Friday, 28 September 2007
Please pop over and see the artists' shops, as they have some wonderful creations in store for you.
16/10/07 - The picture has been removed for an up coming feature - please see my Etsy favourites (link below).
I had lots of great work to go through for this feature, so do please pop into my Etsy store at Sara's Texture Crafts and check out my favourites for those who didn't make this feature.
Thursday, 27 September 2007
What is We Love Etsy?
We Love Etsy is a social network for people who love 'Etsy.com' that is run on the Ning platform. Ning is a free service that helps you create social networks.
When and why did you decide to set up a social network for Etsy shoppers and sellers?
One night in mid-August while working on new features for the Etsy Glass Artists’s website (etsyglass.com), I googled "Etsy API" and stumbled across the Ning blog in the search results. (a_demo_of_the_new_ning.html). As I was reading about the Ning platform, it occurred to me that it would be fun and useful to have an exclusively-Etsy social network. I was so excited about this idea that I stayed up all night setting it up. I finally finished around 9:30 in the morning, posted about it in the Etsy forums (thread_id=5190804), and promptly passed out. By the time I woke up, a bunch of people had started using it, and in a little over a month, it has grown to nearly 1300 members.
Is this affiliated with the company 'Etsy'?
It's not affiliated with or officially endorsed by Etsy, but they did write a nice article about the network in the Etsy Blog (blog.etsy.com).
What can I see and do there?
People who visit We Love Etsy will find oodles of fantastic Etsy shops. Sellers share their work on We Love Etsy by uploading photos and videos to the site, and by posting their Etsy mini on their page. Everyone who signs up gets his or her own We Love Etsy blog. Many sellers blog about Etsy-related things, like new creations and custom orders, and others use their blog to post tutorials and selling advice, and to share stories about their off-Etsy lives. It’s great to get a behind-the-scenes look at the artists who create items for the Etsy marketplace. Members of the Etsy community who are "buyers only" are also using their We Love Etsy blogs to do product reviews and to post about their favorite Etsy shops.
I noticed that you have created another way to find shops on Etsy - the Etsy Directory www.weloveetsy.com/shops. Can you tell me a bit about it?
On Etsy, while you can browse items by category (to a certain extent), you can't browse shops by category. I noticed this about a month ago when I decided to have my wedding invitations custom made by an Etsy artist. I wanted to check out all of the Etsy shops that specialized in invitations, but finding them through item searches proved to be frustrating and very time consuming. I kept thinking about how much easier it would be if I could just click through a list of all of the shops that sold wedding invitations to quickly check out each artist’s work. That’s when the light bulb went on.
The purpose of the directory is to give buyers an easy way to find what they are looking for on Etsy by organizing shops into categories. Each shop has an Etsy mini on the link detail page, so buyers can quickly view the items of each seller in a category. For those who love impulse shopping, there's also a highly addictive "visit random shop" button on the site.
Please do pop over and take a peek at the site, even as a shopper there is so much to see - it really is a great new way to find handcrafted products on Etsy and to be inspired by new crafts.
Here is my page... Sara's Texture Crafts
Wednesday, 26 September 2007
With it's ups and downs this week (my printer died on Monday night, so I had to run around trying to get it fixed this morning!) has been one of those weeks, but even so I really have felt that little bit of love coming right back at me!
Firstly, I found I was featured in a fellow Etsian's treasury. So a big 'Thank you' to Yipestoo of A.M. - P.M. Creations.
And secondly the very lovely Agathe of Le Bar du Vent featured me on her brilliant new blog. This is the link to the article Meet Sara Millis of Sara's Texture Crafts and again on her indiepublic page at Meherio68. Thank you Agathe for your support!
Please pop over to their shops on Etsy and DaWanda... you will find some lovely pieces.
Tuesday, 25 September 2007
Jean Paul Gaultier
The House of Givenchy
Monday, 24 September 2007
Here to tell us more is the creator of the Zombuki doll, Brigitte.
1. Can you tell me more about what a Pullip Doll is and does?
The Jun Planning company in Japan launched Pullips in July of 2003. They're part of the fashion doll genre, which encompasses dolls as varied as Barbie and Blythe. Of course Pullip is also a "big-eyed" doll, which is a blanket term that applies to all dolls with disproportionate eyes/heads; in other words, dolls inspired by Blythe. Pullip is like the granddaughter of Blythe, if you will. What they do they're doing right now, as it were, they sit very still and hold a pose for hours, they're ideal models, really.
2. What do you think the attraction is amongst doll collectors?
I think a lot of doll collectors love having something that can dress as crazy as they would want to dress and/or who they can project parts of their personalities on to. It was a great day for me when I realized that, now that I was an adult, I could like what I liked and there was nothing anyone could do about it but talk (and, occasionally, stare impolitely). As for Pullips, with their grotesque proportions, I think they appeal to people who like slightly more fantastic wardrobes, or people who like a sense of the unreal, or who are frightened by the (abundant) more realistic dolls. People who say that Pullips scare them confuse me when I think of dolls that, in a shadow, you could mistake for a tiny human. Now that scares me! Especially when I'm getting a glass of water in the middle of the night.
3. How long have you have been a collector of Pullip Dolls?
I got my first Pullip, a Paja, in July 2005 - she has blond hair, green eyes, loves coffee, and dressed like a dinosaur - in other words, she's me! I've had a lot of other Pullips since then, but Paja is the only one I've never had the irresistible urge to customize, she's perfect just the way she is, because I'm such an egotist! I also am fortunate enough to have a custom Blythe doll, named Go Lucky Buttons, created by Sherri (of Gggroovydolls) as a holiday present to myself in 2005. In a way I think it's impossible for me to own more than one of each doll type, but I keep trying!
4. How did you get into customizing and photographing your Pullip Dolls?
At the time I bought my first Pullip I couldn't justify it without "using" it in some way, so I started taking photographs, mostly just to forgive the amount of money I spent on the doll and the clothes. It ended up being something I really loved, so I kept at it, and I've improved a lot (if I do say so myself) in two years.
I started customizing Pullips a little less than a year after I started collecting them. Customizing is huge in both the Blythe and Pullip communities but in the Pullip community I had never seen a custom that really captured my imagination. I had been customizing toys for a few years at that point (though I hadn't worked on a doll since High School) and one day I decided to just go for it. After a few simpler customizations I decided that it wasn't working for me, so I did something dramatic, and so Zombukis came to be. I assumed that everyone would hate them, they were so different from everything else I had seen, but they were really embraced, much to my delight, and I kept making them.
5. Do you sell your Zombuki dolls or items you create from your photographs?
Yep! I sell both the dolls and products made from my photos (prints, postcards, stickers, buttons, and magnets). The dolls work on a pre-order system but one will be available through ebay in late October 2007, products can be bought in my Etsy shop.
riotsqurrl.etsy.com - for products featuring the existing girls
http://www.zombuki.com/ - for doll pre-order and auction info
6. Tell me a bit about your current collection.
Currently I'm focusing on innovative color schemes and on expanding the Zombuki product line. The two most recent Zombukis are Palimend (a rock n' roll type girl with a blue bob and lavender eyes) and Masai (an albino giraffe-inspired girl) - both were pre-ordered, but products of both are available in my shop.
Do check out Zombuki Dolls, they are a combination of creative art and pure fun!
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.
7 Facts About Me.
1. I am a freelance Fashion and Textile Designer, which basically means I work for several companies at once.
2. I run a craft company called ‘Sara’s Texture Crafts’, which is a 2-fold business. First supplying craft kits and equipment on eBay and secondly my handcrafted bags, accessories, jewellery and other boutique items through Etsy and DaWanda.
3. I currently live in London, UK.
4. I live with my partner of 12 years, Darrin.
5. I love chocolate… feel free to send me some!
6. I wanted to take my partner on a bat-watch trip this summer, but just missed out.
7. I have way too many beads, trimmings and fabric in my flat – my obsession is taking over!
People I have tagged in turn: These are some of my favourite reads and a crew of pretty inspirational people.
guerilla-embroidery - for her creative embroidery skills
helisengezer - for those cute little illustrations
sewlutionsbyamo - for all of that sewlution knowledge
hermitthefrog - for a great blog read and lovely beauty products
charlotte-narunsky - for fun product
meringuediary - for those gorgeous purses
preciousquilts - for all of those great interviews with other artists
Thursday, 20 September 2007
The theme is something I have worked with before in my personal work and encompasses historical influences from the Elizabethan era. Opulent fabric choices are complimented with jewel-like and hand embellished elements and texture draws on history with fraying, fine layers of silks, tulles and chiffons and beaded lace.
One of my main inspirations for this collection is a piece from my gallery called 'Lost Princess', which you can find here on my Website Gallery
I will be posting photos here of later weeks additions as colours schemes and fabrications will change slightly, but for now here are a few of my initial items.
'Bloom' fabric broach
'Princess' Glass pendant necklace
Prices start from just (Euros) €1.85!
Items will be listed on the following dates;
- Thursday 20th September at 8:00pm (GMT)
- Thursday 27th September 2007 at 10pm (GMT)
- Thursday 4th October 2007 at 5pm (GMT)
Wednesday, 19 September 2007
Here's my first entry... John Lewis (London, UK).
Please ignore my photos - I was trying to be discrete with my camera phone and they all ended up a bit blurry... Note to self: must be less scared when taking photos in shops, or ask if it's ok first!!
Located at 300 Oxford Street, London (W1A 1EX) John Lewis is a well known department store, who has been selling to the general public since 1864.
Their opening hours are;
Monday to Wednesday 9.30-7.00
Friday to Saturday 9.30-7.00
Located on the Fourth Floor of the newly refurbished store the haberdashery is somewhat bigger than it has been of late and is a real treasure. Although a word of warning... don't expect all of the fabrics to be cheap, as they do stock lots of silks and high quality lengths to support their Bridal and 'Sloane' (Wealthy Shoppers, usually living in Chelsea) customers, as well as us crafty folk.
- Yarns and wools for knitting/crochet
- Knitting/Crochet patterns, books, kits, tools
- Sewing tools, machines (you can sit and test run one too!), accessories, patterns and books
- Needlework kits, patterns, books, tools and supplies
- Kids craft kits
- Bridal accessories from DIY invitations to DIY 'Favor' bags
- Card making kits and supplies
- Craft making kits and supplies
- Fabric from basic cottons, calicos, fun furs to high end silks, jaquards and suitings.
- Linings, interlinings and dissolvable fabric
- Buttons, trimmings and lots of thread choice
If you know a store you would like to tell us about, please see my A Call to Guest Writers post where you can contact me with your details.
Tuesday, 18 September 2007
I am therefore going to remove the 'Want to be a Spotlight Feature?' link from the right hand panel and return it in late December/early January. If you are interested in being featured in the future, please keep an eye on this blog for application opening dates.
In the meantime you can always write a guest article... A Call to Guest Writers
Monday, 17 September 2007
The lovely Vivika added me as a 'Artist of the weekend'! I am very honoured and blushing terribly - Thank you Vivika!
Here's the link to Vivika's wonderful blog - Vivika's Artist of the weekend
Thursday, 13 September 2007
To celebrate my reignited passion, I have created a new collection for my Etsy Store at Sara' s Texture Crafts - Etsy Shop
In this collection I have worked from a collection of pictures and films that have inspired me both in colour and texture.
I loved watching the textures presented in 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon', directed by Ang Lee, from the earthiness of the forest, to the striking shades of block colour. Here is a clip I found on You-Tube... just in case you haven't seen the film.
Here is the Wikipedia synopsis too - Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon - Synopsis
' Geisha' - Embellished Clutch Bag.
'Lotus Flower' - Clay and seed bead earrings
Prices start from just (USD) $2.50!
Items will be listed on the following dates;
- Thursday 13th September at 8:30pm (GMT)
- Friday 14th September at 5:30pm (GMT)
- Thursday 20th September at 6pm (GMT)
Tuesday, 11 September 2007
A fine day, an ice cream and some great music had us smiling all the way home! Oh, the reason why I was sitting so far away... well that was just in case one of the local children dragged me up to dance! There are just some things a girl shouldn't do, outside the darkness of a nightclub!! I did however, manage a wiggle whilst I was sitting and filming... maybe that why the focus isn't too clear!?!
Does anyone know how to make their video smaller??
Monday, 10 September 2007
Today I have one of my favourites for you - Monica Lara, Silversmith & Jewellery Maker.
1. Tell me a bit about your background and how long you have been an artist/crafter.
I’m actually a Marine Biologist by trade and started making jewelry about 6-7 years ago. A friend got me into making gemstone bead jewelry and now I can’t stop! I have since taken metal-smithing and jewelry-making classes at Miami Dade College and can honestly say I’m still learning a lot and enjoying it thoroughly!
2. Where do you find your inspiration?
I start with the seed of an idea and then do iterations of that. Different versions and modifications until I hit on the one I really like. I draw inspiration from many things, for example just last Sunday I took pictures at the local botanical gardens. I am inspired by textures and shapes like the giant pod with seeds inside hanging from a vine and the different textures on three species of palm trees lined up side by side. I find color combinations in fashion and interior design magazines, gardens, anywhere. I cut out lots of pictures from magazines. Not only of jewelry. I look at art magazines and books of sculpture, glasswork, pottery, clothing, and furniture.
3. Do you sell your work, or is it purely for pleasure?
I give a lot of things away as presents! And I do sell my work. I have a shop on ETSY Handmade phbeads.etsy.com4. If someone was looking to take up this craft should they have any related experience before they start?
I recommend taking any metal-smithing class or workshop available. A jewelry or beading class at a local bead store is a good place to start. Then, learn to use and LOVE power tools (drill press, flexshaft) and basic hand tools like hammers, anvils, files, and pliers. You can practice on inexpensive metal like copper sheet and tubing you can find in any hardware store.
5. What would be your top 5 tips for a beginner?
- Buy the best tools you can afford right from the start. Using junk will only make it more difficult.
- Economize where you can! Some things don’t need to be expensive and are more disposable (which leads to …)
- Learn your tools before you start buying anything! Buy or borrow a good book by Tim McCreight or another great jewelry book writer and read up on tools and their use
- Don’t be careless and cut corners, good technique is good technique and it shows. File, polish, file, polish. Be detail oriented. Even in pieces that are supposed to look crude it should be on purpose or it will just look junky. Practice your technique.
- Come up with your own style. There is a lot of jewelry out there and you should strive to make yours stand out from the crowd.
6. What would be your top 5 items of essential equipment?
- Good quality saw (deeper 4 inch one) and higher quality saw blades
- Half round file and set of needle files
- Ball peen hammer and/or planishing hammer
- Variety of sandpaper from 200 grit to Emery (the wet/dry paper from Ace Hardware is perfect)
- Set of better pliers and wire cutter
7. Can you recommend a technique or ‘tips’ book ideal for a beginner?
Joanna Golberg, Tim McCreight, Charles Codina and Jinks McGrath have all written great basic books with explanations of tools and basic techniques with good pictures and examples of work done using the techniques. Many of these books are similar and any one of them is a great way to learn to do basic things you can do in your home. They also write great books for more advanced jewelers for those that really get into it.
8. Can you recommend any brands to look out for, when buying equipment or kit?
Not a brand per se but German made tools rock. They just do.
I like the Rio Grande catalog as a source. They have good descriptions; good prices, great quality, fast shipping and if you order you’ll start to get their drool-inducing catalogs! They have tools and supplies such as silver wire and sheet. Most larger cities have a jewelry district downtown and you should find out where that is. You can get a lot of things locally that way. Bead shops are great but they mark things way up.
Indian beads are beautiful but have tiny holes. Chinese beads are more uniform and have bigger holes but they’re not usually as gorgeous as Indian ones.
Thank you Monica for a great interview and such lovely work!
I hope that this feature has been useful and has given an inspirational starting point to beginners.
I am truly honoured - Thank you!
Do pop over and take a look at the great work she has found for us. Here's the link... Kiss the Frog Boutique's Talented Artists Also do check out here shop, she has some great work.
Friday, 7 September 2007
Here are my first few:
Yves Saint Laurent
More to follow... Sara x
I decided to use Squidoo, as I could combine lots of information, quickly and easily on one page; from wikipeadia biographies, to amazon books for sale and U-tube videos.
Here are the pages I have already started:
Charles Rennie Mackintosh
These are really only quick reference points for you to start your artist search, but I hope they help! In the future I will be expanding the pages and adding to the list of artists.
Thursday, 6 September 2007
Oh... is it that time again?! Yes, I am afraid so my dear!
So what have I got for you, well I'm very excited! I've managed to get my first Christmas craft items in and ready to upload... so here's a little taste of what products I will have and when they will go on sale.
Thursday 6th of September - 8pm
Prices start at 99p and include;
- Tree decorations
- greeting cards
- advent calenders
- kids crafts for stocking fillers
- adult crafts for stocking fillers
- and lots more bigger pieces too!
Don't forget to come and check me out at http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Saras-Texture-Crafts
Wednesday, 5 September 2007
She is made from Jersey, hand dyed fabrics (which I made long before, but wasn't sure how to use) and a lot of tiny seed beads (a regular feature on most of my work). I hand painted both her features and the shadows around them. I also created her dress and if you look closely you will see I got the pattern a bit wrong, so the skirt doesn't quite close at the back! Still we learn through practise!! And finally to make her a bit more like a fairy I added some gold wire wings.
All in all she took me about 3 days to make, I think that's why she's still on my book shelf - there was something of an achievement there!
Please do pay my gallery a visit at Sara's Texture Crafts - Gallery. I have many other things to show you.
You are very welcome to leave a comment at the bottom of the gallery page too!
Monday, 3 September 2007
Following today's update I am presenting the second of my DaWanda Seller features - Margaret from Slackstitches. So please do read further down the page for her interview. We also have a few new members, which takes us to 18 wonderful blogs, which you can find here- Member List.
How to make a DaWanda Pinboard
- Log in and go to My DaWanda.
- Press My Pinboards and you will find that one has been already set up for you by DaWanda. If you had previous saved favourite items these will show up here.
- Give your pinboard a name - At the top of your board is an editable section... You can change the title and leave a message.If you had items already stored, they will show up below... each will be in it's own box and you can add comments that you would like to share. You can also delete (remove from pinboard), add to basket or forward any items to your friends.
- Adding a new item to your pinboard - as you are browsing through the site and look at any item in more detail you will find in the top section that you can give an item a heart, add to pinboard, or forward to a friend. Select add to pinboard and choose which board you wish to add it to. You can also add a comment here... this will be visible on your pinboard once saved.
- Creating a new pinboard - When you find a new item and select add to pinboard you can choose to add to an existing board or a new one. Select a new one and give it a name.
- Comment on other people's boards - there is an area at the bottom of each board for comments from viewers...
Viewers can also buy from these boards, so show off those great finds! Here's my one for this group - DaWanda Sellers Blog Group - Pinboard
That's it for today...Sara x
For anyone interested in joining, please find the application form link here DaWanda Sellers Blog Group - Application form
DaWanda Seller – Spotlight Feature
Today is the turn of Margaret from Slackstitches, who creates beautiful handcrafted gifts; from cute Teddy Bears, to amazing quilts and knitted clothing. Margaret is also an active member of the DaWanda Sellers Blog Group, helping to spread the word and to feature other artisans. Here is our interview…
- Tell me a bit about your background and how long you have been an artist/crafter.
I was lucky to come from a very artistic parentage and to have a talented mother and grandmother in the field of textiles. My gran knitted and crocheted for the woollen mill in their town and also on request from people in the community. My mother made most of our clothing, which as children we thought was boring. Boy do I appreciate her talents now!
Apparently my mantra as soon as I could talk was " me do" and my mum eventually gave in to my repeated questioning " how do you do that" when I was 7 years old and I knitted my first gift, a tie for my dads birthday. From that time my gran and my mum advised me on techniques. My mum still gets called on for advice and general input at times.
- Where do you find your inspiration?
Absolutely everywhere. Not only visually but also through reading, where my imagination can run riot. I have a particular fascination for Celtic history. My report card at school always read "could achieve more if she stopped daydreaming". Just about sums me up really, which is one of the reasons I don’t drive. My mind is always in another place and ideas just appear, so many ideas that I try to keep a list as I do not have the time to keep up with them, and like fine wine many of the ideas then mature and blend with other ideas to create something entirely different.
- Do you sell your work?
- You mentioned that you sell on DaWanda. How did you find out about the site and how long have you been selling there?
- Tell me a bit about your current DaWanda collection.
Please pop over and take a look at featured shops... There are some great purchases to be made.