Sunday, November 30, 2008

For the Christmas Tree

Getting ready to decorate your Christmas tree?
The Etsybloggers have some beautiful and fun ornaments just for you!
If you buy before Tuesday, you'll get in on the special Holiday Sale:

Puzzle Ball Ornament by donnapool

Elf Pendaments by stormydesigns

Icy Garland by miesmama

Pom Pom Filled Ornament by angiescrafts

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Lampwork Hearted Treasury

Lots of love, gathered
On a tray, was served up for
The holiday meal.
- storybeader

I was thinking of Thanksgiving and family when creating this necklace. Lots of little pink hearts were spread around on my design tray. Thanks for the lampwork bead, Graceful Creations! It is beautiful! You can read more about the construction of this piece, HERE.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Etsy Artisan Interview: Rose Works Jewelry

Ruthie, at roseworksjewelry is a fella Etsyblogger, and an extremely active member on the team. I would be amiss if I didn't first tell you about the radio show, called Spotlight on Artisans, she will be co-hosting with Lily from Tulip's Treasure Box. Blockheadrod, from the Blockhead Radio Show, will get the ladies started, and run the chat room for them. Catch the opening show, with the jeweler behind TheChainMailleLady. That's on Thursday, Dec 4th at 12 Noon eastern time. You can also record it, if the time doesn't fit your schedule.

On with the interview:

  • What's the name of your Etsy shop?

  • What types of products do you sell?
I sell an eclectic mix of jewelry. In my store you will find more traditional designs, fun and quirky designs, handwoven bead work, wire-work, and if I get everything in gear, I'll have hemp up by the time you read this!

  • What is your favorite item in your shop today?
I have to pick just one? I'm a rebel - so here are my TWO favorites - because I can't pick! I love my Heroes bracelet - I've gotten a lot of positive feedback off of it. And I also love my purple snake bracelet, I love the colors and the texture!

  • How did you find out about Etsy? Where you a buyer before a seller?
I found out about etsy through a friend of mine that was trying to convince me it was time to start selling my work. I had been thinking about selling for about 2 years, and when I was introduced to etsy, I finally was ready to start! I browsed around and signed up straight away as a seller. Of course I quickly became an addicted buyer too...

  • Are there additional venues where you sell your work?
I put up one item weekly in my blog that you can buy right off the blog! I'd like to expand into more venues, but I also don't want to spread myself too thing, so for now it's basically etsy :)

  • Are you involved with any of the Etsy teams?
Yes! I'm currently involved with the Etsybloggers and the Big Damn Crafters. Both teams are a lot of fun and very supportive. If you aren't currently a part of a team your missing out on a LOT! A lot of my sales have been generated from team mates, and you find out about all sorts of opportunities that you would never hear about other wise.

  • Over the years, what materials and mediums have you worked with? What's your favorite?
What haven't I worked in? LOL As far as jewelry goes I've worked with seed beads, swarovski crsytal, wooden beads, metal beads, plastic beads, glass beads, semi-precious stones, wire-wrapping, hemp, and goodness knows what else! I've also done some hand sewing (I have a quilt I've been working on forever by hand,) and I'm learning to crochet and knit. I know I've done others too - but my brain is deciding to take a vacation right now...

  • Everyone knows images are important when selling on the internet. What's your procedure for taking photos of your products? Do you have any tips on taking better photographs?

Well - I personally think I need a lot of work on my photos. I'd like to build a light box, but it's kind of waiting on me having the time and money in conjunction with each other! I use multiple lights and I take lots and lots of photos. And then I make sure I edit the photos.

  • Are selling your products a full-time job, or do you have an additional occupation, outside the home?
Yes, no, maybe? LOL - I have some serious health issues that I'm dealing with right now, and I was forced to both quit my job and quit school. I do work very part time doing transcription work for the local university, but other than that, I try to take care of my health first, and making jewelry and writing are both therapy for me. So in a sense this is my full time job... but not in the sense that I'm making enough money to be doing that!

  • Do you have an online photo storage site, where we can see more about you and your surroundings?
I should have one of those huh? I do have a flickr but that is on my list of things I really need to update and a tool I need to use more effectively.
  • We are all looking for good marketing advice. What's the best tip or trick you can share with us?

Blog! Having a blog lets people get to know you, and you'll get to know a lot of people! Be willing to spend time promoting yourself and your shop and not just in creation. It also really helps if you have a variety of price points in your shop.

  • Where can people find out more about you - do you have a blog, website, instant messaging account?
Whew - here's the list of links!
Etsy Shop:
Rose Works Jewelry

Rose Works Jewelry
Rose Works Jewelry's Treasury Blog
A Jedi's Musings

Facebook under Ruthie Stickney


My turn! My favorite piece? I love the beadweaving rope technique.
Maybe I can get Ruthie to give me some pointers?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Book Review: Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

The book Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, tells of her experiences before she comes to the United States. She writes about the submissive role of women in the Islamic world, and the book is a real eye-opener. The literal meaning of the word Islam is submission. I've never heard of this before, so I thought I'd look it up. And sure enough, it's true. Islamic women are taught "to become quiet inside, so that you never raise your eyes, not even inside your mind."

As a little girl in Somalia, Ayaan recites for her grandmother. "I managed to count my forefathers back for 300 years - the part that is crucially important. Osman Mahamud is the name of my father's subclan, and thus my own. It is where I belong, who I am."

When Ayaan is two, her father, Abeh, is taken away. After escaping from prison, he moves the family to Saudi Arabia. Ayaan is shocked at how women are treated. “Saudi women had no faces,” she said. "The only way you could tell which way they were looking was by the direction their shoes pointed."

When the family moves to Kenya, Ayaan's father enrolls the children in an English-language school. And reading become important to them. Ayaan's brother brings books home for her sister and her to read, something she couldn't have done for herself. "All these books, even the trashy ones, carried with them ideas - races were equal, women were equal to men - and concepts of freedom, struggle and adventure that were new to me."

At the age of 20, Abeh chooses a husband for Ayaan, someone he's never met, but considered a good match: a cousin living in Canada. The men sign the necessary papers, and Ayaan is expected to follow him to Canada. But something clicks, I think, when she arrives at the airport in Frankfurt, to stay with his relatives. She sees a clean country. "The landscape looked like geometry class or physics, where everything was in straight lines."

This starts Part II of her story, “My Freedom.”

I believe Ayaan is a gifted and courageous woman. She escapes to Holland, while waiting for a passport in Germany, and lives in a refugee center. Her earlier English language exposure is a blessing. She's able to communicate with non-Muslins and assimilate into Dutch society. Ayaan begins learning Dutch, and a year later, passes her entrance exam for vocational school. When she gets the opportunity to attend University, she jumps at it. Ayaan majors in political science, and become involved with Dutch politics.

Ten years after leaving the Islamic world, Ayaan is asked to explain Islam to a documentary filmmaker. She compares it to a caged bird: "At first, when you open the door, the caged bird stays inside: it is frightened. It has internalized its imprisonment. It takes time for the bird to escape, even after someone has opened the doors to its cage.”

artwork by Siegfried Woldhek

Monday, November 24, 2008

Introducing a new weekly feature:

Welcome to the Etsy Artisan Interview.
Each Friday, a different artist will be interviewed, answering questions such as:

  • how they found out about Etsy
  • what materials they use
  • tips and tricks about photographing their work
  • marketing advice
and much more.

I'll drop some photos into the interview, including my favorite piece.

If YOU want to be interviewed by the Storybeader, contact me at: convo
Have fun reading and support your favorite Etsy Artisan!

Friday, Nov. 21st, 2008

At ToteNTots, you will find bags, blankets, appliquéd onsies and burp cloths, baby soft sole shoes and iron on patches. There are baby gift sets in which you can select your needed size and the appliqué. We offer free monogram service on select merchandise and even free shipping on a few items.

Friday, Nov. 28th, 2008
Ruthie, at roseworksjewelry is a fella Etsyblogger, and an extremely active member on the team. I would be amiss if I didn't first tell you about the radio show, called Spotlight on Artisans, she will be co-hosting with Lily from Tulip's Treasure Box. Blockheadrod, from the Blockhead Radio Show, will get the ladies started, and run the chat room for them. Catch the opening show, with the jeweler behind TheChainMailleLady. That's on Thursday, Dec 4th at 12 Noon eastern time. You can also record it, if the time doesn't fit your schedule.

Friday, December 5th, 2008
This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sharla, who runs the Beaded Tail jewelry shop with her mom, Sheri. You can feel the good vibes floating through the ethernet when you visit their shop and blog - just good people who care a great deal for animal rights, and try to help them as much as possible. Know that every purchase you make from their shop is benefiting defenseless animals who need a helping hand. So, check out what Sharla's involved in, and spread the good cheer.

Friday, December 12th, 2008
Etsy has to be the premier selling site for animal lovers! I interview Beaded Tail last week, and want to introduced you to Becca from PurrPrints this week. Most of her artwork is cat oriented. I noticed in looking through her shop that she is designed some fused glass pendants for another Etsy artist, Artistic Flair. I think that is so neat! PurrPrints also had a very interesting way of finding out about Etsy - read all about it!

Friday, December 19th, 2008
After Cherin stopped by Stroll Through Storyland one day, she volunteered to participate in my Friday artisan interview. Sure thing, I said - and I'm glad I did. Here's someone who works fulltime and beads for pleasure. And you've gotta love her beadwork. She's got a great eye for color and seems to me a very down-to-earth, compassionate person. You can currently find her lanyards on Etsy, as well as ebay and flickr - I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Friday, December 26th, 2008
Jess from CLineCreations is a new artist on the internet. She opened her Etsy shop just about two months ago, and offers Chinese watercolors and knotting, all of which are very beautiful. When I went to Jess's blog, I was so thrilled! She is willing to instruct others in the art of Chinese brush painting, and has a step by step tutorial. I'm so happy she found my blog - hope you stop by her site, and give some Etsy love!

Friday, January 2nd, 2009
If you're wanting to test your glue gun skills, and end up with a fun and usable product, then you have to check out QuirkyDolls. Terry has rag dolls and kits available in her shop, and I‘ll tell you now, you can’t miss her videos. But more about that later....

Friday, January 9, 2009
HomeMade Originals is one of the more accomplished artists that I've met on Etsy. In addition to making wearable art and useful objects, she is willing to sell her patterns to others. And the wool she uses is recycled from old sweaters! I think that's just great! This past year, HomeMade Originals has accomplished a great deal on Etsy, including opening a second shop and starting a new team for Southeast Idaho. Learn more about the artist behind the shop.

Friday, January 16, 2009
Where's the cake and candle? Edi is celebrating an anniversary - one year on Etsy! And she's done a great job, selling her scrapbooks. I can see why. They're all very unique and lots of fun. You can even order a custom made album with a family name. A great wedding gift. Here's more about the woman behind Memories for Life.

Friday, January 23, 2009
Elizabeth, owner and operator of Moon of Glass , offers fused glass pendants and earrings, hair accessories and home decor items on her Etsy shop. She has been designing glass art for four years now, and guarantees that your purchases will last a lifetime. Here's a bit more about the woman behind the "moon".

Friday, January 30, 2009
I have always been in love with glass, so it was a real treat for me to interview this week's featured artisan. I am just amazed after spending an hour or so, looking at Lynne's website, blog and flickr account. She has created all sorts of objects, from stained glass to lampwork beads, and I am absolutely in LOVE with it all. I bought one of her Christmas tree beads in December; hope I can do it justice next winter.

Friday, February 6, 2009
Jimena (Pan to me!) is a student living in Mexico, who sells found objects and repurposed items in her Etsy shop. She is quite active on the team scene in Etsy, including the Etsybloggers. Jimena tells us about her love of walking in the city with a camera, taking photographs. You need to check out her flickr site for an exclusive view of Mexico City. Here's the whole story about the woman behind Panoptica:

Friday, February 13, 2009
Suanne is an Etsy artist I met in the forums, who has a very unique shop full of beautiful items, mainly made out of paper. She "lives" over at another artist community on the internet, one I've never heard of before, called Deviant Art. This site looks to be more adult oriented than etsy, and includes not only fine art, but crafts, literature and film. I think some etsy artists might be interested in checking out Deviant Art, if they haven't seen it before. But first, let's look into Paperaffection:

Friday, February 20,2009
I just love what Helena has done with her paper items, all of which are environmentally friendly. She makes sets of stationary and gift wraps. I haven't figured out how she put together her notebooks yet - maybe she'll give away her secret, if we're real good! All her drawings use outdoor motifs, and they are so cute - I just want to pick them up and hug them! I know, I'm beginning to sound crazy, but look here and see what I mean:

Friday, February 27, 2009
I'm so delighted to be able to interview one of my closest etsybloggers friends, Ms. MagdaleneJewels. I'm surprised to see that I've known Pam only half a year - it seems much longer. She isn't a newbie to etsy, though. Her shop's been open since August 2007. If your looking for crystal jewelry, you've come to the right place! Mag (as I've always called her) uses loads of bicones, which makes all her jewelry glimmer with beauty. Just take a look at this:

Friday, March 6, 2009
Here's a mother/daughter team from Toronto! April and her mom opened their Etsy shop in May 2008. Lots of neat items at reasonable prices. They even have a "Deal of the Day" at their shop, something I haven't seen anywhere else. If you work with jewelry or beads, don't miss their second shop of supplies at Rouge River Beads. And when you visit their blog , you can count on certain topics being covered, at different times of the week. That's always nice. But enough small talk, let's get right into the interview:

Friday, March 13, 2009
Say hi to a French Canadian etsy seller who spins and knits cute little creatures for the child in all of us. Isabelle opened her Etsy shop in October 2008. Her profile says she loves to "write and draw and knit and dream..." I see the makings of another etsyblogger in this shop! To all you readers out there, give Isabelle a warm welcome and tell her what you think of her adorable toys:

Friday, March 20, 2009
Lori has a great business relationship with her dog. Willow finds the glass and Lori makes the jewelry. They have two shops you can access on Etsy. Actually, Willow's shop opened first, in November 2006, and now sells mostly sea glass and destash items. The other shop is Nova Scotia Beach Glass Jewelry. Makes sense! Check out both sites (see below), and tell us which you like best!

Friday, March 27, 2009
A Dusty Attic came on the Etsy scene back in Feb 2007. You'll find vintage, supples, knitted items, and now, Alphabet photography. If you're a homeschooling mom, Lizzie is a perfect person to meet. She has a blog named A Dusty Frame, and can tell you about the groups she networks with. You may even get a few tips on soapmaking...

Friday, April 3, 2009
Yes, my next artisan admits it. She’s a beadaholic! “Beading is not my hobby, beading is my passion.” And this month is her one year anniversary at Etsy! Jessica is currently designing earrings using a combination of Czech glass and Japanese seed beads. I didn’t see these on Etsy, but if you go by her Flickr site, there’s a whole set on display.

Friday, April 10, 2009
I was so excited when Unique Commodities agreed to do this interview. Terronda is a close friend, even though we've never met! She joined the Etsybloggers team just over a year ago and visits me often in Storyland. Actually, if you look down on the left-hand side, you can see she's one of my top commenters! One thing I learned when doing this interview, is that Terronda has another Etsy shop, full of supplies. Don't know how I missed that! But before you go and visit her shops, read this great interview:

Friday, April 17, 2009I think I first met Amy on Blockhead Radio. But you can find her all over the web! She started on Etsy in August 2008 with a fabric-based shop called Mama's Little Monkeys. I've been by MLM, and in doing this interview, became more acquainted with her second shop, Fleur De Ink. Now I have to tell you, she must be in good shape, running after two boys, keeping track of two shops and being an active member in five teams. And that's just on Etsy! Read more about this energetic lady, and her crafty presence on the web. Maybe she can teach us a thing or two!

Friday April 21, 2009
In commemoration of Etsy Day 2009 and for all those animal lovers out there, I bring you Scampering Scotties. Sarah's shop is named after her two Scottish Terriers, Caolin and Brodie. She told me "They are my inspiration for my collars and wear my creations. I have tested the durability of my materials on them since they are major pullers on walks!" So gather up your furrbabies, and have a look at this:

Friday, May 1, 2009
I had a great time, going over to Cindy’s shop and looking around for photographs. Her mix of metals and gemstones are so lovely. When I was there, I learned she has a second shop with jewelry supplies. Well, you know I couldn’t help but to link on over there. I also found out that she is partial to turtles, like me. Back in February, she wrote about my Turtle Treasure Necklace. Gosh, Cindy, I didn’t know you did that! Her blog is full of surprises, and everyone needs to check it out. But first, read a little bit about the artist behind the jewelry:

Friday, May 8, 2009
Here's a versatile artist you need to check out. Whether she's working with her paper or polymer clay, or painting her figurines and canvases, Janell's folk art are one-of-a-kinds. You'll definitely get a chuckle, looking through her shop. But I'm still wondering where the name "Pumpkinseeds" comes from - maybe she'll tell us in the comments!

Friday, May 15, 2009
Becky, owner and operated of the theRasilisk, opened her Etsy shop last fall. By the look at her sales, I'd say she know how to run a business! I've learned some interested things in her shop, like when Hairball Awareness Day falls - I kid you not! Most of her work is on paper, where she offers holiday and occasional cards, stationary, and prints. And because she makes greeting cards, there is a good selection of sale items, from passing holidays. Let's encourage her to start up a blog - I'm sure it would be loads of fun to follow!

Friday, May 22, 2009
Tina opened her Etsy shop in May 2006, and looks to be an experienced seller. I think her cards are adorable, but she also sells crocheted items and supplies. She has a bunch of cards for Father's Day - now's the perfect time to look for one. But first, read this interview and find out more about the seller.

May 29, 2009

Krystal, operator of Monkey Buns, has been making jewelry all her life. She opened her Etsy shop over two years ago; last year she opened a supply store on Etsy, Monkeybuns Supplies. Right now, the store is empty. No wonder! She's been busy! I counted over 100 bracelets and cuffs in her jewelry shop, and that's just to adorn your wrist. But before you go visit her shop and blog, let me first introduce you to Monkey Buns.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Chloe's Creatures come in a variety of different sizes. I just love the idea of pillows as well as plush toys, that are available in her Etsy shop. I might be just naive, but how many of you know about the Monsters team on Etsy? Well, Chloe introduced me to them, and their blog has the cutest bunch of monsters I've ever seen in one place. She opened her shop in March - lets give her a warm welcome and bunches of Etsy love!

Friday, June 12, 2009
If you need a clutch, this is the shop for you. Confused? Let me quote the shop owners, sisters Fumi and Himi: "Somewhere in the middle of all the chaos of starting a business, both of us fell completely in love with clutches, and now it is as if we were meant to start a purse store all along! The clutches are all designed by the two of us, and carefully handmade. The components - hardware and fabrics - come from all over the place: Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, and Canada. A lot of the fabrics used are one of a kind, taken from vintage kimono and obi from Japan! Not only are they unique, they are just drop dead gorgeous!!" Come and look for yourself.

Friday, June 19, 2009
Joseph Cuevas is hooked on glass. And his focus is creating objects for the home. After reading Joseph's artist statement, I feel I know him much better. I encourage others to visit his blog, and get acquainted with him too. But first, let me introduce you to the artist here.

Friday, June 26, 2009
Patti, etsyblogger and owner of Peacox Creations, does more than make baskets with pine needles. But I think that's her true love... at least for now! When you visit her shop, you'll also find greeting cards, christening gowns, and a variety of crocheted items. Very diverse indeed! Hope you enjoy the interview; there's lots of links!

Friday, July 3, 2009
RJ is the owner of Star Mountain Dreams, a cute shop operated by a seventeen year old. When I clicked over there, I thought I was looking at desserts! They are SO sweet! She tells us she's just learning how to make soap. There were only three items in her shop when I published the interview (she sold the others...) and they’re adorable. Maybe we can persuade her to make more this summer, if she has time!

Friday, July 10, 2009
I first met Theresa (TiLT) last year when we both joined the etsybloggers team. She's become a close online friend, and I'm real excited to have this interview for you. And you're in luck - she's having a clearance sale over at her Etsy shop, right now! One thing in particular that interested me were her comments here on photography and online photo hosting. Maybe we can get her to write a tutorial about Photobucket (hint, hint {:-D) So leave a comment, and include a plea, if you're interested. Then hop on over to her shop and don't miss out on the sale!

Friday, July 17th, 2009
Meet the mom behind Very Verdant! Sonja joined Etsy 1½ years ago, but just recently became a member of the Etsybloggers Team, where I got to know her. I think I get a chance to talk with her every day (she's an active thread participate, like myself). There's a variety of items in her shop, for all ages. Even a handmade game or two, which I think is really neat. And you can take advantage of her Christmas in July sale, with 15% - 20% refunds via PayPal! So drop on by and look around, after you read this interview {:-D

Friday, July 21st, 2009
It seemed very appropriate to have an Etsyblogger here on my last interview. Thanks, Tammy, for responding. Tamdoll is a new member to the etsybloggers team, but has been blogging AND selling on Etsy since 2006. She has some real adorable handmade items in her shop. And it looks like we can use some of her marketing advice. Tammy, glad you found us - welcome aboard!
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