19 September, 2009

FEATURED SHOP - thatSandygirl.etsy.com

Starting today...a  new addition to my blog will be FEATURED SHOP ...shops from Etsy and other handmade markets where I will interview a diverse group of individuals creating handmade items..  I hope you will enjoy reading their stories and will support these wonderful artists and craftspeople by buying items that are made by hand.

Sandy of thatSandygirl.etsy.com is relatively new to Etsy.  She told me that she has only been making jewelry for six months (which is hard to believe given the quality and difficulty of her pieces).  She says she is enjoying every second of it! 

Here is an interview with Sandy along with some of her beautiful jewelry.


"Through some strange quirk in the universe, I actually had several hours one day with all three of my children otherwise occupied.  I'd noticed the local bead store on Main St. and I just decided on impulse to stop in and maybe give some support to a small downtown business.  I've always enjoyed interesting and unique jewelry, but it never occurred to me to make my own until I walked into that store and saw all of the glorious variety of semiprecious stones - I was hooked instantly.  I bought some carnelian and amethyst beads, the components to make two pairs of earrings, a pair of round-nose pliers and a magazine, and I haven't looked back!"


"My art background stopped at ninth grade art class.  I really thought that because I couldn't draw (and still can't) I wasn't creative.  I've always been a do-it-yourself type - gardening, canning, sewing some pillow covers - but I never considered myself artistic until I found jewelry.  I've taught myself, working with a few wonderful books and plenty of experimentation."

"I love to work with wire - I love the beautiful warm gleam of the copper, and the clean simplicity of silver, and how it all bends so wonderfully into the shape I want.  And I love my new torch - I'm just getting started with it, and I'm looking forward to experimenting."

"I draw a lot of my inspiration from the town I live in.  Mt Vernon is a very small historic city, with a lot of interesting old houses surrounded by gigantic trees, formal and informal gardens, and brick streets.  There's a river with a wonderful paved biking trail that runs more than twenty miles beside it through the countryside and to the next three towns.  I love it, and I think a lot of my work takes it's tone from the atmosphere here.  That being said, sometimes it's simply the materials themselves that inspire a piece.  I might find an interesting focal, or some cool beads, and then poke through my stash to see if I have anything that sets it off.  And sometimes my husband will suggest a combination of things that might not have occurred to me."

"I think it's terrific, a wonderful venue!  I adore that it's international, and I can see that people from all over the world have looked at my jewelry.  I shipped an item to Israel a few weeks ago, and my kids and I plan to learn about the cities and countries where people buy my jewelry.  I also love what I've been able to do with my shop - it looks so professional!  There are a LOT of jewelers on etsy, and it's been a bit of a challenge so far to get my pieces noticed among more then a million items in the jewelry category.  I'm working hard at it, though!  The forums are an amazing resource - people are so generous with their knowledge!  Marketing and self-promotion are really foreign concepts for me, and I've gotten so much help from the forums in that regard."

Visit Sandy at thatSandygirl.etsy.com to view more of her beautiful pieces!

16 September, 2009

The Cats of Mirikitani

Last night my husband and I watched an excellent documentary.  It is called The Cats of Mirikitani, by filmmaker, Linda Hattendorf.  It is a beautiful true story of how one person (the filmmaker) dramatically changed the life of another by  reaching out in extraordinary ways to help a person in need. 

Jimmy Mirikitani is an 88 year old homeless Japanese-American living on the streets of New York City.  His passion to make art is the only thing he has going for him.  When he was a young man,  he was placed in an internment camp for 3-1/2 years during WWII.  His memories of being interred and of experiencing Hiroshima have left him an angry, bitter man whose art is is his only escape.  Then he meets Linda and her compassion  to help this man has a profound impact on his life in so many positive ways.

The Cats of Mirikitani is sad, powerful, poignant and a must see!

12 September, 2009

Bee Bliss

Picture from our Garden - September 11, 2009
The bees have been enjoying our sedum which have just turned a beautiful pink color!

09 September, 2009

Treasury Makes Etsy's Front Page

What a pleasant surprise to discover today that the Treasury I had created yesterday was picked up by Etsy and ended up on Etsy's Front Page. When I looked mid morning there were about 20 views. When I looked two hours later that number had skyrocketed and I knew from the comments that had been left that we'd been featured. Fun Stuff! The Treasury will be deleted on Friday morning, as they only run for a couple of days. Think I'll start working on another one...

08 September, 2009

My First Treasury on Etsy

YEA! I finally figured it out. Today on Etsy, I posted my first Treasury. A Treasury is a collection of items from the 1000's of Etsy shops that an etsian puts together so that others can have the opportunity to see all of the really beautiful things that Etsy has to offer.

I have been trying for a long time to figure out how to do this (I still have so much to learn about the computer), but I was pleased today to create this Treasury. The thing about the Treasury is that there are so many people trying to post their own collections that it is difficult to catch an open spot. Patience...I kept telling myself...and VOILA'!

Click Here to check out the Treasury. It was inspired by the football season being upon us and the team color combination of blue and orange. It is titled FOOTBALL FANTASIA.