An arm party is where you wear multiple bracelets on one arm! Start with a statement bracelet and add complimentary bracelets as you go! Here is a collection of fantastic bracelets from the Etsy ChristmasInJuly team that celebrate Spring 2014!
Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings
On Etsy many shop owners curate treasuries. A treasury is a curated shop gallery comprised of 16 items from any shop. Most of the time they are done by theme, color or anything you can imagine.
The ChristmasInJuly team has challenges to create treasuries centered on themes of our choosing. We then pick a winner based on views, creativity and the like.
I asked her how she got started with wire wrapping:
I’ve been doing wire wrapping for about 7 or 8 years now. I am mostly self-taught, but started with a class. The very first piece that I wrapped was a round thick, rather ugly piece of ordinary glass. The teacher supplied these for us to practice. I mention this because I have to laugh when I think of a time not that long ago when sterling silver was so cheap, that one could use it to wrap something like this.
I share a love of natural stones with her, so I wondered what were her favorites:
Now I am a little more selective in my choice of stones. I’ve seen a lot of beautiful stones, but my favorite is Larimar. It is only found in the Dominican Republican in the Caribbean. It surpasses anything in its amazing color which is like looking out at the sea and sky on a gorgeous Caribbean day. It was named after the daughter of one of the discoverers of this stone, Larissa, and the Spanish name for the sea, mar. I love it.
Another stone I love to use is Labradorite. When held in the light, it has wonderful flashes of blue and gold going through it. Most Labradorite is a soft, greenish color, but it can come in other colors too. I had one that was a copper color. This stone is found in Labrador and thus its name. There is folklore that explains its sometimes brilliant flashes. An old Native-American myth says that the Northern Lights, which can be seen quite well in Labrador, fell from the sky once and became trapped in the stone. There are more complicated and accurate scientific explanations, of course, but I like the Native-American one.
It astounds me to see the array of the colorful, beautiful stones forming within the earth for eons, such as Amazonite, Turquoise, Amethyst and Citrine.
I asked her what other natural items did she use in her work and to tell me a bit about them:
I use fossils such as Ammonites to wrap. These little creatures covered much of the earth millions of years before man. They have turned to stone and will be here forever.
I also use slices of the Tagua Nut. These are perfect as frames for my resin pendants. The Tagua Nut comes from palm trees that grow in the rain forests. When the nuts are dried, they can be used to carve pictures in, and some are dyed beautiful colors to use as beads. They are called “vegetable ivory” and even help save the Rainforest because this is something that can be harvested and used without causing any harm to the trees. Nature is just so amazing.
Betty is a true lover of nature and it shows in all her creations. One would be lucky to wear one of her pieces!
Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings
On Etsy many shop owners curate treasuries. A treasury is a curated shopping gallery comprised of 16 items from any shop. Most of the time they are done by theme, color, or anything you can imagine!
The CIJ Team has challenges to create treasuries centered on themes of our choosing. We then pick one winner based on views, creativity and the like.
The winner of both September challenges was Betty Travell of the shop LadySnooks. She has always been a creative type, trying many medias before she found jewelry and especially wire wrapping.
I got to know quite a bit more about Betty and wanted to let you all know about the creative genius I discovered. When I asked her when her art and craft love started she replied:
For as long as I can remember, I have always done art or crafts in some form. In fact, my entire family has been art-oriented, from my parents on down. There is something inside of some of us that makes us love and need to create in some way. Some call it right-brained, but it is there.
I then wondered how her etsy shop came about:
Initially, I opened my shop on Etsy in May 2008. It sounded like a good idea. I only had a few items in my shop when I started. I thought, like a lot of people, I’d have a ton of sales right away and all I needed to do was make my jewelry and put it in the shop. When sales didn’t come, I got discouraged and let my shop items expire. It sat empty until about October 2010 when I decided to give it another try. This time I had some good advice from a successful friend. She said “read the etsy handbook”. I did. It truly helps. And, this time I’m doing better, and I enjoy the entire etsy community. I love being on teams and doing the treasuries. Etsy is very helpful and gives good advice. I’ve made friends. All in all, it’s been a fun experience.
She does what she does,because of an innate drive to create and:
A good deal of my inspiration comes from nature. This is obvious with the Tagua nut scenes in resin I do based on the sea and nature, and I love to throw some fantasy in the mix too. With wrapping stones, sometimes a stone will lay on my work bench for weeks. I’ll look at it and move on to something else. It is there because of something special about it I really loved. Then I may be eating dinner, or it may be in the middle of the night that I wake up, but I will know exactly what I want to do with it. I usually need to draw it immediately or some parts of it will fade.
I wondered if she had a craft room and if so what were her essential must haves:
My work room has grown considerably over the years. It was an extra bedroom that I confiscated when we moved in. I settle back, put on some soft music, light a fragrant candle and slip into work mode. All of my important tools are here. My favorite one is the flex-shaft which is many tools in one, but some other favorites are my hand tools that my husband, a retired jeweler, gave to me from his supply. These are well worn-in and just feel comfortable and serve me well along with his good advice.
I hope she continues in her endeavor, because the world needs more people with her attitude and her crafty heart!
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