Friday, January 29, 2010

Feature Friday, blueberryshoes

1) Tell us about yourself, your shop and what brought you to the Etsy community.
My name is Hollie, I'm a lover of street and high fashion, music, dark fairy tales, nature, and handmade life. I achieve great happiness from cooking a great meal, sewing a bow, camping, being with my family and animals. I would be happiest living off my own garden and living in a cottage by the lake in the woods. Not into city life, though I love a great night on the town, seeing some live music, dressing up. I'm married, a sister and from Canada originally. I'm northern at heart.

2) Walk us through a typical day in your life.
Wake up, check emails right away. Check Twitter, Facebook and make sure I've covered the important stuff. Then I make some pressed coffee, some breakfast ( I love mushroom, zucchini and cheese omelettes ) and do up blog posts, list a new Etsy item and promote for a few hours. Promoting is something I really enjoy. I work on my new team as well, now-Indie Free Spirits.

Then I shower, package orders and run to the post office (if it's not deathly hot that day, cause I'm intolerant to the heat and sun), then hit the grocery store for dinner stuffs. Then I usually do some sewing of bows, and do some more Etsy stuff. I'll then clean the house, do some laundry, make dinner and then spend the rest of my evening with my husband. He will usually watch the Colbert Report and I'll sew on the couch beside him. I do alot of hand sewing. I never use a machine.

3) Name your top 3:
-Books: Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham, Catcher in the Rye by Salinger, and Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.
-Music: Fleetwood Mac, Tori Amos and Lady Gaga
-Movies OR TV shows: The Village, In The Name of the Father, then it's tied between Little Mermaid and Pocahontas.
Etsy, of course
Twitter (I've grown to love it.)

4) Where do you hope your shop will be in 1 year? Ok, well my shop will be well known enough that Lady Gaga will have bought a bow from me(lol) and I will have located a local store that sells PVC in every color so I don't have to order it online anymore. This will make listing a larger variety of bow colors more feasible. I will be making more than 2 sales a day hopefully and will have met alot more artists in my local area and do alot more in person promoting at craft shows. I'd like to have the shop filled with at least 4 to 5 pages of bows and accessories to choose from.
5) What is one of your favorite shops on Etsy?
just to name a few...

6) What projects are you currently working on?
A million bows (alot of pvc), creating craft show displays out of things like empty cardboard paper towel tubes and other recycled stuff. Trying to practice illustrating portraits, especially men, hands and weird positioned people-which are all my not-so-great areas of expertise.

7) If you could have 1 super power, what would it be and why?
I'd ask for complete wisdom. Then I could face anything head on and know its going to be okay, and exactly how to deal with it. I'd also use it to help alot of people.

Check out Hollie's other shop... ImFromTheWoods

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wishlist Wednesday - Hollie May from ImFromTheWoods!

Hiya Rats! It's Lush Boutique with Wishlist Wednesday again. 

This week, Hollie May ImFromTheWoods picks out her faves:

"Ellemoss is one of my alltime fav photographers, and owns a definite haunting mystery. I am in love with beauty mixed with a little dark. This piece is stunning, enchanting and dark in all the right ways. I'd love this blown up and put on my bathroom wall, which to me is the most enchanting room in the home. At night, with dusk glowing in the window and the steam of the shower on the mirror. The thing I love about this photograph is that I never tire of looking at it. That's when you know a piece is right for you.

Not only is the photograph beautiful, but the outfit is to die for as well! I'm in love with ruffly, flowy tulle and would be happy if my wardrobe consisted only of dresses made of it. You just can't go wrong with the free princess look! What a great shop for getting inspired for great photographs though. I love girls in the grass, with an old book and top hat. Throw in some stripey tights and I'm obsessed. Ouma is proof that models in listings mean treasury and blog worthy photos...which lead to many sales :)

I am quite open and honest about my love and borderline obsession with Lady Gaga. A true visionary and trendsetter, she is! Let alone singer, dancer and person. I really love the rawness of this graffiti piece and would love it in my craft/studio corner. I really like the whole shop as well. I can tell the seller has great taste in music :D

Adore this genius bunting! How perfect? There's so many reasons why I love it. Playing cards are very mysterious and beautiful. They are old world, yet modern. Kings, Queens, red hearts and a little are just sexy, what can I say? This bunting is romantically whimsical. Perfect for a hearth or to hang right above a door frame. Notice the detail- "My heart belongs to you" has been embroidered on some of the cards!

I've had my eye on this shop and it's stalactite pieces for months now. I WILL be purchasing one of them at some point. They are elegant and yet edgy at the same time. Once again, the marriage I adore. The entire shop is wonderful, and is a great example of photographing jewelry in a very eye catching way."

Thanks again Hollie May ImFromTheWoods!!!! Have a fantastic week everyone!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mosaic Monday: Vacation, All I Ever Wanted...

In the midst of walking into the grocery store, bundled up and chattering yesterday morning, I said to my boyfriend, "A vacation would be wonderful". He reminded me that we have one... to NYC... In February. Not exactly what I was thinking BUT, never the less, looking forward to a break from the routine.

I can PRETEND that I am visiting the Caribbean though.

1) Origami Star, Fairy tale by SleipnirDesigns
2) Seafom Bubbles Card Cozy by HazelHoney
3) Aquamarine Heart Studs by CreationsByEileen
4) Garden Club Hand-dyed Yarn by Cantrix
5) Ruffle Butt and Tuxedo Onesie by thecheekyprincess
6) Soothing Eye Mask in Optic Blossom by PrettyNPreppy
7) Golf Outing Button Bracelet by milanddil
8) The Hug Print by jellybeans

Can't you just feel the island breeze?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Feature Friday, knitting4ewe

1) Tell us about yourself, your shop and what brought you to the Etsy community.

  I'm from Sylvania OH, near Toledo where I raised three terrific daughters.  They are such a Godsend.  I  also have three granddaughters and two sons-in-law to share our close-knit family.

 Oh before I forget.....Hi my name is Linda and I'm addicted to yarn and knitting.  Whew!  had to get that off my chest!

 When I "have to" get supplies, just walking into the yarn shop is a heady experience.   So many colors, fibers, textures, feels!!    Patterns, project books, even the needle styles get to me.   You know you're a "frequent flier" at the yarn shop when the the salesperson says "see you tomorrow".   I love my craft when it's a great day, and when it's not so great, it helps me get out of bed in the morning.   Isn't that why we all do what we do?
 I opened a shop in 2007 but had to step back from it. Now that I'm back, I want my shop to feel friendly and inviting.  After 33 years retail experience, both in sales and management, customer service is very important to me.  It's a whole new ball game online where people can't see your smile, sense your attitude or gauge your response to their questions.  You have a chance to connect with them through your descriptions, your craft and your availibility to them as a seller.
  One day, when I was playing on the computer, and looking for sites that would sell me handmade items........I found Etsy.  After spending some time in Etsyland and looking the site over, I felt I was at home for some reason.  I have found and made  many new friends in the Labs to help me out when I was really in newbieville. (thanks AuntKarenscreations and 4GetMeNotTreasures).  This holds true for the forums too.  I know I want to be here and to be successful.

2) Walk us through a typical day in your life.
   I'm usually up by 7 a.m. and, the first thing I do is take care of my herd of cats (3  actually).  Then I take care of me; coffee, etc..  I'm retired so I can do whatever I want to do!
   After my first cup of coffee I hit my e-mail, my shop, and take a leisurely stroll through the forums.  There are 2or 3 threads that focus on good news and staying positive and I look forward to them.   I'm in the forums 3 times a day-----briefly of course.  I love the vlabs too, so I factor those in when I'm planning my day.
  Any housework or errands are done early so I can "play" all day.  That means I can work in my shop or knit away to my heart's content.   I'm really blessed to be able to do so.
  Usually I'm in bed between 11p.m. and midnight if I can get my mind to quit thinking about my shop.

3.) Name your top 3:
   A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
   Left Behind the series by Tim LaHaye
   any mystery out there

   Luther Vandross
   Natasha Bedingfield
   anything smooth jazz or r&b

movies or tv-
    Tennis channel
    Something about Mary
    Napolleon Dynamite


5) What is one of your favorite shops on Etsy?

6) What projects are you currently working on?
   I'm looking forward to spring and summer so I can get out of the house and into the garden. Those things have inspired me to work on pieces that are made with lighter weight, natural fibers (oops! back to the yarn shop)  and the riot of colors that show themselves, .  I have a tendency to start more than one project at a time so we'll see if I can get myself to focus.

7) If you could have 1 super power, what would it be and why?
  to leap one yarn shop in a single bound!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

First Meeting of 2010!

Hello hello, my good friends!

Just a quick reminder that we have a lab meeting TOMORROW afternoon (Thursday) at 3:30pm EST.

We will be discussing goals for our shops, as well as goals for the team, and I'll  happily take any questions people have on, well, anything!

As always, if you can't make it, I'll just kill you..... kidding. It's not a big deal, just feel free to e-mail/convo me any ideas you have for the team in 2010.

Alsoooo, I will be contacting people for the spring giveaway sometime next week! We have had lots apply, but you still have time to send in an entry for selection for our Spring team giveaway! Just fill out these questions, and leave a comment:

1) Your name & shop name(s).
2) What you create, how long you have been doing it, if Etsy if full time or a hobby and your inspirations.

3) Where are you located, how do you enjoy your free time?
4) What item would you like to offer for the giveaway?

Wishlist Wednesday - Bethany from bethanylorelle!

Hi Rats! This week our Wishlist Wednesday was selected by the fabulous Bethany from bethanylorelle. (Her shop is GORGEOUS, by the way).

Take it away, Bethany!

"I bought a few of these heavenly candles for myself, and wound up sending them to everyone in my family for Christmas. Unique and fresh scents, and they burn clean - Limon Biscotti is my favorite!

I love a well-made scarf, they are my addiction! The ladies at flutter make unique styles in fun colors. They even did a customized color for me, which shows they'll go above and beyond.

I have the utmost respect for this designer. Meredith Fenwick’s Jewelry is classic, elegant, and well made. A visit to her shop is a treat for the eyes and soul.

Jennifer Davis is a local painter here in Minnesota. Her work is charming and whimsical. A special bonus she has partnered with Vandalia Street Press (now on ETSY!) and several her line drawings are now a new line of handmade, letter pressed, blank- inside greeting cards.

Peacock Invitations make me want to get married all over again. Decadent and stunning invitations that make a wonderful keepsake once the wedding is done."

Thank you so much Bethany from bethanylorelle. Have a fabulous week LabRats!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Feature Friday- LemonadeSun

1) Tell us about yourself, your shop and what brought you to the Etsy community.

My name is Melody and I am a very busy mom, first and foremost, raising four wonderful kiddos (Emily-14, Eli-12, Brielle-10 and Zeb-6) with my amazing, incredibly handsome and supportive husband here in our tiny farming community of Harrisburg, Oregon. Balancing our active family life and a budding business keeps me hopping constantly every single day, yet I still somehow find time and various outlets where I can pour out my creative genius.

I began crafting things from infancy, I am sure.......or at least as far back as I can remember. As I grew up under the wings of my resourceful single mom along with my brother and sister, I learned from her example to be inventive whenever a need arose. My mother was hardly ever able to afford brand new, right off the rack prices, so it became a game in our childhood to use "the creative brains God gave us" to come up with a solution that we could afford. The first question we asked was always, “How could we MAKE one?” Most of our holidays and birthdays were filled with gifts right from our hearts…..and our hands. This lead to my love for handmade things, which led to original handmade gifts....which eventually led to the birth of Lemonade Sun Productions.

My favorite class in high school was art. Not because I was able to spend the whole class in my own little creative world, but because I got to experiment with such a wide variety of artistic mediums. When I was a sophomore, my art teacher pulled me aside after class one day and gave me the name of a local jeweler who was looking for someone to help him out with some of the production of his jewelry line and who would enjoy learning the trade. I was thrilled to have the opportunity. So I spent the next year and a half learning how to buff and polish the silver elements of various earrings without skinning my own self on the buffing wheel, making simple freshwater pearl rings and earrings, and watching as a master manipulated wire into complex, intricate designs. We worked extensively with niobium metal and I watched in fascination as he submerged his designs in water and applied electrical current to the niobium to cause a reaction which made the metal become a full spectrum of colors. Amazing. That was the beginning of my love for making jewelry.

I began carving my own stamps after learning about the hobby of letterboxing back in 2006 (or maybe 2007) after reading about it in Family Fun magazine. That’s all it took and my adventuresome, mystery solving sparks were kindled and I just had to try it for myself! After carving that first stamp, I had a feeling that this would be something I would love for a very long time. Our family found many amazing stamps while we letterboxed and I would always study each one and admire the carver’s techniques. I determined that I would perfect my carving abilities even further with each new stamp
I saw. There was no turning back. I really love carving.

Throughout my life, different people have suggested that I find a way to sell my creations, but I was always too afraid to take that first step. That is, until I partnered with a friend of mine to create a little business selling hand stamped and hand painted baby onesies. We spent lots of Saturdays creating a product line and finally approached our local crafter’s mall about renting a booth. We did quite well (with her handling the financial and marketing ends since she spent many years working in retail, and me handling design and production) until she had to move away. We put the business on the back burner and moved on.

Several years later, I was speaking to some of the women in my MOPS group (Mothers of Preschoolers) when I learned about Etsy. Curious, I took a peek at the site and was immediately sold on it. I could do this! I could make a little shop and sell things on Etsy and make some spending money. So I set out to do just that. Every day since has been a learning experience. I have gained more confidence in myself as a proper business woman in the last year than I ever thought possible. I love the generosity and helpfulness of fellow etsians. I have learned so much from all of you in the forums and chatting in the virtual labs. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and insights with those of us who need it. Believe me, we appreciate it.

2.) Walk us through a typical day in your life:

Let’s see…..
7:00am- wake kids and prepare breakfast and pack lunches
7:30am- encourage kids to move faster in order to be on time to school. Say goodbye to hubby and send him off to work. Start laundry.
8:00am- hunting down misplaced homework, shoes, backpacks and coats. Signing permission slips and reminding about afterschool activities.
8:15am- loading kids in car and making school drop offs
8:45am- time for my breakfast and shower
9:00am- check emails, login to Etsy and check for miracle overnight sales. Sometimes I will pop into the forums and see what’s going on, then check the virtual labs schedule
9:30am- package any orders, begin work depending on what day it is on stamps, design ideas, website work, blog, jewelry designs, cards, crochet items or any other things I’ve thought up while I was sleeping.
11:45am- meet the bus at the corner to pick up littlest kiddo now home from kindergarten
12:00pm- lunch with little guy
12:30pm- switch laundry and start a new load. Sometimes this is nap time and sometimes it isn’t. Depends on his outlook on life at that precise moment.
2:00pm- depending on the day it’s cleaning house or running errands
3:15pm- pick up other kiddos from school
3:45pm- afterschool snack and hanging out with kids (maybe a little Wii fun)
5:00pm- I help with homework and remind about chores
6:00pm- dinner prep begins
6:30pm- hubby gets home and we feast together as a family
7:00pm- Bible reading for the day and talking about our days
7:30pm- bath time and we might play a game if the day hasn’t been too long
8:30pm- the two younger kids hit the hay. Snuggles and stories or chatting with prayers.
9:30pm- the two older kids turn in. Snuggles and chats with prayers.
10:00pm- time with hubby all alone. Sometimes we watch a movie on Netflix or a TV show.
11:30ish- hubby falls asleep on the couch and I get back to creating.
2am- bedtime ….when I can’t hold my eyes open any longer

Name your top 3…
I love old books. One day I would love to have a library full of first editions by everyone from Austen to Shakespeare…..this is, of course, after I make my fortune on Etsy J

If I had to choose 3 off the top of my head that I really enjoyed reading they would be:
Hot Zone by Richard Preston
This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

I enjoy many different kinds of music. It really just depends on the mood I’m in. Things from Celtic music to rock songs to bluegrass. Here are some of the bands I listen to most often:
Burlap to Cashmere
Rod Stewart’s- The Great American Songbook
Third Day

*the only things I don’t like are rap music and techno stuff because they both give me headaches

Movies or TV shows:
My all time favorite movie is Pride and Prejudice.
I love watching romantic comedies best, but I also like a good whodunit and even a few action/adventure movies. I do not do scary movies though. I hate them. I prefer movies that make you think.

As far as TV goes, I am a diehard Gilmore Girls fan and own all 7 seasons. I’m also a little bit of a reality nut, but it is limited very specifically to American Idol, The Amazing Race, and Survivor primarily with some of the clean-it-up shows on HGTV and TLC like Clean Sweep and Clean House coming in a close second.

The man and I like to watch NCIS (if I had to choose only 2 shows to watch in a loop it would be Gilmore and NCIS), 24, and Prison Break when it was on.


4) Where do you hope your shop will be in 1 year?
In one year from now I hope my shop is selling at least 20 items a month and I have become such a success that I will need to hire a helper just to keep up. I would like to be making it to the front page as often as anyone else and I would like to do at least one holiday craft fair.

5) What is one of your favorite shops on Etsy?
One of my favorite Etsy shops is
Chris has a wonderful selection of really fantastic soaps in the shop. I was intrigued by the Bubble bath dough when I came across it during a search for a Friday find for my blog ( and ended up buying a sample sized bubble bath dough as well as the black tea scented shaving soap for my hubby. Oh my goodness! Now he smells so wonderful after he shaves! I love it. The bubble bath dough was a huge hit with both my girlies and me so I’m totally sold on shopredleaf. Check them out today.

6) What projects are you currently working on?
Let’s see…right now I am carving about 14 new Valentine themed stamps for the shop and trying to learn how to make pdf pages of printable valentines made from my designs to sell. I’ve also been working on adding content to a website I am hoping to launch very soon. That’s been a huge learning process as I’m learning how to do things myself because I don’t have the funds available to hire someone else.

In the next couple weeks, I will have new longjohns cards listed for Valentine’s Day and I am toying with the idea for something called “littlejohns”……but you’ll just have to keep your eyes open for those whenever they get listed.

7) If you could have 1 super power, what would it be and why?
Well, as my friend Patty says, everyone has a super power. They just need to discover what they can do that no one else can. If you can get this figured out it will save you a lot of frustration and save your family from having a crabby mom. For example, Patty’s super power is that she is the only person in her household (of 10!) that can actually see when the trash is full. Now, instead of getting angry or frustrated when others didn’t see that the can was full, she simply realizes that they don’t have the same super power as she does and she uses her super power to remind someone to take out the trash. No more grumpiness.

My super power is “find-it radar”. I have the uncanny ability, above all the other people in my house, to be able to find anything that’s lost at any given moment. I used to get so frustrated that no one else could seem to find anything. It didn’t seem to matter at all how many times I tried to teach them how to find things correctly, they just didn’t get it. It took me awhile to adjust to Patty’s new way of thinking and realize that it wasn’t that they were lazy (though there are occasions where that is true)…..they just didn’t have my super power. How can I expect them to do everything I can do? Some people are born with the ability to be naturally organized and some people aren’t.  Instead of criticizing them about their lack of ability in this area, I should be helping them discover what their super power is and teaching them how to show gratitude when someone else blesses them with help.

Incidentally, my husband is “Mr. Stash ‘n Dash”. That guy can clear a room of clutter in minutes flat no matter how bad it is. It’s truly amazing! Now that is something I just cannot do. I am a little clutter bug-ish and it takes me all day to clear a room of the mess I’ve made. He is a little forgetful and often asks me for help finding keys or a wallet, so we give each other ample practice to hone our super powers to perfection. It’s a wonderful thing really.

What’s your super power?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wishlist Wednesday - Amanda from Verabelle!

Hi Rats!! Lush Boutique here. Hope you are all managing to keep warm! Today's Wishlist Wednesday was chosen by the lovely Amanda from Verabelle.

"As someone who is inspired by vintage fashion and who uses it as my canvas, how could I not be in love with Retro Repro's handmade hats? I always love a good accessory, and these are so wonderfully unique and fun! I think this one would go great with my wardrobe and dark hair.

I have been eyeing
these for a couple of months now, and I think it's just time I finally added them to my Etsy shopping cart! I easily admit to being a chocoholic, and I am always intrigued by the pairing of interesting flavors. Lavendar honey sounds amazing! (And the purple doesn't hurt, either.)

collection of mixed nuts puts a smile on my face. They're so unexpected and playful, and the stark whiteness brings your attention to the beautiful shapes of these natural objects. These would find a perfect home on my coffee table.

Slowly, I am becoming more of a tea than a coffee drinker. And the more I drink, the more I realize I am in need of a tea pot! I would like to carry
this one with me to my sewing room to keep my cup full of warmth while I am working away.

I have been in love with
Hare and Drum's Etsy shop for some time now. Not only are the embroidered designs lovely, but I adore the story of the makers. It's a mother and daughter team; the daughter creates the designs, while her mother does the handiwork with needle and thread. It's a reminder of how these types of crafts have been traditionally shared among a community and passed down through the generations. The Dragonflies and Thistles piece is one of my favorites, from the colors to the composition."

Thank you so much Amanda from Verabelle!! Have a great week everyone :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wishlist Wednesday - Anika from Moonthroughfog!

Welcome back Rats! I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season :)

Our featured LabRat today is Anika from Moonthroughfog, who sent us her picks all the way from Croatia. (Gah! Jealous!)

Her first pick is from fellow Rat Seventytwostitches. She says, "Beautiful green and off white wool pears. I would love to see them on my night stand.

Next up is a pick from our own lovely 
spookychandelierI love this gorgeous black and white necklace. I would wear this with a pair of skinny jeans, high heel boots and a teal tank top.

I love clutches and at the moment I don`t have any brown leather ones, so this clutch from
isewstuff be a really great addition to my collection.

White, simple and beautiful earrings from 
ZerbenaBoutique. Pull your hair up, put on a simple black dress...perfect.

Very romantic, very gentle. I would wear this dress from 
DreamsAndOutfits with a belt, over a pair of leggings. Perfect combination for a warm spring day."

Thank you so much Anika from Moonthroughfog! Have a fantastic week everyone!

Monday, January 4, 2010