Archive | January, 2013

Etsy Love – Tanuki Jewelry

30 Jan

Today I am finding out about Vanessa O from Tanuki Jewelry, who sells simple and unique handmade jewellery for everyday wear.  I especially love Vanessa’s raw amethyst pendants, but maybe I’m biased because amethyst is my birthstone!il_570xN_396481319_7uut

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and where the inspiration came from to start your Etsy shop. 

I’m from Vancouver, but also spent a year and a half in Dublin and London, and Tokyo for 7 years. I now live in New York, and am inspired by pretty things I see that may be simple or go unnoticed. I also have a love for photography, and hope that I can capture interesting things in unassuming places.

I have always loved crafts and everything DIY, and I think the look of something being handmade is such a special thing. I had always wanted to learn how to make jewelry classes, and New York had so many options available to me. I started with wax carving and soldering, and the birth of Tanuki Jewelry arrived!

il_570xN_418150179_pmdg2. Do you have a favourite piece? Tell us about the thought process involved in creating it and why it is your favourite.

While I would love to say all my pieces are my favorite pieces, I think my favorite piece is my stud row ring. It is simple enough to wear everyday, isn’t too dainty, and makes a statement without being overly designed. I hope that all my pieces come across this way. I don’t think jewelry needs to be loud to get noticed, and unique simplicity can go a long way.

3. What is it that makes your shop unique?

I genuinely put in 110% effort into every piece I make. I like to think that every piece I make is something that I see worth wearing, and something, that if I wanted to, could be worn everyday whether traveling, at play, or at the office. I think my pieces are unique, simple and edgy pieces that are hard to find.

4. What’s next in the pipeline?

Some people may want the look of sturdy looking pieces at a lower price point. I am currently in the works of making brass items. Stay on the lookout for my new items!

5. Tell us something about you or your shop that you haven’t previously shared!

The name of my shop comes from the Japanese raccoon dog, a mischievous and jolly animal that is shapeshifting. il_570xN_396476324_irmx

I am offering free shipping to customers within the US and Canada up until February 14th, 2013. Convo me if you see any pieces (in the store or sold) that you would like to see in different sizes, or metals.

6. And finally, let us know where we can find you.

Etsy Shop: tanukijewelry.etsy.com

Thanks for sharing Vanessa!  Don’t forget to check out Vanessa’s shop – US and Canadian customers will have no postage to pay on orders placed before Valentine’s Day!

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Yurting in Winter

29 Jan

This may sound a little mad, but my partner and I are just back from a mini getaway – staying in a yurt in the woods just outside Elgin.  It averaged about zero degrees, there was snow, rain, wind and ice, but we still managed to have a wonderful time.  Our yurt was situated in Aldroughty Woods and is owned by Marius, who is wonderfully friendly and hospitable and went the extra mile to ensure that we had a pleasant break.  Our yurt had everything we could possibly need, and more!  It was fully kitted out with candles, games, CDs, a fruit basket (which also happened to include my favourite chocolate!), an endless supply of wood for our stove and the warmest, cosiest, most comfortable bed I have ever slept in!

It was the perfect base from which to explore the surrounding towns and countryside.  We visited the aquarium at Macduff, looked out for dolphins at Spey Bay (unfortunately the tide was out so none were to be seen), wandered around the sleepy coastal town of Lossiemouth, and even went on a day trip to Aberdeen where we explored the maritime museum.

It was such a relaxing, slow-paced holiday – mainly because it took about half an hour to boil the kettle for a cup of tea! – but once the stove was roaring, the wine was poured and the cards dealt, it was bliss!

If you ever get the chance to visit Elgin I highly recommend you stay at Aldroughty Woods!  The website for full details can be found at http://www.aldroughtywoods.co.uk/

Etsy Love – A Flash of Nature

25 Jan

il_570xN.363567611_jvbzNext up in my Etsy Love series is Kacie from A Flash of Nature, a nature photographer who sells prints and gadget cases featuring her stunning images.   I’ve always been a fan of nature and Kacie’s photographs capture the vivid colours and natural patterns which sum up my passion perfectly!

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and where the inspiration came from to start your Etsy shop. 

Nature photography has provided me the opportunity to blend my two passions as a Biology Major who also happens to love art. I came across Etsy in 2009 as a shopper and fell in love with the sheer volume and variety of hand-crafted items available. About a year later, I was looking through all of my photos and realized that I had a number of unique shots. For the next two years, I pondered the idea of opening up an Etsy shop until finally this past summer I took the plunge. Since opening my shop, I have added two lines of functional art depicting my photography including iPhone cases and neoprene iPad sleeves.

2. Do you have a favourite piece? Tell us about the thought process involved in creating it and why it is your favourite.il_570xN.363577260_7pyi

I actually have several favorite pieces, but probably the photo I am most proud of is my “Hummingbird Flight” photo; it is part of a 17 piece collection. One of the things I really enjoy doing during the summer is sitting at my hummingbird feeder and watching these amazing creatures do their aerobatic acts. I had always wanted to photograph a hummingbird in flight so that I could share with my family and the world what beauty lies in their own backyard. Capturing a flying hummingbird on camera however is not easy. Hummingbirds are jumpy and fast, they beat their wings 70 times per second. So, in order to get the perfect photo I had to not only gain the bird’s trust, but also be quick to take the shot. It took me two summers, but eventually I captured a female on high-speed.

3. What is it that makes your shop unique?

My shop is unique in a few ways. As I mentioned above, I like to get close to my subjects. I’d say at least 50% of my pictures are macro photography. Often times, when you see wildlife photos for sale, they are taken using a fancy camera with a zoom lens. With my photos, if it looks like the animals are close, it’s because they are. My photos are also unique in that they are realistically vivid and color saturated. These pops of color make them ideal for functional art. Not everyone has a place in their home to hang another photo, but just about everyone has a cell phone and a computer; which is why I started offering iPad/iPhone cases this past fall. It enables my customers to take their art with them wherever they go!

4. What’s next in the pipeline?

I hope to keep adding to my photo collection and hopefully expand my functional art line. I will also be having at Valentine’s Day sale from January 23rd- February 14th. All items are 10% off with coupon code MDVD13.

5. Tell us something about you or your shop that you haven’t previously shared!

I do custom orders as well, so if you see a photo you like but need it in a different size or if you wish a photo were offered in another form of functional art such as a laptop bag, coffee mug, or note card, let me know!il_570xN.375782343_teg8

6. And finally, let us know where we can find you.

Etsy Store: www.etsy.com/shop/AFlashOfNature
Wanelo: wanelo.com/aflashofnature
Tumblr: www.tumblr.com/blog/aflashofnature

Thanks Kacie, you have a wonderful eye for detail and have captured some beautiful shots!  Don’t forget to visit A Flash of Nature and use Coupon Code MDVD13 for 10% off – offer ends 14th February!

 

Etsy Love – Williams Honey Farm

17 Jan

Today I am getting to know Jay and Adrienne Williams who run Williams Honey Farm and are active beekeepers who practice and promote safe, sustainable, chemical free beekeeping. Their Etsy shop is full of honey, comb honey, creamed honey and lip balms.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and where the inspiration came from to start your Etsy shop. 

We are a small husband and wife beekeeping operation based just south of Nashville, TN. We specialize in “finishing honey”. In other words, our honey is quite sweet and usually is drizzled over a fine dessert or cheese rather than dumped in bulk into larger recipes. We want you to savor our honey and try and taste all the floral varieties packed into one vial! The inspiration for our Etsy shop came from our love for the honeybee. It’s a tough time for honey bees and they need all the help they can get. As a result, we decided to break from normal beekeeper tradition and not use any sort of chemicals, antibiotics, acids or other harsh treatments when raising our bees. Our honey is as raw as it gets. It’s as if you stuck your spoon inside the hive and pulled out a scoop. Our bees seem happier, and we maintain a clear conscience.

2. Do you have a favourite piece? Tell us about the thought process involved in creating it and why it is your favourite.il_570xN_407432975_fb9l

Our current favorite piece is our “Love is Sweet” honey vials. The name says it all clear and simple. It also works great because we took a big gamble this year with our beehives and held off extracting honey until our local Basswood trees finished blooming. The flower only blooms for 2 weeks out of the year and is quite tricky to time right. What this means for the honey taste is a smooth start followed by an extra sweet kick at the end. Honey is just like wine and you’d be amazed at how it can flirt with your taste buds the more you eat or pair it with food. It’s a great romantic gift or even a great wedding favor.

3. What is it that makes your shop unique?

Our shop is unique in that we treat our bees like family and cherish the bounty they provide. We are also unique because we rescue wild beehives in danger. We swoop in before an exterminator gets to them and move them to a safe, clean area to live out the rest of their days. The left behind beeswax we melt, strain and turn into lip balm that we affectionately call “Lip Rescue.” It’s a win win for all involved. The concerned citizen isn’t scared about being stung, the bees live another day, and customers get to enjoy a 100% pure lip balm experience.il_570xN_293695899

4. What’s next in the pipeline?

Next in the pipeline is what we call our “Mini Honey Flask”. It’ll be a 5 oz container you can easily take anywhere to spike your coffee, tea, or party drink. Look for it to come out this spring!

5. Tell us something about you or your shop that you haven’t previously shared!

We frequently try to get together with fellow Etsy shops and team up for our projects. Just like bees in a beehive, we’re all in this together. Our “Love is Sweet” vials for instance came from our good friends over at InTheClear on Etsy. Our customizable wedding favor tags came from our friends at EdgeInspired in the UK!

6. And finally, let us know where we can find you.

You can of course find us on Etsy at: www.etsy.com/people/WilliamsHoneyFarm

You can also check out our website for more info about us or links to help you become a beekeeper:
www.williamshoneyfarm.com

Please follow us on twitter @littleguyhoney
Please like us on facebook:
www.facebook.com/pages/Williams-Honey-Farm/156278714410286?ref=hl
il_570xN_407430728_jb3h
We were also recently awarded “Best Tasting Honey in Tennessee” at the state convention!

Thanks for sharing your wonderful shop with us, Jay and Adrienne – all this talk of honey is making me drool!  From browsing your products it is clear that your bees are very precious to you and it’s wonderful to discover a shop with a great cause such as yours!

Etsy Love – JanJat

15 Jan

Today I caught up with Catherine from Janjat Jewellery who sells eyeglass chains and handmade jewellery including jewellery made using sea glass.  The soft, natural tones of Catherine’s shop have a very calming effect as you browse, and as a nature lover I especially love the sea glass pieces – each pendant is unique and one of a kind! il_570xN_354145703_7b3l

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and where the inspiration came from to start your Etsy shop. 

I started creating jewelry for fun and for myself. Over time my jewelry collection grew to the point of being ridiculous and all my friends/family were enjoying my work so much that I thought about selling my pieces. To be honest I didn’t know where to start until a friend mentioned Etsy. To me it seemed less frightening than approaching stores so I made the jump with a lot of support from my family.

2. Do you have a favourite piece? Tell us about the thought process involved in creating it and why it is your favourite.il_570xN_341426844

My gemstone stack necklaces have to be one of my favorite pieces. I remember seeing the stones in a store and they just jumped into my hand. I love the soft, pastel colors of the gemstones and they have a lovely sparkle. Also, unlike many stones that are faceted or even rough cut these stones are polished soft which makes them fabulous to handle and fiddle with when you are wearing them. I enjoy the tactile nature and the simple elegance of these pieces.

3. What is it that makes your shop unique?

My store is unique because I refuse to do just one thing! I can see the beauty in very simple, minimalist pieces but I also love bright, bold jewelry so I make both. Also, I am fortunate to live near a beach which offers an endless supply of sea glass that I love working with and creating absolutely one of a kind pieces from.

4. What’s next in the pipeline?

Next in the pipeline… Well, if I had to pick something it would be gemstone earrings and sea glass earrings. I need to hone my skills to wire wrap smaller pieces and I’m really excited for this next adventure.

5. Tell us something about you or your shop that you haven’t previously shared!

I think the best part of my business is when I receive custom orders. I really enjoy working with a customer, getting to know them and creating something for them that is just perfect. I have been very fortunate to work with some absolutely fabulous people and it makes the finished jewelry piece much more memorable to both the client and I.il_570xN_412663588_f0nc

6. And finally, let us know where we can find you.

Etsy Shop: www.etsy.com/shop/JanJat
Facebook: www.facebook.com/janjatjewelry
Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/janjatjewelry
Pinterest: pinterest.com/janjatjewelry/

Thanks for sharing with us Catherine – it must be wonderful to be able to wander along the beach and pick up supplies for your craft at the same time!  I wonder if the feeling of serenity I get from your shop is from the calming influence of your surroundings.

Etsy Love – Papertique

13 Jan

Today I am discovering Heather’s hand crafted paper goods and gift tag shop, Papertique.  Heather’s tags have a wonderful vintage feel with a modern twist – they are bold and beautiful!

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and where the inspiration came from to start your Etsy shop. 

As a longtime print designer and lover of all things paper, I found I was spending a bit too much time behind my computer, and missing the messy, color splattered life that a career in art promises us all when we are young!il_570xN.351824272

Nowadays, one of my favorite places to get out and set up shop, inky fingers and all, is a little bar in the East Village in NYC. Amidst the happy hours and birthday cheers, the soft pretzels smell like pancakes and there is always a well-deserved Prosecco sparkling at the bar for me once the sun sets so low that I can no longer tell my inkpad from my elbow. Now that’s more like it, right? 🙂

2. Do you have a favourite piece? Tell us about the thought process involved in creating it and why it is your favourite.

Possibly inspired by those celebratory surroundings I mentioned before, or just that special place in my heart for anything bubbly and sparkling, my Wine and Cheers Tag sets are a personal favorite. I love to use these to accent a hostess bottle for a dinner party, or maybe even a gift for myself!

*A close second is my new anatomically correct love tags, for when you just can’t find the words to express those squishy, fluttery, tingly feelings you have ♥

il_570xN.411208788_fogo3. What is it that makes your shop unique?

Papertique Gift Tags are created entirely using my original designs, inked and hand dyed to [im]perfection, and are 100% unique to this shop. No commercial rubber stamps here! I have also worked over time to perfect the layered inking and transfer techniques to give every piece my own unique, aged look and rustic texture and feel.

4. What’s next in the pipeline?

I am creating new designs every day, but absolutely adore the creative requests for winsome weddings, events and favors that my fabulous customers dream up! Focusing on more customized requests allows me to work even more closely with my clientry and see the charm that unfolds with my art in their hands.

5. Tell us something about you or your shop that you haven’t previously shared!

I was recently honored with the opportunity to create a huge set of customized favor tags for a certain country star’s exclusive release party thrown the night before he performed at the 46th annual CMA Awards!

6. And finally, let us know where we can find you.il_570xN.413047279_3i83

Etsy: papertique.etsy.com
Twitter: twitter.com/papertique
Facebook: fb.me/papertique
Instagram: instagram.com/papertique
Blog: heatherjessica.com

Thanks for sharing with us, Heather!  Your tags are certainly unique and beautiful.  I love that each one is created by hand and your new range of Valentine’s Day tags are perfect for showing the love 🙂

Etsy Love – Water Street Design

11 Jan

il_570xN_379255009_aoldToday I am getting to know Kim from Water Street Design.  Kim offers a wide variety of personalised stationery including pet note cards and portraits – all created with a sense of fun and lightheartedness which makes me smile.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and where the inspiration came from to start your Etsy shop. 

Art has been my life long hobby. I am so grateful that I have the time, interest and energy to paint, draw and create… It has been such a wonderful way for me to express my creativity, observations about life and personality. My husband Mike encouraged me to join Etsy, and the timing was just right!

2. Do you have a favourite piece? Tell us about the thought process involved in creating it and why it is your favourite.il_570xN_364418014_kod1

My favorite piece is my Personalized Just Married/Engaged print. I love the simple black and white (I want to keep working in this style) with the pop of modern color. I think it’s a romantic piece of art — even appropriate for those married 21 years. (hint hint)

3. What is it that makes your shop unique?

I am expressing myself with all of my cards and prints, and have been told I have an easily recognizable style. I hope this style stands out in my shop and makes it unique. I would have to add that my cartoon dog cards seem pretty unique.

4. What’s next in the pipeline?

Next in the pipeline is linoleum block printing. One of the first cards I made when I opened my business, was a lino cut of handbags. I want to get back to that style.

5. Tell us something about you or your shop that you haven’t previously shared!il_570xN_377370773_5i1r

My first sale was one of my Westie cards which has always been one of my most popular designs. I was so happy and danced around the house when I got that first sale. I get a high from each and every sale actually!

6. And finally, let us know where we can find you.

Etsy Shop: www.etsy.com/shop/WaterStreetDesign
Follow me on Twitter: @WaterSt_Design
Facebook: www.facebook.com/WaterStreetDesignbyKimCrumrine
Email: WaterStreet-Design@comcast.net

Thanks for sharing your beautiful shop with us Kim, you are a very talented artist.  I especially love your Chocolate Lab Note Card – you get a real sense that he has just popped over to say hello!

Treasury – Be My Valentine

10 Jan

‘Be My Valentine’ by The Candy Tree

A selection of gorgeous goodies to inspire the romantic in us all.

Don’t forget that you can use Coupon Code VALENTINE13 for 15% off everything in my Etsy shop!


Valentines gift Table decor …

$39.00

Red pink valentine hearts, D…

$2.50

Valentines Sweetheart Hot Pi…

$12.00

Valentines day heart small h…

$9.00

Valentine day earrings red h…

$15.00

Valentine’s Day ornament…

$24.00

Valentine Love bird Pottery …

$23.00

Valentine’s Handmade Hea…

$23.00

White Hand-woven Purse With …

$54.00

Valentine Cup Cosy Heart Co…

$5.50

Textile Hand Sewn Fabric Pin…

$28.00

Valentine Ring with Heart sh…

$1363.00

Crochet Bead Earrings, Red C…

$10.00

Pink Valentine Memory Wire B…

$27.00

coralpink hearts earrings va…

$19.00

Rustic Valentines Day Card -…

$3.75

Treasury tool supported by the dog house

Share the Love

4 Jan

I took my Christmas tree down today and it’s left me feeling a little blue – so in order to pick myself up again I’ve decided to move on to the next event of the year (except my birthday of course!) – Valentine’s Day!  Apparently Valentine’s Day is hated by singletons everywhere, but I think it should be a fun day whether you are in a relationship or not.  If you’re single and looking for love, why not send out a Valentine’s Day card to that someone special or a cheeky pair of earrings to that girl you like?

I’ve been working on a range of adorable cross stitched goodies including these red satin heart earrings and cards.  Want to send your Valentine’s Day card anonymously?  Just give me the details of your desired message and recipient and I will take care of the rest!

Click on over to my shop to see my full range of gifts and Valentine’s Day goodies – and as a little thank you to my blog readers, you can use Coupon Code VALENTINE13 at checkout for 15% off your order!