giggling into my room and asked me if I had given birth to a martian – for low and behold he had sent me me a green bouquet, not the tradition blue, to celebrate his grandson’s birth.

May Holidays – Memorial Day – May 26th

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Memorial Day, an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May, honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, at least, it marks the beginning of summer.

Most celebrate this day with honoring veterans, parades and cookouts!!

Angel Soyars of LilLoveBugsCreations told me:

Memorial Day is huge day in my family! My mother and father emigrated to the US in 1960’s from the Philippines. It wasn’t easy, but my father went to medical school and became a pediatrician here in the US. They had 8 children (never a dull moment!) me being the youngest. All 4 of my brothers have served our country as well as my husband. I come from a family of heroes. Memorial Day is not only a day that I remember those who serve or have served, but to also a reminder that I had the stroke of luck to be born in a country where I was born free. 

Memorial Day means summer, fun, parades, pride but most of all freedom.

Here is an item that immediately reminds me of this holiday:


Amanda Marie of JoiedeVivreCrafts said:

My Dad’s Dad served in the army during WWII. He was stationed in England, and he helped load bombs onto planes. He lost his best friend when a bomb went off unexpectedly while loading it. He never talked about the war. In fact, he threw out everything to do with it including his dog tags. However, I couldn’t be prouder of him. Both my Dad and I have a strong interest in WWII now. It’s one of my favorite time periods or read and learn about. 

Here is a wreath that reminds me so much of what our country is. 


Jeanne of CedarwoodCreations explained:

My Dad served in the Korean War. He was a Medic in the Navy on a ship. He told some cool stories but the one that sticks out in my head is that there were some alcoholic men on the ship and because they were at sea for such a long stretch of time (without alcohol) the severe ‘ones’ would strain regular alcohol through bread and drink it. Gross I know, but it stuck with me.


This holiday is an amazing time to get together with loved ones and celebrate our Veterans. Through the good and the bad they have faithfully served our country and made it what it is today!!

May Holidays – National Teacher Day – May 6th

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

The origins of National Teacher Day are murky. Around 1944 Arkansas teacher Mattye Whyte Woodridge began corresponding with political and education leaders about the need for a national day to honor teachers. Woodridge wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt, who in 1953 persuaded the 81st Congress to proclaim a National Teacher Day.

NEA, along with its Kansas and Indiana state affiliates and the Dodge City (Kan.) Local, lobbied Congress to create a national day to celebrate teachers. Congress declared March 7, 1980 as National Teacher Day for that year only.

NEA and its affiliates continued to observe National Teacher Day in March until 1985, when the NEA Representative Assembly voted to change the event to Tuesday of the first full week of May.

Most celebrate this holiday by holding a celebration,an awards ceremony or having sales for teachers. There is so much we can all do to show the teachers of the world we appreciate them and their hard work and dedication to  teaching our young ones.

Candy Rauber of WickedlyCreative let me know:

As a child I moved frequently and therefore went to many different schools in several different states. I don’t remember the names of a lot of my teachers but I do remember what I loved about my favorite teachers. They engaged you in class, encouraged free speech and really listened to what you had to say. They pushed you to think about things in a different way, expected a lot of you and in response you stepped up to that challenge. To all of my wonderful teachers I would give them an A+!


Cindy Ely of cecrafts said:

I was always a very shy little girl. I had one teacher that showed me it was ok to be just me. A red haired overweight child. She gave me all the confidence I needed to go on to succeed.
I would give her this.


Jeanne of CedarwoodCreations told me that:

In 8th grade my History Teacher acted like no other teacher I had ever seen. He would get on his desk sometimes to make a speech like a famous historical figure. He would get ‘in character’ by changing his voice and act like a war hero from the past. You never knew what he would do. He made learning fun for our class and kept us all interested. Here’s to you Mr. W—–.


Amy Spock of  BeadsandThreadsbyAmy stated:

Ms. Cummins was my high school math teacher as a freshman and then again in calculus as a senior. I had the privilege of having some very good teachers, but she holds a special place in my heart. As a sophomore, I had a very troubling summer and decided to drop my honors class in math. While she clearly expressed what a ridiculous idea this was, she also supported me the following year, spending hours helping me get caught back up. As a result of her help and her confidence in me, I was able to get through that class. When she presented me an award at Baccalaureate, we were both tearing up. When she found out I couldn’t afford a calculator for college (they were really expensive back in the day), she said she needed some help around the house. I washed her car and found a new calculator in the back seat. I only hope I am as inspirational to my students as she was to me. You see, she is the reason I became a teacher. Science, though, not math.

Here’s to you, Ms. Cummins! Congratulations on helping me through! I hope I make you proud!


Karen Crisp of APaperParadise says:

I went to high school in England, and for both my O levels and A levels I had the same teacher for maths. He was patient, passionate and talented. Maths soon became my favorite subject. I stayed on at school for an extra few weeks after the end of school to prepare for the entrance exams for the university I wanted to attend, once again, he was there to help me. It was during this time that he revealed to the class of 4 or 5 students that while he was at college he had worked as a grave digger.

Now, 30 some years on, I think of him every time I write the phrase ‘thank you for your interest in my coffins’ in response to a convo about my coffins.


Veronica and Andy Fritsch of AVAArtsSupplies said that they:

 loved science. My favorites were biology, chemistry (1 and 2), and physics! I had great teachers for all of them, but my favorite was an older gentleman who volunteered to help us. He worked on the atom bombs when he was younger, after he retired he wanted to still be involved in science so he contacted our high school to volunteer. He was always there to praise us, help explain stuff to us, or to tell us stories. He was super patient with us when we didn’t quite get it. He was strict if we gave him attitude, but you could tell he still cared. He came to the school Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays and was there from my freshman to senior year. His love of science made it come alive to me. 


WalterSilva of WalterSilva discussed:

My freshman year in college I had a wonderful intro to literature instructor. She was so down to earth, in touch with what was going on in the world and super smart . She was so passionate about teaching and that was evident. I learned so much from her and always got excited for the next class. Dr. C gave me the confidence to embrace difficulties and challenges, twenty years later I still remember how influential she was and still is… I would not be who I am if it was not for her! I would gift her this anchor pill box, perfect since she was my anchor during a time I had no confidence or idea of what or whom I was … Good teachers make an impact and that she did!


Amanda Marie of JoiedeVivreCrafts relates that:

I am a teacher, and I know I wouldn’t be half the teacher I am without my wonderful mentor and professor, Dr. Foster. He inspired me to think outside the box. He challenged me to question how to teach close reading. He showed me that plays are meant to be performed, not read for homework. He helped me see how to teach classic literature and young adult literature. I know I owe most of my career to him. He was still so in touch with what happens in the classroom. This wreath reminds me of him. It’s bright and vibrant, just like his teaching. He always loved things that were a little wacky!
He still teaches at my university, and we keep in touch via Facebook.


I hope wherever you are that you give a little something back to those that have done so much!

For All the Moms Out There

Contributor post by Amy of BeadsAndThreadsbyAmy

With Mother’s Day coming up, I decided to give our team members the chance to share their favorite stories about their Moms.  I was hoping to create a moving blog with lovely gift ideas for Moms.  I was surely not disappointed in the wonderful stories shared by our team.  And to all the moms out there, Happy Mother’s Day.  I hope you have time with the ones you love on this very special day.

1) Sarah Johnson from BellaBoutique23 says

My Mother struggled to have a child of her own and so she and my father chose to adopt. When I was born at the last minute the adoption agency called saying they no longer had a girl for her but a boy, she had her heart set on me and her family doctor at the time fought for her to be able to adopt me. My mom often would tell me this story of how God provided a baby for her. I thank God that I was adopted and he chose my Mom for me. I think of how we are adopted by Jesus and how thankful I am to have had the Lord bless me with such an amazing Mother who loves the Lord and demonstrated His love to me.

My album for Mother’s Day is 10 Ways I love you:
1 You are an example of God’s love
2 You give your whole heart to your children
3 You are caring and selfless
4 You taught me to be gracious
5 You have a strength of character
6 You are supportive
7 You encourage me
8 You are generous
9 I Love your sense of humor
10 You are my best friend
Thanks Mom for all you are and all you do.

2) Carola Bartz from CarolaBartz says

When I was little, my Mom and I sometimes played “tea party”. We both would dress up (she in some fancy clothes, I in some of her clothes and, of course, high heels!), she would make hot chocolate (our “tea”) and we would sit down in our living room at a carefully set table and pretend drinking tea, making “upper class” conversation and smoking fake cigarettes (it was the 60’s after all!). I remember that there were always fresh flowers in a vase on the table. I loved how my Mom played with me, and we had so much fun together.

When I grew much older, I once gave my Mom a blank notebook, asking her to write down her memories of her childhood and as a young woman. Now that she is gone I am so thankful that I have these handwritten memories of her. My gift idea, therefore, is a journal for a mother to remember her childhood so that these memories can be kept for future generations.

3) Kelly from ColourscapeStudios says

My mum had me in the kitchen with her from early on, mixing cake batter and the like! I’ve always loved being in the kitchen and I’m so thankfully she gave me that love so early on!

4) Eleni from LenasCakes says

Things I love about my mom…
– She says “get an umbrella, it will rain” (sun is shining outside,btw)…I don’t get one…it rains! I get one, it keeps sunny all day!
– She asks ” what’s wrong?” when I did nothing to show it…..just understands the sigh behind my words….
– She never-never-never liked my 1st husband….never told me a single bad thing about him….only when the divorce was final she was” ok, he was NOT for you, ok”?
What terrifies me (!) is that as years go by…I’m turning into her! Spooky

5) Veronica and Andy Fritsch from AVAArtsSupplies says

Our son does not believe in sleep, ever! We spent the first 3 years of his life singing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” 2-3 times before bed to get him to sleep. He’s 8 now and it still brings a smile to all our faces when we hear it!

6) Jeanne from CedarwoodCreations says

When I was 20 years old my girlfriend asked me to fly away for the weekend THAT evening. I had to work the following day so I said no. My mother, hearing this, asked why I wouldn’t go. She suggested that I call my boss and ask for the following day off as a vacation day, which I did and my boss said ‘yes’. Off to FL for the weekend I went and had the time of my life.  I’ll never forget that. My mother taught me my good work ethic and how to balance work and fun. Here’s to you, Mom!

Collection of Gift Ideas for Moms....

Collection of Gift Ideas for Moms….

It’s All About The Laugh

Hi!  It’s Rita from HandmadeBits4u.  Did you know that a good laugh is good for the soul, that laughter helps reduce tension, and that laughter is definetely so much better overall than being grumpy?

And did you know that the entire month of April has been declared National Humor Month?  All kinds of information about National Humor Month can be found here.   So take some time to tip your hat to Larry Wilde, Director of The Carmel Institute of Humor, who founded National Humor Month.  Needless to say, some of our team members have product in their Etsy Shops that will tickle your funny bone too!  So read on and enjoy a laugh or two along the way.

Camille and Susan of upCdooZ start us off with this darling upcycled Dr. Seuss Horton Hear a Who girls T-Shirt Dress.  Dr. Seuss is always good for a laugh no matter your age!


Kelly of ColourscapeStudios has a way with words and captures them on prints!  This is one of my favorites – check out her shop though for many more.

colourscapeBeadsandThreadsbyAmy does custom embroidery.  One of Amy’s favorites is this “Help Wanted” kitchen design.  Her only wish is that her husband would get the hint!


Humor is old as mankind is.  TangerineToes has this vintage item available in her shop.  It is a “Real Women Don’t Cook Dinner” Miss Piggy Towel.  Who can keep a straight face around Miss Piggy and her muppet companions?


Lisa of Sparkklejar has another laughter inducing vintage piece.  Only the grumpiest of grumps can keep a straight face at the sight of these zombie stabbing pickle forks!

sparkllejarJeanne of CedarwoodCreations loves to laugh!  When she found these mustache charms she absolutely had to make necklaces using them because they made her smile!

cedarcreationsRita of SticksNStonesGifts made these cute comical bug napkins for kids so that they have something fun at lunchtime.  The print makes Rita laugh so she’s sure they will bring smiles and enjoyment to others too!

sticksandstonesEvelyn and Lucy of artsyEVE also incorporate fun fabrics into their products.  This cat fabric is one of their favorites and have made this adorable soft baby book using it.


So here’s hoping that one of more of these products have brought a smile to your face, a bit of laughter, and the knowledge that we have the whole month of April to celebrate humor!!

CIJ Team Shares a recipe and a shop item to go with it

Contributor post by Amy of BeadsAndThreadsbyAmy

I thought it would be a great idea to share some new recipes with our CIJ friends, along with an item from our shops to help serve it, clean it up, or make it even more memorable!  Without further adieu, here are our recipes and items.  Just click on the pictures for a link to the recipes and featured items.

1) Carolyn T from Butterflykilns I have found the BEST recipe for lemon bars at which would look great served on my sunflower plate!

lemon bars

Yummy Lemon Bars!

sunflower platter

Stunning Sunflower Platter from Butterflykilns.

2) Jeanne from CedarwoodCreations says Keeping it delicious and healthy with these No Bake Bars from Baking Blonde served with a side of the Symbol for Health from my shop.


No-Bake Bars (my idea of making dessert)!


health symbol

Health Sign Paperweight to hold down that lovely recipe from CedarwoodCreations!

3) Kelly from ColourscapeStudios says I’m making pavlova for my dad’s birthday with this failsafe recipe from and serving it with his favorite coffee.


Pavlova Recipe from Lovely!



Coffee Photography from ColourscapeStudios.

4) Tree Southfox from BlessBeadTheTies says:

No sugar Lemonade

1 cup fresh lemon juice

2/3 cup agave nectar ( low glycemic sweetener)

6 cups water ice

Serve it with this tie on…..


Lemonade Tie from BlessBeadTheTie.

5) Tanya from socksandmittens shares a lemon rosemary chicken and protects her Kindle in the kitchen with this cover…


Rosemary Chicken from



Kindle Cover from socksandmittens. Keep that Kindle clean while reading recipes in the kitchen.

6) Dossie Garvey from petzoup shares her favorite recipe…

Blameless squares –

3 mashed bananas

1/3 cup apple sauce

2 cups oats

1/4 cup almond milk

1/2 cup raisins

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes

egg less, flour less, dairy less and no added sugar

And says they are sweet like her friend here:


Custom Portrait Ornament from petzoup.

7) Veronica and Andy Fritsch from AVAArtsSupplies says We love this pretzel recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, but use all purpose flour instead of whole wheat, just like mom used to make!


Mom’s Pretzels from Sally’s Baking Addiction.



Mom charms from AVAArtsSupplies. Great for a mother’s day project!

8) Alicia Salazar from SleepSchedule suggests a picnic for Easter with her Mustard Roasted Lamb wrapped up in a do-it-yourself tote kit.


Mustard Roasted Lamb and Potatoes.


Tote Bag Kit from SleepSchedule.

9) Include these cupcakes in your picnic shared by Karen Crisp from APaperParadise.  A Martha Stewart Recipe.


Vanilla Cupcakes from


Cupcake wrapper and topper from APaperParadise.

10) And, last but not least, for those lingering winter days and cool spring evenings, Jessica Chong from CrochetNature shares her recipe for S’Mores served with the perfect S’More eating gloves! Place a graham cracker on a microwave safe plate. Place a marshmallow or mini marshmallows on the cracker, and chocolate on top of the marshmallow. Microwave for about 10-15 seconds. Place second graham cracker on top. Eat and enjoy!


FIngerless Gloves for S’Mores from CrochetNature.


CIJ’s Most Popular Items

So what makes an item on Etsy sell like hotcakes?  I posed that question to our team, and the answer is…talent, hard-work and great customer service!  Hear what our members have to say about their favorite and most popular items.

1)  Jeanne from CedarwoodCreations shares…..

“I have sold several mini zen gardens when I came across these shatterproof polymer dishes in vibrant colors. My mind immediately went to children and how fun it would be for them to pick their own charm and to be able to make a zen garden all by themselves. I have sold quite a few of these!”

Kids' Zen Garden
Kids’ Zen Garden

2)  Patricia and Rebecca from northandsouthshabby tells this item’s story….

“We were looking to craft something special for Christmas and beyond that had a shabby and nautical feel. After investigating what were popular pins on Pinterest, we came up with an idea to mimic fishing balls, which followed the theme of popular pins, but at the same time was different and unique. After much trial and error, we came up with a design we loved. It has proved to be our most popular items with a very broad appeal. To date we have sent sets to Texas, Georgia, California, Oregon and Hawaii.”

nautical ornaments
Nautical Theme Ornaments for home decor

3) Carolyn from butterflykilns shares her best seller….

“This sweet little owl mug has been the most popular item in my shop!
I had been doing owl designs when I first started but wanted to create something special for the fall season. I did some research and found out that owls are everywhere! On t-shirts, on mugs, on stationery, etc. I sketched a few rough designs at first and decided to go with this one in particular, because I love the two owls sitting in the branches looking at each other with a curious glance. I had made a previous owl mug using summer colors so I thought, why not revive the same design, but use bright, colorful fall hues? And, it worked! I have received so many wonderful comments on this mug. It has also been featured in several treasury lists and blogs.”

owl mug
Ceramic Owl Mug

4) Eleni from LenasCakes chose this item to share….

“This is my most popular item so far. I had the same shells put on round base toppers, but leaving them “free” gave everyone who planned a sea themed party the opportunity to place them wherever they wished. Cake, cupcake or mini tart, it was eligible!
What impressed me most is that even in the middle of winter(at least in northern hemisphere, lol!) there were many search views and favs for this particular- absolutely-talk to me about summer- decor!”

fondant cupcake toppers
Fondant Sea Creatures

5) Carola from CarolaBartz shares…

 “This cat’s card is my most favorite item in my store, especially around Valentine’s Day. I had to make it so many times – and I still like it very much!  I actually created this card as a sample for a class I was teaching. My students loved it so much that I thought to give it a try and listed it in my shop. Good thing I did!!!”
Love kitty card
Love Kitty Card

6) Dossie Garvey from petzoup ……

“This is the first window I ever created. I found a shredded Xerox copy of a photo in an old album and was told that it was the first home of my great grandfather after he came to America from Ireland in the 1890’s. I wanted to preserve the image and decided to use an old recycled window sash to paint the home on. That way, when I look at it, I feel like my ancestors are close to me, almost like having them across the street. I have since created many different windows but this will always be my “best seller”.”

Window Art
Custom Original Art Painting Home Memorial Recycled Window

7) KathysHeart from KathysHeartCreations shares the personal story behind her best-seller….

“The first one of these kitties I made was created from an old pattern I had from the 90’s … with one exception … I made it a black and white cat … This adorable tuxedo kitty was made in honor of my cat, “Snookums” … my constant companion. I even had a photo of him sitting on my quilted cushions of my wicker sofa in my craft room posted on my About page … (which I have recently taken down when I made changes to my About page)”

Grey Tabby Cat
Painted Kitty Home Decor

8) Rosario Uriarte from inspirebynancy shares…

“Hi, my most popular item in my shop are these Legs Warmers. I knitted them for my daughter, to keep her little legs warm in the winter days and I sold a lot of them here in Etsy .”

Girl’s Legwarmers

9) Catherine Clifford from DesignsByCnC says….

“I needed a card to celebrate my son-in-law’s upcoming birthday. Since he is an avid hunter and enjoys all things camouflage, I designed the Buck Silhouette Camouflage Birthday Card. Decided to make a couple extra for the store and, lo and behold, it turned out to be the best selling card in my entire shop! It also led to an complete line of camo cards. ”

buck card
Birthday Card for a Hunter….

10) Sherri from ButterflyFeetDigital says

 “My most popular item is my chevron banner printable calendar. I had been making calendars for myself for years, finally thought I should make one to sell. I had also recently figured out how to make a chevron design – it took some trial and error, believe me! But I finally got it and created paper packs with it, and then decided to use it for a calendar. I was surprised at how well it sold starting with the one for 2013. Some people bought both the 2013 and 2014 at the same time.”
Downloadable Calendar Pages

11) Wendy Joy from wjoydesigns shares the story of one of her first (and most popular) items…

“I started making rainbow candles back in 1990 when I was stuck at home in the last few months of my first pregnancy. I was looking for something new to do. I decided to get some candle making supplies at my local craft store and got set up in a little work space in my garage and started making candles! I have always loved bright, cheery colors and have loved rainbows since I was a little girl. I started experimenting with color combinations with my first few candles and my first rainbow candle emerged after a few tries and I have been happily making them ever since! I still have one of my original rainbow candles from way back when that I burn from time to time. Can you believe that it has been with me for all these years and has never faded and still smells amazing to this day??”

rainbow candle
Rainbow Candle

12) Tola Laseinde from AnkaraLampshades shares her best selling pillow…

“This is a very popular design within African Circles especially west Africa. The design has been around for a very long time and is continuously reproduced.  It is made out of a rare PREMIUM Dutch wax cotton. This so because it has an extra intricate gold honeycomb lattice design on it which makes it stand out from the crowd.”

African Bullseye Pillow

13) koolstuff2 from koolstuff2 says

“I created the Pinky Promise charm when my daughter was going off to college. She and I always did our “Pinky Promises” throughout her life and I wanted to create something she could take with her that would remind her of home.   I first drew the image on paper, then digitally using Illustrator. I then sculpted the hands in clay and cut the bottom half off to make a flat charm. I made a relief mold after I joined two halves together to make the charm 2 sided.  The hardest part was finding a supplier who could cast the part economically. I found a foreign supplier who would cast it and make the charms.  My charms are in numerous publications and have been praised worldwide. ”

pinky promise
Pinky Promise Pendants-Pair

14) Last, but not least, Evelyn and Lucy from artsyEVE shares our final story…

“We have sold many baby quilts with applliqued hearts and they seem to sell soon after we post them. The hearts seem to tug at our “heart-strings” just like our sweet babies do! All the quilts we’ve sold so far have had pink hearts or hearts filled with little rosebuds or flowers–kinda girly! My mom is the quilter and she told me that the next one she makes will have either blue or green appliqued hearts–for those sweet, little baby boys.”

baby quilt
Heart Baby Quilt
I hope you have enjoyed getting to know some of CIJ’s artists and the stories behind their items.  Please feel free to visit any of our shops….you never know when you’ll find the perfect little treasure!

What Inspires You? See what inspires these Etsians!

January 20th is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the United States, where we remember and celebrate his legacy.  Dr. King had a dream for the future and a vision for a country that would be unified and not racially divided.

Thanks to MLK, my dreams are much more selfish and much closer to home.  I started working on a set of digital papers with inspirational quotes and phrases and I finished two of them and they just sat on my desk top mocking me.

I finally decided that these two papers would be freebies to celebrate the new year and to inspire others to “dream big”, “never give up”, etc.

Eventually, I was able to come up with a whole set of papers to post in my store.  The thing that inspires me to create has a lot to do with colors or textures that I come across.  Nature, such as trees and birds chirping and green grass all inspire me to create new things and give me peace to continue on my path.  See this pretty and inspirational papers below.


Several other sellers on the Etsy Christmas in July team would like to share their inspirations with you.  Inspiration comes from many places and in many forms.  Please check out these wonderful shops and their items.

Elisabeth from JHFWBeadsAndFindings says that she gets inspired when “Someone likes what I make.”  When something sells she makes another using the same colors or changing it up a bit!  Just look at her Red Vintage Inspired Necklace.


Laura from VintagePlusCrafts likes to make people smile.  She does her hand embroidery and finishes it off with an encouraging or inspirational word such as smile.  See her pretty embroidery on her Springtime Flowers Hoop Art.


Erika from littlebigtopstudio was inspired by the book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes as well as her own daughter who is currently undergoing treatment for leukemia.

 This is the story of a Japanese girl who was two years old when she was exposed to radiation from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima during World War II. As a result she is diagnosed with leukemia and, at age 12 after spending a significant amount of time in a nursing home, began making origami cranes with the goal of making one thousand, inspired by the Senbazuru legend. The school where I teach folded 1,000 paper cranes in support of my daughter and as a way to raise awareness for childhood cancer. Ever since we completed that project I have been fascinated with the crane as a symbol of health, hope, and peace.  Please see Erika’s beautifully inspired Baby Mobile Origami Cranes.


Jeanne from CedarWoodCreations was inspired by friendship when making this current item.  While on FB I saw a picture of a friend taken in childhood and memories came flooding back of our time together. It was right around the time I found the charms shown in this pic. That’s what prompted me to make two rock cairns and sell them as a set ~ Keep one and give the other to a friend…Check out her beautiful Pinky Swear Pinky Promise Rock Cairn Minis.


Jennifer Loftfield from CaffeinatedPapercuts finds her inspiration by “stopping to smell the roses” so to speak.  She says, “So many things inspire me, usually when I’m not looking for it; a stamp, a piece of pretty paper, nature, a color…I’ve learned to stop and look at things twice to see how it affects me.

One piece that was a nk-brainer was this adorable owl paper. I *knew* I had to get it, but it took a while to decide what to do with it!”  Check out her beautiful Fun and Funky Owls Handmade Tile Coasters.


Evelyn and Lucy from artsyEVE gets her inspiration from nature.  She says, “I love color–color from rainbows, fresh grass, shadows in the snow, leaves and flowers–you name it–beautiful colors from all around us…and that inspiration leads me to create colorful items for everyone to enjoy!”  See her cute Soft Baby Book, Baby’s First Book.


Betty Travell from LadySnooks is inspired by a creature right where she lives.  She says, “Deep in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay running right up the middle of the little state of Maryland, lives a creature that is known as the king of all shell fish. This creature is the Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab. If you live in Maryland, you know what I mean. They are eaten with a mallet and “picked” down to the last morsel. Their delicious meat sometimes appears as a “Maryland Crab Cake” which is fantastic too. A big cold glass of beer is usually close at hand.

Living most of my life in Maryland, this was one inspiration that was easy to connect with the under-water Tagua Nut Resin pendants that I make. The inspiration was right there for me.”  Be sure to check out her Tagua Nut Chesapeake Blue Crab Under the Sea 3D Pendant.


Amy Spock from BeadsandThreadsbyAmy is inspired by nature as well.  She says, “The most inspiring thing to me is Nature. I have always been fascinated by the living world around us. I owe that to my grandmother, I think. My first summer trip to her house by myself was full of wonder. We caught tadpoles in the creek near her house, and watched them develop into frogs. We brought caterpillars in and watched them morph into beautiful..well…moths, but they were still beautiful. In much of my work, you will see colors, textures, and patterns inspired by walks in the woods…”  Be sure to check out her Embroidered Tan and Black Chickadee Bird Hanging Cotton Kitchen Towel.


I’d like to thank all of the shops that shared their inspirations and items above.  Thank you also to everyone reading this post.  Inspiration is all around you so take the time to be inspired!!  ~Tracy from Little Shop of Color