Tag Archives: guest blog post

Guest Blog Post – Cord Necklace Tutorial by Heather Barber

This is a guest blog post from Heather Barber from Moosethemint on Etsy. She offers quirky eco-friendly gifts she makes from upcycled materials. Her guest blog post today is a Cord Necklace Tutorial. She recently made one for me for my ill-fated attempts at buying a blue agate pendant….

Cord Necklace Tutorial

1. Gather your tools – 2 set of pliers, scissors, ruler.

Tools
Tools

2. And your equipment – wax coated cotton cord, 2 jump rings, 2 cord ends, 1 lobster
clasp and whatever you are going to put on the cord – I’m using a music pendant.

Cord and findings
Cord and findings

3. There are a variety of different kinds of cord ends, often called bead caps, and
these ones have 2 fold over ends like a tri-fold wallet.

Crimpers
Crimpers

4. Cut the cord to a suitable length, I normally go for 18 inches. The cord is easy
to cut with scissors.

Measuring
Measuring

5. Line the cord up with the edge of the end cap, and then using the pliers, fold
over one side and then the other, clamping the cord in place, and give it one
final squeeze.
Necklace end
Necklace end

6. Repeat on the other end.

Both Ends
Both Ends

7. You need to check what you are going to hang from the pendant will fit over the
lobster clasp – if not, add it to the cord now before adding the jump rings.
8. Open the jump rings – these should always be opened with the ‘open gate’ movement,
don’t try and pull the ends apart as they will not reform afterwards. You will
need 2 sets of pliers to do this.

Jump Rings
Jump Rings

9. Feed one end of one jump ring through the lobster clasp (make sure that it fits,
as jump rings can come in different thicknesses) and then through the
cord end.
Clasp
Clasp

10. Feed the other jump ring through the other cord end.

Added Jump Ring
Added Jump Ring

11. Using two sets of pliers close the jump ring, again using the ‘open gate’
movement.

Close jump ring
Close jump ring

12. You should have a closed ring on one end of your cord.

Finished End
Finished End

13. And you should have a lobster clasp on the other end joined by a closed ring.

Clasp
Clasp

14. The lobster clasp can now be fastened to the loop so you can wear it.

Closed Lobster Clasp
Closed Lobster Clasp

15.I have added a music pendant to the cord.

Finished Pendant and cord
Finished Pendant and cord

I’ll have to give this a go, I have a great bead shop not far from me…

You can find Heather here –

Etsy: MooseintheMint
Facebook: Minty Moose
Instagram: Moose in the Mint
Twitter: MintyMoose

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Guest Blog Post – Emma from StanleysMummysmakes

Another guest blog post, this time from Etsy Shop StanleysMummyMakes and Emma Hutchinson. I’ll let her tell you her story….

Emma & Stanley
Emma & Stanley

So here I am, about to turn 36 at the end of the month and writing my first ever blog…scary huh? Firstly let me express my thanks for being given the opportunity to do this and explain that what you are about to read is my internal monologue written down, I have a child under two years old, I spend 90% of my time with him… you could be in for a rocky ride.

The item that started it all... Decoupaged Spoons
The item that started it all… Decoupaged Spoons

This last year has been pretty momentous but in a completely subtle way. No fanfares, party’s or the like but small risks and changes that have turned our family life around.

Decoupaged Cupboard Knobs
Decoupaged Cupboard Knobs

Rewind to Feb 2015 and I was returning to work after my maternity leave…I was both excited, I had loved my job for the last 18 years and secretly I was looking forward to conversations that didn’t revolve around gripe water, nappies and the breastfeeding debate if I’m honest…and sad to be leaving my baby boy at 8 months old but I’d found a fabulous childminder, so far so good!! A few months in though and I was really struggling to keep all the plates spinning, keep a clean tidy home, be a good mum, and give 100% at work…I was often up and out early, and home late. I fell out of love with my job. Then a serious health problem raised its ugly head within my family, and I began thinking that life is too short and that family is THE most important thing. Things changed, slowly at first, I went back to my art and design roots (I studied Art and Design to A Level then Graphic Design and Illustration to degree level)…doodling and crafting became therapeutic but also got me thinking!!

 Decoupaged Trinket Box
Decoupaged Trinket Box

I knew I wanted to finish work and stay at home with Stanley but couldn’t make the figures add up…while I was maternity leave I had made a few items, Christmas wreaths and countdown plaques to sell to family, friends and also to other mums at playgroup etc. I had overheard one of the other mums say ‘Stanley’s mummy makes these’ and for some reason that stuck in my head (mainly because I remember thinking, why do we lose our names when we have children??). Could I make enough by crafting items to supplement me being a stay at home mum?

 Chicken Bunting
Chicken Bunting

I googled like I’d never googled before and decided that Etsy was the platform I wanted to set a store up on. So I did (on Aug 10th ‘15 to be precise) However, I had nothing to put in it an I started to look around for inspiration. Now this is where it gets a bit strange (especially if you are male…my husband STILL doesn’t get it!!) I am a collector of Emma Bridgewater pottery, now there are worse things in life but the way my hubby goes on you wouldn’t think it…so I often found solace in groups of like minded mostly female individuals on Facebook. I like to refer to us as ‘potty people’.

I was flicking through the new Emma Bridgewater catalogue one day and wondered how many other potty people were in my position I.e. lusting after adding to our collections but not having the bank balance to do so? I started experimenting with decoupage using Emma Bridgewater napkins and made myself a set of wooden spoons to display in my kitchen that matched my pots perfectly. One upload of the photos onto Facebook later and I had order requests. A quick email to Emma Bridgewater HQ to make sure I’m not breaking any laws and StanleysMummyMakes was born.

 More spoons...
More spoons…

From then on in things went faster than I’d ever imagined. I suddenly found myself HMRC registered self employed and my notice was handed it. By Oct 12th I was officially running my own business and working from home. BUT, the most important thing is that I get to spend time raising Stanley!!
Let’s be clear, I make nowhere near what I was bringing he from my old job but I can work around Stanley, we are saving on childcare, our quality of life is better due to a work/life balance and I’m able to contribute towards household bills and family expenses.

I love what I make, I would only sell items that I am willing to have in my own home. I have had return customers and some fabulous feedback and I’m pleased as punch with how things are going.

Bunting
Bunting

Now, if you are reading this and wondering whether to set up on Etsy or not, I would say to you do it… you might just surprise yourself!! However, a word of caution… don’t just expect to sit back and watch the sales come rolling in. It’s hard work, and I mean bloody hard work!! Right at the beginning I mentioned a birthday looming, well at the ripe old age of 35 (what’s that, but you look so young in your photo?;-)) I’ve had to educate myself in all things social media…not an easy task. Google has become my best friend…WIDN, SEO’s, pins, tweets, likes and followers. Networking is my middle name. My phone has become my bank, diary, business planner, and social life. If you are willing to put in the hours and workload you will see results. I have had just over 250 sales through Etsy and my products are now stocked in a local Tearooms – the Yard Tearooms (Instagram.com/theyardtearooms). I am running my own business, I now watch sales figures and margin more than I ever did when I was working in retail. I am the boss (and I’ve got an Emma Bridgewater cup to prove it!!)

How did that happen?
Thanks for reading!!

Emma

Find me at:
Etsy Shop: StanleysMummyMakes
Instagram: stanleysmummymakes
Facebook: StanleysMummymakes
Pinterest Pinterest

Stockist:
The Yard Tearooms, 16-18 Getliffes Yard, Leek, Staffordshire, ST13 6HU

Guest Blog Post – Henry, Fred & Felicity on Etsy

Today’s blog post is from Fay Stephenson from Henry, Fred & Felicity on Etsy.

Faye Stephenson
Faye Stephenson

She creates personalised canvases for nurseries, home decor and special occasions – they are all hand-painted by Faye and I love the look of her shop, she’s created a look that makes you want to check out all her wares (beware my wallet)…

Tell us a bit about you

My name is Fay Stephenson, I am 41 years old and mother to 3 very boisterous boys aged 4, 9, & 10. I work part time for a local company, looking after their Social Media & Online Sales; but my real passion is crafting. I love to create, to sew, but most of all to paint. I hand-paint personalised and bespoke canvases for all ages (with a strong lean to kids and families), and am really looking to make this my full time job this year.

Blog

Twinkle, Twinkle Canvas
Twinkle, Twinkle Canvas

How did you decide on the name for your shop?

It came quite easily. My two eldest boys are named Henry and Frederick, and as I started my business before Samuel was even a twinkle in my eye, I immediately knew I wanted to include their names as they were my inspiration. When I was younger my mother had wanted to call my Felicity, but my father wasn’t so keen, so they agreed on Fay. However as a little nod to mum and because it sounded much better, I decided upon Henry, Fred & Felicity.

How long has your shop been open and why did you start?

My shop has been open since 1st Feb 2012, but has been very off and on and I really haven’t given it the attention it deserves. 2016 is my year to really concentrate on me, my shop and my brand. It all started when I made a canvas for Henry’s room, then Freddie’s. Friends commented how much they liked and so I began making as birthday presents for friends children and orders started from there.

What is your favourite item in your shop at the moment?

It’s hard to chose between the oversized Scrabble canvas and the Glasgow Style collection, but think i’d plump for the Scrabble canvases at the moment as loving the new colours I’ve introduced as they remind me of summer, and i think they are just so fun!

Name Canvases
Name Canvases

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get inspiration from everywhere, family, friends, books, the internet, existing themes in rooms, client’s briefs. Inspiration is definitely all around us and sometimes springs up quite unexpectedly!

What do you love the most about running your own business?

I love the freedom it gives me, I can work as much or as little as I like and I only answer to me. I find it incredibly therapeutic. I get to do something I love and give somebody something that they love, what’s not to love? #bestjobever

What do you love the least?

I’m not sure there is anything I don’t love? I even enjoy doing my books LOL, so i’d probably have to say not being able to do it full time is the only thing I love the least at the moment. But I intend to change that this year!

Poem Canvas
Poem Canvas

What other things do you like to do in your spare time?

My boys and my husband are all very sporty, so a lot of my spare time is spent at swimming lessons, football, tennis & squash, but when I do get a little time I enjoy movie time with my boys, cooking and also playing the piano.

twinkle twinkle personalised canvas

What would be the one piece of advice would you give to a person setting up their own shop?

My best piece of advice would be to focus and ensure you’ve done your market research beforehand. Make sure you price your products correctly, taking into account all factors (there are loads of sites to show you how to work out) otherwise there is not point doing, it is a business after all! And make sure you feel comfortable saying no! I spent far too much time in the beginning making things people asked for that were really nothing to do with my brand or product line, but I felt I couldn’t say no. I’ll still do the occasional bespoke job for friends, but tend now to steer them as much as possible towards a fellow crafter on Etsy who actually does make the item they are looking for.

You can find Fay here:

Etsy

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Instagram

DunnCrafting – A Guest Blog Post

Another Guest Blog Post from another UK Etsy Shop – DunnCrafting. It’s owned by Susan and Karen, a Mother/Daughter crafting team from Bedford (not too far from me!) and showcases their love of nature and colour in their shop with the collection of home decor and special occasion items including seashell hearts and flower bouquets and pomanders.

Susan has answered some questions about their Etsy shop and how it got started.

Karen and Susan
Karen and Susan

How did you decide on the name for your shop?

My daughter Karen and I did a bit of toying with word combinations and were trying to find a name that would reflect both of us – we hit on Craftywildes to begin with – but that made us sound a bit shifty- so we settled on DunnCrafting (Dunn is my daughter’s married name) which has a nice play on words.

How long has your shop been open and why did you start?

Playing about with fabric flowers, and quilted balls for Christmas in 2013 prompted the idea of working together to make things that others might like – and so our Etsy shop was born! Since those first tentative days, our range has developed and continues to grow as our creative imaginings become realities.

Shell Wall Plaque
Shell Wall Plaque

What is your favourite item in your shop at the moment?

I’m a bit clucky over all the things I make, so it’s difficult to choose one favourite. Near the top must be the heart wedding favours that I made recently (Love shells!).

Shell Hearts
Shell Hearts

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I was taught to knit and sew by my mother – and a seminal moment when, aged 10, I met a beachcomber during a family summer holiday; this man made exquisite dolls from shells, and showed me how. Once home I made my own from shells collected at the beach. Candles followed made from household candles and wax crayons melted together, whisked and then poured into molds – my mother’s egg whisk took some time to recover!

Button Bunny Nursery Decor
Button Bunny Nursery Decor

Karen’s love of making things started at school, culminating in Art – Ceramics A level. Her brother’s wedding was a watershed – she rushed out and bought her first sewing machine to make her own wedding outfit. Since then, she has delighted in experimenting with all sorts of projects from bean bags to a penguin outfit for her own daughter’s school dressing-up day, imagined from a Japanese onesie she saw on the internet!

We both browse through Pinterest looking for ideas – and sometimes get inspiration from displays in boutique shops that we might encounter. I visited the Ideal Homes Christmas Exhibition this year and have made a list of possibilities! Karen is a busy mum and full time teacher, so she is my ‘critical friend’ and brainstormer companion!

What do you love the most about running your own business?

Being retired, I can use my time as I wish and doing something that gives me such pleasure is a no brainer – add in giving delight to others and being paid for my efforts, and you have a perfect combination! It also gives me the perfect excuse for impulse buying!

What do you love the least?

Being interrupted by having to keep my accounts up to date!

What other things do you like to do in your spare time?

I volunteer for Tibbs Dementia Services, giving counselling support to carers of people with dementia, and I also sing in two choirs. My grandchildren are a joy!

What would be the one piece of advice would you give to a person setting up their own shop?

Learn as much as you can about SEO, and taking and editing great photos to showcase your makes; use social media; network as much as you can to make sure your shop and your makes are seen; be open to advice and constructive criticism from other sellers. Don’t give up! Etsy can be funny at times – it can feel like feast or famine – and sometimes lots of the latter! But everyone has to start somewhere – don’t feel discouraged if other sellers seem to be roaring ahead and you’re not! Good things come to those who wait (so I keep telling myself!)

Daisy Pomander
Daisy Pomander

If you would like to know more about DunnCrafting and where to find their lovely items, you can find them on:

Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/DunnCrafting
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DunnCrafting
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest/DunnCrafting
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DunnCrafting
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dunncrafting
Blog: dunncrafting.blogspot.co.uk/

Michele Webber Art – Guest Blog Post

Michele Webber is an almost-local-to-me artist who lives and works in Sudbury, Suffolk. She creates gorgeous watercolours and other artworks and teaches others how to be creative with paints and watercolours too.

Here she gives us a little information about herself and her work.

Tell us a bit about you

Michele Webber
Michele Webber

I am a freelance visual artist, art tutor, illustrator and writer of non fiction articles, mostly about painting techniques and art business advice. I work from my garden studio in Suffolk where I live with my partner, teenage daughter (when she is not at Uni) and my cat Gimlet.

How did you decide on the name for your shop?

I made a conscious decision to promote myself as an individual artist so my shop name is simply based on my name: Michele Webber Art.

How long has your shop been open and why did you start?  

I opened my Etsy shop a couple of years ago as a convenient way to offer my art to buyers who didn’t live locally. It has been really exciting to see some of my paintings go as far as Russia and the USA!

Kew gardens Lily
Kew gardens Lily

What is your favourite item in your shop at the moment? 

It has to be my Watercolour Starter Set with unique colour mixing recipe leaflet, because it is the first art product I have designed myself and I really believe there is nothing else on the market quite like it.

Watercolour for Beginners Set
Watercolour for Beginners Set

What made you start?

I had a long gap from art after leaving school and made the mistake of listening to other people who told me I would never make it. But after my daughter was born and I had had a break from working in an office 9 to 5 I realised I could never go back to that and it was time to start making my dreams happen.

Where do you get your inspiration from? 

I am inspired by all sorts of things I see around me, both in nature and man-made. I am fascinated by patterns and repeating motifs, whether on a brick wall or the feathers of a bird. I work in a representational way, but it is always my own version of what I see. My artwork is usually colourful and always happy, reflecting my own optimistic personality.

Sunflowers
Sunflowers

What do you love the most about running your own business?

I love the freedom to adjust and influence my income, the surprise when a gallery cheque pops through the door, and seeing the pleasure my students get when I help them to improve their artwork.

What do you love the least?

The hours of paperwork, photo editing, admin and social media work that keeps me from doing what I like to do best – create artwork! That said I do enjoy the business side of things and it is absolutely necessary in order to succeed. Artistic talent by itself is in no way enough.

Wheat Fields Landscape
Wheat Fields Landscape

What other things do you like to do in your spare time?

 I am a bit of a fitness freak and do Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Yoga and swimming. I have always been determined to stay slim and healthy in order to have the maximum energy for my work; and you don’t burn many calories painting watercolours! So most evenings you will find me in an exercise class. My other passion is sewing and I always have a skirt or a dress on the go; I would like to find more time for this hobby.

What would be the one piece of advice would you give to a person setting up their own shop?

Add plenty of information to your listings. You may think you save time by not writing much but you will only give yourself more work later on when people contact you to ask questions because you haven’t been clear – that is if you don’t lose the sale in the first place. If I buy something online I expect clear photos, measurements, colour options, delivery times etc. Look at your shop objectively, would you buy from it yourself?

Thank you, Michele! If you’d like to take a look at her work, you can find her at:

Website: http://www.michelewebber.com
Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/michelewebber
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/michelewebberartist
Twitter: @ArtistMichele
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/michele-webber/75/858/525

If you would like to be featured on my blog, please get in touch!

A Mother-Daughter Collaboration – Teodora Paintings Guest Blog Post

This is another guest blog post, this time from Folksy Seller Teodora Totorean; her shop is TeodoraPaintings. She creates unique paintings using a variety of techniques and chose to talk about how she came up with a new idea – incorporating doilies into her paintings.

The Music of Summer Muzica
The Music of Summer Muzica
The Music of Summer Musica

Doily Art – A Mother and Daughter Collaboration

The words ‘nostalgia’ and ‘memorabilia’ have never been more powerful than in the recent years due to the popularity of vintage items that have dominated home décor, fashion, and the arts and crafts world. Re-cycling, re-purposing and re-vamping are in everyone’s vocabulary nowadays and we all want to do something around our homes to make it more original and unique to us. And we all want to take on a long forgotten craft and put our stamp on it to show the world our creativity.

Evening Meadow 1
Evening Meadow 1

Evening Meadow 1

This new trend couldn’t leave untouched the arts world where the rise of mixed media art means that artists now have all the freedom to create unique pieces using anything they find laying around their studio: old postcards, old pieces of lace and fabric, magazines, etc.

As my art is all about creativity and colours, I have been in tune with the mixed media trend in the arts today ever since I started to take my art to a more professional level. For four years I have been experimenting with various styles, techniques and materials, incorporating fabric, newspapers, and fibre washers into my artwork. So using my mum’s doilies was just a normal consequence to my act of creation routine.

Evening Meadow 2
Evening Meadow 2

Evening Meadow 2

I have always been fascinated by lace and macramé and I am happy that I grew up in a creative environment where my mother, apart from her teaching job, also had a hobby that continued throughout her life up until today. I loved how her doilies enhanced our home when I was little and I like them today not just under a vase with flowers but in my paintings too.

It all started last year when I ordered from my mother some small round shaped doilies to use as coasters. One day, when I was short of ideas for my paintings, I just happened to place a doily on a canvas and imagined a whole picture around it. I carried on completing the painting and next thing I knew, I created a mini series of four paintings that later have been in a spring exhibition with a gallery in Gloucestershire.

Summer Meadow in a Pot
Summer Meadow in a Pot

Summer Meadow in A Pot

I don’t use doily on a regular basis yet as I am still experimenting with other techniques, materials and styles, but every time when I complete a painting using my mum’s doilies I feel that this is my style, this is me – my childhood, my personality, my love of handmade and hand crafted items that are seating around my house – and as artists, this is what we do: we share it all with the world hoping that our art will resonate with someone.

Where you can find me:

Folksy: https://folksy.com/shops/TeodoraPaintings
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/teodora.paintings
Blog: http://teodora-paintings.blogspot.co.uk/
Website: http://www.teodora-paintings.com/

Fashion Magpie Jewellery – Guest Blog Post

This is another guest blog post – I’m hoping to have these on a more regular basis so if you think you might like to be a guest blogger, get in touch! Leah is a Folksy Seller who designs and sells beautiful jewellery.

Leah Wilkinson
Leah Wilkinson

“My name is Leah Wilkinson and I live in Northumberland with my partner and boxer cross mastiff dog, Angel. I’ve spent most of my life since school working in department stores selling clothes and using any spare money from that to buy supplies for my jewellery or more recently to save up for a holiday.

My company name is Fashion Magpie Jewellery. The name came from my fascination with stories I was told when I was younger of how people would lose their jewellery then find it years later in a magpie nest. The creatures are naturally drawn to the sparkle of the jewellery, something which I can identify with.

Purple & Silver Heart Necklace
Purple & Silver Heart Necklace

It all started one year back in November 2010 when I brought my first beads, some mixed purple faux pearls. I didn’t have much money that year for Christmas gifts so I decided to give making jewellery ago. I loved it! From there I was encouraged by family and friends to keep going, that’s when the first seeds of imagination started to form Fashion Magpie Jewellery. My skills have developed from there and I’m constantly learning about new ways of creating.

Purple & Silver Heart Necklace

Dragonfly Tribal Earrings
Dragonfly Tribal Earrings

My favourite piece in my shop at the moment would have to be my Dragonfly Tribal Earrings, I was very tempted to keep them for myself. I think the colours work perfectly together and I love the way the patterns on the dragonfly and the bead compliment each other.

My inspiration for pieces come from a number of places but normally its the pattern on a bead reminds me of something or a piece I’ve seen on the internet (usually Pinterest, little bit addicted!) If there’s a piece I’ve seen somewhere, I like to brainstorm what it is I like about that piece, and work it round until I have a brand new idea for a piece to make.

Angel Necklace
Angel Necklace

The thing I love the most about jewellery making is the feedback after I’ve sold a piece. Especially if I’m selling at a craft fayre because then I’m actually face to face with my customer and I can see their reaction first hand. I love hearing the stories about why the piece they are buying attracted them to it, sometimes its the simple answer that the piece caught the light and twinkled ‘buy me’ at them, other times their buying for a specific day like a wedding or holiday.

Angel Necklace

Of course there are low points as well as highs. There aren’t many things about jewellery making or the business that I hate but one thing about jewellery making I hate is the crimpling bad back I get. It’s my own fault, I should work at a table like everyone else but I prefer to sit down on the floor and spread it all out around me so I can see every bead, pendant, finding and anything else at one glance around me. After a few hours of sitting on the floor hunched over my new pieces I’m making, I eventually start to ache until when I get up and realise my back is in serious pain.

Blue Bird Brooch
Blue Bird Brooch

The only thing I hate about the business is when I go to craft shows and have to drag my partner along, I don’t drive. He’s fine once he gets there but until then all I can hear is his grumbling about how early it is or how hungry he is, or anything else he can think of. At some point I will learn to drive!

Blue Bird Brooch

When I’m not making jewellery, I’m normally found in my garden. We recently moved house and it is my project to turn the garden into something beautiful. I love growing flowers from seed, its something of fascination that a seed as small can grow into something so big. I’m particularly good at growing marigolds and there always one of the first to be potted up at the beginning of the year and give my garden a summer of burnt oranges and deep reds.

If I was just setting out with my business again and could give myself only one piece of information on how to succeed, it would be to be patient. It takes time and effort to make a success, I do lots of promoting myself through Facebook and twitter, I also have a blog to show customers what i’m up to, give tips and tutorials and I’ve got folksy which I sell through. Patience is the key to it all, as long as your prepared to put the work in you’ll be rewarded.”

Red & Gold Bead Brooch
Red & Gold Bead Brooch

Gold Bead Brooch

Find me on
Twitter: @Lcw19861875
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/fashionmagpiejewellery
Blog: http://fashionmagpiejewellery.blogspot.co.uk
Shop: http://www.folksy.com/shops/fashionmagpiejewellery

Aistė Kesminaitė-Jankauskienė, Drop of Amber – Guest Blog Post

This guest blog post is by Aistė Kesminaitė-Jankauskienė, another Etsy Team Leader/Shop Owner of –Drop of Amber I met in Berlin – she helps run the Etsy Lithuania Team and had a great presentation about how the team banded together to protest postal rate changes by their country’s postal service.

Aiste!
Aiste!

I am an amber artist from Lithuania. Started hand-crafting since well, since I can remember myself actually. My grandfather was a national amber artist and this sparked my love to creating jewellery. At first it was learning various different techniques and then I finally settled on learning “real” jewellery making so to speak. This is what lead me to my current Etsy shop.

Amethyst Azuras
Amethyst Azuras

The name Drop of Amber is associated with the sea and amber which we call Lithuanian gold.
I spend a while trying to work out, what name would be best for my shop and debated between Drop of Sun and Drop of Amber, finally the latter won and I love it!
My shop has been open for a while but empty or almost empty — just tried it out but didn’t put any work or love into it for almost 2 years.

Last year I decided that I had enough of boring office work and would try to make jewellery making my day job. And here I am — active on Etsy and working my way towards my goal.
I get my inspiration from Lithuanian history and nature — amber is a very tactile and natural material, that makes me search for ways to express the beauty that I see around me, so that other people can experience it too.

Amber Hoop
Amber Hoop

The way I run my business at the moment is a by hectic — I still work in my day job, I also breed cats and ride horses 🙂 as you can see, quite a busy life. But none the less I try to make it as structured as possible, otherwise i would forget a lot of things and that just won’t do as many people and pets rely on me remembering these things 🙂
What I love most about running my own business is being my own boss — I can spend a day riding around and enjoying a beautiful forest if the weather is right and then spend a weekend at my workbench, because it’s raining.

Amber Love Pendant
Amber Love Pendant

The least favourite part of running my own business is accounting… I cannot stand paperwork, but i learned to do it and try not to stay too far behind on it so as not to make my life even more difficult.

In addition to horses and cats my free time also gets crammed with reading as many books as I find time for (I particularly enjoy fantasy and Sci-fi books), playing Magic the Gathering (a collectable card game) and participating in various LARPs (live action role playing games) — those also require costumes and jewellery to go with the costumes, that is probably my favourite part of the whole LARP experience.

My advice for you, who wants to start a shop is to have a clear idea of what you really would like to make — do not scatter yourself all over the place, it is better to make good things, not many things. And most of all — make sure you enjoy what you make!

Amber Spiral
Amber Spiral

My links –

https://twitter.com/AistesJewelrBox
http://aistesjewelrybox.tumblr.com/
https://www.facebook.com/AistesJewelryBox
http://dropofamber.etsy.com
http://aistesjewelrybox.blogspot.com/

Thanks so much, Aistė! A great insight into your shop and how you got started.

Springtime in Israel – Limor Haim Matityahoo Guest Blog Post

Time for another guest blog post! I met Limor at the European Team Captain Summit in Berlin last month – her presentation on how she started her Etsy team – EtsyIsrael – and her shop was fabulous! Her shop is Limitz, where she creates and sells guides to selling on Etsy in Hebrew.

She thought she would like to share some Israeli Etsy Shops’ take on Spring-time in Israel.

What are flowers all about? And why do floral designs attract us so much that we love to wear them, hold them and smell the beauty??

Spring is that time of the year when you begin feeling ALIVE again. Flowers and buds pop up everywhere, giving this amazing scent all over the place. In some places on this planet, Spring is HERE to stay, and for a very short period…

Decorative Hamsa
Decorative Hamsa

Paperila

One of these places is Israel, where sunny days and the Summer-clock are already there to stay.

Decorative Bridal Headband
Decorative Bridal Headband

Flowerworksbysari

Many kinds of flowers are blooming right now, the variety is almost confusing… and local artisans give all this a rich mix of interpretations…

Set of 4 Dahlia Flower Hair Clips
Set of 4 Dahlia Flower Hair Clips

FindYourHairClip

Pink FLower Dangle Earrings
Pink FLower Dangle Earrings

sigalitAlcalai

Topaz and Ruby RIng
Topaz and Ruby RIng

netawolpe

Green Clutch for Easter
Green Clutch for Easter

medusabrand

Flowers are the main theme for Spring inspiration, you can actually smell the beauty through these beautiful pieces, can’t you?

Paper Gift Bag Tutorial — Guest Blog Post by Laura

Today’s Guest blogger is Laura from Pink Flamingo Crafting. She makes lovely gorgeous cards, bags and other papercrafts on Etsy and we are both in an Etsy team – Team GB, which is for UK sellers. Here’s her great tutorial:

How to make a paper gift bag

I love to make little gift bags to make presents even more personal for loved ones. I thinks it’s a great idea as you can choose the pattern on the paper and accessories to match the recipient. And if you’ve seen my blog and work you’ll know how much I love crafting and present giving occasions!

Gift Bags
Gift Bags

The small gift bag I’ll show you how to make here is perfect for jewellery and other small items.

The instructions below will make a small gift bag measuring 10cm high, 8cm across and 3cm in depth. You can of course adjust the measurements to suit your needs.

You will need:

What you will need
What you will need

· 1 piece of good quality paper measuring 14cm x 23cm (if it matters which way around the pattern goes, make sure you cut the paper so the longer lengths are top and bottom – landscape)

· A score board or scoring tool

· Scissors

· Glue

· A hole punch

· Pencil

· Ruler

· Ribbon, a small piece of card to make a tag, any other decoration you want to add

Step 1

Place the piece of paper in front of you with the longer sides top and bottom and the side you want to be the inside of the bag facing you. Use your pencil and ruler to gently mark lines at (from left to right and running vertically) 8cm, 11cm, 19cm and 22cm.

Step 1
Step 1

Step 2

Now lightly mark with your pencil lines running horizontally (from top to bottom) at 1cm and 11cm.

Step 2
Step 2

Step 3

Use your score board or scoring tool to gently score along all of the pencil lines.

Step 3
Step 3

Step 4 a

Now place the paper with the longest sides top and bottom again. You are going to cut some slivers out of the base of the bag to make the base easier to fold. At every scored vertical line on the bottom 3cm strip, cut a little triangle out (as shown in the picture).

Step 4a
Step 4a

Step 4 b For the corner piece on the right hand side cut away the entire piece marked by the vertical and horizontal score lines.

Step 4b
Step 4b

Step 5

You will need a hole punch to make the ribbon holes now. Fold the top 1cm strip downwards so the patterned side can be seen. Measuring along the top of the paper where the top 1cm has been folded down, make a faint mark at 4cm and 15cm measuring from the left hand side. Now punch your holes here.

Step 5
Step 5
Step 5
Step 5

Step 6

Next you will need to fold where you’ve scored. For every scored line carefully fold the paper inwards to make the shape of the bag. Gently press the folded lines to help keep them in place.

Step 6
Step 6

Step 7

Now to glue it together. Place the bag in front of you again with the outside facing down and the two longer sides top and bottom as before. Make sure the 1cm strip at the top of the bag and the 1cm strip of paper down the right hand side is folded inwards so the patterned side is visible. Spread glue down this side patterned strip.

Step 7
Step 7

Step 8

Fold the bag into shape and stick the glued strip to the inside of the left hand side of the bag. I find it useful here to lay the bag on its side on a flat surface and run my ruler down where the flap has been glued to help it stick in place.

Step 8
Step 8
Step 8
Step 8

Step 9

Now fold one of the longer base flaps into place. Spread glue onto the plain side of the other long flap and stick this to the other one. Again you can stand the bag up on a flat surface and use your ruler to press down on the inside of the bag.

Step 9
Step 9

Step 10

Spread glue onto the plain side of the two smaller flaps of the base and stick these onto the longer flaps, again using your ruler to help press them down from the inside.

Step 10
Step 10

Step 11

Gently squeeze the top of the bag together to press it into shape.

Step 11
Step 11

Step 12

All that’s left to do now is decorate the bag – my favourite part! Thread ribbon through the two punched holes at the top, slide a tag down one side of the ribbon and tie in a bow. I also like to add paper flowers, gems and other embellishments. You can see how to make a paper rose like the one in the photo on my blog.

Step 12
Step 12
Step 12
Step 12
Finished Bag
Finished Bag
FInished Bag Close up
FInished Bag Close up

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