Tag Archives: personal

Feature Friday: Gracie Jayne Boutique

30 Mar

“My name is Sarah and I’m a SAHM of two little girls (Emma & Sophia). I’m also going to school to get my MA in English Education. Before I had my girls, I taught alternative education high school English & French, but my dream job is to be an English Education professor. For now, though, I can’t imagine going back to work. 

My shop started out as tutus, which I began to make just as birthday gifts for my daughters and my friends’ daughters. I’ve slowly branched out from there, adding a few items any time I get the inspiration. If I don’t get good press from an item, I keep it posted, but don’t include any more. First and foremost, Gracie Jayne Boutique is a hobby and something fun to do. If it ever becomes a chore, I’ll stop selling my tutus. “

Red Tutu (12m-3T) - The "Ruby" Tutu        Pink & White Tutu w/ White Ribbons (4T-5T) - The "Ina May" Tutu

Red Tutu (12m-3T) – The “R         Pink & White Tutu w/ White

GracieJayne                                       GracieJayne
$22.00 USD                                       $27.00 USD

Pink, Teal, Orange, & Lime Green Birthday Tutu (Newborn-12m) - The "Anna" Tutu        Pink, Black & White Tutu (NB-12m) - The "Betsy" Tutu

Pink, Teal, Orange, & Lime           Pink, Black & White Tutu (N

GracieJayne                                       GracieJayne
$17.00 USD                                       $17.00 USD

 

What got you interested in crafting?

My mom is always in the middle of a project. These days she crochets (ThisNThatNorthport is her Etsy shop), but over the years, she’s knitted, quilted, sewn, scrapbooked – you name it. The first thing I remember making is a knitted Barbie blanket when I was probably 9 years old. I’ve usually always got a project started, but for a long time, I rarely finished anything. Now I’m busy with Gracie Jayne Boutique and there’s always more I want to do!

What has been your favorite project to make and why?

My favorite tutu is the Fancy Linda Tutu. The doula/child birth company I’d used when I was pregnant with both of my girls was doing a silent auction for Friends of Michigan Midwives, and I decided to donate some tutus. I made one to represent Emma’s birth (Jessica Tutu) and one to represent Sophia’s birth (Linda Tutu). We had Fia at home in the water and our midwife’s name is Linda. That’s why the colors are water colors. It’s funny, because Emma will rarely ask to wear my tutus, but as soon as she saw it, she wanted to put it on. I couldn’t take it off her! I didn’t want to donate it to the auction because I loved it so much, but I did. And then the person who won it wanted a different size and color, so it’s still in my house. It’ll be sad when the original Linda Tutu sells. 

What’s the secret behind your etsy name?

My shop name is my daughter’s middle names (Emma Jayne & Sophia Grace), but also my middle name (Sarah Jayne) and my best friend’s middle name (Tamara Grace). Tami and I have been friends for over 20 years now, and I love that we are ALL part of the shop. 

If you could open up a shop in your town what would you call it and what would it be like?

In my wildest dreams, I’d love to open up a coffee shop/bookstore/candy shop/record store/toy store/bakery. Yes, I would. I have no idea what I’d call it. I’d definitely have to refine my business plan. 😉 I’d love a place where people could just come in, relax, play, and eat. Or maybe I’ll just keep inviting friends and family over.

What is the most challenging thing you have made?

As of right now, not many of my items have challenged me. But I have plans to start making crowns and wings – once my daughters get even more independent.

What are some of your goals you hope to achieve within the next year?

I’d love to have my shop make a little money instead of being a hobby. I should probably stop doing giveaways. 😉 

What inspires you to be crafty?

My inspiration is definitely my girls. I look at items on Etsy and say, “I want that for my girls. I can make that!” I’ve also made a lot of items for family members and close friends. Most of my best friends have had daughters, and I always want to make them something new.

What is your best quality when it comes to your crafts?

People tell me I have an eye for bold and interesting designs. I just go with what looks good to me – and if I don’t like it, I start over. That’s probably the hardest thing about custom tutus for me. I made one once for my SIL and didn’t like it at all. I kept saying, “I’ll redo it if you want!” But she loved it!

If you could have one thing to help your store what would it be?

I’d love my own ORGANIZED craft room. That would help so much! <Deep sigh.>
If you haven’t already stopped by GracieJayne – click on the link!

To see more of what she’s up to check this out:

My FB page is www.facebook.com/GracieJayne and there’s a special discount code there just for fans (under the INFO tab). I also do regular promotions and giveaways as well. Right now I don’t really have time for Twitter or blogging – I have enough on my hands as it is. Actually, the other night my husband joked that if I were starving on a deserted island, it’d be a toss-up as to whether I’d choose Etsy and Facebook over food. 😉

Also, if you design a custom tutu, I’ll let you name it! I love naming tutus after my customers. 🙂

 

If you feel like shopping from GracieJayne be sure to use the coupon code: GRACIEJAYNE for 15%

 

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always,

Jennifer

Feature Friday: BabyBerries

23 Mar

Feature Friday Presents:

BabyBerries!

“My name is Bridie Berry, I live in Lincolnshire, UK. I am a stay at home mum (to a 1 year old) and wife. I started Baby Berries after my son was born as I was making him things and really enjoyed it.” 


Dribble baby bib bandana - Amy Butler, morning glory        Baby Shoes, Valentine, love hearts, Mary Janes, baby shoes, Hand Stitched, 0 to 6 months
Dribble baby bib bandana –         Baby Shoes, Valentine, love

BabyBerries                                        BabyBerries
$8.92 USD                                           $20.28 USD

Baby Kimono Pyjamas, pjs short sleeve (6-12mths)        Baby Bib - (HAND STITCHED) Elephants, cotton, terry cloth

Baby Kimono Pyjamas, pjs s       Baby Bib – (HAND STITCHE

BabyBerries                                       BabyBerries
$29.21 USD                                        $8.92 USD

What got you interested in crafting?

I come from a very arty family, My father is an artist and my mother and sisters are very creative. I remember as a child my mother used to do a lot of sewing, she used to make us all soft toys for Christmas every year. I always felt I lacked in creativity. 

I have been an accountant for the last 10 years (until my son was born) and took up sewing and knitting as a hobby to escape from the stress of the job. I also started questioning where and how clothes are made. Most clothes available on the high street are made in sweat shops and this is an industry I don’t agree with so didn’t want to buy into it. So I thought I would start making my own clothes, that was 3 years ago, I now make all my own clothes, some for my husband and some for my little baby.

What has been your favorite project to make and why?

I love making all the items I make for Baby Berries imparticularly I like making all the hand stitched items. I love doing the hand stitched bibs, they are just so relaxing to make, even though they do take 3 hours each!

What’s the secret behind your etsy name?

Baby Berries, I wanted a name that suggests what I am selling (hence the baby part). My last name is Berry so I thought Berries just made it sound that bit different.

If you could open up a shop in your town what would you call it and what would it be like?

I’ve thought about this for along time. I would call it ‘Handmade with love’ and it would be an outlet for crafters to sell their goods. Something a bit like Etsy but as a physical shop. It would sell anything and everything handmade, from clothes to jewellery and candles to jam!

What is the most challenging thing you have made?

As mentioned already I make my own clothes, two years ago I needed a ball gown for a ball my husband and I attended. I had made a promise to myself that for a whole year I would not buy any clothes and anything I needed I would make myself, (then I remembered the ball)! So I set about making a dress. I had no pattern so designed it completely myself. It was fully boned and had a huge skirt. I made it in silver taffeta. It was a major success and I felt so proud wearing it. My husband was so proud that I had made it he spent the evening telling everyone that I had made it myself!

What are some of your goals you hope to achieve within the next year?

Oooh, well, I have so many! My main goal is to teach myself to crochet. I have so many nice things I would love to make but I honestly have no idea how to crochet, it just doesn’t make sense to me.
What is your best quality when it comes to your crafts?

You know when you buy a product from Baby Berries it is handmade by me, it hasn’t been made cheaply, or quickly, or mass produced, or made in a sweat shop. It has been made by me and I have enjoyed making it. You know that time and love has gone into the item to make it so special for the little baby who eventually receives it.

If you could have one thing to help your store what would it be?

More time.

I am first and foremost a mother and a wife so unfortunately any crafting comes after everything else, this only leaves me a couple of hours on a night. I would love to spend all day creating. However I am loving being a stay at home mum and bringing my son up so at them moment I wouldn’t change anything.

Thanks for stopping by! If you haven’t already visited BabyBerries – click on the link!

Love Always,

Jennifer

Feature Friday: PoisonedAppleCrafts

9 Mar

Feature Friday Presents:

PoisonedAppleCrafts!!

“Hey, I’m Elizabeth, and I run Poisoned Apple Crafts! This is a unique jewelry store, as everything has a source of inspiration, and each piece tells a great story. We specialize in friendship bracelets, beaded bracelets, chain maille, and other types of jewelry!”

Summertime Swim star pendant blue necklace       Hawaiian Flowers Friendship Bracelet MADE TO ORDER

$22.00 USD                                $9.00 USD
Simple as the Ocean necklace on double ribbon       Sunrise/Sunset Themed Beaded Bracelet
$12.00 USD                                 $22.00 USD
Made to Order Film Strip Friendship Bracelet       The Favorite Statement lightweight oversized necklace
$8.25 USD                                  $20.00 USD

Sun and Clouds Chinese Crystal Beaded Friendship Bracelet      Morning Daydream Starburst Star Shaped Glass Necklace With Rose Clasp

$15.00 USD                               $24.00 USD

Q&A

What got you interested in crafting?

I always did friendship bracelets on car trips to San Diego, cause it was 6 hours of nothing to do. Mom and I used to bead together, but we stopped. I picked it back up in 2010, and just couldn’t stop.

What has been your favorite project to make and why?

It truly depends project wise. I love my friendship bracelets, because of how much work I have to put into them. The Jack Sparrow bracelet:

takes around 20-25 hours of complete work time to make. I love being able to just sit down and focus on this.

Beading wise, I made a bracelet called “The Red Queen”, which recently sold: 

Absolutely loved the piece, and I’m still proud of it.

What’s the secret behind your etsy name?

I’ve always had a fascination with Grimm’s story of Snow White, and it was a nickname of mine in the past. The concept of the poisoned apple just stuck, and I found it to be something beautiful. It’s definitely unique, and catches everyone’s attention.

If you could open up a shop in your town what would you call it and what would it be like?

I’d call it Poisoned Apple Jewelers. I’ve done mostly jewelry thus far and that’d be my specialty. Scarves and possibly hats are to come soon.

What is the most challenging thing you have made?

Starting any friendship bracelet pattern is very challenging for me, but the most difficult one I’ve been working on is a Nyan Cat bracelet. SO MANY COLORS! I’m also starting one of the Sailor Moon icon, because it was a huge part of my childhood.
What are some of your goals you hope to achieve within the next year?

1) To get up to 200 Facebook fans. I know when I hit 100 I’m having a giveaway, so stay tuned for that one 🙂
2) To rely more on this as my job rather than making Starbucks. As much as I love working as a Barista, I’d love my passion to be the main focus on my life.
3) I’ll be finishing my associates, so I’m hoping to save up some cash and expand into more in-person retail. I’d love to do house parties (like Cookie Lee or all those candle companies do) or find a spot in the mall to rent out. It’d be a dream come true.

What inspires you to be crafty?

Music and visual arts are some of my biggest inspirations. One of my favorite necklaces was inspired by the movie “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time”. it’s absolutely fun, just doing ordinary stuff like listening to your iPod, and you’ll think “That’s a great concept for a new piece! I have to do it!”

What is your best quality when it comes to your crafts?

Customer Service and keeping my customers informed. If you’re sick and can’t work on their piece, you have to tell them. I feel like letting them know the truth is so much better than taking so long and not keeping them updated about what’s going on.
Another thing that’s my strong point is that I take pride in making every single piece that I do. It’s not often that I find someone spending 20 hours on making a single bracelet. People have asked why I do this and tell me I’m crazy, but that’s my craft. That’s what I take pride in.

If you could have one thing to help your store what would it be?

Better advertising/word of mouth. My website, Facebook, Twitter, and business cards don’t seem to be enough to always attract people in. I’m talking with people about doing craft fairs and things of that sort, and just trying to get more exposure. It’s the one difficult thing to do as a one-person shop.

The item up for giveaway is here:

Want to win this gorgeous necklace? Here’s how!

1 point for commenting on the blog post
1 point for letting us know what their favorite item from her shop is http://www.etsy.com/shop/PoisonedAppleCrafts
1 point for liking her facebook page http://www.facebook.com/PAppleCrafts
1 point for following her on twitter http://twitter.com/PAppleCrafts
2 points for sharing about the giveaway and giving us the link to where you shared it!
5 points for buying something from her shop!
Leave a comment letting us know which points you followed through with and your email address to contact you if you win! Monday night at 9:00 PM Eastern Time we’ll post the winner of the Giveaway item!

Thanks for stopping by! If you haven’t already visited PoisonedAppleCrafts – click on the link!

Love Always,

J

If you  have a shop and would like to be featured – send me a message! Check out my contact page for my email address 😀

Tuesday Tutorial: Braided Rug!

6 Mar

Welcome to Tuesday Tutorials – where I find awesome easy tutorials for you – now go get crafty 😉

This crafty tutorial comes from: Martha Stewart

Before you start, practice the braid by making a miniature version of the mat with thinner rope. When you’re ready to make the big mat, cover a large work surface with kraft paper.

Draw a cross on the paper; it should have a 33-inch vertical line and a 12 1/4-inch horizontal line. (This is the dimension of the mat when you get to step 4.) As you weave, use the cross as a guide and tape down loops to retain the mat’s shape.
We used 1/2-inch-thick twisted nylon rope. About 165 feet makes a 33-by-20-inch mat.

Braided Doormat How-To
1. Starting at one end of rope, form a loose knot as shown; leave a 30-inch tail on right side and slack on left side. Gently pull down on loops.

2. Flip loops to left as shown. Lift the first loop and cross it over the second.

3. Using tail end, weave as shown.

4. Using slack end, weave diagonally toward bottom right. Pull rope through. Continue weaving back to top as shown, adjusting rope to resemble diagram.

5. Follow path of first round with slack end, staying parallel to previous round. Pull rope through after each pass, weaving until mat is formed.

6. Finish ends by using a needle to sew through the rope just below any frayed ends and tightly wrap thread around rope a couple of times. Sew through several more times to secure. Cut off end of rope just above thread. Singe frayed ends with a lighter to seal; sew to underside. Apply permanent craft glue to underside between ropes in spots to prevent shifting.

If you haven’t already stopped by Martha Stewart– click the link!

 

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Love Always,

J

Product Review: Chalkboard Mat aka My Lunch Time Love!

2 Mar

Today’s product review comes from a shop called ImpulsiveCrafter! From Dayton, Ohio this shop has a wide variety of things for your children! She is one of the first shops I go to when I’m comparing other things I see on etsy for Emma. With the great quality in which she makes things her prices seem like a steal! Another thing she beats most stores on is variety. She has 20 pages of items and in most stores you might see 3-4. She gives you so many choices that you are crazy if you can’t find one you don’t like! Check out what I ordered:

So if you are wondering why I call this my lunch time love here is why. When I am making little Miss Emma’s lunch or dinner she is always running around my feet, asking to get up, putting her head in between my legs, you name it! I grab this and a few pieces of chalk out of my drawer and sit her up in her high chair. She’s entertained until dinner is ready! My second favorite thing with this is it’s so EASY to clean. I don’t have to worry about Emma coloring on her clothes or the chair. It wipes up with one swipe of a paper towel. She even gets it in her hair and WIPE – it’s gone! This one item has saved me many frustrating nights 😀

Some more info about this shop: She’s been open since April 9th, 2011, this shop is THREE sales away from 1,000 sales, and 100% feedback. It’s obvious how much having options can really improve an etsy stores sales. Because she has 20 pages of options it makes buyers more willing to stay in her store to find the perfect fabric. Another plus for this shop is she has divided her shop sections in the easiest, most user friendly way possible. If you find something you love in her store just go to the top right and click that section so you can see all your options! Do you need another plus to start shopping? Here you go – even if you are that one person that can’t find the exact thing you want – she offers custom orders as well!!

Check out some of her feedback!

Feb 27, 2012 – Such a cute necklace. Thank you for getting it to me so quickly in time for Dr. Seuss’ birthday! My students are going to love it! THANKS!

Feb 25, 2012 – I’ve now seen pictures of the birthday girl in both leggings, and they’re darling! Thanks very much 🙂

Feb 16, 2012 – Abso-stinkin-lutely adorable!!! I bought these for a baby shower and they are just too cute! The parents aren’t really into “overly” girly things and neither am I so the ability to choose from the massive selection you have was fantastic. Also, holy cow on your quick shipping! Thanks so much!!

Feb 3, 2012 – The bottlecap necklaces are adorable, I can’t wait to give them to my girls for Valentine’s Day! They are so cute, and your shipping and prices are so reasonable. I will be back!

Q&A

What inspired you to start selling these on etsy?

I started selling chalkmats because I wanted to make one for my daughter Bells, and I can never make just one of anything, so then I have to start selling them to pay for all the fabric I bought!

How long have you been making chalkboard mats?

I have been making the chalkmats for about 9 months now give or take a month.

What do you think your store offers that others might not?

I’m trying to make my store a one stop shop for baby showers and kids gifts! I’m hoping to add some crochet stuff like hats and baby cocoons in this upcoming year.


And the final review says it is:

FIVE OUT OF FIVE BUTTONS!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always,

Jennifer

*If you have a handmade store & item you’d like to have reviewed – please contact me! You can find my email in the contact tab at the top right!*

Product Review: A Hug for Your Mug!

1 Mar

Today’s product review comes from a shop called bekaboodesigns! From England this shop has the most original things I’ve ever seen. When I think of coffee – I immediately think Starbucks and a their brown cup holders to keep your hands from burning. This is actually pretty amusing since I hardly drink coffee at all or go to Starbucks all that often. I am a stay at home mom who makes hot chocolate in the microwave and is lucky if she remembers to get it out of the Microwave 😉 When I was shop hopping on Etsy I found this little shop with hand corcheted items and thought – I could probably make these myself. I tried. I failed. I don’t know how she does it but I went back and bought more. I now own three of these adorable mug hugs and they ROCK! Check out what I ordered:

These easily wrap around any mug. They fit on my small ones perfectly and stretch enough for my big ones! Now if you are from the U.S. and are a stickler about not paying big on shipping I’ll have you know that she does an amazing job of keeping the price down. You are not over paying for it at all – these are definitely worth it and it’s a speedy delivery. Sometimes when it’s overseas you never know when exactly you are going to get it. Because these go through customs without an issue, their small, and lightweight they don’t take long at all. If you are from the UK you are getting a steal of a deal! I’ve had mine for months now and I’m going to wear them out until they die – then buy more!

Some more info about this shop: She’s been open since July 20, 2010, has had almost 40 sales, and 100% feedback. When you are looking at shops on etsy it’s important to know that even though a shop may not have had over 100 sales – do not pass it by for shops that have had more. The feedback is the most important tool you can use on etsy to see how the shop owner works with their customers. I’ve gotten things from shops that had merely 2 sales and I had much better customer service with them than I had with  a shop over 1,000 sales! Keep in eye out for those undiscovered shops – that is a great way to get a one of a kind item!

Check out some of her feedback!

Feb 29, 2012 – Arrived safely and quickly. Thanks – it’s great and is going to my mum for Mother’s Day. Jane xx

Dec 12, 2011 – So beautiful!!! Great customer service! Product just as described in perfect condition! ill make amazing gift!! Can’t wait til Christmas!!

Oct 19, 2011 – Tracey does amazing work, with so much attention to detail. The horses and mug cozies are so much better than I ever imagined, and Tracey was so sweet and helpful about my special requests. I highly recommend her shop! So happy!

Sep 16, 2011 – So CUTE I CAN’T STAND IT!! Love them! Super high quality and super fast shipping. Wonderful! Wonderful! Thank you!

Q&A

What inspired you to start selling these on etsy?

What inspired me, well, the idea came originally from the paper sleeves you get around take out coffee’s and the fact that my coffee kept going cold while I was out in the garden! A quick search of the internet showed me that I wasn’t quite the first person to have the idea of knitted mug hugs but that there really weren’t alot of people out there making really nice decorative ones. I trialed my designs with freinds and family and they went down a storm so I put a couple in my Etsy store. They are one of my bestsellers on Etsy and at the craft fairs I do.

How long have you been making mug hugs?

It all started about a year ago I suppose.

What do you think your store offers that others might not?

 Me! I am a country girl at heart but with a modern city girls upbringing so while I dream of an olde English country cottage my tastes are actually quite contemporary and I think this is reflected in my designs.


And the final review says it is:

FIVE OUT OF FIVE BUTTONS!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always,

Jennifer

*If you have a handmade store & item you’d like to have reviewed – please contact me! You can find my email in the contact tab at the top right!*

Funky Chunkies!

29 Feb

Today’s product review comes from a shop called FunkyChunkies! From Phoenix Arizona this shop has created a new fashionable way to upcycle bangles! I bought a set from her for a friend for Christmas and I have already decided what I want to buy next for me! These bangles are durable and sure to fit your style since she can make a custom design just for you! Check out what I ordered:

Her description was spot on! These things are durable – so much so that you can tell she took the time to make them last. Even though they are upcycled with paper products it feels like plastic and since I’m a klutz I wasn’t worried about dropping them and messing them up!

Q&A

What inspired you to start selling these on etsy?

My bangles started out as something I made for myself but after being asked a number of times where I purchased my bracelet I decided to open a shop that I could send people to. So being that I’m an events coordinator that specializes in weddings, Etsy has been a go to place for a number of years now. So when I was thinking of a place to sell my Chunkies Etsy seemed the best match.

How long have you been making bangles?

About 4 years now. I saw the instructions in a magazine and just had to have one. I fell in love with them, and every piece of paper I found I had to have that design in a bracelet, and so did my friends.

What do you think your store offers that others might not?

If I had to choose I guess it would be that I’m able to make these in any size and the fact that they can be customized and/or personalized.

She’s been open since January 3, 2010 and has had over 300 sales and has 100% feedback rate!

Here’s a few of her reviews:

Feb 17, 2012 – Love my purple chunkie!! These bracelets are real conversation pieces and so fun to wear!!

Feb 14, 2012 – I can’t wait to give these to my daughter! They are so stinking cute! Wonderful shop I am for sure going to be a repeat customer again and again!

Feb 9, 2012 – I absolutely love my custom Funky! I swear its the cutest thing I have gotten in a long time. Most certainly beats even my highest expectations. Seller is very easy to work with, and is dedicated to what she does and making sure what you order is the best it can be. Thank you again!

Jan 27, 2012 – This was a fantastic buying experience for me. Fantastic fantastic seller, wonderful product. Exceeded my expectations! It even came beautifully wrapped! This is a gift for my granddaughter’s best friend–any girl who’s a Justin Beiber fan needs these bracelets! You won’t be disappointed!! Thanks so much Leanna! I’ll definitely be back. I’ll send more pics when Dima opens it! 🙂

Jan 11, 2012 – Such a beautiful creation. packaged so delicately ! Amazing seller, great communication. Lovely items! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

And the final review says it is:

FIVE OUT OF FIVE BUTTONS!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always,

Jennifer

*If you have a handmade store & item you’d like to have reviewed – please contact me! You can find my email in the contact tab at the top right!*