Photos From The #CIJLovesJuly Photo Challenge – #CIJParty 2018

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

During the #EtsyCIJ 2018 event the Etsy Christmas In July team has been hosting a photo challenge.

Many team members shared their photo during day of the challenge. Please join us as we celebrate their photos!

IMG_20180701_010731-COLLAGE (1)

  1. CIJLovesJuly Photo Challenge 2018
  2. Emily from OrnamentationShoppe Instagram: ornamentationshoppe
  3. zizzybob from zizzybob Instagram: zizzybob
  4. Linda from LindaBrittDesign Instagram: brittdesign2
  5. Heather from MooseintheMint Instagram: mooseinthemint
  6. Cristal from DesignsbyCristal Instagram: Creativedesignsbycristal
  7. Alissa from PoppyAndPeonyDesigns Instagram: poppyandpeonydesigns
  8. Arlene from ThisandThatCrafter Twitter: TandTCrafter 
  9. Britney from LitByBrit Instagram: litbybritmelts


  1. CIJLovesJuly Photo Challenge 2018
  2. Claudia Marie from ClaudiaMarieFelt Instagram: claudiamariefelt
  3. Rebecca from OrnamentsbyRebecca Instagram: ornaments_by_rebecca
  4. Judith from FabriArts Instagram: fabriarts
  5. Clara from elliottsplayground Instagram: elliottsplayground
  6. Diana from joliefemmebydiana Instagram: joliefemmebydiana
  7. Peggy from christmaskeepsakes Instagram: peggyrhuff
  8. Mairi from mairidesign Instagram: mairidesign1
  9. Judy from PiecesOfMePaperCraft Instagram: piecesofmepapercrafts

Thank you so much for joining us on our #CIJLovesJuly photo challenge!

Member Feature: Claudia Marie Felt

Contributor post by Cindy Humphrey of Cynhumphrey

Please join us in welcoming Claudia Marie Lenart of ClaudiaMarieFelt, our featured member!

Tell us about yourself.

I am a self taught needle felt fiber artist, children’s book author and illustrator.  My career was as a community journalist, but I always practiced some form of art. I’ve played with watercolor painting, sketching, colored pencil drawing.  I also learned all the handwork arts as a child – embroidery, crochet, knitting, and sewing. When I discovered needle felting, I knew I had found what I was meant to do.

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

Claudia Marie Felt was born in 2012, but I had an Etsy store previously in which I sold vintage and antique picture books. When I started needle felting, it was natural that I would start offering my items for sale. My first pieces were bunnies and flower fairies. I was felting as a hobby back then as I was working full-time as a journalist.

Tell us a bit about your products.

My creations fall into three categories, needle felt animal sculptures, angel and fairy dolls, and wool paintings. My animals are known for their realism and character. I focus a lot of energy on their faces and I use soft fibers like alpaca, cashmere, mohair and yak. My Waldorf angel tree toppers are very beautiful and distinct. My wool paintings are fairy tale interpretations or they show children playing outside in the seasons.  My Waldorf Seasons wool painting actually inspired my book “Seasons of Joy: Every Day is for Outdoor Play.” It was illustrated with dreamy wool paintings that show children joyfully playing outside through all four seasons.

What inspires your work?

I am inspired by my love of nature and animals. As a young adult, I worked in three national parks out west and observed wildlife up close. Today, I enjoy hiking in the woods with my dog and I often see the regional wildlife – deer, chipmunks, cottontail rabbits, red-tailed hawks and various birds. The animals I see in my backyard tend to be my most popular felted items.

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

I’d like to grow the print side of my business. I also aim to continue to improve my work and to create some new amazing designs.

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

My customers tell me they like how I capture the personality of animals. I spend a lot of time felting the details of the animal’s face, especially the eyes. My angel tree toppers are distinct and customers have told me that they are the most beautiful.


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

I have an open floor plan in  my house, so my work space is a corner surrounded by windows, with a couch, a table and a cedar chest overflowing with wool.

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

To account for all the costs when pricing an item, the time it takes, the supplies, the fees and even the time you spend marketing. Don’t undersell yourself.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

My advice would be to always do your best work and also always aim to improve. Reply to customers promptly and always be extremely polite.

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

I like outdoor activities — hiking in the forest preserves and kayaking on the lake. To relax I play guitar and read. My favorite books are novels with a touch or fairy tale.  I also enjoy playing with my dog, gardening and spending time with family.

What is your favorite quote?

“He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.” St. Francis of Assisi

Where can people find out more about your business?

Etsy store:
Facebook page:

Is there anything else you’d like to share?


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.

The Twelve Days of Christmas – #CIJParty 2017

Contributor post by Dawn from DeeDeeDeesigns

We have a wide variety of Etsy sellers in our Christmas in July team, and this means we have a great range of handmade and vintage products to choose from for the 12 Days of Christmas.

I asked team members if they have an item in their shop that relates to the 12 days of Christmas? And here we go:

And here are the 12 days of Christmas!

Twelve Drummers Drumming

patontheback from patontheback says

I love Christmas in July because we’re expecting 110° plus, and I can go on a virtual holiday thinking about cool items outside my hot desert!
Twelve drummers drumming- I’ve always been a percussion instrument fan, and this fabric makes me think of not only the twelve days of Christmas, but a little drummer. Happy holidays!

Eleven Pipers Piping

How about these lovely vintage carolers singing the 12 Days of Christmas?

Ten Lords a Leaping

Nine Ladies Dancing

The ninth of Christmas – nine ladies dancing! These colourful dancing charms are great for jewellery design, card making, gift wrapping, bunting and a wide range of craft projects.

KATERINA ILIAKI from OnceUponJewelsCo says

Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit-Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.​ This necklace also symbolizes the joy of love and freedom. Dance is an expression and combination of all of these sentiments.



Susan-Sharon Passmore from MsPDesignsUSA says

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me– nine ladies dancing. Well, we actually have 13 ladies dancing the ballet on this fun nursery quilt, but who’s counting?

Eight Maids a Milking
Eight maids a milking – need to have some modesty and comfort in these slip shorts worn under their frocks while milking the cows… I love CIJ as it makes so much sense as an Australian Etsy seller to enjoy all the delicious Christmas foods while we are in our winter.. pudding, nom!

Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio says

Well, it’s a bit of a stretch, but here’s my number 8 in the night sky – if you look closely you can see the Milky Way!

Seven Swans a Swimming

This pretty swan has her baby next to her and a child. The cream and gold colors remind me of an elegant Christmas.

Six Geese a Laying

Five Golden Rings

KATERINA ILIAKI from OnceUponJewelsCo says

The five golden rings represents the great love of God in sending a Savior. It is a very powerful day for me as I adore Christmas and Christmas time. It is a unique opportunity to remind ourselves to love each other, to help and respect everything that has life in it.

Five golden rings. 5 glasses, each has with a gold ring at the top.

Four Calling Birds

Emma Kaufmann from StudioEmmaKaufmann says

I love watching cute little robins chattering outside my window and all excited for Christmas against a stunning snowing background. This artwork was done in acrylic inks and is now available as a print to complete a festive look.

I love celebrating Christmas in July…I live in Baltimore where summers are sweltering so having a Christmas in July pool party certainly helps beat the heat!

Three French Hens

I love this Christmas song. I have a wire basket hen to go with the song.
This hen is an egg picking  asket and can be used to display Christams ornaments, flowers, wooden eggs and the like.

Two Turtle Doves
One dove in each ear makes a pair of turtle doves
Two antique gold Raz Doves featured on a Christmas wreath.

and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

Linda from LazyYVintage says
On the first day of Christmas My True Love Gave To Me….a partridge in a pear tree!
This is first in the 12 Days of Christmas series for Precious Moments. I love Christmas in July team and event. The team is a fun and motivating way to market our shops while checking out other members’ shops. I love the event as a way to up the ante in marketing during a usually slow period for vintage buying. Always helps in recognition and in sales!
Not exactly a partridge in a pear tree, but how about this “in style” galvanized bucket planter with a vintage inspired pear fruit label.

Carol Braden-Williams from SilverTrove says

This may be a stretch, but it kinda looks like a partridge.
Partridge same family as dove

#CIJRoadTrip – United States: Chicago

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Let’s travel to the United States – Chicago with Claudia Marie of ClaudiaMarieFelt

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

I live in a suburb of Chicago, named Wauconda (which is Native American for Spirit Water). Wauconda has a lake in the middle of town,  I can see the lake from my bedroom; it is lovely. The lake attracts local tourists, so we have some nice restaurants and clubs that offer live music.

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

One of the big cities, I’d say Chicago or San Francisco. The national parks out west, Sequoia National Park in California, Yosemite in California, Yellowstone in Wyoming or Mt. Rainier in Washington. (When I was in my 20’s I spent three summers working in three of those parks) The mountains and the big trees are heavenly. The Pacific Ocean in California, Big Sur or Monterey are breathtaking.

Mt. Rainier National Park - Washington USA

Mt. Rainier National Park – Washington USA

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

Many of my creations are woodland animals that were created out of my love for nature and wildlife, such as my white-tailed deer, red and grey squirrels, red foxes, cottontail bunnies .

Lakewood Forest Preserve -  Wauconda Illinois USA

Lakewood Forest Preserve – Wauconda Illinois USA

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?

Next weekend, some of my wool paintings will be on exhibit at the Midwest Fiber Art Festival in Grayslake, IL.

I also participate in the holiday faire at the Waldorf school in my town (my son is an alumnus).

Needle Felted Deer Fawn From ClaudiaMarieFelt

Needle Felted Deer Fawn From ClaudiaMarieFelt

Needlefelt Robin Tiny Bird Miniature From ClaudiaMarieFelt

Needlefelt Robin Tiny Bird Miniature From ClaudiaMarieFelt

Felted Tiny Red Squirrel, Miniature From ClaudiaMarieFelt

Felted Tiny Red Squirrel, Miniature From ClaudiaMarieFelt

5. What are your social media sites?

My Facebook for Claudia Marie Felt:
Waldorf on Etsy Facebook page: