Saturday, April 30, 2011

Interview by KimberlyNoland

'm sharing the love to some on my favorite Etsy shops! Check out my custom handmade dress shop at

Fresh Spring Crystal Jewelry at MagdaleneJewelsApril 26, 2011 //4

Explain your shop and what you sell.Actually I have two shops on Etsy MagdaleneJewels The shop consists of all one of a kind pieces of jewelry – all created and designed by myself, Pamela Baker.

My other shop consists of hand crocheted items, such as baby sweaters, dresses, hats, maryjanes, scarfs, neckwarmers, and fingerless gloves.

How did you get started?Often when I would go into a boutique shop I would see a piece of jewelry and think to myself – “I could make that”. Many of the pieces I would wind up making for myself; and when a friend would see it and asked where I got it from – I would just give it away. Then I started creating pieces as gifts for friends or myself. A friend suggested that I should sell my jewelry (which was something I had never even thought about). She was selling quilts on Etsy and suggested I look into opening my own shop.

What are your inspirations?I have always been into music, and very often there may be a song which becomes a part of me or my life and consumes my whole being. The Beatles music and philosophy have had a great influence in many of my pieces. Since I always have music playing, I often will hear a song and in my mind I begin to visualize certain colors and designs – hence a creation comes forth.

Is selling on Etsy your full time job?I stopped working 7 years ago, unfortunately having to go on disability. I never look at designing my jewelry as a job, nor do I have a set goal on how much I should sell or be selling. I view my work as an extension of myself and my creativeness.

What are your favorite materials or colors to use?Looking at my shop, one can tell that I primarily work with Swarovski Crystals. I love the colors that evolve as the light shines through each piece. My favorite colors that I work with are pinks, reds (Siam), black, and various colors of purple. I love things that are very feminine.

Explain your design process from idea to completion.I honestly never know what I am going to create when I start. When I go into the bead shop where I buy my crystals – a certain color may catch my eye and I will buy various sizes (mm) of that color. From there I let the crystals talk to me; then I will lay out all the beads and visualize what I wish to make – that being a pair of earrings, necklace, and bracelet. From there I decide what will enhance each piece, whether it is a crystal in a contrasting color, Bali beads, pearls, or seed beads. Once that is all assembled, I begin to let my thought process take over and design a creation that often reflects my own personality.

Do you sell anywhere besides Etsy?I do a few craft shows each year, which are always seasonal. There are two particular shows I do at Christmas, and a few during the Spring and early summer. In fact, I have a show coming up in a few weeks, which does take a lot of planning and preparation.

What’s your best/most successful marketing strategy?Showing my work on Facebook has been a tremendous help in marketing my jewelry. I have gotten many requests for custom items from someone seeing a certain piece. Also, I highly recommend if you are on Etsy to do Treasury’s. Often a shop that you may have featured will in turn feature a certain piece from your shop which gets you a lot of exposure. Also, I love doing YouTube Videos of the many Treasuries I have made. I also have done YouTube videos of pieces within both my shops and emailed them to friends, which has gotten me many custom orders. Besides making the videos, I try to find the perfect music to enhance the pieces from the Treasury being featured. This is a link to my Channel of a video honoring John Lennon.

Do you have any business regrets?None, as again I don’t consider what a do as a business, but purely enjoyment.

What’s your best selling item and why?My favorite piece is my necklace “The Rose” from the song by Janis Joplin. It truly exemplies my personality. Since each piece is a one-of-a kind design, it is hard to define which would be my best selling item. In my shop I feature “personalized” bracelets. Just within the past 1 ½ yrs I have sold over 40 custom bracelets – each according to the color requested and the name. One can see different samples of the bracelets in the adjoining photos to the original shown HERE

What’s your favorite product and why?
I love to work with the Swarovski Crystals because of the beauty of its colors which are always enhanced when worn in a certain light.

What’s the hardest part of running your own business?Because all my pieces are my own creations and designs, I do find that every once in a while I experience a
“brain freeze”, or as you say a “rut”. When this happens I take time to work on my crocheting and knitting for a while for my other shop:

What advice would you give to people starting their own shop?Believe in yourself and your work, the rest will fall into place. If you are new to Etsy, I highly recommend that you join a team similar to what you are selling or your interests. I have made many dear friends from the different teams I have joined.

What are your upcoming shop goals?As in both shops, one has to be aware ahead of time of the upcoming seasons and Holidays. As each season evolves I move around my pieces to coordinate with that season. As of now I am showcasing a lot of “wedding” pieces and light colors for Spring and Summer.

What does handmade mean to you?To me handmade should be items that are the creation and design made personally by the owner of a particular shop. I find that what one puts into their work reflects in each piece they exhibit in their shops. I often find many shops that indicate “homemade” items, that are items being resold (using the term Vintage).

Who do you admire professionally?I truly admire many of the artisans I have met here on Etsy, one who can take a piece of clay and create a beautiful flower; many of my yarns are from a seller who shears her own sheep, spins and hand dyes her own yarns; another friend here on Etsy makes their own metals from the melting process to the most beautiful pieces of artwork. To me these are true “artisans”!

How do you get out of your creative ruts?As I mentioned earlier, when I find I am creatively in a rut, I put my work away, turn up my music and start working on another project, such as my quilting, drawing, crocheting, and knitting.


A Few of My (Kim) Favorite Pieces I think I’m a little bias to the extra sparkly pieces, but her shop has such a great range of options for every occassion!

***Visit Kimberly blog to see some more great and indepth interviews with some of our other Etsy artists! /

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

CreateCrochet Spring Challenge

As we are finally beginning to see the first signs of Springs, crocuses popping up, birds chirping, buds on the trees, I would be totally remiss if I did not mention a few of the beautiful Spring entries in our March Challenge. The Challenge was our team’s way of welcoming Spring with different categories: Spring – rebirth, babies, flowers, etc. - Easter – bunnies, chicks, eggs, chocolates, etc. - Artist – take any artists’s painting/work as your muse and use similar color palettes or interpret their design in your work.

So starting with our first group, Spring:  Courtney's creation from her shop: submitted this colorful “Fleur Baroque Blanket" with its crocheted border truly caught my eye with it deep pink color and design. As Courtney says, she absolutely loves to crochet, – which is evident when viewing the many items in her shop featuring one of a kind hand-crocheted designs and patterns inspired by her own artistic interests.

What woman wouldn’t look stunning and sophiscated wearing this Hand Crocheted Rayon Raffia Woman’s Hat by  (love this name)! I would love wearing any of the fashionable hats that are sold in this shop. How many of use throw away old sweaters or blankets; well this is one designer who has saved and recycled the yarns to crochet these very different and unique hats. As Betty says, “not another person on earth will ever have a hat, sweater, cowl or scarf like the one I just made!”

I have long been a fan of DesertCrochet’s patterns, each photographed with a beautiful little infant, which only enhances the finished product of her patterns. If you haven’t visited Rebecca’s shop yet, I highly recommend any crocheter to visit this shop:, Her entry, “Princess Coming Home” - a lilac cocoon with a little hat would welcome any newborn home. I had to add this picture of my grandson and his little cousin wearing their “Monkey Hats” which Rebecca crocheted especially for them!

This adorable little crocheted headband with its hand crocheted flowers would make any young girl smile on a beautiful Spring day!
The shop:  is filled with a treasury of patterns for your little ones. As Tricia goes about her very busy day as a mom, she is continually thinking of new designs which she writes with a new crocheter in mind. Her patterns are written with easy to understand instructions, and is glad to offer any help needed with her patterns.

Even with Spring’s sun bursting forth, we still have a few cool days left. Julie’s “Spring Garden” baby Blanket is perfect to wrap your around your little one. Julie’s shop
 besides her adorable blankets, is filled with precious children’s little dresses, sweater, and hats. Crocheting for over 40 years, she is never without her yarn and crochet hook. As a breast cancer survivor, she gives special praises to God for her many blessings.

Of course we could not think of Spring without it little bunnies bursting forth and hopping into our hearts. I couldn’t resist smiling when I saw “Yarnabee’s” two little bunnies, both a perfect size for those your little one to find in their baskets on Easter morning. Her shop:  is a treasure trove of the cutest crocheted animals. Her love of crocheting is found in her own words: “My hope is when I create my items that they will be given to someone that will cherish it and keep it as a family Heirloom to be passed on like those cherished Teddy Bears my sons have had for years. I create every item with love and joy and hope that's what they will bring to you.”

Who couldn’t resist this precious little Easter “Chickie” Hat from the shop
Each adorable item in this shop are custom made by Alessandra, a stay-at-home mom who found a way to supplement her income with her crochet skills which she learned from her Grandma when growing up in Brazil.

I also loved this little bunny “Silver” with his carrot, from the shop of Mamta:
Mamta, which mean’s “mother’s love”, who although she lives in Mumbai, India, has taken on the task of being our CreateCrochet team leader. She recently upgraded her shop from her very colorful crocheted flowers, to creating patterns for all of us to enjoy. Her work is exactly as she describes herself, “colorful, vibrant, unconventional, enthusiastic, and full of energy & variety!”

Although we are all artists, we come to the last part of our Spring Challenge which was to create something inspired by a favorite painting or artist.

Inspired by the impressionist painter, Monet’s “Morning on the Seine”, this absolutely beautiful shawl (poncho) is the creation by Sheila, whose shop,  I can't even begin to describe how beautiful this is. Button it and it's a poncho, wear it open and it's a shawl! Working with many different textures and colors, Sheila has created some beautiful pieces; and now as a stay-at-home mom, she is able to indulge her passion of creating most her own designs while experimenting with some very unique art fibers.

Since I have been very young, admiring a print of my Great Grandmother’s by the artist, William Bouguereau (which I now own), I became a passionate follower of his artwork. Many prints of which one will find hanging on my walls. My inspiration for this Victorian Scarflette, was Bouguereau’s painting “LaTricoteuse” (The knitter). My shop:, is a mixture of baby items, scarf’s, neck warmers, and infant Maryjane’s, all of which reflect my passion for all that is feminine and antique. I love using a pattern and then redesigning it to my own personal interpretation.

Finally, I wish to mention this very unique idea called a “Ponshawl”. The inspiration for this Lilac Ponshawl is Marianne of The versatility of this shawl is its ability to become a cover for a mother-to-be. Marianne hopes to soon incorporate shawls which will make it possible for a mother to breast feed very discretely. A perfect gift for a Baby Shower for the mother. A visit to Marianne’s shop one will find some beautifully crocheted items such as scarf’s, hats, fingerless gloves, and more shawls. Why the name “daisyadaycrochet”? Well, you will have to read her profile to find a beautiful love story behind the title!