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 I’m also starting to work with reclaimed jewelery, redesigning old or out-of-date items into new pieces.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!