Friday, July 27, 2012

Featured Friday with Love for the World

C'mon and let's welcome Amy P. and her Etsy shop Love for the World for our Team Amy Featured Friday!!! I can't hear your applause...oh wait now I can. Thanks for clapping at the computer!

Bright floral decoupage wooden frame
What is your first creative memory?
My first creative memory has to be making Christmas ornaments in elementary school. Those were fun times!

How long have you been an artist and an active business artist?
I have enjoyed creating and crafting since a very young age, but just recently joined etsy to turn my hobby into a business.

How did you hear about Etsy and how long have you been selling on Etsy?
I first heard about etsy a couple of years ago when a friend of mine was selling handcrafted totes. I just joined etsy about a month ago as a seller.

How did you come up with your shop name?
Much of my photography features beautiful places I've traveled to, which got me thinking about how much I really love the world...hence Lovefortheworld!

"Believe" wooden home decor sign

Are you an artist full time?
I wish! I do have another full time job, but photography and crafting are my passion.

What inspires you?
The world - people, cultures, food, unique places

What do you listen to or watch while creating?

I love watching HGTV while crafting, there is always some sort of show that fuels my inspiration!

Sunset in the Amazon Photography

Describe your work space
For my frames, I usually spread out newspaper on my large dining table and get to work!

What does being an Amy mean to you?
It means smiling often and being kind to others.

Where else can we find you?

For now, just Etsy, but who knows what the future holds!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Team Tips with Scheduling

I get asked all of the time..."how do you find the time to create all that you do?"

Today's Team Tips post will be a glimpse of my day and some scheduling ideas that have helped me, Amy Averitte and fellow Amy's in the Art member, our Team Captain Amy Dionne.

Just a little background about me:
I am blessed enough to be able to stay at home with my 2 year old toddler son and 9 year old daughter. I do not have to work outside of the home and I am successful through Etsy to help contribute to the household income with my shop fAveritte creations. I am a 95% custom shop full of lots of goodies for the young and young at heart. I have averaged 20 plus open orders since October 2011.

I also am a very structured individual and I like routines. When I decided to turn my hobby into a true business I knew I had to follow a schedule much like I did when I worked in retail with somewhat set hours to allow myself enough time to complete my orders and spend the afternoons with my family.

Here is a typical day for me:
5 AM - wake up

5 - 6 AM - check e-mails, facebook, re-list any expired listings, check teams and post to teams

6 - 7 AM organize my days production schedule
  • I take this time to organize my orders by laying out my supplies and orders, any prep cutting if needed, prepping shipping boxes, photograph any new products or items
7 AM - wake up the babies and prep breakfast
  • I also have the computer on the kitchen counter while I am prepping breakfast and cooking looking through Etsy, answering e-mails, I try to post to facebook and twitter, reply to any comments on my business page blog posts, edit any photos for any new listings I plan on posting that day
8 - 9 AM - eat and get ready for the day

10 - 12 PM - work on Etsy orders
  • I am more motivated in the morning and have found that my toddler son plays well by himself and can self entertain himself better at this I do get the usual requests to "dan Momma"(dance) or "choo choo Momma" (play with his choo choo trains) but I do get a good amount of work completed during this time
12 - 1 PM - prep and eat lunch

1 - 2 PM - put my toddler son down for a nap while responding to any morning e-mails, facebook comments, adding new listings

2 - 4 PM - I get to work with no distractions!!!

4 - 5PM - I am only focused on my son...we play, read, go outside, sing, march etc...

5 - 6PM - prep and eat dinner

6 - 7PM - bath time and getting ready for bed

7 - 9PM - quiet time with my son until he falls asleep
  • At 8:30pm I have my son lay down in our bed while I work on the computer until he falls asleep. I use this time to complete my blog post for the following day, just recently I updated all of my listing descriptions ands tweaked tags.

9 - 11PM - I do quiet work like prepping orders for the next days production, cutting, sorting etc...

11 PM - I finally hit the hay!

Now to some tips that have helped me with my scheduling:
  • Lists are my best friends. I use them all of the time! It helps me to keep what I need to accomplish for the day in the back of my mind plus it feels great to mark them off one by one!

  • Multitasking is key for me! Like I said above, when I am prepping breakfast I have the laptop open on the counter working. While my son is in the bath tub I am seated on the counter or the potty with the laptop working. While I am uploading pictures to facebook or to an Etsy listing I continue to cut fabric or sew. Every second truly does count!

  • If you can afford to buy already made supplies, then buy them! Most of my time was spent on cutting out white felt circles for eyeballs on my robot one day I finally just ordered some pre-cut felt circles from a supplier on Etsy.
  • Get your work space is great to have all of your supplies and tools in order. Below I have my fabrics separated into plastic shoe storage boxes from Walmart. They are great because they stack together and pull out like a drawer. I have given each color it's own box and labeled great when I am needing a certain color for a project.

  • Group like tasks together. I may have a pair of peace sign pillows that are scheduled to ship out tomorrow and another pair scheduled to ship out next week...but I will cut them together in layers. Or if I am using a certain color of thread for one project and know I need it for another project...I will go ahead and sew so I don't have to change my thread again or as often. It all takes time!
  • Make templates for any items you repeatedly sell if you don't already use a pattern. All of my creations are not from patterns and are hand drawn by me...but I finally got smart one day and made me some cardboard templates.
  • Ask family members to help with small tasks. My husband has helped turn many loot bags inside out after I have sewn them together.
Now here are some tips from Team Captain Amy Dionne and her Etsy shop Heart of Autumn. Amy does have a full time job outside of the home:

1) Organization is key. Don't spend half of your valuable time searching for supplies, cleaning off tables, or moving projects from one bin to another. Take the time to ensure the crafting space is ready to go when you are.

2) If your space is organized, then leave out the project you want to work on for the next time so you can pick right up where you left off and not have to dig the project and supplies out again.

3) Work during your "power" times if possible. I work on projects before I go to the day job because I am at my most creative first thing in the morning.

4) Use the five minute rule. When I come home from the day job, and am exhausted, generally the last thing I want to do is craft. I make myself work on a project for five minutes, and usually by that time I'm re-energized and the time stretches to fifteen minutes, then an hour quite easily.

5) Never underestimate working on a project for fifteen minutes. You don't have to get X amount done every time you sit down. Take the little time you have and stitch that seam, cut out the fabric, or sketch out a new design. Every minute counts and adds up.

Now each of us are different and unique just as our creations are. Some of these tips may or may not work for you...but hopefully you can benefit from at least one tip. If you have any more questions about scheduling, please contact me through Etsy.

Happy Creating,
Amy Averitte
fAveritte creations

Friday, July 20, 2012

Feature Friday with A. L. Stasiak Photography

Please give a warm welcome to Amy Stasiak and her Etsy shop A. L. Stasiak Photography

Now to discover Amy's creative story and journey...

Spider Web Dreamcatcher
What is your first creative memory?

When I was four years old, my grandmother was crocheting Sesame Street characters for all the grandchildren. I did not know how to crochet so instead I used my magic markers, glue stick, notebook paper, and safety scissors to replicated them. I taped them to the kitchen wall until the whole street was represented.

How long have you been an artist and an active business artist?

When does one really "become" an artist? I've always loved art and writing. I thought being a writer was my course in life but after seven years of college I began to doubt it. About five years ago, I picked up a camera seriously and never looked back. I absorbed photography like a sponge and taught myself photography and Photoshop by reading old textbooks and surfing the web. I opened a photography studio in Marshall, MI last May.

How did you hear about Etsy and how long have you been selling on Etsy?

I have been on Etsy since May 5, 2012. My husband stumbled upon the website while looking for a handmade camera case for me for Christmas last year.

How did you come up with your shop name?

My shop name is my studio name, that's who I am- ALStasiakPhotography.


Are you an artist full time?

I am a full time artist who pays her bills with her night job at a casino.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by storytelling and the emotions invoked through at image. I like to make people see the wonders that really exist in this world.

Red Pop Zinna
What do you listen to or watch while creating?

I love Pandora radio. I'm either listening to the Arcade Fire, Vampire Weekend, Outkast, The Cars, or Patsy Cline station.

Describe your work space

My work space is covered in images I found either in my travels or personal pictures. I love being surrounded by inspiration.

What does being an Amy mean to you?

Amy is who I am. I am beloved, pleasant and driven.

Where else can we find you?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Feature Friday with Amy Kirkpatrick Fine Art

Another wonderful Amy's in the Arts team member featured today!!! Amy Kirkpatrick and her Etsy shop Amy Kirkpatrick Fine Art

Everyone please kindly say "howdy" and get your eyes ready for some real eye candy art!!!

Perched Orange Spot Butterfly
What is your first creative memory?

My parents owned a little small town newspaper when I was very young. They worked long hours so they set up a desk for me with a cigar box full of broken crayons. I was allowed to use any of the colored papers off the bookshelf nearby as long as I wasn't wasteful. I spent hours at "my" desk and when I was probably 5, one of the people that worked in the ad section asked me to draw a school house for them to use in an ad. I was so proud and i started calling myself an artist. I understand now that she needed a child's drawing of stick figures, but at the time, I thought it was because I was such a good artist.

How long have you been an artist and an active business artist?

I excelled in art through high school but it went on hold once I graduated. I was a legal secretary for a few years until I needed a roommate who turned out to be studying graphic design in college, and she inspired me to go after that degree. I started going to school at night, just two classes a semester, and I was shocked when I made As in both classes my first try. So, I set my goal and didn't lose focus until I graduated with a BFA with an emphasis in graphic design. This was all before computer design, so everything was done on a drafting table. It felt much more artistic back then. I still do graphic design but started promoting my watercolors in 2008 when the market took a dive. I needed something to fill my time because unfortunately, graphic designers are usually the first to get cut in a downsizing. Now, it's hard to break myself away from the freedom of painting.

How did you hear about Etsy and how long have you been selling on Etsy?

I first heard about Etsy from an artist at a local street fair. We got in a conversation and she wrote it down for me. I think I came home and glanced at it, but I didn't think too much about it. I was doing okay selling on eBay. When eBay kept changing their policies and upping their percentage, it became too frustrating, so I took a closer look at Etsy. I loved that it was free to join, listings were only 20 cents each, were for 45 days instead of 7 days, and the Etsy take isn't painful like eBay has become. I've only been selling on Etsy for a little over a year.

How did you come up with your shop name?

My shop names isn't very creative. I tried to make it my full name, but apparently, there are a few other artists who share my name so it was taken and I had to abbreviate.


Are you an artist full time?

Yes, whether I'm painting watercolors or doing graphic design, I am an artist full time.

What inspires you?

Beauty inspires me. There are many wonderful artists on Etsy and when I see one that inspires me, they will get a personal email from me telling them so.

What do you listen to or watch while creating?

I used to listen to a new age channel on Pandora, but since I upgraded my OS software, I can't get Pandora to work. So, lately it's been CDs of David Gray or Joe Bonamassa.

Describe your work space

I am truly blessed with my work space. It's a huge room over the garage. I have a computer station with Ikea furniture and a table in the middle for creating. I have long shelves on the wall for propping up my current works. There's a sink that is well used and two big windows offer a natural light source.I sometimes host a paint night with friends and my studio is perfect for that.

What does being an Amy mean to you?

Amy is a Latin word meaning "Beloved." There weren't any other Amys around when I was little so I thought my name was unusual. Then one day I was at a lake and I kept hearing "Amy!" over and over. I counted four little Amys running around. I was so surprised. I don't really have a feeling about it. My mother wanted to name me Nancy Janine but my father was opposed. I can say I do prefer being called Amy.

Swallowtail Butterfly

Where else can we find you?

Presently, you can see a few of my butterfly watercolors from my 100 Butterflies in 100 Days series in the summer issue of Better Homes & Gardens special edition publication "Real-Life Kitchens and Bath Magazine," page 20, on sale until August 12. This fall, they will be in "DYI Magazine." Every now and then you might find me on eBay (ak_art08). My main website is full of my one-of-a-kind originals:

Friday, July 6, 2012

Feature Friday with A Full Cup Design

Welcome to our first Amy's in the Arts team member feature in a while...let's all wave hello to Amy H. and her Etsy shop A Full Cup please raise your arm and wave to your computer screen and say "hello Amy H.!!!"

Now lets discover some of Amy H.'s creations and her story!

What is your first creative memory?

My mother was always sewing. I remember a romper with sailboats on it that she made for me. I cried when I outgrew it. My first projects were sleeping bags and Christmas stockings for all my stuffed animals.

How long have you been an artist and an active business artist?

I can't remember a time when I wasn't sewing or working on a needlepoint project. About 15 years ago, I starting making purses, curtains, and pillows for other people. I took many years off to raise my sons. In 2010, once both boys were in school, I started sewing in earnest for craft shows, and I opened my Etsy shop.

How did you hear about Etsy and how long have you been selling on Etsy?

I was a buyer on Etsy for a few years before I opened my own store in 2010. I probably heard about Etsy from my mother-in-law who sells antiques. She has had an Etsy store since the early days.

How did you come up with your shop name?

It is from an English proverb: "A full cup must be carried steadily." I envisioned my fabric creations helping people carry all their gadgets and necessary items with a sense of calmness and fun. In my own life, I try to find smooth waters and lots of laughs.

Are you an artist full time?

No. I have two boys and a house to take care of. I also work as a part-time instructional design editor and researcher.

What inspires you?

Nature, travel, food, books, my family and friends.

What do you listen to or watch while creating?

It changes throughout the day - classical in the a.m., some jazz at lunch, and then some rock to get me through the afternoon.

Describe your work space

I work at my dining room table. Our dining room has windows on three sides, so it is the brightest room in the house. We live in the city on a steep hill. Our dining room is above the level of our neighbor's roof, so I feel like I am jutting out into space!

What does being an Amy mean to you?

A good friend to all - thoughtful and considerate, but also a lot of fun.

Where else can we find you?