Tag Archives: Friday’s Featured Artist

Friday’s Featured Artist!

Celtic Swirls

This weeks wonderful artist is a friend of mine!  Her name is Connie, but she goes by Sunfire on-line, and she runs the wonderful shop BreathoftheDragon!  I had a lot of fun in August when we both participated in the 1st Annual Ellensburg Craft Fair and got to chat and see each other’s work in person.  We’ve been chit-chatting on-line ever since and she never ceases to entertain and amuse me 😛 Not to mention I love her work!  But enough from me…I’ll let you get to know her for yourself!

1. Tell us your story, what got you started in this business?

I was in the US Navy for 5 years, got out back in April 2006 because I did not want to ruin my body to meet their physical standards (I had shin splints that only got worse because of the running test each year). I finished my time, and was Honorably Discharged. Within a year of being out, and living in a town in WV, without getting a job within biking distance, I had to move, so I told mom “Here I come.” Now I’m living at home here in Wenatchee with my mom (thank the Gods she loves me as much as she does). Being around her and the crafty aura kinda rubbed off, and I decided, in late 2007, that I wanted to be crafty and make money, too. So I picked up a hobby I had tried once before – wood burning. Over the holidays, I made quite a few pieces to pass the time while jobless (still), and I got quite a few encouraging words from friends and family. Someone suggested I list a few things on Etsy, and in January, I did. The rest is, well, history in the making.

Speaking of gel candles, she currently has as start-up kit and other supplies up on etsy on destash!

2. Do you make any other crafts?

— I’ve tried making gel-candles before, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did the wood burning. I would like to try a variety of things, including making my own incense. But there are also a lot of different crafty things I can do with my wood burning, as my current “to try” list shows: keychains, coasters, picture frames, candle holders, bookmarks, and maybe eventually using wood pieces in jewelry…

3. What’s your favorite piece you have up on etsy right now?

That’s tough. I can’t decide if my favorite piece is the one I had the most fun making (Gypsy trinket box: made for an Etsy Team Challenge);

The one I am most proud of (Dream / Cherish / Live);

Or the one that I personally just love the most (Kanji Elements magnet set).

4. Where do you do your work and what do you listen to while you work?

I usually work wherever, as long as I have somewhere to plug in my wood burning pens. I have a handy tempered glass mat to work on, which sits nicely on my lap. Most of the time, though, I can be found burning at my desk, where I spend a lot of time anyhow. As for what I listen to, if I’m not watching soaps with mom, I’ve got my XM Radio on. Sometimes it’s set to the dance channel, sometimes the Hitlist, just depends on my mood and what I’m making. Detailed pieces I like to hear soothing, ambient sounds. Simple yet repetitive work is good for the techno stuff.

5. Looking at your work you have everything from Chinese characters to Celtic swirls – what draws you to the patterns you use in your work?

I go with things I like, and I’ve always been one that likes a lot of different things. Also, I wanted to make sure I have a variety of stuff, for a variety of people. I do market to the Pagan population, but I don’t want to alienate other religions or cultures. Coming up soon you should see the Eye of Ra, dragonflies, fairies, dragons, and probably some more Kanji (Japanese writing) symbols. I am also open to custom orders, so if you like unicorns or angels, or flowers or anime, just ask. I’d love the chance to practice different styles and themes.

6. Tell us one random thing about yourself!

Besides the fact that I can be very random? *breaks out in the Smurfs theme song* LOL
Well, I go barefoot a lot. I love a man who lives over 5000 miles away, whom I last saw in 2002. I don’t eat certain foods because of their texture in my mouth. I have a bad habit of starting things but not finishing them (except this hobby so far). Hmm… I’m sure I could go on and on, but I’ll save you all from that 😉

Now here’s a few of my favorite pieces by Sunfire!

Sorry – you can’t buy this first one!

But how could I feature my friend without showing you the magnet I bought from her?

I love this Rose!

And I think this star is beautiful 🙂


Friday’s Featured Artist – Crown Prince Treasures!

Garnet Cross Necklace

This week’s artist is the lovely Jeanette of Crown Prince Jewels!  She’s a member of the Eastern Washington Etsy Team, and great lady 🙂  Have fun getting to know her!

1. Tell us your story, what got you started in this business?

Hi. I’m Jeanette Prince. This is Crown Prince Treasures jewelry. My true treasures, however, are my two little boys and my husband. I actually discovered the love of jewelry making and gemstones shortly after the birth of my youngest son. The pregnancy was difficult and I became very ill with a thyroid disease that had gone undetected for a serious amount of time. The result was a mental, emotional and physical collapse for me on Mother’s Day of all days. Needless to say it was a very difficult time for us. But as with all hardships, many good and beautiful things came out of it. One happens to be that I discovered that I enjoy making jewelry and that others enjoy wearing my jewelry. I took up this art form to calm my nerves and give me an outlet to the difficult and strenuous task of raising two boys. And it was very therapeutic as I recovered my health (and sanity) after giving birth. The boys love my jewelry ( okay, mostly they just love throwing it, and tying up their action figures– oh and the baby likes to put it in his mouth). My husband is for giving me tons of support. He is also one of my best artistic critiques and I appreciate that. But, most importantly (warning I’m about to get mushy, cheesy and other such….) he is truly my best friend (and darn handsome too!). We hope you love our jewelry as much as we do. We appreciate you taking the time to enjoy our jewelry and we wish you all the love and joy you deserve.
Sincerely, Jeanette Prince

Crown Prince Treasures

2. Do you make any other crafts?

I do make soaps on occasion and sugar scrubs but i have no desire to sell those as my passion is jewelry and music.

3. What’s your favorite piece you have up on etsy right now?

My Favorite piece on etsy right now is my sterling silver tree of life. it means a lot to me as i have had potentially life threatening problems with my health.

This piece of Jeannette’s means a lot to me as well as I also face life-threatening health problems.  Thank you so much both for creating this beautiful piece Jeannette, and for sharing it’s meaning with us!

4. Where do you do your work and what do you listen to while you work?

I work in my dining room and i listen to the absolute stillness of the night. The peace inspires me.

5. Tell us a little bit about the teams your on and the benefits to being a member of them.

I am on easternwateam. which is a team for those artists who live in eastern Washington. They are great. I am still new to the team so I don’t know many members yet and I fumble around the blog .  But so far I’ve had emotional support and friendliness and resources suggestions from them. Very friendly people.

6. Tell us one random thing about yourself! 😀

One random thing about me is that im an insomniac and work mostly at night when the kids are asleep.

And now for a few of my favorite picks from her shop!

I love the colors in these earrings!

And we all know I can’t resist purple

And look! She makes children’s bracelets!

Friday’s Featured Artist – The Jewelry Box!!!

I had a lot of fun getting to know Brenda of The Jewelry Box in this weeks interview!  She’s not only a fellow member of the Eastern Washington Etsy Team – she’s a fellow jewelry artist!  I love getting to know other jewelry artists and having the opportunity to both be inspired and, often, to learn from them.  I hope you love getting to know her as well!

Before we get started, I just have to share the opening lines of her shop announcement, because it’s so perfect for her store!

“Feel free to rummage through my jewelry box. You may just find that perfect gift or something you can’t live without.”

1. Tell us your story – what got you started in this business?

In 2006, My Mother gave me some containers filled with beads, findings, and supplies. Well..not knowing anything about jewelry, I put them away, until it got closer to Christmas, and funds were very tight. I pulled out the containers, dusted them off, and made earrings as gifts. Everyone loved them and even commented on my “talent!” So then, my beading and jewelry making adventure began, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

2. Do you make any other crafts?

Yes. I do a little sewing here and there making curtains and pillows. I make my own business cards, earring cards, jewelry tags, and gift boxes. I also like to create magnets and greeting cards.

3. What’s your favorite piece you have up on etsy right now?

Hmm…right now, I would say my “Amoura” necklace, cause it was fun making it, and I love the way it turned out. My utmost favorite is “My AvantGarde” necklace, but it’s not listed right now, cause it’s being featured in the 2009 January issue of “Bead Trends” magazine. Something I’m very excited about!

That is really exciting Brenda!  I’m happy for you! – And here’s her “Amoura” necklace folks!

4. Where do you do your work and what do you listen to while you work?

I create in my newly painted craft/work room in my basement. I listen to music mostly…94.5FM, and sometimes, I will listen to certain tv programs.

5. Tell us a little bit about the teams your on and the benefits to being a member of them.

I’m on 2 Etsy street teams; Eastern Washington Etsy Team and Artisan Beaders Street Team. I enjoy the camaraderie, and I like to participate when I can. I’m an Admin for the Eastern WA Team’s Flickr site, and I’m participating in the Friendship Boxes event. I’m one of the authors on the Artisan Beader’s blog, and an Admin on our ProBoard forum. I’m also one of the “minutes” takers for our weekly chat meetings. I think the benefits of each team is the friends I make, promoting each other, the fun events, and the inspiration I find.

6. Tell us one random thing about yourself! 🙂

Oh wow…this is a hard one. Okay…I was a single Mother for the first 16 years of my son’s life. It was hard and stressful at times being both Mom and Dad, but if I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing! 🙂

Wow – a single Mom for 16 years is something to be really proud of accomplishing!  Kudos Brenda!  And now for my favorite picks from her shop…

Aren’t these Cascading Earrings Just Gorgeous?

And they’d go well with this bracelet!

You know us girls, we just wanna have some fun!

And I know you’d make a splash in this piece!

Friday’s Featured Artist – Victorian Visions!

Roses are Red

Welcome to this week’s Featured Artist Interview with Nancy of Victorian Visions!!!  She’s a great gal and fellow member of the Eastern Washington Etsy Team 🙂  Enjoy the interview!

1. Tell us your story – what first got you started in this business?

My creativity started out of necessity but also desire. When my second daughter was born I decided to start making clothes for the girls. Then I started sewing other things besides baby clothes and dresses. I sewed my son’s dress pants, the girls’ dresses, baby layettes and more. Then I took a class on applique and really starting my crafty sewing at that time. From that came ventures in every kind of medium that came along. I continued to craft from necessity in that we had a lot of birthdays in our families, and Christmas brought long lists. So I made all kinds of things for all kinds of people. I’ve done tole painting, ceramics, crafty sewing of quilts, blankets, etc., oil painting, rubber stamping, scrapbooking, etc., etc.

2. Looking at your shop, you do a lot of items from vintage to handmade! What exactly DO you sell in your shop?

The one item I have sold the most of is greeting cards. At one time I had over 1,000 rubber stamps and sold rubber stamps on the side – I was working at the time. Then we bought a flower shop and my life was turned upside down. I worked at least 16 hours a day, every day, so there was no room for any crafts but I was creative in the designs and items I made at my shop. I sold the rubber stamps after a few years of non-use.

Other things I sell: I’ve been making wind chimes and have sold all but one set that I made this summer. I’m always on the lookout for things to use in constructing the wind chimes. I sell anything I make, and I love to shop at second hand stores and thrift shops so I sell some vintage items and I do use some of the things I find to make something new, a kind of recycling.  I am a scavenger…dumpster diving and such is not distasteful to me. When I shop as such, I zone in on what I am looking at, looking at all sides, feeling it, imagining what it can be used for, or who could use it (if it is clothing).  I have a ton of siblings and grandchildren so I’m always keeping my eyes open for a bargain that would end up with someone else.

3. Do you make any other crafts?

In addition to making the greeting cards, I make wind chimes, collages, ACEOs or ATCs, remake pieces of jewelry and whatever pops into my head. I keep notebooks of sketches and ideas that I want to try “someday.”

4. What’s your favorite piece you have up on etsy right now?

My favorite piece on Etsy right now…hmmm…I know this sounds silly but I love it all! The items I sell are diverse so I can’t really say that I have one favorite genre or medium but *** I do think I like the purse I decorated into wall art and I’ve been wanting to make more I just haven’t had the time this summer. I have lots of supplies and a stack of purses waiting, though!

5. Where do you do your work and what do you watch or listen to while you work?

I became disabled after the flower shop and had to quit working. Then we moved to a smaller home that took much less care for me, and for hubby, who had to help me. So, in our small home we have a room that we don’t know what to call. It has the desk, bookshelves and all of my craft and art supplies. It’s a mess. I work in there or I go to the dining table or sometimes I do some of the work in front of the t.v.  if it is lap work. If I am in the room with no name, I listen to oldies music or turn the t.v. on and watch some crime solving show. Oldies music is the best though to get me going and enthused.

6. Tell us one interesting fact about yourself 🙂

An interesting fact about me. I am mother to 6, grandmother to 13, oldest sister to 13. I love to try new things. I have my own blog which I call MY BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAHG!

I started selling on Etsy this year, in February I believe, even though I signed up about a year ago. I was not feeling good about the auction site selling because we are “retired” and do travel to the coast a lot so it was hard to judge when we’d be home and if we’d be home when the auction ended. I LOVE ETSY and I tell everyone I meet all about it! I’ve purchased many wonderful items – more than I’ve sold!! But the more people that know about Etsy, the better for all of us! I love browsing the Treasuries, it’s quite fun. I don’t think I’ve ever had an item in a Treasury but I don’t know how to find out. I have had a few Treasuries that I curated and that was fun!!

Now for a few of my favorite pieces from Nancy’s shop!

Bald is Beautiful

What a wonderful piece to raise awareness about breast cancer!

Who doesn’t love the Beach?

And since I’m a sucker for owls

Friday’s Featured Artist – BorsaBella!

Let’s Do Lunch

Melissa and Lisa make up the incredible article duo behind BorsaBella – a beautiful handbag store on etsy!  These wonderful ladies are also a part of the Eastern Washington Etsy Team – a wonderful team of local artists that I’ve had an awesome time being a part of! (and yes, I’m a day late on this)

1. Tell us your story – what first got you started in this business?
Located in Wenatchee, the apple capital of Washington, Borsa Bella is the wonderful fashion bag company of Melissa Wisen and Lisa Nelson. Melissa and Lisa met about 4 years ago. Both new mothers at the time, they shared quite a few common interests that included a love for beautiful functional purses and handbags.
As avid sewers, they soon started making their own tote and hand bags for family and friends. There was such an overwhelming public interest in their bags, they began designing & sewing bags to sell. This cottage industry has bloomed into a wonderful business. With such an extensive background in fashion and design, they are creating modern handmade bags and purses out of the coolest and hip fabrics from around the world. These quality handbags are sure to please.
2. Do you make any other crafts?

Both Melissa and Lisa enjoy scrapbooking and jewelry making when we aren’t busy sewing for Borsa Bella.

3. What’s your favorite piece you have up on Etsy right now?

Melissa really like their Messenger Bags. Borsa Bella Messenger Bags are the perfect do-everything tote. These bags were designed to fashionably stow a laptop, books for school or bottles for baby. They’re also stylish enough to be used as an everyday purse.

Lisa really likes the Convertible Wristlets. This petite bag serves as the perfect multi-function accessory. Unhook the swivel and attach it to the other side where a D-ring has been artfully added so it can attach to a stroller, belt loop or Borsa Bella handbag.

4. Where do you do your work and what do you watch or listen to while you work?

Melissa converted one of her bedrooms into a quite craft and sewing room. “I love listening to books on tapes when I sew. It makes the time fly right by. However, when I am designing it has to be absolutely quite.”

Lisa converted a large section of her bonus room into a sewing room. She listens to the TV and her children while she sews.

5. Looking at your shop and your sales it appears that you have been very successful – do you have any tips and advice for those who are just starting out or who haven’t really “made it big” yet?

With Etsy it’s very important to list often and keep introducing new things. Another huge factor in getting sales are pictures. You need to take clear, colorful pictures. It helps that Melissa’s sister is a photographer (http://www.michelleellisphotography.com). “All the beautiful pictures you see she takes, while I do my best with a white box.” I have a lot to learn from her.

6. Tell us one interesting fact about yourself 🙂

For the last 3 years Melissa has played Women’s Ice Hockey. “I grew up watching my brother play ice hockey but it wasn’t anything girls did. We were supposed to become ice skaters. So, when I found out there was a women’s group playing in Wenatchee…I got suited up and haven’t stopped since.”

When Lisa isn’t biking, hiking or skiing she is playing tennis. But her favorite pass time is spending time with her husband and 4 kids.

Now for a few of my favorites from Borsa Bella!

You gotta love these Hip-Zip bags!

And what woman doesn’t need a cute cosmetic bag?

Friday’s Featured Artist – NicolesVisions!

5X7 Print

This week’s featured artist is a gal I had a lot of fun getting to know at the Ellensburg 1st Annual Craft Fair – Nicole of NicolesVisions!  Not only is her work beautiful, I discovered that she has a lot of good business sense and some great ideas to help other sellers!  Oh yes, and did I mention she’s a fellow member of the Eastern Washington Etsy Team?

1. Tell us your story – what first got you started in photography?

Wow. Umm…. My kids? I got my first real camera when my oldest daughter was a baby. I took pictures of her & everything else too. When she grew up & went into the military, I began to think maybe I could do something with my photography. I took pictures of her in uniform that she & everyone else liked. Fast forward to my younger daughter being a senior, & with her prom, I took those pictures as well. It was not only a way to save money, but it was fun. Fast forward to when we moved here to Washington in ’05, my father saw my talent & said I should “do something” with it. We began by hanging some of my work in his café. It totally evolved from there. In fact, it continues to evolve all the time.

Follow up Question – So how many kids do you have?

I have 2 girls. Both are grown now at 21 & 25. My youngest is still back in FL, enjoying life. I’d love to see her follow some modeling dreams, or writing dreams. My oldest is Sunfire of Breath of the Dragon here on Etsy.  She does lots of cool wood burning stuff.

2. What made you decide to open up a shop on Etsy?

My girlfriend encouraged me to open shop here. She has a silver jewelry shop here. We had become friends & in the process she told me all about Etsy. So, here I am!!!  My girlfriend is Kati. Her shop is Awesome Silver Jewelry. She does some really cool stuff with sterling silver. And what’s really neat is the fact she does it all, from designing her pieces, casting them, polishing them & setting stones in those that have them. Nifty stuff!

3. Do you make any other crafts?

I make lots of things now that all incorporate my photography. I started out as just a photographer. You know, the kind that mat & frame pictures & that’s all. I am so much more than that. Sticking with just that I would get bored. So I kind of do other crafts, but they all center on photography. Right now I’m making book marks, note cards & coasters. Who knows what else I’ll come up with to put pictures on.

4. What is your favorite piece you have up on Etsy right now?

That’s gonna be tough. I think it is two fold. My favorite picture on something right now would be my grapes. They are a magnet in this listing:

My favorite “thing” would probably be my coaster set. I will be listing a tile set soon too.

But I also love my new line of book marks, of which I only have 2 listed so far.  Here’s links to the first one, and the second one!

I have a total of 30 different ones so far. I’ll list more of those real soon too.

5. Where do you do your work and do you watch or listen to anything while you work?

I work here at home, mostly at my desk or at a work desk I have behind me. We have set up a nice “office” type area now. I listen to the soaps if I’m working in the afternoon. In the mornings the radio is on. Sometimes, I pull out some of the Goddess Chant CD’s. They totally help me focus & relax so I can do the best work possible.

6. Tell us one fun and entertaining fact about yourself 🙂

I’m totally spacing out on this one. I have no idea what to say. Some people think that because I married a man 10 years younger than me that that would be an entertaining fact? I love it! Best thing I ever did. Well, next to having my girls.

And here’s a few more great pieces by Nicole!

Here’s a set that she offers!

And a set of notecards she offers 🙂

Friday’s Featured Seller – The Vintage Dresser!

aLtErEd ArT Vintage Doll Coat

This week I’m featuring TheVintageDresser.  This shop is another member of the Eastern Washington Etsy Team – and it’s a mother/daughter team!  I had lot of fun getting to know these ladies and I’m sure you will too 🙂  So – here’s Nancy (the Mom portion of the team) and Tania (the daughter portion of the team)!

1. Tell us your story…what made you decide to open up a shop together?

We have been participating in craft shows/bazaars for years with minimal success. We had a show at my house for about 7 years. We would clear out several rooms and fill them with our handmade goodies! We advertised by word of mouth, newspaper, flyers, signs, etc. and while we did okay, it just wasn’t very profitable in the end… especially when you consider the amount of work and time involved. So, I said to my mom one day, “we should open an online store together!”. We started out with eBay and have had our eBay store for several years now. Then we discovered Etsy! It has been slow getting started, but we are starting to pick up speed so to speak! We are slowly building a following of loyal customers and both stores are doing well.

2. You have a lot of different items in your shop – in your own words – what type of items to you create?

We are both decorative painters, seamstresses, and scrapbookers! So we create it all! Hand painted items, dolls and bears, cards, altered art and mixed media, collage… you name it! Many of our projects are trash-to-treasure transformations, we love shopping together at garage sales, thrift stores, antique shops ,and flea markets which is where we find most of our items that we transform or repurpose into beautiful “new” treasures.

3. Do you make any other crafts?

Nancy – I do tole and decorative painting, cut some of my own wood items that I paint, do scrapbooking & card making. I am a seamstress but haven’t been very active in that area for a while. However, I’ve been having an itch to sew something, so I may get back to doing that soon.

Tania – I am really into altered art right now. I love taking lots of everyday objects and creating new and different works of art with them. This includes mixed media and collage. I’ve been thinking about recreating some of the old fashioned funky crafts that our grandma’s used to make and putting my own spin on them, so keep your eyes open for that!

Nancy– Tania is also a painter. She does a fantastic job & she’s never had a lesson! I tried to get her interested when she was younger and living at home still, but she wouldn’t have anything to do with it then, of course! Kids! Now she has a daughter that’s crafty when she can stay focused on it! So the creative gene is trickling down thru the generations!

4. What is your favorite piece you have up on etsy right now?

Nancy – I guess it would be my Halloween bentwood box with the black cat & pumpkins painted on it. It’s filled with silk fall leaves & faux gourds and has an electric flicker candle that gives it an eerie Halloween feel!

Tania – I really love my tote bag purse with the vintage needlework piece on it! It is a farm scene and I used cute farm related fabric for lining, pockets, and the handle, it is such a unique item, no one else anywhere would have one like it!

5. Where do you do your work and what do you watch or listen to while you work?

Nancy – I have a craft room where I create things. I also have a woodworking shop in the backyard that my husband built for me. I usually have the TV tuned in to HGTV—home decorating shows, mostly. Or I just work in quiet sometimes if there’s nothing on I’m interested in.

Tania – I also have a craft room downstairs in my house. I like to call it my studio though, makes me feel more like an artist instead of just a “crafter”!!! I like to work in silence, I don’t watch TV or listen to music. It’s just me and my thoughts and ideas!

6. Tell the readers one random and fun fact about yourself 🙂

Nancy – I have oodles of cook books and I don’t even like to cook!

Tania – I have a HUGE sweet tooth and sometimes when I’m really desperate, I’ll mix up a batch of powdered sugar frosting to eat or I’ll eat sweetened condensed milk! Yummy!!

And now for a few of my favorite pieces from their shop!

This Halloween Collage is just too perfect!

I just love these vintage owls they have for sale!

And this Bumblebee Doll is just adorable 🙂