Jun 4

Beadruby: Inside the lampworker\'s studio!

I came across Beadruby on Etsy and wanted to share her beautiful lampwork beads!

Shop name:

My shop name is Beadruby
The URL is Beadruby.etsy.com

Tell me a little about yourself…

My name is Joanie Coffey-Taylor…I live in Seattle, Washington. I have made things with my hands for all of my life…and it makes my world seem right to be engaged in creative activity…I’ve worked with many textile techniques…including handmade clothing, batik, Seminole patchwork, and needlepoint. hollow glass bead necklaceThen followed a few years of drawing, and acrylic and watercolor painting…Then unexpectedly, I became mesmerized by the beauty and the challenge of working with hot glass…That happened 4 years ago…

What are your main inspirations?

I love color…I try to take time to slow down so that I can see things very well…I am inspired by my time in nature…my gardens…the wind in the trees…birds… and plants. When I work on a piece I keep going until I reach the point where the color and form of it hums….it’s as tho I can lampwork braceletalmost hear a sound when I get it “right”…

What is your favorite material?

Of course I love glass..While working with hot glass you don’t think about anything else, because the heat is so intense…It’s enjoyable to be so focused…But honestly, my favorite materials to work with are paint and canvas…but I keep those for myself…

What new technique or craft has caught your eye lately? Want to try anything new?

I keep looking at hand-stitched beads made with glass seed beads….Also, I may add some silver smithing into my jewelry designs…

vessel of pink necklaceWhat new item in you shop are you excited about?

I really enjoy making the necklaces with multiple large hollow beads…I love the mixing color and pattern up into something unique…never been seen before…and beautiful…

What advice do you have for indie business owners/designers?

Do what you love…make it hum…

May 28

cupcake charmYvette makes adorable handmade charms – love ’em!

Shop name/URL: Sweet Surprises : http://sweetsurprises.etsy.com/

Tell me a little about yourself.
Hi! I’m Yvette, and I’m from sunny Tucson, Arizona. Um, I guess I can say that I’m a self-taught artist. I took a few art classes in high school, but the teachers would always leave me to do my own thing. I’ve always used drawing as my way to express myself, but it’s also become so much funner for me to be able to come up with cute little designs that I can make into accessories. What started out as a hobby has turned into a passion; being able to see people smile when they see my charms makes me so happy, and that just inspires me to keep going.

octopus charmWhat are your main inspirations?
My main inspirations come from my love for cute things, and I guess I’d have to say cuteness in Japanese culture. I try to find anything that I can try to make cute, whether it be a design of a gumball machine, a teacup, or even lipstick. Life is so fast-paced now- and even though we may be busy and have all these things to take care of, something as small as a charm can bring a little fun and remind us that we can still be a kid at heart.

What is your favorite material?
I like working with polymer clay. You can create so many things with it!

teacup charmWhat new technique or craft has caught your eye lately? Want to try anything new?
Recently, I’ve been trying to learn how to crotchet, but the truth is that I’m terrible at it! Maybe I’m better off sticking with my charms. I will keep working at it though, I really admire people who can crotchet little dolls and such. I can’t imagine the time and patience it must take to complete one.

What new item in your shop are you excited about?
I’m excited about my newer plastic charms. I’m constantly trying to come up with new designs and trying to improve my technique. Every new item is just a reminder of how far I’ve come since I first started.

What advice do you have for indie business owners/designers?

cupcake necklaceHmm.. starting a business is not easy. You might make mistakes, sometimes you’ll even have to learn the hard way, but don’t let fear hold you back! If you’re passionate about what you do, just knowing that something you’ve created is being enjoyed by someone, can become very rewarding and motivating. Don’t worry about competition, stay focused on what you’re doing and where you want to go from there. Also, try your best to make sure that you leave your customers happy.

May 8

tree of pinwheel broochCROQ Readers: Get 10% off at Glintbymich’s etsy shop until June 8th, 2008. Just need to put comments to seller on yourpurchase, that you were referred from CROQ

Shop name/URL:

Tell me a little about yourself.
Glint is the name of the shop my partner, Chad, and I started. We realised Glint could be a common name for jewelry and tagged my name ‘Mich’ to it. I’ve always had a quirky fashion sense since I was a kid. I would go to school with colourful ribbons in my hair (even though the school colour was brown) and get into serious trouble with teachers for being an ‘accessory rebel’. I think that was the start of my lifelong passion of self expression with unique hand-made jewelry and accessories.

What are your main inspirations?
I still have scrapbooks of sketches and ideas that I collected in my childhood, which I still refer to for inspiration. We love watching old movies especially with Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, visiting antique fairs and shops, reading books on the history of jewelry and icons like Josephine Baker, Marie Antoinette and Queen Elizabeth etc.

art deco bakelite necklaceWhat is your favorite material?
I like working with vintage plastics like Casein, Lucite, Celluloid and Bakelite, and I tend to mix modern materials with old, soft with hard, to create textural contrasts. Other materials include chrome, acrylic, gemstones, czech and bohemian glass beads.

What new technique or craft has caught your eye lately? Want to try anything new?

It’s not really a new technique but my partner, who happens to be the ‘engineering’ behind the designs, have been experimenting with new materials such as silk in chinese knot earrings, hoping to breathe new life into vintage designs.

deco ringWhat new item in your shop are you excited about?
It’s hard to pick just 1, but I’m rather excited about my latest ‘1 is not enough’ series (no pun intended) which is a collection of versatile jewelry with more than 1 ways of wearing (i.e. a bracelet can be converted into a necklace or a choker)

What advice do you have for indie business owners/designers?
it sounds cliche, but it’s obviously true. There’s a lot of hard work, be patient, and you gotta love what you do.

May 6

I love these little polymer clay portraits, called “Deditos” (Little Fingers) by the artist!

Shop Name/URL:

Tell me a little about yourself.

I’m Ana, i was born in Portugal, where i live with a guy and my dog.
Since i was a child i knew i would became an artist, i was usually drawing all the time. I studied arts in university and i have a degree in painture. I used to paint things bigger than me but i had to change my way of painting, since i have to move to another city each year, because of my guy’s work. So i started to create smaller art pieces like brooches and gocco screen prints.

What are your main inspirations?

gocco cardEverything can inspire me but mostly the day-to-day happenings do. People portraits inspires me a lot as well.

What is your favorite material?

I have no favorite material to work with, but i have a passion for acrylic ink and clay.

What new technique or craft has caught your eye lately? Want to try anything new?

I have many projects i want to work on but someday i’d like to get back to the giant canvas i used to paint. I’m very happy with my gocco but i want to become a better printmaker.

What new item in your shop are you excited about?

I love my latest polymer clay brooches, particularly the “deditos” series.

What advice do you have for indie business owners/designers?

Mainly be yourself, demanding with your product and never give up.

May 5

wing of bee pendantFree Shipping discount to CROQ readers at JessicaJane.etsy.com. Just enter “FREESHIP” in the notes to seller when checking out, and you’ll receive a revised invoice, through May 31, 2008. Sweet! JessicaJane features unique jewelry inspired by nature.

Shop name/URL:

Tell me a little about yourself:
Hello! My birth name is, in fact, Jessica Jane, but I really go by Jessi 99% of the time. I am 22 years old and I was born and raised in the heartland of Ohio. My husband and I just recently moved to California for military orders. I am a proud marine wife and proud member of the Etsy community. Etsy has been such a gift because we can travel anywhere in the world and I can still do what I love and pay the bills while I am at it. When I am not creating things for Etsy you can find me taking photos outside, at the beach, knitting, spending time with the husband, cooking + cleaning (my domestic gifts, haha), or enjoying a nice honey hazelnut latte at the bookstore.

birch wood faux bois pendantWhat are your main inspirations?

My main inspirations come from nature, animals, textures, and old things. I love trees and birds. Sometimes I wish birds could talk, so they could tell us of all the places they been and sights they’ve seen.

What is your favorite material?
My favorite material would have to be paint. I have always painted since I was young. Painting was my main thing until I met clay. Haha. Clay is so fun to work with also, if you mess up you can just start over again.

black bird charmWhat new technique or craft has caught your eye lately? Want to try anything new?
I would really love to do some sculptural paintings. I plan on that someday. I would also really love to try dyeing and spinning my own yarn. I am in the process of knitting a blanket right now and I would love to have more control of the colors and textures of the yarn.

What new item in your shop are you excited about?
I am really looking forward to doing more ceramic pieces. I love the way the glazes surprise me every time.

What advice do you have for indie business owners/designers?

Hmmm, advice for others. I would have to say let your own creative style shine through in your work. When I first started selling on Etsy I made pendants with image transfers, they were okay, but I didn’t feel like my own style was showing through in those. I ventured into painting and sculpting more, and I feel like I am letting my own creative style come to life. Be true to yourself and love what you do!

May 4

Eva does the most amazing things with polymer clay. Her craftswomanship is superb, and her prices are super affordable.
Shop name/URL:

Green Leaf and Owl

Tell me a little about yourself:
My name is Eva Bush, I’m 25 and I live in Flint, Michigan. I’ve always been creative and really enjoyed art classes in elementary through high school. In undergrad I studied a bit of graphic design, web design and Postmodernism. During this time I met my the man of my dreams, was married and now have a sweet little boy. After my son was born, I was fortunate enough to stay home with him and also create small, colorful treasures to share with others. I opened Green Leaf and Owl on a whim to try my hand at selling my goods. I love my life and the freedom I have to explore new artistic endeavors.

What are your main inspirations?
I have many inspirations – Bright colors, textures and nature. The amazing work of other artists. Cute squirrels running around my yard. The idea of filling my home with handcrafted items made with love. I’m also inspired by the amazing old things I find hidden away at antique stores. I have a small collection of old typewriters and would have more if I had somewhere to store them.

What is your favorite material?
I love acrylic paint, but I also love using vintage materials in my work. Oh, and I love brass because it can achieve such an amazing color over time and it is great for sensitive skin.

What new technique or craft has caught your eye lately? Want to try anything new?large tree pendant

I’m always wanting to try something new. A couple months ago I taught myself to crochet and my mom taught me how to knit. I only made two crocheted beanies – one for my husband and one for my son, but it was a completely useful craft to learn. I also like to sew handy items to use around the house.

What new item in your shop are you excited about?
I?m super excited about my new line of vintage necklaces. I salvage old books from antique stores and use the original illustrations to make one-of-a-kind pendants. I?m striving to use non-toxic and reusable materials to cut back on pollutants and unnecessary waste in my home and elsewhere.

What advice do you have for indie business owners/designers?
Create things that you love and don’t give up easily. Get your ideas out there and be consistent. Great customer service always helps too.

Nov 6

My new favorite earrings

I got these earrings from wabisabibrooklyn in the September Sampler – I have been meaning to blog about my Samplers, but time gets away from me.

I really love these earrings! I have been wearing them a lot and getting tons of compliments on them. They’re decoupage on copper – really cool! I love the color of the copper metal. It’s unique and a perfect compliment to a variety of brown outfits.

These are probably some of my favorite samples of all time!

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