About Me

My photo
I enjoy arts and crafts and dabble in just about anything. I've been doing so since childhood. My Etsy shop consists mainly of decoupage light switch and outlet covers. I also paint (mainly with acrylics), do mosaics, and draw with charcoal and other mediums.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Introducing Heather from Bella's Pink Bows!

Heather is a brand new seller on Etsy with a lovely new shop.  She specializes in beautiful and stylish baby fashion.  Her baby girl bows and headbands are absolutely adorable.  Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Heather so we could all get to know her more.  Here she is everyone!  Drum roll please....Here's Heather from Bella's Pink Bows!

What is the name of your Etsy shop and link? BellasPinkBows

How long have you been crafting and creating?  Since I was little. I have always loved to create pretty things..at least pretty in my eyes  :)

Who or what had the greatest influence on you as you developed your creative ability? Not sure if it was anyone in particular. Just have always loved creating.

How would you characterize your work? I guess it's useable. It's not anything that is wild or crazy..more useful and hopefully will be something you like to look at .

Describe your workshop/studio for us:  right now it is just getting started, but it's just some simple bows for your baby girl.

What’s the hardest part of being a crafter? Thinking up new ideas, that have not already been done.

What’s next in your designing career? Making more bows...if others will wear them :)

How many hours a day do you create? Only a couple hours a week right now...the new baby and rest of the family own the remaining hours :)

How does creating these beautiful baby bows make you feel? Good. I love to see my baby girl in them...now I just want to share them.

What are your goals for your shop? To grow so I can keep being creative, while making a product others like as well.

What has your experience as a new shop been like on Etsy? Good, so far. Slow, but I just started...hoping it will pick up. It's hard to get seen with so many that are already established on Etsy.

What has been your most exciting moment here on Etsy so far? Putting up my first picture.... the next will be when I actually sell a bow :)

How have you handled the business side of designing baby fashion? Right now, just trying not to produce too many, until I know what people like and want for their baby.

Where else on the internet can we find your work besides etsy? Ebay and etsy.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Meet Emilie from HomesteadPatch!

Each day Etsy is growing bigger, because more and more people are making the decision to use their gifts and talents to make money during this tough economy.  I think it is important to keep an eye out for these new up and coming Etsy shops and expose this fresh talent.  I have had the pleasure of interviewing once such shop owner.  Emilie from HomesteadPatch, recently opened her shop on Etsy and she's off to a great start.  Her shop consists of organic gourmet dog treats (that my dog personally loves), handmade scarves, and headbands.  So, I decided to pick the brain of this newbie and share what she had to say.

What is the name of your Etsy shop and link?

The name of my Etsy shop is Homesteadpatch

 How long have you been crafting, creating, and making yummy treats?

I have been crafting for probably 10 years. I love to cook and bake delicious treats. I have been cooking for probably 12 years.

 Who or what had the greatest influence on you as you developed as an artist?

My greatest influence came from my Grandparents and my Great Aunt. My Great Aunt taught me to knit. While my Grandparents entertained my culinary delight of mud pie topped with marbles.

How would you characterize your work?

I would characterize the edibles in my shop as natural. There are so many fillers and weird ingredients in not only our food, but our pet food as well. I think that if we are not willing to eat it, then should we really give it to our four legged friends?

The apparel side of my shop could be characterized as upcycled and recycled. Its amazing what can be recycled! I love picking up items and saying “ This item has served its original purpose, now what else can I do with it?”

Describe your workshop/studio for us:

The crafts usually take place on the whole dining room table, I’m not exactly sure how but I am able to fill the entire space.

The treats take place in your average kitchen. I don’t have a lot of space, but you don’t need a huge kitchen and professional equipment to make something delicious.

What’s the hardest part of being a crafter and food artist?

The hardest part of being a crafter and a food artist is keeping track of time. Once I get started on a project I can loose a whole day if I am not careful.

What’s next in your career?
The next step in my career is to diversify the product I offer such as offering garden items.

 How many hours a day do you create?

My creative process isn’t really a daily thing, more of all or nothing. Once I get going I don’t want to stop until I am completely finished.

 How does creating art make you feel?

When I create art I finally understand what people mean when they say “If you love your job then it isn’t really a job.” I can get lost for hours in one small project, but it is always worth it.

 What statement do you hope to make with your creations?

I hope my creations show people how things used to be 50 years ago. More things were handmade. Food was wholesome, not chemically tainted.

 What are your artistic goals?

My artistic goals are to continue learning. There is so much I want to know how to do. A couple things on my to-do list are make a quilt and knit socks.

 What has your experience as a new seller been like on Etsy?

As a new seller my experience has been amazing. The community on Etsy is wonderful.

 What has been your most exciting moment so far here on Etsy?

The most exciting moment on Etsy was when I saw my first sale. It’s different from selling college books or cell phones online. This was something I created by hand, and someone else liked it.

 How have you handled the business side of your creative hobby?

The business side takes a bit more work than the actual hobby because I have to be serious. There is a bit of research that has to be done such as price searching, shipping prices and options. Timely shipping is also important. You can have a fantastic item but if the buyer has to wait a month to receive it, they are not going to be happy.

Where else on the internet can we find your work besides Etsy?

Besides Etsy I can be found on Hubpages

 It truly was a pleasure to talk with this fresh, new talented artist, who has found her way to Etsy.  Please stop by her shop and check out her work.  For those of you who are in the Etsy community, lets embrace this new artist and welcome her to our family!  Thanks Emilie for this lovely interview.  We all wish you many happy sales!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Holiday Sales

It is that time of year once again.  That time when we are all looking for bargains.  So, here is what's going on in my shop.  Tomorrow November 15th, my deer light switch covers will be on sale for 2.99.  You can also get outlet covers in the deer pattern as well for 2.99 you would like.  Just send me a convo and I'll make it happen.  :)  Here is what this year's deer pattern looks like.


Also, during the "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" rush of Thanksgiving weekend, all items in my shop will be 40% off with coupon code CYBERMONDAY.

I will also be offering free gift wrapping for the holidays.  So, if you would like your item gift wrapped, please send me a convo and I will make it pretty for you.  Also, if you would like me to send the gift wrapped item to a different address, send me the information and I will send it to that address.  I found these adorable little gift/goodie bags that happen to fit my light switch covers perfectly! 

I currently ship to the U.S. and Canada, however if you live outside these areas and convo me with your location, I can calculate shipping for you.  I ship in the most economical way possible to keep the cost down for the buyer.  That means it may take a little longer at times.  Particularly for international sales.  If you would like your item to arrive in time for Christmas, please place orders by December 16th for U.S. and December 8th for Canada.  If anyone has any custom requests, please feel free to convo me on Etsy.  I love a challenge.  Here's to another holiday season!  Let's have fun with it!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Who Would Pay THAT MUCH? (The cost of handmade)

This blog post was inspired by a blog that a fellow EtsyLush team member posted in a forum http://whatthecraft.com/overpriced-cant-afford-handmade-pricing/

Check out her post.  It is very informative and really sheds light into the reason why handmade items cost more than the crap you find at Wal-Mart.  Really makes you think twice.  Well, since reading her blog post, I decided to really put some thought into my own process of making items and share it with everyone since I have heard comments from people I know who think it is ridiculous that people pay what they do for my handmade light switch and outlet covers.  Custom orders in particular are what I hear comments about from people.  Well, let's explore the reason why.

Sure you can buy a light switch cover at your local hardware store or even a department store for cents on the dollar.  Not many people really give much thought to their light switch covers and usually go this route.  You can even get a nice looking fancier one for maybe $2.49-ish.  However, what if you are looking for something a little more unique?  Something to make your entire room come together.  You are likely to find what you may be looking for if you go handmade.  Of course that may cost a bit more.  My individual handmade covers go for $5.99 + s & h.  That price may not sound like a lot to most, but to some that sounds like a ridiculous price for a single light switch cover.  Before I go into the reason why I price my single covers at this price, I would like to point out that I see some decorative light switch covers (handmade or not) going for a lot more.  Like this for example.

$14.95 for ONE single light switch cover!  This is also handmade.

My custom package orders usually appear to go for a big chunk of change and I hear comments all the time like "I sure wouldn't pay THAT much for 10 outlet covers!"  Well, when it comes down to it, these orders are usually custom made for what a particular customer wants.  They want multiple covers in a particular design which takes extra time and some of their covers are a little tricky like this one.
Can you imagine trying to cover this with fabric and cut out those holes and cut around that cable jack?  It can be done, but that is definitely NOT easy!  I've had to do it before though.
This was part of a custom order along with 4 outlet covers.  Since my shop was still in the early stages and she sent me this cover that she had gone out and purchased, I gave her a significant discount, but this particular cover was definitely NOT easy!

So let's move on to the process of creating these covers shall we?  First off, I usually have to go out and purchase light switch covers.  I usually have a ton at home here, because I tend to buy a few while I'm out and about.  Although I have noticed that the local hardware store has drastically increased the price of standard covers while making them lower quality.  I can barely get the darn screws in the holes anymore!  As a result, I have started buying the mid sized ones, because they are half the price of the standard ones now and if I REALLY hunt through the pile, I can find a few decent quality ones although they are few and far between which takes up my time.  Perhaps I should find another hardware store.

Next, I pick a pattern of fabric I want to use and decide on what I want the cover to look like.  Most of the time, it is pretty easy.  Small repetitive patterns like the one in the above picture work best, because I don't have to worry about strategic placement of the holes or making sure the whole picture fits on the cover.  If it is a larger pattern with larger pictures, then I have to sit there for a while placing the fabric over the cover at different angles trying to find which placement would be most appealing to the eye without destroying it with the holes I need to cut.  Like this one for example...

Now that I have spent about a half hour or more finding the ideal placement of the fabric design on the cover, I need to cut it out and stick it to the cover with adhesive hoping that I remembered where exactly to place it after removing the cover from the fabric to paint on the adhesive.

Once that is done, it is time to fold the edges over and stick them on.  Usually pretty easy with fabric, but if I happen to be using wallpaper border, I need some extra help keeping the corners down.  I will have to use some large black paper clips and clip the edges down until it dries a bit.  That can be a little time consuming.  However, with fabric, it is just messy, but the edges usually cooperate.  This is still the most time consuming and tedious step in the process.  If it is just one cover I am doing, it can be done fairly quickly.  If I am doing several at a time, this step can take hours, because I tend to do the same step at the same time with all the covers at once.
Once the edges are folded down a bit and have had some time to dry a little, I'll flip the cover over and use an X-acto knife to cut out the hole for the switch and the two screws.  Once they are cut, I will add some adhesive to smooth out the edges and make the holes with either a paint brush handle or pencil.  A process that is fairly quick on one cover but again very time consuming and tedious when doing several covers at once.

Once the adhesive around the holes has dried, I will begin the process of painting on the clear gloss medium to the covers.  I typically do 3 coats and have to wait for each coat to dry before applying the next.  The first coat hardens the fabric and brings out the colors in fabric or wallpaper border.  A second coat is necessary, because once the first coat dries, it just looks blotchy with patches of shine and matte.  After the second coat dries, I usually do my photographing, because it is nearly finished by that point.  I have to do it at the right time of day to have the right kind of lighting to ensure a good photograph and I usually have to take several and pick and choose which one is the best representation of the item.

I then add a third coat to ensure shine and quality.  I will sometimes even add a fourth coat if I am not satisfied with the look of the cover yet, but that is usually with covers made with wallpaper border.  I take pride in my work and insist on producing good quality items.  So, now we're done right?  Not yet.  Now I have to paint the screws to match the cover.  A cover like this would just look silly with plain white screws don't you think?

I usually end up painting several at one time, because I make more than one cover at a time.  That and I sometimes put this process off until the last minute, because this is another long and tedious process.  Mixing the colors to get a close match and then waiting for the paint to dry so I can apply a clear gloss coat to the screws as well.  A matte finish wouldn't look right on a cover that shines.  Sounds like a silly detail, but look at the difference it makes.

Then, there is shipping.  Once I sell an item, I will hand write a thank you to the customer and include a coupon for repeat business.  I will then package it up in a neat little package and drive to the closest post-office drop off, pray that I don't get approached by any crack-heads on peddly bikes in the parking lot, and ship the package.

All that work for $5.99 + shipping.  Now, I've basically taken you through the process of making just one cover.  Imagine now for a custom order of one triple switch cover and 6 outlet covers.

I'm sure some people would probably think this person was crazy for paying $40 for light switch and outlet covers, but after seeing the process it takes to make just one and then taking into consideration, that each cover is 5.99 and more if it is a double or triple cover, this person got one heck of a deal.  This order was for a close friend, so of course I was going to give her a good deal, but I'm sure there are people out there who would think this price is highway robbery.  I can usually finish one cover in a matter of a couple hours, but an order this size takes days.

Same with one like this.  A custom double light cover and 10 outlet covers for $65.
I actually did hear someone say that this person was crazy for paying this much for covers.  Well, you do the math.  Each SINGLE cover is 5.99 and doubles and triples are more.  This one was customized to what the buyer wanted.  Half one design and half the other.  This order took WEEKS, because they wanted specific patterns on each one and I had to hunt for these patterns.  I gave her a discount for placing a large order and I also gave her free shipping since she sent me all the covers.  An order this size is incredibly time consuming and I will never cut corners in my steps to get it done quicker.

Well, there you have it.  Now that you know the process, does $5.99 still sound outrageous for one single custom handmade light switch cover?  When you break it down like that, it is easier to see that I'm not making a huge profit here.  It is the same across the board when you are looking to buy handmade.  Handmade items are always going to cost more, because of the work that goes into them.  Whether you are looking to buy a scarf, a painting, or in this case a light switch cover, it is going to cost more than it would if you just walked in to the local big chain discount store.  Those of us who sell handmade products take pride in doing quality work and providing excellent service.  We also need to eat.  This means these products are going to cost a bit more.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Gearing up for Fall

Where did Summer go?  Does anyone else feel as if it just flew by?  Autumn has always been my favorite season.  The humidity in the air is gone, so it is cool and crisp.  The leaves change from their lush green in to their bright and beautiful red, orange, and yellow.  I LOVE IT!  Oh and then there are the pumpkins.  I have this crazy obsession with pumpkins and I have no idea why.  Maybe it is because they represent my favorite season.  All I know is they are big, round, orange, and I love them.  I can't forget cider.  I LOVE apple cider.  Yep, I love Fall.  However, it appears that Michigan decided to do it's typical Michigan thing where we have no transition period.  One day it was humid and 80 degrees and the next day 40.  One day, I'm sweating it up in shorts and a tank top and the next day, everyone's flowers were killed by the frost.  That's Michigan for you.  Anyway, I think I am finally ready for Fall.  This has been an exciting and eventful Summer so now after reflecting on the events of the Summer, I can be prepared for what Fall will bring.

This Summer was definitely one for the books and for me will be truly unforgettable.  I can't believe I actually jumped out of an airplane!  During my first ever plane ride!  What the heck was I thinking?  So, over the Summer, I joined the elite "Never Lander's" club where I've been up in a plane, but never landed in one.  I will never forget it.
 Also, I had the opportunity to be in my very first craft show in August.  I am so glad my friend Kristen invited me to join her, because I think that was one of the best decisions I have made.  Sure it was a lot of work leading up to it and I was glad when that weekend was over, but my friends had the opportunity to see my work in person.  I ended up listing on Etsy the items that did not sell at the craft show and apparently since there were a lot, my new listings kept popping up and I was invited to join a couple teams on Etsy.  So, ever since I did that craft show, my business has sort of exploded.  Thanks to the EtsyLush Team, the EJ Art Treasury Promotion Team, and the STATTEAM, I have had the opportunity to meet some talented people and generated a lot of traffic to my site.  Not to mention since many people were able to see my work in person, I have been blowing up with custom orders outside of Etsy.

They are still rolling in and I am currently working on 4 more right now.  So, thank you to these Etsy teams:

Also, thank you to Kristen and 123 Vinyl for inviting me to be in the craft show: 
A BIG thank you to my friends who have supported me lately by placing custom orders as well as those who have been so supportive from the very beginning.  I would be getting really bored lately without you guys keeping me on my toes.  I have really enjoyed the challenge or working on your requests.  I am having a lot of fun with this, so please keep them coming!  :)

If anyone reading this has not checked out Etsy yet http://www.etsy.com/?ref=si_home.  It is a great place to go for handmade and vintage awesomness and you should really check it out.  Here are some of my latest treasuries featuring some fantastic shops.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Who is WyldAngelz?

I figured before I really get into using this blog regularly, I should introduce myself and let everyone know what I'm really all about.  Let's start with the name.  "WyldAngelz."  Where in the heck did it come from?  Well, I am a HUGE Martina McBride fan and have been forever.  Wild Angels is one of my favorite songs of hers.  WyldAngelz actually started out as an AOL handle (which I don't have anymore).  Does anybody actually still use AOL?  Haha!  I liked the song and decided to use it as my AOL name.  Of course, the proper spelling was already taken, so this was what I ended up with.  One of my friends suggested it when I was trying to come up with a username for my Etsy.  Since all of my friends are already familiar with it, I decided to use it and that's how WyldAngelz happened on Etsy.  Although I run a shop on Etsy, I also have a day job that I love very much.  It was never my goal in creating my Etsy shop to one day quit my day job and become a famous artist.  I love what I do.  However at the time I started my shop, I was only working part time and needed some money coming in to fill in the gaps when I was working very little hours.  That's where the shop came in.

I've been interested in art my entire life.  I have been drawing and creating for as long as I can remember.  I remember one day when I was about 3 or 4 years old, my grandmother called me up and told me she felt sad that she had no pictures on her walls.  That was when I began the tradition of drawing a picture for her once a week.  On the day my mother and I would take her grocery shopping, I would bring her the picture I drew and she would hang it on the wall.  We did this for years.  When she would babysit me in the daytime during the summer or on a weekend, I was able to easily sit ALL DAY and draw picture after picture.  Looking back, I think my A.D.D. with hyperfocus may have helped in that area.  Every single picture I drew would end up somewhere on her walls.  By the time I was in 6th grade, her entire dining room and living room walls were covered with my drawings, paintings, and collages.  The pictures were beginning to trickle into her bedroom.  We took them down that year to paint, but she saved them all in a dresser drawer.  Her house was my very first art gallery.  She loved watching me work and sometimes she would even get down on the floor with me and help me with my "projects."  With her support, I was able to sit and practice for as long as I wanted.  Once, I started high school and began taking art classes, I ended up having more pieces to hang on her walls.  Only this time they were in frames and hung on nails instead of thumb tacks.  She has been gone for almost 3 years now and there isn't a single piece of art that I do where she isn't on my mind at some point in the process.  A part of her is in every piece of work I do.

I had taught myself how to draw cartoon characters as a child and taught myself how to draw what I could see in detail.  I could do landscapes and animals very easily.  I was introduced to a variety of mediums in high school.  This was where I learned to paint.  I had attempted painting several times as a child, but could never seem to get it right, so I just figured I didn't have the ability.  Then, I was introduced to acrylics and learned the proper painting techniques.  How to effectively use light and shadow.  How to make water look like water.  What sized brushes to use.  I eventually learned the proper way to paint in oils as well.  I was overjoyed when I discovered that I really did have it in me.  I just needed someone to teach me how to do it correctly.  To my surprise, my very first painting took first place in our school's art show.  After the initial shock wore off, I was overcome with delight.  I fell in love with painting after that.  I suppose you could say the rest is history.

I continued my exploration of different techniques and mediums throughout high school and college.  Handmade paper, decoupage, paper mache, charcoal, clay, and oil pastels.  I wanted to do it all.  I even once did a painting with nail polish.  Probably not the smartest idea on my part, because I'm pretty sure the fumes killed a few brain cells that night.  lol  In college I was blown away by a technique called "coffee staining."  I still use it in my work from time to time, because I just love the look.  So yes, after all these years, I still have a .99 cent jar of nasty instant coffee in my pantry just for this reason.  Hmm...maybe I should move it to the craft room.

I had decided not to pursue a career in art knowing that it is nearly impossible to make a living that way and with it being so difficult I didn't want to end up growing to hate something I loved so much.  So, I changed my major to psychology and decided to keep my art as a side hobby.  Over the years, I had created several pieces on the side of my work and school.  I never actually sold any of my work though.  I would usually have someone in mind that I wanted to give a piece to and gave my work away or it just ended up sitting in the closet.  As a matter of fact, I still have several of my pieces just sitting in the dark somewhere.  I can recall the first year I decided to enter my work in the Regional exhibit in the art museum in my home town.  Artists from all over the state would enter, but not everyone was selected.  With it being my first year and I was still quite young at the time, I didn't know what to expect.  I nearly had a heart attack when I got the call from the museum telling me that BOTH my paintings had been selected!  One was a Mother's Day gift for my mother and the other had been a Father's Day gift for my father.  After that year, I was addicted to the Regional art exhibit and entered every single year.  Eight years passed before one of my pieces was selected again.  That came as a surprise.  It was a piece I didn't really like that I entered during a year that I wasn't planning on entering.  I suppose that just goes to show us all that we should never give up trying.  You just never know what pieces of your artwork will catch someone's eye or when it will happen.

During that 8 years, I had done several pieces in which I had donated to a few charitable organizations for silent auctions and even sold a couple of paintings.  I had never really seriously considered selling my artwork until times got tough a couple years ago.  After becoming unemployed and acquiring a completely new skill and getting a new part-time job in the medical field, I needed an emergency appendectomy.  I had no insurance.  To this day, I am STILL paying for that surgery.  It didn't help matters much that I was only working 8-15 hours a week and you can't get any kind of assistance in my state unless you have a ton of children.  I was stuck.  I was also working on re-doing my grandmother's house which I had inherited.  I had been buying all sorts of decorative light switch and outlet covers for it and one day, I decided to look up how to do it myself.  I decided to give it a try and showed a photo to my first light switch cover to a co-worker who said "Hey!  You could sell those!"  Really?  So, I gave it a shot and listed a couple on ebay.  I soon got discouraged when the listings expired and I had no buyers.  Then one day, a group of us at work were admiring a patient's necklace and we asked where she got it.  She said she found it on Etsy.  Hard to believe that none of us had heard of Etsy at the time.  She explained to us what Etsy was all about and I created my account that very day during my lunch hour!  Never in a million years would I have imagined that I would be known for light switch and outlet covers, but here I am.  Sure, I do paintings, candle holders, and all sorts of other things, but these days, I am known best for light switch and outlet covers.  Hence the name of the blog "The Outlet Outlet."  My "outlet" for thoughts and feelings while blogging about my outlets.  lol  Funny how life works out sometimes.

Well, that's my history and how I got here and became the light switch and outlet cover queen among my circle of friends.  But...who am I?  Here's an easy answer.  I am an artist with a fiery passion for life.  I LOVE bold, rich colors, great food and loud music.  I feel that we have no idea how many days we will get here on earth, therefore we should make every single one count.  Stop to smell the flowers and watch the sun set.  Eat that piece of chocolate cake.  Do whatever that thing is that scares you.  I feel we should all live our lives and not be afraid of whether or not we are going to fail, screw up, or look stupid.  Who cares?  Just live!  Also, I am sarcastic and I am a joker.  We all have struggles in our lives.  I feel that if we don't look at these with a sense of humor, then we would need to be heavily medicated.  I'd rather just find the humor in life, because it is always in there somewhere.  Last, but most definitely NOT least, I am a Christian.  I realize that expressing my beliefs could potentially make me lose business, but I figure if I'm going to let people in on who I am, this is something I need to mention.  I don't judge people, because it is not my place, therefore I would appreciate people treat me with the same respect and not judge me based on my beliefs as well. 

Well, if anyone is still reading this, thanks for reading.  Now that I've offered up who I am and what I'm all about, I'm hoping this will help me connect with my readers and potential buyers.  I feel it helps when you know WHO you are buying an item from.  With that said, enough about me.  Let's move on to new subjects like artwork and features from some REALLY cool shops!  Happy Etsy-ing everyone!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Benefits of Shopping On Etsy

Here's a blog I decided to carry over from my facebook page.

So, I know by now many of you have seen my shop on Etsy.com.  For those of you who haven't, shame on you!  No, just kidding!  ;)  Anyway, for those who aren't all that familiar with Etsy, I'd like to give all of you some useful information.

Etsy.com is an online community FILLED with all sorts of shops.  However, these shops are special.  The only items you can sell on Etsy are handmade, crafting supplies, or vintage items.  Nothing else.  So, the vast majority of lovely items on there are handmade.  Instead of some large company using child slave labor in some underdeveloped country, it is made by one person or a small team of people in their home or studio.  Some may be surprised by how large of a community it really is.  For example, I have recently joined a team on Etsy that has over 6,000 members!  That's 6,000 other shops and that's just a handful of what's on there.  You can buy just about anything from jewelry, to antiques, homemade cookies, to herbal tea that was grown and packaged by the seller!  I have found dog treats, pet ID tags, baby clothes, cat toys, and a clock made from a hubcap from a 68 Impala!  These days, when I am looking for something to buy online, I look on Etsy first and I usually find what I'm looking for and at a reasonable price.  Here are the reasons I love shopping on Etsy.

1. Your item is handmade.  This is someone working out of their home and putting their blood, sweat, tears, heart, and soul into their work.  Therefore your item is likely to be top quality and not the crap you find at Wal-Mart.

2. You are stimulating the economy.  Although Etsy is worldwide and I have sold my items internationally, I only buy from shops in the U.S.  Nothing against the other countries.  I see some beautiful shops that are located overseas.  However, our economy is hurting right now and a lot of people are out of the job and have resorted to getting creative and making things at home and selling them on Etsy.  So, I would personally like to support these people.

3. You can get something original and unique.  Nick needed a clock for his garage and I need to find him a birthday gift.  Where else would I find a clock made out of an actual hubcap off of a 68-72 Impala?

4.  The prices are reasonable.  Of course there are some well known artists who sell their work at gallery prices, but if you are well known, you get to do that.  Some jewelery is a bit pricey, but when it is made out of the real deal, you can't expect it to be cheap.  However most of what you find is going to put a very LITTLE dent in your pocketbook.  It may cost more than going to Wal-Mart, but it will be better quality and it will be an original.  Not to mention, you will know who made it.

5.  You can make a lot of great connections.  I am a repeat customer of some shops and sometimes repeat customers get discounts.  It is awesome.

I also know a lot of you out there are very creative and make your own goodies.  I would like to encourage you guys and gals to start up your own shop.  It is very fast and easy and it costs very little to list items.  It is also very easy to make connections with people and generate a lot of traffic to your shop very quickly.  A lot of buyers are people who have their own shops on there.  So with that said, buy and sell Etsy.com!  It is fantastic!  Here is a list of my favorite shops:

For you tea drinkers out there.  This person grows their own herbs and packages it up into different blends of tea.  She also sends it in a cute little box with her very own artwork on it.  She makes the BEST blend of Chamomile tea.  I've suffered from insomnia for about 20 years now and this is almost the ONLY thing that knocks me out!  Check out her store!

I love the signs made in this shop!  They are hilarious!

These people make soap.  I got some doggie soap they made and it works very well on my Gunner.

I got Gunner's custom pet ID tag from here:

The most HILARIOUS cat toys stuffed with REALLY potent catnip.  Very affordable and worth every penny.

The funniest buttons I've ever read:

I have several more favorites, but it would be easier to just check out the shops listed in the teams I've joined recently.  You can probably find anything you are looking for.

E J Art Treasury Promo Team

STATTEAM: Self Taught Artists Treasury

All of these teams include thousands of spectacular shops!  Check them out!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Introducing Hippie Chic Jewelz!

Since joining the EtsyLush  team on Etsy, I have met a lot of very talented artists from all over.  I have recently had the pleasure of meeting Hippie Chic Jewelz.  She has a beautiful shop filled with fantastic and fun creations with a lot of bright and rich colors!  We had some time to interview each other, so here she is folks!  Meet Hippie Chic Jewelz!

I understand you are a self taught artist, when did you become interested in art?  I have been interested in art ever since I can remember. My older sister taught me how to draw, paint and cross stitch, my love of learning something new in art took off from there. I have dabbled in everything to ceramics, photography to creating one of a kind wearable art. 

What inspires your artwork? I would say that most of my creations are influenced and inspired by music and everyday surroundings. I may hear a song that makes my heart smile or see a sunset that has extraordinary colors that I want to capture and off to my studio to create a work of art.

Do you have any coupon codes or specials for your Etsy shop?  
I have a wonderful coupon code for my shop, 25% off: HCJFAN
If you would like to check out more of her lovely items, here is a link to her shop.

It was a pleasure to meet and interview Hippie Chic Jewelz.  Happy Etsy-ing!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Ok, now that I was finally able to reset my password and gain access to my blog once again, I can start...well...blogging of course!  I am hoping to use this as a place to express some thoughts and feelings as well as promote my work and my shop.  In the past several months I've been working at growing my Etsy page.  I recently discovered that a year ago, my work was featured in a blog (however I was completely unaware of this little tidbit until I Googled myself the other day).  Hmm...that sounds dirty.  Anyway, my ultrasound paintings were featured on Craftastrophe and Strollerderby because apparently they are "horrific" and "creepy."  Well, DUH!  LOL  Have any of you ever had a 3D or 4D ultrasound?  Or have any of you ever seen pictures from one?  Those images don't exactly give most people (other than maybe the expectant parents) the warm fuzzies.  Particularly before the third trimester.  They tend to look more like creepy little aliens by that point.  I work in an OB office, so I should know.  ;)  So, I will be the first to admit that my ultrasound paintings which are done in the likeness of the photos I am given, tend to be a little creepy.  I can't lie, they are most definitely weird.  However, aren't we as artists supposed to think outside the box and come up with creative and different ideas?  I typically don't do still lifes and daisies because they tend to be a bit boring and overdone.  So, like many artists I would rather blaze my own trail.  Some stuff is a hit, and some stuff is a miss.  That's just how it goes.

I'm sure some are wondering why on earth I would even do a portrait of an unborn baby from a photo where it looks like a creepy little alien anyway.  What part of that could possibly inspire an artist?  Well, like I said, artists tend to think outside the box which is usually outside of society's norm.  Working in an OB office, I am surrounded by expectant mothers and ultrasound images all day long.  However, my inspiration came years earlier when a close friend of mine e-mailed me some photos from her son's 3D ultrasound.  For some reason, I was inspired to paint one of them.  I was going to just use the colors from the photo, but while I was playing with my photo editing software, I messed around with the colors a bit and discovered that it looked very interesting in monochromatic shades of purple.  That was definitely something I had never done before.  So I e-mailed the examples to my friend and asked which she would prefer, the normal colors, or the purple.  She chose the purple and a few days later, I had finished her son's ultrasound portrait in monochromatic purples with some warm tints of pink mixed in.  I showed the painting to a couple other friends who were a little creeped out at first, but a few months later when they showed me 3D ultrasound pictures of their own bundle of joy, they wanted me to do one for them as well.  I was surprised when this baby's father called me up a few days later and asked if I would do their child's painting in green to match their furniture.  What?  Match their beautiful daughter's painting to their ugly green couch?  Of course I did it and I found a lovely metallic gold paint to add to it which also happened by accident.  I was looking for earthy colors and thought it was really a toned down earthy yellow.  Instead it was metallic and sparkly.  It worked well, but of course the end result was a green baby that due to the fact she was green and metallic, had an alien-like appearance.  As far as I know (and to my relief) the parents loved it.  As a matter of fact, years later when they were expecting their son, they asked me to do another.  That one took the longest, because it was just of his feet and I wanted to make sure I got the details right.  That one was done in a Rembrandt Palate to match the Detroit Tigers theme in his nursery.  So, although those paintings may be creepy, ultrasound images are a bit creepy to begin with and I most definitely know that those paintings are NOT for everyone.  Not everyone is going to love something like that.  Hence the term "custom."  If you don't want one, don't order it.  If you DO want one, you get to choose your color scheme and it is a picture of YOUR baby and not some random green baby you did not conceive.   The ones I did were custom requests by friends, so each of those paintings has a home and someone loves them.  My ultrasound paintings can no longer be found on Etsy due to the fact that I allowed the listings to expire.  I realized there wasn't a huge market for something so unusual and figured it was best to just allow my circle of friends to request them from me if they want them.

Now, I have to say although those blogs didn't say such great things about my paintings, I was excited to see someone was actually blogging about MY work!  They also included links to my shop which was quite helpful.  Sure my paintings were being made fun of, but it generated traffic to my site.  When you type WyldAngelz into the Yahoo search engine, MY shop is the first thing that pops up and that blog is the 4th link down!  The way I see it, that blog helped put me on the map and get me established!  I look at it in kind of the same way when people get made fun of on Saturday Night Live.  If you are important enough to get made fun of on Saturday Night Live, you've been noticed.  You've made it.  If people are making fun of my artwork in these large online blogs at a time when my shop has been up and running for less than a year, then I've done SOMETHING worth noticing and worth talking about and that excites me.  I even showed these blogs to my co-workers and we cracked up while reading the comments.  As an artist, I've learned several years ago, that you can't please everyone.  It is impossible, therefore I don't try.  I just do what I do.  Some people love it and some people hate it, but either way they talk about it.  Those who love it become fans of my work.  Those who hate it get to talk about it and spark interest in others who may potentially love it or hate it.  Either way, after hearing about such a "monstrosity," they will want to see it for themselves.  lol  So, I would like to thank Craftastrophe and Strollerderby for featuring my ultrasound paintings in their blogs last year.  I realize you hated them and they probably gave you nightmares (which I won't apologize for, because I don't care), but you helped put me on the map, so thank you for that!  I just wish I would have known about it sooner.  ;)

Well, aside from that exciting little bit of info, I'd like to give a shout-out to the teams I recently joined on Etsy.  These people are awesome and they all have very beautiful shops!  Thanks for the invite and I love being a member of these teams!


and the E J Art Treasury Promotion Team

Also, if any of you would like to see images of my "creepy" and "horrific" ultrasound paintings, you can view them here:

Oh, before I forget, here's a link to my shop:

As well as a link to my Twitter and Facebook:

Well, I guess that's all for now.  I'll include some photos of my latest non-creepy artwork.  Until next time...