Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Blue Wave Glass

Today's featured shop makes me realize, once again, what an amazing place Etsy is.  There is so much variety!  As a seller myself, it's fascinating to discover and explore what others create, and Blue Wave Glass is certainly no exception.  I personally wouldn't know the first thing about working with stained class, but owner Jennifer (as you'll soon see) is an incredible talent.  Her creations are so gorgeous and so intricate; I just love all the color and detail!

Turquoise Mosaic Trivet Leaf Shape Accent Piece

CM: Tell us a bit about yourself...
JS: Hi...My name is Jennifer and my Shop is Blue Wave Glass ~ Stained Glass Mosaics. I live in South West Florida with my husband and two daughters. I am inspired always by nature...birds, butterflies, dragonflies, and all kinds of flowers and plants. I want to make items that people will really use and display in there homes and gardens. I call it Functional Art - Flowers Pots, Candle Holders, Picture Frames, Birdhouses and Wall Hangings. I have so many more ideas! I make each item like I was making a gift for my own friend or family. And I have a lot of fun making each and every one.

Orange Stained Glass Mosaic Picture Frame 10% OFF

CM: When and how did you start making stained glass mosaics? Did someone teach you?
JS: I have been making mosaic for years now...mostly flower pots for myself, family, and friends. I use Stained Glass because I love the way light refracts and makes it shine, and there are so many colors to choose from..it's never ending.

SALE 10% OFF Birdhouse Stained Glass Mosaic Purple Flowers

CM: How long does it take you to make a piece to sell? What's the process like? Your workspace?
JS: Each piece is very different...some take only an hour or two to complete the design. After I hand cut the stained glass, I use an adhesive to place each piece of glass. It then has to cure for at least one day. Then it can be grouted and sealed. My garage is my studio for cutting glass, then I like to be at the kitchen or lanai table so I can enjoy my family while I work.

Mosaic Candle Holder Blue Square

CM: What's the best thing about selling on Etsy? The most challenging?
JS: I have always loved handmade items, going to craft and art shows. I just love to see my items being viewed and liked by so many people. It makes you feel really good. The most challenging for sure is trying to compete with so many amazing artists an Etsy!

Sale 10% OFF Stained Glass Blue and Purple Mosaic Flower Pot
CM: What's your favorite item from your own shop right now?
JS: I am a bird lover, so right now my favorite item in my shop is this Blue Bird Mosaic Candle Holder. I love the colors and I love that when you are when not using it as a candle holder, you can place it on a little art easel and show it off. It is so pretty when light shines through.

Blue Bird Mosaic Candle Holder Decorative Display Plate 10% OFF

CM: Do you have a favorite shop or item on Etsy? If so, which one(s)?
JS: I have so many favorites...it's really hard to pick! This painting is so pretty, I love the colors and it would look great in my house, when I get a chance to re-decorate!

Mosaic Candle Holder Blue-Green Beach Themed

A big thank you to Jennifer!  Remember, stay tuned for more great Etsy shops!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Friedasophie Jewelry

Today's featured shop is Friedasophie!  I love the simple elegance present in each and every one of the designs.  Subtle juxtapositions between raw lines and smooth stones make for a lovely collection of necklaces, earrings and bracelets.  So lovely!

Prong set Amethyst stalactite 24k gold necklace

CM: Tell us a bit about yourself...
FS: I have been artistically influenced greatly by my two grandmothers who were fashion designers and jewelry collectors. My first piece of jewelry was given to me by my grandmother Frieda. I appreciate the Art Deco and Edwardian eras. I often get design ideas by watching vintage movies, attending a vintage fair or visiting the museum.
Or sometimes I just go to a flower show or to the forest for new design ideas.
I love to travel for new inspiration too.

Brilliant emerald green onyx gold cluster hoop earrings

CM: When and how did you start making jewelry? Did someone teach you?
FS: I made my first piece when I was 5 years old. My grandmother gave me one of her amethyst necklaces from 1875 and i took it apart and made necklaces out of it for my dolls. I am a self thought artist but I used many books and sometimes asked friends for help.

Single Herkimer Diamond Gold Necklace

CM: How long does it take you to make a piece to sell? What's the process like? Your workspace?
FS: It takes me anything from 30minutes to 4 hours to make a piece.
I have a little work bench set up in my office where I work in the evenings.
I typically press flowers and leaves and than trace them on silver metal.

Mocha brown Topaz 24k gold bangle
CM: What's the best thing about selling on Etsy? The most challenging?
FS: Etsy is fantastic. They have a great team that helps promoting all
Etsy shops daily and they often offer great tips to improve your buisness
in the storck articles. I do not really find it challenging to sell on etsy.

Victoriana ruby aquamarine gold hoop earrings
CM: What's your favorite item from your own shop right now?
SD: I love my Fleur de lis orchid 14k gold necklace. I am wearing a silver
version I made for myself and can't seem to take it off.

Fleur de lis orchid 14k gold necklace

CM: Do you have a favorite shop or item on Etsy? If so, which one(s)?
I love Alexandra Grecco. She creates the prettiest most delicate dresses and fine lingerie.

Darling Turquoise Blue Drop Necklace
Thank you Friedasophie!  Stay tuned for more fantastic Etsy shops...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Art of Aaron Fung

When I first came across today's featured shop, I sat in awe of the delicate, haunting beauty of Aaron Fung's paintings and drawings.  Ethereal and full of emotion's shadows and dark corners, the paintings somehow manage to evoke an angelic grittiness.  Here's what the artist has to say...

A Beautiful Dream Image - original drawing fine art Giclee print

CM: Tell us a bit about yourself...
AF:  The Old English word for one who studies history is "timewriter."

       That is how I would like to be known, as the timewriter...
                                                                       Or the dream catcher...
                                                                                  My name is Aaron Fung.

   There is not much to say about myself.
No, that was not me you read about in the newspapers; I have not been featured in the evening news; nor have I any level of recognition in the blogosphere.
   I have a grand total of 7 followers on Twitter, and I think my last tweet scared away 2 of them.
I am the author of a blog, with a whopping 2 subscribers, and one of them is me.
   There is nothing you need to know about me.
I am simple: I create art, and I box.
   And I study history at the University of California Berkeley, with emphasis on early modern European thought.

Vision of a Wanderer- original drawing fine art Giclee print

CM: When and how did you start drawing?
AF: I have been drawing since childhood, as I assume most folks.
   The difference is I never put aside my Crayolas.
I guess I started drawing because, as a child, I was never very good at coloring.
   I don't think I was ever very good at coloring; as hard as I tried I could never color within the lines. I remember the kids who colored neatly were complimented by the teacher, but I only received   admonishment for my messiness.
   The banal pictures in the coloring books, or indeed in any of the books always disappointed me. As a child, I always wanted the illustrations to be more, to be my vision.
   Why couldn't the Pete the Parakeet stand before a stormy tempest? Why couldn't Peter Rabbit live in a tower of ancient stone?
   Why couldn't Snow White play Duckhunt on a Nintendo system?
I drew on all the illustrations in all my books.
   Not only did I not color between the lines, I ignored the lines.
And I just continued to ignore the lines, creating my vicarious daydreams in pigment.

In the Sphere of Dream and Spell - original drawing fine art Giclee print

CM: What inspires your art?
AF: I am inspired by the muse.
  Or perhaps the ineffability of the muse, a muse that cannot be understood, only followed into aesthetic madness.
  Steven Pressfield, in his book "The War of Art," describes how the ancient Greeks say that one cannot become an artist without being seized by the divine madness of the muse; without this frenzy the craftsman cannot rise above the level of well trained hack.
  The Greeks call this spirit Daemon: the Romans call it Genius.

We call it Inspiration.

  When I seek to analyze my muse, to describe her beauty, the uncertain darkness within her heart, I find my diction grasps at little more than the most superficial mascara upon her brow.
   Perhaps I cannot describe my inspiration directly; I must approach it indirectly, like an explorer rather than a logician.
   I am inspired by music. Like Schopenhauer I believe music, along with the other arts, provide us a glimpse beyond the illusion of phenomenal. But glimpse is not the right word, rather... feeling, and intuition...
    When questing for the Holy Grail, the Arthurian knight began his journey alone, where the forest was thickest and darkest - where none had tread before; to tread in the path of another is dishonor: it is the knight's - the individual's - duty to find his own way through the dark.
   We fear the darkness - the unknown, the depths.
                The artist wanders the depths, the darkness where few dare to tread.
 I seek to create in each work of art a dream catcher - haunted by the echo of the dream.

Eternity in a Single Hour- original drawing fine art Giclee print 

CM: Do you have a favorite thing in your shop right now? If so, which?
AF: My current favorite is this one.
   I'll not ruin the piece by "explaining" it to you, as such explanations tend to rob the art of its depth, reducing it to an academic exercise.
   I think it is enough to say that it is my most technically proficient portrait in my shop.
I am working on some new pieces that I hope will replace this one as my favorite, though.
   I feel I must constantly advance my art, to go farther; I must strive to exceed my last efforts.

A Vision Born of Enigmatic Depth - original drawing fine art Giclee print

CM: Do you have any favorite items or shops on Etsy? If so, which one(s)?
AF: There are a lot of wonderful pieces on Etsy, too many to list here.
 But feel free to peruse my favorite list.

was never good at saying good byes, so I'll instead leave you with a few lines from Goethe's "Faust", as Goethe says more in four lines than I could in a thousand.

"Give us a play with such emotion!
Reach into life, it is a teeming ocean!
All live in it, not many know it well,
And where you seize it, it exerts a spell."
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Cruelty of Victory is the Pinnacle of Life's Jubilation - original drawing fine art giclee print
Thank you, Aaron!  Stay tuned for more great Etsy shops this week!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Phew!  It's been a busy week for me, and I haven't been able to post as much as I'd like, but there are just so many great Etsy shops to feature!  Today's shop is Clayshapes, which specializes in gorgeous pottery designs.  I immediately fell in love with owner Leslie's organic shapes and colors, and was blown away to learn she's only been doing this for eight months!  Her sea inspired creations are so lovely, it's hard to believe they're also functional!

sea urchin fruit bowl
CM: Tell us a bit about yourself...
LF:  Before discovering pottery about 8 months ago, I had a pretty exciting career as a journalist and television producer - I spent 8 years as a newspaper reporter and then switched over to television where I worked as a producer/director on an investigative show -- the Canadian version of 60 minutes. I did that for a number of years, and then started a busy freelance career as a producer for a variety of independent companies -- and had a blast traveling the world and making tv shows that ranged from documentaries about women giving birth, to shows about Biblical archaeology -- quite a range of topcis! but about a year ago I decided to take a break from the constant travel and long hours. The plan was to take some creative classes -- my mom and all my aunts and my sister are all artists - and I figured it was time that I dabbled a little bit too.

yellow and aqua curvy bowls

CM: When and how did you start working with clay? Did someone teach you?
LF:  Last fall I took a weekly night course at a local museum for about 8 weeks -- and about a week in I was hooked! I immediately started looking on Craigslist for a used kiln, and went to work rearranging my basement to make room for a small studio. I scoured the internet and my local library for info about glazing and firing -- and learned a lot and continue to teach myself various different techniques. Now that I have my own kiln, I will likely take workshops when I see interesting ones, rather than courses. I love trying to figure out techniques myself -- trial and error can be frustrating, but also very empowering. I am always amazed at what happens when I sit down with lump of clay -- I never really know what will reveal itself.

bronze meteor bowl
CM: How long does it take you to make a piece to sell? What's the process like? Your workspace?
LF:  I work in my studio 3 or 4 days a week -- After I walk my dog each morning I retreat there, turn on my gas fireplace, tune into CBC radio, slice off a piece of clay and start building, or pinching. If I'm making pinch pots, I often get 3 or 4 started -- they need to harden up a little after their initial "pinching" before I can refine them, so I like to have a few going at different stages. I also make slab pieces -- that need to form over makeshift molds for a while before I can work on them further...so everything is in a state of flux and I come and go from my studio several times a day.

It sometimes takes a few days of partial drying, trimming, carving etc. before each piece is ready to dry completely. That takes a few more days, and at the bone dry stage they are ready for their first firing. It take about 24 hours to fire and cool the pieces before I can glaze them, and then there's a second firing and cooling. The entire process, for a load of pieces, takes about 10 days or more-- and I usually have 5 -8 pieces, depending on their sizes.
My studio is in a finished room in my basement that has the aforementioned fireplace (very cozy) and two work tables -- one for forming and working on the pieces before they are bisque fired, and a separate table where I glaze my work.

My dog Gracie (a schnoodle) hangs out with me all day long and is my distraction for long walks while the pieces harden up a little between the stages of work required to finish them. She's good company, although she doesn't really get what I'm doing, and would rather be playing.

Beach House seashell bowls
CM: What's the best thing about selling on Etsy? The most challenging?
LF:  I love that I can sit in my studio, with my computer on my lap and communicate with hundreds of Etsy buyers and sellers every day. I love the feedback from customers and the great community of sellers, always available to encourage and offer advice.
Challenging: It's difficult getting seen when there are more than 95,000 pieces of pottery for sale on Etsy -- but it's such an interesting challenge figuring out how to market my work, that I'm really having a great time. And thanks to your fantastic blog -- a few more people will see my work now too! Thank you!

2 creamy blue snack bowls
CM: What's your favorite item from your own shop right now?
LF:  This will seem odd, but I'm loving all my little sets of bowls and tea bowls -- all pinch pots that are glazed in different colors and textures. I love their primitive shapes and textures. I know a lot of people enjoy a perfectly thrown pot -- but at the moment, I prefer the very handmade look and organic feel of these pieces -- you can literally see my fingermarks all over them! I know this is not to everyone's taste -- but it's the phase I am in right now and I'm quite smitten with them.

3 teabowls or prep bowls
CM: Do you have a favorite shop or item on Etsy? If so, which one(s)?
LF:  One of my favorite pottery artists on Etsy is Roberta Polfus -- I just love her beautiful and strange pieces -- so inspired by nature, but unrecognizable as anything specific:
I also love these little "madge dishes" - made with a marble melted in the bottom of each plate! I think they are magical.
I have dozens of other favorites on Etsy, but I'll stop here, for now.

Not Granny's teacups

A big thank you to Leslie!  Stay tuned for more great Etsy shops - I'll try to post more this week!  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Today's featured shop is Veganville!  Whether you're vegan, lactose intolerant, or just interested in healthy treat alternatives, you'll love this shop!  Owner Gigi specializes in drool-worthy cakes, cookies and brownies - just take a look at some of the pictures!  Seriously, if all vegan baked goods looked this scrumptious, I would never eat eggs or milk again!

Vegan PB and Chocolate Chip Just Got Married Voopee Pies Perfect Gift

CM: Tell us a bit about yourself...
G: Well if a psychic told me 20 years ago that I'd be baking for a living I would have called them half baked and told them they were in the wrong business.  I loved cooking but baking...eh not so much. I pretty much sucked at baking, unless it had something illegal in it (that's in the past now).  In the past I've worked a lot of different jobs to support my writing and acting/career (which I've made money at). I've worked in kitchens, managed a health food store, coached tennis and was even an elf once. . I love animals and my firends, and have been a vegetarian for several decades and a vegan for about 6 or 7.
Oh yeah, did I tell you I'm an Aries?

Vegan Whoopie Pie Voopee Assortment Gift Box Perfect Gift 

CM: When and how did you start baking vegan treats?
G: Life journeys can include a lot of intersecting paths. I started baking about 17 years ago. One day my sister who had two toddlers at the time decided to make oatmeal cookies. One of the kids needed her attention and I was left with an unfinished batter. I threw in everything but the kitchen sink. Chips, raisins, two kinds of nuts you name it. My sister used to have people over everyday and everyone raved about these crazy oatmeal cookies. I started baking them every day and figured if I could bake crazy good oatmeal cookies then I could bake more things. I'm a voracious reader so I started soaking up everything from Julia to Moosewood. 8 years later I started selling baked goods. Then I became a vegan and had to learn how to bake without sacirficing taste and without using any animal product.  I decided I would give up baking before I used an egg.

Vegan Gummies Beyond the Sea Cupcakes Perfect Gift

CM: What got you interested in selling your treats on Etsy?
G: My talented friend Gil, told me to check out Etsy. He never lets me forget it either ;) I really loved the idea of sharing my baked goods with someone in a remote area of the country who might not have access to vegan products. I also loved sharing food with a wider community. It's like I can break bread with someone in Diluth or Little Rock.

Vegan Peanut Butter Swirl Smarty Pants Brownie

CM: What's the best thing about selling on Etsy?   The most challenging?
G: See above. I love the sense of community. I belong to Etsyveg and Veganetsy and SFetsy. I've become really great friends with people I met on Etsy. One of my buds from Etsy lives about ten minutes away.We met through her blog. Shoutout to Roni my buddy at Daisywares!
For a brief moment shipping prices were daunting, then one of my teamies told me about flat-rate boxes. yay!

Vegan Peanut Butter Craver Assortment Box

CM:What's your favorite item from your shop right now?
G: Oh no! This is like a choosing a favorite child or in my case cat. Where's Solomon? I'm going to say my sample box (so I leave nobody out).

Wake up to Chocolate and Coffee Vegan Whoopee Pie

CM: Do you have a favorite shop or item on Etsy?
G: I don't want to leave anyone out here either but I've gotta give a big plug to everyone on my Etsyveg team! It's such a great supportive group of such talented artisans. Please check out the team!
I do a lot of shopping on Etsy too. I get a lot of gifts for friends and relatives, for me too.
     Shop: I love the Australian shop Rraps... they make headwraps that can be worn in a variety of ways. They are great for the kitchen and I wear mine all the time.
     Item(s): A while back I favorited a tiny polymer robot holding a pig but it sold.  My new favorite sleepy robot is the chef robot. It's so cute it makes me weep.
My husband even knows to check out my faves. If you're reading this Larry, check out this. On there you can find a gorgeous array of unique silver jewelry.

A big thanks to Gigi!  Stay tuned for more great Etsy shops!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

ChainOne Crochet

Today's featured shop is ChainOne Crochet!  Owner Lynn has been crocheting lovely items for years - I love the variety of pieces she offers, including clothing, hats, purses, iPod cases and even baskets!  The softness of each of the pieces is so appealing, and I'm so impressed that she is able to create such a wide array of items by crocheting alone!  The photos featured in this post barely scratch the surface of what Lynn makes, but here's what she has to say:

crochet notion wicker basket OATMEAL

CM: Tell us a bit about yourself...
LR:  I'm thrilled to be featured on your blog because its absolutely gorgeous! And I appreciate good design, since I have been designing and creating since forever. I love diversity, because I bore easily; so unlike most crochet stores and websites, my shop is filled with everything crochet; from apparel to jewelry, to baby and pet supplies, accessories, toys, play food, home decor and housewares too. I want to offer a wide variety, that appeals to and suits everyone. I also find it challenging to create the unusual and unexpected. I find this holds my interest longer and most days all I think about is what to design next! I get very melancholy once a crochet project is over because I put so much thought and love into each piece. I think about crochet and design 24/7, while driving, doing dishes, the laundry, and everything in between.

crochet shoulder shrug wrap made to order custom made

CM: When and how did you start crocheting? Did someone teach you?
LR: I started crocheting at the age of 8, thats over 40 years ago, but I wont tell exactly how much over :) My mom taught me to crochet and sew, so my Etsy shop and all my work in general, is a tribute to her because she recently passed away. I think about my mother while I crochet and how much she shaped the woman I am now. Her unwavering persistence that everything I create be as perfect as possible. I find it extremely relaxing to loop beautiful yarns, over and over again, while morphing a plain piece of string into a work of art. My mom lives on in my work.

crochet MY POD IPHONE case leather and cotton

CM: How long does it take you to make a piece to sell? What's the process like? Your workspace?
LR: Each piece I make takes a long time because I design it. I think it through in my head first. I dont finish it until it's exactly how I pictured it! Sometimes that can be over a week. Sometimes less. There are times when I have taken apart a whole project because when I finished it, it didnt look right. When I say design, that could be anything from the pattern, shape, color, texture, size, material etc. Its a process. I dont really have a workspace. There is yarn and supplies literally lying on every surface of my home! My workspace is even in the car sometimes while my husband drives. Thats the great thing about crochet, its so portable. I love to work late at night when there is no noise. I can think better and there arent any distractions.

crochet headband LICHEN flower you choose color

CM: What's the best thing about selling on Etsy? The most challenging?
LR:  For me, the best thing about selling on Etsy is making new friends and creating fun and functional treasures that people can really use. There are alot of challenges to selling handcrafts online, but the most challenging part about selling on Etsy is promoting the work. That takes up more of my time than creating product.

crochet ORANGE CRUSH purse bag handbag w/ cell phone case and keyring holder OOAK

CM: What's your favorite item from your own shop right now?
LR:  My favorite item is currently either the patriotic food cover, the wine bottle cozy, the orange crush handbag or the fortune cookies. I cant decide! I like them because they truly are unique, yet functional at the same time. There isnt anything I dont like, beacuse they are all things that reflect me and my personality. I choose my projects very carefully. But I also have to take into consideration if they are things people would want or need to own.:

crochet fortune cookies play food handmade felted wool set of 12 custom fortunes 

CM: Do you have a favorite shop or item on Etsy? If so, which one(s)?
LR:  When I first got involved with Etsy I was absolutely blown away at the talent. There are so many shops that I love ( I literally have 10 pages of favorite shops listed on my home page) but these are my top 3 favorite shops: They are:

 This lady is from Scotland and her shop is truly brilliant. I absolutely love neutrals and natural organic material. Her creations are works of art, as is her photography, colors, compositions, and most of all, who she is an individual.

 This shops items are absolutely the most creative things I have ever seen in my life. Who would have thought? Thermos bottle art !

and my 3rd favorite shop because I LOVE animals (Her pet ID tags are amazing !!):

Thank you, Lynn!  Stay tuned for more great Etsy shops!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Designs Inc.

DesignsInc is a shop featuring stunningly beautiful and intricate jewelry.  The talent behind the creations is Karen-Ann Lobo, a designer based in Goa, India.  I am mesmerized by her intricate pieces which really are breathtaking to behold.  The quality of the materials and the skill present in each and every piece is something a fellow jewelry designer like myself appreciates and respects immensely.

Mystic River - Gemstone cluster earrings

CM: Tell us a bit about yourself...
KAL: My name is Karen-Ann. I've lived almost all my life in the sunny state of Goa - India (way on the other side of the world). I studied art and graphic design & worked for an amazing agency in Dubai for a year but left because there was no time for 'me'. Now I spend my days teaching at a private non-formal school. This leaves my evenings free for family, friends and art.


CM: When and how did you start designing jewelry? Did someone teach you?
KAL: Six years ago when my mum was visiting my sister -who was studying at the time- they both went for a jewelry making course. Mum came back home and taught me; and I haven't stopped yet.

The Elysia Bracelet

CM: As someone who also designs jewelry, there are things I love about it and things that can be trying (my callused and beat-up hands, for one). The loves obviously outweigh the snags for me, but do you experience the same pros and cons?
KAL: When I first started wire wrapping jewelry I'd get poked a lot and wince and grumble and mumble all sorts of nonsense under my breath - but then once I was done working on a piece I had this smile that wouldn't leave my face all day. So yeah..my love for creating undoubtedly outweighs all the pokes, scratches & calluses on the way. Plus I always have a good stock of band-aids and moisturiser LOL.

Lakshmi hoops

CM: What's the best thing about selling on Etsy? The most challenging?
KAL: For someone like me who has a day job, Etsy is a great platform from which I can showcase and sell my work. I get my own site, the fees are pretty reasonable + I can interact with other like minded artists. No where else do you find teams that support, encourage, critique and challenge you.

The most challenging thing about Etsy is getting my store noticed. There are so many amazingly talented artists out there it is quite a challenge to stand out from the crowd.

The Yara earrings 

CM: What's your favorite item from your own shop right now?
KAL: I have 2 favourites.. The Thunderstruck earrings and the Yara earrings. I can't decide which I like better - I enjoyed creating them and they're two of my favourite colours as well. I just love the hammered texture against the smooth.


CM: Do you have a favorite shop or item on Etsy? If so, which one(s)? 
KAL: There are so many to choose from... I've picked 4 truly talented artists:

Thank you so much, Karen-Ann!  Be sure to keep checking back for more great Etsy shops!