Friday, May 20, 2011

Spokane Arts and Crafts Show This Saturday

Join these talented ladies from Etsy: CarolSchmauder, SeamsVictorian, and GlitznGlass along with 7 other local artists featuring pottery, aprons and all kinds of lovelies for a local meet the maker shopping experience.
Details: Saturday May 21 10 am - 4 pm at 2720 E Bruce, Spokane, WA

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Interview with Tracey Weiser of Summerone

Read about Summerone owner, Tracey Weiser. This talented lady has a way with taking something old and changing it into something fabulous!

First off so everyone can get to know each other better what is your 'real' name? And where do you live? Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Tracey Weiser and I live in Moses Lake, WA. My husband and I moved here about three years ago after we got married. He got a job here and the cost of living was so affordable it seemed like a good fit. We had come to check it out the year before, our friend's had moved here and they're the ones who offered the job opportunity. It was a wonderful couple of days, sunny and twinkling and we were smitten right away.

Moving here was another experience, to say the least. It is far away from our families - mine live in BC, his live west of the mountains and don't travel often. Because we were newly married and not finished the immigration process when I got pregnant I was kinda 'trapped' here. And as you can imagine that 'trapped' feeling made the whole process of getting used to a new town difficult. The immigration process is all complete now and a great weight has been lifted.

How did you learn about Etsy?

I had stumbled upon Etsy the year before we moved here, through an artist that was featured in a little mag I'd picked up. I don't remember the title of the magazine but the artist was trixiedelicious from Australia. I have always loved shopping garage sales and second hand stores and I found that last solitary dish from a fancy set to be one item I had a hard time letting pass me by. I would, invariably. But I would yearn for those misplaced, forlorn treasures after wards. So I love that she finds a way to reuse them. She makes them stand alone and be special! In fact, I just had to feature one of her items on my blog last week: her MOFO plate for mother's day! Just to be cheeky!

How did you get started making jewelry and how long have you been doing it?

I've always been interested in the art of making things: paintings, driftwood sculptures, knitting, jewelry. I have a degree in Fine Art and English

I'm not exactly sure when I started making jewelry. I made some things when I was in college, about 10 years ago. And I remember that those friends thought of me as a jewelry maker, but I don't have any of those pieces anymore, so I can't tell you what I made. I DO have a terrible memory, though :D

What do you like most about your shop appearance? What would you like to improve?

I was so happy to find Etsy for the sake of having a store, but I find the process of making my shop the way I'd like it to be to be a difficult one. I like that my shop currently has a cohesive feel to it, but I'm not particularly fond of the overall theme it projects. I'll be changing it again, though that entails taking all new photos. I've been working on my photos and I feel that those are coming along, but I still have work to do there, for sure. I would like to have more close up photos of my jewelry and to be more careful about background colors. Good photos are integral to selling on Etsy, I think. I think, too that a cohesive backgrounds to your photos should suit the theme you want your shop to project and my feels all over the map to me, frankly! I've found to be helpful in tweaking photos for items that I haven't gotten around to taking new photos of. It is a slower process than I'd like it to be but then I'm impatient! I feel the pressure of my to-do list the strongest when I get working. I have a hard time, working and relieving the pressure I put on myself to get more things done. Consequently, I'm usually spinning in circles with too many windows open on my computer and too many projects out on my desk.

What is your creative style? Is your work area neat and tidy or a disaster? What inspires you?

I do wish that I was a cleaner worker. When I'm deep in a project: painting or jewelry, I definitely need a space with a door that I can shut. Just so that I can walk away from it. I'm pretty messy; I love to have all the parts at my disposal, so that I can grab them as I need them and I don't put things away very well. A difficult way to work when you have a toddler. Ha-ha!!

Everything inspires me! I wish it didn't!! The outdoors, fashion catalogs, what my friends wear, my friends: I think about them and make what they would like. I could go on and on! I have far too many ideas racing around my brain - I can't get them out fast enough. I keep photo files and they are filled with examples of work, directions that I'd like to pursue, try my hand at. But when I'm actually working it is quite organic. I have all my beads and wire around me and start a new earring or pendant design just as I finish one, sometimes WHILE I'm working. I'm a very circular thinker! Maybe a little A.D.D! :D That's probably how I got started working with repurposed items.

How did you come up with you shop name?

I called my shop summer's workshop for so many reasons: my birthday is in July and summer is my favorite season! It has such a magic to it; it seems that life is more ripe and bountiful in the summer! Summer's workshop sounds a little like Santa's workshop: another phrase that brings up ideas of magic and possibilities. I'm still not clear on how to present that as a theme for my store, but as I said, ideas are always spinning and I feel that I'm close!!

I noticed you have a lot of variety in your shop and you used recycled, repurposed components. How did you get started on this path? What kind of jewelry do you like to wear?

I've always been a little bit crow: sparkly things catch my attention and I have to snatch them up. I'm also a big fondler, I always touch things in stores and I loved dress up as a child. When I was little, I liked to pick up a long necklace and wrap it around my wrist and if it was long enough twist it under my hand and over my finger for a 'matching' ring! As I got older and got better at different techniques, I would take old necklaces that I found at garage sales or secondhand shops and make bracelets or earrings for myself. Then, gradually, other people asked me to do the same for them, with items that they loved, but that had fallen out of style or they had grown tired of. I love doing it! Seeing what I can come up with! That in particular is a very organic experience. Very experimental. I just play around with different materials until something speaks to me: matches the beads or style of the old piece and I move from there! I love to wear the jewelry I make! Perhaps that sounds self serving, but a lot of times, I make jewelry because I have an outfit that I want to wear and I don't have anything to go with it! So I make something.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Another Front Page

Way to go Pamela! This happened on Earth Day. Great job being on top of the featured themes! Sorry I missed it. This was made by Seeingisbelieving.

Congrats to our Front Page Curators

BlueBassinet with her first front page. One of many we hope!

CreativityisMessy with her umptillenth. Thank you ladies for setting such great examples for us by making fabulous treasuries.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Interview with Jennifer of GizmoFiberArts.

Jennifer shares some things about herself and her totally charming shop, GizmoFiberArts. Thanks Jennifer!

Enjoy some treasuries featuring GizmoFiberArts! Read her interview and check out her new banner!

First off so everyone can get to know each other better what is your 'real' name? And where do you live? Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Jennifer and I live in Colville, WA. I am single and I have an orange tabby named Chips. I have a Masters degree in Philosophy but after teaching some at the college level I realized that's not the life for me. Now I sell on eBay as my "day job" and write and design as much as can.

How did you learn about Etsy? How long has your shop been open?

My sister-in-law told me about Etsy and I opened my shop in November last year. I thought it might be a better way to sell my patterns as it takes so long to submit them to publishers and there aren't very many publishers left these days.

How did you come up with you shop name?

Well, I really love gadgets and inventions. I wanted a name that reflected that aspect of my personality because a lot of my creativity has to do with figuring out how to make things. It's more about how to achieve a certain effect, such as how to make a hat "floppy" than having a specific look in mind. I searched all kinds of word combinations to come up with one that was available on all the social media I could think of. Gizmo isn't used much so I chose that to represent my personality. I chose fiber arts because I was writing both knit and crochet patterns (though there are only crochet ones in my shop), and I also have some ideas for embroidery. I didn't want to limit it to crochet though it's mostly crochet.

What do you like most about your shop appearance? What would you like to improve?

Well, I recently won a makeover for my shop! I received new graphics; they are my favorite part of my shop's appearance. LOL On the negative side, a lot of my pictures are really dark. I live in a dark house with little windows and lots of rain outside. It has been hard to get enough light to make my products look their best.

What is your creative style? Is your work area neat and tidy or a disaster? What inspires you?

My work area is a mess usually. I don't have a lot of space to have it be the total disaster zone that I would probably prefer. All kinds of things inspire me. I'm constantly having to edit because there are so many things I want to make. I'm mostly inspired by trying to figure out "how" to make something. At the moment I'm working on a crocheted Chinese dragon. I like the look of Chinese dragons and I was just wondering, could it be crocheted? The challenge is on, and I'm trying.

You state you’ve been crocheting for thirty years in your profile, what draws you to this art form?

Well, my mom taught me to crochet when I was 5. I wanted to be like her and my grandma, who is legendary in my family. I like crochet, and knitting also, because they are structural and mathematical, yet so feminine at the same time. Even as a little kid, I loved figuring out the math involved in making crocheted stuff.

Has it been challenging to go from producing items to creating patterns? What made you decide to go in that direction? Have you found that aspect of your shop to be more successful as far as sales go?

I really like writing, and I used to write gaming guides, which were step by step instructions for beating online games. That skill plus my love of crochet led me to want to try writing some patterns. I would like to start adding things like helpful tips and ideas of how to adapt the patterns.
As far as my store, I opened it to sell patterns, and then realized I could add the finished items too since I don't have anywhere else to sell them. The patterns are the best sellers in my store, and definitely my main focus.

Do you have any advice you’d like to share?

Yeah, as far as sales, definitely renew or list every single day. When I started renewing 3 items/day I saw a huge jump in sales. I didn't see any increased sales for the first 10 days or so and started to think it was a waste of money, but I had committed to doing it for a month. Then, all of the sudden, the sales started coming in.

Monday, May 2, 2011

DistinctlyIvy on the Front Page

Congrats to Ivy!