Monday, April 29, 2013

My Office: Wish list!

We have big news... we're moving (down the road!). We've lived in apartments ever since we got to Houston and finally found a house in a neighborhood that we loved! The best part is, there are three bedrooms so Daniel and I each get our own office!

I usually try to reign in the "girly" style in the rest of the house, so I'm super excited to be able to go all out on this room! Here are some ideas I've accumulated so far!

I love everything about this office (which I found on Pinterest). The ghost chair, antique wooden desk, eclectic gallery wall, and bright accents. 

These pillows are gorgeous. I'll have the futon in my office since it's the largest of the two spare bedrooms and I am on the hunt for a futon cover in this color! 

How adorable are these push pins from Anthropologie? I definitely want a big bulletin board in my office and these would be the perfect touch!

Colorful Village Storefront Shops, Little Town, Art Illustration Giclee Print, Artwork for home, nursery, children, fashion lover, shopper
This art print is made by Anna See, the artist at annasee on Etsy. Love it.

I love these vases together. The colors are perfect. You can find these at ShadeonShape on Etsy.

Beautiful vintage book lot - for decoration - rust and gold The Fountain Overflows (4 books)
Vintage books! My favorite! I found these at klickatat on Etsy!

And that's where I am so far! I also want to add some garland or bunting over my bulletin board, so if you have any ideas I'd love to hear them!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Etsy Shop Feature: merlinMN

Today's post features, Ginger, from merlinMN on Etsy. She has a huge variety of unique items in her shop, including vintage finds and handmade listings! Read below to learn more about merlinMN and Ginger!

My Name is Ginger Morgan, my Etsy shop name is merlinMN and I've been at it, more or less full time, since March 22 of 2012. I was originally going to use the shop as an alternative to garage and yard sales, but realized that it was a lot less stress to sell here on Etsy. I have an aversion to groups of people larger than 2 or 3 and garage sales tend to get "huge" crowds that caused panic attacks. Not good.

Vertical Stripe Plarn Small Tote OOAK Lined

I take care of two aquatic turtles and a tankful of very large (6"+) goldfish (that didn't get eaten by the turtles when they were very little, then they grew too fast!). I garden in Zone 2B, which means I can maybe plant about June 1st and it all had better be done by Sept 10th, or freeze! August is bonkers with produce, so I'm making tomato sauce, freezing beans, broccoli, raspberries, peas, chard, and strawberries and drying herbs of all kinds and enjoying dozens, if not hundreds of Easter and Asiatic lilies that I rescued from the local town compost pile. I think we eat outside almost every night those weeks.

Spring Special Chalkware Pair Magnolias and Roses

I have been doing crochet since I was 13, making edgings, collars and cuffs, socks and baby items. Lately I branched out, making and using Plarn (plastic bag yarn) and turning it into totes, handbags and a dishscrubber I call an "Orbit". Its a terrific way to keep plastic grocery bags out of our overflowing landfills.

Orbits by Ginger - Eco-Friendly Plarn and Cotton Dish Scrubbies

My Etsy shop has been a way to de-accumulate a lifetime of collecting, both by my parents and myself. My house isn't big enough for everything, and if I can't use it, someone else should be able to enjoy it.

Vintage Hall China Westinghouse Refrigerator Leftover Boxes

I try to take advantage of the many teams and forums of Etsy for information. I don't do a lot of Facebook and basically forget about Twitter and Pinterest! I don't have time to get bogged down there and I don't 'friend' a lot of people on FB, mainly for lack of time.

CIA Cook Books Vintage 1950s

The videos that were produced last year still have so much knowledge for the first-time Etsyian. Team Pickers and Sellers has been great for exposure for my vintage items. I wish I had more time to make Treasuries, but I like EVERYTHING and it so hard to choose just a few for a topic. Etsy is a source of inspiration for me. I get to see trends right now.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Giveaway at Baby Be Blessed!

I've partnered with Tina at the Baby Be Blessed blog in a giveaway! Click this {link} to enter! You could win your choice of a free printable (any printable!) from my shop, and a $61 give voucher from the Baby Be Blessed doll shop! Awesome!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Etsy Shop Feature: iLike iLike Designs

Today's featured shop is iLike iLike Designs, owned by Aurora and Chelsea. These two sisters create fabulous bows and jewelry! Read more about them and their creations below:

1. Tell me a little about yourself! What are your hobbies, etc?
We are two sisters that love making things. We are always creating, drawing and improvising together. Aurora likes to ride her bike, be bossy, and eat ice cream (in that order) and Chelsea loves to draw, dance and paint her nails. 
Coral & Teal Vine Earrings - Gold Dangle

2. Tell me about your Etsy shop. How did you get started in your craft and what made you decide to sell on Etsy? Do you sell anywhere else?
We started our Etsy shop because we were making so much jewelry for fun that we didn't know what to do with it! We decided to sell and Etsy was the perfect place for us. At first, it was more earrings and bracelets and then we extended our reach to hair bows. We created our mini hair bows when we were just messing around, so that design is one of a kind! Better yet, we've found our mini bows are perfect for dogs, purses, and any other ways you want to jazz something up. Most recently, we created our own version of a pet bow tie. 

Green Plaid and Blue Pet Bowtie - for Dogs or Cats

Additionally, our shop name comes from our little Filipino mom who would always say, "I liiiike, I like!" when we would show her our finished products. Unfortunately, we lost our mom in the summer of 2012 after a year-long battle with stomach cancer. Throughout her surgeries and treatments, we continued to CREATE to pass the time, but also because it made her happy. She was always our model and loved wearing anything we made - sometimes she even made little things herself! Through her chemo treatments, she was self-conscious about her hair and the minute we stuck a mini hair bow in her hair she felt glamorous. That's all we wanted. She wore one every day! We opened our shop with her encouragement and we will always be motivated by her.

3. What is your favorite thing to create? Where do you get your inspiration? Do you have a favorite listing in your shop?
We love jewelry, so we could never give that up, but our bows are so fun to make. We try to seek out cute grosgrain ribbon patterns that will only get compliments once you're wearing our finished products!
Picking a favorite listing is like picking a favorite child. But our best sellers are our mini hair bows for sure: 

Mini Hair Bows - Pink Lemonade - Pink and Yellow StripesMini Hair Bows - Blue & White Polka Dots - Creighton Bluejays - Grosgrain and Alligator ClipMini Hair Bows - Orange Creamsicle

4. How has your business evolved since you first started out?
Going from jewelry to bows was more of a creative experiment, but it's proved a fun journey. We are definitely a little more business-minded now, even with an online shop like Etsy. We've also really called on our social media techniques to develop those and it's proved successful!

Teal Hair Bow

5. What tips do you have for others interested in opening an Etsy shop or starting a small business?
For anyone wanting to open an Etsy shop, we would say, "Be patient!" Etsy is definitely a place where you have to put effort into taking care of your listings and reaching out to your customers. Again, social media has been really helpful for us, and we're not ashamed to say that our social media tactics are probably how we got our first sales! We were lucky to have supportive friends and we continue to work that aspect. 

Gold Chain and Turquoise Necklace

6. How do you see your business growing in the future?
It would be a dream to open a physical shop one day - more of a boutique but of course we would shamelessly feature our creations! Before that though, we would just love for people to continue to appreciate what we create. In the future, we see bright lights and more sales! For us, the sales would mean that people love what we're making so much that they want to show off our work. It really is not about the money for us, because we would be making these things anyway. For our shop to grow in that way, we would be so humbled. We always joke that being on back-order would be a blessing! :)

Purple Glass Bead Earrings - Grape Juice

Click the links below to learn more about Aurora, Chelsea, and iLike iLike Designs!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Etsy Shop Feature: oBo Creations

Today, I'm featuring Olya, the creator behind oBo Creations on Etsy. She designs gorgeous jewelry that is different from anything I've seen before! I've got some of her pendant necklaces bookmarked for Christmas gifts, already!

Read below to learn more about Olya! And click on the photos to be taken to her listings.

Tell me a little about yourself!
My name is Olya (Etsy alias oBo), and I live in Switzerland. 

For most of my life I do law and social science and even have a PhD, and oh my God, doesn't it sound boring? So one day I started hand painting things and eventually making these cute colorful jewelry which literally turned the colors on in my life! I never thought that this is something I would be ever doing but one day I just started and I could not stop!. 

oval geometric colorful blue red yellow statement pendant necklace

How did you get started on Etsy? Do you sell anywhere else?

As so many Etsy sellers I am on Etsy to do what what I love, to share what I find the most exciting and inspiring. I think this makes Etsy a very special place to buy because this purpose is very different from why most businesses start. 
I have recently started selling on craft fairs as well and I can tell you that when I hear that people love what I made it matters so much more than any money they pay!

Matte Gold Branch Earing with Yellow Blue and Purple Leaves
What is your favorite thing to create?

What really fascinates me about my pieces is this magic "dragon skin effect" you can see on top! This comes from the materials and technique I use and it is always different! I once had two pieces that I did together and that looked nothing like each other! 

Hand painted  resin glazed  ring with pink and silver  Dragon skin pattern
How has your business evolved since you started out?

Starting selling was like opening a door and getting outside. It is huge. There's so much more to it then just making an item! And so much to learn! And as I said, this came naturally for me as a next step in the evolution of having a crafting hobby. Yet once I started I realized it brought a totally different aspect including the things that were hard, very hard actually.
white and navy blue - teal - silver shiny bracelet - oval  bracelet
What tips do you have for others  interested in opening an Etsy shop or starting a small business?

The best tip I can give is be open minded and accept you know nothing and you have to learn a lot. And give it a lot. But the joy of success is worth it!

Round pendant necklace  gold green pink circles pendant necklace hand painted resin colorful jewelry

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Etsy Shop Feature: Peaches and Pebbles

Today's interview is with Kim, the owner and designer of Peaches and Pebbles on Etsy. She creates handmade jewelry featuring adorable animal figurines in glass jars, flowers made from book pages, and painted fossils. These pieces are so unique! Read below to find out more about Kim and Peaches and Pebbles. 

1. Tell me a little about yourself! What are your hobbies, etc?
I'm a full-time carer for my mum, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis. While caring for her, I'm provided the opportunity to be creative. I actually want to be a published fantasy writer, and have done since I was 12 - 10 years on and nothing has changed!

Miniature Hobbit House Necklace - Tolkien - miniature hobbit or fairy house with a yellow door inside a glass jar, on a 16 inch chain.Cream Envelope Ring Necklace Whimsical Gift Set

2. Tell me about your Etsy shop. How did you get started in your craft and what made you decide to sell on Etsy? Do you sell anywhere else?
I make whimsical bits and bobs - miniature hobbit house necklaces, foxes in jars, miniature envelope rings and so on. I'm very proud of my shop, and it provides me with the only income I get.
I started by just picking up some clay and having a go at it. I didn't get on exceedingly well at first, but I got some practise in, and once I'd made one thing - one sad, solitary little thing - that I was proud of, I opened shop. I've opened a second Etsy shop for plushy monsters since, using lessons learned from my jewellery - ie, DON'T open a shop with just one item! But I managed to build up from there, and at this point I have somehow managed to create 78 listings.
I decided on Etsy because I had shopped on there before, and I found the environment to be so friendly and encouraging that I thought, at the very least, it wouldn't hurt to try. I have made 113 sales since then and I couldn't be prouder :D
Orange Nebula Galaxy Earrings - an image of two parts of the orange yellow Carina Nebula beneath glass on silver plated studs

3. What is your favorite thing to create? Where do you get your inspiration? Do you have a favorite listing in your shop?
I get my inspiration at random. Sometimes it comes from something I love, like dinosaurs or nature, and other times it comes from people I know or just a random back-and-forth with someone. My favourite thing to create, though, are the foxes in jars. They're small, so they're a nuisance, but I'm so proud of them when I'm finished! It's also one of my favourite listings. My FAVOURITE, however, are my dinosaur eggshell earrings. They're made from REAL fossilised dinosaur eggshell fragments, over 65 million years old, with a dash of colour. I love them dearly!
Miniature Fox in Jar Spring Necklace Woodland - a miniature clay fox sat in a tiny glass vial

4. How has your business evolved since you first started out?
Well, for one, my shop got bigger. At first I was only using clay, but since then I've branched out into all kinds of different materials - I even have plans for a few screen-printed t-shirts and matching jewellery! I'm very excited about those. But my most favourite moment was starting Ediacara, which is the fossil branch of my jewellery - wearable fossilised eggshells, dinosaur bones, ammonites and so on with a bit of colour - and sometimes glitter! It was an expensive venture, and one that has yet to pay off, but I'm still glad I did it!
Purple Dinosaur Fossil Earrings - Natural Genuine Fossilised eggshell fragments from the Cretaceous, sterling silver earrings, half lilac

5. What tips do you have for others interested in opening an Etsy shop or starting a small business?
I've been asked this several times, and my answer has always been the same: patience. You cannot expect to sell things on your first week. Etsy is enormous, and it's likely that you can go a month or two without selling anything, even if your stuff is actually genuinely amazing. But I have more to add to that: Planning. Make sure your policies are filled out immediately - I recommend typing them out before opening your shop, to make sure you cover everything in case you manage a sale in your first hour. Stranger things have happened. Also be sure to include all necessary information in listings, especially sizing, and, if it is particularly light or particularly heavy, state that, too.
Also remember you have to spend money to make money, but spend that money WISELY. Don't buy ads on websites that don't suit your product, because little to nothing will come from them.

Floral Birdhouse Necklace Mother's Day Cottage Chic, Whimsical, 16 inch chain

6. How do you see your business growing in the future?
I daren't believe it will grow further. I know I'll create new items, of course I will, but at this point in time, I don't see what they'd be. I don't want to sell on Etsy for my entire life, but it's certainly fun while I'm doing so, and I have no intention of stopping yet.

Pink Trilobite Fossil Ring - Genuine Fossilised trilobite from the Cambrian, sterling silver ring, half painted in silverBook Page Flower Ring - eco whimsical ring made from the pages of a book on an Adjustable silver tone Base

Visit the links below to learn more about Peaches and Pebbles!

Eva M Designs: Giveaway! & Etsy Artist Feature: Printable Wisdom!

Shop Feature by Eva M. Designs!

Eva, from Eva M Designs was so kind to feature my shop today on her fabulous blog! Go check it out and enter the giveaway to win a free printable!