While looking for some inspiration to write my first blog post, I came across this lovely Norwegian blog entitled "Stylizimo".
It´s all about interior and home decoration and has plenty of amazing ideas and tips. As the Summer approaches in the Northen Hemisphere, how about these "3 different ways to decorate your Summerhouse"?
Hello! Pey has very kindly asked me to contribute a blog post. My name is Sandra Eterovic, and I live and work in Melbourne, Australia. I thought I'd show you some photos that Kim Brockett from Craft Victoria took of my studio recently. Above: some of my favourite books, and a moustache mirror on the wall. Above: some collages that I made using pictures that I painted in acrylic and then cut out and pieced together. One or two have even made it as prints and cards in my etsy shop. Above: a man made from a vintage advertisement that I found in my favourite blog, Agence Eureka. Above: a finished painted mirror, which is now for sale at a beautiful Melbourne shop called Hut 13. Above: a rug that I made by painting acrylic on canvas and varnishing it. I read once that during the Victorian era people sometimes painted rugs if they could not afford woven ones. I thought I would try the idea out too.
This is part 2 of a series showing the REAL managers behind the artists of the In the Making team on etsy
Please meet IMteam member Laura from Olive and Oud with her 3 studio managers keeping her on her toes,
here we have Cleo, the lady in charge -
'hey! I do all the work around here - but there's another bun too, just a sec ...'
'BUN! I said, not bum!
... humans ... what are they like eh?!'
'this is my helper Yogi'
'he's a tad smaller than me, and has head-tilt, so he gets the easier jobs to do - like asking Laura for a fresh supply of dandelion and greens and ofcourse demanding constant kisses and cuddles'
(I er, do the taste test of the greens first)
'... and 'cause I'm the boss I get to tell Trilby what to do as well. Just because he's a cat he thinks he's better than us rabbits, and the humans, but not so - I put him to good use and make sure Laura is always being micro-managed by him'
'I mean, how many hours do you honestly have to sit in front of the computer each day updating your etsy shop? really!
so Trilby makes sure Laura takes plenty of breaks, by, er, confiscating the keyboard, plus I'm sure he blogs a little too whilst he's there (you know what cats are like eh?)'
'and I send him off out for his leash walks with Jake and Laura when they need some fresh air.
Trilby told me that they think they are in control of him with that leash, but it's not so - Trilby said that the leash is his rope to absolute control and they follow him everywhere'
'and being a cat means the world stops when he stops to smell the roses ..'
'and gaze at the clouds reflections in the pond ....
... now that can on for, like forever ...''
'besides, Yogi and I have far too much work to do inside, what with redesigning the bedroom and trying to look cute!'
Same time next month - meet more of the REAL managers doing REAL work!
Susan Saltzman of SToNZ is an Ohio girl born and bred, raised in the Cleveland area, married to a Cleveland boy and where together, she and her husband have raised their twin daughters.
“It’s a wonderful place to raise a family. Our home is surrounded by woods, and we are only a short drive to just about anywhere we want to go. Lake Erie is my inspiration and I have been visiting its shores since I was a baby, swimming, walking, picnicking, and collecting natural treasures from its beaches.”
Susan describes herself as having been an artistic kid. Her parents supported her interest by signing her up for “every art class they could find”, including silversmithing. She was voted “most artistic” by her high school graduating class!
After graduating from the University of Michigan in graphic design and illustration, she returned home and found a job as a greeting card artist at American Greetings. “We called it ‘high school with a paycheck’ and most of us couldn’t believe our good fortune that someone actually wanted to pay us to do what we loved.” After her twins were born, she decided that working from home was the way to go, and continued to use her skills doing freelance work. She found though, that she missed working with silver, and decided to dig out her metal working tools and re-connect with what had once been one of her favorite mediums.
The bowls filled with her collections of Lake Erie beach stones and sea glass that inhabited her studio inspired her to create jewelry using these natural elements. And it was at just about that time that she discovered Etsy and SToNZ was born.
The creation of a piece of Susan’s jewelry begins with drilling holes in beach pebbles and seaglass, using a drill press and diamond drill bits. She uses traditional silversmithing techniques to work the sterling silver such as sawing, hammering, drilling and soldering to form the metal components for her pieces. Often, the materials guide the final design, and she likes to focus on one piece at a time rather that doing a production line. Finally, she adds an oxidized finish to the silver, giving it a subtle richness and character. Check out her blog for a tutorial on her technique for adding tube rivets to her beach stones! http://beachstonz.blogspot.com/search/label/tutorial
Even though her successful jewelry line is carried in shops and galleries, Susan says that etsy is still her favorite place to sell. “Selling on Etsy has allowed me to find my buyers all over the world. Or should I say, for them to find ME! I just love the people I have met because of SToNZ. My customers are smart, interesting, nature loving women of all ages, and they often share the same nostalgia for the beach that I do. It’s always fun to have a customer send me a favorite stone or beach glass gem, so that I can make it into a personal piece of jewelry for them.”
Although Susan admits that she’d much rather be making jewelry than marketing it, she does a darn good job at both. She has a blog and a facebook page where her fans receive special offers and first look at new listings, tweets a little, maintains a flicker photostream and is an active member of several etsy teams where she can find inspiration, share information and business tips with other Etsy sellers. She carries business cards and wears her jewelry wherever she goes which often attracts people’s interest. She also finds that she gets a lot of the best kind of advertising, word of mouth. A YouTube tutorial video is a future possibility as well!
When I asked Susan what she liked to do for fun when she wasn’t having fun in her studio she said “Walk my Wheaten Terrier, drive to the beach in my Mini Cooper convertible, read novels, cook, travel, go to estate sales, concerts, museums, spend time with friends and family…
My husband plays drums in a classic rock band for fun, and I love going to their gigs. I’m their biggest groupie.”
And other areas she might be interested in exploring? A book lover at heart, she’s always dreamed about Illustrating a children’s book, even working in a bookstore or library would make her happy, or perhaps an antique business with her husband… well for the time being, she’s just having too much fun with her jewelry!
Susan’s biggest challenge? Other than the necessary evil of paperwork that goes along with a small business, her biggest challenge is just finding the time to make all of the ideas in her head. “I wish I could clone myself. I’d get so much more done!”
Well Susan, I suggest you get those tools out and start working on that clone right away!
Painter, Cynthia Reid grew up just north of New York City, but has spent most of her life in Texas. Currently living about 40 miles north of Houston, on the edge of the piney woods, on 6 acres with her artist husband, 2 cats and 2 dogs. Her workspace is in the old 2-car garage, now converted, and which she describes as ”wonderful”!
It seems Cynthia has always been an artist, making art since she was a child, and upon graduation from college, became a high school art teacher. As an educator, she has acquired a wealth of knowledge in many art processes, but her personal favorite, and the one you will find predominating in her etsy shop, is watercolor.
It was in 1985 after a bout with breast cancer that caused the then young, single mom to reflect on her life and make the decision to pursue her passion more fully. She took a leave of absence from her job and headed back to school full time where she pursued an MFA in painting, concentrating in watercolor. She got that degree and has been cancer free for the past 26 years!
As seems to be the case with many artists, Cynthia describes herself as a much better maker of art rather than a marketer of art. “In the past I did large outdoor shows and was in a few galleries. These days I do only a few local shows per year, but for the past year I've been working on establishing an online presence.” Nowadays, she says, “My biggest challenge as an artist, and as a person, is time management!” Well, she’s got a lot going on!