Thursday, January 27, 2011

Interview with a Seller: ErinKeys

Today I interviewed ErinKeys of Femme Petal. Her famous Carrie Necklace caught my attention - I knew I had to interview her!

1. What’s your name and shop name and what do you do?
My shop name is FemmePetal, and I am a jewelry designer/mommy/fuller timer at Dr. Randall Miller D.D.S

2. Where are you located?

Good ol Indianapolis, In ~ I promise there is more than corn here!

3. What’s the favorite part of your craft?

The pictures I get from weddings where everyone including the Bride is wearing my designs!!!

4. How long have you been crafting?

I have always been prety crafty, but 2 years is how long I have been selling my wares on etsy

5. What’s your favorite thing to make?

My Carrie Necklaces of course!

6. What kind of camera do you use to shoot?

Nikon D30 with a special close up lens

7. Who or what models your items?

I have a small bust and a large bust that wears my jewels to model for the pics

8. What's the most rewarding part of running your own business?

The fact that I can do it on my time after my kids are in bed!

9. What's the most challenging part of running your own business?

Finding the time to get all of my orders out, being a single mom and working 2 jobs along with a jewelry business is tricky!

10. On average, how many things do you create per week?

that would all depend on how my kids were behaving that week! Haha On average though probably 15 pieces

11. What inspires you?

FASHION! I am sooooo into fashion! I have about every fashion mag in my home and I love looking through them and getting ideas...and sex and the city! Miss Carrie Bradshaw inspires me!

12. Take me thru your creative process.

It is very random.....at times I sit down knowing exactly what i am going to create and others I just sit down and sift through my messy crafting table and find things that I forgot I had and new ideas just pop in my head.

13. What is your best advice to blossoming crafters

Dont give up! Keep at it, even when times are hard.....I am going through a divorce and things were VERY tough for me a few months back and I just had no motivation to make the things people were ordering and somehow I got myself through it and I am doing everything I can to keep my customers happy! Promotion is a HUGE part of selling......twitter, blogging, facebook, flickr....those are all GREAT ways to promote your goods. And joining teams on etsy. You just have to get yourself out there on the world WIDE web!

Thanks Erin, those are all great tips and pointers and I was glad to get to know you a little bit!
Don't forget to check out Erin's shop here.

Follow this blog, follow me on facebook and twitter!
Cheers!
Xo Rachael

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

In My Studio

Hello Again!

I've been plugging away and have been very busy in my studio lately. Here are a couple cards I made over the last couple days.


I love how the tape card turned out. It's so 80's and simple and cute! And the crab card I'm still working on, but it's a good start.

Also there are new options in my shop on etsy. Jump over to the shop here and have a look!

Don't forget to follow this blog, and follow me on facebook and twitter for exciting news and the latest steals and deals.

Cheers!
Xo Rachael

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Stuff I Love: Sugar Skulls!

Hello Out There!


Today’s posting is re: one of my new favorite things: Sugar Skulls! Sugar skulls are traditional folk art from Central and Southern Mexico used to celebrate The Day of the Dead. An iconic staple of the Mexican Day of the Dead ( Día de los Muertos) the word calavera, Spanish for "skull", can refer to a number of cultural phenomena associated with the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead.

Sugar skulls are also associated with the Rockabilly scene.

I hope you enjoy my collection.

Don't forget to follow this blog!
Cheers,
Xo, Rachael

Sunday, January 23, 2011

New In My Shop!

Okay, so I fibbed. :-P

This item isn't for my *shop* per say, but it's for my love, instead. :) Yeah, I'm okay with that! Ha ha.

Anyways, today's blog entry is taking a different form! Here's what I've been working on! Enjoy!



And here's some finished photos of this adorable Valentine. I finished it off with some small embelishments, glitter (of course) and feminine pink ribbon. What do you think?



Don't forget to follow this blog! Follow me on facebook and twitter for extra goodies, giveaways and coupons only available to fans! :-)

Till tomorrow,
Cheers!
Xo Rachael

Friday, January 21, 2011

News and Tips

Hello and Good Morning All!




All Friday postings are going to be news, tips and tricks from now on.



First up, news! I am now a part of Paper Craft Planet! This is a large community that I have only heard of before now. I am flabbergasted at the amount of information on this site! Find me here: http://www.papercraftplanet.com/profile/RachaelBrackett



I’m also new to Splitcoast Stampers as well.



Last night I finally had the opportunity to sit down and do a little stamping for myself. I stamped some great images from Kraftin’ Kimmie and colored them in with my copics. This is probably my favorite technique! Here’s a picture of how they turned out.



I should have the time this evening and weekend to finish up some cards for these cute little images.

That’s all the news I have for today my lovelies.

Don't forget to follow this blog, follow me on flickr, twitter, and facebook for specials and discounts only available to my friends! :-)
 
Cheers!
Xo Rachael

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Interview w/ Renee Lillie of Tub-Time Treasures

Welcome Back!
I took a week off to host a house guest, but now I'm back and trying to get back in the crafting swing! :) Below is my weekly crafter's interview, This time with Renee Lillie of Tub-Time Treasures! CHECK IT OUT!

1. What’s your name and shop name and what do you do? My name is Renee Lillie and I own Tub-Time Treasures. I make soap and sweet treats for the bath and body. (Lotions, scrubs, bath bombs, etc...)

2. Where are you located? I am located in Myrtle Creek, Oregon. (United States)


3. What’s the favorite part of your craft? I love being able to work with all of the different oils and combine them to make something nourishing and fun for the skin.

4. How long have you been crafting? I've been crafting for years, and just started making soaps and bath goodies last year.

5. What’s your favorite thing to make? I love to make soap. REAL soap. (The stuff you buy in the stores is really detergent, that's why the labels say "bath bar", "body bar", "moisturizing bar", etc....) I love it all really. I feel like a mad scientist. Everything needs to be weighed and measured, and you have to make sure that your math is correct to end up with a decent product. (Too much or too little of something can ruin the whole thing)

6. What kind of camera do you use to shoot? I use a Toshiba PDR-4300 digital still camera. (My Dad got it for me for my Birthday a few years back)

7. Who or what models your items? Basically, it's just my items. Sometimes I put them on the over-john in my bathroom.... but mostly, they are sitting on my washer and dryer during their "photo shoot."



8. What's the most rewarding part of running your own business? I love that I have the freedom to make what I want, to try new things, and to try to make what customers are asking for. If I've never tried it, or don't know how to make it, and someone asks for it... I'll work on it until I come up with something that I like, and that the customer is happy with.



9. What's the most challenging part of running your own business? The most challenging part for me is to find the time to create/package/market/promote. I work a full-time day job and have 2 small children... so I don't get as much time for soaping as I'd like.



10. On average, how many things do you create per week? See above... it really depends on how hectic the week has been. I like to make a couple batches of CP soap, some cupcake bath bombs, and a batch or two of lotion per week.



11. What inspires you? Anything and everything! Fragrances can inspire ideas... and then ideas inspire new fragrance combinations. A pattern on a towel can give me ideas.



12. Take me thru your creative process. Well... say, for soap... I start with the fragrance usually. What does the fragrance bring to mind? What colors? Do I want to make a solid color? A Swirl? A Layered Bar? How do I want it to look? Then I sit down and figure out the color scheme, decide on how I want it all to end up. Then I work on my oils. Do I want to use my standard "recipe"? What oils do I have on-hand? Or do I want to try something a little different to enhance the different qualities of the oils? Do I want to make it an exfoliating bar? (By adding seeds, oatmeal, salt or some other scrubby thing) Once I've got it all the way I want it... I tweak my "recipe" and run it through a lye calculator, then superfat the batch and pour it into a mold.



13. What is your best advice to blossoming crafters? "Never let the seeds keep you from enjoying the watermelon." You'll make mistakes.... some of them will create the most AMAZING projects! Don't be worried about what will happen if you fail, or if no one "gets" what you do, right away. You WILL find your niche... just keep at it! I also strongly recommend seeking out other crafters in the community (and online community) to bounce ideas off of, and share inspiration. Having that support group is a wonderful thing! Get your stuff out there locally too, if you can. Saturday Markets, craft fairs, whatever venue works for you.

Find Renee's shop, Tub-Time Treasures, here.
Don't forget! Subscribe to this blog! Also, free discounts and give aways when you subscribe here!

Cheers!
Rachael

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Interview w/Ashley of Kissvamps

Hi All,
 
It's Thursday and that means another interview! Here's my recent interview with Ashley Thomas of Kissvamps on Etsy.
 
1. What’s your name and shop name and what do you do?
My name is Ashley Thomas and my shop name is Out on a Whim by Kissvamps

2. Where are you located?
I am located in West Valley, Utah

3. What’s the favorite part of your craft?

My favorite part of my craft is shopping for new supplies! Sometimes, I get over-zealous and buy supplies that I don't know what to do with, but I eventually find something.

4. How long have you been crafting?

I have been crafting for a long time, but I've only been making jewelry for less than a year. I used to paint a LOT, but don't have the time or space to do it anymore. I had a kid, was going to school full time and had a job and a household to maintain. Painting was put on the back burner.

5. What’s your favorite thing to make?

My favorite thing to make is... hmmm... Well, probably charm bracelets. I am going to make a zombie one for my sister. I have a Twilight one and a nautical/rockabilly one in my shop at the moment. My favorite one was one my mom bought that was made with faux pearls and white sparkly beads and some crystals. It was adorable.

6. What kind of camera do you use to shoot?

I either use a Canon Powershot or a Nikon brick camera. It just depends on what I can find and if I go to my sister's to use her Nikon. I'm hoping I can get my own super camera one of these days.

7. Who or what models your items?

My sister used to model a lot of my items, but now she has a large chest piece tattoo, so it makes modeling certain things like necklaces more difficult. And her ears are stretched so she doesn't model earrings. When I can't get her to model, I try to use combinations of textures and props that compliment my items and make the picture more interesting. I usually kidnap one of her mannequins for hair accessories and dress them up.

8. What's the most rewarding part of running your own business?

The most rewarding part of running my own business is that I can make as much or as little as I want, and do as much or as little promoting as I want, when I want, how I want.

9. What's the most challenging part of running your own business?

The most challenging part is networking. I'm not really a shy person, but when it comes to opportunities in person to promote my shop, I shut down. So, I try to leave business cards with tips, or swap with other people. I also try to wear some of the things I've made in hopes that someone will ask about it and I can slip them my card.

10. On average, how many things do you create per week?

On average, well... that's dismal. Less than one! Some weeks are really busy for me outside of my Etsy business, so I'm not very productive at all. Other weeks, like the week of Christmas, I get a lot done. I made four items and listed three. I totally forgot about the fourth until a week later!

11. What inspires you?

There are so many things that inspire me. I love the rockabilly style, and I'm intrigued with steampunk. My sister is a huge inspiration. If it weren't for her, I wouldn't even have tried selling on Etsy. I also am inspired by vintage things and by pop culture.

12. Take me thru your creative process.

My creative process? Well, I usually start thinking about what to make while I'm showering or using the restroom, since those are about the only times I have to myself, and sometimes, even that's a stretch. Once in a while, I will wake up in the middle of the night with an idea. Then, with a visual in mind, I search Etsy or Michaels for supplies and try to find the time to create. Sometimes, that's the hardest part because my daughter loves to steal my jewelry pliers. Once in a while, when I am shopping for supplies, I find other supplies that inspire another concept, so I walk about with supplies for 2+ items. I'm kind of ADD with that stuff.

13. What is your best advice to blossoming crafters?

My advice to blossoming crafters is that no newly planted seed blossoms over night. It takes a lot of work and love and nourishment to become a flower. I bust my ass for my shop, and I'm still a bud in the dirt. Sometimes you just have to step outside of yourself and realize that success takes work. If it didn't, what would be the purpose of calling it success?

Thanks for the interview Ashley!
Find Ashley's shop, Kissvamps here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

In My Studio

Welcome!

So, my craft table is an absolute disaster zone right now. There's stuff EVERYWHERE. (It's strange - I can't really work if it's *too* clean, and I can't work if it's *too* messy.) I wonder if anyone else ever feels like this?!?

That's probably a contributing factor as to why I've been feeling artistically blocked lately as well. I need to fold up my table and put it away for a while and rest and get my creative juices flowing again. I have company coming into town this weekend so chances are I'm going to have the chance to craft until next week anyways. So this is the perfect opportunity to rest!

I recently took my sewing machine to be fixed. I had used too heavy of a weight of thread and the bobbin had jammed, so I went a few weeks without having any stitching detailing on my cards. :( But! I made a new card using my newly fixed machine! Notice the stitching.


 Last night I paper-pieced this bombshell with one of her digital outfits. It's first time I've used digital stamps in an actual project! Woot! I think she turned out great! I'm still thinking on what to do with this piece and what this card wants to become. (The clothes pins at the top are just to hold the paper.)


Follow me on twitter, flickr, facebook for updates, coupons and special deals only available at these spots.
Cheers!
Xo Rachael

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Stuff I Love: Leather!

Welcome Back!

For today's post I put a treasury together of all things (okay, well maybe not *ALL*) I love from leather sellers on Etsy. Check it out! Let me know what you think!


Cheers!
Xo Rachael

Monday, January 10, 2011

New In My Shop

Helloooo Out There in Bloggerland!

Thanks for swinging by! I hope your weekend was fantastic and you got some great arts and crafts done and some good family time in.

Over the weekend I didn't get much crafting done, but I *did* stock up on supplies! My Paper Zone *finally* started stocking copic markers, so I picked up these beauties.


I also picked up some raffia (which I haven't used before on cards, but I'm totally stoked to try!) some flowers (which I haven't found anywhere else but my trusty PZ) some rosettes, which looked fun, and a couple of stamps.

 Also, the copics I ordered online came in the mail, which I was totally stoked about because it seems like I was waiting forever.


With those I was able to do some trial and error stamping too!


 

Other than that, I have some new designs that are waiting to be photographed. I expect that those items will debut this week, so keep checking in for updates!

Foillow me on twitter, flickr and facebook for a continual 10% off, special coupon codes and debuts of items. Don't forget to follow this blog!

Have a happy wonderful day! :D
Cheers!

Xo Rachael

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Interview With a Seller

Hello Everyone!
I had the opportunity to interview Christa of Anista Designs, which is one of my (new) favorite sellers on Etsy. So, here we go!

1. What's your name and shop name and what do you do?
My shop name is anista designs - design papercrafted cards, invitations and stationery

2. Where are you located? 
Located in Toronto, Ontario

3. What's the favorite part of your craft?
The favourite part is working with visions of clients and making them a reality.  I love creating new things and fulfilling the desires for people to have unique items on their special day.  It's very flattering to have people admire the work you put so much time into.  I love my job!!!

4. How long have you been crafting?
I have been creating since the age of 4 likely.  Achieved my Bachelor of Fine Arts, became an Art teacher and now entering the newest chapter of my creative life - anista designs.  Decided to open at the beginning of November 2010 and have been busy ever since.  

5. What's your favorite thing to make?
New things - I like coming up with new designs and seeing if others like them as well.  I like to make wedding invitations, altering pocketbooks with stamps and I like creating the dandelion wish notecards in my shop.

6. What kind of camera do you use to shoot?
I use a Canon SLR Rebel xt

7. Who or what models your items?
my items speak for themselves I guess! :D

8. What's the most rewarding part of running your own business?
I can work around my busy schedule, can stay up extremely late and work in my pajamas if I want to.  :D

9. What's the most challenging part of running your own business?
Being at the mercy of the postal service - even if you complete all of your items timely, the postal service can be quite unpredictable.  
not getting enough sleep - all of the creative ideas constantly going through my head! Working when you are sick is a tough one too.
  
10. On average, how many things do you create per week?
it is really hard to quantify at this point - I make many sets of items at miscellaneous times - custom orders could have 10 items, each having 5-20 items in each set.  

11. What inspires you? 
My inspiration comes from images, visions of clients, people I care about, life really.  

12. Take me thru your creative process.
I usually see some sort of inspiration and I play around with colour combinations/layouts in my head.  I often see things and wonder if I could make it better or if I can add a unique twist to it.  Other times I may make a mistake but leads me down a really cool path of creativity - often making something unique and better!

13. What is your best advice to blossoming crafters?
Be passionate and true to yourself.  Come up with things that you are passionate about and that speak about you as an artist.  Show your work well and don't get discouraged.  Try new things and experiment often.  Time manage and organize your space in a practical, functional way.  Most importantly, have fun - try not to let the business aspects ruin your passion for your craft.



Find Anista Designs here.
Don't forget to follow this blog! Find me on facebook for 10% off here!


Cheers,
Xo

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New in my Studio

Hi Everyone.

I've been working on some things in the studio lately, but I haven't had a chance to take any photographs of them yet, so I'll just show you a photograph of one of the items that I *did* get to photograph.

It's another Valentines Day card, simple and sweet, featuring ribbon and die cut hearts. It will soon be available in my shop, so keep your eyeballs peeled!



Cheers!
Xo

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Stuff I Love

Welcome Back!
Today's post comes straight from Etsy. I have found some great pieces and brought them to you for your viewing pleasure! Enjoy!


Don't forget to follow me on facebook for 10% off your purchases. Rachael's Handmade Designs' FB
Cheers!
Xo

Monday, January 3, 2011

Valentines Fold-Up

Hi There,
Well, I'm back again. I just listed this awesome new valentines card in my shop! I wanted to share it with all of you. What do you think?




This little girl has glitter on her shoes and liquid applique on her lips to give a glossy wet look! (And a diamond in her hair for a touch of sparkle!)


This awesome card is attached to the handmade envelope. It's available now in my shop. Hurry, there's only one! Don't forget to follow me on FB here for coupon codes and sales events special ONLY to facebook fans!

Cheers!
Xo

Let's Start the New Year Off Right!

Happy New Year!

It's the first Monday of the new year and my sale is still going on. Check the shop and find something you love at a great price.

Till tomorrow,
Xo

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