Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday Feature - Designs By Melissa

Give us a summary of your shop, and how you got started?
I found Etsy one night while I was online looking for Christmas presents. I loved the items I was finding on the site, so I made some purchases. Then, after Christmas I was helping my boyfriend's daughter make some jewelry from a kit we had gotten her, when I realized I was enjoying myself more than she was. I was addicted! So, I started selling my creations on Etsy.

How did you select your name?
Since I had already signed up as a buyer, I had already selected my name. I didn't think at that time I would become a seller. Melp1979 is my address, but "designs by Melissa" is my shop name. I chose "designs by Melissa" because my name is Melissa, & I wanted to leave the name open enough to allow any of my creative items to be sold under one name. I also do floral arrangements, although, I don't have any listed in my store on Etsy.

What makes your shop unique?
I believe my shop is unique because I make many different styles. My designs reflect my mood for the day. I like for each of my pieces to have a very "unique" look to them as well.

Do you sell anywhere outside of etsy? If so, where?
I currently only sell on Etsy.

How long have you been making your craft?
I have been making my jewelry for 5 months now. It sounds like a short time, but I have ate, drank, & slept jewelry for those months! I have learned so much & have seen a great improvement in my craft!

Is it your full-time job?
Etsy is not my full-time job. Other than making jewelry, I have a full-time job, an internship at another place, & I go to school.

How do you balance work, and/or your shop, and home?
I am a very hardworking & dedicated person. I throw myself into everything I do. I don't really have any "me" time. When I'm not working, in class, or working on projects, I am creating new jewelry pieces!!

What is your favorite material?
I would have to say my first love is buttons!! Add a button to anything and it is adorable!! I also love the look of wire, especially oxidized sterling silver.

What inspires you?
There is inspiration in everything. I am an Interior Designer by day, so I am constantly surrounded by colors, textures, & patterns. I also find inspiration from nature & people I meet.

Click HERE to visit Designs By Melissa

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Product Review

One of our contest winners from our blog giveaways was kind enough to write a product review on her blog about the sample she received. Check it out!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday Feature - DippyLuLu

Give us a summary of your shop, and how you got started.
I create and sell fun and unique paper products which are often bought as gag gifts. I became fascinated by Etsy and watched it develop through the blog Design*Sponge. From buying it became apparent that maybe I should start selling too.

What motivated you to open your shop?

I was a buyer on Etsy for a long while and then suddenly thought well, I could do some of this selling type stuff. I collected ACEO's and so my first products were ACEO's, two of which sold within 20 minutes of listing. At that point I was hooked! The idea of Farty products came to me because we have matches all over the house for *ahem* a certain purpose. I’m so obsessed with farts that I have extended my line to include Stinky Lites, Lady Lites, Veggie Lites (coming soon!) and a Deluxe Fart Kit (and if you believe that explanation, I have a sub-prime mortgage to sell you).

How did you select your name?
They are the combination of two nicknames. I was called Dippy at school, and LuLu at work. DippyLuLu sounded like it fitted my products perfectly so here I am.

What makes your shop unique?
The fact that most of it is based around farts and other bodily functions! I also try to create fun and unique designs and packaging.

Do you sell anywhere outside of etsy? If so, where?
Etsy is my only outlet at the moment.

How long have you been making your craft?
I've been making paper and graphic products since I was a kid really, and then it developed once I got into art school. I am always coming up with fun stuff for birthdays and parties. I love it!
Is it your full-time job?
Creating ideas is my full time job, and I like to think that is what my shop is about too. I am a freelance art editor/graphic designer when not being an Etsy seller.

How do you balance work, and/or your shop, and home?
Sometimes with great difficulty! But, I don't let it rule my life. My job and home come before Etsy. I need a balance and I think I have found it. Though it does help that I have a spouse who works right next door to a post office!
What is your favorite material?
Any kind of paper and a scalpel to cut it with!

What inspires you?
Milton Glaser, Neville Brody & Saul Bass. They are my design heroes who never fail to inspire me. I also love typography, amazing ideas-based graphic design (hard to find these days), and Pantone swatch books.
Click HERE to Visit DippyLuLu's Shop

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tuesday Tips -Getting The Most Out of Your Mascara

There are a few basic things you can do to make the most out of whatever mascara you are using:

  1. Replace your mascara every 3 months - old mascara doesn’t go on smoothly, making your lashes dry, short and clumpy looking. If you are on a budget, try to find a great drugstore brand.
  2. Get a hand mirror - when you apply your mascara, hold the mirror down by your nose and look into it. This will allow you to see the root all the way to tips of your eyelashes and gives you the best length possible for application.
  3. “Wiggle and Pull” - wiggle the brush back and forth to ensure your lashes grab the most mascara possible from the wand. It’s great for volume and length.
  4. Go Slow - practice your mascara application technique and take time out of your makeup applying routine to devote to applying your mascara. Great lashes make a big difference!
More tips from

Friday, May 9, 2008

Friday Feature - Alison DuBois

Give us a summary of your shop, and how you got started?
Alison Du Bois Original Fine Art Photography is a labor of love. I joined Etsy on January 2, 2008 as a New Year’s Resolution to begin to market my art work. It has been an incredibly fun experience. Within a few hours of posting my first 8”x12” photo I had an interested customer! She wrote to me to see if I could enlarge that photo and she then spent the next few days at a photography show in Los Angeles and came home and bought my Sedona Reflection in a 16”x20”! From that moment on I was hooked on Etsy. I have met some interesting people and made some new friends in this great community.

What motivated you to open your shop?
I was motivated to open a shop because my family and friends kept telling me that my photography was saleable and that I should find a way to let other people know about it so they could enjoy it. I am more motivated to share my art with the world than to make money, but by selling my photos I can afford to buy the equipment that I desire, and to travel to new places to discover a unique perspective of our planet.

How did you select your name?
Well, it is probably pretty boring, but I thought it was important to use my real name as my Etsy name so that eventually when I become better known if people are searching for my work they will find my Etsy shop easily. (As an aside, I often get asked if I am the famous Medium, Allison Du Bois – alas, I am not!)

What makes your shop unique?
I believe that my shop is unique because I am passionate about the world around me and I think that it shows in my work. I have a pretty wide variety of landscape photos, macro photos, and some interesting black and white work. I am branching out and selling a coffee table book that includes 81 of my photographs and am happy to report that I just sold my first one! Additionally, I am adding some of my original art work in the form of ACEOs. I will be adding cards in the next few weeks.

Do you sell anywhere outside of etsy? If so, where?
To date, I have mostly sold by word of mouth. Last fall I was invited to join a group of artists in the Palm Springs, California area called “Rare Artisans” and my photography, jewelry, and artwork are on their website at (They also have a shop on Etsy)

How long have you been making your craft?
I started taking photographs about three years ago and I was thrilled to find that my unique way of seeing was able to be translated to film. I usually start with just enjoying what is around me and really absorbing the energy of the scene before I begin to photograph it. I think my composition is very good, and I am learning more each day about the technical aspects of how to capture what I see. I find that digital photography allows me the opportunity to start big and work my way in to a scene to draw the viewer in further – sometimes the best photos are the first one I take, sometimes it is the 10th. It excites me on a daily basis. Most of my photos are as they come out of my camera, I do very little adjusting in Photoshop.

Is it your full-time job?
At this time, full-time photography is still a dream. I just love to dream, don’t you?

How do you balance work, and/or your shop, and home?
I am currently pursuing an education in gemology at the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, California. I use a formal “balance wheel” – a physical reminder of the things I wish to accomplish each day that helps me find time to stay fit and healthy, stay fiscally responsible, and work on my artistic side. (If you want more info on how to set one up, please email me at

What is your favorite material.
I love crafting and I have been doing it all of my life. My Mom was an artist and she inspired me to be creative from an early age. I love to experiment with all kinds of materials and I love to learn how to do new things. I guess I still haven’t decided what I want to be when I grow up – a photographer, a seamstress, a jewelry designer, an artist…a ?

What inspires you?

My boyfriend, my children, the beauty around me, and other artists inspire me. I am a proud member of the POE (Photographers of Etsy) team and am inspired by and learning from the other members. I am always finding beautiful things on Etsy (usually looking for an item for a Treasury) that starts my mind working in an unexpected direction.

Click HERE to visit Alison DuBois Shop

Thursday, May 8, 2008

And the Winner is....

1 place Winner of $10 Prize is (And My Simple Life)
The Taffy Box

2nd place Winner of a Free Item from Bonghi Natura- Ink Spot Work Shop
Ink Spot Work Shop

Winner Of Free Samples Include

Punky N Munky

Blender Beach


De Lavande

I will be contacting everyone shorty for contact info! Congrats on winning our give away! Check back soon you never know when another great giveaway might appear!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

LAST Day - Don't Forget to Enter!

Today is the last day of our blog giveaway! Don't forget to enter by midnight tonight for you chance to win!! Click HERE for rules on how to enter!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tuesday Tips - Eyes Shadow For Every Eye Color!

For Blue Eyes:

1. Tried and True: taupe, gray, violet, purple, deep blue (a darker shade than your eye color makes your eyes really blue), black (mix it with bright blue for a smoky effect)
2. Funky Favorites: silver, turquoise, fuschia (brightens any shade of blue)

Green or Hazel Eyes:
1. Tried and True: brown, apricot, purple, plum, deep khaki or forest green (because they are in the same greenish family, they brighten green eyes)
2. Funky Favorites: gold, lime-green, really light green, bright purple (super modern)

Brown Eyes:

1. Tried and True: copper, bronze, champagne (soft pink with a touch of apricot), brown (for a doe-eyed look), beige, and khaki-green (lighter shades add highlight)
2. Funky Favorites: tangerine, royal blue, hot pink, lime-green (the contrast adds punch to brown)

All Eyes:

1. Tried and True (Classic): navy or charcoal base to define and a powder-blue shadow for highlighting (it brightens your brow bone so any eye color pops)
2. Funky Favorites: silver-sparkle shadow makes all eyes look edgy.
Click here for the Article from Junita

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Friday Feature - Nature Manipulated

Give us a summary of your shop, and how you got started.
Nature Manipulated's visual and wearable art is designed to reflect upon nature and all of its elements. At NM we believe that EVERYTHING holds a piece of nature. Everything is nature manipulated.

What motivated you to open your shop?
Approximately four years ago, I bought a pair of cute earrings at a pretty pricey boutique. After returning home, I examined the earrings and realized there wasn't much to making them so I thought I would give it a try. I went to the bead shop and bought tons of supplies. Way more than I needed for a beginner designer. I started making more and more earrings, and then necklaces.

After feeling comfortable with my work and assured that I produced quality work, I spread the word to my family and friends. A few people bought some stuff and suggested I open my work up to a bigger customer base. I taught myself html and designed a website for Nature Manipulated. Then, by chance, I found out about Etsy. I thought the site was incredible, competitive but incredible. It was just the site I wanted to immerse myself in. I opened a shop and have been selling ever since.

How did you select your name?
As mentioned before, I believe that everything contains a piece of nature, whether its a book, a building, a car, etc. I take objects of nature, stone, paper, wood, metal and manipulate them to reflect upon the world from which the objects came. Everything, except nature in its purest sense is nature manipulated.

What makes your shop unique?
I don't think my shop is any more unique than the next shop. Everybody's work is unique because whether it looks like something someone has made or not, it is made by a unique person, and the inspiration behind somebody's work is never the same for everyone. What makes my work unique, is that it is made by me, and MY thoughts, MY experiences and MY inspirations make their way into every piece.

Do you sell anywhere outside of etsy? If so, where?
My work is also available through my website
I am toying with the idea of redesigning my website and linking my Etsy shop to it.

I also have a blog,, which features other Etsy shops, provides helpful information for new Etsy sellers, offers tutorials, and of course, every so often delves into my thoughts and creations.

How long have you been making your craft?
I started creating jewelry and beaded accessories approximately four years ago. As for photograpy, I have always been drawn to the camera, and started truly taking pictures 13 years ago.

Is it your full-time job?
Being the artist, designer and owner of Nature Manipulated is a full-time job, but it is not my only one. I also work in the biotech industry.

How do you balance work, and/or your shop, and home?
Balance? What balance? There is no such thing. On weekdays, I spend at least nine hours at the office. During my lunch break, I run to the post office or do some advertising/marketing work for Nature Manipulated. Then nights and weekends I do everything else, sleeping not more than five or six hours a night.

What is your favorite material.
In terms of jewelry-making, I really like turquoise, carnelian, horn and wood.
In terms of photography, I really like taking pictures of old cemeteries. I think they are one of the most peaceful places in the world and contain so much history. They are a timeless place and often esthetically beautiful places.

What inspires you?
Everything inspires me. Different landscapes I encounter traveling, the weather, peoples faces, emotions, historical events, nostalgia, ... EVERYTHING.
Click here to visit Nature Manipulated