Sunday, October 19, 2008

ACE Team Artist Of the Week - Survivor's Therapy

Jackie of Survivor's Therapy is the featured artist for this week. A big round of applause for Jackie who is one year and 4 months cancer free!!

Is there a story behind your shop name?
I am a breast cancer survivor. When trying to come up with names for my shop I sent a request out to friends and family for their comments. My sister came up with the name and it was perfect because my sewing has been my therapy while battling cancer.

What made you decide to open your own shop?
My daughter. I have been doing craft shows with her, she has her own ETSY shop (GoneDoggie, previously featured, see Archives) and she felt I should try it out.

What is your favorite material to use?
I love all kinds of material. I do a lot with fabric. But, when something inspires me I will try just about anything.

Talk briefly about your favorite item:
I am really enjoying making pillowcases right now. The varieties of fabrics available now is incredible, you can really make a beautiful piece of artwork out of a simple pillowcase.

What are your creative inspirations?
Everything around me is an inspiration. I have been crafting for many years. When my kids were young they were my inspiration and I would make their clothes for them. Now I try to create fun but, useful items like my pillowcases.

Are you a crafter full time or part time?
Part-time but, some weeks it feels like Full-time. Since going through almost 2 years of chemo I don't have the stamina that I used to, so I sew as much as I can. Often times I have to stop to take me a little nap.

Who encourages you to create?
My daughter, when she was little she would make things and do craft shows with me. I tried to teach her to sew using a sewing machine and she sewed her finger and that was that. A few years ago she got her own sewing machine and hasn't stopped since. She has kept me going with my crafts and inspired me to get back into the craft shows.

Do you have any advice for other shop owners?
It takes time for that first sale but, it will come.

Tell me any other interesting things about yourself you'd like for me to include in your article: I just turned 60 this year. I have three children. Four grandchildren with a fifth on the way. I am 1 year and 4 months cancer free. I have two dogs, Danny and Tedi which were both rescues. Tedi was actually a foster dog I was caring for and he ended up staying. I have been in NC for almost 2 years now and absolutely love it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

An interview with Aprils Originals

The featured artist this week is April of Aprils Originals April makes designer diaper bags that are so fabulous, they look like handbags. Now moms can look chic while carrying diapers and formula around!

April says:
I named my shop Aprils Originals because my bags are original designs made by me. I do not use patterns for my work, all of the designs come from my head. I am inspired by other artists and by the fabric I use. I began designing my bags to meet my own needs and lots of people seemed to have the same needs.

I am a stay~at~home mom of a wonderful 5-year old little boy. All of this began nearly 3 years ago when I grew tired of carrying the same old diaper bag that 'looked' like I was carrying a diaper bag. I was constantly on the lookout for the perfect bag. So eventually I dusted off my sewing machine and just started creating for myself that 'perfect' bag. People would stop me and ask "Where did you get your bag" and when I would reply "I made it" they would usually respond "Can you make me one?". Eventually I realized that I might be able to continue to stay~at~home and contribute a little income to our family and be able to do what I love to do. Aprils Originals was then born!

I started out trying other markets like local boutiques and ebay but my sister-in-law told me about etsy so I decided to check it out and it was perfect!It was just what I was looking for.I love fabric, all kinds of fabrics but I have recently grown to LOVE designer fabrics. The quality of the fabric and the vibrant colors just cannot be beat. I have to admit that until about a year ago I really didn't even know that there was such a thing as designer fabrics. Like I said I am a stay~at~home mom and had pretty much gotten out of the 'loop' of fashion :o)

My favorite item would have to be the Mommy Bag that I make and the Crayon Keepers. I carry a Mommy Bag myself and I have a Crayon Keeper for my son in my bag at all times, it is wonderful and comes in handy more than I ever thought it would.

I would have to say that fabric is my biggest inspiration, it speaks to me like an empty canvas does to a painter. When I see fabric I just feel what needs to go together and sometimes I hold onto a certain fabric until the perfect match comes along and I just know that I will use them together. My husband thinks I am crazy but it is my art.

I started out a part~time crafter but my little shop has gotten so busy in the last couple of months that it has flown right into more of a full~time situation. I am up sometimes well into the wee hours of the morning sewing trying to keep up with my orders. It is very hard to juggle my first job, Mommy, with running my shop. It is a constant struggle but on the other hand a dream come true!

I have an extremely supportive family, my husband helps me whenever I need him to. He even helps me do some of the more mundane aspects of my work like the ironing on of the fleece and interfacing to each piece before it gets sewn together. My Mom and my Mother-in-law both have several of my creations. They have been 'guinea pigs' on more than one occasion.

I feel like the best advice I can give anyone would be to stick with what you love, don't always worry so much about whether or not others will love it. First and foremost create from your heart and soul no matter what the medium. If you don't love what you do then do something else until you find what it is that feels right to you!

I don't just sew I do a wide range of crafts, when I have the time. I love to knit and crochet, make jewelry, my son and I love to 'play' with polymer clay and on occasion I cross~stitch and make soaps and bath salts. I have been crafting since I was a child, my Mom is a wonderful artist. She can draw, paint and also loves to do many crafts. I didn't inherit my Mom's ability to paint and draw, my brothers both got that. But I do lots of things that my Mom doesn't. She is the one who originally taught me to sew when I was a little girl, I would sew clothes for my Barbies and my baby dolls. I have never had any formal training in sewing I just figure it out on my own. I also taught myself to crochet and to knit.

Check out April's blog at

Sunday, October 5, 2008

An Interview with UberArt

This week's featured team member is Beth of UberArt. Beth is a bookbinder and makes journals for sketching, writing, or jotting notes. She also works with polymer clay and designs pendants. You can find her creations in her Etsy shop

Is there a story behind your shop name?
When I first started on Etsy, I was unsure what direction my shop was going to take. Being a mixed media artist, I create all kinds of things from jewelry, journals, paintings, etc. I selected “UberArt” because the name would encompass anything I chose to do.

What made you decide to open your own shop?
I’ve always wanted to pursue a career in art. I have my undergraduate degree in art but never had the courage to put my creations out there. My husband saw an article in a business magazine about Etsy, encouraged me to try it out and here I am!

What is your favorite material to use? Paper and polymer clay.

What is your favorite item?
It’s hard to choose a favorite because I love them all, but I think my “Sand and Sky Journal” has become my signature item. I grew up near the beach and really enjoy incorporating seaglass into my work.

What are your creative inspirations?
I enjoy looking through art magazines for new techniques to try, but my main inspiration comes from being with other artists. I love working alongside others, sharing a creative aura and seeing the things we all come up with.

Are you a crafter full time or part time? If part time, how do you find time to create?
I am a part time artist. My time is split between being a mom to a toddler and being an artist. I grab any free time I can get, be it during naptimes or late at night!

Who encourages you to create?
My friends and family are very supportive and are always interested in my latest creations, or at least pretend to be!

Do you have any advice for other shop owners?
Do what you love and keep at it. Chances are someone else will love what you do also.

Do you have a blog or website?
My blog address is I have a new website, still being tweaked, at I hope to one day sell my items from my website also, in addition to Etsy.

Tell me any other interesting things about yourself you'd like for me to include in your article:
I've started a new section in my shop to benefit breast cancer research. I have a friend who has been recently diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. She commissioned me to create a journal for her to record her thoughts and experiences throughout the journey. I really enjoyed making something that would be so meaningful to her and thought it would be great to do that for others as well as helping raise money to eradicate cancer!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Here are some Halloween/Autumn items featured by our members! Click the picture to see a larger view.