Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Etsy Seller Feature: littlepearlquilts

I recently encountered Etsy shop, littlepearlquilts, specializing in modern embroidery and patchwork. The designer, Jessa, features baby quilts, cotton play food, and my favorite, crinkle toys. I purchased one of these for my 9 month old son, and it has since been my best investment. It has a permanent place on his high chair to entertain him while I prepare his meals. He plays with the soft tags and crumples the square in his hands to hear that oh-so-interesting crinkle sound. I had the pleasure of getting to ask Jessa some questions about her products, her shop, and her life with Etsy…

How long have you been selling on Etsy?  
I think my Etsy page says that my shop opened in 2008, but that's just when I found Etsy, fell in love, and started shopping. I actually just started selling this February, so July makes 6 months.

What role does Etsy play in your life?
I spend my days at home, caring for my toddler and my mom, who has early-onset Alzheimer's. My days are full, and it can be kind of lonely. Etsy has been really wonderful for me, a way to connect with the outside world, to get mood-lifting praise and feedback from my customers, and to make enough money to buy all the pretty fabric I love.

Explain your typical day.
I squeeze moments of sewing in between changing diapers, cooking dinner, sweeping, laundry, and errands. I also get a lot done at night, after my little one goes to sleep. My husband has his own Etsy shop, http://www.candyandoysters.etsy.com/, and it's nice to have that evening time together, just the two of us, him painting and me sewing, with the house quiet and peaceful.

Tell me about your product(s).
I make quilts and soft toys for babies and kids. I've just started selling some clothing, like these baby pants: http://www.etsy.com/listing/76225792/cotton-seersucker-baby-pants-peppermint. The quilts are my favorite. I love seeing the colors and prints I choose come together to make something new and beautiful. I use an improvisational piecing method that makes each quilt one-of-a-kind. I use all natural materials as much as possible, because that's what I always want for my own baby - and soft, 100% cotton is just so nice to work with.

What advice do you have for new Etsy sellers?
Be patient, and make what you love. Also, shop on Etsy! I love buying gifts and material and supplies from other Etsy sellers. It's a great way to make connections, add to your own positive feedback, and support other small business owners just like yourself.

Anything else you'd like to add?
I love doing custom orders. Getting to know my wonderful customers is one of my favorite things about  Etsy. I love seeing their choices and favorite colors come together to make something really special, that I might not have thought of myself but really love in the end. And I love hearing about the little ones I'm sewing for, and embroidering their sweet names, and thinking about them snuggled up with their special things.

View all of littlepearlquilts' items at http://www.littlepearlquilts.etsy.com/.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Simple Craft Ideas: Button Pendant

I am the first to admit that I have a craft supply shopping addiction. If I see something that sparks my creative interest, I buy it on impulse. That is exactly what happened when I bought an economy sized bag of assorted buttons at my local craft store. I imagined all the amazing things I could make with these buttons, and I have made a few, but the lonely rest have been sitting without purpose. Until now…

I decided to experiment with some of the buttons to make jewelry, and came up with a simple pendant idea that turned out adorable. Materials needed were one large button, one smaller button, a small piece of DMC cotton floss, a bail, and glue (Judi Kins Diamond Glaze). First, I overlapped the buttons and glued them together, holes matching. I stitched them together as well for decorative purposes, and then glued a silver-toned bail on the back for hanging. I got a little glue on the front of the pink button, but know to be more careful next time! This cute-as-a-button pendant only took five minutes to create!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Something New: Painting on Wood

Hand stitching is very accommodating to my lifestyle since it doesn’t require many props.  I can sit on the couch with a small piece of fabric, and work while my kids play on the floor. No machines. No mess.

But today, I took a break from my usual hoop art obsession of cross stitching and hand-embroidering. As fate would have it, all naps would align and I could venture into the untidy world of painting.  I had enough time to sketch a design on a wood plaque and get most of it painted using acrylics before the baby monitor started blasting. The rest, I finished in 60 second increments throughout the day. Although not my best work, since it’s been a while since my high school painting class, definitely something to brighten up my son’s bookshelf!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Grand Opening Giveaway!

To welcome new visitors to my Etsy shop and blog, I am having a giveaway! You have the chance to win your choice of any item in my Etsy shop, including custom or personalized items! I create original works of hoop art, using whatever materials and embellishments I can find. I get a thrill out of turning a simple piece of fabric into something special and unique. See some examples below...

It’s REALLY easy to enter!

All you have to do is follow my blog. Then comment to this post with “following!”

Gain an extra entry by liking my shop on Etsy! Then post a link to your Etsy shop or profile below!

Gain a third entry by following me on twitter. Then comment to this post with your twitter name!

If you are already following any of these items, you can still enter! Just post said comments below!

All entries will recieve a free shipping coupon upon request! Just convo or message me!

This contest will go on until July 31st, so don’t wait! I will draw the winner on August 1st. The winner will get to chose from any item that is listed in my shop at that time, so check back often to view new listings! Contest is open to United States and Canada residents.

Twitter link: http://twitter.com/RustBeltGallery       

Friday, July 15, 2011


After a great deal of organizing, I have coordinated social media with my Etsy Shop! Now, it’s time to start posting and sharing my love of all things creative. Look forward to many great things such as product reviews, tutorials, articles, and anything else related to the world of arts, crafts, and all things handmade.

To start, you can follow my blog, and then view my new Etsy shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/RustBeltGallery. It’s a work in progress so expect new items often!