Saturday, June 26, 2010

Spring Fling FEST Blog Giveaway Winner!

Drum Roll Please -- The lucky winner of the absolutely stunning Aqua Gemstone Jewelry Bracelet from Audrey of Audrey Garden Lady is Annie.

Congratulations!! Enjoy it, it's a beauty.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Interview with Athena's Armory

Meet Janine of Athena's Armory

Who are you?
My name is Janine and I'm originally from New York. I work in theatre and spent ten years on the road as a stage manager with Broadway shows. As much as I love and miss New York, I also love being so close to the gorgeous Gulf beaches.

What do you create?
I create the ancient art of chain maille which was once used as armor back before plate armor gained popularity. I use different chain maille weaves to create jewelry, armor, housewares, bags, and more. It is my goal to bring out the strength and courage of your inner warrior with my maille.

How did you come about your store name?
I chose the name Athena's Armoury for my chain maille shop. Athena is the Greek Goddess of wisdom and war. She won't go to war needlessly, but much like the shield maiden, will ruthlessly defend and protect her own. But she's also very wise and will find ways to avoid war, if possible. Athena is also known as the patroness of crafts; among them, metal-working: seemed like a good fit for my shop.

What is the crafting utensil you cannot live without?
Definitely my pliers. You simply cannot make chain maille without pliers: one in each hand, actually. I have different pairs for different purposes, but my all time favorites are my Lindstrom's.

What is your favorite material to work with?
The majority of the metal in my shop is bright aluminum. It is extremely malleable, fairly inexpensive, and very lightweight; it's so shiny that it's commonly mistaken for sterling silver. But, I think my favorite metal is copper. I love the warm glow and it's so easy to work with. I'm intrigued by the thought that copper will help with inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis. I also love to see the different colors that copper can show with oxidation. It's a really beautiful metal.

What is your life like outside of Etsy?
I have a wonderful little family: Scott is my man of ten years and I have a wonderful kitty cat that adopted me when we bought our house a couple of years ago. I enjoy keeping active with yoga, pilates, biking, swimming, and more. I love reading and watching TV & movies. Spending time outside is something else that I love: whether it be a walk on the beach or even wandering around a farmers market. Something else that's pretty much taken over my life... I've recently undertaken an incredible challenge: I'll be walking 60 miles over the course of three days and raising a minimum of $2,300 to benefit the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure. The purpose of the 3 Day is to raise money for breast cancer research and breast health programs, to educate, and to raise awareness. It means the world to me to be able to do this event: there's the possibility that some of the money that I will raise will help find a cure and if even just one woman remembers to do her monthly self exam because she saw me out on a training walk, then I've helped make a difference. If you'd like to support me and the fight against breast cancer, you can find my personal page here:

What other interests do you have?
I've recently started studying herbalism with Rosemary Gladstar through her correspondence course. The medicinal uses of herbs fascinates me and it's empowering to know that I can take care of myself and my loved ones through the power of plants. My interest in herbs led me to discover the Florida Herb Society: I've been learning a lot and meeting all kinds of new people.

What are some other sites to find out more about you and your art?
I have regular posts on my blog including Friday Finds, Simple Joy Sunday, and weekly Progress Reports for The 3 Day. I also feature new work and have a series called Woman Warrior where I feature women who have made a difference in the world. You can find my blog here:
I'm on twitter all the time:
I love flickr, too:

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Handmade >>>> Challenge Yourself To Enter and WIN!

It's Challenge Time Again!

Boy do we love to share our artwork and win prizes!
Win a one month promo of your etsy mini here on our blog
and interview!

Make a new item with one of two themes:

Birthstone "Pearl"!!!


"Capture The Memories".................

and enter the JUNE Handmade Team Challenge!
Remember to mention the challenge in your shop announcement, along with being a FEST team member. Do not list the entries here. Follow the link on the right side bar,
to the JUNE Challenge thread on etsy and list your items and links there.


A newbie won last month with her mosaic mirror!

COME ON NEWBIES.....jump in and share your handmade talents!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Interview with Happy Shack Designs

Meet Kelly of "Happy Shack Designs"

Who are you?
I'm Kelly Warren! I work full-time as the Director of Student Life and Leadership Development at Florida State College (been doing that for about 16 years now!). I have two beautiful red-headed soon-to-be-seven-year-old twin daughters, a very supportive husband, and oh yeah, an art business! I create artisan jewelry as well as fine art photography and dabble in mixed media and bookmaking.

What do you create?
The majority of my jewelry designs are one of a kinds. I love to work in handmade lamp work, and use beads collected from talented bead makers the world over, plus a few made here and there by my husband. I've played with photography for years and now love the versatility the digital format gives me. I also combine my photography with my jewelry by turning my photos into glass tile pendants.

How did you come about your store name?
a "happy little shack" has just always been in my mind. I wrote about it in this blog post:

What is the crafting utensil you cannot live without?
bent needle nose pliers for my jewelry and glue dots for everything else. I love glue dots. I use them to mount and matte my photo as well as for innumerable other uses

What is your favorite material to work with?
Hmmm...sterling wire for my jewelry and my trusty Nikon for my photography. Actually I have three Nikons and have been eyeing another. It's a very expensive addiction. :-)

What is your life like outside of Etsy?
My job and family life are very demanding and both take precedence over my art (unfortunately on the job part, wouldn't have it any other way on the family part). My job is very hectic and requires a crazy schedule at times. In my role at the college, I handle all cultural and leadership development programming as well as advise the Student Government Association and oversee all clubs and organizations. I also teach English and Student Life Skills (basically a "how to succeed in college" class) one night a week. My girls will be seven in July and are so much fun I can hardly stand it sometime. I would love to be able to quit my day job and spend all my time with the kids making art, but that's just not in the cards for us. As far as hobbies, we love to spend lots of time outdoors doing just about anything.

What is your favorite feature on Etsy?
I like the Shop Local. Love seeing who else is in my area.

What do you enjoy "window shopping" on Etsy on your free time?
Lately, I've been "window shopping" small mixed media pieces and book arts. Some very inspiring stuff out there!

Is there an online "tool" that you like to use?
I wish I could say I spent a lot of time doing advertising and research, but there's just not enough time in the day for it for me. I post my work on Facebook, and I try to blog regularly, which tends to bring in a lot of traffic. I'd sure love to hear what others who work full-time, have kids and juggle their art are doing!

Where in Florida do you live?
I live in Jacksonville and have been in this area for more than 30 years. I'm a Florida native, born in Miami. My family is from the Keys!

Could you recommend a fun activity near your Fl home that other members might enjoy?
Little Talbot Island State Park is one of those undiscovered jewels of North Florida. It's all the way up Heckscher Drive/A1A on the beach heading up to Amelia Island. The drive up Heckscher itself has always been one of my favorites, and my DH and I built our home on Heckscher 10 years ago.

What are some other sites to find out more about you and your art?
Facebook Fan Page:,
Three Etsy shops: happyshackdesigns, kellywarrenphotoart, and knwarren65 (destash!)

What animal would you like to be for one day and why?
When I die, I want to come back as one of my dogs. What a life they have!

What was an embarrassing moment in your life?
And speaking of dogs...we had a black lab, Oprah, and a yellow lab, Bear, that we wanted to be a breeding pair. Couldn't get them to breed for the life of us...until one day, they decided to, um, hook up, while I was walking them through the neighborhood on our morning walk. You know what happens when dogs "hook up", don't you? They can't get unhooked for a while. So I just had to sit there on the curb and wait. It was one of the most mortifying moments of my life. :-)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"The Envelope Please........."

"Oh, there's no envelope?  And everybody can already see who won the May Challenge?  Ummm, well,  without further ado, I'd like to announce that Memories in Mosaic has won with her absolutely gorgeous, and verrrry Florida style,  Mosaic Mirror!  Congratulations, Christine!  Johnny, tell us what the lady wins...."

"Christine gets to take home her very own shop promotion on our wonderful FEST Blog!  Well, she can't really take it home, can she.  But she certainly gets to view along with all the rest of us!"

"And here's that lovely mosaic mirror, one more time:"