Featured Etsy Artist of the Week: Vanessa of Designs by Vanessa
Tell us a little about yourself and your business: I’m 25 years old and I live in Austin, TX with my husband and our 2 furbabies. I enjoy watching movies, listening to live music, reading a good book, retail therapy, working out and anything crafty! My latest hobby (obsession) is jewelry and you can buy my fun and feminine jewelry in my etsy shop. I love all things girly and my work definitely reflects that side of me. I’m also getting ready to start selling my handmade sewn cards in my etsy shop.
What made you get started in your business?: I have been crafting (sewing, scrapbooking, jewelry making, etc.) since I was little with my grandmother but it wasn’t until last month that I started selling my creations on etsy. I work in the foster care/adoption field and at times my job can be stressful. Etsy has provided not only a creative outlet for my work but also a stress reliever for my full time job.
Tell us about your favorite item currently listed in your shop: My favorite item in my shop would have to be my Beautiful Bloom Earrings: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=13341140
I fell in love with these aqua lampwork beads when I first saw them and I knew that they would make beautiful earrings. I love using Swarovski crystals in my designs because of how they sparkle in the light. These earrings are just very whimsical and feminine.
Links to your Etsy shop and blog:
Designs by Vanessa Etsy Shop ♥ www.designsbyvanessa.etsy.com
Designs by Vanessa Blog ♥ http://designsbyvanessa.blogspot.com
My Favorite from Vanessa’s Shop: While I do love Vanessa’s Beautiful Bloom Earrings, I have to say I am partial to the chandelier style of her Darling Dangle Earrings. They are perfect for an evening out or to dress up a pair of jeans.
Michelle Martin, Purple Moon Fibers
I am a fiber artist with no real formal arts training, just a desire to create and a love of all things wool. It all began with a drop spindle in college. The process of working the wool with my own hands was relaxing and fascinating. Then I moved into spinning on an actual wheel and from there it was not a big jump to knitting. Weaving was tried briefly and then given up for the sake of my marriage (I am not calm or sane while trying to warp a loom). In 2004 I experienced needle felting at a local wool farm and I was hooked! I still knit and spin but my true love is felting.
Most of what I do is a process called needle felting. You work the wool by poking repeatedly with a small notched needle, eventually forming felt. It is a dry process and allows you to really sculpt the wool. With needle felting you can make art dolls, hats, bowls, toys, even tapestries.
My business on Etsy so far has been primarily natural toys. I love making things that are simple and still stimulating to the imagination. We are big into fairy and imaginative play in my home and the toys I make reflect that, lots of mushrooms, gnomes and woodland creatures. I am a member of the Naturalkids Street Team, check them out for lots of lovely natural toys.
I will begin to add more items of fiber art soon. I love making art dolls by needle felting. And lately have been doing felted nesting bowls and vessels. Watch for wet-felted birds coming soon! I am challenging myselt to learn more about wet felting.
After making things and selling them locally at a couple of craft fairs and to friends I was encouraged to open an Etsy shop. One friend in particular was the Etsy cheerleader in my life. So I checked it out and fell in love. I started out as a buyer and became addicted to shopping on Etsy. As I saw more and more wonderful things with such a wide range I realized that this was a great fit for my creations. So I made a New Year’s resolution to open an Etsy shop. By mid January Purple moon Fibers was up and running!
I love being able to make such a wide variety of things, being ADD means that I am always thinking of new things to make. It’s really hard to choose a favorite item. I am having a love affair with things that fit into walnut shells and making walnut shell baskets. But as for a favorite item, I’d have to say that the Labyrinth and Spiral Nesting Bowls are my favorite. The colors are so vibrant and peaceful at the same time. They just have a good energy to them. http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=12243723
I’d love to have you come and check out my shop! http://purplemoonfibers.etsy.com
More of my art dolls can be found on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/purplemoonfibers/
And once in a blue-moon (or purple moon) I add to my blog http://purplemoonfibers.blogspot.com/
My personal favorite from Michelle’s shop is the Mushroom Hut Playscape Bag. It’s cute, colorful and super-convenient to store since it all folds up into it’s own bag. I could definitely see this as something to tuck into my bag for my two year old so he won’t get bored on outings.