Monday, February 28, 2011

Spring Break!

by Rita Wetzel of RitasCreationsOnETSY

What is the history of Spring Break? How did it come into existence? And how do we Etsians in Minneosta honor it?

Some say Spring Break originated way back in the days of ancient Greece with traditions of honoring the wine gods as spring made its appearance. Some say it started in the 1930's when a Maine swim team went to Fort Lauderdale. This annual trek eventually grew into the College Coaches' Swim Forum over the years attracting as many as 300 swimmers. Swimmers plus the neighboring military plus some beer - well, what more can be said? Over the decades, Spring Break has come to mean a break from school and college and homework, a trip to warm weather with family or fellow students, partying (especially if parents aren't along), as well as a signal to winter's end!

In Minnesota, we especially look forward to Spring Break time because it means the snow and cold is once again fading into spring rains and eventually flowers and warm weather. One season is ending and another one is unfolding! And us Etsians here at HandmadeMN have our own unique way of honoring Spring Break too!!

PenguinPlace heads to the time honored Spring Break destination of Fort Lauderdale to enjoy the beach, the warmth, the palm trees, and the blue, sunny skies!


ChoosingBeauty honors Spring Break at the sea!


XOHandworks treks to the ocean to see the Green Sea Turtles!!


Pickleberries makes sure she has her Caribbean Garden Millefiori Pony Tailholders packed before she takes off on her Spring Break vacation to warm weather!

Unfortunately though, Chickadeesigns isn't going away for Spring Break this year. However, she is still doing the happy dance because she has this "not in school" waterproof resin necklace to remind her that there is no school, there is no homework, and that she has a week of creative time instead!
So what are your plans for Spring Break 2011?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

HandmadeMN Giveaway - All Things * Jane

By Michelle of Evie's Tool Emporium

Congratulations to our latest giveaway winner! Thanks to all who entered and we wish you good luck with this week's giveaway!

This week Lisa of all things jane is giving away this cute travel earring organizer.

Travel earring organizer

This cute earring holder is the perfect solution for the earring-wearing traveler.

The interior fabric features a loose weave so your earrings easily poke through, without leaving obvious holes behind. The panels are padded and fold neatly into the pocket, which is then secured by twisting the ribbon around the button. It works well with all types of earrings: posts, hoops, or hinges.

Organizer measures 5" W x 3.25" H when closed. Inner piece measures 3" W x 7.25" H when laid flat.

How to Enter:

Visit Lisa's shop, pick your favorite item and leave a comment on this post about it.

Open to US residents and international residents.

Please make sure we have a way to contact you!

For Bonus Entries:
Please leave each in a separate comment, as each comment is an entry (To qualify for extra entries you must do step one above).

1. Visit other HandmadeMN team members shops (listed in the sidebar here) and leave a comment(s) here with your favorite pieces.

2. Blog about this giveaway with a visible link back to this posting and comment here with a link to your post.

3. Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment(s) with a link to your tweet(s).

4. Follow our blog (you want to do this anyway to learn about upcoming giveaways!). Leave a comment here letting us know you are a follower. If you are already a follower, leave a comment anyway, as each comment is an entry.

5. Follow HandmadeMN on Twitter. Comment back here with your Twitter link. Existing followers just leave your Twitter link here.

6. Become a HandmadeMN Facebook Fan. Comment back here with your Facebook name. Existing fans just leave your Facebook name here.

7. Follow Lisa's blog all things-jane. Leave a comment here letting us know you are a follower.

8. Follow allthingsjane on Twitter. Comment back here with your Twitter link. Existing followers just leave your Twitter link here.

Contest ends Saturday, March 12th, at 12:00 noon Central. One winner will be chosen by Random.org.

Good luck!
HandmadeMN members are not eligible to win.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fun Friday Finds ~ Tweet Tweet

By Jenna Halek ~ Artistic Edition

Tweet Tweet
 
(Click on the image to go to the Etsy Treasury!)

Visit these HandmadeMN shops to see more:
Click on any of the names below
First Row (Left to Right):
sparkflight, hungrydogdesigns, RiyahLiDesigns, Twistmo
Third Row (Left to Right): ljbe, greensquirrel, MaryLittfin, cayennepeppy

Monday, February 21, 2011

How to: Paper Banner Tutorial

by Laurel of laurelleecreativity

Here is a simple how-to, for a great decoration idea for any room, event, or party!

Here are all the supplies you will need:
-Paper(i used old hymn sheets), sissors, hot glue gun, glue, ruler, piece of card stock(4in by 5.5in), fabric, string(yarn or twine)


1. Using your piece of card stock, mark a line in the middle and draw straight lines down to each opposite corner.

2.Cut out triangle. This will be your pattern for the flags

3. Trace triangle onto your choice of paper and cut out (you can trace more than one piece at a time)

4. Glue 2 triangles back to back. String twine between pages before gluing.

5. Cut out desired shapes or letters out of clothe and using glue gun, glue them onto each flag

Get creative, there are so many elements you can bring into this project :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

HandmadeMN Giveaway - Twistmo

By Jessica of Clay By Clay

Congratulations to our latest giveaway winner! Thanks to all who entered and we wish you good luck with this week's giveaway!

This week Lori Lee of Twistmo is giving away your choice of vinyl wall art.    


The winner of this giveaway can choose any one vinyl wall Art or Words listed in Lori Lee's shop (but not a custom item).  As a self-employed graphic artist, Lori Lee finds working in this new vinyl medium just plain fun!  She says "To create a design and see it gigantic on a wall is a rush I can't explain."  If you're looking for a fun new way to add a TWIST to your home decor, vinyl wall words and art is a quick and easy way to do it.  It can be applied to any clean, dry, smooth surface, not JUST walls.  Apply it to appliances, cabinets, windows, electronics, and more.  Lasts for years indoors or out, yet it will remove cleanly without leaving any gunk. Great for temporary residence or even public spaces.  Although this giveaway is for an existing item from Twistmo, Lori Lee also designs custom vinyl art.

Open to US and International residents.

How to Enter:

Visit Twistmo and pick your favorite item and leave a comment on this post about it. (Scroll to bottom of post and click on Comments)

Please make sure we have a way to contact you!

For Bonus Entries:

Please leave each in a separate comment, as each comment is an entry (To qualify for extra entries you must do step one above).

1. Visit other HandmadeMN team members shops (listed in the sidebar here) and leave a comment(s) here with your favorite pieces.

2. Blog about this giveaway with a visible link back to this posting and comment here with a link to your post.

3. Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment(s) with a link to your tweet(s).

4. Follow our blog (you want to do this anyway to learn about upcoming giveaways!). Leave a comment here letting us know you are a follower. If you are already a follower, leave a comment anyway, as each comment is an entry.

5. Follow HandmadeMN on Twitter. Comment back here with your Twitter link. Existing followers just leave your Twitter link here.

6. Become a Facebook Fan of HandmadeMN. Comment back here with your Facebook name. Existing fans just leave your Facebook name here.

7.   Become a Facebook Fan of Twistmo.  Comment back here with your Facebook name.  Existing fans just leave your Facebook name here.

Contest ends Saturday, March 5, 2011 at 12:00 noon Central. One winner will be chosen by Random.org.

Good luck!

HandmadeMN members are not eligible to win.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fun Friday Finds ~ Mustard

By Jenna Halek ~ Artistic Edition

Mustard
(Click on the image to enlarge)

Visit these HandmadeMN shops to see more:
Click on any of the names below
First Row (Left to Right): fromoutofthecracks, FoxglovePhoto, STELLAandHODGE, greensquirrel
Second Row (Left to Right): pinswithfury, Omooreart, Trigo, JulieMeyer
Fourth Row (Left to Right): appleberryink, FennelStudio, FreshStash, choosingbeauty

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Revising & Re-Seeing Your Work

by Marnie Karger (Crafterall)


One of my favorite writing professors often reminded our class that revision is not merely editing and fine-tuning, but more of a re-vision or a re-seeing of an original piece. The start of a new year tends to cause many of us to revise and rethink what we do, how we do it, and why we do it at all. While these thoughts cover many aspects of our lives, they can also apply directly to our work as artists and crafters, and a good, thorough revision can improve your business’s performance, your own efficiency, and help you recapture your creative drive.


Fabric Push Pins from Regan's Brain


So how do we re-see our work? There are a few different approaches to this, each working from a different angle. First, you can start by making a few lists. Write down what seems to be working for you. Include relevant sales data, details about your work schedule and environment, pats on the back for what you’re doing well now. Write another list of what you’d like to be able to do but so far haven’t. This includes long term goals as well as specific tasks. What are your sources of stress? What slows you down? What struggle could you let go of, in order to make room for more of what works well? Often, just the simple acts of organizing those thoughts, admitting some of your errors or weaknesses, and getting all the behind-the-scenes details on the page can help you re-see your business. From here, work in time-management strategies, set attainable and ambitious goals, and set the groundwork for documenting your progress. Plan to reward yourself when you meet those goals.



Ice Cream wall art print from STELLAandHODGE

Another approach is to try to see your work from a buyer’s perspective. One of the best ways to do this is to show someone your trust your Etsy page. Let them browse your shop while you look over their shoulder. Encourage them to vocalize their thoughts as they peruse your shop. Make note of what catches their attention, how long they spend on a page, how well they can navigate through your listings, etc. Be prepared to listen to their criticism – you don’t have to accept it, but you do have to consider it. Then, on your own, go through each of your listings. Re-read your item descriptions. Pull up any of the myriad how-tos for description best practice and give your listings an overhaul, especially if you haven’t touched your descriptions in over a year. Go through your policies and shop announcements and make sure everything is current and relevant. Sit in on a Newbie Chat in the Virtual Labs and learn something new. One of the most important lessons I learned in my part-time jobs is that there is ALWAYS something to do. Get in there, find something that you can improve, and make it happen.


Lemon Lime Amaryllis Flower print from MaryFosterCreative

A final approach is best if you’ve done the other two already and feel like you may have indeed done everything possible to make your shop and your work top notch.


Take some time off.


Take a serious break away from your shop, away from your social networking and marketing, spend your time as you did before you even heard of Etsy (hard to imagine, I know). What will you do? Take in more movies? Play board games with your family? Exercise more often? Most likely, after a little down time, you’ll find another outlet for your creativity. You’ll pick up your knitting needles or embroidery hoop again. You’ll paint a room in your house. You’ll pull out a great cook book and plan a month’s menu. You’ll schedule an arts and crafts night in your home. You’ll offer to teach a craft in your child’s classroom. You get the idea. Just when you think you’ve lost your creative spark, it comes back with renewed vitality. Break out your sketchbook and tap into this new energy. Let your imagination run unhindered by the former constraints of your shop, and see where it leads you. You may wind up with enough material for a new section in your shop, a new approach to photographing all of your items, or a new shop entirely.

Each of these steps takes work, energy, and some serious commitment. The payoff is that there is an equal if not more substantial return on your investment. The time you put into revising your work can come back to you in surprisingly profitable ways, perhaps so much so, that you’ll need to stop again just to smile at all you’ve done. Here’s to a great new start!

Sunshine Business Set by kellyjsorenson

Monday, February 14, 2011

VintageMN

by Jami Klehr of Honey Girl Vintage

Time out for Vintage...

Exhausted from her day of shopping local, Doris set her hair, put on her handmade slippers, and took a nap.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

HandmadeMN Giveaway - Painted Fish Studio

By Michelle of Evie's Tool Emporium

Congratulations to our latest giveaway winner! Thanks to all who entered and we wish you good luck with this week's giveaway!

This week Jen of Painted Fish Studio is giving away this colorful burst journal - pink.

Burst Journal - Pink

A burst journal in pink! The inside front cover is an orange butcher
paper, and shows through the holes on the front. This journal is coptic
bound, by hand, with orange thread, and lies flat for drawing and writing.
The journal is 6 by 5 inches, and there are 60 interior pages. The paper
used within has a newsprint look.

How to Enter:

Visit Jen's shop, pick your favorite item and leave a comment on this post about it.

Open to US residents and international residents.

Please make sure we have a way to contact you!

For Bonus Entries:
Please leave each in a separate comment, as each comment is an entry (To qualify for extra entries you must do step one above).

1. Visit other HandmadeMN team members shops (listed in the sidebar here) and leave a comment(s) here with your favorite pieces.

2. Blog about this giveaway with a visible link back to this posting and comment here with a link to your post.

3. Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment(s) with a link to your tweet(s).

4. Follow our blog (you want to do this anyway to learn about upcoming giveaways!). Leave a comment here letting us know you are a follower. If you are already a follower, leave a comment anyway, as each comment is an entry.

5. Follow HandmadeMN on Twitter. Comment back here with your Twitter link. Existing followers just leave your Twitter link here.

6. Become a HandmadeMN Facebook Fan. Comment back here with your Facebook name. Existing fans just leave your Facebook name here.

7. Follow Jen's blog Painted Fish Studio. Leave a comment here letting us know you are a follower.

8. Follow jenzilla on Twitter. Comment back here with your Twitter link. Existing followers just leave your Twitter link here.

9. Become Jens's Facebook Fan. Comment back here with your Facebook name. Existing fans just leave your Facebook name here.

Contest ends Saturday, February 26th, at 12:00 noon Central. One winner will be chosen by Random.org.

Good luck!
HandmadeMN members are not eligible to win.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fun Friday Finds ~ HandmadeMN Flower Bouquet

By Jenna Halek ~ Artistic Edition

HandmadeMN Flower Bouquet
(Click on the image to enlarge)

Visit these HandmadeMN shops to see more:
Click on any of the names below
First Row (Left to Right): MaryFosterCreative, cayennepeppy, choosingbeauty, waternymph

 Second Row (Left to Right): sweetbabydolly, sakuradesign, birdfromawire, greensquirrel 
Third Row (Left to Right): kellybot, PeppermintGypsy, RitasCreationsOnEtsy, ljbe 
Fourth Row (Left to Right): SugarAndSpice, JulieMeyer, ModernMeetsWhimsy, ChickaDeesigns

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Color Wheel Gallery

Whenever you’re on the corner of West 46th St. & Grand Ave in South Minneapolis a must stop is The Color Wheel Gallery. Stop in and say hi to owner and local artist, Tammy Ortegon.




Tammy has exhibited her painting in art galleries, cultural centers & at community events throughout the twin cities. Her work is inspired by the people of the world & their stories. Her vision is to offer a unique perspective on how we see each other and start a dialogue among people that leads to communication, information & understanding.



The Color Wheel Gallery has a comfortable boutique style environment, featuring the vibrant, folk art style of owner & creator Tammy Ortegon, along with other local, established & emerging artists in a variety of styles & media in four group shows a year plus other special events. The gallery carries an always changing, variety of fine art & gifts.

Tammy says “We feature locally made, hand crafted & one of a kind unique items, natural body products, jewelry, greeting cards, art prints, chocolate, funky, global inspired treasures & many items focusing on progressive ideas, diverse voices & social change.”



Tammy says, “The Color Wheel gallery's mission is to make art accessible to everyone, to promote our local artists & offer inspiration to create more vibrant communities. I look for art & artists that are community minded & progressive thinking, art that 'says something', something that is unique & bold.”




On Sunday, February 13th 2:00-6:00 pm at The Color Wheel Gallery, check out LOVE, ART & CHOCOLATE! Enjoy chocolaty sweets, coffee & wine while you listen to live music by Frederick O'Neil Thomas & Clark Adams starting at 3:00 pm. Shop for your sweetie ♥ lots of unique art & gifts created by local artists.

Check out The Color Wheel Gallery website & Facebook page.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Treasury: Love Language

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, folks. Hearts and candy are everywhere. Major retailers and card-makers thrive on this holiday. As artisans, we know the true value comes from giving handmade gifts, as well as the amount of appreciation the gift-giver receives in exchange.



This treasury features all HandmadeMN Etsy shops.



As we all know in Minnesota, love is a second language. When you live in a state where winter lasts for six months and below zero temperatures are "normal" - you have to snuggle just to survive. And snuggle = love!

To leave comments and "share the love", this treasury can be found on Etsy HERE.











HandmadeMN Etsy Artisans Featured in this Treasury:


BathNBeads - Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/BathNBeads
Rita's Creations on Etsy - Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/RitasCreationsOnEtsy
Kelly J Soreson Designs - Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/kellyjsorenson
Painted Fish Studio - Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/paintedfishstudio
Trigo - Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Trigo
Suz and Roo - Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/SuzAndRoo
My Little Chickadee Creations - Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/AngelEllie
TC Witchcraft Factory - Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/TCWitchcraftFactory
Yours Sincerely Gifts - Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/yourssincerelygifts
Harvest Moon by Hand - Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/harvestmoonbyhand
Twistmo - Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Twistmo
Happy Signs - Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/HappySigns
Kellybean Kreations - Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/xxkellybean
Red Shoes 26 Design - Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/redshoes26design
Vintage Recreations - Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/vintagenouveaudesign


Enjoy!

~ Jenn
Wild Apple Design

Sunday, February 6, 2011

HandmadeMN Giveaway - Riyah-Li Designs

By Jessica of Clay By Clay

Congratulations to our latest giveaway winner! Thanks to all who entered and we wish you good luck with this week's giveaway!

This week Sabrina of Riyah-Li Designs is giving away this Upcycled T-shirt Necklace.  


This fun Upcycled T-Shirt Necklace is made from fabric cords from recycled t-shirt jerseyand the cords are gathered together with a hand folded cotton kanzashi flower.



Open to US residents only.

How to Enter:

Visit Riyah-Li Designs and pick your favorite item and leave a comment on this post about it. (Scroll to bottom of post and click on Comments)

Please make sure we have a way to contact you!

For Bonus Entries:

Please leave each in a separate comment, as each comment is an entry (To qualify for extra entries you must do step one above).

1. Visit other HandmadeMN team members shops (listed in the sidebar here) and leave a comment(s) here with your favorite pieces.

2. Blog about this giveaway with a visible link back to this posting and comment here with a link to your post.

3. Tweet about this giveaway and leave a comment(s) with a link to your tweet(s).

4. Follow our blog (you want to do this anyway to learn about upcoming giveaways!). Leave a comment here letting us know you are a follower. If you are already a follower, leave a comment anyway, as each comment is an entry.

5.  Follow Sabrina's blog.  Leave a comment here letting us know you are a follower. If you are already a follower, leave a comment anyway, as each comment is an entry.

6. Follow HandmadeMN on Twitter. Comment back here with your Twitter link. Existing followers just leave your Twitter link here.

7. Become a Facebook Fan of HandmadeMN. Comment back here with your Facebook name. Existing fans just leave your Facebook name here.

8.   Become a Facebook Fan of Riyah-Li Designs.  Comment back here with your Facebook name.  Existing fans just leave your Facebook name here.

9.  Follow on Sabrina on Twitter.  Comment back here with your Twitter link. Existing followers just leave your Twitter link here.

Contest ends Saturday, February 19, 2011 at 12:00 noon Central. One winner will be chosen by Random.org.

Good luck!

HandmadeMN members are not eligible to win.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Fun Friday Finds ~ Passion Pink

By Jenna Halek ~ Artistic Edition

Passion Pink
 (Click on the image to enlarge)

Visit these HandmadeMN shops to see more:
Click on any of the names below
First Row (Left to Right): CindyLindgren, cayennepeppy, MaryFosterCreative, rainydayyarnshop
Second Row (Left to Right): FantasticToys, LittleRed75, SuzAndRoo, annprintz
Third Row (Left to Right): SweetGracies, BathNBeads, JulieMeyer, ivorymoon
Fourth Row (Left to Right): CyberFiber, appleberryink, denmark55033, paintedfishstudio  

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

February Challenge - Recycle



By Michelle of Gotthold Glass Studio

This month's challenge theme was "Recycle". Check out the great entries below, then scroll all the way to the bottom to vote for your favorite! The winner will receive an advertising spot on our blog.


Voting ends at midnight on February 15.




Recycled Thoughts
















Submitted by:
Riyah-Li Design