Sunday, April 12, 2009

NEW EtsyConnection newsletter ready for your eyes!

Click on this link if you would like to subscribe to a cool new newsletter, the EtsyConnection, featuring three talented Etsy artists in each issue along with interesting, informative, and relevant articles.

Make sure to select EtsyConnection when given a choice as to which newsletter as I publish another one also, the Data Protection Weekly, dealing with IT security.

Or, hey, you can subscribe to both of them!

Call to Etsy artists: if you would like to be featured in the newsletter email me at

EtsyConnection newsletter, Issue #7, April 10, 2009

April 10, 2009 Issue #7

Hi everyone. Welcome, again, to the EtsyConnection. We're featuring three talented individuals who add to the diversity of the Etsy collection. In this issue you will find the talents of an eclectic one-of-a-kind clothing designer, the artful eye of a detail-minded jeweler, and a designer of cute and useful high-quality articles for both baby and mommy. (I'm thinking of someone whose famous blog rhymes with loose goose to check out these items for bambino #2!)

Enjoy! Relish! Shop!
Touring's Brooklyn headquarters

From the tall, tree-like creature that greets visitors to the sixth floor of 326 Gold Street, to the needlepoint hangings and artwork, visitors to Etsy's headquarters are treated to the same kinds of handmade and vintage items they find when visiting the online marketplace. The website has struck a nerve with consumers hungry for creating, buying and selling handmade, and local newspapers, magazines and blogs are full of stories about Etsy members and their unique items, including a feature on Martha Stewart television. Most impressive, perhaps, is cofounder Rob Kalin's appearance in Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum, which nominated Etsy as one of their 2009 Technology Pioneers.
Understanding the importance of diversification in your business

I've had the pleasure of operating my jewelry design business since 2002 and what else can I say about it other than it has been an amazing learning experience! When I originally started, I was hopefully optimistic and full of zeal! I thought I had it all figured out, simply because of my desire to succeed. Of course, desire is not the only thing needed to bring to fruition a viable and lucrative creative business. I sat down long and hard, to place focus on my ultimate goal of making jewelry design my Real day job. The answer to this was one thing: Diversification. I always remember my father stating this ever important phrase, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket!". At the time of my wasteful and lawless youth, I let that somewhat peculiar phrase flow through me, like the summer air. Now I understand it completely and embrace its meaning, as a driving force behind my business.

Lovely jewelry to flatter you GosiaMeyerBioPic
Intrigued by jewelry and fashion for as long as I can remember, my first foray into jewelry design was borne of not being able to find a particular necklace I hoped to buy. I instead made it myself and was soon designing jewelry for friends, family, and fellow flight attendants (as that was my job at the time).

I strive to create chic, elegant treasures that are beautiful yet affordable. I design sterling silver pieces accented by semi-precious gemstones, Swarovski Crystals, pearls, and glass beads. I gladly work on custom pieces and have designed jewelry for bridal parties, including variations on my own creations as well as designs dreamed up by my customers.

To further enrich and refine my craftsmanship, I have taken a silversmith class and precious metal clay class and - always eager to expand my skills - I plan on pursuing additional courses in the future.

A lover of the outdoors, when not designing jewelry I enjoy swimming, biking, and hiking, and have a particular passion for dance. I currently live with my husband, dog, and cat in the beautiful mountains of Vermont, my home since moving to the United States several years ago from my native Poland.

My jewelry is currently sold and displayed at several stores and galleries in Vermont and it is for sale online both here on my website as well as on ETSY, an online repository for all things handmade. I am always interested in having my jewelry in boutiques and galleries across the world!

I look forward to working with you for your jewelry wants and needs, both now and in the future. Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have. I love what I do and believe this shines through in my work. I hope you love it too.
Gosia Meyer - Sterling silver hoops with brushed teardrops and faceted beads

Gosia Meyer - Asymmetrical double sterling silver necklace

Gosia Meyer - Blue chalcedony and green apatite leaf hoop earrings

Gosia Meyer - Clear quartz and sterling silver chain bracelet

Gosia Meyer - Sterling silver teardrops and faceted labradorite briolettes

Etsy, where handmade and vintage collide

Etsy calls itself, "Your place to buy and sell all things handmade." After I began giving more coverage to the site last year, I received letters from sellers who said they felt Etsy does not do enough to promote the vintage category. This issue may prove to be one of the company's biggest challenges - and potentially one of its greatest opportunities.
The Manchurian CPSIA candidate

The media has been largely complicit and lazy in their coverage of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Either they mis-report it, fail to address the local Congressional reps or Senators about it (Arkansas Sen. Pryor and Minnesota's Klobuchar come to mind), or give them a pass about it when they get a non-comment comment. As for Congress, it's far too easy to ignore faxes, tweets, blogs and emails. Given what's grabbing Washington's attention these days, it's not too much different with phone calls or letters. Bottom line, I don't think Congress has taken the opposition seriously and I don't think the mainstream media truly sees this for the threat that it is. Meantime, the Consumer Reports, PIRG (etc) group has CPSC's ear.

Classy, functional, and cute - all for baby and mommy JennyKimBioPic
Last year when I was laid off from my job, I knew there were troubling times coming. I was one of the first of many of my friends working in Finance to be laid off. But even prior to my lay off, I knew that something wasn't right. It was the third job I was laid off from in four years. All due to similar reasons: downsizing and restructuring. I had seen the numbers and financial figures. Things did not look good. It became more apparent during my last job, an international firm. We had offices all over the world. Financials were consolidated by regions. There was significant growth in Asia. Even Europe wasn't doing badly. Our U.S. numbers had shown a reduction for a consecutive third year.

When the news finally came, I was disheartened at first. I was not looking forward to job hunting and settling into a new environment. On a whim I decided to take a sewing class. I enrolled in a 10 week class that covered lessons from how to load a bobbin to drafting your own pattern. Right away I knew this was something I loved. I progressed quickly. From sewing simple grocery bags and elastic skirts - a few months later I had sewn my first jacket and tote bag from scratch.

Our economy is going through a restructuring and in a way, so I am. Almost one year later I am no longer working in corporate America and plan on never going back. I was never happy with the whole 9-5 work life. It never suited my personality. I had always loved being creative and building and creating things, a skill that I was never given the opportunity to utilize in a corporate setting. I think most creative people end up leaving corporate America for the same reason! Now I'm doing what I love and feel passionate about and I could never have been happier!

I currently design and make handbags, accessories, and clothes. I have a children's line in the works from which I am showing you a sample today. Be on the lookout for more creative designs by JiJi!
Jenny Kim - Tote/diaper bag in Amy Butler green wallflower

Jenny Kim - Bib and burp set in Robert Kaufman pink confections cupcake

Jenny Kim - iPod armband in Amy Butler pine coriander

Jenny Kim - Tote/diaper bag in Joel Dewberry sparrow yellow

Jenny Kim - Lined baby kimono in Joel Dewberry ginseng ivory orchid

Viva la craftolution: Etsy movement cracks over politics

You would think that Etsy, the groundbreaking Web site that serves as a $90 million market for designs made by small-scale artisans, would be populated by placid, like-minded sellers who humbly connect with buyers much like a smiling vendor at the farmer's market. But Etsians (or Etsyans)--as Etsy's artisans sometimes call themselves--are also known to flock together to cross-promote each others work and propound shared interests. That's where the trouble started.

Full-of-flavor clothing designs SaraMaciasBioPic
Born in in a west Texas town called El Paso, I first learned how to sew as a little girl in my grandma's den making little purses and such. Now I'm a 22 year old wife/mother/clothes designer. I started my company while a junior in high school. Since I couldn't get hired anywhere at the time I decided to open up my own online clothing business. I've learned a lot since then and have what you see now as Elegy Ink. I make skirts, dresses, blouses - just about anything - and I try to create the best work possible so that people can enjoy my designs. I enjoy making clothes based on what I'm feeling at that moment; I usually never sketch what I'm about to make (unless it's custom work); I just start sewing and don't stop until I'm done.
Sara Macias - Black shimmer halter-style blouse

Sara Macias - Vanilla Dream lace blouse

Sara Macias - High-waisted vanilla pencil skirt

Sara Macias - Green go-go dress

Sara Macias - Red Chinese print dress


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Thursday, April 2, 2009

EtsyConnection, April 3, 2009

April 3, 2009 EtsyConnection

Craft Forum-Innovative forum offers advice and help on resin crafts and Etsy

Forums are a useful online meeting place, where people with similar interests can discuss and advise each other in a pleasant online atmosphere. For every subject there are always forums available, some better than others. For those interested in crafts, a craft forum is available that offers a wealth of information, that forum is This impressive Craft Forum offers a wealth of advice, information and resources to help those interested in a variety of crafts. Whether its resin crafts , crochet or discussions about Etsy, many subjects are covered in detail. The forum is full of tips and tricks that can save time and money and its user friendly layout and design only adds to its appeal. Within its pages are subforums, which are specifically for certain subjects or crafts, such as Etsy.
A handmade tale

When Etsy, the Brooklyn-based online marketplace for all things handcrafted, launched in 2005, it sounded like another small-time, doomed-for-failure venture trying to capitalize on homespun hipsterism. Why not just sell and buy stuff on eBay, like the rest of the world? And who wants to buy other people's crocheted pot holders, anyway? Hah. By 2008, Etsy's sales had reached $87.5 million. And to its 2.1 million registered users, Etsy is much more than a virtual warehouse. Etsians, as regular buyers and sellers call themselves, want to live in a handmade world, from the clothes they wear to the forest-life stencils on their walls. They want to know that the person who made their hand-hammered ring is named Stephanie and lives in Forest Hills. Etsy is as much social network as e-commerce site.

Chainmaille at its best! JessicaJohnsonBioPic
Hi. I'm Jessica of Red Panda. I make handcrafted, artisan chainmaille jewelry. Chainmaille is a type of metal fabric armor that was worn by knights centuries ago. It consists of hundreds or thousands of tiny circular rings. Each one is opened, woven around others, and closed by hand to create intricate patterns. I take the same concepts of medieval maille and apply them to modern jewelry pieces. I strive to create unique, different designs that you won't find anywhere else. Chains, metal mesh, and bright colors make this a refreshingly different form of jewelry design.

I am a Nashville, TN native and have lived in the city or one of its suburbs my whole life. I have been making chainmaille for four years, but I've been creative all my life. I live with my most wonderful supportive boyfriend, whom I could not do without. When I am not making jewelry, I am a paralegal for a criminal defense lawfirm, which is always interesting.

Jessica Johnson - Rainbow bracelet

Jessica Johnson - Chainmaille scarf

Jessica Johnson - Red spike bracelet

Jessica Johnson - Silver inverted aura earrings

Jessica Johnson - Sterling and pearls necklace

Make beach glass earrings

I used to crave souvenirs from trading posts, truck stops, and gift shops when I was on vacation. These days, I'd much rather pick up a natural item than an ill-advised T-shirt or tchotchke. When my wanderings take me to the beach, I sort of lose my mind, filling my pockets with rocks, shells, and the rare piece of beach glass. Over the years, the beach glass has accumulated, and I have bowls of it sprinkled throughout my home. I thought I'd take a few choice pieces and create a swingy pair of earrings. They were so quick that I'm thinking that my friends and family are going to be tricked out in glassy baubles in short order.
Handmade Nation: The rise of D.I.Y., art, craft, and design

I bought my ticket to the special, sold-out San Francisco Film Society screening the morning tickets went on sale, arrived to the event early, and waited in a long line with other excited fans. Post-screening I was so inspired that I wished I could have crafted on the train ride home, but alas, my handbag lacked the necessary supplies.

Wonderful, colorful handblown glass SuzanneTannerBioPic
Connecticut, Colorado, and Maine were home before I settled in Rhode Island in 1998. I worked in jobs as diverse as bar tending and as a facilitator for adventure programs and had hobbies that included extreme skiing and rock climbing.

I was introduced to Glassblowing in 1993 while earning my BA in Art History from Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY. I knew I wanted to pursue glass but allowed myself to get temporarily sidetracked by the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. Four years later, I returned to the East Coast and completed a 2 month long intensive Glassblowing class at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. It was just what I needed - and it challenged my skills as an artist and designer. I was in love. It has been over 9 years since I started Tanner Glass and I still love the challenge of creating and designing work that is fun to make and practical to own. I call them FUNctional Objects. I'm inspired by the everyday and don't make anything that I wouldn't want to own and use.

Suzanne Tanner - Glass ornament/suncatcher

Suzanne Tanner - 'Squares and more squares' magnets

Suzanne Tanner - Belted vase

Suzanne Tanner - Flower-power sea stone

Suzanne Tanner - Pinch bud vase

Fancy fabrics online

Ansari Couture has recently launched a website in response to the overwhelming demand for the couture fabrics that Ms. Ansari personally selects and imports from France, Italy, and England. I paid a visit to the Ansarifabrix website to see the offerings. I'm happy to find a resource for silk fabrics in a wide color selection.
Making soap at home

Soap making is a really nice pastime and makes a great gift to prepare for friends or family members. Every batch you make can be just a little different - improving on your new talent, and there are a wide variety of recipes, ingredients and soap molds that you can use to make your soap truly unique. One of my favorite traits of homemade soap is that it last about 4 times as long as any bar soap I pick up at the drug or grocery store. And a number of my friends swear that the goat's milk soap I made them cleared up their eczema and winter worn dry skin.

When I was a child I loved to draw and over the years I've taken more art classes than I can count. In college I enrolled as an art major but I eventually majored in English literature and then went on to pursue a master's in creative writing. Following, I taught collegiate English for seven years but with the birth of my son (who's now 19 months old), I decided to take a break from the working world and spend more time at home. In doing so I was inspired to pick up the pencil once again. Memories of my childhood and the playful nature of my son became the focus of my work and then, after stumbling upon Etsy, I was immediately inspired to take my designs to the next level and create Anise Mouette - a line of retro-inspired tees for the little ones. Recently, I've added totes and note cards to my line and I have started a Kids Craft how-to tutorial section on my blog:

Since I've taken a break from teaching I'm using a portion of all my sales to purchase baby formula for infants in need so as to keep contributing to my community. Once a month I purchase formula locally and then donate it for immediate distribution at the Foothill Unity Center in Pasadena, California. For more information, all are welcome to convo me through my Etsy shop.

Anise Stevens - Record player tee

Anise Stevens - Mod bear tee

Anise Stevens - Baby birds tee

Anise Stevens - Family fun tee

Anise Stevens - Super trike tee

From the editor...

Because it seems fitting for this issue, I have include this picture of my step-son. He has been into making things with chainmaille for about 4 years and the hat you see here is one of his creations. I just thought I would share!

I hope you have enjoyed this issue of EtsyConnection; I have enjoyed bringing it to you. -Karen

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