Monday, August 31, 2009

Threw my back out

Yes, I'm falling apart at age 36, lol. I seem to have the bones of an 80 year old. Then the Typhoid Niece came through and brought an awful bug with her. I love my niece, but she needs to learn not to share germs with her little friends.

So I've been in pain and sick, ug. Starting to feel a little more normal now.

I'm in the process of updating my Ecrater store and then I'll be catching up on everything else.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Interview: Captured on Cloth

Next is Carol from CapturedOnCloth.









1. Why do you do what you do? I love to work with my hands & keep busy. I enjoy sewing and have tried my hand at soapmaking and woodwork. I really like to make soap, but have always been afraid to try cold process, so I stick with melt/pour.

2. How long have you been selling online? Why did you start?
I started my online studio in March of 2009. I have only had a couple sales, but I'm keeping my chin up and "sewing" on!

3. What's your inspiration?
I think my inspiration is just the fact that I like sewing and keeping busy. I like being creative, and becoming a new grandma helps all the more. (always trying to think of something new for my little Jackson).

4. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I honestly can't recall what I dreamt of being as a child, but I think I have always had a creative side. I took a LOT of art classes through high school and then became a hairdresser for 20+ years (you can be pretty creative with a good head of hair).

5. Do you have a day job?
I have been unemployed since Dec. 2008. I had managed a Hallmark store for about 2 yrs. Again, you have to be very creative to build displays and showcase windows.

6. What advice would you give to someone who just started selling online?
Add new product often, have patience and never give up!

7. Anything you'd like to add?
I will end by adding that I really enjoy being a part of Artfire. Most everyone is all too willing to help and give advice when needed. Very friendly people. I would also like to add that I am a member of the "Sew what" and "You can sell it" guilds on Artfire. Thanks so much, if I can inspire just 1 person to hang in there, then it was well worth sharing this.

You can find Carol at the following links:

http://capturedoncloth.artfire.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/CapturedOnClothartfirecom/105933068291
http://twitter.com/CapturedOnCloth

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Interview: PatchMaker

Next, Maggie from PatchMaker was kind enough to answer some questions for us.








1. Why do you do what you do? I'm a quiltmaker because it's my passion, my obsession, and my joy.

2. How long have you been selling online? Why did you start?
I've been selling online for about 8 years now. I started because my house was becoming too small to hold all the quilts I was making, and there seemed to be a market for them online.

3. What's your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from color. I'm all about the colors. . . . how they work together, how they blend, the shading, the variations, the intensity.

4. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was little, I wanted to be a secretary, who filed things neatly all day long. My mother wanted me to be a teacher. We were both wrong.

5. Do you have a day job?
Quilting is my day job (and my night job, and my weekend job)! (It also helps to have a husband with a good job!)

6. What advice would you give to someone who just started selling online?
Hmmm; advice for newbies; stick to it! There will be good times and bad, good customers and bad, but ultimately YOU are the one in charge of what you do, and that's a wonderful feeling.

You can find Maggie at the following links:

patchmaker.etsy.com
www.patchmaker.artfire.com
patchmaker.blogspot.com
www.patchmaker.ca


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Saturday, August 22, 2009

interview: ValMade

Here's what Val of ValMade had to tell us.










1. Why do you do what you do? I’ve always knitted and cross stitched since I was young, and when all my friends reached the age where they started having children I didn’t want to just buy something off the shelf, so made them all baby booties and a little cross stitch picture with their babies information on it. It was great to be able to give them something more personal and they appreciated it. Since then it’s evolved into other craft projects. Basically I don’t like sitting at home with nothing in my hands, so am always making something whilst watching the TV.

2. How long have you been selling online? Why did you start? I’ve been dabbling online for a couple of years, but only started trying to make a serious go of it this year when I discovered Artfire. I started, as friends who received my gifts suggested I try selling some. Also my spare room has reached a point where if I don’t sell some of my creations I’m not going to be able to get in it soon.

3. What's your inspiration? Every day life. I’m always wandering around looking at every day objects and thinking of ways to use them. I try where possible to re-use things, so some of my friends think I’m a bit mad when they see me picking up things others may have discarded.

4. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? Ironically I wanted to be an airline pilot, which if you saw how bad a flyer I am these days you’d laugh.

5. Do you have a day job? I do. I work for a small company in the finance world in Hong Kong.

6. What advice would you give to someone who just started selling online? Don’t give up. The internet is a very different world to selling in person, and takes a lot of perseverance. Great customer service is essential as well. People are generally dealing with an anonymous presence online and if they aren’t kept abreast of what is going on with their request they can get upset quickly.

7. Anything you'd like to add? I love looking at all the creativity there is out there on the handmade venues. It’s nice to see that there are still a lot of people who take the time to create things themselves. A welcome change in the mass produced world we live in today.

Links you can find Val at:
Valmade.artfire.com
Val on Plurk
Val on Twitter

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

interview: CreativeCritters

Next up, the wonderful Michelle of CreativeCritters.








1. Why do you do what you do? I create because I MUST. I've been making things with my hands since I was a small child, and I've simply never stopped. As my skills grow, I'm able to create more and better pieces. Having the ability to create nearly anything I imagine never ceases to amaze me. I'm incredibly grateful for my artistic abilities.

2. How long have you been selling online? Why did you start? I've been selling online for about 2 years. I've been on Artfire since Febuary 2009. I started selling online because I wasn't able to get to craft shows (I take care of my 93 year old grandmother full time), and the consignment shop I had been selling at went out of business. Selling online allows me to have more control over how my items are described, priced, and promoted, as well. I just love my ArtFire shop.

3. What's your inspiration? I find a lot of inspiration in the world of fantasy (which can be plainly seen in my many fantasy sculptures). I also find nature and animals inspirational. My mother is also an inspiration to me. She's also very artistically talented, as was my step sister Colleen, and my great grandfather. Other artists have always inspired me, especially those I'm related to.

4. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? It was a toss up between Vet, Artist, and Writer. I'm definitely an artist, and spend as much time as possible with animals. And I still enjoy writing, so I guess I actually had a pretty good idea of who I was from a young age!

5. Do you have a day job? My full time (unpaid) job is taking care of my grandmother. I've had a variety of other jobs, but this is where I'm needed right now. It's hard to say what the future holds.

6. What advice would you give to someone who just started selling online? Make sure you promote your work! The internet is a huge place, and you really have to work to get noticed. Try to learn from others online as well. I've learned so much from my fellow ArtFire artist since I joined the site. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Generally, other artists are more than happy to help out.

7. Anything you'd like to add? I'd like to thank you for this opportunity. I'd also like to thank everyone who has helped me get where I am right now. That includes my family (my mother, big time), my friends, who have always been incredibly supportive, and everyone on ArtFire. I've found some really wonderful people there.

Places you can find Michelle:
creativecritters.artfire.com
creativecrittersblog.blogspot.com
artfiresmooshers.ning.com/profile/MichelleAdkins
www.myspace.com/artistcreativecritters
community.joann.com/chelle33
creativecritters.byhand.me
www.flickr.com/photos/creativecritters
facebook.com/CreativeCritters


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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Interview: Angela's Adornments

Today we'll be finging out more about Angie, the woman behind Angela's Adornments.









1. Why do you do what you do? I create jewelry because I love playing with pretty shiny things, and I sell it because it was REALLY beginning to pile up! :)

2. How long have you been selling online? Why did you start?
Since March 2009. I’ve wanted to sell my jewelry for a long time, but never acted on it. When I lost my job about a year ago I looked at it as an opportunity, and after researching, I decided online was the way to go. I’m lucky in that my Husband is very supportive of me and my efforts, and believes it will eventually pay off, so I’m not pressured to go out and find a “real” job.

3. What's your inspiration?
I get my inspiration mostly from the stones themselves, I start to wrap them without a real plan in mind and they kinda guide me along. When I “listen” to them the piece always turn out beautifully.

4. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be some sort of entertatiner. Singer, ballet dancer, concert violinist, actor...it didn't much matter what...I was a real Ham....

5. Do you have a day job?
This IS my day job.

6. What advice would you give to someone who just started selling online? STICK WITH IT!!! Thats the best advice I got.

Links where you can find Angie:

Facebook Fan Page
On Twitter I'm @Angelasadornmen


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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Interview: TheMurphyStudio

Today's interview is with Misti from The Murphy Studio.









1. Why do you do what you do? I paint to see people’s expressions when they see my animal paintings. It’s very rewarding to see their response, especially after they have lost an animal that was close to their heart. It’s like they see them again for the first time!

It’s also a relaxing pastime that allows me to have “alone” time away from the hustle and bustle of real life.

2. How long have you been selling online? Why did you start? I started selling online this year. Actually, this year I began painting again after 20 years. I was so focused on my career that I lost track of the hobby I truly love – painting. My sister encouraged me to start painting due to the economy, and to try to sell online since she had a store on ArtFire.

3. What's your inspiration? Animals are my inspiration. I love seeing their little faces come to life in two dimensional form. Currently, I have four dogs and two cats (don’t ever take me to PetsMart – I always come home with an animal from FAIR or the Humane Society)!

4. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I started painting when I was 10, and always loved animals. I thought I wanted to be a Veterinarian, but when I realized you were treating SICK animals, I realized that I would not be able to handle it emotionally. I’m too attached to the one’s I have – and when they hurt, I hurt.

5. Do you have a day job?
Yes, I own a residential architectural design firm. I design custom homes, remodels, additions, etc.

6. What advice would you give to someone who just started selling online?
Promote as much as you can. Stand behind your product and BELIEVE in your craft! Sales will come eventually!

Links to sites where you can Misti's fabulous items:
http://TheMurphyStudio.ArtFire.com
www.TheMurphyStudio.Art.com (I’m still working on setting up my Webpage)
www.TheMurphyStudio.com (Architectural Webpage)
http://twitter.com/TheMurphyStudio
http://themurphystudio.blogspot.com/ (I’m still working on setting up my blog)


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Friday, August 14, 2009

BirkeloArt: Ceramic Pendants

I saw these works of art and was amazed. BirkeloArt does such wonderful work.












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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Zanes Pottery

Take a gander at all the wonderful works to be had at ZanesPottery. I know I bookmarked a few.











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Monday, August 10, 2009

TenDigitCreations Soaps

Check out these soaps from TenDigitCreations. They're so beautiful you'll never want to use them, just sit around admiring them and sniffing all day. Yummmm.










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Saturday, August 08, 2009

AbbaDabbaBags

Oooooh, look at all the neat bags from AbbaDabbaBags.







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Friday, August 07, 2009

Interview: Tim Pursell


Next up is Tim Pursell of Grand Prairie Woodworks.

1. Why do you do what you do?
There are several reasons I do what I do now.

First is the design process. I like to incorporate the Arts and Crafts philosophy of simple honest construction but with a lighter, more modern touch, or applying these principals in an item that was never part of the culture 100 years ago.

Then there is the actual building process. I love the challenge of pushing the envelope. When I built my first cutting boards I had to try techniques new to me. When I tried to make the kitchen utensils I needed to upgrade a few of my tools & refine some skills to achieve the level of quality I strive for.

Of course I also love the look & feel of the finished product. All the things I make are meant to be used & loved. I enjoy watching customers run their hands over one of my pieces & watch the smile spread over their faces.

2. How long have you been selling online?

I started my online selling of furniture in 2003 with my own website.

It proved a handy way to showcase my major pieces to my customers but much less successful at actually selling items. Most of my sales were from doing shows and word of mouth. I joined Etsy in Nov of 2008 and have steadily increased my number of views and sales. I opened a 1000 markets store in early 2009 and my Atrfire store at the end of June 2009.

3. What's your inspiration?

Inspiration? I grew up in the Roseland area of Chicago where there were many early 20th century "Chicago Style" Bungalows. Plus many other architecturally interesting homes. The woodwork and stained glass common in these homes are still drawing my interest. Over the years I have put together a large collection of books, magazines, photos and other printed material about the related designs associated with the Arts and Crafts movement. Whenever I need some inspiration when dreaming up a new piece or line of products I refer to this collection.

4. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

An engineer. Later I actually started college to become a mechanical engineer, specifically an automotive engineer.

5. Do you have a day job?

I’ve been self employed for the last 15 years, mostly building custom furniture. Sometimes successfully.

6. What advice would you give to someone who just started selling online.

3 things:

#1 Keep your day job! Very few are charging enough for their work. It’s hard to do so. Too many people look at things in the stores and expect your prices to be like the stuff brought to us in shipping containers from someplace that think $1 a day in wages is making the big time.

#2 Do something you REALLY love. No sense working yourself to the bone doing something less than fun. That’s what your day job is for.

#3 Develop your skills. Improve your equipment. Find the best suppliers. Just because you build wonderful items that take 3 weeks to build and cost you $400 in material does not mean you can charge 120 hours of labor and $800 in material plus profit for them. Not if the next guy can make the same thing in 5 hours & $100 in material to sell it for a profit at one tenth your price.


Links to my shops:

http://www.grandprairiewoodworks.com/

http://www.1000markets.com/shops/11071

http://www.artfire.com/users/grandprairiewoodworks

http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6453794

Favorite woodworking site that I post often on:http://lumberjocks.com/

My blog: http://gpwood.blogspot.com/

My facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Grand-Prairie-Woodworks/83967888442#/pages/Grand-Prairie-Woodworks/83967888442?ref=mf

Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gpwood/

http://s232.photobucket.com/albums/ee179/grandprairiewoodworks/


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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Glass lampwork beads: BadgerBeads

I happen to catch one of these beads on the front page and fell in love.

She goes by the name BadgerBeads. She's out of Wisconsin and her beads are to die for.







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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Interview: Artisangoodsbygayle

I wanted to get a bit more personal with my fellow artisans, so I'm going to be posting interviews with them. I just thought it would be a fun way for everyone to get to know them a little better.

Kicking it off is Gayle of
artisangoodsbygayle from Graham, Washington.

1. Why do you do what you do?

It is part of who I am and how I choose to express that part of me. My photography is intuitive and my other art work is inspired at various times from various sources.

2. How long have you been selling online? Artisan goods by gayle is my first online shop for my one of a kind eclectic mix of creations,but began selling my jewelry through a group I started at a non-selling social site in 2007 and my fine art photos online since 2003.
Why did you start? I began selling my work to share my artistic expression and for additional income.


3.What is your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from all that I am exposed to be it cultures,nature,art of various mediums, poetry, films, atmosphere, whimsy, color, heritage, shape and textures.

4.What did you want to be when you grew up?
As a small child I was all about horses and am told that I said I wanted to marry one...hehehe...was always drawing,painting,doing a variety of crafts as well as designing and sewing Barbie clothes,so also wanted to be an artist.

5.Do you have a day job?
I had my own local photo business until it closed due to the recession and is why I opened my artfire shop while I seek other employment with the non-profit sector.

6.What advice would you give to someone just starting to sell online?
I would tell a newbie to online selling to get organized about promoting,participate in forums,have tiered pricing,well focused photos,be helpful to other artisans and to offer excellent customer service. I would also tell them not to expect sales from outside their family and friends for six months or longer since much depends on how much exposure your shop receives,what you are selling and the quality at an affordable price.Currently the economy is also a factor with sales for non-basics being very slow. One last thing I would tell a newbie is that online selling requires much more work and dedication than having a local store in your own town where shoppers can touch and try on your creations.

7. Anything you would like to add?
Thank you,Jen for your interest and for this exposure.I am currently having a big sale in my shop to try to raise funds to prevent eviction while I wait to hear back from employers.If you want unique gifts at bargain prices,now would be a good time to stop by and would help me greatly.









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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Quilts: CustomizedJust4You

As usual, I've been scooping out yummies to drool over at Artfire.

Today, I want to show you some cute quilts done by CustomizedJust4You.







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Sunday, August 02, 2009

Custom orders have begun

That's wqhy I haven't been around as much.

I'm making 3 afghans right now and that's taking up a LOT of time. But I enjoy it.

Normally, I don't start getting custom orders til the end of August/beginning of October. So they're early this year.

Does anyone else have a certain time of year that they seem to get a lot of custom orders? I know it's people trying to gifts together for the holidays. Maybe this holiday will be good for me.

Blog at ya later.
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