Sunday, May 27, 2007

Featured Artist of the Week

This week's featured artist is

Here is our interview with artist, Darcy. She does some beautiful mixed media work.

Briefly describe what you make?
I am a mixed media artist. I work mostly from intuitive emotion, allowing my pieces
to develop and grow, while exploring color and texture within human personnas that
are somewhat abstract or considered "outsider art" by nature. I hope to touch my
viewers with these pieces, striking a chord in them that evokes there own emotions
and interpretations about the piece. And at the very least, I hope to make them

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?
I love acrylics, watercolor crayons and oil pastels. I also love the divine
serendipity of collage. Recently, I have been combining traditional with digital
mixed media collage.

How long have you been creating craft?
Ever since I was a kid. I always loved art.

How did you get started?
My father always encouraged my creativity, and though I attended art school, I really
feel that it's only in the past 7 years or so that I have let go of trying to fit
any one genre, and just go with my own style of working. Keeping an Art Journal
liberated me tremendously in this area.

Where does the name of your shop come from?
Creating art brings me great joy and my hope is to pass that joy along to my viewers
and buyers. Hence the name Art n Joy!

What would you most want people to know about your work?
That it's unique, eclectic, and colorful. And that I will do custom work but not
in the conventional sense, which of course you would probably realize when you view
my work. I like to take people and put them in a kind of theme of their request. I
recently did a piece for a woman with her two Torkinese cats called The Cat Lady.
And I'm now working on a piece for a woman who wants me to use her boyfriend in an
illusionist theme.

What words of advice do you have for other artists?
Follow your heart and soul. Don't compare yourself to other artists.
Silence your inner critics, and create art that makes you feel good.
Play and have fun!


You must go to Darcy's site - ART N JOY and see the beautiful work that she does.

While you are at Etsy looking at Darcy's work, come over and take a look at

Craft Show Tip of the Week

Many ask how do you know if a craft show is right for you. The only way to really find out is to visit the show before you apply to do it the next time it is run - which is usually the next year. By attending the show, walking through with the eye of a buyer and the eye of a potential seller, and taking notice of -
How many visitors are at the show?
How many craft booths are at the show?
Are visitors actually buying or just looking? - you can tell by what they are carrying.
Would your crafts fit into the show?
Are there already many booths selling the same type of things that you will sell?
Who are the visitors at the show? Children? Families? Rich? Couples? etc.
How many "craft" booths are selling commercial, non-handmade items? (Don't be surprised to find many!)

Observe everything that you can. Take notes. Before or after the show contact the promoter or location that hosted the show and find out how much the entrance fee is and get on the mailing list to get an application for the next show.

Sometimes there are several shows run by the same promoter - these shows tend to usually be the same at various locations. By visiting one you can get a good idea of what others will be like run by that promoter. You can visit one and apply for the next which may be just a few months away rather than having to wait a year for the Town Craft Fair to be run again.

This is really the best way to find out. But it is not fool-proof. Some shows will change year to year. What may have been a great show this year, may be a show full of commercial merchandise the next year. But, with show costs as they are - visit the show first!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

FREE Trial Ad Space

For a limited time and as a limited offer there is free trial ad space at The Art of Craft marketplace website for craft artists with quality work. Contact us via the link on that site!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

New Art Marketplace Website Launched

We are launching a new craft and art marketplace for craft/art web sites and on-line craft sellers. The site is called THE ART OF CRAFT just like this site. It is located at url,

This site is just getting started and in the process of offering free trial ads right now to those with Etsy shops and soon invitations will go out to other quality craft artists on the Internet. With these free one month trials we are hoping to build the site's traffic and establish the site as the first stop when looking for fine crafts and unique gifts.

Once established the marketplace will offer promotion and advertising to screened craft artists at very reasonable monthly rates. Keep checking back often at the site to see how it develops and to shop at the exciting artists that you will find there.

Those interested in advertising may contact us via the new site.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Featured Artist of the Week

This week's featured artist is Quenna of Blissful. This is a fabulous fiber artist.

Here is our interview with the artist:

Describe what you make?
I make fabric accessories (wallets, zippered pouches, wristlets) and handbags.

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?
I love working with cotton fabrics and textured fabrics (velvet, moleskin). But I'm also a knitter and love whatever feels good underneath my chin -- merinos, cashmere, cotton.

How long have you been creating craft?
I've been crafting as long as I can remember! My mom says I was always pestering her to show me how to do things (sewing, knitting). My earliest memory was learning to cast on for knitting.

How did you get started?
In terms of selling my work, I got started when a friend hosted a trunk show after seeing one of my self-designed sweaters. I remembered sitting in a corner feeling so embarrassed that people would like and even buy my stuff!

I started selling on Etsy, after being a secret lurker for months, on a whim. After a few days, I was shocked to sell something and slowly more sales trickled in.

Where does the name of your shop come from?
Blissful is a favorite word of mine. I like how it rolls off my tongue and how it evokes joy, peace in an old fashion sense. I hope my buyers feel the same way when they open up my packages!

What would you most want people to know about your work?
My work can be described in three phrases:

a. classic lines - I like simple, straightforward lines so my work will last several seasons.

b. functional design - I am a practical designer at heart, so my items will tend to be multi-functional and well thought out. If it works, you will use it and be happy :)

c. fun prints - I really enjoy working with the Japanese novelty prints, Asian florals, and retro patterns -- anything that brings a smile or a sigh, I'm buying it!

Also, I take pride in what I make so everything is designed and made with durability in mind.

What words of advice do you have for other artists?
- Try to find your own sense of style/design and develop it -- whether it's in your materials, products offered, color -- so you can stand out.
- Try to make what you enjoy, your enthusiam will spill over during the process of making and selling.
- If you're in the business of selling, you have to start thinking like a business person - pricing that includes labor, fees, overhead, and materials, find ways to market yourself, take good photographs, have great customer service, evaluate what's working and what's not and etc.


You must see Quenna's work at her shop - Blissful! She also has a blog site and that is also not to be missed.

While you are at Etsy looking at Blissful please be sure to also visit us at our shop!

Craft Show Tip of the Week

At a craft show do not haggle with a customer over a price and do not accept an offer of a lower price than what you have decided for your work. Many customers at craft shows do not recognize the difference between a flea market with commercially made and imported items and a craft show with handmade craft. The buyer thinks that haggling is part of the "game", as it may be at a flea market or an antique mart. There is little understanding of what has gone into your creation of your craft - the time, the materials, and your talent. By playing this game of haggling and lowering your price you are devaluing your work - and your worth. Don't do it. Have confidence that your work will sell at the prices that you have set. Understand that if a piece does not sell today, it will sell at the next craft show - or the show after that. If you believe that your prices are "too high" then you need to reevaluate all of your prices and determine if you have set them correctly and fairly.

We have often been offered lower prices and we do not give in! I have seen many craft "vendors" give in - and have little respect for them. Be confident in yourself!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Featured Artist of the Week

This week's featured artist is Bonny Jewelry. This is a great jewelry artist deserving of your attention. Here is our interview with the artist -

Briefly describe what you make?

Beautiful and affordable handcrafted beaded jewelry

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

All types of glass. I especially love beautiful lampwork beads and other unusual glass beads that are unique in color/shape/texture, etc.

How long have you been creating craft?

I've crafted in different mediums since my aunt showed my embroidery as a child. Jewelry caught my attention because of the colors and the immediate gratification of having it "now" factor. I've been making jewelry for over a year.

How did you get started?

A friend of mine took me into a little bead store in Maine and it was all downhill from there - just couldn't help myself.

Where does the name of your shop come from?

My name, Bonny, has a Scottish origin meaning beautiful,fair,and pretty. So I decided to incorporate that into my shop name (not to mention I can remember it easily!) - Bonny Jewelry

What would you most want people to know about your work?

I want them to know that I really care about what I make (I actually agonize over some items)and want them to really like the items I sell. I also want them to have fun with the jewelry - it's a quirky,funky way to express yourself.

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

LOVE what you do and don't worry about trends. Trends change but when you love what you are doing, it will show in your work and you will stand out regardless.


Take a moment and visit Bonny Jewelry You will find some very lovely things. While you are at Etsy, please come over to Q Branch Ltd. to see the nice things that we also have to offer.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Weekly Craft Show Tip

We are starting a new weekly feature - a craft show tip. Culled from our over twenty years of experience selling at craft shows, we have a great deal to share that will help those who are just starting out or who have been selling at craft shows for a while.

Our first tip is an important tip. Always put visible and clear prices on your items. Do not make a customer have to ask a price. You should have a tag on the item or a small sign with like items showing the price. Many potential buyers will look, not see a price and walk away. Some people are uncomfortable to ask. Some people feel that it is more difficult to walk away once they start a conversation. It is all psychology. PRICE YOUR ITEMS!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Featured Artist of the Week

This week we are featuring the art of

The art of Natural Abstracts is unique. Here is our interview with the artist.

Please describe for our readers what you make?
I am a painter of moments found in nature. I use oil paints, canvas and panel. And all of my work is created directly outside.

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?
Oil and glass.

How long have you been creating art?
I have been painting for the last ten plus years.

How did you get started?
I followed my passion. I have always loved painting and nature, so it was natural course.
and is one of the most fulfilling things I do.

Where does the name of your shop come from?
Well my shop name Natural Abstracts came from how I see my work.
Every painting is created out doors on site. I love finding the unique moments and pushing the natural colors so much so my work often borders on being abstract art. The name just made sense.

What would you most want people to know about your work?
That I love what I do, and that there is beauty to be found everywhere in nature.
Look up look around.

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

Believe in what you do, never stop growing and learning. Go for it, don't let your fears get the best of you. and Most of all make it beautiful, whatever you do and people will share your joy.


You must visit Natural Abstracts and see these beautiful paintings.

While you are visiting Etsy please be sure to also look in at

Friday, May 4, 2007

What I am Working On

I have been working on a project that combines my miniature punchneedle embroidery designs with the ACEO format. I have created a design that will fit in the ACEO size. My intention is to mount the finished embroidery on matboard.

I am making two of the same design, but using different color combinations. I have completed the embroidery for one and have yet to start on the second. One of the exciting things about this project is that I am experimenting with new threads. For the designs and patterns that I create to sell, I generally use threads that are easily obtainable by those who purchase the patterns. Over the years I have collected a variety of different threads including hand over-dyed floss, variegated threads, the new DMC closely variegated floss, and a bright metallic gold polyester thread. I am incorporating these different threads into this project. It is very exciting to see the effects that these threads can create!

These designs will not be available as patterns but will be sold as one of a kind works of art. Their small ACEO format will allow them to be sold for much less than a finished work of my usual designs. I will in the future make a larger scale design available as a pattern based upon these small works. This larger pattern will have more detail and color variation.

When these two ACEO's are complete they will be made available at our shop. It will be a week or two more before they are complete. I need to find the right inspiration to start working on the second embroidery. That is how true art is created!