Friday, April 30, 2010

Internet Artisan Interview - Folk Art by Campbell Jane

When I think of Campbell Jane's artwork, her angels come to mind... I've been following Jane's primary blog through Entrecard for a long time now, and wanted to share her beautiful artwork with my readers. Folk art is a favorite of mine, and I especially enjoy her ocean and nature scenes. And if you have a fondness for doodling, you need to pop in and take a look at Jane's second blog, Altered Pages. Here, she publishes submitted artwork with used book pages as the artist's paper. They look really neat - you need to check this out. But first, let's look at some folk art:

  • What's the name of your business/shop?

Folk Art by Campbell Jane


  • Do you have a registered domain name and/or a blog?
http://www.folkartbycampbelljane.blogspot.com


  • What type of handmade products do you sell?
I currently sell my art, original pieces and prints. I have in the past sold my crocheted creations as well.

  • Show us a piece you recently finished
This is one of my recent favorites...


  • What are you working on right now? Any sketches?
I am currently working on bee pieces for an upcoming show at the Sacramento Bee Newspaper to benefit bee research. I have listed several bee pieces on Etsy & Ebay that I won't be putting in the show. I'm having fun painting them. I recently made a stop motion video of a bee painting that you can see on my youtube channel.




  • If you have a website or blog, what do you use for advertising? What do your avatars look like?
I am currently using one of my Little Swimmer paintings as my avatar. I use Twitter, various Forums, Entrecard, Facebook, and business cards.

  • If you have a website or blog, tell us about your favorite widget.
This is a tough one! I think the slideshow is my favorite.

  • Which online selling vendors do you use? What do you like best about each one?
I currently sell at Etsy, Ebay, Artfire, Artist Rising, Zazzle and Cafepress. I love Etsy. The people are awesome there. I've met so many nice people. It's easy to list, traffic is good and their fees are reasonable.


  • Are you involved in social networking? What's your favorite and why? If you're not involved, you must have a good reason!
I am a Twitterholic. I love it! I've met so many nice people on Twitter too. When I post a new listing I get lots of views but I try to keep my tweets fun, they aren't all just about work.

  • All of us can use a helpful business hint once a week. What's yours?
Taking the time to communicate with your buyers and to package your goods nicely are essential in making that all important first impression.


  • Do you have a "modus operandi" for computing the price of a handmade object? Tell us your formula?
I start with a reasonable set price per square inch, however, I do take into consideration how complicated a piece is & how much time a piece took to complete, if supplies were more costly, etc... Pricing is a tricky issue. I've learned that pricing low does not necessarily mean more sales. Everyone should have some original art. It lifts the spirit, so I try to price fairly, and affordable.

  • We'd love to see your little corner of the world, where you create.
Yikes! If I knew you were coming...Ok don't judge me, I'm keeping it real! [and sorry, it got a little blurry, when I enlarged the photo]

  • Where do you see your artwork in one year? Any plans in the works?
That is the beauty of art. It's always changing. It changes as you change, so creatively, I'm on an adventure! I do plan to be working on some larger pieces which is more of a challenge for me. I recently opened a Zazzle shop and really enjoy designing there. My wearable art creations so far only include art that I have already done. I plan to work on some pieces specifically for wearable art, t-shirts, shoes, etc... And of course I would like to see my art generate enough income for me to continue to be able to create, blog, spread a little Word, love and hopefully inspire people to create.

  • OK. It's the storybeader's turn to pick a favorite.

The expression on this girl is so perfect. I can relate to her - it reminds me of being under water in the ocean, as a child.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

almost wordless wednesday - your family tree

I saw this a few months ago, and thought
I'd share it will people looking for a cute family tree.

Monday, April 26, 2010

April Featured Etsyblogger - Magdalene Jewels

Nice to see one of my favorite Etsybloggers being picked for this month's Featured Artist. Pam (who I've always called Mags) opened her original store, Magdalene Jewels, in August 2007. A year later, she joined the Etsybloggers.

I know that Pam is going through some traumatic times with family just now, and my heart goes out to her. Even through all this, she is thinking of others, creating hats for Cancer patients. They will be sent to Relay for Life, part of the American Cancer Society. You can read more about them HERE

Mags has two different shops on Etsy, one called MagdaleneKnits, which she opened in Sept. 2009. My favorites in this shop are her baby sweater sets:


In her original shop, Magdalene Jewels,
I've always love the beautiful necklaces she creates with crystals.
Here's a view of some of my favorites:

To find out more about Pam on my blog,
you can go back in time, to February 27th, 2009,
and read the interview we did together.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My paper folded To Do Book

I know I've been talking about a project I've been working on all week.
This is actually one of two new projects. I'm so excited!


Been thinking of making this little book, ever since watching Julie's video on The Storque (Etsy's newsletter) a couple of months ago; she's a contributor, known as julieincharge. Just a note to Etsy followers: if you're not reading The Storque, you're missing out on a lot of useful tips and interesting posts.

OK, so with the help of Julie's tutorial and Patch's introduction to the PhotoScape software (thanks Patch!) I was able to make my own little paper book. You just fold the sheet three times, and cut once, and you have a eight-page book.

I'm not sure if I should sell them on Etsy, because Julie is selling her's there. Actually, I wanted to complete this project in time for my art festival, and sell them there. Something inexpensive that children could buy for Mother's Day, and maybe attract a little attention at my tent!

So here's what the page looks like, before you fold it:
It's small, 2½" x 3½". Very sweet. Do you recognize the picture on the cover? Yes, it's from the Etsybloggers Journal Swap! It took me all last weekend to figure out just how to use the software correctly, and then to print and fold the paper, so the book didn't turn out a complete mess. I was thinking of selling it for $1.50, or someone could buy the sheet and fold it themselves, if they wanted.

Here's an inside look:


I'll be using different themes, now that I have my own template to work from. People can decorate it and add more color, to make their book more personalized. That's what I'll be doing at the festival! And I put my URL on the back page, which is on the bottom of Saturday. Great for advertising - I already sent one of these cuties with the journal I just sold!

Thanks Julie and Patch for the help - couldn't have done it without you!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Destashing - Use Them or Lose Them

"Use them or lose them." That's what I've always said, and told Kathleen (from tapestry316) recently in a blog comment. A good motto when cleaning up. I would love to move all my beads to another area, since I'm not making jewelry right now. And get a map case to put all my papers in, which I AM using. Then I could give the large rolling tool chest back to DH, and he can get organized!



Maybe in the summer, when I'm less busy (we'll see!) I can take some time and make gorgeous jewelry with all the beautiful beads I've accumulated. I have a hard time destashing... if you're a beader like me, you'll understand that! I've tried to sell beads online, like this assortment of tiger eyes. It's a beautiful grouping, but people aren't interested. What should I do? Any suggestions?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Internet Artisan Interview - Designs in Stained Glass

I had so much fun going through Nancy's two shops and picking out my favorites. Had a hard time narrowing items down to what I could include in this interview. You can tell by her stained glass banner, that her work is very intricate. And then, the types of glass she uses alters the feel of her finished work. Nancy has a combination of fine art and utilitarian pieces, and of course, all her fabric items are usable. I recommend everyone visit her shops and take a look at all the great items she has available.

  • What's the name of your business/shop?
I have two shops on Etsy - Designs in Stained Glass, and Nancy's Bags, Etc.









  • Do you have a registered domain name and/or a blog?
I do not have a blog

  • What type of handmade products do you sell?
In my stained glass shop I sell hand made stained glass suncatchers, panels of various sizes, business card holders, and planning to expand on my night light selection. In my bag shop I sell hand made purses, wristlets, clutches, totes bags, and more.

  • Show us a piece you recently finished
This is my newest stained glass panel and this purse was recently listed:


  • What are you working on right now? Any sketches?
I am working on a few new night lights to add to my stained glass shop.
In my purse shop I am working on a beach bag for a team project that I am involved with. “Life’s a Beach” creating a project that uses one, two or three of these colors, turquoise, orange, and sand along with my team members Hearts and Hands United (HHU).

  • Which online selling vendors do you use? What do you like best about each one?
Other than Etsy, I recently set up a new account with Creative Stores. I am still adding my inventory to my account there and hope to start selling there also. I do sell my glass and purses at two local consignment stores in Rhode Island and have been with them for many years.

  • Are you involved in social networking? What's your favorite and why? If you're not involved, you must have a good reason!

I have a facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/stndglassdesigns

Two twitter accounts: http://twitter.com/stndglass
http://twitter.com/NancysBagsEtc

I like facebook. It has a more personal feel to it - not just post and run like Twitter. Plus you can post your newest creation on your facebook page and have the photo right there instead of just the link.

  • All of us can use a helpful business hint once a week. What's yours?
I am still fairly new to Etsy . I think keeping active in the forums, and joining a team has really helped my shops get noticed. I should give a shout out to my other team members - CAC (Christian Artists & Crafters).


  • Do you have a "modus operandi" for computing the price of a handmade object? Tell us your formula?
My pricing for my stained glass is based on the size of the panel first. I charge so much per square inch, then figure in the complexity of the design, the glass that I will be using then comes into play because the prices do vary. Also I need to figure in the design itself. If I already have a pattern for the project or do I need to create a new pattern. The time that it takes me from start to finish a project is somewhat figured into the price. I usually do not keep track of the time because I enjoy it so much.

For my purses and bags I do not have a set formula. From creating the pattern, the fabric and notions that I use, and the time I spend making it is the whole process that I love - and I have a hard time figuring a price for each individual item.

  • We'd love to see your little corner of the world, where you create.


  • Where do you see your artwork in one year? Any plans in the works?
In a year from now I would love to be selling a few pieces from both my shops each week. This is a hobby for me - not my main source of income. I have a great part time job (working with my husband at our own small business) and have no plans on making Etsy my full time job. I just love the fact that other people want to buy something that I have created. It’s a wonderful feeling. My daughter told me about Etsy last year and I am very glad to be here.

  • OK, it's the Storybeader's turn to pick a favorite.
I love the textured glass Nancy used on this sunrise suncatcher. It almost looks like a stream through the window (it's actually snow!) Can you see the beveled glass stars? It's all so beautiful.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Etsybloggers Carnival - April 23, 2010

April 23rd Etsybloggers Team Carnival is brought to you by Joey (Mama Etsyblogger) our fearless leader. First of all, Happy Birthday Joey. In keeping with the birthday spirit, I chose the topic, "Tell us your birthday and what astrological sign you are. Do you ever read/follow your horoscope?"

I used to follow my horoscope pretty religiously, when I was in my early teens, but that routine fell to the wayside. I was born January 18th, making me a Capricorn, on the cusp of Aquarius. Since I consider myself a flower-power, peaceful hippie, I always have to mention that cusp! My astrological sign is a goat - probably that's why! Who wants to be a goat, for goodness sake! I know that I'm supposed to be a climber and all. But I thought I'd get some "professional advice" from the internet, and can tell you this:


"The sign of the high roller, Capricorn is regarded as the zodiac’s top, but also quiet, life and business achievers. But, there are two very different types of Capricorns.

The first is represented by the mountain goat, always climbing higher and higher; never content until reaching the top. The second is the garden goat, with little adventurous spirit or ambition-happy to remain within a small domain, refusing to budge unless it is pushed. Either type of Capricorn, however, is patient and persevering. They reach their goals because they know the longest journey commences with a single step and that the first step is always the most difficult."


For those of you who know me, I think you would agree... I'm the second type. I'm not really ambitious, except in my own little sphere. Hey, isn't that what the astrologer just said? I guess people consider me successful... I've been in the same job for 24 years!

When I first started looking around on Etsy, to find some goat-related items, I thought I was a goner... lots of goat's milk soap. But then, narrowing my search to art, I found many fabulous artists. Actually, there were TOO many. Here are some fun picks - tell me what's your favorite!



1. Lady Goat Watercolor Print
2. The Great Balloon Adventure
3.
Munchies
4. Chinese Folk Art Paper Cutting, Zodiac Animals - Goat / Sheep
5. Don't Panic
6. Little White Rabbit, Goat and the Hill
7. 3 Gilly Goats Gruff - Signed Giclee Print
8. Summer Girl and Her Goat Pet
9. Goat on a hillside, Folk Art felt pillow
10. Original Goat Painting Primitive Art

Saturday, April 17, 2010

book review - Frances Perkins: the woman behind the New Deal





For April, my book club met to discussed The Woman Behind the New Deal by Kirstin Downey. Like many of our other picks, we waited until the paperback copy hit the stores (Feb 2010). And it was worth the wait!


When I first received my book in the mail and saw the small print, I was a little intimidated. But the book was very engaging and I didn't have any trouble at all reading it. I'm a history buff in the first place, and I was intrigued with all the famous people that passed through Frances' life. The book is packed with information, has a complete index and pages of footnotes. I consider it a great reference book to add to my collection of "keepers," and I especially recommend it to anyone interested in 20th Century U.S. history, and /or Woman's Studies.

First of all, Frances Perkins was a fascinating woman. Little has been written about her, especially her personal life. All of us in the book club agreed that Perkins' political life started shortly after she witnessed the NYC Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in 1911, where 146 garment workers were burned alive or jumped to their death.

Many people believe Eleanor Roosevelt was the moving force behind FDR's New Deal, but in actuality, it was Frances Perkins. She accompanied FDR from New York State to the White House in 1933, becoming the first female Cabinet Secretary. Frances presided over the Labor Department when the National Labor Relations Board was established, and the Social Security Act (previously called the Economic Security Act) was signed into law. She believed in safety in the workplace and equality for all working people. Of all the programs bundled into the New Deal, everything survived except national health insurance, only to be realized 75 years later.

Kirstin Downey sums up Francis' life quite nicely at the end of the book, "It is a great historic irony that Frances is now virtually unknown. Factory and office occupancy codes, fire escapes and other fire-prevention mechanisms are her legacy. About 44 million people collection Social Security checks each month; millions receive unemployment and worker's compensation or the minimum wage; others get to go home after an eight-hour day because of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Very few know the name of the woman responsible for their benefits."

Many of my book clubbers felt that this informative book should have earned Downey a Pulitzer Prize. I did a little research on the internet and found some things about the author. In 2000, she was awarded a Nieman fellowship at Harvard University, where she studied American economic history at Harvard Business School. The fellowship gave her the opportunity to focus full-time and research this great book. She did share the Pulitzer with the Washington Post in 2008 for their coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings. I also found there is a Frances Perkins Center, which was established in 2009. It's located in Newcastle, Maine, on the 55-acre Perkins family homestead.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Internet Artisan Interview - the painted brush

I am just amazed at the talent of some people I meet on Etsy. Shauna is one of those people. Everything she touches is a work of art. I first noticed her books, which have her artwork on the covers. Then I started looking at her acrylics and prints, which are very lovely and oh so colorful. When I saw the furniture she creates, I was hooked. She has three shops; two are currently up and running. Hopefully, she will have items in the third shop soon. Even though her blog has been left alone for some time, you can learn more about Shauna from her website. Here's a little intro to her artwork:

  • What's the name of your business/shop?
I currently have three shops. The foundation shop is “The Painted Brush” (.etsy.com). Since my artistic voice is akin to having multiple personalities, I decided to open the other shops to streamline my designs and simplify the shopping process for the buyers. My second “art” shop is “Vivyx.etsy.com”, featuring my more vibrant and whimsical works. The third shop which will hopefully be fully active this week is “Coffeespotcards.etsy.com”. This shop features just fun items created from paper such as notebooks, coasters, bookmarks, binders, photo albums and of course cards.

  • Do you have a registered domain name and/or a blog?
My fine art is can be found at www.shaunamorrissey.com. My blog started, then stumbled…then stalled. I am working on redefining my blog's purpose but until my vision crystallizes it will just hangout in cyberspace.

  • What type of handmade products do you sell?
Primarily I am a painter…a fine artist would perhaps be another definition. While I love working with canvas and paint I understand the changing parameters of the buying public. Original canvases do sell but for many at a much slower pace. I love my creations and decided to find a way to present the art to the public in a more approachable way. My journal line is currently my favorite. Each journal is created entirely by me with great care. I think they are clean lined, well crafted and a wonderful alternative to buying larger scale art. I do have two distinct painting styles that lend themselves well to other creative home décor items such as clocks, coasters, spiral notebooks, bookmarks etc.

  • Show us a piece you recently finished
– This piece will be moving to Vivyx.etsy.com just as soon as I find the time! [it's over at The Painted Brush, the last time I looked!]
  • What are you working on right now? Any sketches?
Right now I am trying to get my two other shops off the ground. I did meet a wonderful young man this past week who has requested a painting of a coke bottle. At first I humored him a little saying I would do a painting when I got the chance…but now, I am intrigued by the thought of a still life featuring his very weathered antique coke bottle. Who knows what will come of it! Other than paintings I have just perfected my new affordable clocks. I just love them! They remind me of little pieces of candy. They will be featured in my new shop vivyx.etsy.com this weekend.
  • If you have a website or blog, what do you use for advertising? What do your avatars look like?
Right now I am trying to get my two other shops off the ground. I did meet a wonderful young man this past week who has requested a painting of a coke bottle. At first I humored him a little saying I would do a painting when I got the chance…but now, I am intrigued by the thought of a still life featuring his very weathered antique coke bottle. Who knows what will come of it! Other than paintings I have just perfected my new affordable clocks. I just love them! They remind me of little pieces of candy. They will be featured in my new shop vivyx.etsy.com this weekend.

  • If you have a website or blog, what do you use for advertising? What do your avatars look like?

I am new to online selling. To be honest, I was a little naïve as to how it worked and if making a living was even possible. Since starting on Etsy in the middle of December I have sold 23 items including some more expensive pieces! I was very surprised…and encouraged. I have focused primarily on free advertising such as craftgawker.com. This definitely increased my traffic. I post in forums and amazing individuals, such as yourself [I guess that's me, the storybeader], have found me and featured me in their successful blogs and treasuries. Other than that I twitter…with only small success…and relist a couple times a day. My avatar is one of my favorite paintings. The new shops don’t have an avatar yet…maybe today?

  • If you have a website or blog, tell us about your favorite widget.
Now you have surpassed my knowledge. I am slowly learning about widgets but haven’t gotten far.


  • Are you involved in social networking? What's your favorite and why? If you're not involved, you must have a good reason!
I do twitter but find it a strange world. Many people that I follow and that follow me seem to only want to post what has sold and then relisted. I will get 30 posts in 2 minutes from some. It feels spammy and gives me no idea of who the creator is. I have deleted some of these people from my following list because honestly they bore me! I do want to know what they sell but within reason. I would rather see posts about what they are currently working on, or even more personal messages (within reason).

I have a personal facebook page that I like a lot. It keeps me in touch with fellow artists that I might not see or talk to on a regular basis. I tried to set up a fanpage the other day but somehow it got lost. Like I said before, I am really new to this and not the most tech savvy! I also love Flickr. I love to see the pictures of other artists and their artistic process and studio spaces. It makes me feel more connected to the creators of such amazing products. The creativity out there is awe inspiring!


  • All of us can use a helpful business hint once a week. What's yours?
Belief in yourself is the number one tip. Negative self talk is the biggest creator of perceived failure. Doing what you love and being true to your individual artistic voice is what this world is all about, no matter what you create.

I started 10 years ago selling a wonderfully creative furniture line, all built and painted by me alone. (Go to www.shaunamorrissey.com and click on furniture to see a sampling). I started small and grew rapidly. I sold wholesale for 8 years. I went to the Buyers Market of American Craft in Philly. By all intents and purposes I was very successful. Then the market tanked and things got bleak. I had to stop selling wholesale when the shops stopped paying their bills. I thought I failed. My self talk got very negative. One day I realized that this was the perfect opportunity to redefine myself; to create a smaller more intimate product line. Etsy and places like it are the perfect venue to help redefine my business philosophy. Regardless of where you advertise or social media you participate in, you can be successful if you maintain your faith in yourself…and have good picture.

  • Do you have a "modus operandi" for computing the price of a handmade object? Tell us your formula?
Basically, cost times 4. To some this may seems steep but there are tons of hidden expenses that most people don’t include. Also, if a wholesaler is ever interested in your work you need to be able to offer them a discounted price; usually half retail. Wholesalers don’t like it if their customers can find you on the internet and purchase cheaper direct from you.

To create my cost: I time myself when creating just one piece. My labor is billed out at $12 per hour. Materials are calculated carefully i.e.: how much paper, how much ink, can I make other products from the left over material etc. Then I add an additional 10% to cover what I didn’t think of such as mistakes that require I start over.

Hidden costs people often overlook: babysitting if you have kids to give you time to work. Monthly internet fees, utilities for your studio space, rent if applicable, gas to and from post office, gas to get supplies, wear and tear on vehicle, shipping supplies, product development costs, photography equipment if applicable, wear and tear on tools and the list goes on. While you can’t figure out to the penny how much these incidentals cost having a buffer in your pricing is necessary.

I see people all the time who sell similar items and their prices are SOOOO low. I know that they are just trying to sell and make a living. At the end of the year however they will find that they paid their buyers to take their products instead of making any money. Having been there myself it breaks my heart but they will learn in their own time.

  • We'd love to see your little corner of the world, where you create.
I recently posted my studio space on Flickr. Just go to www.flickr.com/thepaintedbrush. I just redid my studio and love how I am finally organized! And it only took 8 years!

  • Where do you see your artwork in one year? Any plans in the works?
I hope to be creating for the rest of my life. In one year I would like to see my sales become steady, preferably a sale a day on average from each store would be ideal, of course more would be quite acceptable! I don’t really have any set plans in the works. I have learned that having a path but keeping it flexible works best for me. My life this year is unrecognizable from last year. I am doing things I never thought I would. I think I like the unpredictable nature of things, so for the time being I will just go with the flow.

  • OK, it's the storybeader's turn to pick a favorite!
This was very hard to do, because there are so many different ways Shauna presents her artwork. First of all, I love the colors. And I'm a practical person, so the books and furniture really appeal to me. I had to search around, but found my favorite print in her new shop; it's called "Waiting and Watching." This reminds me of our labs, when they used to look together out the window! Would be a wonderful present for DH!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Journal Swap - a gift from Garden Girl Creations

Was I surprised to see two packages yesterday at my doorstep, when I got home from work. One was an autobiography called Harem Years, by Huda Shaarawik, my book club's volume for May. The other was a handmade journal from Tara, better known as Garden Girl Creations, from the Etsybloggers Team Journal Swap.Tara included a scattering of enjoyable things in the journal, like pretty papers and even a scrabble tile! And she used a great array of colorful pencils to brighten up the pages. Thank you so much for the journal, Tara - I will read the entire book this weekend, and try to get into the top secret envelope, without ripping the page. What fun!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

almost wordless wednesday - veges coming up!

Baby Broccoli ... isn't it cute!
The first little head stretching to the sun!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Etsybloggers Carnival - April 9, 2010

The host for the April 9th carnival is brought to you by Rainy Day Art. I really loved her first topic, so even though my modem just came back to life, and I have my interview already posted for Friday, I couldn't help but join the fun.

Sooo, in response to:
1) Spring is a time for new things and growth. Tell us about a new item and what inspired you to create it, let me tell you about my new line of books, the doodle book.

I found out from Sandy on "Ideas of Inspiration" that there is a National Doodle Day. It was March 5th. I've been wanting to make some small and inexpensive books, and decided a doodle book would be the perfect answer.

Here's the first one, with beautiful Morning Glories:

They threw the blanket
Down in the field of morning
Glories and ate lunch.


Next, I had some left over Washi paper from another book that was a special order. I loved the small pattern, and thought it would fit perfectly on another doodle book, Cherry Blossoms:
The little boy plucked
The cherry blossoms off the

Trees along the path.


The latest one I finished earlier in the week. I've been wanting to use my lottery cards, that I bought from Patch. I wrote the haiku from something Patch told us... hope her mother doesn't mind... Lotto Winner is a little larger than the other two:
The lotto cards were
So beautiful, she kept them

After the drawing
.

Internet Artisan Interview - Jessica Doyle

I came across Jessica on Etsy, and fell in love with her drawings and her use of color. I didn't realize she had two other Etsy shops till I started snooping around. Most of her artwork deals with either nature or the ocean, two subjects that are dear to my heart. Jessica's second art shop, HangsaLittleLeft, shows a darker side to her artwork. And then there is a third shop, filled with vintage printed materials and small hand tools. So there's really something for everyone, and that's just on Etsy! She has a wonderful blog too, along with some social networking sites, but I'll let her tell you about those:
  • What's the name of your business/shop?
I use my real name Jessica Doyle as my shop name which is found at
http://www.etsy.com/shop/JessicaDoyle

  • Do you have a registered domain name and/or a blog?
Yes, I own http://JessicaDoyle.com and http://JessicaDoyle.ca which is my blogging home. I also just registered another secret domain name which will house my personal online shop that will be tied into my blog.

What type of handmade products do you sell?
I sell original artworks, open and limited edition prints, handmade calendars, miniature and regular sizes greeting card sets, ACEO's and handpainted boxes and other art objects.

  • Show us a piece you recently finished
A little Something - series of three illustrations which will soon appear on a new line of greeting cards and Seasonal Kaleidoscopes a set of handpainted boxes that recently sold from my Etsy Shop


  • What are you working on right now? Any sketches?
I am currently working on a few things. A set of Running illustrations that feature feet. They can be seen in this Google Buzz post (here). They are receiving great feedback from the community there.
I also recently shared a collection of sketches from my newest sketchbook which can be seen here: http://jessicadoyle.com/2010/02/27/recent-sketchbook-drawings/

  • If you have a website or blog, what do you use for advertising? What do your avatars look like?
I have a website as mentioned in the first question. I do not pay for advertising but do share my blog posts on Facebook, Twitter, Google Buzz and link to them from within my Etsy listings as well at times. My avatar tends to be either the avatar of the Sassy Sea Urchin that I use in my Etsy shop or the photo of me that I use as my avatar on Twitter.

  • If you have a website or blog, tell us about your favorite widget.
My favorite widget would be perhaps the Facebook Fanpage widget and second the Google Friend Connect widget as they give an easy way for people to connect with and follow what I'm doing. I'm also searching for a decent Google Buzz widget as I truly enjoy using Google Buzz too.

  • Which online selling vendors do you use? What do you like best about each one?
My primary Shop is located on Etsy while I have a much smaller shop located on Artfire. I believe that where one chooses to open a shop one will only get out of the site what one puts into it.

I've spent a lot of time on Etsy and therefore Etsy is my main source of income. I am a member of almost all the selling vendors basically to just reserve my name if I decide in the future to pursue their site more.

I am working on my own shopping site to which will become my main shopping site. It will be heavily interconnected with my blog. It will be opening in the next 3 or 4 weeks. Do keep an eye for it. I'm excited about it as I'll be able to sell in my native currency of Canadian Dollars.
  • Are you involved in social networking? What's your favorite and why? If you're not involved, you must have a good reason!
Yes, I am heavily involved on mainly three sites. With my favorite being Google Buzz and Facebook.
My Google Buzz profile is: http://www.google.com/profiles/EastVanEsica#buzz
The conversation on Buzz are the most fruitful and I go there to socialize and learn.

Facebook is great for sharing and for brief conversation while Twitter is more of a broadcasting tool as many people use it as their reader and not to communicate on.

My Facebook Fanpage is http://www.facebook.com/JessicaDoyleArt
My personal Facebook is http://facebook.com/JessicaDoyleArtist
And my Twitter is http://twitter.com/JessicaDoyle
  • All of us can use a helpful business hint once a week. What's yours?
My secret is honesty. I do not hide who I am or where I've been. Being transparent online is needed. I just recently celebrated my four year blogging anniversary and to celebrate I shared three personal reader emails in this blog post: http://jessicadoyle.com/2010/03/30/three-personal-blog-reader-emails-to-share-with-you/ They give a good idea about who I am and link to many forgotten posts on my blog. At last count there is 691 blog posts on my blog and it is growing weekly.It's s good idea when you blog to link back to older articles when they are relevant to what you are writing today. It gives your readers a little peak into your history.

  • Do you have a "modus operandi" for computing the price of a handmade object? Tell us your formula?
That is a tricky one as everyone has a different formula. If it is a one of kind item such as my handpainted boxes the price is much higher as they can not ever be reproduced. Sometimes, the material costs are very low but the time spent creating the item are very high and likewise the materials costs can be high where the time spent creating the item is lower.

An example of low cost in materials item with very high time to create would be my miniature greeting card sets [left]












An example of higher material cost item with low time to create would be an ACEO mini print [right]
  • We'd love to see your little corner of the world, where you create.
Most certainly! I recently just blogged about my studio and shared many before and after shots


  • Where do you see your artwork in one year? Any plans in the works?
I hope to be creating just like I am today. I am hoping to begin to offer digital downloads in the form of print your own soon. I'll hopefully have this implemented later this year on that secret website that I registered ;)
  • OK, it's the storybeader's turn to pick a favorite:
I fell in love with this mixed media illustration when I first saw it. This original is a combination of watercolor, ink, colored pencils, pen and pencil crayons. It's so beautiful. There's also has a limited edition reproduction...
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