CIJ Team Shares a recipe and a shop item to go with it

Contributor post by Amy of BeadsAndThreadsbyAmy

I thought it would be a great idea to share some new recipes with our CIJ friends, along with an item from our shops to help serve it, clean it up, or make it even more memorable!  Without further adieu, here are our recipes and items.  Just click on the pictures for a link to the recipes and featured items.

1) Carolyn T from Butterflykilns I have found the BEST recipe for lemon bars at allrecipes.com which would look great served on my sunflower plate!

lemon bars

Yummy Lemon Bars!

sunflower platter

Stunning Sunflower Platter from Butterflykilns.

2) Jeanne from CedarwoodCreations says Keeping it delicious and healthy with these No Bake Bars from Baking Blonde served with a side of the Symbol for Health from my shop.

bars

No-Bake Bars (my idea of making dessert)!

 

health symbol

Health Sign Paperweight to hold down that lovely recipe from CedarwoodCreations!

3) Kelly from ColourscapeStudios says I’m making pavlova for my dad’s birthday with this failsafe recipe from Taste.com and serving it with his favorite coffee.

pavlova

Pavlova Recipe from Taste.com. Lovely!

 

coffee

Coffee Photography from ColourscapeStudios.

4) Tree Southfox from BlessBeadTheTies says:

No sugar Lemonade

1 cup fresh lemon juice

2/3 cup agave nectar ( low glycemic sweetener)

6 cups water ice

Serve it with this tie on…..

tie

Lemonade Tie from BlessBeadTheTie.

5) Tanya from socksandmittens shares a lemon rosemary chicken and protects her Kindle in the kitchen with this cover…

chicken

Rosemary Chicken from socksandmittens.blogspot.com

 

kindlecover

Kindle Cover from socksandmittens. Keep that Kindle clean while reading recipes in the kitchen.

6) Dossie Garvey from petzoup shares her favorite recipe…

Blameless squares –

3 mashed bananas

1/3 cup apple sauce

2 cups oats

1/4 cup almond milk

1/2 cup raisins

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes

egg less, flour less, dairy less and no added sugar

And says they are sweet like her friend here:

archiecat

Custom Portrait Ornament from petzoup.

7) Veronica and Andy Fritsch from AVAArtsSupplies says We love this pretzel recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, but use all purpose flour instead of whole wheat, just like mom used to make!

PRETZEL

Mom’s Pretzels from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

 

mom

Mom charms from AVAArtsSupplies. Great for a mother’s day project!

8) Alicia Salazar from SleepSchedule suggests a picnic for Easter with her Mustard Roasted Lamb wrapped up in a do-it-yourself tote kit.

lamb

Mustard Roasted Lamb and Potatoes.

tote

Tote Bag Kit from SleepSchedule.

9) Include these cupcakes in your picnic shared by Karen Crisp from APaperParadise.  A Martha Stewart Recipe.

cupcake1

Vanilla Cupcakes from marthastewart.com

cupcake

Cupcake wrapper and topper from APaperParadise.

10) And, last but not least, for those lingering winter days and cool spring evenings, Jessica Chong from CrochetNature shares her recipe for S’Mores served with the perfect S’More eating gloves! Place a graham cracker on a microwave safe plate. Place a marshmallow or mini marshmallows on the cracker, and chocolate on top of the marshmallow. Microwave for about 10-15 seconds. Place second graham cracker on top. Eat and enjoy!

gloves

FIngerless Gloves for S’Mores from CrochetNature.

 

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Member Feature: Petzoup

Contributor post by Natalie

Please join us in welcoming Petzoup, our featured member!

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Tell us about yourself       

I am a transplanted Yankee living in Atlanta, GA. I have been an artist my whole life and absolutely love to paint. I work full time but rush home every day to work at what’s truly important to me, my shop.

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

I started my business in the 90’s but joined Etsy in 2012. I really didn’t start listing and working my shop until 2013. I had visited Etsy on the advice of a co worker and as soon as I saw it I knew it was for me. It had everything that I was looking for to help me grow my business.

Tell us a bit about your products           

I paint custom pet portraits on glassware using recycled window sashes, ornaments, jars and wine glasses. I use a photo of the buyers pet and transform it into a loving memory that will last for years to come.

What inspires your work?           

The buyers that I work with are so passionate about their pets that it inspires me to be the best that I can be for them. This is a family member that we’re talking about so I try to capture their pets just as they hope for.

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

2014 has started out to be a terrific year. I hope too spend much more time working on my business and expanding to outside venues for marketing purposes. I am hoping that within a year or two my business will be a real brand that I can carry even further.

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

When I pull up pet portraits in Etsy there are some wonderful paintings, pencil drawings, etc that I admire. When I look at my items among the hundreds of others, there is something unique, just a little different from the rest. I like that my products are outside the box, not just hanging portraits on canvas. I think this helps my shop to stand out from the others.

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

I have a separate studio in my home after years of working in my kitchen. It has large windows which are great for additional lighting and is separated from the rest of the upstairs. It’s my “get away, don’t talk to me now” room and my family knows it!

Where can people find out more about you and your business?

I have a website at www.petzoup.net where I blog once a month. I also do select craft shows for animal rescue during the year and post when they are coming up.

Why do you believe people should buy handmade, such as your products, vs buying mass-produced products from box stores?

I’m from the era of mom and pop stores. We didn’t have the big box stores or malls. We went down the corner to shop or downtown. We knew the shop owners and they knew us. People who sell and buy handmade are the same type of people who are looking for that same type of experience. Shopping should be joyful sometimes and I find a handmade item just that. When I give handmade for a gift it’s got a great “you are special” factor.

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

I wish I wasn’t always in such a hurry. I have learned to spend more time researching things instead of just jumping in. I’ve also learned that owning is a business is hard work and unless you are willing to commit to that, don’t waste your time.

Any advise for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Read, read, read and read some more. Learn everything you can before opening and continue your education through the Etsy blog, features and the forum. If you want to be successful go out and get it, don’t wait for it to come to you.

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

Actually I’m so busy lately that I have no hobbies at the moment. Painting used to be my hobby, now when I’m not working, I’m usually sitting on my butt!

What is your favourite quote?        

Angels fly because they take themselves lightly.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?        

Just that Etsy has given me something really special, I have become a stronger, more energetic and interesting woman. Watch me ROAR!!!!!

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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.

CIJ’s Most Popular Items

So what makes an item on Etsy sell like hotcakes?  I posed that question to our team, and the answer is…talent, hard-work and great customer service!  Hear what our members have to say about their favorite and most popular items.

1)  Jeanne from CedarwoodCreations shares…..

“I have sold several mini zen gardens when I came across these shatterproof polymer dishes in vibrant colors. My mind immediately went to children and how fun it would be for them to pick their own charm and to be able to make a zen garden all by themselves. I have sold quite a few of these!”

Kids' Zen Garden
Kids’ Zen Garden

2)  Patricia and Rebecca from northandsouthshabby tells this item’s story….

“We were looking to craft something special for Christmas and beyond that had a shabby and nautical feel. After investigating what were popular pins on Pinterest, we came up with an idea to mimic fishing balls, which followed the theme of popular pins, but at the same time was different and unique. After much trial and error, we came up with a design we loved. It has proved to be our most popular items with a very broad appeal. To date we have sent sets to Texas, Georgia, California, Oregon and Hawaii.”

nautical ornaments
Nautical Theme Ornaments for home decor

3) Carolyn from butterflykilns shares her best seller….

“This sweet little owl mug has been the most popular item in my shop!
I had been doing owl designs when I first started but wanted to create something special for the fall season. I did some research and found out that owls are everywhere! On t-shirts, on mugs, on stationery, etc. I sketched a few rough designs at first and decided to go with this one in particular, because I love the two owls sitting in the branches looking at each other with a curious glance. I had made a previous owl mug using summer colors so I thought, why not revive the same design, but use bright, colorful fall hues? And, it worked! I have received so many wonderful comments on this mug. It has also been featured in several treasury lists and blogs.”

owl mug
Ceramic Owl Mug

4) Eleni from LenasCakes chose this item to share….

“This is my most popular item so far. I had the same shells put on round base toppers, but leaving them “free” gave everyone who planned a sea themed party the opportunity to place them wherever they wished. Cake, cupcake or mini tart, it was eligible!
What impressed me most is that even in the middle of winter(at least in northern hemisphere, lol!) there were many search views and favs for this particular- absolutely-talk to me about summer- decor!”

fondant cupcake toppers
Fondant Sea Creatures

5) Carola from CarolaBartz shares…

 “This cat’s card is my most favorite item in my store, especially around Valentine’s Day. I had to make it so many times – and I still like it very much!  I actually created this card as a sample for a class I was teaching. My students loved it so much that I thought to give it a try and listed it in my shop. Good thing I did!!!”
Love kitty card
Love Kitty Card

6) Dossie Garvey from petzoup ……

“This is the first window I ever created. I found a shredded Xerox copy of a photo in an old album and was told that it was the first home of my great grandfather after he came to America from Ireland in the 1890’s. I wanted to preserve the image and decided to use an old recycled window sash to paint the home on. That way, when I look at it, I feel like my ancestors are close to me, almost like having them across the street. I have since created many different windows but this will always be my “best seller”.”

Window Art
Custom Original Art Painting Home Memorial Recycled Window

7) KathysHeart from KathysHeartCreations shares the personal story behind her best-seller….

“The first one of these kitties I made was created from an old pattern I had from the 90’s … with one exception … I made it a black and white cat … This adorable tuxedo kitty was made in honor of my cat, “Snookums” … my constant companion. I even had a photo of him sitting on my quilted cushions of my wicker sofa in my craft room posted on my About page … (which I have recently taken down when I made changes to my About page)”

Grey Tabby Cat
Painted Kitty Home Decor

8) Rosario Uriarte from inspirebynancy shares…

“Hi, my most popular item in my shop are these Legs Warmers. I knitted them for my daughter, to keep her little legs warm in the winter days and I sold a lot of them here in Etsy .”

legwarmers
Girl’s Legwarmers

9) Catherine Clifford from DesignsByCnC says….

“I needed a card to celebrate my son-in-law’s upcoming birthday. Since he is an avid hunter and enjoys all things camouflage, I designed the Buck Silhouette Camouflage Birthday Card. Decided to make a couple extra for the store and, lo and behold, it turned out to be the best selling card in my entire shop! It also led to an complete line of camo cards. ”

buck card
Birthday Card for a Hunter….

10) Sherri from ButterflyFeetDigital says

 “My most popular item is my chevron banner printable calendar. I had been making calendars for myself for years, finally thought I should make one to sell. I had also recently figured out how to make a chevron design – it took some trial and error, believe me! But I finally got it and created paper packs with it, and then decided to use it for a calendar. I was surprised at how well it sold starting with the one for 2013. Some people bought both the 2013 and 2014 at the same time.”
calendar
Downloadable Calendar Pages

11) Wendy Joy from wjoydesigns shares the story of one of her first (and most popular) items…

“I started making rainbow candles back in 1990 when I was stuck at home in the last few months of my first pregnancy. I was looking for something new to do. I decided to get some candle making supplies at my local craft store and got set up in a little work space in my garage and started making candles! I have always loved bright, cheery colors and have loved rainbows since I was a little girl. I started experimenting with color combinations with my first few candles and my first rainbow candle emerged after a few tries and I have been happily making them ever since! I still have one of my original rainbow candles from way back when that I burn from time to time. Can you believe that it has been with me for all these years and has never faded and still smells amazing to this day??”

rainbow candle
Rainbow Candle

12) Tola Laseinde from AnkaraLampshades shares her best selling pillow…

“This is a very popular design within African Circles especially west Africa. The design has been around for a very long time and is continuously reproduced.  It is made out of a rare PREMIUM Dutch wax cotton. This so because it has an extra intricate gold honeycomb lattice design on it which makes it stand out from the crowd.”

pillow
African Bullseye Pillow

13) koolstuff2 from koolstuff2 says

“I created the Pinky Promise charm when my daughter was going off to college. She and I always did our “Pinky Promises” throughout her life and I wanted to create something she could take with her that would remind her of home.   I first drew the image on paper, then digitally using Illustrator. I then sculpted the hands in clay and cut the bottom half off to make a flat charm. I made a relief mold after I joined two halves together to make the charm 2 sided.  The hardest part was finding a supplier who could cast the part economically. I found a foreign supplier who would cast it and make the charms.  My charms are in numerous publications and have been praised worldwide. ”

pinky promise
Pinky Promise Pendants-Pair

14) Last, but not least, Evelyn and Lucy from artsyEVE shares our final story…

“We have sold many baby quilts with applliqued hearts and they seem to sell soon after we post them. The hearts seem to tug at our “heart-strings” just like our sweet babies do! All the quilts we’ve sold so far have had pink hearts or hearts filled with little rosebuds or flowers–kinda girly! My mom is the quilter and she told me that the next one she makes will have either blue or green appliqued hearts–for those sweet, little baby boys.”

baby quilt
Heart Baby Quilt
I hope you have enjoyed getting to know some of CIJ’s artists and the stories behind their items.  Please feel free to visit any of our shops….you never know when you’ll find the perfect little treasure!