Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Interview with Grey Puffin

Meet Shelly of Grey Puffin

Who are you?
The great and powerful Oz! Well, not really. Just a crazy zany geek with a hankering to dabble in different art projects.

What do you create?
Inexpensive jewelry. I started out Steampunk, when I hurt my hand turned to beading, and now I'm into jewelry with chains. Have I mentioned I'm eclectic? I try to make jewelry that's inexpensive, but still is nice, and wearable, and that you wouldn't be miserable if it got scratched. I love white gold, and silver, but it's outside my budget, and I realize I'm rough on my shinies. I can't be alone out there.

What was the main inspiration for your shop?
Steampunk. I fell in love with it at Necronomicon at St. Pete in '09, and when I became the head of Amtgard (a LARP, here in FL we're the Kingdom Neverwinter, ehh rhh creative naming!) it was my theme for my Reign. And then everything else was whim/what I had.

How did you come about your store name?
My favorite color (or non color) is grey, and I love puffins. Tada! Sometimes I wish I'd made the name shorter, or more generic. Most people don't know about puffins.

What is the crafting utensil you cannot live without?
Pliers. I don't use them all the time, but for the most part, most of my stuff has seen the steely pliers at one point or another for something or another.
What is your favorite material to work with?
Metal, chains in particular right now. Though lately I've had fun with acrylics on wood, just for my own entertainment.

What do you enjoy most about making the things you make?
The making. I enjoy it, irregardless of sales, or anything else. If I didn't enjoy the process of making, I wouldn't do it.

What is your life like outside of Etsy?
Ahh I mentioned I did Amtgard, the LARP, right now I'm the Regent, which means I'm in charge of Arts and Sciences (the crafts, garbing, weaponmaking, etc. and education on how to do so) for the FL groups, I finally got a job doing tech support, and in my spare time, I make things for Amtgard, beat back the devil spawn known as Facebook, and read webcomics.

What is your favorite feature on Etsy?
Recently listed. I pull it up just to see what kind of neat things people have made at random times.
What do you enjoy "window shopping" on Etsy on your free time?
Anything that catches my fancy, through a FEST treasury, the recently listed, something that flagged my interest through the day...

Do you have a tip for other Etsy sellers?
Always look for ways to improve, and become a better seller. My pictures aren't the greatest, but I've come a long way, and reading tips and searching out help sites and asking for critique (always willing to take it!) have helped me get there.

Is there an online "tool" that you like to use?
Google Keyword Tool can be helpful for those SEO's

What other interests do you have?
Baking. I almost moved to school to attend a Baking and Pastry school. Curse you student loans! I also love sci-fi, and fantasy movies and books, and comedy, stand up or movies.

Where in Florida do you live?
Brandon, a suburb of Tampa. I've lived in Tampa/Brandon all my life (I'm a real cracker!). I love the diversity of the general Tampa Bay area. If there's something I want, somewhere in Tampa, there's probably a place for it.

Could you recommend a fun activity near your Fl home that other members might enjoy?
Busch Gardens? :D The beaches, a awesome artwalk on Fri/Sat nights in Gulfport nearby, Lowry Park Zoo, Tampa MOSI, the theater, shopping, etc. etc.

What are some other sites to find out more about you and your art?

How has the experience of handcrafting things for people?
It's been a great experience. There are some days I make nothing, some I make 5 things. While I try and think about what someone would like, I try and make sure that I make something that *I* like too.

What famous person would you like to meet
Paula Deen. She's my mother, I swear it. I was switched at birth! She makes the most cholesterol clogging food ever, but yet, I can't rip my eyes away. Her gooey butter pumpkin cake is so scary, but so yummy.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Summer Fun Flip Flop Crayons - Set of 10

Surfin' Pillow

Blue Swirl Sierra - Handcrafted Acrylic Blue Sierra Pen

Recycled Blue Pinstripe Pillowcase Tote

Sandals on the Beach 8x10

Surf Cake Plate with Mosaic Glass Palm Tree on Etsy

Carnaval...Dancing Quartz, Agate and Sodalite necklace set

Blue Belles Earrings

Blue Kyanite and Onyx Earrings Sterling Silver

Orig Recycled Palm Frond Fish Art  J. Craig Florida ...  3 ft long

The Zonya Walker Bag - Stroller Bag - Surfs Up - FREE SHIPPING to U.S. and Canada - LOW Shipping Worldwide

Sea Shell Card

mother and baby sandpiper necklace with aqua jasper

Sapphire blue stone bead, brass rondelles and round beads necklace

Big Beautiful Deep Cobalt Blue Glass Earrings

Baby Blues Lampwork, Glass and Turquoise Bracelet by Happy Shack Designs

Here we are - mid September, and another great group of entries for our Monthly Challenge! Vote for your favorite in the poll on the left column of the blog! Voting ends September 30th. The winner will be announced here and given a choice of an interview on the blog, or an etsy mini ad on the front page for the month!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Interview with Crafty Hag

Meet Coralette of CraftyHag:

Who are you?
My name is Coralette Damme and I am the woman behind The Crafty Hag! I am an artist, printmaker, and compulsive crafter. My official artist bio says that I am an artist with Midwestern roots, currently located in St. Petersburg, FL. My work is about variety and I don't believe in limiting myself to one type of creativity! I let my sense of humor be my guide. Artistically my affinities lie with the German Expressionist movement combined with a touch of Dada.
I work in a spur of the moment/what is inspiring me right now method. I am fortunate to have a variety of media to use in my efforts to create something that expresses my mood or my perception of a situation. My creations tend to be based in reality and are figurative for the most part -- you can usually spot the source of my inspiration right off the bat. I infuse bold contrasts, heavy outlines, strong colors, and a sense of humor in my work.
Aside from art I have a passion for the ocean, scuba diving, and keeping active.
My studio is crammed to the ceiling with supplies and pets--I have 3 cats and a dog and usually at least 2 of them are in my room snoozing while I work.
I'm fortunate enough to have a small bedroom dedicated to The Crafty Hag where I have my studio space and computer. Someday I hope to have my own small brick and mortar shop where I can expand my printing opportunities and offer classes etc.

What do you create?
I mostly work as a printmaker, creating linolium block prints and my own hand carved stamps. I also do a lot of screen printing on textiles. Right now I am looking at ways to combine multiple art techniques in one piece, like combining screen prints and paintings or sewing screen printed pieces into plus creatures or block printing on fabric and sewing them in to pillows. I want my art to be accessible to everyone. I think sometimes art galleries can seem sterile or intimidating and people are afraid to get up close to the art but my work aims to be more casual and part of everyday life.
I also want my work to be fun for both me and the viewer. I love color and the power it has to alter mood. I think a sense of humor is obvious in a lot of my work. Although I work hard and take my business seriously, I never forget that joy of creating and that is what comes out in my prints, paintings and other wares. So whether it is a card, a t-shirt, a plush creature, or art for your wall, any of my creations will hopefully make you feel so good you can't live without them!

What was the main inspiration for your shop?
I decided to open an Etsy store as a way to reach more people. I have done countless weekend art festivals and craft shows but I can only be in so many places. Having an online shop lets me be available to people all over the world which I think is really exciting.

How did you come about your store name?
My business name, The Crafty Hag, came about as a result of a nick name. When I moved to Florida to pursue a life of scuba diving I took an email address of Florida Dive Hag. My friends out of state would jokingly call me the dive hag in emails etc. So when it came time to start my art business I thought well, I like the idea of being crafty, and hag has an edge to it that will lure in some folks with a sense of humor or broad curiosity so The Crafty Hag was born. I like the double meaning of crafty, as in sly or as in hands on since I would aspire to be both. Also it is a lot easier to spell and remember than my name so that is also an advantage.

What is the crafting utensil you cannot live without?
The one tool I can't live without is my linolium cutter. The tools I use to carve my blocks and stamps are essential to me! The other must have is a pencil. Everything I do begins with a pencil, be it a drawing, a painting, a relief print, a screen print... So the humble pencil is priceless to me!

What is your favorite material to work with?
I am addicted to Mod Podge. I use it to glue collages for mail art, to block out my screens for screen printing, and it smells kinda good in an elementary school paste kinda way...

What do you enjoy most about making the things you make?
What I really like best is seeing how other people react to my creations. Whether they love it or are repulsed by it I get a kick out of their response. It lets me know that I did something right if they take notice in some way.

What is your life like outside of Etsy?
Outside of The Crafty Hag, I work nearly full time for a non-profit visual and performing arts center called The Studio @ 620 and I teach group exercise at our local YMCA. I love to go on photo safari and just take my camera out on a walk.

What is your favorite feature on Etsy?
I love the networking and street teams. The community and chance to connect with other artists is great. In addition to FEST I am also a member of Printsy which is a printmakers of Etsy team and Etsy Dark Side Street Team.

What do you enjoy "window shopping" on Etsy on your free time?
I like to see what other people make in my category, see what they are inspired by, learn new techniques.. It’s a good way to guage where you're at with pricing too, if you're competitive or under priced etc.

Do you have a tip for other Etsy sellers?
You get out of Etsy what you put into it. Having a shop is a lot of work and it doesn’t stop with listing items or renewing regularly... I don’t have the time I used to have to promote my shop like I did when I first started on Etsy but I still like having the opportunity for sales and exposure.

Is there an online "tool" that you like to use?
I have a business page for The Crafty Hag on Facebook that I really feel does a lot to help get my work out to a broader audience. I am big on internet marketing--I have photos on Flickr, I have a mail art blog, I have a website, myspace, facebook, twitter...... But you can only keep up with so much.
I do maintain the Facebook page for the FEST team so I hope everyone tunes in to that and checks out the featured items from Florida!

What other interests do you have?
I love nature, wild life, and holidays especially Halloween! I like to read about odd inventors and world mythology and religions. You'll see all these things reflected in my art.
I also am getting more and more involved with mail art. I love the idea of sending and receiving cool stuff in the mail from strangers. It is fun!

Where in Florida do you live?
I live in St. Petersburg, have been in Florida for 10 years now, having moved here from the Twin Cities in Minnesota. I get very homesick for the mid-west and hope to return north in the near future but until then I like our town here. St. Pete is a very creative town and I have a lot of great friends here, many of whom are fabulous artists and crafters as well. I enjoy the variety of exotic plants and animals we have here and try to appreciate the natural beauty around me no matter where I am.

Could you recommend a fun activity near your Fl home that other members might enjoy?
Most folks who come to St. Petersburg will visit the typical tourist sites, I do like the pier and our many great art museums including the Dali. Of course the gulf beaches are gorgeous and so far remain clean of oil. St. Petersburg also used to be the shuffleboard capitol of the country with a large historic complex near downtown. You can do the St. Pete Shuffle every Friday evening, the people are friendly, it’s a cheap thrill and great fun for folks of any age.

What are some other sites to find out more about you and your art?

Website www.craftyhag.com
Etsy: http://www.craftyhag.etsy.com
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/26593680@N06
Friend me: http://www.myspace.com/craftyhag
Twitter: http://twitter.com/craftyhag
Blog: http://www.dreadlippencott.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Crafty-Hag-Coralette-Damme/66003737968

Is there a funny/touching/sad story behind any of your items?
There is are a couple, I guess 3, block prints of cats I have done based on my kitty Hairy-ette. She died suddenly of a heart condition that we weren't aware she had--something hereditary. So there are a few angel cat images that were created out of that grieving process. But now the bright side is I have these images and they make a lot of people smile.

What super power would you like to have and why?
I have been asked this before and my answer was to be the power to create ice cream, any flavor, any time...... I love ice cream, my dad was a milk man when I was a kid and I have been addicted to ice cream forever so being able to have instant ice cream would be awesome!

What was an embarrassing moment in your life?
Uh...embarassing...well.. Once for my birthday I went on a scuba diving trip with a group of friends and they surprised me with a cake etc on the boat. It was so nice but I was so seasick I was basically hanging over the side of the boat the whole time and couldn't even read the nice card they had all signed for me.... So that was not the greatest moment by any means.

What famous person would you like to meet?
Vincent Price! He was an avid art collector and I love his old scary movies! I think we would have an interesting talk over lunch and a glass of wine or while walking around some interesting place....

Friday, September 3, 2010

Interview with our August Challenge Winner!

Meet Janis of Myprettywon :

Who are you?
My name is Janis Sreenan. I grew up in southern Wisconsin and I traded in my snow boots for flip flops as soon as I graduated high school.
I studied art and visual communications at Florida State University and worked in advertising as a graphic designer for the past 20 years. After dealing with the corporate world for so long, I was looking for something new, yet creatively challenging.
I have been married for 22 years and have a son, and two 4-legged daughters.

How and when did you start making jewelry?
I actually made my first piece of jewelry 8 years ago while visiting a girlfriend in NC. She gave me the basic instructions on crimping and that was all it took. I was hooked!
I have always done arts, crafts, painting, anything that expresses color and design since I was old enough to hold a crayon. Jewelry making seemed like a natural transition into another venue for my ideas.

What was the main inspiration for your shop?
I am inspired by all the different ways of combining colors, shapes, and techniques. Nature’s colors are just amazing! And there are so many techniques to jewelry making that I sometimes feel "so much to learn, so little time!"

How did you come about your store name?
My shop name evolved from two memorable occurrences in my life … Molly, my Cairn Terrier, is my girly girl and the inspiration for “My Pretty”.
The “Won” has come from being an 8 year breast cancer survivor.

What is the crafting utensil you cannot live without?
I cannot live without my round nose pliers. Also,do magnifying glasses count as a utensil? I need those too. lol

What do you enjoy most about making the things you make?
I love playing with bits and pieces and listening to that little voice inside my head tell me what to do with them. It's a definitely a form of therapy!

What is your favorite feature on Etsy?
I love the community of artisans that comprise Etsy. It feels like belonging to a big family! I also like the world-wide exposure that is available through Etsy.

Do you have a tip for other Etsy sellers?
I would have to say be patient with sales and increase exposure to your shop through Showcases.

Where in Florida do you live?
I have lived in Lighthouse Point since graduating college. It is small community between Deerfield Beach and Pompano Beach. And the best part is the Atlantic Ocean is only minutes away!

What are some other sites to find out more about you and your art?
I have my Etsy shop, an Etsy tab on my Facebook and I am always touting about the great gifts that can be found on Etsy to my friends. Word of mouth is amazing! And there is also my website www.MyPrettyWon.com. I also hope to learn and understand twittering and blogging in the near future.

What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
I guess that would have to be sky diving my freshman year at college. Looking back I can still remember the feeling of free falling and having birds fly by you! Maybe it wasn't so crazy after all?

If you were a dessert what would it be?
If I were a dessert, it would be a Chocolate Soufflé with vanilla crème sauce! (Sweet and yummy yet not that common :-)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

DRUM ROLL - Summer Sizzler FEST Blog Giveway Winner

The Summer Sizzler FEST Blog Giveaway Winner is our very own Cory of AquarianBath. Cory will have the option of selecting either a wonderful custom 8 x 10 watercolor and ink portrait or an original watercolor and ink Red Snapper painting by Amber of Amber M. Moran - ambermmoran .

Amber's art is influenced by nature, family and music as evidenced by this lovely selection.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Our August Challenge Win.....

goes to My Pretty Won for the gorgeous Swarovski Necklace! Congratulations! And I see that this necklace is sold, so double congrats! The prize is a choice of a blog interview or a sidebar ad for the month.

And now, it's time for our September Challenge to begin (Drum Roll) Our themes are September's gorgeous birthstone - Sapphire......or Surf's Up! Post your entries on our challenge forum thread: http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6616166