New Team Members: October 2018

Contributor post by Mairi from mairidesign

Please join us in welcoming the new Etsy Christmas In July team members who recently joined! Take a moment to check out their shops, and share on social media using the hashtag #EtsyCIJ! Thank you!

Gytautė from Baggagehouse says

Creating leather bags has been my hobby for almost 5 years but, only one year ago, I decided to open the shop and offer my bags to a wider audience. Travelling is my other hobby, so my brand name is very closely related to it. Most of my bags were created by thinking about how would they fit for travelling, other ones by thinking about how to make life more convenient or stylish. If possible, I like to create adjustable items that could be worn in a few different ways and be practical. I am very grateful for your accepting me to your team.

Brown Leather Belt Bag

lilibet design from lilibetdesign says

My specialty is vintage Christmas ornaments and decor! I’ve come to love it over the years and my area of focus is German and Scandinavian. This Swedish piece isn’t necessarily Christmas, but these little Swedish figures look great with Christmas decor.

Vintage Swedish Pine Cone Ornament

Gabrielle BARBIER from frenchjewelryvintage says

I create unique handmade model jewelry at home on my dining table. I started with pearl necklaces, then I wanted to do special things according to my feelings and I’m constantly moving in my head, so my creations follow my ideas. I love to make big breastplates, a unique model of a design that will never be redone identically but in the spirit. I am passionate about Greek or Roman mythology as well as ancient Egypt. When I go into the Native American phase I make crazy jewelry that can take almost a month but I love!

I love the mysterious steampunk, romantic gothic, Victorian, retro and vintage universes as I incorporate vintage supplies into my creations whenever I can. I love fairies, unicorns, the Renaissance, cities and everything that inspires me.

I have a tricolor Collie dog who sleeps with us in my arms and I hope to have a baby kitten again next year. I love nature, lace and everything that makes you dream. I registered in Christmas in July several years ago but I was afraid to start, that’s done and thank you for accepting me.

I present you a jewel that I love and that asked a lot of time of me to realize.


Native American Necklace

My Etsy shop is DianeDCrochet. You can find crocheted items like Afghans, hats, scarves, bags and shawls.
As we are heading into the winter months (at least in my neck of the woods), scarves and hats will be needed to help keep us warm. Shawls are great to wear in cool evenings.

My crocheted bags are good for the Farmer’s Market, the beach, the pool, or storage. If you are taking a winter vacation to someplace warm, the bags are packable and don’t take up a lot of space in your luggage.

I also do crafts fairs in November and early December.


Crochet Triangle Shawl

I’m Anrusa, a digital artist, photographer and designer based in France. My store is FairyMagicChest and is inspired by fairy tales, adventures and also in old and charming times. I love my work because I think it makes people happy , mostly children, and this is so beautiful!

In the store, you can find digital backgrounds and overlays to create art from your own photographs, especially for children. These final creations can become magical prints, you can get from them fine wall art, greeting cards or just photographs to save as a treasures for a lifetime.

I am also introducing photographs that I take from charming places in Paris and other places from France.

I love all my items, but I chose this one because is about Christmas, like the team’s name!


Christmas Digital Background

My shop is Joanna’s Scented Soaps, where you can find handmade Soap Art!
This means
– One-of-A-Kind Soap Cake as home décor,
– Soaps gift set ties with a jewelry, a charm for Good Luck, a Christmas decorative ornament, a glass decorative, a scarf, a keyring – a gift for everyone, any occasion on every budget!
– Seasonal items for holidays and all occasions – especially for Festive Table Decoration.

This holiday season, I propose that you to decorate and style up your dining table with something different – a small gift box to show your guests you care, to surprise them and say “We’re glad you were here!.

Each very beautifully packed box contains a luxury scented soap, organza cloth, ribbons matching the soap’s color, and a small festive decorative.


Luxury Decorative Soap

I am a lover of the jewels of the theater, it is with my art that I create sacred ornaments, such as votive hearts, relics, crosses.

I like to immerse myself in the distant past, imagining the jewels of those times that we read in history books. My true love is the painting and restoration of old furniture, but not having much space at home, I found another way to occupy my hands with tools, which is silverware in jewelry.

I create the past of jewels from nothing, with elements that I find in flea markets.

And, living in Italy, there is a world yet to be discovered of old things with stories to tell.

I have such a great passion for markets and stuff from the past, that my house has become a museum, so, along with my pets and my husband, we are looking for a bigger house, maybe near the sea, which is another element that makes me feel good.

I like to represent, in each creation, an emblem of myself: there’s so much of me in the past.

I am very grateful for your accepting me into your team. Here is one of my most recent articles.


Sacred Heart necklace with Byzantine cross

I’m Bianca and I live in the countryside, the beautiful “Westerwald” in Germany. I studied architecture and design and absolutely love design “with humor”. So I try to create playful and humorous products which are able to raise a smile.
In the beginning, I started making gifts for my family and friends. In 2009, I decided to try to share my work with more people and thus the brand “blanc” was born. Since then, I sell, under this name, cute bookmarks, magnets, key chains and other things for a beautiful home.

Thank you so much for accepting me into your team!

Here’s one of my bookmarks.


Elephant Bookmark

Favorite Holiday Item In Your Shop – #CIJParty 2018

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings  and Mairi from mairidesign

We all have a favorite item that we have in our shop. It could be our favorite because of the process it took to make it, its color or any other reason.

Here, the team share their favorite Holiday item from their shop and tell us why they like it so much.

michael tarter from BurntEarthHorseHair says

One of my favorite Xmas items is my Luminaria Bags. They are ceramic clay and have holes in them to let the candle light shine through. I crave out different designs on the bags. One of my favorite designs is the Corrales Old Church. I have several sizes available and over 20 different designs.
Taos Pueblo

Luminaria Bags

Dianna from HoneyMyrtleStudio says

One of my favourite items is my blue hand dyed cushion cover. It was one of the first items I made using hand dyed fabric that I had done myself.
Blue Throw Pillow

Blue Throw Pillow

Roses Workshop from RosesWorkshop says

I love my Harris tweed baubles. They bring the beauty of hand-woven fabric to something purely decorative. Lovely enough to be kept as heirloom pieces.
Harris tweed

Harris tweed Christmas tree decoration

Arlene from ThisandThatCrafter says

Hands down this is my favorite item… This ornament has such a sweet story behind how it came to be… I have lived in my home since I was born and one of my neighbors that had been in her home since before I was born asked me to come down to her home to look at some things 3 years ago in the summer of 2015. She then gave me a piece of a sweater that she said was one of her favorites. It was her sweater many years ago when she was much younger. She said she had reused most of it but had this one side left and she wanted to give it to me as she knew I sewed and asked me to make something so that her favorite sweater could live on. The color reminded me of dirty snow. So I made the dirty snowman out of what was left of her special sweater… I gave one to her to put on her tree. I kept one and gave my daughter one and the rest are for sale… so far a total of 6 are living on in Christmas celebrations. I have one more made and enough to make 2 more beyond that. Then all the sweater will be gone. Sad to say that she passed away in 2016 and her granddaughters came to get me and told me I could have what ever I wanted out of her sewing room… one of the things I got was many buttons that were cut off of garments once the garment was done being used. I now am adding 2 of those buttons to each of the remaining snowmen.
My Dirty Snowman

My Dirty Snowman

Patricia from TheOldBarnDoor says

My favorite item is this Christmas card featuring Miss Abbie one of our collies on an early morning walk here on the farm just after a fresh snow fall. I was never certain what captured her interest in the trees but I like the feeling and colours of this card.

Entitled Happy Collie Days this one always makes me smile. This image has been featured by The Collie Rescue Network in their calendars and on a note card they use to raise funds.

Collie Days

Happy COLLIE Days Christmas Card

This “I love cats” handcrafted wooden plaque is my favorite shop item because it declares my love of cats … I consider it to be a customer favorite as well since I have sold several of them to other cat lovers!

I think it’s a great gift idea for the cat lover on a gift list because it’s cute and inexpensive!


Cat Wall Hanging

Mairi from mairidesign says

These Christmas bauble shaped tree decorations are my favourites because of the gorgeous iridescent glass I used and, also, that others also seem to really like them. I made some for my students and one of them ordered several for her colleagues. Then, my sister and my cousin ordered several each to hang as garlands in their windows. Then, more orders came. It was great! The little beads swing and tinkle in the breeze and add a chic touch to a festive display.

Christmas Tree Decorations

I love this elegant set with 3 luxury glycerin soaps and a charm for good luck!


Trendy Soaps Christmas Gift

My favorite is this new card I created last week. I like the simple design and message. It’s warm and inviting and speaks of home.


Happy Holidays card

I love owls and these whimsical owls on a Christmas stocking are one of my favorites.


Felt Owl Christmas Stocking

I loved making these waterless snow globes.


Christmas Snow globes

This was hard! I love Christmas and keep several Christmas items in my shop year ’round, because I think holiday lovers shop whenever the mood hits them. Right now it was between my red-nosed reindeer (I’m also an avid animal lover) and this guy. I guess he won out because he’s a new addition, so I wanted to welcome him.


Felted Santa Claus

This is my favorite piece for Christmas because it reminds me of ice crystals!


Herkimer Diamond GF Ring

This ornament is one of my favs. It reminds me so much of growing up in Iowa and going sledding on my grandparents farm with all my cousins.


Christmas Quilted Ornament

I have so many favorite Christmas items in my shop but this one stands out to me especially since I choose to use the ribbon on a dog collar. We all have that pet who is both naughty and nice which makes this Christmas dog collar even more cute, funny and true to their personality.


Naughty or Nice Christmas Dog Collar

Wow, hard to choose just one. Don’t you find that when you make something new, it is almost always the favorite – until the next one! Anyway, here is my favorite. I love winter animal pictures, and my DH love penguins. When I saw these delightful guys, I just had to buy them, and I bought lots! Just couldn’t resist. I knew right away that some would be made into pillows. The rest are waiting for inspiration, and time.


Quilted Pillow Covers



Photographers – Favorite Image

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

Photography is a beautiful art and it captures so much…nature, still life, advertising, landscape and more…

We here at CIJ want to know a little about your favorite image. Tell us what made you take it, what it means to you, etc.

Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio says so many favorite photos! Many of them have deep personal meaning but this photograph seems to be a worldwide favorite. In Carennac, France, the Priory’s Stone columns caste in shadows create a frame for the crumbling stone streets and buildings in the background. So many layers of doors and windows, so many stories to tell. I look at this photo and I long to explore. It is neutral enough, though, to fit nicely on any office, home or apartment wall.


French Landscape Photography

willowvalleyvintage from WillowValleyVintage said this was the first photograph my daughter and I found for our shop. It is a studio portrait taken in Detroit. Someone wrote the children’s names on the back, so we were able to do some research and learn more about them.

They are siblings Florence and Elmer Neeb, Their parents were German immigrants. The photo was taken in the early 1900s.

This type of photo is called a cabinet card. They were usually purchased to send to distant relatives, as they were sturdier and could survive the trip.


1900’s Detroit German siblings

Richard and Tatiana from DesignstheLimit states we love to travel and spend countless hours studying photographs and reading about the vacation destinations around the world to create the perfect frame designs for our fellow travelers and customers around the world. We specialize in creating custom designed framing for our clients and love to assist our customers in displaying the moments they will cherish forever in style.

Choose from our selection of designs, submit your own images, or commission an inspired design for any destination or occasion. Send us an image of the picture you wish to frame and we can create a frame design to compliment your best photography.

At Design’s the Limit, we serve individuals and industry professionals including photographers, travel agents, real-estate agents, and wedding planners! Whether you a shopping for a gift for someone else or framing your picture perfect moments for eternity, we can design for any ideas you have in mind.


Designs “Vine Appetite” Personalized Vacation Picture Frame

#CIJPopUpMarket #1 – StockLaneStudio

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

#CIJPopUpMarket #1 Shop – StockLaneStudio from StockLaneStudio



1. What is name of your shop and what is unique about your shop?

Stock Lane Studio gives shoppers a chance to travel the world through our photography, prints and cards. We are a mother-daughter team of three and we have traveled the world together. With different ages, tastes and talents, we can offer three different perspectives and styles. All three of us have a need to share our stories in one way or another. This includes our travel photography, but we also other artistic, quirky and poetic sides that show up in our funny, insightful and romantic cards and prints.

2. What is your favorite July activity where you live?

Our home is now in Upstate New York and I am really enjoying getting to know my new home state. July is a hot month in New York, so my favorite activity involves getting away from the heat, canoeing on a lake or sneaking away to a quiet cool spot in the woods or along the Atlantic.

3. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

If I could travel anywhere I would go to Oregon. I was raised in Oregon and the beautiful state has defined me. I miss the natural beauty and I miss my family. I would spend long weekends camping and hiking and canoeing with close friends and family. We would swim from shore to shore in pristine lakes that are so precious their names and whereabouts must be kept secret. We would stop off in the Columbia River Gorge and buy fresh salmon just caught minutes ago from local Native fishermen selling along the side of the road. We would look for our names etched in the bricks of Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square and then have a hard time choosing which food cart to pick for lunch. There are too many wonderful things do to in Oregon to name here – these are just a few.

4. Who do you most admire in life?

There is no one person I admire. I have several people I look up to, and most are not famous. I admire my husband for how he’s made his way through a tough life and ended up on the bright side. I admire my daughters being compassionate and for knowing things and having abilities that I don’t. I admire my recently deceased mother for the love and happiness she was able to give others despite the challenges she was facing in her own life. She is also my entrepreneurial role model – able to run two thriving small businesses while raising a large family as a single mother.

5. What is a skill you’d like to learn and why?

My mother tried her darnedest to teach me to sew, and my father sewed his own sails for his sailboat. I do remember a nice (uneven) summer dress that I sewed in 7th grade, but I just didn’t have the patience to sew as a child. Now that I’m (much) older and more patient, I would like to welcome a sewing machine into my life again. I have so many ideas to express in fabric. Most importantly, I have bins of t-shirts and sentimental blankets and other fabric remnants that I’d like to sew into memory quilts for my children.

6. What are your social media sites?

Find Stock lane Studio on
Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook @stocklanestudio

We’re also on
We Heart It:

#CIJPopUpMarket #1 – ColourscapeStudios

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

#CIJPopUpMarket #1 Shop – Kelly from  ColourscapeStudios



1. What is the name of your shop and what is unique about your shop?

My shop’s name is Colourscape Studios, it is full of colour, and that’s not something you see a lot of in print shops on here anymore!

2. What is your favorite July activity where you live?

July is the middle of Winter for me here in Brisbane, Australia. We are sub-tropical in climate so my family is able to get out and explore new places, which is a lot of fun with a young daughter who is experiencing things for the first time!

3. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

I’d love to visit Czech Republic as it’s where my family’s heritage is from. Plus the photography I’ve seen from there is amazing and I’d love to go capture some of it myself!

4. Who do you most admire in life?

I admire those who support others in whatever they want to do. I think the strongest people are the ones who back each other up for no reason apart from seeing their friends, family and even acquaintances happy.

5. What is a skill you’d like to learn and why?

I’d love to learn how to crochet, it looks like it’s something I could get quite comfortable doing while sitting down watching tv.

6. What are your social media sites?


Surviving Cabin Fever

Contributor post by Sheila from BeadyEyedBird

Crafting and developing new skills is a great way to survive the winter doldrums.

Here at the Christmas in July team, we thought there couldn’t be a better way to beat the winter blues than to share our respective ‘survival tips’ with each other. Here’s what some of our team members have done and created while ‘trapped’ inside.

Sherri from ButterflyFeetDigital says:

This is my new listing – and an example of what I LOVE about January. We have snow on top of snow, but I enjoy being inside and doing some creative doodling! I guess my only tip is that winter will last til it’s over, might as well do something you enjoy.

Texture Digital Paper, Printable Scrapbooking, 12 designs, I… ButterflyFeetDigital $2.25 USD

Carola Bartz from CarolaBartz says:

When it’s cold and gray outside I love to cozy up on the couch with a mug of hot cocoa and a good book. Reading takes me in a different world. One book in particular, Eowyn Ivey’s “The Snow Child”, fascinated me very much. It takes place in the cold winters in Alaska and inspired me to create this painting that also has the title “Snow Child”. I really loved how my way to “survive” the winter blues took me to creating something new.

Snow Child Mixed Media Painting, Original Artwork on 8 x 8 W…
$70.00 USD

Evelyn and Lucy from artsyEVE say:
Snuggling up with a cup of tea, a quilt and a good book is a wonderful way to beat the blues!

BIG SALE Baby quilt, pink and white, appliqued with hearts
$30.00 USD

Sue from SuesAkornShop says:
Knowing we’re into January and and Easter are right around the corner, I thought since there’s cold temps and lots of snow I’d stay inside and start work on Easter items.

Bunny Hand Towel, Easter Towel, Easter Decor, Easter Bunny …
$8.00 USD

This winter is not too bad yet, but it’s far from over. Last year, though was a completely different story. Here is a photo of New England Blitz 2015.

So I over prepared for this winter season. Our Christmas stockings were full of warm fuzzy socks and presents under the tree included adult coloring books and needle point. We still have our ‘game table’ set up so we don’t have to move the Monopoly Game or puzzle around.

New Hampshire Winter Photography, New England snow travel ph…
$7.00 USD

When it’s cold, gloomy, windy and the power has gone out, with all the snow and ice stacked up, pick up a pack of playing cards and learn how to play a new (old) game such as Canasta! A fun and entertaining way to spend the day with the family!

Vintage Canasta Playing Cards by Congress – Pheasants Quails…
$19.99 USD

It is summer at the moment for me, so I tried to think back to what I made during the last winter. These pinwheels came to mind. I made them with bright coloured paper ready for spring and parties!

Bright paper pinwheels, colourful, party decor, card making,…
$9.22 USD

Wendy WN from WoodNotions says:
During the winter, after the holidays have passed, I spend my time designing. I have a list of requests/ideas that I create during the holidays. Since designing cards and ornaments is my passion, I look forward to these quiet times to relax and lose myself in the process.

I’ve just completed my first 2016 design project that I did for a pair of dog parents. I thought this one was particularly satisfying, during these winter months, because the dogs name was “Sunshine”, AKA “LMS” (Little Miss Sunshine). They sent me photos of their cute, cheerful and rambunctious, miniature Australian shepherd. It’s so nice to capture a happy face, that makes you smile every time you work on it. I made a large wood-cut for them to frame and display year round, and a smaller ornament, that they were happy to allow me to add to my shop offerings.

My survival tips for the winter doldrums: Dress warm and get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Start making plans for small and large projects, and figure out how to tackle those challenges of this past holiday season.

Dog ornament wood-cut dog decoration miniature Australian sh…
$6.00 USD

Ina from InaSudjana says:

It’s summer here down under;  but when the cold hits hard I reckon nothing that a cuppa cannot heal. Here are my felt coasters all designed by me on one cold winter morning while thinking about summer (hence the bright happy colours) and looking forward to placing my cuppa on them.

Cactus – Pure wool felt Coasters (set of 2), tableware, thic…
$14.19 USD

Gwen Jones from GwensHomemadeGifts says:
With a Bath & Body Gift Shop, I can always keep winter boredom at bay, because there is always soap to pour, bath salts to mix and lotion to make. And my house always smells like heaven! Winter is the perfect time to work on new recipes and combinations of ingredients for new product lines too! But what I really like to do is stock up my crochet items! Netflix, herbal tea and miles and miles of crochet cotton and I’m a happy girl. Let it snow!

Bright Mod Blue Soap Sack, Crochet Soap Pouch, Soap Saver, M…
$6.00 USD

Woolly Momo from WoollyMomo says: 
After a relatively mild winter, it recently turned very cold in London and it’s freezing outside!

So this weekend that just passed I stayed in nice and warm and kept myself occupied within the same walls all day by knitting up this scarf.

I originally made this with orange pom poms for a friend at Christmas; it went down so well with her nursing colleagues who were working with her on Christmas Day that I thought I’d make another one, and last weekend was the perfect opportunity!

Navy Blue Merino Scarf. Navy Blue Chunky Knit Scarf. Navy …
$36.73 USD

Debbie Gilbert from License2Craft says:

Only in Florida now for 2 years, my memories are still sharp as to life back in my home state of Maine with those long, cold winter months. Memories of harsh winters, days where it got dark so early, and “skating” on icy roads with the car! The worst winter I remember was when the “Great Ice Storm of 1998” hit Maine. It caused massive damage to our trees and electrical infrastructure all over the area, leading to widespread long-term power outages. Personally, the road that I lived on was without road access and power for 3 weeks! We stayed with our neighbor, passing the days playing games and telling stories in their home, as they had wood heat.

Just thinking of the hours of being in the cold and hours of shoveling snow makes be shiver! Nothing like curling up on the couch after, grabbing a hot pack and settling in for some snuggle time or a great book…

Heat therapy rice bag, Microwave heating pad, Rice bag, Heat…
$17.95 USD

And that’s how we do it! Thanks to everyone who contributed!


Make Your Dreams Come True Day

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

Make Your Dreams Come True Day gives you the opportunity to do something to realize your goals and dreams. Whatever your dreams are, they usually don’t come true without some effort on your part. So, today is the perfect opportunity to do something about it.

Here at Christmas in July team we wanted to know what your dreams are,especially in relation to your business.

Traci Braithwaite from mytoffeeapple says:

I love to have my cushions in living rooms, cars/vans, restaurants, cafe shops, resorts, man caves, business, of all descriptions all over the world, custom-made for peoples desires and tastes.

Blue parrot Decorative pillow


Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio states:

My business dream come true is really to be so busy selling on Etsy that I can’t handle it. My short-term goal, I guess that would be a cat nap dream, is to sell one item a day. . . or more, of course! I hope to accomplish that by reaching my target market and revealing more of my personality and creativity so that I stand out from other artists. I think this printable reflects that: if you want to reach your goals you have to work at it – be active, celebrate life and be yourself – that always works best for me.

Positive digital art


Annie from DesignedbyAnneliese discussed:

My husband and I love to travel. It is harder to go overseas now with two young boys. We live in Australia in a spot where it never snows. It would be wonderful one day to go to the other side of the world and have a white Christmas! This card set is just that! Oh and I would love to build a snowman one day too.

Winter Christmas card set with envelopes


Maha from MadeOnKailash stated:

My dream is to have long travel in South Asia. I admire India and already have been there for several times, that’s why my shop is named after great mountain Kailash. But my dream is to go there for a long time and also visit some neighbouring countries. And I always can take my micro macrame art with me and convert my impressions in new creations! Maybe one day I’ll have something which will be really made on Kailash in my shop!

Macrame Brooch with Natural Gemstones


Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns says:

I have been to Japan once for a two-week holiday and loved it. I have been to Japan once for a two holiday and loved it.  This wine/port/sake bottle is inspired by Japanese design…

Ceramic Decanter


Woolly Momo from WoollyMomo says:

My Etsy dream would be to sell more than the 31 items I sold last year. It’s really nice to see people wearing and enjoying the knits I’ve made and I’d love more of that feeling!

Chunky black ribbed beanie hat


Gwen Jones from GwensHomemadeGifts said:

My dream for my Etsy shop is to build it up so that I’m actually making money (instead of spending more than I make) by the time I retire from my grown up job. Then I can retire, and step into my shop full-time and already be making some income. I love making gifts. I’m so tickled when people ask me to send a gift set directly to their recipient. I even include a handmade, and handwritten card for them free of charge!

Bath and Body Gift Set


Patricia  from TheOldBarnDoor discussed:

Dreams often begin with a wish but only become reality when we take steps to work on them. That said, there is something magical about casting your dream into the wind and waiting for it to come back to you. When was the last time you made a wish with one of these?

Metallic Print Fluffy White Seed Head


Laura from ChickenJungle said:

My 5-year goal for my shop is to sell enough to get my own place again… a tiny house, a big fenced yard for my dog, and a chicken yard.. But it has to be somewhere close to town with public transit….yeah I know that is going to be hard to find but I’m very frugal so I don’t need much.

A wider goal for my shop is to increase public appreciation of chickens. They’re wonderful animals, and deserve to be treated that way!

Blue Valentine Chicken doll

#CIJPopUpMarket #2 – TheOldBarnDoor

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

#CIJPopUpMarket #2 – Patricia from TheOldBarnDoor



1. What is the name of your shop and what is unique about your shop?

The shop name TheOldBarnDoor came about as I gazed out my office window across my back dooryard to the barn – the doors were open and the wind was picking up. I should go out and close those barn door I thought – PRESTO shop name.

My shop is full of my passions, vintage postcards, ephemera and photography. I try to educate, entertain and delight.

2. Where do you live and how does where you live influence your creativity?

My life on the farm most certainly influences my outlook on life and my Etsy business. The farm is located in a wonderful portion of Eastern Ontario that is steeped in history, still deeply agricultural and now expanding with the arrival of vineyards and wineries.

3 What is it about having your own business that you love?

I get to share the things I love with others by helping them discover the history and art of old ephemera. Living in a rural setting I’m not as connected face to face with people as I used to be. My Etsy shop has introduced me to some wonderful clients all around the world who I now consider my friends.

4. What is your greatest business achievement?

Seeing returning customers. This is always such a wonderful endorsement of what you sell and how you conduct your business.

5. How would you like to see your business evolve?

I want to continue to grow my returning customer base and then I do hope to reactivate my second shop as a logical link to TheOldBarnDoor. (More vintage finds and treasures that are not ephemera and some handcrafted pieces using vintage components).

6. What are your social media sites?




#CIJPopUpMarket – AlphabetArtPrints

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Virtual PopUpMarket – Amanda from AlphabetArtPrints



1. What is the name of your shop and what is unique about your shop?

AlphabetArt Prints (by Amanda Jaeger Photography)

I’ve seen many other photographers open up little shops with their alphabet art based on architecture and nature, but I wanted to do something that was a little different and slightly off beat. I started by photographing items in my own home to create alphabets as a side project. I haven’t seen any other photographer offer several themed alphabets in this manner to create custom prints for the home.

2. Where do you live and how does where you live influence your creativity?

Richmond, VA. Richmond is such a wonder melting pot of a city where I get to meet people who have come from all corners of the world. I’ve found that I’ve enjoyed learning about other people’s passions in their lives, and then brainstorming how to translate others’ passions into an alphabet art I can use.

3. What is it about having your own business that you love?

I love being able to choose when and how I work. I love being able to stay at home with both of my girls, and teaching them that hard work pays off. I hope to one day be successful at turning my photography business and Etsy shop into full-time work so that I can help contribute to our bills more than what I’m able to now.

4. What is your greatest business achievement?

So far, my biggest business achievement was earning more money than I spent in the FIRST year of opening my business! I was able to get my name out in the Richmond, VA area, and I photographed more families than I had planned. Now, I’m in year two, and I hope that my Etsy shop will aid in growing my photography business.

5. How would you like to see your business evolve?

I would love for my Etsy shop to be as successful (or more successful) as my home photography business. I would love to develop a multitude of alphabet arts to cater to many hobbies and passions my clients and customers enjoy. I want anyone who visits my shop to be able to find an alphabet theme that suits their style.

6. What are your social media sites?





#CIJRoadTrip – Bryne, Norway

Contributor post by Jennifer of CaffeinatedPapercuts

I have to say, I chose Norway for a reason; my husband’s family is from Norway and still have cousins living over there. I loved learning more about the country from Kristin!

Let’s travel to  – Bryne, Norway with Kristin Frøyland Jørgensen from Vamperstein

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

I live in the slightly rural town of Bryne, Norway, about 30 minutes south of Stavanger. Bryne is a small town, with about 11,000 inhabitants and you can easily walk from one corner of the city center to the other in about 15 minutes and since it’s situated in an agricultural area, you don’t get surprised if you suddenly see a tractor on the main street. Even though Bryne doesn’t have a lot to offer, at least it’s close to some decent natural scenery, like beaches and woods, and just 30 minutes from Stavanger.

The sea, just outside Hå Old Vicarage

The sea, just outside Hå Old Vicarage

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

Some of the places people could check out are among other things Ryvarden Lighthouse (near Sveio), Utstein Monastery (at Mosterøy) and Hå Old Vicarage (near Nærbø). These three are situated near the sea and have some hiking opportunities as well. If you visit Stavanger, you’ve got places like The Archeological Museum (and it’s Iron Age Farm), Øvre Holmegate (nicknamed “The Colorful Street”) and The Norwegian Canning Museum that is worth checking out.

Breiavannet, Stavanger

Breiavannet, Stavanger

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

In my photography, I get inspired a lot by nature and landscapes and some of the photo prints I’ve got for sale is shot at local places, like near the old church at Varhaug, which is situated next to the sea.

Pathway at the campus to University of Stavanger, where I do my studies for a BA degree in English Language and Literature

Pathway at the campus to University of Stavanger, where I do my studies for a BA degree in English Language and Literature

Knitting is something that has been done “for ages” in Norway and thanks to my grandmother, I learned to knit (even though I’m far from my grandmother’s level). At the moment I play around with the idea of doing some Selbu mittens and similar, but I haven’t arrived to the place where I’ve actually started doing that quite yet. I think the idea needs to mature a bit, but hopefully I’ll manage to do something sooner or later.

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?

I’ll maybe do a craft show or two this fall, but I haven’t quite decided yet. I do on the other hand wear some of the knitted items I make for myself, just to self promote a bit while being at university campus. I occasionally bring along a knitting project to work on during breaks and some of the students and lecturers have started asking questions about it. That is the fun part of knitting, you can take it with you “everywhere” and there is a fair chance someone will be interested.

5. What are your social media sites?