Monday, 31 December 2012

12 Days Of Etsy: Boopsie Daisy


1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Missy and I'm a happy-go-lucky misfit living in British Columbia Canada alongside my merry little family of 4.






2. How did you choose your shop name?

It's a play on the old phrase 'oopsy daisy' tied in with a tribute to the First Lady of Kitsch, Miss Betty Boop. As a youngster I got hooked on a VHS compilations of old black & white Betty Boop cartoons and a love of Betty's big eyed beauty and sweet persona have stayed with me ever since. 

My entire body of work is heavily influenced by cherubc dolls and charming toys from back when Betty first became a world sensation. I should also mention a nod to the stirring ee cummings poem 'a winter afternoon'. The last line of this poem in particular, "I thank heaven somebody's crazy enough to give me a daisy" encapsulates all that I aspire to put out into the ether with my wacky unsual images and whimsical dolls. 




3. What is your favourite item to make?

Print work is the most rewarding for me. When my daughter was born there was a particular type of decor I yearned to decorate her room with, but it just did not exist. I set about bringing the things I saw in my mind's eye to reality and it all took off from there. Being surrounded by a large arsenal of junk food and bright kooky play things all day tricks me into thinking I never grew up! :)





4. What is the best seller in your shop?

The dolls sell the quickest and I can't re-stock them fast enough. 'Oh Deer' and 'What the Frank' are the prints purchased most often. 






5. Your work sells all over the world, in which parts of the world is your work most popular?

I'm sure there is more boopsiedaisy stuff in the United Kingdom than anywhere else on the planet. For whatever reason, my work really seems to resonate with the wonderful people there. 





6. What inspires you?

Big eyed dolls, colorful food and candy, words, dreams, fairytales, holidays, different eras of the past. 

7. How long have you been crafting?

Crafting is big in my clan. In the 80's we had a Saturday morning tradition of making breakfast people out of whatever was in the fridge & cupboards. There was always an abundance of crafting materials at the ready, handmade Christmas ornaments would be added each year to the tree, etc. My sister & I made our own 20 page magazine 'The Cheeseball Update' when we were pre-teens that always kept our friends & family in stitches. The women in our family all just seem to exit the womb with a pencil
or paint brush in hand. Crafting is in our very blood.

8. What are your other hobbies?

Thrifting almost daily, reading, writing, drawing, baking, collecting, and I can never watch enough horror.






9. Do you collect anything? 

Dolls, cameras, books, magazine clippings, Pez, vintage squeak toys and salt & pepper shakers, vintage Halloween & Christmas decorations, Snow White or Frankenstein related items. Things too numerous to mention. My husband likes to say I "collect collections".

10. What is your favourite Christmas tradition?
Wearing pajamas all day while basking in the ambient light of the tree as carols play on the turn table and the kids try out their new toys.

11. Do you have a favourite Christmas song or carol?
I like the really fun ones like "I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas' and 'Baby it's Cold Outside'. I feel like I instantly officially catch the Christmas spirit though when I hear 'O Holy Night' for the first time each December. 


12. What is the funniest Christmas present you have ever been given?

When I visited Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in New York a couple years ago my Mum snapped a shot of me with my eyes closed dreamily, puckering up to Boris Karloff's 'The Monster' for a long deep kiss and for Christmas that year she presented me with a hard bound journal with that picture as it's cover. It always makes me snort so I suppose that is the funniest holiday gift I ever got.



Many thanks to Missy from Boopsie Daisy for taking part in this feature. Click here to visit her Etsy shop.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

12 Days Of Etsy: When Guinea Pigs Fly

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi there! My name is Lesley DeSantis and I'm the artist and everything-else behind the scenes at When Guinea Pigs Fly. I'm a bit of a Renaissance woman...not the kind that dresses up at Renaissance fairs (though that does sound kinda fun!), but meaning I do a whole bunch of different creative things and have a never-ending supply of curiosity for learning and mastering new things, which is great for being a creative entrepreneur! One day I can plan out marketing and sales, another I'm painting, and another I might be doing something totally non-When Guinea Pigs Fly-related. I live outside of Boston with my husband and pets and love the ocean, delicious gluten free cupcakes and...if you couldn't guess...guinea pigs!




2. How did you choose your shop name?

I knew I wanted my shop to have a whimsical flair, and when I first began creating artwork with the hope of opening an Etsy shop, I gravitated to guinea pigs immediately. One of the first paintings I made, before I opened shop, was a guinea pig superhero (seen here: www.etsy.com/listing/50705957/guinea-pig-superhero-print it's so funny to see how my style has evolved over time!). The thought of a flying guinea pig tickled me so much. I agonized over picking a name, but when I was talking it over with my mom one night, "when guinea pigs fly" stuck. It was exactly what I wanted -- suggesting a cute mental image with a clever play on words. Moms are good at helping with things like that. :)




3. What do you enjoy drawing the most?

I suppose you could call guinea pigs my muse. I sometimes feel really inspired to paint other creatures, and when that happens, I go for it and don't restrict myself, but more often than not I come right back to these sweet little rodents!





4. What is the best seller in your shop?

Even though the shop is called When Guinea Pigs Fly and primarily features guinea pigs, the #1 seller is actually the 'Otterly Romantic' print of the otters holding hands (www.etsy.com/listing/62235654/otters-holding-hands-cute-otter-art). I was so inspired to paint that after seeing an adorable YouTube video of otters holding hands at the Vancouver Aquarium (if you haven't seen it, you must! www.youtube.com/watch?v=epUk3T2Kfno), and I think a lot of people find it to be a really appropriate gift for their sweetheart or...brace yourself... "otter half" (har har!), which makes me so happy.







5. Your work sells all over the world, in which parts of the world is your work most popular?

It is amazing to me to think that my artwork is in people's homes all over the globe! The top three places it's most popular are the U.S., the UK, and Australia. Guinea pigs seem to be held in a lot higher regard/are more popular in the UK and Australia, which I never knew until I opened shop! One of my very first orders went to Australia and I thought it was a fluke, but several orders a month usually make the journey 'Down Undah'.




6. What inspires you?

Cuteness, in all its shapes and forms, but of course if I see something with a guinea pig I'm immediately smitten. I'm inspired by all sorts of animals and can often be found visiting a local wildlife sanctuary and farm to recharge. I'm inspired by classic, sweet stories like Winnie the Pooh for my watercolor scenes and there is never a shortage of guinea pig photos to paw through! Sometimes I'll see a particular photo of a guinea pig and think "omg that guinea pig totally looks like a [whatever the next painting ends up being]". They all have their own little quirks and personalities and that can sometimes dictate in what direction my artwork goes.








7. How long have you been an artist?

I began drawing when I was very young and would doodle every day after school with my big basket of markers at the kitchen table. I began learning how to paint and draw more photo-realistic works in middle and high school, and began developing my own style as When Guinea Pigs Fly got established. So as cliche as it sounds, I suppose I've been an artist pretty much my whole life, but only a 'working artist' for the past three years or so.



8. What are your other hobbies?

I write musicals with a writing partner, one of which is currently in production and being marketed to children's theatres across the country (it's a modern twist on the Tortoise and the Hare. If you're near CT in February, come see it! fairfieldtheatre.org/NCTC/), and another which is in the planning stages to be produced by Marymount Manhattan College in the spring. I love learning new arts and crafts, graphic and web design, baking, and have been known to grace a few runways as a fashion model (ooh la la!). My interests are eclectic but when I'm interested in something, I really go for it.



9. Do you collect anything?

I'm developing a growing collection of adorable mice from the talented artists at the Etsy shop The House of Mouse (www.etsy.com/shop/thehouseofmouse)! I also have a rather enormous stuffed animal collection. Not the expensive 'collectible' kind, but just ones that have spoken to me over the years. I don't have the heart to get rid of the ones from my childhood and I am so easily smitten when I see new ones in stores that have that little 'special something'. I can't help myself! :)








10. What is your favourite Christmas tradition?

I absolutely love going back to my home town of Rockport, Massachusetts to enjoy the festivities there. I don't get to all of it every year, but Rockport has a wonderful Christmas pageant, a tree lighting ceremony, and all of the gift shops are open. It feels very magical and timeless. Spending Christmas Eve into Christmas Day at my parents' house is also very special to me. 






11. Do you have a favourite Christmas song or carol?

Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song" has always been and will always be my absolute favorite. All of his Christmas music is wonderful, but that one piece really tugs at my heartstrings.




12. What is the funniest Christmas present you have ever been given?

Oh what a fun question! Hmm... I'd have to say a handmade card my best friend made me a few years ago. We had racked up an enormous list of inside jokes between us involving various colorful characters (both real and imaginary) in our lives. She tied them all in with a rhyming poem and I laughed myself silly.




Many thanks to Lesley from When Guinea Pigs Fly for taking part in this feature. Click here to visit her Etsy shop.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

12 Days Of Etsy: Hoolala Jewellery

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Sam I live in England. I created my brand Hoolala in 2005 shortly after I had designed a collection of gemstone jewellery for a spa chain I was working for when I was a graphic designer. it was a sell out and one of the girls said you should do this part time and create a website so I did! My style changed a little and I developed my charms - then I was picked up in a feature for The Sunday Times Style and haven't really looked back since.








2. How did you choose your shop name?

It came from a David Shrigley screen saver called Hula la. he is one of my favourite artists and I thought that is it! Then I Googled it and there was nothing on Google so I trademarked it as my brand name.




3. What is your favourite piece of jewellery to make?

I love making the large one off vintage luxe pieces as they are very special.




4. What is the best seller in your shop?

I am not sure it tends to go in cycles this year the vintage collection has been very popular.





5. Your work sells all over the world, in which parts of the world is your work most popular?

Mostly the USA and the UK but I also sell a lot in Europe and Australia.




6. What inspires you?

Oh my! Everything! I don't have a TV as I find it stifles my creativity but I do love films, books, flea markets and thrift shops.








7. How long have you been crafting?

I studied art for 8 years and have also been a graphic designer - Hoolala is now my full time job but I have always made things ever since I was little. One of my favourite photographs is me as a little girl (aged about 3) in the yard at a farm we used to live in making something with 2 bricks and a pile of twigs on a table.







8. What are your other hobbies?

I also deal in vintage collectibles and can often be found diving in skips, car boot sales and flea markets. I love to surf on the Atlantic coast with my long board and I have a little terrier who keeps me busy walking either by the river or on the beach the rest of the time.





9. Do you collect anything?

Yes World War I and II handmade love tokens.








10. What is your favourite Christmas tradition?

I love winter solstice and always make the effort to go to the woods on the 21st December to make a little ritual to welcome in the light. I take some candles to light and bread as an offering - then sit by an old oak tree and give thanks for the year that has passed and the year to come.




11. Do you have a favourite Christmas song or carol?

I love The Angel Gabriel - I used to sing it at in our school church choir and have fond memories of it.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=pliqObTHxUQ




12. What is the funniest Christmas present you have ever been given?

My sister is a graphic designer and we always buy each other a little joke present as well as the main present which I always look forward to opening most. This year she made me a handmade card of a red bus with me aged 7 driving it - I am going to frame it and put it on the wall in the studio.





Many thanks to Sam from Hoolala for taking part in this feature. Click here to visit her Etsy shop. Be sure to pop over to Hoolala's Facebook Page and click "Like" to be in with a chance of winning a fabulous prize!  The winners will be drawn on New Years Day.

Friday, 28 December 2012

12 Days Of Etsy: Spun On Cotton


1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I grew up in a small town in Northern California called Grass Valley where both my parents worked from home. My father is an artist whom works mostly as a jeweler. My mother is an antique enthusiast, who was always taking me around yard sale-ing or thrifting. Because of this, I knew I wanted to work from home, be an artist, and was profoundly inspired by anything old. I went to school and left with a degree in Fashion Design...I haven't done a thing with fashion since. I am now a work-from-home-mother, attempting the balance between raising a child and creating my art. I've recently found the only true way to succeed in this, is to treat each moment in life as art, and to live artfully in every avenue of my life. Now that's living!




2. How did you choose your shop name? 

At the time I opened my Etsy Shop I hadn't a product to sell, but I liked the name "Silk and Thistle." Once I started developing my pieces I realized I needed a name that reflected the quirky character of my items a little better. I came up with "Spun On Cotton" as a play on words between "spun cotton" and "Sprung On" (or being excited about something) It fits because I am excited about Spun Cotton!




3. What do you enjoy making the most?

I really enjoy making all of my pieces. Because the majority of my items are one of a kind, every piece is bringing a whole new character to life, I love that!

4. What is the best seller in your shop?

It is hard to say what my best seller is, seeing as I do one of a kind pieces. I do have one made to order item, that I list because it gets so much attention, that's Dudley the Reading Deer.





5. Your work sells all over the world, in which parts of the world is your work most popular?

I sell most of my pieces to the East Coast of the U.S.

6. What inspires you?

I find inspiration from so many sources, but I find myself eager to create after I've read my 2 year old her bed time story. I love children's book illustrations. I love anything vintage, including cute old cartoons from the 1930's. And of course nature, I am fortunate enough to live in beautiful surroundings, my work space looks out to nothing but trees.

7. How long have you been crafting?

I have been crafting really my whole life. I remember being very young and having the urge to create, something, anything. In grade school the projects were always my favorite. But it is only within this last year that I've been working with spun cotton. I am constantly developing technique and style and that's what keeps it so exciting.

8. What are your other hobbies?

I love being out in nature, painting, photography, sewing, yard sale-ing, and I love to get foot loose as often as possible.




9. Do you collect anything?

I am constantly collecting "stuff", but I could never stick with one type of thing. I just like having things around me that tickle my fancy.




10. What is your favourite Christmas tradition?

Picking only one tradition is a bit difficult, but I would have to say decorating the tree... with cookies baking in the oven ... and old Christmas carols playing in the background.

11. Do you have a favourite Christmas song or carol?

Jingle bells has always been my favourite to sing to, especially when others join in.

12. What is the funniest Christmas present you have ever been given?

One year I was unable to make it home for Christmas because my car needed new tires and I wasn't able to afford them. My brothers ended up buying my tires for Christmas! That's funny and sweet!




Many thanks to Sara from Spun On Cotton for taking part in this feature. Click here to visit her Etsy shop.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

12 Days Of Etsy: Miss Bumbles

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.


For many years I worked as an illustrator ..I discovered needle felting just over three years ago, desperate to have a go I bought some basic materials from the net and taught myself by watching tutorials on YouTube .





2. How did you choose your shop name?


Oh Miss Bumbles was born after spending a grey January afternoon brain storming over milky coffee with my sister in a cafe.



3. What is your favourite animal to make?


I think Guinea Pigs, they are such gentle animals and I love dressing them up, the more ridiculous the better , they do make good gardeners..oh, and cowboys, panto dames ... 







4. What is the best seller in your shop?

Hedgehogs anything in hedgehog form and foxes. 





5. Your work sells all over the world, in which parts of the world is your work most popular


When I first started selling it was just to the USA , but I couldn't really say it's pretty even... this year it's been Dundee! 



6. What inspires you?


Lots of things, Victorian automata,vintage toys, Peter Blake and Walter Potter, who was a Victorian taxidermist who specialized in stuffed kitten tableaux's.



7. How long have you been crafting?


All of my life. 


8. What are your other hobbies?

Oh I don't have hobbies I just work ..well it's such fun. 




9. Do you collect anything?


What don't I collect? My excuse now for buying all sorts is they may come in handy for Bumbles ..
I also have some how acquired 30 vintage Santa cake decorations; they are amazing, Santa on a motorbike, Santa riding a whale and Santa in a green open topped car! 



10. What is your favourite Christmas tradition?


I would have to say winter solstice, it's not really Christmas but an excuse for more fairy lights, plus it means it won't be long until spring! 


11. Do you have a favourite Christmas song?


No. I hate them all! 




12. What is the funniest Christmas present you have ever been given?


A box of tissues from my brother, we all got tissues that year, he raised his game the next year.... we all got slippers!

Many thanks to Ruth from Miss Bumbles for taking part in this feature. Click here to visit her Etsy shop. (That's if I haven't emptied it first!)

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

12 Days Of Etsy: Photography Dream


1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Yann, I'm 37, I am half French and half Czech by my mother. I was born in the centre of France, and I now live right next to Paris, 10 mins from the historical centre. I work as a professional photographer, in many different areas : corporate events, portraits, product packshots (wine, champagne, jewellery, fashion accessories... )




2. How did you choose your shop name?

I chose photographydream as a shop name, because I am hoping to make people travel in my own dreams and stories through photographs. 


3. What do you enjoy photographing the most?

I love all the photographs I publish (else I would not publish them ;) ) because each one of them is a moment of my life, a memory, an emotion, a dream...
My current favourites are pictures from my "Tiny trades" series : self-portraits of made-up tiny trades, in a simple and poetic world. I love this project, because it makes you think of all the little details in life, I am sure you will never look at a kiwi fruit the same way after you met the kiwi hairdresser, and when you see the moon has changed quarter again, you will know who did this ;)

www.etsy.com/listing/108831121/kitchen-art-food-photography-still-life
www.etsy.com/listing/62888439/photography-print-wall-decor-original
www.etsy.com/listing/90842937/i-love-you-photography-valentine-book
www.etsy.com/listing/71204756/paris-photography-france-eiffel-tower-in

4. What is the best seller in your shop?

Many different photos have been bestsellers : 
The border, the blizzard, Allo Big Ben, Eiffel tower in the mist, the rainbow umbrella, the birds .... 
Currently, it's The seed gatherer, one of the photos from the Tiny trades series, together with the strawberry seed-sticker and the leave cutter ! 

www.Etsy.com/listing/97778755


5. Your work sells all over the world, in which parts of the world is your work most popular?

60% of my photos leave for the United States, many are now living in Australia and Canada, and of course, many in France. It is really exciting to know your work is appreciated in so many different places !


6. What inspires you?

What I try to convey with my photography, is a reflection - sometimes a naive one - of the world I dream of: simple, happy, beautiful, colourful and peaceful. This is not really what the real world is like, but it's what I would like to share with my view.



7. How long have you been a photographer?

I have been a professional photographer for 9 years, but taking pictures since I was about 11. I used to take pictures of my friends, cats, landscapes... All the time, with an old camera I found in my parents'attic. Of course, now I can see all the faults in them, but I do feel a pinch of nostalgia looking at these memories. 
At age 29 I decided to become a professional photographer, and joined a photographer school in Paris. After two years of intensive study I received the 5th prize in my class with honours and then my career was launched. Since then, I have been working for many, many different companies, and making a lot of creative photography for myself too.


8. What are your other hobbies?

I really love going to flea markets, in Paris and elsewhere ( there are a lot of flea markets here in the spring and summer ). There, I can find really unusual items, which I can use in my tiny trades pictures. I love looking at and feeling old items, and it's even better when the seller can narrate the item's story..' 




9. Do you collect anything?

I don't have a specific collection, but if I happen upon an old caméra, or an old item related to photography for example old glass plaques from 1900, I can spend a lot of time looking at them... And often end up buying them !!


10. What is your favourite Christmas tradition?

My favourite tradition is the Christmas Eve supper, when the whole family is gathered ( with nice things to eat and drink, which is never a bad thing :o). Then opening the presents next to the chimney ! I guess I am still a child at heart :o)
It's one of the rare moments of the year when the family is together, and this is really nice. 




11. Do you have a favourite Christmas song or carol?

No, I don't have a favourite Christmas carol, I'm not too much into carols, I prefer by far the talks and laughters from everyone who is gathered around the fire at present-opening times :o)



12. What is the funniest Christmas present you have ever been given?

The funniest present... or rather presents : one year, I said I liked cooking, so at Christmas, I received 3 cookbooks, cooking tools, a cheesegrater, two apple-peelers... so now , before talking about what I like to do, in the pre-holiday season, I think a lot !


Many thanks to Yann for taking part in this feature. Click here to visit his Etsy shop.


Tuesday, 25 December 2012

12 Days Of Etsy: Giraffes Kiss


1. Tell us a bit about yourself. 

I am a Mum and a step mum. I work full time and the miniature food jewellery is more of a hobby, but I put a lot of time and effort into my shop, whenever I have a spare moment really, mainly because I absolutely love doing it.


2. How did you choose your shop name? 

I wanted a name that included a giraffe reference, and giraffes kisses sound lovely.


3. What is your favourite item to make? 

I like making the pie jewellery, because I make it up like a real pie, but in miniature. It's like baking for really tiny people, and when I get compliments on how realistic it is, that makes it all worthwhile.






4. What is the best seller in your shop? 

Recently, my cookie drawing pins have sold very well, and lemon meringue pie earrings seem popular too. I don't always remake a sold item straight away because my brain is so full of new ideas that I get frustrated if I can't get to work on them. 





5. Your work sells all over the world, in which parts of the world is your work most popular? 

I sell mainly to the UK and the USA but I have had orders go all over the place...I think it is really exciting to know that something you created is being worn hundreds of miles away.


6. What inspires you? 

Food of course! I try to keep my shop fresh by looking for new ideas all the time, and I love creating something no one else makes. I often have a good look online before I make something new to see if it is already being done...and if it isn't ...I'm off and running.

7. How long have you been crafting? 

I've always been arty and I did a BTech in art and design when I was 17.
So I've always made things and I played around with polymer clay several times over the years then put it down again for various reasons. I've only been making miniature food for a couple of years after I saw some earrings on line and figured that I could make them rather than buy them.




8. What are your other hobbies? 

I don't have time for any other hobbies. If I could have a couple of extra hours a week, I have played with needle felting and a friend of mine who started with me at the same time now has a successful shop on Etsy too, selling gorgeous needle felted miniature animals.


9. Do you collect anything? 

Giraffes! All variants from cuddly toys to toothbrushes. Our house looks a bit like a wildlife reserve.


10. What is your favourite Christmas tradition? 

Definitely the family Christmas dinner!





11. Do you have a favourite Christmas song or carol? 

No, I love all the Christmas songs, old and new...it wouldn't be Christmas without them. There are memories in every song, of my Dad, my childhood, Christmas parties.....and as soon as the music starts, you really feel Christmassy.


12. What is the funniest Christmas present you have ever been given? 

A giraffe shaped toilet brush. I've never used it..its too cute, so it is an ornament to be admired... lol. Oh and I have a quacking duck hand puppet that I saw in a shop a couple of years ago and was playing around with, so my lovely other half went back and bought it for me.

Many thanks to Giraffes Kiss for taking part in this feature. Click here to visit her Etsy shop.