Thursday, October 27, 2011

5 Fabulous Treasuries

Here are some recent Etsy Treasuries I have been featured in. I hope you enjoy the the art, crafts and handmade items from all the artist and artisan in these wonderful treasuries. Please show the curator and shops a little love:)

Monday, October 24, 2011

What's New

I have done it one of things I have always complain about... I started putting Christmas stuff in my shop before Halloween, lol. Here are a few sets of Christmas ornaments I made and posted in my shop over the last week.

Red & Green Glass Beaded Icicle Ornaments Set Of 12

Blue & Clear Glass Beaded Icilce Ornaments Set Of 6

More ornament will be coming I am just getting started :)  This is the first year I am selling bead  ornaments but every year in the past I have made and sold paper mache stars. I will be making them this year as well.  

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hand Me Down Designs - Artisan Feature-

I am very happy to be featuring one of my fellow Etsy Maine Teamers. I love her shop and her designs so I was all bubbly when she agreed to do an blog interview so I could feature her. I am sure you will find some thing you just love from her shop.

You can contact her here-

Malaika Picard
Hand-Me-Down Designs
Twitter - @HMDDesignsME

How did you name your business?

I work with a lot of hand-me-down clothing, mostly donated by friends and family, so when it came time to find a name for myself, Hand-Me-Down Designs was an obvious, and very appropriate name.

How long have you been doing your art/craft for?

I've been sewing for years and years, but it has been about a year now that I've been seriously pursuing my bag-making business.  In fact, I'm quickly coming up on the anniversary of my very first craft fair.

What inspires and influences your work?

At first, most of my inspiration came from my own personal love of bags and purses and being very particular about what features they included.  As time went on, I found myself seeing special features in other people's work and sought to incorporate some of those ideas into my own.  Many times I get inspiration from the material itself.  For example, I was given a lovely deep red corduroy skirt recently, and from the moment I got it, I knew what I wanted to make from it.  The skirt was cut so that the corduroy lay in diagonal lines, and I needed a design that showed off that feature.  Here's what I came up with:

Where can you artwork/pieces be found?

Of course, I've got my shop on Etsy, but you can also find me live and in person at a number of Maine craft fairs throughout the year.  I keep an updated craft fair schedule on the Sites and Schedules page of my blog

What do you do when you're not creating?

I'm a WAH (work-at-home) mom, so, for the most part, when I'm not creating, I'm homemaking.  Being a wife and mom is really important to me, and being able to do my craft while still being in the home is such a blessing.

I also love to read, watch science fiction shows and movies, go for walks, and craft with friends.  Some of my favorite crafts are counted cross stitch, knitting, and crochet, but I love trying all sorts of new things.  I've recently tried my hand at screen printing...mostly to use on my NomMon products, but who knows...

What is your favorite piece(s) that you have created?

I've actually got two current favorite pieces, my Nesting Doll Notebook Cover

I'm really enjoying playing with appliqu├ęs.  They can add such fun character to a piece.

Why did you create this piece(s)?

I actually started making mustache wallets after discovering all the amazing facial hair items on Etsy.  Inspired by the creativity I saw,  I made a treasury entitled  The Bold and The Bearded.  Being a proudEtsy Maine Team member, I tried to find items made by some of my teammates to put in this treasury, but found a sad lack of mustache mania in Maine.  I decided to take action, created my own Maine-made mustache marvel, and then shared a challenge with my teammates to do the same.  We had such fun!  You can check out the treasury of what we all came up with here.

What do you feel is special about your art/craft?

The thing that really sets my craft apart is, firstly, that many of my items are made from second-hand clothing.  People tell me they really like the idea that I'm recycling while I'm creating.  The other thing is that, while you can tell many of my bags are made from jeans, they don't look like a pair of lopped off pants; they are actually carefully de-constructed and re-made with intentional placement of pockets, features, and embellishments.  I take a lot of care in making sure my homemade goods are professionally crafted.  And, because my bags are made from clothing, they are one-of-a-kind.  I may make more of the same style, but no bag is exactly like another for the simple fact that there isn't any more of the material to make a duplicate piece.  Of course, some of my smaller items may have duplicates, but they are all limited edition for the same reason.

Are there other forms of art and crafts you would like to learn? And why?

I'd really like to learn more about product photography and screen printing.  Both skills will benefit my business, but there really is an art to doing them well.  I get a lot of pleasure from capturing a great shot of one of my creations.  And screen printing just opens up a world of possibilities for me.  Besides, learning a new craft is like starting a new adventure, and who doesn't like adventure?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

DIY Light Box

This light box has improved my photos and only cost me $5+ to make and about 15min of my time
Materials and tools needed 
1.A box (I buy 14x14x14 box at staples for around $3)
I have used smaller boxes but they do not work as well. I find this size is easy to use and works well.
2.Thin white tissue paper the kind used for gifts and packages( I buy mine at the dollar store $1)
3.Wide Packing Tape (I prefer clear packing tape but duct tape is good too, This can be purchased at the dollar store as well)
4.Poster boards for your background,not shown below(white, black or any color you like. White poster boards are 2 for $1 at the dollar store)
5.A utility knife 
8.ruler or tape measure

 First make your box into a box if it is not already. Then using your utility knife cut "windows" on the top and two sides of your box like in the picture below. I like to cut the top flap from the front of the box so it does not get in the way while taking photos but I leave the other two so I can use them to block glare from other light sources if I need to.

Now measure and cut the tissue so that they will fit over each of your 3 "windows" and tape them into place. I cut extras and put them up so I can replace them quickly if I rip one. Time to cut your back drop. I cut one strip snug enough that it stays in place. If yours does not stay in place you can tape it in place. Try not to tape onto the tissue. There you go you have made a simple light box for around $5.

Time to use it! I normally have two lights one on each side but my second light needs a new bulb so just one from above for now:) I place the box side to the window on bright days and use daylight (my preferred light!) Use your camera setting to match the kind of light. Tungsten for most indoor light, or florescent  etc....

The results. No bad glare equal light and few shadows. When I use two lights, one on each side there is no real shadows. Play with the lights to get the lighting you need! Some times you might want shadow on one side.

Monday, October 17, 2011

What's new in my shop- pamper your feet-

Here are a few new items in my shop

With the cold season here and just getting colder our skin pays the price! Keep your feet happy....

All Natural Whipped Lavender Tea Tree & Eucalyptus Foot Cream
Soften sooth and refresh your tired dry feet with this rich and natural foot cream. Handcrafted with a combination of oils that offer relief for achy feet, help protect your feet from bacteria & fungus while pampering and moisturizing your precious skin.... did I mention it leaves your feet smell wonderful! 

Lavender doesn't just smell nice it relaxes and helps pains including those caused by sore muscles, tense muscles, muscular aches, rheumatism, sprains. Regular massage with lavender oil can provide relief from pain in the joints.

Tea tree oil is a powerful yet natural antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal medicine (essential oil). It is used as a very effective first aid remedy and against countless skin ailments, infections, cuts, scrapes, burns, insect bites and and more. 

Eucalyptus oil on the skin surface helps in getting relief from the pain. Eucalyptus oil is analgesic and anti inflammatory in nature. Therefore it is often recommended to patients suffering from rheumatism, lumbago, sprained ligaments and tendons, stiff muscles, aches, fibrosis and even nerve pain.

A complete list of whats inside- olive oil, sesame oil, grape seed oil, coconut oil, distilled water, cocoa butter, bee's wax, glycerin, lavender essential oil, tea tree essential oil, eucalyptus essential oil, vitamin E

This Cream is also available in a kit sold with my Healing Tea Tree Foot Soak, pumice stone and moisturizing socks.
Foot Care Kit With All Natural Whipped Lavender Tea Tree & Eucalyptus
 Foot Cream and Tea Tree Foot Soak
Healing Tea Tree Foot Soak-
Soothes your achy feet at the end of a long day with a relaxing foot soak. This listing is for one envelope of foot soak 2-4 foot baths worth. Each envelope has two baggies with two tablespoon each of the soak blend. Depending on the size of your foot bath each soak takes 1-2 table spoon per foot soak. Tea tree oil is a powerful yet natural antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal medicine (essential oil). It is used as a very effective first aid remedy and against countless skin ailments, infections, cuts, scrapes, burns, insect bites and and more. Made with Dead Sea salts that is widely recognized for not only its relaxing & therapeutic effects, but also for its detoxifying, healing, and restoring properties. Epsom salt to sooth and comfort your aching muscles and joints, known to help draw toxins from the body and helps with many skin problems. I also use a blend of pure essential oils for their unique able to sooth and comfort skin and feet. Vitamin E to nourish and maintain your skins natural moisture. * I never use sodium chloride AKA table salt in my bath salts or foot soaks as it is known to dry out skin and offers little to no health benefits.
All Natural and Vegan

Chrissy-jo's all Natural Lotions and Potions in part of Kindred Images and Creations.You will always receive a fresh batch of lotion or creams from my shop. Because of the natural and handmade nature of my products there can be mild differences in color and scent from batch to batch. All our lotions & potions are hand crafted with natural ingredients often organic and are all our own unique recipes. All ingredients are listed.

* Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose or treat any condition. Please consult your health care professional with any health-related concerns, and for diagnosis and treatment.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Sharing-Between the Essence and the Scent: Traditions for All Seasons CONTEST

I just wanted to share a give away that a fellow Etsy Maine Team member is having on her blog.
Between the Essence and the Scent: Traditions for All Seasons CONTEST: It's no secret that Autumn...Fall... my favorite season of the year . It is a great time of year to stack wood, be amazed by...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Here are a few Treasuries I have been featured in. I am honored to be included along with so many talented artist and artisans. Go show there shops some love!

And here is one I recently put together.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Why Buy Hand Made Cold Process Soap?

Ever wonder "Why buy Natural soap, When there are so many selections at the store with there pretty packaging and scents?" Next time you stroll down the soap aisle check out the labels many of the products on the shelf don't say 'soap' on their labels. They might be called body bars, moisturizing bars, or lotion bars, but not soap. That's because these bars are not actually soap and can't legally claim to be; they're detergents. The manufacturers have removed most of the 'good' stuff that occurs in the soap making process, and replaced it with synthetic lathering agents and harsh chemicals. These cheap, plentiful detergent bars are not only bad for your skin, but they're also bad for the planet, too.
What makes these non soaps so bad? Most commercial companies remove the glycerin during the soap making process. Then sell it to other companies that make lotions and other moisturizers. That your now dried out skin needs since from using these harsh non soap detergent products. Most of these bar contain synthetic ingredients, artificial  colorants and many other unpronounceable chemicals you just do not need.
Skin is porous and absorbent. It absorbs whatever it comes in contact with.Using to many product with and abunant amount chemicals will cause the body to store the chemicals in the body. With enough accumulations of toxins in the body, illness can occur.
So what can you do about it? Look for a good all natural soap! But still not all hand made soaps are created equal. With handmade soaps, just like with commercially manufactured bars, you need to read the labels. You want to find soaps that use only pure oils or fats. Avoid any bars that use artificial colors or fragrances. These are synthetic chemicals and you don't want them on your skin or going down your drain. If you want a colored or scented soap bar, look for one that uses pure essential oils and natural colorants. Just because it's handmade doesn't mean it's good for you,it is a good idea to have some understanding of the different kinds of handmade soaps. Here are three basic ways soap is made.
Melt & Pour- There are even melt and pour kits you can buy to make cute soap shapes with your kids. These are generally glycerine based transparent soaps. They're normally not as harmful  as the commercial bars, but still not the great for you. 
Hot process & Cold process -The hot process method uses heat after the saponification process. The cold process method does not. The cold process method takes the most time and undoubtedly produces the highest quality soaps. Cold process soap bars are made using a combination of oils or fats and lye and often essential oils and other natural ingredients like herbs and flower petals. Lye sounds a little scary, but all the caustic qualities of the lye are removed during the saponification process. When the lye interacts with the oils or fats, it creates glycerine. The type of oils and fats used make a difference in how hard or soft the soap bar ends up being, and how well it lathers.
All of my soaps are hand crafted cold process soaps made with top quality oils and natural ingredients. I suggest buying all natural hand crafted soap no matter where you chose to purchase it your skin will thank you!

Now available in my shop.....

All Natural Lavender Hearts
 Cold Process Soap
All Natural Comfrey and Tea Tree
 Oil Cold Process Soap
All Natural Doggie Bar
Cold Process Soap
Soon to come in my shop......

The Pure Essential 100% pure olive oil  Castile Soap Cold Process
andUplifting Sweet Orange Cold Process Soap

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