Wednesday, 6 February 2013

More Etsy Goodies

           I have still been so busy sorting through all of my stuff (my house will soon be half empty.) I can't believe it's February already. The quicker this year goes the better, and we will be even closer to our move to England.
    Even though I have been clearing out very large amounts I haven't stopped buying completely. Etsy continues to tempt me!
      Of course I continue to add to my Miss Bumbles collection (I now have over 90!)
        Another shop I love is Boopsie Daisy. And I thought I would share with you the four dolls I have from this shop.




My very first doll was a custom made black cat called Pawlie.



Next I was luck enough to grab Gimmick from the 2012 Halloween range.




This custom made doll is based on my cat, Ruby and her love of Malteser sweets. 




I snapped up Drippy the gingerbread girl at the same time as Ruby.


    I have yet to take pictures of all my dolls. All pictures belong to Boopsie Daisy, find her Etsy shop here.
      Although I can't start another large collection, I do have a few more dolls on my wishlist.  I'd love a Marie Antoinette doll, an all white witch like a previous Halloween doll and a little French girl. I'm sure there will be more to come this year!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Snow Much Fun!

      The snow is still falling quite heavily today. I'm not a great fan of the snow so I've opted to stay inside today.
         But my Mum decided to go out and build a very jolly snowman complete with wellies! I think he's rather sweet.



Thursday, 24 January 2013

Old Habits Die Hard

           Old habits die hard. As much as I am very busy clearing out most of my possessions, there is still one thing I find impossible to resist...
    The wonderful creations from my favourite Etsy shop, Miss Bumbles. I first discovered this shop in 2010 and bought my first piece, a custom made black cat. Up until March last year I had six pieces. But since then I have continued to add to the collection and I now have 86 pieces (technically more as my three garlands have multiple pieces on them!)
     My latest delivery from Miss B arrived at the weekend. And was a treat for the eyes, a box full of beautiful pastel colours.










Three Easter beauties, the pastel colours are just gorgeous. And I loved the idea of having an Easter Guinea Pig instead of an Easter Bunny!




Possibly one of the cutest bunnies ever, I just fell in love with him. Who can resist a bunny in boots?




And last but certainly not least is this very handsome Guinea called Beau. He's a very dapper chap complete with top hat and gloves.


I've been so busy with ebay that I haven't had time to snap these beauties yet, I haven't even had time to add them to the cabinet. All pictures belong to Miss Bumbles, click here to visit her Etsy shop.


Monday, 21 January 2013

Busy January

              January seems to have flown by so far. I am back in clearing out mode. And have more stuff listed on ebay and a few bits in a local auction. I still have quite a lot to get rid of so I thought I'd better start now!
      Anyone who knows me knows how much I love black cats. I have a large collection of black cat stuff that I've been collecting since I was a teenager.
I thought I would collect them until I was an old lady. But I've decided that the collection has to go! I have about 90% of my collection set aside and ready to go up for sale in the next couple of months. I have items from 1929 to the present day.
      But who needs all that stuff when I have the two best black cats in the world!






Saturday, 5 January 2013

12 Days Of Etsy: Mama Gourds

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.


Tongue in cheek, I think of myself as an illustrator gone awry. During and after college I worked as a freelance illustrator, doing any kind of creative job I could get my hands on. The variety was so much fun – from painting color swatches for a fabric designer to wall murals, renderings, newspaper ads, brochures for car dealers, etc. Whew! It was quite a whirlwind of survival, but I was young and hungry!
Then I landed a dream job working for a stationery company full time. Fast forward ten years or so, and there I was, out in the country, with a house, husband, and two daughters, not to mention the assorted menagerie of dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs. Oh, and a gigantic garden.
I had since stopped working professionally to care for my family, but that creative restlessness refused to leave me alone. One year on a lark I grew some gourds in the garden; when they dried, we painted them - that should be end of story and on to the next kid craft of mud pies or pinecone animals. But then my lovely Sister-in-law requested more painted gourds. Then someone uttered the fateful words “YOU COULD SELL THOSE.” I was off and running. NEVER in my life would I have thought my skills would be directed at gourds, especially professionally. Good grief, how odd. Even the word ‘Gourd’ is odd. I’ve gone awry but now I never want to go back!








2. How did you choose your shop name?

I chose my shop name because I now was a ‘mama’ to my daughters as well as all these little gourd personalities; they were all my ‘babies.’ For the first time, after many a year working closely with an art director, I was making all the creative decisions myself, and every piece felt so personal. I used to joke around that I was selling my children! I think all you fellow artists know what I’m talking about.



3. What do you enjoy making the most?


It’s difficult to say which piece I enjoy creating the most. Of course I always get excited about working on a new idea, or some interesting gourd shape I’ve found, but I tend to fall in love with whatever piece I’m working on. I suppose that is why my shop isn’t jam-packed: I’m slow because I tend to linger on the details. I’ve been told, as a businessperson I should ‘get over that,’ but it is precisely what makes it so fun! The gourd develops a backstory. I always thought it was a little weird how artists could talk about their work as separate from themselves, as if characters they invented somehow evolved on their own. I understand that better now. Ha! As I’m looking at this silly gnome sitting on my painting table. (what has he been up to?)





4. What is the best seller in your shop?


I think the Santas are the best sellers, but perhaps I should say the most consistent sellers. That may be due to the fact that I’ve made them most consistently over the past few years. Though I have been more interested in making them with curving wonky heads……or no neck…..or long skinny bodies.........or as snowmen……or……..





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


So far my work is most popular in the U.S., where I live. But what a delight to think there are snowmen in China, mermaids in Australia, various little egg people in the UK, etc. How lucky is that?


6. What inspires you?


My inspiration comes from many different sources: my family, our animals, books, fairy tales, movies, etc. All of it! Good ideas are all over the place! I once drove by a young woman waiting at the bus stop – she was such a dazzling combination of colors that I had to stop and take her picture. (Yes, I asked her permission, and yes, she thought I was a nut. I suppose I was.) There are so many artists and illustrators whose work I love : Lynne Munsinger, Maurice Sendak (have you ever seen his illustrations for the Grimm Fairy Tales?), James Christenson, Tasha Tudor, Janet Ahlberg, Gustav Klimt and Jane Sassaman, to name a very few. When I discovered artists such as as Nicol Sayre, Lori Mitchell, and Dee Foust, they opened a window to what might be possible.


7. How long have you been crafting?


'Mama Gourds' has been ticking along for about 5 years now, though I have been creating since I was a kid. I used to spend hours and hours (and later days) constructing miniature villages and towns for these tiny rubber animals I had, usually outside. I always loved drawing and painting, and followed that love through college. While I had excellent skills, my drawings and paintings always seemed to have a sort of a stiff quality to them; now I know why. I think I have found my calling!





8. What are your other hobbies?


Being a Mom, a wife and a small business owner does not leave a large amount of time for extra hobbies! You could say growing the gourds I use is a hobby. Or even just gardening – I keep trying to cultivate my garden as an enchanted place, though it remains a battleground for the armies of snails, bugs and seemingly endless gophers. 


9. Do you collect anything?


Over the years I have wall-papered the inside of my garden shed with all the seed packets I’ve used; though to look at it, you’d never guess I really have planted all those seeds. Darn gophers. So I collect seed packets. 


10. What is your favourite Christmas tradition?


My favorite part of Christmas is all the twinkly Christmas lights! I wish they could be up all year.





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


As far as Christmas carols, it is not so much a favorite song as it is a favorite way of singing them. I tend to steer towards bad renditions of Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas,” while the girls like to do silly voices of “Rudolf” or “Frosty.” Usually one will start singing, and the rest of us will get the song stuck in our heads, then we'll create own own wacky versions. My Husband does a lot of eye-rolling this time of year.



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


One of the funniest Christmases we had was when we purchased a trampoline for the girls, but it did not arrive in time for Christmas. I forged a note from Santa explaining that he had brought them a trampoline, but when he came down the chimney, he landed on it and it broke. He’d had too many cookies! It was cute and funny until the girls started telling everyone they saw about ‘Santa’s mistake;’ then every family member and friend could see how disorganized we were that year. Ah, well. We are still jumping on it!






Many thanks to Lisa From Mama Gourds for taking part in this feature. Click here to visit her Etsy shop.





12 Days Of Etsy: Make It Awesome

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.



I'm a visual artist and writer. I have three published books of my collage, drawing and poety work. I've been doing this since the early 90s. I started making bunnies around then. I cut up an old sweater and started sewing. There was never a plan. 



2. How did you choose your shop name?



It's kind of a joke. I actually really need to change it. It doesn't reflect the bunnies at all. I chose it way back in 2006. Maybe earlier? I used it as my personal website. It was just something a friend said that slipped out. 'Make it awesome'. It's just about making things better.






3. What is your favourite item to make? 


Bunnies are fun but my heart is more with my art. The bunnies help support my other art practices. I can only make them once or twice a year. I make a small collection.



4. What is the best seller in your shop? 



The bunny!







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



I send alot of packages to Australia. I love that country. Our aesthetics jibe.


6. What inspires you? 



Almost anything. I like nature and the city. Beatrix Potter, Frida Kahlo...all the great lady artists. I consume alot of pop culture. I watch movies while I sew and then write reviews which are sometimes on Rookie. I work for them as well.
www.rookiemag.com



7. How long have you been crafting? 



Since I was a child.



8. What are your other hobbies? 


Trying to be healthy. listening to music. trying to be funny. 



9. Do you collect anything? 


Silly things. I like Bunnykins and depression-era dolls. Exquisite teacups and fun vintage eggcups. I put bunnies in them to give them a new life. Often an eggcup just sits around. It's a perfect bunny seat.





10. What is your favourite Christmas tradition?



Driving around looking at Christmas lights



11. Do you have a favourite Christmas song?




Silent Night is a tearjerker.








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



I'm drawing a complete blank on this one. Just this year my family has started a new tradition of 'no gifts'. This is both liberating and kinda sad but kind of great. We all just buy what we want for ourselves. I do love presents!!!




Many thanks to Sonja from Make It Awesome for taking part in this feature. Click here to visit her Etsy shop.

Friday, 4 January 2013

12 Days Of Etsy: Roobys


1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Rooby and I love Fabrics and skirts! I live on an Island by a Castle with my two little kittens and three Children.


2. How did you choose your shop name?

My name was Ruby and Rooby was a cuter spelling!



3. What do you enjoy making the most?

I enjoy making skirts! 








4. What is the best seller in your shop?

Ummm... probably anything to do with Dr Who at the moment.







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

Most of my skirts ship off to the USA.




6. What inspires you?

Retro..bad taste retro and 50s picture print fabrics.






7. How long have you been crafting?

 I've been making things since I was a baby!!



8. What are your other hobbies?

Reading, especially Tolkein, looking after my cats and going on adventures.



9. Do you collect anything?

No I don't collect!



10. What is your favourite Christmas tradition?

My fav christmas tradition is Turkey!




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

Ummm... fav christmas song is Probably SLADE..I love Slade!! ( So here it is merry Christmas...)



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


Ummm... My mum gave me a new loo seat last year!!!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

12 Days Of Etsy: Curious Pip

1. Tell us a bit about yourself



I am a Bristol based textile artist and illustrator creating a unique line of dolls,brooches and illustrations all stemming from my love of old Hollywood,circus history and fairytales. I originally trained and worked as an actor for many years but I always had a desire to create a niche for my constant sketching and making. After my son was born I developed my skills and created Curious Pip.



I use a variety of new and vintage fabrics to capture the charisma and charm of old Hollywood, I guess my aim is to create work which not only evokes nostalgia but brings comfort and a smile to your face. I'm rather obsessed with tatty vintage costumes! 


2. How did you choose your shop name?


I had reams of possible names for my business but my little boy liked the word Pip and I love the word Curious. My household shelves are full of interesting finds and curiosities. Victorian wooden dutch dolls, Swedish vintage glass, old children's toys and books, even feathers, bones and fossils!




3. What do you enjoy making the most?



I love the whole process of creation, from my early scribbles and research to sitting down with a pot of coffee and drawing a more detailed sketch. I love choosing and playing with fabrics. The face and hair are an exciting stage because they then seem to develop a personality. I particularly love making my Circus Showgirls. I love the theatricality, bold stripes, stars and feathers!







4. What is the best seller in your shop?



Since every doll is unique its difficult to say. People seemed to love my Christmas fairies. There was also a lot of interest in my Pink haired Marie Antoinette doll. 5 people wanted that little candy coloured cupcake of a doll.










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



I think its Australia at the moment, yes I seem to ship alot to Australia. U.S and UK. My blog appears to have quite a following in Bahrain - 

lots of pageviews from Bahrain. Very interesting.


6. What inspires you?



Old Hollywood glamour, showgirl routines in old Busby Berkeley musicals, The Ziegfeld Follies and circus history. I'm forever inspired by costume and its ability to create magic.



7. How long have you been crafting?



As long as I can remember I have always sketched and made things. I used to knit clothes for my Sindy dolls when I was a child (with the help of my mum) tapestry, flower arranging, sewing and making paper dolls...







8. What are your other hobbies?



Well apart from making and illustrating I enjoy dancing. I tap dance and do ballet - as a hobby. Since giving up acting 5 years ago it fills that void of what I got from performance. I did a fair bit of physical theatre but I never danced professionally during my career. I did ballet as a child but tap is totally new to me - I love it. I love going to the cinema, the theatre and reading. I've always got several books on the go. This time of year ghost stories are my favourite. Susan Hill's ghost stories are chilling! My plans for 2013 are to learn the accordion and do some Aeriel performance. We have a circus school at the bottom of our road so I've no excuse to not do a class.







9. Do you collect anything?



Not so much these days but I've had my moments. My husband and I have both been obsessive collectors in the past - chairs, glass, vintage clothes, the list goes on! Our shelves are still full of curious objects. We love flea markets and car boot sales.



10. What is your favourite Christmas tradition?



My favourite Christmas tradition has to be the fetching and decorating of the tree. I love a real tree. Nothing beats the smell and look of a real festive spruce in your household. I love taking out all the decorations that were so lovingly put away last year. My little boy thinks they're like treasures! His particular favourites are two little retro reindeers I've had for years! However I guess my answer might be swayed a little this year in favour of my little boys first nativity play! oh I love a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie too of course.



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



Fairytale of New York and Rosemary Clooney singing Here Comes Suzy Snowflake.








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


I'm writing this several days before Christmas 2012...So I'll let you know!



Many thanks to Sarah from Curious Pip for taking part in this feature. Click here to visit her Etsy shop.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

12 Days Of Etsy: Andrea Kett


1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born in Dublin,Ireland ,after leaving school I studied animation at Dun Laoighaire College of Art & Design (Dublin) for 3 years,I moved to the Uk a few years back to complete my studies at Bristol University.I currently live in Manchester where I work as a freelance illustrator & general collector of Vintage goodies.


2. How did you choose your shop name?

As much as I like a clever pun or a witty name I decided to stick with my own name (Andrea Kett) 


3. What do you enjoy drawing the most?

Probably glamorous ladies (i used to want to be a fashion designer when I was younger,so naturally I love drawing  outrageous outfits, and accessories)




4. What is the best seller in your shop?

Probably my paper doll books (Miss Marpole and Undead Threads especially),although I have been selling a lot of greetings cards this year too,I find that cards are something that people always need  ...(also anything with Marie Antoinette sells well)





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

I would say the vast majority of my customers are from the UK or the US.


6. What inspires you?

Lots of things inspire me from music to Vintage fashion (mainly 1920’s -1950s), a good film,especially ones with unusual costumes. John Waters films are a real favourites of mine (I love all the little details,even down to the clever names he gives his characters).I am partial to an ol’ browse around a charity shop too,(these are a great source for my other craze,collecting vintage cake decorating books) 




7. How long have you been an artist?


I don’t really remember a time when I wasn't drawing, but I suppose technically I've been working as a full time illustrator for about 12 years or so.



8. What are your other hobbies?

As I mentioned earlier,I like reading,watching films,general treasure hunting etc (nothing sporty I'm afraid)





9. Do you collect anything?

Yes definitely, my house is packed to the rafters with my collection of lovelies, Vintage tins,wooden peg dolls (Victorian ones),Worzel Gummidge memorabilia, jewellery, odd china, vintage cake decorating/kids party books, fancy stationary,figurines,seaside postcards... to name but a few.


10. What is your favourite Christmas tradition?

Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without the Snowman or the Worzel Gummidge Christmas special on TV (not to mention Muppets Christmas Carol & Elf) & no matter how old I get I must insist on a selection box too!!




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

My Fav Christmas song would be between the Pogues “fairytale of New York” & The Pretenders “2000 miles”
Favourite Christmas Carols :Good King Wenceslas & Hark the Herald angels sing




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

I'm not sure about the funniest but certainly one of my favourites was a Barbie Mc Donalds 
(i remember my poor Dad spending the morning putting all the stickers on it ,I thought I would die from the excitement and I can still picture it as though it were yesterday....Happy days)


Many thanks to Andrea from Andrea Kett for taking part in this feature. Click here to visit her Etsy shop.