Friday, October 31, 2008


Today I am featuring Erika Kern from Bakersfield, CA of my imaginary boyfriend. She makes bags, pillows, logs and such. Most items feature felt, embroidery, and hand applique. All items are inspired by my love of vintage goods and traditional techniques . I stumbled across her work while on somebody's blog (forgive me- I forgot who it was) and her log pillows were shown in an Etsy mini of the bloggers favorite items on Etsy- I saw these log pillows and I was in LOVE!

What is your "real" life like?
I started the business when I lived in Brooklyn and worked during the day in the city. About a
year ago, I moved back to my home town of Bakersfield, CA so that I could work on "the boyfriend" full time. Since I've been here I've just been sewing like mad!
Other than the boyfriend. . . I live in an awfully cute little house with a very understanding roommate and 2 sweet dogs we're fostering for a local no kill animal shelter.
On the rare occasion I'm not working on items for the boyfriend I like to cook, watch tv and movies and listen to all sorts of music (though I do a lot of them while working), ride my bike, haunt the thrifts, collect all sorts of odd do-dads and knick-knacks, and decorate my home.

What is your process?
I usually start with the thought "Wouldn't it be funny if ___?" which is usually followed by "was made of felt." Or I get an idea for a bag or I see a fabric that wants me to make something out of it. I usually start with sketchs for bags and embroidery pattern but for something like the logs or the rocks I just sort of organically start painting or stitching. I use a ton of felt and boxes and boxes of DMC embroidery floss but I also love to work with vintage fabrics that I find at thrifts, from old clothes, at flea markets, or on eBay. As for special techniques. . . I use a lot of blanket stitching to construct my more soft sculpture items (like the logs or rocks) and I also screenprint my own material for the logs. I used to hand paint them but my friend, Hannah, of "Made with Love by Hannah, showed me the light and taught me to print.

What are your goals and vision for your business?
I'd like to become more focused on my work. I get a bit scatter brained at times. I'd also like to update the shop more often and more regularly, maybe pick a day every week to do updates. . . like every Friday is date night with the Boyfriend! Make it an event. I also need to figure out a way to deal with demand. Especially with the logs. . . people LOVE the logs and it's hard to keep up. I get a lot of wholesale requests that I have to sadly turn down because I just can't fill them printing and sewing all of them by myself by hand. My mom has recently started to help me which has been a huge relief but it's just a drop in the "I need help!" bucket.

As for long term. . . I honestly don't know. I know it's bad but I'm the least business saavy person you'll ever meet. I dream of meeting someone who knows all about business and who will help me make this into something I can truely do as a living. Right now, though this is my only "job" I rely a lot on help from my family and roommate and the random odd job here and there.

How and where do you market your business?
Again, I'm bad here. I've been lucky enough to get a lot of blog attention without even looking for it and with each blog post I get sales. I also do a lot of indie craft fair all around the country. Every show helps me get more press and fans. I know. . . I'm really lucky!

What inspires you?

Nature, trees and wildlife, especially when I lived in the city. One summer, I went with friends to Hunter, NY and the picks from that still inspire me. I also have friends in Woodstock, NY and I always get ideas when I visit there. I'm mad about bright colors, especially greens and yellows. I love going to close-out fabric stores to find kooky fabrics and to run my hands through the big bins of buttons and zippers. I love Christmas and old Christmas decorations from the 50's and 60's. Actually, I love all sorts of things about the mid-century aestetic and collect vintage fabric, magazines, clothes, home decor items, and books from the period.

Who is your favorite musical artist? (click on the artist name to see a video)Only one!?!? Okay. . . easy. . .Elvis Costello! I'll link to "Alison" since my only tattoo says "my aim is true."

What are two of your favorite things from your shop?
Robot Christmas Ornament: pictured above
The Happy Day Tote:pictured above
If this doesn't sell this year, I'm sooooo taking it for myself!

I am a fan of:
Tell us 5 of your most visited websites, on-line stores or Etsy stores (include links): - For my TV based snarking needs. - For all sorts of lady related awesomeness. - So many wonderful things live on this blog! - The folks who currate this site find the most wonderful craft projects from all over the web. - For all sorts of collecting finds, especially when I don't have the time to poke around in the thrift stores around town.

Find me:
Website and clearing house for all things MIBF related:
My blog:
My shop:
I also blog about crafting and post projects on over at

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Today I am featuring the wonderful Leeana Provan of Daytona Beach, Fl from LoveLeeSoaps. She sells colorful, fantastic smelling soaps, body butters, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, and lip balms in all different shapes and sizes. She has incredible soaps that look like donuts, ding dongs, cupcakes- they are remarkable similar to the real thing- but don't eat them!
What is your “real” life like?
There is real life out there besides soap!? When I do find free time I try to always be near the water whether it is spending the day at the beach, jet skiing, or fishing. Most of it is spent with my wonderful boyfriend and chihuahua named Tank. I am also attending college majoring in graphic design.

What is your process?
My soaps are all made using the melt and pour method. I use high quality soap bases that do not contain any harsh detergents, SLES, or SLS. My products are made with all different techniques from swirling to layering that tend to change with my mood.

What are your goals and vision for your business?
My short term goal for my business would have to be making new products and styles and improving all that I can to help it grow more and more everyday. My long time goal would have to be fulfilling my dream of opening a successful bath and body boutique.

How and where do you market your business?
I do some in promoting in the forums on Etsy and pass out business cards when ever I can. I also just signed up for advertising on majaba and I am really excited to see how it turns out.

Do you subscribe to any business related blogs, zines or magazines?

What inspires you?

I am inspired by so many things around me. Its so amazing how anything you can imagine can be made into soap or something soap related. I am especially inspired by bright colors, fun shapes and interesting designs. I recently came across a necklace on Etsy that I was so inspired by, that I immediately made a soap after it. Pictured Above.

Who is your favorite musical artist? (click on the artist name to see a video)
Just like the styles of my soaps, I change the music I listen to with my mood. Most of the time I listen to Jack Johnson.

What are two of your favorite things from your shop?
This is so hard to choose!
Here are my favorites.....for now :)
Popcorn Soap
Sock Monkey Soapsicle
pictured above

Find me...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I have had my eye on the creations of Lindsey Bucklew of Klewism from Washington DC for awhile. I am in awe of her work! She sells extremely intricate, one-of-a-kind pieces of wearable art. I was checking my inbox for her response to my questions because I couldn't wait to see what she said about her process and inspiration...and it doesn't disappoint.

What is your "real" life like?
I have a 'pet' bat (rather, a bat that has chosen my window screen as it's daytime sleeping spot) who, though not cuddly, is cute... in an ugly sort of way. Sometimes, however, I get to play with a very cuddly and fluffy Siberian Husky, named "Loki". I'm quite an animal enthusiast.

I also love to swim in the ocean, paint pictures, try new artistic mediums, read books, travel, and collect curiosities. I'm intrigued by people, objects,

and subjects that are fantastic or eccentric.

What is your process?
I use just about anything in my jewelry: wire, buttons, beads, rhinestones, screws, nuts, bolts, bones, shells, vintage jewelry fragments, buckles, drawer handles, photos, paintings, fresh water pearls, needles, and semi-precious stones. I grab a pair of pliers and wire cutters, then the jewelry just "happens." I just start working and the piece evolves organically as I go. It's a stream-of-consciousness process that I really only try to analyze in retrospect.

What are your goals and vision for your business?
Put simply, I want to keep exploring and creating jewelry for my own pleasure.
I'll be making jewelry whether I have a business or not. I want Klewism to thrive, in part, so I
can afford to continue this creative obsession.

What inspires you?
I'm inspired by details and 'imperfections'. Cracks in plaster, the infinite network of wrinkles and ridges on human skin, old books with splitting spines... the juxtaposition of contrasting textures is endlessly fascinating to me.

I love nearly every color, so colors usually 'jump' out at me in pairs or groups depending on my mood. If I could have my ideal work space, it would always smell like cinnamon, evergreen, or like "Christmas"... those smells probably trigger childhood fantasies of walking into a room of whimsical toys.

I mainly listen to audio books while I create, so whatever narrative or lecture
I'm listening to influences the final product in some indirect way.

Who is your favorite musical artist ?
Wow, that's hard for me to say... I'm a classic rock nerd, really. I love The Who, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles.... I also love classical music in a naive way- I know absolutely nothing about it- it's way beyond my musical comprehension, and yet it's transcendently beautiful.
For stimulating the more primal parts of my brain, listening to a performance of The Who at the Isle of Wight never fails to do the trick.
You-Tube link

What are two of your favorite things from your shop?
Usually my favorite thing is the most recent creation, but the most epic projects, which tend to be necklaces, are never far from the top of the list. One of which, The "Helen of Troy" Necklace was my first truly grand project.
pictured above
Another favorite, also a 'statement' necklace is the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil"- the mixture of vibrant jewels tones makes this piece look like a thick cluster of multi-colored berries on a tree with golden leaves.
First picture

I am a fan of.....
My favorite online jewelry store is MocaShop. Every item in the shop is unique, and really edgy:
World Artisan Gems:
The Wire Artisans Guild Blog:
An absolutely brilliant Milliner, Katie Burley:
The Wire Artisans Guild Team Store:

Find Me....
My Website:
Etsy Store:

Flickr Photostream:

A Blond and A Torch

I am pleased to introduce Jen Nixon from Nome, Texas of A Blond And A Torch. She makes and sells mostly sterling silver jewelry--rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and now cuff links. She likes to keep things simple, but elegant. She says, "Sometimes less really is more."

What is your “real” life like?
My real life is crazy right now! On top of being a domestic goddess, I am trying to recover from hurricane Ike, raise my 12 year old son, and still find time to hang out with my husband. On top of that, I have two dogs outside, Layla and Lucy, and two inside cats, Ginger and Max.

What is your process?
I typically work with sterling silver, sometimes gold-fill and brass. I prefer using simple soldering techniques and, of course, I love to beat things into submission with my hammer.

What are your goals and vision for your business?
Well, when this started it was just a hobby to lower stress. Now I am selling online and in a few stores scattered around the U.S. I would like to see my online business grow in the short term, and my wholesale accounts grow in the future. However, I am terrified of success......LOL

How and where do you market your business?
Mainly I try to get myself out there online. I am on Trunkt:
And I have my blog:

What inspires you?
Nature inspires me--I love flowers and I have been working on a series of flower-like rings. I also love the shapes that I find all around me.

Who is your favorite musical artist?
Oh, such a tough question! I really don't have one. I get sick of songs so easily so what I like is always changing. I have to say that when I am the car I will catch myself speeding if Saving Abel comes on!

What are two of your favorite things from your shop?
This always changes too! Right now I love these Striation Rings:

Pictured below
They just catch so much attention when I wear them!

And of course my bangles:
Pictured above
Which I wear many of!

I am a fan of...
Sandra Eileen-Jewelry For Your Good Life:
Funky Quail:
Une Petite Etoile:

Find me...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Wednesday Wandered

Today I have Carla Rey Lankford from Nashville, Tennessee of Wednesday Wandered. She sells prints of her original artwork and is planning to add other items soon, like note cards featuring her images. Her work is a very ethereal feel and a glow that draws you in. Carla is new to Etsy and I am sure she will be a huge success!

Describe what you sell
So far, I sell prints of my original artwork. I am planning to add other items soon, like note cards featuring my images, and perhaps some of the experimental stages that happen before an image reaches it's "finished" state. My images continue to evolve, if you bought one that was printed last week, and compared it to one that was printed last year, the two wouldn't be identical. I'd have added something, subtracted something, changed it in some way. It might not even be evident unless I pointed it out. Sometimes I use an existing piece and it becomes the base for a whole new image.

What is your "real" life like?
I'd have to say my "real" life is awfully darn nice. I am married and have an eight year old son. We live in a neighborhood where you can't see most of the houses from the street, and deer and foxes and owls roam around taking little notice of us.

My work is pretty much producing my style of photographic illustration for the publishing and marketing fields, and a few interior designers. I've been very lucky to develop relationships with clients who want me to use my particular style for their products. I get to spend all day, every day doing this.

I love to travel, which you can see from my work. It was the traveling and taking photos that led directly to what I do now. I was an art director for an ad agency, and as clients would see my own images on the walls of my office, they began to ask me to do that sort of thing for them. Finally there were enough requests that I left the agency and struck out on my own.

What is your process?

My photographs, to begin with, and watercolors that I paint. I keep trying different ways of combining the two to create something that is more interesting than either would be on it's own. I guess a plane ticket and my camera are my two most reliable tools.

When I was studying photography in school, I loved the test sheets from the darkroom. I was always picking them up off the floor and saving them. I was fascinated by the accidental beauty that sometimes happened there. The same with printer's test sheets. I used to come back from press checks with the sheets they ran through to clean the presses and the mistakes. Sometimes the colors would get printed in the wrong order, and it changed everything, the way the unrelated layers built up to make something so different from what was intended. I began experimenting to find a way to create those accidents. I'm still finding new ways.

What are your goals and vision for your business?

I just want to have a way to reach people who value individuality, who see something in my images that speaks to them. With etsy I don't have to convince a marketing director that my work appeals to a certain type of person who has X amount of disposable income, or that they could move 500,000 units for the holidays. I like the idea of making a comfortable little living without having to compromise.

How and where do you market your business?
I only joined etsy a couple of months ago, so I am still sorting out those details. I think we are only beginning to recognize the power of this personal form of marketing, through blogs and allowing customers to get to know the person behind the product. Never before have artists been able to get their work in front of so many eyes without going through some kind of middle man, an agent, a gallery owner or a publisher. It's wide open.

Do you subscribe to any business related blogs, zines or magazines?
I read etsy's articles in the Storque, but not a lot of others.The best information comes from other artists going about things the same way.

What inspires you?
History and travel are my biggest inspirations. I am mad for old books, photographs. When I was a kid, I covered the walls of my room with National Geographic maps. Besides buildings and statues, I photograph any interesting texture I see, tree bark, stones, leaves, cracks in the sidewalk, shadows. Before I started shooting with a digital camera, I used to get really funny looks from the guys at the photo lab when I would go to pick up my 200 prints of tree bark and rocks and concrete. I use it all. I am inspired by anyplace with a long history of civilization. I love the crumbly and the crooked and the weathered, and the smell of damp autumn days, and scent of black walnut hulls on my hands.

Who is your favorite musical artist? (click on the artist name to see a video)
My hands down personal favorite is Me'shell N'degeocello
Depending on what I need to produce, these artists I can always count on for inspiration,
Cesaria Evora
If I need to produce something dark and gloomy, there's an endless supply of goth anthems.

What are two of your favorite things from your shop?
Wow, it's hard to choose a favorite. The things that are in the shop have never been used for a commercial project, they are all images I created purely for their own sake. They all have really fond memories attached to them. I suppose The Guardian (below), because he reminds me of the books I read as a child, and Cesare. (above) Catching the bird in flight in that image was purely accidental. And it was on film, so I had no idea whether or not I had caught it until I got home and processed the film. One of those happy surprises.

I am a fan of....
I have a list of bookmarks you wouldn't believe, all organized into folders with names like Inspiration, Social Responsibility, People I Know, People I Wish I Knew, The Byzantine Empire. Looking at the list of folders is like a catalog of what I have worked on, what I have found interesting, or where I am planning a trip.

Here are a few that I check out all the time. - always something here to set you thinking about art - Her photographs are amazing, she reads the most interesting things and posts excerpts, and she has an etsy store. - my daily shot of "Hmmm, I had no idea..." I always scroll down to the image of the day.

Where can we find you on the web

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Giveaway Winner

Congratulations ShopPOPKO- you are the winner!
Thank you to the 30 people that commented/entered this giveaway!

Most of the comments I got were about the background color of my photos. Most of those comments mentioned not liking the background so much. I have taken your advice to heart and have decided to re-take all of the pictures with a white background.

Without further delay the winner is commenter # 8.
That would be ShopPOPKO, she said...
"alright im in! first impression- your banner is great and striking and pretty and makes me want to see what yo uhave. next, i like how your shop announcement is concise. im not crazy about the constant blue. its a little too much for my eyes. i can see how it ties it all together, but i think that your work is cohesive enough to bind itself. i would vary the backgrounds more. "
cheers! cp

I wanted to put a screenshot of the random integer generator below- that is what I used to come up with the winning number- and after trying for nearly an hour I can't get the screenshot saved as a picture- blah blah blah- you are just going to have to take my word!
Because I commented once during the week- my post was not counted in the final number- which doesn't matter much here because my comment was after #8.
Thank you again for all of your input and check back within the week for the posting of another giveway.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Free Weekends

Since I have decided to take a break from blogging and selling on the weekends I feel elated and giddy on this Friday night.
I am wearing my new Nick and Nora sugar skull pajamas from Target- I swear I will not take them off all weekend- I will even wear them to the grocery with my Ugg boots- I swear- I love them that much!
I am thinking about the fun things that I will do with my family- maybe I will do some online shopping- catch up on the laundry- make a big breakfast in the morning- who knows?
It's two whole days- there is nothing that can't wait until Monday- actually Sunday night- that is when my giveaway ends- make sure to enter it over the weekend- you could win the great earrings that you see over there in the top right hand corner of the screen. Click on that picture to go to the post that explains what you have to do to enter.
In the meantime- here are some pictures of what my weekend might look like...


I hope that you love DaliDecals as much as I do! They have incredible wall decals that feel so modern because they are mostly silhouettes. My favorite is this first picture. I really want to find a place to put this in my new house. The owners and creators of DaliDecals are Alicia and David of Florida. Check out the cute picture of them at the bottom. If you can't find what you need in their shop- they do custom- convo them or visit their site.

What is your "real" life like?
"Real" life is mainly work…this is a full time job for both of us, and part time for a few others. We are constantly working. We even have this miniature laptop that we bring everywhere so we can always answer emails and convos.
We occasionally get out for a ride on our motorcycles, or take them to the track. We've got two dogs, Tex (Siberian Husky) and Sammi (German Shepard). They keep us pretty busy too!

What is your process?
We design all of our decals on the computer, and cut everything out of vinyl rolls using one of our vinyl cutters.

What are your goals and vision?
Short term…keep growing. Long term…keep growing. : )

How and where do you market your business?
We mainly just market our products through our Etsy shops and our websites, and We are currently in the process of rebuilding our Badass Custom Decals site.
We focus on organic search engine optimization, and some sponsored ad campaigns on various search engines. We also get a good amount of publicity through various blogs around the internet.

What inspires you?
Heh…anything can inspire us. It's really a lot of fun coming up with ideas. Pretty much anything can be made into some sort of decal.

Who is your favorite musical artist?
There are lots, but I'd have to say the top few are Tool and Thievery Corporation

What are two of your favorite things from your shop?
This is way too tough a question. There are too many that I like, and there are many that haven't even been added to our sites. It's way too difficult to just choose two. We actually have
15 decals up all over our house.
(last two pictures)

Where can we find you?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Twisted Sister Arts

I am so excited to introduce Jill Lawrence of Naperville, Illinois from Twisted Sister Arts. She sells handwoven Wire jewelry, with gems and embellishment. I do wire work myself and I am in awe of the work she does. As a special treat she has sent along photos of herself in the process of making a piece.

What is your “real” life like?
Real life, past owner of Top 500 flower shops, currently employed as a blooming and plant bu
yer for Top 10 Flowershop chain. No children, Loving husband who dotes on me, two cats.
Interests, Wire, Cubic Zirconia, Silver, Glass Fusing, Pearls, and combining all these materials into a piece of art.

What is your process?
I currently use Parawire non tarnish silver and gold wire. I weave the wire freehand, an
d only use flat nose, needle nose, blunt cutters and an occasional tapestry needle (sharp) to achieve my weaving. I usually start with an idea, and weave to accomplish it. I think anything that is made of metal, I can weave to match it. I'd love t o be able to afford to go to solid silver, and gold plate, but the expense keeps me back. I want my customers to be able to afford my work.

What are your goals and vision for your business?
Short term, selling a huge loom that occupies the studio. Medium term, turning the studio, into a full studio. Setting up a business plan to achieve my long term goals. Long term, being able to hold classes to teach my work, being able to sell enough to support my husband and me.

How and where do you market your business?
I sell my work on Etsy,

I kept my personal web page even though it's not current, because I want to learn to load my own script and pictures.
I also sell my work at the Wheaton French Markets in Wheaton and Chicago, Illinois. Next year, I plan to start working the art fairs.

Do you subscribe to any business related blogs, zines or magazines?
What inspires you?
A beautiful cubic zirconia stone, a Watch movement, Cracks in concrete, Leaves on trees, Leonard Bernstein, My couch, Roast chicken. My best ideas come in the night, when I can't sleep. Right now, I've got a copper etching I want to do, 12"x12", and use leaves from our trees, to imprint with paint and then use etching solution to leave the imprint on the copper. Until I make it, I don't move on to the next idea.
I also use an "idea book" which I carry in my purse. I get inspired sometimes at work, and to keep from loosing it, I write/draw it out. When I'm uninspired, I look at it, and get the "bug" all over again.

My favorite artist... (click on artist name to link to a video)
Andrea Bocelli.

I am a fan of... for her inspiration and direction in jewelry trade. for starving jewelry artists for more inspiration and direction

Find me...

Blue Rock Gourds

Today: Wendy Overdorf of Millersville, PA of Blue Rock Gourds. She sells hand grown, hand painted and stained gourds, bird houses, feeders, butterfly houses, masks, santas, bowls and jewelry gourds as well as washed craft ready gourds for artists and crafters. After looking at their website I fell in love with them. They have pictures of their home where their store is and pictures of the family together making and selling gourds. It makes me yearn for the days of my youth in the mid-west and of a simpler time.

What is your real life like?
I am married to the
"GourdFather" my awesome hubby Milty and we have two beautiful children Zane 16 and Abbie 7 and one spoiled dog "Johnny Cash". I work a mind numbing job in a tax office, dreaming of gourds, crafts and my craft shop in our house. I love to walk the dog, watch my kids play soccer and baseball and going on occasional dates with the Gourdfather. My dream is to work full time as a gourd artist and have my quirky little gourd shop.

What is your process?
Blue Rock Gourds grows, cleans and stains all the gourds by hand. The Gourdfather is the driller, packer, stainer and craft show set-up. I paint, sell, maintain the website, ship and pack and market the gourds. We make a great team!

Business Goals and Vision...

Short term I will be glad to make it to Christmas with gourd orders! Long term I would like to be a full time gourd artist, work on my website and become more internet savvy, I would rather paint gourds than build a website it scares me!

How do you market your business?
You can see Blue Rock Gourds
at various craft shows in Pennsylania, Delaware and Maryland.

Follow my blog and you will b
e entered to win a gourd birdhouse! I give a gourd a week away FREE!!

Do you subscribe to any business related blogs, zines or magazines?
I love magazines, I just got my first copy of ReadyMade and wonderful hipster craft mag!

I just started blogging and I
could become addicted! I follow mostly craft blogs: cool
paper creations blog my new fellow blogger! wonderful felted goodies I am
in the holiday boutique!

What inspires you?
The loveeeeeeeee the color GREEN, it makes me feel good. I also love vintage looks and vintage buttons with sparkle. I am an old Bonnie Raitt fan from way back in the day, she also makes me feel good! I love being home creating gourds and vintage button jewelry.

Who is your favorite musical artist? (click on the artist name to see a video)
BONNIE RAITT who else!

What are two of your favorite things from your shop?
Red Butterfly house

(First picture)
Warty Hard Shell gourds, they ROCK!
(third picture)

Am a fan of these places...
Puff Pastry Shoppe Vivien does amazing work!

Bethie B makes awesome soap! Proud mom of a daisy scout!

Find seller at...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Macaroni and Glue

I am pleased to introduce todays artist, Kelly Drill from Texas of Macaroni and Glue. She offers invitations and announcements, handcrafted greeting cards, unique and special holiday card sets, and vintage-inspired blank notes. It's really great stuff and makes me reconsider how often I use stationary- I need to start writing more hand written letters and notes- it would be a pleasure to do it on such beautiful paper.

What is your real life like?
I’m a work-at-home mom to one beautiful, precocious 3-year-old and one beautiful, strong-willed Black Lab. In addition to Macaroni and Glue, I provide part-time childcare for my niece and do a substantial amount of volunteer work for a Democratic political action commi
ttee. My pre-child life included stints as a film/TV production assistant, an event planner, an editor, a print model (bizarre experience…), and a variety of other things before I finally settled into an 8-year career in the medical ethics field. About a year after leaving my corporate job to do the mommy thing, my family relocated to a suburb of Dallas, where housing prices are much more reasonable and there are an astonishing number of things for preschoolers to do.

What is your process?
I work with a lot of vintage illustrations that are now in the public domain. They are often scanned images of old postcards, advertisements or book pages and require lots of digital love
before they can be used in a design for print. My “tools of the trade” are mainly my laptop, my printer, my scoring blade, and my paper-trimmer. I do use some scrapbooking techniques (although I’m actually not very good at scrapbooking…) for my individual greeting cards. I’m particularly fond of big chunky eyelets that require me to break out my hammer.

Business Goals and Vision...
I’m still in the process of rounding out my product line to include a wider variety of invitations, announcements, and bridal stationery. While I do a substantial amount of custom work in those areas, I’d love to have more options available in my shop. Since my job as Mom is ultimately my first priority, in the short term, I just want to continue to see growth in my work - I want to streamline my creative process and hone my design skills. I’ve established some great wholesale and corporate relationships this year, and I hope to continue to do so, expanding my presence on the web and in brick and mortar shops. Long term, I plan to transition Macaroni and Glue to i
ts own e-commerce site in hopes that, as my daughter gets older and enters school, I’ll have the freedom to contribute to the family financially, but still be here for her when she gets home.

How do you market your business?
I’d love to say that I have a carefully thought-out marketing strategy, but unfortunately I’m a bit “unfocused” in this area. I’ve been very fortunate to have had such a positive response to my business, both through the Etsy shop and through word-of-mouth, and because of that, I spend most of my available “work” time keeping up with my orders. That said, I’m trying hard to le
arn about the brave new world of social media, and have seen traffic to my shop increase a little bit at a time as I’ve incorporated new online tools into my marketing arsenal. I have a blog where I feature other Etsy sellers, talk about my business and my creative process, and let readers get to know a bit more about me. I have a Facebook page , a MySpace page , and a portfolio on Trunkt where industry professionals and potential wholesale clients can find me. I run inexpensive ads through Project Wonderful on a wide variety of sites. I also do my best to keep my Flickr photostream up-to-date with all my latest creations. Most recently, I added my URL to LinkReferral , which has produced the single biggest bump in traffic to my site so far, and I’ve received a lot of great reviews. I’ve also begun using Twitter and have seen big increases during my “tweeting” times as well.

Do you subscribe to any business related blogs, zines or magazines?
I have a love/hate relationship with business periodicals and blogs. While I love reading them and getting great advice on growing my business, I often find that there just aren’t enough hours in the day. So, rather than get frustrated by all the great advice I can’t put into practice, I’m taking a bit of a hiatus from too much biz-related content.

What inspires you?
I’m inspired by all things vintage and girly. My current obsession is turn-of-the-century illustrations and greeting cards from the 30s – 50s. I love to find beautiful vintage imagery, an
d then take it completely out of context to create something fun and modern. My 3-year-old daughter is also a huge source of inspiration – she teaches me how to look at the world in unique and quirky ways, which helps to keep the creative juices flowing.

Who is your favorite musical artist? (click on artist name to see a video)
I have lots of more recent faves, but I absolutely adore Peggy Lee.

What are two of your favorite things from your shop?
I love the new holiday cards. A couple of my favorites:
Picture #5
Picture #1

Am a fan of these places...
Somewhere along the line, the time I spend online for business merged with the time I spend online for leisure… The sites I visit daily are Twitter, Facebook, LinkReferral, Google Reader, and Etsy. I get a lot of inspiration from other Etsy artists, particularly jewelry artisans and
illustrators – whenever I get the chance, I love to just browse.

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