Thursday, December 31, 2009
Congratulations to November’s Craft-a-Long runner up: Stitches in Cotton. (It was Handmade Louisiana's closest vote ever!)
Artist/owner Dee creates accessories for babies, children and adults. “Throughout my life I have had an interest in various crafts,” she says. “I learned how to crochet when I was a little girl, then I moved on to hand quilting. It’s been about a year since I’ve gotten back to doing it on a more regular basis.”
Hers is another example of necessity being the mother of invention. She explains, “When I found out my boys were allergic to polyester. It was getting cold and I needed to find hats and gloves that didn’t contain polyester. I searched stores and the internet and came up with nothing. I decided to look for a crochet pattern and I found an adorable little hat. My boys loved the hats so much and it brought so much joy to them that I decided to create more to spread that joy. Nothing makes a mama happier than seeing her creation being drug inside and outside, through stores and being slept with because it’s their prized possession.”
When asked which is her favorite item, Dee cites the popcorn hats she made for her boys (and the one submitted to the Handmade Louisiana November Craft-a-Long).
Dee’s biggest challenges include time and money. “I have so many ideas in my head I don’t have enough time to get them out,” she says. Her favorite part of the works she does is being able to stay home with her sons and earning a little spending money.
She offers the following advice to new sellers: “If you are just starting out, have patience. It’s hard at first. Get a lot of products together and take the best pictures you can.” She advises seasoned sellers to “help the newer sellers. The advice of those that have ‘been there, done that’ is invaluable to us. I tend to promote those who have helped me to try and pay back what I was given.” (Her philosophy epitomizes Handmade Louisiana’s mission.)
When asked what other skills she’d like to learn, Dee replies, “I don’t think I could fit another skill in my life. HA HA! But if I had all the time in the world I would say painting.”
Dee’s connections to Louisiana are strong. She grew up in the Greater New Orleans area, left for a brief year stint in the Air Force. “There is no place like LA, and no matter where I am it will always be home for me,” she says.
To learn more about Stitches in Cotton, visit the following links:
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Congratulations, Yamarilet of Etco, winner of the November Craft-a-long!
Yamarilet has been selling handcrafted jewelry and paper bowls online for about six months, but says “for as long as I can remember I have been a maker of things.”
“My grandmother is an amazing ceramic artist,” Yamarilet explains. “I remember helping her when I was a child, I enjoyed that time so much! So I have been encouraged in that direction since I was a little girl!”
When asked about her favorite creation, she’s hard pressed to choose just one. “I do love a pair of black earrings that I called Manhattan Nights, but I also really like my paper bowls.”
Her biggest challenge as an artist to earning a living from what she loves to do, but the best perk she says, is “it‘s great when you do what you love to do, be my own boss and have the time to be with my children.”
When asked to provide advice for other sellers, Yamarilet says, “I am pretty new myself! Share what you love to do with others, be honest, take the best photos you can, Be patient!” She adds, “Nothing will happen overnight. Post often and the most important: always appreciate and treat your customers with care.”
Yamarilet was born and raised in Venezuela. She moved to United States 17 years ago and has lived in New Orleans for over nine years now. She shares a home with husband William, daughters Nikole and Mara, and finds inspiration from the natural beauty around her. “I always will be connected to LA since my daughters where born here,” she explains. “Time has gone by so quickly, and I’m so grateful for the moments I have here.”
“Being with my family comes before anything else. My life is mostly about my kids, I also volunteer at my daughter’s school,” she says. By way of introduction, she adds: “I love: the ocean, silence, coffee, stay at home, cook, swim, and create things.”
Welcome to Handmade Louisiana, and congratulations on winning the November Craft-a-long!
To learn more about Etco, visit the following links:
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Amanda, owner of Chloe Boutique, has been creating beautiful artisan jewelry for about 3 years. She found herself increasing frustrated when she couldn't find high quality, chic accessories for outfits. She explains, “When I did find something in a store, it just seemed so cheaply put together with wires sticking out, or coatings chipping off of beads, cheap metals that quickly tarnish, etc., and, stores charged a lot for this mass produced sup-par jewelry! I knew I had to have a creative side to me; my entire family is artistic. Just took me a while to find my own creative niche!”
One of her favorite pieces is one she made for herself for autumn. Using a friend’s handcrafted polymer clay maple leaf bead as a focal point, she embellished it with peridot, citrine, carnelian and red aventurine, and Karen Hill Tribe Silver. “[It] features all of those gloriously warm and cheerful autumn colors that I miss so much,” says Amanda, who originally hails from northern West Virginia, in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains.
Amanda draws her inspiration from nature. “Born and raised in the beautiful mountains of northern West Virginia, I appreciated the simple things in life. As I got older and went to college (my Bachelor of Science degree is Wildlife & Fisheries Management, Master of Science degree is Biology with an Ornithology concentration--Study of Birds), that only intensified.” She continues, “I love gemstones! They're ‘handmade’ by Mother Nature! I take what Earth has provided and I add flair to it. My pieces are perfect for everyday wearing. One piece can be casual enough to be worn with your favorite pair of jeans, or dressy enough to be worn with your business attire, or even a nice evening out!”
Amanda cites keeping up with fashion trends as her biggest challenge. “I usually create jewelry that I would personally wear. I tend to stick to medium sized stones, and streamline in design,” she explains. “I'm not usually one to go huge and bold since I have a smaller frame. So, it's really hard to make things out of my comfort zone and [still] feel that it fits in to my Chloe Boutique jewelry line, if you will.”
When asked the favorite thing about her work, she says, “I love the vast possibilities that you have as a jewelry designer. The world is literally your limit! With all of the colors, shapes, cuts, sizes, and types of gemstones alone, your jewelry creativeness is limitless! Then, you add the array of metals, findings, artisan-created lampwork glass (which is unique in itself with no two pieces being the same) and polymer clay beads, crystals, glass, vintage beads, etc., you can just let your mind go crazy...just hope your fingers can keep up with all the designs that play in your head!”
With nearly 450 sales in just 2 ½ years, she’s in a fine position to offer advice to other sellers. “Promotion is key to being a successful seller. This is hard for me personally because time does not allow me to promote as much as I would like. Jewelry making started off as a hobby, and something to supplement my own personal jewelry box. I do have a full-time day job,” Amanda says. “But, for those that create and sell as their livelihood, self-promotion seems to be the successful tool. Join groups, have a blog (and keep it updated, this is something I admit to be lacking in), submit your work to local galleries, magazines, etc., do craft shows, get business cards made and hand them out everywhere you go, get yourself a Fan Page on Facebook and post your work there. There are so many things you can do to promote your work. Get as many people to your sites as you can...they'll like what they see, and they will most likely spread the word!”
When asked what skill she’d like to learn, Amanda says she’d like to improve her wire-working skills. “I’m so intimidated by the whole ‘wire-wrapping of gemstones’ concept that I do them few and far between. So, I end up almost starting over each time I create a wire-wrapped piece of jewelry.”
For the curious, Amanda’s pseudonym, Wildlifer78, is her original Etsy buyer’s ID. Her shop name, Chloe Boutique, honors her dog, a pug. (In addition to pug Chloe, she also has a beagle named Ellie.)
Amanda lived for a short time in New Orleans when she was a year or so old. She returned to Louisiana to pursue a Master's degree at the University of Louisiana, Monroe. Her research was studying migratory songbirds and determining the forest management practice effects on their abundance and vitality.
“I always wanted to see and work in the bottomland hardwood forests of the Mississippi River Alluvial Valley. So, that's why I chose to do my Master's work here,” she explains. “I met my husband while working as a student worker at the local Wildlife and Fisheries office. We married in November 2004, built our first home in 2005, and both have good jobs here. Louisiana is now home!” She enjoys her day job as an Environmental Scientist for the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.
Other personal interests include the outdoors, exercising (especially running), hiking, backpacking, canoeing/kayaking, occasional hunting/fishing, and bird watching. She says, “I also thoroughly enjoy traveling, spending time with friends and family, reading, music, shopping (like any other girl!), cooking (mostly baking), and of course being creative.”
Amanda’s stunning creations can be found at the following:
http://www.facebook.com/chloeboutique (fan page)
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I wanted to let you know about the Benjy Davis Project Christmas show this Friday, 12/18/09 at the Varsity Theatre. Doors are at 8pm and the show is $15.
There’s all kinds of exciting things going on: BDP will be on the WCDV morning show that day and performing on KSLU out of Hammond on 12/17 at noon. WCDV will be hosting a soundcheck party before the show where the band will be doing a signing. Additionally, tracks from the new album “Lost Souls Like Us” are going to be played before the show. That night, the band will be performing a special set just for this show.
I hope you guys can make it! They put on an awesome show! :)
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
- Domain Name Registration
- Tech Support via online Help Desk or Toll Free telephone
- 1 business day turn-around or less for all updates (forwarding changes, etc.) - most changes made in one our or less
- Unlimited Sub-Domains
- Forwarding sub-domains: etsy.domain.com forwards to shopname.etsy.com
- Hosted subdomains: site.domain.com points to IP address on web hosting provider
- Blogger Domain Setup (blog.domain.com)
- Branded Google Apps Standard under selected domain, with:
- Up to 50 users (less 1 for me to administer the account)
- Google Mail/Gmail
- Google Calendar
- Google Docs
- Google chat email@example.com, including AIM support
- Google Sites – Template drive website creation with UNLIMITED number of sites
- much, much
- 1 business day turn-around or less for all updates (forwarding changes, etc.) - most changes made in one our or less
If the winner already has a domain name, then I’ll substitute the Artisan Support Package, which is all the same services and features, but just transfers an existing domain to our servers rather than registering a new domain name.
(IF any of these shops are on vacation as does happen this time of year, make sure to look in the shops SOLD ITEMS to see super cool items the artisan has made before!)
Monday, December 14, 2009
Meet Tiffany of Charmies Online. She’s been creating jewelry for nearly five years. Tiffany has lived in New Orleans her entire life. “It is all I know,” she explains. “Even after losing everything in Hurricane Katrina, I have chosen to rebuild and start my life over again. I love New Orleans!”
It’s been said that necessity is the mother of invention, and that’s certainly true for Tiffany. Following Hurricane Katrina, she was laid off from her job in New Orleans and had to come up with other means of income. Hence the birth of Charmies Online.
“I love designing jewelry,” Tiffany explains. “It has always brought me pleasure in designing special keepsake pieces for people... I am inspired by things going on in my life. “ When asked which is her favorite piece, Tiffany names her Snowball Jewelry Collection.
Her biggest challenge is managing multiple online accounts. “I go from my website to Etsy to Facebook to Myspace to my blog to Twitter, etc. Too many!” she says with a laugh.
When asked her favorite piece of advice for other sellers, she responds, “Don't give up. Success doesn't happen overnight. I work full-time outside of the home, plus run my personal site and an Etsy site. It is a lot of work but I love every minute of it. If you love it, go for it.”
Tiffany’s oh-so-cool creations can be found online at:
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
With Gratitude by Hurricane Pottery
The curves of this little pot remind me of cupped hands making an offering to give thanks.
Rustic Pumpkins by ChloeBoutique
Nutcracker Santa Stripe Bag by Splendiferous Fiber
I've made many friends over the years working backstage at the ballet company. After 10 years, my daughter moved on to dance at the college/ pro level, but I still go help out and hang out with the other parents and volunteers. We work ourselves half to death, but always have fun. It's so worthwhile to not only help the dancers have a performance venue, but to present the ballet to the public and school classes that come to watch. I love seeing the dancers grow and improve every year.
Fleur De Lis Pendant by Gaudet's Gems
Thankful that the Saints are thus far UNDEFEATED!
Andrew and Matthew's Beau Beau Bags by Mama's Little Monkeys
I am thankful to do this charity for Matthew Akin. Baby brother Andrew may be gone but will never be forgotten. I am thankful for healthy kids and that I can help this one family even a little.
Black Lotus Bracelet by Etco
Lotus flowers symbolize ….how people should live…with purity of speech, mind and body.
Crochet Child's Hat by Stitches in Cotton
I am thankful for the ability to crochet and 100% cotton yarn, without these my children's heads would be cold during the winter.
So be sure to get your votes in, check out these great shops and more from our lovely team members!! :)
Friday, November 27, 2009
EARLY BLACK FRIDAY / CYBER MONDAY SALE!!!
NOVEMBER 22ND - NOVEMBER 30TH
25% OFF MY ENTIRE SHOP AND FREE FIRST CLASS MAIL SHIPPING WORLDWIDE!!!
SAVINGS WILL BE REFUNDED TO YOUR PAYPAL ACCOUNT AFTER PAYMENT IS RECEIVED!!
*Note: Purchases made from November 26 - December 3rd will ship December 4-5. I'll be out of town those dates. However, the Sale Promo still applies to purchases made from November 26-30.
This weekend I'm offering 10% off all sales (including all custom order requests).
I am offering 15% off orders of $15 or more, buyers make Note to Seller "Black Friday". November 27 - 30.
Buy One Get one FREE!! Black Friday ONLY! Wait for revised invoice, or will refund via Paypal.
40% off all orders over $25 or more. Use Coupon Code "blackfriday"
40% off all orders over $25 or more. Use Coupon Code "blackfriday"
I'm offering free shipping for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
I am offering 10% off your total order when you enter the code "10NO" at checkout.
Buy 4 pendants and get the 5th for free. Please indicate your choices in notes to the seller. See Etsy listing: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=35087911
I'll be giving away a pair of pearl earrings with every purchase over $25 made in my shop from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.
10% off any item from my Etsy shop Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Enter "HLNOV" in 'note to seller' and I'll send a revised invoice.
Offering free shipping and discounts on selected items for Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Please visit shop for details. For those who live in NE LA, I will also be selling at the 'Downtown Christmas Market' on Dec. 5th from 11-5pm.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Don't forget to enter our latest Giveaway, simply click the owl graphic to the left to go directly to the link and win a Who Dat second line umbrella!
Everyone have a fabulous Thanksgiving and get ready for Black Friday!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
As her shop name implies, Liz designs, sews, and decorates second line umbrellas, and has been doing so for about two years. She got her start when looking for a creative outlet to balance her analytical day job.
Liz draws her inspiration from events and lifestyles. “All have tons of material to work with,” she explains. “When people second line, it is often at often at important occasions...weddings, funerals, parades. I get to hear their stories and contribute to these events. I am always amazed and often entertained by the lives people live.”
When asked about her favorite project so far, Liz says, “I put together 15 umbrellas for a roaring 20’s wedding. It was so much fun to work on.” Her biggest challenge is the classic art-versus-business struggle: finding the time to work on projects, and still have time to sell the items.
Her favorite advice to share with other artists/sellers is persistence. “I can take a while to get going…but it is worth it.”
Liz’s connection to Louisiana runs deeply. She moved to New Orleans to attend graduate school in 2002 and never left. She explains, “I love living here. Rebuilding after Katrina took our home really cemented the bond. I have experienced more, lived more, found my love and a purpose in Louisiana.”
Liz’s creations can be found on the following sites:
Monday, November 16, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
When asked about her favorite piece, she has a hard time choosing but prefers colored pencil drawings on black Stonehenge paper, featuring a metaphorical image. Leah’s biggest challenge is one to which we can all relate: not having enough time! And yet, it’s important for her to carve out the time necessary to tap into her creative energies. “If I don't do it, I start getting coo-coo, so it is kind of like having to eat or breathe for me,” she says.
She offers the following advice to other artists/sellers: “Focus on what you love to do, don't spend lots of time on something just to sell it (easier said than done if you are really trying to get some sales going to continue your craft). Another thing...don't feel like you need to do art in one particular category. Artsy minds are eclectic! Feel free to experiment with different media and not feel pinned in to one medium.”
Leah’s connection to Louisiana is strong: she was born and raised in Baton Rouge. “I love the natural environment,” she says, “we are so very lucky to have such a beautiful place to live.” In fact, she draws much of her inspiration from nature, as well as ancient art and “peeps like Matisse, Van Gogh, and my fave Walter Anderson.”
One skill she’d like to learn is “PATIENCE! And silk painting.”
Perfect for the holidays, be sure to check out Leah's line of ornaments.
To learn more about Leah’s art, visit the following sites:
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
She’s been creating handmade soaps for two years. When asked what appeals to her about soap making, Jackie explains, “It is math, science, art, creativity, marketing, solitary and social all at once!”
Her biggest challenge as an artisan is hand painting her soaps, using a dry brush to paint accents. An example is pictured below in the adorable shar pei soap, part of her Primo’s Pawtourage dog themed soap line.
Shar Pei Handpainted Soap
A skill she’d like to learn is cold process soap making. Jackie says, “I value integrity and kindness above all!” This credo undoubtedly accounts for much of her success in art and business.
When asked to give one piece of advice to other sellers, Jackie offers this: “Do your research, make the best product you can, strive to excel at it!”
Having relocated to Louisiana in 1992, Jackie calls the Bayou State home and her mother also lives here.
You can find Jackie’s scrumptious soaps here:
Friday, November 6, 2009
When asked how she got her creative start, Jodie replies, “My mom basically built the house I grew up in from scratch. She combined two old shacks and fixed them up with tons of salvage stuff from New Orleans. She taught me to sew and I used to make clothes for my dolls when I was little. I loved making things with paper and scotch tape too. Then I went on to school and thought I wanted to go into journalism (because I love to write too). Liked it [writing] in high school, but in college, things took a turn and all I wanted to do was to take every Art class available. I stayed in college for seven years just making stuff. I graduated in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from SLU.”
Jodie finds inspiration all over, including from her son, cartoons, nature, the sea, bugs, poems, Dr. Seuss, Tim Burton, Alice in Wonderland, Shell Silverstein, Maurice Sendak, Flickr, and “my mind's eye.” This explains the wonderfully eclectic nature of her body of work.
Her favorite pieces include her Crazy Leg Wall Vases and Screen Porch Spiders. Also popular are her monster patches. And let’s not forget her winning Craft-a-Long entry: Book Bugs.
Crazy Leg Vases
The best thing about being an artist, Jodie explains, is “doing what I love, when I want to and always having $$ in my pocket for myself, my husband and my son.”
When asked what she finds most challenging about being an artisan, Jodie says, “Juggling being a Mom, Wife, Daughter, Friend, and a full time Artist, when all I want to do is create all the time. If I had an island I could seclude myself on, I would!”
Jodie has this piece of advice to offer her fellow artists: “Promote, Promote, Promote! Tell everyone about your work, take chances and make something every day!!!”
What’s next for Jodie? One skill she’d like to learn is lampwork (glass bead making) and knitting. “I wish I could knit something more than a long scarf and learn to bind them all off properly. LOL!” she says.
Winning Craft-a-Long Entry: Book Bugs
Jodie explains her Louisiana connection: “I was not born here. I was born in Ismir Turkey, but my mom and dad are from here. My dad was a dentist in the Army, they returned to Louisiana when I was very young and I have lived here ever since.” She’s lived in Baton Rouge, Jackson, St. Francisville, Zachary, Hammond and now Abita Springs. “Louisiana is nice. I have traveled to some great places and this seems to be the place for me,” Jodie says. “You can make friends easily here. The weather could be cooler, but as long as there is AC, I am fine where I am.”Visit Jodie online at:
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Neon Orange SLS Free Soap in Cranberry Apple from Mama's Little Monkeys
Crochet Scarf and Hat from BarbsMacrameandMore
Autumn Spice Soap from HerbFriend
Farmer 2 by BlackDogStudio
Autumn Glory Handpainted Silk Scarf from Splendiferous Fiber
Canaima Earrings from Etco
Thanksgiving Aline Dress With Pumpkin from Georgannaandcompany
Nuts for Fall Handpainted FloorCloth by RueDesign
Autumn Leaves Flamework Glass Necklace by DebiDeaux
Graffiti Painted Canvas Placemats by CTStudios
Please get your votes in and pick your fave!! The winner will be announced in a few days and meanwhile our artisans are cooking up the next Craft a Long!!!