Monday, May 31, 2010

Handmade Shop of the Week: OneTrueTree

Abbey Taylor of OneTrueTree Creations makes handmade toys and accessories. She has been offering her work online since August 2008 with adorable plush animals and dolls.

Why did you decide to open your handmade shop?
I had been considering it off and on for several months, but I didn't go through with it until one of my friends requested a custom owl plushie, after which I was encouraged by her and others to try Etsy. The owl I made for my friend was made for free, but soon after I received a second request for a custom owl from a girl who'd seen photos of the one I made for my friend. Unfortunately, that order fell through, but I made my first sale the next month (a lion plushie!), and the rest is history!

Has your inventory changed much since you first opened?
Yes and no. I'm still making the original patterns from when I opened my shop, but much less frequently. Recently I've been making a lot of "hugglemonsters," which is one of the first patterns I came up with, but never made very often until the past few months. I've also become fascinated with posable art-toys, like my chameleons and monkeys. I'm actually currently working on another posable art-toy project - a pair of cadejo(s?), which are mythical dogs in Central and South American folklore.

Who are the majority of your customers? How did they find you?
I've had a couple friends order custom pieces from me, but the majority of my customers so far (that I can tell), have come to my shop through Livejournal, which I'm no longer actively using as a marketing tool (having switched over to blogspot and twitter), and a few through Deviantart. 

What inspires you to create?
Oh, man. I think I get a lot of my inspiration from fairy tales and stories like that, legends/legendary creatures, or themes like seasons or ecosystems (jungle, savannah, etc)... I have a pretty active imagination, and I've always got new ideas popping into my head; it can actually be a detriment to my productivity level because I'm always trying new patterns instead of staying focused! Occasionally my boyfriend will chime in with a great idea or modification of my ideas. =)

What is your favorite item in your shop currently? Your most popular item?
I think my most popular item would hands-down be my "hugglemonsters," and my personal favorites are my posable chameleons. =)

What has been your greatest resource to make your shop successful?
I think it would have to be Livejournal, thus far! I've always spent a lot of time posting photos of my latest creations on various craft, plushie, and sewing-themed LJ communities. Deviantart has also been helpful in building a "fanbase," and it's also good for keeping a complete gallery of all the things I've created. I recently joined Twitter (@onetruetree), which has been quite fun, but I'm not sure how it has or will impact my shop yet. 

I think more than any particular site, just keeping active, interactive, and listing new things is probably the most helpful thing. =)

Any changes coming to your shop in the future?
I'm really trying to stay focused and keep a steady stream of new inventory coming into my shop, so hopefully in the next few weeks I'll be listing new items at least three times a week. Other than that, I'm considering changing my shipping policy to a set couple of days twice a week, but I've yet to figure out which days would be most convenient for me, so that may or may not happen in the next few weeks or months.

How else can we find you online? Any team affiliations?
I'm not affiliated with any teams, so far, but you can find me all over the place:


And of course I can be reached by email at =)

go to One True Tree Creations and mention TRACEYKNITS and you will receive Free Shipping!

Interested in being featured? email me for more information

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Recycled Greetings

i looked at that pile of old phone books and said to myself, what a waste. There must be something i can do with all that paper. Why not flowers?

yellow pages
blank cardstock (to make a greeting card if you choose)

1) tear out a few yellow pages, white and green if you have them (you can always color the pages with crayon, marker or pencil.

2) cut the yellow pages into thin strips and then round out one of the edges

3) squeeze a thin circle of glue onto the white paper and begin adhering strips to the paper

4) add another thin layer of glue and another layer of petals, keep adding layers until you like the appearance of your flower

5) if you choose, add a green stem and petals

I took mine and glued it to the front of a blank greeting card, but you can be creative and use it in so many ways. Be sure to share your ideas!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Golfing Inspiration

The beautiful weather has just arrived here by the Jersey Shore. That means the beach, Great Adventure and driving with the sun roof open. It also means traffic, Bennys (what locals call the brooklyn people who come for the summer), and air conditioning. BUT most importantly, it means people are thinking about Golf.

I think a lot about golf, seeing as I make golf club covers. And I adore when people make amazing new items for golf lovers. I was inspired by one of my etsytwitter team members, punkyjane, to make a treasury of all those cool new items on etsy, check it out

Monday, May 24, 2010

Handmade Shop of the Week: ColourSpun

Dana Biddle, of ColourSpun - Natural Designer Yarn, has only recently opened her online shop filled with yarn, tools, and accessories. She is a South African knitter, whose soon to be published book From Fibre to Fabulous features some of her own handmade yarn creations.

Why did you decide to open your handmade shop?
I have been dying my own yarn for a number of years now. I started out very small, dying just what I needed for my own projects. Then friends started requesting hand dyed yarn and I was dying more and more, but still only on a small scale. As I continued, I came into contact with other people who are artisan yarn makers and decided to write a book about them and knitting their yarns. It is due for publication early next year and is titled
From Fibre to Fabulous.... a South African Knitting Adventure. Since the book will also include my yarn, I had to make it available to everyone - so ColourSpun came into being.

What items do you plan on filling your shop with?
ColourSpun will be stocked with natural yarns - Brushed Mohair, Merino DK Wool, Merino Hand Spun Wool,100% Cotton and Novelty Hand Spun Art Yarns. All the yarns are grown locally (in 
South Africa) and coloured with earth friendly dyes that are light and wash fast. Merino roving will also be available and so will the dye powders.

Handmade wooden tools and other accessories will be listed and later on I hope to add a section for finished goods made with fibre. 

The shop is filling up slowly. It's quite a process as I have 2 colour ranges - Rainbow and Earth, each with 15 colours in light, medium and dark. Add to that my Oddballs range which consists of other colours, experimental dyeing etc... and the Unique range of hand painted yarn/roving.

Have you sold your work anywhere before, like craft fairs or consignment?
I have a regular table at a local Quilters Guild meeting (they knit too) which takes place 4 times a year and also at a few annual craft fairs.

What inspires you to create?
I find my inspiration all over the show. I love colour and am drawn to anything colourful be it in nature, in books, on TV .... I am also very fortunate to have a large circle of very creative friends and we inspire each other. The smallest spark of an idea can grow into something meaningful very quickly with so many brains to storm with :)
What is your favorite item in your shop currently? Your most popular item?
My favourite item in my shop at the moment is a Merino roving which I have labelled - "Unique 1" 

The most popular item is the 100% Cotton Yarn in pink shades

How are you promoting your work on and offline?
I have an advert in Stitches n Bears - a South African needle crafts magazine. I talk a lot about my yarn on which is a social network for crafters, also in the Ravelry groups I belong to and I have recently started to blog -  I have joined twitter and aim to join Facebook soon too.

Why should we choose your work? What makes you different?
My yarns are natural and coloured with earth friendly dyes. Only the best quality mohair, merino and cotton is used to ensure that the yarn is always soft and comfortable to wear. All the yarn is sourced locally and I follow fair trade practice. The wood for the tools is also from local, sustainable sources and they are made by my Dad.  I personally dye each skein of yarn using processes that are as "green" as possible - using the sun as much as possible and a dyeing method that uses the minimum of water. Because it is created by hand, each skein of yarn (although it may be similar to others) will have its own unique characteristics. 

How else can we find you online? Any team affiliations?

ColourSpun would love to give you 2 skeins of her fabulous yarn

here's how to enter: 
one entry for each action, giveaway ends May 31st, 2010
1) visit 
ColourSpun and comment here on your favorite item in her shop
2) follow her on
twitter and be sure to tweet about this giveaway
3) follow her

4) write a blog article about Colourspun and her giveaway
5) make a purchase in her


15% discount on any order if is mentioned when ordering - valid till the 31st May 2010.

Interested in being featured? Email me for information

Monday, May 17, 2010

Handmade Shop of the Week: Not Your Mama's Mix

Kim and Charissa White, of Not Your Mama's Mix, love baking cookies.
They have been offering their bake mixes online since April 18, 2010. Just a short time, but with great pictures that make your mouth water, they are bound to take the handmade market by storm!

Why did you decide to open your handmade shop?
As a mother-daughter pair, we enjoy cooking and baking in daily life, so opening our Etsy shop was a logical decision. Friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers have enjoyed the fruits of our baking labors for years, so we finally decided to make their baking attempts more successful by offering our Mixes.

Has your inventory changed much since you first opened?
We are excited to add more Mixes and exciting and unusual flavor combinations to our shop in the weeks and months ahead.

Who are the majority of your customers? How did they find you?
Our customers so far have been from our postings on Facebook, and sending emails to all our contacts. Twitter, our blog, and handing out samples have gained us shop interest and even a wholesale order in our first week in business.

What inspires you to create?
The changing seasons, flavors and unusual ways to combine them, colors, scents, and seeing the reactions customers get from trying or products.

What is your favorite item in your shop currently? Your most popular item?
Gooey Chocolate Toffee Mug Cake Mix by far! It is so easy to make a delicious dessert-cake-in 2 1/2 minutes! It is a huge hit with our customers and a personal favorite.

What has been your greatest resource to make your shop successful?
Baking skill, attention to detail, an understanding of social media, being proud of what we create and being unafraid to share what we do with everyone!

Any changes coming to your shop in the future?
Keep an eye out for new Mixes, and exciting things coming for the holidays!

How else can we find you online? Any team affiliations?
Proud members of the EtsyTwitter Team and The OOTBS Etsy team

Simply Tweet about your favorite product from Not Your Momma's Mix and use the hashtag #notyourmamasmix
to win Two Gooey Chocolate Toffee Mug Cake Mixes AND Two Double Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Mug Cake Mixes!

Interested in being featured? Email me for information.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ocean County Artist Marketplace 5/8

So many exciting things about this event. First, it was my first official "juried" show. i had to send them images of my work to be accepted into the show. You and I know that I have some great stuff, but to have the acceptance of and actual art institution feels pretty good.

Second, it was my first time using my new tent, and the first time I was showing my art exclusively. I have always brought along some of my knit items because i did not have the confidence to depend on my art covering my costs. I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only did I sell prints of my work, I sold one of my original drawings!

A lovely gentleman with an adorable little girl approached me about taking my picture for an article he was writing on the show. Fortunately, he came by before the wind picked up and my tent blew over! I was able to get a small spot inside the building for the last 2 hours of the show and have since called the company for replacement parts.

You can see the whole article online here. Now on to the next show in East Brunswick!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Handmade Shop of the Week: Paradise Purls

Elizabeth Humphries, of Paradise Purls, loves handmade. She loves it so much that she could not limit herslef to one category. She has been selling both Hand Knits and Handcrafted Jewelry since January 8, 2010.

Why did you decide to open your handmade shop? 
I've always made knits and given them to close friends and family. When friends of friends starting asking if I "was on etsy" I decided to find out what that was! One look and I was hooked as a shopper, and it didn't take long to progress to opening shop. I thoroughly enjoy knitting as well as beading so I'm excited for the opportunity to bring my creations to the handmade community.

Has your inventory changed much since you first opened?

In the beginning, my inventory was mainly baby hats and scarves. As the seasons, changed my inventory needed to change with it. Most recently I've added knitted bracelets and beaded jewelry and bookmarks in addition to my knits.

Who are the majority of your customers? 
Fellow etsians and friends (and friends of friends!).
How did they find you?
I spend a significant amount of time promoting my shop on twitter, facebook and in the etsy forums. Most of my customers come from those sources.
What inspires you to create?

Color and texture! I love shopping for yarn. It's always first the color, then the texture of the yarn that draws me in. I also take note of colors that occur in nature and draw inspiration from that beauty as well. On a selfish note, knitting is very calming to me. I knit to relax as well as to create!
What is your favorite item in your shop currently? 
The "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" Chenille Scarf is my favorite. I'm seriously thinking of keeping it! Your most popular item?
Right now my most popular item are the hand knit bracelets. 

What has been your greatest resource to make your shop successful? 
Time...time to invest in marketing and promoting to get some exposure and to get noticed.

Any changes coming to your shop in the future? 
I am working on several additions at the moment. I'll be adding more knit accessories such as coffee sleeves (very eco-friendly!), possibly ipod/cell phone cozies and eventually some felted soaps.
How else can we find you online? Any team affiliations?
And, yes, I'm a member of the Etsyknitters Team, HAF Etsy Team (Handmade Artists' Forum), and BEST (Boosting Etsy Shops Team)

All this week, Paradise Purls is proud to offer a 15% discount to anyone mentioning TRACEYKNITS at the time of purchase. She will refund the money through paypal. This is good on every item in her shop, so stock up on those adorable hats and scarves!

Interested in being featured? Email me for information.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Handmade Shop of the Week: Jenco13

Jennifer Kuebrich, of Jenco13, loves to crochet. Her shop featuring adorable coffee cozies and scarves opened January 19, 2008  but didn’t start selling till 2009. Who knew you could save the earth one cup cozie at a time?

Why did you decide to open your handmade shop? 
I opened up my shop because while my husband served in Iraq I made too many scarves. I didn’t know what to do with them until one of my mom’s friends told me about etsy. I spent a year research etsy and figuring out how to put my shop together. Now I have a new reason to keep doing the art I love so much!

Has your inventory changed much since you first opened?
Yes it has—orginally I only had scarves. Since then I have done baby sweaters, baby blankets, shawls and cup cozies. The cup cozies seem to be really popular from my shop.

Who are the majority of your customers? How did they find you?
Most of my customers come from the United States. I have made a couple of international sales this year as well.

First off I have to thank the Etsy Twitter Team (ETT)and MaryMary from Etsy. The ETT is a team on Etsy and they have been a huge support and helped me with advertisements and setting goals for my shop. My first sale came from and ETT member! MaryMary helps customers on etsy find weekend deals through her picks. She had picked up my sale twice this last year. This helped bring in most of my sales.

What inspires you to create? 
Many things inspire me to create. My mom is a graphic artist and painter. She has taught me a lot about putting colors together and always tells me never to give up. My husband, Joe always tells me if things look right from a different point of view and is very supportive of what I do. The two of us have traveled the country so the colors on our road trips are also big inspirations. I love to sight see while he drives!!

I also find inspiration from my Dad who owns his own construction company. Dad’s final product always inspires me to try different things that I think I can’t do. Its amazing how all three of these people help me to create my items!

What is your favorite item in your shop currently? Your most popular item? 
Hmmm. This is a tough one cause I love them all!! I really do like my shawl though—the colors are really amazing and it was created on one of my road trips across the east coast.

My most popular item is the cup cozy—did you know by using one of the cup cozies you can help the plant out? If you drink one cup of coffee a day in a take through and use one of the cardboard sleaves take a moment to think about this—one person+one cup of coffee a day = 6 pounds of cardboard sleaves in the landfills each year!

What has been your greatest resource to make your shop successful? 
Twitter—hands down! The people who are on the Etsy Twitter Team help me promote my sales/items after I post a tweet. This reaches not only my following but also their following. I have met so many amazing people on twitter.

Any changes coming to your shop in the future? 
Yes there are—but you’ll have to come back to find out what I have up my sleave for 2010! Hint—theres a new go green line coming out and one other line ;)

Also I love to get custom orders so if you don’t see what you want please convo me and I would be happy to help out!

How else can we find you online? Any team affiliations?
Several ways:
Shop: A gift for everyone!

I am also the Team leader of the Etsy Twitter Team so please come check out our blog where we show case over 200 member’s work.

Jenco13 is giving away one of her adorable cup cozies. Contest ends May 9th, 2010

Each action gets you the number of points indicated:
Follow this blog-1 point
Follow Jen’s blog-1 point
Follow Jen on FB-2 points
Tweet about Jen’s giveaway by using @jenco13 and receive 3 points
(must use @jenco13 in order to receive all points)
Follow Jen on twitter – 1 point (please DM her to get point-mention this article)
Buy something from Jen’s store- 5 points

Interested in being featured? Email me for more information.