Items Of The Week: Gems

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

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Member Feature: postcardsintheattic

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming Colleen of postcardsintheattic, our featured member!

postcardsintheattic

Tell us about yourself.

I grew up a Midwest farm girl from Wisconsin but through a series of moments of self discovery I have since moved to California and live the city life in Palm Springs. I live in a beautiful contemporary home where my husband and I have designed a small but very beautiful Japanese Garden.

Unfortunately, though, the contemporary look does not blend with my passion for vintage and antique Victorian froufrou. So I have created for myself a virtual world with my shops. I welcome you to my attic filled with all the treasures found and creations made especially for you.

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

I opened my business 2011.  I have had a dream to sell vintage postcards since I was a small child.  At the time my mother informed me that it would never happen because no one would ever pay more than a few cents for the cards I collected.  I guess she was mistaken!

Now that I am a photographer I also have a passion to create my own postcards.  One of my favorite things to do is recreate the types of vintage cards that were popular in the early 20th century.  Big Letter, Tall Tale and night scenes are a few that I have dabbled in.  Of course it is much easier now since I have the advantage of digital art vs having to manipulate plates and film.

Tell us a bit about your products.

I sell almost any type of vintage postcard but at least half of the vintage postcards I sell are over 100 years old.  I have a love for anything that is paper and withstand years and years of handling.  To me it is amazing to see something that age in such great condition.  Sadly there are some that have not been able to survive fully intact but often I use those for digital art where I restore the card to a new state.

I sell my digital work on Sellfy under the same name.  I also create clip art from the designs to use for digital papers, gift tags and art.

More common are the Linen cards from about the 30’s and 40’s but while these are not rare I love the bright vivid colors that the linen paper creates.  The ink soaked in creating supernatural tones. Plus this is a period where the fun Tall Tale, Big Letter and Night Scene postcards popped.  The intense colors is almost like looking at the world through rose colored glass.  Everything in these images are vivid and exciting.

I carry a small number of recent vintage cards from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.  While these often do not catch my eye I have found several political and advertising cards that are quite intriguing.

What inspires your work

I work in images.  As a photographer my style is macrophotography and closeups so I see the world slightly different.  I relate to my environment through imagery so collecting and selling vintage images is right up my alley.  In fact often seeing something in a postcard will dictate a trip or even a move.

In fact one of the reasons for me to move out West was due to the postcards from Arizona and the deserts that my grandparents sent to me.  These amazing images were such a contrast to what I seen in Wisconsin that I would spend hours daydreaming of what it would be like to visit the desert.  Now I live in the desert of the Coachella Valley.  And it is even more beautiful than those vintage images from my childhood.

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

My goal this year is to increase sales in my Postcards In The Attic shop (sure that is everyone’s goal)  My long-term goals are to build a self sustaining shop that generates enough income that it can contribute significantly to my income.  I have designed my own website from my photography www.butterflysattic.com; my long-term goal for this shop is to earn enough to use this as my primary income.  I would also like to be featured locally in either a gallery or a similar forum.

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

My Postcards In The Attic stands out visually because of my professional and creative branding and banners.  Aside from appearances; my prices are competitive, I provide excellent customer service along with free US shipping.  I also include a depth of information for most of my cards that exceeds many of my competitors.  I also take the time to research each card, what the publisher was, printer, date etc. so that the information is as accurate as it can be.

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

No but since I am photographer my work space is the whole world.

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

I had been selling vintage in general and included everything from ephemera to knickknacks, books to jewelry which took up a lot of space and time.  I also sold handmade crafted items (which part of me still loves) but this made my stores too wide spread and not specialized in anything.

I have not focused Postcard In the Attic strictly on ephemera and Butterfly In The Attic Photography on just that photography.  While I am still trying to reduce my original inventory on Bonanza I must admit it is neglected and I will be glad when I can just focus on the two.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Do not over estimate the time you have for your shops.  I often do this but with working more than full-time for my day job it leaves very few hours left in the day aside from sleep and eating.  there is only so many hours in the day no matter how much we try to make it stretch.

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

I have many hobbies that includes: travel, playing the piano, photography, writing, and spending time with my 4 children and 6 grandchildren.  We live quite a ways from each of them so we are not able see each other frequently but when we can this is my favorite way of spending my free time.

What is your favorite quote?

“God would not have put the dream in your heart if he had not already given you everything you need to fulfill it” Joel Osteen

Where can people find out more about your business?

I have two blogs one on my new website www.ButterflysAttic.com and a long established blog www.ButterflyInTheAttic.com.  On the latter site I spend a lot of time promoting not just my self but others.

I am also available on facebook at www.facebook.com/PostcardsInTheAttic and www.facebook.com/ButterflysAttic
Twitter www.twitter.com/ButterflysAttic and many others social media venues that are interlinked once you find my blog.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

My shops have been slow starters and have been reshapened many times over the years trying to find what fits for my life and helps me balance my work and my business.

I think one take away is that I refuse to give up on my dream.

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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.

Items Of The Week: Girly

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Member Feature: ClarityArtDesign

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming Stephanie of ClarityArtDesign, our featured member!

ClarityArtDesign

Tell us about yourself.

I am a life loving person who adores creating. I can’t stop making things. I also love to sell things and can’t help but try to make more things that I can sell. I love living a life that isn’t completely dependent on the office life. A life that can one day travel the country freely.

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

My business was very gradual. I first started with a painting of my own pet, Deja around 12 years ago. I then started selling paintings on Ebay and at craft fairs. I actually was on Etsy long ago, but didn’t invest the time into learning the nuances of the platform. In 2013 I resigned from my full time job as a legal secretary to jump into the world of selling on Etsy. Prior to that I had mostly sold from word of mouth. From there, I learned everything I could about Etsy to start myself off. This proved to be a wonderful experience and the sales and my shop have been growing ever since. I have also now just opened another Etsy shop for resin jewelry which is in its very beginnings.

Tell us a bit about your products.

I hand draw and paint each one of my pieces. My work focuses mostly on creating custom pet portraits using photographs provided by clients. Sometimes the artwork is a very straightforward replication of a photo provided and sometimes I really have to get creative with the pictures I’m given to produce a scene of multiple pets together or just go off of a really fun idea a client has. I spend hours upon hours creating each piece.

What inspires your work

My clients inspire my work! I love hearing their ideas, seeing their pictures and working with them to create something specific for either themselves or someone they love.

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

My goal for my business is to grow it to the point where I can travel eventually while still creating art. I want to build it to a point where it supports me anywhere I want to go and I don’t need to supplement with part-time income.

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

I think that us pet portrait artists all have something to contribute. My style focuses more on realism, but I think it’s just a personal preference to what a client wants. I really try to work with my clients so that everyone is completely satisfied before shipment even takes place. So far this has been a success.

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

I have a large living room that I place my studio in. I like being a part of the every day life of our home and not secluding myself into a separate studio. I’ve always lived apartment life so this to me is very normal. I actually use the desk I had as an elementary school child. When I was little my mom found it at a garage sale and sanded it and stained it for me. It’s held up for 30 years!

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

I wish I had focused on Etsy way back when it first opened. There was less competition then. I have learned though that there are plenty of customers for us all. You just need to grab their attention.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Do it! Why not? I do think you need to be honest with yourself about your product though. You must have a good product. You must have good photographs and you must take the time to learn about the platform and understand that it takes time like building any other business. If you have realistic expectations, obtain the correct knowledge and work hard (as well as have a great product), then I see no reason why you won’t be successful.

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

Actually when I’m not working, I tend to make other things (to sell!). I started my resin jewelry business out of my free time. I also really love hanging out with my nieces and nephews and traveling, hiking and hanging out with dogs.

Where can people find out more about your business?

I’m on Facebook, www.facebook.com/clarityartdesign; I’m on Instagram, @clarityartdesign; Twitter, @stephclarityart and of course my Etsy shop, ClarityArtDesign.

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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.

Items Of The Week: Sweet

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Fabulous Flowers

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Fall is officially here, and it’s the time I plant some of my favorite bulbs so I can get that thrill of colorful flowers in the spring. It reminds me of all the joy planting, growing, viewing and displaying flowers brings to me. It makes me wonder about your flowery favorites. Our Christmas in July team members shared these items and stories.

Judy Merashoff from JAMsCraftCloset says:

I don’t like to plant or grow flowers, but I do love anything that is floral. I believe flowers brighten every day and anything that holds flowers or has flowers on it.

I found several vintage bottles at an estate sale. I kept looking at them and wondered what to do with them. I decided instead of selling them as is, I would paint flowers on them. This is what I came up with.

daisies

JAMsCraftCloset

Richard and Tatiana from DesignstheLimit says:

We pick fresh flowers from our yard throughout the year and use them in our photography for our bridal party and couple’s monogrammed gifts in our shop. We love the addition of the flowers in the images and love including a little part of our home in our work.

DesignstheLimit

willowvalleyvintage from WillowValleyVintage says:

We enjoy finding vintage items like vases or decor with a floral theme. I took the photo of this toothpick holder earlier in the year. The Forget-me-knot flowers grew in our garden.

WillowValleyVintage

Cindy Humphrey from Cynhumphrey says:

I definitely do not have a green thumb when it comes to flowers. However, that doesn’t stop me from enjoying them. I especially love the blooming flowers!

On the other hand, I also love faux flowers but I don’t want them to look like a cheap plastic floral decoration.

Allergies also run in the family so sometimes it’s a challenge to find just the right bouquet for our table.

That’s what inspired this neat item! It’s a combination floral and upcycled item all rolled up into one truly amazing conversation piece! The flower is made from pistachio nut shells! The finished bouquet is perfect for the table (if nobody in the family is allergic to nut trees)! The best part is, it can be custom made to match any decor theme!

Cynhumphrey

Lia Russo from Ghirlandiamo says:

I’m really fond of bulbs, particularly l do love irises. I liked the American Iris Society’s Facebook page, where I can see these wonderful flowers. And this is my homage to them.

Ghirlandiamo

pam colangelo from PearlsVintagebyPam says:

I love flowers! Spring is my best display. I have many perennial flower beds but they are a lot of back breaking work. If only it wasn’t for weeds! These tin canisters are bright and flowery!

PearlsVintagebyPam

Ilda Pereira from lililapt says:

Flowers are one of the favourite motifs I use when I embroider. I love them!

lililapt

Astrid Stenerud Prayag from RedNeedleQuilts says:

I love pansies. We always had pansies on the farm in Norway where I grew up. Every year, at the end of the cold and snowy winter, my late Mom bought seeds to grow for the garden. Among the several sachets with seeds, there was the pansies. I couldn’t wait for the seeds to grow, for the tiny plants to get big and strong enough to be planted in pots outside as well as in some of the flower beds. I love all the color variations the pansies have, so colorful and eye catching.

RedNeedleQuilts

JO from alustrousjewellery says:

Love flowers! I remember picking daisies as a child and making daisy chains, these daisy earrings remind me of that time.

alustrousjewellery

Kristen from KestrelCollection says:

I love fairy flower earrings. I make them in all different colors and styles and they are where most of the color resides on my shop.

KestrelCollection

Connie Lee from Bungalow42 says:

It’s hard to imagine anyone that doesn’t love flowers. Hmmm… maybe those unfortunate folks with allergies. Well here’s a handful of flowers guaranteed to be pollen free!

Vintage lucite teal blue moonglow rounds and light blue Peruvian flowers – so pretty together. The clay fired hand painted flowers vary slightly from one to another adding a unique element to this sweet bracelet. These Peruvian beads have a folk art vibe that is a pleasing contrast to the luminescent vintage lucite moonglow.

Bungalow42

Gillian Haqqani from Gillisflowers says:

I have a shop full of flowers! Here though is a piece made from recycled paper and featuring two roses. Here I’ve used paper from an old copy of Pride and Prejudice but as a custom order you can scan me a page from your favourite book, the sheet music from a special song or even a section of a map showing a favourite place and I can turn into a truly meaningful piece of jewellery.

Gillisflowers

Nancy Duncan from EponasCrystals says:

Roses are my favorite! Especially the fragrant varieties. This is a real rose bud encased in resin.

EponasCrystals

Susan Fowler from SSFDesigns says:

Flowers!!I love flowers and used to be a florist till I retired this year. I usually try to incorporate flowers of some kind in my designs . Here I created a poinsettia pin for the holidays with just a touch of sparkle and holiday magic!

SSFDesigns

Karen Hafel from timetalentjewels says

How about a hand knitted and felted bag with a flower on it? Recently I purchased a book on how to make real flowers other than this one and knitting and felting them has been a real treat. My last purse that I sold was my cover photo of a red purse with pansies. There are lots of flowers to knit and felt, it just takes time and patience.

timetalentjewels

Barbara from MermaidsHatbox says:

No hat without flowers. Flowers determine the style of a hat. Depending on material and design. This hat from jeans fabric with crochet flowers and embroidered with pearls is reminiscent of the 70’s.

MermaidsHatbox

Christine from cwagenblass9 says:

I love making paper cut out flowers for diy creators. Tropical florals are a great way to decorate weddings and showers.

cwagenblass9

Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio says:

I love the idea of digital paper because once you purchase the file, you can keep it on hand and printout as many or few as you like. You don’t having to rush back to the store for more of the same when you run out.

This floral stationery is cheerful with beautiful autumn tones of warm reds and oranges. I captured the background photograph of straw flowers while shopping at a market in Montreal, Canada.

StockLaneStudio

Heather Youngblood from youngbloodMADE says:

A lot of my artwork focuses on flowers. I have recently become enamored with the the language of flowers. I am fascinated with the symbolic meanings attributed to flowers and love the lore of the Victorian age when flowers were purposefully and thoughtfully arranged so as to convey secret messages and nuanced thoughts.

youngbloodMADE

Cerena Levene from CerenaLevene says:

I truly enjoy flowering trees, with the branches being just as extravagant to me as the floral explosions erupting along those limbs. I enjoy the light streaming throughout, showcasing shadowy depths and highlighted blossoms!

CerenaLevene

Przemila K from CanisArtStudio says:

Autumn is the last moment when I can paint flowers by nature. I like the colors of autumn flowers. They create strong accents and add joy when days are cloudy. I sketched pastel by nature. This is a classic still life.

CanisArtStudio

Patricia from TheOldBarnDoor says:

I planted a special garden in the fall of 2016 so that I could show my Canadian pride in the spring of 2017 for Canada’s 150th birthday celebration. This was a lavish display of red and white tulips. I couldn’t help but smile every time I walked past this part of the garden in the spring.

TheOldBarnDoor

Member Feature: LilacHouseFlorals

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Please join us in welcoming Stacey of LilacHouseFlorals, our featured member!

LilacHouseFlorals

LilacHouseFlorals

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Stacey and I have been a crafter since my grandmother taught me to cross stitch as a child. I was an avid sewer for a long time but found floral design eight years ago and I have never looked back! Initially, I took a beginner class and have since completed a professional program to learn the art. I continue to work every week to learn new methods and to grow as a designer. I am also a wife and a proud mother of three!

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

I opened my business in April of 2016. I had made as many silk floral arrangements as I could for myself and others so I decided to give my designs a try on Etsy. I love creating pieces that add beauty to a home on a daily basis.

Tell us a bit about your products.

I create original, good quality silk floral arrangements, wreaths and faux succulents. I can do any style arrangement from traditional to modern. Regardless of the style, I try to design arrangements that have a lot of texture and visual interest while incorporating beautiful blooms of flowers. All of my pieces are meant to add that “special touch” to a room or space in one’s home.

What inspires your work

I am mostly inspired by combinations of fresh flowers that I have worked with or see in gardens, nature etc. I work to create that “fresh flower” feel into a silk floral arrangement that can be displayed at home. I love the texture and interest of succulents so I like to work with those a lot too.

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

My goal for this year is to become more established on Etsy and to continue to grow my customer base. My dream has always been to own my own business so I will keep working on it!

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

I offer many different styles of arrangements and wreaths as well as color combinations while providing the best quality and customer service possible. Also, I work hard to meet the requests of customers and give them exactly what they want when working with them on custom orders.

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

I am in the process of clearing out a room to serve as a studio for Lilac House. In the meantime, I have a small space in the kitchen.

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

I wish that I had more knowledge about SEO and how to take good product pictures. I have spent a lot of time trying to improve in these areas!

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Yes, give it a try if you are passionate about something that you create. Also, give a lot of thought to what you want to communicate about your product to your customers.

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

I love to take walks with my two dogs and I always look forward to spending time with the family.

What is your favorite quote?

“Success is never final and failure never fatal. It’s courage that counts.” – Unknown

Where can people find out more about your business?

Etsy – LilacHouseFlorals
Instagram – lilachouseflorals
Facebook – lilachouseflorals

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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.