Sunday, December 21, 2008

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

Our featured photographer is new to Etsy and a recent member of POE - Photographers of Etsy. I would like you to meet
CharismaPhoto

Here is our interview with Christina:

Briefly describe what you make?

I am a photographer. I take the majority of my shots with my Canon 40D and then I also own a toy Holga camera that I like to take around with me. While my 'day job' is spent being a graphic designer, which I love, I have always had a special place in my heart for photography, it moves me. My friends and family will tell you that they always see my face behind the lens. In the past year I have pursued this passion and fell deeply in love with it! I have been shooting more and more in HDR format which gives me really good detail in the shadows and highlights of my shots.

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

Definitely Digital Photography. I am constantly with my camera or my computer. I love being out in the world with my camera and taking as many shots as I can then being able to go home to the computer, download them and just play around with them until they reflect me as an artist... that is when I feel very accomplished.

How long have you been creating craft?

Oh wow, well my mother would tell you since I could hold a crayon! Growing up as a kid I loved to draw and I had one of those cheep plastic 110 film cameras that my parents bought for me. Then growing up I took every art class my high school offered and went straight into art in college. That is when I refined the graphic design side of me. I took photography classes and then once I got my graphic design degree I got a job where I get to do both. I feel very lucky that I am able to work all day long at what I love, get paid, and then come home and work on it more just because I can!

How did you get started?

I think I have my mother to thank for that. Growing up she was known for ALWAYS having a camera in front of our faces to document the first day of school, Christmas morning opening stockings, every birthday... you get the idea. So it just became natural to always want a camera around and then from there I started to become the one behind the lens taking shots of every event that I went to or every vacation that I was on... it just happened naturally I guess!

Where does the name of your shop come from?

My name is Christina Marie and I thought that I would try to mix the two names together and found Charisma not only kind of reflected both of my names but it felt right, it felt like me so I went with it!

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

I would want people to know that my work comes from every part of me. I try to expose the soul in something that most people would just pass by an never take notice. Kinda like giving a voice to the voice-less. My hope would be that when people walk away from looking at my photography they look at the subject differently, they don’t see a dirty rusty car they see a piece of work that has history and character.

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

Above all – create for yourself. Stand behind your work even if others look down at you. Do what makes you happy, that is all that matters in life. Be able to look back at your life in 50 years and have no regrets because you tried all you wanted to try!

_____________________

Come and see Christina's shop. She has photographs that elicit some interesting moods. These are must sees!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

Here is a photographer that uses her photography to create not only wall art but other craft. She is another member of POE - Photographers of Etsy. Come and meet Jen and learn all about her and her shop -



Here is our interview with Jen -

Briefly describe what you make?

I offer photography in mats, in frames or on cards. I also create photo pendants and crystal sun catchers. I've been using a camera for as long as I can remember, and I mainly focus on nature. The etsy shop, however, includes my work as well as my husband's, who does a lot of the black and whites. The sun catchers started as a fun project last year. I got the idea from Rob's aunt, who also creates them using simpler bead designs. First I purchased the crystals and pretty soon I became obsessed with buying beads. It's a fun, different outlet.

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

I'd have to say taking macro photos is my favorite way to photograph things right now. I really like the detail you can get from using the lens. I've also been fortunate to be able to photograph many animals, especially pets of friends and coworkers. There is so much expression in their eyes and mannerisms. You'll never get the same shot twice. I'm a big fan of Rachael Hale, a mainsteam pet photographer who photographs these amazing photos of kittens and puppies. In the past year I've been very drawn to horses, and was able to visit a local farm to fulfill that desire.

My husband is much better at using the long lens (I shake too much!). He's captured the majority of our long-lens images. He's also photographed our most popular image, The Temple of Love, which has been sold several times as an 18x22 image.

How long have you been creating craft?

I've been photographing since I was a kid with a cheap 110 film speed camera. I would photograph my cat, Blackie, my books and plants in my yard. Eventually I was able to use my dad's Nikon to do point and shoot photos. But in high school, I borrowed the Canon Rebel (film) from school and fell in love with it. I've been an SLR girl ever since. In high school and in college I was able to learn in the darkroom, and became an Ansel Adams groupie. I was obsessed with trees and really appreciated how he created his images.

How did you get started?

I think I was given the camera as a gift when I was young. If my parents knew how expensive all the film processing would have been, I bet they would have second guessed that purchase!

Where does the name of your shop come from?

When I joined etsy I didn't know how to do shop labels, so I just used my first initial and last name. Afterward, I "renamed" the shop to McGuinness Photography, even though I'm unable to change my etsy name at this point.

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

We offer quality photographs and hope they make people as happy as we are when we create them. Some of our best images were taken without time to get a second shot. Rob's Temple of Love is one of these. It was a hot summer day and we had spent three hours outdoors photographing the garden. "Just one more," he told me, and I slumped on a park bench and waited. I'm glad he took that last shot- it's one of the best!

I feel so honored when people purchase images from our shop or at our fair booth and plan to hang them on their walls. It's nice to know that people like to look at the image every day! ;)

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

If people tell you to abandon your craft because you'll be a starving artist, ignore them. It's important to have a creative outlet in your life. If you're fortunate enough to be able to do it full time, that is a major accomplishment! But if you still have to work a day job (like us), that's OK too. I think it's important to evolve artistically, so even a little creating each day can make a big difference in the long run. Also, join a group where you can bounce ideas off each other. I've received so much great support and advice from the people I've met through the Photographers of Etsy team and Etsy for Animals team.

_____________________

Jen does beautiful work and if you are short on wall space you will find calendars, cards, and jewelry all featuring Jen's photography at her Etsy shop.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

New CPSIA Law to Put an End to All Handmade Crafts for Children

A law unanimously passed by Congress with the intent to protect children from imported items containing lead was written in such a way that it will effectively end the sale all handmade for children. The law goes into full effect in February 2009.

The law requires that anyone - large business or home businesses making any item that can be used by a child under the age of 12 - that is ANY item - must be tested by an independent laboratory that has been approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. This testing must be done on all components of the item. Testing will cost from $150 to $500 per item or component. Every time any component lot changes - that is - let's say you use a yard of fabric for an item - and then you need another yard and that yard comes from a different bolt of fabric - that item must be tested again. At the expense and the nature of handmade craft, it will be impossible for any home craftsman to sell any item that will be on the "children's list".

Beyond the effect on home craft, this law applies to the Toy Industry, the Children's Garment Industry, the Children's Furniture Industry, Children's Book Publishing, and on and on. Imagine what a child's shirt will cost in the next few months. Think about what that doll your little girl wants will cost.

This is a tragedy beyond belief. This may not have been the intention of Congress but it is the result.

The following news article relates the facts of this disaster better than I can.
http://www.patriotledger.com/opinions/opinions_columnists/x845827383/New-law-to-put-thousands-out-of-work

Please read and comment - there and here.

If you would like to be heard by the CPSC regarding this law you may comment at this link.
http://www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/newleg.aspx

Sunday, December 7, 2008

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

We continue our features on photographers with another Etsy Photographers of Etsy member. Her shop is



Come and meet Brenda!

Briefly describe what you make?

I'm an experienced photographer and custom photo art designer. Through both my prints and my custom work, I concentrate on two areas--color and mood. Most of my photographs and designs include close-ups and bright colors. It's what I've always been drawn to as an artist, and I like to share my particular close, colorful view of the world with others.

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

There is never a time when I don't have a camera in my hand, be it my beloved Nikon or just my iPhone. I view the world through a photographer's lens, but I also love creating personal art from those views, whether it's digital scrapbooks, custom art prints or even posters and canvas crafts.

How long have you been creating craft?

For me, that's like saying, "How long have you been breathing?" Practicality kept me from an art career, but I've been an artist since birth. I take classes in new media every chance I get, and I believe that all of those experiences have influenced how I capture the world through my photography. A few years ago, I traveled 100 miles every weekend in the middle of winter to learn glass blowing. I was the only woman in the class, and I soon figured out why--the equipment is SO heavy. I had visions of producing stunning vases and bowls, but eight weeks of hard, hot, heavy work showed me just how special it is when someone can produce something beautiful from glass.

How did you get started?

My father was a film photographer when I was growing up, and I was inspired by watching him. I took photojournalism classes in college, and I haven't put my camera down since. I barely had money for film back then, but I loved spending time in the dark room experimenting with all of the different ways to manipulate and improve my shots. Digital has been great in that way, because it really allows you to experiment, not only inside the camera, but once you move to processing through the computer and in final print production.

Where does the name of your shop come from?

I'm sure I'm not the first photographer to choose "point of view", but it's really how I feel about photography and photographic art. I am in awe of so many fellow POEs (Photographers of Etsy), but I could never replicate their work, and I hope everyone sees a distinct point of view with mine.

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

Photography is probably one of the most under-appreciated art media on etsy. I take anywhere from 100-400 shots for every one I offer for sale. Every situation requires different lighting, filters and lenses, and it's really hard to know what works until you get back to your desk and look at all of it. My custom art prints take even more time, as I search for just the right colors, textures and words to accompany an important photograph. I really care about the quality of the work I produce, and I will only put something up if I truly think it's worthy of a sale. In fact, I've been known to take some of my work down once I see it in comparison to the other offerings in my store.

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

Do what you love, not just what will make money. I don't participate in sales or buy one/get one offers, because I believe in the value of what I'm offering. Be proud of each and every piece of art you produce, and always be willing to self edit, even if it means ditching something you've been working on for days, weeks or months.

_______________________


Brenda has a broad spectrum of subjects in the photos in her shop . She also does custom and personalized work. You must come and see what she has to offer.

This is the time of the year that the gift of a photograph can share and mean so much between you and your loved ones and friends. Come and see beautiful gift items - at all of the POE shops.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

You have read many interviews with great artists and photographers (who are also artists). It is time that you read a bit about me. This feature features my photography shop - Past Perfect. I, too, am a member of Photographers of Etsy. I have answered the same questions that I ask the other artists who have come to this site to be featured. This interview also appeared on anther site by photographer, theeye, but I wanted to bring it here to let you all know a little bit more about me. So come and meet -




Briefly describe what you create.

I have discovered that with the camera I can capture a perfect representation of a moment in time and then turn that moment into art. I have always been envious of those who can do this with pen and ink, pencil, paint, and paper or canvas. My attempts at drawing have been primitive at best, but with the camera and sometimes with the help of the computer I can achieve the same result.

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

Photography has take most of my time recently, though I work in a number of craft media - as represented in my other Etsy shop, qbranchltd. In addition to photography, I am a woodturner, a woodworker, a fiber artist, a leatherworker, and the list goes on. I go back and forth between them all and at times mix them together.

How long have you been creating craft?

I have been taking photographs since I got my first "Brownie" camera as a child (that dates me). I have had a camera of one kind or another for as long as I remember. I moved from film to digital when digital cameras became affordable. I have been creating craft for sale for over twenty five years - not photography, though. Turning photography from interesting snapshots into an art form, for me, has been recent.

How did you get started?

When I was in college, a long time ago, I took a photography course for a semester. I was taught film developing earlier by my father. Through that I gained an appreciation for black and white photography - simply because this was what you could do at home without an expensive lab. Digital images and computers changed all of that. Now years later I can print color images myself, and I can manipulate them in thousands of ways to get out of them what I want and what I want to express. Teaching myself the use of digital photo software opened a whole new world of creativity for me and started me on this path of art photography.

With the other work that I do, my living circumstances influenced what media I could work with. I enjoy working in wood, but could not do so in an apartment. When we moved to our house, I could create a workshop. Before that fiber arts were my focus as it could be done in a limited space. Now I have the ability to create a space for whatever I would like to try - within limits, of course.

At this point in my life I create craft full time. Two years ago I left a profession that I did not enjoy and with a great deal of support of my spouse started to craft and sell craft full time. When people ask what I am doing I tell them that I gave up a very lucrative profession to become a starving artist. But now I am enjoying life.

Where does the name of your shop come from?

Past Perfect describes the photographs that I am taking. I capture a perfect moment in time - time that immediately becomes the past - and the past is gone forever, except in that photograph that I have taken where it will continue to exist.

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

I would like people to know that I get a great deal of satisfaction from their appreciation of my work. I am not really creating for me. I am creating for them. When I make something I keep it where I can see it for a while to be amazed at what I have created. I come back to look at it often, but I know that it needs to move aside for the next thing that I create. But I cannot just cast that piece aside. It needs to be seen and be appreciated. It is mine for only a short time (I hope) and then it goes to be treasured by someone else.

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

Know that your work is good and do not be discouraged by whatever anyone may say to the contrary. That work is a little part of you exposed to the world. As you are good, that work must be good. Be confident in your talent and always present yourself that way.

_______________

So please come and take a look at Past Perfect. I know that it will be worth your time.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

We continue with our features on fine art photographers who sell their work on the Internet. I introduce you now to another member of the Photographers of Etsy. Here is Julie at



Briefly describe what you make?

I create photography with emotion in mind. If I see a landscape, person, or thing that evokes feelings in me such as beauty, love, or awe I want to capture it in my photography. My ultimate goal is to have my viewer say, "ahhhh!".

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

I haven't discovered by favorite style of photography yet. I am still experimenting and exploring. I started out primarily in landscape but have recently tried more contemporary urban scenes. I have a great admiration for photographers that can capture the essence and soul of a person or an animal. Both subjects are entirely unpredictable! I'd like to try and expand my skills in this direction.

How long have you been working at your craft?

I have been interested in taking photographs since I was a child. My photography was first published on DenverPost.com in 2000. It has only been the last few years that I have gotten serious about the aspects of fine art photography. Etsy has helped me to expand my audience and grow as a professional.

How did you get started?

I got started professionally with DenverPost.com where my work was featured online for nearly eight years as part a of collaboration with my writer husband. My husband and father-in-law have been my greatest advocates. Both have encouraged me to pursue photography. I trust them both so I just jumped right in and put my own insecure feelings aside.

Where does the name of your shop come from?

I used my personal name for my shop name.

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

The most important thing I want to give people with my photography is inspiration. I would love for people to be inspired, awed, happy, contemplative, or just plain moved by my images. I consider photography an art form and as such it should evoke emotion.

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

My advice to other artists is to please yourself first. If you are not totally in love with your own work than you can not expect someone else to love it. Photography is so subjective but I believe if you put your heart and soul in your work those feelings will come across to other people.

____________________________

Fabulous! Great work, too! You must go and visit Julie's shop and see what she has.

While you are there please also go and see what is new at Past Perfect. There are some very new and interesting photographs there.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

We continue with our features on photography and photographers on the Internet. This is another member of the Photographers of Etsy. Come and meet Michelle of



Here is our interview -


Briefly describe what you make?

I am an artist with a passion for travel photography. I love to take pictures of urban settings, especially old architecture and street scenes. I also love to take macro shots of botanicals, fun shots of animals and a strange form of meditation for me is to take pictures of water using different shutter speeds and angles. I can really zone out that way!


What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

Well, my number one fashion accessory is my Nikon D50 I named Nick! My lenses, scanner, along with CS3, my MacBook Pro, my brand new Wacom tablet (thanks to my awesome hubby!!) and my fantastic Canon ProPixma9000 printer, my arsenal of photography equipment keeps me happy at the moment. Well, there are a few more lenses I “need” and some filters, but for now, I’m a happy gal! Oh and I love painting with oils and drawing with a Grumbacher 6B pencil, it’s like liquid!


How long have you been creating craft?

Art has been a comforting companion for me my whole life. I have been drawing since I could pick up a pencil. I’ve been painting since college, I use it as a release for my emotions. And photography has been in and out of my life since my college years.

How did you get started?

I’ve always liked to take photos but didn’t take the hobby seriously until after college. I briefly worked as a University Photographer at my school while I worked for a wedding photographer. Then when I realized I needed more career stability, I started working in TV as a graphic designer and then as a promotions producer. During that time I would take travel shots but I was too busy to focus more on it. Since we moved to L.A. 3 years ago, the obsession is back and I can’t stop! It’s all I think about!

Where does the name of your shop come from?

I just changed my business name officially to Urban Junkies Photography. I love urban areas, we used to live in downtown Los Angeles and I am an Urban Junkie! I’ve been carrying that name around in my head for 3 years now and I’ve always wanted to make something of it. I was really bummed when I saw someone has a blog called urbanjunkies.com, I really thought I was being original! But at least I can add photography to the end of it! So, I just bought the domain www.urbanjunkiesphotography.com and I am super excited to fill it up someday!

I choose ZuppaArtista quickly to sign up for Etsy. Campbell is my maiden name and my married name is Zurek which means “soup” in Polish. I hyphenate my last name so I am literally “Campbell Soup”. I have a thing for Italian and since zuppa is “soup” in Italian, and I have tattoo on my wrist that says ARTISTA I thought it would work as a shop name. But I am happy I switched to Urban Junkies.

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

I put my heart and soul into my art and photography. When I see something that inspires me I try to capture what I feel from it, to show my admiration for it. I fall in love with the subjects I photograph and I hope the viewer will to. Each shot is very meaningful to me, I want to document everything I experience.

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

I have so much to learn myself!! ☺
I think most importantly, don’t let others opinions of your work define who you are. Etsy was really hard for me at first, I felt rejected because I hardly have any sales, or hearts. But I have realized that I am doing what I love, and I don’t know how to do anything else.

And definitely take a look at other artists and see how passionate they were for their craft. Gianlorenzo Bernini, Camille Claudel and Dan Eldon are my inspirations when I feel down about my work. They keep me motivated.

Finally, be true to yourself and use art as a vehicle to tell the world a story. Find what is in your heart and develop your own personal style while expressing yourself. I like to think my art is more than just home d├ęcor, that it is actually speaking to someone. Does that sound cheesy? ☺

____________________

Wonderful and different. You must come to Michelle's shop and see her work. Leave a comment here and share what you think

Sunday, November 9, 2008

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

We continue with our features on photographers. This is another member of the Photographers of Etsy. I would like to introduce you to


Please come and meet Michelle -

Briefly describe what you make?

I’m a photographer and I work mainly in black and white. If I had to pick one word to describe my style, it would be “intimate:” I tend to fill my lens with the subject of my shot rather than stand back for a wider portrait.

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

My favorite medium used to be film – it took me a very long time to embrace the digital age! For years, despite being a poor student, I’d spend my money on the best black and white film I could afford. In 2003 my husband bought me a wonderful Fuji digital camera (which I still use) and I remember staring at the box, horrified! A digital camera? What would I ever do with that?? But I’ve learned to embrace the amazing benefits of technology and Photoshop, yet I still harbor my love for film. Recently I’ve been using an ancient Kodax Duaflex viewfinder that belonged to my great aunt – I’m in love! I get a wonderful, grainy quality to my shots that I just adore.

How long have you been creating craft?

I’ve been wandering around with a camera attached to me for 12 years. I found my father’s 1972 Asahi Pentax when I was in college and I snuck off to Europe with it during a semester abroad my junior year. He wasn’t amused! I’ve been amassing a huge library of images – literally thousands – since then and only recently decided I needed to do something with them. I have two young boys and people have asked me why I’m putting myself out there now, and my answer is this: just because you are caring for others doesn’t mean you should stop caring about yourself and your own passions.

How did you get started?

I started photographing in earnest when my parents bought me my own Pentax – same make and model as my father’s – for my college graduation. I went off to Oxford for graduate school and this is where my poor student days really materialized! But still I bought my film and traveled all over The British Isles, Western Europe and Scandinavia, with my camera. One night a rowing teammate of mine named Emma was looking at my negatives and she offered to take me to the dark room in the Biology Department where she photographed and developed cellular structures of infectious diseases: I was hooked! I learned that capturing the image is only half the journey – the rest happens when you bring that image to life on paper. Now I use a virtual darkroom, but for me the same passion is there: I’ll still experiment with one image for hours until I get it right.

Where does the name of your shop come from?

The name of my shop is from the initials of my full name: Michelle Katharine Ciarlo-Hayes. Kind of a long shop name when all spelled out, so I thought I’d shorten it (and use lower-case letters, as a tribute to e.e. cummings and bell hooks…yes, I do have degrees in English and Women’s Studies!)

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

I want people to know what a labor of love each public image is, and that there are at least 50 shots nearly identical to that are never seen. I’m a big believer in over-shooting: if I click my shutter 200 times, I might find 2 or 3 images that really speak to me. Not every shot I take is worthy of being in my store, and I never offer anything that I don’t truly love.

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

Know your strengths and what you love – it’s great to admire other people’s work and to try new styles, but I think each of us have a special voice. Your voice will never sound like anyone else’s, nor should it, so you have to be confident in your own talents! In that same vein, you also have to be courageous and put yourself out there: I’ve been accepted into some amazing shows this past year in Philadelphia and beyond. I was scared to death, but I took the leap, submitted my work here and there, and it really paid off. If you don’t believe in yourself, then no one else will.

___________________

You must go to this shop and see the wonderful work that Michelle does in black and white and color photography. And in the shop you will find some surprises as Michelle also has made a few tote bags!


And of course, do not miss the new work that has been added to Past Perfect!




















5.
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Friday, November 7, 2008

Meet Miss Lucy


Miss Lucy asked to model for me. In fact, she wants me to be her personal paparazzi. She wants me to catch her in her calm moments, her off moments, and her wild moments - even her most intimate moments.

Now, I have known Miss Lucy for some time now and she can get into some trouble from time to time. There is no knowing what I may be photographing her doing.

A series of Miss Lucy's photographs will appear in my shop, Past Perfect. This one is called "Miss Lucy Tends her Garden" This is one of her calmer moments. The other night she had me follow her on a date with a new "beau"! Be sure to check Past Perfect to see when that scandalous photo is released.

Also keep an eye out for Miss Lucy greeting cards. I tell you this bear has no shame!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

You are about to meet a photographer that brings bursts of color to her art. Come and meet



Here is our interview with the photographer, Ellen -

Briefly describe what you create?

Art. I see art in everything from the lines on the sidewalk to the grains of sugar I just spilled on my kitchen counter. My biggest love is photography, macro photography specifically. When you look at tiny things with a great big lens, the ordinary becomes extraordinary. Hey! that might be a good tagline for my artshop....
What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

Photography is my love..... followed closely by the digital realm, painting with oil on canvas, watercolour painting and drawing with pencils ... anything that really lets the creativity flow from my brain to my fingertips ...
How long have you been creating in your chosen genre?

There must be creativity in my blood. I've been an artist for as long as I can remember. I had my first camera when I was about 6... still have it too! one of those old instamatic Kodak HawkEyes with the blue square flash that went on top. While raising my family, I used my trusty Minolta film camera (still have THAT too!) for many years and finally delved into the digital photography world just over two years ago. Photography is not my only love though. I also paint in watercolour and oil and do a lot of pencil sketching. My doodle pad is FULL. If I'm not shooting or painting, I'm listening to music (copious amounts, I'm a music whore) or working on some other activity like writing, knitting, crocheting, etc etc etc... Life is Art 101 for me.

How did you get started?

Always had a love for it... was quite inspired by my oldest sister and her lovely Nikorrmat film camera ... So since an early age, I've had photography in my bones. I was always that kid in your class that could draw anything you asked. I don't think it ever had a specific 'start'...it just always was.... As for painting, I didn't start watercolour painting until 4 years ago.... That turned out to be quite a love and passion for me, and it was just a natural progression to move to oil on canvas. I did my first oil in September of 2006 and to be perfectly honest, I quite literally shocked the hell outta myself. It turned out very well... and I haven't looked back since.
Where does the name of your shop come from?

It was a tough decision for me... I toyed around with all kinds of names ... including GingerSnapz (cuz of my red hair) and a bunch of other silly ones. My friend Marc suggested 'The Eye' because I have a good eye for what constitutes art and beauty, and also my initials are EY.... kind of all fell together after that....

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

-that I love every single piece I have produced.
-that a part of me is inside each painting and they are very difficult to part with
-that I'm proud as punch of the fact that somebody would want to hang MY ART on THEIR WALL!
-that I would hang any one of my pieces on my own walls

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

Live in the moment. Be who you are. Don't lose sight of the inner light and spark that makes you the creative soul you have become. Never drop little pieces of yourself along the way. Write! Read! Educate yourself! Never stop learning technique and don't undervalue your worth as an artist. You are unique.

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Great! You must go to see this shop and see Ellen's work.

Want to know what Ellen looks like? Click Here
________________

Please come and also take a look at this shop which is also bringing great photography to you at very reasonable prices.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

We have seen some great work by many talented photographers. Here is another one that you need to take a look at. Let me introduce you to -



Come an meet the photographer, Judi!

Briefly describe your favorite subjects?

Just about anything in nature is of interest to me, especially near a body of water: lighthouses, waves, marshes, boats, and sea birds to name a few. I also enjoy capturing flowers, leaves, and animals in the wild (or captivity) with my camera. I am very concerned about the state of the environment so wish to capture the beauty while it survives. I am just starting to attempt some indoor still life shots with plans for more in the near future.

What kinds of photography products do you offer?

I offer hand-assembled note cards as well as larger matted prints. I also recently introduced my line of photographs “framed” in a recycled CD jewel case. You can see examples of these in my Jewel of a Reuse section here: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5180890&section_id=5530161. These are only a few of my photos that I will offer in this format, I’d be happy to make almost any image in my shop available framed this way.

How long have you been taking photographs?

I began around the age of 10 or 12 with a camera my father “handed down” to me. I’ve been taking photos ever since. Lately I seem to be so addicted to it I carry a camera with me nearly everywhere I go.

How did you get started?

About 10 or so years ago, I started using my photos to make hand-assembled holiday cards to send to friends and family. I was laid off in mid-2006, unemployment offered entrepreneurial training for free. So, with the encouragement of the card recipients and my new-found knowledge of running a business, I started offering my products for sale - first at craft fairs and then on Etsy.

Where does the name of your shop come from?

I decided to use my own name for my shop name as another name I had in mind was not available as an Internet domain name (aka URL.) Some of your readers may be into knitting or other fiber arts (another of my passions) and know of Kaffe Fassett; his business uses his name (Kaffe Fassett Studio) and I thought if it’s good enough for him to do that, then it’s good for me as well. Thus was born Judi FitzPatrick Studio.

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

Love of photography and crafting goes into each and every item I make, thus my tagline – Art from the Heart. I strive for perfection in each item that leaves my hands to reside with the next owner.

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

First I’d ask that each do what they can for the environment – use recycled paper products, recyclable packaging and shipping materials, and please let your customers know that you are doing that. In addition, listen to your own inner voice, don’t let anyone else tell you your art is no good, and make your art every day.

___________

You have got to see this great shop. Please come and see Judi's work!

After visiting with Judi, please come on over to Past Perfect and take a look at some of the new things that I have been working on!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

Another Etsy photographer that is a must see is


This shop combines great photography with helping children - and a portion of each sale goes to benefit children's charities.

Come and meet Allie


Briefly describe what you make?

I take photographs, and sell not only the prints, but also create with them. In my shop, I have ACEO's, note card sets, magnets, t-shirts and onesies, all featuring my photographs. In the past, I have had bookmarks as well, but currently do not have any listed. I have also fairly recently begun making glass photo pendants, which are a lot of fun.

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

Clearly, I love photography, but I also enjoy working with paper goods, fibers and beads.

How long have you been creating craft?

I guess I have been crafty all my life. My mother always made sure I had plenty of materials to create with, and she really encouraged my creativity. I have been really interested in photography since I was about 12 years old, and have been seriously pursuing this for about three years. In the past, I have also enjoyed cross stitch, knitting and crochet (I think this runs in my family!), but this doesn't fit into my life at the moment, which is ok too.

How did you get started?

About three years ago, I moved from being a full-time pediatrician to being a stay-at-home mom, and have been on a steep learning curve ever since! Although, I loved practicing medicine very much (I especially loved the inner city patient population I worked with.), it didn't make sense to me in my heart to be at the hospital caring for other children while someone else was putting my own children to bed. Over the years, I have received encouragement from friends and family regarding my photographs - everyone said I should really "do something" with them. Being at home has given me the opportunity to research venues to market my photography. My cousin's wife and a jewelry artist I met both suggested Etsy, and here I am! I would also have to say that living away from home for two years - we lived in California - also helped me move in my thinking from, "Wouldn't it be nice to be able to really do something with my photography." to "I can really do this." Something about being in a different place for a while helped me think outside my experience up until then, and see other possibilities for my life.

Where does the name of your shop come from?

For quite a few years, I have had the idea to somehow combine my love of photography with a desire to continue to be an advocate for children (one of my very favorite parts of being a pediatrician). I feel very strongly that in general, children are not valued in this country (just comparing the salaries of teachers and child care workers versus almost anyone - professional baseball players, movie actors, college football coaches - really shows where the priorities are, IMHO). And really, children are in need of so much all around the world. I wanted a way to hightlight organizations which help children, and to help support them in some way - even if just a little bit at a time. My husband and I have a friend who founded a non-profit organization, Reach Out Childrens' Fund, which helps fund programs benefitting Peruvian children. I started with this organization to give her more exposure, and also to capitalize on the relationship we already have. So, I wanted my Etsy shop name to reflect in some way the advocacy part of my goal. My husband and I tossed around lots of ideas, and he actually came up with "allieart4children," which I thought really fit.

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

Well, I guess I answered this somewhat in #5 above! Also, I am continuing to establish relationships with other charitable organizations, with my goal being to have a choice for my customers, so that they may designate which organization should receive the profit from their purchase.

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

Believe in yourself! Another sound piece of advice I have been given (from a very insightful attending in residency) is to think carefully and honestly through any criticism you receive from others. If you feel the comment is valid, then use it to improve what you do. If you do not feel that it is valid, discard the criticism and move on.

______________________

Great interview! I love it when an artist really let's us get to know her. You must visit Allie's Shop. Make a purchase and you will not only be getting a great photo - you will be helping a good cause too.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

We continue with our Photographers of Etsy features with



Here is our interview with Celticcat!

Briefly describe what you make?

I'm a travel photographer. Then at other times I think of myself as a architechural
photographer. I love being able to travel around and take photographs of all the
interesting things in the world. Photography is a passion of mine.

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

I love taking the photographs, then the fun begins taking a look at them in Lightroon
or Photoshop. Each photos is different so it takes different steps for each one before
I print it.

How long have you been a photographer?

I have been a photographer for 20 years, my husband joined me a few years ago.

How did you get started?

I got started taking family photos at the holidays and weddings. Later a friend
remarked that I should matte and display my photos for sale. I did a very small
show, and have been doing art and craft shows ever since.

Where does the name of your shop come from?

Celticcat comes from my 3 cats: Finn McCool, Osisin, and Oscar. The names come from
Irsh Mythology. I am big on all things Irish and Celtic.

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

My work is hand crafted, I do all the set ups, enhancements, all my mattes are hand
cut. I give a beautiful photograph at reasonable prices.

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

I get asked this question 3 or 4 times at each craft show, "How can I do this?" and
"How many photos do I need to get started?" I try to get people to understand that
this is a craft, but it is also a business. It is work to do out door shows.
Photography is one of the most saturated fields, right up there with jewelry. You
have to find your niche, do a few small school shows first, see if you like dealing
with the public, they can be cruel and thoughtless at times.
________________

Nature, scenery, wildlife are all subjects of this wonderful photographer. Please be sure to visit her shop and look - and buy - her work!

While at Etsy, please take a moment to see the photography at Past Perfect!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

Continuing on our focus on fine art photographers, I would like to introduce you to



Briefly describe what you make?

I’m a photographer at heart, so I’m mostly thinking of new subjects to photograph or new locations to visit. I enjoy photographing the often overlooked beauty that surrounds us. I like to capture things that most people find simple and ordinary. For example, the beauty of a pear or the details of an old-fashion door knob really inspire me. Sometimes I like to step away from the camera and try something new. I recently created a line of magnets called Twisted Button Magnets. I had a lot of the supplies sitting around my studio and I just starting putting them together. My mind is always working and I enjoy coming up with new and different ideas.

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

I really enjoy working with my camera. A lot of the time I set up still lifes in my home to photograph. But I do enjoy getting out and exploring as well. Most recently I found this old, abandoned tractor. It made a great subject. I recently converted to digital photography so I also edit and process my photographs in Photoshop. It is very exciting to see the end result after working on a photo in Photoshop. I recently purchased an Argus 75 and have been spending my time experimenting with it. I love the vintage feel of that camera.

How long have you been creating craft?

I’ve always had an interest in art and creating. When I was young I really enjoyed drawing. I took a lot of art classes in high school and college. I discovered photography in college and have been taking pictures ever since.

How did you get started?

I got started in photography during my first year of college. A friend of mine was taking a beginner course and I decided to take the class as well. I borrowed my father’s Pentax K 1000 (I really love that camera*) and started classes. I instantly fell in love.

*After I couple of years that camera broke. I was really upset. To repair it, it would have cost as much as a new camera. I purchased a new camera, but it just wasn’t the same. Eventually I was able to find my own Pentax K 1000 and I still have it. And my father finally had his repaired.

Where does the name of your shop come from?

I decided to use my name instead of creating a name for my shop. It was important to me as an artist to be known by my name instead of a shop name.

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

I want people to know that there is a lot of thought, time and work put into my photographs. There are many different steps involved, starting at the beginning when I’m creating the idea all the way to the end when I’m processing the photo in Photoshop.

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

Be true to yourself. Create what YOU love. Not everyone is going to love it or even like it. The most important thing is that you love it and it makes you happy. Don’t give up. Things don’t always come naturally at first. (I still laugh at some of my first photographs!) There will be difficult and frustrating times, but if you keep at it you can make it through.

_____________________

Come visit this photographer's shop - you are going to see some very different art. Melissa has another shop as well and that one, too, is worth a look

Sunday, September 28, 2008

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

Returning to our articles on great photographers selling their work on-line, I bring you



On Etsy, she is known as xenya, her real name is Julie. Here is our interview with Julie -

Briefly describe what you make?

I dabble in a variety of things, but photography is my main focus. Specifically, photography of urban exploration.

How long have you been creating craft?

I've been into something all my life. I'm a published writer, but the photography bug hit me about 2 years ago. It's become a passion.

How did you get started?

I've always liked taking photos, especially when I traveled. Then when I discovered urban exploration, I began to work with photography seriously.

Where does the name of your shop come from?

"Forgotten Beauty" is the focus of what I photograph. I seek out all the abandoned places that sit rotting and I document their decay. These places usually have a long history and a sort of soul. I try to capture that soul. There is a lot of beauty to be found in these old hospitals and rotting buildings that people have forgotten. For the most part, they sit abandoned due to the cost of cleanup. A lot of them are riddled with asbestos, mold and other nastiness that is expensive to clean up.

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

I love my work. I love what I do, and exploring these places. I get somewhat protective over them, as most urban explorers do. If someone is looking to photograph these places, be safe above all else. Never go alone, and be careful of rotting floors, caved in ceilings, squatters and gangs, and of course the biohazards I've already mentioned. These places are not safe and I do not recommend going to them.

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

If you love what you do, it will show through your work. Keep at it and eventually it will pay off. If you don't love what you do, that shows also, so keep that in mind.

__________________

You will see some very unusual and stunning photography at this shop. Please make a point right now to visit xenya!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

FEATURED ARTIST

This week I want to feature a graphic artist that I have come across who has taken her design talent and written a children's book incorporating her art with a story about her little girl. This little girl is adopted. The book is the story of her adoption and her travels from China to the United States. The title of the book is Born from the Heart.

This is so special that I am foregoing my usual interview format to tell you what I have learned about this artist and this book. First of all, the book is, at the present time, self-published. Several publishers have expressed interest in the book but until one of them buys the rights to publish the book the artist, Barbara Lynn Greif, has had the book professionally printed from a book printer using off-set printing presses. As Ms. Greif told me, this book is not a computer generated, softbound glue up but a professionally typeset and press printed with a hard cover, saddle stitched binding. The book is of the quality that you will find at any bookstore.

Ms. Greif tells me that she drew and colored each illustration and wrote the story. She said that it was a story that she had to tell and share. This is a child that she did not give birth to the usual way but this child is born from her heart - an emotional experience as intense as if she had natural childbirth.


The book has been selling in local bookshops and children's stores. Ms. Greif wanted to expand distribution of the book and opened a shop on Etsy. This is a unique shop and right now only sells this book and nothing else. Ms. Grief is autographing each book that she sells on Etsy.



The story is enduring, cute, and funny. There is an encounter in the book between this little girl (who Ms. Greif tells me came to her family at 15 months) and a pregnant woman in a department store that is very funny. She tells me that this really happened.

Ms. Greif hopes that anyone with an adopted child or who is thinking of adopting a child will read her book. The book is perfect to teach children about adoption. Schools and religious groups will find this book a welcome addition to their library for children.

I highly recommend BORN FROM THE HEART and hope that you will visit Barbara Greif's Etsy shop and see the quality of the book and its illustrations - and make a purchase!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

The next in our Featured Photographers with an on-line shop is Tina. Tina is also a member of Photographers of Etsy (P.O.E.) and here shop is



Here is our interview with Tina!

Briefly describe what you make?

I offer mainly photographic prints in my shop at the moment. There are also a handful of select photos that I have turned into Scrabble tile pendants. As I continue to grow, I hope to add more frameable art, home decor, accessories, cards, etc. There really is no limit to what you can do with a good photo! Recently I purchased a much nicer camera than what I used to take the pictures in my shop currently, so I look forward to offering larger sizes as well as more artistic compositions.

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

I seem to have a penchant for macro (close-up) photography versus landscapes and such. It really depends on what I'm looking at, but I find that sometimes a picture can be more interesting if you cut away the visual noise around the image or object and really capture the essence of it. It's also a good way to focus on detail and color. I do also love a good story that can be told by the everyday candid images you can see, as well. An object lying on the ground out of its element... A random mess made from cooking... things like that. Recently, I acquired a Kodak Duaflex camera to get in on the amazing through-the-viewfinder (TTV) shots that are out there. Sometimes the nostalgic feel the shots give me makes me all giddy on the inside.

How long have you been creating craft?

I've been fascinated by photography for as long as I can remember, but really got more drawn to it about twenty years ago when my dad bought a nice SLR camera when I was young. I'm still working to make sense of all the technical aspects, like aperture, lighting, etc. That's the stubborn, impatient, left-side of my brain not cooperating. I think that's also why I'm more drawn to macro shots; there's less to think about!

How did you get started?

I had a collection of nice shots taken on some trips to Asia that people seemed to like. I already had a more traditionally crafty shop on Etsy, so I decided to just open a second one and see if people liked what they saw. I'm just now doing a bit more to promote it and be visible, but I know that photography can be a hard sell. I just got accepted into the Photographers of Etsy street team, and am confident that will be a great step, even if just for encouragement and inspiration.

Where does the name of your shop come from?

My shop name is actually a spin-off of my main store on Etsy, scatterbox. Scatterbox is what I use as sort of the umbrella name for my creative projects (I also just opened an artsy shop called sketchbox). I wanted the names to be cohesive, which is why they are similar. Scatterbox actually just popped into my head one day and turned out to be quite appropriate. I can tend to be a little scatterbrained at times, and the right side of my noggin seems to always have bits, pieces, and fragments of ideas floating around. VERY scattered. So I get excited when some of them actually come together and form an idea!

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

First, that it is evolving. One of the plans I have for the shop is to feature more series or prints that have themes that I can work off of. I can think of numerous ones, so hopefully the variety will keep the interest there. Above all, though, I would love for people to see something unique in them; something they may not see elsewhere, or have even just one picture that they can look at and say, "Wow."

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

It would be advice that I struggle sometimes to keep in the forefront of my mind, as well: Do what you love. Don't rush things - it will come together in time. And don't be afraid.

_______________

Great interview! YOU must go now and see Tina's SHOP!

While you are there stop over and see us at Past Perfect too!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER

This interview begins a first in a series of photographers who are selling their work on Etsy. There is a team group on the ETSY site called POE - Photographers of Etsy. The photographers that we will feature in the coming weeks are all members of that team.

Our first photographer is Jaimee and her shop is



Here is our interview with Jaimee -

Briefly describe what you make?

I basically create whatever it is that pops into my head the moments before I fall asleep. It’s soothing to me to think of new creations (as much as it keeps me awake into the wee hours of the night). It depends on what type of mood I had been in that day but the things I create are usually connected to some sort of happy memory or feeling. A lot of my pieces remind me of a place I’ve traveled or a childhood memory. As far as my prints over at Modern Classics: Prints, they’re more on the fluff side…usually when I’m in the mood to shop.

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

I work in a variety of mediums from wire and wool, pen and ink to camera and computer…whatever it takes to get the job done. My favorite medium changes with my moods. I had been on a huge knitting/crocheting kick all of last year but as of late, I’m loving my sketch book and pencils and my camera the best. I can take them with me wherever I go and work whenever the moment moves me. I’ve just recently began using my computer to edit and digitally color my pieces. I find it extremely liberating to alter colors with the click of a button.

How long have you been creating craft?

I was born with the “creative bug” I suppose. I can’t remember a time when I was completely content with a piece of paper and some crayons. I’m always interested in learning how to use new mediums and techniques to bring out what I’m feeling inside…be it illustration, photography, crafting. In High School, I won a small art scholarship which gave me the push to continue in that direction. In adoration of my art teacher, I took her advice and attended her Alma Mater, Kutztown University. I went with the intentions of majoring in Sculpture but once exposed to so many other options, I wound up switching to Textiles. It was hard for me to pick one area to focus on (as you can see from my array of shops), I just love to create in any way possible.

How did you get started?

I suppose I owe that to my family! It’s full of creativity…my Grandmother (the knitter/crocheter), my Mother (the Sketcher) and my Father (the Photographer). They’ve always encouraged me to be creative and taught me a great deal of what I know. Now a days, it’s the thought of free time that gets my mind racing. Being a mother of a four year old is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I love every second of it. It’s only recently that I’m finding myself with some spare time, as he goes off to Nursery School and wants to have playdates. I’m finding I have more “ME” time and forgot what it was like. Now I can’t stop myself!

Where does the name of your shop come from?

To be completely honest , I made up the name Modern Classics on a whim wanting to have professional labels made for my earlier work. I was so overzealous that I ordered 3000 of them! So, until those labels are used up…the name is Modern Classics everything!

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

I suppose the most important thing to have people know is that it’s personal. Everything I create is a part of me from the whimsical pair of earrings, to my jovial Children’s Alphabet Series, to my Macro shots. It’s my happiness coming out to be shared with others.

What words of advice to you have for others?

I think the most important thing to remember is that if it makes you happy, people will see that and enjoy it as much as you do. Don’t get swayed by criticism, feed off of it!

_________________________

Great interview! Wonderful photography. You must go right now and visit this SHOP!

And while you are at Etsy there is more great photography to see at Past Perfect.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Featured Artist

These artists make so many cute things - come and meet this cooperative of artists called



Here is our interview with one of the artists - Michele!

Describe what you make?

Since we are a Collective, we make many different things. Joanie makes the Caterpillar Fur items, and is branching out into making knitted toys. I make Sockmonkeys, knitted and soft toys. crochet items and knitted shawls. Juanita makes the most wonderful embilished hats. Sadly at the present she is going to school full time, so hasn't made any for us in awhile. Together we also make anything else that catches our fancy. It's all just a bit of whimsy.

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

We adore anything of a textile nature. Yarns, wool, fabrics of all sorts. Between us we have enough stashed stuff just in yarns and fabrics to open a small store.

How long have you been creating craft?

Each of us has been crafting for about 30 years.

How did you get started?

I started and learned to knit at a Rennaisance Faire many years ago, as part of an Audience iteraction gig. As well as spinning wool from scratch on an about a 250 year old Giant Walking wheel.

Joanie and Jaunita are part of the same Guild. We love to act together, and all have a passion for our respective crafts. It was just a natural progression that we went in together in this venture.


Where does the name of your shop come from?

The name came from the first knitted toy I ever made. The color of the wool yarn was Rosewood. Which also became the name of the item. Rosewood became our shop mascot.

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

We're old fashioned girls. We love to make things with our hands. We put the same love and attention into the work we do for others, as we would do for ourselves. Often the items we make become gifts for our friends and families.

Sometimes our friends and families just come over and take what we make. For example my two hat snatching grown daughters!

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

Always do your homework on any new venture. Market research, keywords, price and cost analysis are all very important. Have a plan, and a road map. Otherwise you just start to spin your wheels,and get frustrated.

_________________

So great. This is our first cooperative featured! Their shop is terrific. VISIT it now!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Featured Artist

This featured artist is in Canada and she makes beautiful creations that are useful as much as they are pretty. Come and meet -



Here is our interview with the artist, Beth -

Briefly describe what you make?

I hand paint household objects everything from telephones to toilet seats.I love taking boring everyday household items and giving them beauty.I also paint on canvas,my favorite things to paint are butterflies,birds,spiders,animal prints and silhouettes of people.I am working on some canvas paintings right now that will be added to my Etsy shop soon.

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

I use mainly acrylic paint,enamel or fabric depending on the surface i am working on.Because i paint on so many different things i have a very,very large paint cupboard as most items have their own type of paint to be used.

How long have you been creating craft?

I have been painting for about 7 years on and off.

How did you get started?

I have always envisioned how something would look painted from the time i was young,i would see background color and all the different shades in my head.I have always had a great love for art,but did not attempt to paint until about 7 years ago.I am a self taught painter and think it shows when i paint on canvas as i break every rule to painting there probly ever was.But it does make my work unique.

Where does the name of your shop come from?

My shop name CanadianCreationz Canadian-i am canadian Creationz-i create it was the first name that popped in my head when i was thinking up a name and i just thought it had a nice flow to it.

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

I love what i do and get the greatest enjoyment out of every second.When i am painting i am truly happy.Creating my new ideas or even someone elses gives me great pleasure,and i always love a new challenge.I paint household items for fun and i paint most of my canvas pictures more seriously,but still get the same satisfaction in the end result.

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

The first thing i ever officially attempted painting on as an artist was a pickle jar,i used dollar store brushes and paint and it looked quite awful when i was finished.But i loved how the brush flowed the paint almost as if straight from my thoughts.My mind opened so wide i felt as is i had found a whole new world.And i had,creating is a world of its own no matter what it is you make its the most wonderful way to express yourself.I still have my ugly painted pickle jar and will keep it always to remind myself as long as i love what i am doing it is all worth it.The most important thing is to enjoy yourself.

_________________

Now, go and look at Beth's great SHOP!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Featured Artist



This featured artist creates fine jewelry. This is a cut above much of what you will find and goes beyond craft to artistry. Come and meet this artist, Jen, and her shop, A Blond and A Torch.

Briefly describe what you make?

I make organic jewelry, mostly using sterling silver, some gold-filled material and a littl brass. Mostly I make rings, but I also have earrings and a few necklaces and braclets. I am always striving to design more!

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

I enjoy sterling silver the most. I guess because I have worked with it so much that it is the most comfortable.

How long have you been creating craft?

I started making beaded jewelry about 2 years ago when my doctor recommended a hobby to try to reduce stress. I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a book on beading and it went from there.

I eventually wanted to try metalsmithing so once again I bought some books and started practicing. I opened up this shop almost 3 months ago to sell my metal works.

How did you get started?

I was doing some random Google search on some beading techniques and I came across a blog. I wish I could remember whose blog it was, but she talked at length about Etsy and how to get started selling there. I took her advice and it went from there.

Where does the name of your shop come from?

Ha! It actually comes from a friend of mine. She was throwing out some ideas for a shop name and I thought A Blond And A Torch was pretty cute. Well, I am a blond and I do use a torch, so it works!

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

How much I love to create it. I treat each piece with love. I know each item I creat is a representation of me so I put all my efforts into making each one as perfect as I can. If I wouldn't wear it myself, I start over.

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

Make what you love! If you do that then it won't matter if you are not selling 100 items a week. Just keep doing what you enjoy and it will show.

_________________________

You must come over to Jen's shop on Etsy and see her work! You will want it!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Featured Artist

This artist is multi-talented and offers a variety of work in her shop!



Come meet Amberafternoon!

Briefly describe what you make?

I'm an Artist who creates Traditional Art, Art Jewelry, and Crafts. My true passion is creating Oil Paintings and Watercolor Paintings. I also enjoy doing Printmaking, which includes Lithography, Intaglio, and Relief Printmaking "Woodcuts." The Victorian age has always fascinated me and I have adopted the lost Art of Embroidery. I'm currently working with embroidery floss and ribbon to create Fiber Art pieces.


What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

Oils, Watercolors, and Ink. The Impressionists have been a big influence on my painting. German Expressionism has influenced my Printmaking. I try to push myself to work in various styles using different techniques. Sometimes it feels really uncomfortable. I have to step away from the finished piece for awhile, then look it over again later. The end result usually surprises even me. Some of my best work has been derived like this.


How long have you been creating craft?

I've been creating Traditional Art and Crafts for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories involve creating.

How did you get started?

Mud puddles provided my first source of inspiration. I think that as soon as I could walk I was making mud paintings.

Where does the name of your shop come from?

I've always been inspired by the reflections of Autumn light streaming through windows. I like to play up Light in my paintings.


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

It takes a long time to create! I usually add lots of intricate details to my work. I have so many different interests that I never run out of ideas or inspiration.

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

Do what you love.


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Come and see the great things in this SHOP!

And while you are at ETSY, please stop by at Q BRANCH LTD. and PAST PERFECT!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Featured Artist

This featured artist makes pins buttons, light switch plates and other cute things. Come visit with



Here is our interview with Joanna -

Describe what you make?

I specialize in creating cute cartoony characters. I then feature these characters on prints, pins, magnets, light switch covers, and clothing (coming soon!). My inspiration comes from cartoon shows such as PowerPuff Girls, Dexter's Lab and Invader Zim. I also absolutely LOVE the 50s retro way of illustrating.

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

I start with good old pencil (or pen) and paper. I then scan in my rough draft and go digital. I use a combination of Flash and Photoshop to get just the right look. Sometimes my roughs come from Post-It art doodles that i mindlessly draw on all the time.

How long have you been creating craft?

I've been drawing ever since i can remember. I've been selling my art for about three years. I started with the light switch covers, then slowly started making everything else.

How did you get started?

My mom is a painter- so she introduced me to art at a very young age. A couple years ago i was browsing the internet and randomly found Etsy. This was one of the best finds ever for me! As i was looking around, i got inspired to get my own prints made. The rest is history!

Where does the name of your shop come from?

It's my name!

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

I try my best to make fun designs. I am always creating, and always open to new ideas. If anyone has an idea for a character to be done in my style, let me know. Ideas inspire me to create more!

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

Try to make at least 1 creative thing per day. Getting stuck in ruts sometimes happens. The only way out is to [in my case] draw! Even if nothing comes to mind- a scribble is still art!

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You must see her great things at her shop on Etsy! They are adorable!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Featured Artist

Our featured artist sculpts in Fabric and what she creates is fabulous! Come and meet



Here is our interview with Donna -

Briefly describe what you make?

I design and create one-of-a-kind, fiber fantasy sculptures in the form of fairies, mermaids, sea nymphs riding their magical fish, fairy face pins, magical witches, butterflies, fairy scenes, leaf spirits, and whatever else pops into my imagination!

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

My favorite medium is "fabric" and "fibers" because I love the warmth and texture that these mediums provide. I especially love using silk, which I hand-dye and hand-paint using silk fabric dyes. It allows me to come up with one-of-a-kind colors and patterns. The many wonderful, colorful yarns available allows me to come up with some pretty wild hairdos for my creations!

How long have you been creating craft?

I have been designing and creating, and selling my sculptures for a little over 10 years.

How did you get started?

I always liked to create things out of fabric, especially when our daughter was little. I started out making cloth dolls, and designed all their clothes, and drew on the faces. After I started getting into craft shows and selling my work there, my work evolved over the years to my current whimiscal designs, which I now sell at art shows in my area, my web page, and on Etsy.

Where does the name of your shop come from?

I came up with the name DZFANTASY because DZ are my initials and I am totally into "fantasy".

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

I would want them to know that each creation was created with a lot of love, with the hopes that it will bring a bit of joy into the lives of whoever may own them.


What words of advice do you have for other artists?

If you truly love what you are creating, don't ever give up and be discouraged if you don't happen to be selling as much as you would like. Keep on creating what makes you happy! Also feel happy and blessed that you have this creativity within you to share with others.

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Wow! You have got to see these sculptures! Go right now and visit Donna's shop!

While you are at Etsy please come see the new photographs at PAST PERFECT!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Featured Artist

This artist has a shop with a funny name but she makes very nice greeting cards. Come and meet Steph from



Here is our interview with Steph!

Describe what you make?


I make greeting cards, mini albums, and decorated wood letters.

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?

All of my items share an element of paper. I love how so many designs exist as to match any mood or occasion. While I have dabbled in several things from pottery to knitting, I think I've found my niche.

How long have you been creating craft?

I've loved crafts since I was little. But my paper crafting as it is today started in 2002. It has been evolving since then.

How did you get started?

I was recently married, and wanted to start documenting and scrapbooking our pictures, so I began putting them together in a "glorified photo album" The fancy papers, dicut machine and embellishments eventually were added to the mix.

Where does the name of your shop come from?

I gave myself the screen name of "So-Cal-Mommy" when we lived in Southern California. When we moved, it didn't work any more, but I realized that quite often I do feel like a "So-Called-Mommy" as we all figure out our roles in our family here.

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

That I enjoy doing it. I love creating things that make me smile, and that can make other people smile too.

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

Find your niche in what you love, but never stop learning about it. Learn new techniques (or create them yourself!) and continue evolving as an artist.

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Steph has some very nice things for you to see at her shop.


While you are visiting Steph come on over to PAST PERFECT and see our new selection of note cards - sold in sets of four. Each card with a striking photo. There is an assortment for women and one for men.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

YART SALE!!!

What is a YART Sale? Ever been to a yard sale. Well, now you don't have to leave your cool, air conditioned home to find bargains. A YART Sale is a Yard Sale on the Internet.

Many shops are having Yart Sales over at Etsy. I am having one too! Come on over to PAST PERFECT and you will find all of my beautiful and stunning flower art photographic prints reduced. The YART Sale runs from June 11 to June 20, 2008. Don't miss it. This is a chance to get some beautiful art and save some money!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Featured Artist

Our featured artist is a fiber artist who crochets. Her shop is Millie Fern.


Come and meet Adie of MilleFern -

Briefly describe what you make?

I make mostly handbags and plush animals/dolls. I also make some home accessory items like baby blankets/throws that don't usually make it to my website. I crochet and often felt my projects. I also create bags and animals from recycled wool (i.e. wool sweaters) tht I felt and use to create with.

What mediums do you enjoy working in most?


I love yarn! However, I also line my bags by hand, and hand-dye leather to use for the straps. I often add embellishments such as beading to accent the work. There are lots of steps involved in making one of my bags since they are lined and have leather handles. I see a lot of felted bags for sale, but most of them are unlined. In addition to my etsy shop, I love to paint and also work with paper (I make cards).

How long have you been creating craft?

Forever. I've been creating since I can remember. Whether drawing, using leftover materials to create items as a child to now- crocheting and still using leftover materials to create!

How did you get started?


As far as my handbags go, I got started crocheting just a couple of years ago. I had wanted to learn, so I did. I practiced and practiced, learning stitch after stitch until I could finally crochet something that didn't curl and twist and look generally awful. Then I saw a felted bag on TV. I had to learn how. I did it once, and I was hooked. Someone saw my first felted bag and wanted one. That was my first custom item, and when I had to come up with my name(I'll get to that). After that, I started exploring what I could do, and I've come a long way. I use my own designs for my bags and animals. The bags you see in my shop are one of a kind! After I learned about etsy I was hooked on that too. That helped keep me motivated to keep creating.

Where does the name of your shop come from?

My shop name is very personal. My great grandmother was Millie Fern. She was a creative and beautiful lady. I had always loved the sound of her name. I had always thought it would be perfect for something, I just didn't know what. When I sold my first bag two years ago, I had to have a name and a tag to go on the bag, of course. So, I decided on Millie Fern!





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

I would like people to know that there is a lot of time that goes into each bag. I'd like people to know that they are quality. That they're original designs! Someone could copy me, but they are not going to end up with the same product. I create my own designs. I'd like them to know that I add a lot of detail that also takes a lot of time. Most of my bags have embellishments such as felted flowers/blooms or beadwork. The lining is done by hand. The strap is real leather, and I dye it and seal it myself. Basically, that if they choose one of my bags, they're getting something unique and original. Also, I love custom work!

What words of advice do you have for other artists?

You have to keep exploring and trying new things. Think outside of the box, get outside your comfort zone, and keep it fresh. You've got to practice your craft and you've got to get better. If you're not growing and improving, then you're going backwards. There is no such thing as standing still- gotta keep on movin'!

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That was a great interview! I love it when artists share so completely with us! You must visit Adie's shop - MillieFern!


While you are at Etsy please be sure to come look over my photography shop - Past Perfect. You will find some beautiful prints and I soon will be adding notecard assortments of some of these great prints.


Friday, May 30, 2008

SOMETHING NEW

There is something very new to be found at my shop, Past Perfect
I am have created an assortment of Note Cards from several of my flower photographs. Four of my most popular florals are now printed note cards! This is something that I have been asked for and always interested in giving my customers what they would like, I created these.

There will be more assortments coming in the weeks to come. Please come and take a look at this first great assortment.