Member Feature: FeltedFantasies

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

Please join us in welcoming Sheila of FeltedFantasies, our featured member!

FeltedFantasies

Tell us about yourself.

Eleven years ago I moved to the Pacific Northwest from South Florida. The beauty of Nature in the Northwest and the tropical colors of Florida have influenced my use of color and design in my art.
I have been knitting since a teenager, but 10 years ago I discovered the art of needle felting. It became my new passion.  Needle felting is like painting with loose wool fibers and very sharp barbed needles. This art enables me to create depth, texture and detail to the otherwise flat surface of a felted wool purse,hat,gloves,portraits,pillows, and paintings.

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

I opened my business in 2008. I fell in love with the art of needle felting and wished to share my creations with others. I started selling at our local farmers market and then went on to participate in Art Shows in the Pacific Northwest. Ten years have gone by so quickly but I still love to create needle felt art on my purses,hats, and wool paintings.

Tell us a bit about your products.

Some of my favorite projects are making a purse or portrait for a custom dog or cat. I try very hard to create a likeness from pictures that a customer sends to me.
My newest product is a felted hat knitted from one strand of baby alpaca for softness and one strand of wool for shape. I needle felt birds,flowers or other custom creations on the hat. I love this new product and they have been very popular at my few shows this summer and surely will be even more popular as the temperature gets cooler this fall and winter.

 

What inspires your work?

Nature inspires my work. I love animals,flowers, birds, and all of the brilliant colors that nature offers.

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

I would like to continue creating my art and look forward to sharing it with my customers.
My dream for my business would be to reach more customers through additional markets.

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

My customers tell me that my needle felt art makes my products stand out.

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

I have a separate studio above my garage. Everything I need is here and I love spending my days here./

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

I do wish I was better at social media, as I think it is necessary to really reach more people.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Be patient and don’t give up!

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

I exercise for 1.5 hours every morning. Every afternoon at 5 PM  I play Rummy Cube with my hubby before dinner.

Where can people find out more about your business?

www.feltedfantasies.com

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

When you retire find your passion and go for it!

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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: Black

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

1. Black Agate Necklace by Nancy Duncan from EponasCrystals

2. Black Hanging Sign by FrameYourStory from Frameyourstory 

3. Black Marble Desk Set by Richard and Tatiana from DesignstheLimit 

Member Feature: Elliot’s Playground

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

Please join us in welcoming Clara of Elliot’s Playground, our featured member!

Elliot’s Playground

Tell us about yourself.

I’m a Florida native who moved to Chicago to escape the heat.  After ten years of designing costumes for local theater and film, working in an artist collective and waiting tables in the Windy City I met and fell in love with my Australian husband. I was lucky enough to move to Melbourne and have completely fallen for this country especially the flora and fauna, extra especially Koalas. I have two little humans and a fluffy pup who I love to get messy with but I’m not so great at the clean up afterwards part.

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

I opened my Etsy store back in 2012 after I had illustrated a few children’s books. I wanted to sell art prints which garnered sporadic interest but nothing substantial. I kind of let the store lapse until 2 years ago. When my daughter was born I made her this little felt pixie hat. My mom was visiting and asked me if I would like her to jazz it up a bit with some embroidery. I loved what she did and asked her to show me how the stitches. That was it. I was hooked. I watched every YouTube video I could find on embroidery stitches and started making ornaments. It’s been pretty amazing. I mean building up a “following” is a slow process but the support has been great. I am a Christmas nut so being able to make something that someone can display on their tree of in their home is really meaningful to me.

Tell us a bit about your products.

I still offer personalized illustrations for children but mostly my shop centers around Christmas ornaments. My ornaments are all hand sewn and embroidered. They are made with wool felt and mostly DMC floss. They are plushy, toy like and kind of big. But I love BIG Christmas ornaments.

What inspires your work?

Australia for sure! The birds are a big one. I get lots of custom requests for birds and have certainly learned about lots of new species. My Norwegian ancestry is another. Who wouldn’t want to make gnomes? I also love all the Christmas time traditions from around the world. We take the kids to see St Nicholas and his friend Krampus every year at the Austrian Club. My cute version of Krampus is one of my best sellers. The other one that was a surprise hit is my Tardigrade. I love Tardigrades! My husband saw it and asked “who in the world will want that?” My first one sold within an hour of listing to a microbiologist who has a microbiology themed Christmas tree. Another one sold as a present for a girl who had studied Tardigrades as a research project. It’s cool when you connect with people who share you funny interests!!

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

I’m really working on making more patterns. To be honest sitting in front of a computer is not nearly as much fun as making an actual craft but I love being a small part of other people’s creative process. A friend of mine used some of my patterns to make ornaments for all of the grandparents. Her husband and the kids all got involved and embroidered together. I love that!  Another upside is the selling a digital download is easy peasy! There’s no work to be done after the sale.

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

I try to make things that aren’t super typical. I mean I still love to make snowmen and reindeer but also like to throw in an Axolotl or Leafy Seadragon to mix it up. I am 100% NOT the most talented hand embroiderer on the planet but I do take a lot of pride in my work. I want these items to last a long time so I do my best to deliver the highest quality work I can. I also like to personalize items for people with names or dates.

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

Ha! My family wishes I did. That would cut down on the felt and floss scraps all over the house. I have pretty much taken over the dining room as my craft supply room but do most of my actual work in the living room while hanging out with my two-year old. I wish I could show you a cute, quirky little working space but it’s more like badly organised chaos.

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

Don’t compare yourself negatively to people who have been doing this for years! Learn from them. There are some amazing ornament and pattern makers out there. I read their blogs and follow their work. It’s good to see what kinds of themes people are drawn to.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Give it a go!!! It’s a small amount of money to try to if nothing else it will be a good learning process. I honestly really thought I would be totally concentrating on illustrations but couldn’t have been more wrong! The embroidered felt ornaments have really been the ticket. It’s great because I absolutely love making them!!

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

Does trash TV count? Haha! I love to go on Sunday drives to different country towns near Melbourne. I love being in and around water. I used to read all the time but that’s a bit hard to squeeze in with the rugrats but a good book is still one of my all time favorite things in the world.

What is your favorite quote?

“It’s best not to be too moral. You cheat yourself out of too much life.” ~ Maude from “Harold and Maude”

Where can people find out more about your business?

I have a blog that I need to update more than I do!
elliottsplayground.blogspot.com

And on Instagram @elliottsplayground

I also have a Pattern website that has all my offerings. Starting 1 December my shop is only on Pattern,while I am making all holiday orders.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

$1 from every sale I make in my Etsy store goes to the Save the Koala Fund.

Thanks for letting me talk about myself and share my work!!

________

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.

A Little Gift For Me

Contributor post by Mairi from mairidesign

All too often, we spend our time thinking of others and buying gifts for family and friends and, we all know, the next few weeks are going to be hectic. Perhaps now, is the time for a little self-indulgence before the chaos. The Christmas In July team would like to share all their fabulous items with those who are looking to buy themselves a little gift.

Margie Sarrao from ZenCatPottery says

At only $11.00, these small earrings are a perfect way to gift yourself! Featuring lampwork glass and Czech glass beads, they will add a pop of color to your day. The beads are wired separately, so they will sway prettily as you move.
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Red Czech Glass & Silver Dangle Earrings

Karen Hafel from timetalentjewels says

My treat would be a cute little bracelet! This little bracelet is made of Turquoise Russian Amazonite which has Silver Plated Shells between the beads. I feel like I am ready for the beach and but I live in the Midwest, which is about 3000 miles from the ocean. Maybe some day! But this one is for sale!

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Turquoise Gemstone Beaded Bracelet

Elisabeth Perez from LizPOriginals says

My treat would be a nice book mark to go with a great book for relaxing times.
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Pink Gemstone Bookmark

mistycat1234 from carolinagirlz2 says

I think any crafter would love a new pack of purple beads to stitch up into something wonderful…maybe peyote, cross stitch, jewelry, or something else?
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Antique Glass Beads

Richard and Tatiana from DesignstheLimit says

Give the gift of personalization, especially when shopping for yourself. It is better to enjoy a glass of wine less often and in style, than to overindulge. At Design’s the Limit, we encourage the responsible enjoyment of spirits from the safety of your own home. Design a wine glass which suits your personality, we have a variety of glass and crystal stemware and stemless glasses to choose as a canvas for our designs. Once you have selected a glass, choose the font and design which suits your tastes and include any text you wish to including name, monogram, single initial, or popular sayings in the public domain!
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Stemless Personalized Wine Glasses

Sue and Misty from shabbyshopgirls says

Enjoy some “me” and “family” time by reading your favorite verses from The Bible and sitting down with the family to fill out the numerous pages for recording wedding information, birth records and your family tree! A great way to spend some down time before the Holiday season arrives!
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Precious Moments Bible Family Edition

Cindy Humphrey from Cynhumphrey says

All of us experience the concept of the yin and yang in our daily lives. It always seems there is something positive pulling against the forces of something negative and we are forced to pull it together in unity and “work things out”. I also think that “making it through” whatever comes your way on any given day largely depends on your frame of mind and attitude about life in general. So, with this little butterfly yin and yang compact (pill) storage jar, you would have the constant reminder that no matter what happens, things do get better and can become beautiful, just as the bling this item offers!
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Pill Storage Box

Carola Bartz from CarolaBartz says

I would buy a hand knitted hat to keep me warm in winter. It’s such a nice accessory.
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Hand Knitted Slouch Beanie

Meerkat – Pantone Fashion Color For Fall/Winter 2018

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

Color trends are a wonderful way to celebrate the seasons!

According to Pantone one of the top colors for Fall 2018 is Meerkat.

Pantone #16-1438
Meerkat
A highly adaptable toasty burnished brown

Meerkat

Members of the Etsy Christmas In July Team have been inspired by the color Meerkat! They have created items in their shops reflecting this inspiration! Here are a few!

Nancy from EponasCrystals says this long tassel necklace with hand knotted toasty brown glass pearls. A stylish version of the trendy tassel necklace.

EponasCrystals

mistycat1234 from carolinagirlz2 said This Impulse Craft Iron On Transfer 00316 Matte Finish Brown Bears Love Is New In Package T Shirt Design would be a great craft project to capture the Meerkat color:

carolinagirlz2

Margie from ZenCatPottery states Pantone’s Fall/Winter color, “Meerkat,” is a lovely warm brown. It is a fabulous neutral. In fashion, especially, it will go with practically anything you have in your closet! These copper butterfly earrings will do just that – go with anything in your closet. They will bring warmth and movement to your face, as well.

ZenCatPottery

If you’re on Pinterest here is the Meerkat – Pantone Fashion Color For Fall/Winter 2018 board!

While you’re on Pinterest please follow the Etsy Christmas In July team!

Member Feature: Jhoomka

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

Please join us in welcoming Geneviere of Jhoomka, our featured member!

Jhoomka

Tell us about yourself.

I’m a bit of a gypsy, was born and raised in South Africa, spent ten years in Canada and now I live in beautiful Australia. I’ve traveled quite a bit too. I’m a mom and I have my chef qualifications. I started Jhoomka to stay at home with my little one.

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

I opened my business 2 years ago and in the beginning it was more of a hobby but I have been working really hard on making it grow and I am now a mom so I work from home to spend time with my little one.

Tell us a bit about your products.

I make earrings upcycled from doily cloths. Sustainable fashion at its brightest! I paint and stiffen the earrings to make them bright and firm. The doilies are light and bright and unique. I also make glass bead earrings from beads I have found at op shops and in my travels as well as felt ball earrings.

What inspires your work?

Nature in all its glorious colors.

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

My goal is to keep growing until this becomes my full-time job!

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

My earrings are bright and bold and pretty unique.

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

I have a space set up in the sunroom of my house. It’s the best as it gets lots of natural light.

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

I have learnt a lot along the way! Its been such an incredible journey so far! I don’t think there is anything I’d wished I’d known beforehand.

Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Concentrate on your SEO and join a support group! They help a lot!

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

I love to walk, read and ride horses.

What is your favorite quote?

My favorite quote is by Bob Marley
“Love the life you live, Live the life you love ”

Where can people find out more about your business?

You can find me on instagram @jhoomka or on Facebook myjhoomka.

________

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.

Quiet Gray – Pantone Fashion Color For Fall/Winter 2018

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

Color trends are a wonderful way to celebrate the seasons!

According to Pantone one of the top colors for Fall 2018 is Quiet Gray.

Pantone #14-4107
Quiet Gray
Unobtrusive and timeless soft gray.

Quiet Gray

Members of the Etsy Christmas In July Team have been inspired by the color Quiet Gray! They have created items in their shops reflecting this inspiration! Here are a few!

zizzybob from zizzybob says quiet gray, dark gray and silver, its all in there.

zizzybob

Margie from ZenCatPottery said these earrings are fabulous! They are neutral, so they will go with everything. They are also modern and will add a bit of bling to any outfit!

ZenCatPottery

Barbara from MermaidsHatbox states I love the roaring 20th and I love cloche hats.
This quiet gray jacquard fabric, slightly shimmering and the ribbon with metal beads and sequins gives the hat a noble touch that fits into the 20th. The velvet ribbon is up cycled from an old theater costume and ended in a smoky blue fan made of wild silk.

MermaidsHatbox

Solvia from CuteGiftsforU says How fun are these cat coasters beautifully decorated with a pink satin bow.

CuteGiftsforU

If you’re on Pinterest here is the Quiet Gray – Pantone Fashion Color For Fall/Winter 2018 board!

While you’re on Pinterest please follow the Etsy Christmas In July team!