artist profile!

hey guys! i can't believe it's already 2011....weird! so, here's january's artist profile!

i believe i stumbled upon this etsy shop thanks to someone who had hearted us both, but i'm not quite sure. this shop is one of my favorites, and i think their items are beyond beautiful (i once spent around an hour going through her boxes!). please, give it up for briana!

1.)Tell us a little bit about yourself! (name, location,pets, family, etc.)
I'm Briana from Doylestown, PA, a suburb an hour outside of Philadelphia. I'm currently substitute teaching while pursuing a Master of Education degree. I started selling on Etsy to generate some additionall income. I have two cats that were strays. If I lived alone I would definately be a cat hoarder! My mom is actually the one who inspired my "Blissful Treasures". She has collected small unique decorative boxes since I can remember. An entire glass cabinet is devoted to her little box collection.

2.)How did you become to be an artist?
I've always had an affinity for the arts. Painting, drawing, etc. always felt natural and comfortable to me. My parents definately nurtured my creativity. Growing up I wanted to be an art teacher but decided to be an elementary teacher instead. Now in my free time creating is a hobby.

3.)What inspires you?
I get inspired with broken pieces of antique jewelry or furniture that I find at flea markets. It's a treasure hunt for me! When I've uncovered something in the massive piles of chaos, my mind runs wild with the endless artistic possibilities.

4.)What is your creative proccess like?
There rarely is a plan when I begin making a box. I sit down surounded by dozens of bins containing anything from vintage buttons to broken broaches. My mood is always what sways the direction my box is going to take. It's either a funky chic, romantic victorian, or pleasantly pratical mood. I never have a visual of the end product as I'm working. The box is complete when I feel like it has taken on its own personality.

5.)What do you do in your free time?(besides creating)
Baking, running, reading, sudoku.

6.)What would give as advice to someone just starting out on Etsy?
Value your work and the time you've spent creating it. Don't sell yourself short when it comes to pricing your items. The group discussions are extremely helpful when starting out. I use to read them religiously and received great advice and tips for a successful shop.

7.)How do you promote your work?
It started with family and friends. I started bringing some of my boxes to family functions and they started buying gifts for their friends and co-workers. Aside from Etsy, Facebook is a fabulous way to promote. Sometimes I find crafting blogs and interest groups and promote there as well. Early on I did a couple of craft fairs but got reallly discouraged. Although I received a lot of compliments on my boxes, I didn't sell one thing! Since then I've stuck to selling online and have been successful.

8.)In ten years, where would you like to be?
Hopefully still finding time to fullfill my passion for creating.

9.)What handmade possesion is closest to your heart?
I have a collection of unique handmade fairies that my parents have bought me over the years whenever they traveled. My parents find them at little outdoor markets or craft fairs. They always enjoy conversing with the actual artist who create them. Coincidently, all of the artists claim to have had encounters with real fairies.

10.)What would you like to see more of on Etsy? Less of?
I love the layout of etsy. The diversity of the items is fantastic. I love seeing one-of-a-kind pieces of art. I really appreciate it when the seller has taken the time to write out a little story about their creation. That shows their creating something with passion and enjoyment. I would love to see more sellers do this.


merry christmas and happy holidays!

i'm quite busy so I probably won't be posting until after Christmas weekend, but i hope all of you out there reading this are going to have or have had a wonderful holiday! thanks so much for supporting me and my little business this holiday season.
best of wishes


time. flies.

Can you believe there are only 13 days till Christmas? Are you ready for the frenzy of present opening, party hosting, dinner serving and dish washing? Or are you far, far behind, wishing you were your friend Jane who started planning her Christmas in September? Well, you can be a little like Jane by getting your butt up and holiday planning! Here are a few tips:
  • make sure you have nearly all of your gifts. and no, half doesn't cut it!
  • compile a list of all the foods you'll need for parties, get-togethers, and whatever you'll do
  • lug all of the Christmas decorations out if you haven't yet (you can do it!!!)
  • make sure that all of your reservations are booked
  • keep all of your presents in one area
  • do the same with your shopping coupons
  • make sure you have all of your RSVPs for your holiday parties!
Get many more tips, checklists, and ways to reduce holiday stress at http://www.celebrating-christmas.com/checklists/index.shtml!

Have a wonderful holiday(:



artist profile

this is our first artist's profile! i am now featuring artists monthly in addition to my blog posts! feel free to email me if you think you would be a good fit for this blog(:

this month's artist is....mentalembellisher! woot! here are her answers to my questions! (click on her name for a link to her shop)

1.)Tell us a little bit about yourself! (name, location,pets, family, etc.)
I'm an expat Londoner called Ann now living in a medieval town in France having lived out in Australia for a while

2.)How did you become to be an artist?
I don't think I 'became' an artist, it's just something I've always done, much preferring to draw inside than play outdoors when I was little...my mum was very creative and my dad was an upholsterer which I suppose is where I get my love of textures and colour. I studied art in London and worked as a professional portait painter, illustrator and muralist for many years in London, Paris & Sydney

3.)What inspires you?
Absolutely everything and usually obscure stuff! I create all the time and live in a very visually stimulating environment

4.)What is your creative proccess like?

5.)What do you do in your free time? (besides creating)
I have three Weimaraners, two cats and an acre of gardens, live with a thai chef and am the mother of two artist and musician sons, so eating, laughing and running around a lot are my main occupations :-) I also love driving fast and going out to sea in the boat when the weather's good. And travelling is something I continue to do....

6.)What would you give as advice to someone just starting out on Etsy?
Take great photos as if there was no description. Write the description as if there were no photos.

7.)How do you promote your work?
I have a Facebook fan page and I use Twitter too. That's it.

8.)In ten years, where would you like to be?
Still happily ensconsed in my studio surrounded by piles of recyclable bits and pieces and mabe a grandchild or two....

9.)What handmade possession is closest to your heart?
Nearly everything in my house is handmade, I can't stand mass-produced things or the idea of someone else having the same thing as me so that's a very difficult one. The one that is literally closest to my heart is a fantastic crocheted granny square jacket made especially for me by my fellow etsian Shelleden, I wear it constantly and it makes me smile :-D

10.)What would you like to see more of on Etsy? Less of?
I'm so happy with Etsy, I can't see what more of anything there could possibly be...

thanks so much mentalembellisher! we loved having you!
check mentalembellisher out at the link above.

thanks also to my loyal followers! have a lovely holiday, new posts coming soon! be prepared for a total revamp of blog content by new year's for sure!


recycling jewelry- saving the earth (and money!) a little at a time

Jewelry is a wonderful thing. Something to accessorize with, something to have fun with! But what happens when you find a piece of jewelry that you don't like anymore? What happens if you make jewelry and one of your pieces hasn't sold in forever? You......RECYCLE IT! Yes, you can recycle jewelry! If you make jewelry, you can take the jewelry apart and use the beads and parts for another project!
But for those of you who don't make jewelry, you can still recycle your earrings, bracelets, necklaces, anklets, and whatever kind of other jewelry is out there. You can do this by taking the broken pieces to a friend(take it from a jewelry maker- we love your beads!), seeing if any of the pieces are recyclable, giving the pieces to a child neighbor for them to experiment (with a parents permission), donating the out-of-style piece, donating the broken pieces to a craft supply charity, or even just holding on to it! What you might find "out of fashion" may be a piece that comes back in style, or it might just be that your child or *gasp* your child's child might find it a beautiful piece. You never know, you might just become a part of family history!



Making holiday earrings by the gazillions...
so excited to offer gift wrapping for FREE! yay!
looking for artists to feature for the holidays....(:

email, as always, as gracie_beal@yahoo.com!


How to Shop For The Holidays

If you're one of those people who believes that it's way too early to begin shopping for the holidays, let me tell you; it's not. I've shopped for many, many gifts over the years, and it's CERTAINLY never too early to start shopping for the holidays! Here are a few tips to keep you organized (and money-concious!) during this year's shopping frenzy:

-It's never too early to begin your holiday shopping. I've been known to collect little tidbits even in months such as July!

-Meaningful gifts are a lot more fun than ones that are just bought for the sake of showing up with something- if you're going to spend your money, make it count!

-For those people who you really can't afford to dish out another gift to, a nice batch of homemade cookies or your favorite brownies is always a great idea

-Making a list of what gift you want to buy for which person keeps you organized and doesn't allow you to forget any little thing

-Stick to your list, for the most part. No, I really doubt that Grandma will appreciate that cute rubber ducky that's on clearance....

And there you have it! Some nice little tips to cut out and put in your wallet...enjoy yourselves!


the holidays are here!

Finally! The holidays are just around the corner! Great products are being invented behind the scenes, many of which will be featured right on this blog! This will be a perfect place to find out the perfect gift for that perfect someone! Perfect? I think yes!