Saturday, February 28, 2009

Do you have your green yet???

The Owls are getting ready for Saint Patrick's Day by stocking up on plenty of green beer, shamrocks, and more! Erin of dreambirdphotos has made this green-themed Etsy Treasury to showcase our wide variety of green!

We're excited to launch our March Challenge this coming week highlighting some of the finest elements of Saint Patricks Day. Two of our members have already listed their items, and both are pictured in the treasury above. But, to get a better look, click on the item names to check out CagedBirdSings' Green Style Glasses and headband and Squarejane's Drunken Potato Hat.
We should have several more entrants when our contest starts here in a few days. You will be able to see all the entrants by searching Etsyowlsteam & stpatricksday Also, watch for a blog entry so you can vote for your favorite!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Owl Spotlight, lalala08: Adventures in Consignment

Last year I decided to take my crafting business one step farther -- I was leaving my comfort zone of outdoor festivals, craft shows, and private jewelry parties and entering the world of consignment. Dun dun dunnnnnn!

When a friend of a friend got the opportunity to open her dream store, it was mentioned to me that she was looking for local crafters and artists to sell their work on consignment. I resisted at first, hesitated to call her…I even panicked and got all of my vintage clothing together in a bag to sell to her instead. But eventually, with the unfaltering encouragement of my fiancĂ©, friends, and family, I mustered up the courage to set up a meeting with the owner to show her some of my work. I went through all of my pieces with my mother and fiancĂ©, and fought with myself over what was the best, what I was most proud of, and above all – what I thought would sell. And on a sunny afternoon, I packed my new pretty little jewelry display case and grabbed my plastic garbage bag of vintage clothing, and headed to my meeting.
My heart was racing, I was so nervous! But I figured hey, worse case scenario -- at least I cleaned my closet out, right? Well I don’t know what on earth I was so worried about, because every piece I pulled out she loved and wanted for the store, and couldn’t wait to see what else I would bring!

I felt so proud on opening day to see my pieces displayed in an actual store, and even prouder the first day I saw a stranger wearing one of my pieces! Now that was a first for me – typically I was always the one making the sales, meeting each customer face-to-face, but then…there I was…waiting in line to order coffee…and the woman behind the counter was wearing something I had made! It was REALLY awesome!

And my positive experience with doing consignment with the store led me to consider doing consignment with the gallery above it. In November of 2008, for the first time in my life, I saw my own paintings in a gallery, next to other artists, and I got to see them sell with great enthusiasm! What a rush! It’s been so much fun and so rewarding that I plan on setting out to do more local consignment (and maybe outside of the area too, any takers?!).

If you are ever in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, be sure to check out my goods and the rest of the awesome store that is UnderWired! Tell Lisa that la la la sent you!

Some of my little owl paintings at UnderWired

My handmade earring display at UnderWired.

Some of my jewelry on display at UnderWired
The artist behind lalala is Janessa, and other than in her Etsy shop and at Underwired, you can also find her online at her blog and also follow her on Twitter @lalalajanessa

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Owl Spotlight, Zemphira: Zemphira In March

I got an exciting order to make 200 market totes - this meant I got to order TONS of beautiful fabric (I LOVE fabric). So I decided to start listing some market totes in my Etsy shop. Then it kind of sparked a "go - green" theme in my shop. I started making my coffee cuffs with bamboo fiber and natural batting. I also plan on sewing up some new napkin sets.

March 18th will mark my one-year anniversary on Etsy. It has been a lot of fun for me create for other people. I have learned a lot, my creativity has been challenged, and my crafting skills honed. Who knew I would be sewing owls of all kinds to ship around the globe?!?

To "celebrate" my etsy-versary I am have created 3 "Polkie the Owl" potholders to list in my shop. Polkie is my avatar and the theme for a few of my first Etsy-creations. Polkie has gone to a craft show, gone postal, and gone out for coffee.

I also plan on participating in the OWLS challenge this March. Hoot hoot!

A few things about me

My shop name comes from one of my favorite paintings by Marc Chagall.
I seriously studied ballet and dance.
In college I worked at a rubber-stamp company - so sweet!
In Alaska I got seriously addicted to beading - my crafting soul mate taught me how to bead (with the tiny seed beads) and skin-sew.
I could eat asparagus all day - and chocolate-chip cookies (homemade).
I married my high school sweetheart and we have 3 kids - soon to be 4!

Get to know Zemphira by following her on Twitter @zemphira

Monday, February 23, 2009

Some Owls getting featured (and a bit of cross teams promotion)

One of our members, PiratesDreamofPearls is also a member of the Etsy Supply Street Team and was featured Friday on their blog!

Woo, Click this to check out the article!

Their blog articles include highlights of team shops, a series of shop advice columns where they blog about useful tools and info for Etsy sellers, Etsy events, team sales, and other info. It's a very useful resource, check it out!

Also, as a bit of a side note, the Etsy Supply Street Team is like Etsy supply heaven... they have so many great things. If you're looking for some craft supplies, throw in their team tag with your search to get some great shops!

(By the way, PiratesDreamofPearls is a co-op destash shop made up of PresentsforPirates, suenosdejmi, and KnitandPearl )

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Owl Spotlight, Tabmade

There are a variety of media that get me excited. Mainly it is clay, but since I've graduated I no longer have a studio to work in or a kiln to fire in, and I live too far from the university to keep working there. So until I can get a kiln of my own (which I am saving for through Etsy alone if ya'd like to help me reach my goals *cough* *cough* haha) I'm delving into one of my other loved mediums, fibers! I've crocheted for several years now, but just a few months ago discovered the awesomeness that is needle felting, and not too long before that, began seeing incredibly inspiring jewelry made from either felt, crochet, or other fiber related techniques. Check out some of these great pieces found on flickr!

1. #391, 2. Midsummer Collar flower close up 1000, 3. Chimerical Flowers ... Freeform Crochet Necklace, 4. Untitled, 5. WIP necklace #2a, 6. Felt Owl Necklace, 7. Psych Sixties - A Fiber Art Pendant 02, 8. wool necklace, 9. felt necklace no. 004

Many of those artists have Etsy shops as well so you may want to check out their Flickr profiles for the link!

I've recently purchased my first batch of roving from Copperpot on Etsy. It's this same batch of merino right here and the picture doesn't do justice for how lovely it is. It feels like heaven, I just want to moosh my face in it all day! I got it to do some felting onto one of my chiffon silk scarves which I will be listing as soon as it's finished. It's coming along slowly but surely. But since 4 oz is far more than enough for my scarf, (and at the best price I could find on Etsy!) I am inspired by all that fantastic fiber art jewelry to make a piece of my own. I've used fibers in my pieces before ( I love mixing media) but not as the main component, and I can't wait to get started. When I am finished I'll be posting about it on my blog, Tabmade, so stayed tuned!

Lori "Tab"

Tab can be found and followed in a variety of places. Other than her main shop, Tabmade, she's also recently opened up TheUnderstory, which features some of her gorgeous photography! She also has a blog (click the link above in her article) and can be found on Twitter @Tabmade

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Owl Spotlight, Raynae

I picked up crafting a long time ago when I was a wee girl because I get horrible cases of the wiggles. Seriously, I'm super fidgety. I can't even just watch TV. I'm either working on a blanket, some knitting, some paper crafting, doing impromptu yoga in the living room or bouncing constantly on my pilates ball. I think that's why I'm not 300 lbs because I also eat crap. Junk food crap, that is. My diet usually consists of chocolate, some form of fruit-type candy and lots of bread. Anywho, my Mom started buying me those crafting kits when I was really little. I made ornaments out of felt, leather jewelry, characters that were supposed to stand somewhere in your house, tons of stuff. I used to make those braiding keychains out of the plastic string... I can't remember what they were called, but I know everyone who was a kid in the 90s made them. They were cool. Every time I pass that section in the kids' stuff in Michael's, I still want to get some of it. :)

Now it's developed into something of a habit. I take my crafting traveling with me, I take it to work so I can craft during my lunch break, and, of course, I'm always crafting at home. And I'm always working on several things at once because, of course, I get bored very easily, and I have to have other projects to work on so I actually finish something. Right now, I'm working on binding a book, crocheting an afghan for my hubby, knitting socks for my hubby, making random things with my
Cricut and I'm testing out some ideas for expanding my shop. That way there's always something I can be working on. The socks for my hubby were supposed to be a Christmas present, but I underestimated the time it took to make them. I have one done!

So that's really the way I run in every day. I have tons of stuff going on at one time and I'm super fidgety. It works for me. :) My husband is incredibly supportive about my habit, and he'll even go with me on trips to Michael's/Joann's. I think he knows me better than I know myself sometimes because he'll suggest things to me in the store, and it's usually like, "Wow. That is absolutely perfect. Why didn't I think of that?" He's the one who suggested I get a
Cricut. That was the most amazing decision of my crafting life, so far. :) Oh, and in my free time, I also like dressing up my dog and cat. I love being an Owl!

Rayna's various crafting adventures can be found in her Etsy shop. She was the winner of our February Valentine's challenge Recently, she caved into peer pressure and launched a (quite awesome) blog. Check it out, she's really funny!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Owl Spotlight, PresentsforPirates: brought to you by the letter "m"

yo ho. man from presents for pirates here.

i was initially thinking i would share a photo of my studio and why sometimes it's hard for me to get projects done, but then i remembered how embarrassed my sweet little husband gets when people see what a hellish sty we live in. packrat? no. i just really love stuff. did any of you see that special on TLC about hoarders? john almost couldn't watch it because i'm pretty sure he's certain i'm about 10 years and 37 umbrellas away from that.

quick! five things you didn't know you didn't know about me:
i am a gocco virgin.
i loathe closed toe shoes.
i was the editor of my high school literary magazine.
i own three old typewriters, two digital cameras, six polaroid cameras, four 35mm cameras. and a camera phone. (i told you, i love stuff!)
my favorite food is green chile.

five things you might know about me:
i am a leo.
i want babies. soon.
i eat peanut butter like it's going out of style.
i would never want to be a pilot.
i collect blank notebooks.

five things you should know about me:
i am the messiest control freak you know.
i will tell you why the way you're driving is wrong and bothering me.
i love and collect all things piratey.
i discriminate against no paper.
i am ridiculously sensitive sometimes.

i work as a loan coordinator during the day and even then i constantly find myself writing sticky notes to myself about ideas for craft projects. i love the idea of trying to do something creative everyday, but sometimes by the time i come home from work, i'm just tired. i did make this in an attempt to not a) lose all my sticky notes and 2) lose all my ideas.

my new goal for this year is to be craftier more often and get involved more with the etsy community. here's hopefully the first step in the right direction!

happy crafting!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Owl Spotlight, Squarejane

Absurdities, by Karren Square Jane Halley

Absurdities. My life in one way or another has always revolved around the absurdities. It started young when i was a child... My mother was always laughing at the most obscure things. I think it stemmed from a British heritage and too much alcohol. Perhaps it came for her from a creative mind and a cold climate. I remain unsure of the roots but it runs deep.

As a youngling i noted that i was different in that, "um, what ARE you doing?!" kind of way. Perhaps it was wearing a witches costume or cowgirl costume to school in March or February and not getting why it was an issue.Often, art was my outlet for this affinity with the absurd. I began drawing when i was able to hold a crayon, crocheting and knitting in my pre-teen years and sewing with an old metal Elna when i was 11. Painting became art therapy for me when i was in my late teens and early twenties. To this day, if i don't create something each and every day, i go a little crazy. There really is a very FINE line between creative intellect and complete madness.

Back to the absurdities now... One of the fantastic things about relishing the absurdities in life is that life has a way of feeding you extremely unique situations if you simply choose to notice the opportunities of the absurd. Like this:

Or this:

Or this:

Yes, the absurdities is where i am most comfortable. They have allowed me to play accordion on stage while dressed as a giant broccoli, to tattoo my own leg with no previous experience in tattooing, to work with an Elvis impersonator and to meet some brilliant people. When people ask me where i get my inspiration to create, i tell them i find it in the absurdities. The absurd allows my brain to wander free of many constraints as i know my thoughts aren't too crazy or the world wouldn't present us with these absurdities.

Squarejane is one of our newer Owls, and definitely keeps us on our toes! Her Etsy shop is full of creations that reflect her unique energy and spirit, such as Ernst who is pictured on the right. In addition to her Etsy shop, she can also be found on her blog or can be found occasionally on Twitter @squarejane

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Owl Spotlight, Jbirkemeierphoto

"Staring at the pattern of the
flecks was dizzying. Staring at it
for a long time was hypnotizing."

--Susan Orlean's The Orchid Thief

I could totally be Meryl Streep,

Every year the Missouri Botanical Garden ( hosts an orchid show. I got into photographing the show in 2006 when I had become really burned out on shooting portraits--which was all I was doing for my senior portfolio as I was graduating college. I went to the show not really knowing what to expect from myself, having never used a macro lens and not particularly caring about the subject.

After shooting for a couple of hours the experience ended up being extremely calming and revamped my love for photography. I go back to the garden every year to shoot the show. Four shows in, it is a great challenge to find an aspect of the flowers that I haven't already shot--but that's the fun of the creative challenge, isn't it?

My favorite way to photograph flowers is with a macro lens. Using the macro immediately allows me see the details in the orchid that I certainly wouldn't notice just in passing. It is captivating to study small sections of each petal--the tiny little hairs along folds and creases that make a delicate flower look like a cactus, each impulsive twist and curl in the edges. I really believe that if I didn't photograph orchids the majority of their beauty would go unappreciated in my mind. For this reason, I love sharing my photography with others. I want people to feel the same sense of awe that I have.

In the past year, aside from selling prints of my orchids, I began turning my work into coasters and note cards. Why not be able to enjoy the wonder of nature and protect your coffee table from water rings at the same time? For more orchids and orchid paraphernalia visit my Etsy shop at

Julie can also be found at and is also on Twitter @juliebirkemeier Do check out her Etsy shop, she really makes some of the most gorgeous coasters!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Owl Spotlight, lovealisa

I always feel self-centered when tooting my own horn. So here I am, In the spotlight. It’s a little bright, but I think I can handle it!

My Name is Alisa Marie of
LOVEALISA and I joined these OWLS for a couple of reasons:

(This is no particular order):

  • I love owls.

  • I was new to ETSY, and wanted to feel connected in this big ETSY world.

  • I needed sales (When I joined the OWLS, I had 6 sales in as many months).

  • I’m a little off the wall (my husband might say nerd…)

  • I need friends.

  • Reasons I LOVE being on the OWLS team:

  • I still love owls.

  • I have so many fantastic artists and ETSY experts that are so willing to give me advice and bounce creative energy off of.
  • Since December, I’ve have had 20 sales, and 4 custom orders! Is it due to the OWLS? (Well, you can’t deny the actuaries.)

  • These girls are truly off-the-wall, and so much fun.

  • I found friends.

I know those 25 Random Facts are going around blogs and facebook, I thought I would use that as a basis for you all to get to know me and my shop here in the spotlight!

Facts about my Shop and my craftyness:

  1. ETSY has fine tuned my ability to complete projects. (see my closet at my mom’s house for the boneyard of forgotten and abandoned craft projects.)
  2. I like making lists (as you can tell)

  3. I am a complete and total nerd.
  4. I made my family member’s tote bags and jersey scarves for Christmas. It was the first time I used a sewing machine.

  5. I have been saving up for a sewing machine.

  6. My husband says that I can use some of our tax return to supplement the rest of my sewing machine fund!!!! I GET A SEWING MACHINE!

  7. I plan on geeking up my shop. This includes more: Geometry , Pi jokes, formulas, computer disks, binary code… and so on.

  8. I plan on getting boy stuff up in my shop: I have entirely too much girly baby stuff. But recently a lot of my friends have baby boys and are asking what a made for their boys.

  9. I plan on expanding my embroidery in my shop: so much I am hoping to expand my products to adult scarves and other embroidered projects

  10. I have a few items in my jewelry section, but I will probably stop selling them and take them down when they expire, so I can focus on more fabrics.

  11. I get my creativity from my mom but my precision and math skills from my engineering dad.

  12. I will probably be fine tuning my shop to get my best products out there.

Facts About Me, Alisa!

  1. I teach Math. For Junior Highers.
  2. I tend to procrastinate……. Ok, you got me, I have perfected the art of procrastination.

  3. I watched all six Star Wars movies in one day (see #3 above)

  4. I follow ashton kutcher and demi moore on twitter, and I don't really know why... but I can't bring myself to un-follow.

  5. I love to talk to newscasters like they are my friends (this includes local and national) example: I truly believe that Chuck Todd and I would be best friends if we ever met.
  6. I am NOT crazy (see #5)

  7. My husband and I are high school sweethearts. (no pets and no kids yet).
  8. Every Friday night is "Chipotle Night" with my Tad. Even the manager at Chipotle knows this and gives me a great big “HELLO HOW ARE YOU!” Then she asks what salsa i want. (I suspect she already knows.)
  9. I passed the algebra/number theory & geometry/stats CSETS (each is a four hour standards test), which I'm quite proud of. What makes me MORE proud is that I did that with out paying for ANY books/classes/kits/tutoring. Just free on line sources.
  10. When I leave on a long trip, I always have to gas up on pump #8 or suffer a hardship along the way.
  11. I hate cleaning. I hated cleaning my room. In college in order to curb this hatred, my roomies and I made up a special Cleanest Roomie Award complete with an old bowling trophy. And every month our RD would come and judge out respective areas.

  12. I married a clean freak (see #10).

  13. I have a etsy, a blog, a twitter a facebook, but I refuse to get a myspace.

Alisa Marie McPherson

Alisa is the heart and soul behind LoveAlisa where she makes gorgeous onesies for baby as well as sweet bookmarks perfect for your favorite sweetheart! She can also be found on blogger or on Twitter @lovealisa

Monday, February 9, 2009

Owl Spotlight, suenosdejmi

The Once-A-Day Listing Resolution

I make scarves and other crochet accessories, like gloves and bags. Even if I work diligently on an item, it takes several days for me to make a new item and get it listed. Sometimes I get in these crafting frenzies where I make several things within the span of a few days but I might not have time to take pictures and list them, and usually when I do I end up listing them all at once.

Well, this frenzy, I decided to try and pace myself, and list one item once a day, and keep crafting to stay an item ahead, so there will always be something to list the next day. Doing this helps with exposure because every day you get a new item in the huge pile that is the Etsy search engine (which is by default listed by newest items first)

So, I got on a crafting binge and made a purse and two scarves within a few days of each other. I took pictures of two of them and listed the first item on this past Friday, which was this
awesome blue and red-orange scarf pictured above! I was so excited to get something listed, AND I still had a purse and another scarf left to list!

Saturday's listing was another scarf, the one pictured on the right, a soft, plushie mix of green and purple with some awesomely thick fringe on the ends. Though definitely not as cool as the first scarf, I still like it.

Saturday I also got some yarn I had purchased in the mail, some soft, white sparkley Wool Ease, and was so excited by it that I whipped up some impromptu fingerless armwarmers! I worked on them all evening Saturday and then Sunday too and managed to get them up just before midnight on Sunday!

I'm so in love with these gloves, and they furthered my quest to keep listing 1 item a day until I fail. :) At this point, since I added an extra item, I still had a purse and a scarf to list.

Today's item was the purse, the really cool retro granny square bag pictured stage right. I still have another scarf to list tomorrow, and am working on another scarf right now that I hope to finish tomorrow evening...but the ultimate question is How long can I keep this up???

Wish me luck!

The voice behind suenosdejmi is Jamie. She's a 20-something who loves yarn and crocheting scarves...tons and tons of scarves. Aside from making scarves, she's also part of dreambirdphotos where she sells her pictures she took in Spain and other photo items and piratesdreamofpearls where she sells destash supplies. She's also one of the admins for Etsy Owls. You can find her on her own blog here or on Twitter at jmilovesowls

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Owls take on CRAFT Magazine!

Etsy gave a special discount advertising special for shop owners, and three of our team members took advantage and purchased ad spots in Craft Magazine

This screenshot is from Craft's Digital Edition and is edited with our three members circled.

Visit their Etsy shops:


Congrats ladies & Good Luck to you during this ad!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The OWLS take on Valentine's Day

The winner of our previous challenge HollyStott, got to choose the theme for this challenge! Congrats Holly and great job on the last challenge! She decided to do Valentine's Day, but with a twist. The main objective of this challenge was to make an item you would give to your best friend for Valentine's Day, but back in high school! So thse items are all silly and fun (and by the way, would make a perfect gift for that young one in your life *wink, wink*)

The entries are shown below, and each have links to their listings on Etsy. Vote for your favorite in the poll over on the left hand side of the screen. Please note that only votes in the poll will be counted, comments do not count as votes! Thanks for visiting, and Happy Valentine's Day from the Etsy Owls Street Team!
HollyStott's Love Monster

LoveAlisa's Conversation Hearts

Lalala08's Owl Love Notes

Jonikay52's After the Rain 8x10 Photograph

WeiOpenSecret's Emergency Valentines

RaynaE's Unicorn Rainbow Barf Candy Bag

StripeyMonkey's Luv U Ipod Cozy

Suenosdejmi's Ribbon Bracelet

Also, be sure to visit this gorgeous Valentine themed treasury and also search etsyowlsteam for a bunch of great Etsy Owls items!


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