The hats have it!

Brrr....
It's November. It's November in Ontario. It's damp, chilly and down right depressing. But please....don't despair.
Look good. Stay warm. Be happy. How can I do all of this, you ask? One simple word: HATS.
Yes, the hats have it this time of year! Hat head is "in" (or bring a brush and hairspray along if you like). I am happy to announce the recent addition of hats to my shop shelves! Making them is addictive - no lie: I made one a day for a good week straight!! Currently I have three varieties available.

I love the Newsboy style - with brim, forehead band and two buttons on the temples.





These "Headhuggers" will keep you WARM and look fantastic!



And last, but certainly not least, to satisfy the public outcry from close friends - the beanie!

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As a side note - I am moving at the end of the month and due to constraints and sheer lack of time, I will not be doing my weekly "Etsy" feature for the month of November. My apologies - but come by in December when I will continue to highlight some of the fantastic talent to be found on Etsy.
As always, I invite you to leave any comments that you have, say hello or "follow" my blog! And don't forget to "bookmark" me and add me to your favourites so you can visit me often!

Sales (and views) are on the rise

Even if it's slowly but surely my Etsy sales are on the rise! And view are too! I'm not sure where they all came from but my views in the past couple of days have been staggering. I actually scrolled through all of the treasuries to see if I was featured. But alas, I couldn't find it! Maybe I was on the front page and just didn't see it in time! Did you happen see me on the front page?


I had another sale this morning...

Fiona - Wrap in Charcoal Grey. Made with a mohair/acrylic blend yarn.

She's very lovely - I really enjoyed making this piece. It's very soft, squeezable and warm. And because it's wide and long, it's very versatile. Wrap it, wear as a scarf or a cowl (hey you could even use it as a lap-ghan). Surprisingly, as soon as this sold, my views dropped immediately. That alone tells me something was up!

I miss her already! Maybe I'll have to make another one - not much planned this weekend except packing anyway! Why not!

Check out my shop for more fabulous creations!

Etsy Spotlight of the Week

* semi precious & wire wrapped jewelry *
Initially, I was drawn to this shop because of it's name! MuffinTops can have a double meaning (especially for all of us women out there who have a little "extra" around the middle)! Hilarious! Then I browsed her shop and was delighted to see such beautiful jewelery! And Sock Monkeys to boot! Who doesn't love Sock Monkeys!?
Q. How long have you been "crafting" in your art medium?
A. In my first life, I was a fine arts major specializing in drawing, painting and installation art. However, life moved in ways I didn't predict and I ended up with a masters in Art Therapy and working in non-profit mental health housing and support! I took up jewelry making after a small personal crisis and never looked back since! The sock monkeys were a project for an art group I was running with clients and I got addicted to making them.







Q. How long have you been a part of Etsy?:
A. I've been a part of Etsy for about a year and a half. My cousin had found this site and suggested that I start selling here!
Q. Tell me about yourself:
A. I've been told that I'm a multitasking whirlwind! I love creating, and finding new things to make - even though most of them don't end up seeing the light of day! I'm actually heading into my 14th week of my first pregnancy, so I'm looking forward to becoming a mamma for the first time too.

Q. What do you see yourself doing in 5 years (either as a part of Etsy or otherwise)?:
A. In five years, I would love to have my own little studio and be doing this full time. I still would love to be working in the mental health sector - at least part time! and maybe be a mom to more than this little one. If the husband and I could put our heads together to start our own business, that would be fantastic too!
Q What is your favorite item in your shop right now and why?
A. My favorite item is: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=14713134 while my silver collection isn't my best seller, I'm in love with the process and the shine of sterling! This one is a perfect contrast of texture! the disc can also be worn convex or concave - shielding you from negative energy... or absorbing good!

Must Love......Scarves!


Well, it's late October and here in Ontario, Canada the temperatures are dropping as quickly as the Canadian Dollar. (Oh Dear! Bad joke!!) So with the colder weather, one must prepare themselves by making amendments to their wardrobe. Yes, my friends, I speak of the scarf.
We all know that with winter comes the coat and most likely the hat and even sometimes, mittens. But not everyone has embraced the practicality, the functionality and the high fashion impact the scarf holds. In my eyes, everyone simply must love scarves.
Now having said I all of that, I feel that I must mention that I am, well, biased. You see, I love to make scarves and therefore have undying love and respect for all of them. I think everyone should have them. Long ones, fat ones, skinny ones, red ones. I don't discriminate! All scarves are of equal beauty and serve an equal purpose. A scarf can save your face, literally. Wrap your cheeks with a sumptuous, soft and lovely scarf this winter and watch the changes happen in your skin. By taking protective measures against the wind, you will be saved from the terrible dry flaky cheeks of years gone by. You'll look great and have great skin as a bonus!
Now let's take a look at some of your options. You'll be pleasantly surprised to see that you don't have to wear that same old thin tartan scarf from your youth (although you should hold on to it and put it into your rotation)! Today, with so many fabulous designers out there, you could wear a different scarf everyday of the season! Currently my favorite style is a long very soft wool scarf with the fringe running along the side instead of just adorning the ends. Talk about DRAMA (see photo at top of post)!! Even though I have been making these for over a year now, I'm still debating on what to call them "SideSwept" Scarves or "SideWinder" Scarves. Perhaps I will hold a poll on a future post.
Also piquing my interest in the scarf world of late are the Scarflette and Lariat Style Scarves. Both will change the look of your attire in an instant. The Scarlette works so well under your huge bulky coat, simply because it hugs your neck. No fuss, no muss! A Scarflette is similar to a cowl with the difference lying in only how they are put on. The scarflette is worked as an open ended piece that is fastened with either a broach, button or a tie of some sort. Thus far, I have enjoyed the many fantastic button options available. My next step with no doubt include the brilliant broaches out there!
Lariat style scarves are unique. Thin and versatile, they serve to act more as an accessory rather than a functional weather barrier (although some may surprise you and act as both!). I enjoy them immensely, just wrap (and wrap and wrap) and wait for the complements (yes, they will come!). Lately I have been combining up to 3 Lariat scarves at once to create a dimensional, dramatic piece that has many looks. Each piece and be worn separate of each other and can be worn in a number of ways. Wear it every day of the week, but never the same way twice - how cool is that!?
So I implore all of the doubters out there - give scarves a chance! You'll be happy you did! And look fabulous to boot! Browse my ridiculously fantastic scarf inventory here.

Etsy Pick of the week - bstudio

My sincere apologies! My "weekly" spotlight has turned into a biweekly spotlight this time around. Life has been crazy the past week and a bit. In the past 8 days we have sold our old truck, sold our HOUSE, my husband graduated trade school (with HONOURS no less!) and we have bought ourselves a new abode! Very exciting times!
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So onto the spotlight. bstudio uses the needlecraft technique of silk ribbon embroidery to create unique and lovely pieces such as pillows, note cards and other fabulous accessories. Here's what she has to say about her art:
"I work primarily in silk ribbon and started out making embroidered pillows and ring pillows. I find that once I become comfortable and familiar with the techniques of a medium I like to experiment and explore. That has lead me to try my hand at greeting cards and my latest addition in my shop which is jewelry made with silk ribbon. I love the whole process of designing and creating all the items in my shop.When I first started crafting, I was working in needlepoint and discovered the work of Kaffe Fasset. I'm impressed with his way of using color and design that is so different from the traditional methods.

I’m also inspired by the work of glass artist Dale Chihuly, another artist who ‘thinks outside the box’ when it comes to the medium he works in. That's what I like to do too, take the medium and see what I can do with it, not what the instructions tell me to do with it.

My inspiration comes from many sources, some are easy to identify, like the flowers in my garden or the nature that surrounds me but others are more ephemeral and just seems to grow and develop like a seed. I love to look through design and craft magazines and books and even fashion mags just to get the essence of a style or an idea. I have an interior design background working mostly on office spaces. This gives my work a split personality, some of it will be decorative and some of it will be more stylized. It will depend on what my idea is and what the ribbon or fabric says to me."

As you can see, her work is simply beautiful! Go and check out her shop, you won't be disappointed!

A very good weekend

Here it is Tuesday and I have already dropped the ball on my "weekly" Etsy shop feature! I promise to have a new shop for you tomorrow!

I had a great weekend! I had ordered several items in the past couple of weeks and happily they all arrived on Friday! What fun I had opening such lovely treasures! (Some of which I cannot mention here as they are gifts!). But I can say that I absolutely adore my new apron from Boojiboo. I twirled around like a little girl for a good ten minutes! My husband, who knows I'm a little crazy, was just laughing and shaking his head! Now that I have such beautiful Kitchen attire, I must learn to cook and bake!!

Isn't she a beauty??

Two Treasuries in three days!

Not to be a boastful Betty...but I was notified by a fellow Etsian, Wallisdesigns yesterday that she had featured me in her treasury about urban decay. Visit the Treasury before Saturday night to feast your eyes on this "Beautiful Decay".
That's my photo of my Mom's red garden shed door in the middle. I love this photograph, it really captures it's rustic quailities.
Even one better, after thanking her profusely, she let me know that she had chosen my photo first, and that's what had inspired the treasury. Wow! Words can't expressed how flattered I am! Thanks again, Nancy, and what a great job! It looks fantastic! I encourage everyone to stop by her shop, Wallis Designs, and check out her wonderful jewelry! I love this necklace.

And special thanks to ArtmakersWorlds, who helped with the screen shot! An enormous help!

(**As I put together this post, my son recognized the picture..."There's Nana's Door!" He's 3.)

Featured in very unique Etsy Treasury

Yesterday, as I perused the forums on Etsy, I came across a fun thread.

jrdnart said "Be in my treasury". It was still a new thread so I hopped on board! She had a very unique treasury idea...here's a screen shot!

There's me bottom left! Click on the photo above to visit the Treasury until it expires Friday October, 3rd. Have fun!

So the idea was, she asked all of us interested to change the first photo of the item we wanted to feature in her treasury, add a picture of ourselves to the listing and that way people have a chance to meet you! Brilliant! Thanks jrdnart for such a creative and interesting treasury!!!

New Addition - Etsy Spotlight of the Week

Welcome to my new weekly spotlight on a talented Etsy Artisan! I will be featuring one seller every week (or so!). I invite you to take some time to visit the shops, browse around and enjoy their creations! I am so proud to be a member of such a talented community! I hope you enjoy this feature as much as I enjoy putting it together!

So without any further ado...
This week in the spotlight is Lurearts. Pam McFadyen is a very talented clay artist who works out of Toronto, Ontario.
Here's what she has to say about her art...

"There is something special about things made of clay. Each piece is unique and imperfect, much like us. I began my career in art as a painter but have become enamored by all things ceramic. I purposefully aim to make each work unique so the personality of the piece is evident even when it is part of a set. I create functional art with high fire stoneware that is meant to be used. Once you fill your home with handmade things you will notice that you gravitate to your favourites like the green ceramic mug or the brown clay bowl.

I am constantly striving to perfect and experiment with the chemistry of my glazes but have become attached to pale greens and tans because they have a subtle complexity that keeps me finding beauty in the same piece no matter how many times I have seen it. The gentle colours also allow the form to take precedence so the piece must have strong line, shape and personality. My newest glazes are watery colors such as Midnight Sea and Waterlily green. All of my bowls, mugs and ramekins are thrown and trimmed on a wheel yet may have trace elements of hand altering to complement the design of the piece.

I enjoy using texture in my handbuilt works. I design and carve plates that I then use to impress a relief botanical texture into my slabs. The delicate textures allow the glazes to break and pool which creates stunning colours. I am inspired by the simplicity of Asian design and the complexity of Rococo embellishment. Aiming to create a balance between these two contrasting sensibilities keeps me creating new and interesting works."

Go ahead, take a moment and discover her art for your self. I assure you, you won't be disappointed.

I,myself, am very drawn to pottery, perhaps it's the Taurus in me! I love the many shapes it can hold, its connection to the earth, it's strength and long lasting beauty. Pam has a wide selection of treasures including pendants, vases, bowls and my favourite, MUGS! Become a fan of Lurearts and the creations of Pam McFadyen - I know I have!

Babies + Afghans = SWEET!

Is there anything more adorable in the world than a happy, smiley faced, chubby cheeked little cutie pie snuggled up with their blankie? You'd be hard pressed to find it! (Okay so a basket-full of kittens or puppies might be a close second!)

I have been making afghans for over 15 years now, and since having my own child, I have really found a great amount of satisfaction in making baby afghans. Pretty much anyone who knows me and has had a baby has been a recipient of an Auntie Dawn baby afghan. I have been very fortunate to have such a supportive family, most of whom have actually purchased many of my creations as gifts!

All of my blankets are worked as if I were making them for my own child - I put a lot of love into each and every stitch. Because I enjoy doing this so much, it is never a chore or there is never pressure to meet a deadline. Every blanket is a professionally finished product paying great care to attention to detail. I am always learning new techniques and trying to keep up with the trends. I am always scouring books, websites and blogs for new ideas and beautiful new patterns to try! I love keeping my hands (and mind) busy.

Recently I have been busy making a nice quantity of stock for my shop doe Studio, found on Etsy. I have taken over the nursery until *fingers crossed* we need it again, using it to store my yarn and finished goods! I also use it as a "photo studio", taking a lot of my listing photos with my son's favourite Rocking horse.

Not only are my blankets beautiful, they are functional as well. They serve to keep those cool breezes and winter winds from making your baby uncomfortable (and we all know how much fun an uncomfortable baby can be!). They serve to protect your baby from the elements (sun, wind, light snow and rain). They serve as a comfort to your child and become a "sweetie", and can even become family heirlooms. Never underestimate the power of the blankie! See all of my available Baby Afghans for sale.


Who knows, maybe you have a little sweetie that needs a "sweetie"!

Ontario Crafters - Come print your Michael's Coupon

Calling all Ontario Crafters and Michael's addicts!

Being a self confessed addict of Fibrous wonders... I thought I'd pass along this link to a great website! I don't know how many times I got up to that checkout without a coupon! NEVER again, folks, never again!

FlyerLand Michael's Coupon for 40% off!
http://york.flyerland.ca/view_coupon.php?coupon_id=977

Now you'll never be stuck at the register without one of these! You'll have to come back weekly for your updated coupon...they do have an expiry date!
Happy *discounted* Crafting!

Enjoy!
Fall is around the corner and I have been busy building my stock of ridiculously fantastic scarves and cowls. I am honestly having a hard time keeping my listings up to my creating!! My apologies for the photos also. I honestly haven't had the time to properly edit them! So as soon as I have some time I will go back and edit those recent listings!
Below is a collage of my yet to be listed Flower Chain Lariat Scarf. You've seen it here first! Keep your eyes peeled on my shop...it'll be arriving on the store shelves soon!

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Here's a sample of my stuff!!

Next time you are in the market for something fun, beautiful and functional - stop by my Esty Shop!

 
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Some of my creations!

Stash busters!


Need ideas to use up your huge growing pile of yarn? My favorite stash buster is the Scarf! There are so many ways to create fun and funky items that fit your style or help to fill in your "gift" gap. I love to make scarves as gifts for family and friends, and sometimes for no reason at all (except that I just can't stop crocheting!!). *FREAK* So here's how I tackle the huge pile of yarn to make the perfect scarf.
Take 2 or 3 different types and thicknesses of yarn. I generally take one acrylic, one novelty yarn and add in a third of what ever is kicking around. I like to make sure that the yarn colors compliment each other - but that is simply my taste and is not entirely necessary! Experiment and have fun. There is no wrong way to do it! Now that I have chosen my colors and yarns, I grab my great big Q sized hook and start my chain. I enjoy using the big hooks, your scarf will work up fast and it will be nice, loose and soft. Whether you work width wise or lengthwise is up to you, but at this point (while you are making your chain) you will need to decide. That's part of the fun, just shoot from the hip,baby! So once you have decided upon how you are going to work the scarf, now it's time to choose your stitch. Here are some simple stitch ideas to try:
Single crochet (sc) in each chain/stitch
Double crochet (dc) in each chain/stitch

check out www.crochetpatterncentral.com/directory/stitches.php for more stitch ideas.

Now once you have reached your desired size, finish off and weave in the ends. If you have enough yarn left, even if its just one of them, feel free to add a fringe. I have been know to use old VHS movies to wind my wool! Take your wool, wrap it around your template to achieve desired length and fullness of fringe(say 6 times or more if you like), snip one end, holding the other in a loop. Using your hook, pull loop through the end of your scarf. With the hook still in the loop, wrap strands around and pull through loop. Pull to tighten. Repeat to add as many little fringes as you like. Or maybe you like pom poms. Perhaps you like nothing at all. YOU are in total creative control here - do whatever suits your mood!
The most important thing to remember is to have fun, enjoy what you are doing and know that eventually your "stash" will hug somebody special.
And if you are finding that a scarf is a bit too much for you (or you just don't have enough yarn), try a java jacket, face cloth or dishcloth. This are all fun, functional and will slowly help use up that stash.
And besides, it make me feel slightly less guilty about bringing home a couple more bags of new yarn if I've created something constructive and beautiful with what I already have!!

Tips for listing on Etsy

Yes it's true, a whole month has gone by without one single blog...
Must make an modest effort to do this blogging thing more often!

Lots has been going on. I have been crocheting like a crazy woman (just ask the hubby!). I have so much stuff ready to list....now I need to do my thing! Need to take photos (no problem), write my descriptions and commit myself to sitting at the computer for a while!

Here are some tips (or at least a couple of ways that I try to make it easier for myself) for creating a new listing for your Etsy shop.

  • Photos: Your photos should be your number one priority (aside from creating your masterpiece of course!). Ultimately this is what's going to "sell" your product. Make sure you have good, clear photos. I like to "display" mine as much as possible, using props if you have them. Be sure to indicate in your listing that your props are not included. Ensure your lighting is good, either use a light box or nice, natural light. Check these out: Picasa is a great photo editing program and it's free! http://picasa.google.com/ Webresizer compresses your photos for easier uploading. http://www.webresizer.com/
  • Descriptions: It's easiest to compose your descriptions in a word processing program so you can work at your leisure and use the spell check feature. Alternately, send yourself an email. Compose as usual, include your description (doing a spell check) and attach your photos. In this email, you can also make notes to yourself about price, quantity and tags. Now you are good to go!

Following the directions for listing your item on Etsy is very straight forward. Don't be intimidated, and don't worry. The more you do it, the easier it gets! I have found that browsing or posting in the forums if you have a problem will usually get you a lighting fast resolution to your questions.

Good luck listing your goodies, and if you ever have any questions, come by my shop and convo me. I'll be happy to help!!

www.AuntieDawn.etsy.com

The little things....

Sigh....
I have just returned from an absolutely wonderful vacation. Spent a week with family on an island in the middle of Haliburton Lake, Ontario. Just beautiful! With so many of us around it was nice to get little breaks for myself...relaxing, meditating and of course, crocheting. Check out my shop in the next week or so to see my new listings! I had the chance to spend lots of quality time with my little guy. I also had the immense joy of watching him change from a toddler into a little boy over the course of the vacation. Such a big transformation, I am so proud of him. Coming home makes me wish that I could spend more time with him on a daily basis. It makes my heart ache. Perhaps one day!



Much to my surprise upon my return, I received an email from a fellow Etsy seller - bstudio. She had featured one of my pieces in her treasury about colour. I was very honoured and grateful!!



She featured my Lilac photograph, which just happens to be one of my faves!

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade
AuntieDawn.etsy.com




Please visit her shop, bstudio...
http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5435455

Ooooooooh! There are just so many lovely things in her shop that it's hard to choose just one to show you here. So here it goes! I just love this one! Even though it's meant as a ring bearer pillow ~ I could see this one on my bed! Just stunning!

It's all the little things, like vacations and pillows, that make the world a happier place!

Over 50 Hearts!

I've been with Etsy for a couple of years now, but only in the past year have I really been dedicated to making this thing work! When someone likes your shop, they heart you!

........drumroll please..........

I sailed past the 50 mark with a whopping 54!!! Woot Woot!

I am thinking that when I return from vacation, I should mark the occasion with a sale. Or how about a promotion, the 100th person to Heart me will get a special something! Hey now, that's an idea - will ponder while I'm at the lake!

I'll be away from August 1st returning to business as usual on August 11th. Feel free to browse around the shop, but know that I will be unable to ship your order until I return.

Since we have been talking about hearts....here's the most popular item in my shop! I actually sold a watercolor version of this print in a 16x20, that turned out SO amazingly well - that I bought one myself! You can see the listing under sold items.

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=12851456

Today's Feature...this little piggy went to Market!

I am soooo happy that going "green" is so trendy these days! Mother Earth thanks all of you!
The Market Bag is a perfect item to help the "green" movement!! It can be used to gather your veggies and fresh bread from the local Farmers Market. You can take it to the grocery store, and filler up with your Cheerios and goat cheese. Go ahead and fill it with the kids beach toys and take it to the beach. Anyway, I think you get the idea! These babies are versitile!
Today I am featuring a Large Market Bag that can be found in my Etsy shop called doe Studio. I love to crochet and I love the planet, so it was just common sense to combine the two! Here she is! This has been popular among my family and friends, so I have added them to my shop in hopes of saving the planet, one market bag at a time!

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=13238752


A little peek at what's at doe Studio shop

Etsy
Buy Handmade
AuntieDawn

Intro...

Welcome to my new blog everyone!

I hope to use this awesome space to highlight, review and promote items from my shop and, of course, all things Etsy! And from time to time, you'll find tips, tricks and other fun things!!

Everytime I tell someone that I am selling on Etsy, they ask "What's that?" I just thought everyone knew about Etsy - even Martha has featured Etsy sellers on her show! (and how cool is that!?). I like to think of Etsy as the worlds largest Art Show & Craft Fair.

I have been a member of Etsy for almost 2 years. The first of which was spent mostly exploring and dreaming. I have only really started to list items and really get serious about my business. I love it and am having so much fun. I really enjoy the community that Etsy provides for all of us artisans!
In my shop, called doe Studio, you can find crocheted items, beautiful photography and accessories! I do this part time with aspirations to work at this full time! Oh to dream!! I , must admit that I am severely addicted to crochet. I have been working with the hook and fibre for many years, many more than I care to admit!! I'll elaborate on my wool addiction another time!
I'll leave you with a sneak peek of what you can find in my shop!
More later.....