Saturday, October 30, 2010

Win a Set of Address Labels from Amyzo, aka Handmade By Amy

Week 1 of the Nine Weeks of Amy Promotion! Come back every week through the end of the year for another giveaway from another talented Amy!

I love to decorate things: my home, my mail and especially my 18 month old son, Zach. Luckily for Zach, my Etsy shop is focused on the second: decorating mail. I design fun address labels and have been selling them on Etsy for three years. It has been a fun and rewarding experience selling my handmade paper goodies. And this week you can enter to WIN your choice of any set of labels from my shop. (Details below!)

But first, a little about me and my world. I am first and foremost a wife and mother. And I love that job! I used to have a "desk job," but being a stay-at-home mom with an Etsy business on the side is so much more rewarding.

I have always been "crafty." Growing up, it seemed we were always getting into something with fabric, felt, glue and glitter. From a young age, I really enjoyed drawing and used to sketch people, dreaming of one day being a fashion designer. I made clothes for my Barbies... and scrunchies (oh so many scrunchies!!!). My sister and I were so obsessed making scrunchies one year that we decided to sell them at our church holiday bazaar. We even made cool stands out of wooden dowels to string the scrunchies on for display. Over the next few years our little table at the bazaar evolved into painted wooden animals, jewelry and other crafts. I should have realized then that my life would always be attached to the arts.

So how did I end up doing address labels? In college I majored in Marketing but minored in Art "to keep me sane," I told everyone. I took some graphic design classes that I just fell in love with. Funny how I still don't consider myself a graphic designer. I have always enjoyed the "hands on" types of art. But, in this day in age, even my scrapbooking has gone digital! Creating address labels requires very little clutter in my house. The only supplies I need are my computer, a great printer, and my creative imagination.

ENTER to WIN a set of address labels from my Etsy shop! Here's how...

First, go browse through my shop. Then come back here and leave a comment on this page telling me what your favorite item is from my shop.

You can also earn up to eight additional entries by:
- following @amysinthearts on Twitter
- following @handmadebyamy on Twitter
- sharing this giveaway on Twitter by tagging @amysinthearts and/or @handmadebyamy in your tweet
- following the Amys In The Arts blog
- becoming a fan of Amys in the Arts Facebook page
- becoming a fan of Handmade By Amy's Facebook page
- posting a link to this giveaway on your blog (please copy the link to your blog post)
- adding the Amys In The Arts button to your blog (please copy the link where you've added it)

To get credit for your additional entries, please be sure to let us know what you’ve done (don't forget to copy your blog links!).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Introducing Amy Gregson, Suburban Graffiti

Want to get to know us Amys better?
Here continues a series of getting-to-know-you interviews.
Next up: Amy Gregson of Suburban Graffiti.

How long have you been an artist and how long have you been active as a business artist?
I have loved to create in the form of drawing and painting for as long as I can remember. My mom taught me to sew when I was eight or nine and I spent maaaaaaany long afternoons designing and sewing Barbie and other doll clothes. In my teens I got into crafting and loved to learn (or figure out) how to make stuff. I remember wanting to make a Rapunzel wig for a skit at school and sitting down with my mom and a couple of skeins of yarn and figuring it out. (The most recent issue of Family Fun magazine teaches how to make a wig EXACTLY like we figured it out . . . ahem . . . 25 years ago!) In college I studied interior design and dreamed of moving to London after graduation and making it big. Then I met my husband the semester before I graduated and decided to change that plan a bit. I spent the next ten years or so "creating" a sweet little family -- a daughter and two sons. With little ones at home I did a few small decorating and sewing projects for friends and family. When the kiddos were all in school full time a couple of years ago I happened into a mural painting career almost by accident. I loooooved that, but it has been a little bit hard to leave my family and travel for a week or ten days at a time while working on projects so recently I decided to fulfill a long-time dream of opening a "boutique" where I could sell all my crafty creations. My Etsy shop Suburban Graffiti has been a wonderful adventure since I opened it on October 1st.

Are you an artist full time?
If by "full time" you mean all of the time I have left over after feeding and clothing 3 children and one busy man, cleaning my home, volunteering at church and school, chaufferring children, baking cupcakes, and generally making those around me feel loved and cared for, then Yes. Yes, I am an artist full time.

Who or what inspires you to create?
I'm not the only person in the world with a very verbose inner-monologue, am I? My mind is constantly spinning, trying to remember every single detail of every single thing that ever happens in my life. I agonize over decisions because I try to foresee every possible option and imagine how it will pan out, like a Choose Your Own Adventure Book. (I always cheated and peaked at both options before turning the page.) And I talk to myself constantly. I have trouble sleeping at night because I just can't turn it all off. Oh, and I'm a list-maker. But I'm not crazy. Because when I am creating something, I get in the "zone" and everything stops. It's just me and blessed, peaceful mental silence for a while. I create to stay sane.

Describe your workspace.
My workspace is a 1300 square foot house in the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona that I share with 4 other people and a dog -- my husband and kids and our puppy, Cassie. I've never really had a dedicated "craft space". I was thrilled a couple of years ago to clear out a linen closet and commandeer it as my craft closet. When I'm working on projects, I tend to take over large areas of the house. Sometimes the coffee table so I can be with my kids while they play the Wii. Sometimes it's the kitchen table (which my kids LOVE because then we get to eat out). Lots of times it's the bedroom dresser top when I'm hiding my mess so we can have people over. It's my not-so-secret fantasy to buy the house next door, knock down the wall between the back yards and use it as my office. Someday . . .

What things do you like to do in your free time?
You mean aside from sewing, painting and crafting? I like to drink Coke. Lots of Coke. I enjoy digital scrapbooking and blog design. I love to blog about my kids and our family adventures at My 3 Monsters. I collect ribbon and vintage books. I bake cupcakes. And cookies. I wish I liked to work out.

What is your favorite handmade item?
Several years ago I started a huge (like 16x20) cross-stitch picture of Christ for my mom. I got about 6 square inches done before I threw in the towel. I just didn't have time with three little ones needing my constant attention. After the fact I showed it to my mom and apologized for not being able to do it. She took the kit from me and worked on it pretty constantly for about a year and a half. I was excited that she was going to get to have the picture after all, even if I couldn't make it for her. That Christmas I got a huge package in the mail from my mom. She had finished stitching the picture, framed it and given it back to me. It is one of my most cherished possessions. If time is money, that is the most valuable thing I own, but the selflessness and the love stitched into it are what make it priceless.

What does being an Amy mean to you?
Ooh, that's a tough one. When we would go out as teenagers my parents would tell us, "Remember who you are." I've tried to use that advice throughout my life. To me it means being a good friend and a great listener. It means doing your best and then trying to do more. It means keeping a positive attitude and laughing. Laughing early and often. Making the best of things just as they are. Mostly it means being grateful for all that I have and humble enough to acknowledge those who have given it to me.
Visit Amy's blog, My 3 Monsters and her Etsy shop, Suburban Graffiti.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Introducing Amy Roundtree, SewArtsy

Want to get to know us Amys better?
Here continues a series of getting-to-know-you interviews.
Next up: Amy Roundtree of SewArtsy

How long have you been an artist, and how long have you been active as a business artist?
I have been a lifelong artist, from my first coloring pages, to painting at a local studio, art classes in school, and so so many arts and crafts in the in between times up til now. I started my sewing business in 2006 after my local friends began admiring my own bags. I started just by bringing in my friends who love me, and then slowly ventured out into the world. I opened my Etsy shop in 2007, and started attending arts and craft shows to get my wares out into the public.

Are you an artist full time?
I am first and foremost a full time wife and mom. My three little ones Caleb (7), Sammy (5) and Charis (2) require most of my time daily, but I steal away some evenings to work on my craft. My family is awesome, and they give me the time and support I need to keep my shop full of lovelies!

Who or what inspires you to create?
I'm inspired by completely random things, and once an idea pops in my head I try to get it down on paper. I love to make things that are happy and bright, and I'm inspired by other things and people who are happy and bright! I have tons of ideas that have never made it into physical form because I just haven't had time to work on them, but at least they are written down for the future.

Describe your work space.
I have a large space in our basement for my sewing table, drafting table, notions and supplies. Most of my fabric is stacked in a closet and on shelving units just outside the closet (I have way too much fabric!). Another shelving unit houses my notions and tools. I also keep my craft show folding table up, so I have a nice looking place to put my items once they are finished. It makes me happy to have a place at which to look over and see what I've accomplished! An enormous baby gate separates my area from the kids' play area. Otherwise we'd have big problems! When my schedule gets hectic, like when prepping for a show, I do my cutting and ironing upstairs in the kitchen and family room so my hubby and I don't miss out on watching our shows together.

What kinds of things do you like to do in your free time?
Hmmm...Little League games, soccer games, classes at the rec center, going to church with the family, getting together with my girlfriends, reading craft blogs, getting inspired by others' creations!

What is your favorite handmade item, made by you or given to you?
I have an acrylic on paper painting that I made in junior high art class. It was chosen to be shown at a regional art show for the public school system, and it was the first moment I really felt like I might actually be a good artist. It gave me the confidence I needed to step out and try my hand at other media.

What does being an Amy mean to you?
Most Amys I have met in my life have been super friendly. In fact, growing up I had two other Amys as best friends, and I wouldn't have traded them for the world! So being an Amy means to me that hopefully others find me friendly, and that if you're an Amy I haven't met yet, I'm probably going to like you!

Find SewArtsy Amy here:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Introducing Amy Sellers, SnuggleVillage

Want to get to know us Amys better?
Here continues a series of getting-to-know-you interviews.

Next up: Amy Sellers of SnuggleVillage

I don't know how long I have been an artist. I have always been making fun things that I love since I was little. I learned how to crochet a few years ago. I was at a concert at Red Rocks in Colorado and saw a crocheted koozie that had a strap to hang it around your neck. I asked everyone where I could get one because I thought it was the neatest little accessory for tailgating. I googled it and googled it. I finally went to the store and got a crochet hook and some yarn. I watched tutorials until I was happy with the quality of my little accessory. My friends started asking me to make them for them in their college colors as it was a neat scarf like accessory that worked as a koozie. I decided to call them Skoozies. I was told about etsy and now I am here selling them through my snuggle village page and also through custom orders at

I do this full time as I have moved to West Virginia for my boyfriend's job and there are not any jobs here for me. In Colorado I was working for the Integer Group - on sweepstakes for MillerCoors and promotions for P&G. Now I work in our spare room that has been made into a very girlie creative room with lots of windows with views of apalachia.

I also love to cook and I usually watch Aarti paarti episodes on youtube while crocheting because I love her cooking style and she is very entertaining. If you have not discovered her youtube videos yet, I highly recommend them if you love to cook new and interesting foods! Also in my spare time I like to quilt, hike, drink wine, go see live music, travel, hang out with my grandmother, thrift shop, tour old mansions, estate sales, run, ride my bike, and take afternoon naps.

My favorite handmade items are those I have saved from my mother. She passed away in 1982 of a rare lung disease and she was also a quilter/crafter. I have a lot of her handmade things. In fact, when I was 22 years old (now 34), I met my friend Katie. We felt as though we had known each other forever. It was strange how we began hanging out every day and were inseperable. She ended up mentioning it to her mother Sally one day. Sally couldn't believe that Katie and I had found each other. Sally and my mother were friends when Katie and I were babies into toddlers. It turned out we had played together as small children and then lost touch once my mother had passed when I was five. Sally gave me a box full of handmade items my mother had made for her as gifts. Now Katie is getting married THIS Sunday and I made her a quilt. This quilt is special. I asked her mother to give me the names and addresses of all women invited to be in or attend the wedding. Each woman made a quilt square with the directions I sent them. I got 90 of them and assembled the quilt; I am now working on the quilting of it. I hope to have it done by Wednesday as I fly out Thursday to be in the wedding with Katie on Sunday. I would have to say this is going to be my favorite handmade item made by me.

Being an AMY is super fun. I love hearing Amie, the Pure Prarie League song and the Once in Love with Amy song. I like that one letter is at the beginning, one letter in the middle and one is at the end of the alphabet. I am also in love with COWS... if you go two letters from the letter C you get A, two letters from O you get M, two letters from W you get Y. COW and AMY are pretty close. I know, I have had a lot of time to think about it. I also like that my address is 269 and that is A-M-Y on a phone. I was named after my great grandmother, Amy Elizabeth and I always ask every Amy I meet what their middle name is. As you can tell about me... I like finding similarities and coincidences; some call it syncronicity.