Thursday, September 30, 2010

Finds 'n' Fancies

blushing teal
Pink Poppy Bowl by almapottery, Aqua Satin Folded Dress by larimeloom
Pixie Cup Lichen by NatureMandalas, In the Pink Necklace by surfandsand

Peony Mix Quilted Place Mats by btaylorquilts, Las Semillas by holli
Rain by KathyPanton, Atoll Earrings by rachellucie

Good morning, teammates! I hope the sun is shining on you--if not in the physical sense, then at least metaphorically. We say goodbye to Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month today and hello to Breast Cancer Awareness Month tomorrow, so I've brought together some water-logged teals with a hint of sparkling pink as a bit of a sendoff-slash-welcome. Thank you for all you do, everyone!

I'll be back with loads of sugary pinks next week. Hope you've got a sweet tooth!

--katie :D

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Weekly Challenge

Hello lovelies!
It's time to announce our Weekly Challenge winner!
This week's theme was "black and white."
Our winner is Rose from Waterrose
with her Sheet Music Wrist Cuff.

Congratulations Rose!

While Stevie thought the rest of the submissions were spot on, she had to go with Rose's entry because "When I chose the theme, my daughter had just been sitting at the piano playing a piece, so I was thinking of the black and white piano keys. Then when I went to the blog to see entries, what was the first thing I saw? Rose's Sheet Music Wrist Cuff. It's so eerie! Almost like she read my mind..."

A huge thank you to our other oh-so talented participants this week:
Suz from Simply Suzula
Mollie from Rough Magic Creations
Regina from VivatRegina
Ames from Adorn by Amy Singley
Karon from Wild Woman Jewelry
Elizabeth from Foret

You can check out their fabulous entries on our Weekly Challenge page.

Rose's choice for this week's theme:

To participate in the fun:
1) Start creating!
2) List the item in your Etsy shop.
3) Contact me with a link to your entry by next Monday (September 27th) 12 midnight EST.

**I just want to remind all of our teammates
who sell vintage or supplies that you can enter too!**

I also want to make sure that everyone knows you don't have to create something brand spanking new for the Weekly Challenge. If there's something in your shop that fits the theme, enter it!

I will post all of the lovely entries on our Weekly Challenge page as they come in. The new winner will be posted here next Wednesday. The winner then gets to choose the following week's theme, and of course, it's winner!

Happy creating!
xo, Jen

Sunday, September 26, 2010

LAUGH Treasury Challenge

Hello Lovely Team EPEers!

Announcing our 9 Finalists for the
Treasury Challenge!

A Big Thank You to Our Judges...
Suz- SimplySuzula
Jackie- MonarchDancer
Nancy- LocalColorist

A Huge Thank You to our Prize Donating Shops...
Jackie- MonarchDancer
Kandes- TrickyFox
Dacia- TheRufflyOwl

And A Humongous Thank You
to Our Fantastic Team Members
For Participating!

Here They Are...
Now Let's See You Vote!!

Giggle + Gurgle + Purrr = My Heart Filled with Laughter and Love

LAUGH Right Through These BLUES

When My Sister Laughs...

(-: Snorts When She Laughs :-)

Laughing at the Clouds

When life seems Grey LAUGH

The color of laughter

A Gorey Fall Story for Laughs

Live a Little, LAUGH a Lot, and Love Love Love

Which Treasury Makes You LAUGH the Most??
Giggle Gurgle Purrr My Heart Filled with Laughter and Love
LAUGH Right Through These BLUES
When My Sister Laughs...
(-: Snorts When She Laughs :-)
Laughing at the Clouds
When life seems Grey LAUGH
The color of laughter
A Gorey Fall Story for Laughs
Live a Little, LAUGH a Lot, and Love Love Love free polls
Voting Ends Midnight Saturday, October 2nd!!
Lets make this the most voted Challenge Yet!
Yay EPE!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Member Interview

Hi there, Stevie of dbsj!  Please tell us about yourself.

My name is Stephanie Jones and I presently live in North Las Vegas. I live with my partner and our daughter, Mikaela, who will be 15 in October. We moved here from Ft. Lauderdale last year where we had lived for almost 20 years. I am originally from So. California.

I was hired by a major airline 33 years ago as a flight attendant, and started my career off by being based in New York City, and then moved to back to California, at the beaches in Los Angeles. I eventually moved to Hawaii when we opened up a base there and I flew to Sydney, Australia, and Auckland, New Zealand. I lived in Waikiki for three years. The airline closed the Hawaii base in the early 90’s and since the best destinations were flown out of Miami, I moved there to fly Europe, South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean Islands one month before Hurricane Andrew. 
With my daughter in Hawaii
Twelve years ago, I was injured in a turbulence incident, and I was off for 3 years. My daughter was 2 at the time, and my partner and I were separated. It was a very dark time for me. When I finally went back to work, I was so broke, and my main concern was generating more money than I was getting paid. Since I was still dealing with back pain, my main objective was to do something to keep me off of the plane. I started making wreaths and was selling them.

(I have always been creative throughout my life, and at one point I was making extra change by using my calligraphy for wedding invitations. I have also painted signs for businesses, and I even painted names on boats, and doctors' offices. One doctor's office in particular was a glass door and I had to paint the name on backwards since that was the smooth side - lol ).

A little over 9 years ago when I went back to work, a friend of mine I flew with brought out her handmade jewelry on the airplane to sell to the other flight attendants, and I remember saying to myself, I make jewelry and I can do that.

I made the shift right then from wreaths to jewelry, and this was the beginning of designs by Stevie j. I started off by making key holders (that was all I could afford at that time). I saved the money I was making and then I would upgrade my inventory. Then someone would ask me if I would make her something special. I did and that was the beginning of my custom orders. I was soon making earrings, bracelets, eye glass holders, ID holders, and necklaces. Custom orders really sparked my creative juices. My clients inspire me and it is amazing how I tap into what they say, and I see exactly what they want, and then I come up with a piece that absolutely works for them. I literally dream jewelry!

I started taking my jewelry to conventions, holiday shows and home shows, and eventually started working very close with my favorite charities. Since one of my most favorite charities is Jessica June Children Cancer Foundation, (please see the HOPE MEDAL to read the full story) I have been devoting my time and anything else I can to help this wonderful organization.

Anyway, my business started growing leaps and bounds. I can’t tell you how many times my returning clients told me people would stop them on the street to ask them about their jewelry that I made them. They told me they really loved wearing it because of the energy they felt.

Then one year I went to the Tucson Gem Show to purchase the best stones I could afford, and I about the same time I also found a jeweler in Sao Paulo, Brazil whom I worked closely with to create sterling silver pendants. 

Last year Maurice, my partner, asked me to work with him in a sub shop he was interested in taking over, so I agreed, put my jewelry business on the back burner (no pun intented) and we moved to Vegas. We worked very hard for about 9 months and then had to close it because the hard fact set in that Vegas’ economy was more depressed that we first realized...
Photo of us in the store
How did you learn about Etsy Project Embrace?
I remember coming across one of the TEAMEPE Treasuries that told the story about Laura, and BINGO! It was a total fit! I contacted Kristin, and the rest is history. I wanted to donate right away to ACS, and got all confused when trying to enter my donation on TEAMEPE's page and ended up making my own page, which now I just make donations with every sale I make.

I am loving being a part of TEAMEPE! I am meeting new artists and I love the support that each of you brings to the group. I felt at home instantly. It has been hard to go back to work to fly full time, (my base is in LAX) and selling my jewelry, and thank God for ETSY!
Selling at work
What is your favorite leisure time activity?
When I do have time off which is very limited, since I am full time everything ~ mother, flight attendant, jeweler, housekeeper, etc. ~ I travel. There are still so many places I have not been yet, and more that I would love to go back to. It is a good thing I have the flight benefits!! The benefits have been so instrumental in taking us to places and meeting people that I don't think I would have had the opportunity to do if I didn't have them.
My daughter with Michael Phelps
VP Gore and myself
Of your own creations, what is your favorite?
I love everything that I make, obviously, and it would be hard to pick my favorite but today, this is my favorite:
Rock of Ages
It is smooth smokey topaz nuggets, clear crystals, and whiskey quartz. Quite a substantial necklace.

What is your favorite possession?
My favorite personal possession is my photo airline ID, because I don’t have to wait in the airport lines!! It is such a hassle to travel these days, and that ID opens doors all over the place!!

Do you have a blog? Yes:

Where would you like to be, and what would you like to be doing, ten years from now? 
My goal and dream is to be able to have a large company and design jewelry full time. I want to also live in the Colorado mountains, Hawaii, and California.

I am always into learning new things. With my daughter, I am getting a second chance at High School! We are brushing up on our Spanish at the present time. I help her with her homework and she teaches me so much about music and life in general. I am really proud of her and I feel so blessed to be her mother!

I want to be able to send Mikaela to the college of her choice.

Also anything creative always has my attention.

Anything you'd like to add?
I have four cats. ~ But I do not allow them in my studio, so the jewelry is fur free.
Angel, (with remote control) – the baby at 5 years old
Patches (calico) – 8 years old
Missy Black cat – 11 years old
BooBoo the Mama Siamese Cat – 13 years old
Yesterday, I was in a car accident and we are fine, thank God, a bit sore and will be off work a little while, since we all will be going to physical therapy...

Thank you for taking the opportunity to read this snippet about me and the biz. I feel so honored to be a part of this group, and thank you Mollie for asking me to jump out of my shell!!

Hugs to all.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Finds 'n' Fancies

teal leaves fall
Ball and Chain earrings by jennreese7, Fall Foliage by slightclutter
Wonderful (teal)
by erinjaneshop, Honey Bee nesting bowls by GlazedOver

Copper Beech Leaf Mini Tray by RoughMagicCreations, Dear Deer Bloom by HadleyHutton
Olive & Sky, a cool to the touch scarf by LaTouchables, Flower Pops by KCimagery

It's Fall. It's still Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. How about some teal dipped in honey and rolled in fallen red leaves? I can't tell you how happy it makes me to finally bring on picks inspired by my favorite season so I'm really hoping you enjoy this week's finds--most of which were created by some of our very own team members.

Till next week...

--Katie :D

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Weekly Challenge

Hello lovelies!
It's time to announce our Weekly Challenge winner!
This week's theme was "migration"
Our winner is Stevie J from Designs by Stevie J
with her Canadian Jade Raspberry Quartz and Rose Quartz with Gold Necklace.

Congratulations Stevie!

A big, huge thank you to our only other participant:
Joe from Feedback Theatrebooks

You can check out his fabulous entry on our Weekly Challenge page.

Since we had so few entries this week, I thought I'd search around a little for pieces that would have been perfect to enter (in hopes that we get more entries in the future! [nudge, nudge!]).

clockwise from top left: Knee Deep Originals, Adorn by Amy Singley, Terraworks, Ma Cherie Creations

BeadFrenZ, Rough Magic Holidays, Simply Suzula

Stevie's choice for this week's theme:
"black and white"

To participate in the fun:
1) Start creating!
2) List the item in your Etsy shop.
3) Contact me with a link to your entry by next Monday (September 27th) 12 midnight EST.

**I just want to remind all of our teammates
who sell vintage or supplies that you can enter too!**

I will post all of the lovely entries on our Weekly Challenge page as they come in. The new winner will be posted here next Wednesday. The winner then gets to choose the following week's theme, and of course, it's winner!

Happy creating!
xo, Jen

Monday, September 20, 2010

Watermarks on Etsy

Do you use watermarks?

If so, you may want to place your watermark as close to the bottom of the photo as you can. If you place them in the middle and want to be included in treasuries, you may find that you aren't chosen as often as you would like.

The reason is that while people would love to use your photo's, they know that the possibility of Etsy choosing a treasury with watermarked photos is pretty low.

Try to place your watermark low in the photo like this one.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Member Interview

Halloween is a high holiday for this Etsy seller...sometimes I even dress myself up! :-)

Hi there, Polkadot Magpie! Please tell us about yourself.
My name is Suz and I live in New Mexico facing the beautiful Sandia Mountains (watermelon in Spanish).

You can call me “Grandma Fun Fun.”

Valentine baking!
I am originally from the Chicago area. My shop is “Polkadot Magpie.” I am a corvid lover and long time polkadot wearer. When trying to name my shop I found many corvid shop names already taken. I make jewelry out of recycled exotic materials. I hand stamp shapes that I design.

Beads made from knife scraps
I am married to a custom knifemaker, and have been saving his scraps: mastodon ivory, carbon fiber, G-10, titanium, superconductor, meteorite, MOP, horn, and vairous micartas.

Bob and I were married in 2008 in Roma!
I am a retired tv/movie costumer.
Genevieve Cortese, from "Wildfire" and me, with Jared Padleki "Supernatural"
Ross McCall, Arlene Tur, Suz, and Jocko Sims all "Crash" cast members. Ross was in "Band of Brothers" and Jocko in "Jar Head".
In 2009, I started my company in my husband's knife workshop. I always felt “for better or for worse, but never in the shop.” I have lived to eat those words! I love working in “our” shop together.
My workbench
We both love working with our hands, and are inspirational in each other's process. That is a gift I have never shared in any other love relationship. I now have my own bench and work area. Every evening after supper, we usually have a show and tell time where we share with each other what we are working on. We problem solve together ... he is a fantastic machinist. He's made many jigs for me to use in my work. Recently we have collaborated on a skull knife together.

How did you learn about EPE?

Treasuries. I kept seeing FP treasuries that I really liked. I read on LoveArtWorks page about TeamEPE.
Dennis Hopper and Suz on "Crash"
Shortly after, an actor I had worked with on the TV show “Crash” told me his cancer had spread to his bones. I was broken hearted, and then I logged on to Etsy and saw a treasury with EPE members. So I went to their forum. Lurked. Then contacted Kristin. I looooove this team. I look forward to checking in and seeing all their beautiful treasuries, and they always have a warm message for all the members.

I wanted to do something meaningful for Dennis, and created an item for him. My nickname for him was “The Bunny.” Every Bunny sold from my shop has the profits donated to ACS, and now American Hospice Foundation.
I'm the team contact for AHF. I hope to raise lots of funds for this honorable organization. They have made a difference in so many people's final days with their loved ones.
Of your creations what is your favorite?

Hmmm... I love my “dodo type bird.” He is made from titanium scrap, and real airplane steel! This bird has flown before. 

Dodo                  Raven
My ravens are made from a material that has never been made into something beautiful. I'm crazy about turning garbage into something beautiful. So I would say those two items. I just designed a fall leaf bracelet with 6 new leaves.
Autumn Harvest Leaf Bracelet
What is your favorite posession?
My printing press. Most people in the Etsy community don't know I'm a master printmaker. My friends and family are wondering when I'm going to go back to printmaking! I bought my press used in Chicago. It is one of 3 prototypes Graphic Chemical in Chicago made for Conrad. Graphic Chemical is a printmaking supply company that supplies about 90% of the inks and materials for professional prinmakers. I can share how I mustered up the cash to buy it, as my parents aren't around to read this. They gave me a gold heart with 21 diamonds for my 21st birthday. I'm not the diamond gold kinda gal. So when the press became available for sale I went to my first pawn shop. The amount I sold the necklace for was exactly the price of the press. :-)

What do you collect?

Beach glass from every body of water I have traveled to. And beach rocks when I couldn't find glass. They are in clear jars next to my bath tub. 

Skulls and skeletons. Tin canape trays that I lay out work in on my bench. Recently I have been purchasing items from vintage sellers on Etsy that my Mom carried in her gift shop. I worked there as a kid, which really prepared me for having an Etsy shop. They are mostly mid-century items (Catherine Holm, Couroc, Minerva Russell)

Do you have a blog or other online venue?

Yes. “The Knife Wife”  And we have a forum on a custom knife site called “Terzuola Tacticals” It's a forum like Etsy has, but none of the cattiness on Etsy. On these forums ... if you are a pain they use weapons! (just kidding ... but no BS)

Where would you like to be in 10 years? 

First ... HERE!

I have had some serious health issues lately that have made me change my life. When one has limited time, perspectives change. When I got the news, at first I thought I wouldn't want to run a jewelry biz in my last years. But later I had an epiphany: why not take this thing to the top as fast as I can? My kids can run it, or they can sell Polkadot Magpie and use the money for something of their dreams. Having said that -- I am spending as much time with my kids and grandson, as I can.

I'd like to see PM be a jewelry brand that continues to sell only on the internet. I love making people's heirlooms. I design all my items for stamping. Birds, bunnies, bears, leaves, and a new cat for the holidays, as well as a new bird shape. Today's generation has tattoos. I never got one because I couldn't decide. So my hand stamped pieces I see as “fickle tattoos.”

Crows on both sides of vegetable garden (from an etsy shop). I took this photo with my iPhone while working in the garden at sunset.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Finds 'n' Fancies

warblers wobble...
1. Autumn Basket//Airplant Harvest Bowl from tohold 2. Yellow Warbler print by FlyingColors
3. A Day at the Museum by janeheller 4. Lavender Fields Flared bowl by almapottery

1. Precocious Textile Cuff by Folk 2. Maypole Ribbon-wrapped Crown by whichgoose
3. Yellow Warbler by CuctusHuggers 4. Misty Hartwick Morning by bonniemurrayoils

...but they don't fall down.

To commemorate National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, I've gathered some teal beauties shot through with mustard and peach. I think it's a cheerful way to celebrate our Laura's strength and positivity throughout her ordeal with ovarian cancer.

If you've got a teal item in your shop and a person you'd like to honor with it, please contact me and I'd be happy to work them in to the rest of this month's posts. (Be thinking about BCA month, too.)

--katie :D