#CIJParty 2015 – Collage Artist Lin

Guest blog post by Lin of rhodyart

As a collage artist who specializes in vintage themes, I’m often asked, first, why I started doing collage, and second, why vintage?

Collage art came to my life in college, when I took an art history bloc for a term (a combination of courses that included history, art, art history, and social history). My supervisor for the term required all his students to do art. Since I can’t draw (I really can’t draw anything recognizable) and my painting isn’t something I boast about, I chose collage because I thought it was easy.

Nope. It became a challenge to do original, interesting collage that my supervisor thought was worth a grade and I realized that real collage art is difficult to do.

Fast forward 25 years, during which I forgot about making art and focused on writing. During a particularly stressful part of my life, I returned to art — and collage. Because my focus in college and grad school had been social history I was particularly interested in old papers and ephemera (items of collectible memorabilia, typically written or printed ones, that were originally expected to have only short-term usefulness or popularity) because of its pop culture element.

Gradually I developed a style in which I paired vintage elements with a snarky sense of humor and became the Rhodyart I am today.

rhodyart

rhodyart

This is inspired by my intense dislike of eggplant and uses an image of a Victorian woman as its focal point. I’ve also used some netting in the background as well as handmade paper.

One of the things I’m fascinated by is pop culture of all kinds. I’m particularly fond of geeky stuff but also what many would consider trash (like reality TV for example).

rhodyart

rhodyart

Much to my amazement, one of my Kardashian themed items was featured in E! Online’s “Kardashian Fan Gift Guide.” I’m still not sure how that happened.

My work comments quite often on pop culture, but I also do more serious stuff – my wedding and engagement cards aren’t always silly or quirky.

This card, for example, is based on two characters from the PBS series “Downton Abbey,” Anna and Mr. Bates, and it’s how I imagine the two before taking a walk together.

rhodyart

rhodyart

And one thing I’m always on the lookout for is more stuff to use for my work. I have to admit that I have way too much stuff already that I probably am never going to use. The thing about my work, though, is that an interest in one style or type of ephemera can wane with another kind stepping up to the plate. For a while I used a lot of 3D elements – now I seem to be backing away from that.

I always try to source my materials from Etsy sellers, and it’s great when I can find some new shops with materials I haven’t seen before.

One shop that I love (and have already purchased a photo from) is The Old Barn Door, which sells photos and postcards and is run by Patricia in Picton, Ontario, Canada. One of the items I’m really interested in is this one.

TheOldBarnDoor

TheOldBarnDoor

This item actually has a personal connection to me. It’s the State Normal School in Providence, Rhode Island, which was actually a college for teachers. In later years, it became the Providence campus of the University of Rhode Island – AND I attended classes there from 1983-1986! Hence my interest.

I also love vintage 3-D pieces, and the Etsy shop Collectique  has a great selection of old game pieces that I’m trying to figure out how to work into my collage/assemblage art, including several types of Monopoly game pieces, as well as actual game sets that look really interesting. I was particularly drawn to the vintage Barbie dolls, which I recognize from my childhood, such as this one.

Collectique

Collectique

I know this would be sacrilege to Barbie collectors, but I’ve been thinking about using dolls in possible assemblage projects and these pique my interest.

Finally, Firepan Jewelry has a selection of items in its Destash section that look intriguing. I particularly like this collection of vintage paper pieces.

FirepanJewellery

FirepanJewellery

There’s also some vintage coins. My larger collages often feature coins and tokens as part of the piece, and as such I’m usually keeping a look out for such items.

These are only a few of the things that I look for when working on my collages. Doing vintage inspired work means that I can use items from across eras – and not be shy about combining them. My only limitation is how much I have in my wallet.

I love what I do and I hope to continue doing it for a very long time. Because I deal with a severe chronic illness (like many others), art has become therapy. I’m very glad to be able to share the work I love to do with people on Etsy.

My social media sites:

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/rhodyart

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rhodyart

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rhodyart

For the next #CIJParty post please see main party post.

#CIJParty 2015 – Welcome To The Christmas In July Party

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Good morning everyone! Welcome to the #CIJParty here on the CIJ blog! We wanted a way to party with all of our team members and followers around the globe during #EtsyCIJ 2015, so we are taking this party virtual. Besides, what better way to attend classes, enjoy guest blog articles and get swag bags, than from the comfort of your deck, patio, or swimming pool in July?

Sit back, relax and enjoy the party!CIJFacebookAviGood

Classes

We’ll be having new classes posted all day for your crafting and learning convenience and excitement! Here’s the schedule – all times in Eastern Standard Time:

5:00 am – Christmas In Soviet Latvia by Pauls and Daiga of ThreadandPaintStudio

5:30 am – Tutorial: Plastic Bottle Cuff Bracelet by Dawn of DeeDeeDeesigns

6:00 am – Leather Bags and Accessories Designer Rina by Rina of RinartsAtelier

6:30 am – Summer Trends  by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

7:00 am – Christmas In July Team Member Blogs by Alicia of AliciasFindings

7:30 am – Collage Artist Lin by Lin of rhodyart

8:00 am – Tutorial: Shaun The Sheep by Megha of byTheArtBug

8:30 am – Jewelry Artist Betty by Betty of LadySnooks

9:00 am – Scuba Blue Pantone Fashion Color For Spring 2015 by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

9:30 am – 4 Amazing Free Publicity Opportunities For Your Business by Gail of Atttention Getting

10:00 am – Tutorial: Motif Blanket by Becky of fantasticmio

10:30 am – Christ kindle Markt:  Christmas Markets the German Way by Mary of StockLaneStudio

11:00 am – Marsala by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

11:30 am – Social Media Tips by Alicia of AliciasFindings

12:00 pm – Tutorial: Shabby Mermaid Bust by Patricia and Rebecca of northandsouthshabby

12:30 pm – Vintage Decorations Continue Christmas Traditions by Molly of MollyFinds

1:00 pm – Designer Wendy by Wendy of WJDesigns

1:30 pm – Heartfelt Christmas Memories On Etsy by Kristy Jo of KrystalKlarityBeads

2:00 pm – Five Minute Fireworks by Christina of lebeauchaton

2:30 pm – Creator And Designer Becky by Becky of LollysCubbyHole

3:00 – Tutorial: Turn Old Crayons Into New Fun by Angie of CraftyMom75

3:30 – Photographer Amanada by Amanda of AlphabetArtPrints

Swag Bags

Let’s face it, besides the food and the friends, the best part of the party is the goodie bag! We’ve pulled together a fun download bundle of projects and printables as a ‘thank you’ for stopping by today.

Thank you Jen from CaffeinatedPapercuts for providing our swag bags today! Jen is a member of the CIJ leadership team, writes for our blog, and is a swag bag expert!

Click here for your Swag Bag!

Tell Your Friends

The official hashtag for this year’s party is #CIJParty and if you’re partying with us today, we’d love to see! Be sure to use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. Are you new to social media? Don’t be shy! We look forward to getting to know you! Being at a party is all about interacting and developing relationships!

Go Shopping

Many of our Christmas in July members are partying along with us by offering some sweet sales. Think of this as our version of hitting the snack bar!

When you use the Etsy search bar simply put in Christmasinjuly (23,329 items) or CIJ (71,803 items). So many fantastic deals from fantastic shops during #EtsyCIJ 2015.

We are excited to share unique items directly from creative people around the world!

Popular Items For Christmas In July

Many shops are using the universal coupon code – EtsyCIJ15 – so please watch for coupon codes before you check out.

Other shops have already reduced their prices and their items are as marked.

Now, LET’S PARTY!

Michelle-

What Does Teamwork Mean To You?

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Teamwork is defined as being a cooperative or combined effort on the part of a group of persons acting together for a common cause.

We wanted to know what our CIJ members say Teamwork means to them.

Lin Collette of rhodyart  says:

Hmmm. Teamwork is obviously working together for a common goal but you have to determine what that common goal is and who’s working for the team and not just for themselves.

Teamwork is helping each other without any thought of personal gain, but at the same time not sacrificing what makes you unique. Bringing your special skills to help your teammates, your peers. Giving advice and not picking fights. Although the cliché is that there’s “no I in team,” that’s not really true. Team leaders have to appreciate the I’s on their team and appreciate and properly use their talents to help the team. Not be a dictator. Understand their teammates’ unique qualities and work with them.

Teamwork is having a sense of humor about what goes wrong, and being able to laugh at yourself and not take oneself too seriously. But it also means not ridiculing other members of the team and belittling them, their efforts, and their products.

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Amanda Jaeger of AlphabetArtPrints states:

Teamwork means a group of people using their individual talents to achieve a common goal. Each person much use his/her own strengths not to shine above others, but to allow their goal to shine through.

It’s lifting up your teammates when they struggle with a concept and accepting help when you yourself are struggling.

It’s problem solving at its finest.

It’s putting personal differences aside and working professionally even if you don’t enjoy working on a personal level.

It’s chiming in when you have ideas on how to achieve goals.

It’s listening and acknowledging others’ ideas when they share them.

It’s understanding that the end goal is bigger than you and each individual.

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Pauls and Daiga of ThreadandPaintStudio explains:

Teamwork means for me working equally on creating ideas, putting them into live and solve problems. Our shop is my teamwork with my husband. We share our ideas, discuss what would be better, what kind of material can we use, what kind of design, sometimes he starts an artwork and I finish, sometimes he gives an idea and I turn it into something new. We work shoulder to shoulder and it is nice, because it shows our talents, it makes us joy and helps know better each other. I always loved to work alone, but just know I know how much fun it is to share my happiness and also problems with someone!

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Kimberly of FarrallyPaperie said:

Teamwork is a group of people working toward a similar end goal. A team will support each other, lean on each other and work with each other. Sometimes a team member may fall behind or fall out due to unforseen complications or struggle. But, as a team that works well together, the other members will help pick up that slack to ensure the end goal is still met and in a timely manner. A team member is willing to call out someone who isn’t putting forth their level of effort, and in reciprocal a team member can receive constructive criticism and learn from it and push forward. This doesn’t mean being rude, rather find out if maybe that member is struggle because they don’t know how to do something, etc and are too afraid to speak up. So bringing this to light, means the rest of the members can help. A team isn’t always perfect, and things will happen every now and then to cause conflict or concern. But, a good team can work through these issues and come out at the end with a smile on their face and approval and satisfaction of a job well done.

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Alicia of AliciasFindings states:

I think Teamwork is what happens when a group of people are working towards a goal. I believe if you get into something, you should follow-up to the best of your ability. Stuff happens, but teamwork means someone else can help lighten the load of another. I think teamwork is being able to bat ideas off one another to come up with some idea even better than the original. I think teamwork is something we do for most of our lives, in many different settings. I think teamwork is putting aside differences and getting the goal met.

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Teamwork is part of what we do every day at Christmas in July Team and I think we wear it well, don’t you?

Colour and Creativity

Contributor post by Dawn from DeeDeeDeesigns

I asked Christmas in July teamies what their favourite colour is, and how this influenced their creativity…. the question received a huge response, and all their secrets are revealed below ~~~~ grab a coffee and some cake, and put your feet up!!

My favourite colour is purple and whenever I see purple paper I want to buy it! I love this retro purple paper and decided to make some small card sets with it. I made them with thank you notes in mind.

Ivory is my fav as it reminds me of pureness, clearness, happiness, optimistic, freedom

WHITE

I’m a full time farmer and I enjoy winter on the farm – even going out to the barn for chores my camera is often in tow. Winter White brings a beautiful calm to the landscape and helps me see nature in a different light.

This was the first snow fall of the winter

Blue, any shade of it.

I’m a big fan of the seaside and so blue is a very obvious choice for me. The aqua blues and then darker blues of the ocean against the lighter blues of the sky make me feel happy and relaxed. I often use blue in my prints as I always associate the colour with the feelings of happiness and freedom.

I’m a sucker for rainbows. A beautiful end to a fierce storm, the full rainbow makes its way into my work at every opportunity. When you can’t choose just one colour, choose them all!

Gosh, it’s hard to choose ONE color because I love so many in all their hues and tones
I suppose purple is probably the one I like most, followed closely by blue and I was able to combine the two in this card, using an Italian paper that featured little lilac flowers with a rich blue card stock at the bottom. To tie the two together I used white lace.

The card is a birthday card and pokes gentle fun at forgetful memories of what we might have done before

G R E E N is my ultimate favourite colour. It has inspired me with so many product designs in my shop.

My favourite item is my Christmas Advent Calendar as so much time, creativity & love go into them. This one here is the very first one I made for my son.

Green and Blue are my absolute favourite colours.

If I had to separate them, my answer would be different each time! Tonight, I’d choose GREEN but ask me tomorrow and it could well be BLUE.

I find them equally beautiful, refreshing, enlivening and soulful.

For these reasons, I adore the peacock irridesence (perfect marriage of Green and Blue) of Paua Shell / Abalone and seek Vintage Jewellery Items in this glorious natural material.

well a deep teal light the twilight sky is my usual fav but latley I’m obsessed with coral!

Not for the shy!

Purple, always end up back at purple……the yarn is different in that it has to be beautiful, yet practical.

Purple and green is my favorite color combination. When I found this beautiful pansy fabric, I knew it was the perfect accent and I decided to incorporate it in this quilted centerpiece.

My favorite color is green…all shades! My line of art may not feature one color over another, but I would say my Fresh Alphabet Art is pretty green…both in the actual color and in the fresh sense of the word. In creating this alphabet, I knew I wanted fresh produce, but I also wanted vibrant greens. My favorite are the leafy stalks on the leeks!

My favorite color is blue. I love it because there are so many shades and nuances to it. It reminds me of sky, water, peace, and tranquility. I chose the beads in this ornament for that very reason. Peace and tranquility during the holiday hustle and bustle.

My favorite colour is purple …what’s not to like about it? There are so many beautiful shades to choose from and it goes really well with black which is also another favorite.

I love pink, it is soft, gentle and pretty. I love pink flowers which inspires many of my cards I make, this one is a Thinking of You card.

My favourite colour is blue and always has been. It is tranquil and calming. It is a large part of nature – the sky and the ocean.

My favourite colour is yellow. It reminds me of bumble bees and daisies and all things summer. I have a wall in my house painted ‘crazy daisy’ so even on a cold rainy day it cheers me up. I thought I needed to make something cute that gives a nice warm feeling with this little daisy print fabric, so I made a wee kitten.

Amath from Gomis says

Nothing beats Bold Gold!!!!

Gold has a universal, luxurious, and fundamental appeal. Having a gold colored item brightens my day, and those of the wearer!

Blue –

I love blue in any shade, if a take a look onto my shop, there can it been seen. From childhood I preferred blue colored clothing. It remembers me on blue summer sky, blue, wonderful Latvian sea and it also symbolizes hope, what we all need.

Wendy Joy from wjoydesigns says

I LOVE anything that is iridescent and especially in greens and purple! This piece was my first try at mosaic. I have been making stained glass for 15 years and had so much beautiful leftover art glass. I am a huge advocate for recycling in any and every form.I never wanted to part with the beautiful bits of leftover glass. I wanted to put them to good use! So in this piece, I made use of the scraps in a most beautiful way! Recycling at it’s finest!!

I love turquoise a lot, and especially in combination with bright colors like prange or a beautiful deep yellow. I also love birds, so I brought all of this together in this mixed media painting. These colors are happy colors for me, they put a smile on my face and make me feel better. I hope that others feel the same when they look at this painting.

Pink !

Anything girly and feminine , it has to be pink.

My latest design , is lovely in all shades of pink with a touch of maroons and greens

I say green is my absolute favorite color, however, as of late, I’ve been loving this turquoise color in a lot of my designs. It just looks so trendy and works with so many different color combos.

Well said, Katrina from BygoneAllure! I have more greens and blues in my personal fabric stash than any other color. Peacock blue or green attracts me, every time.

“Plume” is one of my fabric offerings that is viewed the most on Etsy:

As a jewelry designer, it’s no surprise that my favorite color is gold. Just the rich tone of gold, 14 karats or not, evokes a sense of elegance and class. That quality is essential to me as a creator of upcycled jewelry because it adds sophistication to an amalgamation of broken pieces.

Below is a great example of how luxurious the color gold is especially when paired with pearls and rhinestones. The Belle Bracelet was made with vintage scraps, but it looks unbelievably chic.

My absolute favorite color has got to be Pink! Pink reminds me of Flamingo’s which makes me think “Fun!” So, for me – Any fabric which involves pink somewhere in it and is fun… Let’s just say that get’s me every time! And if I have to be doing computer work – I might as well have a “Fun” pattern in my Wrist Pillows for Keyboard & Mouse Comfort. I choose to have 2 coordinating patterns with this set, so if your tired with one – Just flip in over or Mix & Match.

Vanilla White is my favorite color because it makes me feel calm and gives me clarity.

Blue, blue, blue. In any shade. Even my house is blue. The ocean is a big part of my life and a big part of my Etsy store.

My favorite color is this stunning sea green. I spent my entire childhood begging my parents to take me to the beach and, on those rare occasions we got to go, I loved the green reflecting off the sea foam. It makes me happy every time I see this color.

Carrie from madcapz says

My favorite color has always been blue but of late I am partial to purple. I find purple to be such a calming yet regal color. I like the softer shades of purple over the darker ones. I used pastel purple in this item:

Ioana from Soutacherie says

I love ALL colours and you can see that throughout the shop. If I were to choose, I’d choose the combination of orange and blue. A bit bold and unusual but very spectacular, cold and warm at the same time, serious and playful.

My favorite color is PINK. It’s soft, it’s feminine and joyful!

Christmas Stockings in any color you want. I do not discriminate with over 50 colors and patterns!

Green is my favorite color and I really like the color combo of my latest bracelet. It doesn’t really match anything I own, but I don’t care!

My favorite color is teal! It tends to appear in a lot of my work, sometimes totally unintentionally. I particularly love the fresh clean combo of teal and white in interior decor!

My favourite colour is teal, its not a colour I have stocked before in my shop but I love this pom pom hat.

The colors of the rainbow have a special meaning for me, every time I see one it’s like a sign from above that everything is going to be allright. My littlest son is undergoing leukemia treatment, and all the knots in my bracelets made during this hard period symbolise a prayer, and the rainbow is the good period that will come after the storm.

Ina from InaSudjana says

Praying for your little one and your family too Andrea – I DO LOVE rainbow myself. It is indeed a sign of hope.

I love my primary colours; blue mainly. But I also love all the red, yellow and green. A rainbow person I am.

My most favorite color is dark purple – the color of royalty. I looked up the significance of the color purple and found that it really did match my personality. It said that the people who like the color purple are sensitive, compassionate, understanding a supportive, peaceful and tranquil, introverted, creative, inspire others with their creative thinking, are intuitive and quite psychic.

I grew out of pink for a while, but now I think it’s safe to say it’s back on top for me! I think, growing up, I was limited in my idea of what you could really do with pink, but the newer trends of pairing shades of pink with shades of grey really inspired me with this piece. I think it softens the harshness pink can have sometimes, while also bringing that fantastic pop of colour that I’ve always loved pink for!

My favorite colors are blends of purples and greens. I look for yarns that allow me to blend these two color…when it works….it like magic…For me, that blend looks like the mountains of southeastern Kentucky where I grew up.

My “favorite” color tends to change with my mood (human mood ring?), but I always seem to come back to purple. I used a lavender shade for this batch of soap to match the scent, but also because I find lavender (both color and flower) soothing.

Love green and red and somehow keep buying beads in those colors. Bright greens and deep greens are tops on my list. Bit I also love black/white/gray combos.

Design’s the Limit from DesignstheLimit says

If clear is a color, it is my favorite. People have always said they can see right through me and I wear my heart on my sleeve. It is never too early to start designing your custom ornaments and we proudly offer Christmas ornaments year round!

Dina StyleKnits from DinaStyleKnits say

 my favorite color is pink. It’s a color of love, beauty, charm, politeness, sensitivity, tenderness, sweetness, childhood, femininity, and the romantic. I used pink yarn in my knitting very often.

Well, I don’t know about you, but I reckon the winners were purple, blue and pink!!

Be sure to check out these great stores for some wonderful Christmas in July specials and start your Christmas shopping early!

My favorite color is green but I noticed that there is a lot of blues in my shop. Not to mention my shop name is Gigi’s Blue Rose. Well, this is a lovely blanket I made with turquoise. I just might have to change my favorite color. But honestly, I think calming colors are my favorite, colors that remind me of flowers, the ocean, sand, the sky, trees, etc. and this blanket is full of flowers with a hint of bright (like the sun).

My favourite colour… hmm… I like green, but even more I love BLUE! It’s the colour of the sky, it has hundreds of shades and it’s the colour of labradorite “flame”, which is absolutely amazing! That’s why I love using labradorites in my works!

I Love all shades of blue but especially the blues of the ocean. Water has always inspired me and I am drawn to it for its restorative powers and sense of peace and beauty. Water is essential to life.

So, what a fantastic collection of teamies and how colour informs their creativity!! Be sure to visit the stores & take advantage of the Christmas in July sales in their stores!

CIJ Pop Up Market – #CIJPopUpMarket #1

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

We are thrilled about our first #CIJPopUpMarket #1 – a party in the streets of our blog! The streets are shut down and your tents are up and ready to showcase your unique items for you.

We have a fantastic line up of Christmas In July team member shops for you to get to know. These shops are here for you and they are looking to interact with you here on our blog!

Each shop at our #CIJPopUpMarket #1 will be individually introduced so please check in through day to look in their tent, get to know them and shop!CIJFacebookAviGood

Now let’s shop!

1. Kate / BlueQuailCrafts / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

2. Lia / Ghirlandiamo / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

3. Amanda / AlphabetArtPrints / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

4. Jen / CaffeinatedPaperCuts / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

5. NuttierThanASquirrel / NuttierThanASquirrel / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

6. Joshua / UruzMetals / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

7. Lin / rhodyart / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

8. CartoCreative / CartoCreative / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

9. NeatoKeen / NeatoKeen / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

10. Dawn / DeeDeeDeesigns / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

11.  Annie / DesignedbyAnneliese / #CIJPopUpMarketTent

12. Patricia And Rebecca / northandsouthshabby / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

13. C. Annie / CAnnieDesigns / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

14. Carrie / madcapz / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

15. Connie / Bungalow42 / #CIJPopUpMarket Tent

Please use #CIJPopUpMarket on social media as you visit all the fabulous shops today!

Thank you so much for joining us at our first #CIJPopUpMarket #1!

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!

June – Great Outdoors Month

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

“Great Outdoors Month is a time for all to share in the natural splendor of which we are all proud inheritors. Whether camping, fishing, rock climbing, or playing in a neighborhood park, nature offers each of us the opportunity to get active, explore, and strengthen our bonds with family and friends. This month, let us celebrate our natural heritage by experiencing it together.”

Carrie of madcapz says:

I’m getting ready to do some amazing hiking with my family!

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Wendy Joy of wjoydesigns states:

In June, our family begins to celebrate nature by going on many camping trips! This is where I get a lot of my inspiration for my creations and sometimes even items from our mother Earth to make them with! I look for unique stones along the rivers and lakes to use in my designs and pick flowers to press and use later on when they are dried. While camping, I have the time to slow down and connect with my inner voice. I bring my craft supplies with me in case I am inspired to create while in beautiful surroundings! I believe that this adds peaceful energy to my works and that those feelings can be passed to the wearer of my pieces

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Lin Collette of rhodyart said:

Gosh, I’m a dedicated city girl, I hate bugs, hate camping, and can’t build a campfire to save my life. I even hate S’mores. That said, when I have the chance to walk with my brother through Ninigret Park in Charlestown, Rhode Island – its nature preserve – I am in awe at what I see, the wildflowers, the trees in fantastical shapes because they’re in a salt marsh and affected by the salt in some way, and so on. I love flowers and am always taking photos of flowers on my camera. I admire those who garden and those who go trekking.

Just don’t ask me to go along. This item is inspired by Downton Abbey’s Mr. Bates and Anna. I imagine that they love to go on long walks, in spite of Mr. Bates’ leg injury, and I would love to think they’re long romantic walks.

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Melissa R of missy69 discusses:

It starts getting really hot here in June, in Florida. We are in a heat advisory, already, for this weekend. We do have a pool, but we love to visit our local springs and ocean beaches. One of my favorite things is to turn pictures we take into paintings.

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Kelly of ColourscapeStudios says:

We go into winter here in Australia, so for me it means wrapping myself up in several layers and heading out with my camera before dawn to one of my favorite photography spots to enjoy the sunrise. Watching the fog lift off the lake is a wonderful sight and I love capturing it every possible chance.

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Dawn Whitehand of DeeDeeDeesigns discussed:

I used to do a lot of camping many years ago – but these days like the comfort of my own bed!!

However, I have maintained an appreciation of the outdoors, especially while living on 10 acres in a rural part of Australia.

Many of my original art gift cards are inspired by the great outdoors, such as this one!

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Not only is there a lot of nature and beauty in our crafts, but there is so much more in the Great Outdoors!

Get up, get out and enjoy your time outdoors.

International Day For Families – May 15th

Contributor Post by Dawn from DeeDeeDeesigns

International Day for Families is May 15th and I asked team members what family means to them and what item from their Etsy shop reflected this sentiment.

Sue and Misty from Shabbyshopgirls says:

When we were small we would always have a family game night – Scrabble, Monopoly, Sorry, or our all time favorite – OLD MAID! Game night is a great way for the family to interact and have a good time doing something fun together!

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ShabbyShopGirls

Christine Parker from ModernImpressionist says:

Our family loves going to the Jersey shore in the summertime. These beach cottages were steps from the boardwalk in Pt. Pleasant Beach. There is a lot of fun for families of all ages to swim and do games at the boardwalk and try some tasty summertime treats.

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ModernImpressionist

Kristen Sargent from KestrelCollection says:

I have an aunt that is good at every craft. Name something and she probably does it.

I have fond memories of summer days spent at her house making wreathes from honey suckle gathered in her backyard. One summer we harvested beautiful china from thrift stores to break it and make a mosaic table top.

In winter she would teach me crafts indoors like crochet and painting. Crochet was the hardest and my little hands just couldn’t seem to make it work.

Just this year I started trying again and finally (!) figured it out. I made these earrings in celebration and feel that the wearer will always have a piece of my Aunt’s heart for sharing and creating traveling with them.

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KestrelCollection

Ina from InaSudjana says:

This family of bears – dad, mom and baby bear – basically represents our household. With our parents living in Indonesia, we only have each other and we take care of each other – my husband and I and our little girl. We do things as a family, we go as a family, we decide as a family and NO ONE gets left behind…

I cannot imagine though if we suddenly see ‘Goldilock’ sleeping in our little one’s bed…

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InaSudjana

Annie from DesignedbyAnneliese says:

When I was younger, my sister and I like to play a little game. When we were both in our bedrooms having ‘rest time’ or doing school work, we would write little notes to each other or make little things out of paper on our desks. We would slip these under each other’s bedroom doors. It was a lot of fun seeing what she would write / make next! These mini envelopes would be perfect for this fun game! They would also make great little lunch box notes for children for school!

I am so very thankful to have my sister! We have had a lot of fun times together and we are always there for each other.
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DesignedbyAnneliese

Patricia from TheOldBarnDoor says:

As a collector of vintage and antique ephemera, I come across many old photos of families and often am left wondering about their lives. Many of the photos are set in a portrait studio so you just know the moment in time was important enough to capture and preserve. These family photos hold a special place for those interested in genealogical research and they capture and preserve our past in such a special way.

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TheOldBarnDoor

Lin Collette from rhodyart says:

I’m aware that this might be a controversial choice. I thought long and hard about how to answer the question posed in this thread with an item, as I grew up in a very dysfunctional, disturbed family and I really don’t have many positive family memories that I can reflect via any of my creations. I’ve also never had a family of my own, never raised a child, although I do have relatives.

However, I believe that families are important and that families come in all manners and types. And towards that end I’ve started creating cards that celebrate gay parents, such as this mother’s day card.rhodyart

rhodyart

Lia Russo from Ghirlandiamo says:

When I was a little child I lived with my family in a village and we often had a walk in the country.

With many little friends of mine in spring we rolled over where we thought was only grass. But they were indeed ….still green cornfields !

And once a farmer has been really near to shoot us! ahahahah

I have a lot of nice memories about those first years of my childhood, memories that inspired me to create this cheerful summer country landscape; looking it I can even hear cicadas singing!Ghirlandiamo

Ghirlandiamo

May – New Arrivals

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Join the Christmas In July team as we celebrate May – New Arrivals.

Carolyn Eady from SproutsPressDesigns says:

I’ve always wanted to design and craft a line of journals that are completely my own. I feel this series of Fancy Coptic Journals is a step in the right direction. The covers showcase paper that I hand-dyed, yielding unique results, making each book one of a kind. And while the coptic stitch is fairly common, I’ve amended it to show off the spine of the book.

SproutsPressDesigns

SproutsPressDesigns

Sarah Johnson from BellaBoutique23 says:

One of my closest friends loves tea and many times as we spend time together she will offer me a cup of tea as we share, laugh, cry, or just enjoy each other in silence. As I made the card, I thought of her, “A cup of Tea warms the soul like a good friend”.

BellaBoutique23

BellaBoutique23

Annie from DesignedbyAnneliese says:

At the moment I have quite a few friends who are having babies! Havng 2 boys of my own (one of them a baby), thought why not make a baby boy card to welcome a new baby! The card is layered giving it a 3D effect.

DesignedbyAnneliese

DesignedbyAnneliese

Lin Collette from rhodyart says:

From a purely practical standpoint, I need to add more get well/encouragement cards to the shop, so that’s one reason I made this.
On a more creative level, though, I love to work with vintage photos and images of people from bygone times and imagine what they might be thinking, especially if their expression is very prim and proper.

This particular image, I think, is from a website called The Graphics Fairy and it’s one of a set of Victorian Shakespearean images of Shakespeare heroines. I did notice that Lady Macbeth is not included in this set (lol) and if you know the play, you’ll understand why.

I like to use vintage style patterned papers to evoke that mood of a time past, hence my choice of the red and white paper used here-the red pattern is actually flocked onto the paper so it’s raised and feels very nice. Adds a little extra touch.

Though I do other work that I don’t usually sell on Etsy, I always, always come back to doing these cards because I enjoy them.

rhodyart

rhodyart

Carola Bartz from CarolaBartz says:

I had this idea of including a compass on a graduation card. I like the idea of pointing to the right direction after graduation and finding a way through life. A graduation is a start for that, isn’t it? My daughter will graduate from high school next year, so this topic is currently close to me.

CarolaBartz

CarolaBartz

Cathy Hahn from CathysCraftWorld says:

I love making things for children. Although my shop is for everyone, I have a special love for creating things for babies and children. I love making frames that can either be picture frames or decorations all by themselves. I would love to have people come see what I do as I also love browsing other’s shops!

CathysCraftWorld

CathysCraftWorld

Tanya Hladovska from Unicard says:

With this set of postcards you will be able to congratulate all the members of your family or friends. Сolorful handmade card will please anyone. I make them in spring and summer and let all the warmth of this seasons be transferred to your close people on winter evenings.

Unicard

Unicard

Carmen from Mipezluna says:

Lately I have become an addict to make these pouches with amigurumi.
My little daughter loves them and uses the first one that I made to keep her “castañuelas” that she uses in Spanish dancing class. Now all her friends want one for themselves!

Mipezluna

Mipezluna

Theresa Holland from KraftyGrannysHome says:

I love creating these and they are so useful, always looking through my stash of fabric to find a combo that I like.

KraftyGrannysHome

KraftyGrannysHome

MissMinù from TinyFeltHeart says:

It’s very, very warm here, it seems Summer has already arrived! And I prefer rainy days and cold weather!

I’m always thinking about Christmas, especially in Spring-Summer.

It’s one of my Happy thoughts!

I’m sewing some Christmas items and I’m listening to ‘Have Yourself a merry Little Christmas’ sung by Judy Garland in ‘Meet me in St. Louis’.

TinyFeltHeart

TinyFeltHeart

Sarah from bellazahn says:

 Don’t you just love the Scandinavian feel of all these stockings? They remind me of the handknitted jumpers my mother used to knit when we were kids. Sadly my knitting skills are not up to making them in wool so this advent calendar in cotton will have to be my new favourite instead!

bellazahn

bellazahn

Patricia from TheOldBarnDoor says:

I have started to ramp up my Christmas listings already. This charming pillow cover is made with a section of one of my antique postcards and adds just the right vintage touch to the upcoming holiday season decorating. Actually I think it is charming enough to leave out for the entire winter season. Soft and cuddly the pillow cover is made from velveteen – ahh, just perfect to cuddle with on those cold winter nights (yup, those cold nights will return).

TheOldBarnDoor

TheOldBarnDoor

Candy Rauber from WickedlyCreative says:

I love vintage items and when I found this sweet honey bee pattern, I just had to embroider it! I picked a new fabric for the back that had a mod style to it which adds to the retro feel. It would be a lovely spring and summer decor item and would be a fabulous gift for a bee collector or gardener.

WickedlyCreative

WickedlyCreative

Ildi Garay from PitzicatVintage says:

I love all vintage things and summer dresses are high on my list to love. This seersucker sundress is so typical of the 1950’s 1960’s .
Beautifully made and so perfect for summer.

PitzicatVintage

PitzicatVintage

Natalia from KMalinkaVintage says:

I believe this skirt was a custom made piece, it’s so extremely well done. The fabric is so rich with eyelet ruffles and silver eagles. I found this skirt in Thrift store in Palm Spring, CA.

KMalinkaVintage

KMalinkaVintage

Rachel Palmer from 910woolgathering says:

I love this soft organic cotton for spring and summer hats. I designed this hat using the common fan pattern striped in such a way to produce the ever popular chevron pattern. The muted colors complement each other and the style and texture remind me of Victorian era fashion.

910woolgathering

910woolgathering

Sally Manke from SallyManke says:

Newbie today: I have a new couching foot for my long arm sewing machine. My VAST stock (hoard is my hubby’s word for this pile) of sari silk ribbon works so well with it. The result of my silk and huge pile of pics of the local sunset over Lake Michigan.

SallyManke

SallyManke

Becky from LollysCubbyHole says:

Starting off the summer with some newly created wreaths. This one is a great way to honor the USA in your home!

LollysCubbyHole

LollysCubbyHole

Irith Mashiah from rioritajewelry says:

I have had this ancient Roman coin showing the image of Roman empress Julia Domna on one side and Roman goddess Diana on the other. As I love to set ancient coins in my sterling silver rings, I have set it in a predesigned ring I made for the coin and decorated it with a hammered. silver thread. I believe that mainly women can wear it with pride.

rioritajewelry

rioritajewelry

Rose Baker from RosebudsOriginals says:

There’s something about the quiet, yet elegant simplicity of antique white china bowls. Found recently in a Victorian estate sale, these beautiful bowls celebrated many a holiday meal with family.

RosebudsOriginals

RosebudsOriginals

Dawn Whitehand from DeeDeeDeesigns says:

This cute little bowl is made using the pinching method – I love making pinch pots because they are very intimate and hands on, and the shape of the finished bowl reflects the shape of the makers hand…. it is almost a document in clay!
I also love pinch pots because they are very organic, and the green glaze used on this bowl serves to heighten this natural feel.

DeeDeeDeesigns

DeeDeeDeesigns

Karen from KarenLovesAntiques says:

This is a rare 1st edition book that was recently found at a local
estate sale in Nevada County, Ca. Amazing find!

KarenLovesAntiques

KarenLovesAntiques

Valentina Cáceres from JuguetesEloisa says:

This was originally a custom order made for one of my regular customers. I was really happy when she asked me to do it. When I took the picture of the whole order I saw it and I thought, well that is a very good spring set!

JuguetesEloisa

JuguetesEloisa

Walter Silva from WalterSilva says:

This items was inspired by Fishing trips with granddad! It’s a great keepsake / valet box.

WalterSilva

WalterSilva