Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Just a quick note about a new feature that we can use on our Squidoo lenses or elsewhere. It is an RSS feed for etsy. Here is the link:

I just saw it on Noadi's lens and it works great!

Monday, November 17, 2008

November's Team L.ens Challenge

This month members of team SquidEtsy are invited to create a new lens that's either a book review or a tutorial. Check back at the end of the month to find a list of all the cool lenses everyone created!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

New Squidoo Etsy Lens

Welcome to the Post Election World in the United States. I stayed up last night to watch the election returns and was very impressed with the speeches of both John McCain and Barak Obama.

I do admit, though, that I am very much tired of election campaigning and commercials, and look forward to seeing the regular old annoying commercials as I watch TV.

Enough about that, I am publishing a brand new lens today that promotes the Squidetsians etsy shops on Squidoo. It will be one more place that your store will have a link. The lens is set up similar to the Squidoo Zazzle lens that I have. Each artist or store will have a bio spot for the artist, then a link to your store through the etsy module, and a minimum of one of your lenses regarding yourself or your work. I ask in return that if you see something missing or a person that I have missed, please let me know. I realize that I am new to this group and may not know of someone that should be listed. The lens will be an ongoing gallery, so as people join the Squidetsians, they can be included in this lens. I will also be promoting books and other resources to help people create handmade businesses, so if you know of an article or book, etc, that you think I should include, please contact me. Here is the link: See you there!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Zazzle Gallery Lens

I just picked up a lens that is a collection of Zazzle Gallieries, so if you have one, please let me know and I will add it. The lens is
In association with

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Working on a New Etsy Lens to Include Squidetsian Stores

I am so excited that I get to post on this blog :) This is my first post so bear with me. I also have my own blog which you are all invited to check out--
Now that we have gotten the blatant promotion out of the way--LOL--I wanted you all to know that I am currently working on a lens that will be about Etsy and will feature everyone's stores that are Squidetsians. It is in the imagination stage but should probably be posted in the next week or two.
I have been spending much of my own time in the last two months getting ready for the holiday shopping season, which I expect to be highly compressed into the last couple of weeks due to the elections, the economy, and the fact that Chanukah is very late this year, and Christmas starts in the middle of a week. That means we all need to stock up on what we think will sell and be ready for an onslaught. One of the items that I will be selling this year is the photo in the upper left--a Christmas decorated recycled alcohol bottle cheese tray which will come in a package with a beaded knife. I think the price will be $38. I just started a new series of wedding lenses--will end up with 6. So far I have published one on Winter Weddings, Autumn Weddings, and Wine-Themed Weddings.

Friday, September 12, 2008

EtsyForAnimals Birthday Bash Sale in over 180 stores on Etsy

Make a note of the dates : September 15th to September 30th In honor of EtsyForAnimals' Birthday Bash, during this period, many members of the EFA team will be accepting a 20% off Coupon in their shops.

There are over 170 shops that are currently signed up to accept the 20% off coupon here at Etsy including our team member PurrPrints and the EFA team store (which donates 100% of profits to animal charities on all sales). For a complete list of those shops stay tuned at the EFA website. You can use PurrPrints' code PURR in any of those participating shops (you don't need to switch to different codes every time you see a new one--each team member is promoting a different code as part of a little competition).

The nitty gritty: The coupon code "PURR" is good for 20% off the entire order price at any participating store (this does not include shipping). You can only use it once in each store during the sale period (though it can be used in as many participating stores during the sale as you wish), so make sure to stock up!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Aquariann: Fantasy art and fantastic goodies

Aquariann is another fairly new member to Team SquidEtsy, and she's taken off with a bang. She has a number of lenses on Squidoo already, including one about her art. She creates fantastical drawings of fairies and other magical creatures and turns them into everything from prints and cards to bookmarks and magnets. She's taken a few minutes to answer some questions about her work and interests: read on.

Tell us about your art? I never did very well in formal drawing classes. I didn't enjoy standing up and trying to draw on a vertical surface, nor did I like any of the messy mediums I was instructed to use. Squinting at still lives and being graded on art wasn't fun. It wasn't until I started drawing what, where and how I wanted, without worrying about anyone else's opinion, that I started considering myself an "artist." By using ink and colored pencils, a 9x12 pad of smooth bristol paper, and my imagination, I'm free to let loose the fantastical world that dances within my mind.

What first inspired you to start drawing? In elementary school, my friends and I used to make up hordes of characters to write into a young adult series. However, I spent way more time drawing the characters and their situations than actually writing about them - a realization that occurred to me much later. It wasn't until college that it dawned on me to seriously try drawing - thanks to a new addiction to anime and comic books, the discovery of modern fantasy artists such as Amy Brown and Jessica Galbreth, and many art history classes where I got to drool over the beauty of 10,000 years of work.

What are you working on right now? In the past, I have used my magic to transform a few of my friends into fairies and my father into a pirate. Right now I am in the process of turning a childhood friend into a mermaid. She is an amazing stock photographer, and when I saw her pose as a mermaid on deviantArt, I was very excited.

How would you like to develop your shop in the future? Besides all the ideas I have for new drawings that I hope to someday put to paper, I'd like to branch out on my products. I'm especially interested in temporary tattoos and shirts, as I've been asked about them a lot.

What's your favorite item in your shop? What a tough decision! For the moment, it would have to be my newest artwork. "Aware" (bottom right image) is a breast cancer awareness fairy inspired by my mom, a survivor of 14 years. The lump was discovered in her breast back in 1994, but was misdiagnosed as benign until six months later. I was in 7th grade at the time, and have never been more scared in my life. The most vivid memory I have of that time isn't waiting in the hospital or helping with the drainage tube - it was when she had to cut her hair because of the chemo. Her hair had flowed to her knees the entire 13 years I'd known her and seeing her without it was a big change. I can't even begin to imagine how tough it was for her to recover from cancer. She is an incredibly strong woman.

What's the most interesting item you've seen on etsy? NoosedKitty was one of the first etsyians I purchased from. Her art is just so unique! Who else would think to draw a narwhal in a bakery?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Art for Hair ~ Handcrafted Hair Sticks and More!

Another one of our talented squidetsy members is Art for Hair. Art for Hair makes handcrafted hair sticks, hair forks and earrings. One visit to her store and you'll be hooked on her wonderful accessories.

Here is a little bit more about Art for Hair:

Tell us about your craft/art?
I make hair sticks, hair forks and coordinating jewelry. The sticks and forks are hand carved and decorated with glass and silver beads and Swarovski crystals.

What first inspired you to start crafting?

I've always been creative, and my mother was an art teacher, so always encouraged me. I've always drawn and sewn, but started making hair sticks when I wanted to grow long hair but couldn't really find nice, non-damaging accessories. I started making my own instead!

What are you working on right now?
I'm working on a new line of embroidered hair barrettes and ribbon fasteners. Hair sticks and hair forks can only really be used if you have shoulder-length or longer hair, so I wanted to have items that those with shorter hair could wear.

How would you like to develop your shop in the future?

I'd like to do more custom orders, and expand my hair forks by working with more exotic woods, and getting better equipment.

What's your favorite item in your shop?

I love my Beaded Spiral Red Oak Hair Fork, actually I'd rather like to keep it for me! But of course, anyone who'd like to buy it is more than welcome :)

What's the most interesting/weirdest/funniest item you've seen on etsy?

Rose of Sharon Acre's Tooth Chips - Soap for your teeth - looks weird but apparently is better for your teeth than regular toothpaste. When I have money, I'll be trying this!

Store lens:

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Thanks to our Top Entrecard Droppers for August!

We'd like to thank everyone who dropped their entrecard at Team SquidEtsy during August, and especially our top ten droppers. Our top ten droppers for August were:

1. Beyond Feron
2. My Gypsy Goods
3. The Peanut Butter Blog
4. Politics 2000
5. Make Every Day Your Lucky Day
6. Unique You
7. Thyme 2 Dream
8. Purr Prints
9. Art for Hair
10. Pink Crab Creations

These are all great blogs, check them out now! Again, thanks to everyone who dropped on us!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Squidgeaboo / Kierabel Designs: Beads and Pearls

Squidgeaboo is one of the newest members of the team, and her etsy shop features lovely beads and pearls in necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Her shop's tag line is "peace, love and Happiness" and her work really does convey these emotions through their pleasing colors and composition. Read on to learn a little more about our newest SquidEtsian.

Tell us about your jewelery.
I design jewelery focusing on bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. Currently I’m using a lot of pearls in my work, but I also use all sorts of beads. I have a favorite bead store that I shop at, and I garner a lot of inspiration from there, but I’m constantly reading and trying new techniques. My latest new technique is working with memory wire.

What first inspired you to start designing?
After I gave birth to my daughter, Annabel, I couldn’t find a Mother’s bracelet that embodied my style. They all looked too frilly, somehow. With some encouragement from my husband, I decided to make my own. It turned out amazingly, and soon I was hooked! I made bracelets for all my friends, my Mom, and soon I had requests from friends of friends.

What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m working with a lot of pearls, memory wire, and filling some orders for family and friends from my trip to Winnipeg. I’m planning on developing a few new items for the store, including some children’s items. I’m also starting to work with reclaimed jewelery, redesigning old or out-of-date items into new pieces.

How would you like to develop your shop in the future?
I want to work on developing and furthering my technique with making rings and wire wrapping.

What's your favorite item in your shop?
My favourite item is the Flapper Necklace (lower right picture). It looks so cool on! Peeking out from a shirt- it’s so unusual! I also really am into the wrap bracelets (upper right picture). My daughter steals them when she sees me wearing them, but they are fun to wear!

What's the most interesting item you've seen on etsy?
I really like the Echinacea ring from herbanelements

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Featured Team Member: Purr Prints

We'd like to start a new series of blog posts introducing our team members and profiling their Etsy shops and art.

First up is Purr Prints, an amazing artist who produces wonderful cat-themed art. There are prints, drawings and ACEOs as well as bags, magnets and a new line of beautiful pendants. Here's our interview with Becca from Purr Prints.

Tell us about your craft/art?
I started primarily as a 2d pen and ink artist, but I've become fascinated with Photoshop and started doing a lot of hand-drawn/digital combination pieces.

Being on Etsy has also pushed me to think outside the standard print page and move into cards, fabrics, and even (most recently) jewelry (I've fallen totally in love with making pendants as of late--miniature cats are so much fun to create!).

As my name indicates, I do mostly cat-themed work, but I enjoy other types of art just as much--I just don't tend to put them up for sale as frequently.

What first inspired you to start drawing?
My grandmother was a really talented artist, and she and I used to have art play dates together when I was young. I guess it just never occurred to me to stop.

What are you working on right now?
I have a few things in the works: tags for cat collars, key chains, and painted mats to use as placemats or under cat food and water dishes.

How would you like to develop your shop in the future?
I want to continue to expand all the different ways people can use my art; I'd especially like to learn to screenprint and get a sewing machine so I can do more with fabric.

What's your favorite item in your shop?
That's a really tough one for me, honestly. I think right now it's a toss up between the Existential Cat [bottom picture] and Syd and the Blueberry Tree [middle picture]. Both of those are pieces where I really feel like I hit my stride at combining digital and hand-drawn techniques into a unified work.

What's the most interesting/weirdest/funniest item you've seen on Etsy?
It would have to be the smarty pegs from dippylulu's shop--the description is an absolute must-read.

Thanks for the interview, Becca! We'll be featuring more team members soon!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Our first blog award

Etsy's dark side team blog was kind enough to give us our very first award-yippee!

As part of this blog, we're tasked with nominating up to 7 other blogs to receive the award. Since each of us has our own personal faves, we've decided to nominate team members who have their own blogs so that we can each pick our favorites from there (plus, of course, all our individual blogs totally rock, so it's not like we don't deserve it ). That left us with 3 more spots and those went to the top EC droppers on this blog (whose blogs also, of course, totally rock--the dilemma was picking amongst all the ones that we love, and this was the fairest way we found to do it).

So (drum roll please) our list of nominees, in alphabetical order:
1. ArtforHair
6.Politics 2000

Here are the rules for the next recipients of the Brilliante Weblog Premio 2008 Award, established in 2005:

l. The award may be displayed on a winner’s blog.
2. Add a link to the person who you received the award from.
3. Nominate up to seven other blogs.
4. Then add their links to your blog.
5. Add a message to each person that you have passed the award on to in the comments section of their blog.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

PurrPrints' Contest

PurrPrints is hosting a contest (1st prize: 20 dollar coupon to her shop for anything you want; 2nd prize: 10 dollar coupon; 3rd prize: 200EC credits) on her blog. Check it out--there are two free ways to enter. And in the entry just before her contest there are some useful tips on things not to do with glaze, for anyone looking to branch into pendant making.

On a separate note, this is the newest addition to PurrPrints ACEOs --->

Have any contests of your own to share? Comment away!

Monday, August 11, 2008

So what's Squidoo?

Just in case anyone visiting us is still wondering what squidoo is, here's a small tutorial :)

Squidoo is a website hosting hundreds of thousands of handbuilt webpages or "lenses". You can build a lens on any subject you want. It is perfect for writing about your hobbies and interests or promoting your Etsy shop like us SquidEtsians do.

They are free to set up and lenses even pay a royalty. You can choose to keep the royalties for yourself or share them with your favorite charity.

They are easy to set up, even if you are not tech-savvy.

So in a nutshell, that is squidoo. Check out our member lenses. If you like what you see, then create your own and join in on the squidoo fun!

You can see the team lens here. :)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Fun gifts for less than 10 dollars

A few items from members of team SquidEtsy that cost less than 10 bucks and would make great little fun gifts to tuck in a stocking or attach to a birthday card.

Punkerkas's Rainbow Sassy Crochet Hat. Only 8 bucks for this fun wardrobe flair.

ArtforHair's Tiger Eye hair stick dangle. This lovely dangle can be attached to any of Art's interchangeable dangle hair sticks for a reasonable way to increase your "hairdrobe" (excuse my puns--I just can't help myself sometimes).

Melsdolls' Shoe Girl Charm Keychain. Only 3 bucks for the perfect playful gift to the shoe-aholic in your life.

PurrPrints Round cat magnets. At only 4 dollars a magnet, these colorful original cat drawings will perk up any kitty lover's kitchen art gallery (otherwise known as a fridge).

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Stencil Tutorial

I make my own stencils for band logos, or just a cool looking logo quite a bit. There are websites where you can download and print off drawings specific for stencils. is the one I use quite a bit. For band logos that he doesn’t have, I use the Google Image search.

Finding a picture you want to stencil out is tricky. You have to make sure that the lines you’re cutting out, don’t cut out most of the whole picture.

This won’t work because the lines are all connected, her eyes and mouth get cut out. There’d be a lot of different pieces.

This will work because there are little pieces all throughout. If you notice on the skull, the eyeholes and nose are going to be cut out. Something smaller like that will be easy to paint in or around.

What do I need?
1. A picture that you’d like. You can easily print off one online, cut out what you want painted in, and then layer that over the blank stencil and cut that. I found it’s easier to cut the paper out first and then cut out the stencil blank
2. An Exacto knife. These are relatively cheap and work WAYYYY better than scissors.
3. Stencil blanks. Found at any craft store.
4. Something hard so you can lay the picture and stencil blank flat and not cut a table or something you don’t want scratched.
5. Fabric paint- I suggest Scribbles or Tulip brands.
6. Fabric or a garment.
7. Newspaper or something to put under the garment just incase the fabric bleeds through.
8. Brushes.

Take the picture you’ve printed out or copied and exacto knife out what you’d like to color in on the fabric. Then place the paper over the actual stencil blank and the trace what you’ve cut out in the paper. Once all the slicing and dicing is done you’re ready to start painting. Place the finished stencil over the part of fabric you’d like to fill in. You’ll get your fingers covered in paint, but the two brands I recommended won’t be permanent, it peels off easily from skin. You’ll have to hold down the stencils and may have to go over the paint a couple times depending on how dark the fabric is and absorbent it is. Once you get the stencil done, remove the homemade stencil. Do NOT leave it on the fabric, they do stick once the paint dries and it’s just a pain.

You won’t have to go over the paint with heat or anything. Just wash the garment in cold water and hang it dry.

One main reason why I cut out the paper copy is to make sure I’ll get be able to stencil what I want out. It saves time and money on blank stencils. Some art supply stores have Vellum that is thick enough to work as a stencil, but be sure you don’t get it too thick or you’ll kill your hands using the exacto knife on it.

If you want to stencil letters out, it’s a lot easier to buy those at the craft store. It’s not that expensive and saves a TON of time. You can get different type and sizes from ½” to 2”.
If you're really good at drawing, who needs stencils? Just get the fabric paint and brushes and go for it.

I hope this helps someone out there and saves them some time and mistakes!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What Are Hair Sticks?

Have you ever seen a woman with long hair apparently effortlessly up in an intricate style with a pencil, chopstick or more elegant stick? I always envied these women their ability to quickly create these styles, until I discovered hair sticks myself.

Hair sticks are decorative pieces of art, which really do make these styles extremely easy for anyone with shoulder-length or longer hair to create, with a little practice.

Hair sticks have a long history and have been used since ancient times. There are records of them being used by the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. Of course, it is the Chinese and Japanese cultures which are best known for their use of hair sticks.

In Japan, Geishas used elaborate hair sticks as part of their decorative styles. As a Geisha progressed in seniority, they wore different hair sticks to signify their rank. Different sticks, colors and flowers were also worn with different seasons and festivals. These hair sticks were called Kanzashi.

During the 1920s, hair sticks became more widely used in the West. Today, they remain a classic way to style long hair; they will never be out of fashion. Hair sticks today are made from wood, bone or metal, and choice of material is largely a personal preference. The tops may simply be carved into a design, or decorated with beads or dangles. There is a hair stick for every occasion, from designs suitable for casual, everyday wear to those for office wear, special occasions and formal events.

A major advantage of hair sticks is how little they damage long hair. When growing long hair, it is very important to minimize damage and breakage, and hair sticks are some of the least damaging hair accessories. Contrary to popular belief, long hair does not have to take a long time to style every morning. Compared to the blowdrying and styling products often needed to style short hair, putting up long hair with hair sticks takes no time at all! Also, you do not have to have superlong hair to use hair sticks. As long as your hair is shoulder-length or longer, you will be able to use hair sticks. If you would like to find out more about hair sticks and long hair styles, visit my Etsy shop or website.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tutorial: Drawing Abstract Designs

A few people have asked me how to make something like this piece, Abstractions, that I sell in my etsy shop, so I've decided to put together a brief tutorial on the process (but if you like this piece, I hope you'll buy mine along with trying out your own--in fact, if you contact me on etsy and mention this tutorial, I will give you 15% off the sale price on any print in my shop).

Tools you'll need:
Pen (archival ink is a must if you want your original to last; use black ink or whatever color you want your border to be)
Paper (if you want a higher quality drawing, use acid-free art paper suited to your medium)

Colored pencils, multicolored inks, or paint (for adding additional color to your piece)
Scanner (for creating a digital image of your drawing to work with on the computer)
Digital image editing software (I use photoshop, but you can get "gimp" for free online)

Step 1:

Pick a starting point near the lower right corner edge and draw a line parallel to the right side of the page. Make a "right turn" and continue your line. Keep doing this with different line lengths.

Tip: Make sure you are always turning in the same direction.

Step 2:

Continue this process, staying somewhat close to the right side of the page, until you approach the upper right corner. I find it looks best to arrange your turns so you can go parallel to the corner edge.

Tip: Don't actually touch the edges of your paper.

Steps 3&4:

Continue this process along the top side (going towards the left), then the left side (going towards the bottom), and then along the bottom edge (going towards your start point). See the pictures below to get ideas on varying line lengths and overlapping in the center.

Step 5:

Now for the fun part--filling in the design. You'll notice that all four edges of your piece are white. Fill all of this in with one color--I usually pick black. Then take this same color and fill in all the shapes you've created that share a diagonal corner with this border. Once you've done this, you can either fill all the other boxes with another single color--as I've done in the tutorial image--or, for more of a challenge, you can fill them in with related colors in a pattern, as I did in my different versions of the "Abstractions" piece shown at the beginning.

That's it--congratualtions! You can add some variety by playing around with different media--colored pencils will add a different texture to your final image, for example, like it has in my ACEO Not Quite Home, and you'll find that ink and paint can also have interesting effects. If you have digital image editing software and a scanner, you can also create a digital version of your drawing and fill in the colors on the computer, which gives you a safe way to experiment with different color combinations.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Welcome to the Team SquidEtsy Blog!

Welcome to the SquidEtsians blog, and thank you for your visit! This blog is a group effort by members of Etsy's SquidEtsy Street Team.

Etsy is the premier online marketplace for handmade items. Thousands of artists and craftspeople have Etsy store fronts, and buyers can find everything from clothing to soap and jewelery to paintings, with the added bonus that everything has been hand-made by individuals and small businesses with care and attention to detail. Etsy sellers join groups called Street Teams, which unite crafters with a common interest. Members support each other in raising the profile of their individual Etsy shops and artistic endeavors. Team SquidEtsy is a group of Etsy artists and craftspeople who use Squidoo 'lenses' to promote their work. Squidoo is a site where anyone can create a page, known as a lens, about any subject they like. Other Squidoo members can leave comments and rate lenses, and lenses are ranked in Squidoo.

This blog will feature:
- profiles of team members and their work
- DIY instructions for various crafts
- details about new items in member's shops
- details of sales and special offers from member's shops
- selections of items suitable for occasions such as Christmas, birthdays, graduations etc

We're just getting started, check back soon!