Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Etsy Store of the Week – makye77

This week’s featured Etsy shop is a wonderful craftsman from Michigan who plays with the beautiful shapes, textures and colors of wood. Makye77, better known as Natural Selection Studio, turns wood into gorgeous decorations for your home or office. These could be pieces of art to look at and admire, or functional complements to your space.

The first one is from his line of wood with color accents. And its color contrast is pure beauty! I just love that line of dark brown from the bark.

green turned box elder wooden bowl by makye77 on etsy

And not all of his creations have a color added to the wood. He offers many in their original color and quality.

wooden bowl from makye77 on etsy birch wooden bowl from makye77 on etsy

And it’s not just bowls that he offers in the Etsy shop, but decorative and usable vases of different shapes as well. I love the swirl that this wood has, and again, I’m in love with the natural opening. This particular vessel is decorative, and you can see why – it’s absolutely gorgeous!

elm wooden vessel by makye77 on etsy

So go check out Natural Selection Studio at makye77 on Etsy. He offers more pieces similar to the ones I’ve featured above and also has some wooden bowls and vessels of a different style with more color and decoration. These would make gifts for the person that has everything on your shopping list since it can be for both beauty and function. I’m thinking here of my father-in-law! And because you are buying a completed unique item, there’s no wait time for production which makes gift giving all the easier.

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Etsy Store of the Week – katherinejlee

This week’s featured Etsy store is katherinejlee! Katherinejlee has a line of environmentally friendly home goods and decor ranging from tea towels to pillows. Besides being good for the environment, her designs have a sense fo whimsy which make her beautiful and simple designs that much better.

As is the routine, the item that I want the most from her store is… and oven mitt! Oh, I just heard groans of boredom everywhere! But have no fear when katherinejlee is here! She has created a beautiful organic cotton oven mitt with a great mandala/flower pattern. And we really could use a new one since the one we have now is well… gross and burnt!

handmade organic cotton oven mitt by katherinejlee

The next item is a close second (and only lost because of the actual need of the first), and showcases that whimsy I was telling you about. And I love the picture too, I just want to curl up and read a paper in it! Isn’t the lighting just magical?

hippo pillow shams organic cotton by katherinejlee

Katherinejlee has some other great designs for pillow covers for the rest of the house too. The first repeats the design from the oven mitt and the second is the cutest little owl pattern. You could really add some beauty to a living room with these designs!

organic cotton handmade pillow cover by katherinejleeorganic cotton handmade pillow cover by katherinejlee

Katherinejlee‘s shop is cute and practical – and I’m in love! Check out the rest of her items now!

Oh so excited!

So today, one of the Etsy sellers lucky enough to be featured on the front page was mooshygooshies. And I was immediately drawn to the item that was shown:

Mooshygooshies's custom metal key chains with dog silhouettes

Aren’t those just up my alley? Dogs AND crafts! I couldn’t be happier. Ok, maybe if she somehow worked Fat Tire beer into the listing… 🙂

Anyway, I immediately contacted her as the rest of her stuff is just gorgeous. Clean lines, graphic prints and more dog themed items. I’ve asked her to come up with either a pit bull silhouette (I’ll forgive her for overlooking the second most common “breed” in America!) or if she could base a silhouette from Muttley’s adorable mug. I gave her the link to the picture that my business logo is based on, and quite possibly the best picture of Muttley ever. Take a look at it on the front page of my business site here. Wait, you didn’t know that I also run a successful pet sitting and dog walking business, besides my slowly (hint: quite slowly) emerging craft business? Where’ve you been?! I even have an employee! Check it out!

Anyway, enough self promotion. The cute little cards that mooshygooshies offers is what I’m ordering for my annual Thank You cards and gifts for clients of Lucky Mutts this past year. Last year I included little treats for the pets and a Belgian chocolate treat for the humans. This year I’d like to top that by a little. Nothing crazy, but everything totally adorable! And yummy too. I’ll probably be making the pup treats again this year, but maybe a little gift too? Who knows, it’s still early. Though I would like to get these out around Thanksgiving.

Why Thanksgiving and not the holidays? Am I being that politically correct? Heck no! Well, actually in a way… But the main reason is that Thanksgiving is a time to remember those you need to be thanking and for thanking the abundance in life. What a perfect time to thank my customers for keeping me fed the last year and to wish them a happy holiday season. And marketing wise, it’s pretty good timing!

Why even blow money on clients? Because they are the best! They pay me to play with their dogs! They trust me to love and attend to their most cherished ones. It’s a responsibility and a task that I enjoy doing and I’ve been able to craft a wonderful business out of my clients. My small business has allowed me to grow as a person and stretch my creative (and sometimes ADHD) mind in new ways. Lucky Mutts has allowed me to be the wife I want to be, the dog owner others dream about and quite possibly one of the happiest women on earth.

See! I’m getting on all emotional-grateful and I haven’t even ordered the thank you cards yet! Off to play one last game of mah jongg before retiring to bed with my latest marketing required reading. I hope all is wonderful in your world and that you cuddle with your fur-kid with extra love tonight. They deserve it!

Etsy Store of the Week – SoFino

This week’s featured Etsy Store is SoFino. SoFino is based in Charlotte, North Carolina (which is quite a distance from her original home of Serbia!) and offers beautiful felted soap that is affordable, beautiful and quite practical thank-you-very-much!

These soaps are so gorgeous your guests may think twice about using them, but if they don’t use the soap, maybe you shouldn’t open your soap-loving home to such dirty guests! hehe… Anyway, if this economy’s got you down, or at least spending a whole lot less on yourself, it may be time to splurge on something truly useful. And as always, my choice first!

SoFino handmade felted soaps

Aren’t those just the prettiest? And such beautiful technique SoFino has in order to achieve those perfect silhouettes by felt! Ok, I can hear some of you saying that yes, those are pretty, but what the heck is felted soap!? The felt surrounds the bar of soap to act as a scrubby, sudsy tool and allows you to use the soap to the last sliver. After the soap’s used up, the felt remains and can be filled with more soap, made into a drawer freshener (just add a drop or two of essential oil) or as a plain wool scrubbing pad. So don’t you see how practical this beautiful splurge can be?  (Can you tell that I’m convincing myself as well?)

SoFino felted soap

Perfect for the fall and entertaining those Thanksgiving guests. And yes, they’d better wash their grubby little hands before touching my turkey! And she offers some beautiful sets as well:

SoFino heart collection of felted soaps SoFino collection of pebble felted soap

I just can’t stand it – these soaps are too cute! I think everyone on my holiday shopping list may get soap this year! SoFino offers lots more options, and has some pretty spectacular artistic creations, but I can’t feature her whole Etsy shop here, so go on, go check it out!

Looking for the pertinent links? Well, ever since I got so-super-cool and learned how to link the images to their shopping pages, I’ve felt (get it, ha!) that the pertinent links section isn’t all that necessary. So get to clicking on the above links to her store, or the images themselves! See you all next week!

I’m officially an Etsy Seller!

Ok, I guess if you want to be technical about it, I’ve been an Etsy seller since November of last year (10 months now). But that’s not why I signed up for Etsy. I signed up so I would have at least a little reason to have all the craft supplies that I owned. I signed up so I could hopefully cover some of the costs to buy new supplies. I signed up so I could create my list of favorites for later shopping…

But now that I’m quickly approaching 20 sold orders, I’m a seller! And no, that’s not two sales a month, but rather 15 sales since July, or about four or five sales a month. Yes, I know, that’s still not that much. But there are about five people a month willing to pay for my stuff. And out of all the things available to buy on Etsy, somehow they find my little corner and buy something! It’s like magic!

And now, the purchases people make aren’t just covering costs of my supplies, but are starting to fund my creative juice. Yes, I have a nickname for alcohol and it is my creative juice. I don’t always drink when crafting, but it certainly puts me in the mood. 🙂 It’s exciting because I’m planning on opening up a business bank account and setting up the necessary legal paperwork too. It should all be very official starting January 1st! And then I’ll probably won’t be drinking as much since I’ll most likely have to do some work during daylight hours.

I’m also getting custom order requests, which I’m more than happy to do! It pushes me outside the little box (ha!) that I’ve made for myself and gets me looking at what I could do in the future. So keep those requests coming!

Another way to know that I’ve “made it” is to see copy cat sellers. And that’s not fair, they tend to offer something with a different aesthetic than I do, so it’s not really copying at all. But when I first did an Etsy search for cigar boxes way back in January, pretty much just cigar box purses and cigar box guitars showed up. And now there are at least two sellers who are offering a product very similar to mine. It’s almost like I’m the cool kid at school setting all the trends.

Ok, I’m not that cool. But it’s a start. And it’s a start that I’m ever-so-pleased by! Have a great weekend all and I’ll see you Sunday with my Etsy Store of the Week. And no, it’s not me! 😉

Update: I added some pictures below for you all to see what I’m doing in Etsy, or click on the link on the upper right hand side to see the whole shop.

Etsy Store of the Week – pixelthis

This week’s Etsy Store of the Week is truly unique and completely neat! It’s pixelthis which makes “stuff made from stuff.” In particular, super geeky clocks that are functional and dorky!

I forgot exactly how I came by this great Etsy shop, but I know why I stayed around: these unique clocks are affordable and very pretty to look at (in their techno way!). And who doesn’t love showing off their inner geek? Or know someone who is a geek? These clocks remind me of one of my favorite shows, the IT Crowd. Rent it on netflix or watch it on IFC since it’s from the BBC. Anyway, back to stuff made from stuff! Here’s one that I would love to have hanging above my computer since I’m always losing track of time (yes, I know there’s a clock on my computer’s desktop but I can easily ignore that one!).

Upcyled hard drive into clock by pixelthis

Totally awesome, right? Pixelthis offers different hard drives so that there are a different colors and layouts to choose from. Also hanging clocks or ones that sit on your desk. Oh, and this one even has a working pendulum!

Recycled hard drive into clock with pendulum from pixelthis

Not a huge computer buff? Pixelthis offers other stuff made from stuff (I love that motto!). Here’s a clock for the biker or cyclist in your life and a clock for a audiophile too! In his Etsy shop you’ll find all types of neat clocks – go check it out!

Bike gears turned into a clock by pixelthis Upcycled clock from pixelthis

Here’s some more information about the guy behind pixelthis, taken from his profile:

I have been taking things apart since the day I could walk, and occasionally putting them back together… I am always looking for any kind of cool junk, computers, cameras, watches, you name it!

I am putting that first clock on my wish list and my heavily-hinted-at list of things for my husband to buy! hehe… Another awesome thing about this shop? You can send him your neat junk so he can turn it into a clock! COOL! 🙂 Ok, I’ve had a little too much coffee today! Check out pixelthis today!

Pertinent links:

Etsy Store of the Week – zukzuk!

The Etsy Store of the Week is zukzuk! This graphic artist creates beautiful and imaginative prints with great colors.

This first image is one that I would love to have in a child’s bedroom, or even give to my mom for mother’s day (but sadly, it’s not her style, my mom could use better taste! 😉 ). The colors are wonderful and you can just feel the love between the mom and baby bear. And the scales of color create such a sense of whimsy!

We Are Strong Strong by zukzuk

And another great family of bears print (available in a few different colors):

Magic Moss Bears by zukzuk

But it’s not just family style prints that zukzuk offers. There are lots of whimsical and sometimes strange prints that would look great in any studio or library. I’m imagining where I would hang them among my books…

Zukzuk Tea Time by zukzukJelly Bean Bird Rainbow by zukzuk

A little about the Tronto-based artist behind zukzuk from her profile:

When I was reading a book to my son the other day, one of the characters, a Wombat, said that he liked to think and he liked to dig. I guess that’s a bit like me.

So you can see where the whimsy in her art comes from! Check out her Etsy shop to see the different color variations of her prints and the variety of artwork she offers. Come back next Sunday!

The pertinent links for y’all: