Bella Diva Beads by Jennifer Lynch

One of the first things I noticed about Jennifer Lynch’s Etsy shop, Bella Diva Beads, was the beaded Christmas ornament.  The ornament was colorful, fun, and reminded me of something I could not put my finger on. I later found out though what it was! The inspiration for this ornament was actually belly dancing. The variety of color and beads in this shop are beautiful  Below is an Etsy feature on Bella Diva Beads. I hope you enjoy it and get a chance to stop in.

JenniferLynch

What is the name of your shop and the story behind it?
My Etsy shop, Bella Diva Beads, is something that was probably a long time coming. I have been beading for as long as I can remember, even if it was just pony beads and pipe cleaners in my childhood attempts! My shop includes more than just beadwork, though. I also create wire tree art in the form of pendants, free-standing miniature sculptures, and other home décor. I made the leap from designing for myself to selling my art because of a recent move and family crisis which left me wanting a job that offered more flexibility than my teaching career allowed. Also, I love making jewelry so much, and there’s only so many times you can give jewelry for holidays and birthdays before you have to find some other outlet for all of your creations!

When did your shop open?
I opened my shop toward the end of August, so I’m just celebrating one month of business.

What inspired you to create your art?
My inspiration is split, just like the items in my store. Bead work has always been a hobby of mine, encouraged by my mother, and I am particularly inspired by organic shapes and natural elements like pearls, silk, and gemstones. I began to be more serious about my beading after I decided to become a professional Middle Eastern/belly dance artist. I wanted to design and make my own costumes and jewelry, and things flowed from there. I rediscovered the hobby I had always enjoyed.
My wire trees have an entirely different backstory. Growing up, my dad worked for the local utilities company. In his office, he had a gorgeously life-like tree made of copper wire. I always admired it and years later tried my hand making my own. The leaves are my own addition– Dad’s miniature had bare branches– and I use slightly thinner wire, but I always come back to the same style I admired growing up. Who made Dad’s original tree? An artist with a beautiful studio and precise tools? Not exactly… It was made by utilities linemen on break. They used to pull old copper wire out of the scrap heap and sit and idly twist it into trees with their hands when they had a spare minute. People always compliment me on these trees and say things like, “It’s so delicate” or “it looks like something out of a fairy forest” and I thank them and smile because I imagine the dusty workingmen sitting in the shade of their heavy machinery twisting these with their bare hands as they escaped the southern heat for a few minutes. I make my trees their way– with only a pair of wire cutters and my bare hands.

Were you self taught or did you learn from someone?
I am primarily a self-taught artist. This Etsy shop has led me into another self-taught endeavor—trying to figure out product photography and marketing. Turns out that that is a lot harder than jewelry making! As I’ve grown as an artist over the years, I’ve made up some basic rules for myself when beading:
1. Choose the right thread. Color, material, weight, everything. Without the right foundation, the rest of the work is nothing. Just ask the leaning tower of Pisa.
2. Hide the thread! Even if you choose thread that is perfect, no one wants to see it protruding from the lovely beadwork. In the beading world, I’m convinced it’s like having your underwear showing.
3. Always use three knots where one would suffice.
4. Pick beautiful materials, but also make sure to pick ones that will stand the test of time!

What goals do you have for your shop over the next year?
My goal is to have 150 items listed by the end of the calendar year and to make at least two sales a week. My items are labor intensive to make and I’m a new shop, so I’m trying to be realistic for my goals.

Do you have any advice for new Etsy shop owners?
As a new owner myself, I hardly feel qualified to give advice to new Etsy artists, except maybe to say, “Keep trying!” That’s the advice I’m trying to take for myself right now. 🙂

Watercolor Wildlife Prints- By Sarah MacDonald

I love when I am looking through shops and something really catches my eye. When I came to Into The Wilds, by Sarah MacDonald, I found the art to be very unique. She sells watercolor prints, made up of colors and vines, of all different wildlife animals. I can see these prints being used in a nursery, children’s room, given as a shower gift, wall art for animal facilities, or gifted to an animal lover.

Below are questions I asked Sarah MacDonald about her shop and passion. I hope you enjoy. Please come back and visit me for more up and coming Etsy features!

Etsy Features

Why did you choose your shop name?

I wanted something that represented myself and my art. I felt it was whimsical, like something from a fairy tale, and I am a bit of a whimsical person myself. More than anything though is that it ties into my inspiration and art! I grew up and live in the countryside of Canada and have always loved nature, with a big backyard of fields and forest I am always seeing animals big and small and love it, I enjoy going into the wilds and wanted others to get that from my shop.

When did your store open?

While my store technically opened on August 2013 under the name SarahMacStudios but it wasn’t working, it made two sales in two years and I wasn’t enjoying myself. In August 2015 I changed my shop name to ‘IntoTheWilds’ and had a new focus with my watercolor art.

What do you sell?

I sell watercolor art, postcards and prints. Its a bit hard to describe my style because it isn’t any conventional type of art! The feature of my art is animal silhouettes, mostly wild animals like bears and wolves, but it is more than just a silhouette, within is winding vines and vibrant flowers. There are a few of my photographs from my previous shop uo too, along with my little book of poetry ‘Small Town Wilds’ but the focus is on my watercolor art.

How did you learn to make the art in your shop?

Trial and error, and persistence… lots of persistence! I taught myself how to paint and it did not go well at all, I kept experimenting with styles and techniques, trying to follow tutorials and how to books but it got me nowhere… so I just stopped being so formal about it, threw away the books and just painted! Next thing I knew I found my own style and niche, and am loving the experience!

What is something unique about your art?

These are no ordinary silhouettes! I take hours and hours to carefully paint vines and flowers that end up creating the overall silhouette. I try to carefully consider the placement of each flower and leaf, thinking about what will draw in the eye, create a sense of movement and interest. It ends up making for something completely unique!

Explain a few things that inspire you

My own backyard is a fount of inspiration, with a big field surrounded by forests there is always inspiration lurking. We have wild apple trees that tend to draw all sorts of animals, bears and deer in particular like to munch on them!

Which leads me to my next source of inspiration, wild animals. Some nights I fall asleep to the yip of coyotes or the howl of wolves, snowy owls have passed through along with sandhill cranes, we’ve even started seeing elk just munching on leaves. Most of the silhouettes I paint are inspired directly from my observations of them, and the colors are drawn from the natural world and my impression of what color best represents each animal.

What is a challenge you have faced and how have you overcome it?

I am my own worst challenge, constantly doubting myself. I didn’t think what I was doing was all that great, I just did a few paintings for myself because I couldn’t find what I wanted out there and then people saw it and liked it. I kept thinking ‘what can a person without any art education do?’ and putting myself down. After making a few more paintings for local people and seeing how much they genuinely liked them I had to stop myself. I liked them myself, I enjoyed painting them and other people were responding well to them so what was I doing being so negative?! After making my first etsy sale I felt even better, I still have those moments of self doubt and likely always will, its just how I am, but at least I can feel proud of myself and what I am creating!

Can you give new Etsy sellers some advice?

Be persistent! It helps to keep making and creating even if no one is looking or buying. I know it can be discouraging but eventually people will find you, and when they do you’ll have a wealth of items to offer them!

More importunely though, have fun and enjoy what you are doing! It can’t just be about money, you need to enjoy yourself and enjoy creating. I know I wasn’t enjoying myself the first time around and I am sure that is a big part of why my initial shop failed. After a month IntoTheWilds already beat my previous store in sales an income, and of course, fun!

Lastly, make use of the etsy community. The forums, teams and wealth of information out there is VERY beneficial and helpful! Read up on the guidebooks, ask questions and take part in discussions, join a team and be a part of the community – you will learn a lot this way!

Please visit Sarah MacDonald’s shop by clicking —> IntoTheWilds

Two new bows and new Etsy shop

adore

I loved the above quote 🙂

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I made these two bows tonight. I’m getting better at it 🙂

I am going to open a new Etsy shop and add things other than just photography.  One really nice thing about items made of fabric and ribbon is that they are LIGHT (aka low shipping!!)  I will post the link on here when I open the new shop.

I have also started a new book called One Child by Torey Hayden. I just happened to see it at Goodwill.  It is about a special ed teacher, her class, and her one in particularly challenging child. This child was abused and abandoned. She did not cry, always acted out, and normally refused to speak. This is a TRUE STORY.  I am on Chapter 3 but already recommend it!!! It is intense!

“Like” my Facebook Page Please <3

Hello Friends!

I’ve made a facebook page that will contain ONLY my photography. If you enjoy my photography, please drop by and “like” my page ❤

Jenny Laura Photography Facebook Page

And if you have not yet had a chance to stop by, please come check out my Etsy page:

Jenny Laura Photography Etsy Page

8×10’s going for $20

If you use the coupon code : MerryChristmas2013 you get FREE shipping.

Thank you for your continued support!

Chinese Tea Pot- Still Life Photography

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Chinese Tea Party <<<—- for sale in Etsy Shop

You know, one of the great things about unpacking boxes is that you tend to find things you had forgotten about or thought you lost.  I honestly did not know where my Chinese tea set was.  And when I say Chinese, I don’t mean because it has a “made in china” stamp on it. 🙂  My brother, Dalton, majored in Chinese. He actually went to China and brought me back an authentic tea set.  At the time, I don’t think I really appreciated how truly beautiful the set it. Until I “refound” it! I took lots of photos of the set but this one was my favorite. The way the seller packed it is really gorgeous with this silky gold material.  I look forward to one day my child having tea parties with this set. ❤

Wanted to share it with you!

Grand Opening of my Etsy Photography Shop

Hello Friends!

I’m excited to announce that I just opened my first Etsy photography shop. I’m REALLY bad with figuring things out so take it from me, Etsy is very user friendly. It took some time uploading 20 of my pictures though with the information 🙂 . It’s so amazing getting to see my work online. Even if I don’t sell anything, I’m still proud that I did it! Etsy charges 20 cents per item that you sell a month. So I listed 20 items = $4! Not bad! If I sell an item (aka photograph in my case), they take I believe 3.4 percent of sale price.

EtsyShop1

As a “sale” or “test run”  I’m asking

$25 per 8×10

$5 shipping for US

$10 shipping for Canada

$15 shipping for anywhere else (fingers crossed I don’t get anyone in Ethiopia wanting 50 prints) hahaha jk

Anyway, the link to my Etsy page is:

Jenny Laura Pictures

Unfortunately, “Jenny Laura Photography” was too long of a name for Etsy to accept. So, I got as close to the name as I could. My banner still says Jenny Laura Photography though, as this is what I have been and will be calling my business.

If anyone sees a picture not listed in the shop on Jenny Laura Photography Blog that they would like to purchase, just let me know. It’s very simple to add pictures!

Thanks to everyone who has supported me, motivated me, and pushed me to do this. ❤

New Header!

I just got my new header in today! Jamie from Fresh Lavender Design on Etsy made it for me !  She has extremely affordable prices in her shop, will give you revisions to final product, and stays in contact. Jamie also makes pre made Etsy layouts, headers for anything, and premade logos.  For a bit more, she can also create something custom for you!  I will definitely be ordering from her again!

Hope you guys like the new header!

This doesn’t go without saying how thankful I am for Amy from Lucky Wreck for my last lovely banner.

She VOLUNTEERED to make me one and never asked for anything in return. I continue to

be grateful to her for that!