Friday, August 29, 2008

Rockin UK Designs and a Bad Geography Joke

Claire Laraine
is an accessories designer from North Yorkshire, but she grew up on the island of Jersey. Therefore, she is a Jersey girl!

Ignore my witticisms and adore her products.

Over-sized slouchy beach bag

How much better would a trip down the shore be with this snazzy Slouch Bag? The cheery pattern goes great with a day on the sand, and it’s a perfect replacement for your beat-up backpack! Sport it with your cutest sundress and get ready to be envied.

While you’re at it, pin back your bangs with these sweet Butterfly Bobby Pins. Even better: her etsy site says free shipping today!

Now that you’re all accessorized, these matchbook notebooks will surely come in handy for jotting down digits. Go on, Jersey girls.

Catch up on new Claire Laraine designs on her blog, and her website for more fabulous bags, mirrors, and clips!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

You know you want something called a "Vladmaster."

Remember Viewmasters?

I must have had hundreds of Viewmaster reels. You used to even get them at tourist sites, so you could go watch mini-slides to remind you of your vacation at Busch Gardens or Niagra!

i welcome the renaissance of this art form with open arms (and a finger cramp from the clicky-thing).

Vladmaster Kafka Reel Set
Vladmasters are handmade View-Master™ reels designed, photographed, and hand-assembled by Vladimir. They make use of toys, neglected household objects, and odd ephemera to tell 28-picture tales of train chases, missing steam shovels, disastrous dinner parties, and overly adventurous cockroaches.In addition to well-known longer works such as The Metamorphosis, The Penal Colony, and The Castle, Franz Kafka wrote a series of parables. These parables are brief and enigmatic re-imaginings of traditional mythic and historic figures. Poseidon grows bored with the sea; Alexander the Great is overcome by the weight of his own body; and the desecration of a temple becomes a ritual event for its worshippers. When Vladimir was much younger she painted the words to several of these parables, in English and German, inside of the storm drains of Corvallis, Oregon. Due to the fact that she used water-based paint, they have almost certainly been washed away by now. This set consists of four handmade Vladmaster reels and a charming box in which to keep them. The reels feature 3D images of dioramas and characters designed, photographed and hand-assembled by Vladimir.

Send it in a Letter, Baby, Write it on the Wall

Beautiful and Lovely Altered Journal

Danielle Greene of Irvington, NJ, has a passion for paper!

Her Etsy Shop, Collective Elements, Is chock-full of lovely journals, notecards, stationery and embellishments... with some crochet thrown in for good measure!

Self Mailer Letter/Envelope - Set of Two

A great feature of Danielle's shop is the "Pay it Forward" section! I asked Danielle to tell me more about this Etsy phenomenon:

"PIF means Pay It Forward. The PIF process involves a seller giving
away an item for free (or the amount of the listing fee). The buyer
is then charged with the task of paying that kindness forward bylisting a PIF in their shop or paying that kindness forward in a different way."

You can find this great "So in Love" card in Collective Element's PIF section... snap it up, and get ready to pass on the good karma!

Collective Elements will go on the road to a number of upcoming fairs and shows:
aturday, Sept. 13, 2008
Handmade Cavalcade
Beacon, NY
1:00 pm to 8:00 pm
the NewNewEtsy Team's road trip to Dutchess County.
For more details, visit

Saturday, Oct. 11, 2008
Oktoberfest and Second Annual Arts and Craft Fair
Sunnyside Heights, NY
For more details, visit

Saturday, Oct. 25, 2008
Handmade Faire
Medford, NJ
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more details, visit

...and catch Danielle in the blogosphere at!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Octopus jewelry. No seriously, jewelry made from octopus. I'm not kidding.

I have a backlog of awesome NJ artists to profile, but I just came across Octopusme's etsy store and I'm experiencing extreme cognitive dissonance regarding this jewelry. It disturbs me as only marine biology can, but I'm drawn to it just the same.

If you're wondering how i came across it, I was looking for "Steampunk," as this concept is new to me and I'm finding it hard to nail down. I was thinking more like gears and stuff, but it seems this fits the bill also...

Octopus Sucker Ring
OctopusME Journey Pendant

Sm Unmatched Threesome - OctopusMe Tentacle Earrings

From OctopusME's shop announcements:

"The Octopus is a symbol of Transformation and Regeneration. Because of its reputation of changing colors to match its backgrounds, the octopus is also known as the Master of Disguise. Octopuses also have the power to regenerate. If an octopus loses an arm in battle it can grow a new one. Some can even detach and arm to distract predators and then grow another! Don't mess with the octopus because they can stun or kill you with one poisonous bite. The poison is called tetrodotoxin which is the same as Fugu, the puffer fish served in Japan. So treat your Octopus with Love!"

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Four new items at alexladydesigns!

I'm so excited about these hammered earwires!! This pair is not for sale, but these are...

NEW Hammered Earhooks with Pink and Orange Swirls
These new earhooks are delightful in every way... Strong, sturdy, sassy, and sterling, I hand-form each one and then forge them on a bench block to harden them up. They're so comfortable, you can leave them in all day...even if you're a business-to-business phone salesperson.

also, a new spiral pendant, a new rectangular pendant, and another swingy pair of earrings on my hammered hooks!

I'm really proud of these earwires. Because I'm forging them, I can use a more slender wire gauge, which is important to me because my own ears are sensitive, and I'm sure I'm not the only one!

Oh, I have so many more items to list, but they will have to wait for now! Check back for updates and more artist features!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Alex, where's YOUR stuff??

I know, I know. My camera is now back in my hot little hands. Boy, have I been busy!! A new style of earrings, new spiral designs, hammering my heart out!

I'll be spending some QT doing a photoshoot in the morning and new items will be posted in the afternoon. Pins and needles no more!


Teeny TP!

From LiciaBeads' store...

"This is the pendant version of the TP earrings that I sell.

Late one night, I had this idea...

Soft plushy beaded TP intended for friendly ghosts only. Pendant has holes that are 4mm for you to hang on your favorite necklace chain of choice. Peyote stitched similar to how the quilting ladies do it on that other special plushy TP that is intended for humans.

Sorry, it is not unrollable..."

Sometimes, someone beats you to a really good idea...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

You Spin me Right Round

If you're looking for a monster for your little monster, Kari Capone of thespinninghand has one for you!

Two-Fanged Monster Sweater

For your fierce little one. Made from 100% washable wool. Two-Fangs likes to drool and eat wood chips. He rarely blinks.
The roll-top neck is generously sized for your child's noggin.

Age 12-18 months

And while her knitted kids' items are truly unique and adorable, this handcrafter from Maplewood, NJ also has gorgeous items for us grown folk... Scarves both thick and skinny, sweaters made for cuddling, snazzy hats, and an array of vintage items as well!

A little Q and A for you, dear readers... Alexlady does do a modicum of crochet, but I never learned to read a pattern, and my knitting skills began and ended at a knitting circle a year and a half ago. Needless to say, I am not up on my yarn trends!
Q: You mention bamboo yarn on your site! I had no idea you could spin bamboo into fiber, tell me more?

A: -There are a lot of bamboo yarns on the market right now. It's a hot trend because bamboo is a rapidly renewable, "green" fiber. It feels heavenly to work with. Some of my favorite bamboo yarns are available from Rowan and Bee Sweet companies. Other unusual fibers include banana, milk, and corn!

Q: I love your Bell Sleeved Shrug (pictured above)but in your store I see it's listed as "YART." Elaborate please?

A: -YART means a yard sale for art. It takes place, usually in the summertime, on Etsy. I'm getting ready for my 1 year anniversary on etsy and would like to clear out some of my older products!

September first marks Kari's one-year mark. That means the temperatures are about to drop and it's time for something cozy to snuggle in! Swing on by her store and wish The Spinning Hand a happy birthday,
and check out her great post about the BUST magazine party on her blog,

Thursday, August 14, 2008

No, i said 'Allo, but that's close enough.

Psychadelic Panther is my new best friend.

She has not just Willum Worm from Labyrinth(i never even knew he had a name!!!), but check these out:Rocks friends!!

and I'll be dreaming of this for weeks. It's a replica of the Fiery Rag Doll that Sarah has in her room at the end of the movie.

Oh man. I never considered myself any kind of Fangirl until i found these. I'm going to dream of that Fiery doll for weeks!

So what else can we find ? Yes. Excellent. Labyrinth Geek Pack.

Or how about a Jareth Necklace?

Sign me up.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

First of all, Dismembered Baby Doll Coatrack (that's my new band name)


In other news, D and I went to visit his mom in south Jersey this weekend, and left the camera there. I have six new pieces that I cannot wait to share as soon as the camera is back in my hot little hands!

The Olympics continues to hold my attention, and I also continue to be disconcerted about the Russia-Georgia situation as well as stupid John Edwards. I liked him so much. Oh well.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Precious Metals

Azaiez means "precious" in Arabic. It's a fitting name for Princeton Etsian's store, Azaiez Designs.

Sue is the creative force behind this line of classy, imaginative jewelry, and her store has been a great success with items like her Orbs and Full Moon Earrings. She has made nearly 50 sales since opening her virtual doors less than four months ago. Check out her tips for new Etsians:

You've had a lot of sales on your site... do you have any tips to new sellers for success?

azaiez designs: It is so funny to hear that you think I have had a lot of sales because I feel like I have had a very slow start! I have had 48 sales to date and most of those are to people I know, so I really want to get exposure to new buyers. Anyhow, I have learned a lot in the last 4 months and I think my top pieces of advice are:

* Professionalize your look! the best money I have spent to day has been on my logo and business cards - it makes me look like a more professional site and also makes it easy for me to refer people to my site because I know when they get there it will look good! Another piece of advice - always have your business cards with you.
* If you make something wearable, wear it! People always comment on my jewelry and that is when I tell them I make jewelry and give them my card!
* Develop your own style! I think each seller should try to continually experiment, but that it is also important to develop your own style - what sets you apart from others. I myself have seen a lot of progress and am only recently feeling like I have really evolved into the type of look I want my jewelry line to express (you can see that if you look at my older Etsy items and my newer ones!). Now my goal is to make very modern and stylish feminine pieces that are based on a neutral palette (silver, white, brown, black...) with splashes of color and maybe some subtle unexpected details too (asymmetrical placement, small charm, etc...). I like to think this is like me - simple and understated but with lots of vibrant and unexpected surprises! :)
* If you are on Etsy, post often and space out your posts. Most of my sales are through word of mouth, but the few sales I have made to total strangers on Etsy came right after I posted a new item. It was at the top of the search list, so I think posting a little each day/week gets you noticed easier. Also, something I jsut found out about it re-listing. You can delete a current item and re-list it! for another 20 cents that puts you back up at the top of the searches.
* Get on the Forums - I have found out so many useful tips and ideas from other people and have gotten so many people just to check my shop out by getting on the Etsy forums and chatting with other Etsy members.
* Word-of-mouth works! I have told all my friends who have bought from me to spread the word and I also send out a monthly newsletter with news and specials! If anyone wants to be added, please let me know!
* Finally - do something positive with your shop and give back! Join Etsy for Charity, a team which sells donations from Etsy members and donates the proceeds to a different charity each month. I have started donating one item per month so far and it feels great to do something good for the world with my shop. I think all Etsy members should get involved either with them or another cause they care about!
* Since I am a newbie too, I want to say that all advice is welcome too! I am a full time grad student, wife, and way to busy all the time. But I still could use advice from more experienced sellers as well, mostly in the way of how to get my shop out there and market better! I think I make special items, and wish I knew how to get the word out!

Blue and Pink Seaside Necklace

Sue plans to have her pieces in a local boutique soon, but for the moment you can also find her at her Facebook page as well as on the We Love Etsy Blog, and you can check out more of her eye-catching designs at Flickr! You can can search azaiez.designs or go to for more Azaiez Designs.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

New Item at alexladydesigns!

I used to make god's eyes like a fiend. I remember in particular, one summer surrounded by popsicle sticks and yarn balls, just going to town. Then I graduated to bigger sticks, and twine. Now it seems I've stepped it up once again to something a smeedge classier than a camp craft.

Two separate segments of sterling silver wire are hammered at the ends and sanded, then woven together with fine guage sterling wire to form this classic folk art icon. Measuring
1 1/4" x 1 1/4", it's dainty and elegant, but what a conversation piece!

It may inspire you to sing "Blowin in the Wind in eight-part harmony. Don't say you weren't warned.


Shannon Leigh, I still believe in God, Poetry Necklace. All Profits Contributed Her Family.

On Saturday, 14 July 2008, a young, talented member of our poetry slam family was in a cave diving accident in Florida. She passed away on 30 June, after having been in a coma as a result of this accident. Our arts community is pulling together with our talents, prayers, and contributions to help her family to cover the 20 percent of costs that were not paid by insurance.

Shannon is one of the most stunning young talents that many of us have ever witnessed, and her family one of the most supportive we've seen. Her mother sent me these lines of poetry to share the spirit of some of Shannon's most recent work.

*The pendant* measures about one by one inch, and lays flat against the skin at the collarbone area.

*The chain* is delicate-looking, high-quality 16-inch sterling silver.

For more information, you are invited to visit getwellshannon dot com.
Added on Jul 30, 2008


I don't know anything more about this than what i read when i stumbled upon this on etsy... i had just posted my silver god's eye and wondered if there were any other god's eyes around, and lo and behold. I usually feel pretty jaded, in general, but this really touched me.

find Lionessden jewelry here.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Fridays is for scrubbin

I love bath and body products. No, not love...mild obsession? That's closer to the truth. I can have a stack of five awesome soaps at home, but if i pass by a place that has delicious handmade soaps i HAVE to buy one.

And I cannot wait to get my hands on everything from LusciousNaturals.

Ylang and lavender luscious vegan soap

Vegan clay face masque

NJ Etsian Cassidy handcrafts these yummy items with an eye for the environment. She says:
"My central philosophy is simple: Your skin is the largest organ you have, what goes on your body goes in your body. I believe in the use of pure, natural, organic, fair-trade, sustainable, and local ingredients. I try to incorporate as many of those attributes as possible for each ingredient I choose. I believe in living an ecoconscious life--and I bring that right into my business--from sustainable ingredients, to buying locally, using recycled paper, and recycling packing materials.

I advocate being an informed consumer, and I strive to add to that body of knowledge (through blog posting, being part of forum discussions on b&b, sharing information with my customers, etc.). Above all, customer service is my highest priority... even in this uber-quick internet world, its no less important than it ever was before. Love your body, naturally!" She has a contract with and is planning to pitch to Whole Foods soon.

In addition to these lovely body products, Cassidy has another store on etsy, Digital Mayhem, which hosts her handprinted photography and ACEO cards.

Original, Hand Printed--Church Series, Image No.1

Cassidy can be found IRL some weekends at the Brooklyn Indie Mart and upcoming Craft Attack! Also look for her at October's Handmade Faire in Medford, NJ, and check out her blog at