Thursday, December 23, 2010

Interview with Gypsy Blue Designs

Meet Cheri of  Gypsy Blue Designs:

Who are you?
Hey! My name is Cheri and I am the creative (or crazy) mind behind Gypsy Blue. I have a recently acquired degree in Interior Design with a focus on Historic Preservation, which, sadly, I only use for myself and a few close friends/family. I would consider myself a Southern girl with a very short attention span and an extreme love of travel, design and history.

What do you create?
Gypsy Blue is my little line of handmade one of a kind purses, totes and handbags, some handpainted pillows and occasionally a fabric based Gypsy Chandelier. Basically, “Adventures in Textiles”! I try to use as many upcycled fabrics as possible along with what I call salvaged samples (small cuts of textile remnants and samples that normally would be thrown away from textile companies & designers) and then mix in a few purposely bought fabrics to mix it all up.

How did you come about your store name?
Gypsy Blue is all about me….. Gypsy because I move around frequently with my little caravan of four legged, drooling, barking, furry children. Blue is from my love of Blue water and never being too far away from it. And there you have Gypsy Blue!

What is the crafting utensil you cannot live without?
Silly, but a really great pair of super sharp scissors and a stitch ripper (for when I change my mind).

What is your life like outside of Etsy? (family, work, other hobbies)
Life outside of Etsy is about to change drastically. By the end of November, I will be self employed for the first time! I gave my notice the beginning of the month and I am now going "all out" to make Gypsy Blue work. I have Art & Craft shows planned every weekend for the next 4 months or so, and I will be increasing my Etsy and online presence with all of my free time (insert giggle here). Lucky for me, I am single without kids (except my four legged ones) so I don’t have to worry about providing for anyone other than myself right now. But still, keep your fingers crossed for me please!

What do you enjoy "window shopping" on Etsy on your free time?
I love to window shop for beachy jewelry, I love a great painting and sometimes browsing vintage clothing (I love the 60’s & 70’s stuff right now). I also love to see what makes it to the front page, it keeps me inspired!

What other interests do you have?
Outside of Gypsy Blue, I have a passion for numerous random foods, sports, activities, which are listed below in no particular order…..

Cheese (it makes everything taste better), really good buttery Popcorn, Music, NASCAR, Football, History, Travel, enjoying a great bottle of Wine, putting the top down & road tripping on a warm sunny day and Flip Flops!

What are some other sites to find out more about you and your art?
Right now I have a website (which needs some loving attention from me) and a Facebook page (which also feels neglected) which will soon be updated/upgraded with my new found freedom!

What animal would you like to be for one day and why?
An animal for a day…… tough one. Either a Pelican, a Dolphin or a Wild Horse. All of them have a gracefulness, beauty and freedom that I long for (maybe in my next life?).

What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
For me, it’s not crazy, but if I get a whim to pick up and move to a new town/city/state, I usually just do it. I just love to go and see and experience new things & places, and I tend to dive in headfirst. I think all totaled I have lived in 7 different states and moved about 17 times.

If you were a dessert what would it be?
Easy! Homemade chocolate chunk bread pudding with a bourbon cream sauce and pecans! (Oh wait, the question was what dessert I would be, not what I want to eat???)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Share Time is a pretty cool site, they offer Etsy sellers an extremely simple way to view things like who hearts you and your shop statistics, we've seen these things right. Well at  there is an Inventory helper, which is an Excel file download (csv format) of your current listings as it is returned by the Etsy API. You can open it in MS Excel or OpenOffice. It contains the columns Listing Id, State, Title, Creation Date, Number of Views, Price, Expiration Date, Quantity, Section Title, Sold?, Listing Fee, Selling Fee, Shipping Fee, and Date Sold. Use it to keep track of your inventory.

Also offers you a simple way to pull up an item in your shop (it carries over your listings for you) and with a simple click you can create a flyer to print and use. It also allows you to edit your listings description and cost for the flyer: very cool!! But even COOLER is the slide show widget - (*so exited*), they automatically pull up all of your Etsy listings and put it in a slide show, you need only copy and Post the html into your blog layout!! YOU HAVE GOT TO TRY IT!!! You can see mine in the upper right hand corner, I did it in 2 minutes: REALLY! and you don't even have to go through all that registration/sign in stuff.

THank you, today - you are my hero :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

December Challenge Entries!

In the midst of the hectic holiday season, some of our members have still found time to enter our December Challenge - the themes are Tanzanite or Traditions. And you can vote for any that you like! Have fun and voting is open until Dec. 31st at midnight. Look for the vote poll on the right side of the blog.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Share time:

Sometimes I think that the internet is a huge booby trap! I get online just to check to see if I have any sales and and a couple of hours later~ with multiple web pages open, fixing emails, checking forums, twitting and chatting on facebook all while I'm laughing at some adorable product I found on Etsy

at Rear Gear or that adorable kitty that has his head stuck in an Easter basket ~I remember that I have to make dinner !~

Well, I just recently found this wonderful app at !
You can sign up for a free and easy service that sends you a text message to your cell phone every time you make a sale on Etsy!
I have been using it for about a month and a half now and think it's great, so I just thought I'd share!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Interview Blue Eyed Designing

Meet Nancy of Blue Eyed Designing:

Who are you?
I am a newly single artist after 32 years of marriage. I've been pouring my heart and soul into creating for the past 9 months.

What do you create?
I usually create late at night and work into the wee hours.

How did you come about your store name?
My daughter Amanda thought it up

What is the crafting utensil you cannot live without? My kiln and E6000 glue

What is your favorite material to work with?
I love to work with fusing glass! I also like ceramics but I am just learning how to do that.

What is your life like outside of Etsy?
I have 4 young adult kids who just the best! I also have 3 dogs and I love them to pieces. I have 2 golden retrievers and a little rescue dog poodle. I hope to go to law school next year and I have been studying for the LSATS.

What is your favorite feature on Etsy?
Everything! I love to spend time looking at raw materials that look interesting and that I want to try.

Is there an online "tool" that you like to use?
Facebook has been a big help too.

What other interests do you have?
Bike riding, dog walking, art shows, going to rock music concerts, video production

Where in Florida do you live?
I live in Boca Raton which is about 30 minutes from West Palm and 30 minutes from Ft Lauderdale. I have been here for 22 years.

Could you recommend a fun activity near your Fl home that other members might enjoy?
The Festival Flea Market has great homemade pickles.

What are some other sites to find out more about you and your art?
I help produce a rock music teen tv show and
Facebook Nancy Rich
artfire: steampunkspecial

What “super” power would you like to have and why?
 I would love to fly to get through traffic faster.

What is the craziest thing you have ever done?
…. My girls and I snuck into the 2000 Grammy awards and sat in the 3rd row until they made us move to the back. We walked in on the red carpet without a ticket. We also went to the Arista music Grammy party and sat next to Macy Gray without an invite.

If you were a dessert what would it be?.....anything chocolate!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Care for Some Simply Divine Dessert?

Florida Etsy Street Team has the good fortune of having members who love to blog, so in an effort to share their posts and features we will be "reblogging" here on EtsyFEST! Our first is Chris, owner of Memories in Mosaics. Her blogspot is called "Chris' Comments" where she features her mosaics because that is her passion. She also blogs about her family and friends, vacationing, how-to's of easy home decorating, recipes and personal observations.

Chris recently interviewed Sharon who is the owner and baker behind Simply Divine Desserts  on Etsy.  She is a fellow  FEST (Florida Etsy Street Team) member and resides in Sarasota, Florida.

Here is her interview with Sharon:

Tell me a little about yourself.

I’m a brown-eyed girl, strong in mind and body, with a Christ centered spirit. I am a happy, busy, productive, strong willed, organized, unemployed, single mom. I have two grown sons, 25 and 22, who are the biggest blessings in my life (along with my new daughter-in-law!). I was a home school mom for 16 years, and they were some of the best years of my life. I’m an active member of a great church, I love music, the beach, and going to the movies.

How long have you been baking?

I’ve been baking for most of my life. I grew up loving to be in the kitchen with my mom and grandmothers, not only for the great food that was always being created, but for the warmth and comfort that it brought. My older brother started calling me “Bake” when I was 11, and for some reason the nickname stuck and to this day, I am “Bake” to my family and many old friends.

What made you decide to sell on Etsy?

I decided to try etsy after a dear friend of mine kept poking and prodding me to give it a shot. I sold books to homeschoolers on ebay for many years, so I’m used to online selling, but the thought of starting an online bake shop seemed strange to me at first. But now that I’ve made some sales and have sent my goodies to various parts of the country, I’m excited to see what the future will bring.

Read more about Sharon...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Happy Birthday Kelly Warren

Happy Birthday Kelly!
Please visit her Etsy shops by clicking Here for her Jewelry & Accessories store and Here for her art photography shop
or check out her blog Here

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

And the November Challenge Winner is............

AudreyGardenLady for her blossom earrings - with an overwhelming 34 votes! Congratulations, Audrey! You win a choice of an interview or your Etsy Mini on the blog for a month!

Now, it's December already! Time to start on our December Challenge! Our Themes for December are Tanzanite (December Birthstone) and Traditions. This is a busy time for all of us, but I know we have so much talent just oozing out of Team Festies, so I'm looking forward to some wonderful Challenge entries!

Here's a link to the Etsy forums to post your entry:

Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Shelly

Happy Birthday Shelly! 
This couldn't be a better time of year to visit Shelly's etsy shop.  She sells cards printed from her pen and ink illustrations and has quite a nice collection for the holidays.  She keeps a blog too, you can check it out here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday, and since it is my job to announce everyone else's birthdays... I'm also announcing my own. My name is Shelley and that is me in the middle above wearing the fun hat.  I have 2 shops on Etsy because I'm so obsessed with sewing that one just isn't enough.  Besides being part of the Fest Team, I'm also in the Hollywood Craft Mafia.  It would be a great birthday gift for me if you could take a quick peak at either (or both) of my shops.
http://kitschyaprons.com or one of my blogs, this one, this one or this one.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Handmade Holidays

Every year I make an Advent Calendar for my grandson.

 Of course this means I need to get the calendar to him prior to the beginning of December and since they do not live here his mother tries to make a trip just around the end of November to be able to pick up the calendar. This year because of our extensive camping trips she made an last minute decision to come up this week! I was caught off guard because I had not made the Calendar, purchased the gifts or even thought of how I was going to make it this year!  Now since I try always to reduce-re use- recycle I save many things, so I ran to my 'random stuff' bin to see what I had enough of to make the calendar and there were enough cat food cans.

 So after I washed and bleached the cans I proceeded to get my 'craft stuff' bin out and I ended up covering the cans with craft foam

 and then applied some foam holiday stickers around them and some festive pipe cleaners for little lid handles.

 I applied some hot glue to keep the lids on until he opens them but all in all for a last-minute project I think it came out pretty good ...and except for the candy (left over from Halloween) and toys that I put inside the cans, everything else I used to make this I had in my supply closet. and that made me happy!
What's your Handmade Holiday's project?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I recently found out you could find out if you are being mentioned on the web by hearing about Social Mention. That's how I found out that I was featured in someones blog. You just plug in your shop name and let it bring up everything. It will show you all Tweets, Facebook pages and Blogs that you are mentioned in.

I was surprised to find out I was mentioned on someones Facebook page because she was happy I used her in a treasury and wanted her friends to know. Also there were two blogs! Wow, blogs! I commented on both blogs and thanked them immediately for including me. I was featured in beautiful treasuries on their blogs! How cool! Way too cool!!! I had to learn how to do that! I wanted the thrill of making an Etsy Treasury, publishing it on my blog and experiencing someone finding it and being happy like I was.

Visit my blog BajunaJewelry and I will show you how you can get a treasury on your blog too!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Happy {belated} Birthday Cynthia

We all hope that Cynthia had a birthday as fabulous as she is!

Please check out Cynthia's fabulous art Chapelgate Lane Mosaics by nuccynthia on Etsy

Friday, November 12, 2010

Share time:

Using is the one of the simplest ways to get your business records organized. I have already heard of many Etsy shop owners that actually do use the Outright program to run their small businesses and are pretty happy about it.

Getting started is actually pretty simple:
Record your income.
Track your business deductions
Prepare for estimated and end of year taxes
See how your business is doing

And if you are working with a bookkeeper you can Add them to your books so they can manage records and prepare taxes with you.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Meet Janet of Magartsypartycrafts:

Who are you?
I am a very Christ-centered spiritual person who went to the University of Florida for Art and married my high school sweetie. We raised three competitive swimmers and for 18 years I became a die-hard YMCA volunteer who decided to integrate my artwork into my life and to never be a "starving artist". I did everything from designing meet t-shirts, staging large fundraisers and parties, cooking food by myself for large swim meets or 500 triathletes for our Triathlons as well as trucking up to Ohio and Penn State for Big 10's always bringing "artwork" to work on wherever I was. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune blood disorder and suffered through rounds of chemo, IVIG and steroid therapies for 15 years until I had blood allergy testing that showed I was allergic to soy. Once I discovered how many items and medications I was ingesting that had soy in it, from gum to chocolate to bread, and I eliminated it from my diet.It was almost miraculous how I recovered! Now I bake my own bread and tortillas, dehydrate my fruits, make my own beef jerky and cook from scratch. So Life is Grand!

What do you create?
I work in a variety of mediums and have been blessed with the ability to create in most of them. On Etsy, I create one of a kind custom Wedding and Beach Wedding Seashell Bouquets, Boutonnieres and Decor to Table Numbers, Tags and Programs as well Stained Glass and Mosaic pieces. I had no idea when I started selling on Etsy last year that I would be specializing in Wedding and Beach Wedding items. I just learned over the years to never say no to a request even if I have not made it before. So I say yes to all requests and then figure out how to create them. Replying to Alchemy Requests really helped me to make unique artwork for customers looking for specific items and then I started to build up a portfolio of pieces that I could list on Etsy and then things really took off.

How did you come about your store name?
I honestly had no idea what I was going to sell on Etsy when I joined, so just came up with a name that combined what I do Art - Party - Crafts. Now that I have found my niche, I would love to rename my store, but alas...that is against Etsy policy.

What is your favorite tool?
Other than my computer, my Dremel drill press. You should have seen me drilling shells with my battery powered Riobi. A fly on the wall would have had many laughs. For a $40 investment I turned my Dremel tool into a drill press and my life became nirvana. Now I can drill anything and everything.

What is your favorite material to work with?
I love to work with glass and tile, especially when I tumble them in my rock tumbler and then incorporate them in my large pieces. I have done some large stained glass crosses for some local churches combining watercolored paper under the glass and then finished the perimeter with irregular tumbled glass. This combination of unlikely materials into a completed piece lets me create at a very organic and uncontrived level which allows me to freelance with my materials.

What is your life like outside of Etsy?
I have 3 grown children, 2 grand babes and one due any day. My life circles around them, but I work at my art 14 hours a day and love the intertwining of working from home allows me. My grand babes are 9 months and 2 1/2 and they think nothing of sitting on the floor in my Etsy room playing with shells and sea urchins, raffia and ribbon or a container of tumbled glass. They would pick sitting on my lap while I list on Etsy over playing with toys. I brought my own kids up that way since I have always worked from home with them at my feet, or while sitting at their swim meets.
What is your favorite feature on Etsy?
My favorite feature on Etsy is the ability to rearrange the items in your shop. It allows you to arrange your items and show them in their best light instead of in the order they were listed.

What do you enjoy "window shopping" on Etsy on your free time?
I love to see the creativity and ingenuity of other artists, so I tend to click on unique items and it always teaches me something new that I can use in my own work. It is really a quick education and really broadens your artistic mind.

Is there on online "tool" that you like to use?
I find that the best selling feature is timely and immediate response to all questions and my camera is the perfect tool to keep customers up to date on the creation of their order, for color selection, and to send them a photo of the finished product before shipping. This really builds a good personal relationship that usually leads to more orders, as well.

What other interests do you have?
My husband and I are avid bikers, but not the kind that wears matching sports attire or does wheelies on a Harley. We are proud beach cruiser bikers with me sporting a big fat seat and a basket. We take 10-12 mile rides on the weekends along our Legacy bike trails or along the beaches and we love it.

Where in Florida do you live?
I have lived in Sarasota since age 10, that's all I am going to tell you. Long enough. I always wanted to move back to Massachusetts where I lived as a young child, but now I am so thankful I live here in this beautiful state. I have grown to love the casual lifestyle and the warm temperatures as well as the best beaches in Florida.

Could you recommend a fun activity near your Fl home that other members might enjoy?
We have awesome boating and fishing, so we go often and catch
dinner when we can. It is not that unusual for us to go out in my father in law's boat and come back with a mackerel or grouper and cook it up for dinner. When we can we head to the Keys for lobster season and catch our share of mahi-mahi.

Funny story, this summer we were fishing a reef and I got a bite and started to reel it in. All of a sudden I had a tug and could not get the yellow tail I hooked up to the surface. Everyone in the boat teased me that I had snagged the bottom and I started to believe it, especially when my line came up with no hook. About an hour later, my husband struggled with a huge grouper. We got him in the boat and into the ice chest. When he checked on him a few minutes later, my husband was, like , you are not going to believe this...he just spit up your yellow tail! There it was with my line and hook still in it's mouth. What are the chances of that in open water in the Atlantic!

What are some other sites to find out more about you and your art?
I have had an Ebay store for a few years and have 4,563 sales and 100% positive feedback. I am very proud of that.

Where would you go if you had a time machine and why?
 I would go to Heaven and sit down with God and ask him the 100 questions I have stored up in my heart...

What is the craziest thing you have ever done? 
More dangerous than crazy. When I was 16 I was riding my bike on a busy road in a bikini with Dr. Sholl's shoes in one hand and a Slurpee in the other. A driver waved me across the road and a drunk driver pulled around her and hit me. My head hit the windshield, my foot went through the drivers window and then I skidded down the road after hitting my head on the pavement. If you don't think that would make you a spiritual person, nothing will.