Minimalist Style

Contributor Post from Sheila and Shannon of BeadyEyedBird

Leonardo da Vinci said:

“Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.”

I define minimalist as a style that uses pared-down design elements. The artist strips everything down to its essential quality, to achieve simplicity.

We asked our CIJ Friends what they love and/or offer in the minimalist style; here’s what they sent in.

Donna Schindler from TreasuresFromTheLake said:

Finding a heart beach glass piece is rare.

So even though this beautiful brown piece is small, about dime sized,I decided to make a pendant from it

With as little wire as possible, I wrapped the piece so that the heart is the highlight.

TreasuresFromTheLake

Richard Darani from RichardDarani said:

These came from an idea I had to turn shapes into an illustration and was watching Robots with my kids at the time.

RichardDarani

Shilly Shally Jewelry from ShillyShallyjewelry said:

This simple chain necklace has a beautiful Tanzanite stone surrounded by a gold filled disc. This necklace looks great alone or paired with other chains!

ShillyShallyjewelry

Karen Hafel from timetalentjewels said:

When I begin to knit this purse it is very simple, just a plain minimal little purse with very little character. As I continue to build upon it with its flower and beading it grows into a sophisticated clutch handbag that is one-of-a-kind. People who have these purses always share their compliments with me that they receive.

Imagine – a red handbag with little pansies – how fun could that be! And yes, it has be made and sold. “Simplicity is the ultimate of the form of sophistication.”

timetalentjewels

Maryann from gojjell said:

Simplicity and beauty speak for themselves. This choker features a trio of beautiful beads….vintage German lucite and champagne tubes. Beauty that stands the test of time and can be worn effortlessly!

gojjell

Roses Workshop from RosesWorkshop said:

Many of the items in my shop are simple or minimalist, as that is my own favourite style. I have chosen to showcase this Harris tweed tea cosy.

Far from the bright colours and bold tartans of some tweeds, this cosy is made from two almost-plain weaves. A cosy made from just one of them might even look dull. By joining them with a straight horizontal line, together they bring out the best of both pieces.

RosesWorkshop

Stock Lane Studio from StockLaneStudio said:

Simple message for a positive idea: help kids celebrate who they are – give them goals and help them achieve success, but let them know they don’t have to change who they are to get there.

StockLaneStudio

Suzi TC from Oldewoods said:

I chose this vintage piece for it’s simple lines and understated character, discovering later that it is an early 20th century cemetery / funeral vase.

A nice way to remember …

Oldewoods

Pam Maggio from PamsPawsJewelry says:

While I enjoy a lot of fancy, ornate, and unique items with pretty colors mostly, sometimes something simple with nice lines, unique simple shape, or something useful that will match or go with anything will touch my soul…..

This bracelet is pretty, simple, dainty, and yet it will go with most anything and white Pearls and black Onyx have a classic, timeless, and elegant appeal!

PamsPawsJewelry

I hope you enjoyed these wonderful treasures and stories as I did!

Until next time,

Sheila

Member Feature: Robyn Faye Designs

Contributor post by Alexandra of EyeLoveKnots

Please join us in welcoming Robyn of RobynFayeDesigns, our featured member!

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RobynFayeDesigns

Tell us about yourself.       

My name is Robyn. I am married to Bruce and we have three wonderful teenage sons. We also have a little dog named Pipi. We live about 60 kilometers east of Perth, Western Australia on a large bush block in Gidgegannup. I was born in New Zealand, but moved to Australia 30 years ago. I spent 11 years in Darwin, Northern Territory where I completed an apprenticeship in tropical horticulture. From this comes my love for anything floral.

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

My Mum and sister suggested selling my bags at the markets, which I found pretty hard going with the boys’ weekend sporting commitments and a fly-in fly-out husband. I was already buying supplies through Etsy when eventually the thought came to me to open a shop online, and so I did in February of 2014.

Tell us a bit about your products.           

I make all sorts of bags – cross body, handbags, clutches, totes, hobo’s, beach and shopping bags. I mainly use cotton quilting and home decor fabrics. I also make tea cosies and soft toys. Lately, I have been making coasters in the shape of caravans and VW’s. I have other ideas in mind also!

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What inspires your work?           

I am inspired by retro style, my garden and of course bright colour. Ideas usually come to me when I’m trying to get to sleep at night.

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

My goals are to get more involved with social media. I love Instagram, but need to start using other platforms. At the same time, I need to try to balance social media with crafting. Ultimately, the big dream for my business – to be known as ‘the’ place people come to for quirky, original, one of a kind, functional pieces.

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

I think my products stand apart because they are so colourful. They are certainly not made to blend, rather they are the bold accessories to add that bit of a pop!

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

Because I’ve always been a crafter, when we built our house, we made sure I had my own craft room. I’m an early riser, so my room is well away from the bedrooms so I can sew away happily in the early hours. I can also close the door and hide the mess when visitors arrive.

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

Don’t expect instant sales the day or weeks following the opening of your shop, it takes time. I used to worry when I had no sales for a while. Now, I know there are quiet times and things pick up again. Oh, and don’t store your finished bags in new plastic bins, they pick up a chemical musty smell. I now use linen laundry baskets.

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Any advice for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

If you are a new seller, my advice to you would be take the best photos you can to show off your work. I know I have a few I need to redo. Also, join a team. Not only do they help you to get seen, but they are very supporting, knowledgeable and friendly.

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

I like to spend time with my family, whether that be talking around the table or going for bike rides, playing golf, squash, ping pong, frisbee or watching movies. I like to keep active through kick boxing, which I do with one of my boys. I also like gardening. While driving (at least two hours a day) I love to sing along to the radio and embarrass my kids with the lyrics I get wrong.

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What is your favorite quote?

“To the world you just may be one person, but to one person you just may be the world.” – Unknown.

Where can people find out more about your business?  

You can find out more about Robyn Faye Designs on Instagram @RobynFayeDesigns, and on the RobynFayeDesigns Facebook.

  Is there anything else you’d like to share?         

I also have an Etsy shop called the Berry Road Boutique.

My old high school motto which I live by and share with you “Keep on striving”.

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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 Etsy Craft Party 2015 – Fabric Yo – Yo

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Tutorial for Fabric Yo-Yo by NauticoCreations

How to make a Fabric Yo-Yo

Fabric yo-yo’s are small circles that can be used to add texture to a quilt. They can be sewn on as the center of a flower or you can even make an entire quilt just out of them. Pictured is an example using them as centers. You can see they give the quilt some added dimension.

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Materials:

  • Fabric
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Something round to trace (she used a 5.5 “diameter bowl, since the size will end up smaller than original circle)
  • Pen or Fabric marker

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Directions:

  • Place your fabric face down and trace around the fabric with your bowl or other round object.
  • Once traced, but out your circle. If you’re planning on making several yo-yo’s at a time, it might be easier to trace and cut multiple circle before stitching them.

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  • Next comes the sewing part. Turn in 1/4″ of fabric and start loosely stitching around the fabric in semi-wide stitches in order to make it easy to pull the thread through. Continue folding in the fabric and stitching until you have sewn all of the way around.

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  • This is the stage where your flower starts to take shape. Start pulling the thread tight. Pictured is what your flower looks like mid-stage as you are pulling the thread through.

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  • Here is a close up of the finished yo-yo which is 2.5″ diameter. When you are done pulling the thread through,stitch the thread through the center to secure the bottom side of the yo-yo. You can then either knot and cut the thread or leave the thread long on the other side and use it to sew the yo-yo to the quilt, depending on your preference.
  • Finally here is your finished quilt with yo-yo’s. As you can see, this extra touch on the quilt really adds texture and finishes it off nicely. If you quilt or are just getting started and haven’t used this technique. Give it a try.

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Treasury Challenge Winner August – UnexpectedTreasure

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

On Etsy many shop owners curate treasuries. A treasury is a curated shop gallery comprised  of 16 items from any shop.  Most of the time they are done by theme, color or anything you can imagine.

The Christmas in July team has challenges to create treasuries centered on themes of our choosing. We then pick a winner based on views, creativity and the like.

The August winner is UnexpectedTreasure who loves sewing,crocheting and anything crafty.

What got you started on etsy?

Family and friends had been telling me for years that I should be selling online. I’d been selling locally for about ten years. In the November of 2009 I saw a Martha Stewart segment featuring an Etsy seller who had the cutest onesies. It was the first time I had ever heard of Etsy but I decided I had nothing to lose. So I spent two months whipping up some inventory and opened my shop, Unexpected Treasure, in January 2010.

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What do you love about fall/autumn?

I love just about everything about autumn; the brilliant colors of the changing leaves, apple and pumpkin picking then baking delicious pies with them, hay rides, corn mazes, etc. The only thing I don’t like about autumn is that winter comes right on its heels. LOL

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Do you plan to use the holiday trends of 2014 in your shop and if so how?

I’m not really a trend follower. However, there are two trends I was reading about recently and I plan to follow them. The first: According to Money magazine, people will shop online earlier to avoid last year’s shipping nightmare. The second kind of goes right along with the first: According to e-commerce intelligence, the trend for the past two years has been for shoppers to spend more online during the holiday season. So I plan to list as much new inventory as possible by October 31st so buyers will have lots of delightful gifts to choose from and also to allow plenty of time for shipping and, hopefully, on time delivery.

What do you enjoy about team CIJ?

I love that it’s a year-round team instead of just a seasonal one.

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How and what are your plans for this holiday season? Shop wise and home wise (only if you wish to tell us about family part).

My plans for the holiday season shop-wise were probably best answered by question #3. But to add to that I’ve already stocked up on plenty of shipping supplies and plan to offer lots of priority mail shipping, especially using the regional rate boxes whenever possible.
My family plans for the holiday include lots of sewing gifts, cookie baking, eggnog drinking, playing Christmas carols beginning on Thanksgiving day, and generally just taking the time to savor the spirit of the holiday.

This shop is filled with a mix of crochet, sewing and so much other unexpected treasure.

Hey Pumpkin!

Autumn is upon us and I think it’s safe to say the majority of people start thinking right away of one thing: pumpkins. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin carving, pumpkin seeds, and of course, pumpkin spiced lattes. So what better way to kick off October than with a whole post dedicated to pumpkins?

Happy Halloween Smiling Pumpkin Potholders from helenasnest

Happy Halloween Smiling Pumpkin Potholders from helenasnest

Decorating for the fall is always fun because there is so much that can be done. Why not go the extra step and snazz up your kitchen table or counter with cute festive potholders? Or maybe you do what I do and hang them against your backsplash and forget to take them down until the 4th of July.

Pumpkin Spice Soap Handmade Soap from Comfort and Joy Soap Co.

Pumpkin Spice Soap Handmade Soap from Comfort and Joy Soap Co.

Have  you ever loved something so much you wanted to bathe in it? That’s how I feel about pumpkin spice and I know I’m not alone. Luckily for us, we can! Quite literally, with pumpkin spice soap, you can smell like your fall favourite all day long. Not a pumpkin fan? Lisa has a vast array of other soaps for you to lather up with!

Stacked Pumpkin Thanksgiving Decoration  from PumpkinTreeLane

Stacked Pumpkin Thanksgiving Decoration from PumpkinTreeLane

While searching for pumpkin themed items, how can I pass up a shop called Pumpkin Tree Lane? These mini stacked pumpkins stand just under 2 inches when stacked together, but display individually as well. Perfect for someone decorating a small space, or those like me who simply enjoy tiny tiny things.

Happy October and Stay Inspired!

Frenchie