Here she is at 18" across! With only 6 more inches to go, I am now able to figure out exactly how many rows and stitches I have left. I have planned out the rest of the colors, and am on track for being able to present the finished product to my customer on Tuesday. Yippee!
I have been "tagged" twice now, so I figure I'd better get on it! Both Linda at LindaButterfly and Karen at RunsWithScissors4 have tasked me with revealing 6 little known items of potential interest about myself. Thank you ladies for this honor! I hope these factoids are enjoyable.
At the end of this post, I will list a few blogs that I will be tagging. If you are on this list, the way I understand it, you are to do what I am doing here- write about yourself on your blog, link back to me, and then tag some unsuspecting blog owners of your own.
So, here goes- in no particular order whatsoever:
1. I have a tattoo on my back/left shoulder of two swallows in flight. I got it when I was 21, so, um...awhile ago. I found the design in a book and brought it to the artist. He did an amazing job, and I still love it after all of these years. According to lore, swallows are the only birds that shed their plumage in the winter. This represents the shedding of material possessions and the importance of the inner self.
2. My favorite place in the entire world is Moab, Utah. I first visited in the early 90s, and have gone back almost annually ever since. I even moved to Salt Lake City when I was in my mid-twenties- just to be as close as possible to those wide open spaces and high red rock desert. When I moved back East I filled this cruet with some precious red dirt so that I would always have a little part of it with me.
3. I am an only child and a "Navy brat". We did two tours in Naples, Italy when I was in preschool and elementary school. I went to ELEVEN different schools before 9th grade.
4. I had a wild love affair with white water rafting in my mid to late twenties. Thank goodness I'm still here to tell the tale; I rafted some of the largest rapids in North America including several stretches of the Colorado River, The New River, and the entire Gauley River. Oh, and I can't swim.
5. I camped my way across America with two girlfriends after graduating from the University of Virginia. I have also driven solo from Virginia to Moab, Utah and back. I have been in every US State except for Maine, Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Hawaii.
6. And last, but certainly not least, I have eaten freshly killed rattlesnake cooked over a campstove on the banks of the Colorado River. This was a particularly aggressive guy, and we couldn't have him slithering around our campsite being nasty. I keep his skin and rattler in a little wooden box to remind me of my adventurous days.
Anda is an Etsy admin who featured one of my bowls in her "finds of the week" back in June. That gave me huge exposure, and I was so grateful to her. I learned then that she is also from Virginia, so we have that little something in common.
This morning, when I glanced down at the article clips that scroll across when you click on *community*, my eye was drawn to the trivets pictured, and the words "travelling to Virginia". I clicked to see the whole article, and guess what? My stripey table coaster rug is featured in the photo collage at the bottom of the page. Now that's a nice way to start the day! Thank you, Anda, wherever you are!
I am fascinated by the feedjit widget that lets me know where my blog traffic has come from. Every single locale is special, but I get particularly pumped up when I see flags there from countries I've never even heard of. Granted, geography runs a close second behind math in my list of, ahem, *difficult* subjects. But still! How in the world do people run across my blog? What brought YOU here? Please, take a second of your time to fill in a little dot over there on the top right. If your answer is "other", I would be ever so grateful if you could post a comment to let me know what the "other" was. The more I learn about my blog audience, the better I'll be able to post interestingly and accordingly :)
I created these napkin cuffs with the holidays in mind. I thought they would look so festive at a special gathering! I love the garnet red with the bay leaf green. Would you believe my husband and I labored over the exact shade of green for an entire evening? I'm still not sure we nailed it.
Apparently I wasn't the only one who thought this would be a super color combination! Yesterday I heard from a friend that they were spotted here in the editor's picks (toward the bottom left). What an honor!
And this morning, I received a kind message from Michelle at naturemanipulated. She placed them in this GORGEOUS treasury. There are two days left for this treasury to be active, and it is on the second page of *hotness*. I have no idea how treasuries are really chosen to be on the front page, but wouldn't this make a great fp collection?
Yesterday was a big huge day for our family. Our baby girl turned 3! Three! I don't know where the time has gone. We hosted a fabulous party, went out for a lovely dinner, and when I came home, I learned that this collection was on the front page of Etsy while we were out. It doesn't get much better than that. Didn't Amy at ThePeachTree put together an awesome treasury? My heart is full of gratitude for so many things this Thanksgiving :)
Tomorrow marks my one year "discovered Etsy" anniversary! And today, I woke up to a lovely message from one of my Etsyfriends teammates, Amanda, at SygnetCreations. She sent me a screenshot of the front page of Etsy - with my organic baby girl snuggle set right in the middle!
This collection was up from about 6am-8am EST. Best of all, the treasury was curated by one of my best Etsy friends, Nikki at KaleidoscopeKorner, and featured 3 other teammates too! How cool to share the best spot on Etsy with MannieMandible, KrazyFashion, and SygnetCreations.
I knew when I saw this one that it was a special collection; it was bound for greatness :) Big thanks go out to Nikki, Amanda, and also to Amy at ThePeachTree for her congrats convo. Thank you admin for the early anniversary gift- mwuah!
I am currently hard at work on several custom orders, but the most challenging (and exciting) one right now is shown here. The beginning of it, anyway. I love to get a request for something I have never done before, and this is one of those for sure.
Last week I was contacted and commissioned to make a 24" (that's right, 24" = TWO FEET) rag rug style table coaster. My customer wants this to be the focal point of her round, antique oak table. I have some table coasters in my shop that are 8", but this is substantially bigger. You might be thinking, "Yes, Jennie, it is 3 times larger". Ah, but you would be mistaken.
Enter my techie husband, with his larger than life math skills. As I was laboring over determining a price quote for this creation, he showed me that it was a *simple* matter of algebra. Let me say that for me, the words 'simple' and 'algebra' don't belong in the same room, let alone the same sentence. So, what he thought would be a five minute conversation took most of the night. But, in the end, I understood that a 24" table coaster is actually 9 times larger than an 8" one.
The color scheme is to be pink, white, aqua, "funky green", and red. As usual, my first step was to gather fabrics. As it happened, I had all of these colors on hand- perhaps because they are some of my personal favorites. My customer approved the fabrics I showed her, and has given me lots of freedom with the design; her main desire is to have aqua with red and green with aqua. The rest can be worked in however I see fit.
I sent her this picture and two others this morning. As it turns out, she was out most of the day, and did not reply for several hours. I'm pretty sure I didn't breathe much during those hours; as anyone who does custom work, I just felt anxious and hoped that my vision would match hers. It does!! She loves it!!
This is about 10" across so far. The challenge in this coaster, besides color placement, is alternating my added stitches variably so that the coaster stays round versus multi-sided. I've got it figured out, though, and can't wait to add more colors. Stay tuned for Part II!
OK, so I did steal my title from the Footloose soundtrack. This snuggler design is all mine, though! Who says there's nothing cute on the market for baby boys? Worked entirely in organic cotton in blueberry, pistachio, macadamia and walnut, the set includes a ruffled cocoon wrap, an earflap hat, and a sweet little airplane pin. Every element of the set is an original design- my very own pattern. It is the result of a custom order for a mom-to-be due with her baby boy in winter of 2009. She loves it, and has promised me a photo of baby Brian all snuggled up. I can't wait to see that :)
I have trouble pigeonholing my work into any specific category, but if pressed to do so, I would think that it would be primitive folk art. Or maybe shabby chic style. Or maybe cottage eclectica. Heck, why don't I go all out and call it primitive shabby chic cottage folk art & eclectica? Eh, too long.
Whatever you call my style of work, it can now be found on page 2 of the *primitive* gift guide on Etsy. This is a newer gift guide, geared toward hot trends, and I am proud as a peacock to have my upcycled ornaments included in the collection.
The gift guides are somewhat of a mystery; you never know when you have had an item included, and if you find out, you never know who chose you to be there or why. Well, you know someone in admin chose you, and you hope it's because something about your work caught their eye. At any rate, it's a huge honor, and I intend to savor it while it lasts!
Those red gingham ornaments are a one of a kind set, so once they are gone, so is my place in that gift guide. I'll be a little sad about that, but I do hope someone gives them a nice home for the holidays :)
Like many Etsy-ers, I discovered Etsy quite by accident. For me, it happened while I was thumbing through a magazine at a doctor's office in November of 2007. It was a holiday gift edition of Parents magazine, and there were some REALLY cool items featured. I surreptitiously ripped the page out of the mag (shhhhhh!) and looked up some of the items when I got home. Lo! What? Not only were these awesome items on Etsy, but Etsy was, gasp!, an entire site full of hand crafted goodness. As a person who strives every year to give the most unique and meaningful gifts possible, this was like a dream come true for me! I did much of my holiday shopping on Etsy last year, and spent about a month dreaming of opening my own little shop there, too.
I took the plunge on New Year's Eve, 2007. My first listing went up January 1st, 2008. 231 sales and what seems a lifetime later, I am so proud of my leap. I love my shop. I love what I make. But, most of all, I love the opportunity to meet people from around the world who appreciate the whole handmade community and lifestyle.
So, since I have shopped and mingled with so many AWESOME people, I thought it would be wonderful to send out some holiday recommendations. The shops featured in the minis on the lefthand side of my blog are ALL shops that I have personally had transactions with. They are shops that I can vouch for with 100% certainty; the quality of their products and the kindness/professionalism/customer service of the shopowner is top of the line. Clicking on the pictures of their products at left, or their shop names within this post, will bring you to their shops. You will not be disappointed with a purchase from these amazing artists. I absolutely guarantee it!
If you are in the market for soap, SeattleSundries is the place for you. There are many fabulous soapmakers on Etsy, but Anne at SeattleSundries has it all going on. I purchased the 10 bar listing (most bang for your buck!), and am currently battling with myself over which ones I could keep, since I bought them all as gifts. In the meantime, they are making my craft room smell like heaven!
If you are browsing about for beautiful jewelry, look NO further than these four shops! Anything you want can be found or made at ThePeachTree, JessiJewels, GenuineArticle, or RunsWith Scissors4. Amy, Jessi, Sarah, and Karen (respectively) all have their specialties, from elegant gemstone wire wrapping to paper beads made from maps. You are sure to find a special treasure for someone on your list.
Looking for beautiful art? I've got you covered! Scharart (for original paintings, prints, magnets and more), Lewesiaglass (for beautiful handpainted glass jars, pendants, and cards), Blossoms (for handformed clay flowers and arrangements), and lindabutterfly (for watercolours, aceos, and cards) are sure to have the perfect something for that special someone. All four of these fabulous artisans ship promptly and securely, and would bend over backwards to do a custom order just for you.
Need a kitschy, cool, or particularly unique gift? I can't say enough about my positive experiences at Lousupcycles, BoxingDay, tudordesigns, sweetirie, wendiwinn, and kitsandcaboodles. Each and every one of their shops bears peeking into. They have some of the most well crafted items on Etsy, and are some of the most kindhearted humans I have ever met.
There you have it- my personal favorites for holiday shopping 2008. If you pop into their shops and find something fabulous, post a comment here! If you have your own shopping recommendation, post that here too. With hundreds of thousands of shops on Etsy to choose from, it can get a little overwhelming. While it's fun to try out new sellers, it's also nice to KNOW that you will be pleased with your purchase. Did I say it earlier? Let me reiterate, I PROMISE, you will be overwhelmingly pleased with your experience at any of the shops mentioned in this post :) Have fun!!!!
Pop into my shop and spend $20 bucks (or more) and receive a set of 6 crocheted ornaments/package tie ons for FREE. That's right, FREE!
Sale is from Nov. 14th-17th as part of the Etsyfriends team Gobble Up Handmade Sale. Lots of shops are participating, so if I don't have what you're looking for check here for other great shops and sales http://www.efpromotions.blogspot.com/
You just know it's going to be a great day when...you log into Etsy to find a sweet convo from a friend. It gets even better when said message contains a screenshot of yourself on the front page of Etsy! Big thanks go out to Danelle at TagsandButtons for being up at 5 am, and being awake enough, and kind enough to get a screenshot for me. I LOVE this treasury of cottage items, and am so glad to see a shabby style treasury on the front page. Cottage Style Street Team represent! Big smootchies to yippeevintage for including my wreath tags in this beautiful collection.
I have to crow! I made my first snuggler out of a luscious organic cotton, and now I can't stop looking at it. How gosh darn sweet is that ruffle? Sure wish I had photos of it on a real baby, but for now the dolly will do :) And, for the coup degras, I have added a hat and flower to the ensemble!! The flower is embellished with 3 glass pearl beads at its center, and 2 pistachio organic cotton leaves. It is on a pinback so that it can be removed for ease of washing the hat. It can also be moved around for the new owner's desired placement. This set is spoken for, but expect to see a listing for these in my shop soon :)
As my good friend Nikki recently said, you've already done it once this week so come on and do it again! You won't have to wait in any traffic or long lines for this contest, either!
The photo above is my entry in the Etsyfriends Team November Challenge. Any member wishing to participate was tasked with coming up with an original item to match the theme "thankful for friends". I spent many, many hours cutting and crocheting eight different fabrics to create these bowls. I spent almost as long writing the description! For anyone wondering, BFF stands for Best Friends Forever... that's cool crowd lingo :)
In order to vote, go to http://www.loveetsyfeedback.blogspot.com/ and check out the special edition post at the top. You will see each of the entries, and get a chance to read a little blurb about each one. Below the entries, there are the prizes listed that each shop is donating. You can win a prize just for voting!! Better yet, you can gather up more chances to win by posting comments about your favorite items in all of the participating shops!!
If you are not an old hat at blogging, or reading blogs, it may seem a little confusing to vote at first. It's not too hard, though. Just go to the very end of the special edition post where it says *comments* in pink. Click there, and you will be taken to the comment sheet. There you can read what others have said and voted for, and you can place your own vote by writing in your favorite entry (subliminal hint: upcycled BFF bowl set). Be sure to leave your email or shop link so that you can be notified upon (hopefully) winning a prize. If you are not a blogger, just leave your comment as name/url. You can leave your shop link in the url slot, or just leave it blank.
If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to ask! I would love to win, but I also just want to share the Etsyfriends Team talent. Lots of us worked very hard to create fun challenge entries, and I think you will really enjoy looking through my friend's shops :)
Yep, it's true! I am no longer a round~only bowl gal :) Thanks to Deb at blossoms.etsy.com, I have expanded my horizons to create an oval platter type of container/craft keeper. This one will soon be trekking all the way to Hawaii, but I plan to use its image to create a listing for a custom "choose your color" craft tray for my shop. Thank you, Deb, for the inspiration!
For anyone reading this who may not know the magic of majaba, it is an Etsy shopowner's dream come true! Majaba.org was created by Etsian Julian Lievano; it is, however, "super unaffiliated" with etsy.com. It is a site designed to allow Etsy sellers to freely and easily access important data related to their shops, such as the number of "hearts" a shop or item has, or how many views the shop has gotten overall in a particular timeframe.
I enlisted the help of a very talented friend of mine, Sarah at GenuineArticle, to create a web ad for me so that I could become a Majaba site sponsor. She did such a fabulous job! Sarah worked efficiently and diligently to deliver a very professional ad to my inbox in a short amount of time. She gave me lots of drafts to choose from, and was patient with my requests for minor changes. I would highly recommend Sarah to anyone in need of any graphic design assistance! (You can see my ad at the bottom left in the shot above.)
My ad will run from Oct. 28th-Nov. 28th, and the cost was $55 for that special *holiday shopping* month. Since the majaba service itself is free (and priceless in my opinion), this is a small price to pay for what Julian has done for me as an Etsy shopowner. I know that I have gotten more exposure for my shop from the ad, and I have my fingers crossed that it leads to future sales.