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Featured artist of the week: Shai Ford maker of Shai’s Creations

Name and Business name: Shai Ford, Shai’s Creations

Tell us a little about yourself and your business:
I’m a 23 year old crafting mom to a 3 year old little girl. I work full-time at a local college, and spend my spare time between my crafting business and my daughter’s football team. Starting in the Spring, I will also be a college student again!
What made you get started in your business?:
I started crafting when I was 6. I was a pretty sick kid and my mom was very crafty. She taught me to cross-stitch and craft to entertain myself instead of watching television while I was home from school. I started crafting as a business when people started seeing my handmade gifts at Christmas and holidays. It never failed that people would ask how much I would charge for something, calling me to make gifts for them, and eventually I just started doing it on a constant basis.

Anything else you’d like to share:

I think my favorite part of crafting is knowing that somebody is getting something completely unique, designed just for them. The looks on their faces or thank-you notes I recieve make my day and keep me going. Another thing that keeps me going is the Cafemom Etsy Moms Team, also known as CEM. They are the most supportive group of crafting girls I’ve ever met, and it’s an absolute pleasure to be involved with them.

Tell us about your favorite item currently listed in your shop:
My current favorite item is my Double Tie Tutu Dress. I love tutu dresses in general because there are so many options. They can be princess-esque, fairy themed, have a punk/rocker baby look, along with a variety of accents and colors. I really enjoy the fact that every creation can be completely different than the last, despite the same basic shape.

Links to your Etsy shop and blog:

My Favorite f
rom Shai’s Creations:
Shai has so many cute hair clips and dresses that it almost makes me want to grab my husband and start trying for a daughter. For those of you who already have a little girl, you should really check out her shop. My favorite is her Custom Tutu Dress. Like many other offerings in her shop, it is totally customizable, but to be quite honest, I’m rather partial to the red and black.

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Featured artist of the week: Jodie, creator of Pretty Little Love Objects

Jodie – Pretty Little Love Objects

Tell us a little about yourself and your business:

I’m 23, English and living in the West Midlands. I left university in Swansea two years ago with a degree in history and ended up working in Marketing (as I believe most humanities students do).

My shop sells individual, original love tokens. These pieces of jewellery are designed to be special and given as gifts of love to someone or to yourself to increase the happiness in the world. A carefully designed and handpicked present is the best kind.

I sell necklaces, earrings, bracelets and spend time searching for the best materials to create each Pretty Little Love Object with. My favourite materials are buttons, ribbons, glass and ceramic beads. I also make cards so you can send some lovely letters, as I believe that a piece of personal post is a great start to a day.

What made you get started in your business?

I love crafting and I make items for friends and family all the time but there’s only so much jewellery they can wear at once and I felt a big crafting itch when I didn’t have a project to work on. Starting an Etsy shop gave me something to work on in between friend birthdays.

Anything else you’d like to share:

I’m constantly working on my shop. I’ve just finished a full range of new neck modeled pictures to accompany each necklace listed. I’ve ordered a new banner (which is just perfect thanks to the seller who worked with my requests). I’m even pioneering an innovative repairs policy. If a customer breaks their jewellery, for example smashes a glass bead, I will repair or repurpose the piece. All the buyer has to do is pay for the piece to be packaged and returned to me. This offer is good a year from purchase. I think it’s really important to always be developing areas of my shop.

I’ve also reached the point where there are 70 items listed in the shop, which is quite an achievement. I’m hoping to have 100 listed by the end of the year. Maybe I’ll have some sort of special offer when I reach that milestone!

Tell us about your favorite item currently listed in your shop:

My favourite item has to be a button necklace called ‘The Botanist Collecting‘. It’s a random pattern necklace made from a variety of green and brown buttons and has a big ceramic bead as its focal point. Each button is threaded through with green glass seed beads to bring the selection together.

I love collecting and using buttons because you can find them in so many shapes, colours and textures. They can be hard to string to achieve the effect you want and you need to have a creative mind to work out different methods of attaching them.

Links to your Etsy shop, website and/or blog:

Etsy shop:


Team blog:

My Favorite from Pretty Little Love Objects:

I love this necklace, titled Starry Eyed Remembrance Necklace from Jodie’s shop. It’s fun and simple style are what first attracted me to this necklace. I also love the way she took materials that aren’t usually thought of for “grownup” jewelry and made them into a wonderful piece of jewelry.

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Featured Etsy Artist of the Week: Vanessa of Designs by Vanessa

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:

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 ♥
Designs by Vanessa Blog ♥

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.

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This week’s featured artist: Michelle Martin, Purple Moon Fibers

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.

I’d love to have you come and check out my shop!
More of my art dolls can be found on Flickr
And once in a blue-moon (or purple moon) I add to my blog


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.

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Red and Blue Trifold Wallet

Opened, this wallet measures just over 4in by 8.5in. The lining is a thrift store find, so I’m not sure of the exact fabric make up, but I think it’s a cotton blend with one side that’s really shiny. You have to touch it to tell that it’s not vinyl or some other waterproof material. The outside is a new fabric remnant, so I don’t know the exact fabric make-up of it either, but it’s a heavy material, similar to canvas or a lightweight upholstery fabric.

The wallet has six card pockets and one large pocket at the top for cash. I haven’t decided if I’ll add a closure, and if I do, I’m not sure if it will be Velcro or a snap closure. The far left set of pockets is a bit wider than the other four, so it would be pretty easy to put the closure there and not sacrifice the pocket space.

I need to learn more about different types of fabrics so I can more accurately describe anything I make. I love using second hand material, but I have no idea how to label it.

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Bandanna Print Zipper Pouch

This pouch is about 5in by 6.5in. I made it using a salvaged zipper from a pair of slacks. The outside bandanna print fabric was from a thrift store lot of fabric. The inside blue lining is from some scrap material mom gave me. I also sewed a loop of the bandanna print into a side seam that I could attach a keyring to if I wanted.

This was my first attempt at sewing something with a zipper and it turned out pretty well, if I do say so. There are no raw edges showing, so it should hold up well.

I made the pouch to fit the zipper I had. It’s a little big to be a change purse or key chain wallet, but I discovered this weekend that it’s the perfect size for my digital camera. If I’d known that when I made it, I would have added some padding or lined it with a lens cloth. Oh, well, more ideas for next time.