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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Team Spotlight! Interview with MsAnomaly

Team member kookyhandbags' interview with MsAnomaly:

1. When did you open your Etsy store and begin selling?
I opened my Etsy shop in May of 2007 after selling my jewelry on eBay for 5 years. I thought a site specializing in handmade items would provide a better marketplace for my style of jewelry.
2. How did you select your shop’s name?
I use vintage beads, jewelry, and other unique vintage components in my necklaces. Some of the components are pretty unusual! Anomaly is defined as: “a deviation from the common rule, type, or form.” I found that a perfect description of not only my jewelry, but also of myself, hence, MsAnomaly!
3. What do you create and sell in your Etsy shop?
Mainly, I make necklaces, though I have made a few bracelets, too. My style is known as Vintage Redux, which basically means using vintage jewelry/jewelry parts to create something brand new.
4. How did you become involved in your craft?
A friend gave me 2 boxes of vintage jewelry, mostly necklaces, that had belonged to his mother. He said,“Here, Linda, you’re crafty…do something with these!” I was enchanted with the quality, beauty, and detail in the old beads and findings, so I cut the strings (many were already broken), washed the beads, and started laying out new designs. I enjoyed making my first necklaces so much, I was hooked!
5. Explain your favorite part of the creative process.
I think the most challenging part is doing the layout. I’m usually inspired by a focal bead or pendant, and build the necklace around that. The actual construction of the necklace varies; ones strung on line usually get made faster than ones that use head or eye pins, chain, and jump rings. It’s often tricky figuring out ways to combine different vintage jewelry pieces, both structurally and aesthetically, into a cohesive design.
6. Do you sell in another Etsy store or anywhere outside of Etsy? If so, where?
I am currently selling my jewelry in a B&M handcrafted goods shop in my hometown. The shop is called “The Rusty Nail,” and is located in downtown Warren, Ohio.
7. So far, what project are you most proud of?
I honestly like all of them, so it’s hard to choose. I think my favorite piece now is my “Buttons and Bows” necklace. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=18314058
8. What advice can you give to someone who would like to learn your craft?
Don’t give up! It takes a lot of practice and patience to learn how to tie a good end knot, anchor knot, and the use of pliers and other jewelry-making tools.
9. What motivated you to join the Etsy Beagle Street Team?
Starting the team was a joint effort of another Etsy beagle owner and myself. The Beagles team became an official Etsy Street Team in Oct. ’07, and I since became the team leader. My beagle, Flash, was my inspiration. That’s him on our blog header! We currently have 80 incredibly talented members on the team, including many who own breeds other than Beagle. Our team’s Bassets, Labs, Italian Greyhounds, Spaniels, and mixed breeds make for a fun and interesting pack! We also welcome our members’ other pets, including our honorary cats!
10. Any other places we might find you (Flickr, blog, MySpace, etc.)?
I have my personal blog and Flickr page, but usually you can find me on this blog, on our team’s Etsy Beagles Flickr group, or in the Etsy Teams forum!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Team Spotlight! Interview with kookyhandbags

I'd like to start a series of interviews with our team members. We have such a diverse group of talented artisans, I thought it would be nice to give our individual team members a moment in the spotlight! My first interview is with the shop owner kookyhandbags, who has a beautiful beagle/basset named Lulu Belle!

1. When did you open your Etsy store and begin selling?
I opened my shop on Etsy in November of 2006, but didn’t actually start selling until nearly 3 months afterward, since I really didn’t start to promote my shop until January of 2007. I learned that regular listing and promoting in the forums helps you to establish your shop, get noticed, and get sales.
2. How did you select your shop’s name?
I had been using the name “kookyhandbags” http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=110179
already since I had been selling in Brick and Mortar shops and doing craft sales for awhile. I originally chose the name because my husband would refer to me as a “kooky” kind of a girl.
3. What do you create and sell in your Etsy shop?
I mostly make handbags, but I started making key chains, clutch bags and pouches shortly after starting Etsy, and have since been slowly learning some jewelry techniques and making some necklaces, bracelets, and rings for my other shop “talkofthe town.” I have also played around with making plush toys which is fun for me.
4. How did you become involved in your craft?
It started back in junior high school; we learned to sew in Home Ec. class. Well, that was it for me…I fell in love with the sewing machine and then begged my parents to buy me one for Christmas. It wasn’t until after college that I took up sewing again, and tried my hand at making my own pillows and window treatments for my apartments. I also made altered clothing for several fashion shows in the 90’s. It wasn’t until 1999 that I made myself a bag from a pattern, and was given a lot of compliments about the bag. I decided to make more bags for friends and family and charge only for the materials. A year later I started taking my bags to shops and doing consignment, and also got involved with craft shows.
5. Explain your favorite part of the creative process.
My favorite part of the design process would be the pre-production phase, the drawing of the purse, choosing materials and picking out trims and buttons. It’s the most fun part I think!
6. Do you sell in another Etsy store or anywhere outside of Etsy? If so, where?
Yes, I started my shop “talkofthetown” http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5276948
in September 2007, and have jewelry, lavender eye pillows, and sachets. I’ve also started making dog-themed pillows, and I’m also toying around with a few more new items this coming year.
7. So far, what project are you most proud of?
This is one that I am proud of, because it was a lot of work and I was very happy with how it came out. I called it “kooky patchwork.”
http://www.etsy.com/view_transaction.php?transaction_id=5222697
8. What advice can you give to someone who would like to learn your craft?
I would say that you should just start experimenting and also learn how to make a bag from a pattern, which is how I started. You can learn a lot from doing a pattern, and then you can experiment with personalizing it and making it more “your design” with appliqu├ęs or adding trims and buttons to make it more special. You can also use books and magazines to learn.
9. What motivated you to join the Etsy Beagle Street Team ?
Since getting Lulu http://www.flickr.com/photos/75065105@N00/2511828665/in/set-72157604557963224/
in September of 2007, I’ve grown quite fond of the beagle breed, and then happened to come across the team while searching the Team profile page. I decided I must be a member, and I’m happy to say it’s been great getting to know all the regulars on the team.
10. Any other places we might find you (Flickr, blog, MySpace, etc.)?
I do have a flikr account and two blogs, one for creativity called "Carried Away" http://kookyhandbags.blogspot.com/ and one I just started this month called "Talk is Cheeep." http://talkischeeep.blogspot.com/ The first one is more for featuring my designs, and showing photos of food, my life, and Lulu of course. The second blog is a journal type blog, and just writing about health and wellness and other topics that interest me.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Puppy Love! Etsy Beagles Street Team Challenge

The Beagles team has been busy with our latest challenge, "Puppy Love." The challenge ends on Feb. 9th, and there are some wonderful entries again! Great place to shop for that special Valentine! Here are the current entries:

dogsrule, Puppy Love Heart Blanket for Dogs:
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=19645422

MsAnomaly, Puppies in Love Necklace:
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=19689522

cutiepiecompany, snow day gocco print:
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=19729603

creativecomforts07, Puppy Love ear warmer for dogs:
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=19836879

fatbasset, Puppy Love Beagle Paper Ornament:
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=19868243

kookyhandbags, Scotty/Checky dog plush/pillow:
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=19997841

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy T-arrrooooothousand9!

We made it! It's the new year, and one of my resolutions is to work on the blog to make it absolutely beaglicious! Though I am not too blog-smart, I am going to try to improve this site, and also want to spiff-up our team profile page on Etsy. We have never had a banner for our team. I made one, and although it's not what I've dreamed of having, it's better than "the blank!" Now if only Etsy can put our team profile back in place! We seem to have somehow been given the profile for the Indiana Street Team! Nice team, great people, but gee, Etsy, we want our Beagles back! Hoping it gets fixed real soon. I should have expected some kind of glitch 2 days into the new year; my life would be abnormal without them! :D Lost profile aside, the Beagle team is getting ready for our next team challenge, and it should be a good one! I also plan on contacting Etsy when the team is doing the challenge, so they can publish it in the Team events! Old dogs can learn new tricks, it just takes them (meaning me) a little longer! I'd like to wish our team a very Happy New Year, and promise to keep working to make the Beagles team even better...if that's possible, I mean, how much better can it get when we have our friends and our dogs?!