Monday, June 29, 2009

This Week's Hot Shop!

Congratulations to Ruth of She is the winner of this weeks' Hot shop~

I have always been a fan. She is an amazing artist. Take a look in her shop and you'll agree.

Here is her interview. Lets get to know her better~

1. Who is rhradcliffedesigns? Rhradcliffedesigns is the alter ego of ruth hill radcliffe. (as well as elephantdreams and earwingsandthings ). Its been my umbrella for the past 20 years covering all the art and life I live.

2) What kind of crafting/art do you do? How long have you been doing it? Wow, let's see. I've been making and living art since I was in elementary school. I love painting (both art wise and walls), drawing and photography. I also love learning new mediums and have flirted with mosaics, weaving, fiber work and jewelry. I am dying to learn to knit.

3) Where do you pull your inspiration from? Not to sound too trite, but the world around me. I'm drawn to bright colors, patterns and textures.

4) What is your favorite medium? This is a tough one to answer. But I would have to say there is a tie between photography and painting. Photos provide a jumping off point for just about everything I do, and painting is an off shoot of what I see behind the lens.

5) Is etsy your full time job, or just a side project? I would love to say it was my full time job and it does take up much of my time, but I would also have to say its just an expression of who I am and the inspiration to keep working even when financial times are tough. It's nice to say "oh I have an ETC challenge" and have it produce a different and unique piece of art. Etsy is also my social network at the moment.

6)What is your favorite thing to do with the Etsy Texas craft Team? I love the swaps both promo and gift. I also like the sharing during Monday sales events.

7) Any tips for other Artists? Inspire yourself. See what you do as the jumping off point, not unlike working in a series and letting one thing flow into something else. Its amazing how far you can take one idea.

8)Tell me a secret about yourself. Well, if I told it wouldn't be a secret. But I'd say it would be the fact I'm a died in the wool introvert. This doesn't come across on the internet since you're behind a screen.

Thanks Ruth for sharing about yourself and your art.

Want to become next week's Hot Shop? Take a look in Ruth's shop, and post back here with your favorite item. You'll be entered in next week's drawing!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fifth Monday $5.00 Monday Sale!~

Tomorrow Marks our First $5.oo Monday Sale and we are very excited! Over 60 shops signed up to participate.

Do you know what this means? It means you can get Super Deals in these shops! All of these shops have special items for just $5.00!

Take a look and you can find things from beads to bracelets, pillows to purses, collars to cozies, soap to supplies, rings to ribbon holders and tons more.

Search etsy for Etc5 and find wonderful things or just click this link:

Come join us for the fun~ and find some beautiful items at great prices starting tonite and ending Monday, midnight.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Spotlight Treasury

Another Lonestary Spotlight Treasury is up and running. Be sure to comment and click on each item to get the treasury moved up on the list and seen by more etsians.

You never know who will be featured next, it could be you! So let's support our team.

(I've seen bns treasuries fill up with comments the first day! Lets try to beat them as the best Team out there!)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Featured ETC Member - HandmadeWhimsy!

In honor of all she does to support and promote Etsy Texas Crafters Team, we congratulate Tricia of HandmadeWhimzy as our featured ETC member!

Tricia of handmadewhimzy has contributed and participated in ETC behind and in front of the team's activities. In addition to being coordinator of the 1st Monday ETC sale she is the team gift swap coordinator. She also actively promotes ETC with team shop tags, in etsy forums, steering customers towards our newsletter and letting them know how to subscribe to it . Tricia participates in both our team's promo and gift swaps. She supports Monday team activities. These are only some of her contributions and we are glad to have her as featured member. Many thanks to Tricia.

Read her interview to find out more about her.

Tell us a bit about yourself (where you live, affiliations, achievements/awards, and any personal stuff you want to share). I live in Tyler, Texas with my hubby and son. Professionally, I'm a nurse (RN, BSN). One day I hope to go back to college for my Master's and to become a Nurse Practitioner. However, I haven't worked in nursing for about 9 years, since my son was 1. I recently worked for 3 years at a local nonprofit in their medication assistance program. I am currently being a SAHM and artist/crafter.

Are you an Etsy Buyer, Seller, or Both? I'm a buyer and a seller! You can find almost anything on etsy!

What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?Outside of school crafts (I still have the plaster handprint we made in 1st grade!), the first thing I remember making was doll clothes. I think my mother gave me some scraps to make them with. I'm sure I hand sewed them. I do remember getting a small sewing machine from S&H Green Stamps that I was really excited about but it didn't go in reverse so there was no way to "finish" a seam. I was very disappointed. I think I was about 8

Why do you create? Because it's fun! And I want to get all these ideas out of my head!

What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from? Everywhere. Usually I just start putting things together, like beads, and moving them around until I get an idea of what to do. Some are inspired by nature or color combinations I see different places.

What are your favorite materials? I love beads, fabric, paper, ribbon, wood, and paint.

What is your favorite color? Turquoise/aqua, tiffany blue.

What are your two most and least favorite films? 2 Most Favorite: Love Actually, Pride and Prejudice 2 Least Favorite: I don't like "guy" movies with all the shooting and exploding. I don't know the names of them because I don't watch them.

What are you reading right now?A book by Sophie Kinsella (an English writer) - it's one in the Shopaholic series - which I was reading LONG before the movie.

What is your favorite item you have purchased on Etsy? HMMMmmmm! I've liked everything I've purchased on etsy. I can't pick just one.

Any tips on selling handmade stuff?1. Always be upbeat at Arts and Crafts shows even if sales are slow. 2. Never smoke in your booth even if you're outdoors (my personal pet peeve!) 3. It takes time to build an online business, don't expect it to happen overnight. 4. Always be willing to try new things.

Apart from creating things, what do you do? Laundry!! LOL I also like to read, do yoga, take walks with my family, eat sweets (my downfall), help out at my son's school, and swim.

To visit Her blog Tricia's blog Tricia is going to have a featured sale: 20%off total purchase in and Please put "ETC Featured" in notes to seller at time of purchase to receive the discount. Can not be combined with any other ETC promos

Monday, June 22, 2009

This Week's Hot Shop

Congratulations to GoAgainstTheGrain, our Hot Shop for this week.

She creates lovely graphic designs and offers anything from Wedding invitations and seating charts to custom business cards and business logos with a few fun cupcake flags and banners thrown in. Here is a sampling of her shop and questions she was so kind to answer. Lets get to know her~

1. Who is GoAgainstTheGrain? My name is Laurel, I just turned 27 and I live in Tomball, Tx with my hubby of 9 months and our 2 boxer pups.

2. What kind of crafting/art do you do? How long have you been doing it? I like to try lots of different things but my main craft is graphic design. I got my BA in communications and an MA in graphic design. I've always been drawn to using the computer for crafting.

3. Where do you pull your inspiration from? As lame as it sounds... from everywhere. I think the best part is when something you wouldn't expect to inspire you does! I read a lot of magazines and blogs and pull ideas from there.

4. What is your favorite medium? Graphic Design.

5. Is Etsy your art your full time job, or just an on the side project? It is a side project. I am the Creative Director for a magazine for a national trade association. I started my etsy shop while planning my wedding.

6. What is your favorite thing to do with the Etsy Texas Crafters Team? I love the different Monday challenges that go on. Even if I don't always participate in the challenge itself I love looking at the work of other team members.

7. Any tips for other Artists? Have fun! Also don't get discouraged. Like anything there are slow times and busy times.

8. Tell me a Secret about yourself. My thumbs are double jointed!

You can see more of Laurel's work on her blog as well as find out about a fun giveaway she is hosting on her blog,

Want to be featured next? Go to and check out her shop Post back here with your favorite item of hers. Friday I'll pick a new team member to feature.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Pick Your Poison!

# 1--Design Challenge is Monday June 22, 2009--PICK YOURPOISON!!!

What things can you absolutely, positively CANNOT resist?

Createsomething to show your poison!!!! Just remember - IT MUST BEHANDMADE BY YOU!!!

All entries must be posted here by 12:00 midnight Saturday, June 20 inorder to participate.

That is THIS Saturday--tomorrow! Voting will begin at 12:01 AM, on Monday June 22 and end Wednesday,June 24 at 7:00 PM.

If you would like to donate a prize for this or any other challenges,please contact the coordinators: Holly ( or Kate ( and comments go to them too!

Here's the link to the Sign-Up Thread:

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday

While this isn't a crafting tutorial, it has great info on how to add Google Analytics tracking to our blogs. Don't be intimidated~ If I can do it, anyone can~

Google Analytics is a useful tool for tracking what goes on in our Etsy shops. After I started a blog on blogspot earlier this year, I decided it would be good to have GA tracking my visits. I wondered how difficult it would be since Etsy does a great job of making it easy to set up GA on our shops. Everything seemed fairly straight forward until it came time to post the GA code into my blog. GA tells you to “Copy the following code block into every webpage you want to track immediately before the tag.” How do I find the tag on my blog? I hadn’t seen that tag on my blog when I was setting it up. The hunt was on. My first try at accomplishing this was to paste the code that GA provided into an html widget at the bottom of the page and hope that would wind up where it was supposed to be. No luck.

I was not the only one that this sounded reasonable to, because Kelley with Tattered Tapestry tried that too in her attempt to install GA for her blog. I knew to tell her that wouldn’t work but I’d have to look to see where I had pasted the code to finally get GA to work with my blog. There were two places that I needed to look. I found GA code in the first one, so I told her to put the code there. Unfortunately, what I didn’t realize was that the second place that I was going to look actually placed it in that first place.

To make a long story short, I did something stupid at about this time and lost my GA code on my blog! So I thought, no problem, I’ll just reinstall it. Once I finally retraced my steps, I was able to tell Kelley where to correctly add the code. It worked! Both of our blogs are now being tracked by GA. As a help to anyone else out there that wants to add GA to their blog, I am providing a step by step list of what to do to add it. (I’m sure it works the same way for other blogs, you just need to find out how to access your blog’s html code for it.)

Ok, so are you ready? Following is the list of steps and tips that I wrote down when I reinstalled GA on my blog. If you are not already using GA on your blog they should work for you too.

1) Sign in to or sign up for a Google Analytics account.

2) (You should now be on a page that looks like the first screen shot.) Click on “Add new profile” in the dark gray bar near the top of the page. (circled in red in the screen shot)

3) On the page that comes up, click the “Add a Profile for a new domain” button, fill in your blog’s URL (without the http://), choose from the pull down menus, the two time zone related entries requested. Click the “Finish” button.

4) This will bring you to a page that says on it “tracking not installed”. It will also include a box of code for you to add to your blog, with the instructions to “Copy the following code block into every webpage you want to track immediately before the tag.” Copy the code provided before leaving this page.

5) In a new tab, go to and sign in.

6) This should bring up your blogger dashboard. Click on “Layout”.

7) Click on “Edit HTML” as shown in the second screen shot.
8) This brings up a box with HTML code in it. Scroll down to the bottom of the code. The next to the last line should be your "/body" tag. Insert a blank line by using “return” on your keyboard just above the tag and then paste the code that you copied from GA on the blank line. You will see other codes that are similar to "/body" (such as "body"). It has to exactly match "/body" and the only place this occurs is at the very bottom.

9) Click “Save Template”

10) Go back to the tab that has the GA page with the code that you copied. Click finish at the bottom of the page. (This will take you back to the page in the first screen shot.)

11) You will probably see a caution sign under status for your new blog tracking profile. To check if tracking has been installed properly, click the “edit” button on the same line and to the right of the caution sign.

12) This will bring up a page like the third screen shot. If the code was installed correctly, the area circled in red will have a check mark and say “receiving data”. If not, there will be a yellow circle with an exclamation point and it will say “tracking not installed”.

Hopefully, if you followed these instructions, you are receiving data and within 24 hours your caution sign should turn into a green check and you will be able to view all of the great GA information for your blog. Good luck. (Article written by Cathy of EDCCollective and edited by Kelley of Tattered Tapestry.)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Congratulations to berrybluecreations

Lets get to know Beth at

Here is her survey:

1. Who is BerryBlueCreations? I am Berry Blue Creations. My real name is Beth Ward. My shop is a mix of bags, pillows, Bethie Flies and Angel Guards.

2. What kind of crafting/art do you do? How long have you been doing it? I love to sew. Making bags, pillows and pillow shams, quilted- looking things; plus the occasional Art Doll. I have been actively sewing and crafting since 2001. I have been selling since 2004, long before I knew of Etsy.

3. Where do you pull your inspiration from? My inspiration is pulled, yanked, and dragged from many places. People I know, nature, trends: both current and past.

4. What is your favorite medium? My favorite medium is fabric. Any kind of fabric all colors, textures and I like to upcycle or recycle. I have used clothing, drapery, upholstery and even luggage.

5. Is Etsy your art your full time job, or just an on the side project? My art is my full time job. It is the reason I get up in the morning and stay up till all hours, designing, measuring, cutting and sewing.

6. What is your favorite thing to do with the Etsy Texas Crafters Team? My favorite things to do with the Etsy Texas Crafters Team are chat and collaborate. I’ve gotten some amazing inspiration from my Etsy Texas Crafters Teammates.

7. Any tips for other Artists? The best tip I have for any artist is to think outside the box and don’t be afraid to experiment or ask questions. Promote your passions and share your knowledge. Your community will thank you for it.

8. Tell me a Secret about yourself. I used to teach art and crafts to preschoolers and I was once a clown.

Congratulations to Beth~

Want to be featured next? Go to and check out her shop Post back here with your favorite item of hers. Friday I'll pick a new team member to feature.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Time to Sign Up!

June 15 = ETC Has Secrets! Get Free Items with Purchase of Select Items! - sign ups are open now~ go here to sign up and participate~Find out what it's about and the rules HERE.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

ApacheMoon---Featured ETC Member June 8-22

In honor of all they do to support and promote Etsy Texas Crafters Team, we congratulate Verge and Nita DeShazo of as our Featured ETC Member! You can see more of their work in their shop or in a treasury created especially for them.

ApacheMoon has been active in the promotion of ETC. They use team tags in their listings and promote information about searching using the tag in their shop announcements, where they also supply a link to our team shop. They promote our team newsletter, are active in First Monday sales and monthly design challenges, and submit items to our "Taste of Texas" promos.

Here is a small part of the interview they gave :
Tell us a bit about yourself (where you live, affiliations, achievements/awards, and any personal stuff you want to share). We live in the beautiful woods of east Texas.
Are you an Etsy Buyer, Seller, or Both? We buy and sell. If we can support the Etsy community, it makes the parting with money happier.
What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it? At age two my mother taught me to make paper carnations from kleenex and bobbie pins. Because I was hospitalized that year mom had to distract me so I learned embroidery as well. From these early experiences I knew I "loved making things". Verge learned whittling at an early age and whittled a totem. It was a beginning as he loved both the process and the result.
Why do you create? I create because life without it would be flat and mundane, while Verge feels"Why do fish swim?"
What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from? Everywhere! Its a frame of mind. The universal magic is always available. The trick is to stop whirling through our lives long enough to notice it. That's the tricky part for me. Verge says I'm his inspiration.
What are your favorite materials? Silver and stone at the moment. I love making jewelry. For Verge it's stainless steel, as he is mostly engraving guns at the moment. "favorite material" rolls like waves on a beach though. The means and process is less important than the outlet itself.
I encourage you to read the full interview here and find more about these lovely people and their passion for animal rescue. There is also a promotional thread where we can all leave our good wishes and thoughts.

For the month of June ApacheMoon is having a "celebrating Texas" promotion. All items in the shop are 10% off. write TX in message to seller and a refund will be given through paypal.

~would you like to be a featured team member? First fill out the membership survey where you can tell us what you do to participate and promote the EtsytexasCrafters. Not all applicants will be selected as "featured member"featured member application link:

Monday, June 8, 2009

Tuesday's Tutorial - Paper Flower Bouquet

Ann, of, has graciously allowed me to share with you her Paper Flower Tutorial. These gorgeous flowers can be made out of various papers and colors to match seasons. This one is for fall colors, but can be adapted to fit any season.
Jordi got in the mood to make our paper flowers again a few days ago so we made ourselves a bouquet and put a kit in our Etsy store, too. These are really easy & quick to make. And you can make them in whatever colors you want. I always like to include some of my old paper in them and ink the edges but you wouldn't have to do that.

Here's how to do it:
Punch several circles for each flower. I used 5 different punches ranging from 3" to 1". Some scalloped, some not. If you don't have punches you can cut them out, or even tear them. It just takes longer.

Wad up the papers. This is the fun part! Make them as wrinkled as you want -- or don't even wad them if you want a cleaner look.

Ink the edges and some of the folds. I've also used glimmer mist on some and wadded them up while they were still wet. That works good, too. Color Box chalk ink in chestnut roan is my favorite right now for this.

Here's the stack of circles ready to assemble. You can glue them together and then glue a button on top or use a brad. Today I decided to use up some of the brads in my desk. I inked my craft stick (Jo just bought ANOTHER box of 1000 so we have to make LOTS of these now!!!) and glued some leaf punches on, too. Although when you put them in a display like I show above you can't really see the leaves. For the bouquet in the first photo I stuck an old piece of styrofoam in a clean veggie can, stuck my flowers in, and covered the styrofoam with shredded papers. Then I took 2 strips of coordinating papers and taped them on and tied a piece of jute around the whole thing. It probably took me 20 minutes to do the whole bouquet. You've probably seen these on my blog before. We've made bouquets for Valentine's Day, July 4th, and Christmas.

I think I'm going to make some flowers and glue magnets on the back for my fridge. I need new magnets. :-)

Check out her blog to see the full tutorial. Thanks Ann for sharing this fun and creative project!

Congratulations BesemNaturalScents is our Hot Shop for this week! Congratulations.

Here you can learn more about her:

1. My name is Wendy and I have a wonderful husband and 5 little helpers who assist in the sorting and packaging of my candles and soap. I began Besem Natural Scents when we were in the process of adopting 2 of our children from Kazakhstan. I now donate 10% of profits towards orphan relief and offer fundraisers for families who are in the adoption process.
2. I have been making candles for almost 6 years and soap for
3. I have studied aromatherapy and the benefits of using natural plant essences and essential oils. I blend my own scents and make natural palm/beeswax blend pillar candles and old fashioned cold-process soap.
4. I love experimenting and blending scents. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong place--I should be "the nose" in a beautiful little perfumery in the heart of Paris =). I also love the design aspect. I have enjoyed creating a brand. I make all of my labels and brochures and business cards.
5. At the moment, I love making soap. Every time I unmold a new batch, it is like Christmas. I have a new black licorice soap with activated charcoal that is almost cured. I can't wait to take pictures and get it listed. Each bar is a big black chunk that smells so good--and it's great for your skin!
6. I homeschool 4 of my 5 children, so that is my main focus. Making candles and soap is my creative escape and I am so happy that 3 of my children are showing interest in learning and helping with each step of the process. I hope that my sales continue to grow so that I can make it a full time business as my kiddos get older.
7. I try to set limits on how much time I spend on the computer, so I haven't been very involved with the team. I really like the first Monday sale, though, and have made several sales and found some great new shops that way. I plan on getting more involved during the summer when my schedule is a bit more open.
8. I think it is important to enjoy what you are doing--obviously not all of it, who really enjoys paperwork and taxes? It shows if you are confident in what you create. Take good pictures, or have someone else take them for you. You shouldn't put all that effort into creating and then not have it stand out and look beautiful.
9. Hmmm...a secret about me...Ikea is my favorite store. I love watching people and hearing so many different languages in one place. It reminds me of the International terminal at the airport--only with more comfortable chairs!

Check out her shop. It's amazing~ She wants to offer a 20% off sale to EtsyTx members. Write EtsyTx in the message to seller and she'll either refund the difference or send you a revised invoice.

Want to be featured next? Go to and check out her shop. Post back here with your favorite item of hers. Friday I'll pick a new team member to feature.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Marketing Study

As shop owners we are all working to promote our shops. Most of us are more knowledgeable about our craft than we are marketing and advertising. All assistance we receive and advice we can get we devour. (I know I do)

Cheri, from, did a marketing experiment and posted the results on her blog. I have copied an excerpt from her blog for a tease:

"I decided to do an experiment. I decided to purchase an Etsy Showcase. I heard pros and cons to the Showcases. The biggest con being why market to fellow Etsy-ians? The pros--exposure!

So after reading the how to's, I committed to buy. Which Showcase to join? I choose the Ceramic & Pottery Showcase as I am known as a Polymer Clay Artist who also has expertise in Jewelry Making, Excellent Quality, and Superior Customer Service. the choice of the Day to have my Showcase. I looked at all the options. I figured that it would be best to have the Showcase on a Saturday--most people were home and would be on the computer. Also, I would choose a day that had the least amount of spots open as that would be indicative of a good day -- it must be good day 'cause more people chose that day for their Showcase.

After seeing my results, I realized that my thought processes were wrong and the results were disappointing:"
She has some very interesting results. Go here for the results of her comparisons. It is helpful to us all.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tuesday's Tutorial

Connie, from has a wonderful blog and has graciously agreed to share one of her tutorials with us.

I mentioned a few posts back about a new item I've listed in my shop, and I'd love to share my pattern with you!
I made these sweet little mice from reclaimed fabric scraps, some rescued embroidery floss, cotton cord, catnip and polyfil.
You can download the pattern for these cute little catnip mice
here (free and safe.) Or, just transpose it from the 1-inch grid below:

Details for how to sew these wonderful Mice can be found here. Oh, I almost forgot -- please feel free to make these mice for yourself, your friends, your kitties, and even to sell in your shops. Just please don't sell my pattern -- that wouldn't be very cool.

You can read the story behind this fun craft here as well as see more pictures. Check out her entire blog. It's full of good stories, interesting happenings and fun things.