What #EtsyCIJ Means To You – #CIJParty 2017

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

For this years #EtsyCIJ event we want to know what this team means to you.
We know this team has meant a lot to some,has been a stepping stone to others and their main focus to a few.

What do you think of when this team comes to mind? What does this team mean to you?

Patty from PupcakesBowWowtique says to me this team means a chance. Since I started on Etsy a year ago I have had a few sales trickle in. In joining this team I am hoping that my shop will have a chance to grow. I also see this as an opportunity to get to know other team members and help each other along the way as we are a team after all.

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Lavender and Chamomile dog shampoo

Elisabeth from LizPOriginals said being part of many other teams I value and appreciate what teams can do for me and I for them.
Making new friends, brain storm with other artists I love that very much .
so joining this team is a wonderful opportunity for me–never belonged to a Christmas team before-I look forward to faving all of you and hope we have great season 2017.

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Rustic boho christmas tree ornaments

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June – National Ocean Month

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Around the world June is celebrated as Ocean Month. Since Oceans make up approximately 70% of the Earth, is it any wonder that we celebrate it? There are many ways to participate in this holiday, including using the Sea as inspiration.

I wondered ” How do we in Christmas in July Team take inspiration from the Ocean, Sea Life and other such creatures?”

Wendy Joy of wjoydesigns said:

I grew up by the ocean in California.When I am homesick and missing the smell of salt air, the sound of waves gently rolling onto the sand and the call of the seagulls in the wind. I am inspired to make pieces that remind me of these feelings. I use blues and whites. I use things that are natural and the color of sand. Occasionally I will use found items from my many visits to the beach through my childhood, such as sea glass and shells from my personal collection!

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Lin Collette of rhodyart states:

I don’t have much occasion to incorporate the sea in my work, though I’ve done larger pieces that refer to the ocean and the life that thrives in it. The only real connection the items I sell in my shop have to the ocean is if they’re pirate themed, and thus I present one of those here.

Pirate themes are a tribute to my brother, Will, who has changed his birthday celebrations to Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19.

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Lia Russo of Ghirlandiamo says:

My town, Salerno, is on Mediterranean Sea, part of Atlantic Ocean. All my crafts are strongly influenced by this, as you can see from the colors l use. What l love living on the sea is that my view, at least in one direction, has no limits.

Furthermore, even in hot summer, the temperature is more bearable, because of the sea breeze. I think l couldn’t live anywhere else without sea.

This is my most recent item and I think it confirms all l said here.

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Dawn Whitehand of DeeDeeDeesigns states:

Currently I live  in a rural central Victoria about four hours from the ocean – which is a lot for me.

As a child I grew up on the coast in a sleepy country town, which is now a tourist metropolis!

This early influence, I think, influences a lot of the color choices I make in the glazes I apply to my works such as the blue on this ceramic bowl.

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Kelly of ColourscapeStudios explains:
I adore the beach, it’s my go to place when I need a wander, a pick me up or a fun time! It features often in my work, my photography work seems to center around it often. Sunset at the beach brings me back to my inner self, it relaxes and enchants me with the colors, the sights and the sounds.
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Connie Lee of Bungalow42 tells me:
Growing up in Texas I spent a lot of time on Galveston Island as a child.
As a teenager I visited beaches all along the gulf coast. My high school boyfriend was an avid surfer who tried (in vain) to teach me to surf. I was generally happier walking the shoreline looking for shells, dashing in and out of the surf or napping on the sand.
As an adult I have been fortunate to live on both the east and west coast. The ocean continues to be a significant influence in my life and my work.
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Annie of DesignedbyAnneliese said:
I live in Australia and it takes at least 1.5 hours to get to the beach! When I was little we used it go on family holidays every year over Christmas (when it is summer holidays) and stay right near the beach. I loved it! While these gift tags do not feature anything from the ocean, the colors remind me of how lovely the sea and the beach are.
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 Katrina of BygoneAllure states:

I live in Hobart, Tasmania and a short distance from spectacular family friendly beaches. I get my exercise, breathe in the salt air, cleanse my senses and get direction and clarity by being close to the ocean. The ocean and nature oxygenate me. I feel so lucky to have this access to Nature.

The beauty of nature inspires me in my whole outlook. I love to beach comb and collect beautiful items like shells and driftwood. My favorite colors are Green and Blue which for me represent air, nature, earth. One of my favorite materials is Paua Shell / Abalone and I seek out fine Vintage Jewelry pieces with this natural material.

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Iefrenchgem told me:

I live less than a mile from the beach in Fort Myers Beach, FL in the winter, and SW France in the summer. I go for long walks on the beach here in France collecting sea glass for my one of a kind pieces that I sell at shows, and I find the most wonderful photo props right on the beach (like the driftwood props in the photos below). Even the crystals that I use remind me of the light dancing on the waters surface. I can’t imagine not living near the ocean. I am constantly in awe of it’s beauty and magnificence.

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Pauls and Daiga of ThreadsandPaintStudio states:
We live in Latvia, far, far away from Ocean, but very near to Baltic sea. I couldn’t imagine live without possibility to get into car and drive to beach. Many of our works are inspired from water theme. We tray to show our landscapes with sandy beach, but it could also be ocean view, sea view, lake view.
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Inga of FaufulisFashion explains:
I live in Latvia near to the sea. My all time favorite place to be is the beach!
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I would say that the water,especially the Ocean inspires many of us to create. It could be because of our love, awe or wonder at what it’s depths hold.

Get up, get out and let the water near you inspire your creations!

#CIJRoadTrip – Estonia: Tallinn

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Let’s travel to Estonia – Tallinn with Astrida from Nalmandra

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

I currently live in Tallinn. Old town of Tallinn is well preserved and with it’s medieval atmosphere is a popular tourist place.
It is also a city, where A. Tarkovsky filmed part of “Stalker”. Part of the factory, where film was shot is still there, near harbor and is recognizable by it’s big chimney.
It’s a beautiful city, where nature meets civilization. It’s located at the Baltic Sea. Sometimes closeness of sea is felt through harsh winds, other times it’s a nice refuge in hot summer days.

View On Tallinn From Tabasalu In Early Spring - Estonia

View On Tallinn From Tabasalu In Early Spring – Estonia

Tallinn - Flooded Promenade In Early Spring - Estonia

Tallinn – Flooded Promenade In Early Spring – Estonia

Tallinn – Different Parts Of The Sea Shore - Estonia

Tallinn – Different Parts Of The Sea Shore – Estonia

Tallinn - Part of Factory – One Of Locations Where Tarkovsky's “Stalker” Was Filmed - Estonia

Tallinn – Part of Factory – One Of Locations Where Tarkovsky’s “Stalker” Was Filmed – Estonia

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

Everyone should visit main cities – capital Tallinn with it’s beautiful and well preserved old town, student and science city Tartu, folk music city Viljandi, where every summer, there is a high level international folk music festival and Haapsalu – with it’s beautiful wooden architecture, seaside promenade and railway museum.

Tallinn Old Town From Port Side - Estonia

Tallinn Old Town From Port Side – Estonia

Another part, that is interesting to visit in Estonia, are islands – both – bigger ones like Saaremaa and Hiiumaa and small ones like Kihnu and Muhu. Each island is like a separate mini-world with it’s own people and customs and colorful national costumes. If you happen to be in Kihnu in Midsummer evening, it might be a surprise, that Midsummer fireplace is built inside a boat.

Midsummer Night On Kihnu Island – Average Small Wooden Fishing Boat With Fireplace Made In It

Midsummer Night On Kihnu Island – Average Small Wooden Fishing Boat With Fireplace Made In It

If you are interested in a history, Estonia has a lot to offer. Several medieval Livonian Order castles are open for visitors. There are festivals with re-enactment of historical events, like fight for the city in 18th century in Narva or permanent exhibitions with medieval life overview in Rakvere castle.

Narva Castle. Historical Reenactment And View On Nearby Castle In Ivangorod - Russia

Narva Castle. Historical Reenactment And View On Nearby Castle In Ivangorod – Russia

Narva Castle - Estonia

Narva Castle – Estonia

If, however, you’re more interested in technology, industry and recent history, consider visiting Sea Museum in Lennusadam, Tallinn. There you can explore a submarine “Lembit” as well as enjoy some other interesting hands-on experiences connected to the sea, ships and navigation. There are also plenty of abandoned former Soviet Army bases all around the country to explore, most popular of them being in Keila-Joa. In Rummu sunken remains of former Soviet jail makes it a well known and popular diving place.

Former Soviet Missile Bases

Former Soviet Missile Bases

Rummu Quarry

Rummu Quarry

Artificial Coal Mountains In Ida-Virumaa

Artificial Coal Mountains In Ida-Virumaa

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

Colors of some of my designs are directly inspired by national costumes.

Dark Blue Bead Embroidered Statement Earrings From Nalamandra

Dark Blue Bead Embroidered Statement Earrings From Nalamandra

Some are inspired by ancient Livonian and Semigall folk costumes.

Blue Soutache Earrings with Metal Filigree From Nalamandra

Blue Soutache Earrings with Metal Filigree From Nalamandra

Some are inspired by Estonian folk art with cornflower motives. Others are indirectly inspired by nature – such as warm yellow and green tones of summer meadows, bright orange and red colors of autumn leaves and deep blue shades of the sea.

Fire Agate Earrings From Nalamandra

Fire Agate Earrings From Nalamandra

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?

This fall I plan to keep reaching out in Etsy community and establish the new connections. Other than that – wearing my own creations is the best advertisement I can get, as it draws attention and people wish to find out more about my works.

5. What are your social media sites?

Nalamandra: www.facebook.com/Nalamandra
Photos by Aethel Wulf – aethel-wulf.blogspot.com/

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.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/174271080/dream-inspirational-words-and-quotes?ref=shop_home_active_18

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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.

 https://www.etsy.com/listing/175171578/red-vintage-inspired-crochet-red?ref=teams_post

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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.

 https://www.etsy.com/listing/152658551/springtime-flowers-embroidered-hoop-art?ref=teams_post

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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.

 https://www.etsy.com/listing/174662737/baby-mobile-origami-cranes-gender?ref=teams_post

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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.

 https://www.etsy.com/listing/174158452/pinky-swear-pinky-promise-rock-cairn?ref=teams_post

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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.

 https://www.etsy.com/listing/102892918/fun-and-funky-owls-handmade-tile?ref=teams_post

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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.

 https://www.etsy.com/listing/173640819/soft-baby-book-babys-first-book?ref=teams_post

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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.

 https://www.etsy.com/listing/126703287/on-sale-tagua-nut-chesapeake-blue-crab?ref=teams_post

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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.

 https://www.etsy.com/listing/173182827/embroidered-tan-and-black-chickadee-bird?ref=teams_post

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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