Spotlight on Creativity: Saturday Etsy Series

If you are going to be doing any holiday entertaining in the upcoming months, my etsy pick of the week, hopejohnson, would be a perfect shop to browse for some unique colorful ceramic dishes for your table.
Hope Johnson’s shop has bright one of kind pieces that range from dipping dishes to bowls. Everything is handmade in her home and ready to ship to yours.
This California designer has a background in graphic design and photography and is inspired by plant forms and organic shapes. Hope’s etsy profile says “functional pottery is a passion of mine, and I want my pieces to be used and enjoyed in the daily lives of my customers and friends”.
My favorite piece in her shop is this one – a plate perfectly sized for desserts or appetizers.  It measures 3/4″ tall, 6″ in diameter and is decorated with chartresuse and white matte glazes and a chocolate gloss glaze. The big bright leaves against the white plate will make any dish you are serving look great…maybe even mine.
Posted by: Becca / follow my Etsy shop on Twitter

Spotlight on Creativity: Saturday Etsy Series

This beautiful weather inspired me to feature an etsy seller that was bright, cheerful and influenced by nature – GLSL readers – meet Tracy Melton of focuslineart, an etsy seller/full time artist based in Knoxville, TN.

“Tracy is inspired by objects found in nature,wet river rocks, the insides of trees,wildflowers,spots on salamanders, negative spaces,clear mountain creek water, fungis, patterns on rattlesnakes,mosses, lichens on rocks, smells on a summer night, rain that pours straight down in the evening at night in June, the lushness of the Smoky Mountains in July, looking at creek bottoms while under water, creatures under rocks, Tennessee in the cool green spring,the grand canyon in winter, and wide open spaces.”

Tracy is known for his tree ring paintings.  The wood comes from dead white and red Elm trees that he cuts down himself with a chainsaw. He sands, clear coats the wood to accentuate it and then using acrylic paint – he paints the brightly colored rings and adds even more clear coats for a super glossy look. They come in sets of 3 – measuring about 6 inches wide and 2 inches deep (thick). Each ones is hollowed out for easy wall mounthing and signed and dated (on the backside) by Tracy.

Unlike the other artists I have featured so far in this series, Tracy is not hurting for exposure 🙂 he and his etsy store have been featured on ApartmentTherapy.com,The Huffington PostCraftzine.comecoSalon and grassrootsmodern.com to name just a few and has been lucky enough to land himself on the front page of etsy…more than once! Since joining etsy in January 2007 he has had 1104 sales – wow – good for you fellow etsian!!!

You can find him on twitter  http://twitter.com/tracymeltonart

Posted by: Becca / follow my Etsy shop on Twitter

Spotlight on Creativity: Saturday Etsy Series

My etsy pick of the week is luniacstyle – a funky boutique where you can find accessories that make the outfit and make a statement.

Designing and creating jewelry has always been a constant in Jaclyn Murphy’s life.  She’s been creating since she was about 6 years old.  It’s quite a few years later, and her style has become a bit more refined, a lot less childlike, and crazy as ever.  Bright colors, sparkling gems, and silky materials account for “one of a kind” accessories in her etsy shop.  LuniacStyle is the name of her gig and its meaning simply means: crazy for the moon.  Jaclyn would stay up til the wee hours of the night working with wire, beads, feathers, and fabric just to form new ideas for each individualized piece.  Since then however, real life has taken over, so most of her designs are created when most are awake.  She hopes to spice up people’s style with her unique pieces, create some conversation, and spread the love in which all of her pieces are made with.  Have a look at her online etsy shop, follow her on twitter (luniacstyle) for upcoming deals and steals, and join her on facebook (luniacstyle)for the newest pieces available!

I have a few of her pieces and can’t wait to get more…next on my list is this South of France Blue Original Luniac Bracelet – just gorgeous!.

Posted by: Becca / follow my Etsy shop on Twitter

Spotlight on Creativity: Saturday Etsy Series

This weekend I am moving into my new apartment, it is going to be wonderful and I am very excited but there is only one small problem! There is only one small closet. I am not quite sure you can call it a walk in (like they said in the ad) since it is built into the hallway stairs so for the first 2/3 of the closet you have to hunch over.  This might not be an issue for some readers who have a moderate wardrobe but I have lots of shoes, dresses, coats, purses….you get the picture, right? So I have been on the search for some pretty storage solutions, hence my etsy seller pick of the week – sewingmomma – the designer of beautiful storage bins/totes using a variety of recycled or vintage fabrics. She also makes gorgeous blankets and hand towels that will add to any home décor.

Sewingmomma is a mother of 4 and wife to a supportive husband who helps make her etsy career possible. Her profile says “I am so happy to be a part of Etsy. I spend hours on Etsy. Its so much fun putting yourself out there and having some people actually like it! I finally found a community that I have a lot in common with.”

All of her products are made to order, so her production time is between 2-3 weeks, but she makes the wait worthwhile letting you pick from over 50 fabrics which include some made out of 100% recycled plastic bottles, 100% organically grown cotton fiber and vintage fabrics. You can also choose a custom made size or any of the sizes she has listed.

I really appreciate any etsy seller who thinks about what she is selling from the beginning stages to the end when the customer opens up the package – Sewingmomma does just that. From the start of her design to the end of the process she is conscious of the materials she uses.  Any of her bins can be made more eco-friendly by choosing the bin’s interfacing that is made 100% from recycled plastic bottles. She ships the orders out in post consumer recycled poly bags.

Here are a few of my favorite pieces: for smaller products (books, DVDs, remotes) these would be great; for something a little bigger check this one out – I love the pattern.  And these dishtowels will look really cute in my kitchen.  Currently she doesn’t have any blankets for sale but I found this one in her sold items and might have to convo her to see if I can get one.

After finding this etsy seller, I am looking forward to getting settled and figuring out exactly how many of these I can get away with buying.

You can find sewingmomma on Facebook or etsy.

Posted by: Becca / follow my Etsy shop on Twitter

Spotlight on Creativity: Saturday Etsy Series

My etsy pick of the week is Cotton Purr. Jo-Jo, the designer/founder of this store that makes gorgeous wallets and bags, moved from Taiwan to Georgia to be with “the love of her life”.  And that sets the tone for what her store is all about – love and happiness. Jo-Jo’s says “Cotton Purr, where everything is created, designed, sewn and loved by me – JoJo, and photographed and cherished by my beloved and supportive husband.”

Jo-Jo started sewing when her mother-in-law gave her her first sewing machine – she quickly learned how to use it and now says she doesn’t just like sewing, she is addicted.  She came up with Cotton Purr – a place where she mixes her “fabric obsession and bag addiction together to bring you something beautiful and versatile”, launching her etsy store in January 2008. In late 2008, her husband asked her if she would like him to take over the product photography, saving her a ton of time taking the pictures and processing them.  Jo-Jo says “I swear, this is the second most soul touching thing he ever said to me, nothing tops the power of “Marry me”. Since opening her online store she has made 1,129 sales, has 3150 people calling her a favorite and has received 100% positive feedback!

She makes all of her items in her studio, “a space in our basement with a window view of the street & a tree, which is smoke free but pet friendly. Between my sewing studio and the TV room, there is a French door to keep the pets out and still allows hubby and me to look at each other.”  How could you not want to support this kind of seller.

I bought this wallet about a month ago and love it.  Jo-Jo custom makes your order (she also sometimes has some in stock ready to go) but it was a quick turn around and it arrived creatively packaged – wrapped in tissue paper with a cool patterned paper band around it.  She had stuffed some of her business cards into the credit card slots in the wallet and they have already been handed out to my admiring friends.

Posted by: Becca / follow my Etsy store on Twitter

Spotlight on Creativity: Saturday Etsy Series

My etsy pick this week is Shelley Schott’s Paisley Mill.  Shelley, a mom of 2 whose newest addition came just 3 weeks ago, makes beautiful bright funky jewelry, ornaments and WallFlowers – custom-made jewelry displays/organizers.  Shelley’s profile says “If I have a style, I guess you could say it’s earthy and organic. I tend to look to nature for inspiration. I love making my art outdoors, in my big ‘ol garden, under a huge pine tree.”

Shelley  started making jewelry for her friends and family when she was 10 and it soon turned into much more than a hobby, before she was 20 she was selling her pieces to local shops and exhibiting in local art shows.  She is currently doing this full time and creates her pieces in any spare time she can find when she is not taking care of her two little ones.   She hopes to one day own her own shop where she can sell her own creations as well as offering some other artists pieces.  For now, etsy is a great way to get a loyal customer base. Shelley says “I love Etsy because of the people I get to talk with. I have had so many wonderful people that have bought my stuff and I just love the thought of making something that is being used or worn in random places all over the world. I got so excited when I got my first international order!”

I just received two pairs of her earrings(couldn’t pass up the special pricing), the Peacock and the Mod Pods and LOOOOVE them.  They are painted wooden shapes (very light-weight)with great colorful paper designs layered on top and then protected with a glaze.  The craftsmanship is top notch and her customer service is superb.  Next on my “I want this” list is one of her WallFlowers – you can pick from the size of the frame, the color, the “screen” material, the color nails, hooks – and if that isn’t enough options – she is open to any and all suggestions on what would make it perfect for you!  I am thinking this light blue turquoise one in size LARGE would be just perfect – love the polka dotted nails.

Be sure to stop by her store on Mondays when she lists that week’s Mill Special – one of her items at a discounted rate. You can also follow her on her new blog.

Posted by: Becca / follow my etsy shop on Twitter

Spotlight on Creativity: Saturday Etsy Series

My favorite find in 2009 was without a doubt Etsy – the online shopping mecca for anything and everything handmade.

I have been making handmade cards for about 10 years and have always relied on friends and family to support my hobby.  I ended up with 2 shoe boxes full of cards just waiting for a buyer – because the sad reality is, how many cards can you sell to four people? My good friend/co-worker Ashley turned me on to Etsy last year and I finally took the plunge and opened my store, designsbybeccashop, for business in June 2009.  Since I launched my online store I have been regularly selling my cards and invitations to complete strangers. What a great feeling it is to have your creativity validated by others.  I am still trying to increase my store traffic and trying to figure out ways to market myself better but it is a slow process when you have three other jobs keeping you busy and on the go.

Since I have joined, I have found some incredible designers (click here to see a complete list of my favorites) and I am constantly amazed at the talent of other artists – I actually can’t wait to move into my new apartment at the end of the month so I can figure out what new stuff I have an excuse to buy!  I know that many of the artists on etsy are in my exact same situation…love doing their specific craft but don’t have enough time to make their product, list it and get their name out there more, all while working a full time job.  One sure way to increase traffic for a store is to create some buzz about it – and since I have access to this wonderfully successful blog that focuses on green, local and sustainability why not try and help fellow etsians out?  I will be picking one artist a week to showcase in the hopes that others will find their designs as interesting, creative and unique as I do.

My first pick is Rustics Reborn. Creator Doug Flaherty uses old barn wood, doors, doorknobs, faucets and hooks to make beautifully distinct, antique style coat racks.  His shop’s profile says “I often wonder to what room each doorknob led, whose winter coat hung upon this coat hook or whose daily lives revolved around this old barn. Each piece I fashion is a unique assemblage of stories, journeys and the creative process. I hope the wonder and possibility of each intersecting story brings you a touch of warmth and functionality.”  You know that you will have a one-of-a-kind coat rack when purchasing his pieces.  This is my favorite piece he is selling – I am really hoping that it will fit in my new apartment’s entryway!

See you again next Saturday!

Posted by: Becca / follow me on Twitter