Our featured seller this week is Nancy. If you want pillow fillers NancyK4U is the shop to go to... BUT while you're there look around, because she has a lot of colorful, fun things in her shop. You'll especially like them if you have kids or know anyone with kids.
Her create-a-story pillows are the most creative thing that I've seen for children in a while. Dragon with a Wagon encourages a child's active imagination. All you have to do is ask the child a few questions about the colorful illustration, and you've got an entire story.
Her birthday pillows are similar to the create-a-story pillow. Except that the Happy Birthday Pillows have a little pocket on the back of the pillow to hold a note, a card, or even some cash.
Another child-friendly item in Nancy's shop is the Snapkin. It's a giant napkin with a drawstring close. It's a convenient way to take snacks to go. So, not only is it great for kids, it's good for hiking or any other outdoor activity. It a great idea!
How long have you been sewing, Nancy?
I learned to sew on a treadle (which I still have) when I was about 8, I have never stopped since. I was always fascinated watching my mother take apart a dress with a full skirt, lay it out and end up with dresses for my sisters and I or a fashionable '60 style for herself.
What made you jump on the Etsy train and start selling?
I think a friend suggested I check it out. When I saw the low listing fees I decided to try it out. My intention was to make pillow covers and offer inserts to go with them...haha, I don't think I ever sold a cover but I sell quite a few inserts! Everything else in my shop is an idea of mine and fun for me to do.
How do you come up with the ideas for your pillows?
The art pillows (which are-(heart)-on a pillow) came one night when it was quiet and I was remembering how (as a child) I always drew pictures while telling a story about the picture in my head. It starts with something that rhymes; Dragon with a wagon, little gray mouse with a big brown house. The birthday and tooth fairy pillows....just because, an alternative to a card? Something cozy and fun? :D
There is so much more in her shop. Stop by and check it out.
Zephyr Art is the shop you go to if you're looking for quirky and fun accessories. Their pieces, jewelry and otherwise, are bright, chunky and colorful. Especially this first piece. I love how all of the different textures and colors come together in this Cuff Bracelet.
I would call their pieces bohemian chic.
I love these Fabric Earrings... the almost-pearl button against the bright blue yarn. It's fun and eye-catching.
Did I mention that they are also artists? Well, it's not like something this creative could come from anything less than an artist's hands. Or a couple of pairs of them.
Okay Julie, how long have you been crafting and what got you started? As a business Eppie Cataldo Bailey and I (Julie Barrett Cataldo) started in 2001. When we met, Eppie was primarily illustrating and I was primarily painting. We realized we have a common Art Philosophy of using the freedom and joy we feel in creating to spread our conviction that Art can and should be part of everybody's lives. Because we believe collaboration makes a bigger impact, we joined forces. Your shop is a "close collaboration of creativity" with you in Tennessee and your sister-in-law in Pennsylvania. It can't be easy when you're 800 miles apart. How do you make that work? We talk on the phone A LOT. (We are on the phone together right now, answering these questions!) Some days we feel like the phone is an extension of ourselves. Computers are helpful for transferring images and ideas and we spend considerable amounts of time in either place together. We have artist networks in both areas with which we are involved, because we believe real experiences create better art than a solitary vacuum. You have three kids, one on the way, and one is being home schooled. How do you find the time? Eppie also has 4 children, three of which are home schooled. The way we find time is to refuse to the alternative: to not have time for our passion. We incorporate Art into our school and we live "school". There is no distinction between "school" ,"Art" or "life". Sometimes we have to do lessons when we want to paint and sometimes we paint when we should be doing lessons, it all evens out for us. There is no miracle here, sometimes things (laundry, dishes) get done and sometimes they don't, we've learned to accept this. We strive to balance structured education with our tenants of freedom and creativity.
I think we can all agree with Eppie and Julie on how important art and creativity are in every day life.
Be sure and stop by their shop and check out the rest of their fun and funky work!
Clare Corcoran has been making soaps and candles for 10 years. Her shop Mylana features a bright, upbeat variety of soaps and candles. Not only that, but she has also mastered the art of jewelry. Her pieces are fun and romantic. This beautiful Silver Snake Chain necklace with a vintage look has interchangeable pendants. Every piece of jewelry that Clare makes is one of a kind, because she uses a lot of found materials. Not only are they individualistic - they are also eco-friendly.
I would have to assume that a love for cooking inspired this adorable 22oz Blackberry Jam Candle. It looks delicious. My children would have a hard time trying not to eat it if it was in my kitchen. Who am I kidding? So would I. It is wax suspended in a wax gel. It will burn for over 100 hours and weighs two pounds. All of the candles and soaps in Mylana are limited edition until Clare can get a studio to increase her production.
Clare, how long have you been crafting and what got you started? I have been making candles since high school and soap since college. I got started making candles from a kit at a church rummage sale when I was 14 or 15 and then when I was in college, my mom worked for a publishing group and they were publishing some books on crafts and soapmaking. She brought the books home and it looked awesome, but the supplies were hard to find, since not everyone had the internet. In 2000, I discovered Brambleberry, a great online supplier, and made my first cold process (from scratch) soap. I started doing jewelry in 2010 after my husband died as a form of meditation and finding peace. I got started in etsy after my husband died of cancer at age 34. He loved Regretsy and had the book, so my sister contacted Regretsy about making him an urn, because I couldn't afford an urn or anything fancy. Here is the story:www.regretsy.com/2010/09/17/for-tim/
I started thinking about the urn and how it has references to Irish things, World of Warcraft, dragons and all sorts of things Tim loved, and that got me thinking about etsy. One week after he died, I tied up loose ends there and my place of employment had gone out of business, so I decided to get rid of almost everything and move to TN from WI to start over. My mom and dad used to live in Gallatin for his work, but I chose Murfreesboro because the VA is here and I served in Afghanistan, so I use the VA hospital and I don't have a car. When I got to TN, I didn't have a job or much money besides a small pension from the VA (I got medically retired when I was 26 for a non-combat related disease that I had diagnosed while overseas) and I had a lot of time on my hands, so I decided to get to work crafting and start working on making an etsy store.
Sometimes I wonder if my stuff is good enough to sell, but I think about Tim and his regretsy urn and all that ugly stuff they find that people are selling, and suddenly, my stuff doesn't look half bad! I think we can all agree with that!
What are some big differences between Wisconsin(where you're from) and Tennessee? [Murfreesboro] is very hard to get around as a pedestrian, no crosswalks, lots of traffic, and no bus service on weekends. Health care at the Va is great and accessible. It is clean and has a more diverse population than Stevens Point. I have a BA in Spanish, and while I have forgotten a lot, there is more opportunity here to use it. The climate is also nice and mild. Back in WI, the population of the cities are a lot smaller, but they seem a lot more progressive environmentally, easier to navigate on bike or on foot, and more friendly to small business. There are a lot of farmer's markets and interesting shops and eateries that are not chains. Supporting local business is important to me and there is not a lot here in Murfreesboro that I have found. I do like the Bargain Center thrift store though. I buy a lot of candle jars there.
How long have you been playing WoW?
Tim and I used to play World of Warcraft together a lot, since he was very sick for a long time and couldn't do much else. We started playing in 2008, and our first characters that we played together were Mylana (me, a troll priestess) and Thornhide (him, an orc rogue). I chose Mylana for my shop so that my online friends could find my stuff easily and because the game was such a fun thing we could do together up until the end. He did not have insurance when he got diagnosed with cancer, so his online friends from wow pitched in together before he died so we could come here to TN on vacation. He was supposed to come with me and be part of a clinical trial in Nashville. That's very romantic that you would name your shop after something that you and your husband did together.
What is your favorite thing to make?
My favorite thing to make are candles, but the supplies are also the most heavy, expensive, and hard to get, so I don't do it often.
Stop by her shop, Mylana, and show Clare some love! And thanks so much, Clare, for letting us pick your brain for this week's feature! I hope that you get to have your own studio in the near future.