Going Places 2

It's not that I'm biased--I just seem to find more dog-oriented shops.  But I do have a few cat-loving shops on the way.  As soon as I find some.  :)  Even if you don't like dogs, you are sure to love Ginger Oliphant's darling dog artwork.

To be fair, Going Places 2 does have a few cat products in her line up, which we talk about more in the interview.


Do you draw your dogs, purchase images, or shoot your own?  (haha, I said "shoot your own".)

I draw all of the dogs in my art using as reference either dogs I've taken pictures of or people have sent to me. 2 samples where I actually show the photo I’ve used can be seen here.  These were drawn from photos given to me by members of the Dachshund Team on Etsy. I also sometimes use photos I've found on online sites where people upload their dog pictures for free use by anyone.

We are a boxer-loving family. I waited 5 years to find just the right one for the last one that we brought home. She's a beautiful white female. She looks half-dalmation, though, because the Texas sun causes her to spot. Truly a wonderful family dog, as long as you have plenty of yard for them to express themselves in.   (Those are my two free spirits on the left--Jasmine, the boxer, and Gigi, the human.  My daughter's name is Ginger, also, but we call her Gigi.  Definitely the spice in my life!) Surely you own at least one dog and we would love to hear about it and/or others. 

After years of always having a dog in the house, we don’t actually have one of our own right now. We do however have three Grandddogs, Lofa, a black Lab, Locker, a yellow Lab, and Baxter, a rescued Maltese mix. They are willing and wonderful models for me and you will see them periodically throughout my shop. I’ve found that dogs work very cheaply and are overjoyed to be paid with a hugs, kisses and dog treats!

My very first dog was a Boxer named Mitsy and later another named Rex. They were wonderful family dogs. We’ve had a sweet Schnauzer named Misty for 13 years and crazy Wire Haired Fox Terrier called Jamie who kept the squirrels out of the yard as well as providing hours of entertainment and love.

Do you get requests for other dogs that you don't currently offer? (Is there a quick reference list of what the breeds you do offer?)

Yes I do get requests. In the cases where I don’t have the breed they are looking for, I just ask that they send several photos of the dog and will draw it at no extra charge as long as I feel it will be something I can use in my shop. I get the cutest pictures that way. I did one recently for someone wanting one of a Catahoula Leopard Dog, which had just recently passed away. I don’t have an actual list of the different breeds I have on Etsy, but it works really well to type into the search area (in my shop) the breed you are looking for. If I have it available, each different version will pop up. I’m in currently in the process of putting a website together for my wholesale customers (current and future) where it will be much easier to view at a glance rather than clicking on each individual thumbnail on Etsy. Here, I’ll have the designs alphabetical as well as by category or theme. But that is a work in progress. You can see it ‘as is’ by visiting www.inspirationaldog.com.

I see that you are doing a little branching off into the world of cat-lovers. Are you going to offer different cat breeds also?

I’ve had a number of requests for cats and will gradually be adding more as I have time. I don’t have many pictures, so if any of your readers have some they’d like to make available, please send them to me!

On your profile you state that you dog-sit. What are the going rates for dog-sitting these days?

Our dog sitting services are limited to relatives only ~ speaking of our Granddogs specifically. And of course, as those of you know with Grandchildren, the going rate is FREE!


Her artwork can be purchased for framing, as a magnet, as a card, or as a pocket mirror!

Here is a picture of Mrs. Ginger Oliphant and where she can be found:



Other: in the works ~ http://www.inspirationaldog.com/

Ox Original Art Jewelry

Patsy Ox, owner of Ox Original Art Jewelry, can claim her store's name with pride.  Her jewelry is original, because it is her very own artwork.  In some of her pictures, you can see the sketched image as the backdrop.

From her profile:

My bronze jewelry begins with Bronzclay, a true bronze consisting of 11% tin and 89% copper (not the brass form seen in commercial jewelry). Each piece is created from my sketchbook designs, then sculpted into works of art.

What color(s) would you say turn out the richest after going through your enameling process?

Enamels, like acrylics, are naturally rich and vibrant. I sometimes have to tone them down for special effects – (or to keep them from looking like little piƱatas!) Blue and green transparents over a silver base are particularly lustrous and beautiful.

As is the case with most Etsians, I am versed in other art forms besides what I actually have for sale. In my pre-mom days, I used to show my skills with good ol’ pen and paper portraits/drawings. Do you still find time to paint?

I still paint many of the backdrops for my web pages. That way I can illustrate the precise mood and color coordination that I had envisioned for my jewelry. In the home I paint things like floral wreaths over arches, and I developed a technique for painting with texturing mud to create pop-out scenes on various walls. I have also committed to doing a wall mural for a garden at the local Hospice.

Even though I’m a die-hard Texas fan (for the state, not for the sports), I know that Colorado is known for its breathtaking beauty. Do you hike or participate in other nature-loving events?

Like you, we also enjoy traveling to the real Colorado whenever we can get away. You see, we live in the hot, windy, dusty "Kansas" part of Colorado. Here in the Southeastern corner we enjoy long walks and bike rides to seek out nature wherever it can be found; along dry stream beds, cottonwood groves, and in nearby canyons laced with petroglyphs and dinosaur tracks. This time of year we just sit in front of the picture window and watch it blow by.


Concerning the seedpod that you use for your seedpod pendant—does the tree produce a fruit or just more of these seedpods? Are they edible?  (Read her wonderful blog post about the seedpod and its journey into a pendant.)

Thank you for asking! The Earpod tree is truly fascinating. It is the national tree of Costa Rica, and a member of the pea/bean family. In Hawaii and Florida the seedpod is wasted, but the cattle of Costa Rica eat it. The tree produces a ‘powder-puff’ flower in the spring.

What’s up next in your mini-Americana line?

The Americana pieces that have sold quickly are those with which individuals seemed to make a personal connection – those that represent some iconic location or memorable event in their lives. I have been amazed how a little pig pendant with a heart on its rump, or an artist palette pendant with dabs of multicolor paints will sell quickly on Etsy. So I will continue looking for uniquely personalized designs with which someone may form a bond. With these kinds of pieces, it almost needs to be love at first sight.

These kinds of pieces sometimes attract attention in unusual ways. The day after I listed a piece of enamel art showing the Coors Beer logo, I received an e-mail from their legal department demanding that I remove their name from the item’s description!

Obviously, Coors Beer and I have a big differing point.  I'm all about some free advertising!  And, while it would be nice, my cord covers aren't addicting, lol.

I want to personally thank Patsy for being an outstanding Inside Etsy team member.  She is a frequent commentor, not only on the blog posts here but on our team threads as well.  It's people like her that make Etsy the wonderful community that it is!

Tap into Patsy's community at any of the locations below:

Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/OxOriginalArtJewelry

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OxArtJewelry

Blog: http://www.artsyplace.blogspot.com/

Website: http://www.oxalisjewelart.com/






The Wishing Elephant

Follow up post has been completed!  Now for the full feature on The Wishing Elephant!

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I have to admit something--I never dressed my babies "cute".  I was so exhausted working 50+ hours a week that they were lucky to get a bath and be dressed in matching clothes.  But that's all behind me now that I'm a stay-at-home mom with nowhere to go except church two days a week.  And I like it that way!  I try be better about dressing them cute, especially my 4 year old girl, but to achieve maximum cuteness I would need to buy a onesie from The Wishing Elephant.  She even has onesies that are perfect for twins and triplets.





I don’t have any experience with felt, outside of Sunday School crafts. I’m just going to throw out a bunch of questions into this one and you fill in the blanks. Is it pre-treated? Does it wash well? Fading? Is it sewn on? Preshrunk?

I use eco felt which is made from 100% post consumer recycled plastic bottles. I love this fabric because it doesn't fade or run and it comes in a huge variety of colors. I wash all of the felt prior to use to make sure any shrinkage happens before it's made into an applique. My appliques are backed with a very strong no sew adhesive. I ask that the shirts are hand washed and line dried - treat your handmade goods with love!

Are you going to keep the white onesie as your primary backdrop or are other colors on the way?


I love the white onesie. I think it's clean and provides the perfect backdrop for many of my appliques. I can't imagine the Etch a Sketch on anything else. This being said, I am playing around with dying onesies. I have a handful of hand dyed onesies with matching burp cloths ready to applique. I'd love to have them available now, but it seems that my 2 week old has something to say about that!

I normally don’t ask about shop names, but why "The Wishing Elephant"?

Did you know that elephants mourn? I find that amazing. Elephants are these massive ethereal creatures, how could you not love them? I also love wishing on stars. In fact, my husband kept his sweaty hand on my engagement ring until I said the magic words "star light, star bright, first star I see tonight..." and then proposed. So, the wishing elephant is a combination of two things that I secretly find magical. My husband also designed my logo, which I adore (and does a pretty nice job of combining these the two)!

Are you working on any new items for summer?

I'm starting to dye onesies, and I'm always trying to find new inspiration. I'm desperate to make a narwhal applique, and I just finished a ship in a bottle. I also have a few monsters and fish made with Amy Butler fabric that are going to be hand sewn and put up on Etsy this summer.

The Wishing Elephant also has a couple of stand-alone iron-on appliques that you can purchase for your own crafting project.  Here is her owl applique, available in four colors.

Following availabe at:

Facebook www.facebook.com/pages/The-Wishing-Elephant/120376701336656
Twitter twitter.com/#!/wishingelephant/
Blog www.wishingelephant.blogspot.com




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Original Post:

Our shop owner today is a little busy recovering from the birth of a new baby, so I'm going to go ahead and do the feature now then add the questions later when she has a minute to get them back to me.  The nerve of her having a baby!  lol  Well, she's got lots of supercute onesies to dress her live doll in.



Told you they were cute!  (But, thankfully, baby is not included.)  She has much cuteness in her shop, making it very difficult for me to just pick out two or three to showcase.  So get your "awwwww!" ready, cuz here are some "awwwwwesome" onesies.



Go give her some "Congratulations!" on her Facebook page at

Or comment on any of her wonderful blogposts at


Congratulations, Carolyn, on being both a successful baby maker and Etsy shop owner! 


SilverSmack

It takes a special kind of person to live in a nearly year-round winter wonderland. And it ain’t me. Although sometimes the East Texas humidity is enough to make a person insane, my elephant ears are kickin’! Obviously, SilverSmack’s creative flow is not stifled by all of the snow. (Rhyming unintentional. My brain must be in Suess mode, or so I’ve been told.)
 
Have you always lived way up there (Ironwood, Michigan)?

I was born in California because my dad was in the Navy, but we moved to "Big Snow Country" when I was about three.

Your profile informs us that you do a lot of gardening. What type of gardening are you able to do "way up there"?

We have a very short growing season, (having a snowstorm right now ;), but we manage to grow a few acres of fabulous sweet corn, a small plot of tomatoes, a medium-sized plot of red potatoes, some peas, beans, strawberries, broccoli, and some pumpkins and watermelons (but the deer really like those!)

What is the most expensive piece of equipment that your art requires?

Hammers. I love hammers. I never met a hammer I didn't like.


I noticed that you work with brass, copper, silver, and gold. Which metal is the most difficult?

Brass is probably the most difficult because it is the hardest and the most stubborn. Silver is usually very cooperative, but brass is a little tricky once in a while.

Are your rings purchased for wedding bands?

I would say probably 85% of my rings are purchased as wedding bands for men and women. I get a lot of requests for custom matching sets. There's something extra special about making something that a couple is going to use as a symbol of their vows. I keep that in mind as I'm making them and I put a lot of love in them too. :)

My own wedding ring is platinum with a beautiful pigeon blood ruby in the center with a spiral of small diamonds around it.  My husband spent a year, unbeknownest to me, having this ring custom made, saving up money, then having the work done as he could afford it.  Love that man!  So I'm all about a custom wedding ring.  Forward this article to anyone who you think might need a hint.

Learn more about all things SilverSmack at the following places:



The Bath Factory

Surely I'm not the only one who wonders how does the bar of soap stay clean?  And my dad always told me it was made from dead horses.  Was he just trying to make sure I rinsed my hands good?  Or am I confusing that with glue?  Just a few more of the unanswered questions in my life.

Thanks to Mya Angelou for filling us in on why the caged bird sings and to The Bath Factory for sharing some of her soap-making story.

I have friends that actually buy pig fat and make their soap the real old-fashioned way. Have you ever tried that process?

Although I do make some of my soaps using the old fashioned cold process soap making method that uses oils and lye...I have never used animal fats. I typically use a mixture of coconut oil, palm oil, rice bran oil, castor oil, olive oil, etc. At this time, the only animal products I use are honey and goats milk.

How much of an investment would you say you have made into your basic must-have soap-making supplies?

My very first investment was less than $20 because I bought a "kit" at Hobby Lobby and was so excited by the results, I became completely obsessed with soapmaking! I then bought close to $200 in oils, fragrances, molds, etc. I am embarrassed to admit that I now have close to 200 different fragrance and essential oils, and about 75 various soap molds. I don't even want to guess at how much I have invested at this point because it just might scare me to death! LOL

Your biker bar soap is really cool. Are you into bikes? With these gas prices, I’m thinking we’re all going to be soon!

Thanks for your kind comments about my "Biker Bar". I am definitely interested in bikes. My husband, Al and I each have Harleys, and we ride every chance we get. We live in Hot Springs, AR which is a very biker friendly area with lots of beautiful riding options. I actually used one of our Harleys as a "prop" in a couple of the pictures for my "Retread" men's skin balm.

Are you wanting to grow your "manly manicuring" products?

I am steadily adding to my men's line-up of products. So far, I have shaving soaps, Retread Men's Skin Balm, and various soaps with manly or unisex scents...such as Yacht Club, Sportsman, and an upcoming one called Zen. I plan to continue adding more men's products in the near future.

The vanilla silk goat’s milk soap is a work of art! How do you get that "sepia" edge look?

Anytime vanilla is added to a soap recipe, the soap will darken with time. It always darkens from the outside in. It is a reaction from the "vanillin" in vanilla, and can turn from a light tan to a deep, chocolately brown, depending on the vanilla content level in your recipe. The soap in the picture was freshly sliced, so the inside had not begun to turn dark yet...but the outside part that is exposed to the air was getting fairly dark already.

A beautiful soap, indeed!  I always feel bad using my beautiful soaps, like lighting the real pretty candles.  However, at wonderful prices like what you find at The Bath Factory, I'm going to enjoy every shower to the max.  Now, if I can just find a way to get the kids to leave me alone while I shower. 

Where to find The Bath Factory:

Facebook fan page is at www.facebook.com/TheBathFactory

And BIGGEST NEWS OF ALL....I am opening a new brick and mortar store in the next few weeks! It is called The Bath Factory and is located at 238 Central Avenue in historic downtown Hot Springs, AR...right across the street from the famous bathhouses. I am really excited by this latest adventure, and can't wait to get everything done so I can open for business!

Brick and Mortars aren't for everyone, but that is a perfect spot for her perfect shop!  I know that she will do well.  Lots of tourists, both on foot and on bike.

"The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom."--Mya Angelou
Not that Mya Angelou has anything to do with soap-making, but for those of you who keep up with my quirks, you know that I tend to wax poetic in the wee hours.  Something about the dark hours and ice cream.  It just does something to me.  And I like it!  lol

Gussied

Forget the First Lady or any of the Hollywood Housewives.  Truly, I don't envy them.  They have someone to do their hair, raise their babies, and sleep with their husbands.  (At least Hilary did.)  While it would be nice to have someone to do my hair, I prefer to raise my own kids and take care of my husband.  The ladies that I really envy are the ones that are like me but have that "got-it-together" look.  Well, if your idea of "got-it-together" is working from home, wearing a nightgown at 9:30 in the morning, eating Apple Jacks, and drinking coffee, then, yes, I've got it together, lol.  Lucky for us SAHMs, Erin, owner of Gussied, can be our role model!

Wow! I really love the new pics! Did you have these professionally done or is photography yet another talent that you have?

I take my own pictures! It's all in the camera, really. :)

Even though we all love what we do, we also need to pay those bills. Are you in the profit part of your business yet?

I started Gussied in February of this year {2011}. I'm not sitting on huge profits right now, but I've been able to keep costs low by asking other Etsians for their vintage scraps, getting some from my mom's collection {she's a total hoarder!}, and scouting out local flea markets for cheap finds. Every penny saved counts!

Have you enjoyed your Etsy experience so far?

I absolutely love Etsy. I've been shopping on there for years and started my first shop {Erin Tagle Design} to sell children's clothing. Once my daughter {11mos} started crawling, sewing became much more difficult. I also wanted to make something funky, fashionable and unique for women of all ages ... then Gussied was born. My sewing has definitely taken a back burner, happily. Etsy is fabulous - it's a great way to gain exposure from individuals and boutiques, it's a great community - I just love chatting with other sellers for their opinions and advice, and obviously, it's a great way to sell what you make.

We also have the Junior League up here in Tyler. The ladies on the board rotate out each year. Is this your year to be “on board”?

I was a 'New Member' of Jr. League Corpus Christi this past year. We just got our 'placements' for next year, and I was appointed by The Board for two important positons - one is New Member Assistant {for next year's class} and the second is to participate on an Action Learning Team. There are only 5 Board appointed positions, and I earned two. It's quite an honor. What can I say, they love me. ;) JK - I'm a SAHM, so I think they know I have the time. Teeheehee!

I’m always trying to find out all that I can about wholesaling. Any advice for those of interested in breaking into that arena?

I've found the most exposure to boutiques on Facebook. All the boutiques have pages, so I seek them out and 'like' them. Then I post on their wall, so they notice me. I'd say that I'm very friendly on FB and it's not always about MY status, but conversing and commenting on others'. It's gets me noticed, my profile pic for Gussied is inticing, and it shows that I'm not always into my self. I've also inlisted the help of The Savvy Socialista to help me get into boutiques - she is AMAZING! She got my cuffs on The Sonoran Living Show in Phoenix, AZ last week! There's a link on my FB page and website. Back to the boutiques: My boutiques get a discount and I don't make as much money, but it's pretty darn cool knowing that girls in Phoenix, Oklahoma, Washington State and of course, Texas, are wearing my cuffs. That's the pleasure I get when making them.

And, being a fellow Texan (born and raised! and bred, lol) I've gotta know--are you a native Texan? I won't hold it against you if you're not. :)

I'm absolutely a Native Texan! I was born and raised in Dallas, attended and graduated from the University of North Texas in Denton, lived and worked in Dallas post-college, and then relocated to Corpus Christi with my husband {for his job} two years ago. While I totally dig travel, I don't see myself ever living outside of Texas y'all!

Now I know this is her wedding picture, but something tells me Erin looks this coiffed (sans veil) every time she steps out of the house.    Isn't she beautiful?


Erin would love for you to friend her, tweet with her, read her blog, or browse her shop at any of the following places:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/gussiedbyerintagle

Twitter: www.twitter.com/erintagle

Blog: http://www.erintagledesign.com/ - I'm moving this to my website soon

Website: http://www.shopgussied.com/

Etsy: http://www.gussied.etsy.com/

Beauty From Within Inside Etsy

'Bunny Beautiful' by MamaMellyMartin



BUNNY RABBIT - 11x14 Si...

$28.00

Trio of Ornaments - Han...

$27.00

Upcycled bunny softy pl...

$25.00

Hippity Hop Earrings

$14.00

Dressed Wendy White Rab...

$37.50

The Chocolate Bunny

$14.50

Somebunny's Having ...

$3.50

Baby bunny hat newborn ...

$14.99

Spring Rabbit Vintage I...

$60.00

Cloud Bunny upright - c...

$9.00

Tawny Bunny- Springtime

$27.00

Organic Cosmic Purple C...

$3.50

Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.

Mistle and Toe

The girls over at Mistle and Toe make all of us repurposers look good with their assortment of funky, repurposed products.  Wallets made from milk and juice cartons, records turned into catch alls, t-shirts remade into necklaces, and cereal boxes that can be wore around your neck, your wrist, or dangling from your ears.  On top of all their creativity, they also repurpose 5% of their proceeds toward charities.

We love having a reason to spend money, and helping charities is a good reason if ever there was one. Tell us a little bit about the charity that your shop supports and why you chose this specific charity.

As part of our mission to create a more sustainable planet filled with colorful design, we donate a percentage of every sale to charity. We donate 5% of every sale, online, in-person, or at events to charity. Since we are a design collective, we submit charities to the group and then rotate them every quarter to give everyone's passion a few months in the spotlight. So far we have supported Rebuilding Together to help fund home remodels for low-income families across the US and ACE, a non-profit dedicated to environmental and community-led change. This quarter we are proud to sponsor the scholarship foundation, Strateleade, for a sustainability leadership Masters program in Sweden. It is an international program where Tiff got her Masters of Science, and a key part of the program is international diversity, so funding is always needed to support professionals coming from developing countries.


I noticed that you’ve got a few things on clearance. Are you cleaning house so you can narrow your focus?


We do have quite a few things on clearance! We are actually cleaning house because Tiff is moving from St. Paul, MN to San Francisco, CA to start a glorious new job and a lot of her items are difficult to travel with. So we are looking to lighten her load during her transitional phase :)

Being a repurposer myself, I know how hard it is to throw things away. Do you have a huge room full of "other people’s treasures"? (One man’s junk is another person’s treasure….)

Haha, it is sooo hard to throw things away! When we roomed together, we had a whole closet of items that we could not get rid of or that we had gathered from other people's discards-- including the wrapping paper leftovers of an entire office holiday party. Sarah's father actually recently helped her make a shelf so that she could store all of her finds, but that is full and all of her finds are spilling into her living room.


Your cardboard paper beads are wonderful—so funky! What all is involved in this process?

Well thanks! We think they are wonderful as well :) The first part of the process is finding a large cereal box that you think would look great as beads. I think that Apple Jacks and Rice Krispies have really great colors. Then you cut the boxes into long thin triangles, as many as you can fit. Then you take each triangle and roll it into the bead. Sarah rolls hers around a tiny knitting needle so that there is enough space to thread ribbon through later on. Then you put mod podge at the end of the bead to secure it. Once that has dried, Sarah also glazes the beads with mod podge and then puts them together in the form of a necklace!

Are you wanting to grow this into a stand-alone business or just keep it at hobby/recreational level?

We wish we had a crystal ball... We are always evolving so who knows what the future holds? At this point, we think we will keep it a hobby level, but we really enjoy upcycling and if it really took off, we would love to design full time!

Do you have a picture of "Mistle and Toe" in costume?

Yes we do, though it does not capture the full glory of the outfits. :)

Ah, to be young and not have to worry about babysitters....  Live it up, girls!

Follow Mistle and Toe (and the rest of the gang) here:


Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mistle-and-Toe/164748476870145
Twitter: http://twitter.com/MistleandToe
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/55856544@N05

Newsletter: http://mistleandtoe.com/about/newsletter-sign-up/

Your Daily Jewels / A Repurpose in Life

Every time I receive interview questions back, I am so excited to learn about the person behind the storefront.  And I am never disappointed.  Everyone's love and dedication far exceeds anything Etsy could ever contain.  It's not just about crocheting, making jewelry, or tieing hair bows in order to turn a buck.  There is a real sense of community that we embrace, both in Etsy and in our non-virtual community.  Norah Downey, the owner of Your Daily Jewels and A Repurpose In Life, is your classic example.

I first ran into Norah over at http://www.handmadeology.com/, where we are both writers.  From her profile there, I learned that she is a pediatric physical therapist.  This is what birthed her jewelry making.

I have been a collector of special beads and beautiful stones and baubles since childhood. Years ago, I needed a small reward system for some of my young patients and thought they might enjoy my collection as much as I have. So I began making simple jewelry for them with my collection. I told them a little story behind each bead or stone in their jewelry and the kids loved it. My pieces were a hit and I discovered a new creative outlet.

It's that same beautiful spirit that flows into each of her pieces.  She not only puts her best effort but she puts her self into each creation.

What prompted you to pursue administering physical therapy to disabled kids?

I wanted to work in health care for as long as I remember. I ultimately chose Physical Therapy and I am so glad I did. My first seven years was devoted to working with adults. I started and ran a wheelchair racing program in NYC’s Central Park. We were the first to use the "handcycles" that are commonly seen today. Fantastic fun and rewarding beyond words! But, I had to move from NYC and thus, decided to change paths. I moved up the street from a horse stable where I volunteered with a program for children with disability and was hooked from day one. Children with disability are just kids! People forget this and get all serious around them. I love helping them and I especially love making them laugh.

For the month of April, you are donating 10% of proceeds to the Autism Society of America. Do you select a different cause each month to support?

My mom died of Alzheimer’s last year, so this cause is close to my heart.

I will probably take a month or so off in between each cause, but I plan to support five or six causes a year that are close to my heart for different reasons. The immediate next causes are Haitian Relief, The Lupus Foundation, and an under-served school that my best friend’s children attend.

Are you married with children of your own?

I am married, no children, except the kind that bark, a lot.

You have sold on Ebay for several years but just started on Etsy in the last year. Can you give us a short pros/cons list between the two or maybe just some advice in general about working two different platforms?

We know that Etsy is a handmade community. There are two very important words in this sentence. In my opinion, there is a scarcity of handmade product on Ebay anymore. It has become more of a wholesaler-re-seller marketplace for new items. It is a great place to sell, if this is how you want to do business. The second word is community. Ebay is lacking in any assemblage of community. It is a very cold place to do business.
To sum it up, I love the feeling I get just signing into Etsy in the morning. Signing into Ebay gave me knots in my stomach.

You also have a separate store for jewelry that you "remake" out of vintage pieces. Have you found that running two stores, even though they are both jewelry-oriented, is beneficial to your business?

Yes. One way I find I it beneficial is personally, because my design taste runs the gamut from elegant to quirky.

In "A Repurpose in Life" I create and sell re-loved jewelry and within this platform, I can "get my quirky out" and sell at a lower price point.

Your Daily Jewels is where I get my fix for the elegant.

Next, I would say it has been beneficial for my business because my sales numbers are almost the same between the two stores.

If you're in the mood for shopping, and I know that you are, Your Daily Jewels is having a 15% off sale today.  Remember, 10% of the proceeds supports the Autism Society of America, so you can justify that spending bug you've got.

Norah is also a member of the Jewelry on Etsy Team, aka JET.  If you are also a jewelry-maker on Etsy, you should definitely look into joining JET.

Follow Norah on Facebook and be entered for free monthly give-aways!
http://www.facebook.com/yourdailyjewels

Checkout her blog updates and life tidbits. 



Penny and Paper

Having fun is high on my priority list, and I love looking at Penny and Paper's shop, because it makes me feel fun!  I dare you to take me seriously while I wear this purple elephant necklace!

Of course, I could always purchase a set of her mystical eye hairpins and confirm for my children that I really do have eyes in the back of my head.

But don't let my penchant for fun throw you off course.  She has plenty of elegant items in her product line, too.


Where do you get the images that you use for your broaches?

The images on the brooches are actually made from printed vintage illustrations, which have then been applied to wood and cut out. Some are actually photographs of an item, which is the case with the camera brooch. They’re a great find, because I can create necklaces, rings and brooches from them, and they have that unique vibe! I’ve made some hair pins from these as well; I’ve made a crown pin in honor of the upcoming Royal nuptials...I mean, I love my husband and all, but let’s face it, I’d leave him for the throne of England.

What’s up with the pig broach? Don’t get me wrong—I love pigs. I eat them all the time. But why a pig broach?

I like accessories, which have a slight degree of quirkiness to them, but would blend well into any outfit. I think a pig is completely unexpected, but entirely cute! Though quirky, I think he is understated enough so that people go, "Oh, a pig!" Rather than, "What is that on her coat?!" I could see myself pinning this little guy on my blazer as I stroll through an apple orchard or something, doing something rustic, like making butter, or a table.

You really have such a great, fun variety available, as far as the items you use to create your pieces. Your unicorn rings seem to be a customer favorite. I’m leaning toward the porthole necklace, but I’m drawn to that pink pig, too. Which piece is your favorite?

I’m aiming to have a wide variety of jewelry available, which would appeal to many tastes and styles...but I think it’s important not to create and sell anything I wouldn’t wear myself. I would wear everything! However, currently, my favorite is my Littlefoot Brontosaurus Necklace, which is inspired by my favorite 80s movie which I would watch as a child over and over again, "The Land Before Time." I also love the Artax Horse Cameo ring, named for Artax, the trusty horse in the "Never Ending Story," who met a tragic end in the Swamp of Sorrows. I think it’s nice to honor him.

I’m not a fashionista, and I don’t keep up with the current trends. But the way you are mounting some of your necklaces is so intriguing! Is this a new fashion or something that you came up with on your own?

To be honest, I actually have no idea! When attempting to construct a piece of jewelry, I experiment with various techniques to see what works and what looks good and is functional. I’ve only been creating since January, when I learned about Etsy while planning for my wedding, and thought, that would be awesome to try! As I continue to expand my repertoire of skills and styles, I find myself looking to see what people are wearing, and what might be "in". I think I’m more influenced by seasons in thinking of what to create thematically...while stuck in the unending New England dreary winter, I found myself thinking of the summer sun, and I created several nautical pieces. I’m a teacher by day, and I am looking forward to the summer when hopefully I can take some classes to learn from the pros some new techniques and ideas for creating!

I was going through your favorite shops (lots of goodies there!) and noticed a recurring theme of dogs. This site (All You Need is Pug) literally had me crying I was laughing so hard. Your profile pic is also a pug. Do you own one of these pugly dogs?

Well, I love pugs. Period. When I was growing up as an only child, I was always surrounded by them-- Gypsy, Patricia, Tina, Molly, Katie and Meghan. Oh, yes, they all had human names, with the exception of Gypsy, who was given away to my parents because she would not get along with her owner’s three chihuahuas. (I mean, really, who can blame her?)  These puggies became my sisters practically, and thus my pug obsession was cultivated since birth. Meghan is featured in my profile to honor her; she lived to a ripe age of fifteen! They are funny, adorable, bratty, obstinate and the sweetest creatures. Since I’ve discovered Etsy, I’ve had a compulsion to search for pug related material, call my mother to discuss it, and then favorite it. Sometimes I feel bad for people in my Circle, but then, I figure they must be pug people too, else they wouldn’t have circled me! Currently, I have a crazy looking mutt named Albie, who I rescued last year. He is my first non-pug, and it’s working out well...I like to think he’s part pug, because he is so lazy. His DNA is being processed (oh yes, you can analyze your Mutt’s DNA), and I await anxiously for the results.

Are you feeling fun yet?  Well, if you're not, then it's not Penny and Paper's fault.  If you're fun-o-meter is broken, then go get your own purple elephant necklace post-haste.  It's funner than watching a four-foot-man-eating-chicken!



Penny and Paper can be found at the following locations:

Etsy:  http://www.pennyandpaper.etsy.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pennyandpapershop
Twitter: www.twitter.com/penny_and_paper
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